You betcha

Someone on one of my email lists sent out Obama’s statement in which he said he would not support extensions of the Bush tax cuts.

I shot back an email that said “I will not sign any version of the health care act that does not include a public option” with the comment that with Obama, statements like this are only an opening gambit.

And this morning I see this:

Two days after the White House said it would not extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich under any circumstances, multiple Democratic senators refused to rule out the same scenario.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D), both of whom are facing re-election fights this fall, refused to take a positionon ending the cuts when asked Thursday, The Hill reports:

“If you want to do something in the spirit of compromise, you don’t start out by saying, ‘I refuse to do this’ or ‘I refuse to do that,’ ” said McCaskill. “It’s not my preference to extend tax cuts to multimillionaires — that’s not my preference — but I want to keep every option open in the spirit of compromise.”

Said Nelson, “I can’t get into a hypothetical.”

According to The Hill, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D) was also undecided on the issue.

So once again, an elaborately choreographed simulation of democracy will take place, and the outcome will be that the president will be “forced” to sign another extension. We all know this, right? And this is why people are so very weary of this game. Because no one ever comes out and discusses a piece of important legislation on its actual merits, it’s a game of symbolism and misdirection. It’s so exhausting to listen to this bullshit.

Dear God, I wish we had Harry Truman again.

7 thoughts on “You betcha

  1. This is one of these posts where I wonder how Obama gets the blame for the always-odious Claire McCaskill’s fuckery.

  2. Um, because he’s used her for similar games in the past? You do know they’re very close? She was one of his earliest supporters.

  3. Yeah, it’s almost like Robama isn’t the party leader, “our President,” a transformational figure, and The Greatest Orator Of Our Time. What’s wrong with you? Cue the chorus: “He’s only had three years!”

  4. “I will not sign any version of the health care act that does not include a public option”

    did obama ever actually say that? i know that obama did not make a commitment like that during the democratic primaries (when edwards made a big deal that his health plan included one, the obama campaign refused to commit to it). after he was elected and congress started debating health care reform in 2009, obama did express tepid support for a public option. but he never came out as a strong supporter of it at least before the end of 2009.

    as you know, i missed much of the 2010 part of the health care reform debate because i was stuck in kazakhstan. but from what i could follow from afar, i never had the impression that obama ever expressed more than a vague preference that there be a public option in the bill. i never saw any statement from him that he would only sign a bill that included one. i tried googling your words in the quote and all i got was a link to this post and the crooks and liars post, nothing from the president himself. do you have a cite for obama ever saying anything like that?

  5. hey, never mind. i think i found it. the july 18, 2009 weekly radio address:

    “That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family.”

    which i think is a little bit more ambiguous than the quote you used in this post. but it can be read to mean “any plan I sign must include… a public option” (although it can also be read as meaning only that it the plan must include “cost and track records of a variety of plans” with the “public option” added as something he wants, not necessarily something he must have.

  6. The “silly season” has begun. Every four years before a general election those running for re-election say fantastical things and or say nothing at all. In this case McCaskill and Nelson said nothing at all. Which turns into some giant conspiracy involving Obama, rich people’s taxes, and McCaskill servicing Obama under the Oval office desk. You gotta love the critical thinkers among us.

  7. REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare )


    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!


    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.



    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass 🙂

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