Will Obama Even Meet with the Progressives?

In their letter to Obama warning him that progressives won’t vote for a health care bill without the public option, Representatives Woolsey and Grijalva twice mention meeting with the President.

Thank you for continuing to work with Members of Congress to draft a health reform bill that will provide the real health care reform this country needs.

We look forward to meeting with you regarding retaining a robust public option in any final health reform bill and request that that meeting take place as soon as possible.


We look forward to meeting with you to discuss the importance of your support for a robust public plan, which we encourage you to reiterate in your address to the Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday. [my emphasis]

I checked with Greg Sargent (who first reported the letter), and he confirms that the Progressive Caucus does not have a meeting scheduled–rather this is a request for a meeting.

Now Rahm has pretty assiduously been blowing off progressives throughout this fight. Will Obama continue to do so? Or will the progressives actually get to meet with the President they got elected?

117 replies
  1. Hmmm says:

    Maybe it’s my recent limousine liberal trip to France speaking, but Larry Flynt’s notion of a General Strike day is starting to look pretty damn good to me. Ought to focus some attention right quick.

    • alabama says:

      France has the best health system in the world, and our public discourse–liberal as well as conservative– won’t even begin to discuss it. Doctors in France are free to treat as they see fit, no one waits to get treatment, and the costs are low. The individual can also opt for supplementary insurance plans if so moved. In a word, the French system manages to avoid the pitfalls of the Canadian and British systems.

      I’m mystified by our refusal to explore this. It’s not a socialist scheme, and certainly not a rejection of our adventure in Iraq. It’s just a sensible and effect public health program.

      MIght the language barrier come into play?

      • skdadl says:

        I’m no expert on the French system, so I’d be prepared to believe theirs is better than ours, but everything you just wrote about theirs is true also of the Canadian system. Exactly what “pitfalls” in the Canadian system are the propagandists telling you about?

        • Legion303 says:

          “Exactly what “pitfalls” in the Canadian system are the propagandists telling you about?”

          He was probably talking about the long wait times and lack of coverage for meds (for some conditions). I don’t know what propagandists you’re talking about, but my info comes from my Canadian wife and her entirely Canadian family.

          • mafr says:

            sorry, there are not long wait times. anyone requiring care urgently, gets it immediately.

            Not every one of the drug companies latest, greatest, products are paid for as soon as available. so what.

            It’s easy to find someone to bitch about….anything. That includes the cover everyone from the day they are born, single payer Canadian healthcare system.

            Pitfalls in the Canadian system. What nonsense.

          • skdadl says:

            “Wait times” always raises the question of “for what?” There are wait times for elective surgery, eg, depending on where you are, and I’m sure we should get those down. But only once or twice have I heard of concerns over basic care (cancer treatment, eg), and those are always coped with immediately by transferring people (sometimes but not always to the U.S.), at public expense — I haven’t heard such stories in the last decade, I don’t think, not since the last scandal.

            We should have better pharmacare, although no one in hospital pays for meds. We still have to fight to get dentistry considered basic care.

            Up thread eoh said something about Canadian and UK doctors being “employed” by the government. That’s not the case. Doctors here, anyway, are self-employed small-businesspeople, essentially. They bill the government for all basic care they deliver, but they also deliver services that are not listed, and for those they charge the patient.

            I’m writing as a survivor of ovarian cancer (ten years) and as an Alzheimer widow, and I have to tell you, I’ve never run into any wait times. Unlike the friend Nicholas Kristof wrote of last week in the NYT, I didn’t have to divorce my husband to avoid being bankrupted by his illness, one of the cruellest stories I’ve read recently. The strictly medical cost of my husband’s illness to us? $0.00, except for our OHIP deductions, which are negligible. The level of care he received? Always the highest, and always my choice. No one ever mentioned money to me.

            I have lots of criticisms of our system, mainly because I want it to be much better, but it has good bones. Most of the failures I see are political, either that or the problems of access that we have in many rural regions, especially in the north. We need more doctors; we need more technicians. But then, so does everyone else.

            • alabama says:

              Lest I forget, I should remind myself that I was pondering the French system (@8). Now I’m happy to be corrected about all and any misinformation in regard the Canadian system, but unless I’m mistaken, no one on this thread, the earlofhuntington @19 excepted, has said a single word thus far about the French system. I take this to support my point that no one has yet had the chance to study it, and by “no one” I mean absolutely no one among us, here at “emptywheel”, favoring an overhaul of our healthcare system.

              In my view, this is not to be seen as the mark of a polite silence on the part of those who disapprove of the French or the Dutch (my thanks to the earl for this furtherance of the point): it’s to be taken as a mark of ignorance. But of course we’re not, in general, ignorant, so I take the problem (ourproblem) to be more a drastic one: it seems that our very sources–the ones on which we depend, and with which we agree or disagree–are themselves uniformly ignorant of the French system.

              I’m stunned by this–the more so since it only occurred to me when my wife pointed it out (she’s a physician with some experience in the economics of health care).

              It’s not as if we’ve think that the French are wrong: it’s as if we never knew that the French existed.

              • skdadl says:

                Agreed, alabama — I’m ashamed that I don’t know how the French and Dutch systems work, nor the Scandinavian ones for that matter.

                Our political worries here for the last decade or so have had more to do with fighting rear-guard actions against our own cadres of neo-cons, who periodically try to open our system up to “competition” from USian private corpses. We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to save what we’ve got, so we’re probably a bit defensive on that score. I’d be happy to know there are better ways to organize us, but last time I looked, something like 92 per cent of Canadians would take a lot of convincing to change what we’ve got now.

      • LindaR says:

        That’s it! It’s the language barrier!!

        In France, they speak human.

        In the USofA, they speak corporate.

      • public.takeover says:

        Rather than ignorance of the language per se, I believe it’s just generalized BLOCKHEADEDNESS, especially when DC dollars are at stake.

    • solerso says:

      I think a general strike would be a great thing, if it could be pulled off. im sure that sounds incredibly thick and obvious but ive nver seen a general strike in the US in my life.has it ever been attempted? sure would get their attention. can you imagine what the MSM would do with that?

    • mamazboy says:

      Flynt has always been underrated because of the porn connection.

      Short answer to Will Obama meet with progressives? No.

  2. scribe says:

    Short answer: no.

    Longer answer: fuck no.

    Even longer answer: Fuck no. If I, Rahm the Magnificent, were to allow anyone other than my Corporatocrat allies in to meet with Obama, I would be defeating myself and my plans to encapsulate Obama in a bubble inside which ideas other than mine do not reach. And that means Real Democrats don’t get into our treehouse, OK? Fuck off, already.

  3. Jeff Kaye says:

    Rahm, talking to himself in the mirror, imagining himself talking to representatives of the Progressive Caucus:

    “Fuck you. Who? Fuck me? Fuck me? No. Fuck you!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The only film Rahm ever took time out from promoting himself politically to see was Taxi Driver. He’s wanted a hack license ever since. He should have it by now; that’s all he’s qualified to do.

  4. FrankProbst says:

    I’ve pretty much lost all patience with Obama on health care. He’s for some vague idea of “reform”, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what that means. He continues to negotiate with people who are never going to vote for any bill he produces. And he won’t really hit back at nutjobs like Sarah Palin who lie about what’s being considered. Now we’re hearing a bunch of ridiculous talk about “reconciliation” in order to pass a bill with a simple majority and avoid a filibuster threat.

    Here’s a suggestion: Tell us what kind of health care reform you want to see, get the Dems in Congress to write the bill, and just pass the damn thing along party lines. If the Senate Republicans hold their breath and stomp their feet and threaten to filibuster the bill, then MAKE THEM FILIBUSTER. It’s abundantly clear that the Republicans have nothing meaningful to say about health care, and they will make absolute fools of themselves trying to talk about it 24/7. You should be prepared to point out (early and often) when they’re lying through their teeth. Yes, “The Daily Show” is better at this than you are, but it will do the people a lot of good to hear it coming from the President himself.

    • maryo2 says:

      It’s abundantly clear that the Republicans have nothing meaningful to say about health care

      True. They plan to sabotage all Democratic reforms and then run on a platform in 2010, 2012 and 2016 that says “Democrats do not keep their promises. You might as well vote for the GOP so at least you feel safe.”

      Their only chance is to hope Democrats fail, and even though it hurts this country they will rationalize that the ’sacrifice’ was worth it because they are the righteous party and have to defend the country against liberals, keep it under god, blahty blahty blah. But just like with Mark Sanford, it is BS.

      • AZ Matt says:

        Republicans are leaches, nothing more. Well, fornicating leaches is maybe a better description, and they do have family values too.

    • brendanx says:

      He’s for some vague idea of “reform”,

      He wasn’t vague at all in his town halls, at least the first ones: he is for a public option, an insurance exchange, and insurance reform.

      Which makes his actual legislative strategy all the more cynical a betrayal. It took me a while to process, but he seems to be a politician who doesn’t mean what he says.

  5. pseudonymousinnc says:

    I’m mystified by our refusal to explore this.

    The ‘best healthcare in the world’ myth, combined with American exceptionalism, makes it impossible to talk about foreign healthcare systems rationally. T.R. Reid has tried, but how much purchase has his approach had?

    He is in the sewer.

    He is in the tank. Oh, and covered by state or federal insurance for most of his adult life. But that goes without saying, too.

    • CTMET says:

      When is somebody going to get called on the carpet for “Best Healthcare in the world.”

      I want to follow up with “By which objective measure?”

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The French and Dutch systems are similar and are, I believe, different from both the UK and Canadian models in that highly-regulated private insurers issue insurance, and treatment is provided mostly by private doctors (ie, not employed directly by the government). Insurance contracts are largely plain vanilla in that insurers are paid to process payments, not to profit from denying coverage. Virtually all patients qualify, all treatments are covered. They’ve done away with the plethora of gimmicks US insurers have invented in order to maximize private profits rather than simply administer group plans paid for by employers.

    The French and Dutch systems save considerably over the American model in many ways. One way is that they are not built around denying coverage and appeals. Another is that doctors, hospitals and patients’ lives are greatly simplified in that the services are promptly paid for, from routine pregnancies and gall bladder removals to trauma treatment for the urban well-to-do, the suburban middle class, and those living in ex-urban ghettos.

    Imagine the admin. time doctors’ offices and hospitals save by not wrestling with the intentional road blocks – the elaborate systems of pre-approvals, limited hospital stays, treating to what’s covered, approved lists of doctors and treatments, and ”customary” charges, etc. Unpaid for services are rare, which would cut staffs of American hospitals and doctors offices and virtually eliminate the need for collections, collections attorneys and collection agencies, medically related bankruptcies, ad nauseum. When the Right tots up savings, it fails to include those.

    Why would we not want such a system, tailored to American needs? Money.

    All reforms butt up against the enormous power and wealth accumulated over the past thirty years by insurers who once only processed payments for a few cents on the dollar. They have now become the system, and won’t revert to earning their bread (rather than stealing it from your table) without burning the house down with them. They got nothing to lose by not doing it, since true reform would cut much of their power and wealth.

    There are trillions at stake over ten years, hundreds of billions in profits, billions in bonuses. Paying out several hundred millions in lobbyist fees – spending $1.4 million a day on them – would be cheap at twice the price. Those pay for politicians, whole political parties, major newspapers and broadcasters, pundits and purportedly objective researchers.

    Overturning that system is like planning the second front in Europe in World War Two. Obama, on the other, is pretending that this is a fractious card game and that, in the end, the parties will reach effective agreement about doing the right thing. If Churchill and FDR had operated like that, we’d all be speaking German.

  7. 1970cs says:

    Rahm can stomp his feet and pretend he is the Yiddish Tony Montana to his heart’s content. But, his employment as Chief of Staff is contingent upon getting shit done. He still needs those 60 votes or he gets nothing.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I should add that insurers could change their ways, actually compete and, like good credit card companies everywhere, rid their contracts and processes of egregious terms and roadblocks. They might continue to be powerful and earn great sums by doing a better job than a public insurer and remain in business for a long time. But that’s pushing water up hill; you can do it, but it’s hard work.

    Rigging the system to prevent change is more profitable, or, better yet, increase business through persuading the government to mandate cover but prevent it from more effectively regulating what insurers do or the contracts they sell.

    • 1970cs says:

      That goes right back to the stucture of bonuses for short term profits for the managers. Even more than that it would mean a change in philosophy for the corporations to view employees stay as long term with them.

  9. SparklestheIguana says:

    Axelrod is quoted in a story today saying Obama believes in “fundamental principles” about healthcare reform but “he’s not dogmatic about how we get there.”

    What does that even mean? That Obama is willing to try to get Repube votes, and also willing to ram something through? Do we even know what his “fundamental principles” are? I’m not sure I know. All I know for sure is that Obama seems to make a fetish of compromise, going back to his Harvard Law days. I guess if you’re willing to advance one inch, rather than pushing to advance one mile, compromise is the way to go. I wish he would read the op-ed in NYT about Roosevelt the Divider. There was a guy willing to ram shit through. I’m afraid we shall not see his like again (on our side – on the other side we see it all the time.) What is WRONG WITH US???

    • Rayne says:

      What is wrong with us?

      Depends on who “us” is, for starters.

      As a party we Dems have forgotten how to lead and how to negotiate to win. We’re learning, but these are skills and talents acquired over a lifetime, and the guys who know how to lead and negotiate (and win) are old and dropping like flies (RIP Teddy).

      Which leaves the rest of us who are either young or late-comers to political activism without much in the way of guideposts. We are forced to learn the hard way, and we are forced to fight some who are allegedly on our side but who cut their teeth as a generation sandwiched between the old school Dems and us.

      That would be Rahm E., by the way, who learned how to do what he does not in a manner like his elder statesman but through caving like the DLC has all along to the right and to corporate interests. He proved himself to be ineffectual at winning when he threw behind Tammy Duckworth in IL-06 in 2004 instead of grassroots candidate Christine Cegelis. In supporting Duckworth’s ultimately losing race, he pissed away $2 million dollars which could have been used to win seats which were tighter.

      By the way, Rahm tipped his hand back in 2004 with Duckworth’s race: Cegelis was a supporter of single-payer health care.

      So here we are, forced to learn on the fly and deal with backstabbing from within our ranks. That’s what’s wrong with us.

      • allan says:

        In supporting Duckworth’s ultimately losing race, he pissed away $2 million dollars which could have been used to win seats which were tighter.

        $3 million, actually, but what ’s a mil between friends.

        • Rayne says:

          A mil is what he should have limited the IL-06 race to spending out of DCCC coffers — if he’d supported Cegelis. Cegelis earned 44% of the vote against entrenched Henry Hyde during the previous race, even though she was outspent 4-1; a mil would have done the job.

          The other two mil should have been spent on tighter races. I can think of two in Michigan which might have tipped earlier given a mil each; there are probably a half dozen which might have tipped if they’d had $300K each.

          That’s what your friend here thinks.

    • fatster says:

      Bush fatigue is my guess. We spent eight years in Bush Bizarro World and we were so hopeful (sowwy for using that word), listening to the man with the stirring speeches, that we could slam shut the door on Bush BIzarro World and return to something basically resembling sanity. In retrospect it seems we were played. Big time. Look at what we got.

    • PJEvans says:

      I think it means that Axelrod and Rahm are still hoping that they can get a bill through that mandates private insurance and that doesn’t include public option except with triggers that won’t be pulled until after they have their payoffs and are out of the WH.

  10. wwagner says:

    Chris Van Hollen is my U.S. Rep. for MD-08 (Silver Spring, Rockville, etc.). I’ve had worries about Van Hollen because, although representing a D+21 district, he has yet to take the Public-Option-or-no-health-care-bill pledge.

    But, in the last few days, I heard him energetically speaking out for the public option. Further, this afternoon, I received a robocall from the National Republican Congressional Committee. I was told that Van Hollen was in cahoots with Pelosi and that they were planning on raising taxes on small business and cutting Medicare by $500B.

    I hope that these are the positive signs they feel like.

  11. BMcGarth says:

    Has Obama ever met with the progressive Caucus ? Seems to me he views ‘em with disdain.He goes & muck it up with conservative radio host,Smerconish just a few weeks ago before he even said hello to progressive radio hosts who put out his message during his election campaign.Why is the word “ungrateful” keep coming to mind ? We’ll see.

  12. Funnydiva2002 says:

    OFA sent me yet another form e-mail of blabbity-blah-blah and I finally hit unsubscribe. And, yes, I told them why, too.


    • JLML says:

      As a glutton for punishment I sent them yet another “what are you doing with this money do your job you’re the pres. and don’t call us folks we’re citizens with rights and responsibilities” letter. I’m only on the list because I joined the FISA group back when we still had hope. Their timing is priceless.

  13. weekendclimber says:

    Either there really is a bunch of infighting going on right now in the administration or some 9th degree black-belt style political kung-fu that we’re all missing.

    • Hugh says:

      It’s more like a failure to sell the deal. Obama and the Democrats have put together this tremendous sellout to insurance, drug, and medical companies, and they are finding out that the public isn’t buying it. I think they thought they could sell it on Obama’s charisma alone. I am betting that is what his speech next Wednesday is going to be all about. But all they are doing is diddling with the atmospherics. Meanwhile at every turn their plan goes from bad to worse to even worse and so on. The discord among them is not over content but what color of lipstick to put on the pig.

      Consider for a moment how this would have played out if Obama had been serious about reform. We would have gotten the inspiring speech we got, but we would also have gotten a clear program that was conceptually simple and defendable like Medicare for All. He could have gone on the stump to sell the plan and pre-empt the insurance, drug, and medical companies by casting them as the villains. He could have mobilized the House and Senate leaderships, isolated the Republicans, pressurized the Blue Dogs and gotten a good bill passed. Instead we have this slow motion train wreck.

  14. Jon Walker says:

    At least this will means health care reform won’t get in the way for eliminating don’t ask don’t tellrepealing the DOMAPassing real climate change legislationgetting the troops of out Iraq in 16 monthsfixing our banking systemBeing a new era of transparencypassing EFCAfighting the lobbysts…I’m sure there I there is something progressive he wants to do (until a Republican complains of course)

  15. mrsanfran says:

    The end game is up for Obama. He thought he could triangulate his way out of this and did not anticipate the blow back from the progressives. He is
    clearly in the tank with Pharma and big health, and now has to slime his way to some form of reform bill with no public option of course. Problem is that dog don’t hunt with most Americans and this will confirm what we are all seeing and suspected that this guy is BushIII clear and simple.

  16. wesgpc says:

    who cares anymore? I saw a polling result today that was interesting. The question described the public option as a ‘government administered insurance plan’ (close paraphrase). I think that question was worded in an ambiguous way that made it sound too intrusive. But 55% are in favor.

    I do not even think that good reform requires single payer, or even a public option. I think it could be done with private insurance, but regulated as in Switzerland.

    But I am disgusted by what seems to be surrender by the Democrats to people who plan to stab them in the back anyway. It is disgusting. The most epic jackassery seen since before the 2008 election (imagine that!)

    There is no reason at all the get mad, or worry about why the President and his henchmen are such losers, or feel disillusioned.

    There is ALL the reason to find some vulnerable Democrats and GOPers and beat them in the next primary. If a few of these weasels can be specifically targeted beforehand and be taken down, that will be good. If that happens the the target list for the subsequent primary should announced the day after the election.

    • SparklestheIguana says:

      I do not even think that good reform requires single payer, or even a public option. I think it could be done with private insurance, but regulated as in Switzerland.

      Howard Dean said (at Moran’s townhall meeting in VA) that if the Obama admin had proposed one of these private-type but very strongly regulated plans, we all would’ve been shocked at how fast Repubs ran toward a plan that included a public option.

      • wesgpc says:

        Maybe so. But lest I be misunderstood, the way things are going now, looks like both a sell out of the ordinary people, and a practical failure.

        I have read that there will be no uniform basic benefits package (just a ‘minimum plan’), and now, not even an honest attempt at universal coverage, nothing to keep the insurance companies honest, nothing to reform reimbursement policies, nothing to separate insurance function away from determining standards of care. The reform will start falling apart soon after it is implemented, and consumers will pay both in their health and wealth.

        There are half a dozen ways to do this . Just look at Europe, Asia, the Aussies and Kiwis, UK, Canada. Even if you rule out Canada and the UK as unacceptable in the US, there are still plenty of models to adopt ideas from. But due to corruption and ignorance, the US will muddle along as more of its citiznes die and are diabled for no good reason, other than profits for the few.

        It’s disgusting. My country’s leadership disgusts me. But, as I said, getting mad does not satisfying. Public electoral humiliation and firings for these miserable sinkpots and crooks souds satisfying to me.

  17. myshadow says:

    I think I’m almost past thinking this is the President playing 3d chess. If the reports that were on Countdown are accurate, and judging from the incredulity of Olberman and Gene Washington, it is looking that way. I am totally mystified by what the President thinks he is doing. This will, in MSM be the liberal ‘left shooting down the President. Never mind the AFL-CIO lead with their chin on this.
    Roger Simon from Politico was on hardball and tried to set tweety straight, on the Public Option. ‘It isn’t the base, it is the Democrats he promised change they could believe in, and a single payer/Public option was the ONLY way to keep the insurance companies ‘honest’.
    I think it’s getting clearer that when Frank Rich said we were ‘punked’ a couple of weeks ago, it will be a brutal, pithy, monosyllabic piece of prescience.

    • CharlieFoxtrot says:

      Yep, “punked” seems to be the right word.

      Maybe I’m overly cynical, but I’m beginning to think that the presidency is just a springboard for what Obama REALLY wants: to be the ultimate influence peddler after he leaves office. The point of his presidency is to collect as many chits and be owed as many favors as possible by Wall Street and big-money insurers. This will make him extremely wealthy after he leaves office.

      I don’t think he even cares about being reelected. A second term would just delay his payday.

      Obama may be the first president who is actually indifferent about using the power of the office for anything except leveraging it for personal wealth after his presidency.

      Dubya made us a banana republic; Obama is our first true banana republic chief executive.

      I dread anticipating the Republican elected president in 2012. Whoever it is will likely make Dubya look like Lincoln. Yoiks.

  18. Eureka Springs says:

    Can you imagine being Donna Edwards etc., member of the progressive caucus… and saying nice things about Obama… yet he has not met with you or your entire caucus on health care?

    The question should now be, if Obama or President Rahm wants, will progressives meet with him?

  19. wesgpc says:

    If Obama is really a 3d chess player, then this speech next week is the most obviouis time to show some bold moves and subtle maneuvers.

    But I think no one should care at all whether he is or not. Don’t get mad, get even.

    Target a few Dems in the next primary and a couple of vulnerable GOPers in the next general and defeat them. If that works then start revving up the defeat ‘em machine the day after the election.

    If Obama is such a great politician, then he will certainly adjust to what liberals and progressives do.

  20. PPDCUS says:

    The shape of things undone

    As long as buying politicians with campaign contributions remains the greatest return on investment in America, there will be no meaningful change for quaint theories like the Public Good, a middle class social contract, and real people powered politics.


  21. archiebird says:

    You know, the big item here isn’t “will Obama meet with Progressives”. The big item here is the SPINE that is being shown. The proverbial line in the sand. The Progressives have already drawn their line in the sand when they backed the PO originally. Now, they are “moving their troops closer to that front line” with this letter to the Obama Adminstration demanding that they meet, etc. Next up viable threats. The Progressives will NOT do themselves a disservice by reiterating to the Administration the wrath that will be thrust upon them if there is no PO. Then BIG TIME backer donations, which FDL is not doing so badly at raising for the PO, as stated on their home page. I think its around $200,000 and then the “Follow Through” The Progressive Blogosphere NEEDS to get 100% totally behind these people, along with the AFL-CIO (Trumka) and together, collectively wage a fight. The AfL-CIO is 11 million strong people. The Progressives in congress represent how many more? And then you have the Progressive/Liberal Blogosphere. The “Follow Through” will be the progressives making GOOD on those viable threat should Obama kick them to the curb ONE MORE TIME.

  22. lcdrrek says:

    I thought Obama fought to keep his Blackberry so he couldn’t be stuck “in the bubble”. Maybe it is time that he dusted it off so he could see what is going on out here in the real world.

    He can see what is happening in wingnuttia. He can see what us, the progressives, who got him elected are saying and feeling.

    Then he can just go ahead and wave us the middle finger and snicker to himself how he and Rahmbo fooled all of us.

  23. VADEM says:

    Oh fuck no. president Rahm won’t let him. But Tom Coburn? Well hell yeh!

    Wonder who we can run in 2012 against president Rahm and Obama???

  24. tjfxh says:

    Olberman dissed Obama tonight for “seeling out,” and specualted that if he continues to punk the base, he will be primaried in 2012. Hope the WH is listening.

  25. billybugs says:

    Meet the new boss same as the old boss

    not having much faith in the Yes We Can man
    are we gonna get fucked again?

  26. TomR says:

    Hey President Obama, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

    If Rahm wants to play chicken with Obama’s progressive base, we’re your huckleberry. Say when.

    – Tom

  27. marchan1940 says:

    One thing we can do is send our message to the White House via a petition put out by boldprogressives.org

    Petition to President Obama:

    “We worked so hard for real change. President Obama, please demand a strong public health insurance option in your speech to Congress. Letting the insurance companies win would not be change we can believe in.”

    Will you sign this petition?

    This came with an appeal entitled Obama and the Public Option. I think Jane’s petitions are better. But, participants have a choice to add a personal note. I esentially said that Obama couldn’t afford to lose the progressives’ support, regardless of what Rahm says and that the President was fast losing all his progressive supporters due to all his betrayals on all kinds of issues; he is no better than Bush III. I assume that my message will be expunged at the White House but I’m really pissed by all I see and hear and Obama damn well better get his act together in the next week and stay on track.

  28. mrsanfran says:

    What a real tragedy this is for people who had hope our country could turn around and begin a long climb back up to respectability and a decent standard of living for all. This now means we will have had 12 consecutive years of Bush corporate rule. Can we get a candidate who can Challenge Obama in the Democratic party to run in 2012. Rahm and Obama are Hillary on steroids. Man I did not see this big of sell out coming.

    • fatster says:

      And think of all those younger-aged people who, for the first time, got involved, got active, walked miles and miles and knocked on doors and doors, got on the phones, contributed every dollar they could, and so on–and got him elected, the man with the silver tongue. Remember how, on Inauguration Day and days following, DU exploded with posts with many photographs and quotes. They were ecstatic at what they had done. And then that adulation, that exuberance, hope and confidence, began to erode. And has continued to do so. They were used.

      Have we lost all that precious commitment, energy of those younger-aged people? Has that been recklessly expended, too?

      Dammit! Anybody wanna pass a beer over here?

      • bmaz says:

        The thrill is gone baybee. People still like Obama generally, but the realization that he is just another politician, albeit a very gifted one, has sunk in.

        • solerso says:

          and maybe in over his head. Ive really never seen anything quite like this. a president (maybe) refusing to meet with the all the gathered congressional BASE when they ask him for it. I really cant believe the great rham emmanuelle is really that un-savy.Are they all?? are every single one of those beltway fools so disconnected from us that they dont know whats happening here>

  29. LadyBella1 says:

    I feel like we need Oprah to do a health care forum show advocating for the public option. Maybe then Obama will grow a set of balls.

  30. PJEvans says:

    My generally-unreliable source is hoping for expecting wonderful things from Wednesday’s speech. Of course, he also thought that Roberts would be a great Chief Justice, too. (Watches far too many Talking Heads, IMO.)

    I’m just hoping to not be sold down the river again disappointed.

  31. MadDog says:

    OT – Repugs Senator Kit Bond and former DOJ chippy Victoria Toensing have a trash sale with their push for a DOJ investigation of CIA “leaks” as reported by Moonie Times:

    EXCLUSIVE: CIA asks Justice to probe leaks of secrets

    Besieged by leaks of several closely held secrets, the CIA has asked the Justice Department to examine what it regards as the criminal disclosure of a secret program to kill foreign terrorist leaders abroad, The Washington Times has learned…

    The vice chairman of the the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence declined to discuss any possible leak investigations but told the Times on Thursday that a growing number of disclosures of highly secret programs, tactics and other information had caused “irreparable damage” to the U.S. intelligence community.

    “They foil our attempts to carry out classified missions,” Sen. Christopher S. Bond said in an interview…

    (My Bold)

    So, let me get this right. Repug Kit Bond “declined” to discuss the matter, and then gave an interview “discussing” the matter.

    Repugs sure have got that “Up is Down” stuff nailed!

    And here’s moronic gibberish that Toesucker was pushing:

    …”Unlike the Valerie Plame matter, where the cocktail circuit knew she worked for the CIA, these people … Blackwater, were covert,” said Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate intelligence committe[sic]. “Every fact that I know points to a violation unlike the Valerie Plame matter. The identifier, the exposer, has to know the relationship is covert.”

    Yup, “Up is Down”!

        • bmaz says:

          Boise State is good. Their home record over the last ten years is 66-2. The Gators or USC might could have gone in there and whipped them, but not many teams would. And Oregon is in a down year talent wise and Mike Bellotti left as coach; going to be pretty average this year I think.

  32. rkilowatt says:

    Everybody In, Nobody Out. The Drive for Single Payer

    By Ralph Nader http://www.informationclearing…..e23408.htm

    Calling themselves “Mad as Hell Doctors,” these physicians are already drawing crowds and expect thousands to turn out at each city that they visit, culminating in a large arrival demonstration in front of the White House around October 1. (Visit http://www.madashelldoctors.com)

    They have written President Obama asking for a meeting “to discuss the future of health care as well as the moral, social, and fiscal imperative of enacting a single-payer system for America at this moment in our history.”

    The White House turned them down flat, …

  33. Curmudgeon says:

    Maybe the Progressive Caucus should become the Progressive Party. If there is no public option passed and signed into law I for one will not vote for Democrats ever again. I’ll be looking for a Progressive Party.

  34. radiofreewill says:

    If we lose a Public Option – at the dastardly hands of our Majority Dems! – then we’ll just have to leave the Party and form our own Progressive Party.

    If done right – with a strong commitment to the Rule of Law, no lobbyists, no corporate money, etc – imvho, we’d instantly grab 33% of the electorate – and then we’d get some Respect.

    But, we don’t have to go there, yet. Obama has said that he supports a Public Option – and, if there’s anything that would make his legacy truly stellar and enduring, it would be “Healthcare for All” – that would be making good on the Audacity of Hope!

    And besides, even Rahmbo and A-rod can see that if they Fuck US Over on the Public Option – we won’t just leave, we’ll take practically all of their grass-roots apparatus with US – re-fire it with our Passion, and then come back and kick their asses with it!

    I’ve been circulating amongst the Goopers lately, and it seems to me that both the RNC and the DNC are ‘blind’ to the Common Anger shared by both Conservatives and Liberals towards Lobbyists, Special Interests, and the Banksters – the ‘Money’ Party at the core of both of the traditional political parties.

    So, in the event that we lose the Public Option – imvho, then we form our own Party — declare War on the Money Party — and probably have the sympathies of the same percentage of people who support having the choice of a robust Public Option – about 77%.

    I still think Obama is going to choose US, but it wouldn’t be the first time Money won out over massive public demand if he were to sell US out.

    We should be vigilant, vocal and ready to change – if need be – the landscape of US politics well before 2012…

    • sporkovat says:

      amen to that, brother.

      but first, lets see how certain sites act when HR 676 comes up for a vote, and this will help reveal who is really for systemic reform and who is simply a (D) Party stalking horse.

  35. public.takeover says:

    Gamechanger? Mass arrests at sit-ins clogging the parking lots around State Farm, Aetna, Principal, Oxford, Wellpoint, & whoever the hell else thinks they have a right to PIRATE honest people’s healthcare money.

  36. Robt says:

    Dear Republican Senator,

    I have finally came to my senses and sfind myself writing in agreement with your GOP party position that health care is a privilege and not a needed requirement of life and pursuit of freedom. That individuals need to get there own on their own. The health care industry will help you with your best interests at heart.

    So I ask you to propose a bill that revokes all tax payer funded health care to all of Congress ASAP. When Americans are told by the republican party that we cannot trust the Gov’t to operate a public option. We should not trust Gov’t with neither the privilege of tax payer Gov’t provided health care nor the need for it to congress because of socialistic dangers to you. We the People must protedt you fromsuch a horrible fate of tax payer Gov’t health care.
    This is a serious request. It will reduce our tax burden as well if you take a 40% pay cut and drop your pensions. Times are tough and only Wall Street recieved TARP and can afford those wages and bonus’s. As you are aware that GM workers had to be reigned for their best so I figure it would be best for congress as well.
    I ask you to introduce a bill ASAP.
    Thank you

  37. wavpeac says:

    Obama is a people pleaser. Hence the huge following.

    But America was in desperate need of LEADERSHIP.

    Leaders are able to “risk” their popularity for the sake of principles and values.

    People Pleasers can be very popular to start but they are notorious for be unable to “move” anything but their own popularity.

    Honestly…I see more “leadership” potential in his wife than I do in him.

  38. CasualObserver says:

    Not only the Progressive caucus but the black caucus also sent a letter yesterday. I don’t believe it requested a meeting, but it was a very strong letter, text at politico yesterday.

    Yes, Obama has to meet with the caucus. He’s not stupid. But, given his words over Kennedy’s dead body regarding “bipartisanship”, I don’t doubt that he has already dismissed the public option. I would be completely surprised and delighted if he changed course now.

    so he’ll meet with them, politely listen, throw some kind of bone, and then do what he was going to do anyway.

  39. RU4862 says:

    |Now Rahm has pretty assiduously been blowing off progressives throughout this fight. Will Obama continue to do
    |so? Or will the progressives actually get to meet with the President they got elected?

    Sadly, Rahmn Emanuel has become Obama’s Dick Cheney.

  40. radiofreewill says:

    If there’s already an invisible Progressive Party out there, then maybe we ought to start the Democracy, Freedom and Happiness Party, from the ground up, ourselves?

    • marxmarv says:

      I think the name Conservative Progressive Party has some advantages. Most notably, it leverages the knee-jerk “conservative equals good” mentality of the right wing while diluting the current meaning of the word. The right-wing spinmeisters will have a heckuva job trying to turn 20-odd years of indoctrination around in just a few months.

      A Social Conservative Party would enjoy many of the same advantages and a few more, at the risk of it becoming the “socialist conservative party”. Again, the right has the challenge of disarming the SCP without harming their alliance with the theocrats.

      Either way, it’s fine payback for transforming the word “liberal” into an epithet!

  41. slide says:

    Obama’s slow moving train wreck was planned. He and his minions knew they would have to overcome the progressives, as someone stated they have disdain for. The very people who put him in office he dislikes. Now that makes a lot of sense. As to those who advocate that Obama has shown leadership on health care reform they are wrong. If Obama had shown any leadership at all he would have, in the beginning, come out and set the specifics of what he would insist being in the final bill, just like Jane has done on the public option. Three very clear simple end results. And then Obama would have gone out and sold the simple specifics as to what he would insist being in the bill. But, no he had no requirements and has been wavering around like a twig in the wind. He is a bust. He is going to sell out the interests of 77% of what the public wants for his corporate bed partners and he will, just like giving wall street a ton of money will also give the corporate interest in health care a windfall. Obama has betrayed not only those who voted him into office but also the interests of all Americans. I hope the public gets so pissed that a real progressive gets recruited to run against Obama in the primary in 2012. He is a major disappointment.

  42. wayneNtampa says:

    It is absolutely critical that the Progressive Caucus hold the line and vote against the bill if there is no public option. If they cave or bargain, we will get nothing from the administration for the rest of the term. We already traded Medicare for everyone. If we don’t stand up to Rahm on this, the behavior will be repeated, and it will get worse.

    It would be better to force them to try again. However, for round 2, the price of support is an option for anyone to voluntary elect to have Medicare. No separate plan that is sort of like it. That is the price of selling us out and failing to keep a campaign promise.

  43. Sara says:

    I’ll post this on a more active post, but apparently Obama had two “meetings” with the Progressive Caucus since the beginning of Recess, and one with the Black Caucus.

    These were not face to face meetings, rather they were fairly long and structured conference phone calls. One was held Friday Morning this week, and the other was early in Recess. Keith Ellison, member of both the Black and Progressive Caucuses talked about it on Almanac, (Minnesota Public Television) on Friday evening. He didn’t participate in the first one because he was in Sudan, trying to negotiate the return of some humanitarian NGO’s to Dafur, and couldn’t get connected, only to review the meeting later.

    Ellison was pretty clear that Obama understood completely that most members of the Progressive Caucus were determined on the Public Plan — and would stick to the promise to vote no if it is not included. Since most members of the Progressive Caucus are single payer supporters, they made it clear to him they had already done their compromising. As he talked through with the interviewer the two conference calls — that came across very clearly. He was fairly certain it would be loud and messy all fall, but that it would get done by Thanksgiving, and the Progressive Caucus would vote for it.

    Sadly, interviews about one member’s report of what happened in
    Conference Call type meetings, done on public TV, doesn’t get much ink.

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