White House willing to drop public option, say Sebelius and Gibbs




First, not that anyone at the White House necessarily cares about the liberal wing of the party (you know, the ones who do all the work to elect Democrats), but I think Rachel Maddow captured what many of us are thinking:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqYuvyIgoq0]

If someone from the White House went on the talk shows and said something like Rachel said this morning — criticizing Senator Grassley for pushing the “death panel” story — we’d be happy. But, no. the White House spokespeople were on the shows signaling that they’re willing to compromise already — that they’re willing to drop the public option. Yes, the White House is caving because they want a win, any win, more than they want a good bill.

Too bad the White House ceded so much power to Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. If, instead, the President had used his bully pulpit and his “massive” organization – you know, those 12 million email addresses we keep hearing about – we would have had a bill by now, and a good one too. But, no, the Rahm/Messina brain trust let Max Baucus and all of his former staffers in the insurance industry run the show. And look where it’s gotten us.

First, Sebelius:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius downplayed the importance of a public insurance option on Sunday, saying it “is not the essential element” of a reform package.

“What is important is choice and competition, and I am convinced at the end of the day, the plan will have both of those, but (the public option) is not the essential element,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

And, Gibbs:

Obama’s spokesman refused to say a public option was a make-or-break choice.

“What I am saying is the bottom line for this for the president is, what we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday.

Is anything make or break for Obama? I’m sure this is just the “bipartisan” breakthrough that will save the whole bill. Right.

I don’t understand why Democrats are always so willing and desperate to compromise with themselves. The GOPers don’t want any reform bill. Their base, comprised of the teabaggers, birthers and deathers, won’t let them negotiate. So, Democrats compromise with themselves, again — and sell out their principles, again. Just like they did on the stimulus package – they gave the GOP nearly 40% of the package in tax cuts, and how many votes did it get them in the entire Congress? Three.

See, to Rahm and his crew, a win is a win. They’ll sacrifice good policy and principles for politics any day. But, they tell us that we’re the bad guys for having the audacity to hope that Obama will some day live up to his campaign promises.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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