The arrogance and desperation of the conservative Democrat leadership has reached such an advanced stage that that leadership is openly disavowing its own members. Yesterday the slavish NYT ran a neat little article about how Obama’s willingness to dump the public option, thereby dumping as well the majority in his own party that want it and the large contingent of liberals and progressives who have said they won’t vote for a healthcare bill that doesn’t have it, thereby splitting the party in two, is actually called “uniting the party”.
President Obama’s speech on health care failed to bridge the gulf with Republicans, but Democrats said on Thursday that the president had largely succeeded in unifying his own party by making a cogent, persuasive pitch to the American public and by casting his plan to overhaul the health care system as a political and moral imperative.
The day after the nationally televised address, in which Mr. Obama signaled that he could accept an alternative to a government-run insurance plan, influential Democrats who previously seemed wedded to the public insurance option hinted that they, too, might be flexible. They included the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Henry A. Waxman, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, both from California, and who both, like Mr. Obama, say they still prefer the public option, and view it as crucial to passing a bill in the House.
Pelosi has been amenable for a long time, whatever she said publicly, but Waxman’s willingness to be “flexible” is a big disappointment. It may be that he has just gotten the message Reid/Pelosi have been sending for months: “Fuck the lib/progs and fuck what the country needs & what the voters want. We’re not going to piss off our conservative corporate contributors, especially insurance companies, by passing a bill they don’t want. Period.”
The NYT got the message a long time ago. As the article shows pretty conclusively, Democrat “unity” is achieved when the tiny conservative minority gets its way, not when the larger liberal majority does, and everybody in the Village knows this and understands the rules. The country doesn’t count, the citizens don’t count, centrist liberal Democrats don’t count, and only the voters in Blue Dog districts have any weight at all. The rest of us can go climb a pole.
So open and accepted is this dogma that only David Sirota raised an eyebrow when, mere hours after Pelosi backed off her so-called support for a public option (a move most of us have been expecting), a registered lobbyist for UnitedHealth announced a fund-raiser for her. At his home. During the announcement by Pelosi and Harry Reid, Reid let the cat out of the bag when it comes to just how the leadership feels about the people they’re leading:
According to CNN, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “said they would support any provision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance – whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats.”
Can’t get much clearer than that. Favored by a majority of the party? So what?
Seems to me when you’ve reached the point that your own leadership tells you to fuck off, you either change the goddamn leadership or change your party affiliation. Barney Frank and now Henry Waxman have both pulled a Henry Hyde, kowtowing to a leadership far more conservative than the majority of the party in the name of “getting something done”. Doesn’t matter if what gets done is useless or worse – a blanket giveaway to crooked insurance companies, crooked investment banks, crooked automakers. The illusion that something is “being accomplished” is good enough for the likes of us.
That why you became a politician? So the leadership could do precisely the opposite of what you got elected to do? And this despite the fact that you are in the majority and they admit it? Is that how you thought it was going to work? You’re an embarrtassment. A joke. We’re three years down the road from your takeover of Congress and almost a year from your taking of the WH and what, exactly has changed? Not a damn thing. Did you see yourself as a corporate puppet?
One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the surprise is not how much has changed in the financial industry, but how little.
Backstopped by huge federal guarantees, the biggest banks have restructured only around the edges. Employment in the industry has fallen just 8 percent since last September. Only a handful of big hedge funds have closed. Pay is already returning to precrash levels, topped by the 30,000 employees of Goldman Sachs, who are on track to earn an average of $700,000 this year. Nor are major pay cuts likely, according to a report last week from J.P. Morgan Securities. Executives at most big banks have kept their jobs. Financial stocks have soared since their winter lows.
Did you see yourself as a maid for the Holy Six? Because that is clearly all you are. Servants. Slaves. Low-level employees who do as they’re told and shut up or get fired. How you like dat role, eh? Sweet ain’t it?
Democrats used to have pride, used to believe in something other than just copping a position to get re-elected. Now they’re just scared yiddoo bunnies running for the nearest fall-out shelter.
I’m ashamed of you. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You ought to either take your party back or dump it. Otherwise you’re just another boil on Harry Reid’s ass.
Update: (4.30pm) The insurance company lobbyist in question is named Steve Elmendorf. Obama’s new CBO Director is named Douglas Elmendorf. Related? Or a weird co-incidence?