Incrementally flushing the '60s out of our systems
I've argued since August that the evidence was clear that the White House had privately negotiated away the public option and didn't want it, even as the President claimed publicly (and repeatedly) that he did. And while I support the concept of "filibuster reform" in theory, it's long seemed clear that it would actually accomplish little, because the 60-vote rule does not actually impede anything. Rather, it is the excuse Democrats fraudulently invoke, using what I called the Rotating Villain tactic (it's now Durbin's turn), to refuse to pass what they claim they support but are politically afraid to pass, or which they actually oppose (sorry, we'd so love to do this, but gosh darn it, we just can't get 60 votes). If only 50 votes were required, they'd just find ways to ensure they lacked 50. Both of those are merely theories insusceptible to conclusive proof, but if I had the power to create the most compelling evidence for those theories that I could dream up, it would be hard to surpass what Democrats are doing now with regard to the public option. They're actually whipping against the public option. Could this sham be any more transparent?(Glenn Greenwald, “The democrats’ scam becomes more transparent,” Salon, 12 March 2010)
Incrementally flushing the 60s out of our systems
I don't believe that the democratic leadership is against the public option/public healthcare, period, only "they" don't want this reform when it seems (or is largely construed as) still largely moved by hippie-progressive desire for a softer/kinder -- more caring -- society. Obama and the democratic leadership want to think themselves, "muscle," not those connected to, in sympathy with, the "weak."
What is happening here, I think, is a move which will more marginalize progressives -- old-style hippie progressivism, that has been the face of the left for 30-40 years -- than is the case currently. (Hillary has turned hawkish and rigid, but no one can forget her 60's past -- so her turn sets a good example but is the last movement she'll make politically, as we all admire her but also pass her by. Obama, however, being younger, can become one fully disconnected to this face of liberalism -- something he is right now in the midst of insuring -- the agenda, we'll come to "espy," for his first year.) For a bill will be passed without a public option, and not only will the nation come to love it but both parties will increasingly clamor for it to be EXPANDED -- to the point that Obama (or at the very least, his successor) will be ENCOURAGED to draw the government in. Incrementalism will be proved the method of those who truly cared -- and all those who came out to insist that passage without public would not deal out real reform at all, will have neatly IDed themselves, corralled themselves, for FULL exclusion from public influence. And so goodbye to nice people -- those who really care about immigrants, students, homeless, etc, who will continue to lose out, come to radicalize, and thereby become even easier to imagine as ungrateful vermin worthy of clampdown -- to the nation's great pleasure.
This is not really an issue as to WHETHER we want the government in, but HOW we will come to imagine government. If government comes to seem less feminine, for the weak, and more about making -- even forcing -- Americans to become lean and mean and all-in-one, government influence over healthcare will draw patriot' support.