Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Obamacare Plan B

Carpetbagger's got a post about how the Obama Admin has been increasingly putting on the pressure in regards to getting Congressional Dems to support Healthcare Reform including the Public Option; or at a minimum, agreeing to not let Republicans filibuster it. 

And for as much as many progressives have complained about how Obama isn't doing enough (or even insist that he doesn't want to do enough, in accordance with a bizarre theory which posits that Obama wants to stake his reputation on failure), I've always thought he was playing it low-key as a strategy, but would eventually turn up the heat if he felt it was necessary.  The rest of this is what I wrote as a comment.

I'm of the opinion that this was Plan B (or possibly Plan C or D, depending on who's counting) the whole time. It was best for Obama if he didn't signal that a large portion of his presidency hinged upon getting healthcare reform with a public option, as that would have been like painting a giant bulls-eye on his face. So instead, he left it up to Congress to write the legislation (as per our Constitution), while he sat back and acted as a mildly interested cheerleader.

But it's now quite apparent that Republicans put the bulls-eye on his face after all, and since their best attacks have failed to rally any serious opposition to him or his plans (ie, from anyone who didn't already think he was a socialist), he now feels safe in taking an increasingly more active stand. But even still, it's largely behind the scenes and still hasn't involved Obama publicly insisting on a plan.

And for as frustrating as this is (particularly as he can't possibly let us know what he's really up to), I think this is the best way. I suppose I would have preferred a more aggressive pushback in August, but then again, maybe not. Perhaps it was best to give August to conservatives, so they could huff and puff and overplay their hands. And now, as usual, Obama held tight while his opponents over-reached and gave everything they had, and now he's playing strong again while Republicans slowly realize how impotent their best attacks had been.

Sure, perhaps none of this is intentional and he's just making this shit up as he's going along, but this really does fit exactly into the same pattern we've seen for the past year and a half. Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes, and all that.

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