One annoying thing about the anti-Obama progressives is their utter insistence that we're on an eternal slippery slope. Any misstep by Obama on any issue is ground that we can never recover. If Obama doesn't get us a public option now, we'll never get a public option; so it's better to shoot down this plan than ever consider fixing it. If Obama doesn't hammer Republicans with every speech, he'll never be able to hammer them. And so we have to go all-out all the time, or we lose every inch we don't nail down to the ground.
And of course, that's horseshit. You can't unburn a bridge, but you can always act firm to someone you were being nice to. And that's what we're seeing now, as Obama continues his healthcare reform offensive by saying many of the things progressives were acting like he could no longer say. And that's why they got all this backwards: Had Obama gone balls-out and demanded single-payer healthcare while defying any Republican to dare oppose him, they would have laughed in his face while taking potshots at the giant target he had put on himself. Obama would be painted into a corner that mainstream Democrats in Congress would have been forced to hold the can for.
And worst of all, he would have made all those scare stories of the government taking away your healthcare true. I'm not sure why that keeps getting lost in all this, but for as much as Democrats marvel at the depth of Republican lies on healthcare, many of those lies would have been trues, had Obama listened to progressives. Because many of these people DO have a radical agenda, which even I have serious issues about. They want a serious overhaul of our system, and that's just not something I'm on-board with.
And yes, single-payer is fairly radical; though not nearly as radical as some of the plans they have in mind. Of course, when these people discuss single-payer, they don't have an actual plan in mind; merely a vague concept. And it's a guarantee that, were the current reform plan single-payer, these people would be entirely pissed at how Obama bungled it; no matter what he did. For as much as they imagine they have a firm line in the sand, that line will always be an undeterminable distance from wherever the rest of the Democrats are. That's their purpose in life: To be to the left of everyone else.
A Decent Solution
Were we crafting a perfect solution from scratch, yeah, I'd seriously consider many of these options. But that's not the case. We're trying to craft a decent solution mid-stream, while also keeping politics into consideration, and that's really not the time to get experimental. And for as much as I'm fine with these people having their opinions, I'll be damned if I let them cow me into submission simply because I disagree with them. Because for as much as they bitch about being ignored, their real problem is that we're not all obeying their orders. And in that respect, they're really not much different from Republicans.
And does it need to be pointed out that all these political and policy experts are loudly denouncing Obama for not following their orders, even though he was clever enough to become president, while his progressive critics couldn't even win a spot on their local school board? For as much as they insist that all voters want is a bold leader who takes an action, these people seem completely incapable of putting that simple rule into effect.
So instead, they'll scream at Obama from the comfort of their keyboards, because he hasn't taken the dictatorial powers that they imagine they deserve. Yet as we all know, things would be a lot easier in a dicatorship, just as long as you're the dictator.