And yep, I've pretty much got to agree with all of that.
And here's the key part I liked:
This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.And the big question is: What was it about the public option that made progressives believe that this was the linchpin of the whole thing? Without this, we've been assured, the healthcare reform was nothing but a Republican sham that wasn't worth our time to even consider thinking about, as it'd be even worse than nothing at all. And even now that we've seen all the good things Obama got us, we're assured that the whole thing is worse than a pile of warm snot on a birthday cake and can't be referenced in any way besides a total disaster.
But what about the end of rescission? What about the end of pre-existing condition disqualifiers? What about the 30 million people who will get insurance, or the potential for 100 million people to see lower premiums? What about the statewide insurance exchanges that will allow self-employed and small businesses to get real insurance at a reasonable price? Or the fact that these insurance exchanges will include non-profit options? Surely these provisions are worth something, right?
Apparently not. Because people didn't get an option for government-run insurance, the whole thing was a giant betrayal and if Obama even attempts to defend his bill, he'll be attacked even further. There's no effort needed to refute Obama's point. Without the public option, he can't possibly have given us anything worth anything.
My Definition of Compromise
Here's a post I found because of a long-time reader who now considers me a conservative because I don't think that taxing the rich to make them poorer is a key tenet of liberalism. Sure, I still support government programs and regulations, as well as supporting the need to force the rich to pay for it, but unless I want to outright hurt the rich by making them less rich, I'm a no-good conservative fink...or something like that.
Anyway, he pointed me to a blogger who attacked Obama for daring to defend himself against his leftwing critics. He quoted the Obama passage I quoted above and wrote:
Well, let’s see, first you said you wanted it included, and then when the other side objected, it wasn’t included. What’s your definition of compromise?And first off, you've got to like the revisionist thinking here. In reality, the healthcare debate lasted a LONG time, with Obama trying to get the public option before finally giving it up in order to get us these other things. But in this new reality, Republicans merely objected and it was gone. As if Obama capitulated without a fight. Somehow, I seem to recall that battle lasting for months, but I guess I'm mistaken, because I'll be attacked as an apologist merely for saying it happened.
But more importantly, this guy just made the very point Obama was trying to make. Because they didn't get the public option, the reform was worthless. In his eyes, there was no compromise. There was only the public option and anything less than that was complete and total defeat. Because all the millions who will benefit from this aren't worth the few million who might have benefited even more. Had the public option been the only thing we were fighting for, this guy would have a point. But seeing as how we were fighting for an entire reform bill, most of which we got, his point only served to prove Obama right.
Sure, Obama saved human lives. But the compromise with Republicans apparently wasn't worth the price. I wonder how many more people would have died if Obama had listened to his leftwing critics.
Oh, and does it need to be mentioned that Obama has another job besides fighting for legislation; namely, running the executive branch? Ir probably should be mentioned, especially as passing legislation wasn't even supposed to be one of the presidential duties; though I guess this makes me an even bigger apologist.
Attacking the Forest to Save the Trees
But this blogger had to ignore all that, just as he's ignored all the good things Obama got us. In fact, if you read his entire post, you'll find that he had to directly ignore just about everything Obama said, and effectively demonstrated the exact point Obama was trying to make, which this blogger missed completely. The debate of incompetent v. evil comes to mind, though I'll refrain from casting such aspersions because it's probably uncalled for. But still, when people demonstrate the very point they're trying to rebut, you've got to wonder about their motivation.
But the point is clear: These progressives don't really care about what Obama got us. They'll insist it was worthless and that we're not even allowed to consider these gains. We lost everything and if you try to justify it in any way, then you're one of the enemy. So I'm a conservative wingnut because I don't want to hurt the rich, while Obama's a spineless sellout because he only ended rescission, pre-existing conditions, and effectively muzzled the health insurance industry. What a loser!
Of course, the fact that I'd even make this argument just shows what an apologist rightwing sellout I am. And if any of them read this, they'll be so sure of this that they won't need to refute anything I wrote. They can merely know in their heart of hearts that they could have done all the great things Obama did, while also giving us the handful of items he wasn't able to do. And they'd do it by attacking Republicans relentlessly, because of course, that's what voters really want. Sure, the end of rescission is nice and everything, but what people really want is more political attacks.