Monday :: Nov 2, 2009

Premature High-Fives At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

by Steve

Apparently, there is a self-congratulatory mood setting in around the White House and the Democratic leadership on health care. The NYT runs a story today whose theme is that President Obama's relatively hands-off strategy, despite critiques from many quarters, has worked. There seems to be some back-slapping going on amongst Rahm and the boys, that several bills have made it this far, and are about to be melded into one bill, with the perception that victory is at hand.

Yet two things struck me. First, the story indicates that Obama met with liberals last Thursday night to convince them that making history was more important than a good bill that met their goals. No one should be surprised at this: Obama is more focused on his place in history and optics than good policy. Second, the story glosses over one speed bump: even though Team Obama credits itself with taking a step-by-step approach focused on moving something that can pass and be signed, for all his plodding he still does not have 60 votes thanks to Jolting Joe.

So either he's about to placate Joe with an industry-friendly bill that will doom Democrats in 2010, or he's ready to ditch the pursuit of 60 votes and get his historic moment through reconciliation, perhaps getting a better bill in the process.

Steve :: 7:04 AM :: Comments (6) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!