Health Care Reform's Demise
Several comments about several things:
Yes, a group of House Democrats already bought and paid for by the health care industry could very well stab the president’s signature legislative accomplishment in the back and unravel it, because the same industry that Barack Obama thought he could deal with is also working to undo the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the one part of a privatized system that had any real cost containment in it. So instead of a public option, which the president never supported and the industry would have never allowed given how much the president deferred to them, the only remaining major cost control mechanism could be undone by the DINO part of his own party, in the back pocket of those who gave us this current mess. Ah yes, the virtues of compromise without principles.
Could Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama? Sure, because Obama took his eye off the ball and pivoted from jobs and the economy in the fall of 2009 to a misguided focus on health care reform. Obama cannot go around the country these next 16 months telling us about the mess he inherited, because he owns his policy decisions and the choices he made in reaction to the mess. And the truth is that his advisors were still debating as far back as the fall of 2009 if the first stimulus was enough, and Obama shut off any further debate on the topic. Now he gets to live with that decision, and the reality that the economy will be his Achilles heel.
Lastly, I saw Keith's first show on Current last night. It's was good to see Olbermann back on TV again, but his guests and topics need to be more relevant and A-list to the day's activities and breaking news, something that Keith's successor at MSNBC Lawrence O'Donnell has done pretty well. For example, as much as I may like Michael Moore and Kos, they're not top-tier analysts on the current state of the GOP field or Obama's Bush-like approach to executive power and warmaking. Plus, Keith's show seems to have a cut-and-paste segmented feel, rather than something shot in a live video feed. It'll get better.
Hat tip to Paul Krugman