NEW RAHM MEME: OBAMA WASN’T CENTRIST . . . ENOUGH

Posted in CENTRISM IS A JOKE on March 3, 2010 by dumprahm

According to Rahm and his buddies over at the Washington Post, Obama is ailing in the polls because he didn’t ALWAYS listen to his Chief of Staff. The Post’s source blames Obama’s problems because he has “trust in principle”, where as he should really be focused on passing water-downed Centrist legislation that no one is found of, and  actually pisses off BOTH sides of the electorate. But wait, isn’t that what’s happening? I’m confused. Dan Froomkin writes:

For Rahm, victory is everything — even if you have to give up your core values to win, and even if you could have won while sticking to them.

The Rahm Emanuel that Obama hired is the poster child for the timid, pseudo-pragmatism that is inimical to the idealistic Obama agenda so many excited voters responded to last November. And it’s a pragmatism that is absolutely killing the Democratic Party in the long run, because American voters have an intrinsic distrust of politicians they see as tacking with the polls or shying away from a fight. This if nothing else is the lesson of two George W. Bush presidencies: American voters have a profoundly soft spot for people with clear, strongly-held principles, almost regardless of what those principles are.

Emanuel is a Bush Democrat – but not in that he has learned the lesson about the value of holding firmly to core values. He is a Bush Democrat in that he has allowed Republicans to traumatize him into submission. Emanuel operates on a battlefield as defined by Republicans, where the terrain is littered with the specter of imaginary but profoundly terrifying GOP attack ads. His reflexive approach is the strategic retreat. Most obviously in the current debate about health care, he has empowered the Democratic and centrist Republican obstructionists by validating their fear that come campaign time, they will be portrayed as radical — even when they are supporting measures such as the public insurance option that have public support among a super-majority of voters.

According to the Washington Post, the ultimate “vindication” of Emanuel’s “reasonableness” is found in the advice he gave his boss about the treatment of detainees — one of the most horrifying, illegal and immoral legacies left by the previous administration. Milbank portrays his protagonist nothing short of heroically: “Emanuel bitterly opposed former White House counsel Greg Craig’s effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, arguing that it wasn’t politically feasible. Obama overruled Emanuel, the deadline wasn’t met, and Republicans pounced on the president and the Democrats for trying to bring terrorists to U.S. prisons. Likewise, Emanuel fought fiercely against Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to send Khalid Sheik Mohammed to New York for a trial. Emanuel lost, and the result was another political fiasco.”

According to Horowitz: “Emanuel made his case to Obama, articulating the political dangers of a civilian trial to congressional Democrats. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. presented a counterargument rooted in principle, for civilian trials.”

The obvious conclusion: Obama should have taken Emanuel’s advice, based on pure political calculation, rather than heeding the foolhardy, deeply-held ethical, legal and moral arguments made by his top legal advisers. The Post’s endorsement of this argument is nothing short of obscene. It embraces rather than condemns the notion that political considerations should legitimately trump all others. It is the Post’s endorsement of Karl Rovism..

Indeed, the most remarkable spectacle here is the ease with which Emanuel has been able to find reliable vessels to carry his water. Oh, to see his media speed-dial, and its collection of nattering process junkies, smug contrarians, split-the-difference stenographers, center-worshipping priests of High Broderism and corporatist cocktail-partiers who enable Emanuel’s brand of soulless political gamesmanship.

To Emanuel, victory is the only thing, and rather than recognize the error of his ways and recalibrate, he is publicly declaring that the now widely-recognized enfeeblement of his boss’s presidency is not his failure, but his vindication. Hail Emanuel triumphant.

RAHM AND THE BACK ROOM DEAL TO KILL THE PUBLIC OPTION

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2010 by dumprahm

The reason Robert Gibbs gives for President Obama’s health care plan not including a public option — that despite majority voter support, it can’t get 51 Democratic votes in the Senate — doesn’t hold up. The real reason is that Obama made a backroom deal last summer with the for-profit hospital industry that there would be no meaningful public option.

This is one of the great under-reported stories of the health reform saga. Much has been written about the Obama administration’s deal with big Pharma to continue to block Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices or to allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from Canada, in exchange for Pharma running pro-Democratic ads and giving campaign contributions to Democratic candidates. That’s the reason, under pressure from the White House, that Senate Democrats voted down an amendment that would have allowed consumers to buy cheaper drugs from overseas.

But Obama’s deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to insure there would be no public option has, as best I can tell, only been reported in two articles in The New York Times. On August 13, The Timesreported that while President Obama had presented himself as “aloof from the legislative fray,” particularly in connection with the public option, “Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Obama and advisors have been…negotiating deals with a degree of cold-eyed political realism potentially at odds with the president’s rhetoric.” One of the deals reported in The Times article was the Pharma deal. The other was a deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to limit its cost reductions to $155 billion over 10 years in exchange for a White House promise that there would be no meaningful public option.

According to The Times:

“Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying-Medicare rates…or controlled by the secretary of health and human services. ‘We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference’, one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter…Industry lobbyists say they are not worried [about a public option.] ‘We trust the White House,’ Mr. Kahn said.”

Mr. Kahn’s lobbying group, with whom the White House made the deal, represents America’s investor-owned, hospitals whose profits could be diminished by a public option with the negotiating clout to negotiate lower prices. To say that the deal included ensuring that any public option would not be “controlled by the secretary of health and human services” is code for saying it would not be national in scope and would lack negotiating clout–In other words, the Obama administration made a deal that a national public option on day one comparable to Medicare was off the table.

On September 9, a few weeks after The Times reported Obama’s deal to gut the public option, President Obama gave his big health care speech to a Joint Session of Congress. In the speech, Obama said one of the programs he was considering was a “not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.” Supporters of the public option took this as a sign that Obama was on their side.

But Washington insiders noticed that Obama parsed his words very carefully. The New York Timesnoted that:

“Mr. Obama’s call for a public plan, however, omitted any discussion of what rates it might pay or who might control it…’He worded it really carefully, because he said ‘not for profit’ and he didn’t say it had to be controlled by the government,’ Mr. Kahn [the hospital lobbyist] added. ‘The way he described it, we could support that!”

In other words, Obama signaled the private health care industry that his deal that there would be no meaningful public option still stood.

Throughout the process, the White House has given vague statements supporting the public option — enough to keep liberals and progressive on board — while repeatedly undermining the public option in practice. Jane Hamsher has written a useful timeline of White House efforts to undermine the public option.

There is no evidence that President Obama has ever twisted the arm of a single Senator to support a public option and plenty of evidence that he has assiduously avoided doing so, sending a message to Senators that he doesn’t want a public option. When the Senate passed its version of the health reform bill, the reason the White House gave for there being no public option was that it couldn’t garner 60 votes. But Joe Lieberman, who could have been the 60th vote, insists that the Obama administration never pressured him to support either a public option or a Medicare buy-in. And Sen. Russ Feingold blamed the demise of the public option in the Senate on the White House’s failure to push for it.

Now the White House is saying they’re not including a public option in Obama’s plan because they can’t get even 51 Democratic votes in the Senate. Does anyone really believe that if President Obama really wanted a public option — if he hadn’t dealt the public option away in a backroom deal with the for-profit hospital industry — he couldn’t get 51 out of 59 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to vote for it?

The most popular aspect of health care reform is the public option, which is supported by nearly 60% of voters while the overall bill is supported by only about 33%. Adding a public option to the final legislation may be the only thing that can boost its popularity among voters.

Will the Obama administration continue to cling to its deal with the for-profit hospital industry to block the public option, even at the price of public support? Or will it finally release at least 51 Democratic Senators to include a public option in the final bill through reconciliation? Its decision may be decisive in determining whether President Obama and a Democratic Congress can govern.

RAHM AND CENTRISM

Posted in CENTRISM IS A JOKE on February 12, 2010 by dumprahm

Once again, Rahm’s proved moving to the CENTER accomplishes nothing. Here we are in familiar territory, with a weak jobs bill and pathetic carbon emissions legislation.

What seems to be missed on Rahm and the White House is that the Independent voter is NOT a Centrist. Independents are skeptical of the political system because it is so ineffective and as a result, they refuse to identify themselves with one of the two political parties. Rarely are meaningful pieces of legislation ever passed or campaign promises fulfilled. An Independent shakes his or her head, and says: “Throw the bums out.” Case in point: HCR.

In the beginning of September, the Independent voter was more than 70 percent in favor for the public option. But strangely Obama and Rahm would not verbally commit to supporting it and the public option was in limbo for months. A bizarre decision since 4 out the 5 health care committees had included it in their version of the bill. (Also, besides the Independent’s support, 85% of Democrats just happened to be in favor of it.) Rahm had made up his mind in the summer, and this stubbornness advised Obama to take a backseat on Health Care and let Max Baucus figure it all out.

So in Mid-December when Joe Lieberman pulled the plug on the Public Option, the Independent voter was upset. In fact, 72 percent of Independents thought Obama didn’t do enough to rein in Lieberman’s bid to kill the public option.

Moving to the center is beyond ineffectual and shortsided. If you want to see how people view a politician in the dead of center, let’s take a look at Joe Lieberman. Guess what?  He has the lowest approval rating of any US Senator. It’s currently a shocking 25%, with Independents having a 61% disapproval rating.  Is that really the direction the White House wants to move in, or rather stay in?

Rahm, do us all non-republicans a favor and understand that the Independent voter is not a Centrist.

Call your Senator today and tell them to pass a sidecar ammendment  through reconciliation that puts the Public Option back in HCR. It’s easier then you think and it’s what the Independent voter demands. CALL NOW.

Look where Centrism in the name of Bipartisanship
has gotten us.

I’ve been Rahmtarded!

Posted in HCR on February 12, 2010 by jansilvers

want to cry? go check out the spoof that snl did on Rahm when he was initially appointed. Remember THAT?  He was supposed to be the GOP’s worst nightmare!  He was supposed to kick Lieberman’s ass off. Back then I actually got excited listening to the GOP cry, “please don’t throw us in the Rahm-briar patch! PLEEEESE! he’s too strong and mean! Pleeese!”  I thought the dude must be great.

Well, I guess the joke’s on us fucking retards.

What did we get instead, bout a year later?got the GOP hopping around- with a new lease on life; born and raised in Rahm’s patch. And Rahm is spending time trying to kick Krugman’s ass off, jerking Lieberman, and passing jack shit. When’s the last time the GOP complained about Rahm?

little recap. Please comment and let me know if I am off base:

Obama wins mandate for healthcare reform. He doesn’t want to fall into Clintonista trap by doing HCR “in house,” so he says,  “Look. I expect  Congress to clean out their ears and do what the American people have asked them to do. I will not put my fat nose into the kitchen-but there are some guidelines for real change that need to be followed. Leadership out of my administration, led by my chief off staff, will be in the form of making sure your ears stay cleaned out. Change is not status quo. Now GO! ”

So far so good. Enter. Fucking. Rahm. Unleash this dude. right? He pushes shit through. Guy’s bran. Whoops. Ballerina proceeds to tip the American people’s hand to the rump-GOP-fuckups and basically says that HCR doesn’t necessarily have to include a public option. Whoa! What? Are you kidding me? Why does Rahm get to say we were bluffing? We were?

Rahm seems to break from the game plan….But WE are not supposed to complain! That fucking makes Fucking Rahmtard have hurt feelings. When Krugman points out you shouldn’t bargain with yourself, Rahm skoffs. Rahm then calls healthcare reform grassroots activists “fucking retards.”  Unbelievably he then apologizes to actual retards for making the analogy! Think about that for a minute.

oh, he also forces Reid to play lieberman-medicare-buy-in-pattycake-goodbye–public-option. Yeah. Reid does. Lieberman wins. Lieberman promptly says fuck all y’all again. Here we are.

I probably left some stuff out but I’m in the ballpark everyone.

Obama doesnt need balls. He needs some real bran. Dump Rahm

CAN RAHM-BAMA TAKE SOME POINTERS FROM PELOSI PLEASE

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2010 by dumprahm

Seems like there is a true lack of CAJONES with Rahm and the Senate. A side-car ammendment pushed through the Senate using RECONCILIATION is the only way to pass meaningful reform and earn the respect of the voting public. The White House needs to come out publicly and support this strategy:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care.
A constitutional majority is 51 votes,” Pelosi said in an interview Tuesday with Roll Call. “If in fact the Republicans are going to say nothing can be done except by 60 percent, then maybe we all should be elected with 60 percent. It isn’t legitimate in terms of passing legislation.”
“There is some unease when you talk about, well, what’s happening to the initiatives to help the American people?” Pelosi said. “Is there never anything that can be done without 60 votes?”
In her interview with Roll Call, Pelosi stopped short of saying the filibuster should be done away with altogether, but she used some of her bluntest language yet to defend the use of reconciliation as something that has been used with regularity by Republican and Democratic presidents alike.
“We have set the stage for that. It’s important for us to remind the American people of the inconsistency that the Republicans have in saying this is unusual. No, five times President Bush used it. … This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich.
And Pelosi complained about the never-ending filibusters by Senate Republicans going far beyond the health care debate.
“Yes, the filibuster has its place, it may even have its place in health care — it’s a very big issue. But does it have its place on every appointment and every piece of legislation? We have over 200 bills over there that haven’t been taken up. Most of them, 70 percent of them, were passed with over 50 Republican votes in the House. We haven’t gotten as much done as we should and one of those reasons is because of what the Republicans are doing. … The American people have to make a judgment about the conduct of the Republicans in insisting on that on every vote, and the Democrats in the Senate have to deal with the challenge that they have.”

RAHM AND HCR

Posted in HCR on January 30, 2010 by dumprahm

FROM DAILY KOS:

This good news:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the House and Senate are pushing ahead on health care reform.

“I had a conversation with the speaker today, and we are moving forward,” Reid said as reporters were ushered out of the leader’s conference room.

is undercut by this:

With Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul stalled on Capitol Hill, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said in an interview that Democrats would try to act first on job creation, reducing the deficit and imposing tighter regulation on banks before returning to the health measure, the president’s top priority from last year.

… Mr. Emanuel, the chief of staff, said he hoped Congressional Democrats would take up the jobs bill next week. Then, in his view, Congress would move to the president’s plan to impose a fee on banks to help offset losses to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund used to bail out banks and automakers.

Lawmakers would next deal with a financial regulatory overhaul, and then pick up where they left off on health care.

Ezra explains the problem.

It is very, very, very important to be clear on what the death of health-care reform looks like. It is not a vote that goes against the Democrats. It is not an admission that the White House has moved on from the subject. It is continued statements of commitment from the key players paired with a continued stretching of the timetable. Like everything else in life, policy initiatives grow old and die, even if people still love them.

The timetable Emanuel is laying out makes little sense. The jobs bill will take some time. Financial regulation will take much longer. Let’s be conservative and give all this four months. Is Emanuel really suggesting that he expects Congress to return to health-care reform in the summer before the election? Forgetting whether there’s political will at that point, there’s no personnel: Everyone is home campaigning.

Does Rahm Emanuel actually want Democrats to win in November? Letting health insurance reform wither on the vine is the surest way to completely turn off an already frustrated base. And it gives Republicans a scalp. It gives Jim DeMint his Waterloo, and a win that big will only motivate Republicans.

More to the point, there are still 40+ million people without health insurance out here. Unless that jobs bill creates 40+ million new jobs that all include benefits, that problem isn’t going away, and is no less urgent than it was a year ago.

The White House needs to get everyone on the same message. Barring that, Pelosi and Reid need to put Emanuel on mute and keep the momentum on this bill going.

Chief of Staff Draws Fire From Left as Obama Falters

Posted in CORPORATE CENTRIST with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by dumprahm

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
President Barack Obama’s liberal backers have a long list of grievances. The Guantanamo Bay prison is still open. Health care hasn’t been transformed. And Wall Street banks are still paying huge bonuses.
The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul. “F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items. The antipathy reflects deep dissatisfaction on the Democratic left with Mr. Obama’s first year in office, and represents a fracturing of the relationship between the president and the political base that mobilized to elect him. A little more than one year ago, Mr. Obama’s victory led some to predict an era of Democratic dominance. Cenk Uygur, a liberal talk-radio host, calls Mr. Emanuel “Barack Obama’s Dick Cheney.” One group has run ads against Mr. Emanuel in his hometown of Chicago. And Jane Hamsher, a prominent liberal blogger, is going after Mr. Emanuel’s service—10 years ago—on the board of housing-finance giant Freddie Mac.

The unrest among liberals comes at a perilous political time. Party strategists worry that anger on the left could depress turnout in this year’s midterm elections and cost the party congressional seats and state governorships. The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC survey found 55% of Republicans “very interested” in the November elections, compared with 38% of Democrats. The tension between Mr. Emanuel and liberals has spurred speculation that he might leave the White House, perhaps to run for office again, something he denies.
After the party’s Massachusetts loss, criticism of the chief of staff—not only from activists, but from members of Congress—has increased.

There have been reports of tension between Mr. Emanuel and Ms. Jarrett, who is more ideologically in tune with the liberal base and close with the Obama family, but several people who have worked with the two say they get along fine. The president “needs a chief of staff with the wisdom to help point him down a bold, progressive path.”

He also supported Congress dropping liberal ideas that didn’t have enough support, in particular the “public option,” a provision in which the government would provide health insurance for a large swath of the population. John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank with close ties to the White House, says he hears the griping about Mr. Emanuel’s health-care strategy all the time, even in his own organization. “He’s a pretty skilled practitioner of what it takes to get something done on Capitol Hill,” he says. “But by moving in that direction, they’ve paid a big price on the public side, and the bill is unpopular and misunderstood.”
Full Article