08/17/2009 10:27 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Public Option: Caving to Conservatives

Maybe President Obama should have visited a Martha's Vineyard beach earlier this summer to learn how to draw a line in the sand. Because if the news reports are true that he might drop a much-needed public option for health insurance, his administration may drown in Democratic wimpiness.

After all, Obama has already thumbed his nose at millions of change-craving supporters with his Afghanistan surge; his "kinder, gentler" military tribunals; his far-too-deferential treatment of greedy financial institutions; his minimal efforts to help America's desperate unemployed; his equivocal stand on gay rights; and so on. Does the president firmly believe in anything enough to fight tooth and nail for it?

And if Obama "caves" on the public option, what else might he compromise on under pressure from the never-satisfied right wing? Here are some worst-case scenarios:

-- Obama, trying to satisfy the dumb people who can't stand that he's smart, lays off 50% of his IQ.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy the uninformed people who can't stand that he's so well-read, stops reading everything except Rupert Murdoch's New York Post.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy rabid Republicans who call him a socialist, stops attending social events.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy the racists who can't stand a person of color in the White House, does the Michael Jackson bleaching thing.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy the "birthers" who allege he wasn't born in the U.S., produces a birth certificate saying he entered the world in Rush Limbaugh's radio studio.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy skeptics who say Limbaugh didn't have a radio show in 1961, produces time-machine records stating that Limbaugh's radio studio was briefly transported back to that year.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy critics who say the time-machine name vaguely reminds them of The New York Times, produces records stating that Limbaugh's radio studio was transported back to '61 in a Fox News machine.

-- Obama, trying to satisfy "no-spin-zone" Fox host Bill O'Reilly, says the machine that traveled back to '61 didn't spin.

-- Obama, in refusing to satisfy the majority of the country that wanted real change, loses the 2012 election because the conservatives he tried to placate didn't vote for him anyway.