A little over a month ago, I wrote a piece called Badfellas about how Rahm Emanuel and President Obama had killed health care reform. At that time, I thought we'd end up with a trigger. Oh, I recall those optimistic days fondly.
As cynical and realistic as I was, I never thought it would get down to this...
The White House wants Reid to hand Joe Lieberman the farm.
An aide briefed on discussions with the White House says that there would be no story if Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hadn't interceded. The aide confirmed an account, reported by Huffington Post, that Emanuel visited Reid personally, telling him to cut a deal with Lieberman.
Then the aide provided more detail.
Emanuel didn't just leave it to Reid to find a solution. Emanuel specifically suggested Reid give Lieberman the concessions he seeks on issues like the Medicare buy-in and triggers
To use a trendy Tiger Woods analogy, this is the 101th mistress -- the time to stop defending and start packing.
Whatever happens with this bill, one thing is now crystal clear - the White House is calling the shots and they want a bill that's a giveaway to the insurance industry with no real protections, public option, or Medicare rollback. There is NO standard here except passing a bill.
Enough. It is now time for anyone who supported Barack Obama in 2008 to let the President know loud and clear that this is not what we voted for it. This isn't a question of liberals whining. This isn't about piling on the President.
We didn't elect Barack Obama to pass a health reform bill that Joe Lieberman and his insurance cronies approve of.
It's time for Obama voters to be outraged. Many of us voted for Obama because we felt he was different -- after all, he told us he was different. He said he wasn't about politics as usual. Okay, now we know that's not true. Let's be adults and act like it.
Barack Obama is just another politician; willing to lie on the campaign trail to get elected. Then treat him like any other politician. He understands votes so let him know he won't be getting yours, especially in the primary. That's the language that people like Rahm Emanuel understand.
And don't let anyone scare you with Sarah Palin or a GOP White House in 2012. Dropping support for a series of horrible decisions from Larry Summers to Afghanistan to this health reform bailout means you want a better Democratic candidate to emerge. The White House wants you scared; cowed into thinking that not going along with their bad decisions means eight years of some Republican you hate.
It's a scare tactic. Don't fall for it.
Instead, if you voted for Barack Obama realize that you voted for an idea, not just a man. Just because this man hasn't delivered on those ideas doesn't mean it's time to give up on principles like changing Washington to get rid of the power of the lobbyists who run things. Or real health care reform for that matter.
It's time to do what Barack Obama asked us to do - hold him accountable. This is totally unacceptable, Mr. President. Start acting like the man we elected or you have three years left in the job.
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