THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Please Mr. President, Stick To Your Guns and Don't Pull the Trigger on Public Option

I don't know about you, but I have developed a case of chronic whiplash from following the about turns of our 44th president during the health care negotiations.

To think that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid feels that he is within striking distance of the 60 votes necessary for a national public option with an opt-out provision -- while the President, rather than pushing for one without opt-out, is favoring the industry darling, the "trigger".

First it was the deal with Big Pharma, followed by the exceedingly generous giveaway to the insurance industry, in exchange for their support for reform and an advertising budget.

As a basketball enthusiast, he may be faking to right to move to the left. But maybe not. I just can't believe he cut class in Negotiating 101 the day they covered 'never start where you want to end up'. Half the time I am not sure whether we are witnessing a master in the art of politics or a president without the skill, experience or simply "cojones" to finish what he started.

One might argue that Obama is being pragmatic and believes Reid is being too optimistic with his count. Perhaps he should be worrying less about Reid's arithmetic and more about losing some progressive senators who may not pass a plan that includes the trigger provision. And maybe, just maybe, pragmatic politician that he may or may not be should also worry about truly cutting costs which is only achieved with a public option as well as representing the vast majority of Americans who did not vote for a wee bit of change they might be able to believe in if it is watered down enough.