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Enough with the whining!

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 20:11 EDT
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Well, after writing a post on the uselessness of shame as a motivator for better health outcomes, I’m forced to employ shame in an attempt to create better political outcomes. For shame, Obama administration, for using this tactic.

“I don’t understand why the left of the left has decided that this [public option] is their Waterloo,” said a senior White House adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We’ve gotten to this point where health care on the left is determined by the breadth of the public option. I don’t understand how that has become the measure of whether what we achieve is health-care reform.”

“It’s a mystifying thing,” he added. “We’re forgetting why we are in this.”

Another top aide expressed chagrin that a single element in the president’s sprawling health-care initiative has become a litmus test for whether the administration is serious about the issue.

“It took on a life of its own,” he said.

The Left, The Left, The Left. It’s true that recent polls funded by insurance companies show that there’s a “plurality” of support against the public option if you ask misleading questions and engage in blatant push-polling that feeds people lies about doctor choice. But if you ask honest and clearly stated questions, you get 76% support for a public option. For shame on any media outlets that report push polling as if it produces a genuine read on public opinion.

Point is, this isn’t The Left. I know The Left. He’s the ringer on my trivia team. From our few conversations on the topic, I’d say that he’s for the public option, but doesn’t exactly consider that the linchpin of his claims to be The Left. In general, if you want to be considered a radical leftist, you need to stake your claim on something other than what 76% of the country thinks is important.

In search of new momentum, Obama plans to discuss the matter Thursday with thousands of his most loyal supporters in a nationwide “strategy call” hosted by Organizing for America, a grass-roots arm of the Democratic National Committee.

He is likely to repeat what he and his top surrogates have said for months: that he will not “draw a line in the sand” about the inclusion of a public plan and that no one provision is a “deal breaker” as long as the final legislation embraces his broad principles for reform.

Translation: Here are our soft, pink, juicy bellies. Please come rip out our intestines, insurance companies!

Look, in an ideal world, the insurance companies wouldn’t even have a seat at the table, especially since ordinary Americans who need affordable health care don’t get to be in the negotiation rooms. But since they are obviously players, then it’s stupid to start from an already-weakened bargaining position. The Left is so evil! Except they’re giving you some fucking backbone. Fuck it, The Left doesn’t care if you blame The Left to save face in front of insurance company lobbyists as you force a public option in over their objections. Evil liberals are fine with that. We use similar excuses all the time. “Oh, I’d love to come to your church bake sale, but I promised the kids I’d take them to the park.” “Sure, I’d like to close out the bar with you, but I promised my boyfriend I’d be home by midnight this time.” Whatever it takes. Just get it done.

This kind of whining makes me even less sympathetic to read that the White House is finally admitting that Republicans would fight a bill declaring puppies cute and rainbows awesome, if they could make Democrats look ineffectual in the process. Duh. If you listened to The Left, you’d know that already. It’s like being surprised that an alligator ate that adorable baby bunny that you tossed in the cage with him.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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