From THE HILL:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the powerful Republican who has spent weeks working on a healthcare reform compromise, is urging Democrats not to abandon bipartisan talks despite growing pressure from liberal activists and White House officials.
Grassley reacted Wednesday to news reports of growing sentiment among White House officials that Democrats should pass a partisan healthcare reform package, relying entirely on Democratic votes.
Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over paying for a healthcare overhaul, struck a conciliatory tone a day after Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) called on Democrats to scrap their proposals and start over.
Kyl’s statement and earlier statements from Grassley have led Democratic leaders to more carefully weigh the prospect of passing a reform package without any Republican votes — going alone, just as many liberal activists have demanded.
“The Republican leadership has made a strategic decision that defeating President [Barack] Obama’s healthcare proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day,” White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told The New York Times.
Liberal activists have also called on Democratic leaders to forget about trying to reach a bipartisan compromise with Grassley and other Republican members of the Finance Committee’s “Gang of Six” — Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine).
Their criticism of Grassley intensified in the wake of several public comments.
Last week, Grassley told an audience in Iowa that they had “every right to fear” an end-of-life counseling proposal in the House healthcare reform bill.
Then on Monday, Grassley said in a television interview that he would not vote for a healthcare reform deal, even if he thought it was a good one, if it did not win widespread support from Republican colleagues.
“It isn’t a good deal if I can’t sell my product to more Republicans,” Grassley told MSNBC.
From THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:
The White House has spent the past two days insisting that nothing has changed in its position on healthcare reform: President Obama still prefers to have a “public option” – that is, a government-run health-insurance plan that would compete with private insurers – in the package, despite indications that he’s willing to give that up.
But maybe it is, in fact, time for the White House to change tack on reform, political analysts say. One idea is for Mr. Obama to come out with his own healthcare legislation.
“The initial strategy of letting Congress put this together and work out details was good and smart – kind of the anti-Clinton strategy – but at some point, he needs to spell out that items A, B, and C must be in this, or else it’s not worth passing,” says Julian Zelizer, a political scientist at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Sixteen years ago, when President Clinton tried to enact comprehensive health reform, he presented a large, detailed bill to Congress and wound up with nothing. This time around, congressional committees have been central in negotiating and crafting different versions of reform.
But at a certain point, only the president has the clout – and the megaphone – to drive the process home.
One issue is whether the preternaturally cool Obama can channel a bit of President Johnson, who famously charmed and threatened Congress on his way to the creation of Medicare in 1965.
Even if Obama can’t become LBJ, “I do think he could take a couple of pages out of his book,” says Democratic media strategist Peter Fenn. “He’s got to be less Mr. Nice Guy and a little bit more Mr. Tough Guy.”
And that includes drawing a line in the sand over what he wants in the legislation. The result may be that he winds up with nothing, but that’s a risk he has to take, Mr. Fenn says.
17 responses to “Enough is Enough!”
I have heard some say he needs to draw that line quietly, I hear some say he needs to draw it publicly, I don’t think anyone knows what needs to be done.. and I don’t think anyone really knows what has been done.
This President is out there alone selling this, he is getting very little help from Democrats, and is fighting the republicans, the media, the insurance companies, lobbyists, and so on, and now he is fighting all of us, who keep yelling he isn’t doing enough.. and we are tired of him trying to reach out to the republicans.. Well if he can’t get the 60 Democrats to commit to vote with him in the Senate, and he can’t get the majority of the Democrats in the House to vote with him , what the hell is he supposed to do to get the votes.. He has to get them somewhere…
we’ll probably never know what’s gone on behind the scenes, but we can see what’s going on in public, and it stinks. we have sebelius saying one thing one day, another the next. rahm says something, and then gibbs refutes it. obama said during the campaign that a public option is necessary, and now it’s not a big deal. linda douglass changes her message every other day.
obama can’t control completely what goes on in the house and senate, but he can control the message coming out of the white house. it’s been all over the place, and that doesn’t do anyone any good. he looks like a wuss when he gives grassley and his ilk any credence whatsoever after they’ve been spreading lies and fear.
Two big differences between 1993-1994 and today: First, we are no longer surprised at what the GOP is doing. Second, the other side has shown the world their utter insanity.
and third, teh stoopid is broadcast across the world in minutes through the internets. that’s why i find it so hard for me to understand how so many people have been able to repeat lie after lie and have so many idiots believe them.
GrASSley’s comment “It isn’t a good deal if I can’t sell my product to more Republicans” wreaks of political razzle dazzle.
Come on! Anyone in the know is quite aware of who is selling what…. the product is a huge cash infusion from Wealthcare, into the pockets of Congress, who seem to then shy away from health care reform.
In any other business setting, this would called conflict of interest, or a serious ethics violation.
So I especially appreciate the GrASSley on the pot in the stink room graphic. He is certainly full of it.
And what exactly IS wrong with the Dems all scattered & infighting, and those rabid Blue Dogs?
Good Gawd we need Kennedy in a serious way.
If he could give his classic rant right now, it would help whip things into shape.
Maybe we need to bring back the *die in’s* from the 60’s– back then it was to symbolize war deaths, but now it would be symbolic of lack of health care coverage.
Oh! If we could just arrange to have the Government on the exact same health care plan as We the People.
grassley was sent in by mitch no-chin mcconnell to stall, not to collaborate or cooperate. it’s too damned bad that max baucus is the chairman of the finance committee instead of someone who isn’t in the pocket of the insurance companies.
Baucus has become the biggest cash whore of them all.
there aren’t very many of them who wouldn’t look natural leaning on a lamppost with their hair disheveled and lipstick smeared.
Never, NEVER underestimate the ability of the American people to be lied to, and to accept those lies. The more outrageous the lie, the more likely it is to be believed…
Lie: Mr. Obama is a gay, transsexual, three legged wombat manhole cover from the desert planet Yuckloop Syntax III
American: I KNEW IT!
i know. i guess that accounts for all those extenze commercials.
i am telling you – the BIG LIE theory from goebbels is alive and well and living in the GOP
i know, dcAp, and i guess that’s why i find so hard to accept. it’s straight out of goebbel’s playbook. it’s too frightening to think about, but if we don’t think about it and talk about it, where will it end?
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I think Chuck is tapping his left foot in the picture of him taking a crap. Is it possible that Larry Craig was in the next stall? What a handsome couple they would make.
gmta. i was going to write ‘larry craig was here’ or his name and a phone number, but i decided to keep it focused.
LBJ would absolutely love that poster!
do you think so? i’d like to think he would like it. he was a mean old coot, but i think his heart was in the right place.