the mess in Washington

John McCain, in what has become the ballsy move toward deigning a “bi-partisan” bill of 80 votes, notes that the “public option” may be a “big threat” to Private Insurers.  Which is or was the idea, wasn’t it?

Also, where’s the panel discussion with McCain, Kerry, Dole, and Dukakis?

The cynical promise of Obama’s Health Care policies, such as it is, was that “Big Pharma” might be bought off in order to reign in the power of the Insurers.  But that line is not holding.  We do know why.  It begins with Rahm Emanuel’s stated line that the “Only Non-negotiable is Success”, afraid to be holding a bad when a finality falls short.  It allows everyone to play both sides against the middle, and is a debate against Failure.

I do not quite understand why the process can’t dictate a 60 Democratic defeat of the filibuster to move on to whatever bill can garner 50 votes, except that the process has been built up to fail in such a manner.  After a porcess held up hostae to Max Baucus and Kent Conrad, who themselves have held it hostage to Chuck Grassley, they finally shout out a, “Ronciliation it is!”  Except for the wise words of a Joseh Lieberman, who wishes to pass the buck of the heart of any reform.  To a later time.  Sometime after the historically-to-be-expected party mid-term losses, I gather, which would not make anything easier?  Didn’t we try to get rid of that fellow?

There are serveral ways of looking at the much heralded Obama approval slide.  His “Liberal Slide” is more striking than his more than inevitable “Conservative  Slide” and “frustration from process” Independent Slide.  It is the fear of letting the Bad become the enemy of the Good, as opposed to Good become the Enemy of the Perfect.  But watch the other numbers.  Just when we thought the Republicans’ numbers couldn’t slide down any further, they have.  It is a bit of a game of “murder – suicide” they are playing, and an understandable game.  There is an underlying assumption that a presidential candidate can propel him (her?) self with the messaging of “Rising above it all”, timeless in the scheme of Bush’s “Changing the Tone in Washington” and the thing about Obama which lead many voters over to Clinton in the primary — and is tested round about here.  But as liable to happen here is that Obama will shore up his numbers, by extension his party’s, and that leaves the Republicans with the long-term electoral problem of being identified with yelling “Death Panels!”

The expected Democratic losses in 2010 — again, the times the party didn’t lose seats in a midterm through the past century are all rather anomolous (advice to Republicans: find a Senate candidate in Arkansas pronto!) — is minimized by some feasibly forward-moving health care bill passing and maximized by one not passing.  That’s sort of how these things work.

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