Hope and Change: Obama Admits Current Health-Care Reform May Die In Congress
“No, We Can’t” actually sounds like a good slogan for the current administration, which may be admitting defeat in the battle for “health-care reform”.
“I think it’s very important for us to have a methodical, open process over the next several weeks, and then let’s go ahead and make a decision,” Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.
“And it may be that … if Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not,” the president said. “And that’s how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they’ll be able to make a determination and register their concerns.”
President Obama has been sending conflicting signals on his intentions for health-care reform, to say the least. On the one hand, he seems to be conceding defeat in front of the DNC; on the other hand, he makes statements like this of the “damn the torpedos, full speed ahead” variety:
If our response ends up being, you know, because we don’t want to — we don’t want to stir things up here, we’re just going to do the same thing that was being done before, then I don’t know what differentiates us from the other guys. And I don’t know why people would say, boy, we really want to make sure that those Democrats are in Washington fighting for us.
Moderate Democrats have been pleading with increasing fervency for the president to take a more centrist approach to some of his signature policy initiatives in the face of mounting evidence that public opposition to his policies is hardening. Politico reports that they public may be having serious problems with Rahm Emanuel’s “Big Bang” theory of liberal governance:
Moderate Democrats, coping with the electoral fallout of President Barack Obama’s grand and ground-down legislative ambitions, have a message for their leaders: Stop supersizing us.
If the first year of Obama’s term was dominated by the so-called Big Bang push for enormous, politically risky initiatives — the stimulus, cap and trade and health care — Year Two is fast shaping up to be year of small ball, retrenchment and backlash.
“I’ve always maintained that I thought that they were doing too much, too fast,” said Rep. Mike McMahon (D-N.Y.), an endangered freshman who represents a Staten Island district long occupied by Republicans.
“Without question, the biggest complaint I’m hearing from constituents is that there were too many things being tackled all at once, and they didn’t have time to understand and digest all of them,” he added.
Of course, present complaints of over-reaching on the part of moderate Democrats portend few consequences for the president, who doesn’t have to answer to the electorate for nearly three more years. The price of unpopular policies will be paid for by centrist Democrats and, increasingly, even the more liberal members of the party come November.