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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public Option is Back

Is the "public option" back, or did it never go away? Is it negotiable, or something that won't be coming off the table any time soon?

To figure out the answer to those, and other burning health care questions you'll need a Ouija board, some dead chickens to toss blood on and chant over, and possibly two or three dozen glasses of scotch.

As seems to be the norm with the current administration one member goes on the Sunday talk shows and floats an idea. Depending on the reaction, others(or the President) come out and say "Yeah, what (name here) said!", or as is the case with the public option, "our cabinent member either misspoke, was confused, or was misunderstood"

This is what happens when your strategy sessions aren't predicated on doing what you think is the right thing, but instead what will get the numbers to track the right way. Say what you will about George Bush, but he at least spent more of his time trying to explain why something was right, instead of backtracking and covering his ass.

The other problem with sessions like that is you have to decide which tracking poll is the one that matters. In Obama's case dropping the public option hasn't moved the right towards accepting the other reforms, but might help with center. However, it's pissing off his base on the left.

The administration's reaction shows that it's more worried about keeping the base happy, by claiming that the public option is still a big part of the plan, even though that will move the center away from them.

Here's my suggestion for the President. Decide what YOU want. Tell your leaders in Congress what you want, instead of letting them put together the legislation. Then explain exactly what you sent up. You'll look more Presidential, and more like you care about doing the right thing, instead of the thing that will do the best for your poll numbers

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