When the going gets tough, a flim-flam man starts talking. When the police stop a flim-flam man, the words do not stop flowing as the flim-flam man sweet talks his way out of a jam and bamboozles the police so they forget why they stopped the con-artist in the first place.
So it is with Chicago flim-flam man Barack Obama. Obama is talking a mile a minute in order to avoid making tough decisions that don’t benefit Obama personally.
This week Obama again dragged in the usual suspects (along with the often rational Gerald Seib and the formerly reliable Ron Brownstein), including Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman, Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, John Dickerson, Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Gloria Borger, and Gwen Ifill for a talk to bolster their faith in Mess-iah (and put the screws to Seib and Brownstein). As usual the above scribes and talkers will regurgitate Obama’s words as their own to unsuspecting readers.
Obama has stepped up the sweet talk not only because the priests in the Church of Obama are losing faith but also to distract them from further explorations of Obama lies and hypocrisies. Obama certainly does not want the scribes and talkers to discuss with the public, possible pitfalls to his planned clown utopia. And have no doubt, there are storms in the planned clown utopia as outlined by “Anonymous” on Time magazine’s Halperin blog.
Things bog down and all these deadlines continue to slip. CBO will need time to score the merge. Meanwhile, despite the sense of inevitability Democrats are far from unified on pay-fors. There is strong Labor opposition to the Cadillac plan tax. Plus, they are going to try and pass a quarter trillion doc fix by waiving paygo and then pretending that health care reform is deficit neutral, which people will see for the farce it is.
And as kumbaya fades, Business is getting increasingly antsy because they know they are paying the bill at the end of the day and there is positively nothing in the legislation that will bring down costs, and they know the main point of the PWC study is dead on. The insurance industry may not be isolated for long. The White House has very successfully wooed many name-brand CEOs with lots of face time, but rank-and-file business groups are returning home.
Plus a re-energized public plan debate is not the winner that liberals think it is. You dig below the surface of the meaningless “do you support giving consumers the choice of a public option” questions and you find strong sense that government is doing too much (TARP, AIG, stimulus, GM etc). People should remember that POTUS righted the ship on this by changing the emphasis from the public plan to how-reform-helps-people-who-already-have-insurance after the Democrats’ August recess debacle.
“Anonymous” continues, like a meteorologist to describe the storm cloud patterns over Obama’s clown utopia:
Everyone is for “reform” but here is why this whole enterprise has always been bad politics: At a time when we have 10% unemployment and record deficits, Congress is going to 1) cut Medicare and 2) raise taxes to 3) pay for health care for the uninsured. None of these are popular.
And when McDonnell wins in Virginia despite his encyclical, Blue Dogs and moderates will get even more nervous about midterms. Likely Corzine win gets discounted because it’s New Jersey and GOP nominated a hapless candidate.
Nothing final happens before Christmas at the very earliest. Most likely spills into next year. Which means economic numbers and POTUS approval ratings will be determinative. Odds are still clearly in favor of something big passing. But IF this thing goes into 2010, there are several more months of the “jobless recovery,” unemployment goes above 10 and POTUS slips below 50, all bets are off.
Mark Halperin, uncloaked, published a list of all the Obama clown utopia’s “priorities” that “are Being Deferred, Delayed and (Maybe) Derailed”:
1. A new Afghanistan policy. 2. Immigration reform. 3. Gitmo closing. 4. A second major stimulus bill. 5. A major climate deal in Copenhagen. 6. A real fight over regulating the financial sector. 7. A real fight with Fox. (Just kidding — of course there’s time for that.) 8. Deficit reduction. 9. Ending “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue.” 10. Tax reform. 11. Entitlement reform. 12. Ending the bitter partisanship in Washington that has divided us for too long yada yada yada.
At the Obama-loving websites, some light is breaking through. Some are just now beginning to open their peepers and imagine the possibility that indeed Big Pink has been right all along and Obama (gasp!) is a Chicago flim-flam man:
The question many health reform advocates have been asking about the public option debate is “what’s the problem”??? Why isn’t the President demanding it, pushing it, selling it? Well, maybe he doesn’t want it.
Why, given strong Congressional majorities in favor of a public option, continuing strong polling support across the country, and overwhelming support from Democratic voters, is Harry Reid treating the matter as though it were a close call?
So what’s the problem?
The problem, dude, is the flim-flam man from Chicago you were all so giddy about while trashing a genuine leader and fighter who happened to be a woman:
The Beltway conventional wisdom, steeped in cynicism, is that the White House is being disingenuous when it repeatedly says the President supports a public option. WH officials claim Obama believes it is “the best way” to provide an affordable choice and reduce costs. But then why is he not working to get it adopted in the Senate, and explicitly directing his OFA troops to help that effort? Why has he ducked every opportunity to make even the logical argument that the burden is on detractors to show there’s a better measure? No one has seriously attempted such a case.
Why indeed? Maybe your man is leading you on, making fools of you. We’ll laugh wryly on the day you actually type the words “Chicago flim-flam man” to describe the man who played you so well. For now some light is dawning on the Obama-love community:
It is hard to avoid the fear that this White House has now become a principal obstacle to getting meaningful health care reform. It claims it wants major cost reductions in Medicare, via a semi-autonomous cost-cutting commission. But the White House has already bargained away the savings it can achieve from most of the major providers: PhRMa ($80 billion), hospitals ($155 billion) so they can give it back to the doctors (for whom AMA is demanding $240+ billion more over ten years in relief from automatic Medicare reductions).
Why should we not also believe that the White House has a deal to shield insurers from competition by preventing the creation of a public option in exchange for the insurers agreeing to reforms on guaranteed issue and limited community ratings (with the flexibility Baucus provided) and to support this framework with tv ads? (Read Ignagni’s WaPo op-ed today; while defending the PwC study, she says they made a deal, but Baucus broke it; she didn’t say the deal’s off.)
The White House isn’t taking up most of the chairs in Harry’s Reid’s meetings just to watch him make decisions on his own. They’re there to make sure Harry Reid doesn’t undo the White House deals and wander off the reservation.
This President has filled the White House with people who have no inclination to pose any major challenge to the economic power of America’s dominant financial industries (GM being an exception). We’ve already seen this in their dealings with Wall Street investment banks and their too-big-to-fail is too-big-to-challenge approach to financial regulation. We’re seeing it now with efforts to shield the major health and insurance industries from any fundamental challenge.
It’s all a Chicago three-card monte flim-flam with fast-talking Obama doing the pitch. Americans have already witnessed the debate shift from health care to health insurance. We’ll soon see all the scribes and talkers invited to the White House try to sell the Obama flim-flam in upcoming publications and shows.
The invited scribes and talkers will say everything is on track and Obama is bringing Hope and Change. But the reality is that, as in Chicago, Obama will plunder Hope to bring Change to his pockets.
As the lightening flashes, and the torrential rains hurl down with thunderous screams, the Obama-loving scribes and talkers will pretend they are meteorologist and say it is a sunny day. But it is a dark day in America no matter what they say.
Obama is in trouble because he is unqualified and too inexperienced and too mesmerized by his mirror and cares only about himself.
The usual suspects will praise Obama, but Americans will continue to reject the Obama health
care insurance flim-flam.