Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A threat, or a promise? 

Barack Obama throws down some bluster:

The president will refuse to make fund-raising visits during November elections to any district whose representative has not backed the bill.

A one-night presidential appearance can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds which would otherwise take months to accumulate through cold-calling by campaign volunteers.

Mr Obama's threat came as the year-long debate over his signature domestic policy entered its final week.

The question is whether this is a threat or a promise. Among the moderate Democrats elected from districts that went for John McCain in 2008 or would today if given the chance for a Mulligan, I doubt this threat will be persuasive.


By Anonymous feeblemind, at Wed Mar 17, 01:07:00 AM:

Would this be evidence of his gargantuan ego, or that he is completely out of touch with the mood of the country, or both?  

By Blogger Dave B, at Wed Mar 17, 02:44:00 AM:

Both and then some. He's so arrogant he couldn't be bothered paying parking tickets until he decided to run for President. Being on the public dole all your life off the sweat and hard work of others must make you extremely smart. So smart, that you know all about running businesses without ever running or creating one, being able to look down your nose at men and women in uniform even though you weren't brave enough to wear one. I wish he would give more speeches so I could learn more.  

By Blogger Buku, at Wed Mar 17, 08:26:00 AM:

Im actually somewhat worried by all of this. Americans faith in government is diminished, for good reason, but not always good regardless.

I can see a perceived legislative sleight of hand passing this bill that enrages the center right. I would then expect the supremes to weigh in pissing off the left. That segment is still talkng about the stolen Bush V Gore.

Not good my friends... Not good.  

By Anonymous J, at Wed Mar 17, 09:04:00 AM:

lol... he delayed Mom's flight back to nj when Christie took down that scumbag Corzine, since he was there working his mojo for Corzine, and our VP was there a solid month doing the same.

So I really wish he'd go all those places his peeps are in trouble, to 'campaign' for them, and learn that he's not the magic man he fantasizes about. Just another politician.

He talked a good game, and has failed to deliver. It's as simple as that. No hope. No change. No jobs. I'll will fall over reaching to call 911 on my own behalf the first time this clown admits that it's HIS economy, HIS deficit, and HIS failing to get anything done.

Super majority people.

Buku ... what's good is that the American people have been shaken. We're concerned about our future, and our country. And we understand that we pay that bill, many of us. And that there is no pot of gold our rich government draws from. It's our pockets, and a piece of every labor hour a taxpayer works.

I just want to keep what's mine. I don't want anyone elses. I understand I'll die someday, likely of what I did to myself rather than old age. Smoking, drinking, bad food, whatever. People need to get it.

There is no free.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Wed Mar 17, 10:16:00 AM:

Nancy still doesn't have the votes, obviously.

Famous lies: Checks in the mail. This won't hurt a bit. I'll call you. We can now add: "If you just vote the Senate bill through, we promise we'll turn it into the House version later."

Some in the House are refusing to accept this, which I suspect is what's actually behind the idea of "deem and pass." Here's some speculation. Am I wrong?

There's no way that you can vote to "deem and pass" in March but then claim in November that you didn't actually vote for Healthcare. Voters aren't that stupid. There's got to be another angle to this. With "deem and pass" there'd actually be a recorded vote in the House on a combination of 1) changes to the Senate bill to make it look more like the House bill, and 2) a deemed approval of the Senate bill.

I suspect that Nancy is getting desperate. She needs "deem and pass" as an answer for those House Democrats who say that they're for House Healthcare but don't trust the Senate. Some of these House Democrats voted Yes the first time but have principled objection to the Senate bill -- Stupak for example. But there's another group who voted No the first time -- with Nancy's permission -- but know that switching to Yes now will ensure their defeat in November -- they're using the House-Senate differences as an excuse when Nancy calls ... "Love to help you Nancy, but ...."

What's being ignored is that the Democrats still have two conflicting term sheets but are pretending they already have a done deal subject only to some process. The differences between the two bills aren't small -- they have very different provisions for new taxes, for example. Reconciling the conflicts between the two bills will necessitate that specific promises which were made the first time around to win specific votes will have to be broken. But Obama and Pelosi haven't gone public yet with the specifics.

So it looks like Nancy won't be able to deliver House approval of "the Senate bill with a promise to make changes later." But if she serves up a "deem and pass package" I don't know how Obama could sign that into law without going back to the Senate first.

Once again, there's no deal on the table ... only two inconsistent term sheets, both initialed by Obama.

But Obama has a plane to catch ....  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Wed Mar 17, 12:48:00 PM:

I may be on to something. Reid is holding a special caucus today where he may ask 51 Senators to sign a pledge that they'll approve the House sidecar reconciliation changes at a later time.

Normally you'd run this through a formal House-Senate Conference Committee, take a few weeks to merge the two and then re-vote. Normally you wouldn't do this unless you had strong support for both House and Senate versions, so that you didn't lose majority support for either as you ran it through reconciliation.

All these gymnastics would enable Nancy to tell the Stupak Dirty Dozen that they have to continue to vote Yes because they'll get the anti-abortion funding language they were promised.

Alternatively, it was reported that Nancy was to hold a women's only caucus this morning. Methinks she'll tell them that she needs all their support lest Stupak's anti-abortion language go into final Healthcare.

What would happen if Boehner called a guys-only caucus?

If you step back, you could ask why didn't the Senate approve the House bill with just 51 ... that's because they don't want to take heat in November for avoiding filibuster ... or because some Democratic Senators don't want to eviscerate the filibuster.

All this is happening because of the Scott Brown wrench in the works.

All the broken promises and strong-arming going on can't not have consequences within the Democratic caucus. After this, Nancy will have a hard time getting the House to name a post office.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Mar 17, 04:59:00 PM:

he is completely out of touch with the mood of the country

Actually, his narcissism makes him physically incapable of grok'ing (to use a Heinlein term) the mood of the country.

Having a big ego (Clinton) and narcissism (Obama) are quite different. Bill understood it was he who needed to change. The narcissist Obama, believes it is the country that needs to change to suit his vision.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Mar 17, 09:50:00 PM:

The Obama pattern of behaviour continues. Use your friends and family and colleagues until they are of no use to you...then toss them under the bus.

The man is utterly devoid of class.  

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