So long, Rahm. Adios, Axelrod.

Now that the polls are showing that the America public is jumping ship on President Barack

s-RAHM-large.jpg

Axelrod and Emanuel

Obama's health care fantasia, he'll be looking around for someone to blame. And blame shall be placed.

Consider: By jamming every possible thought and every proposal that every reformer has ever had into a single bill, Obama has aggregated every possible opponent into a single place. If he had, instead, segmented the bill into more manageable packages, he would have split the opposition into, likewise, smaller segments. Now, he has brought every opponent of every provision into a single place, where they all have one thing in common: defeat  the legislation.

It was truly awful political strategy. One strains to figure out why Obama took this road, when the same path led to the defeat of the Clinton health care proposals. Maybe it was a calculated gamble that if he didn't get everything, he wouldn't get anything. Maybe it was a matter of ego: He figured he's so sainted that he could pass the entire package in one fell swoop.

Whatever the reasons, it has some pundits already suggesting (e.g. on nutty McLaughlin Group yesterday) that someone will end up paying, maybe not now, but surely sometime later. Surely, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod either conceived of or approved the flawed strategy. If so, the Obama administration and the country would be better off without the two. 

Comments

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  • Personally, I don't care one way or the other about Axelrod and Emanuel, and doubt that they will be going, soon.

    The more troublesome issue, reported in Business Week and elsewhere, is that the insurance and HMO companies, especially United Health, are working their lobbyists to make sure that they are more profitable under whatever is the "bill." While I tend to agree that a "public option" would tend to crowd out the private ones, in that employers would tend to dump their plans and tell workers to sign up for the public option, I thought that one of the objectives was to control costs, and letting the insurance companies have what they want won't do that.

    The question then becomes whether Emanuel and Axelrod were the drafters of the bill that others claim doesn't exist, or were the conduits for the lobbyists. I bet on the latter.

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