[lbo-talk] BobboSphere is not disillusioned with Obama

christian bayes christianbayes01 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 09:11:16 PDT 2011

> This was obvious during the health care debacle. The American Left was
> caught flatfooted, picked off base like a bush leaguer who had been
> mistakenly promoted to the majors. For all of their money, the best
> that the health care industry and their allies could do was mobilize a
> few thousand screaming mimi’s to go and shout incoherence at the TV
> cameras. But where was the Left? Did the American Left seriously think
> that they could have a revolution in health care without actually
> making that revolution? The Left finally did mobilize for health care
> reform, too little and too late. The media war was won by the
> Rightwing who threw armed tea parties in celebration.
> _

I appreciate your position with respect President Obama--I supported the candidate and probably will vote for him again (though grudgingly), if only because of the lunacy the Repugs represent. But nothing about the actual health care bill was even liberal--let alone revolutionary--or promised to be. The only universal coverage option that made any economic sense (even from an efficiency standpoint), the weak "public option," Obama took off the table from the beginning. I defended the proposal to my relatives and friends in terms of what it prevents--coverage recision, coverage denial for pre-existing conditions--and, in theory, what it's supposed to do for costs. I still think we are marginally better with than without it, but it was the most conservative plan you could get and still address adverse selection issues. So, no surprise that it got so little defense from the left. (I understand that the existence of this left is a vexed topic in these parts.)

This will be an ongoing problem for him. The left has nowhere else to go, but Obama has stopped even making noises in that direction. And the noises he has made in the recent past were hollow. For example, I liked the speech in which he declared how unfair it was to give tax breaks to billionaires while the middle class suffers and that he wouldn't renew the tax cuts again. It was a rousing speech, but it came right after he had extended the Bush tax cuts for two years, but unemployment benefits for one year.


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