president obama waved the white flag yesterday, basically signaling the end of the ‘public option’ for healthcare. this is precisely why he wanted the vote to take place in congress before the august recess: he can’t control congress when they’re back in their districts listening to the people (and the lobbyists). so while the bush administration was often heavy-handed with its handling of congress, president obama has the opposite problem: he can’t get even his most important ideas through a house and senate that his own party controls.
first, president obama pulled the plug on the email@example.com website, where citizens could report instances of individuals and websites making claims that the white house thought were ‘fishy’ (essentially anything that criticized the president’s healthcare overhaul). this was seen by many as the beginnings of an ‘enemies list,’ which wouldn’t have been the first, but would have been the first such white house sponsored, publicly nominated list.
now, with the president’s own administration (in the person of health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius) conceding that the ‘public option’ is not a necessary part of the healthcare overhaul, and with blue dog democrats quickly responding, ‘now, that’s not a bad idea,’ the entire healthcare ‘overhaul’ appears to becoming little more than shuffling the deck by adding some new regulations and oversight rather than re-dealing from a fresh deck.
so maybe it’s time that obama recalled that ‘reset’ button that secretary of state clinton infamously gave to russian foreign minister sergei lavrov, and allowed the button to realize its full, denotative potential. indeed, given the estimated cost of the proposed healthcare public option, there would be no better word to describe it than ‘peregruzka‘- overcharged.