06 September 2009

Desperate Obama in Retreat on Public Option

Well, now you know why Obama sent-out feelers through Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last month, when she stated that a Federally-administered alternative to private health insurance is "not the essential element" of the administration's health care overhaul. While Team Obama denied it at the time, as it had his liberal base seeing red, it now seems apparent that it was Plan B all-along... and he lied to them just like he does to the Right:

Today Yahoo! reports that:
As Obama prepares for a Wednesday night speech to Congress in a risky bid to salvage his top domestic priority, political adviser David Axelrod said a public plan is not the core issue in the health care debate. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs danced around a question about whether Obama would veto a bill without the public option.
The part that Axelrod is leaving out of course is that the Public Option -which was sure to bankrupt private insurance competitors over the long run- was long Obama's #1 HC "reform" priority... because without it, the HC industry won't be nationalized in the the sort of manner that he and other Statists have long been lusting for. He's only giving it up because his administrations' poll numbers are in death-spiral mode... of that, you can be sure.

But moving ObamaCare a little-bit to the right is far from certain to ensure it's passage. As Dick Morris observed in the New York Post:
This week’s polls are a disaster for President Obama. The Rasmussen poll has his approval dropping to 45 percent, after several weeks at 49 percent. The Zogby poll has it even lower — at 42 percent.
Worse yet, he’s losing his political base:
* People under 30 — long a key element of his support — give him no better than break-even ratings, with 41 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving of the job he’s doing, according to Zogby.
* Only 75 percent of Democrats, who formerly have supported Obama strongly, now approve of his performance in office. Zogby reports that this represents a slide of more than 10 points over the summer.
* Even among blacks, only 74 percent approve of the job he’s doing (also a drop of more than 10 points).
Independents, the key swing group in our politics, now deliver a sharply negative 37-50 verdict on Obama’s job performance.
This poll-implosion leaves Obama with few good options.
He obviously can’t get 60 votes in the Senate for his health-care proposals in their current form. No Republican will support them, and moderate Democrats aren’t likely to vote with him.
If he tries to pass it with 50 votes, using so-called reconciliation procedures, he may also fail — because he’d also lose the votes of less-moderate Democrats who’d quail at using parliamentary tricks to pass such a radical, unpopular program.
If Obama waters down his proposals to attract moderate support, he’d lose votes on the left — perhaps more than he’d gain, at this point.
It now looks like health-care reform will cripple the Obama presidency, as it did Bill Clinton’s in 1993.
At best, Obama will be months if not years recovering from this disaster.
And Krauthammer is saying that Obama's political "magic" has been consumed in the roaring flames of the ObamaCare debate, as well-
After a disastrous summer -- mistaking his mandate, believing his press, centralizing power, governing left, disdaining citizens for (of all things) organizing -- Obama is in trouble.
Let's be clear: This is a fall, not a collapse. He's not been repudiated or even defeated. He will likely regroup and pass some version of health insurance reform that will restore some of his clout and popularity.
But what has occurred -- irreversibly -- is this: He's become ordinary. The spell is broken. The charismatic conjurer of 2008 has shed his magic. He's regressed to the mean, tellingly expressed in poll numbers hovering at 50 percent.
For a man who only recently bred a cult, ordinariness is a great burden, and for his acolytes, a crushing disappointment. Obama has become a politician like others. And like other flailing presidents, he will try to salvage a cherished reform -- and his own standing -- with yet another prime-time speech.
But for the first time since election night in Grant Park, he will appear in the most unfamiliar of guises -- mere mortal, a treacherous transformation to which a man of Obama's supreme self-regard may never adapt.