Running the Option

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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  1. Avatar Nick
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    says:

    I think the motive for the LA Times article is something about narrativizing (whoo, spellcheck hates that) the health care debate — the practice for all those not focusing on the legislative details has been to attach personalities to the various ‘sides’, and many have centered on a story built out of Hamlet-style indecision on Obama’s part. I totally agree that he’s seemed pretty goal-oriented and pragmatic all the way through — not a True Believer with a flaming sword, but just kind of a politician trying to get something done.

    The big news for me in the LA Times article was that press attitudes about what the people want have changed — instead of ‘public wary’ or ‘nobody understands the public option’, most writers are pointing to the last poll cycle, and interpreting its results to mean that public option support is over 50% and probably over 60%. I think that might be the tipping point for the bill: legislative majority plus supportive administration plus public support.

    As for the effects on 2010, I’m not sure that there’s a way out for the Democrats regardless of what passes or how it’s perceived — having pitched a big anti-GWB tent and failed, of course, to please all parts of it, they’re really susceptible to the highly mobilized and motivated Republican base, which will be well lubricated with industry money, and which has a particular gift for getting people out to midterm elections. That the economy is in a painful, long-term crisis seriously compounds the problem.

    But at least we’ll have fewer people coughing up bloody phlegm in the pharmacy while they plead with insurance companies to fulfill their obligations, and fewer people who don’t get to go to the pharmacy at all.Report

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