Sources: White House Pushing Back Against Senate Public Option Opt Out Compromise – TPMDC (10/23/09):
Multiple sources tell TPMDC that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is very close to rounding up 60 members in support of a public option with an opt out clause, and are continuing to push skeptical members. But they also say that the White House is pushing back against the idea, in a bid to retain the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
“They’re skeptical of opt out and are generally deferential to the Snowe strategy that involves the trigger,” said one source close to negotiations between the Senate and the White House. “they’re certainly not calming moderate’s concerns on opt out.”
This new development, which casts the White House as an opponent of all but the most watered down form of public option, is likely to yield backlash from progressives, especially those in the House who have been pushing for a more maximal version of reform.
We’re now running up against the outside limit of how huge a douche I figured Obama could be.
Update 2:00pm PDT: Sirota:
…unlike many other complex political issues that can be fudged and finagled because they are either small or separated by many bureaucratic layers from voters, health care is not bullshit-able. That is, whereas politicians can spin a small bore tax credit or, say, a big jobs program that is hard to quantify, health care reform is an issue every average voter will very quickly know either worked or did not work, regardless of what politicians say. Screw it up, and no Democratic political rhetoric – and certainly not “bipartisanship” – will fool voters into thinking it “worked.” Enact something genuinely positive, and no Republican political attack will fool voters into thinking it’s a failure (for reference on that latter point, see Republicans repeated failed attempts to berate Medicare and Social Security).
So again, I’ll make it plain: The worse the bill is on the substance, the worse Democrats will fare in elections, the better the bill is on substance, the better Democrats will fare in elections.