Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Digby nails it on Obama and health care reform

She writes in Clarifying Partisanship 08/26/09:

This health care debate is looking like it's finally going to tell us what our president really believes in. (We know where he is on national security, but then nearly all presidents of both parties are hawks so it doesn't really tell you anything. Domestic policy is where the rubber meets the road.) The Republicans have completely taken themselves out of the debate and the only arguments are among Democrats. And that means President Obama's going to have to decide which side he's going to put his weight behind. It's hard to believe he'll come down on the side of the liberals after all the effort he's put into placating the medical industry, but it's always possible.

One thing's becoming completely clear --- he won't be able to do anything with bipartisan cover and that means it's all coming down to his partisan leadership. Which way will he go? [my emphasis]
I really think that the Democrats are still suffering from their "bipartisan" habits of 30 years ago and further back, in the days where the liberals were spread between both parties and the Democrats had a Deep South conservative wing.

But today, the Republican Party includes what was once the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic Party. And they scarcely have any moderates left in any meaningful sense of the word, much less liberals. Republican Senators Jacob Javits and Mark Hatfield are part of a bygone era. Democrats, on the other hand, seem to be locked into the thought that this time, the Republicans will back off their hardline positions, defy Party head Rush Limbaugh, and join the Dems for constructive legislation in the country's best interest.

Digby has taken to calling those who long for that impossible dream the Charlie Brown Democrats, after the Peanuts cartoon character who was fooled every time Lucy would hold a football for him to kick and then would pull it away at the last moment. Charlie Brown always ended up flat on his back. But he was always fooled the next time.

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