Shorter emptywheel: Obama Learned Nothing From Hochul’s Victory

emptywheel:

One corner of real America just made it very clear they don’t want anyone messing with Medicare. And yet Obama’s off negotiating just that, rather than making it clear that Republicans want to hold Medicare hostage along with the rest of the government.

Obama is hopeless… and changeless, too. The only two questions are whether Republans will find a way to spoil his apparently inevitable re-election, and whether, if he turns out to be a one-termer, he succeeds in giving away the whole store before November 2012.

(You say I’m in a crabby mood today? Really? How could you tell?)

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  • MandT  On Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Nobama has nothing but contempt for the Democratic base.

    • Steve  On Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      MandT, I have no idea what Obama really feels toward the Democratic base, and I am no longer certain I am a member of that base, considering how poorly represented I am in Washington these days. But I know Obama is as crafty an old Chicago pol as anyone living or dead, and I no longer trust him to mean what he says, let alone follow through on it.

  • upyernoz  On Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 11:52 am

    i don’t get it. people keep linking to the empty wheel post, but if you click on the actual link all it says is that an aide to to joe biden says that “Healthcare costs, specifically those incurred by the Medicare program for retirees and the Medicaid program for the poor, have emerged as a major sticking point in deficit-reduction talks.”

    so that raises two questions: first, is the aide’s comment reliable. leaks like this tend not to be. there has been at least a half dozen times that a leak says that obama will propose cuts to social security, but that has never happened. in fact, the last time that leaked out what obama actually said was a full-throated defense of social security.

    but putting aside the reliability question, let’s assume the leak is completely accurate. healthcare costs being a sticking point doesn’t mean that the administration is offering to cut medicare. it just means there is a disagreement over such cuts. if the GOP was insisting upon medicare cuts and biden said ruled it out entirely, then medicare cuts would be a sticking point. but that would not mean that “obama is negotiating just that” as empty wheel says.

    really all this comes down to is what your predetermined biases are. people who are already suspicious of the president when faced with an unreliable report of disagreement over an issue assume it means that the president is taking the position they don’t like. but the link itself doesn’t really support that. it just says what it says.

    • Steve  On Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      ‘noz, you are correct regarding the extent to which I no longer trust the President not to do things that are harmful to the public and to the republic. He has done enough of them to date… assassination contracts on American citizens, initially secret and without a hint of due process; military engagements without authorization from or even discussion with Congress; utter capitulation to big pharma on drug prices; to big oil on drilling in dangerous and environmentally sensitive locations; to big ag on GM crops; etc. ad nauseam. Why should I… or emptywheel or anyone else… trust him in the matter of Medicare?

      • upyernoz  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 8:08 am

        assassination contracts on American citizens, initially secret and without a hint of due process; military engagements without authorization from or even discussion with Congress; utter capitulation to big pharma on drug prices; to big oil on drilling in dangerous and environmentally sensitive locations; to big ag on GM crops; etc.

        i agree with all of that. on the other hand his appointees to the federal agencies that i deal with at work (the NLRB and DOL) have been very good, IMHO. my biggest beef on that front is that it took forever for him to appoint them (but congress shares a lot of blame for that too as they were unwilling to confirm them until they struck a deal to let some appointees through to avoid a recess appointment).

        obama has had a really mixed record. on a lot of things he’s bad, and in those cases often really bad. but on a few other things he is okay (like health care reform in that it’s basically just a marginal improvement over the status quo) to good. so from that i conclude that you can’t just assume everything he does will be shitty

        he has no record of gutting entitlements, at least not yet. but there’s a lot of history of bloggers flipping out and predicting he would announce deep entitlement cuts only to turn out to be completely wrong. now maybe that’s a chicken and egg problem. maybe the only reason obama hasn’t seriously cut entitlements is because he keeps backing down before the mighty blogosphere. but i’m a bit more cynical than that. i don’t think that left blogistan has that much influence over the president, or any other politician. if it did, things would be a lot different in this country.

        so i’m not ruling out the possibility that the administration will negotiate away medicare. but i’m also skeptical that empty wheel is right about this.

        on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with creating a little “don’t mess with medicare” buzz. to the extent that the left blogistan has a teeny tiny bit of influence over things, i’m all for using it.

        • Steve  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

          “it took forever for him to appoint them (but congress shares a lot of blame for that too as they were unwilling to confirm them until they struck a deal to let some appointees through to avoid a recess appointment).” – upyernoz

          Until the Senate changes its rules… I expect Houston will freeze over in mid-July before that will happen… Obama’s appointments will be systematically blocked by the GOP. One thing is certain about today’s government: give a party a power, and they will use it. Then again, Obama appears to me to have done effectively nothing in support of Elizabeth Warren to chair the CFPB, and I don’t hold out much hope that he will recess-appoint her if that is what it takes. Warren serves as my test of Obama’s willingness to work with the “left” (heh… as if I am that far left of anything) part of his alleged base. But if he leaves her twisting in the wind, we will know with even more certainty what kind of person he is.

          Whether Obama negotiates away entitlements depends entirely on whether he thinks he can get something he wants in exchange for them. And he would do it even though his history of getting quid pro quo is truly abysmal.

          Ever since Rahm called me a “fucking retard” I have had no confidence that the left blogosphere has any influence whatsoever. Then again, Obama may just see his attitude toward us as getting us back for pre-election behavior: it’s true I initially voted for Hillary. Payback politics is something Obama understands well.

          • upyernoz  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

            no, you misunderstand me about appointments. obama got his NLRB appointees through.

            my only point about the entitlements, is we don’t know what obama will do and i think the emptywheel post should be taken with a grain of salt. that’s it.

            i’m hardly a believer that obama will rule out draconian medicare cuts. but i’m not certain that he is considering it either. maybe the recent NY-26 election will finally get the message through that defending medicare is to their advantage. or maybe not. the only thing the democrats are consistently good at is screwing up a good opportunity.

            • Steve  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 10:10 am

              Oops, you’re right, ‘noz, I misconstrued your statement on appointments. And perhaps I am premature in assuming the worst about Obama on entitlements, but if making noise helps him to understand that trashing entitlements is bad politics as well as bad policy, I’m happy to make a lot of noise, both here and in perhaps a dozen of those petitions by lefty org’s.

  • MandT  On Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Obama, for all his eloquent BS, ultimately turned American health care over to Max Baccus and the Insurance industry.

    • upyernoz  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

      unfortunately, our health care was already in the hands of the insurance industry before barack and max came along to mess with it.

      but if you’re talking about the individual mandate being a major giveaway to the insurance industry, i agree. but that’s really john edwards’ fault. he’s the one who first released a health care proposal during his presidential run, which caused clinton and then obama to release their own, mostly copycat plans. edwards is the one who decided to base his proposal on romneycare with its individual mandates rather than single payer.

      • Steve  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

        ‘noz, with as few controls as the “Affordable” act places on prices in its compulsory individual mandate, I despair of even being able to comply with the law… something I generally try pretty hard to do. As you probably know, I am disabled due to consequences of diabetes, and I have some of the other typical old-man chronic conditions that insurers shy away from as well. When I finally dropped my private insurance coverage about two years ago, my big-name insurer had just raised my rates to over $2000/mo. If this is the best Obama can do, perhaps we should arrange for him to be president of America’s worst enemy instead.

      • Steve  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

        BTW… apologies for the delay in approval of your message. Apparently WordPress must have compared this comment with your previous, noted the same IP address but different email addresses, and suspended the second comment. I think either info will work, but you probably can’t use both in the same thread.

        • upyernoz  On Thursday May 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

          hey, no problem. just before i hit post to the above comment, i noticed that my computer had automatically entered my regular email account, not the one that i use on my anonymous blog. so i changed it. i didn’t notice that i had already submitted comments using that email previously.

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