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September 16, 2009

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Implicit here is that he dragged it out and made it suck in order to achieve bipartisanship, and now has nothing to show for it. Just wanted to make that explicit.

Implicit here is that he dragged it out and made it suck in order to achieve bipartisanship

The proximate goal was to achieve bipartisanship, which was -- I'm sure -- in service to the ultimate goal of being the central power broker of the whole health reform effort. I bet he went to bed every night dreaming that it would be called Baucuscare and that he would be much loved throughout the land. And now that it's clear that Grassley and Enzi were playing him for a chump and he's going to come out of this thing completely irrelevant, I wonder how he thinks he's going to salvage himself.

I am more inclined to believe that Mr.Baucus hoped to be seen as being at the center of things while at the same time fulfilling his mission to either kill the reform or (even better) to transform it into a way to channel even more profits to his masters.

[i]The proximate goal was to achieve bipartisanship, which was -- I'm sure -- in service to the ultimate goal of being the central power broker of the whole health reform effort. [/i]

Assuming, of course, that he hasn't been actively attempting to scuttle things. Could he have been any more effective in undermining Healthcare Reform if he'd tried?

And, of course, Baucus has an absolutely terrible, dreadful bill that I'm positively frightened that Democrats are stupid enough to pass, such that not only will most of us get screwed, it will successfully prompt a major unelection of Democrats for quite a long time.

Maybe if we all let Baucus know we'll financially support an electoral challenge to him....

"literally nothing to show for it"

Well, if you mean anything good, yeah ...

I am shocked, SHOCKED, that the Republicans would oppose health care reform!

This bill should burn.

Let me get this right. Under the current system, I can lose my job and my health insurance, get sick, and go bankrupt, in the worst recession since the 1930s.

In the Baucus view of the world, I can do all of that with the added bonus of being arrested for not being able to afford the insurance.

Me: "When I was growing up, I was taught that, if I didn't like what others were directing at me, I should take a look at myself, to see what *I* was doing to bring it on."

Brett: "Yeah, I got that "blame the victim" line, too, when I was growing up. Sounds like you aborbed it, instead of finally shrugging it off."

Obviously, you did not receive a traditional conservative Christian upbringing like I did. "Blame the victim"? About race?? From MY PARENTS??? Absent any sense from you on the topic, I'll have to assume you're delusional.

Maybe you're just grooving this improperly: if you act like a jerk and a bully, you're going to get flack from the other kids, from the teachers, and from your friends' parents; this does not translate into you being a victim OR being blamed. You may not like it, but that in no way means you haven't earned it thru your own efforts. (not calling you names or accusing you: hypothetical example is hypothetical, for me)

One of the great things about living in the US after 9/11 - and especially in the age of Obama - is that racial tensions have eased off tremendously, with dramatically less suspicion; if you have not experienced this refreshing change in tone between the races, I not only feel sorry for you, I have to wonder what is it about YOU that prevents your seeing it....

"Blame the victim"...jeez, that's *rich*! Telling the officers that she asked for it, dressing like that, THAT is blaming the victim. Claiming your beating of the other guy is justified because he was black & in your neighborhood is *also* blaming the victim. Being an angry white guy with a chip on his shoulder - and getting noticed - doesn't make you a victim, and it doesn't get you blamed for the racism of the past unless you fight to defend the racism of the past. Or that of the present.

OOPS!!! Wrong thread (WTF???)

I don't know, chmood, I think the two threads are inextricably linked if you think about the last seven months of U.S. history.

Baucus let Limbaugh win this thread, too.

It's not true that Baucus got nothing out of the last few months. He got a weaker bill. If he had acknowledged the obvious one or two months ago that no Republican was ever going to vote for whatever bill he advocated, even if he gave them everything they asked for (as several, including Grassley, admitted), Baucus would have had to offer a more Democrat-friendly bill. This way he got to give away a public option and other things Dems want, claiming that the concessions would bring in Republican votes, and now the Dem-only bill is a lot weaker than a Dem-only bill would have been without Baucus' delay.

It sure seems like Baucus got what he wanted -- a lot of concessions made from the Dem-only optimum position.

Nothing to show for it? His campaign bank account would disagree.

Of literally all the Senate Republicans, she seems sincere in her desire to get a decent reform bill.

If she's sincere in her desire for a decent reform bill, she's a complete idiot. As Scott Lemieux points out over on LGM today, her position on reform is entirely incoherent, demanding that reform cost arbitrarily less while at the same time decrying it for insufficiently subsidizing insurance for low-income Americans.

To be honest, I don't have a strong position on whether she's incompetent or cynical. But I do sincerely hope that this is, in fact, the last word on Snowe. She has added nothing at all constructive to this process.

"It sure seems like Baucus got what he wanted -- a lot of concessions made from the Dem-only optimum position."

People on the Left/Progressive/Dem blogs are always complaining that they wish we had better, saner, more civil opposition party to joust with. We do. We have met the Blue Dogs and they are our saner opposition party. The screaming/hating wing of the GOP are just bystanders. Baucus did the same thing somebody from the opposition party always does when they get into a position with maximal leverage - he got the bill he wanted, or close to it.

His actions only seem weak, clueless, etc. if you assume that being a Democrat he has the same goals as the larger and more progessive wing of the party. On the basis of present evidence, I see no reason to think that. Just pretend that he is a moderate Republican, and that control of the committees in the Senate is split between both parties rather than belonging solely to the majority party, and this whole episode makes sense.

The next thing to do is exactly what we would do if the Finance Committee were controlled by the GOP and produced a Republican bill - which is to fight it on the floor of the Senate and try to get the votes for a Democratic bill instead.

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