I just watched Howard Dean on Meet the Press, and while he’s not supporting the health care bill, he’s no longer arguing that we should “kill the bill.”
Dean acknowledged that a number of improvements have been made the the Senate version over the past week, and he insists more improvements need to be made in conference. Many of his points might be attainable, so we can expect more improvements as the conference gets underway.
He doesn’t support the bill, and he may not support the final compromise, but his arguments are now much more constructive in how the bill can keep improving. He didn’t mention the reconciliation process once, and he refused to repeat his suggestion that Democrats should kill the bill.
Paul Krugman is asking progressives to take a deep breath.
There’s enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill — and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That’s why progressive health policy wonks — the people who have campaigned for health reform for years — are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.
By all means denounce Obama for his failed bipartisan gestures. By all means criticize the administration. But don’t take it out on the tens of millions of Americans who will have health insurance if this bill passes, but will be out of luck — and, in some cases, dead — if it doesn’t.
The hysteria gripping the progressive movement is out of control, capped by Keith Olbermann’s melodramatic comment last night. Get a grip, keep negotiating, and pass a bill.
Here’s another example of why progressives can’t govern. If they don’t get what they want, many of them get self-righteous and go home. It’s pitiful.
I’m watching Keith Olbermann, and he’ll soon be giving a “special comment” and it looks like he agrees with Howard Dean. Dean’s notion that we can just go to reconciliation or take this up again next year or in two years is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in years. Killing the bill is a political disaster for Democrats, and for President Obama.
It’s a good bill. Get it passed.
Olbermann is arguing that reconciliation is a real option. It’s not. It’s a last resort for a reason – you can’t get much done with it. It’s messy as hell and will hold up a host of other progressive priorities. If this deal blows up, of course I support reconciliation, and if the threat of it helps move the last Senator now, then I’m all for the bluster. But the best option is to pass the bill now.
Fortunately, congressmen like Anthony Weiner are not rushing to side with Dean. That’s been left to the blowhards.
UPDATE: Markos was on Olbermann and sounded much more balanced on this issue. Surprisingly, he didn’t join the “kill the bill” chorus and expressed some hope the bill would be improved through the conference. Of course he was pessimistic as hell, but at least he’s not being as unhelpful as Howard Dean.
UPDATE 2: This is Olbermann at his worst. He’s focusing on the name-calling coming from the right. He’s lost in the politics. In his mind the bill will “cost Obama the left.” Really? He’s completely lost his mind.
It’s because his judgment stinks. His latest call to “kill the bill” is a ridiculous and irresponsible response to the latest round of negotiations in the health care bill. I understand his disappointment in the Lieberman fiasco, but the bill in it’s current form is a good bill. 31 million people will not have access to health insurance, with many of them getting generous subsidies from the government. The bill also has numerous cost controls that will change the way we pay for health care over time.
Progressives made a strong push for the public option. I understand their anger. I agree that they should encourage primary challenges to lawmakers who oppose the public option. But killing the bill is going too far.