President Obama is mad, again, at the usual suspects: progressives that insist on speaking out in the people's interest on single-payer healthcare. He picked up the phone last week to warn lefties and unions to watch their mouths and get with his fuzzy program on healthcare – although even White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to know what that program is. “For Obama to 'win' his debate, the American people must lose.”
Obama’s Single Payer Beat Down
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Debate is permitted only to the Right of his own fuzzy position.”
President Obama has escalated his campaign to suppress single-payer healthcare advocates, hinting darkly that there will be repercussions if unions and activists persist in harassing his fellow center-right Democrats. In a pre-Fourth of July teleconference with Democratic congressional leaders, Obama lectured, “We shouldn't be focussing resources on each other. We ought to be focussed on winning this debate.”
The president was attempting to shut down paid media messages seeking to pressure corporatist Democrats to support some sort of public healthcare option – an option that Obama claims to favor, although in terms so vague his own chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, framed the issue as “negotiable.” The ads have been embarrassing to rightist Democrats who are Obama's true political soulmates and a bridge to Republicans he seeks to woo.
Obama's modus operandi is by now well known. His reflexive instinct is to lash out to his left when frustrated, to demand progressives stand down and await his marching orders – even when, as is the case most of the time, Obama's own direction is unclear, at best.
“Obama's reflexive instinct is to lash out to his left when frustrated.”
The objects of his ire are advertisements or fundraisers produced by MoveOn, Health Care for America and Democracy for America. MoveOn's advertising plans successfully pressured North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan to endorse the idea of a public health care plan. No matter. Obama demands that the Left - such as it is - stand down and let Obama do his thing, whatever that is.
The president's admonition that progressives focus “on winning this debate” rather than “focussing resources on each other” makes sense only to those operating under the delusion that Obama is in a real fight with corporate healthcare profiteers. In the real world, Obama is in shifting stages of embrace with Healthcare Inc. Debate is permitted only to the Right of his own fuzzy position, while the Left is shushed and hectored.
For Obama to “win” his debate, the American people must lose, since overwhelming majorities of the public support single-payer or a Medicare-for-all program, which Obama opposes. Obama has no principled program or irreducible objectives. He cares only that some kind of bill emerges to which he can claim bragging rights. Ideally, Obama would prefer to negotiate the broad outlines of legislation directly with the corporate healthcare profiteers, by assuring them his administration means their bank accounts no harm – a courtship that has been Obama's preoccupation ever since his swearing in.
“Obama has no principled program or irreducible objectives.”
The Left complicates Obama's agenda, because progressives want to achieve certain long-sought goals such as universal healthcare, housing as a right, wealth redistribution, etc., while Obama wants to be celebrated as the president that achieved a grand consensus that reconciles America's classes and races. Since, as we have repeatedly learned, he will never confront entrenched economic power, it is progressives that must shut up and sit down in order for the illusion of national consensus to work its magic. That's why Obama gets mad and starts calling people on the phone when his little progressive boys and girls make too much noise and upset the “grown folks.”
President Obama's pattern has been set. There's nothing authentically youthful and brash about him, really; less than six months in office, and he's already predictable. He is a poseur, who pretends to take bold (rhetorical) positions on stubborn issues, only to seek cosmetic solutions along lines of least resistance from those in power. On war, the bankers' meltdown, and now health care, it's the same story. The effect on his remaining legions of progressive supporters, is to make them appear more ridiculous by the day.
Black Agenda Report's graphic images are interactivity are back...
Of course we never left. But all our graphical images did, and our interactivity, the ability of users to comment on pages and even to join our free email subscription list. The images are back, and comments are back as well for users who take the time to register themselves. We promise to police our comments section too, so that your insights are not buried in spam.
Later today (Wednesday March 25) we will hang a gadget here which readers can use to join our free email subscription list, and we'll begin installing connectivity to social media like Facebook and Twitter, along with access to a page that lets you email the site publisher, among others.
Tomorrow we'll reconstruct menus to directly link to deep within some of our 8 years of stellar content. There are a number of improvements we expect to roll out over the next several weeks. So thanks to all those who asked. We look forward to being one of your sources for news, information and analysis from the black left.
The Real News Network presents the Glen Ford Report
Glen Ford explains that the shooting of police officers in Ferguson MO is NOT s setback for the movement.
Why you should comment on our articles here instead of Facebook
Facebook & Twitter are like rivers. If you're not standing by the bank when something floats by, it's gone. Good luck finding that brilliant conversation you had with somebody in a FB thread 2 or 3 weeks ago. People who "follow," "like," and "friend" you on FB may rarely or never see your posts, especially if they're answering someone else's, and those lacking that tenuous relationship are even less likely to see them.
So like and follow us on FB and Twitter, but when you post your comments on our articles here, anyone who finds the article finds the comment, now or a decade from now.
That's because Facebook respects your carefully thought out comment exactly as much as an emoticon or an LOL or STFU, LMFBAO, and needs to make room for the next one. Mark Zuckerberg doesn't respect you. We do. For lots more on how that works, listen to Jodi Dean below. And if you haven't already, register, login and comment on our articles. Comments are usually open for 30 days after an article is published.