Obama’s Single Payer Beat Down

State Sen. Obama (above) in 2003, back when he supported single-payer
healthcare. Obama changed his tune shortly thereafter.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
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.



When Barack Obama says "ouch",

 it means Progressives are starting to come out of their coma. When Obama says "how dare you?!!", it means that Progressives are starting to feel their strength. The next step is to get up Progressive candidates in every district and TAKE BACK OUR MOVEMENT!!! 
We MUST ignore the Obamacrats. Now they are boasting about Obama's congressional 'win' percentage. Are they insane? No, they are crazy like foxes, but we would have to be insane to listen to them. Each and every one of us knows from our own lives that anyone who wins all the time never accomplishes anything worth accomplishing (well, even a broken clock is right sometimes...). We all know from our own lives that one who is afraid to lose is simply afraid. They have been mastered by their fears, NOT THEIR HOPES. We Progressives have a dream, and it isn't a 95% 'win' rate and it isn't a second presidential term for Barack Obama. It's health care as a human right. It's restoration of the Constitution. It's fairness and sustainable growth in the economy. It's a truly free press. It's world peace, or at least cessation of US militarization, both at home and abroad. We have the right ideas. All we lack is confidence. We should have been getting our progressive challengers ready to go the day after the last election, when Rahm Emanuel was chosen by Obama as chief of staff. BUT IT'S NOT TOO LATE NOW!! Our Progressive Wave can start now, and it can begin to crest as soon as 2010. We may never have the money, and we may not have the Press, but we do have the ideas and the numbers, especially if we reach out to nonvoters and bring them back into the political process.

1st paragraph is a nice point. I was surprised to hear,

the other day, that there are 40 Blue Dog Dems. in
the House caucus of that name and 80 in the Progress-
ive caucus of the House of Reps. 
Good luck with getting good members of Congress.


When will the cult members wake up? Booker T. Obama, who never had a "universal healthcare" plan, doesn't even use the phrase "universal healthcare" anymore.


Haven't heard the term Obamacrats before bur it seems extremely appropriate. The man has been one big disappointment after another. I guess I shouldn't be surprised after watching his selection for his cabinet and chief-of-staff. I agree that it is time that we liberals (cum progressives) desolve the bonds that tether us to the corporatist that has ben installed as president. How can we make any real change though? History has demonstrated repeatedly that real change can not and has not come from within the system. How do we make our power felt by the greedy/spineless dim-o-crats that enable this charade to continue?

I prefer "Obamites"

But it is about the same.
There isn't a hair's worth of difference between a Bushie and a Obamite from an intellectual perspective.
Oh, and Glen rocks!

single payer and progressive's

I am getting a little tired of hearing the term "progressive".  I think I have said before and I will say again, what do we mean by progressive.  We should try to place this term in some sort of context, so we will know who and what we are talking about.  Margaret Kimberly's Article, "Dangerous Progressives" touched upon this dilemna if you can call it that, opening up a much needed debate.
Why do we even bother to define the people who are dancing to Obama's music and who do not have the courage of thier convictions, progressives.
Let us attach a definition to progressive.  Definition, a progressive is one who is an advocate for fundamental change in the structure of a society and is totally commited to the destruction of imperialism and does not at any time and for any reason support a leader or candidate for office who is a representative of any party or formation which is aligned with the forces of imperialism in all its manifestations.  A progessive supports , advocates and agitates for self determination, socialism, and calls for the formation of organizations to carry out this objective, with the right to form a military contingent to accomplish its goals.
Now, if one does not fit into this category and calls themselves progressive, we know they are no more than neo-liberals and American patriots.
It is time to draw the line so the people will know exactly what we represent and the nature of our objectives and goals. 
This is not meant to cast dispersions on anyone on this site, as it is the best site i know for those of us who want real change.  Glen Ford and his crew are doing an excellent job.  It is just a matter of claification.
peace, foward to victory. 

No doubt a followup commentary as Dems celebrate the

President's Health Care Plan, that is not singlepayer,
that is being touted as going to be passed before
August recess.  At the same time, I saw a piece of
AP story calling it "left leaning".  It's not singlepayer
nor medicare for all.  It's a "1984" media coverage
going simultaneously with the majority of the Democratic
Party celebrating too little...And since the Senate Bill
and the House Bill appear to Not Match,
I have learned to be suspicious of what the group from
each legislative "house" ends up with when in
conference "to make it match".  The people still want
singlepayer - medicare for all and the propaganda
machines blare on.
addenda: Because I ask G. Ford, above, in my
comment, I figured I have to do a little h.w. myself.
Because I am on Medicare, I hadn't examined the
two bills (House/Senate) carefully when I learned it's
not singlepayer, or HR676 (Conyers' Bill).  Today on
Doug Henwood ("Left Business Observer")"Behind
The News" radio show on WBAI www.wbai.org,
archived for 90 days, was an analyst from the
Physicians for National Health Care Program, NYC
Chapter, who teaches at Queens College (CUNY),
2nd half of show.  The two bills are nearly the same.
"minor changes" "does not change the private
health care" mess, and what the public option
has changed into.  Basically, it's the MA. state
plan to go "national": employers will provide health
care and force people to buy insurance.   My question
about "why are people celebrating?" when this is
not much was partly answered: the Dems. don't want
Obama to look like a failure, but the Congress is so
financed by the health care industry, they are not
going to make change, real change - even to the
point of health industry people "advising" on what
to put in the Bills. 
  Disclosure: I mention WBAI, but
I will mention the websites of the "fired and banned"
(by new coup WBAI management): WBAIX
www.wbaix.org  WBAI-in-Exile - produced by Don
DeBar (barred and fired from "WakeUpCall") -and
it has become, in a short time, a really wonderful
website with news videos and sound stories.  There
are a couple of Glen Ford commentaries, also.It's new.
  The other website, www.wbixradio.org is about
what is happening at WBAI and the fight to "undo the
coup",lots of videos, including rally/meetings.  It was
started the last time there was a coup at WBAI, about
9 years ago, and that coup was undone.

It's world peace, or at least

It's world peace, or at least cessation of US militarization, both at home and abroad. We have the right ideas. All we lack is confidence. We should have been getting our progressive challengers ready to go the day after the last election, when Rahm Emanuel was chosen by Obama as chief of staff.
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