And now Chairman Baucus may be forced out of his chairmanship. The progressives are finding their roar.
In an apparent warning to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), some liberal Democrats have suggested a secret-ballot vote every two years on whether or not to strip committee chairmen of their gavels.
Baucus, who is more conservative than most of the Democratic Conference, has frustrated many of his liberal colleagues by negotiating for weeks with Republicans over healthcare reform without producing a bill or even much detail about the policies he is considering.
Although I love the President's Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's tenacity and pugnaciousness, he's flat wrong about what's driving Democratic majorities, and he appears to be stuck in the years that made him, the Clinton years when the right scared the pants off all of them and they tucked tails and ran away from HCR, condemning Americans to another 16-20 years of a failed and predatory health care system that is a joke to all other western developed nations. A joke. A farce. A true American tragedy for millions.
I have to think as competitive as Barack Obama is, he knows the score and what has to happen.
Let's see you get serious, Mr. President. Let's see a staff shake-up over this.
Leak to the press, Mr. President, that so-called compromise bent too far, and your home team will now get this into the end zone. Tell them that Republicans stuck a dagger in the back of the SFC chairman and you gave them a chance, like with the stimulus bill, to come to the table, and a few did - but only to poison the effort.
Lay out the final plan Mr. President. Give the Progressive Caucus the final plan, and tell them to drive it home and to your desk.
That will set up the next 3 years for getting your agenda done. And when good-faith moderate Republicans want to come to the table to contribute and not poison, they can always be welcome.
But there are no good-faith players in the Republican party right now, and until they get their shit together, there is no reason to be dealing with them.
Tell the Republicans, Mr. President, to get their shit together before you bring them back to any table.
Enjoy your beer this afternoon. Please use it to talk about the stimulus (municipal jobs) and health care reform.
Texas: Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Barbara Jordan, Lloyd Bentsen, Jim Hightower, Dan Rather, Ron Paul, Willie Nelson, LBJ