Via Breitbart, your transparent White House lie of the day. If this were remotely true, Obama never would have flirted with health-care co-ops or reached out to Grassley and Snowe for political cover on a phony “bipartisan” bill. He’d have drawn a line in the sand, demanded the public option that he’s been dreaming of for years, and told the Blue Dogs that they can either get on board or face reconciliation in the Senate and an all-out media blitz from the White House press shop and lefty PACs. (And yes, reconciliation is feasible, even though it would be difficult.) Sure, it would have alienated the GOP, the centrist wing of his own party, and the growing majority that opposes ObamaCare, but so what? The dream of Hopenchange would have been realized. And according to our pal Gibbsy, that’s all that matters.

The hard truth for the left is that our supposedly genius president may be a one-termer anyway, precisely because he isn’t willing to make tough, risky decisions:

So imagine if Obama had focused on fixing the economy, and chosen presidential power over congressional accommodation and constructed his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a true, immediate stimulus without the pork and paybacks.

He then could have pushed through tougher regulation of financial institutions, making it clear people were paying for their sins, and would have a much harder time doing it again. This would have delighted the left and perhaps bought Obama more durable support among independents. Instead, the left thinks he’s beholden to investment banks, and much of the public sees no consequences for the financial mess.

Add in some serious budget cuts, and Obama would have positioned himself as a new kind of liberal with the courage to tame Washington and Wall Street, as promised. Under this scenario, Obama might be getting more credit for the economic recovery that appears to be under way. This would have positioned him to win health-care reform starting next year — a mighty achievement, and clear vindication against the doubters.

Now, with the public’s confidence in him shaken, he’s ready to accept a watered-down bill purely in the interests of getting something passed and saving political face — the precise opposite of Gibbs’s spin here. No wonder Krugman and the left feel betrayed.