From tonight’s fundraiser. You have to read between the lines, but you don’t have to read too hard.
So what happens if the bill in Congress does not pass? It’s an election year, Obama said to remember.
“If Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not. And that’s how democracy works, with the elections coming up. And they will be able to make a determination, and register their concerns one way or the other during election time.”
Percentage of Americans who think Congress is/isn’t doing “the right thing for them” by passing this bill: 38/51. You might think that a guy who sees catastrophe on the horizon if this doesn’t get done would be bringing every ounce of presidential power he has to bear on making sure that it does. But you would be wrong:
“The president was weighing in pretty heavily on the discussions between the House and Senate before the Massachusetts special [Senate] election,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told Huffington Post. “It’s dried up since.”…
Brown’s lament was echoed in conversations with several high-ranking Senate aides this past week, many of whom agreed that the administration’s involvement in health care negotiations has declined since Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race…
All of which has struck Sherrod Brown and others as somewhat peculiar. Most observers of the debate believe that the best way to get legislation passed is to follow the suggestion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), who said that the Senate needs to make a firm commitment (either in writing or action) to amend its legislation. Whatever steps can be made to facilitate that process would seem important. But the administration is so far declining to engage.
Verrrry peculiar. So peculiar, in fact, that Al Franken reportedly went nuclear on Axelrod after The One’s Q&A with Democrats yesterday about why Obama wasn’t using more leverage to get the Senate to use reconciliation. It’s a good question. Obama’s ass isn’t on the line in November; what does he have to lose by twisting arms in the senior chamber to whatever extent he can to pass this thing? Or is it more a case of him realizing that with the 60th vote gone and defeats in Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts on his record, he really has no more leverage available to use?
Either way, savor the thought that after just a year of Hopenchange, the big O himself would be forced to warn his own party of looming electoral catastrophe.
Update: Keep up the great work, champ.