Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Was Obama a Sellout

I keep hearing this implication, that Obama somehow capitulated on his progressive principles. Let's be clear, Obama, as well as Hillary as well as Bernie as well as most Democrats would all like to have a single payer system, if we could just wave a magic wand; it is simply not possible unless we have a 65 to 70 seat majority in the senate. Please remember back to 2009, for a short time Democrats had a 60 vote majority in the senate. Remember Joe Lieberman who was hanging out with John McCain and flirting with switching parties. It took every one of those 60 votes to do anything. Obama and others suggested a single payer system or a public option but there were about 5 Democratic senators including Lieberman who were absolutely opposed. Therefore, Obama, being a pragmatist instead of a rigid ideologue, sat down with these conservative Democratic senators to hammer out a system that they would support and that would make life better for millions of Americans – Obamacare. For this, Obama has been called a sellout.
For Bernie or anyone else to pass a single payer system would require not just a 60 vote majority but probably a 65-70 senate majority. Short of this super-super majority in the senate, Bernie's big bold talk about single payer as well as breaking up the big banks or reforming Wall Street is just that – talk.
A president being a rigid ideologue will accomplish nothing; that is why Bernie for all his years in the legislature has never accomplished anything.

Would you rather have a president who will hold tight to his progressive principles or a president that will work with others to make people's lives a little better even though we don't get everything we want?

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