(Another odd posting day...)
I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously wondering where the Democratic presidential campaign of Barack Obama is going these days.
And I’m not just saying this because I support John Edwards; I respect Senator Obama very much for a variety of reasons, but this tells you that he recently pronounced the health care initiatives of the Clinton Administration (of which Hillary was a big part, of course) as “doomed by secrecy,” and that is why related legislation was never passed or signed into law.
Now I know that the source I linked to here is the tabloid New York Sun, which isn’t exactly going to give the Dems a fair shake. However, we’re talking about a quote here, not some subjective, negative freeper spin.
I would ask that Senator Obama read this Wikipedia article on the Clinton health care plan, specifically the following…
Starting on September 28, 1993, Hillary Clinton appeared for several days of testimony before five congressional committees on health care. Opponents of the bill organized against it before it was presented to the Democratic-controlled Congress on November 20, 1993. The bill was a complex proposal running more than 1,000 pages, the core element of which was an enforced mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage to all of their employees through competitive but closely-regulated health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The full text of the November 20 bill (the "Health Security Act") is available online.The article goes on to state how the otherwise formidable Daniel Patrick Moynihan (whose one-time seat in the Senate HRC now occupies) savaged the proposal, with the party thus scattering after taking that lead, to the point where a compromise by Senator George Mitchell was defeated in 1994.
Conservatives, libertarians, and the insurance industry staged a campaign against the "Health Security" plan and criticized it as being overly bureaucratic and restrictive of patient choice. The effort included extensive advertising criticizing the plan, including the famous Harry and Louise ad paid for by the Health Insurance Association of America, which depicted a middle-class couple despairing over the plan's supposed complex, bureaucratic nature. Time, CBS News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor ran stories questioning whether there really was a health-care crisis.
Am I going to tell you that Hillary managed the task force assigned to come up with this legislation as expertly as she could have? No. Am I going to argue instead that maybe all the groups that attacked her in response to her testimony could have exerted a bare minimum of effort to work with her and try to hash out the issues? Yes.
And for the Obama campaign to state that the Clinton health care initiative was “doomed by secrecy” plays into the same false narrative that helped derail the plan to begin with.
Also regarding Obama, we have none other than “Genghis” Cohen of the New York Times extolling his virtues today merely on the basis that “he is the candidate who most mirrors the 21st-century world.”
This would be a nice tribute if it were to come from anyone else besides “concern troll” Cohen; one tipoff is that he refers to the presidential candidate as “Barack Hussein Obama.” Another is the fact that Cohen cites such noted “progressives” as Andrew Sullivan and Michael Ignatieff as supporters of Obama; Sullivan’s lack of cred has been well documented by Atrios, among others, and Ignatieff is a one-time Iraq hawk who has now apparently recanted (the subject of which being a positively hilarious post by David Rees at HuffPo here, well worth your time if you can spare a few minutes).
And another tip that Cohen is “dealing from the bottom of the deck” comes from the following excerpt…
“Mexicans want evidence that things are shifting, which means the Democrats, and of course a woman like Hillary Clinton, or a black like Obama, would signal a huge cultural change,” said Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister.Ha ha ha, Roger. Of course, if someone really wants a laugh, they can read about your previous attempts at “journalism” for the Times here, here and here.
“My sense is the symbolism in Mexico of a dark-skinned American president would be enormous. We’ve got female leaders now in Latin America — in Chile, in Argentina. But the idea of a U.S. leader who looks the way the world looks as seen from Mexico is revolutionary.”
Of course, Mexicans aren’t electing the president. Nor are Canadians, even if Michael Moore thinks they should.
Getting back to Senator Obama, part of me thinks it’s good that he’s going through these stumbles in his campaign, since it is bound to help John Edwards.
But it’s bad for the party when such a visionary presence muffs the Donnie McClurkin fiasco, then resuscitates the supposed Social Security crisis, and now takes a page from the RNC playbook in an attempt at one-upsmanship over a primary opponent, thus doing more damage to his campaign than episodes noted here ever could.
Update 11/16/07: What Krugman sez...