Obama, Stumping for Coakley, Picks a Fight with the Right Villains — A Little Too Late?
Just so there’s absolutely no ambiguity, let me get something out of the way: Democrats and progressives and anyone who doesn’t want crazy people running the country should get off their asses tomorrow and vote early and often for Coakley.
“Punishing” the Democratic Party by helping elect a Bush/Cheney Republican is the equivalent of cutting off your head to spite your nose hairs.
Grow the fuck up, please.
That out of the way, when I read these remarks by President Obama from yesterday’s appearance with Coakley, I cringed.
You know, we always knew that change was going to be hard. And what we also understood — I understood this the minute I was sworn into office — was that there were going to be some who stood on the sidelines, who were protectors of the big banks, and protectors of the big insurance companies, protectors of the big drug companies, who would say, you know what, we can take advantage of this crisis — because it’s going to be so bad, even though we helped initiate these policies, there’s going to be a sleight of hand here because we’re going to let Democrats take responsibility. We’re going to let them make the tough choices. We’re going to let them rescue the economy. And then we can tap into that anger and that frustration.
Yes, Mr. President. People are seriously pissed off at Wall Street. That’s why appointing a bunch of Masters of the Universe types to run treasury and your economic team — while telling the public their outrage is inappropriate — is problematic.
Yes, Mr. President. People hate insurance companies. That’s why delivering a health care bill that forces people to become their customers is problematic.
Yes, Mr. President. People hate the drug companies. That’s why cutting sweetheart backroom deals with them while you’re supposed to be reforming health care is problematic.
These universally loathed industries make excellent villains. People despise them, for plenty of good reasons. And as a bonus, going after them forces the other side to rush to their defense. Win-win.
But after you’re perceived — fairly or unfairly — of cozying up to them, it’s very tough to play that game.
Are Geithner and Summers in the pocket of Goldman? Was the health care bill a sellout to Aetna and Pfizer?
Maybe, maybe not. But the optics have been absolutely terrible.