The New York Times describes the desperate efforts of White House courtiers and advisors to prevent full-scale revolt. They failed.
In the great health care debate of 2009, President Obama has cast himself as a cold-eyed pragmatist, willing to compromise in exchange for votes. Now ideology â€” an uprising on the Democratic left â€” is smacking the pragmatic president in the face.
Stung by the intense White House effort to court the votes of moderate holdouts like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, liberals are signaling that they have compromised enough. Grass-roots groups are balking, liberal commentators are becoming more critical of the president, some unions are threatening to withhold support and Howard Dean, the former Democratic Party chief, is urging the Senate to kill its health bill.
The White House scrambled Thursday to tamp down the revolt, which has been simmering for weeks but boiled over when the Senate Democratic leadership, bowing to Mr. Lieberman, scrapped language allowing people as young as 55 to buy into Medicare.
Pass this “heinous mandate” at your peril, Senators, warns Keith Olbermann.
The Kos says remove the mandate or kill the billl.
In the New Republic, Ed Kilgore warns that Barack Obama has achieved the perfect political storm, a tactical convergence between the left and the right in opposition to his policies.
(O)n a widening range of issues, Obama’s critics to the right say he’s engineering a government takeover of the private sector, while his critics to the left accuse him of promoting a corporate takeover of the public sector. They can’t both be right, of course, and these critics would take the country in completely different directions if given a chance. But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it.