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September 18, 2009

Baucus Bill Booed at Obama Speech

Heh. Not good news for Democrats.

Baucus wasn't just trying to find some agreement between the Far Left and Grassley, Enzi, and Snowe. He was trying to satisfy his own party's centrists. The bill was an attempt to gain votes from skittish senators like Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, and Joe Lieberman. They've been praising it.

Oops.

President Obama's mention of Sen. Max Baucus's healthcare proposal drew boos Thursday at a healthcare rally at the University of Maryland.

By contrast, the left-leaning crowd cheered Obama when he endorseed a public health insurance option, which is considered a core provision for liberal lawmakers but is absent from Baucus's (D-Mont.) proposal.

Amusingly, those folks cheering are out of step with a majority of voters, placing Obama—no matter how hard he tries—out on the Far Left of this issue. This is a departure from his usual strategy and I think it is entirely unintentional.

See, usually he identifies the "noble" progressive position, picks out some villains on the Right, but then presents a fakey "third way." But not this time. No matter how much he squirms he's out on the left flank.

Ultimately, I think he'll sign any healthcare bill that crosses his desk. But with his speech last week, he's really wedded himself to the government option. Now he's got to ride that tiger.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:20 AM

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