Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 25, 2009

GRASSLEY GIVING UP ON WHITE HOUSE TALKS?.... Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) hosted a conference call with Iowa reports today, and was kind enough to post a transcript of the discussion online. As Chris Harris noted, there was one especially important exchange.

"Senator, I was wondering if you see any light at the end of the tunnel in terms of any type of compromise on health care reform?" a reporter asked. "Do you anticipate there will be some way that you can work that measure out with the administration?" The conservative senator replied:

"I don't think it's going to be possible to work it out with the administration because they're all over the field -- all over the ball park, I guess, as we say.

"And, you know, one weekend, the secretary of HHS is saying you don't have to have a public option. The next day, the administration gets hit from the left, so the Obama says public option is still very, very important to them.

"And you know what public option is? It leads to single-payer, completely government-run health care system and no choice. And we want to preserve choice for our people -- and so, from that standpoint.

"But, yes, I do believe it's possible to reach an agreement. But I have to confess to you to be a little more cautious when I say that now, because I've been out here listening to my constituents." [emphasis added]

Let's put aside the fact that Grassley, after months of negotiations, still doesn't really understand what the public option is all about. Instead, note that Grassley said he doesn't think it's "possible to work it out with the administration," and then he also thinks it is "possible to reach an agreement."

And his complaint is that the White House is "all over the field"?

Chris Harris added, "If the Senator controlling bipartisan negotiations cannot even agree with what he said a mere 15 seconds earlier, how can he be trusted to earnestly work toward a constructive long-term solution for our broken health care system?"

Steve Benen 3:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (10)

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Comments

I'm so glad Obama turned over the fate of this country to such an honest, well-meaning man.

Posted by: Go, Sestak on August 25, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oh for chris-sakes, even I can figure this out. Its all about sound-bites. In one swooping statement, Mr. WTF Chuck-his self has provided his media team with two different clips - for them to dice/cut/paste/clip as needed.

- sigh - snark - sob -

Re-puke-licans: taking "talking out of both sides of mouth" to an art form.

Posted by: sduffys on August 25, 2009 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK


grassely is obviously a plot by aliens to make the citizens of the most powerful nation on earth heads explode.

Posted by: mr. irony on August 25, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Don't want to make the guy look like he has half a brain or anything... but I think it's Congress that's working out the healthcare legislation, not the "administration".

Posted by: converse on August 25, 2009 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Let's put aside the fact that Grassley, after months of negotiations, still doesn't really understand what the public option is all about.

Steve, I think you are mistaken. As much as I dislike Grassley I do think a public option will lead, over the course of several decades perhaps, to a single payer system. The only difference I have with Grassley is that I think it would be a very good thing.

Posted by: nonplussed on August 25, 2009 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The Congressional leaders of my party are political cowards! Grassley and his like-minded obstructionists should be more honest with the American people and stand for what they believe - no health care reform, no recovery policies, no surrender regarding Bush's foreign policy debacles, and a very hugh hope President Obama fails.

Yes Republican leaders, I could respect you more if you would merely stand firmly upon your political ground and not continue making up shit to scuttle health care reform while smiling and proclaiming FALSELY your support for reform. You are full of Bull Shit, and if and when real reform is passed, you will be voted out of office because of your cowardice! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on August 25, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think he's trying to say that he can't work with the administration because they don't know what they want -- but he _can_ work with Senate peers. He needs to keep saying the latter because that delay just becomes indefensible if it's not to "negotiate" but rather obviously to "waste time."

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on August 25, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Senility aggravated by extreme fear.

Posted by: bob h on August 25, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just goes to show you, Republican or Democrat, Obama or Bush, they all suck and non of them have a clue what it takes to earn a living and keep your family safe.

Posted by: just a middle class guy on August 25, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK
Let's put aside the fact that Grassley, after months of negotiations, still doesn't really understand what the public option is all about.

Steve, you're right that this isn't what the public option is (as it appears in any of the committee bills); but, as nonplussed above proves, a very large portion of the left believes exactly what Grassley claims.

What I've noticed since the issue of the public option exploded into angry debate on the left a few weeks ago is that none of the many blogs I read on a daily basis have dealt with, or admitted even in a passing fashion, that a large portion of the left believe that the public option is just as expansive and transformative as the townhall protesters and rightwing pundits portray it to be.

That being the case, it seems very disingenuous to repeatedly castigate the right for misrepresenting the public option while remaining silent on the fact that a large portion of the left agrees with this misrepresentation.

If so many on the left argue either that A) an expansive and transformative public option which is the equivalent of a single-payer system is what is contained in these bills; or B) an expansive and transformative public option is the eventual consequence of the public option as contained in these bills; then why is it so dishonest for the right to agree with this?

Sure, it seems to me that the right is deliberately misrepresenting the public option. But that leaves for me the problem of evaluating the confusion and misrepresentation of the public option on the left. It's certainly true that, unlike the right, the politicians, bloggers, and pundits aren't the ones making these false claims about it. Yet it's also true that the politicians, bloggers, and pundits on the left are utterly silent on this confusion among the grassroots left. Why is that?

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on August 25, 2009 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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