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Obama may lead a personal war on Fox or tell donors that Republicans do what they are told, but when it comes to healthcare reform, it’s bipartisanship or bust.

Somehow it’s OK to “screw Fox audiences” but not senators opposing the public option, even if the numbers are there. It’s been reported earlier that

Sources: White House Pushing Back Against Senate Public Option Opt Out Compromise

Apparently, now they are in it for the count:

It also suggests for perhaps the first time that the White House’s supposed hands off approach that ostensibly allowed the two chambers in Congress to craft their own bill has been discarded.

Remember how many times the “trigger” BS was uttered by Obama’s people on talk shows, then discredited by Obama? This time they work the same.. This report comes with it’s own non-denial:

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer issued the following statement. “The report is false. The White House continues to work with the Senate on the merging of the two bills. We are making good progress toward enacting comprehensive health reform.”

But meanwhile, Politico also has a pretty detailed report of what went on:

Obama told Senate Democratic leadership at the White House Thursday evening that his preference is for the trigger championed by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) β€” a plan that would allow a public plan to kick in if private insurers don’t expand coverage fast enough, a top administration official told POLITICO. It’s also a sign Obama is interested in maintaining a sense of bipartisanship around the health reform plan.

At that meeting, Obama did not sign on to a plan being floated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a different variation of the public option in the Senate bill

So what if Reid has the votes for that measly public option? Broder’s words from last summer come back:

The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85 percent of what he wants rather than a 100 percent satisfactory bill that passes 52 to 48.

85% of what he wants? That would bring in the question: What does Obama really want?

And that pretty much answers the question I had weeks ago.

But again, the puzzling question is: How can a president that so publicly spurns the opposition maintain pretenses that he is “bipartisan?”

We do know why – and it’s not because Olympia Snowe has hypnotized Teh One. It’s because the insurers are pulling Obama’s strings and they told him back in December: No public option! So, that’s what passes these days as “bipartisanship.” Reid may have his 60 votes, but Obama has his marching orders, so screw the 60 votes!

Not Your Sweetie

October 2009