Assigned Reading: Under Fire, Obama Shifts Strategy
So, what does this mean? Well, before anything else, it should be noted that if there is a shift here, it is from Obama only. As I pointed out on August 16 by using their very own words to dismiss the notion that the “public option” is somehow not an essential element of their plan, Obama’s Democratic Party colleagues will not be as quick to euthanize the public option they want so badly.
From this point on, though, everything I see from David Axelrod and the head flunkies in the West Wing makes me think that dropping the “public option” could be more of an exercise in semantics than anything else. When Axelrod says things like “[w]e’re entering a new season” and “[i]t’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done,” it makes me believe that he is preparing to go to the mattresses and wage war with a focus on spin.
Obama’s White House will need to convince an increasingly untrusting American people that health care co-ops, despite being federally funded, staffed and organized, will be somehow different than the so-called “public option.” Similarly, they’ll need to convince us that the economy is stable enough to sustain the blow that the Democrats’ health care reform package will bring.
It’s going to be smoke and mirrors, folks. That’s what this little tid-bit from the White House means. In Axelrod’s own words: “We’re going to approach it in a different way.”
Should we be happy that our involvement changed the nature of the debate? Absolutely! Should we become complacent? Absolutely not.