Susie Madrak, writing at the appropriately named Crooks and Liars believes that Obama has done (only) ten things wrong on health care (my thoughts in non-italics):
1) Obama outsourced the legislation to Congress instead of presenting it himself and working with them to write the details. He thought he'd outsmart the GOP by doing the opposite of the Clinton plan, but instead the bill is now lost on a sea of "compromise."
Far be it that the Messiah should let the Legislative branch legislate.
2) Bipartisanship. You just can't work with ideologues that refuse to operate in good faith. They're true believers; they will never give an inch. You'd think Obama would have picked up that little lesson while studying the Clinton era.
Hey, you’re in charge. Why listen to the losers if it means coming up with a health care plan that everyone can live with?
3) Blue Dogs. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi need to come up with new strategies, since kissing their collective Blue Dog butts only inflates their already-swollen egos. Someone (Obama?) should lay down the law. Put them in the worst offices, cut their staff budgets until they cooperate. Lyndon Johnson wouldn't be holding their hands.
That’s the ticket, emulate Lyndon Johnson. And if you’re going to have an enemy’s list you might was well start with the members of your own party.
4) Single payer. It would have been so much easier if we'd started with it. Hell, we might even have won - and it's simple enough that most people would understand. But whatever.
We all want single payer, why play nice and pretend otherwise? You have the majority, ram it down their throats!
5) He should have come out fighting for the public option earlier this year. Instead, he let the opponents (and the insurance companies) define the public perception. BIG rookie mistake.
Obama is a know nothing rookie? Who knew?
6) It's one thing to meet with relevant stakeholders (insurance companies, Big Pharma, etc.) It's another thing to trust them. (See Otter, "Animal House": "You f***ed up, you trusted me!")
Excuse me, the American public are the biggest stakeholders in this fight. Remember us?
7) He should have included a public advocate to speak for ordinary people in every healthcare meeting. (Hell, does he even HAVE a public advocate? Because he should. I'm available.)
Um, no offense Susie, but I’m thinking you wouldn’t make the best advocate for “ordinary” people.
8 ) Obama is just not good at explaining complicated things to ordinary people, especially when he's not working from a script. He drones on and goes off on tangents. He should use more surrogates, Michelle might have done a better job. Hell, Bo might have done a better job. (I understand the political reasons he didn't ask Bill Clinton, but that may have been a fatal error. The Big Dog would have sold the hell out of the healthcare plan.)
Back on the “ordinary people” thing. Why don’t you just call us what you really think we are: schmucks.
9) The President should have made it clear from the beginning that the main focus of this bill is to make life better for Americans. All that blah blah blah about "bending the cost curve" and "controlling costs" only fed the public paranoia about rationing. (All he had to do was compare the public option to the assigned risk pool for auto insurance, and they would have gotten it.) Yes, in one of his speeches, he talked about how the bill would give everyone security, but when you're selling something, you need to stay on message. He's given us so many reasons why we should support this bill, I can't even remember them all - and I'm actually paying attention!
I can’t think of any reason that Obama has given us to support this bill, at least none that aren’t bald faced lies.
10) Don't negotiate from the middle, damn it. Ask for the moon and stars, and work your way toward the middle, or risk people thinking you're a corporatist tool. (Ahem.)
Obama is the most far left, radical president we’ve ever had. Why is The Won pretending otherwise?
The long and sort of it is that the Dems own the Presidency and both Houses. They are over the "nuance" thing and want Obama to act more like the Bulldozer and Chief. Problem is, if, and it is a big if, Obama holds any kind of majority opinions on his side, it is by the slimmest of margins. Despite his lack of experience, Obama knows that he is standing in the middle of a pond and the ice is cracking all around him. Nobody, including Obama, believes that for The Won this isn't all about all about him and his legacy. The last thing he wants to do is fall through the ice just six months in.