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Time for a Dem proposal on O’Care fix. Time for the public option.

Let me preface this post by saying I’m an advocate of single-payer health care. Nothing I’m about to write negates that. I’m just writing about political reality.

Yesterday, four GOP Senators came out against the current Senate version of the odious TrumpCare ACA Repeal Bill, tossing a bit of a monkey wrench into their plans to move ahead to a vote.

Their internal fight makes this the perfect time for Democrats to roll out an Obamacare fix bill, and present a positive vision for the future of health care, to America.  Part of that vision must be introduction of a public option on the Obamacare exchanges, in the form of a Medicare buy-in.  Here’s why.

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The Biden Decision and the Biden Legacy

Recovering a legacy is no easy feat. Just ask Al Gore.

The most active Vice President in history, at that point, Al Gore was the point person on some of the Clinton administration’s most successful efforts, like Reinventing Government, to pushing through some of its more controversial policies, like NAFTA. But all of that is rarely associated with him, anymore.

Even with all of his yeoman work on the environment, Gore is remembered for the 2000 election. It even is the opening line to most of his speeches, joking, “I am Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States of America.”

From launching a network (and folding it) to environmental work, Al Gore has remained active, but his political cache has suffered. Even with George W. Bush stealing the election, and Ralph Nader running as a Green, most people are aware of one cold, hard truth. It should never have been close. Al Gore screwed it up.

It’s unclear if any of the above is part of the equation, as Joe Biden decides whether to make one final run at the White House. But it should be. Continue reading


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Progressives Rising

Piggybacking off my post from yesterday, Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo shows some other key victories for the “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party” in the new Congress.

The Democrats’ progressive wing is enjoying a renaissance since the party’s crushing defeat in the 2014 midterm election, chalking up victories and capturing the attention of congressional leaders on causes near and dear to their hearts.

Some of the change is structural. The election wiped out red state senators and House members in less progressive districts, reducing the new minority party to a more ideologically cohesive unit. The loss of the Democrats’ Senate majority also breaks a four-year holding pattern in which leaders had to cut deals with the conservative-dominated House, making it somewhat easier for them to stand or fall on principle.

“It’s very, very liberating,” said one Democratic Senate leadership aide.

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There’s Something Happening Here….

When I worked for Howard Dean, in the 2004 election, he used to like to quote Harry Truman in his stump speech:

“If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time.”

The point, when Howard Dean said it, was that far too many Democrats were trying to be like President Bush, in 2003, when the President’s popularity was soaring, but Dean was offering a real alternative.  Yet, it could just as easily apply to the many Democrats, especially in the South, who became nearly indistinguishable from Republicans, not just on issue, but in tone.

Lo and behold, the slow burn of so called Blue Dogs completed in 2014, and voters voted for genuine Republicans, across the board.

Finally, it seems like Democrats are finally taking the right lesson away from these losses.  In the past, they always seemed to answer defeat by moving more to the right, assuming the country wanted conservatism.  But, in the past few days, it is becoming apparent that, finally, Democrats realize they need to offer a real choice – a progressive choice.

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STRATEGY MEMO: GOP Might Literally Lock Obama Out of Capitol

When I say some Republicans want to “literally” lock President Obama out of the Capitol, I don’t mean “literally,” in the Joe-Biden-sense.  I mean it in the Oxford Dictionary sense.

That’s right – there is a growing chorus within the newly-minted GOP Majority to refuse the President’s request to deliver the State of the Union in the Capitol.

Last week, shortly before Thanksgiving, the idea that congressional Republicans might block President Obama from delivering a State of the Union address first crossed the political world’s radar. The New York Times published a quote from a prominent figure in conservative media pushing the argument; Breitbart News ran a column endorsing the move; and Politico noted unnamed “GOP aides and lawmakers” who like the idea.

Should the President try to come, I reckon it would involve closed, locked doors that would be ordered to stay shut, because if you’re going to go nuts, go fully nuts.

So, what should the White House do?

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