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“Courageous” Friendly Fire.

“‘We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,’ an aide said. ‘There are lots of different ways to get there.‘” Granted it’s in Politico, which always needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but Team Obama is apparently floating another no-public-option trial balloon. “On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.

Hmmm. “Getting tough” with the Left (while having Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress) to impress people on the Right who can’t stand you and want you to fail.That doesn’t sound like change we can believe in either, and it’s going to turn off the people who got this president elected in droves. I fear the Third Way/DLC careerist cadre in and around the administration are blowing a historic opportunity here.

Update: “It’s so important to get a deal,’ a White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to be candid about strategy. ‘He will do almost anything it takes to get one.’” Sigh…I know I’m not a master tactician or anything, but, as with dropping single-payer right away, I would think telegraphing “we’re really really desperate” before coming to the table is not a very good negotiating strategy.

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