Poor Senator Baucus (D-MT). He’s worked hard over the past several months to find a compromise between Republicans and Democrats regarding health care reform, finally giving up and issuing his own plan when he couldn’t convince moderate-to-liberal Republicans to go along. So, what does he get for his troubles? Booed at one of President Obama’s (many, many) rallies:
President Obama’s mention of Sen. Max Baucus’s healthcare proposal drew boos Thursday at a healthcare rally at the University of Maryland.
By contrast, the left-leaning crowd cheered Obama when he endorseed a public health insurance option, which is considered a core provision for liberal lawmakers but is absent from Baucus’s (D-Mont.) proposal.
The president’s speech in College Park, Md., was part of a return to campaign mode aimed at his attempts to drum up support for his embattled healthcare proposal.
I’d boo and hiss, too, but that’s because I think the whole idea of a federal-government takeover of health care (which is what even Baucus’ plan is a Trojan Horse for) is a terrible idea. Baucus tried to find a compromise, but wound up angering the President’s hard-core supporters, the left-wing that wants a public option – something the President himself called for in his recent speech to a joint session of Congress.
And therein lies Obama’s problem: if he doesn’t compromise somewhat, he won’t get that fig leaf of cover that votes from squish Republicans like Snowe and Collins would provide. But, if he insists on the public option, he’ll get no Republicans and surely lose many of the moderate to conservative Democrats (and perhaps some not-radical liberals) who are genuinely concerned about costs or who have heard their constituents’ anger and are worried about the next election. It’s amazing to see how paralyzed the Democrats are, given their hold on the presidency and their overwhelming control of both houses of Congress. In spite of all that, I’m beginning to think ObamaCare is itself on life-support.
Meanwhile, poor Max.
UPDATE: Kimberly Strassel in the Wall St. Journal argues that Baucus was used by the Administration, and is now to be thrown under the bus.