Washington Everywhere I go in Washington, just like the rest of the country, but more intensely, the discussion is about health care reform and whether there’s any chance of pulling through anything at this point that would really be reform. Disturbingly, it seems the White House and the Congressional leadership is getting leveraged by narrow interests and having difficulty focusing on the meat and merits of reform.
A promise to Senator Baucus around revenue has led to a taxing problem on so-called “Cadillac” benefits, but voices from Rich Trumka at the AFL-CIO and many others are point out that the tax would go to fairly thin programs including a lot of plans that are part of collective bargaining agreements.
There now seems a cadre of folks in the House and a smaller number in the Senate who are trying to hijack the bill based on stripping out abortion and taking a promise from the President as part of the license to do so. Are we now throwing women under the bus as well?
The Times reported that some states, led by Arizona, are trying to act unilaterally to say that the state could “veto” an “individual mandate” that might come with a federal package.
The tactics seem to be overwhelming the strategy. This is not a debate but a dog pile it seems. Where’s the adult supervision?
My “friends” on the right seem to be using me as a source for an attack at yet another new target: Patrick Gaspard, political director at the White House.
I have huge admiration for Patrick and have enjoyed my dealings with him over the years. In almost 1400 blogs I’ve done, sometimes I don’t get it right, call it a senior moment or whatever it might be, but reading the blogsphere with me as a source took me back searching for whether or not I could be causing a problem here inadvertently. Patrick was never on the staff of ACORN. I double checked with people I still know there, and it appears that I dropped a stitch there. Hopefully my misstatement won’t lead to the White House throwing him in front of the bus in this rush to neo-McCarthyism that has become so prominent. In this case, my memory tricked me. I’m glad to carry the weight and simply say I made a mistake, and damned if I’m not sorry and hope no damage is done to a good man doing a hard job.
Let me quickly add, since I read Google alerts and have noticed that there is a attack squad at all manner of friends and associates I have had over the years, that for the formal record, I have NO friends. If there’s a problem with me, then bring it on, but for the rest of you, if you see me on the street, just nod and pass on by, if you are worried about it. Until we learn to all stand together and oppose this kind of blood sport political targeting, it’s going to be like this for a while. I’m just not sure how long it will take.