Today's blog is being written before the White House health care proposal is released at 9am CT.
NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Stipulation: White House advisors are smarter than you and me. Still, I’m always puzzled when I can’t figure out a political game plan. And I can’t figure out what the Obama White House wants to do with today’s health care proposal.
If the proposal is a hybrid of the bills that have already passed the House and Senate, it’s a non-starter. It won’t get the 60 votes needed in the Senate.
If it’s a bill that contains financial components only that could be passed through reconciliation (where only 51 votes are needed in the Senate), it would appear to be even more politically-damaging for Democrats on Capital Hill.
If it’s just a stripped down bill that includes only the most basic elements that democrats and republicans agree on, like insurance portability and a ban on dropping coverage for the sick, it will be played as a GOP victory, reigning in liberal excess.
Or perhaps it’s all about negative politics, where the White House is proposing something they know won’t pass – just so Republicans will have to oppose it. Call it the “We’re dragging you down, too” strategy. If that’s the plan, we’ll know for sure on Thursday. The President always wins one-on-one showdowns with members of Congress. The Presidency is a more powerful office than even the Speaker of the House and Senate majority leader, and the GOP doesn’t have either of those offices.
Since I can’t figure out the White House strategy, I’m wondering if the game plan is policy or cynicism.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau