(HotAir: Facing health-care oblivion, the left finally wonders: “Who really is Barack Obama?”)
....Well, let’s just say that being mentioned in the same breath as Dick Cheney isn’t quite the change BO would be looking for. Enter Greg Palast, who — after lambasting Obama for striking a secret deal with pharmaceutical companies that would, by his calculations, save a whopping 2% on the drugs Americans buy — wonders:
What else went down in Obama’s drug deal? To find out, I called C-SPAN to get a copy of the videotape of the meeting with the drug companies. I was surprised to find they didn’t have such a tape despite the President’s campaign promise, right there on CNN in January 2008, “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN.”
This puzzled me. When Dick Cheney was caught having secret meetings with oil companies to discuss Bush’s Energy Bill, we denounced the hugger-muggers as a case of foxes in the henhouse.
Cheney’s secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were creepy and nasty and evil.
But the Obama crew’s secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were, the President assures us, in the public interest.
We know Cheney’s secret confabs were shady and corrupt because Cheney scowled out the side of his mouth.
Obama grins in your face.
See the difference?
Yup. It’s heart-ache.
Take it away, Michael Brenner.
Let’s face the harsh reality — Obama has blown health care reform, big time. The opportunity of a lifetime has been squandered. The most recent revelations about backroom deals with Pharma and the other vendors of medical services drops the curtain on any hope of serious change in our costly and inefficient non-system. This is a painful admission to make. Not only does the country remain handicapped by grossly sub-par arrangements for health delivery, we also are burdened with a president who has been discredited as a progressive dedicated to a betterment of how we conduct public business….
It is Barack Obama who is to blame for this. For months, he stayed aloof from the out-of-control Congressional maneuvering based on a strange belief in some kind of bipartisan collective will emerging by osmosis. He never leaned the weight of his person and his office to elements of reform that has been touting as candidate and then President. He deceived the country by pursuing secret talks with the very lobbies who are the heart of disgraceful national health care situation. He entered into deals that were weighted heavily in their selfish interest rather than the national interest. In short, we have gotten from him the antithesis of what we were promised and expected — in the substance and process of policy both. We have instead a conventionally minded politician overly respectful of the status quo and deferential to those who control and profit from it, A man with no apparent fixed convictions.
That last part may be a little too harsh, because it’s clear that there’s at least one thing Barack Obama is fully and fixatedly convinced of: himself. The “opportunity of a lifetime” in health care is, of course, two-fold, because while there’s an ideological opportunity here for the Left to remake the health system — and like it or not, they think for the better — there also emerged a likely divergent political opportunity for Barack Obama to lasso a powerful interest group in the process. Two roads, one leading to Chicago-style politics, with a choice making all the difference......