Here’s another moment of irony, courtesy of Jake Tapper. John Conyers has erupted in frustration over Barack Obama’s lack of leadership on the ObamaCare legislation, and told Obama that personally in a phone call. Conyers had no hesitancy in disclosing the call to reporters, while the White House offered a more circumspect “no comment”:
Conyers said on the Bill Press Radio Show, as covered by Sam Stein at the Huffington Post: “I’m getting tired of saving Obama’s can in the White House. I mean, he only won (health care reform) by five votes in the House, and this bill wasn’t anything to write home about. The public option is only available, which is the only way you manage cost and get some competition to 1,300 other health insurance companies, the only way he could have got that through is that progressives held their nose and voted for it anyway.”
Asked if President Obama had shown enough leadership in that debate, Conyers said “Of course not, of course not. You know, holding hands out and beer on Friday nights in the White House and bowing down to every nutty right-wing proposal about health care, and saying on occasion that public options aren’t all that important is doing a disservice to the Barack Obama that I first met who was an ardent single-payer enthusiast himself.”
He said White House chief of staff doesn’t care that much about the content of the legislation.
“That is essentially what Rahm Emanuel has said: Just give us anything and we will declare victory,” said Conyers. “Not only is it not a victory, but when it doesn’t work, guess who will come at him: the same guys that were saying let’s go along with anything… This is all my buddy Rahm Emanuel trying to get anything. But look the bill doesn’t go into effect for three years. Many of the people that we are trying to help will be dead by then.”