Morgen on March 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) spoke with progressive media organization Democracy Now! today to discuss his decision to flip-flop and vote “yes” on the healthcare reform bill. Here’s a clip where he confirms the Politico story from earlier today that the President has been pleading with the holdouts that the fate of his presidency is on the line with this vote:
Kucinich of course is a long-time proponent of single-payer healthcare, and he was the last remaining holdout of the 70+ House progressives who had vowed not to vote in favor of a bill that did not include a public option. Along with saving Obama’s presidency, Kucinich also justified his flip-flop by arguing that passage of the bill would present a much better opportunity to continue the discussion on healthcare reform than if it fails. He and other hardcore liberals of course hope that this is only the first step towards the realization of their single-payer dream.
Personally I think Kucinich and others of his ilk are deluding themselves in this, and that they will be lucky to keep many of the provisions in this bill intact with the backlash coming their way this November and in 2012. Assuming the bill passes of course.
But what does it say for a President who came into office touting the need for unity and shared purpose, that he has had to resort to self-serving pleas about his legacy in order to convince members of his own party to vote for a bill that the American people are so overwhelmingly against? Can he really be this narcissistic, or was this just a cold political calculation on his part to do anything and everything within his power to pass this bill?