Sometimes, when you are playing both sides against the middle, you can forget where you are. But since Barack Obama is supposed to be one of the smartest presidents we've ever had, I won't be giving him the benefit of the doubt on his "now you see me, now you don't" stance on the public option.
There are so many trial balloons floating over Washington this afternoon, you'd think it was the Thanksgiving parade.
I didn't vote for a weatherman for president.
I'm not interested in which way the wind is blowing.
What I want to hear President Obama, "Mr. Noncommital" himself, tell me is something he can stick to this week and next week and the week after.
There is a point in any negotiation when you have to draw a line in the sand and stand pat. President Obama obviously has not reached that point yet, with his willingness to weaken the public option even more to accommodate Senator Snowe today.
I guess this was all just "negotiating practice" for the next initiative he wants to unveil, because at this point they are just killing time until a vote.
The ugly truth that the White House and Harry Reid and even the media don't want to face up to is how empty the threat of a filibuster has become.
Can you imagine John Boehner pissing in a trashcan at the senate podium? Can you picture Mitch McConnell fighting sleep as he reads Shakespearean sonnets in front of the entire senate?
Harry Reid himself was one of the last legislators to attempt use the filibuster to stop business in the Senate. From the accounts I've read it was a disaster.
In reality, it very likely would be a silent and faceless process, which would be even worse in these times of Youtube, Photoshop, and the blogosphere.
Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly don't have to run for office. Senators do.
Maybe the president and the Democrats haven't realized this yet, but as short as the attention span of the American public is, we will always see healthcare reform as a Democratic effort. As an Obama initiative.
The president can stand in the middle of the road all he wants. He can fake left and go right like does on the basketball court, but the public is not going for the head fake.
In basketball parlance, its time for the president to commit. To "take it in the lane" and bang his way to the basket.
The public, the same public who is still broke while the fiddlers serenade the Wall Streeters who are down to their last few millions, has no reason to be excited about a legislative victory, especially if it is an empty one.