Obama retreating from the public option? Don't you believe it!

by CynthiaYockey on September 2, 2009

My Obama Prevarication Predictor says that whenever a consensus develops opposing anything Obama favors, within 72 hours of the consensus developing he will announce he either no longer wants the thing OR that he is the personification of reason and compromise over the thing — whatever “the thing” du jour is. Currently it is the public option in Obamacare, the impenetrable and mischievous and ever-changing collection of proposals to nationalize the healthcare industry without really helping the people it purports to help.

I just noticed Healthcare Horserace is quoting Politico and announcing that Obama is willing to drop the public option. DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT. Obama uses announcements like this to get his opposition* to believe they’ve won so that they will leave the field of battle and stop paying attention. Then he does whatever he wants, usually within about 72 hours, and usually the opposite of what he said he would do. So NOW is the time to pay even MORE attention to what Obama and the Democrats are doing when it comes to the public option.

Defcon 2, people. I mean it. Defcon 2 on the public option.

*He does this to his purported friends and allies, too, so they won’t be paying attention when he’s cheating them. That was his strategy when he signed an order for the environment in July that the greenies wanted and hours later agreed to clear-cutting in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.

H/T: Memeorandum has a round-up on the story, which I didn’t see until after writing this post.

Update, 9/2/09: Sometime after the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky retired, I saw an interview where he explained one of the secrets of his genius at playing hockey: the game was not random to him — he perceived AND remembered patterns in the movement of the puck and the responses of all the players. The result was that he knew where the puck would be five or six moves ahead of time, so he would have plenty of time to skate to the place he expected the puck to be and decide which path through the other teams’ defense was the most expeditious one to scoring a goal.

(I just Googled to check the spelling of Gretzky’s name and found that this quote of his is justifiably famous and alternately given as: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been,” and “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”)

My point is that Obama has used the tricks in his playbook of deceit and treachery so many times now and with such contempt for the intelligence and will of his opponents that he seems completely unaware that he has become predictable. Meanwhile, the Right is becoming Wayne Gretzky, able to predict his actions five or six moves in advance and skating to that spot to be ready to take the puck.

And how apt that my analogy comes from the game of hockey, because our best player on the Right is a hockey mom in Wasilla, Alaska — you can tell which one she is in that pack of pit bulls by her lipstick — who is able to see through Obama’s game plan and take the puck away from him armed only with her Facebook page and we few, we happy few, we band of bloggers.

Update, 9/2/09: Over at The Other McCain dear Stacy notes that Obama and his flying monkeys are in full-throated hysteria mode now that he is melting, MELTING — “Don’t throw that water! You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting, melting! Oh, what a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!”

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sybilll September 2, 2009 at 7:39 pm

They will wrap the redux into something palatible like *Secure Care* (a great suggestion I saw on a DU thread), and all will be well in health insurance reform. What happened to healthCARE reform, by the way?

rhamning September 2, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I love your analogy. I watched my sons play hockey for several years – goaltenders both – and they learned early in their years to pay attention to the players who were the best skaters, and who positioned themselves not where the puck was, but where the puck wasn’t, but was likely to be at some point. Had Gretzky’s opponents been able to match his extraordinary skating and/or “prophetic” abilities, he may have turned out to be just another hockey player. President Obama must contend with a public who are much better informed than the public about whom Saul Alinsky and Karl Marx wrote. How could they ever have imagined the internet and the impact it would have on the transfer and sharing of information and knowledge? Their philosophies and strategies depended upon a public – “the masses” – who were poorly informed. Our President may be an extraordinary skater, perhaps the best of all those who skate, but his game is based upon assumptions that no longer apply. Far too many of us now see the position to which he is skating without the puck, and we are ready to “check” him as soon as it is legal – as soon as he receives the pass. The goaltender is no longer left hanging trying to defend against a skater moving in on him alone, an unknown entity, with moves that seldom can be accurately foreseen. If we can just remember that the vast majority of people are good and decent people, and that, armed with knowledge and truth, they/we will choose “the good”, we will know that we are not defenseless, not without influence, and not in danger of being faked out with a last minute move that we could not have foreseen.

By the way, … I learned all of this in my years long ago studying and living in Ames, a town populated by good, decent and well informed people. Also, Gretzky was such a great skater, and so far beyond all others, that it wouldn’t have mattered if his opponents could forecast his future position. He would have skated right past them just as they thought they had their goaltender well protected. President Obama may be a great skater, but he has not yet shown himself to be on the level of Gretzky. In fact, I would suggest that his manic rush into “change” has revealed the fundamental narcissism, and the fatal flaw, that you have discussed many times. Gretzky never would have fallen into the deep hole of believing he “had it made” just because he was such a great skater. He always remembered his roots, the hard work that went into building the skill, and the subtle skills required to remain “hidden” and undetected as he drifted to that position on the ice from which he could swoop in on the goaltender and fake him out with a quick and almost indiscernible flick of the wrist.

Cynthia Yockey September 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm


Thank you for your comment and for adding insight to my hockey analogy.

As for Obama being comparable to a great skater, I don’t see it. He does not speak or act like a well-educated man. He does not have much interest in policy. If we had to have a Democrat as president, we would be much better off with Hillary Clinton. She is both a politician AND a policy wonk.

Starting with Obama’s July 22 prime-time press conference, it has begun to be entertaining to watch his performances: contradicting himself, making ignorant pronouncements as if there were no one in the world willing and able to correct him or who has more expertise, or letting the mask fall, as he did when he condemned the very appropriate actions of Sgt. Crowley in arresting Prof. Gates.


Peter September 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Sybilll, they don’t CARE about your health. They just want to get their hands on the money in that industry. Obama started lusting for it when his darling Wookie got that three-fold raise when he went from State Senator to US Senator, all for sending patients away from her place of business.

rhamning September 3, 2009 at 12:55 am

Cynthia …

I think you are correct in what you say, and that I did not detail my analogy sufficiently. But, let me comment first on great skaters, and it will have relevance later.

I did not understand skating until my sons took up hockey and opened the door for me to live out my childhood dream that my family could never afford. I grew up idolizing Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Pierre Pilote (yes, I lived and died with the Chicago Black Hawks), and I was thrilled when my sons told me they wanted to play hockey when they were young. Determined to be the father mine could not be, I joined the adult hockey leagues, found my way onto a team, and created every chance I could find to skate with my sons. Over a period of 15 years I learned that great skating consists of at least two skills: staying upright (which took me far too long to achieve) and digging in those edges. It took me 13 of those 15 years to figure out how to truly “dig in” those edges. Canadians learn it by the time they are 6! I eventually learned to look great on two skates, moving forward, headed for the net. But, for those first 13 years, … reverse the direction of the game too quickly, and I just could not dig those edges in enough to make the change that was needed. And, if you follow hockey, you know how often the direction of the game changes. I have raced referees who could beat me around the rink with them skating backwards, … on one skate. Digging those edges in properly made all the difference.

As much as I oppose her “pubic platform” in so many ways, I also believe Hillary Clinton would have made a far better President and leader than President Obama. In fact, in a choice between Hillary and John McCain, I would have chosen Hillary. I may not agree with the positions she states in public, and I may dislike her presentation in daily politics and “normal” functioning, but I have always thought that, when push comes to shove, she understands the dynamics of politics and human nature far better than President Obama, and does not join Mr. McCain in his deep state of denial. She ultimately is strong willed, stubborn and proud, and would represent the country well when, or if, the bottom line arrived at her desk. At the extreme pole, I think it is even possible that she might have responded to the events of 9/11 with a vengeance that George Bush could never have entertained seriously, and knew he had to restrict to fantasy and dreams. To extend the hockey analogy, she does not just skate on the surface of the ice, she digs her edges in so that, as she makes her way through the game, her choices are firm, unmistakable, and clear. She may not be graceful, and may not seduce a lot of voters with her “grace”, but she knows where she is going, and knows how to get there.

The analogy leads me to think of the “grinder” … the player with the black eye, teeth missing (and not concerned with seeing an orthodontist), fighting in the corner for that little puck for no obvious reason to the casual observer, never highlighted on ESPN, sometimes emerging beaten up, but victorious, and forever valued by his teammates. She may be heading for the “theoretically” wrong spot on the ice, but she will do everything she can to maintain that spot, even if it is the wrong spot. And, she may go straight for the puck, ignoring the possible spots the superstars may have drifted to for the moment. But, she has the moxie and “street smarts” to transform that spot into the “right” spot, and is somehow able to make the play happen even from such a disadvantages spot.

Hillary may have been influenced by Alinsky in her college years, as many of us were and should have been (after all, aren’t we “supposed” to be idealists and entranced with dynamic, oppositional, and charismatic figures when we are young? And besides, where would we be without idealism?), but her life experiences later brought her to a point of realism that Obama has not reached. I see President Obama as a player who has always been so graceful and impressive skating on the surface, and that is all inclusive, meaning that he has the appearance and “look” of a graceful skater, that he has never had to dig those edges in and make a forceful statement or move. If one move does not “work”, he never dug in deeply enough to be unable to alter his direction. He could move in whatever direction the wind was blowing so gracefully that his contradictions were difficult to pin down for the thinkers and critics, and seductive for the “true believers”. He stayed, by personal choice, in the “bubble” of the idealistic and theoretical life of the academic far too long to see past the fact that academic idealists lack an adequate and realistic understanding or “theory” of human nature. I refer you to his record as a Senator, with his long list of “Present” votes on important issues, and the country’s willingness to elect him without the normal and usual “vetting”. (No, I am not a “birther” … but what if he was Republican and not so charismatic? Wouldn’t that birth certificate issue be a major story on PBS and the major media? I think the answer to that is obvious.) His appearance of smoothness and skating ability was romantic and seductive for so many. His “Chicago style” strong armed politics is not really grinding, … it is simply an attempt to use superior force to subdue your opponent … not convince him, … just subdue him. I can tell you, .. when you have “scrummed’ in the corner with a true grinder and lost the battle, you know you have been beaten – you are convinced – your respect for the grinder increases, and you think about how to improve. When you have been beaten back by nothing but force, you are convinced of nothing other than the fact that he was stronger this time, you don’t believe you have been “beaten”, you don’t forget, and you look for the first opportunity for revenge. The idea of improving never occurs. Gretzky combined graceful elegance and digging in, knowing what brought him to where he was, and never having to grind. Hillary digs in deeply, has little gracefulness, but grinds with the best of the grinders and knows what her bottom line is. (Witness the way she has patiently and I think wisely and determinedly dealt with and ultimately responded to her husband’s behavior. If I didn’t “know better”, I would think that she actually had faith that her day would come, and the truth would emerge eventually.)

President Obama is graceful but does not dig in (has no firm convictions and staying power), avoids the scrum and grinding role at all costs (it would be beneath him, and he could never tolerate the damage to his visual appearance that a genuine “scrum” would create: heaven forbid that he would ever make an appearance with less than a perfect presentation), and changes course easily and quickly without feeling or experiencing a need for justification, rationale, or plan … its just the next best way to go: Kind of like playing chess thinking one move ahead. His ability to deceive, make blatantly and obviously untrue statements, and the “ignorant pronouncements” that you reference, are all a part of his “gracefulness”. And, when confronted by a grinder, i.e., the “tea parties”, the town hall confrontations, the wavering Democrats, Fox News, … he has no answers and no counter-moves other than personal insults and changes in direction without reason or justification. And so, we see him and his entire administration falling back on the only thing they know: his graceful but superficial moves and “fake outs”.

You are so right, … I believe he really thought he could comment on the Gates/Crowley incident without even a moment of serious consideration and that no one would have the nerve to stand up to him. In fact, I think he is so impressed with his own gracefulness that it never occurred to him that even he has limits, and that there are issues and topics in life about which he has no right and no place to make any commentary. After all, elections have consequences and, he is President Obama.

He is a very good skater if you all you need is a graceful appearance, and pay attention only to the superficial moves and appearance.
go to any ice rink and you will see graceful skaters. But, when it comes down to it, … an average referee raised in Canada can beat him in a race every time, … on one leg, … skating backwards. Its the edges that matter. He has never had to “dig in” with his edges. If you think about it, as much as it doesn’t make sense given his life history, John McCain doesn’t dig his edges in quite enough either. Give me Ronald Reagan or Sarah Palin. Right or wrong, their edges make an impact on the ice.

Cynthia Yockey September 3, 2009 at 10:17 am


What a wonderful and insightful comment!

Please forgive me for wanting to refine one of your points just a bit: the centrally-defining characteristic of Obama is his all-consuming lust for power. He lives to make people jump. That is the defining characteristic of his sociopathy. He does not have a conscience and lacks empathy. A conscience and mature self are the things that make people behave in a consistent way. A conscience and empathy prevent one from behaving destructively toward others. This means that Obama craves power and will say and do anything to get it. The simplified guide to understanding Obama is that he will tell you anything you want to hear if it will make you hand over your power/money/labor to him, and, if that doesn’t work, he will shame, ridicule and bully you to get what he wants. Step three in the cycle is that when you have done your part and you ask him to deliver on his promise, here’s what he will do to you: delay, befog, gaslight, belittle, denounce, ridicule and/or swap the original promise for something completely different. Rinse and repeat.

Always remember Obama’s lust for power explains every behavior that would be contradictory in a psychologically normal person. Also, remember that any time he makes a big noise about doing something, usually within 72 hours he will betray the constituency that was pleased with the big noise. For example, in July rescinding some environmental policy of Bush’s that environmentalists hated, then hours later signing off on clearcutting in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. (And, of course, it’s just a coincidence that he struck a forest in ALASKA.)

Lovely, lovely comment! Thank you so much!


Conservative Pup September 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm


Love this post! The word pictures are wonderful and the hockey analogy is crystal clear. Superb work.

I like this post so well I’ve linked to it today. Hope you don’t mind.
.-= Conservative Pup´s last blog ..No Public Option? Don’t Bet Your Life On It… =-.

Cynthia Yockey September 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Conservative Pup,

Thanks for your praise AND the link! I am adding you to my blogroll and I hope you will add me to yours as “A Conservative Lesbian.”


Conservative Pup September 3, 2009 at 8:13 pm


Happy to! Consider it done. And thank you too, for the add.
.-= Conservative Pup´s last blog ..No Public Option? Don’t Bet Your Life On It… =-.

UNRR September 4, 2009 at 9:33 am

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 9/4/2009, at The Unreligious Right

joy clemens September 11, 2009 at 12:42 am

what a great post. did you see the speech the other night?

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