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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:55 AM

11. No double standard. The President has enormous power to set the agenda.

A double standard means that people who are similarly situated are treated differently. A President and a Senator aren't similarly situated.

Here's what often happens: The President proposes something. The Congressional leadership of his party honors party loyalty and supports "their" President. The Congressional leadership of the other major party works out their own position. Sometimes there's a vote on a bill that's pretty much what one side wanted, but often what finally emerges is some kind of compromise.

In that scenario, Sanders and Warren have the option of supporting the Obama position, the McConnell/Boehner position, or a compromise. Nothing else is on the table -- because Obama didn't use his office to put anything else on the table.

Take the ACA. Let's not even talk about the obvious sensible approach of single payer. Consider just the far more limited question of a "robust public option" as per Obama's own pronouncements. If he had proposed a bill like that, it might or might not have gotten through, but at least he would have tried. I'm confident that Sanders would have voted against a Republican amendment to strip the public option. (Warren wasn't in the Senate then but she would also do the right thing in such circumstances.)

Once Obama caved on the public option, though, that policy choice wasn't available to Sanders and other progressives. The choice was a flawed ACA that coddled the big, for-profit insurance companies, or preserving the status quo.

It's not at all a double standard to fault Obama for making that the effective choice, while not faulting Sanders for preferring a flawed change over a bad status quo.

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Drunken Irishman Jan 2014 OP
VanillaRhapsody Jan 2014 #1
Cha Jan 2014 #2
BlueMTexpat Jan 2014 #3
Cha Jan 2014 #5
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IrishAyes Jan 2014 #19
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1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #39
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TreasonousBastard Jan 2014 #8
treestar Jan 2014 #9
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BlueCaliDem Feb 2014 #29
think Feb 2014 #31
sheshe2 Jan 2014 #10
LineReply No double standard. The President has enormous power to set the agenda.
Jim Lane Jan 2014 #11
Drunken Irishman Jan 2014 #14
Jim Lane Jan 2014 #15
Drunken Irishman Jan 2014 #16
treestar Feb 2014 #32
Cha Feb 2014 #70
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IrishAyes Jan 2014 #21
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