The White House has already sent out the memo that it has abandoned the public option, pretending that it was never wedded to it to begin with and that it was just a way to increase competition. David Axelrod says the "spirit" of the public option has always been about competition and choice. An anonymous aide said: "We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition. There are lots of different ways to get there."
But it is most emphatically not about expanding competition and never has been. It has been about decreasing choice, because the public option was designed to crowd out and eventually smother the Obama-demonized private insurance industry. The House plan was entirely about increasing government control over health care decisions, cost allocation, "worthy" beneficiaries of treatment, and coverage.
If Obama were about choice, he wouldn't be forcing those tens of millions of Americans who can afford health insurance to purchase it. He wouldn't be in favor of unleveling the playing field with a government-run option, and he would support true market solutions -- such as real tort reform, eliminating onerous mandates on coverage, and changing tax laws that lock us into employer-provided coverage.
Obama is not only planning to accomplish socialized medicine through Alinsky-Lakoff semantic sleight of hand but also opportunistically, if only briefly, triangulating the far left in the process.
But remember that Obama is their leader. He is hard-left to the core. If he appears to be backing off from socialized care, it's only for appearance's sake -- a temporary retreat in service to an incremental march forward.
When Obama announces that he's backing off the public option, it's a signal that he's launched his end run strategy and that it's time to ratchet up our opposition. If he were the bipartisan exemplar certain naive pseudo-conservatives would have us believe, he would not be attempting to indoctrinate schoolchildren in support of Obamacare, nor would he be appointing one neo-Marxist after another as his czars. Nor would he have recently told compromise-seeking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley that he wouldn't renounce the public option, nor Sen. Tom Coburn that he wasn't even willing to compromise 20 percent of his plan to get some Republicans to "come across the line."
Republican politicians better not misread Obama or the public sentiment opposing his radical agenda. If they strike a compromise with him and enable the incremental unfolding of his agenda, they will inject new life into his leftist ambitions and doom the Republicans' chance for renewal in 2010. The public sentiment is anti-Obama, not pro-Republican. It will only materialize as pro-Republican if Republicans continue to do the right thing by keeping their Beltway caps off, representing the liberty-loving American people, and opposing Obama on principle.