By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
In all my years covering Washington, D.C., I cannot recall a presidential administration that did a better job of stepping on its own toes with as much frequency as the current one.
Today, the president sought to reassure jittery liberals that his healthcare reform effort would indeed include a so-called public option. Conservatives and moderates have taken issue with that plank of proposed healthcare reform, fearing it would turn into an unending subsidy for anyone who cannot afford or chooses not to buy health insurance—and that it would be paid for largely by the middle class. According to CNN:
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president could be "satisfied" without it. And Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN's "State of the Union" that a public insurance plan is "not the essential element." ...
The move seemed to be a concession to critics, particularly Republican lawmakers who have assailed the idea of the government playing that kind of role. Yet it also stirred up frustration from those on the left who believe such an option is critical.
Earlier this month, President Obama crisscrossed messages with his treasury secretary on whether or not taxes were going up.
This is what happens when America elects a political neophyte to the most powerful office in the world.