[Guest post by DRJ]
The Hill says President Obama has set up a win-win scenario on health care:
“By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday, Obama has set up a win-win situation. If GOP lawmakers embrace compromise, a healthcare bill would pass Congress easily. But the more likely scenario is that Republicans will continue to oppose Obama’s plan, and the president later this fall will be able to note he tried to strike a deal with the GOP but could not.
That will set up a Democratic argument that Senate leaders have been forced to use a partisan budget tool known as reconciliation to pass a health bill through the Senate by a simple majority, instead of 60 votes. Under the budget plan they passed earlier this year, Democrats could invoke the reconciliation process on Oct. 15.”
Under this theory, Obama benefits by painting Republicans as bitter obstructionists — a theory bolstered by Rep. Joe Wilson’s recent “You lie!” comment.
I think the Democrats will opt for reconciliation or the so-called nuclear option, and while I view that as Obama’s big gamble rather than a win-win strategy, sometimes big gambles pay off.