Talking Points Memo wonders why the blue team is not showing up to support Obama's health care reform efforts. The Plum Line is shocked that Obama's campaign email list is not able to turn out large numbers of volunteers at the town hall meetings. Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic can't understand why liberal groups are unable to match the anti-reform protesters.
Let's make this clear: Progressive health care activists hate insurance companies. They know (normally from personal experience) that what the insurance companies do is evil. They make money by taking people's premiums and then later refusing to pay for their treatments. You do not become a liberal health care reform volunteer because you are worried about the long term growth rate of health care cost and its eventual effect on budget deficits. Their single biggest goal is freedom from the insurance companies.
Obama knows that the number one goal of liberal health advocates is single payer, with a robust public plan being an acceptable compromise to most. Obama has repeatedly said that he will not fight for the public option he promised. Obama would prefer “bipartisan reform” to good reform. He is letting ultra-conservative Mike Enzi write health care reform. He is giving the wishes of the 5th most conservative senator more weight than the promises he made to his base.
No one should be surprised that liberals are not spending their weekends to show support for health care reform that Mike Enzi is writing. Obama has repeatedly said he will sell out the goals health care reform advocates to win over a handful of Republican senators. There is nothing shocking about the fact that progressives don't feel like helping Obama when he is actively advertising his willingness to betray them. He as already sold them out to PhRMA on the cheap.