Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during those four -- count 'em, four -- arm-twisting sessions President Obama had with Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.
Whatever transpired, it must have been galling today for Kucinich to stand before the microphones and surrender his demand for true health care reform, with Medicare for all or some other strong public option to mitigate the greed of the insurance companies.
Kucinich said Wednesday that the bill coming before the House represents the best chance to expand coverage to the uninsured, even if it does not include a public plan. "You do have to be very careful that the potential of President Obama's presidency not be destroyed by this debate," said Kucinich.
Destroyed by this debate? Obama's presidency was destroyed when he put the Wall Street foxes in charge of guarding the nation's crumbling financial hen-house. It was destroyed when he expanded rather than ended Bush's unjustifiable wars. It was destroyed when he turned his back on millions of jobless Americans. It was destroyed when he refused to investigate the war crimes, treason and high misdemeanors of the highest-ranking members of the administration he succeeded. It was destroyed when he continued the very spying on Americans, the very unconstitutional executive secrecy, and the very policies of torture he was elected to end. It was destroyed when he arbitrarily took single-payer off the health care bargaining table before bargaining had even begun. It was destroyed when he sold his soul and allowed the drug industry to write half of the health care legislation. It was destroyed before Dennis Kucinich had four meetings with him in and above Ohio earlier this week.
Today the Congressman said: "Even though I have many differences with (Obama) on policy, there's something much bigger at stake here for America."
What could be bigger than affordable health care for all Americans? What could be bigger than working for peace rather than extending war? What could be bigger than restoring the entire Bill of Rights for all Americans? What could be bigger than putting 12 million jobless Americans back to work? What could be bigger than ending the human practices that are destroying the entire biosphere of our planet? Why is it so important to let politics overrule conscience in a vain effort to save a failed presidency?
For his entire political life, Kucinich has bravely stood alone against political tides, powerful special interests and mass hysteria among the electorate. What arguments, even from a President, could have broken his will? What threats could have turned him?
He wasn't waterboarded. But then, there are other, more subtle forms of torture, aren't there?
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.