This notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats have been fighting for for a hundred years. But because there was a provision in there that they didn't get, that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people, and the potential for lower premiums for maybe 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness, of compromise.
If that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it: We will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are.
And in the meantime the American people are still saying to themselves, [I'm] not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. That can't be the measure of how we think about public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people...
This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding. If we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a union.
Damn. About time somebody said this. For the record I'm not thrilled with this plan and there are many strikes against it, but the President is right. We can have a purist, idealist victory and millions of Americans can be screwed, or we can try to actually help people.
And save your anger for the Republicans who "took hostages" as the President mentioned this afternoon. This speech needed to be said. those are the bad guys here, not Obama. In 2012, you want Obama or Palin/Romney/Huckabee/Gingrich/Bolton?