President Obama, from a TIME interview, July 29, 2009:
"...the last time we did something of this magnitude was 1965 [civil rights legislation]. And the circumstances in some cases were similar, in some cases were profoundly different. Obviously LBJ had just won a landslide reelection and had huge majorities in the Senate and the House. We have the largest Democratic majorities since LBJ. But the way that Congress works is a little bit different today than it was then. LBJ had to negotiate with Wilbur Mills and a handful of other folks. I think that Congress is more splintered."
Mr. President... a "handful of other folks"? Really. And you really believe Congress is more splintered today over health care than it was over civil rights? A few short weeks ago, you had 72% of Americans saying they want a public option. In 1965 at least that many Americans were still saying: "negroes just need to be more patient, change will come eventually", and "Martin Luther King is a Communist!", and "they're trying to destroy our way of life!"
The Republicans are against not only a single payer option and a public option, but they will also fight a co-op plan. The time for touchy-feely is over. They will try to kill any reform bill. Forget them. As far as the Blue Dog Democrats, it is time for you to take a lesson from Lyndon Johnson: cajol them, reason with them, get in their face. You have the power of the Presidency. Use it.