I Don’t Care What You Say…


Daschle-Confirmation Hearing

You fight for the ones that were with you from day one. Tom Daschle encouraged Barack Obama to run for President and not be intimidated by the Clinton Juggernaut, which he ultimately defanged and defeated. All the Senate old heads sat a brotha down and schooled him. “Your chance, if it comes at all, won’t come but once—grab it.” He did, and retired old heads like Daschle provided wise counsel along the path to ultimate power. Daschle, apart from being the ultimate Senate insider, health care expert, and former Majority Leader, knew the internal machinations of the Senate and its formidable personalities. His addition to the Obama cabinet and on the White House staff signaled that Tom was back in the saddle and czar of the most formidable reform effort, aside from the economic recovery, on Barack Obama’s plate. This is and was a serious portfolio and his tax status, irrelevant as it is, was no reason to cast him aside when his skill set is in short supply and his discipline, focus, and ideological purity on health care reform is so badly needed.


I simply don’t buy, given the reaction of Senate Democratic old heads, that Daschle removed himself from consideration. He was pushed—by whom, besides arse clowns like John Ensign, remains to be seen. This is a fine mess and I no longer have any warm and fuzzy feelings about health care reform in this Administration.

Nobody can tell me that throwing Daschle overboard and then fishing Judd Gregg’s right wing behind out of the soup is “Change We Can Believe In.”

23 thoughts on “I Don’t Care What You Say…

  1. It wasn’t just the tax problems Skep. It was the fact that he didn’t pay taxes largely on speeches and consulting gigs with health industry groups. That is to say, Daschle was earning a handsome penny from exactly those groups that are profiting from the health care meltdown in this country. In my view, it was the massive conflict of interest that was the real problem here. That being said, Obama should start vetting his prospects more carefully in order to avoid what is turning out to be a substantial tally of embarrassments.

  2. Tom Awtry

    When is the last time you have heard a President of our country say “I screwed up?” This was the two part verb used by our president’s reference to Tom Daschle.

    I really think President Obama is trying to clean up Washington, but really doesn’t know how much disinfection it’s going to take. Here’s the link I base this aforementioned assumption on:


  3. I’m with TripLB in wishing that the Obama team would more thoroughly vet their selections since it’s becoming frustrating to see great ideas (and the attention span of the American public) being bogged down in these never ending tax issues. I wish things in Daschle’s background had been a bit more on the squeaky clean side since his insight and experience could have (and hopefully still will in some fashion) have a profound impact on the desperately needed transformation of the health care system in the US. But who among us can claim to be on the Mr. Clean side when it comes to all things money? I know, I know, we aren’t in public office, but still…

    And Tom’s comment on the “clean up” needed has me thinking of Rachel Maddow’s great new segment “Scrub. Rinse. Repeat.” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

    On a personal note, I moved in early December and had been without cable/internet until a couple weeks ago (can you say p-a-i-n-f-u-l?!?!?), so was anxious to head over here to read SB and everyone’s thoughts on the incredible changes over the past month. Did I miss something (wouldn’t be the first time ;)), or have you not yet posted details of your Inauguration Day adventures, SB? I took a vacation day off of work to plant my fanny in front of the TV, with my US flag draped in the window, and me in my Obama/Biden t-shirt. (Yes, I AM that big of a geek, but I wouldn’t have changed one single thing or minute of it all.) The tears started with the whistle stop tour, continued on with the Inaugural Concert, and didn’t end until I finally nodded off late that Tuesday night after watching FAR too many ball dances. 😉 Have to say that it felt damn good to FINALLY be proud to be an American again…damn good.

  4. Y’all

    Do you really believe that Barack Obama didn’t know what Senator Daschle had been doing for the last four years or why? SNAP OUT OF IT. OBAMA IS A PLAYA. If you don’t understand anything, understand that. You don’t leapfrog over a Presidential Dynasty by being a fool. He picked Dashle for the totality of his experience, not just his Congressional Service. The “lobbying” is a part of that. Don’t Sleep on this brotha, y’all. This is an epic mistake.

  5. Chi

    The scheduled interviews to promote the stimulus package betrays the fact that the Daschle withdrawal was unexpected…

    3 misteps out of over a hundred key cabinet picks is actually statistically a feat-

    Many have played out strings of names of so called “strong” candidates that Obama “overlooked” or should have in his cabinet…Now you understand why some have not been asked or picked and others have quietly shied away…One never knows whats going in in people’s personal lives – And the process is simply too intrusive and the subsequent fall out from unseemly revelations hardly worth the effort-

    The idea that Obama was privy to Daschle’s every move is bogus…sorry.

    Barack Obama is undoubtedly a smart, savvy and intellectually solid man…but to dismiss him as a “playa” to support certain arguments, actually says so much more about you SB…

  6. Actually, Daschle taxes just not taxes on the use of the car. However, he paid the taxes on the car and at least the President is making his people the taxes even if the statute of limitation has expired. At any case, the President admitted his mistake and now let’s move on as there are bigger fish to fry. Daschle and the other person have withdrawn their names from consideration. I do think that Daschle would have been confirmed, but it’s neither here or there as he is still well-liked at the Capital. I think they should change the name of the stimlus package and call it help the folks who are out of work and need jobs bill.

  7. RisingTide

    Daschle was a queen-sacrifice. Geithner and Clinton are the folks we NEED. Dollars’ll get you Donuts, Daschle will still be the architect behind the throne.
    He will be missed, but will function just fine from the shadows.

  8. SB,

    If Daschle had gone first, we’d be talking about Geithner today. I agree with you that it was wrong. I’m still trying to figure out, if he had to have a Republican at Commerce, why Gregg? I even understood the path of reasoning for Clinton at State, even when I hated it. I see nothing positive about Gregg. It was the timing of the matter. Dashcle or Geithner, and Geithner got through the door first.

    Here’s a lesson for folks – pay your damn taxes.

  9. Skep,

    Obama simply cannot have an HHS Secretary who is arguably in the pocket of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and is a tax cheat to boot. That just isn’t going to fly.

  10. Rikyrah,

    A big difference between Geithner and Daschle, is that Geitner didn’t owe back taxes on payments he received from the very companies he will be overseeing as Treasury Secretary. Daschle had a massive conflict of interest.

  11. TripLBee,

    The question is not whether Daschle was a tool of corporate interests, he is, as is his president, but whether he would have been effective in putting through Obama’s corporate health insurance program becuase he literally knew where all of the bodies are buried in the Senate. Obama needed somebody to pull an LBJ and accomplish the Herculean task of health care reform and what Barack calls “full coverage.” Daschle was that man. Pretending that Obama didn’t know that he had employed a lobbyist to accomplish this task is laughable.

    Moreover, the Senate was ready to put him over. I don’t care what John Nichols says. Hoping for incremental reform is what we’re reduced to because progressive reform isn’t going to happen in a cabinet with just one progressive. Obama owed Daschle some loyalty, he didn’t get it. The Senate will now punish his Administration for this transgression by radically remaking the Stimulus.

  12. Trip,
    Between the two, Geithner is the one I can’t really get past. Especially that bull(#*$ about ‘statute of limitations’.

    SB is correct about Daschle and why he was important. I just don’t see Geithner on the same level. A rich,know-it-all economist…like Obama couldn’t find another one who had actually paid their taxes?

  13. Geithner was who the Wall Street crowd wanted so he was damn near untouchable. He could have strangled someone with his bare hands on live TV and still have been given a pass.

  14. RisingTide

    Here’s the scoop on Geithner — 50% of the IMF us employees did the same damn thing. someone miscommunicated.

    Geithner’s the only top econ guy who is fluent in Chinese and Japanese. He’s there to save us from war in case the US goes bankrupt. IRREPLACEABLE Man.

    I’d say the same irreplaceable thing about Daschle too, though.

  15. Skep,

    I believe that loyalty at the price of prudence is the formula that got us in the mess we’re in. Daschle didn’t keep his house in order. It’s that simple. But you know I love you brother, and I always consider your point of view.

  16. zeitgeist9000

    Marc Ambinder: “The White House and Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee are in serious discussions about the Health and Human Services Secretary position; Bredesen is being vetted for the job.”

    I’m doing the Woody Woodpecker laugh here.

    Considering how much SB has preached about Gov. Bredesen’s health care corporate whoredom, maybe Obama has been going from bad to worse in his Cabinet decisions of late!

  17. Daschle wasn’t the most effective majority leader in history (although he looks great compared to Harry “Teats on a Bull” Reid) and he couldn’t even get re-elected. So I’m not buying the argument thet he would be much of a driving force to pass universal health care. It can’t happen without a lot of public demand. I would argue that nothing of real consequence can be done on any front until 100 percent publically-financed campaigns are a reality.

  18. Candace



    SB, really, there’s no excuse for Daschle to not have paid taxes…It really infuriates me when peo. like you castigate peo. you DON’T LIKE for SMALL INFRACTIONS, yet support people you DO LIKE REGARDLESS IF WHAT THEY DO!!!…THAT’S HYPOCRITCAL & FRANKLY I’M SURPRISED THAT YOU WOULD STOOP THAT LOW!!!

    & SB, I can assure you that there are other peo. out there, WHO HAVE PAID THEIR TAXES, who can affect change in healthcare just as effectively as Daschle could have…UNDERSTAND ME, SB, I WOULD RATHER SEE DASCHLE, I’M STILL PISSED THAT THUNE DEFEATED HIM IN 2006…BUT, SB, it’s hard for me support NOT PAYING TAXES, esp. when you’re making BANK!!!!..

    I agre w/Rikyrah too, I fail to see the difference b/w Daschles’s missteps & Geithner’s…Please…they both are guilty as SIN!!!!..

  19. Candace

    Ummmm, Risingtide,

    What does the fact that Geithner is fluent in both Mandarin & Japanese has to do w/SAVING US FROM WAR W/CHINA/JAPAN IN THE EVENT WE GO BROKE? (& is he really fluent, or like Condi, can speak a few words?)

    I fail to see the connection..i think Geithner is there b/c he’s a guy that the POWERS TO BE LIKE & TRUST!!!!!PERIOD!!!!

    I like what i know of Geithner, but it’s hard for me to get past a man making millions, but can’t pay his taxes..

    Risingtide, if that were you or me WE’D HAVE OUR WAGES GARNISHED, TO START WITH..


  20. RisingTide


    Baby, ain’t nobody pays taxes right. I don’t, you don’t. nobody pays taxes right. You supposed to pay sales tax on everything you buy over the internet. Shooo-ee! ain’t nobody does that!

    If we go broke, China might want to collect with the barrel of a gun, instead of waiting for us to repay her in twenty years or more. And, make no mistake, our financial system is already broke, and whatever the fuck Geithner’s doing is shit. No Good Shit.

    He’s there because he has unique skillz.

    And particularly with China and Japan, speaking the language is a great asset. I’ve knwon people who did business with Japanese companies (they sold porn) — the Japanese would not accept any communication in English. it all had to be japanese. they delighted in finding ways to screw people over, if they were foreign.

    Geithner paid his taxes straight up, when he found out about the problem. 8% interest, compounding.

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