As the person who coined the phrase "11 dimensional chess," I take exception to Booman's post that, due to his misunderstanding of its origin and meaning, criticizes it. Moreover, Booman misunderstands the process by which the public option remains alive. Booman writes:
I, too, have been irritated with the growing currency of the derisive term 11-Dimensional Chess. The term is used to dismiss the possibility that there is a rhyme and reason behind Obama's strategies (particularly on health care). . . . I know that most people using the term mean something slightly different.
(Emphais supplied.) Indeed, those of us who use the phrase are referring to the unthinking acceptance that Obama's political strategy is what will get us a public option. This is best captured by that irritating picture we always used to see of Obama with the caption "Don't Worry, He's Got it." The reality is that Obama has not "got it" at all on the public option. IF the public option happens, it will be because the Progressive Caucus and progressive activists realized that in fact, not only does Obama not got it on the public option, the only way to get the public option was to realize that Obama was not going to get it and did not care about getting it. More . . .
The realization that Obama was not going to fight for the public option came early to most of us. The same realization made us realize that he would ACCEPT a public option if it was the only way he could achieve health care reform. The battle then was to make inclusion of the public option the only viable way to get health care reform.
A part of that puzzle was making sure the Obama Administration remained disciplined in its statements and actions about the public option. In essence, insuring the Obama Administration's neutrality on the issue was essential. That is why there has rightly been strong pushback any time the Obama Administration strayed away from this neutrality. That is why strong pressure has been brought to bear by the Progressive Caucus and progressive activists and labor unions to keep the public option alive.
It looks like the House is going to go ahead and pass the public option, despite all the times it has been pronounced dead by Republicans, the media, and even several Democrats. The Senate may or may not pass something, but it probably will not have the public option. Where it goes from there is anyone's guess, but the groundwork has been laid to blame the Republicans if the budget reconciliation process is needed to pass the bill. Cover has been created to pass the bill through the Senate on a strictly party-line vote.
That seems a fair assessment of the situation. But President Obama has been a bystander in the creation of this situation. At this point, that is a good thing. But the persons claiming "He's got it" were obviously wrong and the phrase "11 dimensional chess" entirely appropriate for their analysis, such as it was.
In other words, if health care reform does contain a "public option," it will be because Obama is made to do it by progressives, not because of his superb playing of 11 dimensional chess.
Speaking for me only