Did the ideological left’s ideological leftism catch Obama by surprise?

The Obama administration claims to be surprised that the Democratic party’s left wing is up in arms about the possibility that the president will abandon the “public option” portion of the health care reform package. It’s difficult to take this claim seriously. For the left, a government takeover of the health care industry was always going to be a top priority. The public option is the gateway to such a takeover. Naturally, then, the left cannot swallow giving up on the public option.
To be sure, the left’s dismay is driven in part by frustration with, and failure to comprehend, the fact that even with huge majorities in both chambers of Congress, it cannot impose its will. But the immaturity and naivety the left is displaying here was also entirely foreseeable.

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