I’m not originally from Missouri, and I don’t have any sentimental attachments to native son Dick Gephardt. So I hope I don’t offend any of you who for some reason are fond of the guy, because I just don’t see why anyone takes him seriously, other than the fact that he took advantage of incumbency protection for so long.

I mean, Gephardt is the guy who got rolled by Bush (scroll down to the bottom third in the linked text) in the runup to the Iraq War, standing shoulder to shoulder in the Rose Garden to support a hawkish resolution that practically gave Bush carte blanche to go into Iraq. And Gephardt’s visible support totally undercut the more moderate Biden-Lugar resolution that would have given Congress more oversight and required Bush to come back to Congress if the inspection process had failed. Totally unforgivable.

Since Gephardt’s left his career in office after a poor showing as a presidential candidate, he’s cashing in on his decades of connections with a lucrative lobbying career. He’s lobbied for the government of Turkey to keep the US from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide, he’s become a point man for Peabody Coal, the world’s largest coal company, and now he’s talking down both the public option and the prospect of a clean energy bill.

It won’t be pleasing altogether to the left in the Democratic Party, which I was always a part of. It won’t be pleasing to the far right of the Republican Party. To get to 218 (votes in the House), to get to 60, it’s obvious that a public option can’t be part of it … I do think the president will have a bill on his desk and I think that it will happen by the end of the year …

Yes, obviously a public option can’t be part of a bill in order to get at least 218 votes in the House and 60 votes in the Senate. It’s obvious that if a public option were included in the final bill, Senate Democrats would shoot themselves in the foot and join the Republican filibuster. It’s obvious that even though Barack Obama won the presidency with health care reform (including a public option) as a chief plank, and an overwhelming majority of Americans support the public option, a bill containing the public option will be too far to the left.

Please go away and enjoy your retirement, Dick.