Hillary’s Raw Deal

Looks like Hillary did in fact get a raw deal on the hospital story from the media and from bloggers (me included). Via Meteor Blades at the Great Orange Satan, this video:

Meteor Blades notes:

One can argue that politicians on the campaign trail should be a lot more careful in vetting the stories of real-life people they choose to offer as examples of how their political agenda is in tune with Americans’ real needs. Or, that they should just say that somebody told them this story instead of implying that they got the information firsthand. But passing along a possibly mistaken story someone tells in good faith is a far cry from lying.

This is not the same as the Tuzla nonsense, and I jumped the gun.






110 replies
  1. 1
    Ted says:

    I kinda hoped she wasn’t that incompetent to run with the story publicly if it was complete rumor.

  2. 2
    Martin says:

    God, DKos and John Cole will say anything to destroy Clinton and never, ever take a balanced view.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    This is not the same as the Tuzla nonsense, and I jumped the gun.

    But would you have jumped the gun if not for the Tuzla story? It’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Hillary’s credibility was blown when she started spinning tall tales. You think this is going to play out any better in the general if she receives the VP nod? She’ll be a walking pile of scandal – real or fabricated – and she won’t have one wit of integrity to defend herself.

    Cons riped apart Al Gore and John Kerry using a media firestorm of bullshit over gaffs half this bad. I’m not saying Hillary wouldn’t still win in ’08, but she did a really good job of banging herself up this primary season. Obama walks away from the Reverend Wright “scandal” relatively unscathed. Now Obama is the gold standard for race relations. Hillary opens her yap and knee-caps herself with her fictitious daring entrance into a war zone. Now her credibility on her trademark issue – health care reform – is in jeopardy.

    I know who I want running for President.

  4. 4
    Rick Taylor says:

    This is interesting, as we’ve all been wondering why some people who’ve been supporting Hillary have been going crazy, even in some extreme cases using right wing talking points to attack Obama. So it can work both ways. Humans in general can sometimes act a little crazy under pressure.

  5. 5
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    John, you are being ‘fair & balanced’. That will not go over well with the Clinton people. You were against her before you were still against her, and they will be the first to point that out. ;)

    I would hope that any campaign would check out any story they run with, I don’t care who it is from. While she was misled by someone most people would trust, it still reflects poorly on her solely for that reason.

    Still, in the realm of importance and relativity, the story is not that big of a deal other than the fact that she took what was said and ran with it without verifying it. Kind of like the NIE she never read but believed.

    Shortcuts like that can come back to bite you. She should have known better.

  6. 6
    Jorge says:

    I figured this was exactly what happened from day one and I still stinks. The last thing we need is another POTUS that is so blinded by ideology and sure of their own “wisdom” that they’ll pass along any BS they hear if it will help them manipulate the public.

  7. 7
    Jake says:

    Thanks for bringing this to light John. Good for you.

  8. 8
    AkaDad says:

    John is only saying this because he wants you believe he doesn’t actually have CDS.

    Clever.

  9. 9
    flyerhawk says:

    BigTent at TL pointed this out yesterday. Seems like this is much ado about nothing and the media, as is their wont, are repeating a false narrative regarding the story.

  10. 10
    paradox says:

    I suggest better cooking with more wine. Gun-jumping will surely decline.

  11. 11
    Rarely Posts says:

    :)

  12. 12
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    But passing along a possibly mistaken story someone tells in good faith is a far cry from lying.


    Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

    George W. Bush

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    Actually, this story reminds me of the Obama story of the troops in Afghanistan who claimed they often couldn’t get equipment. One difference is that when called on it Obama immediately put the reporter on to the soldier that made the claim and the story ended up being verified. From start to finish it lasted what, 2 days? Now, I don’t know if this shows a media bias against Clinton by letting this thing hang out there, but why wasn’t that kind of background prep ready on this story? If anything I would think that it might show a slight media advantage toward Clinton in this case since the press let the story stand without criticism whereas Obama had Jake Trapper I think calling the evening of the debate about his story.

    Again this looks to me like another example of Clinton doing what every politician ahead of her has been able to do without 300 million bloggers around to tear a story to shreds and Obama recognizing that things have changed and taking the extra step to protect somewhat against that kind of thing by having a direct contact to the source of the story. Now, I suppose Obama could be criticized for not jumping in front of Wright the same way, and I accept that criticism, but this just seems to me that many Obama supporters expect a different standard and to a greater degree are seeing that standard met by Obama than by Clinton. To many Clinton supporters that don’t see that, it looks like harsh and unfair criticism because Bill or Hillary wouldn’t have been hammered by the left over something like this in ’92 or ’96.

    I wonder how that would poll among younger people that have grown up on the internet where every detail of everything is subject to review and criticism and somewhat older people that are accustomed to having things meet some kind of mass media threshold to get attention.

  14. 14
    Calouste says:

    So the Clinton campaign is so broke that she can’t even afford a junior staffer to do background research on the stories she uses in her speeches? Or does she just not care because she heard a story she liked and decided to use it? Kind of like that Iraqi dude that was saying that Saddam had massive piles of WMDs that no one ever properly checked because it was exactly what Dick and George wanted to hear?

  15. 15
    Ted says:

    Sigh. The Hillary fanatics don’t even come around these parts any more.

  16. 16
    jnfr says:

    John’s essential honesty is one of the things that makes me love this blog, even though I don’t always agree with the posts.

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    ‘boy who cried wolf’ is right. hillary has really invited a lot of scrutiny in most every statement she makes now.

  18. 18
    JL says:

    Wow, I wiped away a few tears..After 33 yrs of marriage my husband and I legally separated. In lieu of going after his salary or anything extra for being a stay-at-home mom, I suggested a legal separation so I could maintain health insurance on his policy.. Being uninsured is pretty scary stuff and it shouldn’t be that way.. By the way if any one is looking for employment in my area, please contact.

  19. 19
    t jasper parnell says:

    I’m sorry isn’t the complaint that she misidentified the hospital? Isn’t this an example not of lying about the incident but piling on details that were not, you know, consonant with the facts?

  20. 20
    JL says:

    Obviously, I should have said in need of employment..

  21. 21
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    John,

    Congrats on having the stones to fess up.

    Now, about that mandatory five day waiting period

    In fairness, 5 days is the equivalent of 5 years in blogotime, so perhaps we need to shorten it a bit to be practical. Seem to me that 2 days would be a sufficiently long time to wait out a media feeding frenzy and see if it holds water.

    We could call it a Cole Unit or CU.

    The next time some ZOMG! story hits the newswires, tell everybody to chill out and wait for at least 1 CU before assuming we really know anything.

  22. 22
    JL says:

    She should have dug for more info but most candidates are handed info and they run with it.. 24/7 is not the most helpful in news sources. I’m not an H supporter but i do recognize that this is a non issue.

  23. 23

    I thought the criticism had more to do with her continuing to repeat the story after the facts were called into question. So what did I miss?

  24. 24
    Rarely Posts says:

    I’m sorry isn’t the complaint that she misidentified the hospital?

    Nope, she never identified the hospital nor did the guy who told her the story.

    Seemingly the woman went to three different hospitals before she died. The first turned her away, the second treated her and sent her home, and the third one she died in.

    And yet…forever more people will believe Hillary lied about this, just because out in greater wingnut land it is written thusly.

  25. 25
    t jasper parnell says:

    “most candidates are handed info and they run with it”

    This is true, but still this is her signature issue and the best she can do when dealing with the real, pressing, and often horrific failures of the current health care system is to pass on an unsubstantiated anecdote with made up details? I would have thought that her long commitment to health care reform would have provided here with a database of incidents and statistics.

    Although if she gets the nomination, I will still vote for her.

  26. 26

    I’m an Obama guy, and the antics of the Clinton camp have driven me nuts the last month or so. But a raw deal is a raw deal. Good on Cole for recognizing his error.

    This will all be over soon, and then we can get on with giving McCain a trashing he won’t soon forget.

  27. 27
    rochelle says:

    Whoever is detected in a shameful fraud is ever after not believed even if they speak the truth.

    – Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia)

  28. 28
    scarshapedstar says:

    Well, at least you’re finally learning to see through a Rovian hatchet job. Let’s recap.

    Hillary: “Some hospital treated some lady like shit.”

    Some other hospital: “She’s lying! We never did that!”

    Obamasphere: “Burn the witch!”

    Thinking folk: “Wtf?”

    Flashbacks of Al Gore “inventing the internet” [sic], anyone? Kerning? The list goes on and on.

    Christ, I wish people would wise up to this shit.

  29. 29
    Kevin K. says:

    Man, BTD has gone off the rails because of Bachtel. Witness the disintegration:

    But Hillary Clinton would be wrong to even suggest your network and you Keith Olbermann are biased against Hillary Clinton. Suuuure. The man is Obama’s O’Reilly. NBC is Obama’s Fox Noise. But the kicker for me was Dana Milbank, who said well yes the Media got the Bachtel story wrong, but LIKE AL GORE IN 2000, it is Clinton’s fault. the sad thing is I read the same thing at the so called “progressive” blogs now. We are through the Looking Glass – the “progressive” blogs who once saw their mission as countering the Media’s bias against Dems like what happened to Al Gore. Now the cher it on and inded LEAD those charges. the progressive blogosphere is dead. Long live the “progressive” blogosphere!

    I almost thought it was going to end with a series of clicks and beeps.

    This coming from a guy who still pretends to be a tepid Obama supporter and linked to No Quarter today, a blog that bashes Obama 24/7 and has pushed all sorts of anti-Obama Fox-like hogwash out into the ethernets.

  30. 30
    Kevin K. says:

    Oh and now I expect every pro-Hillary blog who tried to clumsily spin the Randi Rhodes “fucking whore” event as an Obama fundraiser and demanded that Obama condemn Rhodes’ remarks to apologize for their, ahem, “mistake.”

    *crickets*

  31. 31
    Psycheout says:

    Hitlery should just dropout. Long live the magical unity dust!

  32. 32
    Justin says:

    This is hilarious – how does this affect Clinton’s credibility at all? Are you all honestly comparing Senator Clinton’s passing along of a heartbreaking and commonplace story received by an ordinary citizen on the campaign trail, to the intentional campaign to sell us into the Iraq war? Get a grip!

    Even if this one story happened to not be true, does that mean we don’t have a health care crisis? If this one story was repudiated, would that suddenly mean that people are not being denied care because they can’t pay?

    Oh but I’m just a Hillbot, right?

  33. 33
    Adam says:

    This is not the same as the Tuzla nonsense, and I jumped the gun.

    I think you mean sniper fire.

  34. 34
    Justin says:

    This part is addressed to John: It was good of you to admit that you jumped the gun.

  35. 35
    Adam says:

    –Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. It was like shooting fish in a–

    No! No! Fair and balanced! Above the fray!

  36. 36
    jake says:

    Wow John, admitting you were wrong?

    They’ll never let you back back into the Right Wing Enclave after this.

  37. 37
    Justin says:

    Kevin K. gets to the heart of what I’ve also been seeing. This looks an awful lot like a Gore 2000 rerun. And it’s not just this one isolated incident. Have we forgotten ratfucking? It’s the same old shit, except now the Republicans dont have to get their hands dirty, because now we’ll swiftboat our own candidates in the name of bipartisanship and unity ponies! Remember: you can’t blame it all on the Clintons. They did not originate 99% of the smears in this campaign against Obama, the Village just set up the questions so that no matter what Clinton could not distance herself enough (the Muslim smear comes to mind).

  38. 38
    Len says:

    One would hope that should Mrs. Clinton ever become President she will be a little more careful about passing along every second or third-hand story that she hears.

    I don’t think anyone ever accused her of lying or of making this story up out of thin air. What a lot of people, myself included, did accuse her of is not exercising due vigilance.

    Politics 101: Be sure, especially if you are running for high public office, that you or a member of your staff researches and verifies every story or anecdote you repeat in public. If you do not, your opposition surely will.

  39. 39
    myiq2xu says:

    I just had to come by and drop this off:

    The key marker of a Hillary Hater is the willingness to state, in almost the same breath, that it is out of control and then to plunge in for a full-throated round of it.

    Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming HillaryHating.

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    myiq- Wanna take a second to square that “deep pathological hatred of Hillary” by everyone that Fish talked about in that link with the frequent assertion by Hilary supporters that “Obama is unelectable so we have to support Hillary”

    Have fun. Dick.

  41. 41
    CT says:

    “Its the principle of the thing” and “slippery slope” are cover words used to disguise the fact that there is really no “gotcha” here. Kudos for the non-weaselly retraction from John.

    Eagerly awaiting the third installment of the War Diaries of Hillary Clinton. You see, I suspect that Sinbad didn’t really die in the first part, but was taken prisoner, so Hillary will have to team with John Rambo on a rescue mission.

  42. 42
    scarshapedstar says:

    Politics 101: Be sure, especially if you are running for high public office, that you or a member of your staff researches and verifies every story or anecdote you repeat in public. If you do not, your opposition surely will.

    I read this, and then I thought of John “Thousand Years” McCain, and IBC cream soda came out my nose.

  43. 43
    Cain says:

    myiq2xu is watching us…. be vewwry vewwry kwhy-et!

    (I make a terrible elmer fudd, it seems)

    cain

  44. 44
    LiberalTarian says:

    Arg.

  45. 45
    jake says:

    myiqpluku Says:

    I just had to come by and drop this off:

    PIE!

    One would hope that should Mrs. Clinton ever become President she will be a little more careful about passing along every second or third-hand story that she hears.

    True. But I don’t see her using such stories as an excuse to start a war, so I’m not that bothered.

  46. 46
    empty says:

    Have fun. Dick.

    Professor John Cole – always a class act.

  47. 47
    John Cole says:

    Professor John Cole – always a class act.

    If I can’t call someone who does nothing but troll a dick, we might as well just get rid of the word. BTW- what does my work have anything to do with this? Or is that just you being classy?

  48. 48

    And yet…forever more people will believe Hillary lied about this, just because out in greater wingnut land it is written thusly.

    This all blew over a NY Times story, no? Yes! Read the linked DKos post by Meteor Blades, second paragraph.

    The way in which this was handled is more evidence that the Clinton campaign can’t effectively extinguish little brush fires even when they would ultimately go in their favor. What the hell is going on over there at that campaign? Is everything done by committee, or are they really that incompetent?

  49. 49
    Kevin K. says:

    They did not originate 99% of the smears in this campaign against Obama, the Village just set up the questions so that no matter what Clinton could not distance herself enough (the Muslim smear comes to mind).

    I don’t know Justin. I’ve seen plenty of examples of the Hillary’s dead-enders coordinating in blog comments to send links of anti-Obama posts to Fox hosts (“Send it to O’Reilly/Hannity/Greta”) to make me question how much distancing is really going on there. Granted, Obama folks may send anti-Hillary stuff to Olbermann, but last time I checked he was on our team.

  50. 50
    empty says:

    BTW- what does my work have anything to do with this?

    Good point. I retract the “Professor.”

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    That is good, since I don’t have the title of “Professor” anyway. Not sure where that keeps coming from, but it is irritating.

  52. 52

    That is good, since I don’t have the title of “Professor” anyway. Not sure where that keeps coming from, but it is irritating.

    It likely comes from your listing in the WVU directory. True, there’s no professor, but all of us Obama types have been inflating academic titles.

  53. 53
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    It’s easy to understand how Hillary was misled by a supporter. If you can be misled by Bush you can be misled by anyone.

  54. 54
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Fuck it. Mr. Cole, good on ya.

    You will never be allowed back out on the right wing again,though.

  55. 55
    Justin says:

    Granted, Kevin. And I don’t defend her supporters doing that. But I don’t hold Clinton responsible for her supporters any more than I hold Obama reponsible for his supporters’ actions. It’s true that people have been reaching for the easiest line of attack to gain advantage for their chosen candidate in the short term, but who benefits from that? Republicans.

  56. 56
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    Respect, JC.

    Gosh, all this Pink vs. Pony stuff is gonna look silly once the Wingnut Noise Machine comes after us this fall.

    GC+6

  57. 57
    Gebghis says:

    Kind of related (media’s handling of stories about candidates) – I hadn’t seen this story until today:

    http://www.mikefrancesa.com/wordpress/?p=844_

    I’m hearing some other rumors, but don’t want to pass anything on that I can’t substantiate.

    Anyone able to shine some light?

    Best…G

  58. 58
    myiq2xu says:

    Have fun. Dick.

    Thanks, I will. Now I’ll leave so you can go back to being Dick-less.

  59. 59
    Badtux says:

    Professor Juan Cole is not the same person as not-Professor John Cole, folks :-).

    As for this story, I am proud to say that I didn’t bash Hillary over it. I read the print story, saw that she was repeating a story given to her by a reputable person (a deputy sheriff) without sufficient details for verification, and shrugged and said “not a story.” Yeah, maybe she should have vetted it better. But WTF, you know and I know that people are deprived of medical care every day, so this isn’t like making up invisible weapons of mass destruction — unlike imaginary WMD, depriving people of medical care is real, and causes 20,000+ deaths per year in the United States.

    I’m not 100% happy with either candidate. Obama’s position on health care is incompatible with universal coverage, while Hillary’s campaign has been at best incompetent, at worst playing into Republican hands for the fall election. But inventing things against either candidate is a lousy thing to do, whether it’s inventing the lie that Obama agrees with his pastor, or inventing the lie that Hillary simply made up this story.

    -BT

  60. 60
    rachel says:

    myiq2xu: I wish I knew how to quit you, John Cole!

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    Kind of related (media’s handling of stories about candidates) – I hadn’t seen this story until today:

    I’m hearing some other rumors, but don’t want to pass anything on that I can’t substantiate.

    Anyone able to shine some light?

    Best…G

    Who was the high level source? Bill Clinton?

    Seriously, if there was any info out there that devastating it would have been leaked already and Super-D’s would not still be flooding Obama’s way. And if there is something out there that somehow has not made it out and does ruin his chances, what can you do? The world will not end. You support people because they are worth supporting, not because you are completely and totally sure they don’t have some dark, hidden, dirty secret. At any rate, it isn’t like there isn’t another candidate out there chomping at the bit to run for President. I can think of one person who might be interested- I think her name is Hillary. Hillary fits quite easily into my “ANYONE BUT A REPUBLICAN, ANYONE BUT MCCAIN” paradigm for voting in the Presidential election this year.

    Thanks, I will. Now I’ll leave so you can go back to being Dick-less.

    Not even gonna bother trying, ehh? Don’t be a stranger, the natives get restless when you aren’t around.

  62. 62
    AkaDad says:

    Now I’ll leave so you can go back to being Dick-less.

    Wrong again. I’ll still be here.

  63. 63
    Psycheout says:

    Oh but I’m just a Hillbot, right?

    Yes you are Justin. Do you belong to the reality based community? Or are you just speaking truth to power? It’s getting hard to tell with you unhinged lefties.

    I guess it really doesn’t matter since all of you are dishonest to the core.

  64. 64
    Kevin K. says:

    Who was the high level source? Bill Clinton?

    Actually, I think it was Larry Sinclair.

  65. 65
    Kevin K. says:

    It’s true that people have been reaching for the easiest line of attack to gain advantage for their chosen candidate in the short term, but who benefits from that? Republicans.

    Justin, true. I’ve gotta admit I benefit a little from taking potshots at Taylor Marsh and Larry Johnson for the sheer sport of it. I don’t know how much that’ll help the Republicans down the road unless Hillary somehow wins the presidency and she picks Johnson for Dir. of Homeland Security.

  66. 66
    jeff scott says:

    i read your blog religiously every day but you old, Repub, Clinton hating streak had been glowing red hot lately. I for one, appreciate the fact that you are backing down from this crap.

    Everyone needs to take a deep. deep breath.

    That’s why I read you religiously! Your honesty!

  67. 67
    Psycheout says:

    Thanks, I will. Now I’ll leave so you can go back to being Dick-less.

    Wow, some snippy little dude has got his assless chaps on a little too tight, doesn’t he? If you can’t take the heat, go back to taylormarsh.com.

  68. 68
    jeff scott says:

    Seriously John, time to start worrying about McSame…

    We are all sick to death of the Dem primary… As long as it is not 4 more fucking years…. aim your guns there.

    Spoken as a foreigner….

  69. 69
    Justin says:

    Well, when I meant “easiest line of attack,” I meant there is a curious temptation even among all of us to go straight for the snarky (and thought by the writer to be witty) gendered remark or the remark with slight racial/class overtones instead of talking about anything substantive. If we play that game, we’ve already lost. In a way the 2008 elections have already been made “about gender” in the sense that there is a felt need to prove how “manly” and “strong” the candidates can be. John McCain & the Republican party are the epitome of this hyper-masculinization (I am a man, and I see it!). For someone to point out that this is a very sexist and misogynistic state of affairs is not, as has been said so many times, “playing the victim card” or “whining.” It’s an attempt to point out that we’ve been here before and that proving that we were manly men who could bomb a 3rd-world country into the stone age brought us nothing but disaster and sorrow.

  70. 70
    firebrand says:

    Hillary got a raw deal on this story? OK. But I’d just like to point out that during this primary season, giving her and her campaign the benefit of the doubt seems to have the side-effect of getting yourself burned by them.

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    And yet…forever more people will believe Hillary lied about this, just because out in greater wingnut land it is written thusly.

    Unpossible! She’s already vetted!

    Since the Orange Satan was early out of the gate with a front page piece that Clinton was wronged, do you really believe this, or do you just want to believe this?

  72. 72
    Martin says:

    I’m not 100% happy with either candidate. Obama’s position on health care is incompatible with universal coverage

    You realize that Clinton doesn’t offer universal coverage either.

    Remember, there is universal care and universal insurance. Universal care is what most people seem to want. Universal insurance is what we might get, but that basically inflates health care costs because the insurance companies (and shareholders) expect to get paid.

    I can’t say that I support forcing people to pay for insurance. Insurance is shared risk + profit and if everyone is forced to buy in, there’s really no point in having it private. It might as well be a government fund that people pay into like SS and Medicare and save everyone the hassle and added cost. Calling it ‘universal coverage’ is somewhat disingenuous because it pretends to be what people want without it actually being that. It solves only a subset of the problems we face.

    But in that respect, Obama’s plan essentially solves most or all of the same problems that Clinton does by forcing insurers to cover anyone who wants a policy (no pre-existing crap) and by regulating prices. But for those that can’t afford it, Obama’s plan doesn’t force them and in reality Clinton’s is unlikely to as well. No public/private system like that has ever worked. Ever. There are always people who cannot or will not buy in, even if you hand them the money. One of the bigger problems with Medicare D isn’t that people can’t afford it, it’s that people either can’t understand it or doesn’t trust it and as a result doesn’t participate. Hillary’s plan will suffer the same fate and will probably end up leaving roughly as many people (and most of the same one) uninsured as Obama’s. Obama isn’t trying to insure everyone – just kids. Instead he’s trying to make it more affordable and available for everyone that wants it.

    I come from a family of health insurance people including one Cxx level of a BC/BS. Universal care means putting them almost completely out of business (which, ironically, most of them are in favor of) and they all agree that Obama’s plan and Clinton’s plans wind up in essentially the same place. I prefer Obama’s slightly because it overpromises less than Clinton’s and because I’ve seen Obama’s arguments WRT to universal care, where I haven’t seen that out of Clinton. Obama seems to get how big a challenge universal care is over the plan he’s offering in spite of his support for it and I like having a realist on that point.

  73. 73
    Helena Montana says:

    I don’t think you were wrong in your criticism. She unquestioningly and in detail repeated (even after she knew it to be false) a story with apparently no basis in fact. She, of all people–her reputation being what it is–should have checked out the story before just running with it. The very kindest thing you can say about her handling of this is that it’s yet another demonstration of incompetence.

  74. 74
    jake says:

    Jesus Christ. How does Psycheout keep making bail?

  75. 75
    cleek says:

    I can’t say that I support forcing people to pay for insurance. Insurance is shared risk + profit and if everyone is forced to buy in, there’s really no point in having it private.

    and yet… are there any states that don’t mandate car insurance ?

  76. 76
    fat sam says:

    and yet… are there any states that don’t mandate car insurance ?

    NH, for one. there may be others.

  77. 77
    Robert Johnston says:

    Of course Clinton got a raw deal on this story. Whatever the factual flaws of the hospital story turn out to be–and they’re looking pretty minor at this point–facts aren’t what’s important about anecdotes. What’s important about political anecdotes is 1) whether they’re offered in good faith and 2) whether the anecdote tells a representative story. If you want to talk meaningful facts on an issue like health care, you have to talk statistics, not anecdotes. Representativeness of statistical truth is absolutely key to the relevance of anecdotes, and a politician who uses a true but unrepresentative anecdote commits a far greater act of propaganda than a politician who uses a false but representative anecdote.

    There never was any indication that the story told in this case by Clinton was unrepresentative. Quite the contrary: the story is perfectly representative of the problems inherent in our current health care system, perfectly representative of the problems that Obama’s “plan” would not cure, and that’s why people started nitpicking over details. The attacks on Clinton on this issue demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of health care issues and a desperation to turn away from fact and turn towards outright propaganda.

  78. 78
    Luke says:

    Yes you did jump the gun… However, it seems to me that in your world, It is a Clinton and Clinton bashing is aok.

  79. 79
    fat sam says:

    Yes you did jump the gun… However, it seems to me that in your world, It is a Clinton and Clinton bashing is aok.

    in my world too, btw. and i was a BIG fan of Bill’s in the 90s; ardent democrat and activist. i may, however, detest ms. rodham even more fiercely than does mr. cole.

    so…there’s a lot of us who can’t stand her who are carrying none of the CDS baggage John is dealing with.

  80. 80
    linda says:

    ah, come on. why let facts get in the way of a good smear.

  81. 81
    4tehlulz says:

    Apparently TalkLeft has decided to represent. I’m glad you all were able to get through the sniper fire to get here.

  82. 82
    Shygetz says:

    There never was any indication that the story told in this case by Clinton was unrepresentative. Quite the contrary: the story is perfectly representative of the problems inherent in our current health care system, perfectly representative of the problems that Obama’s “plan” would not cure, and that’s why people started nitpicking over details.

    If this anecdote is so perfectly representative of a widespread problem, then it shouldn’t be too hard to find an actual true anecdote that is also perfectly representative, and has the added bonus of being, you know, true. This reminds me of Reagan’s welfare queen anecdotes-sure, the woman only used 4 aliases instead of the claimed 80, and only defrauded the government of $8,000 instead of the claimed hundreds of thousands, but it’s really representative of the problem of rampant welfare fraud–quit nitpicking at the details!

    Sure, there’s a healthcare problem, so let’s talk about the actual problem and not fictionalized accounts of it that we claim are representative. That said, kudos to JC on the correction and ‘fess-up. There’s a huge difference between being mistaken and lying, and in this case Hillary made a mistake.

  83. 83
    Punchy says:

    KU, BITCHES! ! ! !

    BEST COMEBACK………..EVAH!

  84. 84
    joe says:

    Good on ya for this, Mr. Cole.

    Respec.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    KU, BITCHES! ! ! !

    BEST COMEBACK………..EVAH!

    Lols. There will be a thread on this shortly, I’m sure.

  86. 86
    ding7777 says:

    The audacity of Hillary to emphasize that

    “People without insurance are more likely to be die than people with insurance.”

    and Hillary’s health plan would have provided insurance to this woman. Under Obama’s plan she still would have been 1 of the 15 miilion left uninsured.

    Now let’s get back to the real important qualities of a president… oratory. Obama can give a great speech.

  87. 87
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Again, good faith or not, this was a really stupid and careless move on Clinton’s part. In the general election the Republicans would eviscerate her for this. “Clinton couldn’t find any real reasons to criticize our health care system so she made one up.” It will give them a chance to restart one of their favorite memes: “You know those Clintons, they’re just liars.” Once they get the ball rolling on that last one everything she says will be viewed through that lens by many. The “Al Gore says he invented the Internet” one still has legs as does the detestable work of the Swiftboaters. A candidate who actually presents them with disprovable stories will be a sitting duck.

  88. 88
    Pb says:

    I don’t see what the issue here is at all–so what if she didn’t get the story right, or if her campaign didn’t vet it properly? Hillary’s position is that words don’t matter.

  89. 89
    Punchy says:

    anyone know who won the game last nite?

    Oh yeah. KU. KU WON. KU, DOWN 9 WITH 2 AND CHANGE, SAC’D UP. booyah.

  90. 90
    Crusty Dem says:

    I agree that the response of many has been unfair to Clinton, the pushback from her campaign has been nonexistent. It should take them minutes, not days, to get ahead of this story, and their complete lack of up-to-the-minute message control is yet another example of their poor organizational structure.

    Secondarily, while Clinton was not “lying” when she related this story to audiences, she is responsible, to a reasonable extent, to the content. We should not let anyone get away with repeating verifiably false statements just because they heard them from someone. We all agree that Bush was telling lying when he said “we have learned from the British government that Saddam Hussein has attempted to acquire uranium yellowcake from Niger.” because he knew it was not true. Clinton should not be held to a much lower standard (although the stakes are, obviously, a trillionth as large, as is the level of “untruthfulness”).

  91. 91
    Punchy says:

    Did Memphis win last nite?

    No? Really? But they were winning with 2 minutes to go! What happened?

  92. 92
    rob! says:

    Wow, Hillary NOT entirely lying about something? sounds like news to me.

  93. 93

    Gee, and I was still waiting to hear about Clinton’s prayer group with Inhofe and Santorum.

    I actually never paid any attention to this particular burp on the campaign trail because, yes, hospitals treat people like shit whether or not Clinton’s story was true. And we know that troops in the Mideast didn’t get the proper equipment and supplies whether or not the guy who wrote to/talked with Obama was truthful or even existed.

    Then again, having lived through Reagan and his welfare queen, or the gunner who was killed when he B-29 made an emergency landing, false stories run the risk of being… false.

    People like personal vignettes. It’s powerful to hear that Obama supporters at the Texas caucuses were rude to seniors, if you’re a senior who supports Clinton.

  94. 94
    Johnny Pez says:

    As Digby points out, what happened to Hillary here is exactly what happened to Gore in 2000.

    And any Obama supporter who thinks they won’t be doing the exact same thing to him after he secures the nomination is living in a dream world.

  95. 95
    Rarely Posts says:

    Since the Orange Satan was early out of the gate with a front page piece that Clinton was wronged, do you really believe this, or do you just want to believe this?

    Is this a serious question?

    If you pay the slightest bit of attention to politics you know that any rumor, no matter how untrue, is always believed by segments of the population.

  96. 96
    crw says:

    and yet… are there any states that don’t mandate car insurance ?

    I’ve seen this a couple times and need to respond. Auto insurance is somewhat different. Auto insurance is a prerequisite for the privilege of operating your motor vehicle on the publicly owned road system. The state has every right to put conditions on your use of their property, especially since you’re doing so has potential to endanger the lives of others.

    The only way to make health insurance analogous auto insurance is to treat living here as a privilege. You wanna live in the USA? Buy health insurance otherwise gtfo. This is problematic because being born here is not a choice, and citizenship (for non-immigrants) is thusly a birthright, not a privilege. It’s much cleaner, if you’re going for universal coverage, to treat health care as a basic right and make it a function of government. Unfortunately, this isn’t currently politically feasible so we’re left with questionable public private partnership hacks.

  97. 97
    cleek says:

    I’ve seen this a couple times and need to respond. Auto insurance is somewhat different. Auto insurance is a prerequisite for the privilege of operating your motor vehicle on the publicly owned road system. The state has every right to put conditions on your use of their property, especially since you’re doing so has potential to endanger the lives of others.

    but look at the context in which i posted that.

    the OP:

    I can’t say that I support forcing people to pay for insurance. Insurance is shared risk + profit and if everyone is forced to buy in, there’s really no point in having it private.

    it wasn’t about rights vs. privileges, it was about the assertion that there’s no point in having private insurance if the insurance itself is mandatory.

  98. 98
    crw says:

    Point taken, cleek. I was simply trying to draw a moral/ethical distinction where others seem to pose an equivalence. There’s certainly an economic argument to be made that having competing private insurance providers in a mandatory, regulated scheme is worthwhile, and auto insurance is an example.

  99. 99
    BSR says:

    So the Al Gore rules became the John Kerry rules, and now the Clinton rules. Because most of the the “progressives” want Obama elected they will allow the Clinton rules to stand. How sad.

    Keep in mind I’ll vote for whoever gets the Dem ticket, I think both candidates will make excellent presidents. But to see the media once again choose our president with smears and dirt like they did in 2000 and 2004 and to see “progressives” happy with that fact because they happen to agree that Clinton shouldn’t be the nominee is simply sad.

    Cole your hopeless but I still love ya. You’ll post anything bad about Clinton no matter how silly, because you want it to be true so badly. Meanwhile you try to pretend she is somehow more dishonest or less credible then any other politician.

  100. 100
    cleek says:

    Cole your hopeless but I still love ya. You’ll post anything bad about Clinton no matter how silly, because you want it to be true so badly. Meanwhile you try to pretend she is somehow more dishonest or less credible then any other politician.

    might wanna dial that self-righteous indignation back a little bit. odds are pretty good that the pro-Clinton blogs are going to be pushing some new baseless anti-Obama smear before this one fully fizzles out – it’s the nature of blogging.

  101. 101
    Pb says:

    Meanwhile you try to pretend she is somehow more dishonest or less credible then any other politician.

    I’m sure she is, because I don’t believe that all politicians are equally dishonest or credible. Instead, we can judge them on the merits, which is what John Cole is doing here, and has done in many other posts. This is all very simple — when she says something that isn’t honest, it hurts her credibility, and when she’s wrong on the facts but digs in her heels anyhow, she hurts it that much more. As for smears, the proper response is to counter them quickly, and with the truth.

  102. 102

    ‘As for smears, the proper response is to counter them quickly, and with the truth.’

    Except when the MSM and bloggers don’t care what the ‘truth’ is…(Clinton campaign denied the somali photo, Josh Marshall cried that they didn’t deny it ‘strongly enough’)

    and OF COURSE it’s still Clinton’s fault. (She should have verified!!!!!)

    See how that works.

    The ‘Is Obama a Muslim’ 60 minutes segment…

    “Hillary didn’t renounce the smear enough!!!”

    It is virtually never ending.

    Is John gonna call me a dick too?

  103. 103
    Martin says:

    and yet… are there any states that don’t mandate car insurance ?

    Quite a few. And of the states that do mandate it, do any get close to full compliance? CA mandates it and has a nearly 25% non-compliance rate. Kentucky mandates it and not complying carries a penalty of 6 months in jail and they have a 12% non-compliance rate. New Hampshire has no mandate and has a roughly 10% non-insurance rate.

    California even has a program that provides government assistance for low income households to pay for their auto insurance – which is what Clinton is proposing. The number of participants is in the tens of thousands in a state with over 30 million people and about 8 million uninsured motorists.

    The argument that the mandate will create universal coverage has no evidential support. The reality is that mandate or no, the number of people that remain uninsured assuming that both Clinton and Obama require insurers to cover anyone that comes and institute cost controls is likely to be about the same. The people that don’t want to pay will manage to not pay under the mandate. The only way you get it to be universal is to run it like FICA. If Clinton is indeed a health care expert, she should be fully aware of this.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    it wasn’t about rights vs. privileges, it was about the assertion that there’s no point in having private insurance if the insurance itself is mandatory.

    Let’s put it a different way. Should any service that is required of the public be a private service? That is, is it beneficial to society to have the government mandate profitability and customer base for an industry? Or once something moves from a choice to a requirement for the overwhelming majority of citizens should it be moved from private to public sector?

    The problem is that insurers are not the cost drivers here. They aren’t the ones that set the cost of your repair, the cost of your healthcare, and so on. All they do is ensure that enough money comes in from all sources to pay for all costs + their employees + a profit overhead. Insurance is, by necessity, a losing activity for the customer base taken as a whole. We trade individually being a big loser on expenses for everyone being a small loser. And individual insurers are poor at cost management below them because they don’t have enough individual clout to make any substantive progress. Instead, they remain competitive through their ability to deny and undermine claims, as well as their ability to be clever on the actuarial side

    But in the case of healthcare mandates, it’s not even the overwhelming majority of the population being involved like in car insurance, but in fact the entire population. When a service is required by law of 100% of the population, what is the rationale for it being a private sector activity? In what way is 100% mandatory minimum, regulated cost insurance different from taxation? Insurers provide no actual service, remember – they simply ensure that all claims can be paid by collecting enough money to cover all costs.

  105. 105
    Justin says:

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you Martin. We’d be better off making health care a public sector thing rather than try to achieve ‘universal insurance.’ Given that an optional plan allows the wealthiest Americans–including the semi-permanent aristocracy of capital–to avoid paying their fair share of health care costs. Being no fan of adverse selection, I would choose Clinton’s plan, because even if you think it’s unfair to ‘force’ people, it qualifies as universal. And remember, there are a great many people who would LOVE to pay a premium and get coverage, they currently just have no place to turn because the market has failed.

  106. 106
    Martin says:

    And remember, there are a great many people who would LOVE to pay a premium and get coverage, they currently just have no place to turn because the market has failed.

    I agree. In the end, I think Obama’s plan (which exemplifies your statement above) and Clinton’s plan (which asks more of consumers) will end up in the same place. But in the case of Clinton’s plan, I think the mandate simply adds stress to people that have enough stress. Those that will care about the mandate are the same ones that will get the insurance anyway assuming that the market can be pulled back in line as they both plan to do and so Obamas plan will work as well as Clintons. Those that don’t care about the mandate are the ones that forgo insurance anyway and so both plans fail equally.

    I think the mandate is a deal-breaker in Congress. I think Obama’s plan is still a tough sell, but without the mandate it actually gives Republicans a bit more room to buy in.

  107. 107
    Tax Analyst says:

    Martin says:

    But in that respect, Obama’s plan essentially solves most or all of the same problems that Clinton does by forcing insurers to cover anyone who wants a policy (no pre-existing crap) and by regulating prices. But for those that can’t afford it, Obama’s plan doesn’t force them and in reality Clinton’s is unlikely to as well. No public/private system like that has ever worked. Ever.

    Mostly correct, Martin – except in the State of Massachusetts. A taxpayer who does not have either private or government coverage is penalized by losing their personal exemption on their State return. That’s pretty close to “forcing”, although I’ll agree it’s not exactly.

    I believe a similar proposal is pending out here in California. I don’t know if the law is helping or hurting Mass residents, but I do know it complicates the hell out of filing a Massachusetts tax return.

  108. 108
    Tax Analyst says:

    Oops! I misread your comment, Martin. I read it as though you were saying there had never been a plan like that, but you really just said that none like that had ever WORKED…and I pretty much agree with that.

    I really don’t know, but I’m guessing the Mass law is a mess – I know it is from the perspective of Income Tax Preparer’s and Mass Taxpayers. I know the tax returns I’ve reviewed have had the taxpayer’s scrambling for paper-work, forms from their insurance company’s, policy numbers and then answering confusing questions on the MA Form HC (Health Coverage).

  109. 109
    Martin says:

    I really don’t know, but I’m guessing the Mass law is a mess – I know it is from the perspective of Income Tax Preparer’s and Mass Taxpayers. I know the tax returns I’ve reviewed have had the taxpayer’s scrambling for paper-work, forms from their insurance company’s, policy numbers and then answering confusing questions on the MA Form HC (Health Coverage).

    I think MA is less of a mess than you would conclude from what I’ve argued above, but in many ways MA is far from representative of the nation. To their credit, they lead the nation in a whole host of social measures from literacy to gay marriage. So while MA is probably a small to middling mess, they are probably one of the states that would have the highest insurance rates even without the mandate due in no small part to a high mean household income and a low poverty rate.

    CA has been considering a similar measure (which Arnold stepped in front of as he has a competing idea and both will almost assuredly die a horrible death under our $10B+ budget deficit) but I can tell you that CA would have horrifyingly bad compliance rates. Part of it is the diversity of the state – where you have the largest agricultural economy in the nation along with a millionaire population that crushes all other states. Economically, CA is bizarrely diverse. Within the borders of a nearby school district you have one of the wealthiest and one of the poorest communities in the state – both competing for classroom budgets. Median home price of $2.5M at one high school and 70% first generation, non-native english speaking anchor babies at another high-school. Even at the most local level we can’t seem to work out the economics. CA would have massive non-compliance rates no matter what you did because we have a LOT of people two standard deviations off the mean.

    A similar program implemented at the national level would face the same fate. You aren’t going to successfully get Mississippi and West Virginia on the same page as Connecticut and Maryland without instituting a fair bit of dollar shifting or else you will see a significant degree of non compliance from those out on the tails.

  110. 110
    Badtux says:

    Clinton’s plan is basically the Dutch or Swiss plan. Both get very good compliance rates. Clinton’s plan also adds an additional Medicare-like health care plan, so you don’t have to go buy private insurance — you can buy Medicare For Anyone instead.

    One problem with Clinton’s plan vs. Edwards’s plan is that it doesn’t have any automatic compliance mechanism. Edwards’s plan called for people to be automatically enrolled in Medicare For Anyone if they did not provide proof of insurance, and required to pay on their income tax for that coverage if they did not purchase private insurance or have it provided via work. Both the Dutch and Swiss systems have similar compliance measures to insure that everyone pays into the health care fund (on a sliding scale basis based on income).

    As for Obama’s “plan”, it isn’t really a plan at all. The basic problem is that it doesn’t require everybody to pay into the system, yet requires insurers to provide insurance upon demand. The result: What rational person would purchase health insurance, if they knew that if they get sick, they can purchase health insurance at that time and be covered? The result is spiraling costs as healthy people drop out of the insurance system, until at some point in time health insurance becomes unaffordable by anybody except millionaires, at which point we see a lot of dead sick people. Unless everybody pays a health care tax, whether explicitly as a tax or as a “health insurance premium”, no method for funding health care works, certainly Obama’s doesn’t.

    My ideal system is “Medicare for All”. Right now half of all health care in America is provided by the government, either via Medicare, Medicaid, VA, military hospitals, whatever. That’s 7.5% of the U.S. GDP. Leaving another 7.5% of the U.S. GDP being currently used for health care coverage. What that means is that a 7.5% payroll or self-employment tax similar to the Social Security tax, divided between employer and employee, would fund Medicare For All for *ALL* Americans. No eligibility requirements. No enrollment requirements — just your state-issued ID and your Social Security card. Just go to any doctor you want, they file the paperwork to the Medicare Administration, you’re automatically covered. I’d gladly pay an additional 3.75% out of my paycheck to know that, regardless of whatever, I’ll be insured.

    That said, the Edwards/Clinton plan has demonstrably worked in Switzerland and the Netherlands, so there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t work here in the U.S. if implemented correctly. As for Obama’s “plan”, the less said, the better…

    -Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

Comments are closed.