Bring On the Brawndo

Another victory for stupid:

There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure. But over the course of the past few months, early, stated fears from anti-abortion conservatives that Mr. Obama would pursue a pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia agenda, combined with twisted accounts of actual legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other “end of life” services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the debate.

On Thursday, Mr. Grassley said in a statement that he and others in the small group of senators that was trying to negotiate a health care plan had dropped any “end of life” proposals from consideration.

A pending House bill has language authorizing Medicare to finance beneficiaries’ consultations with professionals on whether to authorize aggressive and potentially life-saving interventions later in life. Though the consultations would be voluntary, and a similar provision passed in Congress last year without such a furor, Mr. Grassley said it was being dropped in the Senate “because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

I still contend health care reform is over. The GOP and the fringe right will just move on to something else they find “objectionable” like this absurd accusation that voluntary counselling amounted to a panel of experts determining who should and should not live, the senior citizens seem overwhelmingly content to suckle at the public teat in regards to medicare while giving everyone else the bird, the insurance industry is playing both sides, half the Democrats are spooked by their own shadows, and the other half are in bed with the FIRE sector.

It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now, they would have abolished the IRS and the Department of Education, Bernie Madoff would be running social security, there would be an oil well in every backyard and off every inch of coast, we’d have mandatory prayer in schools, and the defense department budget would be doubled so we could have excellent adventures in Iran while we liberate Georgia from oppressive Russian rule. And we’d be doing it all with a top marginal rate of 3%.

Get ready for three more years of debating school uniforms.

Also, they killed off the climate bill was no one was looking. Thank the usual suspects- Nelson, Dorgan, Baucus, and Lincoln. Any of you think the Democrats have the nerve to deal with immigration in an election year. HAHAHAHAHA! And forget about regulating Wall Street.

299 replies
  1. 1
    lutton says:

    >>the FIRE sector

    what’s that?

  2. 2
    ChrisS says:

    Meaningful healthcare reform is over. Oh, there’ll be some watered down bill passed that uses tax cuts for working poor to buy their own healthcare from one of the for-profit providers. Which will just create additional red tape at the IRS and more forms.

    Blah.

    If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now …

    And the right wing will still be pissed off and complaining that President Palin isn’t conservative enough.

  3. 3
    SGEW says:

    The GOP and the fringe right will just move on to something else they find “objectionable” like . . .

    . . . like the absurd accusation that the Democratic health care plan is a “gay conspiracy”? (via Patrick Appel)

  4. 4
    El Tiburon says:

    Always remember this really has nothing to do with healthcare reform but EVERYTHING to do with defeating the Democrats.

    This is why they fight so ferociously against an innocuous program like “clash for clunkers.”

    The sad fact is they are going to win. I don’t blame the Republicans of course. I blame: 1. The media 1b. The spineless and worthless Democrats.

    Can we hurry and get some more BETTER democrats please.

    Thanks.

    El Tibby.

  5. 5
    Pablo says:

    I water my liberty tree with Brawndo.

  6. 6
    Michael D. says:

    Is it wrong for me to actually WANT death panels for seniors? I mean really. They are the most expensive portion of the population – not just because they’re old, but because they are bloodsuckers and have been for their entire collective existence. They got theirs. FUCK the rest of you!

    “Socialism” for me, but not for theeeeee.

    Got that? SENIOR CITIZENS ARE BLOODSUCKERS.

    Viva euthanasia!

  7. 7
    lotus says:

    I still contend health care reform is over [etc., etc.]

    Aw, John, maybe you stopped being a gooper, but sometimes we still spot trailing clouds of fear. Read <a href=”http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_08/019484.php”<Benen and Ezra for to refresh your grip.

  8. 8
    Sloth says:

    I’m finding it hard not to agree with this sentiment, all of it.

    I’d go one step further. If we cannot get this passed, we’ve succumbed to minority rule. We’ve proven that we cannot pass meaningful legislation in the face of not only a situation which is incredibly harmful to a huge number of our citizens, and which is becoming rapidly worse.

    If we cannot act in the face of that, if we allow a small but vocal minority (and there will ALWAYS be a small but vocal minority), armed only with assertions that are patently false, set the direction of our country – in the face of overwhelming evidence that we urgently need to act and soon.

    Well.

    We’re in deep shit.

  9. 9

    You think Chuck Grassley killed healthcare reform? Really?

    It’s worth remembering that this little group isn’t even the full finance committee, that everyone else gets a vote too, and that, once reconcilliation can be invoked, the Finance Committee won’t be relevant, and if they haven’t gotten a bill out, the HELP bill will be the Senate template.

  10. 10
    EdTheRed says:

    It’s got electrolytes.

  11. 11
    Napoleon says:

    Agreed, its over. Too bad we don’t have a leader instead of Obama

    FIRE = Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

  12. 12
    wilfred says:

    It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves

    You mean this isn’t Obama’s special, super top-secret rope-a-dope negotiating strategy?

  13. 13
    lotus says:

    Shit. The link that didn’t work @7 is Benen.

  14. 14
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Read that particular NY Times article a little while ago and was pleasantly surprised to see them so thoroughly debunking the death panel canard, showing where it originated, etc.

    Then the very last paragraph made me crumble up my monitor and throw it away in disgust:

    Still, one proponent of the euthanasia theory, Mr. Neumayr, said he saw no reason to stop making the claim. “I think a government-run plan that is administered by politicians and bureaucrats who support euthanasia is inevitably going to reflect that view,” he said, “and I don’t think that’s a crazy leap.”

    Which politicians and bureaucrats support euthanasia? It never says in the NY Times article and they didn’t bother asking this asshat for some evidence of his assertion. Sloppy journalism is how this shit originates.

  15. 15
    SGEW says:

    By the way, I think that these posts by Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias highlight the important point that the Executive has never been very effective in pushing these sorts of reforms through the Legislature. In other words, it’s the system: blame Congress.

    I think they go a little too easy on Obama (part of the reason we elected him was to reform the system, after all, not to cater to it), but it’s still something to keep in mind.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    It is all about defeating the Democrats. The Democrats have it all wrong. They fight with things like logic and reasoned arguments and truth. Those kinds of things don’t work against the win-at-all-costs attitude the Republicans have.

    The Dems are also not addressing the real, if unfounded, fears that people have. I mentioned this yesterday in a comment here, but from a reader does it much more eloquently.

    The fear is real, even if it’s not based on facts and truth. Addresssing the fear will help gain support. Dems have dropped the ball big time.

  17. 17
    lilysmom says:

    @lutton:
    Finance
    Insurance
    Real Estate

    Owners of Republican representatives, Blue Dogs and many other Democrats.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    PS, if Reid were not completely spineless that would help with getting things passed.

  19. 19
    wilfred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Who the fuck reads the NYT? The problem isn’t debunking this nonsense it’s who does the debunking. In reponse to passionate political praxis from the right wing, the Administration sent out what?

  20. 20
    lotus says:

    See also:

    Dem Congressman: Obama Willing To Be One-Term President Over Health Care
    Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) told a local town hall meeting that President Obama told him he would deal with health care — even if it cost Obama re-election. Said Boswell: “And he said, ‘No, if it makes me a one-term president, I’m going to, we’re going to take it on because the country is in need of us taking this on.’ I respected that very much.”

  21. 21
    SGEW says:

    Also, re: the NYT article, the ever essential Fallows points out that only the online lede uses the word “false,” while the print version does not.

    Le sigh.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Urgh. Somehow that didn’t post right. It was supposed to say, “this TPM comment from a reader…”

  23. 23
    pablo says:

    This is 99.999% Harry Reids baby.

  24. 24
    wilfred says:

    @Violet:

    If blogs are any indication, the Democrats’ strategy was to call everyone else a stupid fuck. There was never any engagement with the other side. I’m not blaming anyone for that, it’s just what happens when politics is replaced with factionalism.

  25. 25
    Lola says:

    For the millions of Americans who are uninsurable like me, this reform will not be meaningless.

    I am not as pessimistic as John. We always knew the Baucus bill would be bad. As Team Obama was saying weeks ago, it comes down to reconciliation. We don’t really know what we’ll get until the very end. I still think our senators underestimate our president. Obama wants this to be his legacy and he hasn’t abandoned the public option yet, which I think he would of by now, if this was just about dealmaking for him.

    Daily Kos is featuring Obama’s recent quote about getting health care reform and energy done no matter what it costs him politically. Let’s hope it is true. But that kind of bold statement shows Obama is still thinking big.

    Dem senators outside of the usual suspects have been more forceful on health care reform and the public option than I have expected. I think someone of them might actually be smart enough to realize that passing a good bill will help in the long term.

  26. 26
    Demo Woman says:

    Do the democrats expect a high turnout if they don’t have the courage to fight back. I expect big losses in the house and a few seats lost in the Senate. They only have themselves to blame. MSM will blame Obama but this is Congress’ fault.

  27. 27
    lotus says:

    Arrrgh! The quote at 19 is from TPM.

    [What? We can’t have links inside blockquotes? Can that go on the site-refresh to-do list, please?]

  28. 28
    wilfred says:

    @Napoleon:

    He’s not spineless. It’s just that at the end of the day he plays for the other team.

  29. 29
    Bill H says:

    If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now…

    Oh, come on. They did have that kind of majority not too many years ago and didn’t do any of those things. They certainly wouldn’t be trying to do any of the good and decent things that Democrats are trying to do now, but their tactics are designed to stop good things, not actually perpretrate evil things. They want government to disappear, no to be a gargantuan evil empire.

    The problem with Congress, and both sides do this, is that instead of crafting a bill that executes one basic principled idea, they lard it up with a million clauses that are, at best, peripheral to the central action and, at worst, irrelevant. Each legislator demands that his pet idea get inserted into the bill so that, by the time it is being discussed, it is thousands of pages of complexities and irrelevancies and is being attacked from all sides. Even if the central theme is acceptable or uncontroversial, there are addons that are regugnant to some party or another that cause massive fights.

    The “end of life counselling” is a case in point. This is not really reform. The same measure passed last year in a housekeeping bill that died, so its sponsors are trying again in this bill. It’s a good idea and worthy of passage, but it should be done as housekeeping. Putting it into this bill stirred up a hornet’s nest, all over something that is not even central to health insurance reform. All because those who favor it failed last time and are just looking for a handy bill to insert it into.

  30. 30
    Cyrus says:

    I still contend health care reform is over.

    We’ll see. You might be right, and yeah, it doesn’t look good, but it’s not over yet. Yglesias makes two good points this morning: the reform plans we’re talking about now may not be as sweeping as we’d like but they’re a lot better than anyone was seriously proposing even five years ago, and even though there’s not great pushback against the ridiculous lies being spread there is some pushback here and there.

    And when you say “reform is over,” are you predicting that there will be no bill, or that a reform will pass but it will be so compromised it’s useless? If the latter, lotus’ links are relevant.

  31. 31
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “Bring On the Brawndo”

    Perfect.

  32. 32
    dom says:

    @lotus: And if you believe that, I have some Kenyan birth certificates to sell you…

  33. 33
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    The New York Times is a very bad or dishonest newspaper. Do they not realize that the system is already going broke, and by:

    1. Granting all illegal aliens the same access to care as Citizens;
    2. Covering all pre-existing conditions; and
    3. Covering people’s catastrophic illness without making them tap their private funds; that

    demand would increase, the system would go broke quicker, and care would have to be rationed quicker? Of course there would (will) be death panels for those on public assistance. All the President needs to do is self-declare an emergency.

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    If blogs are any indication,

    they aren’t

    the Democrats’ strategy was to call everyone else a stupid fuck.

    they didn’t

    There was never any engagement with the other side.

    there was an attempt. and then the GOP decided to implement the 100% Bullshit Strategy. and you can’t “engage” someone who is willing to lie about obviously-verifiable facts.

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    If we cannot get this passed, we’ve the Senate has voluntarily succumbed to minority rule.

    It’s still the Democrats problem because they could change the rules, but the comity of the Senate apparently is more important than health insurance for 47+ million Americans.

  36. 36
    Brian J says:

    On the one hand, I’m starting to think perhaps it’s time for Obama to become a little more bellicose than he’s been. If nothing else, it’s bound to raise the spirits of those who have been fighting back against the nonsense from the right.

    On the other hand, he’s shown better political instincts than many of us probably could. As we’ve seen, he thinks for the long term, not for the momentary news cycle. His ability to do so doesn’t change the underlying dynamics of the situation–if it’s probably not going to happen, it’s probably not going to happen–but this doesn’t mean we should give up. I’m willing to believe he has a plan to get something decent passed, even if it’s merely a starting point for some changes a few years from now.

  37. 37
    Napoleon says:

    @Bill H:

    The Republicans have not had the majorities the Dems have today since before the Great Depression.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    linda says:

    on hardball a couple of nites ago, claire mccaskill watched the video of charles grassley affirming that the government will kill old people if healthcare reform passes.

    when asked how democrats are supposed to work with republicans when people like grassley are out there lying and demagoguing the bill, she remarked that she didn’t believe it was deliberate and that charles was just confused.

    that’s what’s wrong with the democrats. they will still provide cover for republicans out to destroy the democratic administration, despite what they see in front of them.

  40. 40
    lotus says:

    You guys know that Obama’s going to Bozeman, MT, today and Grand Junction, CO, tomorrow, right? Those aren’t safe areas for him, either politically or personally, but if he’s got the spine to do it, wozzup with you?

    “… The president chose to hold his town hall in Belgrade, a conservative suburb of Bozeman in a county he barely carried, instead of playing it safe by visiting a Democratic stronghold like Butte.”

    More here.

  41. 41
    Max says:

    I disagree. I think a meaningful bill will be passed. Will it be perfect, no, but neither was medicare and social security when first passed.

    Obama has gotten this process further than anyone else, yet I read so many people already writing his obit as an abject failure as President.

    Seems to me its a lot easier to fight against something than it is to fight for it. Especially when you’re willing to lie and threaten and have no soul.

    What is wrong with dems that we abandon our President so quickly. What is it that Obama says, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. We sure have a defeatist attitude in this party. The battle isn’t even halfway through and we’re already assuming we lost.

    Who cares what Grassley says. Obama has already stated if he has to go it without Republicans, he will. Grassley sits on one committee in the Senate. There are other committees that will weigh in and the bill still needs to be reconciled in conference with the House.

    I don’t believe that Obama is stupid, or weak, or naive. I still support my President and I’m not surrendering to the GOP. Instead, I’m going to a town hall meeting this weekend and as many others as I can attend and show support.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    The Dems need to start speaking the truth. They need to say that things like “death panels” are lies. That the people are being lied to.

    I had the Today Show on this morning while I was making breakfast. Heard (didn’t see – TV was in the other room) a commercial for health care. Don’t know who sponsored it. The ad said something like, “If you like your doctor you can keep seeing him” or words to that effect. That sort of stuff is lame sauce.

    They should be addressing people’s fears, like…

    – If you lose your job and your health insurance, the public option will make sure you don’t lose coverage.
    – If you get dropped by your health insurance, the public option will fill the gap until you have a job and health insurance again.

    It would be easy to have a commercial with big scary music about how losing your job and health insurance means you go bankrupt and are out on the street. Then switch to uplifting music and talk about how the publlic option means people won’t lose their homes due to medical bills.

    Those are REAL fears that people have the the Dems aren’t taking advantage of them at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  43. 43
    Rosali says:

    The health care rally outside Bill Nelson’s Florida office was a big shouting match between teabaggers and MoveOn supporters. On the radio report of the rally, I heard lots of chants of “Go back to Africa”.

  44. 44
    BettyPageisaBlonde says:

    Y’know, I really want to disagree with this post… but I can’t.

    These are the days when being a Democrat just sucks.

  45. 45
    Ben says:

    What has killed health care reform is harry read who is unable to the sand out of his vag so that he could actually do something. Dem leadership blows… and not in a good way.

  46. 46
    harlana pepper says:

    Agreed, Dems failed to seize the moment. That said, it will be a great help to many, many people, including myself, to have the pre-existing condition disqualification abolished and I can see that happening. As always, with Dems, I have had to lower my expectations and be thankful for the few crumbs thrown my way. Being a DFH who has contributed time and money to getting their asses elected/re-elected, I realize how undeserving I am. Just like repubes, those Dems sure love their base. /snark

  47. 47
    Crashman06 says:

    Brawndo: It’s like shaving your chest with a lawnmower.

  48. 48
    JK says:

    John,

    You’re right. This country is totally screwed for good. The Republican Party is the party of deranged, demented assholes led by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, et al.

    The Democratic Party is a party of pantywaist, cowardly sissies. I voted for Obama in the primaries and the general election, but the sad fact is that he is a gutless pussy. He commands zero respect from his enemies and lacks the strength of character to instill any fear in them.

  49. 49
    harlana pepper says:

    WTF, how is it so fucking hard for Dems to repeat, ad nauseum, and on every forum/venue, their own talking points, refuting the lies? Seems simple to me and a fine idea to borrow from the republican machine, since we know how effective that is. Honestly, I have no words to express my disgust with Reid, can’t Pelosi just smack the shit out of him or something, just out of principle?

  50. 50
    Throwin Stones says:

    @linda:

    Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?

  51. 51
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “by covering people’s catastrophic illness without making them tap their private funds, demand would increase”

    Hey, Martha, we’re covered for everything! Let’s go get us some cancer!

    Idiot.

  52. 52
    donovong says:

    John, were you this much of a wussy-boy when you were on “the other side”? The end-of-life counseling was removed from the Senate Finance Committee version of what they are “working” on. In other words, the comittee that GRASSLEY is on.

    This was never going to be easy, and all this doom and gloom is just as premature now as it was in May, June and July.

    I hereby predict that the Edward Kennedy Memorial Healthcare Reform Act will pass the House and Senate in October. It will have a public option, and all the other goodies like no exclusion for preexisting conditions, no more recissions, and no more cap on lifetime benefits. end of life counseling? Meh.

    And, no, I am not being ghoulish about Teddy. The guy is not long for this world, and (if he does, indeed, shrug off this mortal coil soon) he would love the idea of his name being on the bill he has wanted for 30 years. Which would, I believe, help get it passed.

    Either way, it is going to happen.

    Cap and trade? Not any time soon. 2011 or second term.

  53. 53

    Always with the negative waves Moriarity, always with the negative waves.

  54. 54
    SGEW says:

    @Max:

    I don’t believe that Obama is stupid, or weak, or naive.

    I don’t think anyone’s really saying this: the question is whether Obama is smart enough, strong enough, and savvy enough to take on the entrenched interests and counter-productive inertia of Congress to get meaningful, substantive reform.

    It’s a Herculean challenge: it has been very, very rare in U.S. history for a president to be able to “push through” major domestic legislation on a scale this large without some major “game-changing” external aggravator (World Wars, calamitous terrorist attacks, global economic depressions, assassinations of predecessors, etc.), even with a legislative majority.

    And does anyone here really think that a Democratic “majority” that includes people like Nelson, Pryor, and Lieberman (in the same caucus as Bernie Sanders!) is anything like the lock-step consensus that the Republican party can muster?

    I said it during the election, and I’ll say it again – – Obama has two political challengers: He has to fight the Republican party in order to win elections, and fight the Democratic party in order to pass legislation.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @harlana pepper:
    Absolutely right. Harry Reid is an embarrassment. Can’t the Dems oust him as Majority Leader? What’s the protocol for getting rid of him? How hard would it be? There has to be someone better than him to do the job.

    The Republicans traffic in fear. That’s why their strategy is working. People have real fears about healthcare reform. The Dems need to address those REAL fears and they’ll get somewhere. Just refuting idiotic lies isn’t going to get it done.

    I can’t understand why this is so hard for the Dems to figure out. Oh, wait. They’re Democrats. Spinless, gutless wonders. Why do I always expect something else from them?

  56. 56
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    @JK:

    He commands zero respect from his enemies and lacks the strength of character to instill any fear in them.

    Who the fuck are you, John Bolton?

  57. 57
    lotus says:

    Don’t know when I’ve seen so much give-up in such a small space. Y’all are really something this morning — that “something” being a great comfort to the Grassley-Palin-Beck faction.

  58. 58

    @Max:

    I disagree. I think a meaningful bill will be passed. Will it be perfect, no, but neither was medicare and social security when first passed.

    Thank you Max for bringing some sunshine into this razor blade party.

  59. 59
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    This fucking country drives me nuts sometimes. The retardation is just too oppressive.

  60. 60
    steve s says:

    That there’s not even a bill yet and some Democrats already want to declare defeat maybe explains some of the problem? Do you think republicans would wimp out this early?

  61. 61
    steve s says:

    How many republicans had given up on George W. Bush by August 2001?

  62. 62
    harlana pepper says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    1. Are you employed/self-employed?
    2. Do you have health insurance?
    3. Through an employer or individually?
    4. Do you have a pre-existing condition? If so, have you been denied coverage as a result?
    5. Have you ever had to pay 20% of a $40,000 surgery?
    6. Do you have the income to pay that $8,000 after paying for a $1500 and $785 a month for the only insurance plan you can get on b/c of a pre-existing condition?
    7. After all this, how much $ would you have left over for utilities, mortgage, food, gas, etc.?

  63. 63
    Crashman06 says:

    @donovong: I really, really, really hope that you are right. I suppose we’ll all find out in the next few months. I’ll remain worried and skeptical until then, however.

  64. 64
    smiley says:

    My very right wing congressman held a town hall a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t go because I knew no truth would be told. Turns out the angry mob mentality is not limited to crowds at democrats’ events. Here’s a letter to the editor from today’s paper:

    Forum devolves into angry rally
    At ____’s rally (It certainly wasn’t a forum!) I saw a rude, right wing mob of angry, fearmongering “ditto heads.”
    Little was based on facts, and it was well orchestrated to close any real discussion. People who participated in such activity told me they were Christian, but acted in ways that Paul would have rebuked.
    I’ve worked in poor ghettos not known for people with the best of behaviors. Never have I seen such nastiness as I saw from relatively well educated, well off people of the up and out ghetto — and they call the kettle black!
    We need reform in health care and reform in such politics. ____ just lost my vote.

    Considering where I live, I’m not surprised.

  65. 65
    IndieTarheel says:

    Mr. Grassley said it was being dropped in the Senate “because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

    Which is why you write the law in a way that will insure it IS implemented correctly, moron.What a clueless, officious prick.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    @lotus:

    I’m not giving up and I still think Obama has some jujitsu moves that lesser politicians don’t have. I hope that a lot is going on behind the scenes that we don’t see.

    I’m exceptionally frustrated at the poor messaging by the Dems, though. They seem to spend all their time countering Republican lies, if they even do that at all, rather than pushing their own message. Plus, they don’t seem to have a coherent messaging strategy. Every day there’s some new message coming from them, whereas the Republicans messages are very clear: Obama is going to kill your grandmother; Obamacare means you won’t have any choice in doctors; Obamacare means long lines; Obamacare means your treatment will be denied and you will die. Obama is bankrupting America.

    Those are wrong, but they are clear and concise. I completely disagre with them, but I know what they are. I have NO idea what the Democrats are trying to say. It’s all mushy and unclear, with the occasional, “we welcome debate” and “you can keep your doctor.” That’s about all that’s getting through.

    The Dems stink at getting their message across. They need soundbites that address people’s fears. The Republicans are trafficking in fears and it’s sticking. People have legitimate fears of the unknown, no matter how unfounded they are. The Dems need to dig into that fear and pound their message home.

  67. 67
    Kryptik says:

    How is it that when Dems have the kind of majorities we have now, with a President elected at the margins he was…Democrats still act like gunshy domestic abuse victims, consistently conciliatory while they get the shit kicked out of them?

    No, this is utterly freakin’ pathetic, and they’re ceding to lies that will never stop no matter what kind of compromise you make. Educate people against the lies, and for those who will never accept the truth, there’s no reasoning with them…so stop goddamn pandering to them!

    Christ, I knew the ‘supermajority’ crap was never going to be that in practice, but I didn’t realize we still were under Republican rule in Congress.

  68. 68

    John, you are wrong. It is not possible for either party to have the kind of majority the Dems now have without having some centrists in that majority. Centrists who would in all likelihood stop what they perceive as “going to far” in one political direction or the other. Now if they changed the rules in the Senate and got rid of the filibuster, then yes, I would agree. I just don’t think the Senate as an institution will do that.

    When an actual bill is on the floor for a vote we’ll know if reform is dead or not. Until then it’s a bunch of pearl clutching speculation.

  69. 69
    4jkb4ia says:

    I have two consolations.

    Claire knows these people are crazy, so probably the other five of the Baucus Gang of Six also know they are crazy and will keep working on their bill and not paying any attention.

    Focusing on things which are NOT IN THE BILL wastes your energy to fight things which are in the bill. Your relation to the actual bill is amorphous fear which won’t get any farther because there is no bill.

  70. 70
    Demo Woman says:

    The other concern among some is no Federal funding for abortions. The law now prevents it. What I would like to know is how many of the same folks pay insurance companies that provide abortions? Have they ever asked their insurance company, have they changed providers because of this? Shouldn’t they inquire where their monthly premium goes?
    Gee, what else could they be paying for.

  71. 71
    harlana pepper says:

    And for all those who are pooh-poohing our disgust and disappointment, you have a right to your opinion and in the end, you are correct we should not give up. But, I’m willing to bet a good number of the commenters here have invested time and money in getting Dems elected/re-elected and also fighting the information machine, and we have every right to feel completely fucked by our leadership at the present moment. Allow us to kvetch for a bit.

  72. 72
    colleeniem says:

    @Max: Thanks, Max, for saying so eloquently what I was thinking. This is a war, and the end-of-life counseling provision was/is a battle (which is isn’t even over yet). All is not lost.

  73. 73
    jwb says:

    If the Dems don’t pass health care, then quite frankly they will get (deservedly) trounced in 2010, and perhaps 2012 as well, and we’ll experience the joy again of tax cuts being the solution to every problem (and that will be the least of our problem if the crazy wins). But I actually think the Dems recognize the danger, and even stubborn cuss like Baucus has to realize that he will have a whole lot less power if the Dems are in the minority, so they will get something passed.

  74. 74
    harlana pepper says:

    oops, that should be “misinformation machine” – I miss the edit function

  75. 75
    Morbo says:

    @wilfred: Oh, don’t give me that Somerby civility BS. If it came down to a vote, health reform: YEA or NAY, the reality is the Republicans will say NAY. Add in the Blue Dogs and that’s the end of that. The Democratic Caucus acts as if it can identify the Republicans they can engotiate with and those that are irreconcilable; they need to negotiate with the Blue Dogs, Snowe and Collins. There’s no negotiation to be had here when Grassley is your moderate who’s supposed to compromise and he’s on board with spouting the death panel nonsense. That’s all it is, nonsense, and yet the bipartisanship fetishists still carry on and strip an element from the bill thanks to the noisemaking. But hey, I’m sure if the blogs had just stopped calling the protestors “teabaggers” it would have been left in.

  76. 76
    lotus says:

    From Time:

    … Tickets to the Bozeman event were to be made available to the general public at both the Bozeman and Belgrade city halls on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to two per person. In a departure from the invitation-only presidential town halls of the previous Administration, the White House is not screening town-hall attendees, leaving open the likelihood of anti-Obama protesters showing up. …

    From the Bozeman paper:

    In advance of President Barack Obama’s Friday visit to Gallatin Field, Gallatin County Democrats were rebuffed by the local Republican Party after asking them to sign a resolution agreeing to keep the town hall meeting civil and respectful. …

    How ’bout some of y’all unfurling from the fetal position long enough to pray for the guy’s safety?

  77. 77
    The Saff says:

    @Max: I’m trying to hold out hope, too. This whole thing reminds me of how things were almost a year ago, when Democrats were gnashing their teeth about Obama (just after Denver when McCain announced Palin as his running mate).

    I vacillate between despondency and hope. Even so, I still believe Obama is a crafty politician and has his way of steering things his way. He understands the game in Washington. That doesn’t mean I don’t question why he acts or reacts the way he does; he’s WAY smarter than me which is why I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that some kind of (decent) health care reform will get to his desk for him to sign into law by year’s end.

  78. 78
    lotus says:

    First quote @75 is here.

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    @Demo Woman:

    You’re absolutely right, but people don’t think of their employer-based health insurance as “their money” in the same way they think of government programs. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Somhow they think their employer pays for their health insurance – nevermind those pesky monthly contributions and co-pays.

    But government programs…whoa, Nelly. That’s a totally different animal. That’s “my” money. That’s what Rush Limbaugh and his ilk hammer home every single day.

  80. 80
    Bill H says:

    @Napoleon:

    Which, of course, invalidates everything else that I said.

  81. 81
    Napoleon says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    One of my favorite movies of all time.

  82. 82
    donovong says:

    @harlana pepper: Harlana – I will certainly concede your points about Harry Reid being a spineless fuck, and everyne’s points regarding the spinelessness of any number of Democrats. Kvetch away!

    I just hate to see John and others conceding defeat.

    We need to “leave everything on the field” (for all you football fans – Go Clemson!) and it is WAY too early for calling “game over. “

  83. 83
    les says:

    @linda:

    You’re kinda right; but calling McCaskill a Dem is a bit of a stretch. She was in the Bush camp much of the time.

  84. 84
    JK says:

    @Parole Officer Burke:

    The problem is that Obama is too fucking weak to stand up to the extremist Republicans. He needs to grow a pair and stop groveling to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

  85. 85
    feebog says:

    What Max said. And also too, the whining on this thread hurts my head. Had a chance to chat with the Policy Director for my Congressman last night (Brad Sherman, D-CA27). I asked Michael (the P,D,) if Brad was going to have any town hall meetings. Michael just smiled and said no, we are going to be meeting with a lot of small groups throughout the district. For instance, a meeting is planned with some local Chamber of Commerce chapters next week. I think this is a smart move. Move some of these small business owners, who really feel the pinch of trying to provide health care to their employees into supporting the final bill.

    And finally, this whole process has a long way to go. Anyone who thought the Republican party and the health care industry would do anything other than exactly what they are doing has a very short memory. I don’t know if we are going to get a meaninful bill or not, but I certainly don’t think all is lost at this point.

  86. 86
    Lupin says:

    Since 2003 on Billmon’s Whiskey Bar, some of us said the country was tottering on the edge, and maybe it was already too late then (our societal ills run deep) but it sure is too late now. As I’ve repeated ad nauseam, Obama is our well-meaning Gorbachev that will try to reform a society that can’t and won’t be reformed, while presiding over its collapse.

    What’s next in impossible to predict in detail, but a drift toward some cross between today’s Russia (oligarchies, mafias) and Brazil or Argentina (super rich/poor. third-worldization of our cities) would be my guess. That or actual civil war/break-up but I don’t think so.

    The rich own Washington and have nothing to fear from any of us, especially as long as Fox is able to successfully divide the poor by race and religion and set them at each others’ throats.

  87. 87
    ironranger says:

    Max Baucus & Ben Nelson are both 68 yrs old. Grassley is 75. A large number of our legislators are senior citizens. White, also. They have age & color in common with most of the senior citizens terrified they will lose their Medicare or be euthanized. The glaring differences is that the legislators have no worries about their own health care coverage & they know perfectly well a public option isn’t going to knock them or any other senior citizen off.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    jwb says:

    @wilfred: Yes, and, however funny the mockery is, it just drives more traffic to the crazy, which then helps legitimize even more media coverage. I don’t know what the proper response is, but it does seem to me that this is a vicious circle.

  90. 90
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I still remain optimistic that a terrible bill will emerge from all this carnage and make us wish nothing had ever been done at all.

    Who’s with me on working to abolish Medicare? Everyone shares or no one gets anything at all. I seem to recall an old person saying that to me once or twice.

  91. 91
  92. 92

    It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.

    I think we will get something, not sure what. A friend who’s more astute about this stuff than me thinks we’ll get expanded coverage for kids and a program into which people can opt only when they lose a job. I would consider both of those things huge wins, but I realize I am in the minority on that score. I’m also on the minority in that I thought health care reform should have been incremental in the first place.

    I do blame the Democrats and I think ego is at the core of a lot of the problem. The House is full of mildly stupid, hot-headed near-criminal ignoramuses (Barney Frank and a couple of others excepted) and the Senate is a bastion of diva-like anti-democratic fucktards (Feingold and the usual suspects excepted). I think they are all bit freaked at how much people like Obama and that they have to make up for sitting on their asses during the Reign of the Idiot King. And that’s not just the Blue Dogs. The de facto Blue Dogs like DiFi are a huge problem, too.

    To end this rant I’ll just say that I’d give my right arm for us to have publicly financed elections. I think it would solve a lot of these problems.

  93. 93
    chiggins says:

    It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.

    That sounds a whole lot like, “I mean, c’mon, did you see what they were wearing?”

    No one but themselves? None of this can be laid at the feet of the industries that are killing it, or the Republicans that are knowingly fucking the American public to death because they can’t stand to see a Democratic government achieve a positive goal?

    None of the blame for this circus that some are laughably calling a “debate” can be attributed to the corporate-controlled Access-Hollywood-style media coverage that passes for journalism these days? Or the Sunday shows that turn, week after week, to John McCain and Newt “Fucking” Gingrich for their opinions on what it all means?

    Is it really the Democratic Congress’ fault that any media outlet is still giving Sarah Palin a microphone, and that they keep printing the incoherent bullshit that gushes from the spring on her face instead of measured, reasonable responses from the Democratic side?

    Or are you saying that we need our own Glenn Becks and Bill O’Reilly’s?

  94. 94
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I am self employed Harlana Pepper and carry a high deductable so that I can afford insurance in case I get really sick. Therefore I pay most things out-of-pocket. Having had this experience, I can now enlighten the Balloon Juice audience as to how medical economics works:

    Pretend you have five $1 bills in your hand. Now pretend that you give one $1 bill to the dentist, one to the drug store, one to the doctor, one to the nurse, and spend the last one at the bar. Now you have no more money. This means you are broke and cannot buy anything else.

    There is a parallel between this example and our current health system. This parallel is that both are out of money. So if you want to buy more of one thing (health care for illegals) you need to spend less on something else (health care for old people).

  95. 95
    Evinfuilt says:

    How long till Republicans start cheering how they saved us all from Death Panels? They start saying that Dems really were going to kill Grandma, but Patriotic True Americans stepped in and saved us all.

  96. 96
    Violet says:

    @feebog:

    For instance, a meeting is planned with some local Chamber of Commerce chapters next week. I think this is a smart move. Move some of these small business owners, who really feel the pinch of trying to provide health care to their employees into supporting the final bill.

    Very smart. Get the small businesses on board and that’s a lot of leverage. Everyone can imagine themselves fleeing the corporate yoke and striking out on their own. But health coverage is a huge roadblock to doing that. Let people know that they can still have coverage AND pursue their dreams. Let small business owners speak and get their support. That will definitely help.

  97. 97
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Yeah, I’m about done with the Democratic Party. I don’t know what makes me angrier, their subservience to interest groups or their rank political incompetence. I suspect both issues are related.

  98. 98
    jenniebee says:

    @Bill H:

    Oh, come on. They did have that kind of majority not too many years ago and didn’t do any of those things.

    No, they didn’t have this kind of majority. They had 50 (not 60) Senators, with Dick Cheney as a tie-breaker in the Senate, and they were ready to go balls-to-the-walls with that and bring in the “nuclear option” to rewrite the Senate rules to eliminate filibusters.

    Too bad they didn’t, is what I say. If they had, then Bill Nelson could go sit in a corner and pout right now, for all anyone cared.

  99. 99
    Throwin Stones says:

    O/T – We have a new RS Trike-Force flashing light alert – directive! We need to reverse-boycott the companies that pulled their ads from Glen Beck’s show(s).
    Anyone have silly putty or other stupid shit to mail CEOs?

    I need the BJ tags page for dummies link ;)

  100. 100
    Napoleon says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    If I ever get sent to war I intend to go as Oddball.

    “I only ride ’em, I don’t know what makes ’em work.”

  101. 101
    R-Jud says:

    ZOMG Cole. I know it’s only 9 am EST, but you seriously need a drink. Go look at some kitten pictures or something, will you?

  102. 102
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    “…and care would have to be rationed quicker?”

    I’m not sure why there’s so much insistence that more people getting health care must result in rationing. Medical care is a service, not a commodity. There isn’t some finite supply of “medicites” that are going to run out forever if other people have coverage. What, like you’re going to call your Doctor for a physical exam and he’s going to say no? He’s run out of medicons for the month and can’t work anyone else into his schedule or his head will explode? Does anyone really think they might schedule an MRI and be told they’re all out, but to come by Thursday because there’s a new shipment of brand new MRI medicuricles so try to come by early before they’re gone? That nurses and doctors will somehow be incapable of X-raying additional people because the machine can only be turned on a finite number of times per day?

    What we need to do is set up more offshore drilling platforms, so that we can drill for more of these valuable mediclorides. Only then can more people get coverage.

  103. 103
    jwb says:

    @cleek:

    you can’t “engage” someone who is willing to lie about obviously-verifiable facts.

    No, you can’t engage them; but it doesn’t seem to me that mocking them has been very effective either. In fact, I think it’s been largely counterproductive inasmuch as the attention has given the media a further reason to cover them.

  104. 104
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lola:

    Daily Kos is featuring Obama’s recent quote about getting health care reform and energy done no matter what it costs him politically. Let’s hope it is true. But that kind of bold statement shows Obama is still thinking big.

    How exactly does it show he’s thinking big?

  105. 105
    wilfred says:

    @Morbo:

    Bob Somerby is the last reasonable voice left, and yes, I agree with him on the ‘calling everyone stupid’ observation; 90% of the threads here run on that.

    But I am not talking about Republican astro-turfers. There is simply no communication with the voters who are being swayed by the Republicans’ strategy don’t read the NYT.

  106. 106
    The Saff says:

    @jwb: And who is going to vote Republican in 2010 other than their wacky base? Poll after poll shows how unpopular the Republican Party is; yes, the Democratic Party isn’t too far behind but most people have a negative view of Congress anyhow.

    Other than playing on people’s fears, what exactly do Republicans run on next year? “Yea, we didn’t vote for anything! Do nothing, that’s our motto.” They’ve shown themselves to be mean liars who don’t give a damn about anyone but their corporate interests and big money donors.

    The Republicans suck a million different ways and that’s not going to change any time soon.

  107. 107
    linda says:

    @Throwin Stones:

    honestly, i just wanted to scream when she gave him that assist.

    can you even imagine a scenario where a republican would downplay and provide cover for a democrat who lied like grassley did.

    nah, me neither.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brian J:

    As we’ve seen, he thinks for the long term

    Where is there any evidence of this?

  109. 109
    harlana pepper says:

    I’m not sure how happy or encouraged we are supposed to be about all these attempts by Obama at bipartisanshit, trying to appease the very party that has all but destroyed this country? It’s disgusting and vomit-worthy and Chuck Grassley has showed just how effective and helpful this strategy has been by fucking over the president right on the heels of being praised by him for supposedly “working with him” on health care reform. What a fucking joke. No, I reserve the right to bitch.

    Hmm, I hear Specter saying flat out that Grassley was “wrong” and he would tell him so. Of course, we’re talking about Specter here though, so I won’t hold my breath.

  110. 110
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    @JK:

    I was simply pointing out that your rhetoric eerily echoes the sort of hyper-masculine “Strength of Will” tone that one usually sees coming from the likes of Krauthammer, Bolton, and Kristol (“They will gaze upon our groinal bulges and clusterbombs, and accede to our demands!”), and calling you on it.

    However, seeing as how domestic politics appears to actually be a zero-sum game nowadays, perhaps you have a point. Perhaps the Democratic party should apply the razed village, victory through purity of spirit, neoconservative approach to domestic policy negotiations. Don’t blink! Opposition is treason! Debate is cowardice! Toe the party line! Utter destruction to our domestic enemies!

    Abysses, staring. Monsters. Etc.

  111. 111
    harlana pepper says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    The insurance industry is out of money? Wowz, who knew.

  112. 112
    Allan says:

    While you’re sucking your thumb, Amy Sullivan over at Swampland has unearthed a lovely smoking gun of naked Republican hypocrisy you can hang around the neck of Grassley and countless others, under the title “Oh THOSE Death Panels.” (I won’t provide a link because I don’t do HTML coding and this site has lost all its convenient features that support basic blogging protocols.)

    It seems the 2003 Medicare Rx bill contained virtually identical language for end-of-life counseling services to that which is in the current House bill. And Grassley et al rushed to vote for this boondoggle.

    Oh, and the hypocrisy is doubly significant because Grassley keeps claiming that end-of-life conversations should NOT happen when someone is already at the end, but should happen 20 years earlier. Well, the 2003 bill limits this service to the already terminally ill, exactly what he claims is the wrong way to go about it.

    Stop whining and get busy promulgating this story everywhere.

  113. 113
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The ‘Celebrity’ ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears has exposed him as an empty celebrity politician.
    He’s not cracking 50% in the polls.
    Bill Ayers will end Obama’s campaign.
    He doesn’t appeal to ‘Real Amuricans’
    He didn’t suspend his campaign like McCain did.
    Joe The Plumber will end Obama’s campaign.
    He has trouble winning over Jewish voters.
    Hispanics will not vote for a black candidate.
    Michelle is the sterotypical ‘angry black woman’.

    This is all good news for John McCain.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @JK:

    The problem is that Obama is too fucking weak to stand up to the extremist Republicans. He needs to grow a pair and stop groveling to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

    ISTM that any time Obama singles out a Rep politician for elevation in stature, specifically Gregg and now Grassley, they use that air time to fuck him straight up the ass.
    Now, some have optimistically suggested that he does this as some part of his mythical jiu jitsu skills, but I would actually prefer him to stop making these clowns relevant.

  115. 115
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: A DEAL, deal! Maybe the guy’s a Republican.

    Look, folks, Max Baucus knows that he can’t go down as the
    guy that killed health care reform. He’s going to kick and fuss and pout, but, at the end of the day, he won’t keep something from passing. He’ll extract some concessions, but won’t get everything. For all that everyone pisses and moans, Nancy Pelosi has done a very good job with the Democrats in the House.

    Ah, Bellamy, for cryin’ out loud. That’s the the stinking, most awful, stupid joke and you’re always pullin’ that stinking awful stupid joke. You don’t want in this thing, you don’t get in this thing. I cut you out of everything. I don’t need you. Sixty feet of bridge I can get almost anywhere. Schmuck!

  116. 116
    Crashman06 says:

    @The Saff: I agree with most of what you’re saying, but I think a lot of voters sometimes react against the party in power. If they’re pissed/scared at the Democrats, they’ll vote them out of office as retribution. It doesn’t matter that the Republican’s have no good ideas; voters will punish the Dems, and the Republicans will be back in power by default.

  117. 117
    Tsulagi says:

    I still contend health care reform is over.

    Still contend something will pass. But yeah, it depends on what your definition of meaningful health care reform is. Dems have been retreating ceding ground in the face of withering fire in the form of boos and name calling, so it depends on what’s remaining when an armistice bipartisanship is called.

    Today’s Democrats to Imperial Japanese on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay: “We’ve nuked your ass twice and we can keep doing it. Over 200 of our warships are in your house/this bay while 1000 planes are flying over your heads. Our industrial base is strong while yours is being shredded. After Pearl, we got no love. What are your terms?”

  118. 118
    some guy says:

    For those who say the cynicism on health care reform is unwarranted, what’s going to change between now and October that will give Senate Democrats spine enough to pass it? If they couldn’t get the votes to pass it before the recess, how are they going to get the votes to pass it when support for both the President and his health care reform agenda (at least, his agenda as falsely defined by the opposition) is trending downward? I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but I haven’t seen any reasons to be hopeful here.

  119. 119

    […] 14, 2009 · Leave a Comment John Cole on health care reform and the dogged persistence of the ‘death panel‘ lies: It is just […]

  120. 120
    donovong says:

    I lifted this from Matt Yglesias, and it is a look back at Howard Dean’s “health care reform” suggestion from 2004. It is a real eye opener to see how much more progressive the current proposals are compared to Dean’s own:

    “In particular, if you look at his 2004 campaign plan you’ll notice that it’s missing any semblance of the “public option” of today’s debate. Instead, it relies on an incremental expansion of existing public programs by opening up CHIP and Medicaid to “cover all kids and young adults up to age 25 — middle income as well as lower income” while making it that “Adults earning up to 185% of the poverty level — $16,613 — will be eligible for coverage through the already existing Children Health Insurance Program.” Beyond that, Dean proposed some ideas that are near the present-day consensus. He wanted to establish something that would be similar to what we call an “exchange” in 2009 that people working for small businesses or shifted into the individual market could use. He wanted to use tax credits to subsidize the purchase of insurance for those who needed help with affordability. And he hinting around at an employer mandate for larger insurers.”

    Linky: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/

    Now quitcherbitchin’!!

  121. 121
    Tsulagi says:

    @Tsulagi:
    Meant to add: Of course both sides will declare victory.

    Miss the edit feature.

  122. 122
    Napoleon says:

    For those who say we are going to get some kind of bill out of this I think a week bill is worse then no bill. Incrementalism does not work. I use to think it did, but it doesn’t. If you start covering another small group you just have created the next group that will oppose further reform (just look at the Medicare receipts at town halls).

    If the plan isn’t good the progressive Dems need to sink it.

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Parole Officer Burke:

    Perhaps the Democratic party should apply the razed village, victory through purity of spirit, neoconservative approach to domestic policy negotiations. Don’t blink! Opposition is treason! Debate is cowardice! Toe the party line! Utter destruction to our domestic enemies!

    God wouldn’t that be heaven, just one time?

  124. 124
    kay says:

    It is naive to believe the government can effectively regulate this sector when this sector has just shown how much clout they have. We can’t regulate effectively if the private insurance industry is in the driver’s seat, and they are. They will be writing the regulations. We already know this, because it happens on issue after issue, from credit cards to Wall Street.
    You can’t get there from here. You can’t cede every issue, and then expect to regulate the difference. It doesn’t work like that. If you don’t stand up on the legislation, you have already lost the regulatory battle.
    The two things are tied, and one has to come before the other. A loss on the legislation end is an effective surrender on the regulatory end.
    I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I’m really worried. You can’t take them on and lose. It’s worse than not taking them on at all.

  125. 125
    jwb says:

    @JK: Awful quick to throw in the towel, now, aren’t we? And this desire that Obama instill fear in his opponents: what’s with the authoritarianism?

  126. 126
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @SGEW:

    It’s a Herculean challenge: it has been very, very rare in U.S. history for a president to be able to “push through” major domestic legislation on a scale this large without some major “game-changing” external aggravator (World Wars, calamitous terrorist attacks, global economic depressions, assassinations of predecessors, etc.), even with a legislative majority.

    And does anyone here really think that a Democratic “majority” that includes people like Nelson, Pryor, and Lieberman (in the same caucus as Bernie Sanders!) is anything like the lock-step consensus that the Republican party can muster?

    I said it during the election, and I’ll say it again – – Obama has two political challengers: He has to fight the Republican party in order to win elections, and fight the Democratic party in order to pass legislation.

    This. A thousand times this.

    That, and the US system is biased in favor of gridlock and stasis. That’s what the Senate is there for (remember Jefferson and the analogy pouring the tea into the saucer to cool it off). It only seems like something else when the GOP is running the show because of their Leninist levels of internal party discipline and the ease with which Blue Dogs are pealed off.

    If you think Obama is having trouble herding Democratic cats in Congress, go back and take a look at how well Jimmy Carter or JFK or Truman fared. The only post-WW2 Democratic President with any luck at all getting legislation passed thru Congress was LBJ, and that was for a very brief time and riding the coattails of national revulsion over the right wing extremism and screaming hatefest which preceded Nov 1963. Before that, it took a Great Depression and an era when many folks felt that democracy itself had failed, or was in danger of falling apart, to get Congress moving. Those were (one hopes) one-time events, not to be repeated, so we are setting ourselves up for failure by expecting something similar to happen today.

    IMHO, we will get a bill signed this year. It will be weak tea. But it will be an improvement over the old system with regard to pre-existing conditions and the principle that everybody should have health insurance, even if they have to go thru a private system to get it.

    The latter is a suble but important turning point. We won’t get single payer until it is established in the minds of the overwhelming majority of Americans that health care coverage of some sort, skimpy though it may be, is a civil right to which every American is entitled by birth right, not something optional that you deserve only if you work for it or can afford to pay for it; that having health care is like having a fire department.

    When a fire starts, we don’t ask who deserves not to have their house burn down, we just expect that there will be somebody to put out fires regardless of how deserving the occupants may be, or even if they may be responsible for causing the fire in the first place, in part because not doing so imposes costs and risks on everyone that can be minimized by just putting out the damn fires and not asking who deserves it and who doesn’t.

    We don’t think about illness prevention the way we think about fire prevention right now. Having a private system that covers everyone is the first step to getting there. After that, a public option, and then ultimately later down the road single payer, that is how the progression is going to work.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the single payer system in the UK arose out of their experience during WW2 of a wartime economy that was managed by the government, and which worked so well that the material well-being of the bottom third or so of the population actually improved during the war despite rationing. The British population in 1945 had already tasted “socia1-ism”, and they liked it. Nothing comparable is happening here in the US.

  127. 127
    JK says:

    @Parole Officer Burke:

    A few weeks ago, Bill Maher essentially made the same point I just made.

    Obama is letting himself be pushed around by the Republicans. He needs to stand up to these scumbags and tell them to go fuck themselves.

  128. 128
    anonevent says:

    Grassley is saying this. Not Reid, not Pelosi, not Obama. Grassley. This is the congressman pushing the death panel idea. And he’s been wrong before.

  129. 129
    donovong says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: I sincerely hope that there is a mental health provision in the health care refor package, so that BOB can get the help he so obviously needs.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @Allan:

    Oh, and the hypocrisy is doubly significant because Grassley keeps claiming that end-of-life conversations should NOT happen when someone is already at the end, but should happen 20 years earlier. Well, the 2003 bill limits this service to the already terminally ill, exactly what he claims is the wrong way to go about it.

    And? You seem to be suggesting that pointing out their hypocrisy is an effective strategy? Can’t quite decide where you’re going here.

  131. 131
    ironranger says:

    Most people would rather have health insurance than none at all but no one can really know how good it will be until it is tested. Everyone with coverage should be praying that they don’t end up with a very serious or catastrophic accident or illness or their friends, family & community may have to hold one or more spaghetti dinner benefits and put those donation cans in every local business.

  132. 132
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @harlana pepper:

    WTF, how is it so fucking hard for Dems to repeat, ad nauseum, and on every forum/venue, their own talking points, refuting the lies?

    You’re assuming that they want to refute the lies, that they want meaningful health care reform. I think that’s a dangerous assumption.

    God bless Rachel Maddow for exposing how the health/insurance lobby owns our legislators, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. In fact, it may have confirmed to the lobbyists that they are now free to operate out in the open. With a populace as ignorant and dumbed-down as ours, there’s really no need to hide.

    So we have lobbyists running Congress, and a noisy, media-fueled minority mob that can shout loud enough to influence even the most innocuous legislation.

    Not a good day….

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Look, folks, Max Baucus knows that he can’t go down as the
    guy that killed health care reform.

    You mean after he’s done counting his $3million from the insurance industry he’ll look up and give two shits what others think of him?

  134. 134
    linda says:

    @anonevent:

    a compilation video of elected republicans promising to do everything to delay/destroy any and all obama policies should be released — with the voiceover that try as obama might to work in a bipartisan spirit, republicans have repeatedly and with every major policy issue, refused to support what he is doing.

  135. 135
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Oh, and the hypocrisy is doubly significant because Grassley keeps claiming that end-of-life conversations should NOT happen when someone is already at the end, but should happen 20 years earlier.

    Maybe Grassley thinks they’re talking about end-of-life conversions. Obviously the sooner you invite Jesus into yer heart, the better.

  136. 136
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I agree. I also think the EPA will be much more effective on regulating greenhouse gasses than Congress will be.

    Without cap and trade they should scrap that too. Any regulatory reform from this Congress will be a net loss, compared to the EPA’s (authorized, now) regulatory power.

    My big fear is we get no effective legislation, and the same Congress that ceded every legislative issue on orders of industry lobbyists then pretends to regulate.

    That’s a net loss.

  137. 137
    Betsy says:

    I’m not ready to call it yet. This is August. Nothing else is going on for the media to focus on. There’s a hell of a lot of showboating and screaming going on, but I see no indication yet that meaningful (that doesn’t mean perfect or even close to perfect) health care reform won’t pass. I am a tiny bit hopeful that the media cycle will turn on the 30 percenters/get bored with them, and by the time the bill is actually being hashed out in the fall a lot of this will have died off. I also haven’t seen any indication that the congresscritters (other than the fucking blue dogs and so-called moderates, of whom I expected no better) are being swayed by these loons.

  138. 138
    jwb says:

    @Throwin Stones: Entirely predictable, just surprised it took so long for them to get to it.

  139. 139

    @Corner Stone:

    As we’ve seen, he thinks for the long term
    Where is there any evidence of this?

    All you have to do is read the stimulus bill. All we heard about was porkulus and whatnot. It is loaded with R and d money for future advances in alternative energy and medical technologies. Why do you think the wingnuts hate it so much? It’s not because it adds to deficit or has earmarks. It is for long term potential rewards that dems would get political credit for.

  140. 140
    Nashville fan says:

    ENOUGH! ENOUGH! ENOUGH!

    Even though it must be done, we are not going to “debunk” our way into the public’s heart on healthcare.

    I mean “We won’t kill your Grandma!” is not exactly a rallying cry!

    Let’s face it, TV is a visual medium – so let’s send something real that they can FILM to let them know that the informed majority is tired of their crap!

    Let’s use good the old fashioned SNAIL MAIL to send a message to Congress and the corporate media – WE THE PEOPLE are FED UP with bandaid solutions and lies!

    1.No more bandaids!
    Mail envelopes stuffed with bandaids members of Congress!

    2.No more lies!
    Mail tooth brushes to the media so they can “brush up” on the FACTS about reform!

    3. Mail your medical bills!
    Mail a copy of your medical bills to members of Congress!

    Contact the media (includes mailing addresses)
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111

    Contact Congress (includes mailing addresses)
    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  141. 141
    Comrade Doctor General Michael Brown says:

    Hey, where’s Certified Tough Guy Rahm Emanuel in all this? How come he’s not in the back room at the senate with his sleeves rolled up, bouncing Max Baucus’ head off the marble floor and applying the lead pipe to Nelson’s elbow? Doesn’t Rahm care about his boss’ main legislative agenda anymore? Guess all that “mofo” talk is just talk.

    And BTW: We were told about 50,000 times in February that there’d be no prosecutions of Bush and Cheney for war crimes because Obama had to keep his powder dry for health care. So, after we get a dummy health bill in September, then can we frogmarch these sonsobitches into the Senate jail?

    Just asking.

  142. 142
    The Saff says:

    @Crashman06: If that chick Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed the other night is any example of the average voter, then, yes, Democrats are screwed. I’m still amazed at that woman. “Oh, we have a $5,000 deductable and we have a health savings account and my kid is going to need a second surgery and I don’t know how much money we make because my husband takes care of the bills but, I don’t know about healthcare reform…”

    I applauded O’Donnell for not telling her what a moron she truly is.

  143. 143
    JK says:

    @jwb:

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t want authoritarianism. Instilling fear has always been a tool of politicians in representative democracies. I want Obama to show some goddamn leadership instead of acting like a fucking pussy. Obama needs to stop acting like a doormat and letting Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor shit all over him.

  144. 144
    Max says:

    I have a suggestion…

    the President will be having a townhall around 3pm Eastern today and another one tomorrow.

    Watch one or both. I bet it will make you feel better about the state of things.

    I wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve heard/read that Obama “doesn’t know how to fight” or “won’t stand up for us” or “is letting the Republicans win”.

    Also.

  145. 145
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @The Saff:

    Other than playing on people’s fears, what exactly do Republicans run on next year? “Yea, we didn’t vote for anything! Do nothing, that’s our motto.”

    They will run on their record. They will tell the voters that they provided an alternative health care reform plan that was cheaper, better, and also included free lawn care and laundry service for life, but sadly it was killed by the partisan Dems.

    All complete lies of course, but I can see the Blitzer©! chyron now: “Was the GOP plan a better deal for America!?”

  146. 146
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @The Saff:

    Other than playing on people’s fears, what exactly do Republicans run on next year? “Yea, we didn’t vote for anything! Do nothing, that’s our motto.”

    They will run on their record. They will tell the voters that they provided an alternative health care reform plan that was cheaper, better, and also included free lawn care and laundry service for life, but sadly it was killed by the partisan Dems.

    All complete lies of course, but I can see the Blitzer!© chyron now: “Was the GOP plan a better deal for America!?”

  147. 147
    Angela says:

    You know I am an independent who will probably never vote republican again, because of the last eight years. Sometimes I think the narrative that Democrats are spineless is just to cover up how many of them have their hand in the big business till.

    Obama always said power does not give up easily. Health care reform is a huge power struggle; I will be pissed as all get out if there is not a public option. But sounding the death knell here seems to me to be like my picking out a coffin last year when I had simple papillary thyroid cancer ( a cure rate of 96%).

    All that being said, I also want to admit that you Democrats are the most long-suffering party loyalists I know. I do understand your angst. I just don’t agree with the intensity of it.

    Positive thinking really does make a difference.

  148. 148
    Kryptik says:

    @Allan:

    I said this before on Amy Sullivan’s original post:

    There’s a fatal assumption at play here: that the assholes willfully spreading these lies and misinformation have enough shame that exposing their hypocrisy would do anything other but force them to double down on the crazy and work that much harder to push the lie.

    ‘Accountability’ is a foreign concept here, because there’s no bottom for people like Grassley.

  149. 149
    jwb says:

    @The Saff: The Dem supporters will be dispirited and turn out in lower numbers, the GOP base will be motivated and turn out in high numbers, and a sufficient number of independents will say, well the Dems fucked that up so we’ll give the other guys a chance again. The GOP will also have their usual advantage of the MSM driving their talking points.

  150. 150
    Will Danz says:

    @wilfred:

    “If blogs are any indication, the Democrats’ strategy was to call everyone else a stupid fuck. There was never any engagement with the other side. I’m not blaming anyone for that, it’s just what happens when politics is replaced with factionalism.”

    Wow, that’s the purest of nonsense. Are you serious? If so, make your case.

    “I’m not blaming anyone for that” — except you explicitly blamed the Democrats.

  151. 151
    cyd says:

    “The best lack conviction/The worst are full of passionate intensity.”

  152. 152
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    @JK:

    He needs to stand up to these scumbags and tell them to go fuck themselves.

    How are you now, Dick Cheney?

  153. 153
    NCReggie says:

    Jesus christ you guys are downright depressing this morning. Yea we got sixty votes in the senate but did you honestly think that with guys like Baucus, Ben Nelson and Lieberman it would be a progressive’s wet dream? Goddamn buck the fuck up and stay in the fight! The bastards are driving on us and we need a stop! This ain’t over and most of you are ready to slit your wrists because obama hasn’t gotten this thing through yet; its sad and the R’s won’t quit just cuz your ready to roll over.

  154. 154
    Betsy says:

    @Angela:

    All that being said, I also want to admit that you Democrats are the most long-suffering party loyalists I know. I do understand your angst. I just don’t agree with the intensity of it.

    I never realized how much Dems are like Red Sox fans!

  155. 155
  156. 156
    The Saff says:

    @ironranger: I’m with you on that one. I’m employed and have health insurance but I have no idea if it’ll be enough if I get sick. I’m definitely in the “there but for the grace of [insert deity of choice here] go I” camp.

  157. 157
    Betsy says:

    @NCReggie:
    Hear hear!

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    It is loaded with R and d money for future advances in alternative energy and medical technologies. Why do you think the wingnuts hate it so much? It’s not because it adds to deficit or has earmarks. It is for long term potential rewards that dems would get political credit for.

    I think that premise puts quite a few carts ahead of the horse. As we’ve seen throughout, Republicans have zero qualms about out and out lying, on just about every issue. And if the Dems won’t stand up and call a lie a lie right now with their current status, what makes you think they’ll stand up and claim their due credit at some random point in the future?
    I think the wingnuts hate it because that is what they do. They’re not worried about some future political advantage because, clearly, if that was their motivation they wouldn’t be pissing all over the Hispanics at every opportunity.
    Just like everyone lauds Bill Kristol’s 90’s memo saying that if health care reform passed then the Repubs would be done for. But IMO, that’s not why they viciously attacked. It wasn’t about the next 20 years of elections, it was about the immediacy of wounding and/or possibly killing an elected Democratic President.

  159. 159
    wilfred says:

    @Will Danz:

    I hate factions and the people who are in them. You have killed the country, end of story. I don’t blame the Democratic factionalists – they are equal in shit to Republicans.

    Have you read this blog for long? A great majority of posts attack not just Republicans but their supporters as well. Any attempt at bi-partisanship has become a joke. Even the decent sentiment of doing what’s best for the country has become a password for juvenile snickering.

    I got out a long time ago. If you sat where I do you’d see the same thing.

  160. 160
    jwb says:

    @Napoleon: I can’t disagree with you on this: there is a decent possibility that the bill the Dems pass will not be good. My only contention is that the Dems recognize that passing nothing will spell a political disaster for them, so they will find something to pass. I still think the odds favor an improvement over the status quo, but I also know that it’s fully possible for the Dems to screw up and make things worse.

  161. 161
    DonkeyKong says:

    C,mon guys, did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  162. 162

    @Betsy:

    I never realized how much Dems are like Red Sox fans!

    I believe that mantle of angst is now wholly owned by Cubs fans.

  163. 163
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    Have I mentioned that I am in favor of reinstating an edit function for comments?

  164. 164
    Kryptik says:

    @NCReggie:

    Jesus christ you guys are downright depressing this morning. Yea we got sixty votes in the senate but did you honestly think that with guys like Baucus, Ben Nelson and Lieberman it would be a progressive’s wet dream? Goddamn buck the fuck up and stay in the fight! The bastards are driving on us and we need a stop! This ain’t over and most of you are ready to slit your wrists because obama hasn’t gotten this thing through yet; its sad and the R’s won’t quit just cuz your ready to roll over.

    I never assumed that the ‘supermajority’ would ever hold monolithically like it would with Republicans. But I expected a whole lot less jelly spines and backstabbing in our Congressmen, if only for the psychological satisfaction of having that number. But instead, it feels like we’ve ceded more and more to republicans out of a wayward need to feel ‘bipartisan’, which never ends up working anyways since the assholes the Blue Dogs try to cater to never end up jumping on board no matter what compromise is made.

  165. 165
    Corner Stone says:

    @Max:

    I wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve heard/read that Obama “doesn’t know how to fight” or “won’t stand up for us” or “is letting the Republicans win”.

    How sad is it that if you did have a nickel for each time then you’d have a fully funded 401K by now?
    And I don’t mean that in a good way.

  166. 166
    jwb says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: “the US system is biased in favor of gridlock and stasis.”

    Except, interestingly, when it comes to tax cuts.

  167. 167
    Angela says:

    @wilfred

    I hate factions too; and I have been an independent for over twenty years.

    From where I sit, the view looks much different than what you describe.

  168. 168
    kay says:

    @Angela:

    “Sometimes I think the narrative that Democrats are spineless is just to cover up how many of them have their hand in the big business till.”

    I know how many of them. Lots and lots. They’re the rule rather than the exception.
    That’s where my pessimism comes from. I will try to be less cynical, however.
    Democrats remain Democrats (I think ) not because we love Democrats so much, but because the alternative is voting for lying crazy people.

  169. 169
    Legalize says:

    It doesn’t matter what the Quitta from Wasilla or Chuck Assly say or do. The problem is in Dem congressional leadership. They don’t have the balls to do the heavy-lifting, so it’s left entirely up to Obama to do it for them. He’s going to deep wingnut country to try to get this thing done. He’s staked his presidency on this thing; HE appears to be all in and has gotten reform further than anyone else ever has. Just because he hasn’t started busting heads doesn’t mean he HAS to yet or that he will not when he DOES have to. There’s no bill ’cause Congress failed to get one done. So he’s selling ideas rather than hard legislation. What can he do other than try to keep the “debate” from going off into total crazy town at this point? Americans like this guy.

    I’m not writing this president off because there’s been too many times where he’s come back and buried his opponents in the past. Powerful opponents. This isn’t a multi-leveled chess thing. It’s a long game that isn’t played in day to day soundbites. That’s how he rolls. The endgame appears obvious now: ram it down their throats after attempts to play nice repeatedly fail – just don’t TELL them to get ready-cause-here-it comes. If he wants to do it there is no stopping it from happening.

  170. 170
    Va Highlander says:

    Fail thread is full of fail.

  171. 171
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Bit of perspective for y’all:

    In 1951, my Momma gave birth to me, and the amniotic fluid steeped me in Roosevelt love. Trust me, I could not be anything BUT a Democrat. We have made common cause with the dregs of the political dregs for my entire life and then some. Racists, misogynists, corporate whores, the lot. This is what is meant by sausage-making. It is ugly and disgusting, like Sinclair Lewis’ The Jungle was. It is also the way the Founders set things up, else there would not have been a 3/5 rule in the fucking Constitution in the first place. You give to get, and the minority does have a place, as aggravating as that is. Here’s what we do:

    Stop bitching here and write letters to your local papers. Talk to your neighbors. Yes, some will unfortunately be loons, bur many won’t. Forward Axelrod’s e-mail under your own address and refute this utter bullshit. Talk to your parents if they are falling for it and tell them what you believe to be true. And please remember, any improvement on the Health Insurance Front will be a good-many will be helped. People my age, who are now caring for our elderly Greatest Gen parents know how important end-of-life counseling is. It will pass by-and-by, whimper-free.

    Gird your loins, pick up your staff and head out to town halls if you can. I can’t and it’s pissing me off no end. Don’t yell, but demand to be heard.

    Barack cannot do this alone…he’s really good at the politics, but he’s just one man. Stop whining, it only feeds the fucking trolls.

  172. 172
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    “I won’t provide a link because I don’t do HTML coding and this site has lost all its convenient features that support basic blogging protocols”

    maybe we should take it easy on crabbing about editing, John has the new site in process

  173. 173
  174. 174
    Betsy says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:
    For a slightly different take, see today’s Doonesbury: http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/db/

  175. 175
    lotus says:

    And now for something a bit different . . .

    U.S. Rep. Ahn ‘Joseph’ Cao says he’s ‘leaning’ toward House Democrats’ health plan

    This is the Gooper who finally beat “Dollar Bill” Jefferson.

  176. 176
    jcricket says:

    @Kryptik: Yeah – we’re at triple-down status now. And with a straight face the press says crap like, “Palin doubles down on death panel claims” as opposed to “Palin continues to push false claims about health care” (which is factually true).

    I don’t think things are as doomed as John does, and I’m a pessimist by nature. Our house majority and Senate majority (10 seats) actually help, even with all the roadblocks in place. There are so many places for “good” amendments to be put in (yes, I know this works for the GOP too) that if the finance committee can’t get us some important stuff, the conference committee will, or whatever.

    It won’t be perfect, but for me the important things are the 8-9 serious regulations being proposed by Obama and a public plan (not co-ops). I don’t care if the public plan covers 5 people right now. It can be expanded. If it’s not there, it’ll be really difficult to add later.

  177. 177
    Screamin' Demon says:

    With weak-willed supporters willing to roll over and die at the blink of an eye, it’s no wonder the Democratic Party is so ineffectual at governing. What incentive do they have to accomplish anything worthwhile for namby-pamby crybabies like you all?

    Oh, and John…I think you’re just looking for an excuse to slink back over to the other side. Your inner wingnut is trying to get out.

  178. 178
    gypsy howell says:

    @Kryptik:

    I think the Bush-Cheney years pretty much killed off any meaningful concept of a “smoking gun.”

    They don’t care if we know about the lies. They only tell bigger lies.

  179. 179
    Emma says:

    I got as far as comment 50 and had to stop. Jesus Christ. The man has been president for all of what? Eight months? And the people who are supposed to have his back are writing him off.

    No wonder Democrats can’t ever get anything done. The corporation whores in Congress know that, unlike Republicans who will support their President come hell or disaster, we will turn on ours at the drop of a hat. They laugh at our anger because they know it will be turned on the President and they will slide by in the usual way.

  180. 180
    Michael says:

    Fuck it. Pull Medicare, too. I want to see a bunch of starving geezers in Sun City plucking grass from the ground and needles off cactii in order to boil into a soup. The more that are crawling and unable to walk, the better.

  181. 181
    wilfred says:

    @kay:

    That’s correct, but that doesn’t mean an alternative can’t be found. This sort of binary thinking imposed on people as if it were some sort of sensible way of doing things: ‘Yeah, we suck, but they suck more.’

    Blogs offered a chance at a real public sphere, they descended into the binary quagmire almost immediately, and that is a shame.

  182. 182
    CMcC says:

    You quote (Mr. Grassley said it was being dropped in the Senate “because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”) and conclude (I still contend health care reform is over.)

    Ridiculous.

    This is a minority member of one committee in one chamber. The committee will vote, other committees will vote, the Senate will vote, the House will vote, there will be a conference committee, another House vote and Senate vote.

    Has everyone forgotten how the legislative process works?

    Furthermore, didn’t you hear Howard Dean on Keith Olbermann last night? As he pointed out, Chuck Grassley doesn’t count. He was never going to vote for the final bill. Why is everyone on the left so ready to declare defeat?

  183. 183

    Take a look at this DKos weekly tracking poll.

    Are the Clown Halls helping — or hurting — the Repubs?

  184. 184
    Ash Can says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum AKA Americans for America:

    When an actual bill is on the floor for a vote we’ll know if reform is dead or not. Until then it’s a bunch of pearl clutching speculation.

    This.

    Christ on a crutch with a bicycle horn. I don’t begrudge anyone, least of all you guys, an opportunity to trash Republicans, Blue Dogs, and other imbeciles. But it’s a little too early in the process for my hair to catch fire. I’m turning off the computer and heading out to garage sales and lunch out on a beautiful day, with the nine-year-old. And at some point I’m going to dash off a little e-note to my reps in DC (who include Dick Durbin and Jan Schakowsky, lucky me) and thank them for doing the right thing, and remind them to continue to do it.

    Carry on.

  185. 185
    ironranger says:

    @The Saff:
    Reading the fine print on your policy would be pointless. We all know how many insurance companies are arbitrarily denying coverage of many procedures despite doctor’s strong recommendations. If someone is already fighting to try to get his/her insurance co to pay for his/her gall bladder or broken ankle surgery, doctor appts or aftercare/therapy, I would guess that person having a much more serious health issue down the road is probably sol.

  186. 186
    Silver Owl says:

    I don’t know understand why so many people are upset with Obama for the failure of congress to get anything of value done. Was or is Obama suppose to have bare butt spankings for the senators and representatives that collectively like to screw the American people, who by the way elected them, over?

    It has been shown quite clearly that congress represents corporate America far more readily than they do the American people. That is something only the American people can correct.

  187. 187
    Nashville fan says:

    lol at comment 176!

    I’m about a week from feeling the same way!

    And another thing . . .

    I’m tired of the media glorifying all these second amendment nuts showing up with guns strapped to their legs for the camera.

    Guess what?

    If these cowards want the illegal immigrants to go home, why don’t they ride on over to the Hispanic side of town and tell ’em to their face?

    Because they are scared, that’s why.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to pose for cameras with your friends holding tea bags.

    P.S. So I know my little idea doesn’t really stand out, but comment 138 is my idea about taking the momentum back from the screaming nutjobs.

  188. 188
    harlana pepper says:

    @The Saff: Wow, she was a real duncer, guess I have to give her credit for coming on the show to be humiliated, I have never seen so many deer-in-headlights moments in such a short time period.

  189. 189
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The maths is we have a whole lot more votes that swing their way than they have that swing our way. Even so, John, one shouldn’t quickly forget how Republicans failed to privatize social security (or whatever the hell they were trying to do to it.) The lesson here is that politically unpopular shit fails to pass, not that Republicans always get what they want and Democrats suck.

    At the end of the day, money competes with voters but voters trump. Money could afford to buy as many representatives as it took to privatize social security but those representatives would not have been returned to Washington by the voters.

    Similarly now, money can afford as many representatives as it takes to kill health care reform (or turn it into a huge corporate giveaway.) The purpose of the astroturfers is to make it look like a majority of voters do not support reforming heath care, thereby minimizing the reelection calculus so that money can trump.

    Health care reform happening or not happening is on the backs of the majority of Americans who claim to support such a thing when polls are taken. If we don’t get out there and show our support, talk it up to friends and family, attend the town halls, attend the rallies, outnumber the other side- then we lose. Politics ain’t a spectator sport like football. You and I are players in this game.

    Now get out there and punch an old person in the face. Do it for America’s future.

  190. 190
    Va Highlander says:

    @Screamin’ Demon: “Oh, and John…I think you’re just looking for an excuse to slink back over to the other side. Your inner wingnut is trying to get out.”

    Glad you said it so I don’t have to feel quite so guilty.

    The pus-filled source of all the fuckin’ fail in this thread is this bizarre notion of wingnut inevitability, the dumbass conviction that stupid always triumphs. It’s the only asset McCain had going into the last election and guess what: the country handed him his political ass on a fuckin’ platter.

    Guess who was surprised: the same folks spewing doom and gloom pronouncements in this thread – goopers included.

    Guess who wasn’t surprised: team Obama and the people who acutally worked to get him elected.

    Moral of the story: if you don’t like the way things are shaping up, get off your fuckin’ defeatest ass and do something about it.

    And in any case, keep your fuckin’ defeatest bullshit to yourself, unless you’re going to be honest about it and explicitly throw your support behind the stupid.

  191. 191
    GregB says:

    Lotus,

    Cao plays Hamlet and then sides with the GOP after they pull him into the cloakroom and threaten him.

    Another tool bag, that Cao.

    -G

    On the bright side at least President Palin will get the sled-dogs to run on time.

  192. 192
    SGEW says:

    @Silver Owl:

    Was . . . Obama suppose[d] to have bare butt spankings for the senators and representatives that collectively like to screw the American people . . . ?

    Quite a few people would have liked to have literally seen this on their televisions, yes, now that you mention it.

  193. 193
    harlana pepper says:

    @CMcC: I guess, for my part, I’d like to see an FDR-style approach from Obama, at this point, calling out all those responsible for standing in the way of reform, with righteous indignation. Yep, I’m due for a little righteous indignation at this point. Color me still slightly idealistic (at my own peril, as always). (continues to suck thumb, hand me my blankie, pls) ;)

  194. 194
    lotus says:

    @GregB:

    Cao plays Hamlet and then sides with the GOP after they pull him into the cloakroom and threaten him.

    Yah sure. You checked the registration in his district lately? Solid Blue. He wouldn’t have stood a chance if Dollar Bill hadn’t been heavy-duty indicted. He’s automatically in deep trouble next year, and if he votes against this bill — whatever it turns out to be — it’ll be one of the last things he does as a Congresscritter.

  195. 195

    nce@Corner Stone:

    I think that premise puts quite a few carts ahead of the horse

    Nonsense. You claimed no evidence that Obama plans for the long term and I gave some.

    Republicans have zero qualms about out and out lying, on just about every issue. And if the Dems won’t stand up and call a lie a lie right now with their current status, what makes you think they’ll stand up and claim their due credit at some random point in the future?

    More nonsense. I been listening to dems and pundits calling lie on wingnuts all day long on my teevee. And dem politicians too. And who cares that the GOP lies. Doesn’t mean dems have to too, which is your implication.

    The House has gotten it’s shit together on this bill and right now we are focused on one committee in the Senate pulling garbage out of it’s hat. They are not the game but just happen to have center stage right now. We are just getting started in the process and though I expect concern trollery from you, it is sad that so many other dems are having a pity party.

    I have said all along that this will come down to the many more Senate libs taking charge of this thing and doing it by Recon. Process. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. something this big makes Reid irrelevant though.

    I think the wingnuts hate it because that is what they do. They’re not worried about some future political advantage because, clearly, if that was their motivation they wouldn’t be pissing all over the Hispanics at every opportunity.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the GOP is broken into many fragments currently, each with it’s own issues. The xenophobes have the biggest, or loudest members, but not all repubs agree with them on how to treat Hispanics, or generally other minorities.

    And this, above all else will be their undoing, electorally.

    Just like everyone lauds Bill Kristol’s 90’s memo saying that if health care reform passed then the Repubs would be done for. But IMO, that’s not why they viciously attacked. It wasn’t about the next 20 years of elections, it was about the immediacy of wounding and/or possibly killing an elected Democratic President

    It’s a mixture of both. If they weren’t aware of the fact that they are demographically screwed for the long term and recent history of fail screwed for the short term, I doubt they would be quite as batshit insane and lying so deeply about anything that moves. They may be getting some early traction from it, but it will come back around to bite them soon enough.

  196. 196
    Kryptik says:

    @lotus:

    He played this game with the stimulus bills, after his district was shown to be overwhelmingly in favor of them, and then a week later double backed to vote against them.

  197. 197
    Davebo says:

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???

    Hell no!

  198. 198
    Da Bomb says:

    @Angela: @Max:

    I agree with you two. I have never seen so many pearl clutching, panty-twisting, church lady fanning defeatists.

    Everybody playing armchair President. This is hilarious. Movements are always an uphill battle.

    I always say that karma has a way of putting people in the right time era, because none of these people would have made through the Civil Rights movement. Not a one.
    You all would be still sitting at the back of the bus and drinking out of separate water fountains, because you have given up too early in the struggle. To fight for your basic rights, there is always a struggle and nothing comes easy. Senator Scott, who found a swatika written all over the sign outside office made a point of saying on CNN(?) I believe that regardless of what happens and how these crazy people attack us, we have to keep fighting for our healthcare.

    I do agree with the sentiment that the Democrats should unify better with their message, but that has always been the achilles heel to the party. We are a party of differing interests, we are not lock-step like the wingnuts. We are waving the white flag of surrender on a reform concerning a bill that hasn’t even been presented yet.

    3 years and 5 months left to go…

  199. 199
    Dave says:

    Its a good thing the Republicans are the only ones with an inflated sense of importance and blinded moral outrage:

    If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now, they would have abolished the IRS and the Department of Education, Bernie Madoff would be running social security, there would be an oil well in every backyard and off every inch of coast, we’d have mandatory prayer in schools, and the defense department budget would be doubled so we could have excellent adventures in Iran while we liberate Georgia from oppressive Russian rule. And we’d be doing it all with a top marginal rate of 3%.

  200. 200
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    If scare tactics work so well on the old and/or gullible, why don’t we try it?

    Let’s buy a hypothetical TV spot, shall we?

    “If Republicans kill health care reform, medical costs will consume the entire federal budget by 2030.”

    (onscreen: “If Republicans kill Health Reform, Republicans kill the Economy”)

    “If Republicans kill health care reform, Medicare will go bankrupt, leaving America’s seniors without health care.”

    (onscreen: “If Republicans kill Health Reform, Republicans kill Medicare”)

    “As costs soar, the number of uninsured will triple over the next decade. 18,000 Americans already die every year due to lack of coverage, and this number will surge upwards.”

    (onscreen: “If Republicans kill Health Reform, Republicans kill Americans”)

    “Tell your Senators that you deserve to keep your health coverage. Tell your Senators that you deserve to live.”

  201. 201
    GregB says:

    Oh, I know that district is literally one of the most Democratic in the nation. Still, we’ll see what happens.

    The Democrats should get Cao in a room with Kathleen Sebelius so she can work her conversion magic and flip him.

    If not he’s a goner.

    -G

  202. 202
    valdivia says:

    @Emma:

    I am with you Emma. everything sucks, doom is near Obama is the worst. Gosh you people really know how to take the battle eh? Talk about fair weather supporters of progressive causes. Read Ezra Klein today on the Dean proposal of 5 years ago and yesterday on Social Security. I really must stop reading the internet this week it makes my head hurt and pisses me off how pusillanimous some people are. At least Obama is willing to be a one term president for the sake of getting these bills through congress and some people just want him to be the messiah as if he were King and congress did not exist.

  203. 203
    JenJen says:

    Remember last week on “This Week” when Howard Dean corrected Stephanopolous by saying, “We need 51 votes”?

    He’s doubling-down. From Netroots Nation today:

    Howard Dean: Dems Will Pass Health Care Reform Through Reconciliation, Without Republicans

    http://washingtonindependent.c.....epublicans

  204. 204
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Actually, this is very good thinking! If they want to be scared out of their shorts, maybe this is the way to do it. Softly, softly, just don’t feed the bulldog, apparently. I wonder if any organization would do it?

  205. 205
    SGEW says:

    O/T (sorta)

    President Obama was interviewed by an 11 year old (via Chris Good) and talks about state education reform, school violence, mango production, and the effect of age on one’s ability to dunk basketballs. Kind of super.

    While watching it, I was struck by how the tone Obama uses while talking to a child might be his best bet for reasoning with the right wing. The New York Post is written at the fourth grade level, after all; it might help to speak at the audience’s level.

  206. 206
    bob says:

    Nader was right. Also.

  207. 207
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @harlana pepper:

    @CMcC: I guess, for my part, I’d like to see an FDR-style approach from Obama, at this point, calling out all those responsible for standing in the way of reform, with righteous indignation. Yep, I’m due for a little righteous indignation at this point. Color me still slightly idealistic (at my own peril, as always). (continues to suck thumb, hand me my blankie, pls) ;)

    Ditto that, but please we need to stop with this mythology that FDR created the progressive universe in 6 days and then on the seventh day he rested. Go read about the New Deal. Most of it didn’t happen FDR’s first year. Some of it didn’t happen until his second term. And that was with the G.D. acting as a constant ongoing spur to action.

    Anyone who wants to be a progressive needs a cast iron stomach and an almost infinite supply of patience. We need to have the phrase “the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice” tatooed on the inside of our eyelids. If battling the haters and the screamers now seems like a long frustrating and perhaps futile slog, imagine what it must have been like, how much more futile and frustrating it must have seemed, to be part of the civil rights movement in the 1930s and 1940s. And yet ultimately they won, as incomplete and partial as their victories were (and still are today), in the long run they won and their opponents lost. Remember that always.

  208. 208
    Da Bomb says:

    @Emma: @Ash Can: @Va Highlander: We are all on the same page. I couldn’t get pass like the 50th comment myself.

    DAMN!

  209. 209
    Fencedude says:

    @lotus:

    Cao’s pretty much screwed, and he knows it.

  210. 210
    BlizzardOfOz says:

    @Valdivia

    Is that like how Obama was in favor of the proposals to tax bonuses to bailed-out companies at 90%? If you recall, he then quietly cut a deal with the bonus recipients to let them keep the money. Or how he was in favor of civil liberties? Until it came time to actually do something about it.

    But yeah, it’s great that he’s willing to say words about what a great guy he is.

  211. 211
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Da Bomb: All of you should read though. Some of us are not conceding, and you might find it uplifting.

  212. 212
    JK says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    The Jungle was written by Upton Sinclair not Sinclair Lewis.

    @Parole Officer Burke:

    Your references to John Bolton and Dick Cheney are bullshit and just show that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. I want Obama to stand up to these assholes and not fold like a cheap lawn chair whenever they say boo.
    If you enjoy getting fucked up the ass by Republicans why aren’t you reading redstate.com, Michelle Malkin, and Glenn Reynolds? I want Obama to act like a man and stop allowing Republicans to fuck him up the ass.

  213. 213
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    “I still contend health care reform is over.”

    Back when the Paris Hilton ads got a few percentage points of traction in the polls you were ready to declare McCain the next President. Relax. If our national comity is such that a few screeching know-nothings can set the terms of every issue then we DESERVE to become China’s redheaded stepchild.

  214. 214
    Special Ed says:

    John

    It is not over. We will get a decent bill passed. Have some faith.

    The opposition is fierce but they are not very smart. And I believe we have reached peak wingnut earlier this week . Watch as it starts to die down. You’ll see.

    Also stop taking Andrew Sullivan seriously. It’s easy for me as I am gay and understand the Log Cabin Republican mentality. One should never vote against one own interests.

    If you want to be one of us, don’t give up so easily. Like Andrew did.

  215. 215
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Nonsense. You claimed no evidence that Obama plans for the long term and I gave some.

    Ummm, no you didn’t. You suggested that somehow Obama’s support of the stimulus was linked to long term electoral gains for the Democratic Party, rather than the much more obvious answer – he needed it NOW,NOW,NOW and wanted it passed to address immediate concerns.

    I been listening to dems and pundits calling lie on wingnuts all day long on my teevee. And dem politicians too. And who cares that the GOP lies. Doesn’t mean dems have to too, which is your implication.

    That’s not even close to my implication but it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest to see you display comprehension fail. My implication was clearly that the Repubs lie about everything and when anyone does bother to point out their hypocrisy they only lie louder and longer. They certainly don’t stop lying. And their lies get traction, that is why it matters.

    I have said all along that this will come down to the many more Senate libs taking charge of this thing and doing it by Recon. Process. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

    Well, which is it? You’ve said it all along but maybe they will or maybe they won’t.

  216. 216

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, which is it? You’ve said it all along but maybe they will or maybe they won’t.

    I’ve said all along that this will be what it comes down too.
    Unlike you, I can’t read the future. But my guess is they will.

    Ummm, no you didn’t. You suggested that somehow Obama’s support of the stimulus was linked to long term electoral gains for the Democratic Party, rather than the much more obvious answer – he needed it NOW,NOW,NOW and wanted it passed to address immediate concerns

    So because Obama rushed to get it passed, it precludes any long term thinking. Surely, your not that ignorant, or dense.

    That’s not even close to my implication but it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest to see you display comprehension fail. My implication was clearly that the Repubs lie about everything and when anyone does bother to point out their hypocrisy they only lie louder and longer. They certainly don’t stop lying. And their lies get traction, that is why it matters.

    You’re claim was that dems, or anybody was calling their lies lies. You are wrong with the everpresent boilerplate concern trollish nonsense.

  217. 217
    Trinity says:

    @Leelee for Obama: Yes. I’m with you.

  218. 218

    You’re claim was that dems, or anybody was (not) calling their lies lies

    correction

  219. 219
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    @JK:

    I want Obama to act like a man and stop allowing Republicans to fuck him up the ass.

    All I’m saying is that your rhetoric is . . . concerning. And unfortunately familiar in its testicular associations.

    But please. Continue talking about perceived emasculation, and our need for WOLVERINES! “character.” It’s a lovely thing to see on our side.

  220. 220
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @Va Highlander:

    this bizarre notion of wingnut inevitability, the dumbass conviction that stupid always triumphs.

    Well, we are, after all, reality based around here.

    I don’t hear anyone trashing Obama. I don’t hear anyone speak of giving up. What I hear is some general angst that the process has tilted even further toward teh stoopid these last couple of weeks.

    No one is giving up. I’ll be attending my Dem congressman’s town hall here in Alabama, at considerable risk to my sanity and my cardiac health.

  221. 221
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    OT: Pie!

  222. 222
    Violet says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Oh, I LOVE this. I’ve been saying similar stuff. Scare people about the Republicans and what their failure to act will do. Get them on the defensive. That’s what needs to be done.

    I wonder if some organization would have the cojones to run such an ad.

  223. 223
    some guy says:

    “The corporation whores in Congress know that, unlike Republicans who will support their President come hell or disaster, we will turn on ours at the drop of a hat.”

    If we would only CLAP LOUDER then the Senate Dems will do their jobs.

    “And in any case, keep your fuckin’ defeatest bullshit to yourself, unless you’re going to be honest about it and explicitly throw your support behind the stupid.”

    If you’re not clapping then you are objectively pro-GOP.

  224. 224
  225. 225
    angulimala says:

    So because Obama rushed to get it passed, it precludes any long term thinking. Surely, your not that ignorant, or dense.

    Haste and Strategic Thinking are not mutually incompatible, but they tend to be infrequent companions.

  226. 226
    lotus says:

    JK, you’ve convinced me that you’re at base a rightwinger. Bet you end up voting that way before long (if you haven’t already).

  227. 227
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    “I wonder if any organization would do it?”

    Unfortunately, no. My problem with progressives is that they are painfully naive – they honestly believe that if the facts are on their side and the policy is good, the politics will follow. The fact that Republicans can get more than two people into Congress pretty clearly refutes that idea.

    Like it or not, emotions drive most people’s political decisions. People didn’t vote for Obama because his policies were sound. People voted for him because he inspired them. People voted for him because he gave them hope.

    So our arguments will continue to have numbers and graphs and “fact-checking”, and all it will do is make Americans confused and uncomfortable at the perceived complexity of the issue. Then the Repubs can whip that concern into fear, and then we’re screwed.

    We don’t just need better Dems – we need better marketers. We can’t be surprised that we can’t convince the Blue Dogs if we can’t convince their constituents.

  228. 228
    binzinerator says:

    @Sloth:

    If we cannot act in the face of that, if we allow a small but vocal minority (and there will ALWAYS be a small but vocal minority), armed only with assertions that are patently false, set the direction of our country – in the face of overwhelming evidence that we urgently need to act and soon.
    Well
    We’re in deep shit.

    We’ve been in deep shit ever since Gingrich and his goobers shut down the government in the 90’s. That was the first time in my memory where exactly what you described — small vocal minority shouting patently false assertions took control of the debate and the media and set the direction for this country.

    The way the ‘election’ of 2000 was resolved was another example. The run up to the Iraq war was yet another (although many supported it by the invasion date, that support was the successful result of the push for invasion begun by that vocal minority shouting false assertions).

    Fear, lies, and racebaiting. The tried and true conservative means to ‘democracy’.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these people don’t really like or want democracy.

  229. 229
    Va Highlander says:

    @some guy:

    If you’re not clapping then you are objectively pro-GOP.

    Non sequitur much?

  230. 230

    @angulimala:

    Haste and Strategic Thinking are not mutually incompatible, but they tend to be infrequent companions.

    The bill contains long term R and D money and a lot of it. This is not in dispute, and also not in dispute is the fact that Obama rushed it, like all presnits do on just about anything they want congress to do.

  231. 231
    JK says:

    @lotus: @Parole Officer Burke:

    You two are as dense as Palin and Bachmann. Elections have consequences. The last time I checked, Obama won and McCain lost. You two want to treat the Republicans in Congress as if they held majorities in the House and Senate. You need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Lotus, you’ve convinced me that at base you’re full of it.

  232. 232

    John, I agree with every single word and sentiment in this post 10,000 percent.

  233. 233

    […] Joshua Malbin on Aug.14, 2009, under Politics Is it me, or does our online side concede rather too easily (usually angrily, although sometimes ruefully, and always with the proviso that […]

  234. 234
    Ambergris says:

    Please, people, don’t make Grassley anymore important than he is. The Finance commitee bill is just one of several bills that all have to be reconciled. The very final bill, the one made on the conference commitee, can be passed without him. I don’t know why we have to wait for the Finance Commitee to finish a bill, but it’s just one of several steps of the protocol. Let Grassley get everything he wants, just to get this bill to conference… Grassley will still not agree, because he wants the bill to fail (I suspect it’s because he regards Barack Obama as uppity, it’s not necessarily racist, though it’s possible, but remember that Grassley said: “Obama doesn’t know how the Senate works…” Grassley is jealous and bitter.).
    And then, Obama will negotiate and the final bill will be more liberal than anything the Finance commitee passes. This whole August is just partisan theater….

  235. 235
    Parole Officer Burke says:

    @JK:

    You . . . want to treat the Republicans in Congress as if they held majorities in the House and Senate.

    Of course not. However, I do not want the Democratic majority to treat the Republican minority in the same manner that Republicans treated the Democratic minority from 2002-2006: a manner I heartily criticized at the time, and will do so even if done by “my side.” These “with us or against us” political tactics, even if temporarily efficacious, are ultimately counterproductive because of . . .

    . . . wait . . . didn’t we have this very same debate during the primaries?

    (Shudders at memory. Puts away sock puppet.)

  236. 236
    lotus says:

    JK, 230 continues to add evidence backing my theory.

  237. 237

    Fuck it, let’s go all in. Let’s put death panels in the bills for white southern Republicans. Let’s announce that Rush Limbaugh will be harpooned and then beaten to death with baseball bats by unionized hispanics and negro thugs from ACORN/SEIU as soon as he asks for his next Oxycontin or Viagra fix. Let’s put in a provision to sterilize everyone who works at Fox News and to lobotomize and then castrate Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly on national television. Put an abortion provision into the bill that makes abortion mandatory for all Republican women unless they were raped by a brown member of ACORN/SEIU, in which case their abortion won’t be paid for with public funds.

    I’ve had it with giving in to the stupid. I want one Democratic politician, just one of them to say “The Republicans are lying sacks of shit.” Seriously, I want the Democrats to start calling the Republicans on their lies. I don’t need some spineless twat like Claire McCaskill apologizing for Chuck Grassley’s crazy.

  238. 238
    Betsy says:

    @Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon):

    No one is giving up. I’ll be attending my Dem congressman’s town hall here in Alabama, at considerable risk to my sanity and my cardiac health.

    You are doing god’s work, there. Thank you. I haven’t gone to any meetings because I live in a state that’s practically indigo, it’s so blue, and my representative and senators are already completely on board. So there hasn’t been any point. But it’s so necessary for progressives who live in red and purple places to make their voices heard publicly.

  239. 239
    lotus says:

    Some gooper in GA wants his constituents to know that “When mama falls and breaks her hip, she’ll just lie in her bed in pain until she dies with pneumonia because her needed surgery is not cost efficient.”

    Can’t wait for Stewart or Colbert to get hold of that full-on freakout.

  240. 240
    John Cole says:

    I’m kind of amused by the comments that suggest if I leave the Democratic party, I will go back to the GOP. I’m afraid you just haven’t been paying attention. That isn’t the direction I’m trending.

  241. 241
    SenyorDave says:

    I would like to see Obama in the town halls specifically read the part about health care directives, then Plain’s twitter response, and simply say either Ms. Palin doesn’t understand plain English or she is lying.

    By the way, they should rename twitter palin, as in “my life is meaningless, but I will be palining the useless details of my life and the empty thoughts in my head”.

  242. 242
    Kryptik says:

    @lotus:

    Yes, because insurance companies are nice enough to boot you from their coverage instead if mama breaks her hip so they don’t have to cover you.

  243. 243
    SGEW says:

    @John Cole:

    That isn’t the direction I’m trending.

    Somewhere out there, Ralph Nader rubs his hands in smug self-righteousness.

  244. 244
    Kryptik says:

    @John Cole:

    That’s the funny thing. Every criticism of the Dem party I see from you is the inability to counteract the idiocy of the GOP. But…you know, tensions are rising high, because of that exact problem, I guess.

    Guhh…this crap just stinks to high hell.

  245. 245

    @John Cole:

    . I’m afraid you just haven’t been paying attention.

    Aside from the never let you forget shaky Peak Wingnut muse, most know you as a tad smarter than to take up with Rattlesnakes again.

  246. 246
    wasabi gasp says:

    The cloud’s silver lining: if reform can’t happen under this president while holding majorities in both houses and you ever had the inkling to become an expat, the decision making process will become significantly easier. you can hit the road jack, there ain’t no hope to hold you back.

    It’s ironic how freedom works.

  247. 247
    NCReggie says:

    To all you guys and gals on this thread who aren’t willing to concede the field thank you. The R’s haven’t let two electoral ass stompings dissuade them from trying to shit on the country under the guise of the all powerful ‘free market’. I live in a state where half the R’s believe Obama’s a crypto muslim Kenyan marxist fascist liberal communist racist euthanizer and the shit only makes me want to win harder so we can rub it in their faces. I know its difficult to be advised to be patient; I’m 24 and can’t imagine having lived under successive Republican adminstrations (I wuz like busy being born during Reagan’s second term and barely remember the 1st Bush) and it seems like this moment is so fragile and so ephemeral that it may never come again. But please keep the faith and don’t give up no matter how much the stupid saturates the media. We can still do this.

  248. 248
    ominira says:

    It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.

    Seems to me that Americans who are pro healthcare reform are to blame if some watered down health BS passes, for not being as vocal in putting their congresscritters’ feet to the fire. In the US, we now have an idea that he who shouts loudest wins the debate, since the media has long abandoned its role of reporting facts. And the conservatives know how to shout really loud. Do we really think Dem politicians alone are all it takes to fight back? I think there’ll be plenty of blame to go around if a health insurance hijack bill passes, I’m not as willing as you are to take myself off the hook for a share of the blame.

  249. 249
    Mike in NC says:

    I didn’t realize we still were under Republican rule in Congress the Corporate Media.

    Fixed!

  250. 250
    geg6 says:

    Howard Dean, who I saw speak today, is right. I was feeling nothing but despair about this but I feel I got a bit of the mojo back today at NN. Many Dems have been utilizing a less media friendly, more real grass roots strategy to talk to constituents over the recess. They’ve been having smaller gatherings with unions, veterans groups, small business associations, PTAs, etc. We can’t out scream them, we can’t out crazy them, we can’t do the outrageous soundbite. But we know how to work the ground. That’s what really won the day in 2006 and last fall. And that’s what can do it again. Research 2000/DKos’ polling shows that all is not as bleak as it may seem through the media’s coverage. We can get this done, but we have to do it the same way we did it in the past. It’s the hard way, but it works and nothing good happens without that hard work on the ground. Being reminded of that has made going to Netroots Nation today worthwhile.

  251. 251
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    Jesus, this thread just needs a Debbie Downer “wah-wah-wah” sound effect to be complete.

    Can’t wait to watch some of the concern trolls here wail and rend their garments when a bill passes this fall and it doesn’t contain every progressive wet dream on healthcare or deliver a pony to every voter’s doorstep.

  252. 252
    Calouste says:

    @Rosali:

    The health care rally outside Bill Nelson’s Florida office was a big shouting match between teabaggers and MoveOn supporters. On the radio report of the rally, I heard lots of chants of “Go back to Africa”.

    Did people reply to that with “Go back to Europe”?

  253. 253
    JK says:

    @lotus:

    Go ahead and try appealing to the better angels of the nature of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John Cornyn, John McCain, Chuck Grassley, and Eric Cantor and see how far that gets you.

    It’s reassuring to see an Obama supporter like you who can’t wait to grovel at the feet of the Republicans.

  254. 254
    Ryan says:

    “Health care for illegal immigrants”

    Hi. My name is Brick Oven Bill. I like to throw up straw men. When you knock one of them down, I’ll throw up three more to take its place. This is what I do. All Day. Every day.

  255. 255
    Ryan says:

    …health care for illegal immigrants…

    Hi. My name is Brick Oven Bill. I like to throw up straw men. When you knock one of them down, I’ll throw up three more to take its place. This is what I do. All Day. Every day.

  256. 256
    Max says:

    I hope everyone is watching the Town Hall starting now. I’m streaming from MSNBC.com.

  257. 257
    Leelee for Obama says:

    JK-Thanks for the correction. I try not to mix them up, but it happens.

    No comment on the rest of my post, though? That kind of disappoints me. I certainly put enough in it to prompt more than, “you credited the wrong author.” Just sayin”

  258. 258
    gbear says:

    It is just over.

    Well I guess I should just go ahead and delete my BJ bookmark then.

  259. 259
    JK says:

    @Parole Officer Burke:

    Maybe you and lotus have a point. Obama should just lock arms with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John Cornyn, Jim Inhofe, Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann, John McCain, and Eric Cantor and sing We Are the World and everything will be okay.

    I dedicate this song to you. Enjoy.
    We Are The World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2W4-0qUdHY

  260. 260
    Blue Raven says:

    @JK:

    Considering the number of real men I know who enjoy getting fucked up the ass, you are speaking in non-sequitur and hyperbole from a universe I do not recognize as my own. Darmok and Jilad at Tenagra.

  261. 261
    Da Bomb says:

    @Leelee for Obama: Thanks for staying in the struggle.

  262. 262
    JK says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    My bad. I was too busy trying to convince Parole Officer Burke and lotus that Obama needs to act a man instead of acting like a goddamn jellyfish.

    Other than the mix-up between Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair, your post was a bullseye. I wouldn’t take issue with anything you said.

    I’m depressed as hell right now. It feels like McCain and Palin won. Compromise and consensus are commendable goals, but Obama is just letting the Republicans treat him like a doormat.

  263. 263
    JK says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    My bad. I was too busy trying to convince Parole Officer Burke and lotus that Obama needs to act a man instead of acting like a goddman jellyfish.

    Other than the mix-up between Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair, your post was a bullseye. I wouldn’t take issue with anything you said.

    I’m depressed as hell right now. It feels like McCain and Palin won. Compromise and consensus are commendable goals, but Obama is just letting the Republicans treat him like a doormat.

  264. 264
    Blue Raven says:

    argh, I KNEW I should’ve put a closing slash into 260

  265. 265
    JK says:

    @Blue Raven:

    I’m delighted that you were able to get this off your chest.

  266. 266
    kay says:

    @geg6:

    Obama has a base. Democrats have a base. He needs to completely bring his base on board to get the kind of work you’re talking about out of them, and he hasn’t even done that.
    It’s okay to ignore them in elections, because chances are they’ll vote for the most liberal choice.
    He can’t ignore them now because he actually needs them.
    He could do it, too, and in one statement. He could say he’d veto anything without a public option, and this debate gets real focused, real fast. No more picking out provisions of the House bill, or any of that.
    He could turn it around. All the media would rush like lemmings, and we’d be back on track.
    It concerns me that he won’t do that. I’m wondering why.

  267. 267
    Brachiator says:

    @JK:

    Elections have consequences. The last time I checked, Obama won and McCain lost. You two want to treat the Republicans in Congress as if they held majorities in the House and Senate.

    Obama can blow off the Republican Party, and the Republicans in the Congress. He cannot, however, blow off voters and citizens who are not fully signed on to his plans.

    I think that Obama can succeed in the long run, even if health care reform is delayed. A strengthening economy can only help restore the people’s confidence in him. But he cannot sustain his efforts without a smarter and braver Congress (although there is not much he can do about this).

    And he may also have to cut loose some of the lame Clinton-era holdovers in his Cabinet, and even some of his own selections. These people seem to have thought that this was the Restoration, and they could just pull old ideas down from off the shelf, instead of having to carefully craft programs to fit current circumstances and sell them to the American people. And most of all, instead of bumbling technocrats like Timothy Geithner, Obama needs to find his Francis Perkins.

    As a loyal supporter of her friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt, [Perkins] helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition…. During her term as Secretary of Labor, Perkins championed many aspects of the New Deal, including the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration and its successor the Federal Works Agency, and the labor portion of the National Industrial Recovery Act. With The Social Security Act she established unemployment benefits, pensions for the many uncovered elderly Americans, and welfare for the poorest Americans. She pushed to reduce workplace accidents and helped craft laws against child labor. Through the Fair Labor Standards Act, she established the first minimum wage and overtime laws for American workers, and defined the standard 40-hour work week.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Perkins

    As others have noted, there is no need for pearl-clutching. The Republicans have shown that they can marshal a fair amount of fear and loathing against Obama and the Democrats. But the Republicans don’t have facts and reality on their side, and their attempts at misdirection can’t cover the inconvienent truth that the GOP has run out of ideas.

    (the site ate an earlier version of this post that I tried to submit using Chrome as my browser)

  268. 268
    matoko_chan says:

    Umm…not so fast, Dr. Cole.
    That actually was a good move for Obama.
    He pulled Palin’s fangs with serengetti magic.
    Now she can’t use the “death panel” meme to demagogue the low information base.

    Im keeping the tit-for-tat gamespace on my blog.
    Obama is still winning.

    Cheer up Dr. Cole….healthcare reform isn’t Obama’s waterloo…..it is the GOP’s.
    It is getting ugly because the GOP is fighting for its political life.

    But tit-for-tat is unbeatable.

  269. 269
    some guy says:

    “Can’t wait to watch some of the concern trolls here wail and rend their garments when a bill passes this fall and it doesn’t contain every progressive wet dream on healthcare or deliver a pony to every voter’s doorstep.”

    Would it be okay to complain if a bill passed without a public option? What if it didn’t cover pre-existing conditions? What if it only closes the insured/uninsured gap by 1/2 or 1/3? Is the only benchmark for success that the Dems pass something with “Health Care Reform” in the title?

    I’m wondering when it’s appropriate to actually care about what’s in a bill vs. when it’s just “concern trolling.” kthx

  270. 270
    kay says:

    @some guy:

    No, it won’t be okay without a public option because the public option is the mechanism that drives down cost for private plan purchasers.

    Blue Dogs won’t address this, and either will Republicans, but plans without a public option simply have no mechanism to drive down costs for people who purchase private insurance.

    The thing doesn’t work in pieces. Without the competitive mechanism, what benefit is there for people who buy private plans, in any of the conservative plans?

    All they’re talking about is subsidizing a monopoly with taxpayer funds. It’s not that I have some mad irrational love for the public option. I think it WON’T WORK without it, and I have read reams, and I can’t find anyone who even pretends to identify something in plans without it that drives down the cost of private insurance.

  271. 271
    EthylEster says:

    @Michael D.: Michael, Michael, Michael.

    Maybe you have failed to notice that the crazy seniors at the townhalls are not necessarily representative of ALL seniors. Sort of like the sometimes over-the-top folks that do outrageous things at gay pride parades. It would be false to assume that all gays act like that all the time, wouldn’t it?

    I know many, many seniors who repudiate these boisterous old folks town meeting. Why not call for euthanasia for white people? I’ve seen lots of them at the town halls.

    The folks on the right are clearly insane. Why do the folks on the left feel like they have to outdo them?

  272. 272
    drillfork says:

    @Max: Really? It’s all going to be OK once Obama gives a good speech?

    And just where has Obama’s awesome oratory gotten us to this point?…

  273. 273
    kay says:

    @some guy:

    For me, if the “compromise” does not include a non-profit option so people can purchase insurance outside of the market, er, monopoly, all they’re asking me to do is transfer taxpayer funds to an entity responsible only to it’s shareholders.
    And I just finished doing that, with Wall Street, and I’m not doing it again. I’m not putting myself in a position where I have to subsidize the very same creeps that have fought a rational, humane approach to health care for 60 years, and that cavalierly treat their customers like garbage, because they CAN, because their customers have NO CHOICE.

  274. 274
    Closer to Health Car/Insurance reform than we have been since TR first supported in in says:

    @drillfork: Closer to Health Care/Insurance Reform and Universal coverage than we have been since Teddy Roosevelt first supported it in 1916, that’s where. His Town Hall was spotty-spot-on and he really does have the gift of making the esoteric seem like kindergarten stuff. Really, take heart-and read th upbeat posters and realize that we are the change we’ve been waiting for isn’t just a campaign slogan, it’s a lifestyle and a mission.

  275. 275
    Closer to Health Car/Insurance reform than we have been since TR first supported in in says:

    shit-modererated and I didn’t even use the s-word. What’up wit dat?

  276. 276
    Leelee for Obama says:

    I figured it out-somehow I changed my user name and you have to decide if I’m worthy!

  277. 277
    Comrade Darkness says:

    >I still contend health care reform is over.

    Meh. It’s day will come. Clearly the pain isn’t bad enough yet. 40 million Americans suffering isn’t enough Americans suffering, according to the republicans, the teevee people, and the press. Okay. How about 100 million? How about 75% of the population? We’ll get there. The current health care “industry” is terminal, but still able to put up a fight . . . well, it will be swamped by individual experience eventually. Unfortunately, a lot of pain and suffering by Americans is going to happen before we get there.

  278. 278
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    @some guy:

    I’m wondering when it’s appropriate to actually care about what’s in a bill vs. when it’s just “concern trolling.”

    Relax, sunshine. I wasn’t talking about you.

    To answer your question, though, I think a public option and a ban on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions are the two must-haves. We’re not going to get everything we want, and there will be teeth-clenching compromises to be made, but if we get a bill that achieves those two goals in a reasonable fashion I’d consider it a win.

    The other goodies can come later, after low-info douchebags voters realize that socializ-ed healthcare isn’t that scary after all.

  279. 279
    MBSS says:

    oh, it seems like some of you don’t understand.

    nader is right. there is only one party. the corporate party.

    corporate oligarchy ftl. i’m a green.

    a hypothetical. do you think mckinney or nader or kucinich would have delivered single payer health care?

    i can’t be disappointed by dems, because i gave up on them after i voted for clinton’s 2nd term when i was 18.

  280. 280
    Comrade Darkness says:

    That should be “Its day”

    GAh, edit funckshun please. wimper. I’ve been a good boy this week…

  281. 281
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    @MBSS:

    a hypothetical. do you think mckinney or nader or kucinich would have delivered single payer health care?

    In MonkeysMightFlyOutofMyButtLand – the only place any of them could conceivably achieve the presidency – sure. Next question?

  282. 282
    Makewi says:

    This is Obama’s fault because he promised health care reform and then rather than put together a plan himself and present it, he let Congress put together a piece of crap that very few want. People might want health care reform, but it is clear that they don’t want this plan.

    Then again, according to the geniuses of the current Dem leadership those opposing this are either: astroturfers; Nazi’s; or thugs reminiscent of those who opposed the civil rights movement.

    The Dems and/or Reps should identify the single most important problem having to do with health care and then propose a plan which can offer measurable success. Then move on to the next one.

  283. 283

    I wish I knew if the so-called Co-Op idea could be structured in a way that would essentially make it a viable alternative to a Public Option. The only info I can find is that there is precious little past experience of having them deal with the complexities of health care delivery. And From what I can gather, there are only very small ones scattered around the states but they are almost completely unregulated and little research is available as to how they function, especially if brought to national scale with the purpose of competing against the large insurance companies and HMO.s.

  284. 284
    Da Bomb says:

    @tripletee (formerly tBone): Tee-hee, you made a funny!

  285. 285
    john@MM says:

    I don’t post here often, but I couldn’t help myself this time.

    Here we have a post talking about how the Democrats in Congress are big pussies and how Obama isn’t strong enough. All of those comments are from people that have decided the battle is lost before it has even reached its height. I’m not sure how many people in Congress are giving up already, but I sure do know there are a bunch of defeatocrats posting on this blog. Grow a spine, people. Get out there and fight for it if you think it is what we need.

  286. 286
    EthylEster says:

    @MBSS: do you think mckinney or nader or kucinich would have delivered single payer health care?

    I’m going to assume you mean: “would have been able to deliver single payer health care?”

    I’m not sure. IMO things are so complex these days (including the bills themselves) that it’s possible that accomplishing something big like this requires 9/11 unity BS. IOW the opposition has to STFU for it to happen. I rather doubt that the repubs would be any quieter if mckinney or nader or kucinich had been elected.

    Also the president does not have to embrace corporate interests in order to be controlled by them.

  287. 287
    WereBear says:

    @linda:

    can you even imagine a scenario where a republican would downplay and provide cover for a democrat who lied like grassley did.

    If we are talking long game here, (at the beginning of football season,) what could be better than to imply that Grassley is really, deep down, the Democra’ts best buddy?

    Let the Republicans primary so they get the Evil Clown candidate, who usually loses in the general.

    Let them go crazy, I say. Whackier, meaner, and more spittle flecked, the better.

    The MSM can’t let it go too far without undermining their own sagging credibility; after all.

  288. 288
    Brachiator says:

    @Makewi:

    This is Obama’s fault because he promised health care reform and then rather than put together a plan himself and present it, he let Congress put together a piece of crap that very few want.

    Golly, gee. Obama expected Congress to do their freaking job in drafting health care legislation. The Congress got so used to the Imperial Presidency giving them their marching orders that they apparerently forgot that they were not puppets waiting to have their strings pulled.

    People might want health care reform, but it is clear that they don’t want this plan.

    This is not clear at all. The devil is still in the details.

    Then again, according to the geniuses of the current Dem leadership those opposing this are either: astroturfers; Nazi’s; or thugs reminiscent of those who opposed the civil rights movement.

    Not quite the case. But thanks for trying.

    The Dems and/or Reps should identify the single most important problem having to do with health care and then propose a plan which can offer measurable success. Then move on to the next one.

    Fairly reasonable. But it’s not just the single most important problem that’s at issue here. Costs, portability, access, for example, are all fairly important. And hidden within some of the less articulate shouting protests are fears that a new health care plan might see a decline in the quality of plans that people currently have. These fears have to be addressed.

  289. 289
    Tax Analyst says:

    #240 @ John Cole said:

    “I’m kind of amused by the comments that suggest if I leave the Democratic party, I will go back to the GOP. I’m afraid you just haven’t been paying attention. That isn’t the direction I’m trending.”

    Alaskan Independence Party?

    All kidding aside, John, where WOULD you go? Note that you can declare yourself to be in any party you want to, but if you never vote for one and almost always vote for another the only thing it does is take you out of the primaries in some (but not all) states.

  290. 290
    Cain says:

    @Max:

    You are my hero.

    cain

  291. 291
    Brachiator says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    We won’t get single payer until it is established in the minds of the overwhelming majority of Americans that health care coverage of some sort, skimpy though it may be, is a civil right to which every American is entitled by birth right, not something optional that you deserve only if you work for it or can afford to pay for it; that having health care is like having a fire department.

    But part of the problem here is that some progressives and others keep tossing out the term single payer as though it is the obvious, proven, universally agreed-upon answer. But it’s not.

    In Canadian Medicare, doctors may work in private practices or for public or private hospitals, each of which is in turn paid by government health insurance. Under other single-payer health systems like the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the public owns the health systems and facilities. The term single-payer thus only describes the funding mechanism —referring to health care being paid for by a single public body— and does not specify the type of delivery, or who doctors work for. This describes difference between “national health insurance” and “socialized medicine.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....ealth_care

    And while it’s all well and good to assert health care as a birthright (which is questionable), reasonable people are looking for something more practical.

    Obama and the Democrats have to show that they can deliver a plan that provides quality medical care at a reasonable cost, without bankrupting the Treasury or foolishly redirecting money that might otherwise be used for other productive purposes.

    And opponents of anything being proposed by Obama have to get beyond the “it’s soc i a l ism” malarky and deal with a couple of inconvenient truths:

    The U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world on both a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP.

    In a 2007 comparison by the Commonwealth Fund of health care in the U.S. with that of Germany, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the U.S. ranked last on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes.

    While some people may be satisfied with their health plans (until they lose them or are dropped), the US is not Number One in the world, and can do better for its citizens than it is doing right now.

  292. 292
    Tax Analyst says:

    At this point I’m staying cautiously optimistic. This CAN happen, but it doesn’t mean it will. I don’t think it makes any sense to give up. What? You think slinking back into your sofa now will make it any less painful to deal with the moment if this thing happens to fail? How we deal with Health Care Reform has real consequences. Its frustrating that the other side doesn’t seem to really care…they are determined and all-consumed with their desire to create a failure for the President even if it harms many people and further polarizes the nation. And your answer to that is to fucking GIVE UP?

    I like Leelee’s answer better. Keep working for the better – realize that anything good and progressive will not come without a struggle.

    Or learn to be satisfied with being part of the “Silent Majority”. It won’t make things better and it probably puts you on approximately the same level as the “bitter Guns & Bible people” in actual importance, but it will give you permanent license to whine about how bad things and how they’ll never get any better right up until your last pathetic and easily ignorable dying gasp.

    Maybe they’ll put that on your gravestone.

  293. 293
    HyperIon says:

    @Brachiator: While some people may be satisfied with their health plans (until they lose them or are dropped), the US is not Number One in the world…

    YES. That many people seem completely ignorant of this fact is extremely puzzling and frustrating. I just don’t get it.

  294. 294
    Cain says:

    @Silver Owl:
    It has been shown quite clearly that congress represents corporate America far more readily than they do the American people. That is something only the American people can correct.

    Indeed. We sit here and whine on this blog, but unless you’ve bothered to send a letter to your congressman/senator then really the fault is on our side. We’re a bunch of lazy bastards who want Obama to do all the work for us. The power has always been with the people if we can manage to unite. _sigh_

    cain

  295. 295
    Cain says:

    @SGEW:
    While watching it, I was struck by how the tone Obama uses while talking to a child might be his best bet for reasoning with the right wing. The New York Post is written at the fourth grade level, after all; it might help to speak at the audience’s level.

    Speaking of which, I was in India for the past 2.5 weeks (anybody miss me? probably not.. but anyways.. ) and the newspaper there are a lot more entertaining then American newspapers as reporters definitely not only report the news but subtly add turn of phrases to clue in the reader on their own opinion. The language used was about high school or even college. Some words I had to actually look up in the dictionary! If Indian newspapers can do it, so can American newspapers and the amount of people who can’t read in India is a lot more than the U.S. even percentage wise.

    We should expect more from our country. We should have high expectations. When did we stop doing that?

    cain

  296. 296
    Corner Stone says:

    @matoko_chan:

    But tit-for-tat is unbeatable

    No it isn’t. T4T is a powerful strategy but it is by no means unbeatable.
    You’re assuming a premise that does not exist to assume T4T is the optimal strategy here.

  297. 297

    […] Cole went ballistic the other morning, and declared the Health Care Reform battle over and lost, stating “…the Democrats have […]

  298. 298
  299. 299

    […] John Cole with an example. Money quote: If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now, they would have […]

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