The Stupid Leading the Blind

People are confused about health care reform:

Two in three Americans call the health care reforms being debated by lawmakers confusing; only 31 percent said they have a clear understanding of the proposed changes. Sixty-seven percent of those questioned said the reform ideas were confusing.

Wonder if that has anything to do with this:

The Post publishes health-care reform stories almost every day as it tracks the twists and turns of the epic debate. So it’s surprising to hear from so many readers who ask: Why hasn’t The Post explained what this is all about?

“Your paper’s coverage continues in the ‘horse race’ mode,” complained Bill Byrd of Falls Church. “Who’s up, who’s down . . . political spin, personal political attacks.

***

In my examination of roughly 80 A-section stories on health-care reform since July 1, all but about a dozen focused on political maneuvering or protests. The Pew Foundation’s Project for Excellence in Journalism had a similar finding. Its recent month-long review of Post front pages found 72 percent of health-care stories were about politics, process or protests.

***

Last Sunday’s Outlook section carried a piece by former Post reporter T.R. Reid titled “Myths About Health Care Around the World.” The writing was terse and anecdotal, without health-care gobbledygook. No he-said-she-said.

On the Post’s Web site, it was among the most viewed articles on Sunday and Monday. It was one of the week’s most e-mailed stories.

There’s a reason.

Or maybe it has something to do with this:

At one point, Bartiromo was critical of the government-managed health care system in the United Kingdom. “How do I know the quality [of health care in the United States] is not going to suffer” with a public option? she asked.

Rep. Weiner reminded her that there already is government-managed health care in the United States — namely, Medicare, the system created for Americans 65 years and older — and that patients with Medicare report very high satisfaction rates.

Bartiromo’s response to this argument was a true head-scratcher. In a mocking tone, she pressed the congressman: “How come you don’t use it [Medicare]? You don’t have it. How come you don’t have it?”

Rep. Weiner, who turns 45 this week, tried to walk Bartiromo through it. “Because I’m not 65.” But she was insistent. “Yeah… c’mon!” she exclaimed, laughing incredulously.

Meanwhile, serial liar Betsy McCaughey was on CNBC spreading more falsehoods.

None of this gets Team Obama or the Democrats off the hook for doing such a terrible job with this debate so far, but at the same time, I’m not sure you get anything done when one side is just intent on blowing things up, and the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment. No matter what channel you turn to, you are exposed to outright liars, political hacks, or in the case of Bartiromo and others, just complete fools who are in so far over their head that they don’t even have any idea how much they don’t know.






131 replies
  1. 1
    itsbenj says:

    dear lizard that is depressing. “how come you don’t have Medicare??” like she think she’s really stumped him, LOL! what a friggin IDIOT.

  2. 2
    Cap and Gown says:

    Why this incessant bashing of Obama and his messaging? If there is one thing Obama could have/could still do better, it would be to target health insurance companies as the bogey man we need to fight. This would give an alternative target to that of the “guvmint.” But overall, Obama has done what he can to sell this. I hope he give an address to a joint session of Congress. That could help. But to blame Obama for not being able to keep up with the crazy seems over-wrought.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    Does Baritromo have any qualifications to be a journalist other than the fact that she has slept with many corporate executives? She’s getting kind of dumpy looking. Perhaps CNBC should think about replacing her with Elliot Spitzer’s call girl, who is younger and probably better qualified.

  4. 4
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    The way American discourse in the MSM has devolved reminds me of an episode of Married With Children where Al goes to the DMV to get his license renewed, and when asked what language he would like his renewal in, he requests ‘American’, (as opposed to the more common ‘English’) and is given a dusty old form that hasn’t been used since the ’70s. “I hope you know a lot about trailers” the clerk says.

    We are speaking two similar but very different languages in this country.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    None of this gets Team Obama or the Democrats off the hook for doing such a terrible job with this debate so far, but at the same time, I’m not sure you get anything done when one side is just intent on blowing things up, and the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment.

    Bullshit. This is a golden moment for the Dems to take back the debate. They need to lay down a single, detailed, definitive program people can read and begin to understand. And they need to become a reliable source of factually sound information.

    People want real information. The highly popular T.R. Reid “Myths About Health Care Around the World” article proves it. If Democrats and their proxies become fonts of genuine and accurate news, they become the people citizens will turn to in the future. If the Dems insist on hedging and muddying the waters with Co-ops and internal bickering and double-talk, what else can anyone do but continue listening to WaPo or CNN?

  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    Dog knows, I find about 99.9% of “journalists” reprehensible, brown-nosing, social climbing liars. But, as a woman and the daughter of an actual journalist, the epitome of everything I find wrong with journalism today is Maria Bartiromo. First, because I have yet to see her do any sort of reporting that I, a complete neophyte on the ins and outs of Wall Street and such places, couldn’t have done from my living room here in Western PA. But mostly because of how she trades on what she and some apparently others seem to think is her “sexuality.” I’ve watched her syndicated Wall Street Journal weekend show and also on CNBC and she doesn’t really interview subjects so much as flirt with them. And she never objects in any way to being called a “Money Honey.” Personally, I don’t find her at all attractive (and, no, it’s not a straight woman thing…I find many women attractive), but it seems there are no CEOs out there who won’t slobber all over her for some air time. It’s disgusting, offensive, and so sexist that it makes me want to tear my hair out.

  7. 7
    KG says:

    “Because I’m not 65.”

    And all I can think of is:

    Will you still love me, will you still need me, will you still want me, when I’m 65?

  8. 8
    Darius says:

    Why this incessant bashing of Obama and his messaging? If there is one thing Obama could have/could still do better, it would be to target health insurance companies as the bogey man we need to fight. This would give an alternative target to that of the “guvmint.” But overall, Obama has done what he can to sell this.

    Agreed. There’s no magic, silver-bullet solution to selling health-care reform. The best thing for Obama and the Dems to do right now is to get a bill passed, and to make sure it’s a good one. The fear and uncertainty will subside.

  9. 9
    gbear says:

    If there is one thing Obama could have/could still do better, it would be to target health insurance companies as the bogey man we need to fight.

    He’s actually been making that argument quite a bit lately. Haven’t you seen it on the news shows??

    Oh… wait…yea, never mind.

    Lookie! It’s John McCain! On TV!

  10. 10
    Nick says:

    None of this gets Team Obama or the Democrats off the hook for doing such a terrible job with this debate so far, but at the same time, I’m not sure you get anything done when one side is just intent on blowing things up, and the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment.

    doesn’t this imply that the terrible job Obama and the Democrats have done isn’t really their fault but the fault of the media and the liars they allow on their airwaves unchecked?

    Shorter: President Obama and the Democrats share the blame for not doing something they probably couldn’t do anyway.

  11. 11
    KG says:

    @KG: and yes, I know the lyrics are actually “when I’m 64”

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    None of this gets Team Obama or the Democrats off the hook for doing such a terrible job with this debate so far, but at the same time, I’m not sure you get anything done when one side is just intent on blowing things up, and the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment. No matter what channel you turn to, you are exposed to outright liars, political hacks, or in the case of Bartiromo and others, just complete fools who are in so far over their head that they don’t even have any idea how much they don’t know.

    The Democrats have to be in charge of the message, not just in getting the facts out, but in countering the stupid opposition. It’s not fair, it’s just how it is.

    This also applies to progressive pundits. I noted a while back an episode of Bill Moyer’s Journal in which he and his guests talked about “single payer” as though it were the holy grail of health care reform. And they boo-hoo’ed all the evil corporate interests which kept single payer away from Americans for more than 20 years. But they couldn’t be bothered with explaining what their version of single payer was, how it would work, where it worked — except for the worn-out mantra of how every other industrialized country had universal health care.

    By now, the Democrats know what some of the reasonable fears are, as well as the unreasonable ones. They need some Carville-sharp surrogates to take it to the dumb-ass pundits and roll them over. Given the lame stuff coming from Bartiromo, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

  13. 13
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Cap and Gown: I tend to agree. Maybe he could have done more using a different underlying strategy (say, take lead on the issue a la Clinton), but other strategies would’ve had their problems too. As far as avoidable problems Obama has had, I think they’ve been pretty minor. Even if he played his hand flawlessly, the health care battle would still be as near-derailed as it is today because of our inane opposition.

  14. 14

    John Cole, you have been on FIRE recently!

    Keep up the good work.

    RV

  15. 15
    David says:

    What’s the proper response to complete nonsense except to point out that it’s complete nonsense?

    The Right Wing Noise Machine is like one of those champagne fountains but with vomit instead of champagne.

  16. 16
    Bulworth says:

    Have a hard time believing Bartiromo is this dumb. But the evidence is hard to refute.

  17. 17
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    Bill Moyers was on Bill Maher friday, and he’s saying this comes down to Rahm and Dem leadership dealing with the industry players in order to funnel money into DNC coffers. If you think about, the Dems really haven’t been seeking out many conduits to message this health care thing properly. Call me cynical, but I think the Dem leadership was out to loose this thing all along. Thank you DLC!!

  18. 18
    Bill White says:

    Paging Tina Fey . . .

    Wouldn’t she be a terrific money honey for SNL?

  19. 19
    dr. bloor says:

    Nice to see the Post has taken on an Ombudsman with an inkling of what his job is about, as opposed to yet another pearl-clutching Villager who thinks her job is to fart in our general direction.

    Yeah, Howell, I’m talkin’ to you.

  20. 20
    dr. bloor says:

    @Bulworth:

    She gave the SNL version of Sean Connery a run for his money during her appearance on Jeopardy.

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

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    OT, but I just had to share. Watch as a reality tv star, former Danity Kane member, and Playboy cover girl Aubrey O’Day schools Bob Beckel, Erick Erickson, and Sean Hannity about sex ed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  22. 22
    gbear says:

    @Brachiator:

    They need some Carville-sharp surrogates to take it to the dumb-ass pundits and roll them over. Given the lame stuff coming from Bartiromo, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

    And how do you propose to get them on the air when the people who book the news shows are acting like bouncers at Studio54 and all the progressive pundits are unfabulous?

  23. 23
    tomjones says:

    @EvolutionaryDesign: You’re too cynical.

  24. 24
    SpotWeld says:

    The facts, are they are generally support a centrist approach to heath care reform (in the short term, 5-20 years). Obama’s and Democratic majority’s slightly-left-of-center proposals genearlly agree with this approach. They certainly agree a lot better than the hard-right approach of the GOP. (Which seems to be do nothing and let God and the free market sort them out.)

    Therefore any unbiased dicussion of the facts will show alignment with the “left” wing of politics.

    Therefore reality will have a liberial bias and mainstream media cannot present the facts. The only “unbiased” thing they can do is put out the “Thing 1 said, Thing 2 said” crap we’ve been getting so far.

    It’s like when decided how to fund NASA for the next 5 years we first have to have a debate between the folks who think we landed on the moon and those who are sure we didn’t. Any display of the lunar orbiter photos we just took showing the lading sites *must* be countered by an internet crank’s (i.e. serrious pundit) over fileter downloaded jpegs.

  25. 25
    Nick says:

    @EvolutionaryDesign: As someone who worked in the MSM for eight years, the Democrats can’t seek out the conduits…the conduits seek them out. We used to have politicians requesting to appear on our shows all the time and we’d turn them down for a variety of reasons.

    Most commonly because they were the ones in power.

    I know personally that many media outlets are purposely keeping progressives and Democrats off the air because they feel the debate is already unfairly skewed in their direction.

  26. 26
    RobertB says:

    @dr.bloor

    re: Jeopardy – At the risk of a minor threadjack here, it’s really easy to get beaten to the punch on the answer button and end up with jack shit. This doesn’t disprove the notion that she’s a total idiot however; that Medicare question speaks for itself.

    /what is ‘light urple’

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @gbear:

    And how do you propose to get them on the air when the people who book the news shows are acting like bouncers at Studio54 and all the progressive pundits are unfabulous?

    A very good question. This is why the White House and the Congress have communications people. And I think that there are enough friendly venues out there. They need to start using them. They need to call in some favors with Bill and Hillary, who had great media connections.

    And you can never underestimate the media whoring pundits and pundit shows. Many of them are as much interested in a good show as they are in pushing the GOP message.

  28. 28
    Eric U. says:

    I used to watch CNBC a lot in the mid-’90s when I was a grad student. I’m disappointed in Bartleromo, but the person from back then that really kills me is Cavuto.

    I think the Dems need to insist on more face time on TV. Each republican liar needs to be followed up by a (thoroughly prepared) Democrat. The prep has been the Dem’s downfall, although this is partially because the weak dems are the ones that get invited back all the time.

  29. 29
    Vacuumslayer says:

    I’m not on social security. God I’m such a douche.

    Right, B-tard?

  30. 30
    gizmo says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    This is not a parody. This is a Teabagger event in Ely, NV this past Sunday.

  31. 31
    danimal says:

    The media folks love the back and forth. Now that health insurance reform looks to be “near dead,” the media folks can start their “health insurance reform resurrected” stories. It’s cynical and cyclical.

    Obama understands political timing a whole lot better than blog commenters. How many congressional votes were taken during the month of August? The townhall eruptions were more predictable, and predicted, than we think.

    It’s all kabuki. We’ll get a good (not great) bill by the end of the year.

  32. 32
    JenJen says:

    Wow. I was surprised to see that Bartiromo’s appearance was from today… wasn’t she shoveling this same load of crap at Matt Taibbi on Morning Joe just a few weeks ago? During her “America is awesome because it’s America and it is” moment?

    She hasn’t even attempted to develop her argument since then. It’s bizarre.

  33. 33
    freelancer says:

    Isn’t Bartiromo the foam finger half-wit that Taibbi destroyed on Morning Joe?

  34. 34

    Does anyone else feel that we should just declare open season on MSM journalists and thin their herds? I mean what good are these people? They’re worse than useless, they’re actually contributing to the noise and general bullshit level in our society. Thinning their herds would be a positive contribution. We could place a small bounty upon them, set a reasonable bag limit and make sure that certain rules were followed, i.e., no baiting them with open bars or offers of access to anonymous sources. I personally would look forward to journalist season. Going through the Cabela’s catalog, getting the supplies I needed, setting up my blind and then triumphantly bringing home a trophy such as Maria Bartiromo, Marc Ambinder, Fred Hiatt or Ross Douthat would be a highlight of my year, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  35. 35
    Sloth says:

    It’s all kabuki. We’ll get a good (not great) bill by the end of the year.

    My conclusion as well. About what Scalzi said:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/200.....alth-care/

  36. 36
    Bulworth says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Ha, thanks for that. I did not know that.

  37. 37
    Sloth says:

    Each republican liar needs to be followed up by a (thoroughly prepared) Democrat.

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz would be ideal.

  38. 38
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Cap and Gown:

    Why this incessant bashing of Obama and his messaging? If there is one thing Obama could have/could still do better, it would be to target health insurance companies as the bogey man we need to fight. This would give an alternative target to that of the “guvmint.” But overall, Obama has done what he can to sell this.

    He has done a third-rate job. He has appealed to the intellect, using abstract terms like “policy” and “coverage”. In doing that, he has neglected the gut, where most people make most of their decisions. He should have begun his gambit with a show-and-tell, something like:

    Here’s Betty from Columbus. She’s worked since she was 18, but has always had to pay for her own health insurance. Last year she got breast cancer. But her insurer — Foocare — said that she hadn’t told them about the flu she got when she was in high school, so they revoked her policy. She had to sell her little 3-room cottage to pay for her treatment, and put the rest on her credit cards. She’s still working, but her bills are so big that she’s living in a homeless shelter.

    and:

    Here’s Tom from St. Louis. He owned a car-repair shop with 5 employees. Now he’s ill, bankrupt, and living with his sister. How did that happen? He got lymphoma, a blood cancer, and his insurer refused to pay for the treatment his doctor recommended. And when it came time to renew the policy that insured him and his employees, they jacked the rate through the roof. He couldn’t pay it. Then his chief mechanic had a heart attack, and his business fell apart. He’s still fighting his insurer, but his cancer is worse. His doctor says he has only a year to live.

    America can and should be better than that. And I am working to make it so, by ensuring that every American can get the health care he or she needs. Without fighting. Without bankruptcy. Without having to become homeless…..

    THAT is what Obama should be doing: making the issues concrete and personal so that they speak to the gut.

  39. 39
    neff says:

    One day I was digging a hole in the ground with a shovel when Maria Bartiromo walked by, and she stopped and looked at me and yelled “Hey, why do you keep sticking that shovel in my ass?”

  40. 40
    Kennedy says:

    @Cap and Gown: The problem with Obama and the Dems handling of the current debate is that this looks a lot like the run-up to the stimulus, only much less civil. In other words, they’re not learning from their mistakes. You want to pass a major legislative change? Sell it. Define it. Or the retards in the opposition will define it for you. Also, don’t even get me started on their obsession with bipartisanship. That’s another area where they’re really learning from past experience.

    And this is just one of Obama’s relatively early legislative pushes during his first year in office. Imagine what we have to look forward to. I bet immigration reform is going to be a riot (literally).

  41. 41
    BFR says:

    Have a hard time believing Bartiromo is this dumb. But the evidence is hard to refute.

    I was sitting kinda far from the teevee but she sounded horrid this morning. She also attacked Weiner because reducing overpayments to insurance companies would reduce insurance company profit margins and therefore reduce shareholder value.

    Thus, trying to save taxpayer money = class warfare.

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @neff:

    One day I was digging a hole in the ground with a shovel when Maria Bartiromo walked by, and she stopped and looked at me and yelled “Hey, why do you keep sticking that shovel in my ass?”

    Now we know where she got her money from. According to legend, pirates buried their treasue in her ass.

  43. 43
    JK says:

    For anyone with a strong stomach,

    Betsy McCaughey radio interview from yesterday. It runs about 30 minutes.
    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/e.....nts/139666

    Igor Volsky at Think Progress responds to McCaughey’s interview. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/e.....nts/139819

  44. 44
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    @Nick: Thanks for the insight Nick. Although that is a tad ironic, don’t ya think? Also – what about when republicans were in power? It seems the landscape hasn’t changed much in the last 8 yrs (maybe more)

  45. 45
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Bullshit. This is a golden moment for the Dems to take back the debate. They need to lay down a single, detailed, definitive program people can read and begin to understand. And they need to become a reliable source of factually sound information.

    Anyone up for another 1/2 hour “Obama explains it all” special?

  46. 46
    Calouste says:

    The Post publishes health-care reform stories almost every day as it tracks the twists and turns of the epic debate. So it’s surprising to hear from so many readers who ask: Why hasn’t The Post explained what this is all about?

    “Your paper’s coverage continues in the ‘horse race’ mode,” complained Bill Byrd of Falls Church. “Who’s up, who’s down . . . political spin, personal political attacks.

    ***

    In my examination of roughly 80 A-section stories on health-care reform since July 1, all but about a dozen focused on political maneuvering or protests. The Pew Foundation’s Project for Excellence in Journalism had a similar finding. Its recent month-long review of Post front pages found 72 percent of health-care stories were about politics, process or protests.

    ***

    Last Sunday’s Outlook section carried a piece by former Post reporter T.R. Reid titled “Myths About Health Care Around the World.” The writing was terse and anecdotal, without health-care gobbledygook. No he-said-she-said.

    On the Post’s Web site, it was among the most viewed articles on Sunday and Monday. It was one of the week’s most e-mailed stories.

    There’s a reason.

    Sounds like the WaPo management (and most of the M$M) has been to the same school as the GM management: you make stuff that you think the public wants, not stuff the public actually wants. Which doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t have much competition, but as soon as people find out about competitors with a better product, those are customers lost forever.

  47. 47
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @SpotWeld:

    It’s like when decided how to fund NASA for the next 5 years we first have to have a debate between the folks who think we landed on the moon and those who are sure we didn’t. Any display of the lunar orbiter photos we just took showing the lading sites must be countered by an internet crank’s (i.e. serrious pundit) over fileter downloaded jpegs.

    If we debated space exploration strategy in the media, the breakdown in airtime would be something like this:

    20 % devoted to “the moon landing was fake” cranks

    20 % devoted to experts from Lockheed-Martin and GE explaining how in order to defend ourselves from the threat of future alien invasion we need to spend one quarter of our GDP on building giant nuclear bomb powered laser shields, intercut with infomercials explaining how you can get rich day trading Collateralized Alien Invasion Default Swaps.

    10 % devoted to a round table discussion by “centrist” pundits about how the Democrat party is weak on defending America from alien space invasion and this is going to hurt them in the next election.

    10 % devoted to Fox news anchors discussing the mechanics of having sex in zero gravity.

    10 % devoted to interviewing John McCain, just because.

    10 % devoted to Lynne Cheney telling us that it is both fully constitutional and absolutely necessary for us to torture any visitors from outer space unfortunate enough to land on Earth because non-humans don’t have any rights under the Geneva Convention.

    10 % devoted to lame wisecracks from Anna Marie Cox, Dana Milbank, and assorted other frauds

    4 % devoted to showing archival video and still photography of heroic moments in past space exploration, photoshopped to obscure any part the Russians might have had in it.

    4 % devoted to discussion of the actual issues by real experts in the subject.

    1 % devoted to Paul Krugman asking “how the f**k are we going to pay for this anyway? The Chinese already have their own space program so they are no longer interested in underwriting ours unless they get full rights to any and all patents developed and the rocketry is all built in Shanghai and launched from the Xingziang spaceport”.

    1 % devoted to Joe Klein shrieking that Glenn Greenwald hates NASA because he never says anything about them in the columns which Joes doesn’t have time to read anyway because who cares what he thinks anyway?

  48. 48
    freelancer says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Only if it’s on Nickelodeon.

  49. 49
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Does anyone else feel that we should just declare open season on MSM journalists and thin their herds?

    I believe the phrase you are looking for is “Why do we call it tourist season if we aren’t allowed to hunt them?”

  50. 50
    jibeaux says:

    You know, the other day I was reading one of those “fact check” type things on health care that my local paper was running. I think it was originally from the St. Petersburg Times or something. They fact-checked a Barbara Boxer claim about the cost of $1000 or so that the insured pay per year for coverage for the uninsured. They concluded that it was “barely true” because a) the number was more accurate per family rather than per person (fair point, okay) and b) that differing studies had reached somewhat different conclusions because one had concluded that costs of the uninsured are also borne by doctors and hospitals (good thing they get that free money that falls down from the sky! Whew!)

    They also “fact-checked” Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh, noting that “the VA does not encourage suicide” and that “Barack Obama will not make circumcision mandatory.”

    I am beginning to despair a little bit over the need to “fact check” the chair of the only opposition party regarding his assertions that the VA encourages suicide. I mean, gasoline went unleaded a long time ago. What the hell is our excuse for this stuff?

  51. 51
    The Moar You Know says:

    Since the 1990s, the nickname “Money Honey” has spread to refer to attractive female financial news reporters in general. On January 16, 2007, Bartiromo filed to trademark the term for herself.

    There’s no shame in being a prostitute.

  52. 52
    freelancer says:

    Bring on the apocalypse.

    http://www.chunkypop.com/m_pictures/Firey_bird.jpg

    Screw the news, I’m going to spend tonight playing the new Batman game on 360.

  53. 53
    ironranger says:

    Maria, blecch.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a little extra in paychecks every time these people knock down a public option.

  54. 54
    kay says:

    I think my days of listening to television Wall Street pundit-personalities, on anything, ended when they all missed the complete implosion of their own system.
    Maria was behind almost everyone in the country on her alleged area of expertise.
    It’s heartening that she’s picked herself up, dusted herself off, and moved directly to dumbing down discourse on health care policy.
    I think she should have been quarantined to finance, where the damage was already done.

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    @Cap and Gown:
    By the time congress gets back, the blowhards will be out of gas. The screaming and Nazi signs will be old news. Not shiny anymore.
    If Obama had gone all out over the summer about health care reform, he’d be at a loss to bring up any points this fall.
    I’d wear out the opponents and watch them deflate. Anything the goofs can come up with now is going to be cross that line stupid.
    I think a lot of people underestimate Obama. They did so in the primaries, especially the debates.
    He let Hillary Clinton become more shrill and insulting. She lost. He won.
    This fall, people will listen more closely. That’s when Obama will be able to talk about the reality of the mess the system is in.
    It is a huge deal to push a public option through congress.
    It changes the balance of power. The aristocrats have held on tightly to blocking anything for the public good since FDR.
    It’s about timing.
    OT: there’s a poultry farm that has video of grinding up live baby chicks. Jeebus. It must be called Cheney Farms.

  56. 56
    kay says:

    @Maude:

    My friend Anne agrees with you, and she’s really smart. You’ll have to take my word on Anne’s near-legendary smartness, but just trust me :)
    She says he doesn’t roll out anything until after Labor Day, and he didn’t intend to, and she said that all along.

  57. 57
    cleek says:

    the Dems have never had any kind of message discipline or party unity. they just don’t do it – maybe it’s part of the liberal mindset.

  58. 58
    HyperIon says:

    @Maude: I think a lot of people underestimate Obama.

    well, if he keeps under-performing on the issues that got him elected, that group is going to grow.

  59. 59
    gnomedad says:

    @Maude:
    Rope-a-dope again, eh? Here’s hoping …

  60. 60
    ellaesther says:

    @cleek: There is something quite genuine to this — the party of toleration (broadly speaking) has a harder time than the party of NO in getting people to line up and agree on things. It’s always thus.

    As far as curses go, it’s one I’m happy to have to grapple with, but it does sometimes have curse-like elements to it….

  61. 61
    ruemara says:

    There are times I often gaze lovingly at the little picture of Queen E on passport and count my pennies as I contemplate where I can move to after the US. Times like, say 2000 to now. Sadly, I’ve been doing it daily since August 28, 2008, since America has been replaced with Bizarro and no one noticed.

  62. 62
    Throwin Stones says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: So true, and so sad.

  63. 63
    Tonal Crow says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: That about sums it up.

  64. 64
    Keith G says:

    I read John’s post, had a comment in mind, and scrolled down scanning the comments. Realized I have nothing to add. Hmmmpf…..

    So, I am gonna walk to a local bakery and buy a pie. Hope they still have key lime.

  65. 65
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Mentioned this on another thread, don’t remember which one. The Turks and Armenians are talking-zing! Just like Mr. President Long Game said they were planning, and there will be a detailed policy on HCR Bill coming out Next Week (after Labor Day), just like Anne figured. He has let the Delinquents sit at the Grown-Up table (as someone here mentioned awhile back) and they have been throwing food and pissing in the cornflakes for an entire month- In front of Everybody,, which I said in that same thread. Now, the Grown Up-in-Chief will be looking mighty mature and detailed for the cool fall discussion of the the American Health Care Plan.

  66. 66
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “Yeah… c’mon!” she exclaimed, laughing incredulously.

    I have to admit, I’m feeling incredulous too.

  67. 67
    Maude says:

    @kay:
    Thanks. I don’t feel smart. I just think that all the hype is on the teevee. I don’t have teevee and it doesn’t seem as if the game is lost.
    At the very least, people are somewhat paying attention to health care issues more than I thought that they would.

    Hyperlon, I disagree.
    We are so used to the emotional crap that’s meant to seem as reality.
    Torture has been ended.
    Gitmo is on its way to being closed.
    The ability of a president to declare someone an enemy combatant (bill of attainder) is over.
    I won’t list any more (boring) but he has done some very important things while the idiots in the msm have been covering fantasy land.
    I think that Obama is looking down the road and not five minutes from now. This is unusual. We have gotten used to instant results.
    I could be wrong, but I think Obama will get a decent health care bill.
    Oh, far more important, I’ve bought Mr. Coffee machines, brand new, at yard sales for under five bucks. I love these machines. The rate that the water goes through is just right.

  68. 68
    JK says:

    @Maude:

    “The blowhards will be out of gas. The screaming and Nazi signs will be old news.”

    I think this is very unlikely. As long as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Reynolds, National Review, Weekly Standard, and Fox News Channel are around there will always be someone to pour gasoline on a dying fire to reignite fear and stupidity. The MSM has not shown the guts to call out any of the wingnut demagogues for spreading lies. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity are not Hillary Clinton. They will say and do whatever they can to try and destroy Obama’s presidency.

  69. 69
    Throwin Stones says:

    Anyone seen the Billionaires for Wealthcare in the old Billionaires for Bush tradition?

    http://www.billionairesforwealthcare.com/HOME.html

  70. 70
    Mike E says:

    @beltane:
    You mean Rebecca Jarvis? Great gig after that Spitzer kerfuffle

  71. 71
    Jim Harrison says:

    We have two Constitutions in this country: the paper one for show and the unspoken constitution that actually structures our political life. According to the effective constitution, decisive power is vested in the military and the corporations. Putting the interests or the wishes of the population ahead of what that group wants violates the fundamental laws of our government. It is effectively unconstitutional. Whatever else he is, Obama is a realist who understands this fact. The powers that be are not monolithic and may tolerate some improvement in the health care system, but a president who tries to institute a rational system will probably fail or, if he succeeds, will probably be thrown out of office by a coup or simply offed.

  72. 72
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    only 31 percent said they have a clear understanding of the proposed changes.

    And I’ll bet they’re the 28% crazification fringe plus a few stragglers.

    This poll is kind of meaningless, though the fact that people are confused about the reform is important. “Medicare for Everyone” is a much better approach, IMO.

  73. 73
    Mike E says:

    @Maude:
    I like the “calm down” meme, and the “patience, grasshopper” message. Hard level of yoga to reach during this boiling media environment, tho. Hard to not freak a bit when reporting tends to be devoid of facts/perspective, so I tend to revert to cynical.
    Mr Coffee rocks, especially when I hear the voice of the Lord coming from it — oh, wait, I was channelling Sue Myrick, never mind…

  74. 74
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    wasn’t she shoveling this same load of crap at Matt Taibbi on Morning Joe just a few weeks ago?

    Taibbi was doing a chat at FDL, and disclosed that when they went to break, Money Honey Maria got very annoyed when Taibbi pointed out that she was happy with her healthcare because she was rich.

    That’s apparently not the sort of thing you’re meant to say on CNBC, the network for your corporate lords and masters.

  75. 75
    Maude says:

    @JK:
    Yeah, but those radio acts are for getting attention. When the attention wanes, they move on to other idiocy.
    Remember the Obama’s trip to Europe? Did he bow to the Sheik, etc.
    The topics these loudmouths yell about are superficial. They drift away with a wind that brings in another screaming point.
    Let them go on and on and on. Their audience share isn’t going to get larger. They already preach to a small choir.
    Most people don’t listen to them.
    If the majority of the people were stupid, McCain would be president.

  76. 76
    CT says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I’m with you on this-they should be hammering with emotional appeals the fact that all of us here with insurance are not as secure as we might think-layoff, catastrophic illness/accident that exceeds your coverage limit, getting screwed by the insurance company on a technicality-lots of ways folks who are “covered” can end up in bankruptcy.

    Sure, work your ass off behind the scenes to get the policy details as right as you can, but those policy details aren’t the main part of selling the bill publicly.

  77. 77
    bayville says:

    In fairness, Bartiromo is exceptional at screaming banalities from the floor of the NYSE and giving good smile to guys who own their own jet.

    As far as bizness reporting and comprehending healthcare legislation — not so much.

  78. 78
    Demo Woman says:

    @Maude: Bush won a second term on fear and lies. When folks saw the stock market they voted for the opposition party.

    If the majority of the people were stupid, McCain would be president.

  79. 79
    freelancer says:

    @Demo Woman:

    Well, it’s true that 50% of Americans possess a below-average intellect.

  80. 80
    LoveMonkey says:

    the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment.

    Mmm, yeah, but the public knew this 35 years ago when “the media” started ranking below car salesmen and sex offenders in terms of public trust.

    The media is about infotainment and has been at least since the mid-70’s if not earlier.

    The good news is that the people have plenty of information sources available to them now, and they can rather easily figure out which ones are reliable and which are not. It’s easier than figuring out which foods in the grocery story are good for you, which ones are toxic, which ones are just fattening. People can figure this stuff out. Let the “experiment” fail, it’s not the end of the world.

  81. 81
    gwangung says:

    @Sloth:

    My conclusion as well. About what Scalzi said:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/200…..alth-care/

    Yeah, but we’re having people seriously argue that preventative health care doesn’t save costs because people live longer so other illness will get them.

  82. 82
    tripletee says:

    @freelancer:

    Screw the news, I’m going to spend tonight playing the new Batman game on 360.

    Excellent idea – I’m going to do the same. Although I feel kind of bad about beating six kinds of shit out of the Joker’s thugs when I know they probably don’t have very good health insurance.

  83. 83
    Jen R says:

    @Nick:

    I know personally that many media outlets are purposely keeping progressives and Democrats off the air because they feel the debate is already unfairly skewed in their direction.

    Yes, it’s so unfair that the Republicans are opposing popular and necessary reform measures, and lying about everything the Democrats do.

  84. 84
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @freelancer:

    Well, it’s true that 50% of Americans possess a below-average intellect.

    I see this more often than I’d think, and it leads me to wonder if it’s supposed to be an intentionally ironic meme. Did I not get the memo?

  85. 85
    freelancer says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I was stating it as an ironic statistics joke. We’ve seen the headlines about statistics where time and time again, Editors are Shocked that, OMG, 50% of schools or fire departments or fruit fly research labs are BELOW AVERAGE!

  86. 86
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @freelancer: Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ve seen too many otherwise smart people say it, and it got to the point where I was thinking “OK, surely these people know the difference between an average and a median…”

  87. 87
    elbrucce says:

    But overall, Obama has done what he can to sell this.

    Utter nonsense. BO has been kissing BlueDog and Republican ass and gotten nothing in return. It’s all a show (or as Digby would say, “Kabuki”) to pretend to try to get health care reform while still keeping Insurance/Drug money flowing to the campaigns. The proof of BO’s bad faith is the mandate. Just another excuse to throw more government money at the corporations. And we will wind up with the same crappy overpriced faux coverage. And the worst off will be criminals when they have to choose between rent/food/”coverage” and choose rent and food.

  88. 88
    slag says:

    @Sentient Puddle: You mean “the difference between a mean and a median”?

  89. 89
    Tonal Crow says:

    @freelancer:

    I was stating it as an ironic statistics joke. We’ve seen the headlines about statistics where time and time again, Editors are Shocked that, OMG, 50% of schools or fire departments or fruit fly research labs are BELOW AVERAGE!

    Our understanding of probability and statistics is even worse than our understanding of most other things scientific and mathematical. This probably has to do with our strong tendency to intellectual laziness and our addiction to flying by the seats of our pants. We have become so GOPified that it’s essentially impossible to govern the country on many vital issues.

  90. 90
    different church-lady says:

    Stupid? Oh they’re not stupid. Intellectually lazy, certainly. Cynical, perhaps. Downright dishonest in cases. But they’re not stupid.

  91. 91
    Elie says:

    I may be entirely wrong about this but I think that the health care debate is going just about right.

    While it seems our side and the Obama team is not standing up aggressively enough against the crazy and extreme opposition, the “rope-a-dope” I believe will work in the medium term.

    Over this August recess period, we have seen the opposition be about as extreme and irrational as any opposition could possibly be. After this, there is little for them to do and the intense energy needed to sustain this sort of crazy is unsustainable.

    Of course “running ’em” and letting them “wear themselves out” is very unpleasant to live through and as Muhammed Ali demonstrated, not without serious pain as you take the pummeling. But he and we had as big a monster as Frazier to deal with and there is no easy way to fight it without letting its power run itself into the ground. Many here wanted a knockout punch and such a thing does not exist with this kind of opposition representing the interests that are extremely rich and powerful.

    As I said, I could be very wrong but I think we are in “rope-a-dope mode. Next steps will begin in September, an then we will see what we got and whether the “Fraziers” of this battle have enough in the tank to go another 9 rounds using the same high energy shtik.

    Thoughts anyone?

  92. 92
    bayville says:

    Speaking of The Stupid Leading the Blind…

    The father of Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and US vice-presidential nominee, said his daughter is steering clear of the media spotlight to focus on writing her memoirs.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.....75297.html

    Hopefully, this will be on the book shelves by Xmas.

  93. 93
    Stav says:

    I have to say I saw this thing with Bartiromo live. Kudos to Carlos Whateverhisnameis, Rep. Weiner, and Maria for keeping it lively. Maria did not come in to be edumacated. She clearly buys all the stuff the right and the shills for the industry sell her. That said, Rep. Weiner was excellent. Not sure why they brought Ezra on, he maybe got one sentence in and was immediately cut off. Also MSNBC devoted three segments to this “Debate” so good for them.

  94. 94
    dhatch999 says:

    Americans didn’t start out stupid, they’ve been made that way.

    The American Stupid Industry has been cranking out Stupid Ideas for 30 years now and they’ve crowded out the shelf space for everything else. Consumers swallow them and become Stupid.

    Only with the Internet have we been able to get around the Stupid Industry and produce a different product.

  95. 95
    scythia says:

    Pardon me for being late to the discussion and not scanning all the comments, but I’d like to comment on this from the main post:

    None of this gets Team Obama or the Democrats off the hook for doing such a terrible job with this debate so far, but at the same time, I’m not sure you get anything done when one side is just intent on blowing things up, and the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment. No matter what channel you turn to, you are exposed to outright liars, political hacks, or in the case of Bartiromo and others, just complete fools who are in so far over their head that they don’t even have any idea how much they don’t know.

    Look, maybe this is unique to my experience, but one thing I’ve discovered as I’ve gone through life is that there are idiots everywhere, particularly in the corridors of power. The primary challenge for thinking individual is whether to throw up one’s hands and suffer their rule, or to step up, free oneself from their constraints.

    One of the reasons I voted for Obama was because I bought into the whole change narrative: not that I felt a centrist democrat was gonna start shaking things up and nationalizing key industries, but that I thought he and his team understood the rules of the post-millennial media and political environment enough to overcome and reshape them to their ends.

    If dumb people (or craven people acting dumb) are obstructing the administration’s progress, maybe they should dangle a piece of string or a shiny object and step the fuck around them. Inferiority of one’s opponent is not a valid excuse for failing to win.

  96. 96
    Mike G says:

    Food for thought —

    Why is this? No, it’s not that Democrats are wimps. They’re dive artists. Obama promised health care reform, but do he and his DLC inner circle actually want to weaken the stranglehold medical profiteers have on the public? Or do they just want to make a good show of losing the struggle?

    http://www.ruthlessreviews.com.....alth-care/

  97. 97
    JenJen says:

    @Maude: I like to think of it this way, too. I’m not sure, this time… the polling is most certainly trending down, so this strategy has a shelf life that I believe has expired.

    But I won’t discount the White House’s political team just yet. And I remember clearly that they took most of August off last year too, and made many missteps. It was probably, in retrospect, the worst month for the campaign, even though it should’ve been triumphantly capped with the convention.

    I think next Tuesday will be a very interesting day. I’m still patient.

  98. 98
    JMY says:

    I find it hard for the Dems or the WH to take control of the debate, when everything that they have been explaining about health care is ignored for the most part. Instead of talking about what’s in the committee bills or other proposals, the media is too busy talking about what’s not in the bill or opposition to the bill. I see more people on TV opposing health care reform than people pushing health care reform – including pundits, columnists, Congressman, & Senators. How much time has been devoted to “death panels”, “death book”, etc. Once it was refuted it should have ended. Instead these people who keep making up these lies are constantly invited on Sunday programs or CNN or MSNBC. Not to mention all this coverage over birthers.

    You can fault Dems or the WH for trying for the effort in bipartisanship and sucking up to Blue Dogs – fine, but the fact of the matter is that the debate was already framed before this became the main issue this summer and it’s tough to compete against an opposition that will lie any chance it gets and the media allowing these people on their shows. I think the sad thing is their is a substantial amount of people in this country who have a short attention span, so when they constantly see Repubs & conservatives – people against health care reform in general, as well as these Astro-turf protesters – and not the other side equally, people are going to fall for it hook, line, and sinker, and judging from the town halls, people already have. If most Americans don’t understand by now that there is a problem with the health care system in this country after being told this by Dems and the WH for the past 3 months, then I don’t know what else can be done.

    Bartiromo is a clear example of what’s been wrong with the media coverage. She’s looking out for investors not the public. And I can guarantee you that their are some people out their who don’t know the age requirement to qualify for Medicare and will look at her statement as to why health care reform (and the public option) is not necessary

  99. 99
    sparky says:

    @Maude: mr cranky sez:
    Hyperlon, I disagree.
    We are so used to the emotional crap that’s meant to seem as reality.
    Torture has been ended.
    sort of.
    a. the US still engages in rendition.
    b. if, as seems the case, the Obama DOJ is not going to investigate or prosecute anyone for following orders (ie, Bush DOJ memos) then there’s nothing to prevent it from coming back again in the US.
    c. we still torture offshore-but at Bagram, not in Cuba.

    Gitmo is on its way to being closed.
    when that actually happens, he will get credit. Obama already dropped the plan to move whoever is left there to the mainland US. moving everyone back to Afghanistan isn’t exactly a plus.

    The ability of a president to declare someone an enemy combatant (bill of attainder) is over.
    that’s just wrong. here is Glenzilla, quoting the NYT:
    here is how The New York Times’s William Glaberson accurately described what was really done:

    The Obama administration said Friday that it would abandon the Bush administration’s term “enemy combatant” as it argues in court for the continued detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a move that seemed intended to symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies.

    But in a much anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration.

    Bush’s asserted power to detain as “enemy combatants” even those people who were detained outside of a traditional “battlefield” — rather than charge them with crimes — was one of the most controversial of the last eight years. Yet the Obama administration, when called upon to state their position, makes only the most cosmetic and inconsequential changes — designed to generate headlines misleadingly depicting a significant reversal (“Obama drops ‘enemy combatant’ label”) — while, in fact, retaining the crux of Bush’s extremist detention theory.

    i’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on Obama yet, but pretending that he’s done something significant on these fronts is wildly incorrect, at best. sorry, no sale.

  100. 100
    sparky says:

    ps: sorry about the crap formatting. forgot about the lack of edit functions/preview.

  101. 101
    Tonal Crow says:

    You can fault Dems or the WH for trying for the effort in bipartisanship and sucking up to Blue Dogs – fine, but the fact of the matter is that the debate was already framed before this became the main issue this summer and it’s tough to compete against an opposition that will lie any chance it gets and the media allowing these people on their shows.

    Yes, GOPers and their minions in the media stepped up early and often to frame this thing. But Obama has done a piss-poor job of his own framing. Again, as I said above, he talks to the intellect about the policy he wants to adopt, rather than talking to the gut about what’s wrong with our existing system. He still doesn’t understand that most people think most of the time with their guts, and that concrete, personal stories — and not abstractions — talk to the gut.

  102. 102
    Elie says:

    Maude way back @ 55 —

    What you say

    Interesting totally off topic story.

    I watched the History channel about the Plague in Europe in the Middle Ages. Interestingly, so many workers were wiped out, that the remaining few could bid up their wage rates, etc. As expected, the entitled rulership tried to impose rules that restricted the salaries that could be given in this new situation that favored the poor plebs. As the nobles and other rulers fought the right of the peasants to obtain fair compensation for their now rare, skills, they loosed and energized political awareness in the masses who threw off the shackles of their old serfdom. This was the begining of many political movements in Europe to assert the liberty of the masses and their rights to representative governance…

    Just thought that was interesting….The masses were even less educated then, but they pretty much “got it” once the facts on the ground became more and more obvious…

    While we bitch and moan that people are not smart — they don’t have to be. They just have to get and support their own self interest and that doesnt take a high IQ — just self honesty and a realistic assessment of what is in your best interest.

    I think that there will be strong and very effective arguments and information laid out this early fall by our side and I expect things are going to get real, real interesting…

  103. 103
    Sloth says:

    Over this August recess period, we have seen the opposition be about as extreme and irrational as any opposition could possibly be. After this, there is little for them to do and the intense energy needed to sustain this sort of crazy is unsustainable.

    Agree. And they’ve done all of this without an actual bill to fight against.

    They’ve not only maxed out their crazy, they’ve shown their lines of attack.

    But maybe I’m wrong. We’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks.

  104. 104
    Elie says:

    Tonal Crow:

    I definitely agree with you in what you say about talking to the gut…

    That said, you have to manage the game and the clock.

    This is a very strong and motivated opposition.
    Your best arguments are made all along, of course, but you can’t always score all your points in the first half.

    If you can stay in the game and on your feet, and you are still there in the fourth quarter (using the football analogy), THAT might be the best time for putting your top running back in to run it down their throats.

    After three quarters our team IS a bit beaten up and your complaint that we are not seeing a lot of razzle dazzle, does make our side a seem bit dispirited and without creative energy. But their team is tired too and despite a lot of fire power — a LOT,,, the score is not lopsided and out of reach. It is more or less tied…

    Hmmmm — dont know about you, and my fingers are crossed — but I am looking forward to that fourth quarter.

    (and I realize that there is limited utility to the sports analogy)

  105. 105
    schooner says:

    I’m not entirely sure Bartiromo got her job with her looks and “talents” but her high school nickname was Blow Job Bartiromo.

  106. 106
    HyperIon says:

    @Maude: Oh, far more important, I’ve bought Mr. Coffee machines, brand new, at yard sales for under five bucks. I love these machines. The rate that the water goes through is just right.

    Is this spillover from the coffee thread?
    If so, thanks for validating my coffemaker choice. I’m a bit sensitive about it as I am old enough to remember Joe Dimaggio doing commercials for Mr. Coffee, which I used to mock. But the price is right and, as you say, it drips at the correct rate.

    Wrt Obama, I do not support his ideas on Afghanistan. I don’t know if McChrystal is more of the 11 dimensional chess stuff but IMO BHO needs to re-evaluate his position PDQ. I see these guys I want to like on CSPAN (Anthony Cordesman) but they keep saying “Gotta spend years in Afghanistan with lots of troops.” It may be right thing to do for some subset of the people there but it is TOO LATE here to convince most Americans.

    We went to Afghanistan for revenge (again IMO) and now that our hotheadedness has been cooled by the reality of war/invading countries we are ignorant about, one cannot make that argument anymore. And the American public will accept no other. They are not in the mood for nation-building, especially when folks just come out and say that’s what needs to be done.

    Very sad.

  107. 107
    JMY says:

    <blockquote cite=”But Obama has done a piss-poor job of his own framing. Again, as I said above, he talks to the intellect about the policy he wants to adopt, rather than talking to the gut about what’s wrong with our existing system. He still doesn’t understand that most people think most of the time with their guts, and that concrete, personal stories—and not abstractions—talk to the gut.”

    What? If I’m not mistake I’ve seen him plenty of times talking about what is wrong with the existing system as well as many other Democrats and supporters of health care reform. This issue is not new and has been at the forefront of public debate since “Sicko” was released and that was in 2007. We’ve been talking about the things the health insurance industry have been doing that are detrimental to our society for the past 3 years. The public should have the determination to look into it as well. I’ve watched him mention personal stories about health care, he talks about the letters he receives from people who were done wrong by the health insurance industry.

    Could he do more or a better job? Absolutely. You can always do more or improve on the message because nothing is perfect. This, in many aspects is a complex issue that many people don’t have the time nor interest in. But people act as if he hasn’t done anything. He had a prime-time special on health-care, a prime-time press conference, much of which was devoted to health-care (but people seemed to forgot because the Gates-gate) He’s had town hall meetings and other meetings and forums about health care. Check the WH website, health care is at the forefront. I hope he and the Democrats continue to push their message through and again I have a problem with this need for bipartisanship, but when you have a strong, yet delusional opposition, that lies about anything related to health care reform, after a while people will start to believe it no matter how many times it’s refuted. The media is complicit in constantly allowing people on their shows to spew these falsehoods and many of these people are invited again and again. And when the debate is framed that way, it’s difficult for the Democrats frame the debate in their favor.

  108. 108
    tucker says:

    @Elie:

    Rope -a-dope = foreman not frazier

    also he tried it again in Spinks 1 and lost. and yeah he won Spinks 2; change in strategy

  109. 109
    Elie says:

    Tucker:

    My analogy may not completely apply to complex reality and your point is understood. I stated plainly that both the sports analogy and my opinion about the strategy and outcome are opinion only. You of course, are entitled to yours.

    What about my football example?

  110. 110
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Sloth:

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz rocks. The Congresswoman and Mark Green were the top two Hillary supporters who then did a bang up job supporting Obama. Democrats through and through.

    DW-S and Green would make a great one-two punch on the talk show circuit.

    Rep. Anthony Weiner does a heckuva job, also too.

  111. 111

    […] In a related vein, as they say, I present this (hat tip to Atrios – I should link to John Cole more often). Possibly related posts: […]

  112. 112
    JWW says:

    Hey John,

    How about this, maybe the bill should be openly and honestly discussed?

    At over 1000 pages without revision, how many average Americans can or will read it. What is absolutely sickening is that the President, Congress and Senate have no idea what it contains!

    Most Americans depend on the press or media for truthful information. It seems they have come to understand they are no longer getting truthful information.

    I’m sure you have read every page, explain? Make me understand!

  113. 113
    markg8 says:

    Where the hell have Waxman, Andrews, Miller, Dodd and Pelosi been all August? Why haven’t they been on CNN and MSNBC every day, and every Sunday morning gas bag show explaining the bill they wrote?

    Why have they ceded the tv to the teabaggers and Republican morons and let Chris Mathews Wolf Blitzer and fluffy haed Gregory spend their time telling us Obama is “losing the debate”?

  114. 114
    DaBomb says:

    @JMY: We saw the same info.

    I am with Maude.

  115. 115
    HRA says:

    “If there is one thing Obama could have/could still do better, it would be to target health insurance companies as the bogey man we need to fight.”

    Sorry, I lost who wrote the above. Those of us who have had to deal with health insurance companies know this is the way to go for President Obama. I have seen and heard Ed Schultz on The Ed Show hammer the point about the president and the Congress needing to get tough on healthcare reform for weeks. He has even had his own townhall meetings about it. Does anyone watch him?

    Maria Bartiromo is often on Morning Joe. It seems as if certain NBC guests appear there several times. When I saw Gregory of MTP on so many times, I began to wonder if his ratings were tanking. I believe the same is happening to Maria Bartiromo. Then, of course, if you don’t kowtow to Joe, you become history. So there’s that reason to contemplate since Chrysta (sp) from the Financial Times has not been on after she argued with Joe.

  116. 116
    Julia Grey says:

    1 % devoted to Joe Klein shrieking that Glenn Greenwald hates NASA because he never says anything about them in the columns which Joes doesn’t have time to read anyway because who cares what he thinks anyway?

    Hee hee hee.

    Klein is gonna dig all the way to China, methinks.

  117. 117
    W. Kiernan says:

    JWW: …I’m sure you have read every page, explain? Make me understand!

    Yeah, everybody, drop what you’re doing and “make” JWW “understand.” While he stands there silently committed to never, ever “understanding”:

    “…because there’s no hurry to get this thing passed, right? Is there? After all.

    “If Obama fails, then maybe another Democratic president fifteen or twenty years down the line will succeed.

    “I mean, at some point before American health care expenditures exceed 110% of the GDP we’ll obviously have to do something.

    (yawn) Besides, I have insurance coverage.”

  118. 118
    JWW says:

    W. Kiernan,

    Yeah, everybody, drop what you’re doing and “make” JWW “understand.” While he stands there silently committed to never, ever “understanding.

    No I have not read the entire bill, but as the ass you seem to be, I want to expect something else. I expect my President, Congress,and Senate to read the bill and be truthful of its contents. I expect the media to explain its contents.

    I don’t need some fool like you to explain what I need. My needs are taken care of, I served 21 years, I have a full time job, I save, I have children that work and save, I make my payments on time, and I despise people like you.

  119. 119
    JWW says:

    W. Kiernan,

    You tell me why immigrants can come to America and be successful and those that are born here have such a hard time?

    It boils down to the work ethic VS you owe me ethic. Not to be snide, but we have a certain % of our population that believes that America owes them.

    How about we are all Americans and we all give our best to make her better.

    I don’t mean, “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others” GO

    How about we take responsibility for what we do. How about we treat our parents as family. How about we plan for the future. How about? (that was about not getting truthful)

  120. 120
    pluege says:

    the media in this country has really turned into a failed experiment

    from a republican plutocratic perspective the media is succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. It is a huge mistake on the part of anyone left of a wingnut to assume there is anything accidental about the way Big Media manipulates the information and the public debate.

  121. 121

    JWW: Do you read every single page of every single bill voted on by Congress? Of course you don’t. But thanks for trundling out that stinky old RNC talking point.

  122. 122

    @itsbenj:

    Absolutely. You can’t fix stupid. But you can’t equate tea baggers, death panels and revolutionaries with actual health care reform either. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

  123. 123
    mai naem says:

    My local bimbo anchorette looks sharper than Maria Antoinette Bartiromo and I don’t say that in a good way. She really is The Stoopid. I cannot believe she doesn’t have parents on medicare. I can’t believe this bimbo has never had a conversation with an older relative about medicare.

  124. 124
    oh really says:

    There really isn’t any hope anymore. There are just too many stupid, ignorant, selfish, and dishonest Americans. They stand between us and a decent health care system and sadly, they are almost certainly ineducable.

    As I’ve grown older, I’ve watched as succeeding generations move into positions formerly held by older generations. With each succeeding change it seems that the quality goes down. But Ms. Bartiromo exceeds expectations. Based on what I saw in this short clip, I would have guessed she’s twelve.

    Until today I had no idea who Maria Bartiromo was. Now I see that she works at CNBC, which has to be the most concentrated collection of complete morons this side of Fox News. If the employees of Fox and CNBC were abducted by aliens, the average IQ in the US would rise measurably.

    If she had children, I can’t even imagine what Bartiromo’s kids would be like. We are doomed.

  125. 125
    frankk says:

    It seems to me that the state of the health care insurance reform debate is irrational and confusing. The Republican Party is intent on defeating any reform for political reasons, notwithstanding the need for reform, and to that end is introducing arguments which have nothing to do with the actual proposals currently under consideration. I would argue that the time has come to simplify the argument and co-opt Republican dissonance by expanding access to Medicare to all Americans. This has the added attraction of softening the resistance of senior citizens by assuaging their fears that their coverage will be reduced, while painting the opposition into a corner by expanding an existing program which we are familiar with and which Republicans are on the record as promising to defend for their constituents. Simple, understandable and already supported by the opposition; what is the downside? Make them vote against Medicare to defeat the public option.

  126. 126

    […] ever about what’s true and what’s not. Americablog: It doesn’t surprise me that a recent poll which Atrios linked to earlier, showed that the majority of Americans are confused when it comes to […]

  127. 127
    CTJack says:

    Labeling someone (McCaughey) as a “serial liar,” hardly advances the disucssion on health care reform. What’s wrong with listening to both sides (including her’s) and then making an educated decision.

  128. 128

    […] a pathetic job of  cutting through the muck and explaining what is being proposed.  As this post, The Stupid Leading the Blind, explains, people are confused: Two in three Americans call the health care reforms being debated […]

  129. 129
    sparky says:

    @CTJack: that only works if both sides are arguing in good faith. that’s not the case here, as has been repeatedly demonstrated. and, i would also observe that the “other side” doesn’t actually suggest anything. don’t mean that in a rhetorical fashion. they literally are advocating nothing. so there is no other side to listen to.

  130. 130
    Bob D says:

    Ah, quit worrying. Obama is playing rope-a-dope with these dumbasses. They’ve spent the past month exposing themselves as loonies and cretins. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to pull back on the lunacy? I don’t think so. A little flashback from the campaign:

    http://m2.wnymedia.net/files/2....._chill.jpg

    He does too.

  131. 131
    Farley says:

    I posted the T.R. Reid story on a forum I visit every day and no one said a word about it. Another person did the same the next day and no word mentioned about it. But the lies and innuendos and claims of not being able to understand what was going on, keeps on.

    I just think Americans are largely lazy and stupid and just want to gripe. It’s what they do best.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] a pathetic job of  cutting through the muck and explaining what is being proposed.  As this post, The Stupid Leading the Blind, explains, people are confused: Two in three Americans call the health care reforms being debated […]

  2. […] ever about what’s true and what’s not. Americablog: It doesn’t surprise me that a recent poll which Atrios linked to earlier, showed that the majority of Americans are confused when it comes to […]

  3. […] In a related vein, as they say, I present this (hat tip to Atrios – I should link to John Cole more often). Possibly related posts: […]

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