The Never-ending Pursuit for Bipartisanship

This ought to make you want to bang your head off your desk:

As the Senate convened a rare Saturday session, 10 Democratic senators continued intensive talks on the public option, with the goal of agreeing on a framework that can garner 60 votes. They are considering proposals that could win the support of one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe on Maine.

“As long as both sides are willing to give a little, we can meet in the middle,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). “It may not be exactly what I’d like and exactly what they’d like, but we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.

You know, as much as our national political chattering classes are enamored with the baby Jesus, I find it amazing that none of them ever managed to hear the story of King Solomon. For the life of me, I don’t understand the workings of a mind that says “That is a terrible idea, but if we do it halfway, it becomes better!” As Tim has noted before, a weak public option is worse than no public option at all, and a carelessly constructed public option will just become a dumping ground for high-risk patients that will require billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up. A couple years ago I said that I thought health care reform was inevitable, the only question would be how bad we would make it and how quickly we would bankrupt ourselves with it. I thought at the time I was being too cynical, but the moderates in both parties are proving me wrong.

As such, we now charge forward in the spirit of bipartisanship, with every Senator apparently eager to rush home to show off their half of the bloody baby. At least Ben Nelson will be able to suckle at the insurance company teat for the next ten years or so of his life. A real patriot, that guy.






117 replies
  1. 1

    I think you nailed it in one, Cole. If anyone has any optimism on this topic, I wish that person would chime in now.

  2. 2

    Old pilot joke.

    Two pilots are lost at night, heading toward some mountains, where the highest peak is either at 4k feet, or 6k feet, they can’t remember which.

    After some discussion, they decide to split the difference and fly at 5k feet.,

    Whatever happened to those two guys?

  3. 3
    Genine says:

    I think the Democrats are so enamored with bipartisan ship on this issue because they don’t want to be out “on a limb” on their own. This is major legislation. It’s like they don’t want to stand out or anything, which is foolish, imo. If we had a functional opposition party, bipartisanship would be nice. But right now, it’s impossible.

    This last year or so has thoroughly convinced me that Democrats (most of them) are spineless. I knew it before, but I thought I was being cynical. Not so much now.

  4. 4
    Little Dreamer says:

    I was just listening to the tee-vee recently, where I was told that Democrats have control of congress. Hmmm, this seems to have been a mistaken assumption.

  5. 5
    Martin says:

    That’s what I love about you Cole – your endless source of optimism.

  6. 6
    ronin122 says:

    Add in the fact that the media would be out there decrying the splitting of the baby 50-50, noting that it should have been 60-40, 60 to the GOP, and that this extra lacking of bipartisanship is excellent news for John McCain (as is the death of the baby because Bill Ayers and ACORN did something with it). Of course the GOP would be getting 90% if they were in power just by one senator. Then I would agree with you.

  7. 7
    Max says:

    This bill is still headed to conference, where it will be tightened up. We need 60 votes to get it off the floor.

    Also, too, there is much to be said for incrementalism, as Social Security, etal, didn’t look anything like they do now when passed.

    Obama’s headed to the Hill tomorrow to meet with the Dem Caucus.

    Also, too again, rumor of a deal in Copenhagen is afoot. Too bad the trip to Asia was such a bloody failure.

  8. 8

    As long as both sides are willing to give a little

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, one side has already given way too damned much (cough – single payer – cough – strong public option – cough).

    My desk is already too battered for any more head/desk action.

    Edited to add: JC, it appears the GooseGrade javascript is preventing the edit function, as I have edit in Firefox on Mac with NoScript blocking GooseGrade, but not when I allow GooseGrade.

  9. 9
    bago says:

    So I saw two small groups of teabaggers at around 1 pm heading towards WTC. Is there any protest someone is calling for?

  10. 10
    Sly says:

    Both Social Security and Medicare were the initially the result of legislative compromises. The modern incarnation of both programs has been the result of decades of modifications, for good and ill.

    So if you want optimism, the good news is that legislation can always be amended. If you want pessimism, the bad news is that legislation can always be amended.

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Removed goosegrade, is it working now?

  12. 12

    @John Cole:

    Testing for edit function.

    edit: Yep, seems to be working. some other people like to check it out and see if it’s working for them?

    edit 2: Wow, if this fixes it, I’m amazed that I stumbled on the solution.

  13. 13
    inkadu says:

    @bago: Dunno. There’s nothing on Fox News right now… and you know what the Fox news motto is: “Wherever there are two teabaggers assembled, I am there.” Maybe they missed it. Maybe we’ll just find out about it next week when they’ll do a breathless report live from the sidewalk… “This corner is where Americans made a stand. Angry about increasing government encroachment in their personal lives, they made a patriotic cry for freedom, braving the stinging criticism of bago and the formidable force of blog snickering.”

    John – Excellent post. A half a dead bloody baby is an apt image.

  14. 14

    @arguingwithsignposts: Edit function works in Google Chrome. I know I keep saying it, but I will continue to say it. It’s not perfect, but it works.

    Works more better now!

    YAY!

    arguing, since Cole removed whatever he removed, the edit box pops up and then leaves once the edit is made, so it works!

  15. 15

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Well, I’m using the beta of Chrome for Mac (yeah, Google, it’s taken you over a year to get that sh*t worked out? WTF?), but it doesn’t automatically go to the bottom of the comments, so I go back to FF.

  16. 16
    licensed to kill time says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Edit has been working for me just fine in FF, but I always use NoScript, too. Hope this works for others.
    (gonna edit just to see if it acts different…)(nah)

  17. 17
    demkat620 says:

    I really don’t understand my party at all. You have a base problem. They are angry becuase you are not acting like Democrats. You need to get them enthused to turn out during the mid terms.

    They want you to start passing the things that are important to Democrats. They want you to act more like a majority. So your solution is to capitulate to an intransigent minority that is not going to give you anything? Your solution is to be more Republican lite?

    Why?

  18. 18
    grrrlgeek says:

    OT, but how do i create an account to log in? I have a wordpress account but that doesn’t work to log in here, and I can’t find a link to create one. all my comments go to mod, prolly cause i still have that new commenter smell, but i thought maybe an account would help with that.

    edit:hey I got teh edit on FF3!

  19. 19
    Quiddity says:

    It’s not bipartisanship, it’s bipartisanshit.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    .

    ETA – Ok, that shit was wack yo.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m leaving it this time. Fuckin A.

  22. 22
    Rick Taylor says:

    Another point is, just where is the middle? I would think that the middle would be, you know, in the middle; 50% on one side, 50% on the other. 60% on one side and 40% on the other isn’t the middle.

    This also reminds me a story my brother told me. You have to little children having an argument over who gets the cake. Billy screams he wants all the cake! Sally shakes her head and says, no, they should each get half; that’s fair. An adult comes along and says, children! You need to learn to compromise; Billy, you get three quarters of the cake, Sally, you get one quarter!

    Except this isn’t quite accurate, as you have to imagine the process having been repeated several times. By now Billy is getting fifteen sixteenths of the cake, and Sally one sixteenth.

  23. 23

    So we’ll have to correct this entry in the lexicon?

    Editing, please – Once upon a time, Balloon-Juice had an editing feature, now available erractically and only for certain platforms, that allowed commenters to correct typos, etc., for a four-minute window after posting. “Editing, please?”, or variations such as “My kingdom for the return of the edit button!”, have since become a common refrain from BJ commenters — a crew better known for their thoughtfulness, wit, and snarkiness, than for their manual dexterity — upon realizing that beautiful gems of prose are marred by an ugly typo. See also, FYWP.

    to add – fixed when Cole removed the GooseGrade javascript as suggested by arguingwithsignposts. ;)

    edited to ad: works in Flock too!

  24. 24

    @demkat620:

    If you imagine that the power Dems are pwned by corporate money and interests, and just use the left the way the power Reps use the religious right, then you have the idea.

  25. 25
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    So your solution is to capitulate to an intransigent minority

    As Glenn Greenwald often says, the Democratic leadership always thinks that capitulating will make voters think they are strong, and are continually surprised when that doesn’t work.

  26. 26
    AhabTRuler says:

    @John Cole: John Cole, you’re my hero! &#060 SWOON &#062

  27. 27
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    The opt-out WAS the compomise. That 50+ senators need to bow to 4 fuckups is beyond the pale.

  28. 28
    freelancer says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Fuck. I can’t believe I’m gonna quote John Galt. And that it’s gonna make sense:

    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

    We are all Atlas shrugging now.

    *headdesk

  29. 29
  30. 30
    RedKitten says:

    grrrlgeek — there are no accounts here. Basically, once that new-commenter smell is off of you, you’ll have no problem. Now that you’re out of mod, you should be fine.

  31. 31
    Lolis says:

    Snowe is more reasonable than Lieberman. They are courting her vote because Lieberman has gone Galt. This is not bipartisanship for it’s own sake. The White House must have known about Lieberman before Harry Reid, because they were always pursing that strategy.

  32. 32
    Martian Buddy says:

    Meanwhile, Aetna is planning to drop 600,000+ policyholders next year so they can meet their expected earnings. We wouldn’t want the shareholders taking a hit in these troubled economic times, after all.

  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    OT but not fundamentally so: not health care, but this wants to make me bang my head off my desk.

    I’d like some civil rights back. Any of them would be fine for starters.

    EDIT: HOLY SHIT. For the first time, this here Opera/WinServer 2008 user has edit. Nice!

  34. 34
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    @Lolis:

    Did Lieberman take off for the sabbath or is he there obstructing? He always observes when it’s politically expedient. Only time he made an exception was when he was fighting against Lamont for his senate seat.

  35. 35
    maus says:

    They are considering proposals that could win the support of one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe on Maine.

    i can’t seem to mutter anything more coherent today than FUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUU CONGRESSSSSSSSSS, I really can’t.

  36. 36
    keestadoll says:

    @The Moar You Know: Thank you for the link and the heads up.

  37. 37
    freelancer says:

    test

    EDIT: FF Vista, haz EDIT function. YATZEEE!

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    There were at least 2 blocks in the back on that screen, but goodonya I guess.

  39. 39
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I see we want to rehash this over and over. Nelson, Lieberman, and a few others are playing power politics. Since the Republicans are refusing to play by the rules that the Senate used to operate on – the big one being that the minority party doesn’t get to decide what gets through the Senate, they can only work the edges – this gives Nelson a lot more power than Reid. And we can’t do reconciliation – because you don’t know what you’ll get at the end and it has a sunset clause – and we can’t force a filibuster. The only way to break these senators is to get a few Republicans on board.

    Edit: I have an edit for the first time in a couple of months.

  40. 40
    NeenerNeener says:

    Martian Buddy @32:

    That the shareholders will see any of those earnings is a polite fiction; it’s really going to the executive bonuses.

    Woohoo! I can haz edit function!

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    Nasty lead block.

  42. 42
    jeffreyw says:

    test edit

  43. 43
    gnomedad says:

    @freelancer:

    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

    Horseshit. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it ain’t. If you think it is, you have to say why.

    ***

    Wow! I haz edit!

  44. 44
    chrome agnomen says:

    at the risk of beating this horse to death, people, there is in actuality about a 95-5 split in this country. there are a very few elected officials secure enough in themselves that they can freely support the rights of the common man. not enough to ever effect genuine change. for all intents and purposes there is one ruling party—the haves, the elite, the upper class, call it what you will. since the dawn of time the purpose of the government instituted among men has been to preserve the structure that allows them to keep power. its most important function has been to divert attention away from the true enemies of the common man–that is to say, the elite–and to play off the slightly better-off against the slightly worse-off. or vice versa.

    far better to let your politics be as local as possible. we are just not ever going to have a place at the big table.

    same as it ever was. just the way it is.

  45. 45
    freelancer says:

    @gnomedad:

    Yeah, I knew there was something that was fucked up about quoting Rand. I would amend that completely to say “When there are two sides of an issue, sometimes one is completely right and the other is dead wrong. But the middle is evil.”

    etc. That being said, I think the quote does describe the Senate in its current state.

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    Jesus Boy ain’t looking too shiny today.

    John, what if we’re resigned to the fact that the bill will be ass and that’s not as important as getting SOMETHING that needs to be done? At least they aren’t gutting the anti-rescission rules and pre-existing condition restrictions. If we get that, it’s a start, and we can start tinkering on the rest later. We’re gonna get there, but not on the first shot.

    Now let’s see if this edit thing comes up.

    Edit: YEE-HAW! I haz edit!

  47. 47
    jeffreyw says:

    something in adblocker quashes the edit function as well, when I whitelist BJ edit returns

  48. 48
    grrrlgeek says:

    @RedKitten:
    tank you. tank you berry much.

    edit: yay, not only haz edit but no haz mod!

    edit: and again!

  49. 49
    Comrade Luke says:

    On what planet is bringing over one Republican meeting “in the middle”?

    Of all that is sweet and merciful – WE HAVE AN EDIT BUTTON!

  50. 50
    grrrlgeek says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yep, we can tinker once we get something thru. This is why we all need to make sure we get everybody out to vote in 2010, so we can keep some semblance of majority in the senate, and continue to work on it. Unlike NAFTA, etc, etc, which Clinton couldn’t fix once he saw what a clusterfuck it became b/c of the repug congress. Or at least that’s the story I heard. May not be true, but makes some sense.

  51. 51
    gnomedad says:

    @freelancer:
    I think what is being argued here is that inadequate HCR will have an invisible or negative impact and serve only to discredit it. Compromise, if necessary, is OK only if we are reasonably confident that the bill will have visible benefits. Otherwise, scrap it and make it clear who’s responsible.

  52. 52
    Comrade Mary says:

    It’s not an edit function unless it lets ME, Queen of the Typso, back in.

    On edit, beautiful, beautiful motherfucking edit: a woo! And a hoo!

  53. 53
    YellowJournalism says:

    As such, we now charge forward in the spirit of bipartisanship, with every Senator apparently eager to rush home to show off their half of the bloody baby.

    Too bad the Democrats usually take the ass end.

  54. 54
    jeffreyw says:

    yup

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Comrade Mary says:

    @jeffreyw: That makes complete sense. Java-the-Script running on John’s server manages the edit function, so if you block this domain, of course it won’t work.

    You can trust John. He’s a brick!

  57. 57
    gnomedad says:

    @Yutsano:

    At least they aren’t gutting the anti-rescission rules and pre-existing condition restrictions.

    I haven’t kept up with what the bill currently contains, but this by itself will just make insurance costlier and harder to get. If there’s not a requirement to be insured and assistance (one form being a public option) for those who can afford it, it ain’t gonna work.

  58. 58
    grrrlgeek says:

    @YellowJournalism:
    You’d think the republicans would want that end, what with the diaper and all…

  59. 59
    Little Dreamer says:

    @grrrlgeek:

    Just realize that if you change your handle, or mention that word that rhymes with soshulizm, or mention those leather things you wear on your feet, you will find yourself back in moderation territory.

    Don’t ask why the leather things on your feet aren’t allowed, it seems John wants to keep us all barefoot…

    I’m only trying to be helpful.

  60. 60
    Cat Lady says:

    Remember when everyone had to post to get a cookie? That was awesome.

    And, I get my edit. Woot!

  61. 61
    Yutsano says:

    @gnomedad: I’m going by just what the House bill says since really that’s all we have to work with, but they can’t turn you down because of a pre-existing condition and they can’t just cut you off if you develop one. And one cost control I saw was community rating, which is basically taking from one person to benefit another, but there isn’t much of an alternative otherwise. Trust me I’d rather they’d just expand Medicare to everyone, but we gotta take what we can get. Or just let Washington join Canada, I’m cool with that.

  62. 62
    NR says:

    and a carelessly constructed public option will just become a dumping ground for high-risk patients that will require billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up.

    Well, you don’t need to worry about this, John, since those same Senate “centrists” are going to put language in the bill that prohibits the public health plan from ever receiving any taxpayer dollars, ever.

  63. 63
    Morbo says:

    @The Moar You Know: Let’s see if we can get some more love for Opera users.

    –Yes, we can!

  64. 64
    gnomedad says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Java-the-Script

    Haha, excellent!

  65. 65
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Little Dreamer: Because inside those leather things are people trying to take you to a hotel room, make the mattress springs squeak, and take your money.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    That was not a “gimmick” play. That was a perfect throw. You can not defend that throw.

  67. 67
    Morbo says:

    @Corner Stone: I was thinking perfect catch, but whatevs.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Morbo: Let’s split it – nice throw and awesome catch.
    Not much chance to stop that combo one on one.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cat Lady: Woot!

    ETA – Can I get a Woot! Woot!

  70. 70

    w00t. Roll Tide (and Cornhuskers!). BCS sucks!

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    unless it lets ME, Queen of the Typso, back in.

    I believe that to be “Typo” but maybe..uh..oh..I see what you did there.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m very certain there is a Sociologist somewhere with a government grant studying this specific population – and the sheer joy expressed due to having an edit feature – I’m starting to think it’s like a population stranded on an island. And they intermittently get a radio or CB signal, and each time they do the whole group goes nuts…but then it goes away again.
    There’s a PhD thesis out of this twisted experiment, I can smell it.

    ETA – and I just fixed one of my typos..so I know there’s something hinky here.

  73. 73
    kdaug says:

    @Genine:

    I’ll raise you:

    The English Parliment were debating whether to change the road rules so that cars would drive on the right side of the road instead of the left. The liberals wanted the change so they could import cheaper foreign cars, the conservatives wanted to keep the left-driving cars because that’s the way it had always been.

    At the end, they compromised and agreed to phase in the new law. For the first year, only trucks would be forced to drive on the right…

  74. 74

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m very certain there is a Socliologist somewhere with a government grant studying this specific population

    if there’s not, we should apply for one.

  75. 75
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Corner Stone: We are the Balloon Juice cargo cult. We know there’s something wrong with the code, and we keep flailing away at it, until one of our native geniuses figures it out.

    gives arguingwithsignposts a cookie

    Next up: we will build a giant non-functional can opener and tuna can model in order to make pictures of Tunch appear again. All hail King Tunch, Death from the Skies — err — futon. Yeah, futon.

  76. 76
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Nope. You can say ho and hoes without getting sent to mod hell (though the plural of ho is hos, anyway).

    However, there is a three link maximum, apparently including references to comments.

    Unless you consider plural references to garden implements to be salacious.

  77. 77
    Maude says:

    Just shut off adblock
    very slow edit

  78. 78
    shoutingattherain says:

    @John Cole:

    Ya know, I have no idea wtf “goosegrade” is and I know it’s probably something I should be outraged about, but tonight I’m just not going to give a flyingfuck.

    Blackhawks @ Pens. 4:30 PST.

    EDIT: Because I can. Neener neener.

  79. 79

    @shoutingattherain:

    GooseGrade is a very good idea, actually – community editing feature. But it seems to have a bug.

  80. 80
    Mari says:

    Bipartisanship is the act of agreeing to shoot every baby in the back of the head once because shooting every baby twice would be too extreme.

  81. 81
    The Raven says:

    “…ever managed to hear the story of King Solomon.”

    Wow, great biblical cite. Let’s repeat it as much as we can–maybe it’ll embarrass some legislators, or even Obama, into doing the right thing.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mari: I thought it was where one side wants to shoot them 5 times and the “moderate” consideration was to agree to only shoot them once.

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: Only if the baby’s brown.

  84. 84
    Zzyzx says:

    OK I have to try…

    ETA: IT WORKS!!!!

    We are so easily entertained.

  85. 85
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    I was just listening to the tee-vee recently, where I was told that Democrats have control of congress. Hmmm, this seems to have been a mistaken assumption.

    No, this is correct. Democrats do indeed have control of Congress. The problem is that progressives don’t.

    I agree that a weak public option is going to end up sucking. So let it get killed, or put into a trigger that’ll never be pulled, so at least some of the good stuff can survive. Then let’s vote the bastards out.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    Ohhhhhh Nooooooo. Not Mr. ‘Post-partisan impotent poltical PR gimmick man’ Obama?

    I hope he stays out of it.

    I never thought I would trust Reid to bang heads and hammer something out, lock the doors for the duration when they have to go pee, and make them strike a deal.

    But Reid is in bad shape in NV, and he needs something big to bring home before the next election. I hope Reid has locked the doors before Obama gets there.

  87. 87
    jl says:

    “This ought to make you want to bang your head off your desk:”

    This John Cole is threat to public health.

    Look, people, do not try this trick at home. Your head will just get smooshed onto the desk and get dented and stuck there. You will hurt yourself.

    Watch ‘Secret tricks of the great magicians’ or whatever it is on that cable channel to see they do it.

    Yeesh! Also.

  88. 88
    The Other Steve says:

    I finally heard what I wanted to hear on the radio the other day. One of the reporters was answering questions and someone asked… “Ok, if insurers can’t deny someone with diabetes, can they charge 4 times more?”

    The answer was no they cannot. The can charge different rates if you smoke, and based upon age and whether you do a health assessment survey, but not based on preconditions.

    I honestly don’t think the public option is all that important.

  89. 89
    TaosJohn says:

    John, you hit the zone. Great writing.

  90. 90
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    I thought at the time I was being too cynical, but the moderates blithering idiots in both parties are proving me wrong.
    ____________

    I hate to be presumptuous, but a wee bit better, no?

  91. 91
    Ed Drone says:

    “That is a terrible idea, but if we do it halfway, it becomes better!”

    Well, the food is terrible, but we’ll make the portions small.

    OR: We lose $5 on each, so let’s make it up in volume.

    A bad idea isn’t made better by turning it into a half-assed bad idea.

    Ed

  92. 92
    TaosJohn says:

    I hear the take-what-we-can-get-and-fix-it-later talk. I just don’t believe that stuff any more. The situation is untenable. We have no more excuses.

    Don’t you feel it? Not just with health care, but everything that’s fucked up? It hasn’t always been this way, same as it ever was. It’s much worse now. I mean, c’mon. When I grew up, a kid could go anywhere. The streams ran clear. Jesus, 40 years ago a visit to the doctor cost $5. I made $600 a month teaching college (!), and that supported two people, car payments, a great house, and the money just piled up in my checking account.

    This isn’t “Get off my lawn,” it’s “Why don’t we ALL have lawns?!?” What’s the matter with us? Why are we so afraid of a little goddamned VISION? Go for the gold, we only talk ourselves out of it.

  93. 93
    Cain says:

    @Lolis:

    Snowe is more reasonable than Lieberman. They are courting her vote because Lieberman has gone Galt. This is not bipartisanship for it’s own sake. The White House must have known about Lieberman before Harry Reid, because they were always pursing that strategy.

    If it passes without him, he’s fucked. He better be fucked. His head should be on a pike so that all other democratic legislators can see what happens if you fuck against one of the major platforms of the party. I mean you can’t be part of the democratic party if you’re not going to agree to this. Blows my fucking mind. Fuck you, Lieberman, you piss ass. Someone should tell him that AIPAC will not love him sniff his asshole in interest like a mongrel, if he loses influence in the senate. Jackass.

    cain

  94. 94
    Silver Owl says:

    I’m so not impressed with the caliber of adults of this era. Talk about overpaying for poor quality.

  95. 95
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Talk about overpaying getting shaken down for poor quality at gun point.

    __________

    Sorry, but someone had to say it…

  96. 96

    But Reid is in bad shape in NV, and he needs something big to bring home before the next election. I hope Reid has locked the doors before Obama gets there.

    Yeah, because that has worked so well so far. What you are looking at is the result of Reid insisting that the public option be a part of the Senate bill. All he did was to ensure that the public option would die, and possibly take the whole thing with it. I warned you this would happen when all of you fuckers got so excited by Reid finally manning up.

    If the Senate had just passed anything, with the primary requirement that it be non-controversial, they could have gone to the conference committee and put in the House version of the public option. Then you bring it back to the Senate, and no one can offer any amendments. Nelson and company wouldn’t be able to say, “We’ll only let this pass if you strip out the public option.” It would have been yes or no on what was in front of them.

    All moving up the vote on the public option did was to force the moderates to take a stand right now, when the rules gave them the power to offer amendments. Reid backed them into the corner, and made any vote they provide to a bill with a public option, whether now or on the conference report, out in the open. They have no ability to do the cowardly thing and quietly let a public option pass in the final instance.

    Obama told Reid not to pick this fight. All that all of you idiots around here could see is that Obama wasn’t voicing full throated support for the public option at every turn. You morons declared that it was stupid to think tactically and choose the best ground on which to fight one single battle. I hope you’re happy, because the result was so fucking obvious to anyone who chose to think about it.

    Of course, I think a lot of you are happy. I see a lot of people around here who can only be happy when they can be outraged at the ineffectuality of the Democratic Party. If they ever got anything done, you’d have to actually try to evaluate things on the merits of messy results. As it is, you can remain blessedly irate at the world and not have to think.

    Well, fuck all of you. I would have liked to be able to get health insurance with my pre-existing conditions. Instead, you get to wail and bemoan the fact that I can’t, and blame the powers that be. It’s a nice life if you can afford it. I can’t.

    Fuck you.

  97. 97
    mcc says:

    The blogosphere has this hammer.

  98. 98
    Nick says:

    @demkat620: They don’t really have a base problem…the base still strongly supports them

  99. 99
    Nick says:

    @Cain: Except Lieberman’s approval ratings have actually gone UP in recent months.

  100. 100
    Nick says:

    @Robertdsc-iphone: This is how our government, unfortunately, works. This is the way it’s always worked. This is why we’ve never been able to get universal healthcare, among other things, in our country. Our nation was founded on a compromise, it was created by compromise and celebrates the art of compromise. Don’t like it? There’s always revolution.

  101. 101
    Yutsano says:

    @Nick: Be careful what revolution you wish for however. After a revolution the government always goes more radically conservative. Odds are the Jesus freaks will get an even stronger toehold than now, unless the country splits.

  102. 102
    LittleBit says:

    Lieberman needs to DIAF. He makes me so angry.

  103. 103
    mcc says:

    Except Lieberman’s approval ratings have actually gone UP in recent months

    @Nick: Out of curiosity, was this before or after he suddenly went nuclear over the public option? He seems to have only done that at the last minute, after Reid announced it would be in the base bill, before which he was relatively quiet.

  104. 104
    NR says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Well, fuck all of you. I would have liked to be able to get health insurance with my pre-existing conditions. Instead, you get to wail and bemoan the fact that I can’t, and blame the powers that be.

    Not to make light of your situation, but you do realize that if this bill passes, the private insurance companies will just take your money and deny your claims, right? There’s nothing in either the House or the Senate bill that will prevent that.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    aimai says:

    J. Michael Neal–that is simply wrong. Apparently its very, very, very hard to get something through conference without there being a matching provision in both bills. And, also, there is a second cloture vote to bring the conference bill back to the Senate. That cloture vote is *also* going to involve filibustering by Lieberman and Nelson et al, potentially. There’s tons wrong with everything but Harry Reid forcing the public option, even the opt out, into the Senate Bill isn’t one of them. What part of *the republicans, lieberman, and nelson, and landrieu won’t vote for something good–anything good–unless they are absolutely forced to don’t you get?

    Again, I would have preferred if Reid had thrown Single payer into the manager’s bill and forced the “centrists” to come bargaining for half of that–the full blown public option at medicare plus five–in order to have something to show their conservative voters/insurance company friends. As everyone has pointed out if you know or believe you are going to end up at halfway ask for the fucking baby and a half already at the start.

    aimai

  107. 107
    Nick says:

    @mcc: surpsingly, it came after, Quinnipiac clocked him at 49-44, a huge rise, in early November, about six weeks after he went nuclear on the public option.

  108. 108
    The Other Steve says:

    @NR:

    Not to make light of your situation, but you do realize that if this bill passes, the private insurance companies will just take your money and deny your claims, right? There’s nothing in either the House or the Senate bill that will prevent that.

    Other then it’s already illegal. Not that the insurance companies care, as they’ll eventually pay after several letters back and forth.

    But the Senate bill allows you to drop your insurance plan and go with someone else if you get crappy service.

  109. 109
    jcricket says:

    Atrios wrote this earlier:

    One thing I wish they would collectively realize is that while they speechify on C-SPAN as if they imagine the whole world is watching, they’d better hope the whole world isn’t watching because “the world’s greatest deliberative body” looks like a clown show to most people. No disrespect meant to clowns. Except the very scary ones.

    Exactly right, and combined with the Democratic approach to “bipartisanship” (give everything away and still get nothing), congressional approval moves to all-time lows.

    When they were in charge, Republicans basically said to Democrats, “The American public wants what we’re selling, and if you don’t get on board, you’ll look un-American, and we’ll pillory you for it”. Didn’t matter the whole thing was a lie, it scared enough Democrats that Bush Agenda passes with flying colors and “bipartisanshipfullness”.

    If Democrats would ever realize that the American public (outside of the crazification factor) supports the Democratic agenda, and acted from a position of strength, it would be remarkably different. Now, I know Republicans would likely oppose this full-stop – but Democrats could then, in theory, speechify a lot about how Republicans are un-American and oppose the will of the people – because it would be FUCKING TRUE. This would have the advantage of helping make clear electing a Republican won’t help you get anything.

    Instead we act like wimps, worried that being “out there” will hurt our electoral chances, but instead it’s being wimps that hurts our chances.

    Shorter me: We suck.

  110. 110
    scarshapedstar says:

    I don’t understand the workings of a mind that says “That is a terrible idea, but if we do it halfway, it becomes better!”

    I do! It’s the kind of mind that lies through their teeth and argues in bad faith and only thinks this way when the Democrats have power.

    Once the Republicans are in control, Elections Have Consequences.

  111. 111
    jcricket says:

    @scarshapedstar: You know, sadly, a lot of “average joes” seem to think this kind of “let’s do it halfway” is better. Because of 30 years of Republican anti-government propaganda and Democrats acquiescence to the same the public is deeply skeptical of real change.

    They’re convinced the change will be worse than the status quo, but also dissatisfied with the status quo, so they latch on to marginal change ideas.

    You also see contradictory thinking in places like CA – where the population clearly keeps electing more and more Democrats (state wide), but then puts Republican governors in charge, or supports keeping Prop 13 and the 2/3rds rule. They claim everything is f’ed up, but reject the idea there’s an obvious way to fix it, b/c that idea comes only from one party (it’s called raising taxes).

    It doesn’t have to be this way. Plenty of other countries don’t have the same fault lines as us (the conservatives in Norway may want slightly lower taxes, or different taxes, but none of them suggest the Laffer curve is real). If we can’t get past this, we’re basically not a functioning Republic.

  112. 112
    licensed to kill time says:

    reply arrow, whither hast thou gone? please come back to me.

  113. 113
    Neurovore says:

    The Senate version of the healthcare bill will be so ridiculously weak or ineffectual, that the Democrats will have fucked themselves over even if it passes. Included in the bill is the lovely Stupak amendment, individual insurance mandates, and the public option that will serve as a dumping ground for the very sick. Even worse will be the fact that the coverage pool will be so small for the public “option” as it will only apply to 5% of the population at best. This will make monthly premiums for the pathetically weak public option even MORE expensive than regular premiums under many private plans. That is until insurance companies jack up our rates simply because they can.

    This bill will supposedly end the practices of recissions and preexisting conditions. However, the individual mandate component of the bill will allow insurance companies to simply charge whatever they want as you would be tied to them or face a yearly tax penalty. This probably means being locked into “junk insurance” plans with high deductibles, high copays, and high premiums. Basically, it is a big bailout for private health insurance companies. It might actually be for the best if this bill fails.

    I am sorry for the ranting post. It is just that I had high hopes for the Obama and the rest of the Democrats in the face of the batshit insane Republican party. However, it looks like they are either cowering in fear from the Blue Dogs and wingnuts or gleefully aiding and abetting their idiocy. By and large, the Democrats are now the party of Republican-Lite just like they were during the Bush years. Hell, we cannot even get them to stop indefinite detention without charges.

    So now the Democrats are probably fucked in 2010 if the bill passes and probably fucked if it does not. They had the perfect opportunity to fix our pathetic healthcare system but they fucked it up and somehow made it even WORSE. Then the Republican Opposition Party will blame the Democrats for failing to reform healthcare even though they have been the ones that have largely stood in the way of effective reform in the first place.

    USA!! USA!! USA!!

  114. 114
    Nick says:

    @Neurovore: There isn’t any anaylsis of the Senate healthcare bill that I’ve read that says any of this.

  115. 115
    Neurovore says:

    Really? The last I heard the individual mandates for H.R.3590 were still in place. I have recently heard that the Stupak amendment might fail. Also, the latest proposed public option seems to be very weak.

  116. 116

    Some times they think more in their political parties than the people it self nor the country.

  117. 117
    Test says:

    This is a test, plese don’t publish

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