The Best Thing

About health care reform is that it is a primer for Banking and Financial Regulation. We get to look forward to watching the House bill get neutered down by the conservadems, the GOP will be aligned in unison with industry against, and then when the final bill is not up to Howard Dean’s standards, the progressives can sink it because it isn’t good enough, and noted liberals like Tom Harkin, Ron Wyden, and Russ Feingold will be labeled sellouts to the cause just like they were with health care. Also, I’m sure this will all be Rahm’s fault.

Then we can stand around and masturbate each other about how, unlike Republicans, progressives stuck to their principles and refused to pass a bad bill. FAP FAP FAP. Then we can get wiped out in 2010 and 2012, and we are back to where we really like to be- in the minority, bitching about the Republicans, raising lots of money for our PACS, while Sarah Palin cuts the top marginal rate to 4% and invades Iran.

Victory!

I think I may just turn this into a gaming and pet blog.

And you know who will have health insurance even if this bill fails: Howard Dean, Katrina van den Huevel, Ed Schultz, and 99% of the people burning up twitter and memeorandum right now.






141 replies
  1. 1
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I can picture that in every particular. Especially the insistent, humiliating, haunting FAP FAP FAP.

  2. 2
    Dannie22 says:

    My sentiments exactly

  3. 3
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Fine with me. I come here for the community anyway.

  4. 4
    mr. whipple says:

    About health care reform is that it is a primer for Banking and Financial Regulation.

    Don’t forget about cap and trade.

    I think I may move to an island somewhere.

  5. 5
    freelancer says:

    I think I may just turn this into a gaming and pet blog.

    I know how you feel.

    However, you could make a killing if you invested in suicide booths.

    UPDATE: FUCK. WHO’S GOT A QUARTER?

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/16/sanders-vote/

    Moments ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced that he is prepared to vote against the Senate health care bill in light of the recent decision to strip the public option and the Medicare buy-in provision from the legislation. Appearing on Fox Business’ Cavuto, Sanders said he’s “struggling with this,” but is inclined to vote against:

    I’m struggling with this. As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point.

  6. 6
    Blue Raven says:

    What, no recipes? If we’re all going to get fat and complacent about moving toward real change, I want to get some help with the first part of that, thank you.

  7. 7
    FlipYrWhig says:

    And you know what else will happen… when people decide that the liberal side is _also_ full of crazies and decide not to vote, it will be proof to the crazies that they should have been crazier, because it was not being crazy enough that depressed turnout.

    This whole sad spectacle is Teabag Envy.

  8. 8

    I may move to an island somewhere.

    If you’re worried about cap and trade and climate change, I’d go for a mountaintop instead

  9. 9
    Chasseur says:

    if u sit by and accept lack of effort and poor execution by your teammates, you’ll get rolled time and again.

  10. 10
    Tonal Crow says:

    There has to be a point at which you say “no more!”, else you get raped every time. That said, I’m not sure whether we’re at that point on HCR. I wish I had better insight into whether Democrats will call it a day if they manage to pass something like the Senate bill, or whether they’ll put real effort into paring away at its shortcomings.

  11. 11
    Calming Influence says:

    Option two: pass this stinking pile of shite with no public option, and watch Democrats stay away from the polls in droves in 2010. Same outcome.

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think I may just turn this into a gaming and pet blog.

    Gay dating, John. That is the future.

  13. 13

    Unfortunately we might get our asses kicked in 2010 anyway… Even if this HCR bill rocked an awesome P.O., nobody could benefit from it til 2013…

    That slow implementation might be the dumbest part of this whole fucking thing.

  14. 14
    Kryptik says:

    Can I apply to be your DS blogger?

  15. 15
    Kryptik says:

    Can I apply to be your DS blogger?

  16. 16
    Tx Expat says:

    Maybe the rest of the legislative agenda is going to be like Ezra was describing health care legislation today (referencing the stimulus):

    Back in June, I predicted that health-care reform would follow the path of the stimulus: A huge accomplishment that nevertheless feels like a defeat to its supporters. “As the legislation winds its way through the Senate, there will be unpleasant compromises, and unconscionable omissions, and the constant knowledge that though this is progress, it is not sufficient, and the people who stand in the way of a better bill are frequently incoherent or disingenuous.”

    Obama’s not going to suddenly turn into a fire-brand, but neither is he McCain and for that I am grateful. Hopefully, he can implement some good legislation that we can then build on in the future.

  17. 17
    KCinDC says:

    John, I don’t believe in killing the bill, but I’m pretty sure it’s a good idea to have some people out there screaming that they want to kill the bill. You seem to be suggesting that everyone shut up and get behind the LieberCare bill (plus whatever new demands Joe comes up with in the next few days), but if the left side always surrenders immediately while the right side maximizes their unreasonableness, things will just become worse and worse. The bill is not yet in final form.

    We can never win playing chicken with these psychopaths, but we can at least improve our tactics. Not advertising our bottom line would be a good start.

  18. 18
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If it becomes a pet blog, the comments will immediately descend into a never-ending ‘Cats rule, dogs drool’ pissing match. If it’s not politics, it’ll be pets. If it’s not pets, it would be computer OS’s.

    The fissiparous itch must be scratched.

  19. 19
    Beeb says:

    Respectfully disagree. Why blame Rahm when Rubin’s boys Summers and Geithner are available? Good thing for them that Goldman Sachs doesn’t sell health insurance. Otherwise, they’d be to blame for Nelson and Lieberman on this one, too. :>)

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    I admire very little about republicans, but when they got a bill passed that met one of their objectives, they never wanted to excommunicate half their party because the bill didn’t give them everything. Instead they very publicly told everybody how great it was, and how the wonderfully leadership of the party has made things better. And then the media wrote down what they said and passed it on.

    Wouldn’t it be neat if the current narrative was that a health care reform bill was going to pass even though the GOP threw everything they had against it, and that proves how the American people prefer progressive ideals to the empty platitudes of republicans? You don’t even have to really believe it. Just think about how with a unified front *that* could be the story leading all the newscasts. And then think about what that would do to the odds of passing improvements later. Success breeds success. Whining makes Joe Lieberman smile.

  21. 21
    Calming Influence says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Gay Pet dating. Man on dog love.

  22. 22
    Tonal Crow says:

    @freelancer: Yeah? Sanders is doing the right thing. He’s trying to improve the bill by hiding his cards. What’s wrong with that?

  23. 23
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I think I may just turn this into a gaming and pet blog.

    It is why I’m addicted. Though I would top that list with the jokes, it’s always about the jokes. Though I am not in a very joking mood right now.

    All this empowerment of blue dogs and conservadem really comes from one factor. The utter lock step of republicans on voting no on anything that moves. They can give people like Nelson and Lieberman this power by being absolutely uncooperative, but this alone will not win them points with voters. They can get away with it for awhile, but with time even political illiterates will catch on.

    Obama and the dems are going to have to get a lot tougher with the Liebermans or suffer defeat after defeat on big legislation. If they do not strip Joe of his seniority and gavels, this will go on. There has to be a cost involved, and in the house that is usually reelection support with cash. And committee assignments.

    I ordinarily have rejected these kinds of punishments for conservadems, but there is a limit to everything. And I think it has been reached.

  24. 24
    ignoramus says:

    I posted the link downstream, and here I will quote it..
    http://yglesias.thinkprogress......aken-2.php
    =============
    (Adam Green cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee responding…)

    Since you asked, “What exactly should they be doing?” here is the list of what it would have looked like if Obama was willing to exert leverage and actually fight.

    — Threaten to veto any bill without public option.

    — Barnstorm Connecticut before Lieberman dug in his heels (Connecticut, where Obama campaigned for Lieberman in 2006, and where voters want the public option by 3 to 1).

    — Barnstorm across Maine (where voters want the public option 2 to 1, Independents 3 to 1, and where only 24% of voters like Snowe’s trigger). Instead, Emanuel met behind-closed-doors with a senator out of touch with her own constituents and tried to cut a deal for a trigger nobody wants.

    — Publicly leak that Obama is furious that he went to bat for Lieberman’s chairmanship, and Lieberman is threatening to filibuster reform.

    — Publicly leaking that reconciliation is on the table — and will be used to push an even stronger public option if Senate Dems don’t get in line.

    Bonus:

    — For Reid…threating Lieberman’s committee chairmanship, and reconciliation with stronger public option.

    — For Pelosi…drawing a line in the sand now. Saying a bad reform bill simply won’t be brought up for a vote…forcing 30 million people to give money to insurance companies is not reform.

    — For progressives in the senate like Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Roland Burris, and Sherrod Brown…saying publicly that this bill is unacceptable and they will not support cloture.

    That’s what leverage looks like. Supposedly pro-reform Democrats have failed to exert any real leverage in this fight. You can’t not fight and then expect the public to compromise…doesn’t work like that.
    =================

    Even if it would not have worked, even if it would have ended up as the same bill we have today, it would have added political clarity.

    Even with the same bill, that approach would get a more liberal and progressive Senate and Congress _next_ time, if Democrats gave it a serious shot, and then built campaigns around the obstructionists. Caving in to Lieberman, Republicans, and corporate interests, on the other hand, sends the message that the Democratic super majorities are irrelevant, and all the hard work from the last four years in electing them was a wasted effort.

    Obama and centrists screwed the progressives. Progressives should not forget it. They should extract a price for that, so that no one will try it again. If they dont get back at them, it will happen again

  25. 25
    Barry says:

    John: “….then when the final bill is not up to Howard Dean’s standards, the progressives can sink it because it isn’t good enough, …”

    On that magical, mystical day when Liberman and the Gang O’ Maggots actually deign to allow a bill to pass, and the left stops it, you’ll have a point.

    Until that magical, mystical day, it’s the right end of the allegedly Democratic Senate caucus which is doing the stopping.

    What I now predict is that the ‘respectable’ democrats will all join with The Villagers, the MSM and the GOP in blaming it All on Evul Leftists.

  26. 26
    MattR says:

    Are people going to remember that Congressman X really wanted a stronger bill but accepted a watered down one or are they going to remember that he voted for a crappy watered down bill that ended up coming back to bite the country in the ass? In two years? Five years? Twenty? Fifty?

    It is very easy for all of us commenting here to forget that these votes are a permanent record greater than the one we were threatened with in grade school. I have a hard time disparaging someone who comes to the conclusion that a bill (HCR, banking and/or financial reform, etc) is such a piece of crap that they think it will do harm and don’t want their name associated with it.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    Then we can get wiped out in 2010 and 2012, and we are back to where we really like to be- in the minority, bitching about the Republicans, raising lots of money for our PACS, while Sarah Palin cuts the top marginal rate to 4% and invades Iran.

    Shirley, you can’t be serious.

  28. 28
    Tonal Crow says:

    @KCinDC:

    We can never win playing chicken with these psychopaths [the GOP], but we can at least improve our tactics. Not advertising our bottom line would be a good start.

    Oh, we can win. But you’re right about the bottom line.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is there a fetish where you are sexually gratified by likening things to shit? Mimeto-coprophilia, maybe? You could make it a blog dedicated to that, and about 85% of the comments could smoothly transition over.

  30. 30
    mb says:

    a bad hcr bill will get us minority status as quick if not quicker than no bill. this is, imho, a bad bill. it risks increased premiums for hlth ins that is mandated. this is a recipe for revolt. public reaction could make the tea parties look like … actual tea parties.

    this bill should be killed.

    or at least drop the mandate.

  31. 31
    The Sheriff Is A Ni- says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Obama and the dems are going to have to get a lot tougher with the Liebermans or suffer defeat after defeat on big legislation. If they do not strip Joe of his seniority and gavels, this will go on. There has to be a cost involved, and in the house that is usually reelection support with cash. And committee assignments.

    Meanwhile, the other side of the aisle is waiting there with open arms and wallets saying ‘You knew you were one of us all along!’

    The solution has always been in front of us all along: More and better Democrats.

  32. 32
    Max says:

    And tv, especially the really good shows like…

    Top Chef
    SYTYCD
    Glee
    Real Housewives
    Design Star
    The Next Iron Chef
    Anything on HBO
    Flipping Out (love Jeff Lewis)
    Bones
    Fringe
    Lie to me

    I enjoy the community livebloggy thing during fun shows.

  33. 33
    ChrisNBama says:

    Does anyone else think that the reason Rahm Emmanuel is being attacked is because he’s jewish? It’s like that scene from Driving Miss Daisy after Hoke and Miss Daisy are questioned by the southern cops, and they drive off, the cop turns to his partner and says something like, “Isn’t it sad when you have an old nigger drivin’ around a jew lady?”

    It’s a twofer for the dog whistle crowd.

  34. 34
    Tom Hilton says:

    This post is way too generous to the ‘progressive’ purists. They should be denounced and derided much more viciously than this.

  35. 35
    Barry says:

    Again, the editing function does not work.

  36. 36
    elliottg says:

    But when the Republicans passed a bill, they negotiated within their own party and held the line on the caucus. Democrats are negotiating with F***ing Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson. Mcconnell never negotiated with Spector – just told him he could say whatever he wanted, but he better vote the right way when it counted.

  37. 37
    freelancer says:

    @mb:

    a bad hcr bill will get us minority status as quick if not quicker than no bill.

    You’re so wrong. If they lose this fight/abandon it, they will be done at the polls. done.

  38. 38
    ronin122 says:

    @KCinDC: Yeah except most on the left already wanted the bill dead a week and a half ago. They just never said it aloud till this week. What is good is having pressure from the left to counterbalance that fuckhead Lieberman. What is not good is deciding that since the bill isn’t perfect that it’s not worth having. The activist left doesn’t know shit, and are best to be ignored. Last few months it’s become clear that depending on where you go they are nothing more than a saner–albeit significantly, arguably–leftist version of the teabaggers. And said as someone who is a strong leftist-yet-realist.

  39. 39
    Comrade Mary says:

    @freelancer: I hope to fucking God that’s theatre.

  40. 40
    bayville says:

    And Speaking of Banking Reform… CITI is in trouble again (SHOCK!), just one day after moving to payback TARP money

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12.....=1&hp

  41. 41
    jeffreyw says:

    @Blue Raven: Damn right, moar recipes!

    MOAR recipes!!

  42. 42
    mb says:

    @freelancer:

    baloney

  43. 43
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Obama and the dems are going to have to get a lot tougher with the Liebermans or suffer defeat after defeat on big legislation. If they do not strip Joe of his seniority and gavels, this will go on. There has to be a cost involved, and in the house that is usually reelection support with cash. And committee assignments.

    Yeah, but wait until after the votes on cap and trade, climate change and immigration. Doing it now is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  44. 44
    scarshapedstar says:

    Man, enough with the Dean hate. I saw his Rachel Maddow interview, and he was defending the Senate bill against an incredulous Maddow, for reasons X, Y, and Z. I don’t think he really believed it but at least he had something good to say.

    And then, that weekend, X, Y, and Z were removed from the bill in (the first of, most likely, several) acquiescence to Lieberman’s open-ended no-promises no-guarantees-of-anything demands.

    I think, were I in his shoes, I would find myself similarly pissed off.

  45. 45
    scott says:

    this is awesome…

    Then we can stand around and masturbate each other about how, unlike Republicans, progressives stuck to their principles and refused to pass a bad bill.

  46. 46
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    John…………….
    Blue Dog threatens to kill HCR, it gets moved to the right. Ben Nelson threatens to kill HCR, it gets moved to the right. Joe Lieberman threatens to kill HCR, it gets moved to the right. Etc., etc., etc. Notice a pattern?

    God knows if they stand a snowball’s chance in Hell, but why are you opposed to Jane Hamsher or Howard Dean or whomever even trying to play the same game from the left?

  47. 47
    mb says:

    this bill is worse than not perfect. this bill is worse than nothing at all.

  48. 48
    KCinDC says:

    If they do not strip Joe of his seniority and gavels, this will go on.

    And you think he’ll be more cooperative after he’s lost his chair? With the GOP’s lockstep filibuster-everything obstructionism, we’ll still need 60 votes.

    Does anyone else think that the reason Rahm Emmanuel is being attacked is because he’s jewish?

    Sure, that’s why the progressives all hate Feingold. But clearly you’re antisemitic because you didn’t capitalize “Jewish”.

  49. 49
    Barry says:

    The Sheriff Is A Ni-

    “Meanwhile, the other side of the aisle is waiting there with open arms and wallets saying ‘You knew you were one of us all along!’

    The solution has always been in front of us all along: More and better Democrats.”

    Two things – first, since the more Democrats will probably come from the right end of the Democratic Senate caucus, we’re right back where we started. It won’t help to have 65 Democratic Senators if 10-15 of them feel happy backstabbing the rest, in order to better the serve the GOP. We still need some way to enforce some discipline. We don’t need and should not have the GOP lock-step, but Senators being free to veto major platform legislation with zero consequences is not good. The GOP has figured this out, and is gleefully watching and helping right-wing[1] Dem Senators trash a Democratic President and all hopes for getting something accomplished.

    Second, where the heck are we going to get more Democratic Senators from? It took 8 hard years of the GOP trashing the country to get 60 sorta’s; the only question in the mid-terms is how many do we lose. Short of the GOP managing to pull a Jonestown on themselves, we are now seeing the largest Democratic Senate caucus that we’ll see for years, if not decades.

    [1] Gee, I wonder why it’s the right-wing Dem Senators who are doing this? All the Respectable People tell me to look for Evul Leftist Saboteurs, but it’s the right-wing Dem Senators who are trashing things.

  50. 50
    mb says:

    Dr. Dean has the benefit of actually knowing what he’s talking about.

  51. 51
    Irony Abounds says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Yeah, but wait until after the votes on cap and trade, climate change and immigration.

    And DADT

  52. 52
    donovong says:

    I think I may just turn this into a gaming and pet blog.

    Might I suggest survivalist supplies and equipment? We are all going to need it once President Palin gets her mitts on the codes.

  53. 53
    KCinDC says:

    Last few months it’s become clear that depending on where you go they are nothing more than a saner—albeit significantly, arguably—leftist version of the teabaggers.

    Even if that were true, which I don’t accept, they’d be serving a useful purpose. The teabaggers, crazy though they are, have been successfully driving the health care discussion in the Republicans’ direction, so counterbalance would be a good thing.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @ignoramus:

    — Publicly leak that Obama is furious that he went to bat for Lieberman’s chairmanship, and Lieberman is threatening to filibuster reform.

    I would be very happy if this happened. Not holding my breath.

  55. 55
    Thom Jeff says:

    This bill is an absolute gift for the GOP, which may well be what Lieberman had in mind. It may well help accomplish the noble goal of helping the poor and sick, but it will require the middle class to pick up the tab through both higher premiums (justified by having to insure “everybody”) and an increasingly bigger deficit.

    And just wait until those 25-year-olds find out that they’re going to be forced to buy health insurance on top of their non-dischargeable student loans. Helllloooo new republicans!

    This is a POS, John. Sorry, but they’ve “compromised” away the store.

  56. 56
    Irony Abounds says:

    @mb:

    Dr. Dean has the benefit of actually knowing what he’s talking about.

    Yeah, and the current Senate Plan is much more progressive than the plan Dean was pushing as a candidate in 2004. So perhaps Dr. Dean is just grandstanding a bit.

    Oh, btw, I don’t care what John says or what happens, I ain’t masturbating anyone else. My hand and I have a very happy and monogamous relationship.

  57. 57
    ploeg says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    Nope, he can’t be trusted with any of those. Certainly not now. How are you going to trust him after his latest performance? If he’s going to poop on important Democratic initiatives, he’ll have to do it from the kids table on the Republican side of the aisle.

  58. 58
    donovong says:

    @mb: Bullshit. The “plan” that Dr. Dean proposed in 2004 wasn’t nearly as robust as what he is pooh-poohing now. He’s talking out of both sides of his face.

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Because the time to move the bill in the Senate is now OVER. And because they buckled to progressive desires and it backfired.

  60. 60
    harlana pepper says:

    Please pardon me for not going orgasmic over the Senate version of “health care reform” as I continue to be bled dry in insurance premiums, which are about the same as Ed Schultz’s, if I am not mistaken. Not everybody who has health insurance right now is necessarily a “lucky duckie”

  61. 61
    freelancer says:

    @mb:

    Stop emotionally rending your garments for five minutes. Breathe. Rationally listen to the reasons to still support the bill.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com.....llers.html

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/.....nate-bill/

    Then, if you still feel the same, grind your teeth down to your gums.

  62. 62
    KCinDC says:

    It won’t help to have 65 Democratic Senators…

    Having 65 would be hugely different from having 60, because you wouldn’t have to give into every conservaDem’s demands to get to 60. That said, it doesn’t matter because as you say we’re not going to get more Dems any time soon.

  63. 63
    b-psycho says:

    Representative government is a myth. That’ll be realized sooner or later…

  64. 64
    beemer says:

    Hey, John, when was the last time you bought groceries with your credit card because you couldn’t afford them any other way? When was the last time that you let your car insurance lapse because you couldn’t pay it, and pray that you didn’t get pulled over by the cops on the way to work? When was the last time you ignored that lump, or that cough, or that chronic pain, because you didn’t have health insurance or the money to pay for it?

    Because all this bill is going to do is put the burden of fines on top of the people I just described. And I’ve been there. This bill is helping no one but the insurance companies, and it’s the bill that the White House wanted. That’s why they attacked Howard Dean today, but not Joe Lieberman yesterday.

  65. 65
    MattR says:

    @KCinDC:

    And you think he’ll be more cooperative after he’s lost his chair? With the GOP’s lockstep filibuster-everything obstructionism, we’ll still need 60 votes.

    At this point, I don’t think we can ever trust that we have Lieberman’s vote, whether he is in the caucus or not. And I think Dems are more likely to pick up Senate seats in 2010 if the public does not think that they have 60 votes and that they alone are responsible for the lack of action. They are going to have a tough argument to sell either way, but it would be a bit easier if they only have a 59 person caucus.

  66. 66
    ploeg says:

    @KCinDC: I don’t expect him to be more cooperative. I expect his chances in 2012 to get a lot dimmer than they are right now, since he can say that the Dems will continue to give him committee assignments for as long as they hold the Senate, and he can flip to the Republicans when they get 50 seats.

  67. 67
    Delia says:

    I haven’t read all the threads about this all day, but has anyone pointed out Glenn’s post on this whole dog and pony show? His view is that this is what Obama wanted all along, which is why he’s openly pissed off at Dean but hasn’t said an unkind word about Holy Joe. So forget it about hoping for more and better Dems. It’s all theater and no one cares what the peasants think.

  68. 68
    ericvsthem says:

    @Thom Jeff: This. Atrios has been making this point for months, and he’s 100% correct.

  69. 69
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @mb: Should the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 have been killed because it was mostly eviscerated by Southern Democrats before it was passed, or did the passage of that bad bill pave the way for the Civil Rights Acts of 1960, 1964, and 1968?

    People who insist that “this bill must be killed” are taking an ridiculously short-term view of the struggle for HCR, and have little to no understanding of how incremental most major reform legislation has been. At some point the camel has to get its nose under the tent flap. If anything passes, it will probably be the best that can pass under the circumstances. Once it’s on the books, HCR can get a massive facelift. If the bill passes in its current form, it’s still a long-term loss for the insurance companies and Big Pharma. They know that. They aren’t spending big bucks to water down the bill, they want it dead. If the Dems put a stake in the bill because “it’s bad”, they’re just doing what the insurance industry wants.

    We need to play a longer game than that.

  70. 70
    Kryptik says:

    I’m going to repeat myself from one of the earlier topics here:

    I honestly still don’t know whether the bill is worth passing or not, mostly because of one thing, and that’s something people are forgetting, even you John:

    They’re not done neutering it yet.

    If you think the Republicans, Lieberputz, and the Blue Dogs Lieberputz is helping cover aren’t done stripping the varnish off this thing, you’ve probably learned as much as Reid has in dealing with the other side of the aisle.

  71. 71
    ignormaus says:

    Then we can stand around and masturbate each other about how, unlike Republicans, progressives stuck to their principles and refused to pass a bad bill.

    No, progressives can start working on expanding their reach independent of the Dems. That needs them to show spine. No one respects wimpy losers. But everyone respects fighters, even when they lose.

    At some point, progressives have to show spine. They have to get out of the vicious circle. For threats to be credible, they have to be carried out. Cut off the legs of the Dems for once. Let us see how they come back to power.

    This idea that _only_ progressives would be “in the minority, bitching about the Republicans, raising lots of money for our PACS” – why is that not scaring Obama and the centrist Dems? Why?

    Because they know the progressives would come crawling back.

    It’s a two way street. Dems should learn the lesson. No progressives, no Dems in power.

  72. 72
    joes527 says:

    @freelancer:

    You’re so wrong. If they lose this fight/abandon it, they will be done at the polls. done.

    And let me be the first to say: WHO GIVES A SHIT?

    The point of legislation is to legislate, not to help the Democrats.

    This is exactly what I fear about what is happening now. At some point (already past? next week when they add death penalty for homosexuals?) the negatives in the bill will outweigh the positives. I’m talking about health care and sound governance here, not politics. At some point it is possible to imagine that the clear outcome of the bill will be more pain, more suffering, and more death (actually that last one was hyperbole. I’m pretty sure that the long term death rate will hold steady at 100%)

    At that point in time some folks will still be pushing for the bill because they want a win for the D team. How much of the current push to complete the bill is based on honest assessment that the good left in the bill outweighs the evil, and how much is based on political positioning? Has the line been crossed? How would we know? I don’t know the answer to those questions.

  73. 73
    Chat Noir says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    All this empowerment of blue dogs and conservadem really comes from one factor. The utter lock step of republicans on voting no on anything that moves. They can give people like Nelson and Lieberman this power by being absolutely uncooperative, but this alone will not win them points with voters. They can get away with it for awhile, but with time even political illiterates will catch on.

    THIS! I hate every last Republican for their petty, childish, obnoxious “no to everything Democratic” bullshit. They have nothing to run on other than saying they said no. Their sucky policies throughout this decade ($1.5 trillion tax cut, two wars, Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit — all of which were not paid for and that make up, in part, the huge deficits we now face) helped lead us to the toilet that we’re in now. Putting these schmucks back in charge will only make things worse given their sorry history.

    /end rant

  74. 74
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Does it matter to anyone that the Republicans don’t want this bill to pass?

    They are making Sanders read the full text of his proposal:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....021490.php

    They want this bill dead.

  75. 75
    eastriver says:

    This is brinksmanship, you fecking clogger. A mexican standoff.

    Rule #1: Don’t blink.

    Rule #2: DON’T BLINK.

    You’re blinking, JC, like Bambi in a fecking wind-tunnel. Which means that you’re settling for less than is possible. The bill isn’t done yet. It can get better, not just worse.

    But only if you pretend like it’s all or nothing. If you don’t, then it’s just nothing.

    Get it?

    If you can’t stop blinking, put a sheet over your head. Or stick it in a hole in the ground. Anything.

    Just stop blinking.

  76. 76
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Well, when Obama and the folks who want to ride his coattails in the next round of elections come asking for help and volunteers I’m simply going to ask them to go to Goldman Sachs, Defense contractors and insurance and pharma folks. That’s who they work for, they damn sure don’t work for or represent me. Let the folks who they pay off do the lifting. You don’t want shitty right-leaning legislation? You’re fucked, because there is no progressive caucus worth mentioning and no Democratic leadership to show the way.

    Billions for bankers, insurance companies, defense contractors and pharma, and for the rest of us a big steaming cup of shut the fuck up.

  77. 77
    mcd says:

    It’s as old as history: Rising expectations + reality nosedive = bad ju-ju. See France, late 1700s.

    Dangling the public option and taking it away only to do the same thing with the Medicare buy-in — which is what many people really wanted in the first place — is bad, bad ju-ju.

    Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

  78. 78
    valdivia says:

    Again the whole mandate for young people will kill the dems is based on what? Mass has exactly this and it has 60% approval and as far as I know the state is not republican because of it. Also, talking about the mandate as if it is the only part of the bill is stupid. Please read Klein, Drum, Bennen, Podesta, Nate, etc.

  79. 79
    joes527 says:

    @eastriver:

    The bill isn’t done yet. It can get better, not just worse.

    cite?

  80. 80
    MattMinus says:

    @ChrisNBama: Yes, everyone you disagree with is racist against everybody.

  81. 81
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Since it’s time to demonize Howard Dean yet again, why don’t we post the “Dean Scream” video? It’s always good for a laugh.

    What does he know about health care anyway?

  82. 82
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Because the time to move the bill in the Senate is now OVER.

    What, because you say so?

    And because they buckled to progressive desires and it backfired.

    What, because Booman says so?

    Jesus, we rail for two years about what a nutless wonder Harry Reid is, and now you want to join him in Quitsville. C’mon, man. Go watch Belushi’s pep talk from Animal House and get cracking.

  83. 83
    mcc says:

    Obama and the dems are going to have to get a lot tougher with the Liebermans

    I’m tired of vague nouns. What does this mean? Like, exactly, really, what does “get tough” mean?

    Pretty clearly Congress needs to strip Lieberman of his committee chairmanships. This isn’t really even a matter of “punishment”– the only reason he had those chairs was to keep him from doing the kind of thing he did this week, and if that’s not working, then actual Democrats need those chairs so they can be used for real work instead of anti-Muslim witch hunts. But even if the Senate dems want to do this it won’t happen until 2011, as I understand under Senate rules you can’t just change a committee head in the middle of a session. And this doesn’t even really count because Lieberman’s case is so exceptional.

    Since you asked, “What exactly should they be doing?” here is the list of what it would have looked like if Obama was willing to exert leverage and actually fight.
    — Threaten to veto any bill without public option.

    Then he’ll be vetoing the bill. Because Lieberman and Nelson and Lincoln doesn’t give a crap if the bill dies or not, and if you give them the chance to look like the good guy (vote for the bill, thus avoiding the wrath of the base, then not have it become law, thus avoiding the wrath of their right-wing constituents, and not have it even be their fault) they will jump at it.

    As for the other recommendations in that post– really? “Barnstorm”? You mean create more town halls for tea partiers to target? You think Lieberman cares if he gets “barnstormed”? Do you even think he even remembers which state he’s supposed to have residency in at this point? (Connecticut or… ‘Colorado’? It was one of the C ones…) Dude’s saying Obama betrayed the Democrats, and the only reason why is he didn’t do specific, weird chess moves like leaking threats to the press?

    What this comes down to is there was a choice. The dems could kill the bill, or they could pass one that meets the conservadem demands. They’re taking option 2, and it appears to actually be working. The netroots chose option 1, and are outraged that nobody who’s actually been elected to office is willing to go along with it.

  84. 84
    fizzlogic says:

    I read on Althouse that it’s “fortunate” HRC is going down in flames. She’s got hers, fuck everyone else.

    The Right loves to rail against cutting taxes for the poor because they know–KNOW–the left want to have half the nation not paying taxes to secure their votes. Unlike the majority of Americans who have safe–employer paid–health care and therefore see no problem with our system–the bestest in world.

    And for your pleasure, check out this Reason article about why he prefers French health care.

  85. 85
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @ploeg

    If he’s going to poop on important Democratic initiatives, he’ll have to do it from the kids table on the Republican side of the aisle.

    Anybody that was paying attention knew that Lieberman was going to poop on this particular initiative. He’s firmly in the pocket of the health insurance lobby. That’s why the WH was dubious about Reid being able to sway him over a couple of drinks.

    Voting against cap and trade, climate change, immigration or a repeal of DADT, however, would require Lieberman to do a total 180. If he threatens to do so, fine, smack him down with extreme prejudice.

  86. 86
    Mike Martino says:

    All of these posts seem to be concerned mainly with the idea that the Democrats will lose huge majorities in 2010 if they don’t pass a health care reform bill, no matter how bad it is.

    So fucking what? I mean seriously, what good is having a Democratic majority in Congress and the presidency doing the progressive movement? Why should we care? Because the Republicans will be worse? Gimme a break – the Republican healthcare bill would look a lot like this one, and probably with some tax breaks thrown in for good measure.

    I’m 39 years old and always considered myself a Democrat. After watching this sorry spectacle drag on for the past six months I suddenly realize why growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s people were so vehemently against letting the Democrats run anything. Even while evil assholes like Santorum and Gingrich stormed through the halls of power and Republicans seemed to represent everything wrong in this country.

    Its because the alternative is far far worse. You’ll get the same legislation fucking you over, but you’ll be lied to the entire time as promises of reform are made. Your needs will still be made subservient to those of industry, but you’ll get to watch morons argue endlessly on TV.

    Who the fuck needs any of this? I say water the bill down to nothing, then let it fail then let the Democrats wander the political wilderness for another 30 years. We’ll end up in the same place, it’ll just be quicker and less painful.

  87. 87
    mcc says:

    Jesus, we rail for two years about what a nutless wonder Harry Reid is, and now you want to join him in Quitsville

    It is pretty funny. The group that wants to give up and walk away because they didn’t get everything they wanted, is accusing the group that’s succeeding in passing a bill of “surrendering”.

  88. 88
    bayville says:

    I agree with John, pass the healthcare bill already. My AETNA stock has only increased 10% in the past week. It could use a little boost.

    h/tGreenwald

  89. 89
    Rick Taylor says:

    I don’t know that I’ve very been so undecided about such an important piece of legislation. On one side you have people shouting we’d be fools to pass this, it does nothing more than require people to purchase insurance from a monopoly, and this will sink the Democratic party; on the other you have people shouting we’d be fools to pass up this opportunity, there is real reform, insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions and subsidies will help people buy insurance who couldn’t afford it now. The devil is in the details and I don’t feel I know enough to render a firm verdict.

    On the other hand, one things seems clear. First the bill is not in its final form; it’s way too early to talk about killing it as Dean has. We should be talking about working to improve it. I think it’s good that someone like Sanders makes it known his vote cannot be taken for granted. If progressives hold the position we’ll vote for anything, those willing to use scorched earth tactics like Lieberman will dictate the final shape of the bill. I don’t think any Democrat should use the threat of a filibuster against a bill like this; and I think Lieberman should get some sort of punishment for doing so. But arguing and negotiating is part of politics; it’s not all a circular firing squad.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @KCinDC:

    Having 65 would be hugely different from having 60, because you wouldn’t have to give into every conservaDem’s demands to get to 60.

    There’d still be Lieberman, Lincoln, Landrieu, Pryor, Bayh, Nelson, the other Nelson, Conrad, probably some of numbers 61-65… there are other balky ones too who haven’t been heard from too much lately, like Baucus and Feinstein. They’d form a bloc and we’d be right back where we are now. Because if you need 60, there are always going to be advantages in holding out for the rewards of being #60.

  91. 91
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I would agree on the House side, where I don’t see a huge problem anyway. On most votes, enough blue dogs usually go along with Pelosi, even though with clenched teeth. The exceptions would be those BD’s who lead revolts like Stupak. The majority there is so large and with no filibuster, could be more lax.

    I don’t agree on Lieberman. He has become a complete narcissitic little beatch that emboldens and provides cover for others like Nelson, He has to suffer some punishment, or he will continue to savor his power and foul every piece of legislation with his whims.

    And I don’t say kick him out of the caucus, but strip him of privilege and seniority and he may well leave on his own. Or, possibly start behaving himself.

    If he leaves, on his own, it will take away the meme that dems have total power and any failure to get 60 votes is on them. And the onus will once again return to goopers to be serious and take responsibility for their obstruction.

  92. 92
    jwb says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I wish our crazies could at least do a useful demonstration or two.

  93. 93
    gwangung says:

    @valdivia: Nah, they’ll just say wait a few more years and Massachusetts will hate their plan, too. Reality be damned….JUST LIKE THE WINGNUTS.

    It’s not even clear that people are reacting to actual provisions in the bill, or only the worst possible cases (which would be bad, in reality, but I can’t even tell how close those provisions are in reality, the FUD are so bad).

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Delia:

    His view is that this is what Obama wanted all along

    Yeah, that’s been the Hamsher-Greenwald line all along, that Obama and/or Rahm Emanuel are orchestrating the whole thing behind the scenes until they get exactly the awful outcome they prefer, because deep down Obama just wants to fuck with y’all. It just _looks_ like chaos because they’re, like, bad at it.

  95. 95
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @mcc:

    I’m tired of vague nouns. What does this mean? Like, exactly, really, what does “get tough” mean?

    Try reading my entire post next time.

    Obama and the dems are going to have to get a lot tougher with the Liebermans or suffer defeat after defeat on big legislation. If they do not strip Joe of his seniority and gavels, this will go on. There has to be a cost involved

  96. 96
    KCinDC says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe, Lieberman did do a 180 on this, threatening filibuster over Medicare buy-in, which he supported only weeks ago. Why should anyone believe he doesn’t have further spite-based reversals for us in the future?

    Not that I have any solution for what to do about the guy.

  97. 97
    mr. whipple says:

    Yeah, and the current Senate Plan is much more progressive than the plan Dean was pushing as a candidate in 2004. So perhaps Dr. Dean is just grandstanding a bit.

    The problem, and I don’t mean to disparage anyone, is that a lot of these people now draw salaries as activists. And although I admire the work they’ve put in, they gotta come out with some sense of face, or everyone that signed up for their email and action lists and/or donated is going to feel sold out. So, even if they recognize that this is the best deal they can get for now, they sure as hell can’t say it because their cred would be shot, and God knows when this fight is over they want to be able to continue onto the next issue.

  98. 98
    John Cole says:

    There is nothing that can be done to Lieberman until after the midterms. By then, Democrats will probably have lost a couple seats, the fantasy of 60 will be gone, and they will be ready to bury Lieberman. He will get his.

  99. 99
    ignoramus says:

    The netroots chose option 1, and are outraged that nobody who’s actually been elected to office is willing to go along with it.

    WRONG.

    They could have done all that, and still ended up with the same bill or better.

    BUT

    if Democrats had given it a serious shot, they could build campaigns around the obstructionists. It would be crystal clear who did what. The process would be crystal clear next time.

    Caving in to Lieberman, Republicans, and corporate interests, on the other hand, sends the message that the Democratic super majorities are irrelevant, and all the hard work from the last four years in electing them was a wasted effort.

    I have to keep on repeating this — fighting is important, even if you lose in the end.

    What you have now is a lousy product and a trashed reputation.

    Instead, we could have had the lousy product and a better reputation.

    Obama screwed the progressives. He did not fight.

  100. 100
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    General Winfield Stuck

    If he leaves, on his own, it will take away the meme that dems have total power and any failure to get 60 votes is on them. And the onus will once again return to goopers to be serious and take responsibility for their obstruction.

    Maybe in a country with a media that gave a damn. In good ol’ USA the new meme would be “Vengeful Obama drives lifelong Democrat into the arms of the GOP”.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gwangung:

    It’s not even clear that people are reacting to actual provisions in the bill

    No one has been reading the bill. Everyone is reading polemical analyses of the bill and then validating each other’s worst-case scenarios _because they’re all reading the same stuff_.

    “I read that the bill makes gay people undergo mandatory couseling!”
    “Hey, I read that too! It’s just like that anti-gay Obama. Remember Donnie McClurkin?”
    “Um, I don’t think that’s in there.”
    “Corporate tool!” “Homophobe!”

  102. 102
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    We can fantasize till then, can’t we?

  103. 103
    KCinDC says:

    Because if you need 60, there are always going to be advantages in holding out for the rewards of being #60.

    Yes, there are. Which is why it’s better if you have 5 or 6 Dems competing to be allowed to be #60, rather than having to get absolutely every Democrat. Similarly, if we had only 218 Dems in the House, it would be very hard to get anything decent passed, whereas with a significant buffer of extra Dems things are much easier.

    If he leaves, on his own, it will take away the meme that dems have total power and any failure to get 60 votes is on them.

    The problem will be the deafening screeching from the Very Serious People in the media about how the Democrats “purged” their party of a Principled Man like St. Joe (who was guilty of only minor transgressions like campaigning for the other party’s presidential candidate and attempting to torpedo the president’s signature bill).

  104. 104
    mcc says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Well, again, my response on the gavel thing is, that’s almost redundant at this point. They’re likely to take away his gavels just because he violated Senate decorum by negotiating in bad faith. And if they do take away his gavel the Nelsons probably won’t take it as a threat, the Nelsons are probably as pissed at Lieberman as anyone at this point– the Nelsons are the “gang of ten” Lieberman screwed over.

    Basically: Taking away Lieberman’s chairs isn’t enough.

    You mentioned withholding cash. Okay, where do we start? The only problem senator actually up for election next year is Lincoln. Should the DSCC threaten to withhold cash from her? Will there be grounds for this, given Lincoln (probably not coincidentally given looming reelection) looks to be actually voting for the health care bill at this point, and has actually not been as bad as Nelson and Conrad?

    Seriously. I’m not being snarky here. What do we do?

  105. 105
    dadanarchist says:

    @Rick Taylor: I think it’s good that someone like Sanders makes it known his vote cannot be taken for granted. If progressives hold the position we’ll vote for anything, those willing to use scorched earth tactics like Lieberman will dictate the final shape of the bill. I don’t think any Democrat should use the threat of a filibuster against a bill like this; and I think Lieberman should get some sort of punishment for doing so. But arguing and negotiating is part of politics; it’s not all a circular firing squad.

    I completely agree with this sentiment, but the essential problem remains the same: the liberals aren’t sociopaths like Lieberman and Nelson, and will eventually cave in the name of the greater good. They won’t like it – has anyone seen how sad and defeated Sherrod Brown has looked this week? – but they’ll go along.

    How to break this cycle is the great mystery of Democratic party politics.

  106. 106
    mr. whipple says:

    No one has been reading the bill.

    Exactly. From the first bill that came out of committee in the House, lots of people said it sucked without having a clue what was in it, except that it wasn’t single payer, which made it suck the mostest.

    The night of the House vote, I looked over the Blogosphere and there was little joy, little sense of history being made, little accolades for Pelosi and everyone on the Committees that worked so hard to get it done.

  107. 107
    mcc says:

    They could have done all that, and still ended up with the same bill or better.

    How? Where?

    The list Mr. PCCC gives us of ways we supposedly could have done this begins with “veto the bill”. That doesn’t get you a bill.

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @KCinDC:

    Which is why it’s better if you have 5 or 6 Dems competing to be allowed to be #60

    Doh, right. I thought myself into a circle there. Prisoner’s dilemma and all that.

  109. 109
    jwb says:

    @Kryptik: That may (or may not) be true, but that’s the reason no one should be talking about killing the bill until after it comes out of conference and we know what’s actually in it.

  110. 110
    SnarkyShark says:

    Sorry John, I love this blog and I love your reasonablness but you are wrong and Dean is right. You should know how Republicans are going to play this. Mandates to make you have to patronage private insurance is immoral and illegal.(not that anyone in power gives a fuck about the law anyway).

    Drop the mandates and pass the bill if its so important just to push some shit out in time the state of the union. But this crappy result of a joke of a negotiaon aint getting anybody elected in 2010.

    To all the assholes who want to deride the “leftists” as as bad as the teabaggers can get fucked. I spent two weeks in Crawford back in the day with code pink and the 12 or so actual socialist in this country getting screamed at by the Republican”base” and having the Federal goon squad add to my “enemies of the state” dossier while you where sitting on your mushy middle fat asses doing shit nothing.

    There is no comparison. We are not like the Religious Right who will countance being pissed on yet get in line every time.

    You like unthinking loyalty to a party then Republicans are for you. Go be one with them.

    I am not giving my money to the asshole insurance oligargy whether there are mandates or not. I am fine dying in a ditch like a dog because this country cannot function like a 21st century citizen of the world. No insurance was how shit was for most of recorded history, and apparently that is where we are determined to stay.

    Most of the folk oppessed to single payer all collect SS and Medicare. Fuck that, at this point if we are such a center right country and all, then lets have the courage of our convictions and turn all that shit over to the corperations per the Republican wet dream. I’m sure that will turn out fine.

    We drew a line in the sand in Crawford and said no more. We put our actual physical beings in jeapordy and that was the high water mark for Bushism and all its ills. History will say that was the point when the tide started to recede. Yet even now when some people (supposedly reasonable and moderate) see my picture of me proudly posing with Cindy Sheehan I get a ration of shit. That tells me more about them than they probably ever dreamed. And nothing good.

    Then you get crap like this-“And you know what else will happen… when people decide that the liberal side is also full of crazies and decide not to vote, it will be proof to the crazies that they should have been crazier, because it was not being crazy enough that depressed turnout.”

    Sorry, but that boat sailed a long time ago. The villagers long ago labled anybody who is to the right of David Broder as crazy and the “it’s on TV so it must be true” crowd has bought int it.

    We can agree or disagree on the merits, but all you fucks that want to say Dean and left are the equivilant of teabaggers are clowns, and should heretofor be ignored by anyone who isn’t a spineless coward. When you do something that makes any kind of difference to the general good than have at it hoss. If you are just one of the nebulas sheep that have bought into that narritive, then STFU and join your daddy Dick Cheney in his bunker.

  111. 111
    dadanarchist says:

    @KCinDC: he problem will be the deafening screeching from the Very Serious People in the media about how the Democrats “purged” their party of a Principled Man like St. Joe

    I’m probably being naive, but watching the coverage this week, it looks like Lieberman may have overstepped, even for our subservient bootlicking national press corps. They’ve been pointing out this fuck you to liberals much more extensively than they’ve pointed out previous Lieberman betrayals.

  112. 112
    SnarkyShark says:

    Oh and to all the dumbasses who think the Republicans will welcome Holy Joe with open arms, one name-Zell Miller.
    Sure woked out good for that guy, huh?

    They will use Joe sure, but then they will discard him like yesterdays KY covered dildo and nasty wetuit. Nobody like a turncoat. Nobody.

  113. 113
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @KCinDC

    That was a tactic, not a position. The reality is Holy Joe is in the pocket of the health insurance industry. If he has to lie to his good ol’ buddy Harry Reid to weaken this bill that’s what he’s going to do. Reid was a fool to think otherwise.

  114. 114
    jwb says:

    @ignormaus: No Dems in power, no power for progressives. You’re going to need 50% of the House and 60% of the Senate to be progressives (not just Democrats), and by my calculation you are going to spend an awful long time in the wilderness. But at least you’ll have your principles!

  115. 115
    The Sheriff Is A Ni- says:

    @SnarkyShark: Zell didn’t hold an office. Senator Holy Joe will be their bestest friend ever.

    Once he’s out of a job, then, yeah, he’s gooseliver.

  116. 116
    HumboldtBlue says:

    The night of the House vote, I looked over the Blogosphere and there was little joy, little sense of history being made, little accolades for Pelosi and everyone on the Committees that worked so hard to get it done.

    Yeah, I can’t believe we all weren’t clinking our champagne glasses together in a celebration of this awesome, bestest ever bill to come out of D.C. What ingrates we are, being told that we have to purchase shit insurance from shitbag insurance companies. But wait! They can’t turn you down for anything and millllllllllllllllions of people will be covered. Uh-huh, and we’re fighting to liberate Iraq and bring democracy to Afghanistan and ensuring that large corporations don’t continue to fuck the American people the way Vitter fucks a call girl.

    Why the fuck am I being forced to purchase insurance again? Why must I pay a fucking insurance company to get health care? I haven’t read one single cogent argument convincing me that to have access to health care I have to pay a fucking insurance company.

    I wonder what’s next — everyone in America should be forced to purchase homeowners insurance to make sure that the costs of buying and maintaining a house are kept low — even if you do not own a house or ever want to own a house, just shut the fuck up and buy it!

    Or better yet, even if you don’t own a motor vehicle, in an effort to keep insurance premiums at a minimum for other vehicle owners you will now be forced to purchase car insurance, don’t ask why, just shut up and do it! It will lower costs in some magical fucking way because that’s what guys in newspapers and on internet sites wrote.

  117. 117
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @mcc:

    My anger only goes to those who would obstruct dem legislation in the senate by joining GOP filibusters. I give individual senators from red states some leeway in voting no on certain bills either they don’t agree with or that would cause them electoral problems back home. These are states that would almost certainly elect a wingnut if not for a moderate dem.

    And there have been no signs that those, other than Lieberman voting against cloture and killing the compromised med by-in by Reid. I don’t think even Nelson of NE would have obstructed that, but may have with Lieberman providing cover.

    Lieberman is a cancer in the dem caucus right now. To kick him out would be a PR nightmare for dems being mean to some moderate just voting his conscience, at least that is how wingnuts and the media would spin it.

    I think maybe Cole is right, that dems will lose some seats no doubt in 2010 and make the 60 th vote lever moot for Lieberman, then we can hand him his ass. In the meantime, if he goes back to voting the way he has his whole life on most liberal issues, then just leave him alone, for now. But if he doesn’t and continues his power trip, then he needs to be shown the door out of the dem caucus, Just my opinion.

  118. 118
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is there like an electromagnetic pulse type of deal that could temporarily scramble people’s brains so that they stop saying “corporations” as though that’s the word that wins all arguments?

  119. 119
    gwangung says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Why the fuck am I being forced to purchase insurance again?

    Dunno. Maybe they were looking at Massachusetts?

    Can you articulate for me the differences between this bill and Massachusetts’ law? Again, the devil is in the details.

  120. 120
    Ryan Cunningham says:

    “Then we can get wiped out in 2010 and 2012” This is going to happen anyway. If they pass this bill, it’s a POS and the Democrats will be blamed for the consequences. If they fail to pass it, they look like they can’t get anything done.

    The time to stand up for principles was months ago. It’s too late now. Obama had a chance to make the case to the American people. He had everyone’s attention, but he sidestepped an honest discussion about the issue and delivered the occasional talking point from hiding.

    The Democrats rightly own this failure. They let Republicans and conservatives own the discussion for months. There has been zero leadership on this issue.

  121. 121
    mr. whipple says:

    What ingrates we are, being told that we have to purchase shit insurance from shitbag insurance companies.

    The House bill had a Public Option, which was the greatest, most important thing ever, apparently, judging by the venom people had when it was dropped.

  122. 122
    BombIranForChrist says:

    According to polls, the current bill is getting support in the mid 30’s. How does killing it lead to Democrats losing in 10 and 12? Are we in bizarro world where Democrats win elections by creating bills that only 30% of Americans want?

  123. 123
    different church-lady says:

    “We?” Dude, you were a republican last time “we” were “where we really like to be.”

  124. 124
    Ryan Cunningham says:

    @MikeJ: Wouldn’t it be neat if the current narrative was that a health care reform bill was going to pass even though the GOP threw everything they had against it, and that proves how the American people prefer progressive ideals to the empty platitudes of republicans?

    Wouldn’t it be better if health care reform was a reality instead of just a media narrative?

  125. 125
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Can you articulate for me the differences between this bill and Massachusetts’ law? Again, the devil is in the details.

    Can you articulate to me why I will forced to purchase insurance to have health care? I’d love to hear a sensible answer as to why health care must be tied to insurance companies and insurance coverage.

  126. 126
    gwangung says:

    Can you articulate to me why I will forced to purchase insurance to have health care? I’d love to hear a sensible answer as to why health care must be tied to insurance companies and insurance coverage.

    As I understand it, you are NOT required to have health insurance to have health care. You can pay out of pocket.

    However, out of pocket expenses are large to cover those unable to pay and are not insured. The more people that are insured, the more that pay into a risk pool. The more in the risk pool, the more the risk is spread out. The more that risk is spread out, the lower the cost (because people are covered, making it unnecessary to raise fees to cover the uninsured). This makes more sense with higher cost actions such as emergency surgery and accidents (the costs of which are spread out to folks who don’t have accidents). Companies can be deterred from keeping rates high by mandating a certain percentage go for health care and not non care costs such as administration and profits (which I understand is a part of any plan being considered).

    Now, how is the current proposed plan different from Massachusset’s plan? (Again, the details are kinda important for me to understand).

  127. 127
    mcc says:

    Can you articulate to me why I will forced to purchase insurance to have health care? I’d love to hear a sensible answer as to why health care must be tied to insurance companies and insurance coverage.

    Wait, is this serious? Do you mind me asking how you obtain health care now? You must either have insurance or so far been incredibly lucky. Because seriously I do not believe you could be saying this if you’d ever had to go through a period of purchasing health care in the absence of health insurance. It’s horrible. Since you’re not part of the insurance companies’ monopsony pool you get gouged on everything. It’s cheaper to buy a useless, high-deductible HSA-style insurance plan just for the discounts than it is to actually purchase health care a la carte as a complete independent.

    “You can’t get health care without buying health insurance” is how it works now. What on earth gave you the idea it worked otherwise? The targets of the mandate are people who otherwise wouldn’t be paying for health care at all.

  128. 128
    KCinDC says:

    Perhaps HumboldtBlue is thinking about a single-payer system in which all health care is paid for by the government out of taxes. The health insurance companies are parasites, and they’ll be doing even less if they’re not judging whether to deny people coverage for preexisting conditions.

    Unfortunately, it’s just politically impossible to get rid of them. Too many people are scared of changing the health coverage they have, so any reform must preserve that. So we’re stuck with wasting gobs of money on the parasites for the foreseeable future, though at least that does provide some jobs.

  129. 129

    And you know who will have health insurance even if this bill fails: Howard Dean, Katrina van den Huevel, Ed Schultz, and 99% of the people burning up twitter and memeorandum right now.

    You know, all else being equal, I really do wish this would get pointed out more, or the Great Progressive Activists had more self-awareness of the point.

  130. 130
    Comrade Luke says:

    I read this blog daily, and the arguments I read are a) Dems pass this bill and voters sit out and/or revolt, or b) Dems don’t pass this bill and voters sit out and/or revolt.

    I can’t remember seeing anyone make the argument that this bill will result in Democrats gaining seats in either house of Congress.

    Assuming that happens, would the seats lost be because everyone that either sat out or voted against Dems in disgust over this was wrong?

  131. 131
    WereBear says:

    Well, if this is the only way to get people health care… but if it’s not? I keep hearing yes/no on reconciliation…

    At this point, I think it would be better to take all that money and create charity hospitals, staffed with medical personnel who work a certain number of years to have their student loans forgiven, and be done with it.

    It would get to a better place, and probably for less money.

    Ask the Unitarians to do it, and give them the money.

    I trust the Unitarians.

  132. 132
    dadanarchist says:

    @Comrade Luke: I can’t remember seeing anyone make the argument that this bill will result in Democrats gaining seats in either house of Congress.

    Assuming that happens, would the seats lost be because everyone that either sat out or voted against Dems in disgust over this was wrong?

    Maybe John can place an over/under on this, we can all bet, and we’ll see what happens.

    Personally, I hope I’m wrong (loss of seats).

  133. 133
    Cure 7802 says:

    I think there could be a more productive discussion if some folks took a deep breath and calmed down.

    To those railing against mandates:

    Without mandates the system doesn’t work. You need everyone in the risk pool. If the young and healthy aren’t in it, then costs go up (because old and sick people cost more to insure).

    To those saying that there is nothing to control costs:

    Half of the Senate Bill is pilot programs to control costs. They put every damn idea under the sun in there. Some will work, some won’t, but it will take time for this to become apparent. There is no silver bullet in cost savings (for a good take on this, read Atul Gawandes piece in the New Yorker).

    To those saying that passing/not passing this bill will result in Democratic losses in next years midterms:

    A year before the 2008 election, polls showed that it would be a Hillary/Giuliani showdown. 10 months ago health reform was at 60+ percent approval–now it’s at ~35. A few weeks ago, Afghanistan escalation polled in the mid-forties; the President gave a couple speeches and now it’s polling in the mid-fifties. Polls change. It seems likely that by next summer we’ll have health-care, cap-and-trade/energy, and financial reform passed into law, and unemployment dropping (along with a bunch of infrastructure projects being built with the $400 billion in stimulus that isn’t out the door yet). Methinks this could have some effect on poll numbers. Saint Ronnie was at 35% approval in the winter of ’82/’83… didn’t seem to help Mondale in ’84.

    On a broader note, this reminds me of the primary fight last year. That got completely irrational for months, yet in the end, Dems got on the same page. We’re in the middle of a Winter of Discontent right now, but this too will pass. Whatever their flaws, we have a very smart, capable, and long-term oriented Administration. Think back to where you were the day after Bush’s reelection, and explain to that version of yourself the current legislative agenda. They’d laugh in your face, and say you were hopelessly naive.

    Hope still lives in my corner of the intertoobs.

  134. 134
    cat says:

    The list Mr. PCCC gives us of ways we supposedly could have done this begins with “veto the bill”. That doesn’t get you a bill.

    There is a difference between “vetoing” and “threatening to veto”.

    You have never negotiated. Mr PCCC is saying that Obama should have put a threat out there that he will veto the bill if it was not upto the mark – basically said he just wont sign any shit.

    Basically, that strategy – fighting and getting the best compromise X is politically a winner, and wimping and settling for the same X is a loser. It blows away political cover for charlatans. It makes clear who is on whose side. It forces politicians to take stands instead of equivocating. It puts them on the spot in the next elections.

    Let’s say that whatever bill that gets passed is Centrist-Care.

    Why would anyone want these spineless centrist dems to have the cover of having voted for reform?

    We should rather settle for Centrist-Care only if that process clarifies the politics. When Centrist-Care passes, its should be clear that Dem-Care was neutered to Centrist-Care by centrists.

    What you have today is that Centrist-Care is passed under the guise of Dem-Care. Centrists get political cover, Dems get screwed. In the end, Dems own it.

    All of the apologists for Obama here seems to be saying that in the end both approaches result in Centrist-Care. But they are not equal. One is a killer for Dems. As we are seeing now. And will see in the net elections. Centrist assholes will get re-elected by pretending to be in both camps. Dems wil get creamed because they did not put up a fight.

    It is really critical that centrists be put on the spot and forced to take a stand. They must be made to bear political repurcussions.

    Obama must be forced to bear the repurcussion for not taking a stand.

  135. 135
    SoulCatcher says:

    And you know who will have health insurance even if this bill fails: Howard Dean, Katrina van den Huevel, Ed Schultz, and 99% of the people burning up twitter and memeorandum right now.

    My unemployed (and broke) father and my early retired (ie. unemployed) aunt don’t now and won’t even with the bill. They can’t afford it now and they won’t able to later. (yes I know about the crappy subsidies that are certain to get scrapped by King Lieberman or cut down the road and won’t cover the forthcoming insurance company profit-taking that will occur with no cost controls or anti-trust provisions in the senate bill). Also, my father won’t be covered…you know why? He smoked and quit after he got polyps on his vocal cords. They drop him once they rip him off(or his subsidies). My aunt won’t be covered…she had breast cancer and got chemo + a mastectomy. They will do the same to her.

    Guess what? We all are against the Senate bill.
    Drop the mandate and I’m OK with the Senate bill but not happy with it.

    But hey what do I know? Even though many of my family members get the shaft in the current system and will get an even bigger shaft if the Senate Bill gets sent to Obama and signed, I’m just one of these hand-wringing progressives, right John?

    After all I should just shut the fuck up and lap up the corn-filled shit that the Senate squeezes out in a pile from Lieberman’s ass while my 61 year old mom, who *still* has a brain tumor after two sets of radiation treatment, declared bankruptcy from her medical bills that aren’t covered by her current insurance. She’ll be working until she dies or they fire her cause she’s too old cause she has no savings left and Social Security (assuming they don’t gut that too) won’t pay her enough to live even poorly.

    And I should laugh and enjoy it as our government slips its fist in deep in our collective asses while my brother can’t get surgery for his brain tumor because he can’t afford it and his insurance won’t cover it. Heck they did not even cover his visits to a specialist to see why he would pass out at work for no reason. There’s nothing in the Senate bill to change that situation.

    But hey I’ll be just be jerking off to Greenwald, Atrios, Markos, and Hamsher, right John?

    Or maybe I’m smart enough to have come to the conclusion on my own that the Senate bill is a clusterfuck and that I’d rather not have it over the House bill.

    Nah…I’m too busy preparing for the circle jerk…

  136. 136
    John S. says:

    Wow, all you Pollyannas might actually save your fire for the bill that comes out of the fucking CONFERENCE REPORT. Or, you can keep bitching and moaning about something that hasn’t come to pass.

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    Your analysis sounds reasonable up to the point where you predict Democrats get clobbered in 2010 and 2012.

    The problem with that thesis is that the opposition to the Democrats is literally insane. People like Mitt Romney have no plan. Literally. Nothing. Read Romney’s public statements. His “plan” for fixing the economy is: shut down the stimulus, turn off unemployment benefits at the state level, dial everything back to 1897 and fire up some tax cuts for the rich.

    Likewise, the Republicans’ plan for health care reform is…if you get sick, you die. That’s their plan.

    They have nothing.

    Absolutely nothing.

    If you’re out of work and you’ve lost your house and you’re living in a tent in a public park because your family is homeless, are you really going to vote a Republican who promises to shut down the food bank that’s keeping you alive?

    Really?

  138. 138
    scarshapedstar says:

    If you’re out of work and you’ve lost your house and you’re living in a tent in a public park because your family is homeless, are you really going to vote a Republican who promises to shut down the food bank that’s keeping you alive? Really?

    Listening to talk radio, I – swear to God, I’ll find the link to the segment – heard a guy call in and say that extending unemployment benefits was bad because he and his wife received them for three months and now he’s rich and he has the same standard of living that he had on unemployment, therefore unemployment is way too fucking generous, and he knows this from firsthand experience.

    He even stated that he’s “not the kind to take government handouts”. He didn’t elaborate as to what “kind” of person he thinks that is, but his redneck accent led me to speculate.

    So, to answer your question: yes. Maybe not the people whose mouths are directly being fed by the government at the time they go to vote, but it seems like 50% of the people who bounce out of the safety net decide that anyone who’s still in it must be a lazy, shiftless N–e’erdowell, if you catch my drift.

  139. 139

    […] cue up the circular firing squad. John Cole nails exactly what I’m feeling right now: About health care reform is that it is a primer for Banking and Financial Regulation. We get to […]

  140. 140

    I won’t have healthcare either way, but if you don’t mind I’d prefer to be uninsured completely rather than run further into debt by rapacious insurance companies.

    The time has come to acknowledge that the insurance industry is a giant festering sore that infects our economy and our way of life. Shut the bastards down and give the Surgeon General the right to launch investigations of corporations that undermine our health with crappy foody and unnecessary meds.

  141. 141
    LarryE says:

    I will make this simple.

    1. I do not have health insurance.

    2. The Senate bill is not worth passing. Passing a bad bill just because it says “heath care reform” on it is idiotic.

    3. It will do more to advance the cause of real reform, of a real move toward universal access to health care, if the bill is killed by liberals and progressives specifically and avowedly because it is not good enough.

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