Unadulterated Idiocy

I know you are not allowed to speak ill of Howard Dean, but things like this should remind you that even really smart people can be idiots:

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, Howard Dean said he would vote for President Obama in 2012 but he would not “vigorously” support his reelection. “I’m going to support President Obama when he runs for re-election,” Dean, a former presidential candidate himself, said. “Not vigorously. I’m going to vote for him.” Host Joe Scarborough laughed.

I swear it feels like a certain portion of the progressive movement is really hoping for a bloodbath in 2010 to teach those damned Senators a lesson. That’ll teach ’em! I’ve always thought we needed a liberal Club for Growth mentality to help elect Republicans.

In the meantime, could someone keep Howard Dean and his big mouth away from cameras until he pulls his shit back together? The former head of the DNC on right wing shows knee-capping his own party. Idiot.

291 replies
  1. 1
    ye says:

    seriously.

    throwing hissy fits about the public option is really getting tiresome.

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    Maybe it’s strategery to make the Blue Dogs feel comfortable voting for the bill? If Howard Dean is against it, it must be alright.

    Maybe?

  3. 3
    Derelict says:

    Geez, people! We’ve had 40 years of Republican rule with only two Democratic breaks along the way–four years for Carter and 8 for Clinton.

    And you all expect Obama to fix 28 years of Republican in 10 months!?!?! What the fuck kind of drugs are you taking?

    Besides: Obama is exactly what he claimed to be–a centrist Democrat who believes in pragmatism. Now you’re surprised that he’s NOT pushing a strong left-wing agenda?

    Puh-Leez!

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @Violet: So now progressives are playing 11 dimensional chess?

  5. 5
    Jeff says:

    Question, is this the same Howard Dean whose 50-state-strategy helped Obama and the Democrats to their historic win, only to be sh*t upon by Rahm Emmanuel in the aftermath, and whose instincts regarding the HCR bill have been spot-on ever since, and who is was a family physician to boot, having seen all the horror stories first hand? Just askin’…

  6. 6
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    We need to do this thing now, if for no other reason than to liberate the people of Iraq.

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    Maybe that shriek wasn’t such an aberration?

  8. 8
    Robin G. says:

    @Violet: It’s far-fetched, but hell, I’ll take a little optimism anywhere I can get it at this point.

  9. 9
    Shalimar says:

    I swear it feels like a certain portion of the progressive movement is really hoping for a bloodbath in 2010 to teach those damned Senators a lesson.

    They don’t respond at all to positive pressure. What way do we have to exert progressive influence on our leaders other than to show them that they won’t be reelected if they refuse to listen to us?

  10. 10
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Howard Dean is paid to appear on MSNBC. Nobody guest hosts Countdown w/K.O. for free. Going on TV and bitching is his day job.

    He’s a paid shill, just like the rest.

  11. 11
    stevie314159 says:

    “Not only are we going to Medicare buy-in, we’re going to Medicare for All, and then we’re going to SIngle Payer, and then we’re going to blow up the Democratic Party. Yeah!!!”

    …….Dean Scream, 2009 version.

  12. 12
    Waynski says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead — Win.

  13. 13
    Da Bomb says:

    @Jeff: Also, it’s the same Howard Dean who 50 state strategy help elect those same obstructionist Democrats.

    And who’s own health care plan was actually less ambitious than Obama’s.

    Yes that would be the Howard Dean you are talking about.

  14. 14
    Lev says:

    My favorite part of all this was that no less an authority than Paul Krugman–patron saint of the blogosphere–had a post about why the Senate bill was absolutely worth passing. He even conceded the core of the Kos/Hamsher case–that Obama wasn’t “tough” enough on this and financial issues. And most of the comments I read were along the lines of, “I’m sorry, Dr. Krugman, but even though I don’t know as much as you on this issue, I can’t agree with you.”

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    @John Cole:
    Ha! I knew someone would consider it eleven dimensional chess.

    I don’t think progressives are doing that. I think progressives are really ticked off about the whole thing and are speaking their minds. But I wonder if maybe that’s why the White House isn’t trying to rein Dean in, or whatever. If the progressives aren’t happy, it makes the bill seem safer to people whose votes they really need. They don’t need Dean’s vote.

  16. 16
    clonecone says:

    Team Poutrage doesn’t want Obama to respect the separation of powers. They want a progressive version of Bush. They want a unitary executive who is willing to impose his will. Maybe Dean, Hamsher, Markos and the rest of the neo-Naderites should get together and watch some Schoolhouse Rocks. They might accidentally learn how a bill becomes a law.

  17. 17
    wilfred says:

    As always, binary thinking. Obama was preferable to the other possible candidates – McCain, Clinton and Edwards.

    He won’t win without progressive support and I for one hope he loses. He is a transitional candidate until we can actually get a leftist candidate past the initial primaries.

    a centrist Democrat who believes in pragmatism

    No doubt. So is every other fucking corporate hack. Obama serves the function of convincing people of the left that the Democratic Party offers little in the way of progressive politics.

    Change will come eventually, but not with Obama. Hope is born of hopelessness, and progressives have certainly lost hope in the Democratic Party. Time to look elsewhere.

  18. 18
    ronin122 says:

    @Shalimar: And I bet many dollars that the senators giving us the most trouble are the ones you’re not voting for in the first place, either because they are too conservative or they’re from conservative states and thus unlikely you live there. It’s a moot point and all it does is hurt not so much them but those who are out there doing the right thing but won’t get votes because YOU stayed home on account of a totally different asshole, maybe even in the wrong camel of Congress. Such a mentality is asinine at best.

  19. 19

    Let’s play a game, shall we? name teh kitteh. She’s mine, or rather, i’m hers now.

    ETA: OT, because I’m sick of HCR.

  20. 20
    Jim Crozier says:

    I’m a big Dean fan. He’s done amazing things for the Democratic party and it wouldn’t be where it is now, with massive majorities in both houses, without his 50 state strategy.

    Having said that, I agree. Dean needs to calm down and remember that he failed to become president for a reason.

  21. 21
    John says:

    For whatever reason, the Left has noticed that being a quiet, supportive constituency hasn’t produced much with this Administration. Ask the LGBT community, civil libertarians, transparency in government types and now health reform advocates.

    Obviously it’s better than the Bush years, but why shouldn’t the left noisily complain if they aren’t getting what they want from Obama and Congress? It seems to work great for the “centerist” Repubs and Dems, they’ve got White House lip prints all over their butts.

  22. 22
    Shalimar says:

    @Derelict:

    And you all expect Obama to fix 28 years of Republican in 10 months?! What the fuck kind of drugs are you taking?

    Besides: Obama is exactly what he claimed to be—a centrist Democrat who believes in pragmatism.

    As you say, Obama is a pragmatic centrist. He isn’t going to do anything to pull the country back towards the left no matter how much time you give him. He would be a good leader if the country wasn’t so fucked up, and he’s probably the best we can hope for under the circumstances, but he isn’t going to do anything to halt the decline.

    Obama is a product of the system in decline and despite the rhetoric doesn’t see anything that needs to be drastically changed. As you point out, he just isn’t a change sort of guy.

  23. 23
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Insurers will greet us as liberators.

  24. 24
    chiggins says:

    Maybe you’d prefer to have Terry McAuliffe show up on TV and split a screen with his good buddy Ed Gillespie? Yeah, good times.

    You’ve made a really nice transition from the GOP into the Veal Pen. Well done. Don’t expect everyone to do the same, especially Howard. He fights.

  25. 25
    martha says:

    @clonecone: FTW. (I can hear my H.S. civics teacher applauding…)

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Why oh why says:

    So Dean puts principles over partisan loyalty. Good for him. Obama needs to be stopped now, before he guts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (his real domestic agenda).

  28. 28
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @wilfred:

    Time to look elsewhere

    Fine. Take your ball and go home. And while you are sitting at home sulking, do you mind if I try to fight off the teabagger hordes that are trying to knock down the gates?

    You sound like the stupid ‘Flower Children’ who stayed at home in ’68, handing a razor thin win to Nixon, ushering in 40 years of conservative rule.

  29. 29
    Howard Brush Dean III says:

    I know you are not allowed to speak ill of Howard Dean, but things like this should remind you that even really smart people can be idiots:

    OK, I won’t speak ill of him, but what kind of middle name is Brush?

    Doesn’t being the third of anything make you elitist?

    Rush Hudson Limbaugh III

  30. 30
    Shalimar says:

    @ronin122:

    I never said I was staying home. Voting takes 15 minutes (at least where I live), it’s stupid not to even bother. And I personally won’t have any influence in Senate races since I live in Alabama and we aren’t electing a Dem no matter what. But I did vote for Bobby Bright as my Representative last year, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to do that again. His record is no different from the Republican he replaced, lesson learned. Better to write in my drug-addled neighbor, at least he means well.

  31. 31
    Citizen Alan says:

    Okay, John, your Republican roots are showing. Back in 2002, lots of Republicans (possibly including you) accused people like me of rooting for Bush’s failure in Iraq. We were not rooting for him to fail; we all hoped that against all odds, the Iraq War would ultimately be successful. We just thought that the odds of that happening were so fantastically remote and the likelihood of disaster was so high that we would have been much better off not doing it. And in the fullness of time, we were proven correct, not that anyone ever gave the left credit for being right about what a stupid, fucking idea the Iraq War was.

    Now, your accusing a lot of the same people of hoping that Obama fails with health care reform. We’re not. If this stupid, idiotic bill passes, we all hope that despite all our fears it will somehow magically reduce health care costs and stop Americans from being forced into penury by medical bills and magical ponies for everyone. We just don’t think it will. We think it much more likely that this bill, if passed, will become the greatest domestic policy fiasco in living memory, that it will achieve nothing for consumers remotely good enough to justify the mammoth subsidization of corrupt monopoly insurance companies, that it will cost us the House in 2010 and the Senate and White House in 2012, and that it will turn literally an entire generation irreversibly against the Democratic Party.

    We don’t want to be right about this. And believe me, we’re not looking forward to 2012, when all our predictions come true and folks like you are still blaming people like Howard Dean for the disaster because we didn’t clap hard enough.

  32. 32
    Ty Lookwell says:

    @Shalimar

    Obama is a product of the system in decline and despite the rhetoric doesn’t see anything that needs to be drastically changed. As you point out, he just isn’t a change sort of guy.

    This is exactly right. Very well said.

  33. 33
    Lev says:

    @Why oh why: Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore? They’re sure sounding the same these days.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    @Derelict:

    And you all expect Obama to fix 28 years of Republican in 10 months?! What the fuck kind of drugs are you taking?

    We wanted a functional set of health care reform legislation. We were willing to settle for a functional set of insurance reform legislation. What is currently festering in the Senate is the Insurance Company CEO Government Cheese Act of 2009.

    How many billionaires do we really feel the need to bail out in this decade?

  35. 35
    Olly McPherson says:

    I don’t see the idiocy. I volunteered for Obama, started fundraising groups, advocated for his election, etc.

    I knew he was more conservative than I would like, but I’ll admit to being surprised at how dismissive he’s been toward progressive views. In my opinion, he’s not even tossing a bone to the left that advocated to get him elected.

    So I’m supposed to work just as hard to support him in 2012? Why? Why would he take a more progressive stance if he can’t just take him progressive supporters for granted and discard them when it’s politically expedient.

    You’re advocating some sort of weird political protection racket, where I’d better keeping busting my ass for Obama, or else. I’ll vote for him, but I’m not going to be volunteering, raising money or knocking on doors.

  36. 36
    AB says:

    @John Cole:

    I’d like to throw the phrase “11-dimensional chess” under the bus.

  37. 37
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Jeff:

    Howard Dean is a decent guy, but the physician argument kind of disintegrates when you realize that Tom Coburn and Ron Paul are also MDs. Unfortunately, it’s quite possible to be a doctor and not know anything useful about healthcare.

  38. 38
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I agree.

  39. 39
    Robin G. says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Yunalesca.

    At this point, I have to say, HCR comes down to this: it’s a crappy bill. It does way, way less than it could have done. In many ways, it’s a shit sandwich. The progressives, who worked their asses off to get most of the people in office, have been told repeatedly to go fuck themselves. And it’s going to cause an avalanche of political misery down the road.

    That being said: a) it’s better than nothing, and we’re absolutely fooling ourselves if we think that we’re going to get anything better if this bill dies — in fact, it’s far more likely that no one will touch health care again for 20+ years; and b) if we don’t get through a health care bill, if the work of the last year gets ground to a halt and comes to nothing, the Democrats are cooked. Absolutely, apocalyptically fucked. The House will be gone in 2010, the Senate may well follow by 2012, and if the Republicans can pull anyone half-way decent out of their asses in time (unlikely, but possible), Obama will be in serious trouble come re-election. The Democrats are roll-over pains in the ass who sell us down the river on a regular basis, but take a hard fucking look at the Teabaggers and ask yourself if you want them in charge again. Yes, it’s a lesser of two evils, but the other side is not just evil, they are batshit crazy. I’m not willing to risk it.

    Of course, I think there are some people who need hardcore primary challenges shoved so far up their asses that they can see their opponents in the mirror when they brush their teeth.

    Edited to add: @Citizen Alan: In spite of everything I just typed in this comment, there is no small part of me that worries that everything you wrote will turn out to be correct (and if it is, I will acknowledge it). Somehow, though, I can’t help but clap a little longer.

  40. 40
    Shalimar says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Beautiful kitten. Do you think she is going to turn colors into a Siamese-type, or stay white?

  41. 41
    feebog says:

    Sorry, but Dr. Dean is right on this issue. First, he has not advocated killing the bill altogehter. What he said was, kill the Senate bill, and have the House start the reconcilliation process on either the Public Option or Medicare expansion, or both. That is not an unreasonable approach, given the shit sandwich the Sentate bill has become. We need to worry about the 2010 mid-terms for now, 2012 is just too far away for anyone to know what will happen. The 2010 mid-terms are going to be ugly for Dems if the economy does not improve dramatically over the next 10 month. That means a vigorous jobs bill and getting the banks to start making loans again. Obama and the Dem majority hold the fate of the mid-term elections in their own hands.

  42. 42
    Fern says:

    @wilfred:

    He is a transitional candidate until we can actually get a leftist candidate past the initial primaries.

    A leftist candidate? A leftist candidate who can win elections? I believe you will be waiting for this for a very, very long time. Your clumsy and interminable electoral process is constructed in such a way that it requires extremely large amounts of money to run a successful campaign. Where is that money to come from? Corporate interests, where else.

    I also believe that so-called “progressives” seriously overestimate their numbers, their power, and the amount of money they can bring to the process.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @Olly McPherson:

    You’re advocating some sort of weird political protection racket, where I’d better keeping busting my ass for Obama, or else. I’ll vote for him, but I’m not going to be volunteering, raising money or knocking on doors.

    This sort of thing could be a big problem for Obama in 2012. Sarah Palin is counting on it.

  44. 44
    freelancer says:

    @AB:

    If we can’t speak in cliches, Tweety is done fer.

  45. 45
    John Cole says:

    I give up. If you do not understand why it is especially bad politics to have the former head of the DNC on bashing the President and saying he will support him but won’t campaign for him because he sucks so much, then there is nothing I can say.

    It is one thing to have him on trashing the bill, which this post does not address. The part I clipped above is just so much fail it is mind boggling.

  46. 46
    Tsulagi says:

    I hear ya.

    If you erroneously think the likely outcome of the president’s signature initiative sucks, you need to suck it up and clap louder. The president is a misunderstood 11-D chess genius. You don’t see the big picture.

  47. 47
    Lolis says:

    Dean was a huge advocate of the Big Tent strategy. Dean said Dems need to compete everywhere and the way we do that is by not having a purity test. I still respect Dean, even shook his hand one time, but he is wrong on this one.

    The progressive blogosphere is scaring me. They are just repeating right wing talking points. Obama is not tough enough. Obama only cares about rich people. Obama is not a leader. I’m still waiting for Hamscher to bring up a teleprompter.

    Now Kos is arguing that near universal coverage in MA that voters are happy with is a failure. Yeah those MA voters sure are punishing Democrats in their state because of that failed bill, alright. John Kerry may lose his seat next time. Ted Kennedy’s seat may go to a Republican. Gimme a break.

  48. 48
    Jack says:

    Party above Principle!

  49. 49
    Michael says:

    They don’t respond at all to positive pressure. What way do we have to exert progressive influence on our leaders other than to show them that they won’t be reelected if they refuse to listen to us?

    President Palin, VP Beck, and newly confirmed Justices Chip Pickering and Roy Moore thank you for your commitment to your principles, and request respectfully that you stop complaining and pay your government mandated tithe to the everlastin’ Church of Jesus the Lord…..

  50. 50
    Jim says:

    Sorry, but Dr. Dean is right on this issue. First, he has not advocated killing the bill altogehter. What he said was, kill the Senate bill, and have the House start the reconcilliation process on either the Public Option or Medicare expansion, or both. That is not an unreasonable approach, given the shit sandwich the Sentate bill has become

  51. 51

    @Shalimar:

    Do you think she is going to turn colors into a Siamese-type, or stay white?

    Dunno, she’s a rescue kitteh. She was very friendly and jumped on my shoulders in the room. apparently, upper respiratory illness was goig around. she didn’t cough, but she’s got to be spayed and neutered, so I get her on Saturday.

  52. 52
    GregB says:

    By the way. On my previous post about the drumbeat against Iran.

    President Obama reportedly told the Chinese that he can’t prevent Israel from striking Iran indefinately.

    An Israeli attack on Iran will result in a world catastrophe.

    Link to Haaretz article.

    -G

  53. 53
    Jeff says:

    @DaBomb:

    Also, it’s the same Howard Dean who 50 state strategy help elect those same obstructionist Democrats.
    And who’s own health care plan was actually less ambitious than Obama’s.
    Yes that would be the Howard Dean you are talking about.

    First, Dean proposed the Medicare Buy-in that Lieberhole objected to– which would have been a good first step to a single-payer system.
    Second, it’s not Dean’s fault that the Dems he helped elect turned out to be assholes. Perhaps being an asshole is a necessary prerequisite for the job.

  54. 54
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Your authoritarian streak always shows itself in these situations.

  55. 55
    Jim says:

    Sorry, but Dr. Dean is right on this issue. First, he has not advocated killing the bill altogehter. What he said was, kill the Senate bill, and have the House start the reconcilliation process on either the Public Option or Medicare expansion, or both. That is not an unreasonable approach, given the shit sandwich the Sentate bill has become

    The House/Senate conference bill–which is what I assume you’re referring to by reconciliation?–still needs 60 votes in the Senate.

  56. 56
    cbear says:

    I’ll repeat what I said a few days ago:

    Just because somebody drops a turd in the punchbowl doesn’t mean that the punch didn’t already taste like shit.

  57. 57
    Michael says:

    BTW – has President Dean ever said where he’s found all these votes?

  58. 58
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Violet:

    You’re right–I have to dedicate my life to supporting Obama, regardless of his views or accomplishments, because of Sarah Palin.

    Actually, I don’t have to volunteer for anyone. I choose how to spend my time and money, and right now, based on his actions in office, Obama isn’t worth the investment of either in 2012.

    I sure hope things change in the next couple years, but that’s my–and everyone else’s–decision to make.

  59. 59
    Shalimar says:

    @John Cole: If they wanted Dean on their side, maybe Rahm should have thought about that before shitting on him for years. They’re political enemies and that animosity seems to have been extended to Obama. This isn’t really surprising and it’s not all Dean’s fault though I’m sure some of it is.

  60. 60
    Roger Moore says:

    @wilfred:

    He won’t win without progressive support and I for one hope he loses. He is a transitional candidate until we can actually get a leftist candidate past the initial primaries.

    And what makes you think that a leftist candidate you could get past the primaries would actually win the general election? Even if she somehow wins the general, how is she going to get anything done with a Senate that’s eager to neuter every single initiative she proposes?

    Sorry, but the idea that everything is fine except for Obama is a fucking fantasy. The reason that leftists can’t get real leftist policies passed isn’t because we have a whishy-washy president. It’s because leftist ideas aren’t popular enough to elect a genuinely leftist President, much less a leftist Senate and House to pass her initiatives.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Why oh why says:

    @Lev: Well, read dibgy’s posts on the ‘Grand Bargain’, or the latest from Taibbi. Obama is a neoliberal infused with University of Chicago free-market ideology. Here is what he planned to do in January:

    I asked the president-elect, “At the end of the day, are you really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of grand bargain? That you have tax reform, healthcare reform, entitlement reform including Social Security and Medicare, where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?”

    “Yes,” Obama said… What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government? What are we getting for it? And how do we make the system more efficient?”

    “And eventually sacrifice from everyone?” I asked.

    “Everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game,” Obama said.

    After watching him during the health care “reform”, you have to be smoking crack if you want him to “reform” Medicare and Social Security in a similar fashion. Stop him now, today things are as good as they’re going to get for liberals during his presidency.

  63. 63
    Malron says:

    @Lev: You know, a lot of this trashing of Krugman, Podesta, Silver, Klein, Yglesias etc for holding their noses and encouraging people to support the latest incarnation of the senate bill sounds eerie similar to the way one Republican pundit after another was labeled “in the tank for Obama” because they decided McCain/Palin was as wacky as Slim Pickens strapped to a nuke in “Dr. Strangelove.” Its like we’re supposed to be the fucking crazy and unrealistic ones because we decide that in spite of our misgivings we’ll still stand with the guy we elected barely a year ago.

  64. 64
    John Cole says:

    @Jim: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT THE BILL, it is about the former head of the DNC going on to right wing shows and trashing his party’s President when Democrats are already demoralized. For fuck’s sake, all of you can have your poutrages and be demoralized and it does not matter. You can stay home with a thumb up your ass and a bumpersticker on your car that says “Principle over Party.” Rock on.

    But the former head of the DNC pulling a stunt like that is horrid god damned politics. Watch it be repeated by the right wingers for the next 6 months.

    This is not rocket science.

  65. 65
    itsbenj says:

    can anyone on this blog make an honest argument today?

  66. 66
    wilfred says:

    Why does it have to be the ‘tea baggers’. This is the sort of binary thinking you get from children.

    Of course, I think there are some people who need hardcore primary challenges shoved so far up their asses that they can see their opponents in the mirror when they brush their teeth

    Starting with Obama. The mantra of the Deemocrats is: “Obama never said he was, would, is, wants, feels and whatever else the fuck you progressives think about him!”

    Duly noted. Now we can push our own candidates. Alan Grayson is starting to make lots of sense to me.

    And don’t forget that there are lots of moderate Republicans who could easily make common cause with progressives if it meant putting an end to the shit on a stick politics of ‘mainstream’ Democrats and conservatives.

  67. 67
    Shalimar says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I like Creampuff for a name if she is a siamese, but then my kitty names tend towards the strange. I suspect she will be white though, and I’m not sure about a name in that case.

  68. 68
    itsbenj says:

    Right-wing Dems are ruining everything and blaming everyone but themselves here. All they’ve got is “clap louder”, “criticism is bad” and “Howard Dean is a hippie”. Punch the hippies and clap louder. Way to reach out to people, right-wing “Dems”!

  69. 69
    maye says:

    It’s all a total head fake. Howard Dean hating the bill and trashing Obama will make Joe, Mary, Evan, Olympia and the rest vote for the bill.

    Whatever Howard Dean hates must be good for America. This was all planned by the WH.

  70. 70
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @wilfred:

    No sane Democrat would primary Obama. Especially not Grayson.

  71. 71
    PeakVT says:

    @Da Bomb: Dean didn’t recruit the candidates. Emanuel and Schumer did.

  72. 72
    CMcC says:

    Agree about Dean.

    And I keep thinking about how Al Gore chose Joe Lieberman to be his VP running-mate in 2000.

    Thanks, Al. Thanks, Howard.

  73. 73
    wilfred says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    That was what was said about Johnson. I like Grayson a lot but am not suggesting he would mount a challenge. Obama, however, will receive a strong challenge from the left, which Dean is implying, I think.

    This time there won’t be any doubts at all about his ‘centrist’ accomodating horseshit politics.

  74. 74
    Milo Johnson says:

    Yeah, patting these pussy Democrats on the back for not fighting for real health-care reform is going to encourage them to finally grow some balls. It is time for liberal voters to take a stand and get all these right-wing moles and flat-out turncoats out of the Democratic party. I don’t recall the right ever having to “settle” for crappy bills, they rammed through whatever their little nazi hearts desired, but when it’s our turn what happens? We have to “compromise” about how hard we’re going to get fucked in the ass. Do what you will, I’m going to continue calling the cowards out for what they are and to try to purge them from this party. If they want to be unprincipled turncoats, they should be in the republican party to begin with.

  75. 75
    Jim says:

    Ben Nelson just announced that he’s going to block the bill because it doesn’t overturn Roe v Wade.

    Do I blame Obama or Dean?
    @John Cole:

    @49 was an accidental post on my part, I was quoting someone else.

  76. 76
    Harley Furguson, the Tractorcycle says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    If this stupid, idiotic bill passes, we all hope that despite all our fears it will somehow magically reduce health care costs and stop Americans from being forced into penury by medical bills and magical ponies for everyone. We just don’t think it will. We think it much more likely that this bill, if passed, will become the greatest domestic policy fiasco in living memory, that it will achieve nothing for consumers remotely good enough to justify the mammoth subsidization of corrupt monopoly insurance companies, that it will cost us the House in 2010 and the Senate and White House in 2012, and that it will turn literally an entire generation irreversibly against the Democratic Party.

    This, in Spades..

  77. 77
    clonecone says:

    Dean doesn’t seem to understand the reconciliation process. It can’t form policy. We can’t get reform on pre-existing conditions or a ban on rescission through reconciliation. We can’t get any regulation on insurers through reconciliation. You could maybe get an expansion of Medicare but even that is doubtful. Someone could invoke a point of order on the Byrd Rule and lock up the proceedings with a bunch of waiver votes (which require 60 votes to pass).

    Medicare is very expensive and has very limited coverage. Under current premiums, a couple would pay over $1100/month just in Part A & B premiums. That doesn’t include co-pays, deductibles, or any coverage for prescription drugs. The Part A deductible alone is $1,100 per person per benefit period and you can have multiple benefit periods in a year. You can’t change any of that through reconciliation.

  78. 78
    freelancer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    but she’s got to be spayed and neutered,

    Spayed and neutered? Hermaphroditic rescue kitteh? That’s gonna be a hell of a thread.

  79. 79
    Da Bomb says:

    @PeakVT: He pushed and campaigned. Wasn’t he over the DNC and invoked the 50 State Strategy?

  80. 80
    KCinDC says:

    I’d like to throw the phrase “11-dimensional chess” under the bus.

    I’d prefer slapping it in the face.

  81. 81
    cyntax says:

    @maye:

    Howard Dean hating the bill and trashing Obama will make Joe, Mary, Evan, Olympia and the rest vote for the bill.

    That seems depressingly plausible.

    Heard some guy from Conneticut on the radio talking about how Lieberman was keeping everyone in the senate honest. Teh awesome.

  82. 82
    JD Rhoades says:

    I swear it feels like a certain portion of the progressive movement is really hoping for a bloodbath in 2010 to teach those damned Senators a lesson.

    Haven’t some of the commenters here said exactly that?

    Hey, let’s get the Rethugs back in power so we can start ANOTHER war. Third time’s the charm, right?

  83. 83
    chiggins says:

    @John Cole:

    Horrid goddam politics? F’real?

    Sure seems to me that he’s one of the few Democrats that’s tapping into what the constituency is actually on fire about right now instead of just telling us to shut up and smile while Wall St, the Health Insurance Industry, Pharma, and the AMA all get their needs met.

    Maybe he’ll pick up some support and carry it forward into some fucking primary challenges next year?

  84. 84

    @John Cole:

    Totally agree with you. I think Dean has lost his fucking mind.

  85. 85
    wilfred says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Give me a break. Here’s what I’m hoping for: Victory for progressive candidates in every goddamned race.

    If that’s a bloodbath, I’ll take it.

  86. 86
    John MacNeill says:

    Doctor Dean is just saying what so many of us are thinking. Telling it like it is is what Dean is all about.

  87. 87
    Shalimar says:

    @Jim: You laugh, because the White House thinks they can control all the grandstanding fools and it’s funny every time they’re proved wrong. I’m just waiting for the first one who won’t vote for the bill unless we reintroduce slavery (of illegal immigrants only; got to be politically correct).

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Two words for those heads-in-the-sand assholes that don’t support the Senate HCR bill:

    Mushroom Clouds.

  89. 89
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @chiggins:

    Blah, Blah, Blah…Veal Pen

    I wonder where you came from with that bullshit.

  90. 90
    Jack says:

    @itsbenj:
    @John:
    @Citizen Alan:

    Alan: “And believe me, we’re not looking forward to 2012, when all our predictions come true and folks like you are still blaming people like Howard Dean for the disaster because we didn’t clap hard enough.”

    These.

  91. 91
    ericvsthem says:

    Obama isn’t exactly vigorously supporting the DNC platform, let alone progressive ideals. Not saying I agree with Dean’s comments over the past 2 days, but his disappointment in Obama is justified.

  92. 92
    JenJen says:

    Thanks for making me feel better, today, Cole. It’s only just past 1:00 pm and this day has been a shit sandwich since I woke up. Between Arianna, Big Ed and Howard Dean, I’m thisclose to joining the Teabaggers. KIDDING. But, still. It’s so fucking annoying.

    @Jim Crozier: Exactly. I mean, this is a guy who came in a distant 3rd in Iowa. Love what he’s done for the party up to now, but presidential politics ain’t his bag.

  93. 93
    par4 says:

    I’d rather have Dean as President than the lying sack of SHIT we have. Hell, I’d rather have Nixon he had better health care policies.

  94. 94

    @chiggins:

    seems to me that he’s one of the few Democrats that’s tapping into what the constituency is actually on fire about

    Except that it is A constituency, not THE constituency.

    The one I represent does not agree with him and thinks he is being an ass right now. And I am a lifelong dem, rather rabid liberal, and extremely interested stakeholder WRT this issue.

    I like Dean’s intensity, most of the time. But sometimes it isn’t helpful. It helped him kill his own presidential campaign. It’s not helpful right now. Timing and finesse are everything in legislation in a republic. Dean’s timing sucks at this moment.

    I am sitting here watching John Fucking McCain say “Dr. Dean, I am with you!” with that shitty McCain smirk on his face.

    Wonderful.

  95. 95
    Adam Collyer says:

    @Lev:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore? They’re sure sounding the same these days.

    We’ve managed to come full circle, where the far right has bent in one direction and the left has bent in another that they manage to meet in their attempts to destroy the guy at the top of the circle.

    The entirety last few days have me completely burned out. I’m a moderate progressive; a centrist with liberal tendencies. I hoped for something like a public option out of the deal, but I still support this bill because it incrementally makes some people’s lives better. I support increasing our presence in Afghanistan. I supported TARP in order to prevent the economy from collapsing, and I support using that money and more to fund a jobs bill. I guess that makes me, like every other person who doesn’t fit to the idealized version of a “liberal”, a corporate sellout.

    You know, the past few months I had college football to take my mind off of all this bickering and name-calling nonsense. Now I can barely stand to talk about politics at all. It’s sad.

  96. 96
    Fuckity-Fucking-Fuck (tee hee) says:

    By the way, did you notice how I compared mandated health insurance to an illegal war that killed over a hundred thousand people? How can you disagree with my well-thought-out views on the Senate bill?

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    I think Dean may be experimenting to see if Obama responds as positively to progressive harsh critics as right wing harsh critics.

  98. 98
    Jim says:

    @Shalimar:

    I laugh because I’ve always had a taste for gallows humor. But I don’t think it’s the White House believing they can control these fools, I think a lot of people in the blogosphere who seem to believe that Obama (and Lord Rahmamort) can control and is controlling these grandstanding assholes.

  99. 99
    bystander says:

    If Dean can be successful countering the Lieberman via Rahm via Obama tendency to pass just anything our corporate overlords will agree to, for the sake of appearances, good for him. If Dean can create some room to claw back (the current favorite term of art) some of the attributes that made the House bill so much better, good for him. If Dean can make this kick-the-can-down-the-road health care bill a bit more sustainable for the American public, good for him. Because we all know, what we currently refer to as health care reform, reforms nothing about health care, and it doesn’t do much more about reforming health insurance either. The critical things the bill is supposed to reform (denial of coverage, and recission) have good sized loopholes in the Senate bill, and there is little or no provision for much government enforcement to prevent those loopholes from being exploited.

  100. 100
    Lex says:

    @Derelict:

    And you all expect Obama to fix 28 years of Republican in 10 months?

    No. I do, however, to expect him to act as if trying to fix all the Republican matters. What have we gotten instead?

    — Active hostility to any effort to restore the rule of law by holding war criminals accountable.

    — Shoveling trillions in private wealth to the banksters with almost zero oversight. We actually have more transparency in our defense budget, which is a) partly secret and b) according to CPAs, essentially unauditable.

    — Utter failure to expend any political capital on a public option, let alone single payer. Greenwald is right: We now have the health-care bill Obama wanted all along, apparently because he wants to keep insurer and PhRMA contributions flowing to Democrats in 2010.

    — Active hostility toward transparency in our dealings with terrorism suspects.

    I could go on, but here’s the thing: When we invaded Iraq, you knew the Bush people had lied about our reasons when things went all to hell and no WMDs were found and all you heard was “Freedom is untidy.” They’d launched a war under — at best — honest but horrendous misimpressions, and they didn’t even act as if they cared.

    Another 45,000 Americans will die next year for lack of health insurance. Obama doesn’t act as if he cares. I suspect there’s a reason for that.

  101. 101
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Violet:

    To reply again to this same concept–maybe fucking Obama should count on it some too! And possibly take steps to counteract the disappointment.

  102. 102
    muddy says:

    Yes, John – Dean is the former head of the DNC. Former. How many years are required to pass before he may publicly disagree?

    A saying in VT – “Howard Dean has a thick neck, and he’ll stick it out for ya.” Mealy mouthing has never been his style, this is not new and special for this bill.

  103. 103
    Sasha says:

    1. Isn’t reconciliation for a public option/Medicare reform after this bill passes a possibility? Use it as a primary election campaign issue and energizer for the 2010 midterms. Scare the shit out of Blue Dogs with it.

    2. Obama hasn’t even completed one year in office and yet he has been denounced as betraying liberals. Besides the fact that HCR has been sucking oxygen from all other progressive initiatives, he has three more years in office left in this term. Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait till January 1, 2012 before people decided not to support him for his failure to enact progressive policies?

  104. 104
    Kryptik says:

    @Jim:

    Like I said…they’re not done neutering it yet.

  105. 105
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    I am sitting here watching John Fucking McCain say “Dr. Dean, I am with you!” with that shitty McCain smirk on his face.

    Yeah, well if that’s as sophisticated as yer calculation gets, please note that you have Fink Lieberman on yer side helping to pass a shitty health care bill.

  106. 106
    Jack says:

    @bystander:

    You’re not clapping loud or hard enough. Angry bloggers will now create tags for you.

  107. 107
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    My chrystal ball sees K-Low and Pantsload watching this spectacle, while huddled in the NRO Corner playing doctor between giggles.

    Well played nutroots, well played. Dr. Dean, I luv ya, but you are off the reservation on this.

  108. 108
    PeakVT says:

    @Da Bomb: The 50-state strategy didn’t say run any candidate no matter how conservative in order to win. It was about building the party for the longer term. It was about having fully funded staffers in every state and running people who were proud Democrats in as many places possible. Contesting every seat would force the Republicans to defend every seat, and the Dems could capitalize if individual candidates stumbled.

  109. 109
    kwAwk says:

    ohmmmmmmmmm nothingisobamasfault ohmmmmmmmmm

    It is amazing to me how fast you guys will turn on another Democrat, in this case Dean, and then whine and complain about if anybody says anything bad about Obama.

    Turn about is fair play I’d say.

  110. 110
    wilfred says:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore? They’re sure sounding the same these days.

    Yeah, ain’t it the truth. Why Glenn Greenwald, one of the Left’s prime voices, sounds exactly like Red State.

    I mean, down the line same on everything: War, Fisa, Gitmo, Rendition, Detention, you name it.

    Fucking uncanny, it is.

  111. 111
    BFR says:

    And I think you can stick a fork in healthcare reform.

    I think giving into Lieberman was a crucial mistake. It created a pretty healthy perverse incentive for Nelson to crush the whole operation over abortion – I’m guessing there’s no way to appease Nelson and keep pro-choice Senators on board.

  112. 112
    Robin G. says:

    @Lex:

    Another 45,000 Americans will die next year for lack of health insurance. Obama doesn’t act as if he cares. I suspect there’s a reason for that.

    He doesn’t care so much that he’s burning almost all of his political capital and staking his presidency on a nearly Quixotic effort to get everyone in the country health insurance, even if it is a mess.

    There’s a lot of things we can accuse Obama of, but not caring about Americans dying for lack of health care isn’t one of them.

  113. 113
    Citizen Alan says:

    @John Cole:

    But the former head of the DNC pulling a stunt like that is horrid god damned politics. Watch it be repeated by the right wingers for the next 6 months.

    This just makes me laugh. Obama has offered to bend over a desk and let the entire Republican party (including Joe Lieberman) fuck him up the ass, and they won’t even stop calling him Hitler. And you’re worried about optics. I’m just laughing.

    What makes you think Obama and Emmanuel even want Dean campaigning for them in 2012 anyway? They both openly despise him, as well as those factions of the party he represents. I imagine that privately they’re both quite pleased with this turn of events because it will become another opportunity for them to punch the hippies and make David Broder cream his Depends once again.

  114. 114
    chiggins says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Actually, I got it from Dennis Perrin. I don’t read FDL, if you got a beef with them you’ll have to take it to someone else.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    You sound like the stupid ‘Flower Children’ who stayed at home in ‘68, handing a razor thin win to Nixon, ushering in 40 years of conservative rule.

    That’s been the liberal strategy for 40 years now — “If we just stay home, then they’ll pay attention to us!”

    You’d think that by now one or two of us would have figured out that the way to get power in the electoral system is not by refusing to participate in the electoral system, but I guess some people just can’t stop shooting their own foot no matter how many toes they lose.

  116. 116
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Yes, John – Dean is the former head of the DNC. Former. How many years are required to pass before he may publicly disagree?

    I dunno. After we actually had the votes for what he’s fucking talking about?

  117. 117
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re right–all these people just chose not to participate in the 2008 election….

  118. 118
    cyntax says:

    @Robin G.:

    He doesn’t care so much that he’s burning almost all of his political capital and staking his presidency on a nearly Quixotic effort to get everyone in the country health insurance, even if it is a mess.

    When he’s sending Rahm out to tell Reid to give Lieberman everything he wants, that to me isn’t staking his presidency on it. That’s trying to check the box.

  119. 119
    Idiocy For Dummies says:

    One of the rising stars of the Rethuglican party?
    Compassionate Conservative? This guy must have a PHD in stupid:

    http://wonkette.com/412798/sou.....son-a-homo

  120. 120
    Robin G. says:

    @BFR: I don’t know. Nelson’s been talking big this whole time, but he’s consistently backed down. I think he’s just trying to get a little of Lieberman’s spotlight.

  121. 121
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @BFR:

    I think giving into Lieberman was a crucial mistake.

    Wut? “giving into” I trust you are aware that Lieberman is a US senator with the 60th vote to block HCR. Please tell me you are aware of this fact. Do you really believe he is bluffing AT THIS STAGE? Early on maybe, but not now.

  122. 122

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Hey, that’s fair, as long as I can take some snippy outburst of yours, and that’s a long list to choose from, and declare it to represent the sum total of your political wisdom quotient.

    I mean, amirite? Huh? Well? Look at me when I talk to you, mister.

  123. 123
    Steeplejack says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Congratulations! I hope you have a long career together.

    I have given up suggesting pet names ever since a woman I dated took my joke seriously and named her cat Tabby Wynette.

  124. 124
    alec says:

    There is something particularly depressing reading the comments on this site. It seems that Balloon Juice has a monopoly on middle aged partisan hacks who still haven’t gotten over the delusion of Washington political theatrics. Democrat or Republican, the rich win, the poor lose. This health care bill is no different.

  125. 125
    Violet says:

    @Olly McPherson:
    I didn’t mean to make my other comment personal toward you. I think that a lot of people who devoted themselves to getting Obama elected are feeling let down. And while they might vote for him, they aren’t going to work as hard for him. And they might not even bother to go to the polls. I mean it more as a statement than anything personal towards you.

    And I do think that is what Sarah Palin and her ilk are counting on.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Olly McPherson:

    You’re right—all these people just chose not to participate in the 2008 election….

    You mean the people who finally showed up after 40 years and are now whining that Obama hasn’t completely fixed everything in his first 10 months in office so they’re never going to vote again? Those people?

    If you aim real good, I bet you can get your big toe this time.

  127. 127
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Robin G.:

    There’s a lot of things we can accuse Obama of, but not caring about Americans dying for lack of health care isn’t one of them.

    Well, I don’t think he’s inhuman. I’m sure it pains him greatly that thousands of Americans will have to die in order to ensure that the gods of the health insurance pantheon are properly venerated. And while this shitty bill will allow uninsured Americans to acquire overpriced shitty insurance, it’s still shitty insurance that will be prohibitively expensive, will have huge co-pays that most poor people won’t be able to afford, will still have lifetime caps, and (despite all fantasies to the contrary) will still be subject to recission if the poor bastard dares to file too many claims.

    The number of people who will suffer and die for want of insurance will go down under this plan, but it certainly won’t be reduced to zero, nor even, IMO, low enough to justify all the other ways in which this bill is complete FAIL.

  128. 128
    Cat says:

    @Lev:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore? They’re sure sounding the same these days.

    They both agree the current government is run for the benefit of the corporations and the only time ‘we the people’ get nice things is when it benefits the corporations or they cant see how it could hurt them.

    But to say that there is no real difference between them is pretty ludicrous.

  129. 129
    PanAmerican says:

    Q: What do you get when you combine Howard Dean, Joe Trippi, 50 million dollars and Iowa?

    A: Nothing.

    >rimshot<

    I’ll be here all day folks… don’t forget to tip your host.

  130. 130
    BFR says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Wut? “giving into” I trust you are aware that Lieberman is a US senator with the 60th vote to block HCR. Please tell me you are aware of this fact.

    There’s a chance (albeit small) that he was bluffing. Not saying that Lieberman didn’t put everyone else into a bind – he definitely did. But handing him whatever he wanted created two problems:
    1 – no guarantee that he wouldn’t come back with something else later on
    2 – creates an incentive for Nelson (or another conservative) to make similar demands

    The Nelson problem is pretty easy to see. If you concede to Lieberman, then I’m not sure how you say no to Nelson. The downside is that there are more than enough women Senators to take the bill below 50 votes, even assuming none of them filibuster.

    I think tactically, they should have told Lieberman to go fly a kite and started focusing back on Snowe – she’d already stuck her neck out once, so perhaps she was a better target all along.

  131. 131
    Kryptik says:

    @Lev:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore? They’re sure sounding the same these days.

    One side gets embraced by their party, the other side painted as wacky, hacky loons that deserve nothing but scorn from all sides?

  132. 132
  133. 133
    Jack says:

    @Cat:

    Or when we scare them…

  134. 134
    Jay B. says:

    The politics of it? Whose vote does Dean control?

    You went ape shit yesterday when Bernie Sanders said, with all kinds of qualifiers, that he wouldn’t vote for the bill as it stood. Not that he would filibuster it. Not that he might actually vote for the bill if they throw us something, just that, at present, he thinks it’s a bad bill.

    Now a guy who has standing, but no real constituency, within the Democratic politics says something about how hard he’s going to work for Obama’s re-election 3 years from now, which holds as much depth and import as a fart in the wind — and you get the fucking vapors over that.

  135. 135
    Robin G. says:

    @alec: Really? I think that, as bad and angsty as a lot of the comments are at the moment, BJ is holding its shit together a lot more than most of the other blogs.

  136. 136
    Kyle says:

    I voted for/supported Obama because he seemed to represent the non-Clintonian/pro-Dean side of the party, the party that would battle against corporate interests and actually work to improve the lives of Americans, not just the rich, white, straight folk. The Clintons were too Republican-lite for me. I guess the joke is on me. Can’t say that I regret voting for Obama (yet), but at this point, there seems to not be a dime’s worth of difference between (Hillary) Clinton and Obama.

    In my opinion, Dean has been right about many important things, and not only has he been right, he’s been forthright about his opinions. His reward for that has been that only-in-America response that greets those in politics who are correct before everyone else: Pettiness and belligerence. See e.g., Gore.

    He’ll have my support long after Obama has lost it, and within one year, JC will regret this post because he’ll have then realize that Dean was correct again.

  137. 137
    Steeplejack says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I went back to read your post and saw that you used pronouns. Edited my comment so that now you sound incoherent.

    How about Sunny?

  138. 138
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What the fuck are you talking about? Are you really claiming that the progressives this site is branding as whiners–notably Daily Kos and Markos–really just “showed up after 40 years in 2008”? Really? They didn’t work through the Bush years to band together and get Democrats elected, including Obama?

    And who’s said they’re never going to vote again? Dean didn’t even say that, and that’s the inciting quote for this thread.

    “Finally showed up after 40 years…” What does that even mean? Are you bitching about hippies? Give me a break.

  139. 139
    Barry says:

    What’s really, really funny here (unless I’ve missed something in the news recently) is that there is no health-care reform bill. What there is is still a ‘potential bill’, which might actually happen, if Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson and a couple of other senators decide to let it happen.

    In other words, if they tire of the stalling that they’ve been doing so successfully and profitably for the past several months. And why should that be? Their egos and wallets and reputation for clout are all swelling daily. And Obama is shrinking visibly.

  140. 140
    Tim says:

    John, I know throwing know-it-all, world weary sounding tantrums in which you call people smarter than you “idiots” is part of your schtick, and what you count on to expand your comments count, but really…YOU calling Howard Dean an “idiot?”

    Now I remember why, whenever I start to think you might have a clue, I remind myself that not long ago you were a complete Bushie, fake war-loving, cheerleading, moron, and that you still have NO credibility or sense of perspective.

    Howard Dean speaks the truth and threatens the Democratic/Republican Governmental Military Industrial Meedical Complex. Thus, he must be silenced. In this way you are now aligned with the Village.

    Oooh, and I see you are on Twitter now. wow, that’s exciting.

  141. 141
    Jim says:

    @BFR:

    I think tactically, they should have told Lieberman to go fly a kite and started focusing back on Snowe – she’d already stuck her neck out once, so perhaps she was a better target all along.

    I suspect that’s what they’ve been doing all along, and for whatever delusional reasons of her own, she won’t play ball. I think that’s what’s been behind all the talk of “bipartisanship” all along, to get around Lieberman and Nelson.

  142. 142
    Bill H says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    I think “Snowball,” Even if she doesn’t stay white I think “Snowball” is a cool name for a fuzzy cat, and it will remind you of how cute she was when you got her when she is shredding your curtains.

  143. 143
    JenJen says:

    @kwAwk: Oh, jeebus. If that’s what was happening, you’d have a point. But really… you’re suggesting that what “you guys” are doing is merely knee-jerk defending Obama against Dean? That there isn’t a case to be made? That’s how you’re reading this conversation?

    You’re damned straight that I, for one, am going to be pissed off if the former DNC Chair proclaims on national television that he’s not compelled to “vigorously support” the President in 2012. This is one of those “time to settle all family business” moments, and while I appreciate Dean, and don’t necessarily disagree with his arguments, he’s committing political malpractice here and there isn’t a damned thing “whiny” about calling that out on a political blog.

    This is about politics, not personality. The leader of the Democratic Party at this moment, like it or not, is the President.

  144. 144
    El Cid says:

    Ben Nelson says he’ll kill the bill if it doesn’t outlaw women from even thinking about whether or not they have the right to not be pregnant, and there probably won’t be a lot of White House reaction to that, or media / pundit moaning, but Howard Dean! Man! The nerve of that guy trying to be some negotiating counter-weight for those people who want a less shitty final bill!

  145. 145
    Kryptik says:

    @Barry:

    Exactly. I can’t really say what to support or not to support, because again, they’re not done neutering it yet.

    And sadly, for all the vapors that everyone on all sides seem to be suffering from, I’m more wont to side with the activists, because the sad, sad lesson I’ve learned in politics is that numbers and policy don’t win. Passion and charisma do. Numbers and policy are easy to derail with bullshit, where passion and charisma only lose when you can successfully demoralize one side.

  146. 146
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @BFR:

    I think tactically, they should have told Lieberman to go fly a kite and started focusing back on Snowe – she’d already stuck her neck out once, so perhaps she was a better target all along.

    I’m pretty sure that was the White House’s plan from the jump, before Harry “No, Don’t Worry, I Totally Have The Votes” Reid joined the party with his opt-out PO.

  147. 147
    Elie says:

    @Jeff:

    Yes, the same Howard Dean who I strongly supported.

    That said, given all of what you say, why would he want to disparage what he helped to build? More importantly, why would he disparage it now, right in the midst of toughest part of getting anything we want out of this damned thing?! I think that it would be fine to do this once we know what we have and can critique either the players or the quarterbacking, but NOW? Before its finished you want to kneecap your own team?

    Man, that makes me think that some of the people were right about ol Howdie — in push shove situations, he loses it and is not a team player. Hmmmm

  148. 148
    BFR says:

    @Jim:

    I suspect that’s what they’ve been doing all along, and for whatever delusional reasons of her own, she won’t play ball.

    Maybe she feels like she stuck her neck out and then got shivved by Reid when the bill he presented to the Senate included the one thing she said she couldn’t support.

    Not saying she’s right or wrong but she probably now really doesn’t want to be the one to put it over 60 votes.

  149. 149
    chiggins says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Noted, and agreed. He’s tapping into a constituency’s fire, and I confess I’m in it. Neither of us represents an insignificant bloc.

    But here’s where I’m at, starting with a quote from one of your guys:

    The individual mandate was a way of getting support from the insurance industry. The backroom deal with Big Pharma was a way of getting support from the drug industry. The change in Medicare reimbursement rates was a way of getting support from doctors. The gutting of the Medicare commission was a way of getting support from hospitals. Provisions related to biologics, home healthcare, and the prescription drug doughnut hole were a way of getting the support of AARP.

    So here’s a whole bunch of concessions that were made right out of the gate to a bunch of organizations whose interests are at odds with meaningful reform, at the expense of our consituencies. Fine. But I disagree with the idea that I, an American citizen and taxpayer that’s going to have to live with the consequences of what comes out of this process, can’t have any limits on what I’ll support.

    There is a point at which it became clear which constituencies the Democratic Party was really concerned with representing, and I’m not in it. So not only am I not in on this, but I’m really, really looking forward to supporting primary challenges nation-fucking-wide.

    That’s where I’m at, and what I’m gonna do. Calling me an idiot, telling me that I live in an alternate universe, asking me what sort of intoxicants I’m under the influence of, and associating me with web-celebrities that people have decided they don’t like isn’t going to change my mind about this.

    However, I’m not actually a legislator in either house, so you’re in luck. For now, my opinion doesn’t matter to anyone in office, they’ve made that clear. So whether or not you get what you’re hoping for isn’t contingent on my position. Cheers.

  150. 150
    Elie says:

    @Kryptik:

    I would just add, you try NOT to demoralize your OWN side..

    Just sayin

  151. 151
  152. 152
    fizzlogic says:

    Kitten name?… Tabbitha or Tabby for short.

  153. 153
    Comrade Mary says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: She’s adorable! She’s tiny! She’s got a smudge on he head like Tunch!

    Tinch?

    Sorry. I got nuthin’.

  154. 154
    geg6 says:

    Sorry, but I feel the same as Dr. Dean.

    I’ll vote for Obama. Just like I’ll be voting for most other Dems.

    I won’t be contributing more than I can afford like I did the last time. And I won’t be phone banking like I did the last time. I won’t be canvassing like I did the last time.

    You can call me stupid all you want. It really doesn’t phase me. I’m older than you and I’ve been through this before. I dropped the cynicism for one last election in 2008. I have learned my lesson. Cynicism is now the operative state of being. And cynics don’t go all in.

  155. 155
    ChicagoTom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You mean the people who finally showed up after 40 years and are now whining that Obama hasn’t completely fixed everything in his first 10 months in office so they’re never going to vote again? Those people?

    Yes those people. The people that the Dems NEEDED to take control of the White House and the Congress.

    You’d think that those people would at least get a bone thrown to them since they were quite crucial to getting Dems into power and will still be necessary to maintain any power.

    But go ahead…piss on those fuckers…just don’t try to blame them when the GOP routs the Dems. You want people to come out and vote you have to give them a reason to vote FOR you (instead of against the other guys).

    And you know who sounds like the fucking GOP ? The guys demanding that critics on the left shut up and clap louder. The GOP had their cult of personality around Bush. The Dems don’t. We aren’t going to give Obama (and the Dem leadership) a pass for many of his failures simply because he’s on our team. We hold our own accountable. We aren’t fucking Obama-bots.

  156. 156
    MattMinus says:

    Why can’t Dean just keep his opinions to himself and tell us how yummy the shit sandwich is?

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Olly McPherson:

    Are you really claiming that the progressives this site is branding as whiners—notably Daily Kos and Markos—really just “showed up after 40 years in 2008”? Really? They didn’t work through the Bush years to band together and get Democrats elected, including Obama?

    I’m pointing out that they clearly had no idea what they were doing since they apparently thought they could reverse 40 years of Republican rule with one or two elections and that Obama could fix everything that 8 years of Bush and 12 years of a Republican Congress broke by the end of his first year.

    For people whose battle cry is “more and better Democrats,” they sure don’t seem to be looking for better Democrats to run in 2010, 2011, and 2012. If they were, Blanche Lincoln’s prospective primary opponents would have more than $31 in donations on ActBlue versus Lincoln’s $8,800.

    They seem to be sitting on their asses whining that they’re going to stay home in 2010, let the Republicans win, and then that’ll show the Democrats. You know, the exact same strategy that liberals have been using for 40 years.

  158. 158
    kwAwk says:

    @JenJen

    I think Howard Dean is as entitled to his opinion as anybody else. I also think it is something Obama needs to hear.

    There are a lot of people on the left who really respect and like Howard Dean, just as I understand there are a lot of people on the left who respect and like Barack Obama.

    The problem as I see it is that in my opinion there seem to be a lot of people that seem more invested in Barack Obama than in the Democratic Party. That seems even more true with me when I hear people like Cole calling anybody who doesn’t agree with him an idiot.

    If you want to have a constructive dialogue about this issue, you might want to leave the word ‘idiot’ out of the conversation. That kind of emotional attack only leads to emotional defensiveness which isn’t helping your case if you are trying to convince people to be enthusiastic about your chosen person or position.

    There are valid arguments for getting anything passed we can, and there are valid arguments for scrapping this bill. But the name calling will only bring back the animosity of the primaries.

  159. 159
    JenJen says:

    So, I see that Grumpy McFuckstick has declared ideological alliance with Dr. Dean:

    “If you live long enough all things can happen,” Republican Senator John McCain said with a smile. “I now find myself in complete agreement with Dr. Howard Dean, who says that we should stop this bill in its tracks, we should go back to the beginning and have an overall bipartisan agreement. Dr. Dean, I am with you.”

    Good times.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ChicagoTom:

    You’d think that those people would at least get a bone thrown to them since they were quite crucial to getting Dems into power and will still be necessary to maintain any power.

    Why should they throw you a bone if you’re already saying you’re not going to vote for them three years from now? They’ll concentrate on getting votes from the independents and Republicans who crossed over. They probably outnumber the left wing of the Democratic Party.

    You know what happens if you take your ball and go home enough times? The other kids find someone else with a ball and play with them instead. That’s what Democrats did after the Reagan Democrats deserted them and liberals didn’t step up to make up the difference. And now we’re complaining because the people we deserted aren’t begging us to come back?

  161. 161
    Kryptik says:

    @JenJen:

    It’s hard to tell whether this is the kind of connecting of the wingnuttia loop some people were suggesting, or just political opportunism. This seems less actual agreement with Dean more than it is trying to co-opt the anger from the left to sow further dissension.

  162. 162
    kwAwk says:

    I for one am sick of the wingnuttia bullshit. The position of supporting the public option is one being supported by 60% of the House and 57% of the Senate. It is in no way shape of form a fringe belief.

  163. 163
    Jack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Heh.

    Translation:

    “Why should we do democracy and give you some of what you want, you know, after being vital to our electoral successes, unless you also promise to shut up and take what we give you? Oh, and also – you better cough up the dough and man hours for future support. Or we won’t reward you for past support. Suckahs!”

    *

    Fuck – a least Republicans do a dog and pony and Jesus is Awesome act for the people they screw over…

  164. 164
    Sad_Dem says:

    Is “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” a category tag?

  165. 165
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @JenJen

    Man, Dr. Dean got played like a funky piano. And McCain didn’t even have to say POW. If Mrs. Dean is anything like Mrs. Phil Donahue she’s going to be all over his ass when he gets home. Oh well, live and learn.

  166. 166
    JenJen says:

    @kwAwk: Well, no kidding, Dean is entitled to his opinion, just as I, Cole, and anyone, really, is entitled to criticize that opinion, and/or technique. But remember, Dean’s opinion is amplified, and has a political effect regardless of intention, whereas I’m just some schlub.

    Is the word “idiot” really what your beef is? For my money, it’s accurate, because Dean is practicing bad politics (new evidence… see: John McCain’s response), something you don’t normally expect from the former chair of the DNC. If Cole wanted to make an emotional argument, he’d have probably chosen a stronger word, you know, like “fuckstick.” But he’s not making an emotional argument, he’s making a political one, and it’s my opinion that “idiot” is pretty benign given the context.

  167. 167
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore?

    Of course, you ninny. It’s who the sell-outs sell out to: Acorn, or Aetna, gangstas or banksters, international stateless socia1ism, or international stateless capitalism, godless pagans or god-bothering evangelicals….

  168. 168
    meh says:

    I sort of get what they’re saying – it’s cynical and shitty, but it’s like if this country hasn’t hit rock bottom with the GOP yet, maybe they need another dime bag GOP congress so that it wakes up naked and covered in bad decisions. Maybe then they will elect functioning adults instead of walking catchphrases…

  169. 169
    John Cole says:

    Why can’t Dean just keep his opinions to himself and tell us how yummy the shit sandwich is?

    DEAN/NADER 2012!

  170. 170
    Paula says:

    There doesn’t appear to be an answer to the endless loop of: Obama is better than bush so you must support him – But Obama is letting me down – But Obama is better than bush so suck it up – But Obama has failed to keep his promises – Obama is better than bush, quit whining!

    The bottom line, to me, is that people like me are feeling very angry and disillusioned, and yelling at me for feeling that way does nothing at all. It may make a some of you feel superior because you’re “mature” and understand that crap sandwiches are better than crap and puss sandwiches, but I don’t want to eat either one.

    People’s objections, including Dr. Dean’s, are not the immature cries of petulant teenagers. They are based on the flaws in the bill, compounded by the extraordinarily badly managed process that has led us to this depressing place. The fact that we have ended up here, with Obama on the defensive, reduced to calling Dr. Dean names while sharing drinks with the dick Lieberman, is a statement of deep failure on the Obama team’s part. They appear to have misread the optics all along the way. And that’s assuming they ever wanted a better bill, which is by no means clear. But if they did, it tells you something about their strategic ability, which doesn’t bode well for the next fights on the horizon.

    Or they didn’t want a better bill – they just wanted to tinker around the edges to keep citizens from dropping their insurance wholesale and descending on Washington with pitchforks. They wanted to protect the industry – and they have.

    Neither possibility is encouraging, and if you think everyone should be bowing down and saying “thank you sir, can I please have another” I expect you’ll be disappointed.

    The problem with a lot of you folks is that you’re more delusional than we are. You folks are desperately hanging onto the idea that we have to cheerlead Obama because he’s all we have. What you’re refusing to see is that we don’t have anyone.

    On some gut level people are realizing that the “changes” we need are fundamental. No one in Washington is going to lead us into the future that circumstances will force upon us. Washington is desperately trying to hang on to the way things were.

  171. 171
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore?

    Of course, you ninny. It’s who the sell-outs sell out to: Acorn, or Aetna, gangstas or banksters, international stateless so cia1 ism, or international stateless capitalism, godless pagans or god-bothering evangelicals….

    Edited — actually de-bonered.

  172. 172
    JenJen says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    And McCain didn’t even have to say POW.

    I know, right?

    @Kryptik: I was being snarky when I suggested they were ideologically aligned, I can see where it didn’t come off that way. McCain is absolutely being a political opportunist here, and I can’t blame him. As a matter of fact, we’re going to hear a lot about this in the coming days, and the real, bona fide problems within the Democratic party will likely be blown out of proportion, sucking up all the political oxygen available, when we really should be figuring out how to get health care reform done. I think Dean really stepped in it here, politically, and in a big way, with bad-timing bonus.

  173. 173

    There’s 2 possibilities that explain Dean’s actions.

    1. He’s playing reverse psychology games with Lieberman.

    2. He’s the same petty asshole Lieberman is and deep down he’s pissed off that Rahm beat him and that the Obama campaign didn’t appreciate Dean trying to take credit for their campaign even though they basically did everything the exact opposite of the way Dean did it on the ground.

  174. 174
    Paula says:

    There doesn’t appear to be an answer to the endless loop of: Obama is better than bush so you must support him – But Obama is letting me down – But Obama is better than bush so suck it up – But Obama has failed to keep his promises – Obama is better than bush, quit whining!

    The bottom line, to me, is that people like me are feeling very angry and disillusioned, and yelling at me for feeling that way does nothing at all. It may make a some of you feel superior because you’re “mature” and understand that crap sandwiches are better than crap and pus sandwiches, but I don’t want to eat either one.

    People’s objections, including Dr. Dean’s, are not the immature cries of petulant teenagers. They are based on the flaws in the bill, compounded by the extraordinarily badly managed process that has led us to this depressing place. The fact that we have ended up here, with Obama on the defensive, reduced to calling Dr. Dean names while sharing drinks with the dick Lieberman, is a statement of deep failure on the Obama team’s part. They appear to have misread the optics all along the way. And that’s assuming they ever wanted a better bill, which is by no means clear. But if they did, it tells you something about their strategic ability, which doesn’t bode well for the next fights on the horizon.

    Or they didn’t want a better bill – they just wanted to tinker around the edges to keep citizens from dropping their insurance wholesale and descending on Washington with pitchforks. They wanted to protect the industry – and they have.

    Neither possibility is encouraging, and if you think everyone should be bowing down and saying “thank you sir, can I please have another” I expect you’ll be disappointed.

    The problem with a lot of you folks is that you’re more delusional than we are. You folks are desperately hanging onto the idea that we have to cheerlead Obama because he’s all we have. What you’re refusing to see is that we don’t have anyone.

    On some gut level people are realizing that the “changes” we need are fundamental. No one in Washington is going to lead us into the future that circumstances will force upon us. Washington is desperately trying to hang on to the way things were.

  175. 175
    kwAwk says:

    @jenjen

    Yes it is the word idiot that is bothering me. Just as I don’t entirely agree with Cole, I don’t think he is an idiot for stating his views.

    If you feel that Dean is engaging in bad politics that is fine, but don’t get offended when those of us who may disagree with you remind you how Barack Obama just politically got his ass handed to him by Joe Lieberman, a man with no political party and the charisma of a three toed sloth.

  176. 176
    Annie says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    My student just said “Mo” because it looks like she has a little Mohawk on top of her head.

    I like “Mo.”

  177. 177
    BFR says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    There’s 2 possibilities that explain Dean’s actions.

    There’s also the possibility that he and Sanders are trying to publicly telegraph that progressives can’t bend any further.

    Nothing that either one of them said really matters at the end of the day. Sanders can vote no on the bill and still ensure passage via cloture vote, and Dean doesn’t have a vote at all. It just lets Reid et al know that they’re approaching the end of the rope with respect to concessions.

  178. 178
    jibeaux says:

    new tag suggestions

    snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, thank you Sad Dem

    Nader 2012 That’ll Show ‘Em

    We Were Sarcastic The First Time, But Maybe We Actually Are All Mayans Now

  179. 179
    geg6 says:

    @JenJen:

    Is the word “idiot” really what your beef is? For my money, it’s accurate,

    It may be accurate, but extremely insulting and not very convincing as an argument.

    For instance, I think your argument here is idiotic. You opinion is pretty stupid if you think Grumpy McAsshole’s little quip somehow makes Dean look like he and McCain are on the same page. It only works that way if you’re willing to accept that. Personally, I’m intelligent enough to know that they came to resistance to the Senate bill from two different directions and motivations. So…stupid and idiotic.

    See how that works? I insult you and then make a not very convincing argument based on the insult. I don’t think I will have convinced you that you are an idiot, will I?

  180. 180
    JenJen says:

    @kwAwk:

    If you feel that Dean is engaging in bad politics that is fine, but don’t get offended when those of us who may disagree with you remind you how Barack Obama just politically got his ass handed to him by Joe Lieberman, a man with no political party and the charisma of a three toed sloth.

    If it makes you feel better to remind fellow progressives of utterly obvious things that practically everyone has known for years, like, for example, what an assknob Joe Lieberman is, then knock yourself out.

    @geg6: Well, I was being snarky by suggesting McCain feels an ideological pull toward Dean. What McCain is doing is taking a political opportunity that he’d be, sorry, an idiot not to take. The political effect is going to go on for awhile, and the topic won’t be “Why Dean Is Right,” it will be “How Dean Screwed Obama and How.” This is what I take issue with from the former DNC Chair. Also, for what it’s worth, I’m just not the kind of person who is touchy about strong language in arguments.

  181. 181
    geg6 says:

    @Paula:

    This.

    My god, yes. This.

  182. 182

    @Annie:

    My student just said “Mo” because it looks like she has a little Mohawk on top of her head.

    The fact that your students are commenting on BJ threads is …

    But duly noted on the “Mo” suggestion.

  183. 183
    jibeaux says:

    they came to resistance to the Senate bill from two different directions and motivations

    And, of course, the result is going to be different because of the different motivations. The status quo after the left kills reform has a completely different vibe than the status quo that would have existed had the right killed reform.

  184. 184
    El Cid says:

    Is there any real difference between the far left and the far right anymore?

    People use these terms a lot. Anyone who is loud suddenly becomes ‘far left’.

    FWIW, the actual Communist Party USA is in favor of the current effort for health care / insurance reform. Though that is a November position statement and not a statement on moment to moment debate.

  185. 185
    jibeaux says:

    @JenJen:

    Actually, these are probably two of the NICEST things I could come up with to describe Lieberman.

  186. 186
    Elie says:

    @MattMinus:

    I know I dont want him to keep his opinions to himself.
    Its not about shuting up anyone but more about a very high ranking leader and whether he thinks that the object of his communication should be to help this very important process or to show up folks he may not like. Its HIS choice but his choice reveals HIS character more than his critics’

  187. 187
    Cat says:

    But remember, Dean’s opinion is amplified, and has a political effect regardless of intention, whereas I’m just some schlub.

    Politicians who make it to the top of their political machines are people who know how to play the damn game. They are sophisticated politicians who crave power and recognition or they are sycophants who are just puppets of the machine.

    It appears Dean isn’t a sycophant, what you are seeing is more likely a power play. He’s hoping to regain his place of power in the machine by actively crapping on Rahm/Obama. He’d rather be the head an out of power DNC then just a senator of majority party.

    If what everyone is saying about the animosity between Dean and Rahm being true, its very likely Dean is going to continue crapping on Rahm/Obama because I think Rahm isn’t the kind of person who forgives.

    Politics is mostly a meta-game.

  188. 188
    Tonal Crow says:

    Jesus H. bin Laden Kee-rist on a stick, John, what’s wrong with pushing Obama from the left?

  189. 189

    @BFR:

    Ok, I guess it is possible they’re just stupid.

  190. 190
    MattMinus says:

    @John Cole:

    By pushing a bad bill, you’re supporting Palin/Bachmann 2012.

  191. 191

    @chiggins:

    I don’t really disagree with what you are saying here, but we are (as usual on BJ, especially) ignoring the real process. The real process here is to try, through a haze of theatrics, Kabuki, posturing and lying and backroom dealmaking (lots of that) … try to get a bill passed in the Senate that triggers the conference process, where the REAL AND ONLY BILL THAT MATTERS will be written.

    There, behind locked doors, the liars and the knaves will suck each others’ cocks, have fistfights, threaten, cajole, trade, barter, and make deals with Satan … and a final bill will emerge that is designed to (a) get the necessary votes for final passage and (b) set up all the desired “agreements” that get all the players what they want, or enough of what they want, to make it work. And if it works, and passes, then that final bill goes to the president’s desk.

    And we will have no idea what that thing looks like until it comes out of conference. So all this churn is ….. just churn. And Dean of all people should know this.

    Thoughts?

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paula:

    The bottom line, to me, is that people like me are feeling very angry and disillusioned, and yelling at me for feeling that way does nothing at all. It may make a some of you feel superior because you’re “mature” and understand that crap sandwiches are better than crap and puss sandwiches, but I don’t want to eat either one.

    It’s not so much that people shouldn’t feel disillusioned as that they’re focusing their ire where it does the least amount of good.

    If you’re pissed off that Congress isn’t passing the legislation you want, you need to change Congress, not the president. I know that blaming Obama feels good in a “the buck stops here” kind of way, but it’s not very practical to focus on that when Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh are coming up for re-election and don’t have anyone challenging them from the left.

    If Lincoln and Bayh get re-elected, it doesn’t matter if you hate Obama with the fiery hate of a million white-hot suns, things still won’t change in Congress and we’ll be back at square one.

  193. 193
    CalD says:

    In the meantime, could someone keep Howard Dean and his big mouth away from cameras until he pulls his shit back together?

    A lot of people have tried by now, but so far with only the most limited success. I like Howard Dean and I honestly believe he means well, but frankly he’s always been a bit of a loose cannon.

  194. 194
    Annie says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    And my students commenting on BJ is a problem why………????
    (hee, hee, heee, think I am indoctrinating young minds…)

  195. 195
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @kwAwk:

    If you feel that Dean is engaging in bad politics that is fine, but don’t get offended when those of us who may disagree with you remind you how Barack Obama just politically got his ass handed to him by Joe Lieberman, a man with no political party and the charisma of a three toed sloth.

    And please don’t get offended when some of us disagree with your assertion, and point out that if President Obama had his way, things would have gone a lot different in the Senate, most notably, trying to get a bill out of there without having to deal with Lieberman’s bullshit and then trying to rectify things in conference.

    If anyone got their ass handed to them by Joe Lieberman, it is Harry Reid.

  196. 196
    Brian J says:

    @BFR:

    I’m not sure what you describe is exactly what was supposed to happen, but I do suspect there’s some planned political maneuvering happening right now.

  197. 197
    Kryptik says:

    @JenJen:

    Well, my comment was less about anything you actually implied than it was McCain pushing his ‘agreement’ with Dean on the issue. But we’ll be sure to hear about how they’ve ‘teamed up’ to kill the bill soon.

  198. 198
    geg6 says:

    @jibeaux:

    I don’t think the word “reform” means what you think it means.

    Because that is really the crux of the matter. What you are calling “reform,” Dr. Dean and people like me are calling “status quo” only shittier with a mandate.

    So, as I mentioned her yesterday, I guess I should reveal what my sister has decided regarding the bill as it currently is framed. This is the one with no insurance and no money to buy insurance and too much money to get a subsidy, in case you’re interested. She did as much research on the provisions as possible and came to a conclusion.

    She has decided she will take the fines. Whatever the fine ends up being, it will surely cost her less than being forced into a costly, high deductible, so-called “silver” plan that hands 30% of her premium to insurance executives and Wall Street and gets her none of the care she needs because of her pre-existing conditions. And she will continue to not get any kind of health care.

    And I don’t blame her.

  199. 199
    The Raven says:

    Personally, I haven’t had the heart to fight for the Democrats since it became clear to me, long before Obama became president, how strong and destructive their conservative faction is. It’s not that I’m wanting to “knee-cap” them or any such thing. It’s just not there. And it isn’t there, now, for many more progressives.

  200. 200
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    John, stop and think for two seconds.

    If Dean and Hamsher manage to get some little cookie thrown into the bill (not holding my breath, but if they do), great. Right? And if they don’t? The bill that passes passes, and Dean and Hamsher just keep getting portrayed in the media as fringe lefties, that won’t change either. They’re fracturing the left? Like the left doesn’t already fracture along predictable lines in the first half dozen comments to any of your posts? Is there any reason you can give without resorting to your heightened state of emotion for Hamsher and Dean to not be doing this?

  201. 201
    harlana pepper says:

    I cannot go along with calling the progressive reaction “hissy fits.” It is an attempt to deligitimize the pure, unadulterated anger that is out there and which, at least for progressives, is totally justified. I appreciate the fact that Dean, who is much more a good and loyal Democrat than me, is being honest.

    Aggressive pushback is necessary in this case. You don’t have to agree with it or like it, but that is the role of progressives in this fight and I have no problem with it whatsoever. May they rage on until, God willing, the WH wakes up and gives the little people what they need.

  202. 202
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I totally called this before HCR started. I said we’d get a hideous bill that would make us ever regret trying to fix the problem in the first place.

    I’ll admit I’m a little surprised at how many of you are actively rooting for my prediction to come true.

  203. 203
    hal says:

    Obviously, this is the first step in the Howard Dean 2012 juggernaut, in which Dean/Kucinich 2012 sweep all 50 states and usher in a new paradise of progressive politics!

  204. 204
    Da Bomb says:

    @geg6: Well someone called the President a worthless sack of shit upthread.

    I don’t see anyone trying to disparage that comment, but I guess is okay to some people.

    Calling the DNC Chair an idiot.. absolutely horrible huh?

  205. 205

    @Annie:

    You go girl!

    BTW, Mo, Snowball, and Maya are the three that have been caught my eye. There will be no Tunch lite. I’ve e-mailed JC about frontpaging this IMPORTANT ISSUE, but so far, nothing.

  206. 206
    JenJen says:

    @Kryptik:

    But we’ll be sure to hear about how they’ve ‘teamed up’ to kill the bill soon.

    Big time.

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hey, that’s what friends are for. Keep smilin’, keep shinin’. :-)

  207. 207
    geg6 says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    I think you’re mooing at the moon expecting the man in it to wave back. You have this magical belief in the “conference.” I think you dream too much for a steer.

  208. 208
    Martin says:

    Remember, my line in the sand is far more important than good governance or healthcare.

  209. 209
    geg6 says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    point out that if President Obama had his way, things would have gone a lot different in the Senate, most notably, trying to get a bill out of there without having to deal with Lieberman’s bullshit and then trying to rectify things in conference.

    People keep saying this, but I haven’t seen any evidence to back it up. Please, I’ll believe it if you can prove it.

  210. 210
    stryx says:

    That’s what Democrats did after the Reagan Democrats deserted them and liberals didn’t step up to make up the difference.

    Mem, maybe there’s a reason for that. Just exactly how is it supposed to work?

    Dems: We’re gonna continue to move to the right and abandon all the things you think are important. But give us 20 bucks first, right?

    LibDem: Meh, here’s 10.

    BHO: Si se puede! Hope! Audacity!

    LibDem: I wuv what you’re selling. Here’s 30 bucks and I’ll wander around strange neighborhoods telling people to vote for you.

    PBO: Wow, that was fun. I’m gonna go hang out with my friends on the right. I’m won’t answer your calls anymore, but why don’t you give me 20 bucks anyway.

    LibDem: C* tu madre.

    And seriously? Blaming the hippies for electing Nixon? That shit’s just weird.

  211. 211
    Emma says:

    I have posted this several times, and nobody has given me an answer and I am nothing if not stubborn: What could the White House have done other than what it did? The President does not control Congress. The fact that so-called Democrats in the Senate caved in is the real problem here, but the President cannot fire them, cannot change their seniority, cannot bloody well do anything to them. Other than bad mouth them in public what can the White House do if Senators prove fractious? Send a SEAL team after their asses?

  212. 212
    seeker6079 says:

    Sorry, but I can’t go with the anti-Dean stuff.

    Here’s a guy who is equally responsible for the huge wins in 2008 whose thanks was to be thrown out into the street. And the only slash-back he has engaged in is to engage in policy-based debate on an issue on which he is an expert, on which (regarding the public option) he speaks for a majority of Americans.

    It’s not a hissy fit when you calmly advocate rational views held by very large segments of America.

    Oh. Sorry. I forgot, it’s ALWAYS a “hissy fit” when anyone who is on the left says what they think.

    Look, it’s fairly simple. The Obama campaign wooed, engaged and used the biggest progressive mobilization since LBJ and the New Deal to get elected. And when he got into the White House he jinked VERY hard right. I think that American progressives would be fools or mad not to claw back.

  213. 213
    Paula says:

    Mnemosyne at 191

    No, Obama doesn’t get off the hook because of what Congress has done or failed to do. If you look back at this whole stinkin year you see mistep after mistep on the part of the administration. At each critical point they appeared to choose the craven course – in conjunction, I grant you, with the equally weak Harry Reid. Don’t you remember back in the summer when members of congress were actually calling on Obama to step up to the plate and show some leadership?

    They took reconciliation off the table, with Obama’s apparent blessing.

    Get this through your head – I voted for the man. I drove to DC for the inauguration and froze my tush off. I don’t want the man to fail. He’s failing all by himself and all we get to do is watch him take the party with him.

  214. 214
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you’re pissed off that Congress isn’t passing the legislation you want, you need to change Congress, not the president.

    No kidding? Guess what, we did that too. You might have read about it, it was in all the papers. And get this — they’ve decided to reward their most fervent supporters with legislation that will ensure many of them will go down to electoral defeat (and all we’re trying to do is warn them). Lincoln, gone. Reid, gone. Hell, maybe the even the majority status.

    And why? Because they are going to own a shitty bill. EVEN if you are right and there will be some real gains, health care costs will still be going up, up, up, the same fucking insurance companies that EVERYONE HATES NOW will still be calling the tunes. For most people, all this hullabaloo will do nothing but ensure the status quo of a patchwork system that most people thought we were voting against.

    We didn’t force Obama to talk up the public option. Health care reform wasn’t a big deal in the primaries because of Howard Dean. It’s was a core issue for Americans.

    Yes, I understand pointing this out is deeply unserious and communistic to boot. But that’s the reality. The Democrats will reap what they sew on this. AND IT IS NOT OUR FAULT.

  215. 215

    @geg6:

    It’s not magical. The conference might produce a turd, or a gem. Probably something in between. But the theatrics now, over the structure of an unresolved Senate bill, are meaningless when conference starts. Most of the posturing going on now is designed to set up the end game that will go on in conference and the vote that follows.

    Whether that’s good or not, nobody knows, but the churn now is designed to keep you occupied while these games are being played out behind the scenes. These people have been at this for 200 years, and they are pretty good at putting up a canvas painting of a cloud and telling you that it is going to rain.

    There is no way in the world these people are going to reveal what they are really doing at this stage. Doing that would destroy the carefully built web of deceptions, quids and quos, and power trips they have spent decades building in those locked rooms.

    Nothing magical about it. Just reality.

  216. 216
    jibeaux says:

    @geg6:

    a costly, high deductible, so-called “silver” plan that hands 30% of her premium to insurance executives and Wall Street and gets her none of the care she needs because of her pre-existing conditions.

    Do you have any authority whatsoever for your claim that there is a 30% profit margin (Nate says 3.3% IIRC)? Do you have any awareness that getting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is one of the primary reasons we need this? This is fucking bizarro thinking.

  217. 217
    Elie says:

    @MattMinus:

    The other possibility is that Dean is setting up his own future by putting some separation not only between his opinion of the bill, which the left has now labeled ‘Bad’ (and he has supported that as well by talking about killing it) – and now he communicates his separation from the administration as well, step 2. Step 3 sets him up quite nicely to be the rallying point for the now disaffected left who as you say, will interpret any result that comes out of this as “a shit sandwich”.

    The sad thing to me about this is that it completely takes away from the energy to continue to work to improve what ends up coming out and turns it into politics to promote himself. (I acknowledge that this is just my viewpoint of what may be happening)

    As I said and my bank account proves, I was a strong supporteer of Dr Dean and had many many positive feelings about him. I hope that his current strategy is more about helping folks get healthcare and helping that along rather than payback to folks he dislikes at this critical time.

  218. 218
    geg6 says:

    @Da Bomb:

    Calling the DNC Chair an idiot.. absolutely horrible huh?

    With the implication that anyone who agrees with him is, too. Just as you don’t like Obama being called a worthless sack of shit because (I can only guess this; it might not be so) you think he’s wonderful and it insults both the president and you to call him that, it is insulting to those who think Dean has a good point to call him an idiot.

    But this is obviously a family fight. And as a member of a family with 6 kids, I know there are no more vicious fights than those we have with family.

  219. 219
    Annie says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    My student just said that “You will regret picking the name Snowball in July.” My students are counting on you to do the right thing — GO MO!

  220. 220
    Elisabeth says:

    @John Cole:

    All less than one year into the administration. The good news is that Obama has the opportunity in the next 2 1/2 years to change some minds back.

  221. 221
    seeker6079 says:

    Also, could somebody please, PLEASE explain to me why progressives are the only political interest group in America who are treated as total fucking whackadoodlies if they pressure their party and representatives to get what they want? Nobody tells the gun owners or the home owners or the churches or the small businessmen that (a) if they shut up they’ll get everything, somehow, some day, and/or (b) if they talk at all the are ENDANGERING THE PARTY AND ALL THE GAINS WE’VE MADE!

    Anybody? Please?

  222. 222
    Da Nihilist says:

    People, the point of John’s post here is that Dean said he would support the president but “not vigorously” in 2012. Dean is free to criticize the Senate bill and advocate reconciliation, but this quote is a gratuitous slam that serves no purpose and helps no one. When the former party chair is practicing “cut off your nose to spite your face” politics, it betrays a lack of political acumen.

  223. 223
    Fulcanelli says:

    @Robin G.:

    He doesn’t care so much that he’s burning almost all of his political capital and staking his presidency on a nearly Quixotic effort to get everyone in the country health insurance, even if it is a mess.

    Are you talking about this president? Are you fucking kidding?

    One of the main reasons HCR is such a mess is that Obama has expended so little political capital both with the public and especially with Congress in getting anything even remotely progressive, i.e., a non-insurance company give away, created and passed. He hasn’t wanted to get his hands dirty.

    Where was he last summer and this fall when the teabaggers and insurance lobby mouthpieces like Freedomworks and the sixty dozen other poo flingers trying to kill any reform at all were dominating every single news cycle, bobblehead talk show, villager columns and MSM news report.

    Remember his heroic struggle during the whole month of August during the congressional recess? Me neither. This was supposed to be his signature issue, remember? He’s staking his presidency on it, remember?

    I can haz break plz?

  224. 224

    […] of some of the discussions revealing this split and indicating how hard it can be to fix, check out something John Cole wrote and the comments. Cole’s post typifies one side, who just does not really understand Dean’s anger and […]

  225. 225
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Adam Collyer:

    You are not alone in feeling this way.

  226. 226
    Tonal Crow says:

    @seeker6079: This.

  227. 227
    Jack says:

    @Paula:

    Not just yes, but hell yes.

  228. 228
    Shevek57 says:

    If you’re pissed off that Congress isn’t passing the legislation you want, you need to change Congress, not the president. I know that blaming Obama feels good in a “the buck stops here” kind of way, but it’s not very practical to focus on that when Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh are coming up for re-election and don’t have anyone challenging them from the left.

    Oh, what a crock of shit!

    Obama is the fucking President. He is supposed to lead, to use the power of his office to shape the policies he supports. He can threaten to veto legislation not to his liking; he can use his bully pulpit to educate, advocate, to cajole, to exert pressure on recalcitrant fuckwads like Lieberswine, Bayh and Lincoln because he answers to the entire American populace. Obama is NOT a passive observer, powerless to exert any influence or effect the outcome of the legislative process.

    Obama failed.

  229. 229
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @geg6:

    People keep saying this, but I haven’t seen any evidence to back it up. Please, I’ll believe it if you can prove it.

    This is from a conference call on July 20 of this year:

    The House bills and the Senate bills will not be identical. We know this. The politics are different, because the makeup of the Senate and the House are different and they operate on different rules. I am not interested in making the best the enemy of the good. There will be a conference committee where the House and Senate bills will be reconciled, and that will be a tough, lengthy and serious negotiation process.
    __
    I am less interested in making sure there’s a litmus test of perfection on every committee than I am in going ahead and getting a bill off the floor of the House and off the floor of the Senate. Eighty percent of those two bills will overlap. There’s going to be 20 percent that will be different in terms of how it will be funded, its approach to the public plan, its pay-or-play provisions. We shouldn’t automatically assume that if any of the bills coming out of the committees don’t meet our test, that there is a betrayal or failure. I think it’s an honest process of trying to reconcile a lot of different interests in a very big bill.
    __
    Conference is where these differences will get ironed out. And that’s where my bottom lines will remain: Does this bill cover all Americans? Does it drive down costs both in the public sector and the private sector over the long-term. Does it improve quality? Does it emphasize prevention and wellness? Does it have a serious package of insurance reforms so people aren’t losing health care over a preexisting condition? Does it have a serious public option in place? Those are the kind of benchmarks I’ll be using. But I’m not assuming either the House and Senate bills will match up perfectly with where I want to end up. But I am going to be insisting we get something done.

    Now, I’m sure there are plenty of you who don’t care one good goddamn if this is actually what President Obama said months upon months ago, because you know that in his heart of hearts he hates Democrats/liberals/progressives/America/babies/liberty/Glee. Whatever. But the fact remains that this was the White Hosue’s strategy from the get-go. This is why they were so tepid about Harry Reid putting the opt-out PO in the Senate bill, because they were of the belief that Reid could not run the table in the Senate–And I wonder what would ever give them that impression, besides REALITY?!

    It’s not because they’re trying to give insurance companies a bail-out; it’s not because Rahmbo is pissy with Howard Dean (which I’m sure he is, but that is besides the point here). It’s because, based on their assessment of the landscape, that was the best way to get not only a bill completed, but a bill that would be both desirable and constructive. So when people keep saying “The blame lies with Harry Reid. He really fucked this process up,” this is the process that people are talking about.

  230. 230

    @Annie:
    LOL.
    Mo and Maya are the frontrunners, then, although “hey, cat” gets a shout out from a newer thread. because they’re cats and all that.

  231. 231
    Tsulagi says:

    @El Cid:

    Anyone who is loud suddenly becomes ‘far left’.

    Yeah, I like how that works.

    When leading up to and after the start of OIF when I voiced an opinion a war to produce some seasons of most excellent adventure wingnut teevee for the election cycles wasn’t good enough reason, stupid me who some had previously tagged as center-right was then told I was “far left.”

    Talk to any teabagger or stop by one of their sites like RedState, the evildoers who hate America seeking to destroy it are the “far left.”

    When candidate Obama reversed himself with a gutless capitulation on FISA, he said in part it was a stand against the “far left.”

    In recent HCR posts on this site and others, many who don’t clap louder as this legislation gets shittier are deemed “far left.” Or even just everyday liberals. Evildoers.

    Gotta hand it to the Goopers. They have the Ds well trained. The favorite go-to unreal American boogeyman is the “far left.” Now that’s bipartisanship you can build on.

  232. 232

    Here’s a guy who is equally responsible for the huge wins in 2008 whose thanks was to be thrown out into the street.

    Dean had nothing to do with 2008, or 2006 for that matter. If anythiing he might have cost the party seats because of all the money he blew on state and local parties.

  233. 233
    Elie says:

    @seeker6079:

    Its not criticism that I am reacting to — its blowing up an entire year of effort before its finished. Not sure what people think we could do after it was blown up, and how that would make everything all better, but its not about criticism which is both desired AND necessary. I want pressure from the left. Pressure, not bomb attacks. There is a difference and I dont think we are just talking about critiques anymore…what is happening is distinctly destructive and intended to be both destructive and demoralizing to our side and the efforts to get something this country needs. What? You thought it was demoralizing to the opposition? They are lapping this up, lapping up and a year of work against violent and well funded, very powerful interests with dearly won ground is being thrown down the toilet.

    AND — those of us who have the audacity to say Whoa, not the baby and the bathwater are being cast as butt kissers who just want the insurance companies to run things and who have no ideals.

  234. 234
    Jack says:

    @Jay B.:

    But “serious and mature centrists” will feel very good about themselves, blaming the reds and the hippies for decisions made by elected “serious and mature centrists.”

  235. 235

    @Shevek57:

    And Lieberman can threaten to filibuster anything he doesn’t like. The system is biased in favor of the status quo, glad you realized it.

  236. 236
    Elie says:

    @Elie:
    for some reason I was not allowed to edit my comment but I wanted to say:

    They are lapping this up and a year of work against vigorous (not violent) and well funded very powerful interests with dearly won ground is being thrown down the toilet

  237. 237
    Jay B. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    But God forbid a progressive Democrat try and leverage their 60th vote.

  238. 238
    JenJen says:

    @geg6: It is a family argument, and that’s why it’s so passionate. I think a lot of folks are glossing over the political realities of Dean’s comments because they agree with Dean, and I think there are a others who are addressing the optics of the former DNC Chair’s swipes and see horrendous politics. It’s almost as though we’re talking about two different things.

    You and I, for example, don’t see this the same way, and I don’t think for one moment that Cole is implying that anyone who agrees with Dean is an idiot. I’m just guessing here, but if Cole’s frustration is anything like mine, it doesn’t come so much from Dean’s position on the bill as it does a seeming reluctance to acknowledge the political effect this will have on the President, and, because they go together, health care reform down the road. And since Dean has already said (today, on “Morning Joe”) that he approached the President privately and still decided to go public with his relative disgust, I don’t think it’s at all egregious to criticize his politics and yes, question his motives.

    Can you see where I might agree with Dean on the substance, and still feel he has made an epic strategic blunder here?

  239. 239
    Jack says:

    @Jay B.:

    That would not be “how things work.”

    “How things work” only seems to apply to liberals and lefties when they give things up.

  240. 240
    Elie says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    But Obama should just tell the Congress what to do and they will do it! Thats how we get around that little problem you just mentioned right? He just tells them how it should be and that is that. He is just a weak technocrat with no morals, ideals, just like Tiger Woods — ya know those black men — sell outs and cheaters..

  241. 241
    seeker6079 says:

    Brien Jackson:
    Th’art shitting me, right? A massive reorganization of the party away from the convincingly, demonstrably and repeatedly failed strategy of efforts aimed only at so-called key or swing seats and towards the local-level organization which allowed the Dems to win in areas that previous DNC chairs had written off as impossible and that’s “nothing to do” with the win? A ready-made organization that the broad-based Obama campaign was able to take over as easy as driving somebody else’s luxury car, and that was nothing?

    Look, Dean got the boot because, amongst other things, Emanuel HATES him. R.E. hates him because he was proved right on the need for the party to be strong again in those state and local races. R.E. hates him because he’s an effective left/progressive voice in a party that needs the progressives to vote but is terrified, absolutely terrified, of having them have a say in policy lest the corporate owners become upset.

    BTW, how do you think that the GOP was able to easily gerrymander GOP-friendly districts for over a decade? How do you think they were able to steal so easily in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004? How do you think all these Dem-killer bogus voter-fraud bills become law? By the GOP winning state races and running state legislatures, you utter, utter fool.

  242. 242
    Nick says:

    @Shevek57: I think you have a fantasy as to what the President actually does.

  243. 243
  244. 244

    @Jay B.:

    Well they can go ahead and try, but how exactly is that going to work when there’s no one to the left of you? If Lieberman won’t vote for anything Sanders will vote for, the only place for Democrats to go is Olympia Snowe. There’s no one to the left of Sanders to make up for losing Lieberman.

  245. 245
    Da Bomb says:

    @Midnight Marauder: OMG. Thank you for reposting this.

    Booman was on that conference call. He talked about it on his site.

    I completely forgot about this.

  246. 246
    Jack says:

    @Elie:

    Interestingly enough, you introduced race and “black moral depravity” where no one else had.

    Straw man much?

  247. 247
    seeker6079 says:

    Jack at 238:
    “`How things work’ only seems to apply to liberals and lefties when they give things up.”

    This.

  248. 248
    seeker6079 says:

    ““black moral depravity”

    What the hell do you have against my pants and shirt?

  249. 249
    Elie says:

    @Jack:

    I apologize for that. It goes back to a posting last night on the Tiger Woods issue conflating with the President…

    I certainly dont want to add one more operatic theme to this mess so please accept my apology

  250. 250

    @seeker6079:

    Look, Dean got the boot because, amongst other things, Emanuel HATES him. R.E. hates him because he was proved right on the need for the party to be strong again in those state and local races. R.E. hates him because he’s an effective left/progressive voice in a party that needs the progressives to vote but is terrified, absolutely terrified, of having them have a say in policy lest the corporate owners become upset.

    Um, no. Rahm’s premise that maximum party money should go directly to candidates because broader national issues play a bigger role than local party infrastructure in Congressional races was unequivocally proven correct in 2006 and 2008. Dean’s premise that it would take a decade or more to build the party’s Congressional caucus after 2004 proved to be incredibly wrong.

  251. 251
    JenJen says:

    @Jack: Not to speak for Elie, but I think maybe it’s a reference to that atrocious Tiger Woods-President Obama column on HuffPo yesterday?

  252. 252
  253. 253
    Nick says:

    @Fulcanelli:

    Where was he last summer and this fall when the teabaggers and insurance lobby mouthpieces like Freedomworks and the sixty dozen other poo flingers trying to kill any reform at all were dominating every single news cycle, bobblehead talk show, villager columns and MSM news report

    Doing town halls in places like Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Belgrade, Montana where he outlined what he wanted in the healthcare bill and called out the media for focusing on the protestors instead of his town halls, remember “TV loves a ruckus”

    Remember how MSNBC and Fox would cut immediately to and from the town halls with the President to endless coverage of the teabaggers? Nope, didn’t think so.

    BTW where the hell were you in August?

  254. 254
    Jack says:

    @Elie:

    Fairly stated. Fairly received.

  255. 255
    Jay B. says:

    @Jack:

    Exactly. Lieberman, obviously, is the right man to lead the debate. He and Vice-Emperor Nelson. He’s the Man. He calls the shots. And thank fuck too, he’s with us on everything but the war.

    Naturally, of course, everyone gets one vote, but thankfully Lieberman’s vote is worth more than anyone else’s. That’s the deal and that’s how it all works. It’s right there in the Constitution, or Ten Commandments, or something. And since he’s obviously impervious to politics and having to compromise, we should all be glad that Harry Reid has decided to let him run the show.

  256. 256
    Jack says:

    @seeker6079:

    I confess to a general distaste for shirts and pants. I also lived in a commune for a while.

    :)

  257. 257

    @Shevek57:

    No, Reid could tell him that, but does anyone think Joe cares?

  258. 258

    @Jay B.:

    You can sneer like a jackass all you want and build all the fun strawmen you can make, but in any event you’re still missing the basic mathematical problem. There’s no one to the left of Sanders. If Lieberman won’t go along with a bill Sanders likes,

    there’s no way to make up his vote,

    because Sanders is the leftward boundary. That’s not a knock on Sanders or anyone else, it’s simply a mathematical point.

    Now, if there were 61 Democrats and Lieberman was the 61st most liberal Senator, Sanders could withhold his vote, and if Lieberman became a problem then the bill could be moved to the left to offset Lieberman with Sanders. But with only 60 Democrats, that’s not possible. The only way to offset defections is to pick up Republican votes. If Sanders doesn’t want to support the bill then whatever, but he’s running the risk that his defection will force everyone to cave further to Snowe, and move the final bill even further rightward.

  259. 259
    harlana pepper says:

    Apparently, the WH can and DOES engage and influence the Congress when it wants to, since that appears to be exactly what happened with that screaming, irrational leftie Dorgan’s amendment.

  260. 260
    Jay B. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    That’s realism for you. Naturally there are things that Reid could do, or at least threaten, to bypass Holy Joe. But that would be unseemly. There are other pressures Obama and other senators could bring to bear, but that’s just meanspirited politics. It’s better to allow Lieberman take center stage without any pushback at all.

    And I know that Obama is totally helpless. I mean when have you EVER heard of a President being able to persuade a Senator to see things a different way? To my knowledge it’s never happened.

    So I see your point. Better to lay down.

  261. 261
    Mnemosyne says:

    @stryx:

    Mnem, maybe there’s a reason for that. Just exactly how is it supposed to work?

    How about the way the right wing did it — building the party from inside for 20 years until you get enough of your people in to get what you want?

    But, no, apparently if we can’t solve the 30-year rightward swing of the Democratic Party within four years/two elections, we should just abandon ship.

    I mean, is it possible that I’m the only person here who was happy about 2008 but realized that the Democratic Party still needed to be retrofitted from top to bottom if we were going to actually change it long-term?

  262. 262

    @Jay B.:

    Naturally there are things that Reid could do, or at least threaten, to bypass Holy Joe.

    Like what?

  263. 263

    @harlana pepper:

    The Dorgan amendment was going to pass, but an as yet anonymous Senator threatened to kill the amendment closing the Medicare donut hole if it passed.

  264. 264
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shevek57:

    He can threaten to veto legislation not to his liking; he can use his bully pulpit to educate, advocate, to cajole, to exert pressure on recalcitrant fuckwads like Lieberswine, Bayh and Lincoln because he answers to the entire American populace.

    So, in other words, you wanted to continue having a unitary executive like Bush who ran things like a dictator, only from the left. Congress should have continued to exist only to rubber-stamp what the president wanted instead of being a co-equal branch of the government.

    Sorry, no. The president already has too much power as it is. I’m not going to hand him more just because he has a D after his name instead of an R. I want Congress to get up off their lazy asses and do their goddamned jobs instead of spending all of their time fundraising.

  265. 265
    Jay B. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    OK, if you need a course in power politics, I’ll bite.

    Reid and Pelosi could cook up a bill for next session entitled “The Severe Insurance Company Regulatory Act of 2010”, or they could merely refer to it. They could, perhaps, let Joe Lieberman know that in it, they’ve included a nepotism clause for anyone married to an insurance lobbyist — or even anyone who works for a lobby firm that has an insurance client — that those literally in bed with a lobbyist must, I don’t know, wear a funny hat every day the Senate is in session.

    Moreover, there will be a health insurance industry excise tax based on the new clients they took on in 2009. Or something. Who knows?

    Make it clear that next session, you’ll be going after all the industries the whore holds dear for screwing the country on reform, to say nothing of his chairmanships, etc.

    And go public with it. And drape it in the flag and say it’s in America’s best interests. And tie it to funding for Israel.

    Who the fuck cares? Are you really this obtuse to think Reid doesn’t mind what Lieberman is doing? Or that he’s helpless because of “The Math”? He’s the goddamn Majority Leader and Lieberman’s just some independent contractor.

  266. 266
    Jack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The use of the veto is not ipso facto an extension of the unitary executive.

    That’s like arguing that the use of a knife under any circumstances is bad, because some guy used one once to kill his wife.

  267. 267

    Reid and Pelosi could cook up a bill for next session entitled “The Severe Insurance Company Regulatory Act of 2010”, or they could merely refer to it. They could, perhaps, let Joe Lieberman know that in it, they’ve included a nepotism clause for anyone married to an insurance lobbyist—or even anyone who works for a lobby firm that has an insurance client—that those literally in bed with a lobbyist must, I don’t know, wear a funny hat every day the Senate is in session.

    And he can, um, vote against it.

  268. 268

    He’s the goddamn Majority Leader and Lieberman’s just some independent contractor.

    And again, we get at the fundamental problem: people just don’t understand how Congress works. To wit, being Majority Leader lets you set the agenda. That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t give you any more disproportionate power than anyone else.

  269. 269
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This — Absolutely!!!! No short cuts. No lazy. Work it from the bottom

  270. 270
    Jack says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Neglecting that not all pressure comes from within Congress.

  271. 271
    Jay B. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Right. Because, again, his is the only vote that matters. There are no other Senate Democrats who exist.

    Look, if you like what we’ve seen of this bill, just admit it, but to think that Harry Reid and Obama’s hands are tied because Joe Lieberman threatens a filibuster is really a case of giving up. Strom Thurmond actually filibustered and they still passed Civil Rights.

  272. 272
    Jay B. says:

    To wit, being Majority Leader lets you set the agenda. That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t give you any more disproportionate power than anyone else

    .

    Self-refuting in three sentences.

  273. 273
    Martin says:

    She has decided she will take the fines. Whatever the fine ends up being, it will surely cost her less than being forced into a costly, high deductible, so-called “silver” plan that hands 30% of her premium to insurance executives and Wall Street and gets her none of the care she needs because of her pre-existing conditions. And she will continue to not get any kind of health care.

    And are we boycotting the other ‘30%’ that goes to care provider executives and ‘30%’ that goes to pharmaceutical executives as well? My god, how do doctors ever get paid with 90% of everyone’s money going to executives!

    Sorry, but 30% is complete bullshit. We spend $2.4T on healthcare and insurance executives aren’t carving up $720B. Hell, the total overhead of insurance in this country is around 1/4 of that. Yeah, it’s too much, but let’s not pretend that every other person in the health care chain isn’t also turning profits and getting bonuses. Most cardiologists and anesthesiologists earn half a million dollars per year, yet most people don’t work very hard to not have to visit them, and I don’t see anyone complaining about their salary.

    And I love that the people saying how bad this bill is are the very people complaining that they don’t know what’s in the bill. Honestly, we get the governance we deserve. If people would calm the fuck down and wait to see how this all plays out, they’d be okay with it.

  274. 274

    @Jay B.:

    To the left of Bernie Sanders? You’re right, there’s no one like that in the Senate.

  275. 275
    Elie says:

    @JenJen:

    thanks for getting my back though…:-)

  276. 276
    Elie says:

    @Martin:

    Martin:

    My husband brought up something that I had forgotten when I spoke about this huge issue on the blogs

    We tend to think of the Left and Left progressive or liberal. These days, some of the left have strong libertarian streaks as well. Hence balled up in this is the discussion about cost and mandates – like dont want anyone telling me what to do and it costs too much too.

    Not saying this relates exactly to Geg6’s point of view, but it is definitely out here and one of the complex issues flowing underneath just the left/left progressive thing

  277. 277
    seeker6079 says:

    I’ve yet, ever, to see a convincing reason as to why the 50+1 which suited the GOP so well for 8 years isn’t good enough for the Dems.

    I mean, I know the answer: the GOP has senators that would filibuster their own stay of execution if the party wanted it and the Dems have senators who would vote for the attainder and exile of every one of their own voters.

    But, like most people of the left, I’d like to see the Dems at least TRY.

  278. 278

    @seeker6079:

    Because we’re not doing the same things.

  279. 279
    seeker6079 says:

    Meaning, what, exactly, Brien?

  280. 280
    Shevek57 says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1488467

    So, in other words, you wanted to continue having a unitary executive like Bush who ran things like a dictator, only from the left. Congress should have continued to exist only to rubber-stamp what the president wanted instead of being a co-equal branch of the government.

    Wow! Is that what I wrote? Impressive exegesis of my little posting. Have you always been able to read minds?

    But please, humor me. Here’s a little exercise: cast your memory back to, oh, let’s say the year 2008. Try to find some of the issues candidate Obama campaigned on . . . er . . . um, like health care reform for instance. See if you can create a concise picture for me of what Obama talked about then and how the current Senate bill comports to Obama’s vision. Then, if you would be so kind, list for me the steps Obama has taken this year, utilizing the tools and/or political power at his disposal, to insure at least one of the significant aspects of his vision of HCR in 2008 would become manifest in law in 2009/2010.

    Here, I’ll help you get started (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded). I breathlessly await your scholarship.

  281. 281
    mai naem says:

    Unless this changed today, Sanders didn’t threaten to filibuster the bill. He said he wouldn’t vote for the bill. Lieberhole OTOH….
    As far as Dean criticizing Obama – I heard him on Bill Press this AM. He said(and I believe him) that he’s been communicating with the WH and Congress about where’s he’s at on what was being surprised so this should have been no surprise to any of the pols Lieberhole OTOH…….
    Dean gets called crazy by the WH. Lieberhole OTOH gets a call from Obama praising him for his cooperation etc.
    There is something unseemly kissing Lieberhole’s ass during the Hannukah celebration at the WH last night when he’s had a big hand in destroying decent HCR. I wasn’t expecting single payer but don’t expect people to kiss your ass when you don’t even throw them a bone. They even have the selling insurance across state lines in the bill. WTF? So now not only do we not get the opt out public option we get the shitty states like Texas decide what will be available in the blue states. I bet Obama has no fucking clue what’s in the proposed bill.

  282. 282
    Paula says:

    Say, can someone tell me how to link back to a specific post. Sorry for being dim. I’m on a mac, so I don’t know if that matters…

  283. 283
    Jack says:

    @Paula:

    There’s a curved arrow in the top right corner, adjacent to the time stamp. That creates the @ link in your reply…

  284. 284
    PanAmerican says:

    Date and time is the external url link Paula, the arrow is the reply button to an in-thread post.

  285. 285
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @mai naem:

    I bet Obama has no fucking clue what’s in the proposed bill.

    Yep. That totally sounds believable and realistic. Some nice shootin’ there, Lou.

  286. 286

    […] that the comments from Howard Dean that I labeled unadulterated idocy and that completely got my knickers in a full twist- he never made […]

  287. 287
    Shalimar says:

    @Brien Jackson: Since the conventional wisdom is the exact opposite of what you’re saying, I don’t think your statement is as “unequivocal” as you seem to believe. And no one is ever going to believe it after 2012, because Democrats will have done crappy in elections both before Dean took over the party and after Obama replaced him with a part-timer and tore down the organization he built.

  288. 288
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    The Senate’s shit-sandwich-in-the-making (and, trust me, before they’re done with it there won’t even be any pickles on it, but it will have a double-shit-patty) makes me just want to get bitter and cling to guns and religion.

  289. 289
    Brien Jackson says:

    @Shalimar:

    Conventional wisdom says otherwise because it’s based on a faulty narrative. The common view of the Rahm-Dean split holds that Dean wanted to run candidates in every election, support them, and so on while Rahm wanted to focus on swing districts and pursue the “50+1 strategy.” That’s completely and totally false. Rahm was the guy who wanted to run candidates in every district, and find right leaning candidates to run in conservative districts. What Dean argued when he came to the chair was that the national party couldn’t win without building from the local level up, that you had to have effective state and local parties before the national Democratic party could be effective again, and he started taking DNC money and giving it to state and local parties. This pissed Rahm off to no end, because he wanted the money to go directly to candidates. Rahm’s theory was that national elections, at least in this day in age, turn on people’s opinions on national issues, and that when public opinion turned against Republicans the worm would turn in elections too.

    Whatever the merits of Dean’s approach to building local parties, there’s simply no way to argue that Rahm wasn’t right about 2006 and 2008, by the simple virtue that Democrats won landslides when Howard Dean would have had you believe they were hopeless. Voters voted for Democrats because they hated Republicans, not because the Bumfuck County Democratic Party was suddenly awesome sauce.

  290. 290
    seeker6079 says:

    Brien:
    You do see the absurdity of your positions, when taken together, don’t you?
    Re HRC and what can be done to push the bill through or not: conventional wisdom governs.
    Re Dean and Emanuel: conventional wisdom can’t be trusted because it’s based on a faulty narrative.

    Just one final point. Even if Emanuel picks wonderful candidates for each and every seat it won’t matter worth shit if Dem voter registrations is blocked, the districts gerrymandered, their votes rejected on BS grounds upheld by GOP state secretaries of state or, equally bad, unable to vote at all because there’s triple the machines in GOP precincts with half the voters.

    It’s cheating like that which is done at state and local levels, it’s things like that that the GOP have done brilliantly to date and won where they should have lost, it’s things like that which Dean sought to prevent, and it’s things like that which you sneeringly write off as the problems of Bumfuck County.

    And I would note also that a great deal of the current problems in party unity and party discipline and are traceable to what you admit to: that R.E. ran DINOs.

  291. 291
    fauxpopuli says:

    Wow, getting pretty thin-skinned over this aren’t we Cole? Oh man, Dean said he still supports Obama, but not wholeheartedly. What an unhinged lunatic. Clearly the best way to indicate his displeasure with the President in general / HCR in specific would be unfailing loyalty and devotion. The Senate bill is going to come up regardless of how narrowly you want to define the conversation, you’re not really saying you think Dean’s opinion of Obama is completely separate from the HCR issue do you? If not then it’s all part of the same conversation.

    It’s convenient for you to construe anyone withholding support for a politician they’re upset with as “poutrage” and the like, since it ties into the narrative you’re working with. If you can offer a better suggestion on how to get results for my vote then I’m all ears, but I’m not particularly confident in the effectiveness of the “give ’em your vote anyway and hope for the best” technique.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] that the comments from Howard Dean that I labeled unadulterated idocy and that completely got my knickers in a full twist- he never made […]

  2. […] of some of the discussions revealing this split and indicating how hard it can be to fix, check out something John Cole wrote and the comments. Cole’s post typifies one side, who just does not really understand Dean’s anger and […]

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