This Will End Well

Jane Hamsher:

But in the very next breath, they will then promote statistics that say the tea parties are more popular than either the Democratic or the Republican party, and wonder if it’s an opportune time for a third party candidate. (From the “right,” of course, because who would take the “left” seriously.) At no time do the synapses firing in their brains make the connection that both the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

Really? Progressive bloggers are saying the same thing as the tea party activists? I really fucking missed out on all of the posts at Eschaton that Obama is a socialist. I haven’t seen Markos in his tree of liberty t-shirt yet. There is no telling what David Sirota might do or say, so I’ll give you that one.

Dean/Palin 2012. Good luck with that. We’re all teabaggers now.






294 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    Things are worse than I thought.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    calling all toasters says:

    Better make it Palin/Dean 2012. No one has ever won the Presidency without PUMA support.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    Here’s what I don’t get…

    Forget it, I don’t get any of this.

  5. 5
    flukebucket says:

    Dean/Palin 2012. Good luck with that.

    Hear, hear My Good Man!

  6. 6

    Well it’s nice for her to falsify my belief that the left/right axis is actually circle, where if you go too far to either extreme you end up all grouped together in the Fucking Crazy Nutjob bin.

  7. 7
    taylormattd says:

    Jane Hamsher has always been a quasi-PUMA, so it’s not really a surprise to see her headed down this stupid path.

  8. 8
    Jennifer says:

    Why is it whenever I see her name on this blog, my mind leaps to “Jane, you ignorant slut?”

    Someone tell Jane the gauntlet has been thrown. I’m going for popcorn and a Coke.

    What all of us need right now is some good old fashioned catharsis.

  9. 9
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I hear there is a cool cheerleading video of Jane, out there, somewhere.

    Hey Cole, what about your idea for turning this blog into a food and pet one? You got my support. If what we have now keeps up for another 3 to 8 years.

    I have a stunning Baked Tator recipe.

  10. 10
    jeffreyw says:

    Hey! It’s my birthday today. Damn near forgot because I was havin such a good time.

  11. 11
    John Sears says:

    I like the basic idea, if not the language.

    The teabaggers are tools. You use tools to get what you want done.

    Simple.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    I know I’m an outlier here at BJ but I’m very fond of Jane Hamsher and really admire her work on a variety of things. I think her point is that there is a populist backlash against bad government/corporate linkages. On the right, that backlash includes teabagger/racist/militia/lunatics and on the left it includes about three people who are really on the left and a whole lot of progressives who are only nominally on the left. I mean, we really don’t have a left left left in this country, if you are talking a real left. But even the moderately liberal/progressive types who voted for Obama and worked for Obama are unhappy. One of the reasons we are unhappy is that we feel that there is a natural populist rage out there to be harnessed:

    against the bankers in order to get better regulation
    against the insurance companies in order to get better health care (not insurance) reform
    against wall street to get a better bailout of main street

    is all being dissipated and, basically, ignored. This is going to be a problem *electorally* for Obama and the Dems and because the Democrats are my party that’s a problem for me.

    aimai

  13. 13
    Incertus says:

    both the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

    So Hamsher is going for the “stupidest fucking thing ever said on the internets” award, I guess, and she’s rolling hard for it.

    Jane, I’ve got friends from high school who are tea party activists, and I promise you, they’re not saying anything like what we’re saying.

  14. 14
    jeffreyw says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I’m with the general. Politics sucks alligator ass. Look! A squirrel!

  15. 15
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Happy birthday dude, hope you’re getting younger like me.

    saved again my edit. all is not lost

  16. 16
    Col. Klink says:

    Well, they are both saying kill the bill. In that sense Left and Right are at least as united as they were in say, Europe in 1939. Maybe a Palin-Hamsher Pact will seal an everlasting peace between these two rivals?

  17. 17
    Midnight Marauder says:

    There is, and never has, been anything serious about this woman.

    Edit: Speaking of things ending well, I hope we get another Jane Hamshers of The Left thread out of this week’s brouhaha. I think that’s the only thing missing from making everybody here go all Jamestown

  18. 18

    @General Winfield Stuck: It was a videogame and pet blog, but I’m totally down with adding in food. Shit, I just made Coolio’s Fork Steak last night… I could totally review his cookbook for the new format.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    @aimai: So she is suggesting to team with the brainchild of Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks to… go after undue corporate influence?

    Really?

    And liking Jane Hamsher has nothing to do with it. I like Jane Hamsher, too.

    This is just insane.

  20. 20
    GeneJockey says:

    Well, if you limit it to a three word sentence, then it IS the same thing:

    ‘Kill the bill!’

    The fact that one group wants government run single-payer, while the other wants no government involvement in healthcare AT ALL – that’s just a minor detail, apparently.

  21. 21
    cfaller96 says:

    (Sigh), and this is where I hit the wall and can’t stick with liberals. I agree with Jane on a boatload of stuff, but my God she has the unfailing ability to go Just.Too.Far. I think that’s her role, to be the bomb-thrower that everyone can move away from.

    I will say though, that she’s right about this:

    With unemployment at 10%, the idea that you can pass a bill whose only merit is that “liberals hate it” just because the media will eat it up and print your talking points in the process is so cynical and short-sighted it’s hard to comprehend anyone would pursue it. It reflects a total insensitivity to the rage that is brewing on the popular front, which is manifest in every single poll out there.

    We’ve seen before that attacking the left is not a sustainable strategy. Eventually, the left just gets tired and goes away. Bad things happen when you demoralize the left, I don’t know why this is so hard for some people to accept.

  22. 22
    Dreggas says:

    Earth to Jane, the enemy of my enemy is not really my friend.

    Good lord that is just dumb. It’s PUMA to the tenth power.

  23. 23
    Dreggas says:

    @John Cole:

    No shit, the idea that the Tea Partier’s are somehow grass-roots has been debunked so many times it’s not funny.

  24. 24
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    We’ve seen before that attacking the left is not a sustainable

    Golly gee willikers,. Whatever gave you that idea. Bows to FSM.

  25. 25
    dr. bloor says:

    @Jennifer:

    Why is it whenever I see her name on this blog, my mind leaps to “Jane, you ignorant slut?”

    What a coincidence, I think of this guy whenever anyone mentions Joe Lieberman.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    I like Hamsher fine in general. I just think this is nuts.

    We all say nuts things sometimes. Luckily, most of us don’t have columns in the HuffPost.

  27. 27
    James Gary says:

    FYI: Hamsher’s post seems to be a clumsy restatement of Glenn Greenwald’s post this morning that “corporate/anti-corporate” is a more significant divide now than “right/left:”

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

    Greenwald’s post makes sense to me and I basically agree with him, even if Hamsher seems to have made something of a hash of the basic idea.

  28. 28
    Morbo says:

    @J.W. Hamner: I have a very similar belief, except that it’s Theta shaped. Pretty much all elected officials lie along the center line with the two branches meeting at anarchism and libertarianism, communism and fascism. I would try make ascii art to demonstrate, but hopefully you get the jist.

    Of course you’re right though; on my spectrum I have no idea how Hamsher is getting from point A to point B. Not in any way that makes sense.

  29. 29
    flavortext says:

    Well you see, one group thinks that the lack of government involvement in our healthcare system is an evil that needlessly kills thousands of people each year, and the other thinks that increasing the involvement of our government into our healthcare system is an evil that will needlessly kill thousands of people each year. It’s practically the same thing!

  30. 30
    ding says:

    as Jane says:

    the only difference is in the messaging.

    Kill the Bill!

  31. 31
    Annie says:

    As a lazy progressive blogger, I would argue strongly that we are not saying the same thing as the tea baggers. I don’t remember any “Obama is Hitler, the anti-Christ, Stalin, Mao, death camps, etc.” posts in the progressive blogosphere.

    But, again, this raises a point that I have raised over the last two days. Are progressives so invisible in the debate, that people don’t even know where we stand? Exactly what impact have we had? If those for HCR were more visible — at town hall meetings, at rallys, in the news, etc., would the administration and Democratic Senators be in a better position to tell Nelson and Lieberman to STFU, and scare Republicans, who believe that they have 2010 in the bag?

    Tea baggers have been highly visible — at rallys, on the evening news, on wingnut sites, etc. Those for HCR have not had the same visibility — hence, someone writes that we are all saying the same thing.

    Again, progressives are great at debating policy and understanding the public good. But we stink at politics.

  32. 32
    Folderol and Ephemera says:

    If this is how the class war actually begins, I want no part of it.

  33. 33
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    . I like Jane Hamsher, too.

    Same here, just like the crazy Aunt who lives in the attic.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole:

    And liking Jane Hamsher has nothing to do with it. I like Jane Hamsher, too.

    Wait. Just the one Jane Hamsher? Or all the Jane Hamshers of the left?

  35. 35
    Malron says:

    Dean/Palin 2012. Good luck with that. We’re all teabaggers now.

    Sigh.

    Howard Dean is perfectly positioned to primary Obama in 2012.

  36. 36
    John Cole says:

    They are in no way shape or form saying the same damned thing. Teabaggers have been running around screaming “SAY NO TO SOCIALISM” and “KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE.”

    The progressive left, up until I read this column, was pissed because there was not enough in the way of government in the HCR.

    It doesn’t even pass a superficial analysis.

  37. 37
    jeffreyw says:

    I’m not a huge Jane Hamsher fan, and just a few days ago I deleted FDL from my bookmarks. I do have to point out that she is not saying what many here are saying she said. She qualifies the comparison:

    the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

    -my bold

  38. 38
    Rick Taylor says:

    O.O
    Wow, that is crazy.
    __
    Yeah, those tea baggers are just like progressives, they love the public option and are outraged it was taken out. Hoooo boy!

  39. 39
    Citizen Alan says:

    @cfaller96:

    We’ve seen before that attacking the left is not a sustainable strategy. Eventually, the left just gets tired and goes away. Bad things happen when you demoralize the left, I don’t know why this is so hard for some people to accept.

    Amen. Speaking as someone who would like to see the bill in its present form killed, I do understand that others on the left see differently and are very passionate on the subject. That said, I find it very frustrating that the entire liberal critique of this profoundly flawed bill (which still has the potential to get much, much worse) can be safely dismissed just because Jane Hamsher says something foolish.

    I interpreted her remarks to mean that the bill should be killed because it will be hugely unpopular on both the left and the right, not that the left and the right necessarily think it should be killed for the same reasons. If I’m wrong about that then Jane has apparently gone mad, but I don’t think I am. Regardless, the status of Jane’s mental faculties does not change my own personal feelings about the current Senate bill.

  40. 40
    SGEW says:

    With all the opprobrium being thrown at FDL, let us not forget that Attackerman blogs there as well; no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, as it were.

  41. 41
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Malron:

    Wash your mouth with soap. Don’t you know this is all just a master plan by fake DFH’s to help influence a better HCR bill.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    @Malron: I see you that and raised you Aravosis:

    I didn’t ask the question first. But, the last time Kennedy had to deal with a Democratic president who was weak, he challenged him in a primary.

  43. 43
    Eljai says:

    I noticed that a lot of the corporate media’s coverage of the teabaggers mentions that they are against Wall Street and the banks and high taxes, but leaves out any mention that they are also batshit crazy with a tenuous grasp on reality. In Jane’s defense, there is both populist rage on the right and on the left, and Jane is pointing out that the news media is only focusing on the populists on the right.

    Incidentally, I was listening to Thom Hartmann last week and he suggested that progressives start turning up at teabagger events and try to get them to see that it’s corporate greed that’s the cause of their problems or something like that, so they don’t co-opt the populist message from the left. He may have a point, but I’m too scared to try it on my own.

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    Back away from the HCR posts. If needed, I’m sure the pharmaceuticals can sell you a way overpriced chill pill.

    BTW, if anyone is in the mood for an uplifting, feel-good movie this weekend, go see The Blind Side. Great movie. The story of Michael Oher who plays right tackle for the Ravens. I loved it, kids loved it, in fact my daughter wants to watch the Ravens play this Sunday so she can cheer Michael on.

  45. 45
    southpaw says:

    There was a point at which Americans and Soviets were saying the exact same thing vis-a-vis Mussolini. Still many a huge difference between the Americans and the Soviets, but they shared the same objection to Mussolini . . .

  46. 46
    Rick Taylor says:

    John, you might want to add that video to the top, it really makes the point. And be sure to watch it to the end.

  47. 47
    John Cole says:

    @jeffreyw: They aren’t saying anything even remotely close. It doesn’t matter how much you qualify it, they aren’t even close to the same message other than “KILL THE BILL.”

    It is ridiculous on its face to even suggest that.

  48. 48
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    We’re all teabaggers now.

    If we’re all teabaggers, then there’s only one thing to do: Enact widespread murder-suicide pacts.

  49. 49
    dr. bloor says:

    @Annie:

    But, again, this raises a point that I have raised over the last two days. Are progressives so invisible in the debate, that people don’t even know where we stand? Exactly what impact have we had? If those for HCR were more visible—at town hall meetings, at rallys, in the news, etc., would the administration and Democratic Senators be in a better position to tell Nelson and Lieberman to STFU, and scare Republicans, who believe that they have 2010 in the bag?

    Tea baggers have been highly visible—at rallys, on the evening news, on wingnut sites, etc. Those for HCR have not had the same visibility—hence, someone writes that we are all saying the same thing.

    Again, progressives are great at debating policy and understanding the public good. But we stink at politics.

    The last time a few million of us–real millions, not using the Teabagger Conversion Standard (r)–went wandering in the streets to protest our regularly scheduled war, we were called a “focus group.”

  50. 50
    Morbo says:

    @John Cole: I wonder if he had fun on PJTV…

  51. 51
    Max says:

    So, I am wondering about these “progressive sites”. Honestly, I cruise the front pages and comments and it seems to me that the daily model goes something like this…

    Post #1 – Obama needs to do XXXXX.

    Post #2 (30 minutes later) – See Glenn who also says Obama needs to XXXX or he’s an abject failure.

    Post #3 (15 minutes later) – The “Village” is in the tank for Obama and Rahm is evil.

    Post #4 (20 minutes later) – Well, Obama didn’t do what I told him to do, so he’s a pussy and Hillary would have been better.

    And then, they have about 30 unique posters who comment the same crap in the comments and it’s always… “told you so” “Obama is a fraud” “buyers remorse” “I’m sitting on my ass in 2010”, etc.

    My question is… where do sites like FDL, Talk Left, Open Left (jesus do I loathe Sirota), Taylor March, and AmericaBlog rank in traffic to BJ? We seem to have a lot more unique commenters and it seems to me that the above sites have a small group that just repeats the same hysterics, post after post.

  52. 52
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    Not on the HC bill, but I have read more than one comment from the “real DFH” crowd that the teabaggers are with them on the banking bailouts.

  53. 53
    Dreggas says:

    @John Cole:

    Jesus Christ, not even a full year in and now the left wants to primary the guy they elected. Unfuckingbelievable.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Jane is just trying to move the fucking overton window a little in the other direction.

    I say we find her and smash her into tiny little pieces. What time works for you statusquotians?

  56. 56
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole: Glenn Beck jumped on the “Oh noes! Not corporate bailouts!” train when Obama started administering the TARP. And I’m sure corporate cronyism gets slipped into his random acronyms every now and again.

    That said, one reason the Tea Party Movement has the confused and meandering following that it does, stems from the fact that it is – in name at least – populist and anti-corporate. The wingnut heroes running the show want you to believe that Sarah Palin is a woman of the people, while Dennis Kuccinich is the ultimate corporate tool. But they’re drawing on populist anger.

    Same thing with the Ron Paul Revolution. This was the result of anti-corporate anger getting channeled by the libertarian right wing. The same DFHs protesting against Halliburton and Goldman Sachs would find common cause with these folks.

    And that is, ultimately, the problem with our current entrenched party system. It’s successfully divided the anti-corporate groundswell into anti-corporate Republicans and anti-corporate Democrats, and then pitted the two against each other on the old ideological lines.

  57. 57
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    How many votes does it take to throw Nebraska out of the Union? Wouldn’t that be funny as hell?

  58. 58
    Malron says:

    @John Cole: Come to think of it I did see that Aravosis post before. Its sad how he completely ignored to point Yglesias made in order to throw out an even worse idea. When Kennedy primaried Carter it destroyed party unity and we ended up with Reagan. 30 years later we’re still trying to clean up after that guy.

  59. 59
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Zifnab:

    The teabaggers have only one gear. Everything Obama does or wants to do, they are against. No exceptions. They are all about hating Obama. And know nothing else. literally.

  60. 60
    jeffreyw says:

    @John Cole:

    It is ridiculous on its face to even suggest that.

    Are they (the left and the right) saying the exact thing at every fucking utterance? Fuck no, but they are saying it’s a bad bill, and the country would be better off not to have it pass. As alluded to above in several comments, the rationales that lead both sides to the same conclusion are wildly divergent. Nowhere can you find Hamsher agreeing with the reasoning of the right.

  61. 61
    Rick Taylor says:

    That said, one reason the Tea Party Movement has the confused and meandering following that it does, stems from the fact that it is – in name at least – populist and anti-corporate.

    __
    Anti-corporate? I’ve never seen an anti-corporate aspect to the tea-bagger movement. It’s one of the things that’s baffled me, that in an age where the rich have so royally hosed us that there isn’t much of a populist uprising against them. I can only guess that people like Beck and Rush are adept at channeling all that outrage against Acorn. It boggles my mind, but that seems to be how things are.

  62. 62
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Malron:

    Howard Dean is perfectly positioned to primary Obama in 2012.

    You say that mockingly, but I think it’s truer than you know.

    I don’t think Dean will mount a primary challenge to Obama in 2012. If he does, I don’t think he will be successful. But if the Obama administration conducts itself over the next three years as it has in 2009, I will support a Dean insurgency candidacy to the best of my ability. Because Obama and his cronies need to understand one important thing about politics: You dance with the ones who brought you.

    And no, I am not saying that progressives should own Obama because we are solely responsible for his presidency. Obama won with a broad coalition and he was always going to be a centrist.

    But no one voted for Obama because they wanted a massive bailout for Wall Street. No one voted for Obama because they wanted Bush era war criminals to be shielded from even the slightest accountability. No one voted for Obama because they wanted a continuation of anti-gay policies orchestrated out of the White House. No one voted for Obama because they wanted to see progressives in the Administration outnumbered by former Goldman Sachs officials. And absolutely no one voted for Obama in the hopes that he would pass a universal mandate to buy shitty useless insurance policies from unregulated monopoly companies.

    As I said, you dance with the ones who brought you.

    Or you get ready to go home.

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You know what- I’ve noticed that all the people who falsely claim that I have stated Obama is playing 11 dimensional chess have spent a lot of time the past few days defending the bizarre antics of some progressives invoking a similar level of mysterious chessplay.

    How bout you sophisticated insiders tell us the next time you state the teabaggers believe in almost the same thing as the progressive wing that you are actually just bullshitting and just trying to move the overton window to the left.

    Or the next time you chant “KILL THE BILL AND START OVER” you are just trying to exert pressure to move it to the left.

    Because for us sane people who aren’t as sophisticated as all you internet activists, it looks like you are nuts and making bullshit post hoc excuses for stupid and self-defeating behavior.

    But by all means, join hand in hands with Matt Kibbe and Freedom Works. No doubt that will get better progressive policies enacted.

    I know, I know. I’m a dumb West Virginian and I voted for Bush.

  64. 64
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Well, they are both saying kill the bill. In that sense Left and Right are at least as united as they were in say, Europe in 1939. Maybe a Palin-Hamsher Pact will seal an everlasting peace between these two rivals?

    Look, if there’s one thing the left and the far right can agree on, it’s the need to defeat the social fascists in the SPD.

  65. 65
    D-Chance. says:

    At no time do the synapses firing in their brains make the connection that both the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

    Crazy knows crazy.

    Dean/Palin 2012. Good luck with that. We’re all teabaggers now.

    Not only is there no difference between the two parties, there’s no difference between the two extremes of said parties.

    As I’ve noted time and again… we’re all fucked.

  66. 66
    Dreggas says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Beck and Limbaugh know that if they really got everyone riled up to go after the rich their heads would be on pikes eventually.

  67. 67
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Dreggas
    Oh I certainly understand their motive. I just marvel at their success.

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    @John Cole:

    Actually, they’re both saying it’s a bad bill. The left is so fucking weak at staying calm and articulating what they actually like about it, that it seems they’re saying the same thing.

    Seriously, how many of us have taken the time to say ‘this is good’ in the health care proposals? To read through the 87 HCR threads of the last few days, you’d be hard pressed to not assume that every single provision in the bill is viewed as a huge clusterfuck from this community – that it’s shit from a to z.

    Bottom line, the left is really fucking bad at rallying around positive elements of legislation. It’s always ‘this doesn’t go far enough’, or ‘why should some CEO profit from this’. It’s never, ever good enough. Single payer would ultimately get shredded from the left because some suppository CEO didn’t lose his RV as part of the deal and we didn’t make ribbed condoms free to all.

    The reason the right is better able to do this is that they are willing to win each battle, figuring that what was left behind will get covered in the next battle. The left doesn’t do that. Look at progressive legislation – it’s massive stuff. Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights. By comparison, the right just keeps chipping away, happy with each small victory. The left is all-or-nothing, and they’re getting nothing. And the right knows this, and it’s easy to sabotage as a result.

  69. 69
    Sloegin says:

    There’s crazy people to the left of me, and crazy people to the right of me. I’m exactly where all the reasonable people should be in the political spectrum.

    /snark.

    … Still pissed off about where the HCR is heading, but heavy liquid sedation over the weekend should take some of the edge off.

  70. 70
    Jennifer says:

    “I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center.”

    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

  71. 71
    Rick Taylor says:

    At no time do the synapses firing in their brains make the connection that both the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

    __
    No they are not. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation, this is nuts.
    __
    You know Hitler was a vegetarian? Many seventh day adventists are vegetarian. Now they come to this position for wildly divergent reasons but you have to admit. . . .

  72. 72
    Malron says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    But no one voted for Obama because they wanted a massive bailout for Wall Street. No one voted for Obama because they wanted Bush era war criminals to be shielded from even the slightest accountability. No one voted for Obama because they wanted a continuation of anti-gay policies orchestrated out of the White House. No one voted for Obama because they wanted to see progressives in the Administration outnumbered by former Goldman Sachs officials. And absolutely no one voted for Obama in the hopes that he would pass a universal mandate to by shitty useless insurance policies from unregulated monopoly companies.

    Of course not. We voted for Obama because of our deeply held conviction that he’d solve all the problems Bush left him with in 6 days and then rest on the seventh. And since he’s weeks past your expiration date you’re already trying to field candidates to replace him. We got that. But, that says more about you than it does about him.

  73. 73
    Zifnab says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I don’t know. If you assume that, then you’re assuming the entire tea bagging movement is a reaction to the Obama Presidency. But the tea baggers – officially – aren’t too fond of the Republicans either. They’re more just anti-everything.

    And I think the roots of the tea party backlash are in all the ex-Bush Republicans who feel betrayed by their party, but are too hateful of the DFHs to switch to Democrat. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need to be their own party. They’d just be very angry Republicans.

  74. 74
    Paula says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    I recently had a “debate” with a man who watches FOX, listens to Rush, etc. Our one area of agreement: corporations have too much power/influence on our government.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Zifnab says:

    @Malron: *Yawn* Yes, yes. Magical Unity Pony.

    If Obama is disappointing the base, it must be that he’s not magical enough to our tastes. Certainly, it has nothing to do with him being a politician shepherding political capital or a political moderate who isn’t interested in making waves. :-p

  77. 77
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: First, I never accused you of saying shit, Box ‘O Rocks. Second, while I still think we can pass a good strong bill with all the good stuff we need to reform health care, I understand the anger on the left. It’s been one fucking capitulation after another. How does a McCain presidency look different than what we’ve gotten so far from Obama?

    Third, yeah teabaggers suck. They are just as dumb and obdurate as you. But they had enough of the Republican party and broke from Republicans and are causing a lot of mayhem for Republicans as we speak.

    And the same fucking thing is going to happen again on the left. It already happened once. Keep jacking them up at your own peril, douchebag.

  78. 78
    Malron says:

    @Sloegin: Clowns to the left of me
    Jokers to the right
    Here I am
    Stuck in the middle with you

  79. 79
    Kryptik says:

    …no, no, no, no no….

    I knew there would be idiots who would be conflating Dean and the teabaggers about opposition to the bill.

    I didn’t fucking think it’d be coming from Jane Hamsher of all people. Good grief.

    I half agree with her point, but she steps on a huge fucking landmine that I would’ve thought would be obvious not to step on for someone wanting to push against the bill from the left. Trying to conflate the tea baggers and the…ahem…”Manic Progressives” as in concert against the bill, as a reason to actually LISTEN to the “Manic Progressives” is totally counterproductive and gives people even LESS incentive to listen from the left. No one from the right takes the left seriously to begin with, and those stuck in the center who are already sick of the tea baggers aren’t going to listen form the left if they’re being told they’re the same, especially by those coming from the left-wing.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

  80. 80
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Paula
    Well that’s something, I hope there is more of that out there. I recently visited a very conservative web-site, and when I ventured the opinion that bankers had really screwed the economy over, I was quickly informed it was the government forcing innocent banks to give loans to poor minorities for houses they couldn’t afford that had brought down the world economy.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    No they are not. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation, this is nuts.

    The liberals (I refuse to interchange liberal and progressive) aren’t calling for the bill to be killed just as the teabaggers are? Kos did.

    They’re looking for different ends, but it doesn’t matter if they are aligned on the bill. The bill cannot stand up to pressure from both the left and the right.

    HCR was possible. Still is. But the left needs to show up and give constructive, realistic guidance. ‘Shit sandwich’ is far from constructive.

  82. 82
    Malron says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Teabagger envy. Brilliant.

  83. 83
    taylormattd says:

    @Max: I don’t know about the traffic thing, but everything else you write is entirely correct.

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    @Paula: Is he a single-payer supporter? Regulation? If not, he’s full of shit.

    Don’t bother asking. He’s full of shit.

  85. 85

    @Citizen Alan:
    I am perfectly fine with a challenge from Obama’s left in the 2012 primary, be it Howard Dean or whoever. In fact, I would be deeply disappointed if there wasn’t one. What scares me is the idea of 3rd party challenge… which are the thoughts Hamsher’s post evokes in my mind… because I remember 2000.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    I can’t believe y’all have gotten to comment 81 and no one has even CONSIDERED a “strange bedfellows” joke.

  87. 87
    taylormattd says:

    @Dreggas: Folks have to remember, “these folks” did not help him get elected. Most of them hated his guts from the beginning, and were in the bag for Edwards, or, in Hamsher’s case, for Hillary. It is completely and utterly unsurprising that they are trashing the shit out of him. To them, every move he makes is additional evidence of “centrist” perfidy.

  88. 88
    Toast says:

    Hamsher and the rest of the Doctrinaire Left are making me ill.

  89. 89
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Malron:

    When Kennedy primaried Carter it destroyed party unity and we ended up with Reagan. 30 years later we’re still trying to clean up after that guy.

    There’s a little more to it than that. For instance, there was a little thing called the Iran Hostage Crisis which made the leader of the free world look like an impotent, vacillating wimp. For a comparison, imagine Bush responding to 9/11 by spending well over a year negotiating fruitlessly with the Taliban for them to surrender bin Laden, before finally sending in a few choppers to try and capture him, only for the mission to be an embarrassing fiasco.

    There’s also the fact that Ted, in kind of a dick move (God rest his soul), refused to concede the primary until the night the convention started, in the hopes that some bit of delegate weirdness would allow him to snatch the nomination from Carter at the last minute. Just imagine the howling if Hillary Clinton had done that last year.

    Long story short, I don’t think a primary necessarily is bad for an incumbent president. Not nearly as bad the idea that a sitting President is entitled to such fealty from his party that he can antagonize part of his coalition without any fear of a primary opponent. I think American would be a lot better off is someone from the not-crazy wing of the GOP had run in 2004, no matter how it played out.

  90. 90
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Malron: Or Naderite envy on behalf of teabaggers. Take yer pick.

  91. 91
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Zifnab:

    Of course there are occasional overlaps of mental midgetry hating govment because shut up that’s why, commie libtards and the like. But if you ask any one of them to articulate what and why they are against something. You get “cause” or “we wants our country back” or “too much spending”- these are the fools some progressives make common cause with. Maybe it’s not 100 percent Obama hate, but the few brain cells present to form any thought hardly ever combine for a believable sentence.

    And I think the roots of the tea party backlash are in all the ex-Bush Republicans who feel betrayed by their party,

    The only part of it where Bush fail is concerned, was losing the majority in congress, and getting that ni**er elected.

    They loved them some Bush, and everything he did, till 2006 election.

  92. 92
    eemom says:

    ……for instance, ole Janie is now in bed with her archenemy Joe Lieberman. Tee hee.

  93. 93
    Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Capitulation? From what? You’re looking at this from the wrong direction. Capitulation means moving in the opposite direction from where we are today. That’s the problem. The right is getting NOTHING out of this. Does this bill move HCR to the left. Yes. It just doesn’t move it as far as people want. That’d be true no matter what, however. That’s not capitulation.

    Making Medicare weaker would be capitulation. We’re not talking about anything like that.

  94. 94
    Comrade Dread says:

    Okay, let’s all take a deep breath.

    The critics on the left are concerned about government giveaways to corporations and forcing people to buy private insurance without a public option or sufficient cost controls and safe guards to prevent insurance companies from abusing that mandate.

    The critics on the right are concerned about government taking over an economic sector and forcing them to do anything.

    There are some issues where left/right critics are in agreement and are there for the same reason. (Preventative war; torture; Wall St. bailouts [and even then, not all parties are in agreement about all of those things]), and there are some issues where the end result is the same, but the philosophies for reaching that end point are still diametrically opposed.

    This is one of the latter.

    I can understand the temptation to scream third party and all, because it’s appealing at a gut level to envision a new party coming in forged in populist appeal to turn over Washington and take back government for the people, the little guys, but a left/right alliance based on economic populism, civil liberties, and foreign policy sanity would be even more dysfunctional and tempermental than the GOP or the Democrats are right now. Vast issues would still divide them, and on many of those, they are diametrically opposed.

  95. 95
    Jack says:

    @aimai:

    Jane’s not the only person who’s typed out similar sentiments. Art Silber (a real lefty, goodman Art) made a solid case as well.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogsp.....cs-of.html

  96. 96
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Malron:

    Of course not. We voted for Obama because of our deeply held conviction that he’d solve all the problems Bush left him with in 6 days and then rest on the seventh. And since he’s weeks past your expiration date you’re already trying to field candidates to replace him. We got that. But, that says more about you than it does about him.

    Spare me. I never expected Obama to fix everything quickly. I never even expected him to solve most of the major problems in his first term. But what I did kind of hope for were indications that we were moving in the right direction. That we were stepping away from the abyss.

    Right now, the very next Republican president will do everything that Bush did and worse, because Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have the slightest interest in preventing such future abuses by a corrupt president. Wouldn’t be “post-partisan” or whatever the excuse is.

  97. 97
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Sometimes the best sense I can make it, of not only the right wing ideologues but the left ones too, is if we can’t work thru the system by supporting a candidate that will do what we want, then we will burn the motherfucker down electorally and give it to those who will fuck it up to the end. For the right it’s nothing but pure wingnut candidatry, for the left it’s the same.

    By third party challenges, or independents is the best way to do it. And that is what I hear from the nutroots right now. Small voices but very angry ones and getting louder.

    Or, let the GOP run things again and destroy the country and when the pieces need to be picked up and glued back together, by gawd, we will be there for our shot at grabbing the reigns and making America in our image of what it should be./ Same shit going on with the tea bag fools.

    Sounds crazy, but how else can one explain the level of discord over something that isn’t finished yet. Where the end game goal is to get people covered to get HCR. Which even the nutroot hero’s, or some of them like Krugman say this bill will do.

  98. 98
    Dreggas says:

    @taylormattd:

    Good point. Of course Hillary and Obama’s positions on this were about the same and as for Edwards he was a longshot to start with. Further, IMO, a bullet was dodged given the whole affair deal.

  99. 99
    Rick Taylor says:

    The liberals (I refuse to interchange liberal and progressive) aren’t calling for the bill to be killed just as the teabaggers are? Kos did.

    __
    I’m a little puzzled. The quote was:
    __

    At no time do the synapses firing in their brains make the connection that both the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.

    __
    if she’d said, they both don’t want the bill to pass, that would be one thing. I’d wonder why she was making the point (hmmm, Hitler a vegetarian, seventh day adventists vegetarian, soooooo. . . ?), but I’d admit the point was true!
    __
    But she said progressives and tea baggers are “saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.” That’s ludicrous! I think Atrios would be justifiably offended if you told him that.
    __
    In fact what they’re saying is just about 180 degrees the opposite! Tea baggers oppose the bill because it represents government take over of our lives and a loss of liberty. They especially hate the public option, did you see the video I linked to above?

    Progressives oppose it because there’s insufficient government involvement. They rebelled because the public option and medicare were taken out. If you put in a strong public option they’d be pleased as could be, while tea baggers would be announcing the triumph of socialism.

  100. 100
    Jack says:

    @Jennifer:

    “Whoops, I really fucked up when I let the NSS come into existence on my watch by safely inhabiting the Center.

    Apologies,

    Ike”

  101. 101
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Oh, just fuck the fucking overton fucking window, okay? I hear people talk about the overton fucking window when they just want an excuse to act irrationally and talk shit. It’s worse than hearing about Godwin’s goddamn law.

  102. 102
    BFR says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    But what I did kind of hope for were indications that we were moving in the right direction. That we were stepping away from the abyss.

    I’m not sure what you’re evaluating against. If it’s what we were hoping for, then yeah, it’s disappointing. If it’s what we could have expected from a trendline of US policies extended into a McCain/Palin administration, then we’re doing fine.

    – Stimulus passed that didn’t include making the Bush tax cuts permanent
    – No war with Iran (yet)
    – Effort made to incrementally improve health care rather than extension of HSAs

  103. 103
    Jack says:

    @Toast:

    Of course, the best thing to remember is that Process is sacred and principle a dirty purity.

  104. 104
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Malron: Yep. By God he showed some progressive principles there, right?

  105. 105
    Citizen Alan says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Well, I’m with you on that, and whatever his feelings about Obama, I simply cannot conceive of Dean under any circumstances starting a 3rd party candidacy. If he does anything at all (which I don’t consider likely), it will be an insurgency Dem candidacy.

    My big concern vis a vis 3rd parties is the Ron Paul factor, because if he were twenty years younger, a little less wiggy, and a lot less affiliated with flat-out racist crazies, he would be a serious 3rd party threat. Not that I’d ever vote for him, but he seems to me to have appeal for Green-types and Libertarian-types both (I know, makes no sense, but then neither of those ideologies). Someone sufficiently charismatic, intelligent and well-known who wasn’t afraid of embracing populist demagoguery could get pretty far in a 3-person race if the economy doesn’t turn around by 2012.

  106. 106
    Rick Taylor says:

    Of course, the best thing to remember is that Process is sacred and principle a dirty purity.

    __
    I sure do wish Lieberman believed that; there’s not a more principled man in the congress. When he knifes you in the back, you can be sure it’s a matter of deep conscience.

  107. 107
    Demo Woman says:

    Jane’s comparison is the same as Repubs comparing Obama’s policies to Hitler. You can always find something that you are in agreement with the opposition but do you really want to and more importantly is it really necessary.

  108. 108
    Rick Taylor says:

    HCR was possible. Still is. But the left needs to show up and give constructive, realistic guidance. ‘Shit sandwich’ is far from constructive.

    __
    I think some are! You just have to be willing to dig through a lot of shit sandwiches to find it.

  109. 109
    lamh31 says:

    Obama probably has the African American and Hispanic vote on lockdown. So for Howard Dean to primary Obama, he’s have to do really well with the heavily white states (which is most of them), cause he ain’t gonna do in the states with large AA and Hispanic populations. It will be Hillary’s “hardworking white Americans” vs the minorities all over again.

    Let’ not even talk about if somehow Dean (or anyother) primaries Obama and wins (snowball chance in hell…I know), then let me tell you what you should not expect. Don’t expect AA to come out to vote for the white guy who dethrowned the first AA President, rightly or wrongly, hate to tellya, but ya’ll will be blamed.

  110. 110
    aimai says:

    Art Silber is a libertarian, straight up, not even on the rocks. He’s no lefty. But he is a really great thinker and I enjoy his work.

    Like Paula I meet a bunch of right wing loons who are *actually* anti corporation and anti banker but they sometimes don’t have a language to articulate it. I like talking to those people because when you get them to come over they come all the fuck the way over. My (beloved) contractor, who spent a year renovating my house and being harangued by me about politics, went from being a republican knee jerk in opposition to everything, pro mccain, to not voting in the last election and coming all the way around and demanding single payer. The truth is that there is, or could be, a lot of commonality among (some) of the teabaggers/some on the right and some of the populist aspects of the left. But it takes a ton of work to get there and some of them–the racists, religious bigots, jingoists and anti communists will never come over. But that doesn’t mean we should ever stop talking to them. And at the very least, the Democrats have to continually give people some kind of recognizable choice.

    One thing I find is that whenever I have to explain some really stupid position the democrats have taken because they are compromising with the right the people who resent it the most and who think it makes the least sense are the right wingers. Because, they say to me, “if the good democratic policy that you’ve been touting makes so much sense what kind of an unprincipled idiot would bargain it away?” I have this conversation all the time–just as I’m on the verge of convincing someone that the logic of the universe impels them to support a democratic position the *&^% democrats give it away. And worse, they refuse to blame anyone for it and just say “well, it seemed like a good idea/necessary/centrist” thing to do.”

    aimai

  111. 111
    Citizen Alan says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    They loved them some Bush, and everything he did, till 2006 election.

    No, it was before that. When Bush came out for immigration reform in early 2006, it set off the Minutemen who thought he sold them out to “Aztlan” or something like that. They were sort of the ur-Teabaggers.

  112. 112
    TheWesson says:

    What you’re missing here is that the tea-partiers and the progressives have a common sentiment: We’re being ignored and screwed by Washington.

    You’re missing that:

    Democrats have entirely failed to capture populist sentiment.

    Obama had a lot of populist sentiment going for him – community organizer, voice for the people’s wishes.

    Now that it’s become obvious that corporations ultimately have more voting power in Washington than people do (and Obama has done very little to make this any better) there IS something teabaggers and progressives have in common.

    Now if we can just get to the teabaggers to introduce to them that the feeling they have of being screwed is the result of corporate elites screwing them NOT intellectual/progressive elites, then you’ll have something all right.

  113. 113
    Rick Taylor says:

    The truth is that there is, or could be, a lot of commonality among (some) of the teabaggers/some on the right and some of the populist aspects of the left.

    __
    Hmmm. Maybe we should stop making fun of them then.

  114. 114

    @aimai: Amai, you could be wrong on that leftist count. We might just be laying in the brush waiting to spring the ambush.

  115. 115
    Jack says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Thanks for the much needed and rumbling belly laugh.

    *

    Here’s the Greenwald piece towards which you (it was you?) alluded earlier:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

    And yes, Glenn certainly writes better about the topic than Jane.

  116. 116
    Martin says:

    They rebelled because the public option and medicare were taken out.

    But that’s my point. They’re focusing on what they lost but never had, and not on what they have.

    The bill wipes out Medicare Advantage overpayments. Anyone mention that? Anyone care? It puts a proper group overseeing Medicare pricing. It shifts reimbursement toward outcomes rather than services. Where’s the support for these things? There isn’t any. Nobody is talking about it. The only thing the left wants is the public option – fuck the rest. Who cares what will work and what won’t. Just give us this thing because we viscerally hate corporations and non-profits.

    There’s no more support for the things that can actually pass from the left than there is from the teabaggers.

  117. 117
    Rick Taylor says:

    No, it was before that. When Bush came out for immigration reform in early 2006, it set off the Minutemen who thought he sold them out to “Aztlan” or something like that. They were sort of the ur-Teabaggers.

    __
    Yep I remember that. I remember having dinner with my father-in-law’s family, and discovering they were disappointed with Bush. I asked them why, and was floored to discover it was because of. . . immigration reform? It didn’t bother them they’d gone to war under completely false pretenses, that the debt was exploding, the economy stagnant, but immigration made him a failure? I couldn’t believe it.

  118. 118
    KCinDC says:

    Ugh. Anyone who smacks down Lanny Davis can’t be all bad, and I think people on both sides of the HCR bill argument are generally making good arguments, but legitimizing (or embracing) the teabaggers is several bridges too far for me, Jane. I’ll catch you when and if you recover from this fever.

  119. 119
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    That was the Xenophobe wing, and yes there was discord in the ranks, by that group, the other wings of the GOP were actually pro immigration reform such as the country club wingers, and also some when they passed the Prescription Drug bill. But just about every one of them qualified their distaste for these Bush actions in terms of we still support him, but disagree with these two issues, and they are the only two I can think of that were significant.

    The point I was making was they didn’t start really abandoning Bush until after the 2006 election, and even then it was slow and grudging. And when Obama got elected, it went to “Bush who” that RINO traitor, with many of them even pooh poohing the Republican word, for true conservative.

  120. 120
    Jack says:

    @aimai:

    Art just finished up a piece where he lays out why he rejects libertarianism, but otherwise we can agree on his insight, especially perhaps with regard to the linked article.

  121. 121
    fizzlogic says:

    Are progressives crying about their taxes going up to pay for the huge deficits Black Jimmy Carter created?

    I’m crying because that’s the avalanche of bullshit I hear from my tea partying brother.

  122. 122
    valdivia says:

    @lamh31:

    happy to see you make this point. I think a lot of people have erased from their minds how the primary and election was won.

  123. 123
    Jack says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t think that you understand that the core objection is not “the public option.” The public option was a latch-on, after single-payer was shelved. It was an acceptable compromise, not a starter.

    Greenwald says it best, so here’s the link again:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

    But, shorter Glenn: it’s the corporations, damn it.

    “Even if one grants the arguments made by proponents of the health care bill about increased coverage, what the bill does is reinforces and bolsters a radically corrupt and flawed insurance model and an even more corrupt and destructive model of “governing.” It is a major step forward for the corporatist model, even a new innovation in propping it up. How one weighs those benefits and costs — both in the health care debate and with regard to many of Obama’s other policies — depends largely upon how devoted one is to undermining and weakening this corporatist framework (as opposed to exploiting it for political gain and some policy aims). That’s one of the primary underlying divisions Kilgore identifies, and he’s right to call for greater examination and debate over the role it is playing.”

  124. 124
    tomvox1 says:

    While a useful person to have stirring shit up and keeping Dems semi-honest, Hamsher’s stridency in this piece (and that of many other “Kill the Bill” Lefties) comes across as a fit of personal pique at the perception that the “real Left” is not getting more respect from the White House while they are gently caressing Holy Joe’s nut sack. And while that may be a petty concern, just as in international diplomacy a simple kind word now and again can calm stormy waters. The Netroots and Progressive Left are not the enemy here even if the votes of their most sympathetic senatorial representatives are “in the bag,” as per Rahm. A little hat tip their way right about now by the big guy acknowledging that their concerns have been noted and will be addressed would not be the worst thing in the world to take the pot off the boil and reduce the incoming friendly fire.

  125. 125
    Martin says:

    Are progressives crying about their taxes going up to pay for the huge deficits Black Jimmy Carter created?

    Pretty close. More than a few are crying about being forced to pay for health insurance so the Black George Bush can pay his corporate insurance masters.

  126. 126
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Martin:

    The bill wipes out Medicare Advantage overpayments. Anyone mention that? Anyone care? It puts a proper group overseeing Medicare pricing. It shifts reimbursement toward outcomes rather than services. Where’s the support for these things? There isn’t any. Nobody is talking about it. The only thing the left wants is the public option – fuck the rest. Who cares what will work and what won’t. Just give us this thing because we viscerally hate corporations and non-profits.

    There are still good things in the bill. My personal beef is that it has a universal mandate to buy insurance with insufficient cost containment and inadequate regulations. The bill doesn’t even eliminate the antitrust exemption, which means the insurance companies are allowed to collude on pricing these mandated polices. That is a monumentally stupid (and arguably unconstitutional) provision with a potential for disaster which greatly outweighs those good things you mentioned.

    Either give us a public option or some other meaningful cost containment or strip out the universal mandate. Otherwise, kill the bill. (You know, in case any Senators are reading this who actually care about my opinion.)

  127. 127
    CDT says:

    Like aimai, I think y’all are being too hard on Jane Hamsher, who was merely pointing out that there is rage on both the left and the right against the bill. She expressly said in her full piece that the basis for the rage was different, although there is a common belief on the left and right that both parties are unresponsive to the public:

    “What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.”

  128. 128
    Rick Taylor says:

    Thanks for the much needed and rumbling belly laugh.

    __
    I meant it seriously too, though. One thing I noticed, when Lieberman announced he’d withhold his vote based on cloture, he specifically said he was forced to do it as a matter of principle. I think he believes it too; he’s a narcissist who has to see himself as a noble and caring fellow. But the paradox is that being principled allows him to do things that others would find abhorrent, like knifing their friends in the back. Reid stuck up for him when progressives were screaming for Lieberman’s head, and Reid trusted him during the debate on the bill, and Lieberman put a shiv in his back. Others might think that despicable, but he had to! Because he’s a man of principle, and he had to answer to higher motives than personal loyalty. He felt bad about it to! He announced his decision, well I just have to do this, and later he talked sincerely about how sorry he was he’d cause so much anger. It genuinely pains him, he’s a martyr you see.
    __
    I really think that’s what’s going on underneath.

  129. 129
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    The most depressing thing about being an American is the fact that, had Bush not had to take some sort of stand on immigration, his approval rating when he left office would probably have been in the mid to high 40’s. But he couldn’t thread the needle between cheap labor conservatives and nativists, so he choose to piss off the nativists (since, you know, they’re not the ones who bankroll the GOP).

  130. 130
    Gwangung says:

    @tomvox1: not a bad thing to do.

  131. 131
    Jack says:

    @KCinDC:

    We don’t have to legitimize the crazy protofascist beliefs to realize that the people caught up in them are angry about the same adversaries we have, and that they’ve been deliberately tricked into shooting themselves in the feet.

    It’s akin to the atheist’s dilemma. To work towards some goal, an atheist will by and large have to work with Christians with whom he will never agree on the single issue of religion, but who otherwise may share any number of overlaps in law, policy, conviction and goals.

    Does the atheist work with Christians whose core belief is that he is a good person but will still pro’ly go to hell, because the terrestrial outcomes are usually very much worth it?

    Not only yes, but hell yes (types this atheist).

    So, too with anti-corporatists who are unfortunately riddled with Beckism.

    Plus, it’s outreach, and it could very well be good for us.

  132. 132
    kay says:

    @Martin:

    Wiping out Medicare Advantage payments is a huge thing. Huge.

    I never, ever thought it would survive. Thankfully, Republicans never got traction on it, although Karl Rove wrote FOUR columns on it, by my count.

    They’re focusing on the mandates in the same way they focused on the public option, to the exclusion of anything else, and with the same obsessive inflation of their importance.

    Another HUGE thing got by them, and it’s mental health care. Health care advocates have been fighting for twenty years to get mental health services fully covered at the state level, and that’s IN the Senate bill. It’s now officially designated “health care”. It’s the norm. That’s a huge win.

  133. 133
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Citizen Alan
    __
    I never thought of that. That is depressing.

  134. 134
    LarryB says:

    @KCinDC: Agreed. I will forgive Ms. Hamsher almost anything for saying on national TV, “Who is paying you to be here, Lanny?” Priceless.

    Linky to the clip:

  135. 135
    fizzlogic says:

    @Martin: Too funny, but in a sad way.

  136. 136
    Martin says:

    @Jack:
    No, I get that. We’ve got the 8th largest economy in the world in our health care system. The insurers are largely playing by the rules the states have handed them.

    Bottom line, if this is going to get truly corrected, how committed is the left to overturning the state regulation of insurance. This is a 10th amendment issue. Short of that, the most likely course of action is to fix as much of Medicare as possible and use it as the model for a national plan – and the senate bill is most strongly focused on doing precisely that. Getting any kind of national price regulation outside of Medicare isn’t going to happen. There isn’t even an incremental move to be made there – the public option just wouldn’t have done it.

    The only path is through Medicare. It exists. It works pretty well. It needs to get some maintenance here, and the just start to expand it. That we’re willing to not strengthen the nations existing single-payer plan in order to expand it is what is so stunning to me.

  137. 137

    A left third party? That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long time. I know, Nader killed Gore. Horseshit. Gore killed Gore. That close race was the product of candidate Gore and policies he embraced. I will tell you this much, rather than do pages – every gun owner in the US started out with a negative view of Gore thanks to his own mouth. You cannot start out with that large a group with a negative feeling unless you run a hell of a campaign and down play that negative. After Kerry, Dems started to get – that one.

    That is only one example – but it was fatal, alone. Nader amounted to a hill of spit.

    Voter demographics are a bitch and Democrats are kicking hell out of that dog. Polls are of limited use, but when they start showing real trends paying attention is important. You know, as a Democrat, that 25% or so are a total loss, that number has meaning because they WILL turn out.

    The very most fickle turn out goes something like this
    1 Poor
    2 Young
    3 Minority

    And, that is especially true in mid-terms. Take it from there. BTW, the activist “left” is who goes out and gets them generally speaking.

  138. 138
    Jack says:

    @Martin:

    I agree. We have a working template. It works. It works quite well, in fact. As you state, it needs some work around the edges, but it’s not insurmountable to take an actually existing program and do better with it.

    Plus, it has the added value of not enriching a company that got its first big influx of cash insuring rail roads and slave holdings.

  139. 139

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Sometimes the best sense I can make it, of not only the right wing ideologues but the left ones too, is if we can’t work thru the system by supporting a candidate that will do what we want, then we will burn the motherfucker down electorally and give it to those who will fuck it up to the end. For the right it’s nothing but pure wingnut candidatry, for the left it’s the same.

    I’m not sure I would be so harsh. Like many college educated liberals in their early 20’s in 2000, I supported Nader (but didn’t vote, angling for some sort of stereotype Gold Medal). The argument was that Dems and GOPers were both corporate shills and would govern for their overseers, not the proletariat, regardless of party affiliation. Populism at its finest. This sentiment does seem to be reemerging, but I don’t think it will ultimately gain as much steam as it did then… simply because of the unified GOP opposition to EVERYTHING. Ben Nelson is a legitimate obstacle to progressive goals, but he still calls himself a Democrat… so it’s hard to reason how handing the the keys to Sarah Palin would make him suck less.

    Shit. Now you’ve made me afraid that I’m actually going see a prominent progressive make the argument that we need to make sure Obama loses so that everyone understand the raw power of the netroots… and how much easier it will be to get a True Progressive elected after Palin’s run the country into the ground for a few years… awww crap.

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @kay:

    right-o re Medicare Advantage. I’ve known what a fucking fraud that whole thing is since my elderly Mom was screwed over by one of those plans several years ago. They solicited and defrauded her into signing on to the goddamn thing, promising it was “just like Medicare” only better; and then, when she broker her hip, refused to pay for the PT she needed — which everyone at the hospital assured us standard Medicare would have done.

    I sued the fuckers and took it through an appeal. Unfortunately didn’t get any damages out of them — but, I did force them to rack up some significant attorney fees. And if there’s one thing insurers hate more than paying claims, it’s paying lawyers.

  141. 141
    CDT says:

    @Martin

    Health insurance is, indeed, largely regulated on a state-by-state basis, but a) the regulatory approaches are pretty standard and b) there would be no Tenth Amendment impediment to creating a federal regulatory scheme that would pre-empt the states. Further, you don’t notice regulated industry crying about the Tenth Amendment when what they seek is pre-emption of state laws they don’t like (for instance, with regard to liability for defective medical devices).

  142. 142
    Makewi says:

    Look on the bright side. This is Obama keeping the campaign promise of bringing the left and right together. Peace in our time.

  143. 143
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    I should clarify. I don’t believe it is necessarily a conscious plan. Just where the behaviours seem to be headed for satisfaction, and no letup till that happens. You could see it as just agitating for a better result, but acceptance of something short of that. But, for the life of me, I see no signs of any such sanity.

  144. 144
    Brien Jackson says:

    there is a natural populist rage out there to be harnessed….is all being dissipated and, basically, ignored.

    Thank God. The absolute worst thing progressives could do is get in bed with populism.

  145. 145
    Makewi says:

    @eemom:

    Those attorneys were likely in-house, and thus already paid for. Sorry.

  146. 146
    Jack says:

    @CDT:

    And ERISA already preempts the States. That damned tangled mess, for all the good it can also do…

  147. 147
    eemom says:

    @Makewi:

    no, they weren’t, smug-ass know nothing.

    Being a lawyer myself instead of an ignorant troll like you, I’m able to tell the difference.

  148. 148
    kevina says:

    @lamh31:

    Except I can’t imagine Howard Friggin’ Dean getting the blue-collar, “just folks” vote that Hillary got. Let’s see, a genuine liberal from… Vermont is going to take on the incumbent POTUS in the primaries, and get the blue-collar vote? Umm, good luck with that.

    You know, one complaint is “he’s not populist enough!” You just noticed that? He’s a sober, thoughtful guy, and y’all thought he’d be a fire-breathing populist? When he tries uber-populism, he’s ALWAYS looked uncomfortable. It’s not who he is.

  149. 149

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    But, for the life of me, I see no signs of any such sanity.

    You do, however, see sanity in telling massa do whatever you please because … the other is guy is, well worse.

    OK, I get it – take the (D) off my name and quit working or voting … or take anything that’s dished me with a (D).

    Not a problem, I have a lot of hobbies that are more fun and a lot more rewarding. And in damn near every one there is a meaningful definition of win. In those low brow blue collar games like drag racing or shooting competitions, rude talk is the extreme exception and helping fellow competitors is the norm.

  150. 150
    Makewi says:

    Isn’t that sweet, you think ignorant troll is my job. I bet you went to a great law school.

  151. 151
    Jack says:

    I quote Demosthenes at length, because he comes back to the central objection which the “pass it now” people appear to miss:

    “…What we’re talking about here is corporatism; a kind of synthesis of the public and private sector, creating private monopolies and cartels with enormous government-granted power. Honest conservatives (there are a few) hate it because they don’t like government interfering with private enterprise; and social liberals hate it because…

    …and let me just emphasize this…

    …CORPORATISM IS A REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEA.

    Look, everybody knows that patent, trade and copyright laws are pretty much broken, right? Under the guise of “intellectual property”, you have everything from infinitely-extending copyrights to patent “vultures” stifling innovation to Disney suing daycares for daring to put Mickey on the wall. You have pharma corporations tossing man-eating lobbyists at everybody in Washington who even looks at ’em funny, Sony breaking your computer to keep you from putting a CD on your iPod, the horror that is ACTA, and people dying of easily-treated diseases in the third world because of bans on the production of generic drugs.

    Well, copyrights, patents, and trades are government-blessed monopolies over copying or producing something. That’s all that they are. “Intellectual property” wouldn’t exist without the power of government backing it up. While it may have been a good idea to help creators out a bit, we’ve seen that without very, very careful treatment, it can lead to corps running absolutely wild, and ruining a lot of lives in the process.

    (There’s nothing unique about this, either. Privatizatized, exclusive providers of public services have spread across the developing world like weeds, thanks to the enduring legacy of the Washington Consensus. They’re generally disasters there, too.)

    LieberCare is a bit different. Nothing in LieberCare dictates that there must be regional or national monopolies on delivering health care, like with trademarks et al. But that is the logical endpoint of mandated insurance, since it still uses government’s power to FORCE contract with a private enterprise. You still end up with government-blessed monopolies stomping on the bank accounts and rights of Americans, but this time in a far more important sector of the economy.

    Neither social liberals nor honest conservatives would want this to happen. Conservatives don’t want to be forced to contract to anybody, and social liberals want monopolies to be held only by governmental organizations that are ultimately responsible to the public, instead of the shareholders. But this is what will happen, sooner or later, under the Senate’s plan.

    That’s why the public option was so important. This was always a problem. ALWAYS. That has never changed. But as long as there was a public option, even a weak one, one was not forced to contract with a private enterprise. There was always going to be an option, even if all the private companies tried to flow together into cartels and monopolies. There could be no monopoly, as a matter of fact, because there was going to be one stubborn player that would not go with the plan. It was the one thing that made this tolerable.

    Now it’s gone. Now the game has changed. Now America is looking at decades of mandated corporatism, in the exact period of time where medical care is going to be more important than ever before. “Exchange regulation” isn’t going to solve that, any more than hiring more patent examiners would. People need to always have a choice: whether it’s at the ballot box, or at the insurance exchange.

    Under this plan, sooner or later, they won’t have any choice at all.”

    http://demosthenes.blogspot.co.....es-of.html

  152. 152
    eastriver says:

    Everyone, please note that Jane’s loopy post was no more spasmodically knee-jerky than the twitchy crap JC was posting yesterday.

  153. 153
    kevina says:

    And if I may follow up on Brien Jackson, sorry, but (like him), I’m not a huge fan of populism. Do we need some of it? Absolutely. But a body politic dominated by it is one inevitably rife with demagoguery and mob rule, if not worse. All of which ignores the realities of responsible, actionable governance.

    Do I wish that big interests had a good deal less influence? Yep, but the idea that they’ll ever have little or no influence is folly. Or, to get there, the upheaval would be that of a revolution.

    Sounds great, no? Well, just ask Iranians from ’78-79. They had massive upheaval and revolution. The results speak for themselves.

  154. 154

    @Jack:
    You’ve wasted your time, there are a few who agree and understand exactly what you’ve stated, the others are of the ends justify the means and we need to win. Anything called reform is good enough.

  155. 155
    John S. says:

    How does a McCain presidency look different than what we’ve gotten so far from Obama?

    You really are just some idiotic fuckhead, aren’t you?

  156. 156
    kevina says:

    As to Hamsher’s piece (not her, just this piece), dumber than a sack of hammers.

  157. 157
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You can do whatever you want Chuck. And I will do the same.

  158. 158
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John S.: You just can’t quit me, can ya troll?

  159. 159
    Jack says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I have children.

    This just cannot be a waste of my time.

    My grandfather was a ward boss pushing hard against all the evils of his day. The status quo wasn’t good enough for him, because it was the world of segregation and broken unions and then Ike’s belated warning.

    He wasn’t perfect, because no one is, but most everyone who’s followed him, in our sprawling Medi family is proudly liberal, or better (even if some of us came to it late and lonely).

    He left that legacy in the children and grandchildren and sundry generations who followed him. He died young, too young – but fierce, fighting through his death throes and his rupturing aorta to put the guys on the shop floor at ease, to comfort them, and to make sure that someone told my grandmother that he loved her and always would.

    Long after he was gone, my mother took us to the Bread and Roses festival, every year, in Lawrence. Even as she’s sidestepped deeper and deeper into the Limbaugh-Beckism that now ruins her outlook, she continues this pilgrimage.

    The path we follow runs deep, and true, and that’s right and just. Because those who came before us earned it true, even when they erred.

    My grandfather didn’t sell his life dear (he was killed, in the end, by bad medicine. My grandmother looked the lawyers for the pharma company in their ophidian eyes and said – this is legendary, in our family – “No blood money. Go, get out. I won’t take it.”) so that those who follow can pawn those gains on the cheap. Thousands upon thousands of red cards and mill girls and illiterate woodsmen forged their iron loyalties in the face of every degradation, against the cops and the law and the mercenary thugs of Rockefeller and Morgan so that it could be better.

    Better than when they started.

    Not so we can placate the corporate stooges with government bennies and lifetime job security.

    So, I’m not content with doing just what I can.

    I look at my children and I know that I have to do what I must.

    If that means that some sneering bow tie gets his glee calling me a wobbly, so be it. If that means so much more, so be that too.

  160. 160
    handy says:

    Did I just read here that teabaggers are “anti-corporate?” That is some Grade-A stupid.

  161. 161
    handy says:

    Isn’t that sweet, you think ignorant troll is my job

    You’re fulfilling that role quite well, actually.

  162. 162
    kuvasz says:

    Mr. Cole, you are wrong about this and you ought to think a bit more before typing, since it undermines your credibility on other subjects. You don’t seem to understand much about Americans and why we are so pissed off about politicians and their constant propensity to coddle the rich and well connected while fucking the rest of us. Its not like you are totally stupid but you seem to be unaware on a visceral level of the anger towards the status quo from both sides of the political spectrum. Maybe its just a matter of discernment with you, but considering your lack of discrimination on this particular subject I doubt that you would know the difference between a tootsie roll and a dog turd until you bit into it.

    Try thinking afresh and in a non-linear manner about politics.

    The political spectrum is not a line, but a circle and the far Left and far Right have more in common with each other than moderates of each ideology. It is why people like Jeanne Kirkpatrick moved from being a ’50’s Schachtmanite to far Right anti-communist and Micheal “Whorewitz” moved from Leninism to far Right conservatism.

    Hamsher understands this and you don’t. That doesn’t make you stupid but, it makes you someone whose opinion is suspect.

  163. 163
    John Cole says:

    @kuvasz: And IRving Kristol and David Horowitz were Trotskyites. What exactly was your point?

  164. 164
    handy says:

    we are so pissed off about politicians and their constant propensity to coddle the rich and well connected while fucking the rest of us

    Yeah because I distinctly recall that groundswell of angry populism arising when Bush was pushing for tax cuts for the wealthiest and Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall.

    Please.

  165. 165
    KCinDC says:

    Another reason to give Hamsher a rest. It makes me think less of Kos as well. That poll question was slimy, but describing the wording as “the most charitable rendering the issue is ever likely to get” takes it to a new level.

    Presumably the next poll will ask “Do you support or oppose the current Senate health care reform bill, which impoverishes people through onerous mandates, enriches insurance company fat cats, does nothing to improve anyone’s health, and will ultimately cause the destruction of the United States?”

  166. 166
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Sloegin:

    Clowns to the left of me
    Jokers to the right
    Here I am
    Stuck in the middle with you

    I am firmly stuck in the middle and I sure as hell ain’t joining the clowns or jokers.

    They ain’t funny.

  167. 167
    MJ says:

    @kuvasz:

    The political spectrum is not a line, but a circle and the far Left and far Right have more in common with each other than moderates of each ideology.

    Yeah, both sides are pissed at the uppity black guy.

  168. 168
    Noonan says:

    This is telling:

    (From the “right,” of course, because who would take the “left” seriously.)

    Hamsher manages to play the liberal victim card while also making a completely nonsensical statement. Of course the challenge would come from the right — a Democrat is in the White House!

    As for her attempt to merge the Tea Party movement with progressives, well, the shark has been jumped. Next.

  169. 169
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @MJ:

    If that statement was depicted as a clock with Obama at 12:00, the far left is at 6:01 and the far right are at 5:59. They are so close together now that they are reaching across 6:00 to give each other hand jobs.

  170. 170
    Anya says:

    Should the white progressives make their threat to primary Obama a reality there is not surer way to divide the Democratic Party from African-Americans, and, to some extend the Hispanic-Americans (is there really a progressive movement without the African American, women and Latinos). I cannot believe these middle class white progressives attacking with zeal the country’s first African-American president. Yes, keep it up and you will surely fracture the Democratic Party and lose the African American vote for sure.

  171. 171
    Noonan says:

    So how long until Hamsher is reading poetry with Laura Ingraham?

    First they came for the dirty hippies. And I did not speak out because I’m not a dirty fucking hippie…

  172. 172
    gwangung says:

    Oh, I haven’t gotten people pissed at me in the last 24 hours…

    I think certain elements from the progressive wing share certain things with the teabaggers:

    a) they overestimate their numbers, and think they’re in the majority.
    b) because of that, they see no need to work with other groups in coalitions and think their own faction has sufficient clout
    c) they’re thinking in terms of big ideas and not so much in terms of implementation.

    Converse of this, of course, is that there are progressives who don’t do this, who are building coalitions and who think tactically. They aren’t the same factions and the two shouldn’t be treated the same.

  173. 173
    Jack says:

    @Anya:

    Unbelievable gall.

  174. 174

    @Jack:
    This isn’t exactly a new type of story to me. In Flint MI in during the strikes and occupation of factories the Reuther brothers spent dinners and evenings in my maternal grandmother and grandfather’s home hatching union plans. Grandfather died young and went to his grave with a strike breaker’s bullet in his leg.

    After 40 some years of having increasingly rotten fish tossed on my plate; I’m worn out. I am particularly worn out by the prospect of having corporatism stuffed in my face as a good by my “own” side. Clinton infuriated me, I stood hard against his wife for the same reason. I never said kill the bill, I said kill the fucking mandates or provide choice.

    I am not supposed to take this fight to my own party, that’s WATB and destructive. That’s not just here. That is from the White House on down. Howard Dean can’t do it because something destructive might die. I’m real used to not having a cadre to run with but I think this time is just too damn much.

    I have a US Sen up in 2010, Ron Wyden – health care wonk – and? I have helped him in some very real ways and we’re on first name basis and I’m supposed to…do what? This mess flies directly in the face of everything he’s worked at and said; and then he’s a part of passing it?

    The deal isn’t done, yet. We’ve yet to see how shitty it gets or if somebody can rescue it. There is a limit to how much shit you can throw in my face and get me to smile.

    My County Party seems to have decided to wait until Feb to see if I resign the Chair and other positions or return to work. That is a hell of thing for them to do. I didn’t expect that.

  175. 175
    John Cole says:

    @Chuck Butcher: I seriously doubt there is going to be a bill, at this point.

  176. 176
    Brien Jackson says:

    @kevina:

    Well my critique of progressives embracing populism is simply that it’s very hard to promote economic populism without winking at cultural populism, and the effect is ultimately always going to be a net negative for progressive ends in the long run.

    But it works great if you don’t care about poor people and gays and love the stoopid.

  177. 177
    Brien Jackson says:

    Also, can someone explain to me why Medicare buy-in and a weak public option were worth dying for, but Medicaid expansion can’t even get a mention from the netroots. I’m trying to avoid drawing the conclusion that Jane Hamsher and Markos don’t give a damn about poor people, but it really is getting harder every day.

  178. 178
    Brien Jackson says:

    @KCinDC:

    Hamsher and Kos aren’t progressives, they’re the wingnuts of the left. It’s really that simple.

  179. 179
    cleek says:

    ah yes, Hamsher… blackface Lieberman Hamsher. always a moron.

  180. 180
    Noonan says:

    @Brien Jackson: It’s because that’s what the netroots deemed the attainable goal. And since it’s looking like that goal isn’t attainable, they’re losing their shit. It’s a lot less policy and a lot more dick swinging at this point.

  181. 181
    cleek says:

    @KCinDC:

    “Do you support or oppose the current Senate health care reform bill, which impoverishes people through onerous mandates, enriches insurance company fat cats, does nothing to improve anyone’s health, and will ultimately cause the destruction of the United States?”

    that’s about 90% identical to a question on the “survey” i just got from the RNC.

  182. 182
    cleek says:

    @gwangung:

    exactly.

    zealous partisanship is a trait entirely separate from any ideology. but it sounds the same no matter who’s doing the wailing; they just change a couple of the words in the chant, is all.

  183. 183
    gwangung says:

    @Noonan: Um. Not Invented Here syndrome?

  184. 184
    Brien Jackson says:

    @Noonan:

    Well then one of them should say that explicitly, because right now it really does read like “Medicaid doesn’t count.” And considering we’re talking about overwhelmingly white, most well off bloggers, well…

  185. 185
    Anya says:

    This is what my man Al Giordano said about Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington, Keith Olbermann and Howard Dean (Personally I wouldn’t lump Dean with this group)
    To me, they are the same as Lieberman: They’re seeking personal attention and to make themselves important and relevant. Whether they seek hit counts, ratings or to revitalize their political careers, their show is as transparently selfish as that of Lieberman. It doesn’t matter that they posture against Lieberman. As so often happens with bitter rivals who begin to resemble each other, they have become Liebermans.

  186. 186
    Brien Jackson says:

    @Anya:

    This.

  187. 187

    @John Cole:
    The hell of that is that if they strip the mandates and subsidies out of what’s left they actually have a start at something. I mean it’s so full of holes swiss cheeze looks consistent next to it, but a start is that.

    If a person wanted to go back that far they’d find my blog being dubious that anything good was going to come out of this. I hated starting out there, and I really hate ending here.

    I admit being a leftist, a piker by my grandparents’ measure, but that anyhow. I have been a resolute realist for a long time and I’ve spent way too much time cleaning up after Democratic stuff gone awry. I have not been one of the Reid, Pelosi, Obama bashers, quite the contrary. The left thinks I’m an apostate, the center thinks I’m a loon, and the Right thinks I’m a traitor. That is probably a good space, but it can be damned tiring.

    I frequent this blog because of the FPs and Cole particularly and then the commentariate. I spend more characters on this than my own blog (read here more too). I don’t like being a “stinker” particularly amongst ‘friends.’

  188. 188
    Anya says:

    I really, really loathe the edit function and the blockquote. Of course it could all be due to my ignorance but they both are a trial.

  189. 189

    @Anya:

    As so often happens with bitter rivals who begin to resemble each other, they have become Liebermans.

    Oh absofuckinglutely, that’s why I want to call everybody here, except makepee, George W Bush. Exactly. Thank you for promulgating a little something for me to laugh my ass off at. I was starting to feel bitter, now I’m better.

    We’re all George now….

    (as for edit button, delete is right next to it – a better idea)

  190. 190
    Cain says:

    With all due respect to Chuck whose opinions carry great weight with me, I must disagree. We tried the “our way or the highway” back during the Clinton days and we fucked it up and we lost our majorities. We didn’t do enough negotiations, and I realize in the context of all the other things that happened (the bank bailout) that it looks like capitulation.

    But I think we need to have our foot in the door. We can immediately start making the bill better in 2010 and get the confidence of the people, but trying to start out immediately with the perfect bill with the congress we got? I don’t think so.

    Worse, the attitude here is that we’ll stay home. That’s the wrong attitude. I think we need to get rid of the folks that were demogagues through this thing. If we can’t then we know that we have to deal with some political realities about the states that vote these people in. You need to take your case to those people and sell them so that they will elect the right person. We’re not doing that.

    Better democrats please.

    cain

  191. 191
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Howard Dean’s brother announced today that those who don’t purchase health insurance will be “criminals” under the Congressional plan.

    I posted some stats on the people in this country who don’t have health insurance. 6% of college educated white people don’t have health insurance 15% of white working class don’t have health insurance. 20% of all black people don’t have health insurance. 30% of all Hispanics don’t have health insurance.

    Howard Dean really believes that it is a “liberal” tactic to tell these people that they are going to suffer a criminal penalty if they can’t meet the mandate? That they are going to be “criminals”?

    What a fear-mongering asshole. What a low-down lousy desperate tactic.

    If that’s “liberal”, I don’t want any part of it.

  192. 192
    Fern says:

    As near as I can tell (as former devoted FDL reader) Jane loves nothing more than a) a fight b) attention and c) the illusion that she has some sort of political influence.

  193. 193
    Brien Jackson says:

    @kay:

    I like how all of the “the mandate is evil” people can’t be bothered to acknowledge the exemptions from it. Or, as Yglesias pointed out earlier, what was so awesome about Medicare buy-in that made the evil mandate acceptable then. Which I guess goes back to why Medicaid expansion isn’t sufficient incremental expansion of public insurance.

  194. 194
    Deschanel says:

    I can’t keep straight all the goddamn striations that go on here:
    Left, liberal, progressive, Democrat, DFH- I swear every single person who invokes these terms on BJ has some microscopic, nuanced meaning for each. “The left” is this weird unknown entity no one here cops to being. Kind of like cable news, where this fearsome entity is talked about constantly but never ever seen on their chat shows. Why is that not extremely weird?

    Any fucking way, to all you people who have health insurance telling the rest of us DFHs to shut up and pass this bill as it stands, deliveringmillions into corporate care by MANDATE:

    Isn’t such a thing exactly what the crackpot Tea party people are saying? That they will be forced by government to do something the don’t want? How fucking tone deaf is Obama, and a hell of a lot of you here, that forcing people to buy something from a corporation without any choice isn’t going to be a massive political stink-bomb that will ruin the Democrats for years? It’s exactly the government takeover of their lives and income the dumbass Teabaggers are talking about! You’re going to force them to buy something?

    Oh my god, next year will be a bloodbath for us Dems with this current bill. Yes, it IS that fucked up and rotten. Bitch about Jane Hamsher all you want, you’re saying mandates for toothless hicks in Arkansas to spend their own money isn’t going to backfire SPECTACULARLY. Please explain how this will go over, government forcing people to buy insurance from corporations, in places that hate the government, ferociously. You’re going to penalize an Appalachian single mom on her taxes? Too funny, unreal.

    Oh god, the Republicans must be salivating. They win either way.
    And this site’s snide know-it-all ANGRY attitude towards those of us who see it as a gigantic pile of shit- one that would personally enslave me to an insurance company BY LAW- is actually disgusting. Go cuddle with your dog and cat, just don’t fucking mock people like me. Fuck me, I’ll die by 50 then. Or leave this fucking piece of shit inhuman nation where jackals and vultures picking the carcass always win. Always.
    No, I won’t eat that shit sandwich . Thanks for reinforcing that my life is worthless and I ought to be grateful to give my money to an exploitive megacorporation.

  195. 195
    Anya says:

    @Chuck Butcher: In case you did not get it, I did not write that but I completely agree with it.

  196. 196
    Jim says:

    @Fern:

    Ouch. And…. yes.

    I was still rooting for her in that fight with Lanny Davis.

  197. 197
    Anya says:

    @kay: Did we not hear the same thing form “this bill will kill grandma” crowd? I swear they are resembling the teabaggers more and more.

  198. 198
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    There’s this huge learning curve for new programs. People without health insurance are going to have to slot themselves into an existing program (the expansion of Medicaid you mentioned) or slot themselves into a subsidy, or slot themselves into coverage under their parent’s plan, under that provision, or contract with their employer for health insurance, under the small business component.

    The point of mandates is not to punish, like a criminal sanction, it is to get people to show up and get signed up. We don’t keep kids out of public school if they’re not vaccinated to PUNISH them. We keep them out of school so they’ll get vaccinated. It’s a mandate, because we have a broad goal, universal infectious disease control, and we need every kid in, or it won’t work.

    Why in hell any liberal would threaten people with “criminal” is beyond me, unless they’re just desperate to scuttle any chance that this thing will work.

  199. 199
    MJ says:

    @ DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    This. FTW. But only if the hands on the clock are replaced with green balloons.

  200. 200
  201. 201
    Ron says:

    @Malron:
    I swear some of the “progressives” are turning into a left-wing version of the Club for Growth.

  202. 202
    Ron says:

    @Cain:
    Where do you intend to elect these better democrats? Montana? Arkansas? Louisiana? Nebraska?

  203. 203
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    The left thinks I’m an apostate, the center thinks I’m a loon, and the Right thinks I’m a traitor. That is probably a good space, but it can be damned tiring.

    Welcome to the club. You are right, it can get damned tiring being hammered by both sides. While I have vacillated between supporting Democrats and being pissed off beyond belief enough that I quit the party in the early 90’s and even voting for Goofy for president in ’95, I am still a democrat. I quit the party but I never quit being a democrat, I’m just not a Democrat(TM) anymore. It seems that’s just about as far as I can get away from the party since I am not a Republican(TM) or republican and I never will be. While I can admire the old school republicans and argue policy with them, maybe even agreeing with some of their arguments, the current Republican(TM) party has been slowly going insane for decades. There is no way you can even start a discussion about anything with people who are insane unless you can first get them to admit that they are, which will never happen.

    Dealing with reality is my bag now, no matter how distasteful it may be. While I sure wish we all could reach a personal Utopia in our lives and in our interactions with government, I can admit that it will never happen. It sucks but as long as there are selfish people in this world, people will never be happy. That is reality.

    But as disgusted as I have been in the past, the current problems we all face force me to face the reality of the situation; we need to fight for what we want with a minimum of shooting our own in the process, keeping in mind that selfish people are going to do everything they can to stop it from happening. They like the selfish world they have built up around themselves so they are going to fight tooth and nail to keep it. The fight will not be clean and as we can all see clearly, it is packed with below the belt hits that are not going to stop. I believe that we can win but it is going to be an incremental fight to the death every step of the way. Lots of little steps, not the skipping of stairs that I like to do so much of in real life.

    Giving up is no longer an option for me, if I can’t get what I want then I want to try to get the best that I can, in some cases even if it contains some things that I find problematical for myself or others. I recognize the fact that we have a lot of selfish people in our country and they depend on the stupid to do their bidding/dirty work. Stupid people are not an endangered species in our country so there is a ready herd of idiots just waiting to find their “cause”. They are truly rebels without a clue, easily manipulated to even vote against their best interests.

    During one of my ‘down on dems’ moments here you jumped my ass and proudly spoke of the years of blood, sweat and tears you have given the Democratic party, deriding me for having quit the party. I said then that I respected your commitment to the party and I mean what I said; you put your money where your mouth is. I was active in the party for two decades, starting out at the age of twelve going door to door with my Mom for a state representative. My Mom was heavily involved with the party, belonged to the Jane Jefferson Democratic Club and worked for Senators Tom Foley and Henry Jackson. While she didn’t agree with them or her party on everything, she did her job to the best of her ability until her career at Boeing took off.

    Like you, I have been there and done that too. Not nearly to the degree that you have but I have seen it in action and I can admire it. I just can’t do the little I was anymore so I just try to do the best I can. In the mid-90’s, my Mom told me that she didn’t like the direction the party was going and she completely bowed out of the party, just like I had a few years earlier. We just never quit being democrats.

    I don’t know where I am going with this except that I am reading what you are saying and the bitterness is sad, so unlike your past posting here. I see people like you who are rightly angry and dropping out and I have to admit that it is pretty disheartening because you are the people who believe, just like my Mom once did. We disagree on the nebulous bill on HCR but I respect your position on it because sadly I too have been there and have done that. I just can’t not do it anymore, with the poisonous atmosphere in our country I just don’t think we have that ‘luxury’ (for lack of a better word).

    Reality sucks but I have to try and make the best of it. Sadly, it’s all I can do.

  204. 204
    eemom says:

    @Fern:

    yep, that’s her, awright. poifect summation of teh Jane.

    I remember you from my own long-ago FDL days. You’re a Canadian, right? It’s nice of you to hang out with the hapless denizens of a dysfunctional clusterfuck like us.

    Hopefully, you’ll put in a good word after the election of President Palin when we all come illegal immigranting across the border.

  205. 205
    slightly_peeved says:

    Howard Dean really believes that it is a “liberal” tactic to tell these people that they are going to suffer a criminal penalty if they can’t meet the mandate?

    The US doesn’t have any liberal parties that govern anywhere. They have a conservative party and a detatched-from-reality-batshit-insane party. Don’t know why this is – possibly the glee with which the Republican party nominates downright morons and the glee with which some citizens (say, the author of the blog in an earlier time) will vote for them. Don’t know where this glee comes from; I think it may be related to the part of the brain that thinks wolves look good on a t-shirt.

    Countries that have liberal parties have liberal tactics. These are kind of like Republican tactics, only more brutal. You decide on a party policy in caucus, then muster a united front. Negotiate with independents where necessary, then ram it down the throat of the opposing party. And if anyone in their own party publicly disagrees, the whips ask whether they want a campaign staff next election. The virtue of liberalism isn’t in being nice to the other party; it’s in being nice to the populace.

    There’s nothing leftist or liberal about the Democratic Party’s lack of organisation. If anything, it’s the lack of a relibable progressive core that leads to their lack of party discipline. The UK Labor party, for example, has the ideological and structural basis of the Labor unions to organise around. I’m not sure the US Democratic party has the same thing. Also, it helps that other countries generally have some way of clearing an obstructionist minority, whether it be limits on the power of the upper house (such as in the UK) or the ability to call a double dissolution election (as we might see in the next few months in Australia).

    Personally, I think Obama’s doing a pretty good job, considering that the system of government which he is running is not quite California fucked, but fucked nonetheless. But one thing I hope he or the Democrat party get round to at some point in the next 7 years is a foolproof way for the majority party to pass law. As much as the willingness of the US populace to elect senile actors and wannabe Batman villains keeps me awake at night, it’s the only way a government can actually work.

  206. 206
    Sly says:

    I like how all of the “the mandate is evil” people can’t be bothered to acknowledge the exemptions from it. Or, as Yglesias pointed out earlier, what was so awesome about Medicare buy-in that made the evil mandate acceptable then. Which I guess goes back to why Medicaid expansion isn’t sufficient incremental expansion of public insurance.

    The mandate isn’t evil because it forces some people to pay (with pretty big subsidies) for something that they otherwise might not get. It’s evil because, in the minds of these people, everyone is going to become chattel slaves to Aetna’s Board of Directors. An analysis that is not founded in any part on fact.

    People who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance in the individual market, and who don’t get insurance from their employer, will have to purchase insurance (with subsidies… not FEHB-grade subsidies, but reasonably close) from a range of plans that will include ones offered by, horror of horrors, more heavily regulated non-profit insurers. The horror. Medicare will still exist for the largest group of people who are chronically uninsurable (retired seniors). S-CHIP and Medicaid will also still be there and will probably become less of a financial liability for states, who could use fewer liabilities right now. Anyone not interested in merely grandstanding for the sake of their own ego should find this arrangement acceptable. The French do it somewhat like this, for fuck’s sake.

    There are problems with the Senate Bill, yes. It establishes too many exchanges to really be cost effective (the House Bill establishes one big one, which is ideal, while the Senate Bill basically creates 100 of them, which is too many to be as effective as they could be). But the reason there are so many in the Senate Bill is because the fucking Hamsherites scared the shit out of Midwestern Senators over the prospect of a P.O. tied to Medicare rates. So many exchanges makes that pretty much impossible to implement, now or in the future. The age ratio for premium increases is also better in the House Bill (something that the Pollyanna Crowd ignores is that the House Bill also has a premium ratio, except its 2:1 compared to the Senate’s 3:1).

    It’s scary to think that people this obscenely stupid are running the country. All the while, the painfully obvious left/right transpartisan consensus that is coalescing against DC insiders of both parties appears to be taking everyone by surprise.

    And it’s all because of her. I might agree with Hamsher on a lot of issues, but in this case she’s proven herself to be another demagogue in a political climate that fucking has enough of them already.

  207. 207
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I saw someone else make this comparison the other day in a negative sense and thought it was just hyperbolic. This is not Hamsher’s finest hour.

    The teabaggers are corporate-financed and organized astroturf all babbling incoherent messages with only one uniting theme: Obama must be destroyed.

    I could see trying to find common ground with Paulites on discrete issues for purely tactical reasons, but this is taking that about a marathon too far. Why on earth would you want to form a long-term partnership with the “Get a brain! Morans!” guy? Why would you want to appear to confirm everyone’s worst suspicions that it’s all personal for you?

    She needs to back away from the abyss or she’s about to have a Charles Johnson moment. (Not in 2009, but 2001.)

  208. 208

    @Chuck Butcher

    A left third party? That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long time. I know, Nader killed Gore. Horseshit. Gore killed Gore. That close race was the product of candidate Gore and policies he embraced. I will tell you this much, rather than do pages – every gun owner in the US started out with a negative view of Gore thanks to his own mouth. You cannot start out with that large a group with a negative feeling unless you run a hell of a campaign and down play that negative. After Kerry, Dems started to get – that one.

    Thanks for making this point. I’m sick and fucking tired the myth that Nader killed Gore. Gore killed Gore, he ran a lousy campaign, tacked right and then shifted left (and did better once he shifted left) came off as wooden and lacking in passion, picked Holy Joe as his VP and got fucked in the ass by the Supreme Court.

    If Gore had won the same percentage of votes nationally that Clinton won in 1996 he would have won the presidency. Hell, look at West Virginia (where the people aren’t morons, really John, we don’t think that at all, but don’t get me started on fucking Dorklahoma!). Bill Clinton took West Virginia with over 50 percent of the vote in 1996. Even if Buchanan hadn’t been on the Reform party ticket, even if there hadn’t been a Reform party and all of the voters who voted for Buchanan voted for Dole Clinton still would have owned the state. If Gore had won West Virginia in 2000, West Virginia which only has five electoral votes, he would have won the electoral college and the election. If Gore had taken his home state of Tennessee, which Clinton won in 1996, he would have won the electoral college and the election. If Gore had taken Arkansas in 2000, which Clinton handily took in 1996 he would have won.

    Florida was a goddamned clusterfuck, but the fact that Gore lost states that Clinton owned in 1996 doesn’t say a lot about his campaigning abilities, and there’s no guarantee that those Nader voters in Florida would have voted for Gore if Nader hadn’t been on the ticket. They might not even have voted. Hell, if you’re going to blame Nader for Gore’s loss in Florida why not blame the Socialist Workers, they got like 1,800 votes. Just think, if the Socialist Workers, who have been telling everyone for years that the Democratic and Republican parties are different puppets controlled by the same masters hadn’t been on the ticket all of those people who voted for the Socialist Workers would have voted for Gore and he would have won the election. Goddamned fucking Socialist Workers, if it weren’t for their third party bullshit Gore would have become president in 2000.

  209. 209
    PTirebiter says:

    I like TBogg and Marci Wheeler so I frequent FDL pretty regularly. Unfortunately, a lot of their regulars started building up to this tantrum about two months after
    the election. Nothing short of Obama executing McConnell and Boehner would have been tough enough for them. They want what they want, when they want it and they’re going Redstate on anyone who dares suggest a more temperate approach. It’s sad.

  210. 210
    cleek says:

    this is all you need to know about Hamsher: during the Lieberman / Lamont race, she thought it would be a good idea to run this picture on one of her screeds. when called on it, she spun like a top.

    when the left needs to look just a little more stupid, she’s always there to lend a hand.

    broke my heart a little when TBogg moved over there. but as it turns out, there’s not much cross-talk between his blog and her’s, so i got over it.

  211. 211
    jenniebee says:

    One thing I see going on is that there’s a lot of response to Howard Dean and the netroots as though we were Senators, and we’re not. It’s Senators’ job to negotiate this thing. It’s our job to push those Senators and give them political cover to move to the left by pitching an unholy fit about what they compromise away – that’s what effective bases do. What really boggles my mind is that in that post Jane Hamsher explicitly mentions that the White House probably thinks on exactly those lines and then objects to that function. She apparently wants the Senate to move the Overton window for the base instead of the other way around.

  212. 212

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    It’s kind of like being in love with a cheating woman (man), there can be one too many betrayals just too egregiously committed. Kind of like bopping him/her in a motel was bad but when you did it our bed…

    I’ve watched corporatism seeping into Democratic politics for a long time, I’ve watched tolerance of it grow in Democratic voters. I’ve watched the Party and its voters turn into something I cannot understand. This is doing it in my bed, subdizing an agreed Devil with extorted money and taxpayer monies portrayed as a virtue will do it for me.

    I know, better than most, how badly this party can blow things. The deal is, I never believed it could get this bad – honestly I didn’t. I cannot do “ends justify the means” here, it is just too goddam much.

    John doesn’t think there will be a bill now, I don’t know. This thing and the reactions have so exceeded my expectations and imagination that … well, I just don’t know. Joe Ho is getting real quiet now that it is no more than a corporate subsidy and Nelson, well I don’t think he’d give a miss at a chance to do that, either – once he’s played hell out of the abortion game. I wonder if a really nasty abortion clause would take this out of the win column around here… I’m way past guessing anymore. That is why I told the Party I was taking a leave, I just don’t know anymore.

    Desperation for a victory leads to odd results. See GOP.

  213. 213
    handy says:

    She apparently wants the Senate to move the Overton window for the base instead of the other way around.

    And it worked the same for the Repubs–it’s been their “base,” the screeching loud mouths in the RW media–who have succeeded in making our modern politics into soundbytes that touch on primal fears and culture war fare.

  214. 214

    I love it, everybody bashes Hamsher for conflating the left and the teabaggers – right after days of stating the same thing about the destructive lefties and comparing them to … the right loons.

    shut the fuck up left, we know what we’re doing. you fuckers never get it right. as you repeatedly have to pick up the pieces of you knowing what the fuck you were doing.

    Getting this country back from the corporations is right now an exercise with real dubious outcomes. Aw fuck, why bother. Up thread Sly tells you it really isn’t a bad thing, because … well because he wants it that way right after he gets done telling you all the Corporations you get to subsidize and ignores State laws about who the fuck can sell insurance in that State. Pathetic

  215. 215
    tomvox1 says:

    Also in retrospect, I wonder of it’s possible to overestimate how much Joe Lieberman despises Jane and how much she may have played into his petty hands by being so adamant in this debate, i.e. whatever Jane wants/articulates, Joe will tack the other way And in the end, they may both achieve the same end: the last best shot for this country to do the right thing for its people before the nutjobs take over. Mutual Assured Destruction indeed.

  216. 216
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Why exactly do Jane Hamsher and Markos Moulitsas get to claim the mantle of being “anti-corporate”? They are the two most transparently acquisitive and business-plan-minded people on the entire continuum of left-to-liberal politics. They’re not left, and they’re not anti-corporate. They’re talented AT BRANDING.

    Also, I said this the other day on a thread in which I later completely melted down and started flipping shit every which way, but I’ll bring it up again now that I’m more composed.

    I don’t understand why the word “corporate” has become some strange version of Godwin’s rule, where that’s all you need to say and you, like, win.

    “Why do you have a problem with this bill?”
    “Corporate.”
    “But I think I actually stands to help–”
    “Corporate!”
    “No, you’re not listeni–”
    “Corporate shill!”

    Corporate influence sucks. But I don’t see Markos Moulitsas refusing to go on MSNBC because the whole thing is fueled by the blood of the victims of General Electric’s heavy industry. He uses it for his purposes. We have a fucked-up capitalist system that’s probably unsustainable. So let’s try to make it do us more good, or at least try to make it abuse and humiliate us _less_.

    This thing with how people are going to throw a fit over being told they have to buy health insurance. Yeah, some of them will. And _a lot_ of people will be damn glad to be able to buy some health insurance, so that you don’t have to think twice about calling the ambulance because, well, she’s passed out and nonresponsive, but she _might_ recover, probably, and I’ll just keep waiting, because I can’t run the risk of getting stuck with the bill. Because _that_ is a scary damn situation to be in.

  217. 217

    ‘Where were you when Clinton…’

    yelling and screaming and being ignored…

    For the same reasons, different day.

  218. 218
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Getting this country back from the corporations

    Whatever this health care reform debate has been, it is _not_ the means of “getting this country back from the corporations,” and I’m kind of flabbergasted that so many people think they’re accomplishing some sort of step in that direction.

    (EDITED to fix blockquote weirdness)

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    yelling and screaming and being ignored…

    You don’t say.

    (OK, cheap shot, weak moment, sorry.)

  220. 220
    slightly_peeved says:

    People who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance in the individual market, and who don’t get insurance from their employer, will have to purchase insurance (with subsidies… not FEHB-grade subsidies, but reasonably close) from a range of plans that will include ones offered by, horror of horrors, more heavily regulated non-profit insurers.

    The range of plans thing is important. A few people in previous threads have asked what is preventing insurers from refusing treatment for certain conditions. In the exchange, is there anything stopping a person who is refused treatment from switching insurance to a better provider (and posting their experience on the online comparison site that’s been proposed)? And while I’ve heard plenty about the corruption of US health insurance companies, is it the case that every single insurer in the US provides horrible care?

    All the exchange needs is one insurer that offers a decent product. With the proposed online evaluation system, people will find the better insurers. There’s nothing stopping everyone else in the exchange from switching.

    The senate bill still has a lot of problems, but the establishment of portable health insurance is a pretty big deal.

  221. 221

    The current version is another nail in that coffin. You just don’t like it being called out.

    Don’t strawman bullshit me.

  222. 222
    slightly_peeved says:

    People who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance in the individual market, and who don’t get insurance from their employer, will have to purchase insurance (with subsidies… not FEHB-grade subsidies, but reasonably close) from a range of plans that will include ones offered by, horror of horrors, more heavily regulated non-profit insurers.

    The range of plans thing is important. A few people in previous threads have asked what is preventing insurers from refusing treatment for certain conditions. In the exchange, is there anything stopping a person who is refused treatment from switching insurance to a better provider (and posting their experience on the online comparison site that’s been proposed)? And while I’ve heard plenty about the corruption of US health insurance companies, is it the case that every single insurer in the US provides horrible care?

    All the exchange needs is one insurer that offers a decent product. With the proposed online evaluation system, people will find the better insurers. There’s nothing stopping everyone else in the exchange from switching.

    The senate bill still has a lot of problems, but the establishment of portable health insurance is a pretty big deal.

  223. 223

    @slightly_peeved:
    You do have some idea that States control who can sell insurance in their state? WTF are you talking about? Somebody suddenly included the GOP demand that insurance be sold across state lines?

    Wishful thinking doesn’t make a thing so.

    way_fucking_peeved

  224. 224
    ChrisWWW says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Reform could have reduced the power of almost universally loathed insurance companies.

  225. 225
    rachel says:

    @ChrisWWW: Only if they get something they want in exchange for losing that bit of power. Otherwise, they’ll cut the reform process off at the knees like they did for “Hillarycare”.

  226. 226
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    The fact that something can be labeled “corporate” does not prove that it is A Bad Thing. (OK, it doesn’t help, but bear with me.)

    (You in particular have made arguments of substance, and I’m not trying to mix it up with you _as_ you, I’m interested in talking about this rhetorical move that you happened to be making as I came back into the conversation.)

    IMHO miscellaneous rants about things that are “corporate” are like miscellaneous rants about “TV” or “Hollywood” or “major labels.” Saying “I can’t stand this bill, it’s corporate” is a bit like saying “I can’t stand The Wire, it’s a TV show.” Now someone will say, it’s not The Wire, it’s more like Small Wonder. And then we can talk again about what the bad things are. But saying “corporate” is a shortcut and a discussion killer. It’s like the opposite of a safeword. Green Balloons! Green Balloons!

  227. 227
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I agree with ya.

    It’s worse than “corporate” whatever. It’s fucking health insurance companies.

  228. 228
    slightly_peeved says:

    You do have some idea that States control who can sell insurance in their state? WTF are you talking about? Somebody suddenly included the GOP demand that insurance be sold across state lines?

    The current likely model for the exchanges is an FEHBP – style plan, consisting of a set of national non-profits with the OPM deciding which insurers get in. That was proposed as part of the compromises for the public option, and since it didn’t piss off liberals, Lieberman didn’t have an issue with it. As far as I know, it’s still in.

  229. 229
    mclaren says:

    C’mon now, Cole, we all know you cropped those pics of Tunch and Lily to leave out the assault rifle and the sign reading THE TREE OF LIBERTY MUST BE WATERED WITH THE BLOOD OF PATRIOTS FROM TIME TO TIME.

  230. 230
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rachel:

    Only if they get something they want in exchange for losing that bit of power. Otherwise, they’ll cut the reform process off at the knees like they did for “Hillarycare”.

    Yes yes yes. They shouldn’t be able to, but they can. That’s why the very first plank in the whole Obama approach was to reassure people who _had_ insurance and _liked_ their insurance that they wouldn’t have to change. Because it was the prospect of everyone having to change that made people run _towards_ the insurance companies’ cold, stony bosoms in the Clinton health care task force debacle.

    That’s why I think this bill is more like harm reduction, like a methadone clinic or needle exchange. It doesn’t kick the insurance company addiction in one step, and maybe it moves entirely too slow. But at least it makes it _less harmful_. Capitalize on hatred and suspicion of insurance companies by regulating them right up the ol’ wazoo. That’s the terrain I’d like to be fighting on. But that’s my technocrat-Progressive Era streak. I feel like that’s a language that might not energize and inspire, but it’s generally acceptable across the political spectrum: prevent Big Business from actively doing damage to the people. Only cranks complain about Big Government getting between you and your kid’s lead-laden toys. That’s the middle-of-the-road Consumer-Reports-ish ethos that crosses party lines.

    Sadly, I’m sure the bill won’t be strong enough for my wonky satisfaction in respect to regulation either. But I always think arguing for more regulation ought to play well, when subpar regulation ends up, you know, killing people.

  231. 231
    ChrisWWW says:

    @rachel:
    They don’t have any power our sellout politicians didn’t give them.

  232. 232
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    It’s fucking health insurance companies.

    I agree that health insurance companies are vicious bastards. There was a time when they weren’t (although it was generations ago), when the whole “mutual” business made sense, shared risk, collective responsibility, almost a quintessentially liberal thing. In their current form, I would prefer they didn’t exist, and agree that making health care a public good provided by government agencies would be a massive improvement. But we’re so collectively fucked in the head by the Cold War that people still get twitchy about the government providing services. So while that’s changing at a slower-than-glacial pace, let’s work on making insurance companies behave more like the old “mutuals,” focusing on, you know, helping people pay for health. care. rather than dicking around rent-seeking like another kind of investment bank and/or Ponzi scheme.

    That’s where my head is right now on this. And I think the bill is a minor step in that direction. And in my world that’s what the focus would have been on all along.

  233. 233
    Glocksman says:

    @Cain:

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a fairly low wage ($13/hr) union worker who happens to have a ‘Cadillac’ health plan that’d be taxed under the current Senate plans.

    While I’m perfectly willing to take a general tax hike among all brackets to pay for health care reform, I’m fucking NOT willing to pay for it all by myself because I have the good luck to have a union.

    IOW, fuck the Senate proposals to date.
    If it comes down to the wire, simple self interest will motivate me to both oppose any bill that has the ‘Cadillac tax’ in it and any Democrat that supported said tax.

  234. 234
    KCinDC says:

    @cleek, to understand the full insanity of Jane’s Lieberman blackface picture, you have to realize that less than a year before Steve Gilliard had posted a blackface picture of Michael Steele (yes, both Gilliard and Steele were black) that caused a gigantic blogosphere- and media-wide freakout, causing problems for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine, who was running ads on Gilliard’s site and had to pull them and denounce Gilliard. Somehow Jane either didn’t notice all this or forgot it or thought her picture was somehow less objectionable.

  235. 235

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    How does a McCain presidency look different than what we’ve gotten so far from Obama?

    Well, for one thing, we’d have attacked Iran by now.

  236. 236
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I too have been dismayed by the increasing corporatism of the Democratic party, it being one of my reasons for leaving it. Same with my mother, working at Boeing was great for her career but she saw the political corruption from inside and it soured her. I think the problem is that while both parties have worked hard for business interests in the past, the Republicans have discovered that the most reliable way they could compete against the Democrats and win was to suck up all of the cash they can. If they have it then the Democrats don’t, it’s that simple. Rich people and business are where the cash is at so they offered to cater exclusively to the rich and well off middle class. To help that middle class they tossed anti-abortion, anti-tax, anti-government, and anti-brown people chum into the political waters to bring in the bottom feeders to support them. It worked, they have sold out and are not looking back. Money papers over a multitude of sins and they have the money to sin their asses off and get away with it.

    Money is power and power attracts weak people in the hopes that they can catch the crumbs the rich drop. If they have to be lackeys to the rich then so be it, anything to survive the way that they want to.

    I think that the Democratic party got tired of getting their asses kicked by the newly moneyed Republican party and they figured that if they can’t beat them then they should join them. They saw that money made people listen to you and that the press thinks you are somebody  because you have amassed all of that power and money. The political version of American Idol is what resulted from this marriage of money and political power. The Democrats have decided that they need a piece of the money pie to compete and thus they became corporatist in an attempt to regain power. They are becoming what we abhor in a short-sighted attempt to come out winners like the Republican party is perceived to be.

    Moneyed interests pretty much own the country now that they have largely bought our government out from under us and short of a revolution I don’t think we are ever going to get it back. It’s depressing as hell but once you accept that this is the way it is I think it makes it easier to operate in the toxic environment we now live in. I don’t like it one bit but that is the reality of it as I see it.

    I want things to change but until some slim opportunity presents itself, if ever, all I can do is try for the best I can even if it isn’t perfect. Am I right? Hell, I don’t know but it’s the best I can do to handle things are they are right now.

  237. 237
    rachel says:

    @ChrisWWW: Yes, and? The situation is still what it is, and we have to deal with it on that basis or we will get nothing done to benefit ourselves.

  238. 238
    The Raven says:

    John, you’re quoting her out of context and missing her point, which is, “There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill,” and this is true, so far as anyone (except Obama, Rahm, and the Senate) can tell. Both parties’s bases are energized.

  239. 239
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Well, for one thing, we’d have attacked Iran by now.

    Tell me President McCain doesn’t start WWIII over this:

    Iranian forces crossed into Iraq and seized an oil well just over the two countries’ disputed border, Iraq’s government said Friday, prompting a protest from Baghdad and providing a dramatic display of the sometimes tenuous relations between the wary allies.

  240. 240

    There is enough blame for this situation with HCR to go around from the Pres to Freshman Sen. At this point in time, versus six months ago, I don’t think there is a damn thing to be done to get anything good. Saying now that somebody should … is missing the point that nobody can.

    The politics are actually pretty simple, you don’t bring forward something you can’t do. Things have to be known, things like what is the least the Pres will sign, who has to be gotten and what’s their price, and most importantly what are the consequences for double dealing. You cannot put yourself in the position of unaffordable failure – you give assholes a huge lever. OK, that’s then and a short version.

    Now you’re up against it. Nothing else really matters, you’re essentially fucked on what you wanted to do, so you’ve got to rescue it, you can’t just blindly drive forward, fuck the cliff. Now what did you most want and need to do?

    If the answer is rein in the insurance company abuses, do that. Forget the stuff that is sinking you, Soshalizm. You have part of a bill, use it.

    If the answer is to cover people, you’ve got a huge problem because you have no ducks in order. Forcing (or even appearing to) people to buy insurance with no choices beyond the devils’ products is deadly. I have no idea what you do, you’ve offered up so many levers to the opposition that they will screw you to the wall. You could put up a rock solid safe Democrat to get up and take one for the team and say, OK, by the time you screw this completely I won’t vote cloture and see. If the onus for failure is landed squarely on a Nelson or Lieberman rather than the slow death of a million cuts you might scare them a bit (very unlikely). As is, they’re just gnawing the thing to flinders and essentially getting away with it.

    Putting forward something that gets to the abuses of people who have insurance gives some political cover. Nothing is bad ending, a really shitty bill with a big price is even worse. The one aspect of dealing with abuse and leaving the rest alone is that you do no harm. You don’t do the good we all wanted, but that day was some time ago.

    As long as the idea is the fed paying out I don’t see an end to Nelson/Lieberman leverage and their bullshit “concerns.” Rahm had this right, there are no more liberal Senators to be gotten; but part of the problem has been the perception that there are none to lose or a President to lose, Lierman can do as he pleases in that scenario.

    I’m not in the least callous to people without insurance, crap – I don’t have any and my wife needs to.

  241. 241
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven:

    Both parties’s bases are energized.

    I am not convinced that the Hamsher-Kos crowd is “the party’s base.” The blogosphere muckety-mucks _overlap_ with the activist/volunteer base, but they’re not coextensive. And the blogosphere entrepeneurs would _very much_ like us all to think of them as the mouthpieces of “the party’s base,” but they’re not very tapped in on labor or race, to name just two. Because we read blogs, we take blog shitfits as matters of consequence that everyone is certainly talking about. But I know a lot of self-identified liberal people and I’m the _only_ one who reads blogs.

    (I’m not trying to say that “the base” isn’t disgruntled and/or energized, just that the disgruntled and energized readers of Kos and Hamsher aren’t necessarily the vanguard or the most typical representatives of “the base.”)

  242. 242

    @FlipYrWhig:
    You may not know any pissed off activists, I do. My county party is so pissed they’re at this time letting my leave of absence stand. If you think this is loon lefty land, I have news for you.

    I don’t know where they will go with their anger, I sure won’t tell them. These people worked their hearts out a year ago.

  243. 243
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I’m with John, I really don’t think a bill is going to pass. There are too many ways for this to fail and the roulette wheel of fail is still spinning but it is going to come to a stop soon. I would like to see some kind of positive movement regarding a HRC bill I really don’t see it happening in the current environment. I really think that the bought and paid for in the Senate want to find some way to kill the bill and get the monkey off of their backs. The Obama/Lieberman face off and the netroots going after Lieberman offer Republicans and some Democrats a way out of it if they are willing blow health care up for them. If that doesn’t happen, Nelson can concern troll the bill to death.

    When it fails it will be widely portrayed and perceived that it was a failure of the Democrats and by extension, Obama.

    End of story.

  244. 244
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    (I’m not trying to say that “the base” isn’t disgruntled and/or energized, just that the disgruntled and energized readers of Kos and Hamsher aren’t necessarily the vanguard or the most typical representatives of “the base.”)

    The stinkin’ Senate bill has about 30% support in polls. Is that yer base? Good luck with that.

  245. 245
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Forcing (or even appearing to) people to buy insurance with no choices beyond the devils’ products is deadly

    The way I see it, libertarian-ish people won’t like the idea of being forced to buy insurance _regardless_ of whom they’re being forced to buy it from. Mandate with public option, mandate without public option, the aspect of “government force” is intact either way. Ultimately, that’s an argument against mandates. But without the mandate a lot of the other features can’t fly. Which is why single-payer makes more sense than any Rube Goldberg contraption they can come up with; but single-payer is sullied by our collective national freakout during the Cold War as something that skeery totalitarians do. Leaving the Rube Goldberg contraption they’ve come up with as close to the best they can do. It’s fucked up. But I’m afraid we can’t un-fuck it for a long, long time.

  246. 246

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    If this goes completely in the toilet the House and the credibly challenged Democratic Senators are going to take some real damage. It is too bad neither Lieberman nor Nelson are in this go around. I’m not sure incumbency has advantages for a lot these folks, it might be a real problem.

  247. 247
    The Raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig,

    I am not convinced that the Hamsher-Kos crowd is “the party’s base.”

    Hamsher’s point is exactly that it’s not just the bloggers. It’s not even just the Democratic base. This is a deeply unpopular bill, and widespread opposition is emerging.

    The way I see it, libertarian-ish people won’t like the idea of being forced to buy insurance regardless of whom they’re being forced to buy it from.

    Sure, but most of them are willing to accept Medicare. A good plan will reluctantly be accepted. The corollary, though, is that a bad plan will be vehemently rejected.

  248. 248
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    My post got eated up by the BJ Mod Gawd again! Hep me!

    :)

    The gist of my post is that I’m with John, I don’t think a bill is going to be passed. It will cost the Democrats next year and that is pretty much it.

    Republicans win even when they lose. Money is the reason for this.

  249. 249
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You may not know any pissed off activists, I do

    I didn’t mean that activists weren’t pissed off, just that the Venn diagram of activists has two overlapping circles between “the blog people” and “the activists,” rather than that it’s one circle with two names. And I think both Markos Moulitsas and Jane Hamsher have been thinking of themselves as activist leaders, but they’re really more like pundits.

  250. 250
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They are activists for what they want and that’s about it.

  251. 251

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I know this. I also know that bad is not better than nothing. Not real good isn’t the same thing as BAD. Bad doesn’t leave you opportunities for another go at it or even fixing it. Bad will piss the people off so much that they won’t buy that you have a good idea, you’ll have proved what you’ve got sucks. Not to mention that you will have subsidized the enemy.

    You have the toothless regs regarding ins cos to hold up as an accomplishment and can probably get those through.

    It isn’t about libertarianism, those were gone at the outset. It is this, people will look at what they’re stuck HAVING to buy and revolt, for fucking decades. Fuck what the activists want or don’t, the people who have to buy a shit sandwich will go fucking nuts when they see it.

    If you think Reaganism caused difficulties wait until you see where this goes. They won’t just take themselves out of your corner, they’ll take neighbors, their kids, etc and for a good long time. If you thought these last two elections were digging a way out of a hole, wait until you see the crater where a hole was.

  252. 252
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @The Raven:

    The corollary, though, is that a bad plan will be vehemently rejected.

    Yeah, but a notgood plan is all we can get through so a notgood plan will have to do. Otherwise, ninja pirate monkeys magically intervene and turn the government over to Rush Limbaugh who will kill a liberal every day by smothering them inside of his ass.

    It has been foretold.

  253. 253
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven:

    Sure, but most of them are willing to accept Medicare.

    This is becoming a tangent, but IMHO that’s because they think they paid for it. And I’m not convinced that the baseline level of insurance provided by whatever gets put into law is going to be “crappy,” even though that’s what everyone keeps saying.

    Hamsher’s point is exactly that it’s not just the bloggers. It’s not even just the Democratic base. This is a deeply unpopular bill, and widespread opposition is emerging.

    If 50% of people really hate 10% of something, and the other 50% of people really hate a non-overlapping 10% of it, it means that 100% of people hate something about it, and it would poll as “deeply unpopular,” even though there’d be huge swathes of approval, and if I weren’t so tired I’d just do the damn math, but I’m fading fast. Anyway, “Do you approve of the bill?” forces all of that into a binary Yes/No context, whereas polling many objectives and sections of the bill might show a lot of approval being swamped out by vociferous disapproval of smaller bits. I don’t know if that’s true in this case, but I’m thinking abstractly tonight.

  254. 254

    If I had to guess, more activists don’t read blogs than do. Oregon has some pretty good blogs and my experience is fewer read than do on any kind of regular basis.

    The problem with statements like that one, is knowing what overlap of opinion there is. As has been noted, polling is showing the Senate’s whatever to be a disaster.

    Without something serious and radical being done to the arc of this mess…

  255. 255
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And I’m not convinced that the baseline level of insurance provided by whatever gets put into law is going to be “crappy,” even though that’s what everyone keeps saying.

    Forcing people to suck on the semen loaded balls of private health insurance companies is already a bad thing before you even get to what kind of coverage yer gonna get.

    I know because President Obama told me so when he was running for President.

  256. 256
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    It is this, people will look at what they’re stuck HAVING to buy and revolt, for fucking decades. Fuck what the activists want or don’t, the people who have to buy a shit sandwich will go fucking nuts when they see it.

    OK, one last thing. I just don’t believe that there’s going to be this much forced-shit-sandwich-buying or fucking-nuts-going. I don’t. I’m much more worried that if this bill goes down the entire Obama presidency gets paralyzed from being able to do _anything_ for 3 more years. We need this so that other things can still happen. That’s why I’m eating the shit sandwich.

  257. 257

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m thinking abstractly tonight.

    Don’t do that. What you’re dealing with is all concrete. You’re not dealing with policy wonks, you’re dealing with somebody coughing up cash money. Throw in ‘have to’ and it becomes even more concrete.

    There is no conceivable insurance plan short of gold plated that is going to stop a complete and utter revolt. I don’t care if YOU think it is good enough, it won’t be. In a single payer or government option scenario you at least have the excuse of saying we’re trying to get you something, we’re putting the government in your corner.

    My problem with corporatism is a wonk thing, the political reality thing is something else. I give up on trying to get the wonk thing through, the political disaster thing might be simpler to understand and have some meaning to the WIN people. Even that may miss the wishful thinking crew.

  258. 258

    @FlipYrWhig:

    We need this so that other things can still happen. That’s why I’m eating the shit sandwich.

    Yep, and this has been done before, it is called arrogance and it sunk the Democrats for a long time. I can manage to duck the shit that’ll get tossed on Joe Schmoe, of course I won’t have insurance, but it won’t be my dime getting pissed away.

  259. 259
    MNPundit says:

    Dean is a hero you know? Dean in the presidency is worth 10 Obamas. Seriously, if I were a woman I would have wanted to bear his children. I think that highly of him.

    I don’t think a primary challenge will matter. Any opponent will get crushed so why not use it to blow off some steam?

  260. 260

    @MNPundit:

    I don’t think a primary challenge will matter. Any opponent will get crushed so why not use it to blow off some steam?

    Because you take people’s money on a promise and their belief in you.

  261. 261

    I don’t know if anybody outside the works will ever fully appreciate what Howard Dean did for the DNC and State Parties.

  262. 262
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I don’t know if anybody outside the works will ever fully appreciate what Howard Dean did for the DNC and State Parties.

    That is water under the bridge. Now he must be destroyed.

  263. 263
    Ian says:

    Finally something we can all agree on

    (I didn’t read the comments, I hope no one else has said that exact same thing)

  264. 264
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I don’t think so either (you did mean “wonks”, right?). Dean paved the way to Obama winning, he had a plan.

    Fifty states or bust, fifty states worked.

    OT: Just digging around in the garage to find a couple of books on metalworking and welding because our son is interested in helping me with our Mustang repairs, he is interested in doing some MIG (GMAW) welding and I have some welding coming up. While digging for those I finally found my old DFH ‘manual’ from 1970! Cool!

    It’s a compilation of articles and such from the hippie movement, mostly related to pot and the legal aspects around it but it has all kinds of esoteric stuff relating to the times. It’s called ‘Marijuana Reading Matter: Pot Art’ and it is full of stuff like:

    1938: The Journalism of Home Economics article – “Marihuana”

    1937: Readers Digest condensation of an article in The American Magazine : Marijuana – Assassin of Youth, by H.J. Anslinger – U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics

    August 14th, 1937: Newsweek – Science section : Marihuana – New Federal Tax Hits Dealings in Potent Weed

    January 15th, 1945: Newsweek – Medicine section : Army Study of Marihuana Smokers Points to Better Ways of Treatment

    November 18th, 1946: Medicine section : Marijuana and Mentality

    November 1966: The Atlantic Monthly : The Great Marijuana Hoax – First Manifesto to End the Bringdown, by Alan Ginsburg

    December 1969: Scientific American : Marihuana, by Lester Grinspoon

    April 3rd, 1926: The Literary Digest : Science section : Our Home Hasheesh Crop, by S. Loewe [A very interesting article about there not being a need to be concerned “about a sporadic outbreak in hasheesh addiction”, that the marijuana that has high potency was introduced to the country by the Department of Agriculture, mainly in South Carolina, been used for veterinary purposes for years, a detailed chemical composition of marijuana and even includes instructions for making Cannabidiol!]

    Anonymous underground cartoons and others like:

    Tom Weasel
    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
    Ol’ Judge Robbins
    Captain High!

    plus assorted political cartoons of the time. A pic of Tricky Dick sniffing a brick of weed, a story about Agnew’s daughter getting popped for possession and this quote from then Governor Ronald Reagan:

    “As a matter of fact… 14 trade names, I understand, have been registered with the government in the event that it (marijuana) should become legalized”

    Real interesting stuff and it brings back lots of old memories. The book is pretty worn and I ought to digitally copy and store it for permanent keeping. Maybe I could post some of it on my server for the curious. It’s an interesting peek back in time, that’s for sure.

  265. 265
    Bill says:

    I think we’re all getting a little too accusatory in our language. I may be being presumptuous, but I’m willing to bet these changes would make everyone happy:

    1) Replace funding with an excise tax, that could affect low-income union workers disproportionately, with a progressive tax across the spectrum (focused on higher-income earners).
    2) The trickier one – find a way to keep the low-income subsidy-receiving people from finding themselves in a situation where the insurance companies can raise premiums to the point where the subsidy wouldn’t help them buy more affordable insurance.
    3) Repeal anti-trust exemption.
    4) Mandate that insurance companies could only rescind policies on the basis of INTENTIONAL fraud, to avoid their practice of rescinding policies for “fraud” on extremely tenuous grounds.
    5) Remove caps on coverage (or at least specify the caps, if they really must be in there, to avoid interpretation of what “reasonable” could mean)
    6) Don’t further restrict access to abortions or other female-specific health care procedures.

    None of this touches on the public option, but it would make this bill much better.

    Of course, Nelson won’t agree to the current bill, so this is probably all moot.

  266. 266
    Jack says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    A thousandfold, this.

  267. 267
    Jack says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    The awful thing is that current legislation does allow insurance to be sold across state lines, with the state laws of the originating state trumping those in the state of purchase.

  268. 268
    Jack says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    And we still haven’t seen the deficit hawks go after their pound of flesh, yet.

  269. 269
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Deleted because of misunderstanding. Sorry Jack.

  270. 270
    Jack says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Huh?

    Republicans are worried about creeping corporatism?

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c.....gulations/

    Republicans are opposed to allowing insurance companies to set up shop in the state with the worst regulations, to sell in states with better regulations?

  271. 271
    Jack says:

    Gotcha, Doug. Thanks.

    *

    This is what I was discussing, all the same:

    “(b) Authority for Nationwide Plans-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), if an issuer (including a group of health insurance issuers affiliated either by common ownership and control or by the common use of a nationally licensed service mark) of a qualified health plan in the individual or small group market meets the requirements of this subsection (in this subsection a `nationwide qualified health plan’)–

    (A) the issuer of the plan may offer the nationwide qualified health plan in the individual or small group market in more than 1 State; and

    (B) with respect to State laws mandating benefit coverage by a health plan, only the State laws of the State in which such plan is written or issued shall apply to the nationwide qualified health plan.”

    *

    See 1B. It’s a doozy.

  272. 272
    Brien Jackson says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I am not convinced that the Hamsher-Kos crowd is “the party’s base.” The blogosphere muckety-mucks overlap with the activist/volunteer base, but they’re not coextensive.

    The base of the Democratic Party is non-white people.

  273. 273
    Brien Jackson says:

    @Sly:

    The mandate isn’t evil because it forces some people to pay (with pretty big subsidies) for something that they otherwise might not get. It’s evil because, in the minds of these people, everyone is going to become chattel slaves to Aetna’s Board of Directors. An analysis that is not founded in any part on fact.

    Right. My point was that they were just fine with that in exchange for Medicare buy-in, so by their own logic they were willing to turn people under 55 into chattel slaves for Aetna. Not that I think they wanted that, of course, I’m just pointing out that there new objections make absolutely no sense in the face of their previous support of it + piecemeal expansions of public insurance.

    And again, why is Medicare buy-in a trade off but Medicaid expansion doesn’t count?

  274. 274
    Jack says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I’m sure you and Anya can try to make it about race a little more stridently, Brien. What’s with the half measures?

    Your original thesis was that objectors don’t like poor people. Now, you insinuate that we’re against the base (not part of it), which is non-white people.

    Really?

    You want to parse this as poor people/brown people against evil liberals?

    You aren’t perhaps still working for the Ohio Republican Party, are you, Brien Jackson?

  275. 275
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Insurance companies didn’t kill Medicare expansion. Providers did. Medicare reimburses less than private entities.

    Olympia Snowe said it, but no one was listening.

    It doesn’t make any sense for insurance companies to kill Medicare expansion. They’d happily shove off anyone over 55 and keep the younger people.

    Why are we pretending for-profit providers have no role in this? Of course they do.

  276. 276
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Dreggas:

    Jesus Christ, not even a full year in and now the left wants to primary the guy they elected.

    The people at Americablog have wanted to primary Obama since he picked Rick Warren to speak at the inauguration. Because, ya know, that makes him EXACTLY THE SAME as Bush.

  277. 277

    @kay:

    That’s ok, if Obama really wanted reform, he would have taken on a concerted effort at opposition by the insurance industry, PhRMA, medical device manufacturers, and the doctor/hospital lobby. And probably the AARP too (can’t close that donut hole, huge giveaway to PhRMA. Fuck off old people lobby). That he didn’t is proof that he’s a Third Way-DLC pussy who wants to make corporations richer so they can give more money to Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign. Also.

  278. 278

    @Jack:

    Yes, you got me. Secret Republican. Was it the Medicaid expansion that gave it away?

  279. 279
    Jack says:

    What we need is more Democratic contempt for liberals, in defense of corporate hand outs.

    That’ll show the liberals and independents how hopey changey things are.

  280. 280
    Jack says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    No, it was your Baltimore Examiner blurb plus your arguments straight out of Republican talking points.

    Sure, you’re a registered Democrat now. The Baltimore Examiner tells me so.

    That doesn’t mean you’ve shed the outlook or the sneering tone of your recent Republican days.

  281. 281
    Jack says:

    I mean, liberals and independents must be against the needs of the base (non-white people, your argument goes), right, Brien (and Anya)?

    Maybe Anya can come back with the Republican “captured negro syndrome” talking point again. That sort of gall is refreshing.

  282. 282

    @Jack:

    Guess what, Kos and Arianna are ex-Republicans too!

    Your mind=blown.

  283. 283
    slightly_peeved says:

    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), if an issuer (including a group of health insurance issuers affiliated either by common ownership and control or by the common use of a nationally licensed service mark) of a qualified health plan in the individual or small group market meets the requirements of this subsection (in this subsection a `nationwide qualified health plan’)

    note the ‘qualified’ part.

    For a health plan to be selected for the exchange, it not only has to fulfil all the requirements outlined in the bill, it has to fulfil the requirements the Office of Personnel Management currently applies. Not as stringent as I’d personally like, but still more substantial than any state’s (except maybe Massachusetts).

    So unlike credit cards, the state of origin doesn’t matter. They still have to fulfil all those other conditions specified in the Senate bill.

  284. 284
    Jack says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    But they aren’t making Republican arguments, which was my point.

    You are making Republican arguments. While sneering at liberals. While using Republican beliefs about the Democratic base. To attack liberals. While using Republican dogma about poverty. To attack liberals.

  285. 285
    Jack says:

    Please, tell – how are concerns about the increasing prostration of Congress to corporate needs is really about being against non-whites? Poor people?

    Have you considered your argument for even a moment?

    That we have to fellate AETNA with terrible law to show we love poor and non-white people?

    Too funny.

  286. 286
    Amaliada says:

    Sorry, I’m not happy with this bill and I don’t believe it will be fixed any time soon.

    Take social security as an example: passed in 1935 it did not extend to farm and domestic workers until 1950. Of course, the fact that most African Americans in this period were farm and domestic workers was part of the reason those occupations were left out.

    So, I’m guessing you are suggesting that we wait, happily, contentedly and without pushing for something better for 15 years before health care reform is something that progressives (I’m an African American progressive) can be proud.

    Frankly, I think I’d feel differently, if Emmanuel hadn’t spent all that time recruiting Blue Dogs – one of the reasons I don’t give money to the Democratic Party and instead give money directly to candidates and sometimes ActBlue.

    I hated the Obama/Hillary fights during the primaries and I’m not sure I can stand to read DFH/pragmatist battles now.

    That said, I’m seeing lots of polls that say that Democrats are unhappy about this administration and are thinking they might not come out in 2010; something we should all be worried about and not beating on each other.

  287. 287
    CDT says:

    @ Jack

    “That we have to fellate AETNA with terrible law to show we love poor and non-white people.”

    Well, duh. Everybody knows that lifelong white liberals can’t be trusted to help poor and non-white people, but former Republican operatives and insurance company executives can.

  288. 288

    @Jack:

    Republican talking points? WTF? That poor people and non-white people are the electoral base of the Democratic Party? Seriously?

  289. 289

    @Jack:

    Well look, if you’re poor, then on balance this is a pretty good bill. A very good bill in fact, assuming the Medicaid expansion doesn’t get weakened. But the Kos’s and the Hamshers are unequivocally calling it a shit bill. So either, a) they don’t know enough about the policy to know that it’s a good bill for poor people or b) they don’t much care about the interests of the poor (as opposed to the middle class).

    And they keep saying “no public option of any kind” even though there’s been an expansion of Medicaid on the table all along, which suggests they either don’t consider Medicaid to be real public insurance, or they don’t pay attention to matters that primarily impact poor people.

  290. 290

    […] if teh left had screamed bloody murder, called Obama a sell-out, threatened to form a Freedom Dog Lake alliance with teabaggers, etc. much earlier in the process, like maybe as soon as it became clear the bill wouldn’t […]

  291. 291

    […] Can the Democrats deliver on the desire to pass a greatly-watered-down-reform-bill-hijacked-by-”centrist”-Democrats-in-the-Senate-that-progressive-are-divided-in-support-of by Christmas? One can only hope, sort of. […]

  292. 292
    Sly says:

    @slightly_peeved

    In the exchange, is there anything stopping a person who is refused treatment from switching insurance to a better provider (and posting their experience on the online comparison site that’s been proposed)?

    No. And the ban on pre-existings will let them do that much better. A lot of people are conflating the age/premium ratio as a loophole for pre-existings, but it really isn’t.

    And while I’ve heard plenty about the corruption of US health insurance companies, is it the case that every single insurer in the US provides horrible care?

    “Bad Apples” is a pretty tired cliche, but there is something to it in this case. “Affordable” plans from for-profit insurers tout low premiums but charge enormous deductibles. Non-profit plans tend to be a great deal better, but shitty state regulations (and the patchwork in which they exist) allow the for-profits to push those companies out of the market. One of the things I give Dean immense credit for (though I disagree with him on the Senate bill) is that, as governor, he passed some pretty serious insurance reform in Vermont. A lot of the for-profit guys talked about to leaving the state altogether, and his response was essentially “Is that a threat or a promise?”

    Kaiser, for example, has pretty good plans out in California. Their problems mostly stem from their delivery services being for-profit. They’ve done a fair amount of patient dumping (discharging people early or transferring them to public hospitals if there was evidence they wouldn’t be able to pay) in the past, and they’ve ignored best practices statutes. They also have binding arbitration for malpractice claims. But thats all on the hospital side of their business model.

    All the exchange needs is one insurer that offers a decent product.

    More and smaller exchanges makes that more difficult than if there was one big one, or several regional exchanges, but that is correct. The problem, in this context, was never a lack of a P.O.

  293. 293
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    There is no conceivable insurance plan short of gold plated that is going to stop a complete and utter revolt.

    I feel strongly that this is not true, or no truer than it would be _with_ a public option, and I have been explaining many reasons why across this thread. And I also highly doubt that many people are as wound up about “corporate” this and that as has been the order of the day on the would-be left this week. In fact I’d venture to say that Americans _like_ corporate things, because we fetishize the private sector. So I truly don’t feel that having to buy insurance from a private company feels experientially different from having to buy insurance from a public agency. Whoever would have a problem with it would have a problem with both, because the problem would arise from “having to buy,” not from private vs. public.

    And I agree with you that the whole idea of an insurance company ought to be made redundant, so that health care was just folded into the basic social compact of living in this country. But I cannot imagine that happening. There aren’t enough people who support it, and there are even fewer politicians who’d propose it.

  294. 294

    […] John Cole: Really? Progressive bloggers are saying the same thing as the tea party activists? I really fucking missed out on all of the posts at Eschaton that Obama is a socialist. I haven’t seen Markos in his tree of liberty t-shirt yet. There is no telling what David Sirota might do or say, so I’ll give you that one. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole: Really? Progressive bloggers are saying the same thing as the tea party activists? I really fucking missed out on all of the posts at Eschaton that Obama is a socialist. I haven’t seen Markos in his tree of liberty t-shirt yet. There is no telling what David Sirota might do or say, so I’ll give you that one. […]

  2. […] Can the Democrats deliver on the desire to pass a greatly-watered-down-reform-bill-hijacked-by-”centrist”-Democrats-in-the-Senate-that-progressive-are-divided-in-support-of by Christmas? One can only hope, sort of. […]

  3. […] if teh left had screamed bloody murder, called Obama a sell-out, threatened to form a Freedom Dog Lake alliance with teabaggers, etc. much earlier in the process, like maybe as soon as it became clear the bill wouldn’t […]

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