Money Money Money Money Money

Once again, Josh Marshall. There is no plan. Nobody on Capitol Hill has any idea what to do. My reading of your comments and emails says the same thing: when Nancy Pelosi acts like she knows where things stand, she’s full of it. Pelosi has not put any serious pressure on her chamber. She has not gamed it out with the her leadership. She doesn’t know whether she has the votes because most Representatives don’t know themselves.

It’s time to put another carrot in the mix. In a couple of days I will set up an ActBlue account for Reps who stand up for HCR. The account will activate the night the House passes the Senate bill (or, obviously, never). I have my ideas about who should go in, but first I want to hear from you guys. My instinct is to include everyone who commits early. That threshold obviously has plenty of flex in it. If I put in everyone who eventually votes for the bill and the bill passes then I might as well give to the DCCC. Share your thoughts in the comments.

112 replies
  1. 1
    Kryptik says:

    Forgive me for my doubts Tim, in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. I just can’t see donations for good behavior mattering anymore…

  2. 2
    stevie314159 says:

    What’s the point?

    Hasn’t Aetna already set up their ActYellow account with $1Billion in it?

  3. 3
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Now that it has been decided that the senate will do nothing more until Brown is seated, there really isn’t a terribly big rush. They can, at any time now or later take it up and vote for it. The dem party just suffered a stunning loss of a cherished and thought safe senate seat. By what seems to me to be a perfect storm of negative conditions for dems.

    I will give them some time to sort things out. There are several option and they will work thru them to figure it out. Never hurts though to register your opinion with your CC’ers. I plan daily calls to mine for the near term. But am not going to go sub orbital just yet.

  4. 4
    Michael says:

    I am a Marine, a Jew, an athiest, a socialist, and an until-recently proud democrat. I’d love to put money in such an ActBlue, for anyone who comes out early in support and doesn’t act like a Ben Nelson Ultimatum-Game douchebag who needs to be bribed to do what he was elected to do.

    If the account doesn’t pay out, I’m god damn done with politics.

  5. 5
    snowbird42 says:

    @stevie314159: that was exactly what I was going to say.
    Why give money? I have so little and have given a lot.
    Im not sure Im giving any more.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    It would be so much easier to just be a birfer. Just sayin’.

  7. 7
    Woodbuster says:

    Sorry. The Supremes rendered ActBlue either moot or superfluous. There is going to be a fuckton of money out there. Send your money to Haiti, where it might do some good.

  8. 8
    sfp says:

    Make it for any congressperson who commits to a straight up-and-down vote on the Senate bill before the vote is scheduled.

    If that means we end up giving money to everyone, how is that a problem?

  9. 9
    CalD says:

    I’d say reward leadership. Do something for early adopters.

  10. 10
    FoxinSocks says:

    I’ll give money. Screw it. I’m not giving up. Thanks for organizing this, Tim.

    Don’t have any ideas about the threshold, not yet, need to think about it.

  11. 11
    celticdragonchick says:

    God help us.

    The SCOTUS has raped the Constitution and gutted McCain Feingold for good measure. Over one hundred years of legal precedent just got trashed.

    If you wanted to know just how much money the Chinese, Saudis and Russians want to throw into our political campaigns and corrupt our elections, then wonder no more.

    You are about to find out.

    I, for one, welcome our new foreign corporate overlords. You will too, if you know what is good for you.


  12. 12
    DonkeyKong says:

    First ten Congresspersons who come out publically for HCR get the money bomb………11th gets a set of steak knives, and no coffee for Nancy, coffee’s for closers!

  13. 13
    Skepticat says:

    I’m finding myself nostalgic for the days of Lyndon Johnson and Tip O’Neill and their ilk, politicians who could Get Things Done. There was some actual leadership. And in general, some big, good things. The horsetrading might not have been pretty, but a lot of things got accomplished without too many people becoming total horses’ asses through and through. Scary that I’m seeing that as the good ole days, but I’m old, I have an excuse.

  14. 14
    johnny says:

    What about a moneybomb for some representative who says path the Senate bill?

    Is that possible?

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    There is no point giving money- for every dollar we give for them to support the bill, firebaggers are telling them to can it and start over.

    And the Republicans are laughing.

  16. 16
    johnny says:

    I see I’m already behind the group, @donkeykong in particular

  17. 17
    Alex S. says:

    If health-care reform was more popular it would be easier to get the votes. The argument needs to be won. Progressives will have to find a way around the money issue.

  18. 18
    johnny says:


    If the firebaggers are outflanking us, what’s the point in fighting at all?

  19. 19
    Senyordave says:

    Maybe I’m just depressed about this, but I have a real fear that the media and the far right will end up making Obama a de facto lame duck. I truly think a within a few months most people will be blaming Obama for the recession.

    No matter what he says in SOTU the right and much of the media will line up against him.

  20. 20
    Napoleon says:

    Thank God the Dems Filibustered Roberts, oh, they did not, like the Reps just did to that guy who withdrew in some BS postion

    Obama, complete incompetent idiot.

  21. 21
    Stroszek says:

    The group that filed this country-destroying case is referred to as “Citizens United” in news stories and legal documents, but when they were originally formed in the early days of Hillary’s primary campaign, they were known as “Citizens United Not Timid,” a.k.a. “CUNT.”

    God bless America.

  22. 22
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    Sarah’s inauguration dress will be stunning.

  23. 23
    Malron says:

    A lot of defeatism in this thread but hey, I’ll still be calling Jesse Jackson, Jr. and urging him to vote for the senate bill.

  24. 24
    DonkeyKong says:

    In all seriousness, the men who fought on the docks for a living wage. The men and women that crossed Pettus bridge to get beat by police and bit by dogs. Hell the trannies that kicked ass at Stonewall, both living and dead would think of all the apocalyptic doom and gloom here…… “What a bunch of Fuckin Pussy’s!”

    Our Generation will know nothing but this fight so the next generation will know something better.

    That’s all that matters.

  25. 25
    nwithers says:

    One thing you need to talk to the act-blue people about, (and I know this because of the big 500K money-bomb to progressive house members back during the summer to hang tough on the public option) is what kind of trigger you want in order to release the money to the congress-critters. If you release it before actual votes go out, you might suffer buyers remorse.

  26. 26
    celticdragonchick says:


    I know, I know.

    Defeatism sucks.

    We still recognize that we just had a tactical fucking nuke go off on top of us today…and that is not conducive to good health, moral or order.

    Just sayin’…

  27. 27
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tim F.:

    There is no plan. Nobody on Capitol Hill has any idea what to do.

    Of all the shit that has gone down the last two three days, this boggles my mind.

    In every company where I have worked, no matter how hapless, disorganized or incompetent–and I have worked for some really hapless, disorganized and incompetent companies in my long, checkered working life–there has always been some sort of planning for big events, such as, oh, you know, the possibility of your political party losing a special election just at the climax of a big legislative campaign. Yes, the planning might have been hapless, disorganized or incompetent, and it might have turned out not to do any good at all, but at least it was there, if only as a sort of a good-faith effort, if you will. “We tried.”

    So how do we arrive at a situation where a large group of supposedly savvy career politicians, well paid, supremely self-interested and afforded every luxury of staff assistance, research and support, have absolutely no fucking clue about what to do in response to this crisis? And cannot even manage to conceal their cluelessness?

    The only alternative explanation–which really, really depresses me–is that they are supremely cynical. They have calculated all the angles and probable outcomes and are okay with things the way they are. Maybe it would have been nice to get HCR, but, hey, shit happens. But not to worry: whatever happens on the raging seas outside the Beltway, the ark of the oligarchy bobs on peaceful waters.

    Jeez, I am so pissed I am writing like an overwrought teenager. I am going to go pop a Brawndo and watch The Mentalist. I wonder if I can get that on satellite in Costa Rica?

  28. 28
    southpaw says:

    I think you meant to title this post SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    How on Earth could the Democratic Party be expected to do anything useful given that we now have a mere 1 more Senator than we did a year ago at Obama’s inauguration?

  30. 30
    Mr Furious says:

    I seriously have to wonder what’s the point in giving money in a case like this, or at all.

    The floodgates are open for real corporate money and the whoring it will take to earn it.

    $500 or even $5,000 from a bunch of anonymous non-constituent bloggers is a major sacrifice from us, adn nothing to them.

    Give it to Haiti instead.

    Fuck these assholes. They can do their jobs, or they can get tossed on their asses.

  31. 31
    Stroszek says:

    @Steeplejack: From what I’ve heard, the White House’s plan is something like this:

    1) Watch party-wide meltdown from afar
    3) Universal health care

  32. 32
    General Winfield Stuck says:


    there has always been some sort of planning for big events, such as, oh, you know, the possibility of your political party losing a special election just at the climax of a big legislative campaign.

    LOL. yup. the dems sure got caught with their pants down, and the wingnuts gave them an atomic wedgie. And a few on our side cheered them on. Oh well, drawing board once again. They can’t eat us, I hope?

  33. 33
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I’ve got ninety thousand pounds in my pyjamas.
    I’ve got forty thousand French francs in my fridge.
    I’ve got lots of lovely lire.
    Now the Deutschmark’s getting dearer,
    And my dollar bills would buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

    There is nothing quite as wonderful as money.
    There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash.
    Some people say it’s folly,
    But I’d rather have the lolly.
    With money you can make a splash.

    There is nothing quite as wonderful as money (Money, money, money, money)
    There is nothing like a newly minted pound (Money, money, money, money)
    Everyone must hanker
    For the butchness of a banker.
    It’s accountancy that makes the world go ’round (’round, ’round, ’round)

    You can keep your Marxist ways,
    For it’s only just a phase,
    For it’s money, money, money makes the world go ’round.
    (Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, moneeeeey!)

  34. 34
    Narcissus says:

    I don’t think it’s defeatist to recognize that health care reform is dead. All this talk of “letting the dust settle” is just code for giving the dem senators and reps some time to realize that and how screwed they are going forward.

    The White House has given up on HCR. They say they haven’t, but they have.

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    I might as well give to the DCCC.

    Please don’t. The last thing any leftish person should do at this point is to give to the three national organizations. They’re mostly incumbent protection rackets with side operations in recruiting Blue Whores. I’m not going to abandon the Democratic Party writ large, but the national organizations can bite me.

  36. 36
    Alex S. says:

    What do you think? How much money do you need to buy Congress? There are 535 voting members of Congress. If you’re a republican you’ve got a lock on about 30 seats in the Senate and 100 in the House, so you need to buy about 20 senators and 115 congressmen. If you, say, give $20 million to each senator and $10 million to each congressman you end up with a bill of about $1,5 billion. Last year, Goldman Sachs paid its employees a total sum of $16,7 billion in bonusses.

  37. 37
    Rick Taylor says:

    As far as I can tell, Nancy Pelosi is the only one who’s shown any leadership or tried to push anything forward since this debacle started. At least when this started, she immediately came out and said there’d be a bill. Meanwhile, the President has been incoherent, talking about coalescing around elements of the bill people agree on, I have no idea what he has in mind, while Gibbs tells reporters he has other things to worry about now besides health care. It’s a mess.

  38. 38
    Malron says:

    @Steeplejack: There is a plan, the one the president put forth and we are pushing for right now: pass the senate bill and fix it in future sessions. Its the most expe4dient way to achieve health reform. The House refuses to implement it.

  39. 39
    Warren Terra says:

    @John Cole:

    There is no point giving money- for every dollar we give for them to support the bill, firebaggers are telling them to can it and start over.
    And the Republicans are laughing.

    Speaking of which, I assume people saw MoveOn’s Firebagger-esque email today asking people to sign a petition insisting on a Public Option?

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    the dems sure got caught with their pants down

    They didn’t get caught with their pants down- there are four parties in congress, and the Democrats make up three of them. The Republicans will just say no to anything, the corporate dems and blue dogs will not agree with the progressive wing, and the run of the mill Democrat gets whiplash from the other two. This is little more than the pissing match between the progressives and the DLC, and both seem content to have their asses wiped from the floor because of their outsized egos.

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    Just a hopeless fucking party.

  42. 42
    scarpy says:

    I work on the Hill and am frequently around Dem lawmakers. It has been horribly depressing to watch the immediate, split-second turn-around of so many of these jackasses. Now suddenly they’re racing to find reasons to reject the bill — reasons they were prepared to accept before and even have voted for. I have heard no one, not one person, make a strong, affirmative case for insuring millions of Americans. And what they say privately is essentially, we can’t cross the unions, we can’t cross the doctors, and it never would have worked anyway. they spent all fucking year on this?!?

    As a DC resident I have no one to call. I’m not sure I could keep it coherent if I did. But Ezra Klein had it right yesterday. This is a betrayal, a total, absolute betrayal. Between the healthcare freak-out, the non-response to the Gitmo murders, and Citizens United, I am about as low as I have ever been politically. And Obama! Sweet Jesus — I wish I could share Sullivan’s faith in his long game, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Andrew’s howls of disappointment within a year. Hell, maybe in a few weeks if Obama’s budget makes no real turn toward deficit control. Then he’ll be right there with the liberals.

    What the hell can we do? Even when we fucking win, we lose. I hate this place, I hate these people, and I shudder at the knowledge that they are only doing what we, collectively (and weighted for net worth) want them to do.


  43. 43

    Buying lobbyists, er congress people, is a great investment. Read Tom Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” and one of the things that kept coming up was how good the ROI was for businesses. You can get millions of dollars back for just a few hundred thousand. This Supreme Court ruling will just make it even more easy for corporations to buy votes.

    That being said, as angry/frustrated/depressed as everyone is by this epic fail by the democratic party, we’re still stuck in a two party system. We can either work like hell to make the one party actually grappling with reality try to move things forward or live with what our country will become. I, for one, am not yet ready to bring on brawndo (though I do love electrolytes).

  44. 44
    Stroszek says:

    @scarpy: And yet, GOS regularly features diaries consisting of unquestioning union ball-licking. The unions have been one of the primary obstacles to comprehensive reforms. They were the reason that Dems didn’t dare to fuck around with the employer health care system. Now, they’re shutting down health care reform because a handful of their members might have to give up acupuncture coverage.

    Fuck them.

  45. 45
    MobiusKlein says:

    @scarpy: Scarpy, be glad you don’t live in Arnaldfornia.

    Can I start the Grey Davis == Barrak Obama meme now?

  46. 46
    WaterGirl says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Speaking of which, I assume people saw MoveOn’s Firebagger-esque email today asking people to sign a petition insisting on a Public Option?

    Did it really insist on a public option? I signed it because I thought it was going to say something like this:

    We want the change we voted for in 2008, but Democrats aren’t delivering. It’s time to stand up to corporate interests and fight for us—starting with passing a strong health care reform bill, not scaling back.

    I didn’t see that as insisting on the public option. Have they changed the wording since them? I don’t consider myself a firebagger at all.

  47. 47
    Shibby says:

    I am also done with politics. The system is broken. In a year I’ll have my MD, and I’ll get to witness firsthand the epic breakdown of the health care system. Meanwhile our “representative” democracy will be busy burning the country to the ground. It’s just not worth my time or money trying to put out the fire.

  48. 48
    El Cid says:

    Perhaps the only saving grace of the court’s ruling this morning was that it upheld the provisions of campaign-finance law that force corporations to disclose their political spending. But those requirements don’t apply if the [U.S.] Chamber [of Commerce] acts as a pass-through. That’s [Chamber CEO] Donohoe’s “innovation.”

    Via TPM.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:


    There is a plan, the one the president put forth and we are pushing for right now: pass the Senate bill and fix it in future sessions.

    But it sounds like even the senators are backing away from the Senate’s own bill.

    And, yes, that is a plan, but not one that I have heard any member of Congress step up to the mike and articulate lately.

  50. 50
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole: It doesn’t matter anyway. The SCOTUS just established the Oligarchy the plutocrats have dreamed about since the founding. Dems are doomed. The current corporate dominance in our modern industrialized society will bloom to overlord status in no time now. It will make the dominance they have now seem like foreplay/

    And the billions of pesos they have will go to their historical allies and enablers, the republicans, and most dems will be there also for their share of the GOP light cash and favors.

    This decision has been bouncing around in my brain all day, and though long expected, every minute now the enormity of it, given our current political polarization and ideological fervor, especially on the right, sinks in.

    It is the end of democratic party viability, as it has and currently is. Liberalism, as defined to spread wealth to the needy in our capitalistic society where there are always going to be losers, is finished, done, stick a fork in it.

    Money is the mothers milk of political success to get elected and to stay elected, in our current digital mass media world.

    Health care reform Pffft. even if it happens, it won’t last long. Enjoy the majority now, cause it won’t last likely past 2010, and will certainly disappear by 2012, when our new overlords will be bankers and moguls, not just to an uncomfortable level we have now. But a whole new world of princes and paupers.

    The only hope is demographics and maintaining fair elections long enough that enough people catch on, with new minority voters to change the tide. But for the next 15 or so years the wingnuts will have their way with us and our system, and voting will become a privilege, not a right. And the underclass will not have any privilege/ sweet dreams are not made of these.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    Health Care for America Now says the House needs to pass the Senate bill and pass some other fixes:

    After taking stock of this week’s events, the reform group known as Health Care for America Now (HCAN) has a simple message for Democrats on health reform: Get it done. Now!

    HCAN wants the House to implement what everyone’s been calling Plan B. The groups is calling on House lawmakers to pass the Senate health care bill and tie it to a separate bill enacting key fixes. And they want it done quickly.

    “We just had a steering committee meeting and it was just–‘end the handwringing and get to work’ was the theme of our meeting,” HCAN’s campaign director Richard Kirsch tells me.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Wait — you thought Idiocracy was supposed to be viewed as an undesirable future?

    I think you need some more Brawndo. It’s got electrolytes.

  53. 53
    meh says:

    who cares? the public has a serious case of ADD – they have already forgotten what a fucked up job the GOP did for the last 8 years – they will move onto the next big dustup as soon as the news cycle rolls over…that’s what the assholes in congress are waiting on – you to forget your mad and just start watching american idol again…shiney.

  54. 54
    mey says:

    We just need to make it through to August. Things will look better then.

  55. 55
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @El Cid:

    No, going to watch Riddick, my main man. I am in my dytospia mode tonight. Tomorrow, well tomorrow we will see. Running low on optimism right now. Though still some with HCR and dems getting it together. Open money spickets for elections, not so much.

  56. 56
    Warren Terra says:


    I didn’t see that as insisting on the public option. Have they changed the wording since them? I don’t consider myself a firebagger at all.

    From the email:

    57% of Obama voters who stayed home on Tuesday support the Senate health care bill or think it doesn’t go far enough.
    And of Obama voters who cast a ballot for Brown, nearly half (49%) support the Senate bill or think it does not go far enough. Just 11% think it goes too far.
    Democrats could take the election’s message to heart and redouble their efforts for real change. Instead, too many, including the president, are shrinking back.
    But even with one less Democrat in the Senate, they’ve got more than enough votes to finish reform. Through a process called “budget reconciliation,” they only need 51 votes to pass a bill, not 60.
    As our ad will point out, this could be their chance to pass an even stronger bill, including the popular public option. With reconciliation, Democrats would no longer be beholden to conservatives like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson.

    So, we’ve got: Dems stayed home or voted Teabagger because the Senate bill isn’t strong enough; we can do whatever we want with Reconciliation; and Public Option, Bitches!

    Now, to the (limited) extent the first is true it’s almost certainly a result of the public debate having been full of Death Panels on the one side and people moaning loudly in public rather than working for actual improvements on the other, not a matter of large numbers of people being deeply informed and believing the Senate bill was so bad that all reform must die. The Coakley campaign (of course) never came out in public to explain why the bill was a Good Thing, a major improvement on the status quo, whatever its faults – but almost no-one else other than the Choakleys has been putting any effort into doing this either. The second, about Reconciliation, just isn’t true – Reconciliation can’t be used to regulate private insurance. And we’ve got ludicrious grandstanding about the Public Option, as if it’s just gotten easier to get that.

    The MoveOn email was not as extreme in its framing as the true Firebaggers (hence my term of “Firebagger-esque”), but they’re basically saying that the Senate bill deserves to die and holding out all kinds of fanciful promises of ponies to be had by starting over – when this is the time for all Democratic organizations to loudly (and ideally with some semblance of unity) demand that the Democratic Congress come up with an achievable plan for Health Care Reform – “Pass It Or Go Home”. The only game in town seems to be the Senate bill with some adjustment to its funding by Reconciliation, an idea that seems to have blogger support across a range from BTD to centrists, and it’s a shame that instead of backing something like this MoveOn is off encouraging its members to go dream of ponies.

  57. 57
    PanAmerican says:

    @John Cole:

    Seriously… watch this AP video of Stupak’s HCR blathering.

    President Obama
    Universal coverage!

    These are profoundly stupid people who haven’t a clue to the policy and political implications.

  58. 58
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Money is the mothers milk of political success to get elected and to stay elected, in our current digital mass media world.

    Jesse Unruh, 1966: “money is the mother’s milk of politics”.

  59. 59
    El Cid says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: You want bleak? Try the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    It could also have a big impact on state and local governments, where a few million dollars can have more influence on elections.

    I think those states that elect judges, like my state, should immediately change that process and start appointing them.
    I just find this massive money power unloosed in judicial elections to be truly frightening. Imagine the ads. One decision that affects these entities adversely and they roll ’em out. It’s scary.

  61. 61
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Comrade Kevin: There is a lot more of it now.

  62. 62
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @El Cid: Yes, I want to see that,. My fav kind of flick.

  63. 63
    Emma says:

    Great idea. Why haven’t you set up the link to donate yet? You have people’s attention now.

  64. 64
    General Winfield Stuck says:


    It’s scary.

    It’s going to get a lot scarier kay..

  65. 65
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @John Cole:

    That’s why I am a small ‘i’ independent. While the Dems have my vote they can’t count me as one of theirs anymore. It’s a small thing but the only thing I can do other than throwing my hands up and walking away from all politics and voting. The only thing keeping me voting Dem is that the Repubs are fucking insane. While I have good reps (DeFazio and Wyden) there is little they can do with the party being the clusterfuck it is.

  66. 66
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: True. I was just pointing out who came up with that phrase.

  67. 67
    Mary says:

    If you do it I’m in but what about running an ad with the pictures of the no votes with some startling copy along the lines of Ygliesias and Klein’s posts suggesting that the no votes will go down as monsters responsible for 45,000 deaths a year? It would be very provocative so I’m not sure about it. How much is an ad in the Washington Post? $60,000 or so? There doesn’t really seem enough time to collect more money than that.

  68. 68
    celticdragonchick says:


    I am also done with politics. The system is broken. In a year I’ll have my MD, and I’ll get to witness firsthand the epic breakdown of the health care system. Meanwhile our “representative” democracy will be busy burning the country to the ground. It’s just not worth my time or money trying to put out the fire.

    I feel ya.

    I will try to knock out a Ph.D in geology, and we are already talking about going to Canada. Canada likes scientists who actually work with evolution. I am desperately afraid of what the hell is going to go down in this country. All the worst parts of Blade Runner combined with Rollerball.

  69. 69
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Comrade Kevin: yes It’s been around a long while, :-)

  70. 70
    Gary says:

    People may want to vote for their ideals but not at the expense of being ruled by clowns. Unfortunately the Democrats have spent a year demonstrating that they are clowns.

    Not just Lieberman, not just Nelson, but all of them, from Reid and Obama on down. Especially Reid and Obama.

  71. 71
    Graeme says:

    I like the idea! I’ll definitely donate when that never happens!

    Also: if it does happen.

    But I’ll give more $ if it doesn’t happen. Obviously…

  72. 72
    Tenzil Kem says:

    What about an Act Blue page for primary opponents of members who won’t vote for the Senate bill?

  73. 73
    Lowkey says:


    and also @Tim F.:

    Good on you both. I’m fighting my own raging sense of despair over the colossal Charlie-Foxtrottery our head-desk inducing Dems have produced in the last year, but you know where defeatism, despair, and surrender get us all?

    1994, but this time, to the power of Teabaggery.

    F*ck a bunch of that. I’ve lived through that once, and so has every single person on the Blue side of the Hill today. I’m going down swinging this time, FSMdammit. We’re on thin ice, sure, and I’m going to dance on it. Sens. Warner and Webb, especially Webb (arrgh, act like the soldier you are, you twerp!), and even my beloathed Rep. Cantor, are continuing to get calls every day. Any Dem that shows any spine now, even if I don’t like them much, is getting my money and my time. Any that doesn’t, well, their primary opponents will. Heck, I even have to re-register this year, and I just moved into Rep. Scott’s district, so he’s gonna get calls too, for good measure.

    It has been an unbelievably sh*tty week, for us and for our country. Now stop wringing your f*cking hands and let’s do the work.

    @John Cole: P.S.: Sure, our side has all the fun and sexy people, but no one ever said our Party was any f*cking fun. Still, glad to have you, you cantankerous old loudmouth. Sorry we can’t ever seem to get our Party’s sh*t together.

  74. 74
    CaseyL says:

    I’ve been trying to convince myself an outright oligarchy won’t be a bad thing.

    Here’s what I’m thinking, to console myself:

    1. The big corps are still in competition with one another. Whatever legislative gimmees a few of them want from Congress, others won’t want them to get. It’ll be like to-the-death sumo wrestling: vast destructive entities bent on pummeling one another. The rest of us just have to stay out of the way.

    2. The big corps are, at least, only about profit – not about morality or God or any of that nonsense. They won’t be interested in making us pray in school; they’ll certainly not be interested in limiting stem cell research according to biblical principles. If the choice is between the Republican fundamentalist Right and CorpTown USA – and those do seem to be our only choices now – I’ll go with CorpTown USA.

    3. I won’t have to spend hours going over voter’s pamphlets, saving and remembering significant votes or speeches by any candidate anymore. My vote is completely meaningless; I can save myself the trouble of ever voting again.

    Good times!

  75. 75
    Chad N Freude says:

    @MobiusKlein: The comparison doesn’t really work. Davis spent his entire governership raising funds for his political future, whatever that was supposed to be. He left governing to . . . nobody. Obama is at least maintaining the appearance of doing something other than raising political money.

  76. 76
    wilfred says:

    And we’ve got ludicrious grandstanding about the Public Option, as if it’s just gotten easier to get that.

    Sartre once wrote, in a completely different context, of course, that since the Other would always remain the Other, his best hope was to be as authentic, as true to his Otherness as possible.

    The Democrats entered this ‘negotiation’ by surrendering up front the political equivalents of Otherness, in this case single payer and the public option, the only remotely ideological positions available that offered a genuine alternative to status quo politics – that is dominated by corporate interests. Now you got fucked and wonder why?

    Epic failures like these are what cause paradigm shifts. With a better class of Democrat, the public option will be on the table for real next time. The Supreme Court ruling guarantees the consolidation of corporate interests. Class struggle is the order of the day, as it has always been.

    Don’t feel bad about losing – it gives something really worth fighting for.

  77. 77
    Chad N Freude says:

    The SCOTUS ruling is the exactly what one would expect from the current Court, in that it is a Strict Construction of the Original Intent of the Founders that totally honors Stare Decisis that strongly rebukes Activist Judges. Just ask Justice Scalia.
    /snark [ resume tears ]

  78. 78
    Tenzil Kem says:

    Also: In all of the calling, has anyone tried Cao (the Louisiana Republican who voted for the House bill)?

  79. 79
    Cat Lady says:


    What I’m thinking to console myself is that since there’s barely a middle class now, who exactly is going to be making all the discretionary income to consume the things that most corporations make that fill the malls and the big box stores? They’re their own worst enemies. I’ve never understood the thinking that shipping all the jobs overseas that had given Americans income to buy American goods and services that support the cash flow of American corporations is a successful business model. There’s a tipping point of diminishing returns, and it’s been reached in this recession.

    I guess we can watch the bankruptcy filings with some satisfaction, except for the collateral damage. We are all Ch. 7 now.

  80. 80
    hankstone says:

    Do the math. Forty million uninsured; 435 districts in the House. On average 91,000 uninsured per district. Pass the Senate bill as a starting point.

  81. 81
    CaseyL says:

    @Cat Lady: Nice irony coming up: In about 35 years, America will be so hollowed out and its citizens so destitute and desperate, that we’ll be the cheap labor giant corporations want – and the manufacturing will come back.

  82. 82
    Cain says:

    I wonder if the whole HCR platform was just something to get us to vote Democratic? I mean, it is kind of like abortion if they got rid of it as an issue, how many people will continue to vote Republican. Now that they can do it, they’re wimping out.


  83. 83
    mcd410x says:

    Apparently, some in the Senate are having 2nd thoughts about Bernanke … OMG, is that your spine? Ew.

  84. 84
    Cat Lady says:


    Manufacturing what for whom?

  85. 85
    CaseyL says:

    @Cat Lady: I think within 20 years, after more than a decade of 15% unemployment, 25% underemployment, crumbled infrastructure, and political-social stagnation, we’ll be perfectly happy to be the World’s Sweatshop. For Asians generally, and the Chinese specifically. China’s gonna be eating our lunch within 10 years and overtaking our GNP in 20 years – the latter, not so much because theirs will grow that much as because ours will have shrunk.

  86. 86
    Uriel says:

    Yeah, what are these loons talking about anyways- 41 seats isn’t a majority! I mean, did you see that interview with Stephanopoulos yesterday? And Pelosi has obviously got the stones too pull…

    Uh oh. Wrong crowd.

    Ummmmm… Yeah! Vote the bums out! Spirit of ’94! Gingrich/Nader 2012!

    (Damn. I Coulda swore this was where I was at this morning. Must of taken a wrong turn back there at Yglesias’s place.)

  87. 87
    BGK says:

    @Cat Lady:

    What I’m thinking to console myself is that since there’s barely a middle class now, who exactly is going to be making all the discretionary income to consume the things that most corporations make that fill the malls and the big box stores?

    My guess is that, because the big “manufacturers” and retailers are all multinational, they expect that they can build up in the emerging (heh) markets like China and India even as the U.S. goes in the crapper. Pretty much any Fortune 100 outfit will tell you the U.S. isn’t a critical market.

    That, and the just-make-it-through-to-the-next-quarter attitude and bizarro-world compensation packages of the typical CxO means they don’t give a crap, really, about their own companies. Take an employee-owned airline into bankruptcy, wipe out the rank-and-file’s equity and the pension fund? Heyyyyy, Biscuit City! We’ll make it up on the post-bankruptcy IPO!

  88. 88
    Tenzil Kem says:

    Another thought (and I realize I should be in bed by now, but nevermind): I don’t think all members are equally important here – that is, some members may be influential to other members, and getting their support could lead others to come around as well. How might we determine who the most pivotal members are?

  89. 89

    While it is perhaps overstatement to bill next Wednesday’s State of the Union address as a defining moment in Obama’s young presidency, the speech will be important for at least one reason unthinkable just months ago: the President’s need to counter the growing disenchantment of his own supporters. Paul Krugman, for example, has indicated that he’s just about ready to give up on this President:

  90. 90
    Cat Lady says:


    Good thing I like Chinese food then. Tai chi is relaxing. Yao Ming is fun to watch. They have very cute babies, and they’re into science and engineering so hopefully they fix all the bridges and tunnels that are crumbling, but we’re still going to kick their sorry asses in football.

  91. 91
  92. 92
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @buy 8gb micro m2:

    Paul Krugman, for example, has indicated that he’s just about ready to give up on this President:

    Well that would do it/ If Obama loses Krugman, then it’s over. BTW, what you smokin’ = can I have some?

    edit – this is good news for Hillary

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    what might have been:
    it’s not really funny, it’s heartbreaking.

  94. 94
    Satanicpanic says:

    Mostly a lurker here, just wanted to say, TimF, you are awesome, thanks for taking the lead here.

  95. 95
    Uriel says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but Mort Zuckerman is deeply disappointed.

    So that’s two stalwart, long time supporters O-bambi lost in a matter of days. The mind reels.

    Who will be next? Chuck Todd? Glen Greenwald? Noam Chomsky? Dear lord, don’t let it be Noam Chomsky…..

  96. 96


    Ya know, the more I think about it, who exactly is wimping out? I mean, it’s not like the House was all set to pass the Senate bill as is before the worst candidate evah got beat by Senator Cosmo; they didn’t like the Senate bill, but they didn’t like it on Monday either. So in that respect, nothing’s changed. What has changed is the mathematical reality in the Senate, which means that the Senate bill is the best you can get now, albeit hopefully with some minor changes. Will the House realize that? I think they will, eventually. But the members of the House really just can’t imagine the dynamic the Senate works with, and they’re a little resistant to believe it. But as far as that goes, we’re pretty much exactly where we were on Monday, other than the entire internet blowing its head of course.

  97. 97
    mcd410x says:

    Thank God our elected representatives are only running a bureaucracy that doesn’t do a lot bc LORD knows they’re not capable of running anything else. How can you not have a plan at all? Hell, son, a Russian doesn’t take a dump without a plan!

  98. 98
    Ailuridae says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    There’s a big difference. On Monday they were opposed but had negotiating leverage and their composure. Now, they have lost any negotiating leverage and completely lost their shit.

  99. 99
    Uriel says:

    @Brien Jackson: I don’t think you understand- It’s been two god damn days since Brown’s election, and they *still* haven’t gotten their shit together and passed the HCR bill! Two days! And the bill continues to just sit there! They haven’t even voted on it yet!

    You know who would have gotten his bill passed in two days after a fairly significant political set back? George Bush, that’s who! Look at the way he rammed social security privatization through congress! Why can’t Obama be more like Bush?

  100. 100
    Uriel says:


    Now, they have lost any negotiating leverage and completely lost their shit.

    True. But the latter condition is correctable. And if they can manage that, they have some options regarding addressing the former.

    It’s irritating that this is case, but you know, in democratic politics, everything is the apocalypse. The the Friday news dump happens, people take the weekend off, and some new nonsense comes up that makes last weeks meltdown seem much more workable. Hopefully, that’s the case here.

  101. 101
    mcd410x says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: From earlier thread:

    No dem president ever leads a dem congress the way Bush led the wingnut one recently.

    I simply said, if [Obama] doesn’t stand up and lead this rag-tag group, who is?

    The best leaders aren’t always autocrats — yet they are when the situation demands it.

    Though a great next autocratic move would be, as Atrios suggests, to sideline Ben, Timmy and Larry. Sometimes adding unemployment is a good thing.

  102. 102
    Uriel says:

    See, this is irritating. I seem to be perpetually one post away from being able to say “I am become virtual-vishnu, destroyer of threads.”

    It’s frustrating to be perpetually denied the fruits of my own irrelevance.

  103. 103

    DO NOT TRY THIS; it is, quite properly, called a bribe to make money contingent on a position.

    I know, I know…but they do it much more indirectly than this. (or they sure better be able to make it look that way to a federal prosecutor.

    You can, quite properly, find out who is on your side and publish that as a part of fundraising and direction for the funds. Different thing.

  104. 104
    Mum says:


    I agree with you. I’m really pissed at the Court, but not surprised at the decision. Those of us who didn’t have their heads in the sand saw it coming. What I am surprised at, AND pissed at, is the whiners and quitters who call themselves liberals and progressives. We can’t NOT do everything in our power to fight this. I’ll be on the phone and online all day tomorrow calling my rep and my senators (Bayh and Lugar – yeah, I know), McCain and Feingold, and contacting all of the groups that are looking for support to fight this.

  105. 105
    Mum says:

    @El Cid:

    We really need to get over the delusion that we have 59 “Democratic” senators. We have 57 who have a D after their name, and one true progressive Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Anyone who relies on Lieberman as the 59th is a fool. And you probably shouldn’t count on any or all of Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson (Ben), Bayh, and Baucus to get behind any progressive legislation. How ironic that Specter is probably going to turn out to be a better Democratic senator than Lieberman ever was. I’d be really surprised if we could get more than 51 votes for health care reform even in reconciliation. I can’t find more than 15 Democratic senators who I feel have consistently voted as if they have the interest of the American people at heart.

    This doesn’t mean I’m giving up and taking my toys home. But it means that I understand that President Obama doesn’t just have the obstructionist Republicans to deal with. He has the clueless and self-involved among the Democrats as well. And this Supreme Court decision will only make matters worse. Now miserable excuses for legislators like Landrieu and Lincoln and Nelson will have even more incentive to thumb their noses at us.

  106. 106
    Mum says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Amen. Spot-on analysis.

  107. 107
    Mum says:


    You’re so right about the ADD. When I try to remind people of the things that transpired during the Bush II years (and even go so far as to remind them of the Reagan years and the fact that Clinton was not a progressive), they pause briefly before going back into their “I want it now or I quit” mode.

  108. 108
    Mum says:

    @El Cid:

    Oh, but at least the father really loved and fought for and protected his son. We’ve just got the cannibals.

  109. 109
    Mum says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    You have DeFazio and Wyden. You didn’t mention Merkley. At least you can consider yourself very fortunate on the representation side. I’ve got Bayh and Lugar and my rep is one of CREW’s 15 most corrupt members of Congress and is under federal investigation.

  110. 110
    Mum says:


    I know how hard the Obama people worked on this. I was one of many people who volunteered a hell of a lot of time to make phone calls and do health fairs for most of last summer. I think that had the insurance companies and their cohorts not engineered the asinine tea party “movement,” health care reform, WITH a public option, would have had a good chance to pass before the holidays, even with the Baucus/Nelson and Republican stalling tactics. With the tea party crap and the attention it was given by the right-wing media flacks, there was a perceptible change in Congress. Legislators who had been truly gung-ho, when asked, were still in favor of the public option and progressive health care reform, but they were a lot quieter about it. Of the 29 senators who had signed onto Senate Resolution 156 (Brown, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Dodd, Schumer, Bingaman, Durbin, Mikulski, Harkin, Boxer, Reed, Levin, Leahy, Menendez, Whitehouse, Stabenow, Casey, Gillibrand, Merkley, Udall (NM), Inouye, Sanders, Kaufman, Burris, Lautenberg, McCaskill, Shaheen, Cardin, Akaka), which supported a public option, not much more than a handful remained openly and publicly and loudly in support of a public option by the end of September.

  111. 111
    Mike from Philly says:

    So its come down to this has it? Bribing our elected officials to do what we elected them to do. I’ll contribute if you this up, but after the dust settles on this it would behoove the blogosphere to start putting some serious thought towards how to reform our broken system of government.

    This craven cowardly bullshit cannot stand. We as a people deserve better than a choice between know nothing religious zealots and craven cowardly pussies. Both groups bought and paid for by elite monied interests.

  112. 112
    cfaller96 says:

    I find it interesting that the past few months John and Tim and Doug have ruthlessly mocked Progressives for faulting Dem leadership in the WH and the Senate for “not doing enough” to pressure Congresscritters to pass a better bill. Fantasy! Delusion! No you can’t have a Pony because you can’t leverage the moderates and conservatives! Etc.

    But now apparently Tim finds fault with Pelosi for ‘not doing enough’ in her own chamber. Um, yeah. As if Pelosi bringing pressure on Stupak’s crowd is going to deliver a pony.

    This would be funny if it weren’t so frustrating watching and waiting for the slower Dems among us to understand that attacking liberals was never going to solve anything, and was only going to make things worse. Heckuva job, Balloon Juice.

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