I Guess It Is My Turn To Be Emo Today

Someone said in another thread I should be more positive, but I can’t. I’m just not feeling it.

I’ve never seen a bunch of more hopeless, cynical, feckless, and criminally useless people than the Senate Democrats. And I think Glenn Greenwald is probably absolutely right:

This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are. They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it. They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do? We just don’t have 60 votes).

The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation. They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it. One minute, it’s Jay Rockefeller as the Prime Villain leading the way in protecting Bush surveillance programs and demanding telecom immunity; the next minute, it’s Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer joining hands and “breaking with their party” to ensure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General; then it’s Big Bad Joe Lieberman single-handedly blocking Medicare expansion; then it’s Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb joining with Lindsey Graham to support the de-funding of civilian trials for Terrorists; and now that they can’t blame Lieberman or Ben Nelson any longer on health care (since they don’t need 60 votes), Jay Rockefeller voluntarily returns to the Villain Role, stepping up to put an end to the pretend-movement among Senate Democrats to enact the public option via reconciliation.

And that is what it is- a pretend movement. That is why the WH refuses to play along with them, because they know the votes aren’t there. No amount of public pressure is going to get the votes, because we are dealing with folks who just don’t care what you or I think. Period. I’m to the point now that I think the Senate is only floating the public option to fire up the House and make them more opposed to any bill without a public option, so that way they can blame the house for no bill passing when the Senate public option effort fails.

I know it is fashionable to beat up on Joe Lieberman, but honestly, I’ve seen nothing the past few months that makes him any worse than the rest of the centrists. If anything, he is just more upfront about the fact that he is just doing things to piss people off. Evan Bayh is so upset with the lack of bipartisanship that he is going to quit and reward the GOP with a seat for their obstructionism. That is the kind of quality thinking we get from the centrists.

So basically, we successfully vilified the insurance companies, got the house to pass the public option, got the public to support a public option, and ten unnamed Dems in the Senate will scuttle it, leading to the inevitable death of the whole bill in the House. And should a miracle happen, Bart Stupak and the C-Street goons are waiting in the wings to get their fetus fetish on.

I wish Obama would live up to the reputation the wingnut bloggers have given him and just nationalize the whole damned thing.






234 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    I wish Obama would live up to the reputation the wingnut bloggers have given him and just nationalize the whole damned thing.

    That would be lovely. But unlikely, since Obama is one of those centrists you excoriate here.

    ETA: And before anyone starts, no I am not a Firebagger. But I am also not an Obot.

  2. 2
    Mike Kay says:

    Why won’t cheney die?

  3. 3
    batgirl says:

    Bummer. I come here to laugh at the hopeless state of our politics and elected “representatives,” not to be reminded of it.

    You’ve ruined my day John Cole. How dare you!

    /end sarcasm

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    @Mike Kay: Government provided health care.

  5. 5
    licensed to kill time says:

    I hope you don’t turn all emo-negativo on us.

  6. 6
    Will says:

    I’m beginning to think the local hippies and leftist activists (the real ones, not the online screamers) have it right. They don’t spend much time worrying about national politics.

    They are focusing on community gardens, figuring out the best ways to install small-scale solar/wind/hydro in order to live off the grid, setting up barter groups, urban gardening, etc. By and large, they think that our society is unsustainable, structurally broken and the only smart response is to figure out the best way to survive when it all goes kablooey. A lot of them donated their time to Obama, but the result has just convinced them they were right in the first place.

    I’m coming around to the same conclusion, myself.

  7. 7
    gizmo says:

    It’s 11-dimension chess, john. Get hip…..

  8. 8
    Dreggas says:

    At least I can take solace in watching Fox spin the C-Pac straw poll results all while I watch the tea-baggers turn on their would be hero, scott brown.

  9. 9
    batgirl says:

    @Zifnab: Ah, and I get to laugh again. Thank you Zifnab!

  10. 10
    Osprey says:

    @licensed to kill time:
    Next time we get a picture of Tunch he’ll have black nail polish and eye-liner on.

  11. 11
    econlibVA says:

    Senate Dems do suck. Not all of them – actually the majority are good. It’s just that there is a significant minority who are incredibly and horribly unreliable on anything of importance. So, there’s only one real solution and that’s to primary the worst of the lot. Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman, and Baucus all need to be primaried. We’ve already primaried Lieberman once – we’ll just have to get him in 2012. We can get Lincoln this year. That’s how the GOP controls their Senators – they have credible primary challenges all over the place for those who don’t toe the line. Just look at what’s happened to Charlie Crist in FL. If we primary some lousy Dem senators, the rest will fall in line.

  12. 12
    jenniebee says:

    @Will:

    Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  13. 13
    Rick Taylor says:

    While I’m generally pessimistic, I can’t agree with Greenwald that it’s all kabuki, and Democrats never intended to succeed. I don’t believe Reid pushed for a public option in the senate, knowing he’d be made a fool of. I believe he was genuinely angered when Lieberman stabbed him in the back. The idea the push to incorporate the public option is a plot to scuttle HCR is outlandish. If anything it’s the reverse; by attempting to include the public option and having it killed, the centrists will get the pound of liberal flesh they need to hold their nose and vote for the final bill.

  14. 14
    demo woman says:

    I wrote this on the previous post
    President Obama took control when he met with the Republicans at their caucus. If that President shows up Thursday, I think health care will pass. FOX news will cut away if the republicans look weak but the other 24/7 and CSPAN will continue to cover the summit.
    We need The Rock to show up Thursday.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    No amount of public pressure is going to get the votes, because we are dealing with folks who just don’t care what you or I think. Period.

    Because the US Senate is also known as “The Millionaires Club”.

  16. 16
    John W. says:

    Let’s not let we the electorate off the hook. Collectively, we voted this Congress into existence. We can’t pretend our hands are clean when it turns out they’re actually corrupt or idiotic or whatever it is that the rest are.

  17. 17
    Mike Kay says:

    I’m to the point now that I think the Senate is only floating the public option to fire up the House and make them more opposed to any bill without a public option

    Nah. This was simply a case were Gillibrand and Bennett are BOTH facing primary challenges and they saw this as a way to raise money (which they did) and intensify base support (mission accomplished). Of course the price was gullible bloggers would all line up to kick the ball (they can’t help themselves) and commit self-immolation again (hippie is as hippie does).

    The fact of the matter is Nancy is gonna need dreaded blue-dog votes, which she can’t get if the senate passes a public option. The reason a number of the blue dogs didn’t vote for the bill in the first place is because the House bill contained a PO (crappy as it was).

  18. 18
    Ash Can says:

    Meh. The up, down, up, down of this whole HCR debate here in the blogosphere does nothing but make me feel seasick. Nothing’s been carved in stone yet, and to insist that it has is a waste of time (not to mention a crashing bore). Why waste emopantsness on nothing?

  19. 19
    Cat says:

    I’ve never seen a bunch of more hopeless, cynical, feckless, and criminally useless people than the Senate Democrats

    But we are still better off with them rather then Republicans in the senate? Right????

  20. 20
    valdivia says:

    I have been saying this for a while now that the dems in congress have been trying to knee cap Obama every step of the way. So yes, I am with John on this.

  21. 21
    Bulworth says:

    Let’s not just blame the Senate centrists. The House Dems are about equally worthless. They have a large majority and could pass something, anything if they wanted to (the already passed Senate bill for example) if their majority actually meant something. But it doesn’t.

  22. 22
    ruemara says:

    @Will:

    I’m pretty much there. That’s what I focus on and write about. However, I like civilization. It means games, movies and chocolate. I will fight for civilization progressing, just for good chocolate.

  23. 23
    demo woman says:

    @Will: If the Republicans sweep in 2010 and 2012, my body will no longer be my own. There is the possibility that two more justices will retire at the end of their term and already it’s going to be difficult to confirm a suitable replacement. Can you imagine what would happen if one of the conservatives decided to leave? What would a McCain presidency look like?

  24. 24
    Will says:

    jenniebee,

    It’s not my cause, but I’ve noticed that those folks have an idea, work hard on that idea and get it done. That’s a lot more than I can say for pretty much anyone in national politics.

  25. 25
    BTD says:

    I love how Obama was excused so cleverly by you John:

    “And that is what it is- a pretend movement. That is why the WH refuses to play along with them, because they know the votes aren’t there.”

    The Innocent Bystander President. Very clever.

    I take it this absolves Rahmbo as well.

  26. 26
    gwangung says:

    So, there’s only one real solution and that’s to primary the worst of the lot. Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman, and Baucus all need to be primaried.

    Hm. Folks think you can get any more progressive politician elected in Nebraska, Arkansas and Montana?

    Hm.

  27. 27
    Mike Kay says:

    @gizmo:

    funny how the greenwalds love to mock Obots with the 11th dimensional chess shit, and then they write long, involved, intricate, 11th dimensional conspiracy theories on how Obama is a secret republican.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    Greenwald is attributing to the caucus a precision-drill organization I’ve seen no sign of it possessing. I don’t think most of them sit around planning the next wave-the-carrot-in-front-of-the-nose-of-the-base/voters move in calmly calibrated villainy. More of them probably run around having vaguely good intentions and get massively freaked out at the slightest perceived threat: reduced corporate campaign contributions, of course (this is one place where they really do constantly calculate), but also schoolyard taunts from the right, a few angry phone calls from unhinged ‘bagger constituents, the awesome and totally new responsibility of actually making a significant policy change, someone threatening to call them “liberal” and the unspeakable terror of updating the hairdo they’ve had since 1985 (Landrieu, I’m looking at you). They are venal, they are corrupt, they are craven, but much more than that they are huge fucking chickenshits. That’s what happens when you’re corporate-owned but don’t warmly embrace your bondage like the GOP does.

    That’s not an excuse, by the way. I think I prefer straight-up coldblooded perfidy to gargantuan ineffectiveness and chronic dithering with a side order of wanting to fail to preserve the status quo.

  29. 29
    GeeYourHairSmellsTerrific says:

    Both parties do this. For example, why hasn’t Roe been overturned? Both parties treat their respective bases like rubes, and for the most part the base takes it and moves on. The politicians exist solely to hoover up campaign contributions. The campaign contributors contribute to allow them to keep raping the middle and lower classes.

    Round and round it goes.

  30. 30
    Will says:

    ruemara,

    I like my civilization, too. I don’t want to live in a yurt and wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s magic soap, either.

    But those folks are certainly making a lot of sense these days.

  31. 31
    ruemara says:

    @valdivia:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.c.....YdsX8t4vMp

    I will never forget that the first thing Harry Reid had to say was that he wouldn’t be rubber stamping whatever Obama wanted.

  32. 32
    Mike Kay says:

    there’s some hippies at GOS who want to primary Feingold for not signing the petition. Endless laughter at Clown-University.

  33. 33
    soonergrunt says:

    @Zifnab:
    That, and the blood of the virgins that he imbibes.

  34. 34
    Ash Can says:

    @demo woman: Seriously. We won’t even know what the next step in the process will be until we see how that meeting turns out. I’m betting it will simply drive home the point that the Republicans have nothing but obstruction in their repertoire and that the congressional Dems must go ahead and work around them, and things will progress accordingly. But maybe something else will happen. In any event, in the end, we’re all just guessing.

  35. 35
    ruemara says:

    @Will:

    What do you have against Dr’ Bronners? The bottles make good reading.

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    Shorter Greenwald: Democrats are liars and pussies.

    We are supposed to be surprised by this? Really?

  37. 37
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike Kay:
    This is why I spend less and less time over there. The ‘detached from reality’ faction of GOS grows daily.

  38. 38
    aimai says:

    Oh, John Cole! Now I know you are a Democrat! You are already totally disappointed with the party and they haven’t even been in power for a year. Welcome to our world! We’ve been disappointed for years!

    Shortstop has it mostly right, I think–its not that they are collectively evil, its that they are individually confused, cowardly, and disorganized. That’s why I disagreed, although I didn’t post it, with John’s conclusion that a certain number of Democratic Senators are “lying to us” about the Public Option. I think its very clear that they don’t have enough of an opinion about this thing called Politics, or health care, or The Process to even have formed a clear picture of what they want to accomplish–and therefore to have formed an ability to “lie.” That’s why it does not harm, and may do some good, to keep pushing and pushing on the only levers we can affect: public opinion and local donations. The Democratic Senate isn’t made up of machiavellian political thinkers. Its made up of millionaire morons who sometimes respond to carrots, sometimes to sticks, sometimes to spite, sometimes to what they think the Senator next to them is doing.

    aimai

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    I believe that it’s a mix of kabuki and simple opposition by many Senate Democrats from what the majority of the elected members, or you and I, might want.

    Though I think even the kabuki is predicated on existent opposition and scuttling by a minority of Democratic Senators — maybe the choice of who steps forward to be that issue’s public face of dissent, but the dissent is there and shared by some number more than the 1 or 2 contemporary baddies.

    On the other hand, it’s easier to agree with the diagnosis than prescribe a cure.

    I certainly support primarying an unhelpful Democrat, but only if there’s a well-supported argument that the rival candidate can win both the primary and the election.

    With the current Republican party being led by the Southern-Western nihilist extremists, letting a Republican win is way, way different than wishing a Democrat to lose.

    It’s like choosing between a lousy boss who overall keeps the company running and a drunken caveman who insists on battering hornets’ nests with a stick.

  40. 40
    Mike Kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    yup. The only reason I went over there was because Beltrane recommended a hysterical unbeknownst self-parodying diary.

  41. 41
    batgirl says:

    @Cat: Fuck yes, but that thought depresses me even more so I try not to think of it.

    I go through this cycle–that the only way to make Democrats listen, to make them better is to not vote for them, to show them that there are consequences, and then I think about what that means practically–more Republicans, and I get pissed, depressed, and pessimistic. I understand those that fall on both side of this debate — those who argue that we will never get the representation we need if we keep rewarding Democrats with our votes and those who point out that in the end a Dem is better than a Repub.

    Fact is we are screwed. I don’t see any way out of us being screwed. So I choose to vote for the lesser of two evils. Fuck it all. I need a drink.

  42. 42

    @shortstop:

    Greenwald is attributing to the caucus a precision-drill organization I’ve seen no sign of it possessing.

    My thoughts exactly.

  43. 43
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Will:

    I like my civilization, too. I don’t want to live in a yurt and wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s magic soap, either.

    Hey, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is a good read by candlelight! Hours of entertainment! I learned my Moral ABC’s from that label, man.

    aw shit, ruemara beat me to it. teach me not to refresh.

  44. 44
    freelancer says:

    “I’m so sick of Congress, I could vomit”.

    -Josh Lyman.

  45. 45
    Mike Kay says:

    @Violet:

    Shorter Greenwald: Meth, poppers, and amphetamines have taken me to the 11th dimension of paranoia.

  46. 46
    MBunge says:

    Democrats who had the balls to do any of the stuff liberals want them to do would have been Democrats with too much self-respect to put up with Bill Clinton’s bullshit. And no, I don’t just mean the Lewinsky business but also the whole triangulation crap where Clinton tore the heart out of the party and replaced it with nothing but himself.

    Mike

  47. 47
    Will says:

    ruemara,

    You should read the Wikipedia entry on Bronner. The man came by his craziness honestly.

    He was a Jewish soapmaker in 1930s Germany who saw the writing on the wall and got the fuck out. He begged his family to leave with him, and they refused. The last he heard from them was a postcard from his father that read “You were right.”

    From there, he decided that all war was evil and dedicated his life to spreading the message of peace, love and good soap.

  48. 48
    RareSanity says:

    @shortstop:

    I think that the truth may encompass both opinions.

    I think that what Greenwald explains does happen, it’s just not planned. It is a byproduct of being venal, corrupt, craven, huge fucking chickenshits.

  49. 49
    gizmo says:

    The hippies have been right every time. War, enviroment, healthcare, food, you name it. Look back in time and it’s clear that the most progressive policy position has been proved to be the best one.

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    @BTD: For fuck’s sake, they have supported it publicly all along, but are not going to make it the hill to die on. They even warned Reid once about the public option with regards to calling off the Snowe negotiations, told him you better have the votes, and he put a WEAK version of the PO in and it was stripped before you could wail RAHMBAMA. Is there ever going to be a moment at which you learn anything?

    I know, I know- he should just use the bully pulpit!

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: ? Is there some evidence Glenn Greenwald uses amphetamine type drugs? Other than being productive in his writing?

  52. 52
    blahblahblah says:

    Or progressives could join with the Tea Partiers to oust BOTH political parties and their leadership from power. You might not like those unwashed masses, but they are the only right leaning populist movement that could unseat corporatist republicans.

  53. 53
    Capri says:

    Guess we know how Republicans feel – years and years go by, majorities come and go, and yet abortion and flag burning are still legal.

  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    The folly treason of the Senate Dems is a reflection of the fact that the Dems are not a monolithic group.

    In most parliamentary systems in other countries the voting blocks that call themselves Dems in the US would be represented by at least 3 different political parties: a Green party, a blue collar union party, and a corporate whoredom party. These groups have different agendas and as soon as the Dems get some real power they immediately begin fighting with each other and making temporary alliances of convenience with the neo-fascist right.

    And this has been the case for at least 100 years. It took the Great Depression and WW2 to get this herd of cats to unite behind FDR, and as soon as all the girls in Times Square had been kissed after VJ-day and the decks had been cleared from the battleship Missouri after the surrender ceremony, that coalition started falling apart and has been under continuous assault from the right along every conceivable seam every since.

  55. 55
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    I Guess It Is My Turn To Be Emo Today

    LOL. This is allowed. Would you like to borrow my rubber mallet to brain yourself with. Works every time when I need it.

  56. 56
    Ailuridae says:

    @Mike Kay:

    There are a lot of reasons to primary Russ Feingold but that petition isn’t one of them.

  57. 57
    Mark says:

    Matt Tiabbi detailed all the Congressional BS that we would have to suffer through back in the August/September issue of Rolling Stone. I have re-read it a couple times and the whole stupid game he forecast has been played out almost exactly as he predicted. He knew we were doomed to a big fat gift to healthcare at the expense of taxpayers; and a demoralized base from a crappy bill. He should get a Pulitzer, except for his pouty mouth prohibits it.

  58. 58
    RareSanity says:

    @Ailuridae:

    The Senate got 99 problems but a Russ ain’t one of ’em.

  59. 59
    Mike Kay says:

    Congratulations to John Cole and Co. and the readers balloon-Juice, who just posted a new 52-week high, breaking the 1,000,000 viewer barrier, earlier today!

    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=st.....&r=36

  60. 60
    Will says:

    gizmo,

    It’s amazingly easy to be clear-eyed when your first thought about everything isn’t “How can I make money out of this?”

  61. 61
    John S. says:

    But we are still better off with them rather then Republicans in the senate? Right????

    I’m hoping that’s a rhetorical question.

  62. 62
    tc125231 says:

    I am not thrilled with Senate Democrats. –But worse than the Senate GOP!

    Are you crazy? Did you vote for Bush?

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @shortstop:

    “That’s what happens when you’re corporate-owned but don’t warmly embrace your bondage like the GOP does.”

    I agree. They don’t do it because they are feckless or they want to piss people off (except maybe that does figure into Lieberman’s calculations).

    They do it for $$$. Either to get corporate contributions and assistance to get re-elected by spending mass quantities of ad money, or for their corrupt corporate lobbyist or “consultant” gig after they retire from Congress.

    They are corrupt crony big-business corporatists. That is what the centrists Democrats are mostly, in both chambers.

    Why else would they spout nonsense and utterly humiliate themselves by appearing to be callous dense nincompoops, or depraved sociopathic liars, in front of the whole country on a regular basis?

    You only do that for lots of money, or for a beautiful dark Argentinian soulmate and tragically forbidden love.

  64. 64
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mark: a Pulitzer? Why not. He openly talks about dropping LSD as he’s reporting, so why not.

  65. 65
    ruemara says:

    @blahblahblah:

    both I and a tiger have the same basic goals, I would not assume this makes the tiger a wonderful travel companion.

  66. 66
    jenniebee says:

    @Will: It’s worth noting that years ago, conservatives looked around at the political landscape and realized that national politics is where all the attention gets paid, but local politics is where things really get done. They started by taking over school boards and city councils. All these schools that are out of control with zero tolerance policies and suspending kids for facebook pages and monitoring them at home via the webcams in their laptops, the root of all that is in the conservative move to ideologize local politics.

    As for the DFH theory, whether or not things all go kablooey, it sounds like it’s just a more pleasant, healthier way to live, whatever happens to the rest of society.

  67. 67
    John S. says:

    In most parliamentary systems in other countries the voting blocks that call themselves Dems in the US would be represented by at least 3 different political parties

    We had a discussion about that here a while back, and there have been a few scattered articles here and there discussing the same. The problem is that we’re experiencing all the downsides of having a parliamentary democracy without any of the benefits of actually having one.

    But we’re a Republic, not a Democracy.

  68. 68
    Chat Noir says:

    @freelancer: Win!

    I’ve been watching my “West Wing” DVDs again to try to feel better about everything lately. Currently mid-way through season #7, three weeks out to election day. Josh and Donna are at the point where they hook up which I always thought was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I wonder what President Santos would do. During his debate with Senator Vinick, he suggested that Medicare For All was the way to go.

  69. 69
    chrome agnomen says:

    here’s the plan. the right lets the democrats kill the HCR all by themselves. then the right comes back into power, passes their own version of a health care bill, (the left would never vote against it), gets all the credit, and stays in power for a couple of terms–long enough to destroy what’s left of democracy. (admittedly not much)

  70. 70
    rootless-e says:

    @Mike Kay: Not just that: they are full of complex theories about trial balloons, signaling, double dealing, secret messages, unmotivated byzantine plotting, and so on.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    Actually, you’ve had a realignment of the parties since the Solid [segregationist] South Democratic / Northern-Midwestern Labor & Ethnic Democrats coalition broke up and the Southern wing went Republican in the decades after Civil Rights, and merged with the Western Republican populists.

    Much of the Democratic leadership from the late 1970s through the 1990s were convinced that the only way to rebuild a national Democratic party was to strategically and harshly displace the labor and liberal Democrats from the mainstream of the party. Hell, that was the founding logic of the Democratic Leadership Council, launched in the wake of Reagan’s re-election. And part of that idea was the notion that this would win them back much of the South.

    And if you looked exclusively at Presidential politics, they had some gains from such strategies. Unfortunately, no one seemed to care too much about losing the House from 1994 – 2006. Something which had quite a number of consequences for the nation, including the ramming through of all the worst of Phil Gramm’s de/anti-regulatory projects for Big Finance.

    The formerly significant moderate to liberal business Republicans of the Northeast and mid-West hardly exist any more.

    There’s likely going to be an incentive, some day, for the non-crazy Republican moderate pro-business conservatives to re-emerge, but I’m not sure they can yet. At least, not yet in large numbers. Eventually, though, Northeastern and Midwestern and Western moderate conservatives would seem to tire of being run by the most reactionary Southern-Western types.

  72. 72
    Fair Economist says:

    Folks think you can get any more progressive politician elected in Nebraska, Arkansas and Montana?

    No. But if crossing the party on a core issue means losing elections, those politicians we do get will vote much more like what we want. Losing Chaffee convinced Snowe and Collins to stop crossing party lines on significant votes. Now that Lincoln and Nelson are really taking heat Conrad and Baucus are getting awfully quiet. And I like that.

  73. 73
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    bunch a worry worts

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Unfortunately, the most popular alternative to the Dems and GOP (at least until either the GOP or teabaggers is totally co-opted by the other) seems to be this:

    ‘A top Tea Party leader derided Barack Obama as “our half white, racist president” in an email to colleagues.’

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi.....hp?ref=fpa

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Mike Kay says:

    @gizmo:

    you mean like the time they said there’s no difference between bush and gore?

    it’s time the hippies woke up and smelled the incenses.

  77. 77
    MNPundit says:

    Again, there’s nothing we can do if they lie to us when we call. We just have to try and get so many of them on record that passing it becomes the default position. Besides it is freaking the righties right out.

    Oh for Howard Dean.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @valdivia:

    I have been saying this for a while now that the dems in congress have been trying to knee cap Obama every step of the way. So yes, I am with John on this.

    I agree. I know a lot of people seem to have the impression that the POTUS is a dictator who can bend Congress to his will so the only problem here is that Obama just won’t do it, but I really think that the Senate, in particular, has been sabotaging him from day one. I don’t know what it is — jealousy? fear? general assholishness? — but it’s pretty unmistakable. Like ruemara said, the knives were out almost immediately after the election.

  79. 79
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless-e:

    thanks. you’re right about that. it’s always so 11th dimensional chess with them.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    NR says:

    @El Cid: Yep. Sadly, the events of the last year should be no surprise to anyone who knows recent political history. This is just like Carter’s term, or the first two years of Clinton’s first term. The Democrats had huge congressional majorities then, too, and they were still unable to accomplish anything, unless massive airline and trucking deregulation, massive increases in military spending (forget Reagan – it started under Carter), a bad labor bill, and NAFTA count.

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that most of LBJ’s Great Society programs would not have been possible, even with the absurdly huge congressional majorities the Democrats had, if they hadn’t pushed through rules changes in both chambers. They weren’t quite able to do away with the filibuster, but they did manage to wrest the committee chairmanships away from the Southern conservatives who’d held them. Without that, none of LBJ’s programs would have passed. But it took a ton of political will and strong leadership to get it done – and it’s abundantly clear now that Obama is no LBJ.

  82. 82
    freelancer says:

    @John Cole:

    Is there ever going to be a moment at which you learn anything?

    Hey now, I seem to recall someone who wasn’t wearing their emopants chastizing those of us who called BTD out on his pervasive inability to grasp the simplest parts of what the rest of us were talking about. Those were the days.

    Can I borrow the rubber mallet, General?

  83. 83
    mai naem says:

    The only way these Senate pigs are going to respond is if they feel physically threatened and I don’t mean somebody goes up to them with a baseball bat and tells them they’re going to beat the crap out of them. There just needs to be the fear. Kind of like when you find yourself walking late at night in a really really bad neighborhood and have all your senses on guard.

  84. 84
    Cat says:

    @John S.:

    I’m hoping that’s a rhetorical question.

    It is.

  85. 85
    danimal says:

    I’m to the point now that I think the Senate is only floating the public option to fire up the House and make them more opposed to any bill without a public option, so that way they can blame the house for no bill passing when the Senate public option effort fails.

    I’ve had that fear for the past several days. Taking a whack at that hornet’s nest sure doesn’t look like the act of a group wanting to unify the party and get HCR passed.

  86. 86
    Dreggas says:

    Deep thought:

    For a party that’s supposed to be made up of collectivists, communists, and socialists the democrats sure have a hard time working together to achieve a common goal, you know, communally…or collectively….

  87. 87
    Mike Kay says:

    @MBunge:

    talk about punching hippies. Clinton was the king of punching hippies. When he wasn’t sodomizing an intern, he second favorite passtime was punching hippies.

  88. 88
    Dreggas says:

    ah hell i should have spelled it soshulist in my last post…

  89. 89
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @El Cid:

    Actually, you’ve had a realignment of the parties since the Solid [segregationist] South Democratic / Northern-Midwestern Labor & Ethnic Democrats coalition broke up and the Southern wing went Republican in the decades after Civil Rights, and merged with the Western Republican populists.

    I call this the Great Unmixing. The electoral map today looks almost identical to the same map in 1900 with the colors switched around. It took 100 years, but the two political parties have switched places with each other, both regionally and culturally, after a long period when both parties were a mix of North and South*. The Dems today are the GOP of 1900. Which was split into a progressive faction and a very conservative pro-business faction, and ended up splitting in half by 1912.

    The way things are going over HCR it looks like the same thing could happen to the Dems today, if the GOP can come up with a squeaky clean Woodrow Wilson like figure to improve their public image, and take over the mantle of populist reform and anti-big business crusading. Dems better pray the GOP doesn’t get on the right side of Wall St. regulation (and they had better get on the right side of it themselves), or the switch in which party is seen as populist could happen very, very fast.

    *Much of the “bipartisanship” that the centrists are still hankering after today was a function of the weird state of US politics during the 20th Cen, such that neither party had a stable regional and cultural identity, so you could have liberal Republicans and conservative Dems. Those days are gone, and so is “bipartisanship”, until the next time that one of the parties manages to poach from the other’s cultural and sectional base, like the Dems did starting with Wilson in 1912 and following up on with FDR in the 1930s.

  90. 90
    valdivia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not only that, note that this weekend a bunch of Dem governors were on TV and Rendell of PA, was out there kneecapping Obama, *again*. I find it funny that it is the hard core Hilary supporters from the primaries who go on TV and say things about Obama that simply track with what they used to say then. Can they just STFU?

  91. 91
    blahblahblah says:

    @ruemara:

    Tea Partiers and Progressives will never see eye to eye on public policy. This is a traditional political split. The only way to make this work is to join in a strategic alliance in support of the limited goal to implement and enforce rules against so-called legal _bribery_. We need that rule of law back.

    I think most populist Tea Partiers would support _citizens_, regardless of party or political persuasion, demanding representation from their elected officials – even if that meant joining with their political adversaries for the short-term.

  92. 92
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @freelancer:

    Can I borrow the rubber mallet, General?

    Sure, though it sounds like Senor Cole might need it for awhile.

  93. 93
    Catsy says:

    @gwangung:

    Hm. Folks think you can get any more progressive politician elected in Nebraska, Arkansas and Montana?

    I’m sick of hearing this excuse. It’s not about electing a progressive in red states. It’s about electing people who will not actively obstruct their own party by refusing to support procedural votes.

    I’m fine with them refusing to vote for the final bill, providing they actually allow a fucking vote to occur in the first place.

  94. 94
    Mike Kay says:

    @blahblahblah:

    The dickens, you say! Why Grover Norquist and Lady Jane Hamsher both agree Rahm is a corrupt embezzler who lotted Fannie Mae.

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    Thanks to a bunch of lying assholes on the extreme right, the news media which loves to lick those rightists’ asses, and a shit-load of Democratic ignorant cowards who immediately jumped up to condemn them (and more or less including Jon Stewart’s uninformed rant of bipartisan snobbery), ACORN may be on its last legs.

    Pray tell, where is the nation-wide advocacy and community organizing resource for low income housing and the homeless and poor people, particularly poor people of color, who will replace them? Or just, you know, fuck them, ’cause, things are tough all over, right?

    Maybe we can just tell such people to visit various .gov websites for helpful information on which federal and state programs won’t quite be able to help them out.

  96. 96
    Punchy says:

    At this point, I dont care anymore.

    Senate is broken, House is bought and paid for. WH is fumbling around like a college frosh gettin on his very first Tri-Delt. Sad, sad spectacle.

    I await President-elect Romney’s health care package of health care tax cuts and free, do-it-yourself sutures.

  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    @blahblahblah:

    You think most tea partiers would support citizens? Really? The same tea partiers that are still quibbling over natural born versus born for citizenship? Again, we may seem to have the same goals, but that would be a serious mistake to assume as true.

  98. 98
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Catsy:

    It’s about electing people who will not actively obstruct their own party by refusing to support procedural votes.

    I generally agree with this. But will note that all 60 senate dem caucus members voted for cloture of the senate bill. With any one of those red state dems actually being republicans instead. It wouldn’t have happened that way.

    Stupak has to go however.

  99. 99
    jenniebee says:

    @aimai: Yeah, but it’s like structual racism. The problem isn’t that there are still individual unrepentant racists, the problem is that institutions and structures reinforce the status quo of racial stratification. Likewise, the problem isn’t that there’s a conspiracy of either democrats or republicans to run on policies they don’t intend to act on, the problem is that pols are rewarded for talking about abortion and the public option and for acting to keep money flowing to Monsanto, ADM, Boeing, McDonnel Douglas, Pfizer…

  100. 100
    Nick says:

    @BTD: Oh, sorry, I forgot we were supposed to support your naive belief that a Democratic President who was in college when many of these Senators were running for their second or third terms is to yield unprecedented influence over them.

    BTD, Meet Bill Clinton, 1993.

  101. 101
    jenniebee says:

    @Mike Kay: Solution: more interns.

  102. 102
    Nick says:

    @Catsy:

    It’s not about electing a progressive in red states. It’s about electing people who will not actively obstruct their own party by refusing to support procedural votes.

    Actually since the only Democrats you can get elected in red states are ones who will obstruct their own party by refusing to support procedural votes, then, yeah, this is about electing progressives in red states.

  103. 103
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @mai naem:

    The only way these Senate pigs are going to respond is if they feel physically threatened and I don’t mean somebody goes up to them with a baseball bat and tells them they’re going to beat the crap out of them.

    100 years ago it was anarchist bombs and the threat of red agitation in the mines and factories and railroads, which put a real sense of urgency behind the reformist legislation the PTBs were willing to tolerate. The equivalent today would be if they seriously had to worry about IEDs and car bombs in DC and on Wall St. I hope we aren’t at the point were that sort of violence is the only thing that will get real reform moving through our gridlocked political system today, but I’m not so sure that is correct.

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    Via Digby, Ed Kilgore reminds us of the bullshit nature of the “independents” so fetishized by the punditarian establishment: as we have known for a while, they are not fucking “independent” in any voting sense:

    …[M]ost “independent” voters aren’t very independent. The general consensus is that of the 30% to 40% or so of Americans who call themselves independents, no more than ten percent are independent voters in any meaningful sense of the term. And “pure independents” are also less likely to vote than partisans…

    …In any analysis, wherever possible “independents” should be broken down into D and R leaners and “true” independents, and the vast array of “independent” ideological tendencies should be explained. Better yet, pollsters should ask follow-up questions to determine actual voting behavior and specific views rather than self-identification by partisan or ideological labels. Otherwise, we’re allowing those labels to distort reality in major ways.

    I’m sure that repeating this over and over will cause Chris Matthews to keep repeating over and over that the TeaTards are basically the real “independent” voters of Uh-merika and they’re just the real folks, the hard guys who work tough jobs and long hours with big, heavy, manly tools…

  105. 105
    joes527 says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I generally agree with this. But will note that all 60 senate dem caucus members voted for cloture of the senate bill.

    With the payola for the last couple placed right in the bill!

    That isn’t party loyalty. That’s a willingness to be bought.

    (note: This wasn’t give and take over passing legislation. This was a straight up bribe to get the bill past a *procedural* vote.)

  106. 106
    blahblahblah says:

    @ruemara:

    I think most of both the populist progressive and tea party movement are made up of _very busy_ people desperately trying to keep their families fed and under a roof. They do not have time to dig deep into the policy goals of their respective leaderships. And the leaderships are more than willing to lie to their bases for short-term political gains.

    I think both tea party and progressive movements are fed up with lack of representation. THAT is a unifying political goal. Rip out corporate bribery, demand a return to basic rule of law, and then let the policy fights begin.

    I don’t want to get into bed with Tea Partiers, but I’d throw some tea in the harbor with ’em.

  107. 107
    Sasha says:

    @demo woman:

    We need The Rock to show up Thursday.

    The Rock Obama? That would be awesome.

    “Better call your insurance. Tell them you need new arm.”

  108. 108
    econlibVA says:

    @gwangung: Actually, we have a more progressive candidate in AR – Lt. Gov. Halter. MT isn’t that conservative – we have 2 DEM senators and a DEM governor, and we’re competitive there in the state legislature in and in presidential races.

    Yes, NE is tough. I’d be willing to give Nelson a pass if he were willing to negotiate in good faith. But, he doesn’t, and he needs to go.

  109. 109
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    I must have stumbled into a butthurt locker by mistake. I mean, aren’t dems saying they are going to fix the senate bill with budget reconciliation? Did I imagine that? After, most had pronounced the death of HCR and Obama capitulation to failure.

    And isn’t Thursday the day Obama is holding a summit to map out a strategy to move forward with health care reform?

    Am I dreaming these things amidst so much liberal angst on these blog threads today? Well, just fuck me then. I going back to sleep. Carry on.

  110. 110
    Tonal Crow says:

    Political machinations — or bloggers’ speculations on them — have become so byzantine that I don’t have the energy to follow them anymore. I’m just calling Representatives and Senators and asking them to stand up for Democratic principles and PTDB with a public option using reconciliation. We might not get the PO — or any of it — but at least I’ve fought. And hold the “pony” trash. If you’re not willing to push what you want, ponies’ll fly outta your ass before you get it.

  111. 111
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    And that is what it is- a pretend movement. That is why the WH refuses to play along with them, because they know the votes aren’t there.

    I largely agree with you, except I think that the White House has been as much a part of the “pretend movement” as the Senators. The only wild card left is Reid, who might decide to act boldly for the first time in his threescore-and-ten years. Though I’d bet on the Cubs before that one.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Greenwald is being ridiculous. There’s a reason why the Democrats don’t do satisfyingly liberal things, and, psst, it’s because a lot of Democrats aren’t liberals, and in fact a lot of Democrats rather like the hippie-punch strategy that helps them define themselves as not-liberals. He has it all figured out so that even the liberal-sounding ones are in on the conspiracy, using the not-liberal-sounding ones as cover. Rather than there being actual disagreements, there can only be coercion and cabal.

    And, honestly, I think it stems from the fact that Greenwald cannot fathom why a right-thinking person wouldn’t agree with Glenn Greenwald on everything, all the time, immediately, so there has to be some extraordinary causal mechanism preventing that inevitability from coming to pass.

  113. 113
    farmette says:

    The best option is to drop the Medicare enrollment age to 50 and expand the medicaid health programs in the states for those under 50 with the government subsidizing the premiums. Medicare is a known program that does work (note all the over 65 teabaggers who don’t want the government to touch their health care), already has a national administrative system in place and provides the same benefits to all beneficiaries no matter where they live. Pump money into Medicare fraud investigation to help offset costs. The reason why the Ryan budget included the dismantling of Medicare was to put in folk’s minds that the program as it is is insolvent and expansion is totally out of the question. The Republicans fear a change in Medicare enrollment because they know it would work. It is the best public option.

  114. 114
    NR says:

    @Nick: Yeah, we all know that a president has no way of putting pressure on Congressmen and Senators to get them to pass something he wants. No president in the history of our republic has ever been able to do that. I don’t know why we expected Obama to be the first.

  115. 115
    bobbo says:

    After Brown was elected in Mass. and the Democrats were suddenly all, “Oh noes! Only 59 votes! The voters have spoken! HCR is bad!” I decided I was done, done, done with the Dems for good. Stay home on election day, etc. And then Sarah Palin opened her yap and said “How’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya?” and I realized I have to keep voting Dem forever. They’ve got me by the balls and they know it, and that is that. They totally suck ass, but at least we will all go to hell in a handbasket just a little more slowly.

  116. 116
    Svensker says:

    @John W.:

    Let’s not let we the electorate off the hook. Collectively, we voted this Congress into existence. We can’t pretend our hands are clean when it turns out they’re actually corrupt or idiotic or whatever it is that the rest are.

    I’m not going to start feeling guilty because my neighbors are assholes and idiots. THEY voted for Scott Garrett (R-Wingnut), I sure as hell didn’t. And when it comes to my Dem senators, they’re fairly reliably liberal (except when it comes to Israel, of course). Still I’ve tried to work in local politics getting “better Dems” — so far the result is flaming failure.

  117. 117
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @joes527: That shit has been going on from day one of the republic. They call it euphemistically “greasing the legislative wheels”. Is it ugly. yep.

    But do you have any idea of the surreal effort the Insurance Lobby has been applying to senate dems, and especially folks like Nelson, to block any bill that would regulate that industry for the first time? Epic and highly moneyed has been the pressure, but those senate dems passed the bill anyways. A little palm greasing pales in comparison to that fact.

    Is it new. Nope. Only for Pollyannas who dream of sugar plum fairies in the land Oz and idealists on the internet. Besides, looks like all that largess will get stripped out during a fix by BR. The wheels turn in unsavory ways but turn they do, usually, sometimes, also,.too.

  118. 118
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike Kay: Linky, please?!

  119. 119
    Tonal Crow says:

    @NR: Yep. Obama is both a grandmaster of 11-dimensional chess *and* helpless to strongarm Congressmembers. Also, he’s done everything he can. Too.

  120. 120
    Nick says:

    @NR:

    Yeah, we all know that a president has no way of putting pressure on Congressmen and Senators to get them to pass something he wants. No president in the history of our republic has ever been able to do that. I don’t know why we expected Obama to be the first.

    He isn’t the first, I can go down the list of Presidents who were forced to sacrifice their agenda for Senators. I could start with Lyndon Baines Johnson who had to have Everett Dirksen write his Civil Rights bill because even threatening primary challengers to recalcitrant Senators wasn’t working. I can go to FDR, who had to weaken his Social Security Bill to the liking of conservative Senator William King of Utah. I could mention how FDR couldn’t get the WPA through the Senate or how the Senate laughed in Bill Clinton’s face when he sent them his healthcare bill. Or how about when the Senate laughed Harriet Miers out of the room when George W. Bush nominated her for SCOTUS?

    Where do you want to start?

  121. 121
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @freelancer:

    Hey now, I seem to recall someone who wasn’t wearing their emopants chastizing those of us who called BTD out on his pervasive inability to grasp the simplest parts of what the rest of us were talking about. Those were the days.

    I seem to recall such an inherently misguided effort myself.

  122. 122
    Paula says:

    OK, sorry, but a “pro-public option” list signed by vulnerable and/or conservative Democrats in purple states is not a particularly encouraging development.

    But I guess the progressive blogosphere needs to throw some money @ people since neither Grayson nor Weiner have been in the news for a couple of weeks.

  123. 123
    joes527 says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Yeah, I get that this is how legislation has always been done. My point was that the wheel had to be heavily greased for a *procedural* vote on a version of the bill that was DOA in the house anyway.

    Imagine what it would take to actually get something done.

  124. 124
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    What an interesting take. It’s fascinating to see someone agreeing with Greenwald’s basic thesis, yet somehow excluding the Democrats in the White House from “the Democrats”.

    I don’t know, but part of me thinks that a lot of the motivation behind some of the more adamant urging on the “pass a bill!” side is sheer hatred of Republicans and wanting to “win” more than anything else. It feels like below the surface is basically “Don’t you see, if health care reform doesn’t pass, then the GOP will feel like they “beat” us, and this will destroy Barack Obama’s Presidency!

    I don’t mean to imply that I don’t share some of this hatred, nor that there isn’t at least some reality to those kind of political fears, since a damaged weakened Presidency can get much less done. It’s just not the only consideration and it feels like it is to some people.

    Funnily enough, Barack Obama himself doesn’t seem to be buying into it much, which is actually something that has a lot of Democrats frustrated.

    Mainly I think it’s a mistake to say that “Obama didn’t push the public option because he doesn’t trust Democrats”. I think he is one of the centrists, at least now he is, whatever he may have sounded like before. He probably always was.

    By the way, “claiming to be in favor of the public option, then not”, if you think that doesn’t describe President Obama as well as Rockefeller, then you’re really missing something.

  125. 125
    batgirl says:

    @Nick:

    Actually since the only Democrats you can get elected in red states are ones who will obstruct their own party by refusing to support procedural votes, then, yeah, this is about electing progressives in red states.

    Procedural votes is where the Democratic party should draw the line. You don’t have to vote for passage of the bill but you must vote with the party on procedural votes or all funding from the party for reelection should be taken away. I really don’t think this is asking too much. We are a big tent party. In fact I would argue as the GOP has gone to the far right the Democrats represent the normal political spectrum from left to right. Hard to get purity here. But all Democrats should allow an up and down vote on legislation even if they can’t ultimately support the bill and vote no on passage.

  126. 126
    Mark says:

    Mike Kay – Mandatory LSD for all reporters then. Who else was writing this in August other than Taibbi in RS – “Just as we have a medical system that is not really designed to care for the sick, we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crises. What our government is good at is something else entirely: effecting the appearance of action, while leaving the actual reform behind in a diabolical labyrinth of ingenious legislative maneuvers.”

  127. 127
    Mike Kay says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    so you’re saying Feingold, Dodd, and Wyden (all who have refused to sign the petition) are centrist?

  128. 128
    Jay B. says:

    You know, I watched the Democratic Congress and the White House flail around on health care from the start, never adopt clear messaging, ditch most things that would significantly lower costs, get rolled by the insurance industry, grew disgusted their pathetic “kabuki”, puked over their endless process which scotched any positive momentum — and EVEN THEN come around to “it’s better than nothing” (even if that’s debatable).

    In short, and I know it doesn’t matter, I swallowed every concession, made every compromise, made every call, signed every petition, supported every god awful candidate I could, just in hopes of getting an insanely watered down health insurance bill to the finish line.

    At every step along the way, the assumption here was that “this is reality”, the White House shouldn’t interfere, they were doing everything right, that Congress was the fault, but that the compromises while sad, were necessary and would get the damn thing passed. OK, whatever. I signed on.

    And now?

    Another dry fucking from the party I support. Another asinine idea from the White House (a summit. really? for what? to give the GOP another platform to rule with an overwhelming minority?). And zero sense that they either want to or even give a shit about passing a bill.

    And why?

    This is the part that really gets me, there IS no good reason!

    The punchline?

    And the other guys are worse. True. And very, very depressing. Imagine if the Democrats even gave a shit about the things they campaign on. They’d be a halfway decent party.

  129. 129
    ruemara says:

    @blahblahblah:

    These aren’t the leaders, these are the base. Thinking a progressive and a tea partier have some sort of peanut butter & chocolate moment then we’ll see changes is wrong.
    This is a chocolate getting into a bucket of 3mile island sludge. Oh well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. & yes, I’m hungry. bikini season.

  130. 130
    Mike E says:

    @El Cid:

    @Mike Kay: ? Is there some evidence Glenn Greenwald uses amphetamine type drugs? Other than being productive in his writing?

    Seconded. C’mon Mike, your sterling rep is gonna take a beating if you keep saying this shit. Plus, you’re ruining my buzz. Also.

  131. 131
    Cain says:

    @John Cole:

    I know, I know- he should just use the bully pulpit!I know, I know- he should just use the bully pulpit!

    No John, he just needs to write the health care bill as one big signing statement on some random bill. He’s the prez, he can do that! Why doesn’t he do it?! Obama is a failure, cuz he didn’t use scorched earth politics!

    cain

  132. 132
    Jay B. says:

    @bobbo:

    Or what he said, in six fewer paragraphs.

  133. 133
    celticdragonchick says:

    This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are. They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it. They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do? We just don’t have 60 votes).

    Righteous.

  134. 134
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @joes527:

    Imagine what it would take to actually get something done.

    HCR, something that has never gotten past the committee stage in congress, is close to getting done. With reforms that will help a lot of people. You understate the importance of that fact, imo.

    And my point was, that if a wingnut had held Nelson’s or any other current dem senate seat, nothing would have gotten a bill out of the senate. Not palm greasing, special favors, nor Gawd himself would have made any wingnut vote for cloture, or the final bill. And nothing, nada, zero, would be possible for HCR, short of opening the treasury to that industry, without any reforms to show for it.

  135. 135
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mark:

    if taibbi was around in 1965 he would have been whinnying about Medicare because it only applied to seniors, had copays and deductibles, was funded by a regressive payroll tax, and didn’t include a prescription coverage.

    I’ve said this before, and I say it again, if universal healthcare was so easy, why did FDR, Truman, LBJ, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Ted Kennedy, and the Clintons fail? FDR had 79 democratic senators in congress. LBJ had 68 democratic senators in congress. Obama may cross a bridge none of his predecessors ever crossed, even though they had more favorable circumstances, and more troops, but no, go ahead and whine about the public option.

  136. 136
    John S. says:

    Obama is a failure, cuz he didn’t use scorched earth politics!

    I can’t tell you how many times I see this sentiment across the so-called progressive blogosphere. People who are so committed to forward progress and moving on that they are gripped with the notion:

    I CAN HAZ PREZNIT BIZARRO-BUSH NAO? KTHXBAI!

  137. 137
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Jay B.:

    the party I support.

    I sometimes wonder what party that is for you Jay B. In reality.

  138. 138
    Paula says:

    so you’re saying Feingold, Dodd, and Wyden (all who have refused to sign the petition) are centrist?

    “Refused” is strong word. Have they actually refused (well, Rockefeller did)? In any case, the fact that Wyden is not on a list but Dianne Feinstein is should, you know, make anyone think twice about how real this is.

  139. 139
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Supported what? I did not know this post was about the public option. I thought it was a more general comment.

    Not sure how your comment refutes what I wrote. You repeat that Obama chose to be a bystander on the issue.

  140. 140
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mike Kay: I’m not even going to try to follow whatever misreading or weird logic came up with that question.

    Barack Obama is not “compromising” himself as much as people claim. Was the point. He sees things far closer to how the conservadems do than people want to make out.

    Mainly I’m saying that if people (i.e. Greenwald) are accusing Democrats of being afraid of actual accomplishment if it seems too “radical”, then excluding the Democrats from the White House from that characterization is just silly.

    Arguing whether that thesis holds water is one thing, but accepting it and excluding only the Democrats in the White House is an odd choice.

  141. 141
    Elie says:

    Ya know I was too busy too post comments the last two weeks or so and I actually felt better about things. Now that I am able to join in again for a little while, feeling shitty again. sigh

    I have no idea why things are the way they are. I will say this, the insanity is not just in politics as I observe the bull happening in my company — it seems that fecklessness, incompetence, greed and short sightedness are not just confined to the political class. Hmmm — could it be us too?

    Truth be told, everything big that I have ever worked for or on has taken a lot of effort and been a freaking mess at different points. I work on databases and provide analytical support to my clients and believe me, as relatively straightforward as that is, nothing surrounding the small p politics of working with various organizations and my own is nothing but crazy producing….

    Its just people and like aimai said way upstring, you just gotta keep after it, push and shove and never give up — evah…

  142. 142
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mike E:

    is there any evidence supporting Greenwald’s repeated 11th dimensional conspiracy theories that obama secretly gutted the public option ? No.

  143. 143
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: FDR and Truman had quite a few Congressman and Senators from the South who feared (probably correctly) that federal health care would bring with it the possibility of federal insistence that blacks could go to white hospitals etc.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    BTD says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Exactly. how Cole chooses to absolve the White House from this critique is not clear.

  146. 146
    Elie says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Yes — this too

  147. 147
  148. 148
    frankdawg says:

    So you and Glen have come to the conclusion I did a few months back. And those of us who expressed the associated anger were accused of being pony wanting DFH.

    Fuck Obama, fuck the Ds – we have 2 parties, one actively wants to destroy the country and the other wants to stand around and feign helplessness while we circle the drain a little slower.

    The oligarchs won. We lost. Its all deckchair arranging now.

  149. 149
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @frankdawg: Yes, you’re very clever, you discovered that everything sucks.

  150. 150
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @BTD: I think what Cole was trying to say was that Obama realized early on that Joe Lieberman and with his cover, folks like Nelson would not sign on to a PO, and that is why they didn’t push for it. And when Reid decided to go for it, and later the Med. buy in compromise that the WH also didn’t think holy joe would play ball. The WH was right about that and Joe threw his monkey wrench into the works after telling Reid he could go for the buy in.

    We have had many threads on this topic, that a PO or substitute was never going to fly with Lieberman and he would not vote for cloture on such a bill. And therefore, that is where all the analysis needs to stop. Or, if Obama had gone full metal on a PO with Lieberman out there, who campaigned for and voted for Obama;’s opponent, the WH would paint themselves into a corner and would have had to eat any threats of veto for a bill without a PO, or would have polluted the process to the point no bill came out of the senate, which is really the only true power a president has in these situations. The veto threat.

    That is why it is an empty exercise to do a post mortem on what Obama coulda shoulda woulda done different regarding taking firm stands in public and drawing lines in the sand. And I fully agree that there was nothing that could have been done to change Joe liebermans mind, nor sway him with party pressure, since he isn’t a democrat any longer and not connected to the party power structure.

  151. 151
    Mike Kay says:

    @John S.:

    ya know I saw the recent movie Invictus and Mandela’s supporters were furious with him for not jailing the prior regime. Sad.

  152. 152
    Mike Kay says:

    @frankdawg:

    Shorter frankdawg: there’s no difference between Bush and Gore.

    Keep crunching that granola, hippie.

  153. 153
    Jay B. says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I sometimes wonder what party that is for you Jay B. In reality.

    blahfuckingblah. You offer exactly nothing but excuses and a smug assumption that “it’s all going to plan”.

    You want to know what party is for me? In reality? The one my grandfathers worked for. One was a union guy. The other was a New Dealing insurance exec. They’d puke at this feckless stupidity. Not because the Democrats aren’t getting shit done, but because they stand for exactly nothing on the national level. Time was, they did. The little guy. The middle class. Progress. A better future.

    The people I grew up with were political fixers. Ward bosses and the smokers in the smoke-filled rooms. I used to think that was the wrong way, but I’m not sure about that anymore. In a sense, they were lobbyists for the people. They had real power. And could deliver the votes.

    Now, we get dime-store consultants like you, defined entirely by what you don’t believe. Fuck that. If you think it’s working, you show me how.

  154. 154
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Cid:

    and Obama has to deal with the Hyde amendment freaks.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Mainly I’m saying that if people (i.e. Greenwald) are accusing Democrats of being afraid of actual accomplishment if it seems too “radical”, then excluding the Democrats from the White House from that characterization is just silly.

    So you agree with Greenwald that this was all an elaborate kabuki dance and no Democrat — not Obama, not Reid, not Pelosi — actually had any intention of getting a bill passed?

    They sure as hell failed at that, then, considering that we got bills passed in both the House and the Senate. They must be kicking themselves at how horribly their plan to not actually pass the legislation has failed since the legislation passed both houses of Congress. Now their only option is a last-ditch attempt to spike the whole thing by getting it hung up in reconciliation.

    I’m willing to go so far as to say the Democrats got cold feet once they realized how big the project actually is, but to claim that it was all a head-fake from the start and that no one wanted any of the bills to pass is just plain stupid.

  156. 156
    matoko_chan says:

    Dr. Cole, it is far better to be Scene than to be Emo…..emos cut themselves…..and the scene cut others.
    <3

  157. 157
    Mike Kay says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I see. you refusal to answer my question means I broke your argument. Another day, and another defeated hippie.

    Gawd! I love the smell of punched hippie in the morning — smells like victory!!!

  158. 158
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Jay B.:

    “it’s all going to plan”

    Don’t think I said that. But it is going, it seems as of today. It is just your relentless negativity that makes me wonder if you aren’t a spoof of one sort or another. Nobody is that maudlin, unless they have another agenda, or have already blown their brains out. I think you have another agenda is all. What that is I’m not sure/ And of course, I could be completely wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time. But wank on. Don’t let my inert musings break your concentration on hitting the bottom.

  159. 159
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you agree with Greenwald that this was all an elaborate kabuki dance and no Democrat—not Obama, not Reid, not Pelosi—actually had any intention of getting a bill passed?

    Did you not see the word “if”?

    No that wasn’t the point. I’m not going to try to explain it again though.

    I will say, addressing the rest of what you wrote, that if people are reading Greenwald’s claim as only being that there was intentional, conscious duplicity, that’s missing the point. “Being afraid of taking strong decisive action and posturing as if they aren’t” is another way of reading his charge. Very much what you wrote in your last sentence, actually.

    I find it hard to believe that people are interpreting what Greenwald wrote to mean exclusively the former, but hey, a lot of weird misinterpretation going on here if you ask me.

  160. 160
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    dude/dudette: don’t kill his buzz — let him wallow in his self-indulgent emo despair. A day without an Eeyore, is like a day without darkness.

  161. 161
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mike Kay: Yes, that’s good Mike, you “won”.

    Some day you’ll have to explain what you’re talking about.

    On the other hand, never mind. Past my bedtime here.

  162. 162
    Mike E says:

    @Mike Kay:
    Um, I didn’t exactly pose that question, but whatever you say. I’m gonna get back to knitting my daisy chain!

  163. 163
    eemom says:

    pleeeez can’t we come up with another word besides hippie for the punchees and dirty fuckings? These people are SO not hippies. Not not NOT.

    I know we’ve been through this already but words have MEANINGS, goddammit………

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I will say, addressing the rest of what you wrote, that if people are reading Greenwald’s claim as only being that there was intentional, conscious duplicity, that’s missing the point. “Being afraid of taking strong decisive action and posturing as if they aren’t” is another way of reading his charge. Very much what you wrote in your last sentence, actually.

    I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion since he very specifically accuses Democrats of running against torture and the Iraq war in 2006 with no intention of doing anything about it once they got into office and then compares it to HCR. It’s right there in the first paragraph that John quotes.

    I’m asking how he can claim that the HCR battle is the exact same thing as what happened after 2006 when there has actually been forward motion. He may want to elide past it and pretend that no legislation has been passed because of the Villain Rotation game, but the fact remains that the two situations are not, in fact, the same because legislation has been passed despite the Villain Rotation game.

  165. 165
    joes527 says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    HCR, something that has never gotten past the committee stage in congress, is close to getting done.

    In the future, we will be able to look back to this moment in time. We will either live in a world where HCR passed or collapsed in 2010.

    I would prefer that your vision how this is playing out is correct and mine is flat out wrong.

    Time will tell.

  166. 166
    Mark says:

    @Mike Kay: Have no idea what LBJ has to do with BHO. As blue dogs show there is a lot more to the math than how many Senators are allegedly with you. What I am saying is Taibbi predicted a long K street inspired process with the end result, (if there even is a result), an expensive tax payer gift to corporations that would demoralize the liberal base. How is that whining?, – it was a correct prediction (Scott Brown).

    I absolutely want the cocked up mess they have passed to get through so it can be improved on, but even if it passes I am not inspired by the self defeating process.

    Also – I do not know how to link to posts so I am a massive fail.

  167. 167
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mike E:

    C’mon, no double standards. Anyways, answering a question with a question is classic Socratic method.

  168. 168
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike Kay:
    The comments thread in there is just priceless.
    It’s like a bunch of little left wing Jim Demints.

  169. 169
    Cain says:

    @BTD:

    Exactly. how Cole chooses to absolve the White House from this critique is not clear.

    It’s a matter of degrees, BTD. The bigger problem is congress, and I acknowledged that Obama needs to take some of the blame by not getting out in front of the issue from the onset. Maybe that calculation of letting congress do its work first was the wrong one, but we’ve seen it when Bill Clinton did it and it didn’t get that far. I would say it has gotten much farther now than it ever did when Bill Clinton did it.

    The bottom line is that I don’t know what we can do to pressure Obama to make congress do what we want. It seems stupid to depend on the president when congress is answerable to us. If we aren’t getting healthcare in, it’s because communities from those states either don’t give a shit or don’t know what is at stake.

    It is very tempting to have some kind of benevolent dictator wave the magic wand and make the stupid go away, it doesn’t work that way. Keep calling congress. Obama is doing what he can, he’s at least listening and trying to act on it, you have to give him that. He seems like a person who is serious about his commitments.

    cain

  170. 170
    eemom says:

    just fwiw, here’s Kevin Drum essentially refuting Greenwald’s entire diatribe in less than ten zillion words and 45 updates.
    http://motherjones.com/kevin-d.....lic-option
    Amazing that.

  171. 171
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    They sure as hell failed at that, then, considering that we got bills passed in both the House and the Senate.

    But to be fair, you never had a thing when the Senate didn’t pass a version similar to the House version. Only the hope that the House would pass the Senate version because some Senators necessary to get to 60 votes for cloture had already said they’d balk at anything that wasn’t what the Senate passed.

    There was never any evidence the House would just bend over for the Senate. It should be clear by now it ain’t happening.

    You steely-eyed realists gave away everything for nothing and poisoned the well for perhaps a generation.

    Good job.

  172. 172
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elie: Sorry you’re feeling shitty, but please don’t go away again. I really appreciate your posts.

  173. 173
    Gwangung says:

    Christ, we’re all too frigging stupid we’re all wanting the same things.

  174. 174
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mark:

    Did taibbi predict lieberman would scuttle his very own proposal on a medicare buy-in?

    Better yet, did taibbi predict the Saints would win the super bowl? I’m just teasing.

    The future is not written, and taibbi is no sage.

    I’m not a fan taibbi. his writing is overwrought and he views every event with an anti-establishment view. For example, he denounced the Nobel committee’s selection of Al Gore for the Nobel peace prize.

    On posting a link, try cut and paste (using the left click of your mouse).

  175. 175
    Mike Kay says:

    @eemom:

    I wonder how much Rahm is paying Drum!

  176. 176
    Mike E says:

    @Mike Kay:
    Dude! Put down the pipe–or, at least, puff puff give!

  177. 177
    Allan says:

    It’s OK, John. We all get that way sometimes. It just shows you’re paying attention.

    I’m strangely serene about it all at the moment because the pieces are all in place for Thursday’s summit, and I’ve made my phone calls and signed my petitions and knocked on doors and approached strangers in public places to get them to do likewise.

    I’m not a happy camper about where we are or how we got here, but from here I like the view.

  178. 178
    Mike Kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    or little jane hamshers.

  179. 179
    superfly says:

    That is why the WH refuses to play along with them, because they know the votes aren’t there.

    John, you have that backwards, or half right, I don’t really feel like deconstructing it.

    And yes Glenn is right, but the White House is just as much a part of the problem, and that why you are pissing some people off, is you, to a certain extent, refuse to recognize that, you know, some things really are Obama and Rahm’s fault.

    just fwiw, here’s Kevin Drum essentially refuting Greenwald’s entire diatribe in less than ten zillion words and 45 updates.
    http://motherjones.com/kevin-d…..lic-option
    Amazing that.

    And as far as KDrum’s take, not only is Harry Reid not going to be Senate leader next year, he won’t even be in the Senate, but then Reid probably thinks he is making some noble sacrifice to Senate comity in doing so, who knows. Reid has one chance to win and that is pass a popular bill, a really popular bill, that’s it, and then he still will only have a chance.

  180. 180
    WaterGirl says:

    Could we have some open threads or pet rescue stories, or something, for those of us who are holding off on total despair about HCR until after we see what happens on Thursday?

    The Thursday meeting is less than 2 days away… and the political atmosphere is charged like we’re waiting for a thunderstorm to break.

    Pets, please! Or TV shows. Something. Please?

  181. 181
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    And that is what it is- a pretend movement. That is why the WH refuses to play along with them, because they know the votes aren’t there. No amount of public pressure is going to get the votes, because we are dealing with folks who just don’t care what you or I think. Period.

    This is apparently true, exactly correct. All that’s missing is the why.

    I’ve not read the thread (no time, too lazy), but to me, the why is obvious. These people (Reps and Dems, both) are in it for the money and the perks. Capitol Hill has become the center of graft and corruption in this country which is rife with graft and corruption. What those people care about is keeping their seats, so that they can steal more for themselves.

    No other explanation is plausible, nothing else makes sense. You have to give the Republicans credit for being more ballsy about this game: When they were in power back there, they just shoveled money out into the states and districts like it was just asphalt for roads. And Bush signed the bills. Now, the Dems are in control, and they are more weasely about it.

    But the result is the same. Sometimes we get a peek behind the curtain, such as when Nebraska got its free pass on the HCR bill. Oops!

  182. 182
    Mike Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    dont despair. the blogosphere has always been somewhat neurotic and naturally pessimistic, no matter the issue or event.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    But to be fair, you never had a thing when the Senate didn’t pass a version similar to the House version.

    What we had was a bill exactly like every other bill ever passed by Congress that needed to be reconciled. You know, the reconciliation that by all accounts was on track until Coakley blew the Massachusetts election.

    Only the hope that the House would pass the Senate version because some Senators necessary to get to 60 votes for cloture had already said they’d balk at anything that wasn’t what the Senate passed.

    And we have that because Coakley blew the Massachusetts election.

    Though I have to admit, I am astounded by your powers of prognostication that you knew from the very beginning not only that Ted Kennedy would die in the middle of the process, but that the Democrat who won the primary for the special election in Massachusetts to replace him would blow the whole thing and lose to the Republican, which would stop the normal reconciliation process in its tracks and require the House to pass the Senate bill as-is instead of following the normal procedure. Do you use a crystal ball for that, or do you go with the more traditional chicken entrails?

  184. 184
    Nick says:

    @Mike Kay:

    if taibbi was around in 1965 he would have been whinnying about Medicare because it only applied to seniors, had copays and deductibles, was funded by a regressive payroll tax, and didn’t include a prescription coverage.

    and then label a copout to the AMA and Republicans, since a good portion of the final bill was drafted by Rep. John Byrnes (R-Wisconsin)

    Why did LBJ sell out to doctors and Republicans?

  185. 185
    Nick says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    There was never any evidence the House would just bend over for the Senate. It should be clear by now it ain’t happening.

    Us steely-eyed realists were the ones warning neither house would ever bend over for the other and that the best bet was trying to get the best compromise between the two BEFORE a bill was passed as to avoid conference, even if that mean snagging an idea like the trigger.

    But God forbid a Republican should vote for the bill, that automatically means it sucks. Now we’d be lucky to get anything close to a trigger and you pony purists have poisoned the well for another generation.

    Best of luck in 2024!

  186. 186
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @joes527: While I think at least the dems will try to fix their senate bill so the House can pass it with liberal votes, it is not a sure thing by any means. The recon. process is tricky and depends largely on the say so of a parliamentarian, and there are other possible legalities of amending a bill not yet law, and other unforeseen procedural roadblocks that only wading into it will we know for sure what those are. I do believe all else being equal and legal, that dems will fix their bill and if so, the House will pass it, only for the simple reason they are more afraid of not doing so. The PO, well , not so much optimism on that, at this point in time. In fact highly doubtful.

  187. 187
    Nick says:

    @batgirl:

    I really don’t think this is asking too much.

    Clearly you haven’t looked a legislative history in the United States. Robert Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act and twenty years later, he was leading the damn caucus.

  188. 188
    Mike Kay says:

    @Nick:

    exactly.

  189. 189
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Nick:

    Us steely-eyed realists

    In double reverse fuckhead speak, it means people who can hold more than one thought in their heads at the same time. Try as he might, or might not, fuckhead aspires to be such a human person, some day.

  190. 190
    joes527 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You know, the reconciliation that by all accounts was on track until Coakley blew the Massachusetts election.

    Are you including the account of Ben Nelson’s cold feet in that?

  191. 191
    Tax Analyst says:

    @Ash Can:

    Meh. The up, down, up, down of this whole HCR debate here in the blogosphere does nothing but make me feel seasick. Nothing’s been carved in stone yet, and to insist that it has is a waste of time (not to mention a crashing bore). Why waste emopantsness on nothing?

    I think I agree with Ash Can here. Maybe I’m a distant relative…”Trash Bin Laden” or something like that.

  192. 192
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike Kay: You should see the latest spew from that crowd.
    The Taliban have become The Afghan Resistance.

  193. 193
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What we had was a bill exactly like every other bill ever passed by Congress that needed to be reconciled. You know, the reconciliation that by all accounts was on track until Coakley blew the Massachusetts election.

    But you had Senators on record as saying they wouldn’t support a reconciled bill that moved away from the Senate version. Funny how a Senator saying he won’t support the Public Option is writ large on the fabric of eternity but a Senator saying he won’t support a reconciled version of health care is nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

    All you ever had was the false certainty the House would vote for the Senate version of the bill.

    You were doomed before Coakley lost but you were all so pumped up with self-satisfaction and hubris for being such cool and level-headed operators unlike those frantic firebaggers that no matter what anyone said, all you heard was “kill the bill” and, hey I know what, let’s fire up another round of hippie punching and ain’t-we-the-greatest-things-evah. Because ain’t nothing cooler than a bunch of recently former Republicans pissing all over actual Democrats from inside the tent.

    Now that you steely-eyed realists, wise arbiters of what is politically possible and unpossible have so thoroughly fucked this one up, enquiring minds want to know: what would you have done differently in hindsight?

  194. 194
    No Joy in Mudville says:

    As I read your post, John, I was struck by whom you included as part of the problem and whom you excluded.

    You say Obama won’t play along with “them,” but it looks to me like he is one of them. The Senate won’t stop human rights violations, but who is committing them? The only reason we need the Senate to stop many of the abuses is because the Obama administration has continued them.

    Why should the Senate be dissed for playing politics with the public option when the president (once again) hasn’t made it a priority in his own plan.

    From where I sit the problem is a core problem of today’s Democrats and Obama is simply the highest ranking Dem, not someone frustrated by the feckless behavior of his fellow Democrats.

    I realize you’d probably have to swallow a boat load of crow in order to admit that Obama is precisely what you object to in this thread, but it might make you feel better. The truth might set you free (if only a tiny bit). One of the reasons for your negativity may be that you are trying to walk a razor’s edge that simply can’t support a blameless Obama.

  195. 195
    Nick says:

    @No Joy in Mudville:

    The only reason we need the Senate to stop many of the abuses is because the Obama administration has continued them.

    See here is where you’ve gone full blown crazoid.

  196. 196
    Jay B. says:

    It is just your relentless negativity that makes me wonder if you aren’t a spoof of one sort or another. Nobody is that maudlin, unless they have another agenda…

    More blahfuckingblah. Seriously. What do you believe in? You can wear your pretend little General’s hat and game out this stupid faux HCR war all you want, and talk about reality but at some point, at some level, people have to have some convictions. A political party has to have some belief system. The Democratic Party has a platform. And it in, it professes to believe in universal health care. If they can’t pass it with gigantic majorities after explicitly campaigning on it, then they don’t really believe in anything.

    Relentless negativity? And I’m the hippie? What will that do, harsh their vibe? Should I just clap along as the whores and clowns bumble their way to a massive loss? Should I just accept the fact that they are hapless and/or bought and sold? I’ve done everything I possibly can, including accepting every bullshit “compromise” in the name of “reality” and, for all this, millions of Democrats like myself get — a health care summit and it’s gotten farther than anyone else did. Holy fucking shit. That and 3 bucks will get you a coffee.

    Me, beyond politics, I have a great life. But this isn’t the “Happy Life Blog”, this is a blog about politics. And right now, from where I sit, politically, we’re getting rolled again. Serves me right for giving a shit.

  197. 197
    Nick says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    All you ever had was the false certainty the House would vote for the Senate version of the bill.

    Nobody and I mean NOBODY had the false certainty that the House would vote for the Senate bill…we had certainty that if it came to it, we would pressure the House to vote for the Senate bill.

    Stop projecting onto people.

  198. 198
    kay says:

    I have a positive story.
    Tonight, I went to the county Democratic meeting and met a candidate for Congress who started his political activism as an Obama team leader in 2008.
    He’s a machinist. It’s an overwhelmingly Republican county, and he has no money, but I think he’s going to qualify for the ballot. He needs 50 valid signatures, and he submitted 75, which is too close for comfort, he should have submitted 100 to allow for random throwing-out-of-signatures, BUT, if he qualifies, I can vote for him.
    I would love to have a machinist in Congress.
    We need a sex scandal involving the GOP incumbent for him to win, so any help there would be greatly appreciated.

  199. 199
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Jay B.:

    What do you believe in?

    Wha!!. What do I believe in? Well fuck me dead. I’ll tell you what I believe you spanky welp.

    Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pus sy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

    Suck on that a while, Mr. Spoof.

  200. 200
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Nick:

    we had certainty that if it came to it, we would pressure the House to vote for the Senate bill.

    Howz that workin out for ya?

  201. 201
    taylormattd says:

    Why you are commenting positively about a stupid, sweeping, generalization / conspiracy theory about ALL democrats is beyond me John.

    Especially given it is written by a person who (a) hates Barack Obama; (b) pretty much hates the Democratic party and identifies as a libertarian; and (c) spend an inordinate amount of time making bullshit apologies from a racist Republican, Ron Paul.

    Come on, you ARE being emo.

    Just because 7 or 8 democratic Senators are centrist piece of shit douchebags is not a reason to pretend everyone in the party is literally engaging in a deliberate scheme to never pass anything progressive.

  202. 202
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @taylormattd: You leave John Cole alooooone!!. He can if he wants on his own blog, meltdown to simplistic inanity and pee on every ones parade to his hearts delight. Anyways, the Senate can use the rain.

  203. 203
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I agree with John Cole in the sense that a lot of ostensibly liberal or left-leaning Democrats hide behind the “centrist” Senators we all love to hate, so they don’t have to pass anything risky or liberal or that might piss off their big donors.
    I think there’s some of that going on. Absolutely. I think the problem is a little bigger than 7 Senators.

  204. 204
    Nick says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Howz that workin out for ya?

    When we get to that point, I’ll let you know.

  205. 205
    Jay B. says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Even your use of other people’s work is cliched.

  206. 206
    HRA says:

    @freelancer:

    You should be me handling the bound hearings for our government documents section. They recently added them back to my duties.

    I truly wanted to see the PO accepted and passed along with everything candidate Obama spoke about at great lengths during the campaign. OTOH I knew trouble was coming for any HRC to be passed. I matters not what party these BOS are affiliated with when the summer town hall meetings brought out the worst I have ever seen in demonstrations and scared them to the core of their being. Some of them have retired (i.e. deserted) and those staying deserve the same i.e. label.

    IOW I have to agree with all John wrote in both posts.

  207. 207
    soonergrunt says:

    @kay:

    We need a sex scandal involving the GOP incumbent for him to win, so any help there would be greatly appreciated.

    Exactly what kind of help are you looking for, hmmm?

  208. 208
    kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I liked him for trying. I can’t think of a member of the House who is skilled trades. A machinist. Wouldn’t that be wild?

    I hate when people lose. So, I’m banking on a sex scandal.

    Stranger things have happened.

  209. 209
    Elie says:

    @eemom:

    Amen, sister

  210. 210
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: Of course they are afraid of pissing off big contributors. That’s not corruption, it is the reality of our political system and free flowing money to fund reelection campaigns.
    But dems have passed some pretty liberal stuff in just a year, and really only HCR has faltered, but they aren’t giving up.

    I was mostly just teasing Cole, but personally, I compare everything to the wingnuts, and there is no comparison really to be made. Dems are jittery, and a few are just goopers in dem pants. But by and large, upwards of fifty in my mind, want to do the right thing, but fear of not getting reelected is their main boogyman. Not unwillingness, or lack of desire to do the right thing.

    A good example is Blanche Lincoln. She is running scared right now of teabaggers and other assorted wingnuts in her red state of tossing her out. And despite claims to the contrary, she has been a fairly progressive senator, and a progressive at heart imo. But not now due to fear of losing, not personal right wing ideology.

  211. 211
    craptractor says:

    @Nick: Oh you’re right. Obviously pointing out that no, we aren’t sure that the House would pass the Senate bill, but we’d certainly try to get them to! weakens his argument very much.

  212. 212
    Tsulagi says:

    we had certainty that if it came to it, we would pressure the House to vote for the Senate bill.

    Okay, now that was funny.

    Howz that workin out for ya?

    Well, let’s take a look at the tape. You know, from the cumulative nationwide PTDB efforts to date started after Scott Brown won a month ago sending the House and Senate conference process tits up. Not cherry picking, nor dissing BJ community PTDB efforts, here’s the first five House member positions on mcc’s spreadsheet
    __

    “would have originally voted” for Senate bill but “no longer sure it will come to a vote” (???)
    __
    supportive but won’t commit yet
    __
    Trending towards no
    __
    Leaning yes, marginally (?)
    __
    “not made a decision yet”

    Yep, the pressure so far has really lit a fire under those suckers.

  213. 213
    Nick says:

    @Tsulagi: I’m sorry, I was under the impression that we were in the process of trying to get the bill FIXED and not push for a last ditch effort to push the Senate bill on the House.

    Did we give up on that?

  214. 214
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Yep, the pressure so far has really lit a fire under those suckers.

    C’mon, you think a couple handfuls of Obama Moms are any match for International Criminal Mastermind Jane Hamsher?

  215. 215
    Elie says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Not unwillingness, or lack of desire to do the right thing.

    Ah, for human understanding. Has any of us not had that fear thing? Takes a lot to put your income, your career aspirations and family wellbeing to the test in the real world. All us keyboard jockeys flinging out our admonitions and criticism without jack on the line —

    Keep it real folks and remember, when did you last confront anything that might put YOUR job, income or other key life issues at risk? We are not a culture of warriors — we are a culture of where’s mine and fuck you. Try to get something for the common good out of that!

  216. 216
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mike Kay: But it’s not supposed to be like that here. This is where I come for sanity because it’s gotten too depressing everywhere else.

  217. 217
    Church Lady says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: If you didn’t have to look that up somewhere in order to get it all down, I’m really worried about you. And suspect you’re a woman. Maybe one that looks more like Costner than Sarandon, but a woman nonetheless.

  218. 218
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Church Lady: You drinking that bathtub Gin again Church Lady. You’re going to make baby jeevus cry if you don’t quit.

  219. 219
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Church Lady: Just be glad you ain’t his dog and don’t have to endure those long soft wet three day long kisses.

  220. 220
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Teaming up with Church Lady, I see fuckhead. She is about your speed. You tooze can snuggle under the idiot blanket so the rest of us can get a break from both your incessant wanking.

    And why on gods green earth do you keep bringing my dog into your shitty comments? Are you deranged or something? geesh.

  221. 221
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I think Church Lady is one of the most odious commenters to grace the comment section here and have told her that many many times.

    And she’s like a ray of fucking sunshine compared to yer omnipresent sniveling hunchbackery.

  222. 222
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You fallin’ in love with me again fuckhead. I guess that servicing yesterday wasn’t enough. Ok. drop yer drawers and bend over son, we will just have to do this again. Your new bff Church Lady can watch if she wants.

  223. 223
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Yer a top??? lmfao

  224. 224
    soonergrunt says:

    @kay: I guess what I’m asking is that you keep mentioning a sex scandal right before you say he needs help.
    now look. I love my country as much as the next guy. I love my party too, and I think a guy who is good for both is just great, but I really gotta beg off on the kind of help one asks for immediately after mentioning that one needs a sex scandal to unseat the incumbent.
    It sounds like one of those dead girl/live boy kinds of things, and I can’t help with the first and I WON”T help with the second.
    You can borrow my camera if you need it, though.

  225. 225

    @Jay B.: On balance, the General and I usually agree, but tonight I’m much closer to your end of the spectrum than his.

    And if being that sour on the party means you’re a spoof? Well, I know I am NOT a spoof…

    (I DO know I’m fucking exhausted, so apologies if none of that made sense…)

  226. 226
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joes527:

    Are you including the account of Ben Nelson’s cold feet in that?

    Yep. Ping-pong.

  227. 227
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Yep, the pressure so far has really lit a fire under those suckers.

    I followed your link and I think that having a count more recent than a month ago would be slightly more accurate about how well the pressure these past two weeks has worked, don’t you think? It seems kind of silly to look at numbers from four weeks ago and say, “See, the last two weeks were useless!”

    Unless you’re borrowing JSF’s infallible chicken entrails, that is.

  228. 228
    mclaren says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Why won’t cheney die?

    Because Dick Cheney is going to be President Palin’s Secretary of Torture. A new cabinet position. Very influential. He’ll hold the trendiest parties in Washington.

  229. 229
    Mike Kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    pathetic. But thankfully it was limited – the tip jar only received 7 recommends. there are always going to be some rotten apples, and considering their circulation of 700,000 hits, only 7 maggot filled cores is a very small amount.

  230. 230
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mclaren:

    Because Dick Cheney is going to be President Palin’s Secretary of Torture. A new cabinet position. Very influential. He’ll hold the trendiest parties in Washington.

    lolz

  231. 231
    Elise says:

    Glenn Greenwald is NEVER right. When you start from the premise that he is right…you’ll always end up wrong.

  232. 232
    Tsulagi says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Piss off. I used the spreadsheet link from Tim’s post of yesterday, Practically Begging You To Call Him

    If Congressional and WH D-leadership want the Senate bill passed, best strategy could be to convince AHIP and PhRMA they’re not going to get a better deal with the R-baggers later. Get their lobbyists twisting arms. AHIP loves them some Senate bill but their wish list includes closing mandate exemptions and increasing penalties. Promise to give them more in that area either in the HCR reconciliation bill or quietly a little later. PhRMAs current deal would put a diabetic into coma, but leadership could sweeten that a little more too.

    Think it’s abundantly clear now who the guys listed on that spreadsheet actually listen to. So be all the realist you can be. Call AHIP and PhRMA, they can get the job done.

  233. 233

    […] John Cole is being very emo about the Senate today. Which is perfectly appropriate, I […]

  234. 234
    Amaliada says:

    I have long since given up on the public option even though it would accomplish all of the stated goals of the President and the Democrats in Congress.

    But I’d like for the President to be the first to tell the American people why, after campaigning on the public option, he never fought for it and in fact, gave it up to the insurance companies.

    Whether or not there were the votes in Congress for this is immaterial to me. I feel I’m owed an apology for the lies that were told to me in 2009 by the current President and for the last two decades by the Democratic Party.

    And then I want them to stop asking me for money or I’ll have to start lying to them and tell “the check is in the mail.”

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