Damaged goods, send them back

I realize there’s nothing more wankerly than excerpting something from First Read I saw on PoliticalWire, but this is good, on Republican responses to Obama’s speech yesterday:

The responses from the elected Republicans, while not QUITE as vitriolic, were similarly worded and focused. Bottom line: Their reaction seemed to be: How dare the president campaign against us! And as we pointed out yesterday, Obama isn’t necessarily running against Mitt Romney; he’s running against the Republican Party brand — and making sure that Romney owns that brand. In fact, Romney’s biggest challenge over the next two or three months will be for him to differentiate himself from the brand. There’s been a lot of focus of late on how damaged Romney has become in this process (his high negatives with indies, etc). But we’ve noticed a larger trend: The brand of the GOP is what’s been damaged; Romney may simply be collateral damage. And this is why he has to figure out a way to either improve the GOP’s brand or differentiate himself. Which can he achieve?

The criticism of Romney for being “out of touch” etc. make me a bit uncomfortable. I’ll go along with them because I’m an unserious partisan, but generally speaking, you can spare me the beer primary. The criticism of Romney as a party hack who will do whatever the wingers in Congress want him to do, on the other hand, is right on the money. That’s why Romney scares me so much. He may not be a crazy motherfucker from around the way, but Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are.

If and when Romney loses in November, there will be a lot of Republican handwringing about how a “rock star” like Chris Christie or Marco Rubio would have won. But the fault lies not in their stars but in themselves, that they are lunatics.






117 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    And perhaps if and when Obama wins, by a 5-4 vote the USSC will declare a negro in a white’s house unconstitutional.

  2. 2
    LittlePig says:

    that they are lunatics.

    Well sure they’re lunatics! Newt’s already told ’em about how we have to back to the Moon, set up colonies and start mining that sucker! There’s gold in that thar Moon, and…

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

  3. 3
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Punchy:

    I find it unsettling that you would undermine the court’s legitimacy by suggesting this.

  4. 4
    dedc79 says:

    The criticism of Romney for being “out of touch” etc. make me a bit uncomfortable. I’ll go along with them because I’m an unserious partisan, but generally speaking, you can spare me the beer primary.

    I do think the “out-of-touch” aspect matters when it comes to government officials. Maybe the best example of this is our supreme court. Take a look at Kennedy’s opinion upholding the right of prisons to strip search anyone who comes into a facility, even if they were arrested for unpaid tickets. Kennedy lives in a bubble, and in that bubble, the police state is always right and is always just trying to keep us all safe. Romney has lived in that kind of bubble all his life and it directly impacts his views on everything under the sun.

  5. 5
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @dedc79:

    That’s a good point. Still, there’s a beer primary aspect to some of it — “Wilard!” — that I don’t love. If it’s effective, then awesome, but it doesn’t ring true to me the way it rings true that Mitt will be Eric Cantor’s bitch.

  6. 6

    The “uppity vapors” have swept greater wingnuttia from Obama’s speech yesterday. A speech he needed to make to clear the air from the SCOTUS stench of broccoli mandates and ‘heavy burdens’ being placed in all the wrong places. Simply to point out, once again, the galaxy sized hypocrisy of the right wing, and to feed them a little of their own crow.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    There are different “primaries” because there are different voters. How many Independent/Swing voters have the faintest idea that Boehner is in charge of Congress? Who the fuck Ryan or Cantor are? Do people actually watch any TV news anymore or understand what they are seeing? Any anti-Republican strategy has to be aimed both at people who know enough about the Republican brand to be scared of it (that’s the tie Cantor and Ryan around MItts neck) and people who vote “for the person” and won’t vote for Mitt because he seems too snooty. They are just different parts of the electorate.

    aimai

  8. 8
    liberal says:

    The criticism of Romney as a party hack who will do whatever the wingers in Congress want him to do, on the other hand, is right on the money.

    I wonder if anyone’s done any empirical work on how a prez governs, given the ideological form of their primary campaign.

    I’d strongly assume that what we see in the primary is what we’re going to get.

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I don’t think Romney’s out-of-touchness has to do with the beer primary. That “run the country like a business” crap really is the only core he has, and with this electorate it might be enough. I hope and trust Plouffe has figured out how to incorporate Willard’s “let the mortgage process run its course, so that investors can move in” into an ad.

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: St Stewart was pretending to find Obama’s comments about the court “vaguely threatening”

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    You Already Knew This, But Conservatives Are Childish, Petulant Assholes

    April 4 – The Obama administration was ordered by a federal appeals court judge to give its view on whether the nation’s high court can strike down laws it considers unconstitutional.

    The U.S. Justice Department was directed to submit a written statement of “no less than three pages, single spaced,” to the New Orleans-based appeals court by noon on April 5.

  11. 11
    Anya says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Fine, joke about this. But President Obama is tempting fate by challenging the court. These guys are so thin skinned and assholes they might vote against the ACA just out of spite.

  12. 12
    SenyorDave says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: “Eric Cantor’s bitch”. That’s an image that nobody wants to think about. I think that might make a good title for a prison comedy. Maybe Steve Carrel as Cantor and Ashton Kutcher as Romney.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    In some ways Romney scares me more than a true believer like Santorum because if Romney were elected, the teabagger base wouldn’t trust him and Romney would be working overtime to prove that he’s conservative enough. The Teabaggers wold own him and whatever they wanted they’d get.

  14. 14
    liberal says:

    @aimai:
    Agreed. It’s amazing how ignorant the low-information voters are, actually.

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I think “out of touch” makes perfect sense for Romney, as it did for McCain. It doesn’t mean “lived poor like I did,” it means “unable to understand what I went through living poor.” Empathy, in other words. I’m afraid most Republicans are out of touch. And it’s not just being poor, it’s being female, being black, or being Muslim.

  16. 16
    BarbCat says:

    And for this crime-scene, I blame Obama.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    The U.S. Justice Department was directed to submit a written statement of “no less than three pages, single spaced,” to the New Orleans-based appeals court by noon on April 5.

    Did their honors conclude with “And I want your fathers to sign it to show that they’ve read it and understand what you’ve done. And no monkeying with fonts and margins!”

  18. 18
    liberal says:

    @Violet:
    That’s reasonable, though Newt scares me the most, since he seems to be the most extreme on an axis that combines egotism and mania. Even though I don’t think he has a conservative bone in his body, to steal a phrase from Alexander Cockburn.

  19. 19

    @Punchy: They already did:

    …beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

  20. 20

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: #5

    Mitt will be Eric Cantor’s bitch

    Short, sweet, concise.

    And very, very true. Romney displays several signs of a lost little lamb looking for a master.

  21. 21

    @liberal: It’s the high-misinformation, high-wrong-information voters who are the problem. Low-information voters can be got, mostly by giving them information

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Which is why I think your vote should be weighted by your score on a civics test. Low information voters would count about .25 on a four answer multiple choice test, while misinformed voters would count nearly zero.

  23. 23
    Rhoda says:

    The Romney campaign is already cutting each other up in the press and in the new POLITICO e-book; Circus something. I’ve been seeing excerpts all over and the last time I saw something like that in a professional campaign was Hillary’s out of Iowa when they all knew it was over and McCain’s after Palin bombed and they knew it was over.

    It’s not good to have Scarborough on TV saying all the Republican poohbahs know it’s over and Romney won’t win April 4.

    The campaign has defined itself in the press and Crossroads and the big PACS are going to spend millions to try to limit the damage and keep the house and flip the senate. That means attacking POTUS too; because his coattails will affect things.

    If the economy stays on this course; Romeny’s screwed. He needs the world to fall apart so he can blame Obama.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    I’ve suspected that wingers will react badly to actual opposition, ‘How dare he!’. Well, it looks like he dares, and a good thing. This could, in particular, be where the doubling-down tactic backfires. ‘Well, of course Sandra Fluke is a slut, who doesn’t know that?’. Et cetera.

  25. 25
    Culture of Truth says:

    To paraphrase the HBO show “Veep” Romney will the take the most severely conservative position there is. Whichever Paul Ryan says.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    “rock star” like Chris Christie

    Strike me dead for being inconsiderate and saying this, but a morbidly obese asshole like him will not be elected president.

  27. 27
    RossInDetroit says:

    Romney would be very electable in a more moderate GOP. He’s got a lot going for him but it’s a moot point because he has the complexion and direction of his party going against him. We can thank the TP-ers for that.

  28. 28

    @Anya:

    They may be thin skinned assholes, but they are members of the highest court in the land, and therefore heads of a branch of government. The right wing justices, several of them, crossed some lines into false and facetious descriptions of the ACA, and their role juxtaposed with the other two branches of government. The elected ones. And somebody needed to correct these falsehoods before they became urban legal legends in the Village, and thus provide cover for the wingnut judges to make a political decision, instead of a legal one. And Obama did just that, as head of the Executive Branch of our system. Now, these accomplished jurists will be deciding whether they want to go down in history as principled actors contained within their roles as impartial deciders of what is constitutional, or throw out 100 years of precedent, that will scream out for the history books that these assholes made a partisan political decision of enormous consequence. Obama just teed up the frame for it all, to give them something to think about.

  29. 29
    Cacti says:

    I’m loving Team Willard’s ham-handed outreach to women:

    Send his wife and Nikki Haley out to say that women don’t care about birth control, they care about the economy.

    Herp derp, the ability to plan family size is an economic issue.

    Not to mention, the spokes-uteri for the GOP are…

    1. Rich guy’s stay-at-home wifey who pooped out 5 sprogs for him.

    2. A high-powered pol who obviously uses birth control, as her 15 years of marriage have produced 2 offspring.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    And as we pointed out yesterday, Obama isn’t necessarily running against Mitt Romney; he’s running against the Republican Party brand—and making sure that Romney owns that brand.

    IOW, exactly like Truman in 1948 – ignore your opponent and run against the do-nothing Republican Congress. Given Congress’ approval ratings, seems like a good strategy to me.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    Romney has the economy covered. He blames Obama for the recession and credits Bush for the recovery.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: and if he lost a hundred pounds, he’d still be a nasty, sneering asshole. Old Yeller, as Krugman calls him. Christie appeals to the kind of people who supported Gingrich because they thought he’s a ‘tough guy’ who’d leave President Affirmative Action T. Teleprompter stammering and confused in a debate. And David Gregory.

  33. 33
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Which is why I think your vote should be weighted by your score on a civics test.

     
    They did this back in the Jim Crow era. The tests were not exactly neutral, nor were they applied to all voters. Big surprise, huh? Voter education is really, really hard, but it beats all the alternatives.

  34. 34

    @Cacti:

    There was a female republican politician (can’t remember her name) shilling for Romney on MJ this morning, Deb (The Daily Beast) laid into her when she went on and on about “prices at the pump” and that women don’t care about the contraception issue. She called Romney “intellectually dishonest” for blaming high gas prices on Obama when everyone knows that it is world demand. The pol just kept repeating “prices at the pump, prices at the pump” until Mica said “you keep saying that, okay we get it”

    She reminded me of that Santorum spox on the Maddow show the other night who kept responding to questions from the Dutch reporter about Santorum’s lies with “Rick is pro life, Rick is pro life”

  35. 35
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Strike me dead for being inconsiderate and saying this, but a morbidly obese asshole like him will not be elected president.

    The NY freakin’ Post called him a ‘Whale’ in the headline of their article on his Israel visit.

  36. 36
    danimal says:

    My district’s congressional race (CA 41) will be competitive this cycle. The almost-certain GOP candidate is fairly popular and moderate enough to distance himself from the crazies and be a formidible opponent.

    The best talking points against him are simple enough: He will do Boehner’s bidding and vote with the Tea Party crazies.

    Romney’s problem will likely filter down the ballot. The crazy won’t wash away as quickly as the GOP would like. The dye has penetrated their skin pretty deeply.

  37. 37
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    I wonder if anyone’s done any empirical work on how a prez governs, given the ideological form of their primary campaign.

    It’s definitely been done and Steve Benen is constantly talking about it. Wish I could remember what studies he cites for that. But the evidence seems to be that what candidates promise during the campaign, they tend to attempt to deliver. What they do in the campaign tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how they’ll govern. All the frantic pundits running around telling us that Mittens won’t really follow through on any of the crazy Teawinger shit he’s been spouting are full of shit. Which is pretty much SOP for them anyway.

  38. 38
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Oh, I know it wouldn’t work in practice – if it could, we would need a constitutional amendment specifically outlawing a poll tax – unless I get around to creating the AI that can pull from its own sources. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish it would happen.

  39. 39
    Anya says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): I am not disagreeing with what you’re saying but picking a public fight with the people who have the fate of your signature issue on their hand is a bit risky. Threats with legacy and court’s standing works when the other side cares. I don’t think any judge who used teabagger talking point is going to care about legacy.

  40. 40
    Ben Franklin says:

    @liberal:

    I think I see what you’re saying here. :=)

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): we wouldn’t need, I meant to say.

  42. 42
    Alex says:

    Reasons not to read First Read

    *** Yesterday’s two extraordinary speeches: Yet as we begin turning to the general election, yesterday was a pretty remarkable day. We saw Obama lay out his party’s indictment of the GOP and its governing philosophy: “Ronald Reagan, who, as I recall, is not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control, that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases. Did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today.” And also yesterday, we saw Romney lay out his indictment of Obama and the Democrats: “In Barack Obama’s government-centered society, government spending will always increase because…there’s no reason to stop it. There’s always someone who is entitled to something more, and who will vote for anyone who will give them something more.” So yesterday was a day that people will be able to look back on and see what the two distinct economic visions are for the country.

    I suppose it is too difficult to make an analysis of the factual accuracy of Romney’s vision/speech vs Obama’s vision/speech.

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Hill Dweller: Ah, the Post, keeping up the standards they’re known for. I don’t subject myself to it, so was unaware of that.

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    if it could, we would need a constitutional amendment specifically outlawing a poll tax

    That’s been done. Why the voter ID laws aren’t blatant violations of it is beyond my ken.

  45. 45
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It’s the high-misinformation, high-wrong-information voters who are the problem. Low-information voters can be got, mostly by giving them information

    I am not much in favor of more registered voters who actually show up on election day. Most use the information path of least resistance.

    Most people don’t have, or don’t wish to utilize their time for participatory republic/democracy. They use the popular method;

    Dart Board

  46. 46
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, I mean’t to say “wouldn’t”, and because of something on my end, I couldn’t edit my original comment.

  47. 47

    @Anya:

    but picking a public fight with the people who have the fate of your signature issue on their hand is a bit risky

    Of course it’s risky, as about anything to do with our current volatile politics. After Kennedy’s ‘heavy burden’ BS, for proponents of the ACA to now prove constitutionality of a law passed via the democratic process, I think it was necessary for Obama to correct that misnomer. He could have worded it a little better, but everyone knew what he was talking about, and he clarified his statement later. And I do think that these right wing judges do care about legacy, especially Roberts, but they are judges in our system, not politicians, and that will be their internal battle to decide which they want to be thought of with such a landmark ruling if they go against stare decisis of long settled law. I think Alito, Thomas and Scalia, will give in to their political natures, but Roberts and Kennedy may not. And likely who Obama was talking to.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    It may be that the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the right is taken as conclusively proven around here, but if further evidence is needed, there’s this.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....97876.html

    Another defined-contribution proposal. Sheesh, how many times to we have to have this conversation? But as I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that there is a more fundamental disconnect at work where health care is concerned. The American right either reflexively rejects, or refuses to contemplate, the notion that in a modern post-industrial society healthcare might be a public good, a notion that the rest of the world takes as self-evident.

    It’s like they’re speaking Klingon on this issue.

  49. 49
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t read that rag either, but someone linked it in the comments section of another blog yesterday. The picture accompanying the article was, if possible, even worse than the headline.

  50. 50
    Martin says:

    The criticism of Romney for being “out of touch” etc. make me a bit uncomfortable.

    But that’s really the one thing that brings independents and a lot of non-political watchers to a candidate. I don’t mean that at it’s most superficial, but I think there’s a lot more real substance behind that sentiment than we give credit – it just goes unspoken.

    Lets look at why black voters vote so overwhelmingly Democratic. It’s not identity politics as the the GOP charges, but a reflection that of the very few times that politicians ever bother to talk about issues that really affect black voters, it’s the Democrat that will talk about them. Now, that’s pretty faint praise, but it’s true. If you look at where most black voters are – they’re inner city, renters, high crime. They don’t benefit from an asset economy. They can’t build wealth because they are less likely to own homes, and the homes that historically have been high appreciators are new mid to high end suburban homes, which are out of reach of people that aren’t at least on the wealth building roadmap. So, overgeneralizations out of the way, who speaks to inner-city crime issues? Does anyone even in the GOP really believe that the 2nd amendment is the solution to inner city crime? So who speaks to this issue? Obama at least has a little bit. Not as much as anyone would like, but at least he shows up now and then on it. And the great housing crisis affects who? Not apartment renters. Not inner city folks. What about health care for inner city? Who’s promoting clinics because the inner city tends to be dominated by huge (expensive) hospitals? Who’s talking about minimum wage? And so on.

    ‘Out of touch’ isn’t just “What would I talk to this guy about at dinner?” It’s more fundamentally “Do I have representation for my vote?” And that’s the absolute, purest core of how our system of government works. Now, the Halperins of the world can’t ever bother to get from ‘out of touch’ to policy matters because they’re all douchebag hacks, but the voters get there just fine. They ask questions like “Is this guy aware that the factory that employs half the town is about to close?” or “Does that guy realize that my kids school has students packed so tightly into classrooms that they couldn’t possibly cut another teacher and increase class size – they simply won’t physically fit?” Ask the women in the forum if being in touch on contraception matters – it’s a HUGE issue for a lot of the county, and a politician in touch with the issue will protect contraception. One that isn’t will bargain it away for food stamps or some bombers or something. It seems like a small thing, but it’s not.

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I am not much in favor of more registered voters who actually show up on election day

    Nice. So in Ben Franlkin’s Perfect World, there would be … What, a civics test designed by Ben Franklin as a prerequisite for a voter ID card?

    No thanks.

  52. 52
    Some Loser says:

    @geg6:

    But the evidence seems to be that what candidates promise during the campaign, they tend to attempt to deliver.

    And if they don’t deliver because they can’t? Well, they’re lying, backstabbing assholes who hates women! Clinton would’ve gotten the public option!

    All the frantic pundits running around telling us that Mittens won’t really follow through on any of the crazy Teawinger shit he’s been spouting are full of shit. Which is pretty much SOP for them anyway.

    All kidding aside . . .

    Isn’t scary when we want our politicians to be lying to us?

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anya: I kind of think that if they would make a different ruling because of something Obama says, then they are already NOT basing their opinion on legal issues and precedent.

    If that’s already the case, it’s very important for Obama to call them out on this before they make their ruling public, because the informal vote they have already taken is not binding and there is still time for them to figure out that if they rule against ACA, it is not going to go the way of Bush v. Gore or Citizens United.

    And if their vote will not be influenced by what Obama said, then it can’t hurt the ruling at all.

  54. 54
    Ivan says:

    Funny, I was just checking out Dave Allen’s web site minutes before seeing this post.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I will not buy this robot, it is scratched!

  56. 56
    Bruce S says:

    Is the “We survived Breietbartpocalypse” tag still appropriate at this point in time? The reason I ask is that it always gives me a not-particularly-guilty pleasure when I see it. But I’m a mean-spirited asshole with low morals.

  57. 57

    If the SCOTUS strikes down the mandate contained within the ACA, it will mean that the country simply falls back to the pre ACA mandate of emergency rooms by law, required to treat the sick regardless of insurance status. And the bill will be paid by the tax payers from the general fund of the treasury. The wingnut judges cannot get around this moral hazard tree blocking the libertarian road. Health care is already mandated in this country, and the question is how will it be paid for. A structured comprehensive law to spread out the pain to everyone to provide less expensive preventive and primary care, or half ass expensive indigent care grants to local hospitals to cover E room visits.

  58. 58
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    If I were drafting that statement, it would be eight words long.

    “With all due respect, Your Honor, eat me.”

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:

    @burnspbesq:

    [. . .] it occurred to me that there is a more fundamental disconnect at work where health care is concerned. The American right either reflexively rejects, or refuses to contemplate, the notion that in a modern post-industrial society healthcare might be a public good, a notion that the rest of the world takes as self-evident.

    I thought the same thing when I hit his statement:

    There’s a lot for people to dislike in President Obama’s healthcare plan: it will raise health care costs for most, cut some types of Medicare subsidies, and make individuals more dependent on the government for healthcare.

    Not even rabid wingnuts–okay, except maybe some libertarians–think in terms of “I am too dependent on the government for roads” or “I am too dependent on the government for defense,” but mention health care and suddenly it’s “OMG! Socialism! Big Brother! Death panels!” And it’s not even like the current system is working so great that it would be a shame to fix change it.

  60. 60

    @RossInDetroit:
    Romney’s been in this game for awhile, and this is the first time he’s even gotten close. Romney is not electable, period. He’s incompetent, uncharismatic, and too full of himself to accept help fixing either of those problems. He only looks mediocre because he’s competing against the worst candidates ever raised.

    @Martin:
    Sir, you speak great wisdom.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The American right either reflexively rejects, or refuses to contemplate, the notion that in a modern post-industrial society healthcare might be a public good, a notion that the rest of the world takes as self-evident.

    Yeah, I don’t think thats it. I think they really are striving for ever purer positions on laissez-faire economics. If the cost of health care wasn’t skyrocketing, I might be more inclined to agree with you, but I think the full spectrum of healthcare – from insurance to contraception – is now the battle royale for economic policy in the US. If government can get the cost of health care down, it’ll be a crippling loss to laissez faire economics. It’ll be something the left will always be able to point to as a pure victory for the regulatory state – and not in soft terms like how many fewer Stage One smog alerts we have (seriously – how cool is it that we NEVER have them any more) but in pure national level economic terms – health care spending dropped from 1/6th of GDP to 1/8th.

    I think it’s the fact that the GOP fundamentally does see healthcare as a public good and a right that the battle is so critical. In any other market, they could just argue around the problem by saying that supply was down or demand was up or whatever, but they can’t really do that with healthcare, because they can’t go very far down the “You didn’t really need that bypass surgery” path before they become their own death panels and completely alienate their base. So if the levers of supply and demand cannot easily be pulled, what’s left? Now, most of us see that as THE POINT to why PPACA is needed, but in order for their position on capitalism to hold they need to distract the public from seeing that specifically and keep going back to the free market positions, to try and convince the public that they aren’t a captive market, that they really do have a say here, when we all know that they really don’t. There’s a little tinkering around the edges that we can all do, but the nut of the problem is that we pay too much for healthcare and we as consumers can’t opt out. Period. Left and right both know this (or else the GOP wouldn’t have gotten behind things like Part C and Part D Medicare) but they don’t want anyone to see it directly, because then they have to admit that government is the only solution – at a minimum as a regulatory body or by running parts of the system directly. Once that gets institutionalized, then its easy for people to ask “What other things are like healthcare?” What about utilities? What about banking?

  62. 62
    Steve says:

    @Culture of Truth: Wait, whoa. “No less than three pages”? We were discussing this in the earlier thread, but I missed that part. I have never, in my entire career as a litigator, heard of a court giving someone a MINIMUM length for a position paper. And apparently the reporting is accurate.

    That’s really, really weird. I can’t really disagree with the sentiment that it’s like asking Obama to write “I believe in judicial review” 200x on the chalkboard.

  63. 63

    @Alex:

    I suppose it is too difficult to make an analysis of the factual accuracy of Romney’s vision/speech vs Obama’s vision/speech.

    That would be Telling.

  64. 64
    Ben Franklin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Congrats. I thought you were bereft of any imagination. Unfortunately, that portion of your grey matter has lost most of its vibrancy and is scleroted, so the error of your creative venture is profound when you transit there, from time to time.

    Stop acting like you’re in an interrogatory. This site is not an office in your Firm.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    @Bruce S:

    But I’m a mean-spirited asshole with low morals.

    I think that applies to all of us, so yeah, I’d say it’s still appropriate for the rotation.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    Send his wife and Nikki Haley out to say that women don’t care about birth control, they care about the economy.

    This from the party whose laser-like focus on jobs got distracted by the all-important issue of regulating women’s uteruses. Even if you should ignore birth control and focus on the economy, the Democrats are still the right choice.

  67. 67
    Face says:

    Why the voter ID laws aren’t blatant violations of it is beyond my ken.

    I’m assuming it has to do with math: Voter ID lessens the Democrats voting, which assists Republicans to win elections, and 5 Justices are Republican. Ergo ad hoc ex post facto proctor hoc Voter ID laws are deemed acceptable.

  68. 68
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): But Scalia seems to think that Emergency Departments shouldn’t be required to treat those who show up. And I happen to think that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for Scalia’s health insurance. Difference is: the whole country listens to what Scalia has to say. And it’s some scary shit out of a nightmare.

  69. 69
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): But Scalia seems to think that Emergency Departments shouldn’t be required to treat those who show up. And I happen to think that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for Scalia’s health insurance. Difference is: the whole country listens to what Scalia has to say. And it’s some scary shit out of a nightmare.

  70. 70
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The American right either reflexively rejects, or refuses to contemplate, the notion that in a modern post-industrial society healthcare might be a public good

     
    I’ve come to the conclusion that Movement Conservatives don’t recognize any sort of public good that doesn’t involve bombs, beatings or military-industrial complex style business graft. If they aren’t hurting somebody they hate or sucking money out of the Treasury, then it can’t good, full stop.

  71. 71

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m pretty sure the proper response is not to give bullies the attention they crave.

    Unitary Executive, motherfuckers. Suck on it.

  72. 72

    @Felanius Kootea:

    And I happen to think that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for Scalia’s health insurance

    Scalia has the cash to pay out of pocket. I’d like to see him die in pain, untreated, but it won’t happen, and even seeing that solitary sense of vengeance satisfied wouldn’t actually help anyone else.

  73. 73

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Scalia is a craven asshole, and I try to comfort myself with parables of it being darkest just before the light shines, or some such pollyanish noodlings.

  74. 74
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin: @Ben Franklin:

    No, the shit you said was completely ridiculous and, frankly, stupid. Fucking awful, actually.

    Insult Burns some more. But he was right in this one.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    It’s awfully early in the day to be shitfaced, so what’s your excuse?

  76. 76

    @burnspbesq:

    The American right either reflexively rejects, or refuses to contemplate, the notion that in a modern post-industrial society healthcare might be a public good, a notion that the rest of the world takes as self-evident.

    __
    IMO, it’s even worse than that: Substitute “education”, “alt energy”, “industrial policy”, “US Post Office”, etc into your sentence and it still holds true. Some of them don’t even want the government to build bridges anymore. They seem to deny the existence of a shared/civic space, and therefore of any public good, at all.
    __
    Scary stuff.

  77. 77
    Some Loser says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    Undeveloped toddler mentality. They cannot comprehend how to share. Everything is theirs or not theirs. Nothing can be both theirs and not theirs at the same time. On second thought, a lot things that are not theirs should be theirs.

    Glibertarian in a nutshell, I think.

    They believe everything in life is a zero sum game, and if they share something with someone, they will lose that something. Healthcare is finite to them; if they share, they won’t have any healthcare left. Education is finite; if they share, they won’t have any education. Roads are finite to them; if they share, they won’t have any roads.

    Talk to them about this shit. Dig deep, and you’ll find them expressing these ideas.

  78. 78
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Some Loser:

    Fucking awful, actually.

    Well, then, why don’t you tell me the fuck why?

  79. 79
    Ben Franklin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Any mirrors where you are, Segretti?

  80. 80
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I am not much in favor of more registered voters who actually show up on election day.

    This seriously needs to be explained to you? On a liberal blog? On a blog with a front pager who constantly talks about fighting voter suppression efforts? On a blog that loves democracy? You need this stupid ass statement explained to you? You need someone to tell why anyone would take offense to this statement?

  81. 81
    wrb says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication):

    it will mean that the country simply falls back to the pre ACA mandate of emergency rooms by law, required to treat the sick regardless of insurance status. And the bill will be paid by the tax payers from the general fund of the treasury. The wingnut judges cannot get around this moral hazard tree blocking the libertarian road. Health care is already mandated in this country, and the question is how will it be paid for.

    Young women with pains in their legs are never rejected by emergency rooms , to then die in jail; the indigent sick are never dumped on the street; and emergency rooms are doing a bang up job treating hypertension and diabetes.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    IMO, it’s even worse than that: Substitute “education”, “alt energy”, “industrial policy”, “US Post Office”, etc into your sentence and it still holds true. Some of them don’t even want the government to build bridges anymore. They seem to deny the existence of a shared/civic space, and therefore of any public good, at all.

    No, see, they’re all components of the same puzzle. They’re all laissez faire economic arguments – all of them. Yeah, they’ll weave around to religious liberty and other things, but fundamentally they’re all about ‘let the free market do it’. That’s the prize here, and the battlegrounds are healthcare, education, energy, etc. I don’t think they really care about winning or losing any of these particular battles – they’re focused on winning the economic war. And they’re focused on it because they’ve lost the civil rights wars. Their ability to hold power purely on the color of their skin or because they were born to the right family is waning. It’s far from gone, but Obama really put another big bullet in the body – not just because he’s black, but because he’s also not a Bush/Kennedy. Mom and Dad weren’t senators and governors. He’s an outsider, and when outsiders can succeed, all bets are off.

    But the economy still works pretty well along the old rules – if you have money, you have security and power. And the same people that are losing out on the civil rights privileges are the same people that will win in an economic free-for-all.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    Willard is a human cipher who would sell his Mama for a block of votes.

    OF COURSE, HE TERRIFIES ME.

    His sense of Rich White Boy Entitlement is in overdrive.

    He should be President – just because.

    He doesn’t want to DO anything as President.

    He just wants to BE President.

  84. 84
    Ben Franklin says:

    This seriously needs to be explained to you? On a liberal blog? On a blog with a front pager who constantly talks about fighting voter suppression efforts? On a blog that loves democracy?

    @Some Loser:

    Oh, you mean I am not politically correct? Mea culpa.

    Well, I won’t expect you to give your actual opinion on

    Dart Boardvoters, because you don’t see the problem.

    ‘Nuff said.

  85. 85
    JD Rhoades says:

    The Democrats need to hammer one word home, over and over, when campaigning against Romney, and that word is “trust.” Can you trust Mitt Romney with the economy? Can you trust Mitt Romney to do what he’s said he’ll do? Can you trust Mitt Romney to (fill in the the blank).

    His slipperiness is his Achilles heel, and we need to be slashing that tendon every chance we get.

  86. 86

    @wrb:

    Well, there is the GOP health care plan for ya. Premature death? Out of sight and mind

  87. 87
    amk says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Dart Boardvoters,

    By your own ‘standards, I guess you rate yourself as the informedest voter but your nym suggests utter lack of originality. So you go hump that constitution chicken.

  88. 88

    @Some Loser:

    Undeveloped toddler mentality. They cannot comprehend how to share. Everything is theirs or not theirs.

    I’ve taken to calling it ‘The Politics of the Playpen’. If only because it seems to piss them off (IRL, I live surrounded by suburban right-wingers). They’re also incapable of understanding that growing the pie as a whole will actually grow their slice in absolute terms. But they can only focus on the relative terms. “My wealth isn’t worth anything if you’re not all poor!”
    __
    So not only do these people have no basic decency– They’re not even good capitalists.

  89. 89
    Ben Franklin says:

    @amk:

    Well, my nym may lack the originality of amk, but truth be told, it was the result of a survey that was to compare one’s views to the FF. At another site, the posters there suggested I take the name, so I changed my handle.

    Now about those dart-board voters; you have no opinion on that, do you?

  90. 90
    Roger Moore says:

    @Some Loser:

    Undeveloped toddler mentality. They cannot comprehend how to share. Everything is theirs or not theirs.

    FTFY. I guess they accept that there are things that are not theirs, but only as part of belief that this is a terrible wrong that can only be rectified by either giving it to them or destroying it so the current owner can’t have it.

    ETA:

    They believe everything in life is a zero sum game, and if they share something with someone, they will lose that something. Healthcare is finite to them; if they share, they won’t have any healthcare left. Education is finite; if they share, they won’t have any education. Roads are finite to them; if they share, they won’t have any roads.

    Most importantly, rights and freedom are limited. If they let anyone else have them, there’s less freedom for them.

  91. 91
    amk says:

    @Ben Franklin: You should have just said “only landowners” and got the fuck over with. Say it, I know you wanna.

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    ‘out of touch’ makes you uncomfortable?

    Out of touch is KIND for Willard.

    He literally seems as if he doesn’t have the capacity for human empathy of the regular man.

    He’s been running officially for President for FIVE YEARS, and he hasn’t mastered ‘ faking’ this.

    ‘out of touch’ is simplistic with talking about Willard.

  93. 93
    japa21 says:

    @wrb: The emergency room treatment rule does not mean they have to treat everybody that shows up, or even all sick people. They have to give all people who show up an assessment, but they only have to treat someone who is in a life threatening (based upon their evaluation) situation, and then only to the point the person is stabilized and their life is no longer in danger.

    The situations you describe are the result of complete incompetence, in all likelihood, of the doctors involved who should, IMHO, lose their licenses and be sued up the wazoo.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    So not only do these people have no basic decency—They’re not even good capitalists.

    Which is, of course, backed up by the numbers. The Republicans always talk about how they’re going to grow the economy by relaxing regulations and letting businesses create jobs, but their actual record of economic growth is worse than the Democrats. But the Chamber of Commerce types still support the Republicans even though they’re much worse for business.

  95. 95
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Oh, you mean I am not politically correct? Mea culpa.

    I find people who use the term “politically correct” are the biggest assholes. There have been a couple of exceptions, but you are not one of them.

    Dart Board voters

    What dartboard voters? You mean low-Information voters? They tend to vote based on party, not with a dartboard. Educate them. Give them a reason to vote. Help them organize and create interest groups.

    People hate politics; they’ve been conditioned to hate politics. That is why they don’t vote, or avoid discussing politics with people. They feel their vote doesn’t count. Electoral College doesn’t help, but with a country this big, their vote is truly insignificant anyway. Politicians ignore them. Really, as individuals, people are too insignificant to cater to. That is why politicians refer to demographics rather than individuals. Grouping them together as interest groups would help waylay this problem. But organizing is hard. They need people to help them.

    But we don’t help them. We’re almost as lazy as they are. We say we’re too busy to help them! And they say they’re too busy to pay attention to politics! Howaboutthat!

    So voters generalize politicians in their mind. Democrats sound like this, and Republicans sound like this! And they play identity politics! “My family always voted Republican. There must be something good about them if my father keeps voting R!”

    And why shouldn’t they do this? The media tells them that both parties are the same. All the “respectable” sources carries that shitty narrative!!! We are just some invisible people on the interest versus Mainstream Media! Why should they believe us? Because we yell a lot and we think we’re smarter than them? Of course, this is balloon-juice after all!

    Your solution to this problem? Americans shouldn’t vote? Let their betters vote instead? Let the elites? Let the smartest only vote? Who define intelligence or the elites? Isn’t the problem today that the elites are deciding the narratives and are manipulating voters?

    I worry about these. I want America to be a great society, and I want America to someday become a meritocracy. I want everyone to be intelligent, and I want everyone to vote. I don’t think the problem lies with “uninformed” people voting. I think the problem lies with assholes manipulating and exploiting the American people. But I guess I am being too politically correct!

  96. 96
    Ben Franklin says:

    @amk:

    You and burns are the stealth conservatives here, jackwipe. I never said anything close to what you’re suggesting. The projection seems to reveal your predilection for suppressing contrary opinions. You and the rest of the Posse incite the mob mentality with shouts of outrage legitimizing the lynching.

  97. 97
    Some Loser says:

    Almost every other sentence is grammatically incorrect or just plain ugly! Fuck, why do I never proofread shit on the Internet?!

  98. 98
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    His slipperiness is his Achilles heel

     
    Bumper sticker: Even eels don’t trust Mitt Rommey. They think he’s too slippery.

  99. 99
    amk says:

    @Ben Franklin: Talk about incurable CD. Now GFY.

  100. 100
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Some Loser:

    I said;

    I am not much in favor of more registered voters who actually show up on election day. Most use the information path of least resistance.
    Most people don’t have, or don’t wish to utilize their time for participatory republic/democracy. They use the popular method;
    Dart Board

    You said;

    What dartboard voters? You mean low-Information voters? They tend to vote based on party, not with a dartboard. Educate them. Give them a reason to vote. Help them organize and create interest groups.

    When you educate and inspire them, they are not dart-board voters any longer. But I am not referring so much to the General Elections. Most everyone knows the POTUS and senatorial, even congressional players.

    It’s more about locals, judges, initiatives and propositions which bring out the dartboard. Isn’t this where the electoral system is weakest?

  101. 101
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But the Chamber of Commerce types still support the Republicans even though they’re much worse for business.

     
    The GOP is better for existing businesses with monopolistic tendancies. The economy as a whole grows faster when these folks have their greed curbed and the strangling effect they exert on economic growth curtailed. Dems are more likely to do that than the GOP, the PPACA being a good example: founding a new small business will be easier when everybody has access to the level of affordable health insurance currently enjoyed only by medium and large business by dint of their size and purchasing power. But Chambers of Commerce, and most especially the national one, are dominated by the existing monopolists. Hence the paradox of a business lobby which supports the party that is worse for business.

  102. 102
    mdblanche says:

    @Yutsano:

    “Because I said so.”

    -Antonin Scalia

  103. 103
    Roger Moore says:

    @Some Loser:
    I think the hatred of politics extends far beyond the strict partisan business that we’re talking about here. I hear those words- “I hate politics” or “I don’t want to get involved with the politics” or “It’s all too political for me”- to talk about all kinds of things beyond voting. They talk about their work being too political, school being too political, picking All-Star athletes being too political, and so on.

    What it boils down to is that politics is about deciding between competing interests, which means some people are going to wind up being disappointed. The people who complain most vigorously about politics are usually either ones who are getting the short end of the stick or ones who despise compromise in principle. They think that everything would work out if everyone would just use their common sense (i.e. see things their way) instead of getting political about it (i.e. look after their own interests). On a partisan level, these are people who have basic ideas about how things ought to be, generally ones that are based strongly on their own situation, and get upset that what they think should be simple winds up being very complicated when politics (meaning other people’s ideas and interests) get involved.

  104. 104
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think they mentioned in a picture that he was at the whaling wall.

  105. 105
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    When you educate and inspire them, they are not dart-board voters any longer. But I am not referring so much to the General Elections.

    One of the points I made in my post was to educate them. You said you didn’t want more Americans to vote. I said that was stupid! You said I don’t have an opinion the so called Dartboard voters and mocked me for giving a shit about democracy, calling it politically correct. I devoted an three-fifths of my last post detailing on how to deal with these so called dartboard voters. You are now moving the goalpost. Which even though you did, my point still stands. We organize and educate them!

    We do not prevent people from voting without due cause! We do not prevent people from voting because we don’t like how they vote! We do not prevent people from voting because we don’t think they’re not intelligent enough! We do, however, look down on people who even humors the idea of preventing people from vote for these reasons! We judge people like that, and usually, these people are Republicans. Don’t be a Republican!

  106. 106
    kansi says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): True health care is not, as I am sure you know, the same as the emergency room treatment mandated by law. There is no law requiring the provision of drug therapy, dialysis, chemotherapy, organ transplants and any number of life saving procedures. Without access to this kind of medicine, people die. Health care is so much more than patching people up and sending them home.

  107. 107
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Some Loser:

    Don’t be a Republican!

    It seems you are determined to be outraged. You made a lot of assumptions about what I meant with the first comment, and continued to conflate the same, incorrect impression, with the unfolding explanation.

    Don’t be a Republican, yourself.

  108. 108
    Some Loser says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They usually develop these ideas while growing up. These people who hate politics so much tend to transmit these ideas to their kids. So hatred for politics, even for no reason at all, are instilled to them when they are voting age. Hell, you know the idea of leading by example? Parents, or guardians, teach their children by example. They say they hate congress: The system is too slow, and the congressmen are incompetent. Kids pick up on this shit. Years later, even if they have next to no knowledge of the government, they’ll be talking about how slow and incompetent congress is.

    And it is hard to make people depart from these ideas they’ve grown up with. It is especially hard for people to get rid of their political party. Being a Republican or Conservative becomes a part of their identity, and even the most decent people in world will rationalize the bad things their party do. Same with Catholics!

    This is probably the hardest part about educating people! Getting rid of their existing ideas and prejudice! The Media’s bullshit is worse. Echo chamber for BOTH SIDES DO IT. No room for nuance. It reinforces ideas they had since childhood. Overcoming can’t be easy. Ask any recent covert to the Democratic Party. Another example is talking about privilege. I had a little trouble with male privilege when some feminists brought it up. All that rationalizing. It helped I raised by a single mother feminist, but even then, my entire fucking identity!

  109. 109
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Let’s switch chairs!

    What I am “assuming” incorrectly about?

    That you said that you had a problem with more Americans voting?

    That you implied that only “smart or intelligent” people should vote?

    That you called me politically correct because I noted saying such things on a liberal blog is basically begging to be called an idiot?

    These are the basis from which I build my argument against you from.

    You haven’t done shit to disprove any of these “assumptions”. Please do! Clarify your position without digging yourself into another hole!

  110. 110
    Steve says:

    I think Ben Franklin is getting a bad rap for once. Saying that you think clueless voters aren’t very helpful to our democracy is not the same thing as saying that their votes should be suppressed or that they shouldn’t have a right to vote.

  111. 111

    If you ‘hate politics’, you’ve bailed on your own species, I tell my students.

    Before we were ever homo sapiens, we were zoon politikon, the critter that lives in poleis, at least as per Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (1162 a),

  112. 112
    samara morgan says:

    But the fault lies not in their stars but in themselves, that they are lunatics.

    okfine you get props. simply epic rephrasing.
    but if you really want to understand republicans you have to understand evolution, brain morphology and function, and behavioral and symbolic inheritance.

    conservative and liberals are genetically and memetically different. and you have a simply horribly poor grasp of that, Commander of Lies.
    btw infidelity in arabic has a lot of meanings, dependent on context and inflection. it can mean hidden, irreligious, false, disloyalty, betrayal, or unbelief.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @Culture of Truth: I am hoping this ends up being one more example of “be careful what you wish for”.

    As gratifying as it was initially to think of President Obama telling these republican judges to stick it, the idea that Obama himself could write the 3 requested pages — using that forum to school the court on his thinking behind the comments he made publicly, and make them public on the presidential website — is even more gratifying.

  114. 114
    samara morgan says:

    @Some Loser: no, both sides do not do it.
    Republicans are much more WRONG and anti-empirical than democrats.
    consider global warming, creationism, 2/3s of republicans believe Obama is a muslim, and 96% of scientists are not republican.

  115. 115
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Some Loser:

    You haven’t done shit to disprove any of these “assumptions”

    Is that even possible

  116. 116
    Some Loser says:

    @samara morgan:

    Of course I know both sides do not do it.

    People don’t see that. When they see a Republican and Democrat, all they see is a politician. Unless they are hyperpartisan, they will think of them as the same.

  117. 117
    Some Loser says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Yes.

    “I assume that apple is red.”

    “Nope. It is actually green!”

    Or are you implying something else?

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