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View Diary: Take People at Their Word, But Dammit Use Your Brains! (39 comments)

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  •  Hmm. (1+ / 0-)
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    For a diary about the importance of interpreting words, it's a little strange that you're so sure I'm "beating up" on Weiner, when in fact, I do no such thing.

    I thought I was rather understanding of his position.

    But I know that people sometimes like to find a point of departure from some diarists and front pagers, inflate them, and post refutations of the imaginary position instead. I think that's what happened here.

    Do I think Weiner is simply going to vote against a Public Option, when push comes to shove, just because he advocates Single Payer first and foremost?

    Well, that's not actually the question I'm asking. If words are important, let's ask the same question I'm actually asking. Do I think Weiner may vote for a bill that doesn't include a public option, when push comes to shove, even though he advocates single payer first and foremost?


    •  I should add... (1+ / 0-)
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      that I mean that I think it's entirely possible.

      If they need his vote to pass a conference report that ultimately doesn't have a public option, I believe it's not nearly out of the question that he'd provide it.

      If they don't need his vote to pass it, he may very well withhold it. But I take his reluctance to commit to opposing any bill without a public option in it all the way through conference to mean that he'll be taking a wait and see attitude on the conference report.

      I didn't even offer any judgment about that. I said it was understandable.

      But that's not very exciting to argue with in a diary, so you changed it.

      Because words mean so much, and all.

      •  You folks miss the real reason for the imagined. (2+ / 0-)
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        KayCeSF, Sybil Liberty

        Why doesn't he commit now?  Because logically Being unequivocally for the Public Option and being the author and advocate of a Single Payer alternative are two mutually exclusive logical positions.

        He can't say "I won't support anything else but a Public Option", and then sincerely present the single payer as an alternative without logically contradicting himself.  Only after the Single Payer bill has been voted down can he, without equivocation, take your approach.  But by that point, likely, there will probably be a vote on the Public Option, and if it's the kind that can get through Reconciliation, he'll likely vote for it as a compromise of his much more liberal position..

        You forget: the Public Option is itself a compromise.  Going after Weiner, or any of the other supporters of this bill for not unequivocally supporting the Public Option is ridiculous, if you think about it; these are the people most likely to vote for the Public Option when they compromise, rather than against it, as the Blue Dogs would.

        Which leads me to reiterate my previous statements in other diaries and comments: go after the folks who will more likely be the hard sells on this.  Stop bothering the natural allies just so you can get them to agree to some pledge.  If your interest is primarily bending the trajectory of this bill towards success, stop wasting your time browbeating the strongest advocates of Healthcare reform.

        Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

        by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:53:11 PM PDT

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      •  Let me add another comment here: (1+ / 0-)
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        The fact of the matter is, you don't maintain truly perfect objectivity.  You strongly raise the possibility that he might not vote for the bill.  I'm not really twisting your words, you're twisting his, making an unlikely interpretation of his actual position.

        And you're doing this with others, and generating anxiety among Democrats that might be entirely unfounded in the process.  You're implying the only firm way to make the statement of favoring the Public Option, the way you have it formulated.  And I think that's an excessively narrow lens to focus on who supports and who doesn't support the Public Option.

        It's only useful for those looking to put these people on the spot for the sake of flexing political muscle.  If you want to do more or better than that, it's the Blue Dogs, and particularly those in the Senate that the folks here should get cracking on.

        Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

        by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:13:53 PM PDT

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        •  Can't agree more. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't know that I agree that Public Option is the compromise... I'd like an explanation of that point, it confuses me.  But everything else you say, I agree with.

          Thank you for this well-reasoned, well-written diary.

          •  Single Payer would be like... (1+ / 0-)
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            ...medicare for all.  Government pays all or most of your medical bills, with minimal or absent out of pocket costs.

            Public Option is insurance provide by the government, mostly paid for by insurance premiums you pay.  If you're poor, and on the Public option, the government subsidizes.  But it's not single payer.

            The point of the Public Option is to give insurance companies an incentive to reduce costs and improve efficiency, while leaving private insurance largely in place.

            Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

            by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:08:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And you're welcome! ;-) (1+ / 0-)
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            Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

            by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:09:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Perfect objectivity was never of interest. (0+ / 0-)

          Why even try? That doesn't hold any interest for me.

          But you're going round and round trying to have my part of the argument for me, which means we're done here, and you can imagine the whole thing going the way you wish it was going. And the good news is, you'll probably win!

          I'm perfectly clear about why Weiner didn't commit, and that's perfectly clear in the story.

          You're wanking, and that's fine. You're allowed. I just don't have to help you do it. You think that anyone who would write about the public option vote can only be approaching it either from your perspective, or that of diarists like slinkerwink and nyceve. That's ridiculous on its face, and if it's going to continue to be the basis of your one-sided, imaginary conversation, that makes my decision not to participate both easy and free of guilt.

          You don't know what I'm doing, and finding out is not important to your fantasy.

          •  I wasn't saying you need perfect objectivity. (0+ / 0-)

            I was saying you were pretending to be undecided, even though you ventured rather far down the road to being pretty well decided, enought that you were urging a certain kind of action.  If you already decided that it's necessary to take certain action, then you've crossed a critical threshold from being undecided.  You're taking your suspicion serious enough to act on it.

            You're wanking, and that's fine.

            Wanking.  Right.

            Like I said, you're taking their rhetoric serious enough to tell other people to act on it.  You might want to feel as if you're keeping an open mind, but you're not acting the part.

            To wit:

            Good thing? Bad thing? Just a thing? Different question. Point is, there's "flexibility" everywhere. And if you can be "flexible" enough to cosponsor single payer bills (when it doesn't matter because they're not coming to the floor) but then vote no (when it does matter because it is coming to the floor), then it's not beyond question to ask whether your commitment to a strong public option can change with the circumstances, too.

            Everybody knows that the quickest path to single payer is through a Public Option.  He might, in some unlikely event, vote against the final bill.  But it would be a lot more unlikely than not that he would do so, because he knows the Republican's angle if HCR doesn't pass.

            His flexibility works in our favor, more likely than not, because though his first option isn't mainstream in the party, the next option he would likely pick wouldn't be some damn co-op, or insurance mandates without some limit.  No, his next best option would a robust Public Option.

            That, unlike Kent Conrad or Ben Nelson, who we would likely have to force towards a Public Option, if we ever could.

            We shouldn't be the roosters that think our crowing brings up the sun.  The sun will come up on its own, and progressives like Weiner will likely go for the Public Option once they've aired their single payer alternative.  They'll do this because most of them know which side their bread is buttered on in terms of the success of their movement.  We don't win if the Republicans kick the shit out of us next year.  We win if we pass a Public Option over their objections.

            I'm not wanking here.  I'm following the natural dynamics of the situation, and following what you said.  Maybe you're not in entire agreement with the FDL crew, but in the instance that set me off in opposition to you, you certainly were arguing in their vein.  Weiner won't give unequivocal support to a Public Option alone as long as he has that bill out there.  Once that bill is out of the way, though, the question is whether he is more or less likely to vote for a Robust Public Option.  My guess is that he'd go for that in a heartbeat.  I don't think he's a political moron.

            What I would say to you is that unequivocal support is not necessary for sufficient support.  He doesn't have to be certain to say yes to the Public Option and nothing else to be likely to say yes to it.

            Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

            by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:54:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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