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  •  Enough with the grandstanding, dem-bashing purity (1+ / 0-)
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    diaries. If you want to play for this team maybe you should try being a team player instead of a demagoging showboat. Your imputation of corporatist motives to the White House is baseless. Your analysis of the significance of the Public Option leaves a lot to be desired.  Most liberal healthcare experts agree that the public option, despite being the hcr hobby horse of the liberal blogosphere is not the most significant part of reform and that, in fact, the po that passed the house was basically worthless if not counter-productive. Obama should be applauded for not pushing for the passage of a pos po as a sop to the left. He doesn't insult our intelligence the way some members of the progressive caucus do.

    "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

    by seanwright on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 10:19:23 PM PST

    •  She didn't mention Obama by name at all (2+ / 0-)
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      LynneK, seanwright

      Had she, I'd be right there with you, but the most she said was that there are too many people in the White House with the wrong view - which, while it may play into an overstated and misled narrative, isn't enough for me not to rec this diary because there are disparate views in the White House by Obama's design (many of who admittedly aren't progressive populists), making Darcy's comment not entirely unreasonable; now you and I can look at the Obama WH and say that the allowing of these disparate views have been villified ad nauseum unjustifiably by many critics here, when Obama is actually in a better position to propose the progressive reforms he HAS suggested thus far because of diverse voices in his administration (his waiting a year on DADT until he had support from key members of the current and former military just being one vindication of this patient long-view approach to optimally progressive policies), but since Obama wasn't mentioned in this diary once negatively, I don't see any reason to be concerned in that vein about this overwhelmingly constructive and positive diary.

      77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

      by ShadowSD on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 05:10:51 AM PST

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      •  I appreciate where you are coming from (1+ / 0-)
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        But I think Burner's rhetoric in this and her last diary have a sort of corrosive running-against-Washington (DC), every-dem-for-herself quality. I actuall think the democrats have been doing a pretty good job under very difficult circumstances in the face of unified Republican obstructionism. What I want to see from progressive dem candidates is some solidarity with the democratic majority & some recognition of all the good things it has accomplished.  Burner seems to be trying to sell herself as being a fix for what is wrong with the democratic party rather than focusing on the fact that more dems = more good. Period. I think the every-dem-for-herself strategy, if widely adopted this year is going to be absolutely devastating for the party this year. So wherever I see that strategy being toyed with, as I think I do here, I'm going to aggressively call it out.

        "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

        by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:11:54 AM PST

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        •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
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          I agree that not bashing the party ticket one is running on is essential, and those who do so are shooting themselves in the foot.  I couldn't agree with you more strongly on this point, actually.

          That said, more AND better Democrats is the goal, and although the first part certainly comes first, the second is also very important.  We need candidates who are both a) progressive enough not to be bought out by corporate interests and b) charismatic and clear-spoken enough to appeal to voters.  Candidates who don't meet these standards become our nominees at our own peril, whether we're talking about Ben Nelson or Martha Coakley.

          However, while I believe running against the party is foolish, I disagree with you completely that running against Washington is a bad thing, it's actually what Democrats have to do to win in 2010; running against the continued corporate influence in the Senate, Republican obstructionism, and a handful of conservadems stalling everything as a picture of what is wrong with Washington DC is a damn smart thing to do for most Democrats this year, and they'd better hop to it.  Spend time touting results as well - no question - but spend an equal amount of time railing against the forces slowing down so many more of those same sorts of changes that are needed to get more people back to work.  The alternative is that the mantle of outsider will be successfully hijacked by the Republican party whose policies we still suffer the residue of and whose power brokers still stymie the current agenda - which is absurd, and political suicide in 2010.

          I am concerned you are suggesting running against Washington can't be done without running against the party, that they are one and the same; however, Democrats must learn how to do one without the other, or the consequences will be abysmal.  It can absolutely be done, when one looks at the functional de facto majority of obstruction formed by corporate lobbyists, Republicans, and a tiny handful of Democrats; the proof is in all the changes voted for by the electorate in 2008 that they have thus far been able to thwart in health care, energy, and job growth.

          In fact, I think in a roundabout way the real danger (or at least the last straw regarding it) is for Democrats to assume exactly what I think you are regarding this particular point - that running against Washington requires bashing the party or the President - and therefore equating good reasons for the former as justification for the latter.  The message for Democrats is clear: be an outsider, run against the stagnant forces of DC lobbyists and corporative conservative politicans in Washington, tout results that present the Democratic party as an organization that despite a few nasty exceptions is pushing back hard against those forces, and above all avoid tarnishing the party brand or the President.

          77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

          by ShadowSD on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 03:40:56 PM PST

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          •  Darcy Burner is my kind of Democrat too. (0+ / 0-)

            But I still feel that she is throwing red meat to the disaffected left that I find unappealing.  In particular she says:

            Too many of our Representatives, too many of our Senators, and too many of the people in the White House act based on what’s best for multinational corporations and their CEOs, not the American people.

            Want proof? Well, an obvious case is the public option. It’s supported by a large majority of the American public. It reduces the deficit. It provides an additional choice for the American people, who are struggling with healthcare markets dominated by one or two insurers who are generally colluding to keep prices and profits high.

            She's ignoring the fact that a robust public option, one that tied rates to medicare rates, couldn't even pass the House. It wasn't only because of the insurers either.  A lot of healthcare providers, doctors and hospitals, were strongly opposed because they hate the reimbursement rates.  And the Democrats weren't just afraid of losing campaign contributions, they were afraid of active antagonism.  And rightly so.  When the doctors and insurers are on the same page,they can do a lot of harm.

            I think the President was right not to insist on the passage of the watered down Public Option because it was worthless, or, worse, counterproductive.  

            Here's what Paul Starr had to say about the P.O. at the end of November '09.  I found it very persuasive:

            Discussion of the public option — a government insurance plan that would be offered to individuals and small businesses buying coverage through new insurance exchanges — has been dominated by ideological politics. Conservatives claim it would amount to a government takeover, while liberals imagine that it would radically alter the insurance market by providing better protection at lower cost.

            As it now stands in Congress, however, the public option would do neither. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would enroll less than 2 percent of the population and probably have higher premiums than private plans. For progressives to say they will block reform without a public option is not just foolish, but potentially tragic if it results in legislative deadlock.

            An earlier version of the public option, available to the entire public, might have realized progressive hopes and conservative fears. By paying doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates (which are 20 percent to 30 percent below those paid by private insurers), the public option would have had a distinct price advantage. But by severely cutting revenue to health-care providers, it would also have set off such a political crisis that Congress would never have passed it.

            Instead, the bills in Congress now call for the government plan to negotiate rates with providers, as private insurers do. That limitation exposes a defect in the idea. The government plan may well have to charge higher premiums because it is likely to attract more than its share of the chronically ill and other high-cost subscribers. It could go into a death spiral of mounting costs.

            That's why I say I appreciate Obama not pushing passage of the P.O. passed by the House.  It was really only a sop to the left and not serious policy.  

            Now, with respect to the new litmus test regarding the anti-trust bill, to me it sounds like she's calling for passage of a pared back bill, sort of the piece-meal approach to reform that most experts agree won't work.  So, I see what she's encouraging as  a cop-out which she's selling as the moral high-ground.

            The kind of leadership I'd like to see from her and other Dem candidates right now is calling for passage of the bill, whether that be with a fix by the Senate first, or the House passing the Senate bill with a fix to come later, coupled with a harsh denunciation of Republican obstructionism.  To me that's real leadership right now.

            Speaking of the Public Option, Darcy says: "It’s an incredibly populist and popular policy."  She says that like that should be case closed. Personally, I find leaders who equate "populist" and "popular" with "good" very uninspiring.  I think Obama stopped pushing the Public Option because he realized that the P.O. that could get past the House or Senate wasn't worth having.  I totally respect him for abandoning it.  I want burner to be rigorous in promoting good policy and not to just chase what she think's sells well.  

            Having said all that, I wish Darcy Burner well and  I want her to do whatever is necessary to win her seat.

            But I feel like Dem candidates are sort of facing a prisoners' dilemma type situation.  If a critical mass hangs together, the Democrats will have better success than if they're all constantly accusing each other of being sell-outs and presenting themselves as the Dem messiah.  However, if that critical mass doesn't hang together, the Dems are going to have a disastrous year, and the best strategy for any given individual is probably to accuse other Dems of being sell-outs and promoting yourself as the Dem messiah.  But I think the best thing for the party and the country is for as many Democrats who have the patriotism and stomach for it to hang in there and be team players.

            "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

            by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:36:36 PM PST

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    •  Your attitude is exactly why... (0+ / 0-)

      the democrats, for the American people, are quickly moving into irrelevance. Current HCR reform contains a huge giveaway to Pharma and Billy Tauzin, and as Massachusettes is showing us, will not contain costs. The continued denial of the power of corporate influence is pushing this country dangerously to the right, because there is no true progressive movement to counter the tea baggers.

      "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

      by scorpiorising on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 06:38:38 AM PST

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      •  It must be nice to speak for the amercan people. (0+ / 0-)

        My feeling is that self-serving liberal politicians coming up with pointless litmus tests, overselling the bennies of a weak public option and questioning the ethics of other dems who refuse to hype a weak public option share a lot more than some of the blame for the cooling of public support for hcr.

        "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

        by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 06:57:22 AM PST

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        •  Why is abandonment of principle... (0+ / 0-)

          touted a hcr reform? You can't get away with this and won't. Obama is already saying hcr reform is probably dead, and its dead because is didn't garner the support of the a majority of people.

          "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

          by scorpiorising on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:27:08 AM PST

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          •  You don't get to have your own facts. (0+ / 0-)

            Obama said hcr reform is probably already dead?  When?  Here's what he told the DNC yesterday

            "So just in case there's any confusion out there, let me be clear. I am not going to walk away from health insurance reform. I'm not going to walk away from the American people. I'm not going to walk away from this challenge. I'm not going to walk away from any challenge. We're moving forward.''
            His voice rising, he added: "We are moving forward!''

            That doesn't sound like someone who's given up on hcr to me!

            "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

            by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:21:12 AM PST

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            •  There was a recent report... (0+ / 0-)

              here, and his mixed signals, all along, obviously, are part of the problem:


              "I think it's very important for us to have a methodical, open process over the next several weeks, and then let's go ahead and make a decision," Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

              "And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," the president said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they'll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."

              It appeared to be a shift in tone for the issue the "Yes we can" candidate campaigned on and made the centerpiece of his domestic agenda last year. In a speech to a joint session of Congress in September, Obama declared: "I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last. ... Here and now we will meet history's test."

              "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

              by scorpiorising on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:30:02 AM PST

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              •  I am familiar with the over/mis-interpreted (0+ / 0-)

                remarks you cite.  Ezra Klein had this to say about the statement you quote:

                Some freaked out over this, saying that Obama was admitting the possibility of failure. Others saw a brilliant strategy for moving forward. For now, count me in neither camp.

                First, I think it's nuts to trip out over Obama admitting the possibility of failure. In case you haven't noticed, failure is a possibility. A real one.

                More important was Obama's insistence on a vote. This is the first time I've heard the president demand an actual vote, and I take that as an enormously positive step. As I've said before, the likeliest death for health-care reform is that it slinks quietly off the front of the agenda. If Democrats have to take a vote, they have to find a way to pass this thing. If they don't have to take a vote, they can let it die without ever admitting they killed it. I'd call this the news in the president's remarks.

                So, you can see why I don't accept your interpretation that Obama has declared HCR "probably dead."

                "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

                by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 09:01:28 PM PST

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    •  team? (0+ / 0-)

      Where did Obama get most of his money? How does this system work? Are you clueless? Look at policies of Bush post 2006 and Obama 2009? Not much difference that I can see. Why didn't Obama tout the real facts on HC, i.e., compare our system with all other systems in the developed world?  

      Nevertheless, you are right on the Public Option but wrong on passing the HCR legislation. The bill should be broken up and individual measures should be passed. The reason is that the HCR bill is not reform it is, rather, establishing a totally unsustainable system and the Democrats will be blamed for it so it is, in my view, political suicide to proceed.

      HCR will fail to rein in costs so, eventually we will have more of what we have now which is insurance company rationing care at twice the cost of what single payer or some equivalent of a variety of European options that include a regulated insurance industry. The explosive rise in costs that will occur and reach maybe 20% of GDP under this bill (insurance companies will raise rates dramatically in my view) will put the blame squarely on the Democrats. Bad politics, really bad politics.

      Ending anti-trust exemption is an important start to a new HCR process that, again, should include popular and understandable reforms that most people can enthusiastically support -- then build on that.

      •  Your Obama approximately equals bush statement (1+ / 0-)
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        betrays a level of ignorance, willful or otherwise, that I just don't have the time or patience to deal with this morning.

        "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

        by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:02:56 AM PST

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        •  wow, very logical (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not good enough eh?

          Ignorance? I've been in and around Washington most of my life. I know the town very well and how things get done and one piece fits into another. I've also studied the classics and know how power actually works and has always worked.  I was there when Hilary-care was in play and worked for a lobbying firm that dealt directly with it, sadly on the wrong side, so I quit.

          If you are a center-right person then Obama is your man -- if you are on the left he is your enemy. I voted for him hoping he would end torture -- I didn't think much of him I just hoped he would be a reasonable person and do his job which is to broker and mediate the power centers in Washington like Clinton did to get a few decent things done. But he has done next to nothing -- yes a few minor things -- got some good people in agencies etc., one of them a friend of mine. But on the essentials, nothing just a continuation of Bush post-2006.

          •  When I said that I didn't have the time (0+ / 0-)

            or patience to respond to you, I meant just that.  I didn't mean that dismissing you was a means to winning an argument.  I just meant that I didn't have the time or patience this morning to respond to someone whose argument flowed from such fundamentally flawed premises (aside: isn't appealing to the authority of one's own biography its own sort of logical fallacy?  If hanging around Washington for a long time meant that your opinions carried some special weight, then I'd wait for David Broder and George Will to opine on every issue before I reached any conclusions).  A large part of the reason for my lack of time and patience is that I was using an iphone which is quite ill-suited for the kind of smackdown I'm about to deliver.

            You claimed that Obama was little different from Bush cerca 2006.  I think that's bullshit.

            For instance: in 2006, Bush vetoed a modest expansion of SCHIP.  Obama promptly signed it into law.

            Bush never evinced any interst whatsoever in comprehensive HCR.  Obama has held townhall after townhall on the subject and has encouraged and pushed congress to pass legislation.

            Obama signed Ledbetter, Bush would not have.

            The stimulus package was loaded with all kind of progressive goodies Bush wouldn't have approved of in a thousand years.

            Obama's pushing for repeal of DADT, something Bush would never have done.

            Obama promptly rescinded tons of contracts for the exploitation of federal lands that Bush had hurriedly pushed through at the end of his term.

            Obama made it clear torture would not be tolerated and owned up to the fact that the U.S. did torture while Bush was president.  Bush never admitted we tortured or unequivocally stated that we would no longer torture.

            For all these reasons, and many more, Obama does not come even close to = Bush.

            With regard to what you had to say about the current legislation pending before the House, like Obama said to the Republicans: I can't find any credible economists who agree with you.

            All of the healthcare experts I rely upon the most: Paul Starr, Jonathan Gruber, Jonathan Cohn and Ezra Klein, for instance, agree that the Senate bill as is, without any fixes, would be a vast improvement over the status quo.

            Now, I say all that to say that Obama is not the enemy of those on the left, people like you are.  Good day.

            "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

            by seanwright on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:55:04 PM PST

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            •  you made an excellent case (0+ / 0-)

              Thank you. I do know of those things you mentioned. You may well be right about me, I don't know. At any rate we will all have to live with things as they are.

              •  Then you have to turn around and act (0+ / 0-)

                totally decent! Sorry for the excessive ornriness in my comment.

                "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

                by seanwright on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 09:06:51 AM PST

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