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The next line from this Elton John/Bernie Taupin 1970 song lyric is "tell me which road I'm on".

The progressive has bowed out, so what to make of the leftover candidates?

I'm fron the Chicago area originally, and the two slip into pretty familiar roles. Hillary Clinton is the "machine Democrat" and Barrack Obama most closely matches the moderate Republicans of the day. I voted for some of those folks - particularly Senator Chuck Percy, and it wasn't all that unusual that they were more progressive on some issues than the MDs.

Anyway, I have no horse to ride anymore - so its time to look at the other two.

Unfortunately, this recent development ensures that Democrats in Indiana will have no say in the general election. McCain will easily beat either Obama or Clinton here, but most of us have friends in more civilized evirons. It could still be useful.

Let's start off with health care.

The Clinton plan is basically a clone of the earlier released Edwards plan. It mandates coverage, blends public and private plans. It has the advantage of not asking anyone to give up coverage they like and offers subsidies to people who need them to pay the cost. A single payer plan is a part of it, and could eventually engulf other options due to the efficiencies inherent in the plan. Universal (mandated) coverage provides the best possible premium pool, and that in turn lowers the per person cost as one looks at the entire health care delivery system.

The Obama plan (modified Edwards) is optional - with the exception of minor children. In other respects, it is pretty similar. I hope I am not mischaracterizing his defense of this - it seems so weird, I'm not sure I have it right. His claim is that 1) Universal coverage is too hard to achieve, so we shouldn't even try and 2) People don't buy Health Insurance because they can't afford it. If they can afford it, they will buy it.

He goes on to say he hasn't met anyone who could afford Health Insurance who didn't buy it. Only the people who can't afford it don't buy it, according to Obama.

He should come introduce himself sometime, so we can dispel that myth.

Most of my life I've had no coverage. Sometimes it was true I couldn't have afforded it, but in all cases I didn't want to spend the money. I was healthy, didn't see a doctor. It seemed like a poor use of my money. But if something serious had happend to me, the people who did do the responsible thing would have been the ones picking up the tab.

The way insurance works is that the people who make fewer claims subsidize the ones who make more claims. The more total money in the pool, the smaller the subsidy. That is a given. But we don't always know in advance who each of these are. And everyone is paying something in.

Also, these plans all offer subsidies to help people pay for coverage. So if they are designed properly, there wouldn't be any people who "can't afford" coverage. And I think that we should think twice about a government policy which encourages the irresponsible behavior I exhibited in the past.

This is even worse. This is a hit piece the Obama campaign used against the Clinton campaign in the run up to the Iowa caucuses. It's classic Harry and Louise stuff.

I was in Iowa working for Edwards, and I'd heard rumors Obama was using stuff like this.  I was skeptical at the time.

My fallback position by instinct would have been to support Barrack Obama. Perhaps it will end up that way. But I'm going to be taking a hard look at each of them. But I can tell you already, the choice will be a distant second to what could have been.

Don Wheeler
Progressives, South Bend

Originally posted to DonVila on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you don't have a strong preference (0+ / 0-) reason you can't sit this one out. I'm just waiting to see who gets picked. Then I'll look ahead to the general.

    The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

    by Free Spirit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:21:03 PM PST

  •  Leftovers, indeed... (0+ / 0-)

    I want a bold progressive, a proud and loud liberal, to vote for.

    Is it too soon to miss John Edwards?

  •  Tips for real progress (0+ / 0-)

    Democracy is not a spectator sport

    by DonVila on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:24:24 PM PST

  •  You say mccain would easily beat either Obama or (0+ / 0-)

    Clinton in indiana? questions? would they be more palatable if they were both on the same ticket/  would Clinton with a strong military Veep such as General Clark help Democrats?  what kind of Veep does Obama need to make inroads in indiania? obviously not a liberal if it is so right leaning.

    I would be most interested to know. i am finding it so difficult to guage any state preferences these  days, at least here on DLos because it is so blatantly anti-Clinton and DLC, basically anti centrist, which is the position most people i know are comfortable with, at least economically and fiscally, with very liberal social leanings in health care, education and a more equitable nation.  My group of friends and family are also all anti war which of course makes McCain anathema.  None of us are single issue voters though.

    •  Here is my take (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soccergrandmom, KaritaHummer

      First we have a lot of racists and misogynists.  I'll lay that out first because it's the ugly factor.  Much of the legacy of the old Confederacy reside here.  Edwards obviously isn't disqualified on those factors.

      Obama will be perceived as liberal (on top of the fundamental problem), even though he isn't really.  

      A big bunch of people here have made a life of hating the Clintons.

      None of this is rational.

      Running mates won't make any difference here, unless it's Evan Bayh.  That could change things.

      Remember, the last time Indiana went for a Democrat was in 1964.

      It was never my claim that John Edwards would have won Indiana - he was just the only one who could have.  Based on my experience in Iowa, rural independents and Republicans liked quite a bit of what he had to say.

      Democracy is not a spectator sport

      by DonVila on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:47:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Distant Choices (0+ / 0-)

    I voted for John Edwards, the true progressive in this primary, as you so appropriately note.  I do see differences in the two, but both are so beholden to corporate interests, I see the changes that would come about through either to be very incremental.

    For me, the fall would be soon enough to vote for who is left in this race.

    Karita Hummer

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