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You cannot fight if you don't know who is fighting you, and we have lacked imagination in how we've pursued the public option.  While we are intellectually aware that the root of the opposition to this crucial reform (indeed, to any healthcare reform) has been the insurance industry - noting how they fund and fuel the deather phenomenon - I personally have not seen an emphasis on calls for protest marches on the headquarters of these companies.  And certainly nowhere near the level of sturm und drang directed at members of our own party.  We need outside-the-box ideas for how we can circumvent the insurance industry in obtaining healthcare so that we can boycott them, and we should directly, assertively engage the executives of these companies in a dialog to let them know our position and demand serious responses to our concerns.  More after the fold.

Now, you may be thinking, "Why not 'assertively engage' with our elected Democratic representatives to do their jobs and represent us?"  We should absolutely do that - everything we are doing on the protest / writing / phone-banking front is at least a rational response to the problem, even if some of the rhetoric can get a little silly or cannibalistic.  But while recognizing that it's all necessary, I would ask whether anything we're doing comes anywhere close to being a strategically Decisive Move?  

Liberals (and I am certainly one) have a lot of growing up to do as wielders of sovereign political power.  It is not a happy realization that we could potentially achieve better results by confronting insurance executives than talking to our elected officials - indeed, the realization carries with it a burdensome understanding about the current state of our politics, and in where we have allowed power to become concentrated.  

We regularly talk about how powerful corporations are, and yet we do not reflect that perception in how we approach countering them.  We do not fight them as if they were powerful, but as if they were little more than their deather fronts - as if they did not have a whole other level of power born of their lobbying resources.  Let me state this clearly: The deathers and media mouthpieces are totally irrelevant.  We love to focus on them because they're weak, and treating them as our key opponents enhances our egos and makes us less afraid.  Deathers are violent and determined, but self-destructive, and the media has been steadily devouring its own ability to influence America for over a decade.  It is not our objective to cleanse the nation of all evil or stupidity, so countering deathers and media hacks should not be our strongest focus.  

Furthermore, Democrats are not your enemies, even ones that are weak and seemingly "in bed" with the insurance companies.  Weak people corrupted to lobbyist influence get into power usually because their constituents are weak relative to those lobbies.  They are selected by the process as it is exists in reality, weeding out morally stronger candidates because such people tend not to understand how power works.  Weak leaders don't either, but they can sense and respond to power, and that makes them acceptable to it.

In addition, President Obama is your best friend in this fight.  He talks to everyone, seeks to address everyone's concerns, and attempts to encompass the logistics in such a way that resembles "triangulation" only about to the extent that calculus is addition (it is, but vastly more powerful).  Rahm Emanuel, Kathleen Sebelius, et al are some of our hydra heads - our upside-down version of "astroturfing" giving us weight among cynical insiders.  But they can't realistically overcome a hundred-billion-dollar industry lobbying group cynically allied with the Republican Party in the short-term, and liberal grassroots activism doesn't necessarily have a salutary effect on Blue Dogs...hence the stalemate to which we've been brought.  

We will definitely achieve universal healthcare: This President is neither a fool nor a liar, and he will not call a bill a success that he does not see as one.  But there are no guarantees about what that will exactly look like, how long it will take to pass, and how much we will have to give away on other fronts to make it happen.  Here on Daily Kos we have very specific ideas about what we want to see happen and when, and we have more than acknowledged that it isn't sufficient or fair to sit back and demand that President Obama do all the work for us.  But how effective we are at the activism we engage in (indeed, at anything anyone does, ever) depends on a certain level of strategic thinking.

So here is the key point: Compared to the time and effort we spend trying to shout down idiot deathers or be more impressive to weak officials than a billion-dollar lobbying blitz, we spend essentially no time directly confronting or subverting the insurance industry - the organizations directly responsible for it all, who both make reform necessary and go out of their way to thwart it.  This is a gargantuan, hugely powerful enemy, and you fight them by fighting them, not their puppets.  You make what they're doing more expensive, not allow them to make siding with the People expensive for our constitutional officers by whipping up deather mobs and terrorists against us.  

And make no mistake, it is this industry fueling that phenomenon, and recklessly contributing money extorted from us as patients to undermining our democracy and intimidating those We The People chose as lawmakers.  We did not elect the boards or the executives of these companies, we elected Congress, so if those boards are dictating terms to elected leaders, I guess we have no choice but to let our displeasure be known to those who have appointed themselves to set the rules for us.

Now, there are certainly more informed people than I on the exact details of this industry's operations, and I invite them to contribute any potentially useful information here.  But most of us already have regular contact with a health insurance company by necessity, so my guess is the majority have at least one company whose inhuman greed and perfidy we can personally attest to.  I invite your personal stories and any details of the companies responsible that you'd like to share.  

It would be additionally helpful to know specifically which insurance companies are responsible for the deathers and the pressure on our leadership, and which (if any) have behaved like citizens of the United States rather than vultures trying to feast on its flesh in a time of national weakness.  But in this case, lack of information does not necessarily hinder us, and actually gives us a useful fulcrum: Respond to all health insurance companies as part of the problem, and let them prove they're on board with the American people.  Let them prove the money they extort from us - that they steal by effectively threatening our lives with denial of care, which they do anyway as soon as we become inconvenient - is not being used to cement their privilege and fuel terrorist threats against Congress and the President.  

Remember, corporations are allowed to do business at the pleasure of The People alone: A corporation is not a citizen, no matter what a corrupt court said a century ago, and certainly has no right to be doing what the insurance industry is doing to our republic.  The people are the sole possessors of sovereign power in this nation, and the sole originators of all economic value, and the insurance industry (among many others) has forgotten that.  In fact, they do not believe it.  Perhaps it is time we sat down for a friendly chat and reminded them.  

Most have seen graphs like this for years, but stop to consider what they really mean in the context of soaring health insurance profits:

uswages

[Mid-diary Update: This chart, courtesy of Pluto and noted in Comments with another helpful one, expresses the point even better:

healthcarechart]

I don't know about you, but I never agreed to pay a tax to Cigna, or let AHIP dictate their own terms to the people I chose to make laws in this country.  I never elected the insurance industry to decide how much of my income they would like to strong-arm from me in exchange for allowing me to exist.  We have seen many great diaries showing how the real "Death Panels" occur in the offices of these companies, where the lives of American citizens are reduced to a formula whose outcome determines if you are worth keeping alive or more profitable dead.  Well, here's the story: It's not their decision, so we should stop letting them decide.  We decided when we elected Barack Obama President and gave Democrats a filibuster-proof majority, and they're interfering with that decision.  They are sabotaging the Constitution in order to keep robbing us - as if the ravings of their deather loons were a case of Freudian projection.

Everyone who has been so diligent in emailing, writing letters to Congress, sending faxes, phonebanking, showing up at town halls, etc. - keep doing what you're doing, insofar as you feel that it helps, but we need you to also start talking to the insurance companies.  Start figuring out ways to punish their profit margin immediately, and let them know that their myopic assaults on our democracy are trying our patience.  

Those in a position to do so and a whole lot of courage, consider cancelling your policies.  Those who laugh in the face of collections agencies, consider just no longer paying your premiums, but continuing to use your coverage as much as you need.  Those who work in the health insurance industry: If you're already on the cusp of changing careers, and already have things well-lined up, you might consider making up a story about how you're quitting in protest and sending a memo (or email, or letter, if you're not high enough to send memos) to everyone up the chain of command about it.  If not, don't feel bad about remaining at your job - you may still be in a position to help as time goes on.

Which brings me to this sub-point: Don't blame employees of these businesses beneath the executive level, even if they're the ones who implement their bosses' claims-denial policies on a daily basis.  Even if you believe they bear some level of moral responsibility for being hatchet-men, it would be a strategic mistake and waste of our energy to be giving such people a hard time.  It may, however, be useful to talk to anyone you personally know who works in such a capacity - some of them may be willing, if approached sensitively, to be heroic and flout the inhuman directives of their companies by refusing to deny valid claims.  And if some chose to go the full nine yards in approving all claims until they got fired, well, that's just too bad for 0.000001 cents of the share price, but damn good news for some lucky working families.

AHIP ("America's Health Insurance Plans" - love how patriotic that sounds, don't you?  LOL) helpfully provides a list of health insurance company websites, so in visiting and contacting them, remember: You are the owners of this country, and these corporate entities are legal fictions that we tolerate because they supposedly benefit our society.  This industry sure as hell isn't doing so, so respond appropriately to it - like you would to any guest in your house who had trashed the place and sold off your furniture.  

http://www.ahip.org/...

If we can't make Max Baucus et al to listen to us, perhaps we can convince their true bosses.  Or, at the very least, we can know that our efforts are directed against the real power behind the deather lunacy and official cowardice keeping the American people from having healthcare.  Fight them, because they're already fighting you, and using money they extorted from you to do it!

Note: If anyone has already addressed this here and I missed it, I certainly appreciate that, and am simply characterizing my own awareness of the situation (or lack thereof, as the case may be).

Originally posted to Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 01:04 AM PDT.

Poll

Take the fight to the insurance cos?

85%35 votes
9%4 votes
4%2 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

    by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 01:04:26 AM PDT

  •  Certainly, we need to make the SiCKOs the enemy (6+ / 0-)

    I agree that we need to concentrate our fire on the insurance companies.  But I'd point out that the White House is not with us on that point.

    This would have been an easier fight if Obama were comfortable with populist rhetoric.  But I think at this point it should be clear he isn't.

    Folks in the administration like Rahm Emanual want to make a deal, and they are not picky what's in the deal.  Any deal is a win for these people.

    I don't think that Rahm and Barack are on a different page here.  At best, they are putting up trial balloons to show the Blue Dogs that deep-sixing the public option will cause an insurrection on the Democratic left.  But I'm skeptical this is the case.  I think they really would be willing to make this deal.  And I don't think we have any reason to support them on this.  We should be raising hell, and we are raising hell about it.

    It's not our problem to make the President's job easier in this regard.  He can lean on us, or he can lean on the Blue Dogs.  If we put up enough of the fight, the Blue Dogs are going to have to support a bill with a public option, whether they want to or not.

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 01:12:15 AM PDT

    •  I don't really think my point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferallike, amk for obama

      was to talk about the President, although I mention him briefly.  My point was to talk about what we're doing against the insurance industry - the people who are thwarting, and making it advantageous for Blue Dogs to thwart, our agenda.

      "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

      by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 01:54:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Don't Even Know Where to Begin (1+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    ge0rge
    Hidden by:
    bythesea, Troubadour, amk for obama

    Are you paid to blog here?

  •  This Chart Might Work Beter (7+ / 0-)

    Of course, it just gets worse from 2006.

    •  And This Chart (5+ / 0-)

      ...speaks for itself.

      •  I hesitated to add any chart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        that didn't specifically reflect the health insurance industry in isolation.  

        "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

        by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 02:52:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I'm About to Give You One (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies, mochajava13, Troubadour

          ...But it's going to include a comment you may not like.

          It's really too late, by many years, to try to separate government from certain of our corporate overlords. The Financial Sector is one that has merged completely with the government. Insurance, of course, is the biggest player in that sector, which includes all the banks we bailed out.

          (Pharmaceuticals and the health care industry are in another sector altogether -- and they have no control over the government.)

          Thus, picketing Insurance companies will do about as much as picketing Goldman Sachs would. No one is going to "sit down" with them except for members of our kabuki government.

          We have a giant parasite that sits on top of all health care services in the nation and sucks out 30 cents on every dollar spent. The first priority of "reform" was to reduce per capita health care spending. Something's got to give. And it's not going to be the financial sector.

          •  I would say there is a massive difference (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, mochajava13

            in power between the Goldman Sachs set and the health insurance industry.  One's power is systemic, because the entire national economy has grown into and around the credit system they create like ivy up a trellis, while the other basically just runs a toll booth between the people and healthcare.

            We can come up with reasons why they're too powerful until the cows come home, but every moment we allow it they're still going to whip up violent deather mobs against our government.  

            They're still going to murder people, not just through the craziness inspired by their propaganda, but in the most banal of ways through their cutting off patients just as they need the coverage the most - the very times they tolerated the premiums in order to protect against.  

            Think of the complete and utter rage we've seen directed against Democrats for even appearing to imply that they were open to discussing something other than public option, and compare that to the lackadaisical response we give to the people who are actually killing us.  Who are actually creating the lunatic mass-psychosis phenomenon we're talking about before our very eyes.

            I don't think it really matters whether or not they take us seriously: One dollar they don't have is one dollar they can't put toward killing us, destroying our democracy, or spreading lies that we have to fight anyway.  The point can't be emphasized enough: They're the source of all the shit so many of us have diaried about, but so few are directly confronting.  The wingnuts and Republicans were in disarray until the health insurance industry decided to give them a purpose.

            "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

            by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:05:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To the First Part (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies

              The Financial Sector is a single machine. Insurers don't hold on to your premiums. They give them to Goldman Sachs to invest. They make money off of the 30 cents they suck out. And if their investments go bad, like AIGs insurance investments, we bail them out. Everybody in that sector is involved with your premiums.

              You can't withold money from them because there is no public option to run to. It's a matter of life or death -- and the odds are against the people.

              It really is too late. That sector tells the government what to do and is fully embedded in the treasury and Fed. The other sector that is seamlessly embedded is the defense sector. These two areas actually are the government, and that's something we have to accept if we decide to remain in the US.

              •  Explains why (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto

                our health care system is twice as expensive as that in the rest of the world, why wealth is taxed at ridiculously low top 15% rate, higher than many middle income wage earners, and the vast majority of wealth in the US is financial and most billionaires are located in the US. Also explains why FIRE devours 40+ percent of GDP while creating very little of value to the rest of the economy.

                Unless there is insurrection, we will not get what we need to change the system: a return to the progressive tax code of 1933 to 1980, taxing wealth at the same rate as wages, and reining in other excesses of the parasite financial sector.

                With the amount of power as evidenced by money in the insurance sector, forget about any healthcare reform involving these parasites that might actually benefit Americans below the 90th income percentile.

                "There's a bailout coming, but it's not for me, it's for all the creeps watching the ticker on TV"-Neil Young

                by NoMoreLies on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:57:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Pluto has Foot in Mouth Disease (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto

                Realistic outlook.  No argument here.  But you're fatalism is your flaw.  We don't have to accept acquiescence and that is Troubador's point.  We need a People's March on Washington and Wall Street and protests in front of every Insurance Co. building taller than ten stories.

                Troubador, great analogy!  By any and every means possible the toll booths must be removed and if the Tree of Liberty is to grow and mature, we the people will have to be the ones to trim that wretched ivy.

                I won't dispute your facts, Pluto.  They are spot on.  But attacking the insurance companies as part of a two-pronged attack will trim much from the sails of the financial sector.  That is, unless you have a problem with that.

                At the very least we should all continue to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

                •  No Doubt You're Right (0+ / 0-)

                  Certainly folks should try, but I lack the inspiration for a strategy that would work. Elections don't have a lot to do with anything. People can gather in the street, but that seems kinda pathetic. Romantic, though.

                  God speed, latter-day Revolutionaries.

    •  Ah, yes! That will indeed work better! Tanx! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, bythesea, Olon

      "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

      by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 02:43:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My question would be (3+ / 0-)

    at this point do we really have time left to make an impact with the insurance companies?  I believe if HCR isn't passed relatively soon after Congress is back from vacation, it won't be.

    Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

    by bythesea on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 02:50:23 AM PDT

  •  Class diarly. Smart and thoughtful. One tactic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, mochajava13, Troubadour

    I've always thought would be far more effective than attacking President Obama is simply to start disrupting congressional fundraisers. I mean, wouldn't it make sense for netroots to raise some online money to send a representative to a fundraiser, have that guy show up, and when he gets his chance for 20 minutes with the Senator, have that guy spring out a hidden camera and fuckin go to work on these guys. Exposing them. It makes for GREAT opposition footage. I'd pass it along to a Republican opponent just as a shot across the bow.

    They'll never know when we have a guy inside. Makes for great 10 o'clock news.

    "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

    by brooklynbadboy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 04:05:19 AM PDT

    •  One of the points I hope to make (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy

      is that our focus on the Blue Dogs is just playing along with the kabuki.  If we succeed in tarnishing them, their seats probably just end up Republican.  If we don't, they're enraged and even more bitterly opposed to anything we have to say.  Or we make them feel vulnerable, which in most cases just drives them further under the power of those who already control them, because their constituents are not progressive activists.

      If we are assertive with our leaders about what we want, but reserve our ire for those who are actually in our way - the health insurance industry - I believe we will be somewhat more effective.

      "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

      by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:16:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a really good idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      we need more muckrackers.  Our media is not doing its job.

  •  The system is set up to allow insurance (0+ / 0-)

    companies to exist, and act exactly as they are acting (in fact, an argument can be made that they are ethically compelled to do so . . . ).

    So I really don't get how they are the enemy.  The enemy is whoever allows to to continue to exist in their current format, without a substantial and meaningful option.

    Today, that means the Democrats . . .

    •  I cannot agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mochajava13

      However reasonable it seems at first, try to realize what you're saying: That the insurance industry that is disseminating propaganda that endangers our democracy and may resurrect McVeigh-level right-wing terrorism is not our enemy, but that Democrats who are too weak to stand against them are.  

      Try to realize how angry we tend to get around here at the deathers and the media propaganda, and then realize that it's being puppeteered by the people we're less angry with, and by comparison barely mention.

      BTW, how is a health insurance company "ethically compelled" to fraudulently deny claims in order to maximize profits?  To spend billions lying to people, lying to Congress, stoking fear and feeding on ignorance, effectively allying itself with racist militias and terrorist groups in order to protect profit margins that are bigger than ever while the country on which it feeds suffers?  I don't see where ethics come into that kind of behavior, unless their only ethical obligations are to shareholders.

      "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

      by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:25:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is fraud illegal? (0+ / 0-)

        If so, it's too bad that there's such a shortage of lawyers in this country that the health insurance companies are not taken to court and prosecuted.

        If not, then yes - they are simply doing what they are ethically obligated to do - maximize profits for their shareholders.

        Either way, I think that the status quo totally sucks, but the target of your ire is off base - the nature of a shark is to be a shark, and as much as that might piss you off, there is not really any way to change a shark from being a shark.  What you need to do is accept that and come up with an alternative - such as setting up a shark-free beach for those who don't want to take their chances in more troubled waters . .. (yeah, a bad comparison no doubt, but it *is* shark season on cable tv . . )

        •  They're taken to court constantly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies, mochajava13

          But it's one of those things about having everyone else's money on tap that they have the best lawyers money can buy, and drag things out as far as they possibly can.  That doesn't really help someone like Nataline Sarkisyan.

          Furthermore, I do not agree that the ethical obligations of a corporation exist in a vacuum.  They are human beings first, and if not that they should at least be willing to abide by the terms of the social contract that lets them exist as a corporation and serve the public interest.  

          And I don't blame a shark for being a shark, but if one starts attacking me I'm not going to ignore it and focus my attention on crushing the bottom-feeders that crawl out to exploit the situation.  

          "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

          by Troubadour on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:57:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, they mustn't be sued very (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies

            effectively . . . .

            But that's not the real issue here.

            The real issue is that the *system* - not the bit players - is rotten to the core.

            For example, imagine for a moment that there was a "good" health insurance company that accepted people with pre-existing conditions, didn't deny claims, etc etc . . . . I suspect that there would be no way that it would stay in business long (either its premiums would be too high to attact customers, or its payouts would be too high to maintain profitability (or to attract investors from the even-more-profitable companies)).

            Thus, the way the system is set up - specifically based on the premise that health care is a for profit venture - there is no way there is going to be a good outcome for the patient.  And that's not because the insurace companies are evil, the enemy, or whatever - it's simply because the system is completely untenable.  

            Once again, the enemy is whoever allows the system to stay in place as it is today . . .

    •  Martin Luther King, Jr. (0+ / 0-)

      would, if his spirit were still alive, have infused a moral component to the health care debate that Democrats have been reluctant to speak to.  Our moral standing as a nation is measured to a large degree in the way we treat the least among us.  Profiting from another's misery or death is immoral. It really is that simple.

      It is the greatest fear of the middle and upper classes that they might receive no better care than anyone else.  All the vileness and the desperate and angry cries heard in townhall meetings across the country spring from this fear.  It is also why liberals and progressives can't be relied upon to effectively organize and take the fight directly to the enemy.  Secretly, in spite of any remaining strands of social justice embedded in our DNA, many of us fear this outcome as well.

      I am reminded of something FDR once said in his First Inaugual address.   Obama would do well to rewind the tape.

      it should also be pointed out that without the pressure brought to bear on FDR by the Bonus Marchers and the farmers driving their tractors to Washington, there would have arguably been no New Deal or any other attempt to reform the economy to benefit the people.

      We need to mobilize now!

  •  lobbyists use RW radio as megaphone- protest, boy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    cott your local radio stations that have been doing the groundwork selling the myths and talking points the screamers use

    as long as the biggest monolithic soapbox in the country (1000 radio stations) can be used to launder insurance company propaganda through limbaugh and hannity and sons without any resistance (picketing the stations and boycotts of local sponsors) they're going to keep getting compromises and blue dog (red talk radio state) support

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 06:15:53 AM PDT

    •  Yes, that is true. (0+ / 0-)

      But as I recall a tae kwon do instructor once saying, you don't fight the weapon, you fight the bearer.

      •  the knife's already in, needs pulling out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        that weapon has already caused much damage to democracy. ignoring it is still the problem- it makes real democracy impossible.

        and the bearers are the radio stations that are licensed to operate in the public interest but instead operate like paul reveres in reverse

        ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

        by certainot on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 06:30:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Paul Reveres in reverse." Keep that one handy. (0+ / 0-)

          But I think what I'm saying is that the key both to continuing Democratic electoral success and American economic recovery is healthcare reform, and the main driving force behind the opposition to that - that is fueling the wingnut craziness, and providing them with propaganda - is the insurance industry.  They are recklessly courting violence against the American people just to stymie an effort at reform that would cost them profits.  

          Now, we could try to deal with that at the radio station level, and shove corks in a thousand diarrhea-spewing bungholes who would just get more attention out of the effort, or we could deal with the real engine that's driving both that phenomenon and the Republican Party at this point.  I agree there would be a lot more visceral satisfaction in confronting the blowhards whom we can directly hear lying about us, but isn't it more useful to have a strategy against the people who are funding and coordinating them?  Who are making our leaders waffle with slick lobbying campaigns?

          •  but it's the same with global warming denial (0+ / 0-)

            and every other major issue the last 20 years

            the talk radio monopoly with its coordinated uncontested repetition has been used to create a constituency lobbyists can count on to  intimidate and enable politicians and media on command. that's all limbaugh and hannity and sons have been doing for 20 years, laundering talking points.

            the left has been framing with rocks while the right has had a nail gun and a 10% minority has used talk radio to shift the perception of the political center to the right.

            health reform opposition may be organized and funded by the insurance companies but the screamer dittohead foot soldiers they can't do without to enable this idiotic media and these damned limbaugh dogs are pure talk radio product, educated in limbaugh kindergarten and never passing out of it.

            protests at the stations and boycotts of the local sponsors will focus communities on these paul reveres in reverse who helped lie us into iraq, gave us bush, and do regular global warming denial propaganda while local farmers can't figure out whether it's going to flood or drought, freeze or burn.

            it is the backbone of the GOP but it turned their party into crap by helping the likes of rove weed out the thinkers and moderates so the only ones left are flat earthers.  the left needs to recognize where all obama opposition gets its legs.

            the local right wing talk shows are the only place where the lobbyists can say what they want without some kind of challenge. and they have been saying it over and over and over since they beat the clintons on health care using those 1000 radio stations, lying to  crowd the size of the one that voted for obama. harry and louise were just putting a little visual icing in the talk radio lie turd pie.

            ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

            by certainot on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 04:51:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This really is silly (0+ / 0-)

    Furthermore, Democrats are not your enemies, even ones that are weak and seemingly "in bed" with the insurance companies.  Weak people corrupted to lobbyist influence get into power usually because their constituents are weak relative to those lobbies.

    Individual constitutents are weak FINANCIALLY relative to lobbies.
    THAT WILL ALWAYS be the case.
    Barack Obama himself could not figure out how
    to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from the
    poor communities he was organizing.
    The voters vs. the lobbies is ALWAYS going to be unfair.
    It is NOT like there is something the voters could do to "compete smarter".
    What actually has to be done is TO ELECT people who ALREADY KNOW what The Right Thing is and ALREADY KNOW that insurance companies are evil, that the whole concept of health insurance being a profit
    center is just immoral.

    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

    by ge0rge on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:44:18 AM PDT

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