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A couple days ago, I wrote a diary about a statement Senator Kerry made at a town hall in Massachussetts, where he suggested that Democrats in the Senate only pushed co-ops as a trojan horse to sneak through a public option; that diary shot to the rec list, but a comment by the original dkos diarist who had attended the town hall briefly brought things into question for a few minutes before it was clarified that this indeed WAS what he heard Kerry say, and a second kossack who attended the hall confirmed that account.

Unfortunately, in those few minutes of doubt between that question being raised and answered, a cascade of subsequent unrecommends swiftly knocked the diary off the rec list BEFORE any this was clarified, leaving a false and misleading impression with most of the community that I had misrepresented the original diarist's account of the town hall.  I post this now not just for my own reputation, as someone who has never been accused of reporting misinformation in over three years of posting here, but so that the facts here are known.

A crystal clear explanation below the fold...

The quote from the original diary about the town hall said that Senator Kerry:

told a wry story about the death of the co-ops--that the Republicans had lost their taste for them when they found out the Democrats had backdoored the public option into them.


This suggests that Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who have supported a co-op have only done so to sneak in a public option and still get Republican votes, which would be very encouraging news.    


Now, this is the comment by the original diarist in my diary that raised questions:

I don't think I said that Dems in general supported the public option, but after last night it is quite clear to me that Senator Kerry does.  Very passionately.

Is it on C-SPAN for a transcript?  Don't take my word for it.


Of course, I wasn't saying the diarist was saying Dems in general support the public option, I was saying that Kerry seemed to be suggesting as much according to the diarist's account.  However, I wanted there to be NO confusion - either my diary was right and I was leaving it up, or it was wrong and I was deleting, so I quickly got to the bottom of it with this response:

I wasn't saying that you were representing other Dems positions, but rather that what you quoted Kerry saying seemed to do so - and that's what I'd like you to clarify for me if you could:

When you said Kerry talked about Democrats supporting a co-op only doing so to get Republicans to vote for public option, Kerry did say that, correct?

Or was he saying something else altogether, and I just misread you?


The original diarist then replied that I was correct:

That was the meaning behind what he said.  He said that the Republicans were behind the co-ops until the Democrats changed the language, and then they complained that the co-ops were just like the public option and withdrew their support.


A second comment by that original diarist confirmed this further:

I'll try to remember the exact quote

He said the Dems changed the language so that the co-ops were in essence the same as the public option, and the Republicans didn't like that and changed their mind against the co-ops.


Additionally, in a reply to that comment, a second first-report from another kossack who was at the town hall also confirms this is what Kerry said:

Yeah, I agree that's the sense I got of it.

I was there last night too.


To which the original diarist replied:

If two people heard it, does it give it more weight?  I should hope so.



Clearly, this proves I DID NOT misrepresent the original diarist's words, as per the presumption that got my previous diary unrecced into oblivion.

Furthermore, we now have two first-hand accounts of the statement by Kerry from two unrelated kossacks who are respected community members and not trolls, which strongly suggests the reports are accurate.

Originally posted to ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)

    I don't usually ask this, but please rec this diary in lieu of tips to correct the widespread mistaken impressions of a couple days ago on this topic.

    Also, so my analysis is not taken out of context, I should include this portion from my diary a couple days ago to make my position abundantly clear:

    I remain skeptical about the Senate Finance Committee until they come up with a final bill, I still think they're the most frustrating and problematic committee involved in this process, and I especially don't trust the big insurance donations that make up a considerable share of these Senators' campaign contributions.  However, Kerry's statement throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the certainty of my conclusions, and offers a reason for a bit of hope in an area of this process in which, frankly, I thought there was very little.  Maybe the seemingly reluctant red-state Democratic Senators HAVE realized all along that they're absolutely cooked in 2010 if they have any part in killing the public option, no matter if they have as much money as Romney or Perot from getting insurance company donations, because money can't get you elected if everyone hates you.  

    I read Kerry's words again to see if I am reading into them too much, but I can find no other plausible explanation.  He reportedly spent much of that town hall meeting talking about his support for the public option and why it was a good idea, even though he did not draw a line in the sand for it, so it seems unlikely he would be trying to deceive public option supporters by saying this.  However, let say that he would - what logical purpose would this particular deception serve; if the finance committee lays a turd and is ultimately blamed later for the passage of a crappy bill, Kerry's statement here would do nothing to protect a Baucus or Conrad from the ire of the Democratic base.  Nothing.  The only other option: is it possible Kerry is being naive, and is assuming his fellow Democrats were using co-ops as a trojan horse for the public option when they weren't?  It just seems hard to believe that's plausible either, given his time in the Senate and knowledge of policy.

    We all have to redouble our efforts to push the Senate, the House, and the White House for a robust public option with the price-negotiating power of Medicare and NO triggers, and I will only believe the good intentions of any Democrat in Congress when I see their results, but I thought this glimmer of hope from the unlikeliest places would be a nice bit of encouragement as we go.

    77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

    by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:58:10 AM PDT

    •  And the sky is blue. Call me when kent Conrad or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      icebergslim, soms

      Max baucus come out in support of the PO.

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soms, AuroraDawn

        But it's certainly more encouraging news than if Kerry had said "some of my Democratic colleagues genuinely believe co-ops are the way to go".

        You have to be able to accept good news when it comes in small doses in life.

        That's generally the standard dosage, if any, after all.  

        77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

        by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:04:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And some wonder why Bondad went GBCW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShadowSD

      is it me, or do people here distrust good news and embrace bad news?

      I for one do try to diary a bit of both, but I have noticed that my outrage diaries always do better than my good news diaries.

      Tipped and Rec'd. I for one rremain optimistic, I keep the hope, and will continue to do so even after all hope is gone and night has come.

      To do otherwise is to admit defeat, and I will NOT admit defeat until long after I have been defeated.

      Cheers, brother. Your one of my favorites here lately. Keep up the good fight.

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

        Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

        Good advice for life, for politics, for just about anything difficult - because you need the will to keep pushing that boulder up that hill.

        77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

        by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:57:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  its time to ask (0+ / 0-)

    is Obama the one that has and is preventing a public option all along??

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:00:03 AM PDT

    •  That is why 4 out of 5 committee bills have a PO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soms

      in it. Some lefties on this site are just as dumb as the teabaggers. It is quite interesting to see.

      •  that is why the people have thrown Obama over (0+ / 0-)

        everyone is dumb but you?

        wheres the line in the sand?

        some lefties are as dumb as a teabag.

        "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

        by JadeZ on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:04:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oschemi is right about Obama - see my response (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soms, AuroraDawn

          below, but that does not justify oschemi insulting you.

          However, insulting him in return doesn't help matters either.

          Civil discourse everyone, please.

          77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

          by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:09:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can you dissect the polls? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ShadowSD, fl1972

          I think you should.
          Obama's support has fallen among the moderates and independents, not dems much to your contrition I am sure.
          And Pollster.com included the crappy Rasmussen republican polls, hence the fall it shows.

    •  No, it isn't (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sharman, soms, AuroraDawn, smileyman

      Obama is the least compromised of everyone in DC because he has a small donor network to get him re-elected if he passes a PO, and would not need need big business donations to survive.  Most members of the House and Senate DO need those donations - they have no alternative mass sources of revenue to get re-elected.

      The Senate Finance Committee is the least trustworthy committee of any in either house of Congress at this point.  If it turns out Kerry is telling the truth and they are on our side, then that means the situation is considerably better than we have assessed.  I'll believe it when I see it, but it is a bit of encouraging news.

      77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

      by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:07:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, Obama is the one who killed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soms, fl1972

      Jonbenet Ramsay.

  •  Tell me (0+ / 0-)

    when was the last time the Democrats got a good deal for us after a "sooper sekirt sneeky plan"?

    Cmon. Tell me.

    Member, The Angry Left

    by nosleep4u on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:52:17 AM PDT

    •  There's a first time for everything.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShadowSD, soms

      Personally, I hope Kerry is right, and the support for this in the Senate is stronger than we think. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I'll keep making phonecalls.

      Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us ~ Dan Quayle

      by AuroraDawn on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:03:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's not the issue (0+ / 0-)

      The sneaky plan failed.

      The point is the motivations the effort revealed.

      77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

      by ShadowSD on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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