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I am fortunate enough to possess what I consider a really great marriage.  Part of what makes it great, I think, is the fact that Mr. RenaRF is a perfect counter-balance to my weaknesses (which are numerous).

I want to tell you a story.  And then I want to relate it back to what's going on today, here at Daily Kos.

More over the fold.

Story Time

2004 & 2005 were tough for me professionally.  I had been recruited out of a job into a new job with a small company.  I and a colleague were hired to essentially start up a very specific, new practice within this small company.  The compensation and benefits were great.  But more attractive than that was the opportunity to build something, and run that something once built.  I started the new job in April/May of 2004.

I won't go into all the details because they are not relevant and would consume too much space.  But suffice it to say - I fell victim within this company to its over-estimation of the market it was trying to penetrate as well as to a devious, backstabbing, politically cut-throat colleague (the other guy who was hired along with me to build this practice).  On a cold day in early January, HR called me and indicated that they were going to let me go, a scant 7 months after starting the job.

The situation was totally unfair.  It rescinded, essentially, every promise and assurance I was given when I left my previous job for the new one.  The circumstances of my professional demise within this company were bullshit as well.  I had grievances, no doubt - and they were all fact-based.  But facts don't always rule the day, as all of us know personally, politically & professionally.

What ensued, for me, was a period of near meltdown.  First, I'd never been let go from a job before.  Second, I totally didn't see it coming, and I had ABSOLUTELY no plans for employment down the road - which creates its own problem, because at my level it takes months to secure employment.  Ironically, this is when I started blogging the most (if you care, you can go back and see how active I was from January to June 2005).  I mean - I had a lot of time on my hands.  

During this time, my husband would come home to find a pretty depressed me on the couch.  When he'd try to talk to me about what might be in the running from an employment perspective (like most of us, I don't have the luxury, financially, of not being employed), I would snap at him.  I was always inevitably drawn back to endless recounting of how I had been shit on in my previous job.  I would cry a lot during this period (you'll have to take my word on this - I am NOT a cryer).  I was really stuck, mentally and emotionally, on the bad experience of the previous employer and the unfairness of it all.  It was affecting everything I should have been doing to rectify the problem.  In short, I was a mess.

Mr. RenaRF mollified me for a while.  But there came a time that he simply looked me in the eye when I was on one of my many crying jags, bemoaning the circumstances, and said the following:

"Get a grip."

Oooooh was I pissed off.  Get a grip?  Get a fucking grip??  Wasn't he supposed to be on my side, helping me?  Didn't he understand that I had been utterly fucked over?  We had a BIG argument after that sentence.  We don't argue much, and both of us are lay-it-on-the-table types of people.  We retreated to our neutral corners until we had both calmed down, and then I went to him to talk about it more calmly.  What he told me was that he acknowledged that I had been fucked over.  He professed his deep desire to seriously fuck up the people that had done this to me.  He placed their names indelibly on his "shit list" for time imemorial (he holds a grudge).  But he also patiently explained that focusing on that whole situation was actually causing me to hurt myself more.  I NEED to work for more than just income - it's a part of who I am, and it's a big part of how I define my self-worth (that's just how I'm put together).  By endlessly cycling through emotional states that caused me to prevent myself from moving forward, I was actually accentuating and deepening my own personal downward spiral.

My husband said:

"You're RenaRF.  Anyone would want to have you work for them. You're the single most intelligent, motivated person I've ever met, and you just need to remember that, get your ass up off the couch, and go find the next thing that's going to help you be happy."

He was right.  It's so simplistic to say that I was mired in, basically, self-pity - but that IS what it boils down to.  The end result was that I was stuck on something I couldn't change, and was furthermore making things worse for myself by being stuck.  Mr. RenaRF told me the hard truth and called me out on my own contribution to my own unhappiness and set things on the right path.  I'm so grateful for that level of partnership.

Today's Observation

I'm genuinely distressed by the tone and content of a lot of what I'm seeing around Daily Kos lately.  It bothers me on multiple levels.


The first thing I'm seeing is a host of contradictions from well-established community members for whom I have a great deal of respect.  There was a cadre - small but powerful - of early alarm-bell ringers.  I'd say this was most prevalent over the summer and into the early fall as the whole Teabagger thing started consuming mainstream news cycles.  Those bell-ringers lamented Obama's lack of control/involvement/power-assertion/arm-twisting of, specifically, the Senate as the healthcare reform issue came fully to a head.  "He's not doing enough to MAKE them listen", they said.  "He's being so naive and letting the Senate run all over him and we're going to get shit in return."

Now - I may personally agree with that assessment, but that's not why I'm highlighting it.  In other words, I haven't brought it up to debate whether or not he did or didn't do enough in the early stages to reign in Senate Democrats, and particularly the more moderate Senate Democrats.  I bring it up to serve as a contrast to a criticism I'm increasingly seeing over the past few days.

These have occurred in a host of recommended, Obama sucks diaries yesterday, as well as in a few front page posts.  The idea is generally this - Obama has been the Puppet Master, pulling the strings of Congressional Democrats all along and that the bill that is about to come out of the Senate is EXACTLY what Obama wanted all along.  The reason why the bill is coming out as it is is because Obama always wanted it, and Senate Democrats fell to their knees in awe of his power and got in line behind his always-present agenda to have the bill look exactly as it appears it is going to look.  Many references to Rahm Emmanuel are made in these puppet-master posts - the power behind the throne - followed or preceded by choice expletives.

So... Obama went from an ineffectual failed leader who couldn't get his own party in line within the Senate in August and December, a President who was quintessentially too UNinvolved to a mastermind hell bent on a shitty bill who magically forced key Senate Democrats to bend to his will.  Quite a 180 there.


A lot of the criticsm also focuses around the idea that Obama is bought and paid for, that he lied to us all and personally misled us throughout the campaign and is now blithely and cruelly turning his back on us.


Let me just say - the fact of money in politics is exactly that: a fact.  I personally think it's the single biggest impediment to good government FOR the people regardless of which party we're discussing.  There are virtually ZERO examples of a weakly-funded candidate defeating a well-funded candidate.  Ultimately, folks, the responsibility for that construct lies with the American people.  Because money isn't factored out of political campaigns and because we don't elect people who have no money and therefore no media exposure, we reinforce the necessity of money to get elected.  I've often wondered if I would ever want to take a stab at local elected politics.  I think I'm well-spoken and my ideas and priorites are defensible with the facts.  But I would never seriously consider it because I know in my heart that it would break me.  I'm not strong enough - my spirit and optimism would fall victim to the realities of electoral politics.  

I believe generally that the vast majority of elected officials get into politics because they want to implement change that favors their particular ideological point of view.  I believe further that the vast majority who succeed (e.g., win) recognize and personally revile the corruptible holes in the system - but at the same time, they believe further that the only way to change the system is to first be WITHIN the system.  So you take a newly-elected person who had to raise and spend money to become elected in the first place and, slowly, their principles become partially eroded in practice because of the strong belief that they can do more good within than without.  It's a mental, emotional compromise and probably occurs slowly, but it does occur.

I don't highlight that as an excuse - I highlight is as a reality that arises out of the way things are TODAY.

So do I believe that Obama has capitulated to a certain degree to Corporate interests?  Yes I do.  But I do NOT believe that these capitulations were made solely on the basis of some secret, inexplicable and evil plot on his or anyone else's behalf.  Take the health insurance companies as an example.  Yes, they're evil.  Yes, they're profit-driven and will remain so - THAT is the system within which THEY operate.  Do I embrace and/or agree with this profit-driven, short-term focus?  Of course not.  But the sheer amount of systemic and regulatory change that's going to have to occur to slowly change that construct can't be underestimated.

Consider this: the ONLY sector of the economy that is growing appreciably is the healthcare industry.  The growth rate in healthcare jobs from 2008-2018 is expected to be 22.5%.  Contrast that with the hotel segement of the service economy, which is expected to grow at only 5% over the same period.  I'm not happy with what I'm about to say here, but the employment impact of any healthcare reform proposal must be considered.  Because the insurance, pharamceutical and delivery sides of healthcare are intricately intertwined, any changes to any of the elements must be weighed.  

I don't have the skills to do a full-scale analysis - but when an industry (healthcare) is responsible for 1/6th of the US economy AND unemployment in the US has reached double-digits AND "The economy and jobs OVERWHELMINGLY tops the list of priorities as articulated by the American people writ large, well - you have to consider the impact of any changes to healthcare from an economic and employment perspective.  I'm actually pretty surprised that some of the brighter economic  minds here at Daily Kos haven't explained and made that point (sorry if they have and I've missed it).

Now - I DO understand that meaningful healthcare reform is not only the right thing to do completely outside of economic considerations, and I further understand that, over the long term, meaningful healthcare reform is also economically beneficial.  I've always considered it a wise national investment that has the bonus of also being the right thing to do.  But come back to one of my original assertions in this section - that a belief exists that change can only be made within the system as it exists today.  Given this, I think there's a strong point of debate that has probably occurred about how much change can be implemented that:

a) doesn't cause unemployment to rise;
b) doesn't affect the employment growth rate in the healthcare sector;
c) doesn't cause the overall economic outlook to worsen; and
d) doesn't adversely affect an individual politician's ability to remain within the system (e.g., be re-elected) in order to further change.

I'm not saying you have to like it.  I'm not even saying that it's going on - I don't know.  But I am saying that it is a viable, alternate consideration to the growing "Corporate Sellout" meme.  We are a community who decried - for 8 years - a lack of willingness to "nuance" when it comes to complex issues and complex decisions, and further reviled all of the snap judgments and proclamations we felt the right was making.  I find it amazing that we ourselves now ignore nuance as our consternation and frustration magnifies, and jump immediately to the worst possible conclusions in absence of the consideration of nuance.

Reality-based community

I think that, generally, we ARE a reality-based community. We believe in science and facts and documents and evidence.  All of our core beliefs (generally) support a climate that runs on facts and evidence.

Yet we are remarkably resistant to facts when they don't work out the way we wanted to.

I'm not suggesting that we keep our mouths shut or fail to highlight failures on anyone's part when we see them occurring.  But at some point, we're going to have to face the FACT that we are going to get a healthcare bill that is substantially less than what we think it should be.  I understand the cries for reconciliation and I say - keep shouting until reconciliation isn't an option.  I understand the reasoning behind those who say we should scrap this bill and start over (although I don't necessarily agree with that assessment) and I say - keep shouting until it's obvious that what you demand isn't going to happen.

But the endless carping and conspiratorial speculation MUST END at some point.  For one, I don't think anyone here has a basis in fact for those more extreme opinions that are surfacing with alarming regularity.  For another, you'll be doing to yourselves what I did to myself in my opening story - working against your own best interests and convictions in the long run.

There simply has to be a point where - IF it becomes obvious (and I personally believe it's already obvious) that some form of the current Senate bill is going to pass - we collectively shift our attention and accept as fact that our foundational, baseline bill is not what we want and then focus our considerable talent on how to improve it incrementally moving forward.  Since it's not what the majority of the progressive community wants right now AND it's apparent that some version of "not good" is going to pass, we do ourselves - individually and collectively - NO FAVORS whatsoever by being stuck on the unfairness of what is and ruminations on what could have been while the state of healthcare remains in that "not good" place.

We. Are. Reality. Based. People.  We must remember that and ensure that we aren't only reality-based when it suits us.

Democrats & Elections

Those of you who say that you're not going to support Democrats going forward over this, that you've had enough and are basically going to disengage - well... I can't say what came to my mind right there for fear of hijacking my own diary, so let me say this: My memory isn't so short of what a theocratic-controlled Congress looks and feels like (let alone functions like) that I have ANY desire to return there so quickly.  The memory of the anti-choice people, the "intelligent design" people, the right to life people, the young earth people, the science deniers, the drill-baby-drillers, the "bring it on-ers", the torturers, the war starters, the tax cutters, the equal pay deniers, the "let the unemployed fend for themselves-ers", the "mental recessionists", the "healthcare is fine-ers" - the list is too long to continue - is fresh in MY mind.  Have you forgotten?

Am I suggesting that you NOT challenge "bad" Democrats where you're able?  No.  I'm not.  But if there's no viable alternative to a particular odious Democrat outside of an even more odious Republican, well, reality sucks sometimes.  And sometimes - even though it's nauseating - there IS a necessity to choose the substantially lesser of two evils.

I'll ask this one question, while knowing absolutely that it's unanswerable - yet it's still powerfully worthy of consideration: What if we had passed this exact same bill in 1992 or 1993? What if we had put into place a foundation - however flawed - on which we had built incrementally for the past 16 or 17 years?  What might healthcare look like today??  I defy anyone to tell me that it would look worse today, and probably even to tell me that it would look the same today as it does right now.

And this is why I opened this section with a big "fuck you" - IF we are truly reality-based even when it doesn't suit us and IF we accept the fact that the current bill is likely to become the legislative foundation on which we build, can any of us realistically see ANY incremental progress under a Republican-controlled Congress?  The answer to that should be obvious to everyone.

And let's face it - for whatever reason - mismangement, bad blue-dog Democrats, poor messaging, WHATEVER - the rest of the American public isn't very jazzed about the healthcare reform proposals that were on the table as recently as two weeks ago, nor do they consider healthcare reform their own top priority. I know and you know that the collective is being VERY short-sighted, and that healthcare reform SHOULD be a top priority that will have a profound effect on every American in the very near future.  But they aren't seeing it that way right now.  And the kicker is that support of a public option seems to be eroding (although not impoloding) as well.

Finally, an ending to this diary.

If you are sitting there thinking any of the following:

  1. That I am telling you NOT to be pissed off.
  1. That I am telling you to STFU.
  1. That I am telling you to smile while you swallow a bitter pill and not complain.
  1. That I am telling you that I am smarter than you are.
  1. That I am telling you you should always blindly follow whichever Democrat is on the ticket.

Then I have either communicated poorly, or you haven't read carefully, or you may be a little over-amped around the entire subject or some combination of any or all of those.

What I am trying to do is take a longer view while still honoring my own principles and convictions while ALSO simultaneously trying to remain reality-based.

The constant conspiracy-theorizing and declaring Obama a bad leader and all of the "gee the right wing is happy we're doing their job for them" nonsense that's been flying around here lately is going to ultimately have the effect of YOU - yes, you - hurting yourself in the long run, albeit with the best of intentions.

So I say to you:

"Get a grip."

You've been wronged, I know.  You have a right to feel sorry for yourself.  But it won't and can't get any better, EVER, with the path you are currently on.

"But YOU are the Netroots.  You played an integral part in moving the ball forward, though it may not feel that way right now.  You tell it like it is.  You learn and investigate.  You are a force to be reckoned with, now and into the future."

We can still focus on and foment meaningful change.  We can put one foot in front of the other - we can regret and try to make adjustments to account for the fact that we can't seem to quite leap forward just yet and try to fix that, but we are and always will be an integral part in the driving engine of change.  The only way that doesn't happen is if we continue to get in our own way.

Originally posted to RenaRF's Random Ramblings on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:42 AM PST.

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  •  Whoop - forgot to override the auto TJ. (60+ / 0-)

    Look.  We have ALWAYS been quick to call out false dichotomies by the right, this absolutism that says things like "either you love babies or you're pro choice."  Well, it's not either/or.  Nor is this situation.  It's not "either he passes healthcare reform with a public option or he's a Corporate sellout".  At least the right always applied the false dichotomies to us and not to themselves.  

    •  No Mandates - Pass The Bill (7+ / 0-)

      However as soon as the mandates are removed the insurance companies will suddenly decide to kill the bill, do either way it needs to die.

      I'm putting one foot in front of the other, just my feet are not following somebody who tries to lead me the wrong way.

      I've read you for years but supporting sellouts is not my bag.


      •  I don't think I said (22+ / 0-)

        anywhere in there that I support one thing over another.

        I support what gets things to where they need to be with the caveat being that I'll face reality - even if I hate it - if it serves the purpose of getting things to where they need to be.

        •  Getting things done. (8+ / 0-)

          I believe in moving ahead, I believe that progress is almost always incremental, and I believe that we will not be satisfied in this bill. The other thing that I believe is that the only way we will be heard is if we yell really loud.

          President Snow yelled (in a quiet, reserved way) and she was invited to the White House.

          President Big Pharma and Big Insurance didn't even have to yell, they were given a pacifier before they even finished digesting the country.

          Presidents Nelson, Lincoln, and Lieberman all yelled and were invited to tea.

          We, the ones who volunteered, called, cajoled, donated, and worked to make this administration possible are ignored.

          We have whittled away at our Hope. We accepted every cut and went out and sold it, we cheerleaded and for what? We aren't allowed in the door.

          The optics are horrible, we look like the weakest link. We are the weakest link unless we strengthen our spines and stand up and howl.

          I've been told to shut up and quit whining a lot lately, but I am worried. The people are like a wounded animal and see no nuance. We will be screwed is we don't start at least looking like we are stronger than the minority party.

          I'm tired of being told to shut up. Rena, I know that is not what you are doing, but I'm making the case for us to make our case. If Lieberman can hold his breath and get his way, why can't we?

          "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

          by high uintas on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:45:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think I would agree (1+ / 0-)
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            high uintas

            generally.  We should ALWAYS stand up and stand straight and push for the change we believe in.  

            My concern is that I believe we have been holding our breath without a single appreciable improvement - in fact, we've seen a decline in the rumored Senate version of the bill.  Looking through the priorities section and healthcare section of polling (linked in the diary) made me more concerned.  While we are very engaged on this issue on the progressive, willingly-activist left, the ROA (Rest Of America) seems to be much more lackadaisical and - if we're lucky - just downright ambivalent.  Public option as a standalone preference question is losing support.  Healthcare is listed is a very distant second behind the economy and jobs on national priority polls.

            So the thing I hope we do is start preparing for the next fight - a post-passage fight - where we can be effective and correct for the mistakes made during this iteration.

            Does that make sense?

            •  It makes sense, however (0+ / 0-)

              I see our (as in the progressives) reaction differently. I posted down thread that I don't think I have had a split in my political soul as stark as this one.

              I understand what you are saying about the ROA, I agree with your view of them. But I disagree with your view of our reaction. We have been coaxed over and over to accept whatever is tossed at us, and we have until now.

              We got angry over the unilateral "off the table" of single payer by accepting the PO. We raised our voices and then hushed them again when the PO was removed and replaced with Medicare. Medicare? Dust in the wind again.

              Now we are faced with a bill that has no leverage on the ins. companies, mandates, and the prospect of really really pissing off the ROA with increased costs and taxes. I don't think we pushed back as hard as we could have earlier in the process and now see this as our only line in the sand.

              I think that maybe our howling will land on someone's ear, maybe we can convince them to improve the bill or adopt more of the House's language in conference. I want our voices to be the loudest ones in these final stages of the debate.

              "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

              by high uintas on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:33:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Did Not Say You Did (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I take full personal responsibility for supporting 'Kill The Bill' now.

          Obama's 'political team' has decided to throw us to the insurance company wolves, so I feel no compunction about throwing the bill to the wolves.

          Let the Teabaggers and Stupakers kill the bill for us.


    •  Excellent point and excellent diary. (14+ / 0-)

      I was especially taken by "have you forgotten?".  

      "Not the truth in whose possession any man is, or thinks he is, but the honest effort he has made to find out the truth, is what consitutes the worth of man."

      by Lying eyes on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:41:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I need to call out a false dichotomy of yours (9+ / 0-)

      I have tipped and rec'd this diary, as you have eloquently described what we need to do going forward, in terms of not feeling sorry for ourselves.  As your husband said to you, we need to "get a grip", and remember that, in the words of Frederick Douglass If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

      On the other hand, I believe that it is a false dichotomy to raise economic fears over the prospect of slower job growth in the healthcare industry.  I say that because the logic you are espousing is the same logic which leads defense companies to put plants all over the country, in order to increase their political leverage.  The state of health care in this country is an abomination, which causes far more economic damgage than whether the industry will grow at a slower pace.

      Let me attack your argument on two levels.

      Consumer spending makes up more than 2/3 of our GDP.  Now, that's an historically high percentage, and will come down slightly.  But the fact remains that the engine of the American economy is the American consumer.  Imagine if each family, due to lowered costs associated with real health care reform, had another $2500/year to spend.  (I didn't pull that number out of a hat; that was the number candidate Obama was using during the primary season.)  What do you think that might do for consumer spending?  

      Let's look at another part of your worry, that heathcare employment growth will might sink precipitously.  The issue I have with that argument is demographic.  The Baby Boomers are getting old.  That's been one of the prime reasons that conservatives used to justify all kinds of nonsense related to Social Security, etc. (false dichotomy).  The reason they used it was that it's true.  The largest generation in over a century is getting old.  That generation will need increased health care.  So that factor will keep health care employment strong for quite a while.

      RenaRF, I have read your diaries over the years, and have always gotten a lot from what you've written.  But in the particular instance of that one argument you've raised, I must reject your point of contention as a false dichotomy.

      Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

      by aravir on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:54:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a very good comment. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, aravir

        The original poster's comments on the labor market impacts of HCR were off-base. There are two main ways to reduce health care employment: reduce demand (primarily a demographic variable) or increase the use of technology in ways that bring down the number of jobs required to perform needed tasks. Notice that demand is not driven very much by payment issues such as insured vs. uninsured. It is primarily driven by demography. That is the reason why health care employment is projected to be one of the two highest employment sectors in the US for the foreseeable future. The demand for health care employment will shift on the margins but will remain high regardless of what happens with health care reform.

        When I perceive the fight to be rigged, I don't wanna grow up. The Ramones

        by tgrshark13 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:41:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I accept your criticsm. (0+ / 0-)

        There's a lot of talk in the comments about that portion of the diary in particular.  This was an error on my part - I only included it to provide a potential alternate reason why the President might be leaning the direction he appears to be leaning as a counter to the wild speculation that he's a Corporate sellout who wanted this particular version of the bill all along in some secret hate-agenda.  The latter is often offered as the ONLY explanation for reports that Obama supports this particular rumored version of the bill.  So I provided my off-the-cuff alternative without thinking fully about it.

        DrWolfy and i have an interesting discussion going on related to what you wrote as well, about the increase in PDI for consumers that they will turn around and spend, thereby potentially spurring employment as companies ramp up to meet increased demand, if you're interested.  And I appreciate your correction of my argument in your comment.  :)

  •  Great stuff as always (34+ / 0-)

    The real question here isn't how we get upset about what has happened, but how we move forward.

    Personally I hope this entire episode has shown us that the only people who will produce the changes this country needs are us - the Congress won't do it, and Obama won't do it. Both can be bent to our will, but the impetus and initiative must come from us.

    This week should serve as a wakeup call, as your experience of being laid of apparently did for you. And the message is the same: the power is OURS. We cannot and should not let anyone else tell us we are weaker than we really are, dumber than we really are, worth less than we really are. Doesn't matter whether that person is an HR rep or the White House.

    The lesson is also the same: true power, growth, and change comes from us trusting our ability to do the right thing, to do it ourselves.

    We thought we could take shortcuts to change. We thought if we just elected the right guy as president, we'd have change. This week we learned that's not true, that's not how it works.

    So we learn from what has happened, and find our inner strength to go out there and make change happen on our own. Obama can join us or he can get out of our way.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:47:53 AM PST

  •  disagree (10+ / 0-)

    but we are and always will be an integral part in the driving engine of change.  

     what people are simply seeing is that your above quote simply isnt true.

    And with the upcoming SCOTUS vote that give corporate entities unlimited voice ( ie can just litter and paper and spin the airwaves with propaganda concerning every issue) individuals simply dont matter much in this republic anymore.

    (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

    by dark daze on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:49:48 AM PST

  •  Yes, but this isn't new. (7+ / 0-)

    We have been told Obama would do the right thing for months now, and that was only after a two year campaign.

    This pattern of abuse has gone on long enough.

  •  honestly, RenaRF (27+ / 0-)

    I think the rage that people are feeling has very little to do with the policy in the bill (although that's what they're basing their arguments on). It has to do with that way they were treated by Obama and Emanuel.

    If they had honestly fought for the public option or Medicare buy-in, and failed, then I think people would still be upset, but certainly not this livid. They point is that, when push came to shove, they didn't come down on the side of the 40-50 senators that wanted those things - they came down on Joe Lieberman's side.

    And that's what's really troubling here. What's to think that they won't keep coming down on his side? I've heard some people say pass what we've got now, and then we'll get a p.o. through reconciliation next year. But what indication is there that they will feel the need to make any sort of progress like that?

    "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin

    by CaptUnderpants on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:51:29 AM PST

    •  I appreciate your honesty. (28+ / 0-)

      I FEEL that frustration also.  It's always been about "more and better", right?  Not just "more".  But I find it troubling that a little bit of better is discarded as failure because it's not the BIG BETTER we all thought we could count on.

      There are a myriad of reasons why Obama et al could have gone the direction they are going.  Respectfully (and I mean this), the idea of "that way they were treated by Obama and Emanuel" is falsely ego-centric, as though something is willfully being perpetrated against you (or someone) for some specific reason.

      I can personally see the other reasons why we will likely have a non-optimal starting point for reform, and there IS a rationale for those reasons (even if I diagree with them or otherwise think that bold action is worth the risks) that doesn't include somehow slighting or spiting a specific group of people.

      Does that make sense?  It's how personally this is being taken - to the utter obfuscation of any of a host of other explanations, even if those explanations are bad ones - that disturbs me.

      •  it makes sense (10+ / 0-)

        And yeah, I understand that the dialogue has gone down to a personal level. But really, can you blame them? This isn't just any issue - this is THE issue for so many folks on here and other activists.

        People here worked their asses off (myself included) to elect this man. When he said "yes, we can," some of them actually believed it. They've spent the last six months calling their congresspeople, facing down screaming lunatics at town halls, and generally working their asses off again for a good bill. Not a perfect bill, but a good one. And then we saw, in the space of a day or two, all of those people they thought were on their side with the public option completely cave. All of their hard work was for naught.

        And you can say it's 11-dimensional chess, and that they really have our best interests at heart and they are just going about it a different way. There's no way to prove that wrong. But at some point, the preponderance of evidence just adds up, and makes it impossible to come to a different conclusion then they don't care. Obama's deal with PhRMA. Emanuel telling Reid to "give Joe what he wants", or words to that effect. The fact that he hasn't once advocated in public for the public option (at least not since the campaign, anyway). The way they've lashed out at Dean over the last 24 hours. It's all just confirmed their worst fears.

        I know there's some good in this bill, and I think this will be a better deal than many others around here think. But there's an awful lot of bad here too, with the lack of a p.o. being just the beginning of the list. And I see no effort being made to address these gaping loopholes that make this a gift to the insurance companies. Maybe they'll address this stuff in conference, which would be a pleasant surprise. And maybe they'll address it next year. But I'm not holding my breath, and I can't condemn people who refuse to get a grip right now.

        "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin

        by CaptUnderpants on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:21:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's both. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am furious that I will be forced to buy rip-off health insurance that I can't afford.  I am also furious about Obama selling me out, tearing down Howard Dean, and defending Lieberman (among other things).  Although it is hard to weigh those two offenses against each other, I can assure you that they both matter a lot.

    •  hmm (6+ / 0-)

      I think the rage that people are feeling has very little to do with the policy in the bill (although that's what they're basing their arguments on). It has to do with that way they were treated by Obama and Emanuel

      So in other words, they are all acting like Joe Lieberman, eh?

  •  I hope this diary says that most people (8+ / 0-)

    here are like people whining on a couch all day and they should get off their asses and only come back here when they have something to tell us about how they helped out.

    I suppose I could finish reading it, huh?

  •  As someone posted last night... (26+ / 0-)

    was it over when the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor?

    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

    by mem from somerville on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:53:29 AM PST

  •  You're being ridiculous (9+ / 0-)

    a very effective strategy to get someone to stop taking advantage of you is to leave. Of course it's going to screw up the bozos doing the abusing, that's why it's effective.

  •  The only thing I really disagree with here is... (6+ / 0-)

    bad blue-dog Democrats

    Are there any good ones? LOL

    (and the mandates and taxes need to go away)

    At least Obama hasn't sold us out to the theocrats... yet.

    by The Dead Man on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:58:07 AM PST

  •  Disagree (8+ / 0-)

    This bill would've been appallingly bad in 1993, same as it is now.  It would have been no foundation at all.  Mandates with no real attempts to control costs?  No way to know for sure, of course, but odds are good Clinton would've been launched from office in 1996.

    Yes, reality is that this abortion of a bill is going to pass.  Yes, reality is that money controls politics.  As near as I can see, you want us to basically accept it and work within the paradigm?  Instead of that, let's work to change the paradigm.

    Can you honestly look at the behavior of Congress and the President and tell me that they'll look at whatever passes as a mere foundation to do something better with later?  Nope, they'll dust off their hands and say "Well, that's taken care of" and then move on to the next matter to fuck up and we're screwed for another 60 or 70 years.

    The present was a once-in-several-generations chance to do something meaningful and I'm watching Obama and Congressional Democrats piss it away.  That's also a reality and it enrages me.

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:59:51 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much for this diary, Rena. (23+ / 0-)

    You have always been a wonderful voice at DKos, and I am extremely grateful to have you put into words what I have been thinking during this entire fiasco.  The world is not so black and white, but by reading so much here, you would think it was the end of the world or the Obama presidency or Democrats or take your pick. There is so much still to work for and lots of hard work to do, and while I am extremely disappointed for a multitude of reasons, I recognize that giving in to defeat and cynicism will get us NOTHING.  It is up to each one of us to get things done. Putting all of our hope and belief in the future in ONE person was never going to get us there. If we learned nothing else from the campaign, we should have learned that.

    Thank you again.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

    by missLotus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:03:00 AM PST

  •  And while I'm thinking of it... (12+ / 0-)
    ...yes, I believe Obama did deliberately mislead people during his election campaign.

    His election campaign theme was hope, change, no more business as usual in Washington.  The theme of his actualy governance has been triangulation and status quo.  Maybe I'm too cynical, but that sounds misleading to me.

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:04:54 AM PST

  •  Tipped and rec'ed. (24+ / 0-)

    Whether those who read this are in agreement with you or not, this is a thoughtful, thought-provoking diary.

    Thank you.

  •  Rena, (13+ / 0-)

    For me, this is all about those thousands of real live human beings who will die if the system and the bill aren't fixed, and the thousand who will be disabled and bankrupted if the system and the bill aren't fixed.

       Just my two cents,

    Planning a March for Accountability

    by Chacounne on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:08:31 AM PST

  •  There was an interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, RenaRF

    article in last week's New Yorker.

    GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

    by Youffraita on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:10:39 AM PST

  •  I've always interpreted Obama's "change" as (12+ / 0-)

    being about process: how a President would implement his role and try to inspire the other branches and departments to work, as well.  To get away from the pure ideology and ensuing lawlessness + selfishness that drove prior Administrations and policies.

    He truly has shown an almost naive belief that doing things the right way will eventually win out for everyone.  It's a refreshing standpoint, however much it requires loads of time and "more + better Democrats" in the Senate to fully realize his dream of working well, fairly and justly for everyone, I feel.

    As I wrote earlier today:

    And, we can't expect a conciliatory, consensus-driven politician such as Obama to drive their values farther than their private backers will allow, I'm afraid.  Frankly, we'd need a slash-and-burn President to even begin handling this olde-style Senate group in a manner that shows more liberal progressive needs coming out faster than in drips (at best), IMHO.

    But, I fear our ability to work on getting "more and better Democrats" into the Senate will end in 2010 for years to come, from all the severe reactions to not changing decades of health insurance machinery in a single year after Obama entered office.

    I can fully appreciate our desperation at this point in time - heck, the Republicans have crafted this private-profits-from-public-taxes apex for many decades, quite patiently, while lying to the USA electorate convincingly all the while.  Disappointment in not relieving all the pain from health coverage unfairness, meaningful job creation losses, allowing pensions to be dissolved into the free market on a per-worker basis, etc. is all part and parcel of making common folks more worried, less able to stand up and - ironically - more dependent on corporate takeover of what were once local functions . . . with decreasing benefits for almost everyone except Executives and wealthy investors.

    But, if we don't have the contextual patience to invest the years into building towards a counter of the Republican-led, Democratic leadership-supported privatization of our taxes and services towards about 30 more Al Frankens in the Senate some day . . . then, this is what we'll get, at best.

    So, we have no choice but to keep fighting, but so many of us need help to get by and realize the fight is long-term, will always be sadly and frustratingly incremental, and must never rest on the hopes of a single individual shedding even a teeny bit of light into the process of governing within D.C.

    Sure, we all need to get grips with reality.  We've purposefully been placed into states of real hardship in various ways for each individual situation, and it's tough to see the ability for investing years in slowly improving our Congress to eventually turn around 30+ years of corporatized, private interests within the most broad areas of our Federal government.

    But, it starts now.  If we don't get over our fears and knee-jerk reactions to what this current, monumental task of even bringing healthcare as a policy issue through a poorly-led Congress represents as significant effort for the current Administration, then we might not appreciate how difficult it will be to eventually get implemented law and policy where we truly want it to be for the coming generation.  Our generation just needs to survive, somehow long enough to make this is better world for the next.  I'm not expecting to see improvements for me - only for my growing kids.  For that, I need the help of our peers at sites and in communities like this . . . not their pitchforks and disgust.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:11:23 AM PST

  •  if ever a diary deserved (23+ / 0-)

    to be on the rec list at a specific time, it's this one and now.

    I guess the title is a turnoff for folk but this is extremely well reasoned, IMO.

    "Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude." ~ Frederick Douglass

    by mallyroyal on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:16:19 AM PST

    •  Titling is complicated. :) (10+ / 0-)

      It has to relate to the diary, but be an attention-grabber as you scroll on by.  :)

      But I do hear you - and thanks for the nice words.

      •  Haven't seen you around too much of late. (14+ / 0-)

        Glad for this entry.  I've been thinking about when Meteor Blades endorsed Obama in the primaries, nearly 2 years ago now.  It's worth reviewing the whole thing, because he was spot-on:

        For me, as a Popular Front Democrat, a radical democrat – small and capital "d" – politics have always been about far more than elections and legislation. Political parties are only a means to ends, one of which is implementing reforms that originate and are fought over, sometimes for decades, outside the electoral process. Politicians too are a means to ends. They aren’t messiahs. You pick the best one you can within the constraints of the two-party system and of the nominating process and cross your fingers that, if said candidate makes it to the Oval Office, progress will be achieved on most or many or at least some of the issues that matter to you, and there will be no significant back-sliding.

        But you never forget for an instant that your choice is a politician. You are destined for disappointment if you do. Supporters transformed into idolators who attach all their cherished dreams of change to a politician who must inevitably make alliances and compromises will be very disappointed indeed.

        Of course, I know that, if elected, he is unlikely to go as far as I would like in any of these arenas. – just as no President will ever do.
        If Obama wins come November, it will be up to that grassroots, that congregation, not only to hold his feet to the fire, but also, and more importantly, to press forward the extra-electoral politics which the Freedom Riders employed to bring real hope and real change to America nearly half a century ago.

        Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

        by Land of Enchantment on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:32:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kill this bill and go to reconciliation. (9+ / 0-)

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:21:10 AM PST

  •  This bill would've worsened the situation (6+ / 0-)

    in 1993. And actually may have lead to a more stringent cost measure being passed such as the public option.

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:21:55 AM PST

  •  Enjoyed the (10+ / 0-)

    Time for constructive action vs bitching and whining.

  •  I hope your band's CD is as good (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kestrel, Nina, RenaRF, Elise, TooFolkGR, mallyroyal

    as your diaries. You really have a gift of stringing words together.

    I ordered a couple of your CDs last night.

  •  Thanks for the advice.... (6+ / 0-)

    but I don't plan to follow the lead of people who make statements like this...

    Asked what it would mean if Lieberman kept his chairmanship, one Senate Democratic aide said bluntly: "The left has been foiled again. They can rant and rage but they still do not put the fear into folks to actually change their votes. Their influence would be in question."

    You know why that continues a year later...because we are constantly told to "get a grip" and fall in line.  Thanks...but no thanks.

    I refuse to follow them off the cliff...sorry...I will make my own assessment...

    I am not against all health care reform, I am just against dumb health care reform!

    by justmy2 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:25:00 AM PST

  •  Above all else, we can take action. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Cory Bantic, TooFolkGR, jonnie rae

    Call your electeds and tell them we must have a bare bones public option if we are required to buy what amounts to shitty overpriced bare bones insurance.

    Feed America and Support HR 676 Healthcare For All Now!

    by ezdidit on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:26:23 AM PST

  •  Thank you and your husband too. (16+ / 0-)

    Glad you got a grip, and hope we find ours around here.

    Tipped and rec'ed.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:27:15 AM PST

  •  Thanks for a dose of rationality, but the days (11+ / 0-)

    of this being a "reality based" commmunity are over.  This place is nearly as nutty as freeperville.

  •  I'm in the middle of my own (12+ / 0-)

    major health care crisis right now.  I am lucky - my insurance plan isn't perfect, but so far it's been handling things without devestating us financially (emotionally - meh - that's another story).

    But I could just as easily be completely uncovered, so I'm just drawing a few deep breaths (before the chemo starts) and counting my blessings.

    This bill is deeply flawed in any number of areas.  But as much as I've been privately screaming about the loss of the PO and bitterly musing about why this administration appears to be cemented on its collective knees in front of the Senior Senator from the Nutmeg State (R-Heartless P*ick) with their mouths open (sorry for the visual) . . .

    Let the damn thing pass.  Then let's beat the frak out of our elected representatives and they can either make it better or join the unemployment line.  

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:30:11 AM PST

  •  Excellent and Well-Said (12+ / 0-)

    An oasis of sanity in this swamp of proto-teabagging fever.

  •  hmm (4+ / 0-)

    again, and this point has been made over and over, there are a tiny handful of people actually encouraging others not to vote and stating that they won't themselves.

    what most are saying is that it is predictable that turnout is going to drop off heavily because of the sheer lack of things to be enthusiastic about. you are going to vote for the best Dems you can in 2010. I am going to vote for the best Dems I can in 2010. people who follow politics marginally and just got involved this time because they thought things might be different - they're a different story. and there are many more of them than there are of us.

    other than that point of contention, I generally agree with your sentiments.

    As long as there's a sun
    there's a shadow
    as long as there's a shadow
    there's a place for you and me
    ~ Roger Miller

    by itsbenj on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:33:08 AM PST

    •  Campaign volunteers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

      I don't see the same phenomenal participation by volunteers in 2012 as we saw in the remarkable 2008 campaign.  That'll make a difference.

      Then, anything and everything were possible, like when you're ordering seeds for a home garden.  The re-election will be based on actual events - drought, hailstorms, grasshoppers, and whatnot.

      Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

      by Land of Enchantment on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:36:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, it's tough to see that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Land of Enchantment, FishBiscuit

        far down the road, and I think Obama has time to turn things around. I'm not optimistic that the Congress is going to get any less suck-tastic in the mean time, but I have to imagine that after this fiasco their approval ratings are going to be sub-10%. this strategy, if one can call it that, of courting the GOP fruitlessly time and again, and playing nice with Congress, has got to change. Obama is still one of if not the most popular political figure in America, and I for one think he should come on TV and dis the entire Congress save a few, for failing to care about the American people's health and well-being.

        he's been so cold and distant and pro-business, with little populist rhetorical flourishes here and there. I think he should start switching the proportionality of those things around, and start framing this fight as "you and me against a greedy Congress bought off by corporate interests". that's my take anyway. not that I expect it to happen...

        As long as there's a sun
        there's a shadow
        as long as there's a shadow
        there's a place for you and me
        ~ Roger Miller

        by itsbenj on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:41:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Their intention is to block anything and everything.  Then blame it on Obama for not being "bipartisan."  I'm hoping this vigorous obstruction gets on the public radar screen, or there's gonna be real trouble.

          We yell a lot about Lieberman and his ilk.  But Republicans up and down the line are putting "holds" on everything in sight.  And it's almost like "unanimous consent" never existing.  They're sucking up all the time they possibly can by forcing votes on every little procedural thing, sucking up all the time by requiring things be read in full on the floor.  Those procedural things pass eventually, but that's not the point.  The point is to grind the functioning of government to a halt so nothing gets done.

          Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

          by Land of Enchantment on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:49:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  true for sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Land of Enchantment

            the Republicans have, as usual, no interest in governing or acting in good faith. too many Dems feel emboldened to join them, however, and while something could probably have been done about that back when Obama was riding on 70+% approval #s, the time has passed and there's too much momentum in the wrong direction. these 'holds' could be broken by a more disciplined caucus, but there are also still a ton of positions and appointments without even a nominee to put on hold! I can understand that, somewhat. take Dawn Johnsen - she moved her whole life around after Obama nominated her, picked up and moved, got an apt., quit her job, etc. still waiting to be appointed almost a year later. sucks to put people in that position.

            really, our government is simply non-functional at this point. the US is broken.

            however, Obama can still address the public, saying "I tried biparitsanship. You all saw. It didn't work, and now I'm trying something else..."

            As long as there's a sun
            there's a shadow
            as long as there's a shadow
            there's a place for you and me
            ~ Roger Miller

            by itsbenj on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:01:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Don't Vote For ANYBODY! That'll learn 'em! (0+ / 0-)

      Great message.

    •  Bingo.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, RenaRF, zett, khereva

      it is predictable that turnout is going to drop off heavily because of the sheer lack of things to be enthusiastic about

      That was in my mind the weakest part of Rena's otherwise excellent diary - the list of "do you remembers?" from a GOP administration.

      Yep, we all remember those things.  It seems as if they are NOT remembered by the current crop of Democratic congress critters.

      THAT is what could lead to a GOP victory in 2010 or 2012.  It's not folks here making threats to "take our ball and go home" - it's folks here making predictions of what will happen if things don't turn around quickly.

      I did NOTHING wrong at the Minneapolis airport..!

      by Timoteo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:32:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Strongly agree with your philosophy/attitude. (11+ / 0-)

    Put the negative energy into positive action...Thank you for this persuasive message in your well-written diary.

  •  Holy shit you know a lot of words! (3+ / 0-)

    You are quite right that the only rational excuse for Obama's behavior is that he is trying to preserve the  real "jobs" in our healthcare industry.

    However, if things go as they seem it might have been better to take the ideal based high road, go down earlier in depression style crash rather than this slow twisting in the wind that might be worse?

    The advantage of the crash scenario is that in the recovery phase it is much easier to recast things in a totally different mode.

    Obama has obviously decided to hold on to everything he can as the Titanic sinks.  I prefer a small realistic lifeboat meself.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels, mystery2me, Kathy S

      Obama has obviously decided to hold on to everything he can as the Titanic sinks.  I prefer a small realistic lifeboat meself.

      GREAT sentiment.  Love it.

      Let me turn it around a bit, though.  I don't think many people who are a) not already rich; or b) currently employed in banking supported the banking bailouts.  I mean - what's to support?  There were two really distinct camps of thinking at opposite ends of that issue.  The first camp said "let them fail".  The second camp said "we can't let them fail because of x, y & z."

      While I hate the need for a bailout, I support that it was done (though I don't support the lack of realistic controls written into the 2008 legislation) because of the negative impact bank failures and panic would have had disproportionately on the average working joe.  

      I don't think it's wrong to consider what is the best scenario with respect to healthcare that also doesn't work against job creation and continued improvement out of the recession.

    •  To stretch (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, Keone Michaels, mystery2me

      an already overused metaphor. I'll take the  small cheese and mayo sandwich over a super sized turd one given a choice.

  •  Here's the Real Problem. (13+ / 0-)

    It was articulate by BooMan who you all know is more sympathetic to Obama.

    What the administration is facing is a consequence of the left having to eat too much shit on a whole host of issues from military commissions, a failure to root out and punish the crimes and practices of the Bush administration, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, a too-friendly bailout of Wall Street, and now a health care bill that bears little resemblance to what Obama promised us in the campaign.

    The Obama administration can't satisfy the left legislatively, but they need to recognize the need to satisfy us whenever and wherever they can. That means that the administration needs to throw bones to the left in appointments, and executive decisions that don't require congressional approval. It means that they need to show more respect for what people are trying to do to assist them. It means that they need to show more fight.

    He says more, not all complementary to the left it's a good post. You should read it. No time for a link. Sorry. It's called "A Leopard's Spots."

    We are not stupid. We can get emotional but we aren't stupid. We know that there are hard core right dems in the Senate and House. We know that 1 person can hold things up and that even Obama's leverage is limited. But this is simply it.

    The left has had to each too much shit over the course of this presidency and it has finally thrown up all over Democrats. I can understand that the Republicans continue to March in lockstep. But when you feed us shit at least sugarcoat it!

    Regan was a saint to the nutters. But his policies were not all insane. He governed to the middle. The middle right, but the middle as a default. When he could go right he did. Sometimes he had to go left to do so in other areas. But he always used the dog whistles, the secret CODE languages to whip the right into a Frenzy so they knew he was one of them.

    Obama has not done that this presidency. He came in prepared to compromise. Sometimes you have to. In this climate, you probably have to often. But we never got anything from him and so there's nothing to make us believe "Oh, he really does want to bring a more progressive change."

    All we ever get is "you should compromise!" Full stop. My suggestion? Judges. The public doesn't give a flying fuck about judges. The righties are going to call them all liberal communist activist whackjobs. So pick some firebreathing liberals and start giving back people rights that the righties have stripped away over the generations. The bases will know. The public and the middle won't care. There are other things that can be done surely.

    We are not dumb, and we have received zero positive signals. Is it any wonder with each compromise on a lefty issue the anger grows?

    The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
    From Muslim Prince to Christian King (Updated Nov. 24)

    by MNPundit on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:34:56 AM PST

    •  Agreed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, zett

      And as has been brought to the fore in this current debate -- when we talk about "compromise" we talk about parties negotiating in good faith and providing give-and-take to get a deal done.

      In the case of this negotiation where have the concessions been from so-called "moderates"?

      Stand with Dean, don't crawl with Lieberman! -- Dr. Fatman

      by NotGeorgeWill on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rahm Emanuel (8+ / 0-)

      I think he's telling him, over and over, that he doesn't need to worry about the Left.  DLC crap about how he can't "capitulate" to us, because that'll hurt him with the nation's "moderate center."  Some such.  But, too, it's mebbe Obama's view of things as well.

      There's been public signs that the Progressive Caucus in the House is unhappy.  Even a few sparks flying with Conyers.  Meteor Blades noted the following when he endorsed Obama back in Feb 08:

      Since it became obvious he would seek the Presidency, and that he might actually have a chance for the nomination in a year that could turn out to be a Democratic congressional rout, some of what Senator Obama has said has given me pause. One of these has been his take on the struggles of the 1960s. Not his understandable exasperation over how the politics and experiences of the those years in so many ways still permeate political discussion now, but rather a faint whiff of disrespect for the struggles of that era. And, more strongly, the idea that those struggles were won, so let's move on.

      Move on we must. Unlike the right wing, we must not be shackled to the past. However, there is nothing disreputable about the political, cultural and social change that is epitomized in the very phrase "the ‘60s." As Obama rightly says, there is a new generation and new issues to resolve. But there is also a need to renew a few old struggles that never fully succeeded and to protect some victories - like the progressive legacy of the 1930s and the institutionalization of reproductive rights in the 1970s - that are under sharp attack, aided for decades by an ultraconservative, conglomerate media which distorts everything political and creates a false image of everything progressive, including, in particular, the transformation wrought in the ‘60s.

      Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

      by Land of Enchantment on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:41:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To clarify: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stonedown, RenaRF, Darkmoth

      Regan's code said: "Look, I can't give you everything you want. It's not possible, but I want to! I am right there with you wanting to crush the darkies and those uppity elite snobs!"

      Thus the base was whipped up, but not against him. They whipped themselves up so they could create an environment where Regan could let his freak flag fly. It didn't work of course, but it didn't have to. It helped shift the conversation. The thing with Obama is, we don't think he HAS a liberal freak flag he wants to fly. We think he has a neo-liberal or maybe even a blue dog flag to fly. We're mostly logical, but every person needs emotional symbols to latch on to (well maybe not Obama :)). That's just human nature.

      The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
      From Muslim Prince to Christian King (Updated Nov. 24)

      by MNPundit on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:44:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't like this bill, but I am voting Democrat. (10+ / 0-)

    Folks like me, will, what will happen is that new folks, independents, etc., that came to vote D in 2008, they will probably not vote D in 2010, that is where the concern should be.

  •  Get a grip? (5+ / 0-)

    How about politicians get some guts.

    "Conservatives care about children from conception all the way up until birth." Barney Frank

    by on2them on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:41:27 AM PST

      •  you can have whatever you want (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't have time to mope, too many things to do and life is too short...

        It really pisses me off how the politicians side-stepped their one vehicle to single payer by opening Pandora's box and going the prehistoric way of recreating 'and let's go crazy' wheel and didn't build off the foundation that was already there...Medicare

        I believe if you are going to do something do it well, and the whole execution of this 'health care' debate was piss poor from the get-go.

        After seeing what happened in 2008, I believed with that kind of orchestration and organization, the roll out plans would be amazing. President Obama pulled off the feat of feats...hence, my belief that health care would not be a snap, but well orchestrated and be given the same kind of attention and thought as his campaign and it is very eye-opening how sloppy all of it is.

        Don't get me wrong I like your diary. And believe me I am still supportive of President Obama. The guy is under so much...but I also blame all of us. I think we got a bit laid back and didn't keep the momentum going. We need to learn to work like a well oiled machine if we are to succeed.

        There is a saying:

        "There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.."

        Sorry don't know he author.

        "Conservatives care about children from conception all the way up until birth." Barney Frank

        by on2them on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:09:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Don't get me wrong I like your diary. And believe me I am still supportive of President Obama. The guy is under so much...but I also blame all of us. I think we got a bit laid back and didn't keep the momentum going. We need to learn to work like a well oiled machine if we are to succeed.

          I can't endorse that sentiment enough.  It pulls at everyone's psyche to have to fight so hard for something that is so obviously right.  But we DO.  And we work against that fight if we're in a constant downward cycle of emotional badness, you know?

          •  and that's where we are and we have to pull (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ourselves out of's a destroyer.

            I think the real conflict is primitive, literally, dems have always been more diplomatic, charming and gracious, while pubes are arrogant, ignorant and immature.

            There was a paper, wish I could site it, that did a study of pubes and dems's childhood and found that dems had nurturing mothers and pubes had really strict was an interesting study.

            The fight for better government will always be a responsibility on all of us, whether that be a minute a day or many hours, government should be looked at just another daily duty of being sure the help is really cleaning the house or watching soap operas.

            "Conservatives care about children from conception all the way up until birth." Barney Frank

            by on2them on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:49:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  not mutually exclusive (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      missLotus, RenaRF, alba, artmartin, on2them

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:49:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)

    we collectively shift our attention and accept as fact that our foundational, baseline bill is not what we want and then focus our considerable talent on how to improve it incrementally moving forward.

    great points.

  •  Getting just a little weary ... (5+ / 0-)

    ...of being spoken to like a 4-year-old just because I have very specific onjections to the president's leadership on health care reform.

    •  I don't think Rena is speaking to us that way. (9+ / 0-)

      She wrote a very thoughtful diary about her own experiences and how they translate into what's happening now at DKos. We should all feel free to speak our minds here, but it would be great if we could all do it in a more rational way.

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:53:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Communication is a two-way process. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        She may not have intended it that way, but I felt like I was being talked down to by an older sibling or a parent, just as megisi above stated.

        And I have a feeling I'm about 20 years older than the diarist.

        And so, although she may not have MEANT to speak to us that way, that's how some of us took it.

        I don't like it.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:58:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And once again ... (0+ / 0-)

        it would be great if we could all do it in a more rational way

        ... the implication being, of course, that those "others" (read: those who disagree with me) are irrational.

  •  this diary is too sensible for dKos (17+ / 0-)

    this is not a reality-based community. It's a bunch of crazed goons with pitchforks. This is why the grassroots will never have a seat at the table of power. It's why they shouldn't.


    the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

    by SeanF on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:45:55 AM PST

    •  I think that bothers me the most. (17+ / 0-)

      You're a 4-digit guy, Sean.  You know as well as I do that there IS power to be tapped in this place.  It has such potential to organize and activate, and represents some pretty willing and brilliant activist minds who will get out there and do more than blog.  

      The constant spiral of "THIS ALL SUCKS AND WE WERE LIED TO" undercuts what we HAVE accomplished up to this point.

      It's sad.

    •  your comment is personally insulting (5+ / 0-)

      I am a member of a reality-based community.

      To be sure, the Wreck List is covered with diaries that have the latest "BREAKING" news and breathless screams of panic.

      But there are also very thoughtful and heartfelt posts.

      This is an online community. I don't expect perfection.  I don't expect people to march in lockstep with the President or with each other.  I don't expect 100% excellent posts.

      The front-pagers do a very good job.  I think it's been very clear how the front-pagers are saying, "We're not going to coddle Joe Lieberman and throw Howard Dean under the bus."  We're not going to accept mandates without a public option.  We're not going to settle.  We're ALREADY compromised.  At some point, you have to say "ENOUGH."

      And that's where the majority of Americans are at right now.

      They're tired of watching do-nothing Senators who fail to construct real solutions that work for the American people.

      They're tired of bailouts for banks and bankruptcies for their neighbors.  They're tired of 10% unemployment and 10,000 Dow Jones Industrial Average.  They're tired of record profits for oil companies and global poverty for the developing world.

      These are well-reasoned, articulate, clear views.

      "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

      by Benintn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:07:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes there are thoughtful posts (6+ / 0-)

        and i wrote that in a fit of grumpiness. But the hysteria and absolutism in the crazy posts/diaries makes me ashamed to be associated with this site. They are just as bad as the teabaggers, just as irrational, and just as belligerent. I can't stomach it.

        I'm fine with people disagreeing. I'm not ok with people telling me that if I support a health care bill, I might as well have voted to invade iraq.

        the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

        by SeanF on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:14:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, please think before you post (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          comments like this.

          I really do understand your anger.  I feel it.

          But it's time to start paying attention to (and rewarding) those who are positive, instead of feeding negativity with more negativity.

          This is basic behavioral psychology - extinguish unwanted behaviors and positively reinforce good ones.

          rec diaries like this one.  invite friends to join dkos and do the same (it's free!).  organize.  build community.

          Dkos is a treasure and it's a hell of a lot better than anything they have on the right (or in the center).

          "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

          by Benintn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:17:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting post on TPM (23+ / 0-)

    I've been getting really depressed lately about politics. I was at first depressed because the public option was dying, but now I'm much more depressed because of the anti-Obama frenzy I've been seeing coming from progressives. I don't know if these progressives are not old enough or simply have chosen to forget the year 2000, but there was a sizable disenchantment on the left with the Democratic mainstream then as well. And it manifested itself as both lack of enthusiasm for Gore and a movement for Nader. The lesson is clear -- if you're not willing to settle for a moderate and fight for a Gore, then you will get eight years of a Bush. I hate to think who that Bush could be in the next cycle.

    But, but, but, Obama is so disappointing! Sure. I get it. And we should let him know it. But withdrawing support from Obama? When he has to deal with birthers, and tea partiers, and beckites, and the assorted nuts du jour? It's bound to backfire. There is absolutely no
    upside to vitriol against Obama, and there is so much downside. Think of how much better off this country would be if we had a centrist, semi-corporate-friendly Democratic president from 2000 to 2008. Not ideal by a long shot, sure. But we lost so much in those years.
    Another Republican future scares me.

  •  Thanks Renaref. Timely diary. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina, RenaRF, TooFolkGR, earicicle, writerkirk

    Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

    by amk for obama on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:49:11 AM PST

  •  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aisling, RenaRF, TooFolkGR, royce, writerkirk

    Hell no!

    "Everyone thought it smart when Dylan Thomas vomited on your carpet." - Mary Kenny

    by yojimbo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:51:40 AM PST

    •  You are kidding, right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You're not so ill-informed to think that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, are you?  Little clue:  The attack on Pearl Harbor came from an island nation located in the western Pacific that calls itself "the land of the rising sun."  Another hint:  Said nation is now home to several large automakers you may have heard of -- Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc.

      •  Dalai Lama told me this when I caddied for him. (0+ / 0-)

        "Everyone thought it smart when Dylan Thomas vomited on your carpet." - Mary Kenny

        by yojimbo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:59:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are kidding, right? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        See "Animal House," the movie.

        Look for the reference near the end of the movie.

        Better yet, Google those words plus "John Belushi" on You Tube, and you'll undoubtedly get the short version.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:02:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Presumably (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you're saying I've missed a pop culture reference.  Wouldn't be the first time.

          •  Happens. For instance people sometimes make the (0+ / 0-)

            mistake of asking me about pro football... my eyes glaze over and I start drooling, as to me all those teams are indistinguishable and dull, so I haven't a clue what they're talkin.... zzz....

            "Everyone thought it smart when Dylan Thomas vomited on your carpet." - Mary Kenny

            by yojimbo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:58:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Phew! (0+ / 0-)

              I knew that the teaching of history was being given less and less emphasis, but I'm glad to learn that it hasn't declined to the point where people actually think the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

              I guess what this really shows is that I need to watch more old movies on Netflix.

  •  the right is loving our self destruct (11+ / 0-)

    mode right now.  they are licking their chops and laughing their asses off.  we are playing right into their hand.  i miss you guys.  i can't keep watching this trainwreck.  i hope we get it together soon.  

    Say "Yes" to Michigan!

    by jodygirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:52:19 AM PST

  •  Perhaps Obama should get a grip. (5+ / 0-)

    His lack of leadership on health care is astounding.  His equanimity is looking more and more like passivity.  And his failure to take a strong stand to avoid failure is why he is failing on health care reform.  It's true that it's not over, but the end is nigh and it ain't looking good.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:52:40 AM PST

    •  or perhaps he just understands the limits of (6+ / 0-)

      the "system" that Rena so effectively laid out . . It was a long shot to get Snowe on board and once that opportunity was lost, he knew rather exactly the limits on his room to maneuver in the Senate and still collect the requisite 60 votes . .

      •  If he understood the limits, you might (3+ / 0-)

        think he would have acted differently.  In any case, understanding the limits is no excuse for not leading.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:12:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not really - he is leading by trying to figure (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vlajos, RenaRF, jonnie rae, pvlb

          out a pathway through the maze. There are more ways to lead than giving impassioned speeches.

          •  Yes, behind the scenes stuff (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that is all conjecture.  And it's not about impassioned speeches.  It's about taking a stand and fighting for it.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:12:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  as I said - not really - no amount of grand (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vlajos, RenaRF, jonnie rae

              standing or "fighting" will convert Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, and Lincoln into passionate advocates of HCR. That's not the way those senators work . .

              •  Fighting includes calling them in public (0+ / 0-)

                about what they are doing.  You know, truth to power stuff.  Fighting includes letting them join the Republicans and forcing them to really filibuster - staying night and day speaking on the floor of the Senate.  Fighting means letting them know in uncertain terms that they will get no support for re-election from the Party.  And so on.  It means getting tough ... ah, like a fighter.

                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                by accumbens on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:52:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  please stop the BS about "forcing them to (0+ / 0-)

                  filibuster" - the rules now place the onus on the proponents of the bill to secure cloture - there is no way to "force" an obstructionist to filibuster - he need only withhold his vote on cloture and if 40 other senators are in his camp (as they would be), end of story. So if that's your idea of "fighting," it is not an option . .

    •  Obama just seems utterly helpless. (0+ / 0-)
  •  RIGHT. Time to move on (10+ / 0-)

    Give yourself 5 minutes a day to scream at the mirror about the betrayal.
    Then go flog some elected officials.  (Or do whatever you do.)
    This is a setback, and it cannot be the end of the world.

  •  Fantastic Diary (15+ / 0-)

    I understand frustration and anger at the weakness of the current bill.  I wish it was stronger with more reform but screaming for it to be killed and calling the President a sellout or worse is not going to get us any closer to what we want.  It might feel good but I agree with the diarist that it is mostly just expressing self-pity and is ultimately self-defeating.  I think the 24 hour news cycle is a big part of the problem.  Never before have we watched policy making in such detail.  It is an excruciating process and fuels the anger on all sides.

    But, the time to think long term is now.  What is the best chance to get to our goals in the long run?  Killing this bill will mean no bill.  If you think reconciliation will be used or a new bill will be drafted, I think you are wrong.  Much more likely is that health care reform will go back on the shelf to be dusted off in another 10 or 20 years.  In the meantime, costs will continue to rise, more people will be without insurance, more people will die.  This current bill may not solve all of that but it will reduce those numbers and provide a toehold from which to introduce more reforms during that same 10 to 20 year period.

    So keep fighting for changes to the bill but keep in mind the realities of who is in this Congress and that this Congress is probably the most progressive we are likely to have for this administration (sad as that is, because it's not very progressive).  Republicans are likely to pick up a few seats at a minimum in both houses.  Even if we got rid of a few more moderate Democrats and replaced them with progressives, it wouldn't matter because other Democrats will be replaced with Republicans who only know how to say No.  If you think getting what you want is hard now, it will just get worse if we put it off.

    Don't stop complaining but try to complain in ways that will advance the cause and not harm it.

  •  Grip gotten, going forward... n/t (10+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:53:48 AM PST

  •  The astonishing thing (37+ / 0-)

    that so many are missing is that the President of the United States, while a big player in DC, must contend with 535 gigantic egos, each of whom will screw anybody to advance their own interests (there may be a handful of exceptions, but their scarcity proves the general rule).  If the myth of 60 weren't already disproved by the likes of Nelson and Landrieu being counted in that number, the sheer stubbornness and selfishness of our legislators should have been enough to tell us how awful this process would be.  Am I excusing the president? No, his team has made some strategic errors.  

    But let's not forget the most important point: If it weren't for the GOP, if it weren't for their disruptive and antagonistic bloc of votes determined to fuck over the American people in any way they can, providing cover for Lieberman, Nelson, et al., this debate would be long over. Anger at Obama? Fine, be angry with him. He's not a senator and doesn't have a vote, but go crazy. Anger at Lieberman and Nelson and the rest? Sure, totally justifiable.

    But while we're detonating shit bombs under our own party - a party that is trying to pass the best bill it can with the reality it faces in the Senate - the GOP are sitting there drooling at the disarray. They are the reason this bill sucks. It is the conservatives and their unbroken legacy of working against needed change that we should be fighting against.

    I'm not telling you to line up and support the party at all costs. I'm not that kind of Democrat. But if you're not trying to make some positive change, if your contribution comprises complaints and blog comments, I'm going to tell you you're doing it wrong. Make the fight about the GOP. Put them on the defensive. Make what they do, as a bloc, unpopular. And win.

    And if you don't win, take what you can fucking get from an imperfect system and introduce another bill to make it better.

    Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

    by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:54:44 AM PST

    •  Also, I'm going to commit the first sin (21+ / 0-)

      of arguing on the Internet and tell you an anecdote:

      A close member of my family isn't very politically involved. She's reasonably far to the left, but her main focus is on raising her children. She is, however, interested in the health care debate. She has lived in a country with a universal system (sort of) that works (indisputably), so she thinks our system is barbaric.

      She is uninsurable because of a pre-existing condition. She has two kids. Her husband is self-employed. She is almost the perfect target of our reform efforts.

      I explained the Senate bill to her, explained that it ditched the public option, explained the mandates, explained whatever else I could think of, and she said to pass the bill and then make it better. I asked her why, if the bill wasn't perfect, and she said she wanted to get over the hump of not being able to do anything about health care in this country. Once we break the seal (in my words, prove that the third rail isn't untouchable), well, maybe we can make some real changes.

      I can't describe to you how scared she is every day because of her insurance situation. But she's not holding out for the perfect bill. She wants something to get the ball rolling. I can live with that.

      Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

      by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:05:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's what I believe to be the falicy... (4+ / 0-)

        ... that you are premising your anecdotal argument on:  that this bill will get the ball rolling in the right direction.

        As it stands, I believe it will do exactly the opposite.

        Rather than moving our view of health care towards an individual right, it moves insurance for health care wholly and fully into the private sector.  It enshrines the insurance companies as the entities that control health care in our society, and by doing so, will make it even harder to get anything like a PO or single payer or expanded medicare down the road.

        It places the insurance companies on the level of the financial institutions; this bill will make them Too Big To Fail, no matter how much they botch the job.

        Folks hope for more regulation down the road that will cap deductibles and premiums, and generally ensure that insurance equates to availability of care regardless of financial situation.  But look at the financial sector.  Once they were effectively given control and regulation of the coin of the realm, look at what they did with it.  Again and again during the last decades.  And regulation has weakened, not been strengthened, in that sector.

        Hope is a great thing.  It motivates us, it drives us to greatness in our efforts.  But hope should never blind us to the realities of things.  This bill is a monstrosity, and no amount of rhetoric is going to change that.  And once people see the results of it, it is going to lead to massive setbacks in terms of getting people on the left into power.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:48:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  First, so you know where I'm coming from (5+ / 0-)

          I'm a single payer guy.  I've lived it. I know what it can do. And you can see my last couple of diaries to see where I'm coming from on it.  

          Having said that, enshrining health care as a right and having private insurers in the system are not mutually exclusive conditions. Switzerland requires universal care but does so through private insurers.  

          So, you can imagine that I disagree with your argument that the bill will not get the ball rolling. :)

          (Of course, the bill isn't even done yet, so we don't have any clue what POTUS will have to sign.)

          Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

          by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:55:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... perhaps I should have not used the specific "you" and ensured the plural.

            Point is, however, that in our corporatist society, I do not think that we will be enshrining health care as a right.  I think that what will become enshrined is the right of the insurance companies to be the gatekeepers of health care.

            I've also heard the Switzerland argument before.  I disagree with that because of the matter of scale.  We aren't the Swiss, who have a definite cultural identity that they fight to maintain.  This is a big part of the glue that keeps them together.  They have far more national unity.  And this leads to, I believe, more compassion for their fellow citizens on a national level.

            They are also a far smaller nation.  I guess that if I were to venture into the realm of analogy, I'd say they were more like a small town to our New York metropolis.  There, if someone yells for help, people come a'runnin'.  Here, folks too often just walk on by, pretending to hear nothing.

            The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

            by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:09:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I certainly agree (0+ / 0-)

              that we face unique challenges because of our diversity. It's also why I specified that the Democratic Party is a big tent party both out of necessity and by mission. On the other hand, they are not a small village community. They are a modern, urban society with many of the same problems that we have (and many, many more, what with their minaret ban kerfuffle).  

              The end of this debate will not represent the end of history. Even the best bill would have had problems: human imperfections woven into the language, unpredictable nuances, and, yes, blatant sell-outs. So we fight, declare victory, then fight some more.

              Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

              by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:25:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I also feel like I should clarify (0+ / 0-)

              that my main beef is not with expressing dismay with the bill. The bill isn't very good. My beef is where the blame is placed: if the GOP weren't (almost) entirely populated by assholes who want you to die poor and sick if it helps their electoral chances, well, we'd have a lot more flexibility to move forward with a good-faith debate.

              Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

              by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:34:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  there's a lot of unelected officials (5+ / 0-)

      who have more power than the elected officials in this debate.

      To name a few:


      This is an internecine battle and it's a battle worth fighting.

      Have you noticed that the GOP is totally irrelevant and incompetent right now?

      "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

      by Benintn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:10:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's only an internecine battle (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, londubh, Populista

        because the GOP is steadfastly and rigorously staking out the NO territory. The challenge in a big tent party (which we are, out of necessity and mission) is providing cover for vulnerable members when voting time rolls around. Finding a bone to throw to the other side that grabs a moderate vote, whatever.  We have absolutely zero margin in this fight because the GOP are determined to nuke this whole process.

        I'm not going to blame the failure to get the perfect HCR bill on the presence of conservative Democrats (of which, to be clear, I am not one).  I don't like their votes, but the only reason they are an issue in this fight is because we are doing such a dreadful job of running the debate.  The political reality we face means that we wouldn't have gotten everything we want anyway, but we are in a particular box because of the way we are so quick to eat our own, rather than placing the blame where it belongs: on the GOP who don't want Americans to receive just and fair coverage.

        Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

        by socratic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:21:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (4+ / 0-)

        They have no votes in the Senate. They are not the "60th" vote. Sure, they have some power, but it's about leverage over petulant senators with big egos.

        The GOP isn't irrelevant. The 40 GOP senators are the reason we are in a position where Lieberman and Nelson call the shots. There are 55 Democratic senators out there who are willing to vote for a reasonably good bill. If the GOP wasn't hellbent on blocking everything by using the filibuster, there would be a reasonably good bill right now.

        The GOP is reason number 1 for this mess (plus the ridiculous Senate rules enabling them). Never forget that. Incompetency/petulancy/whatever by Democrats is a problem, but it comes after that.

        I'm all for fighting the good fight, but doing it in such a way that punishes 55 good Democrats and rewards 40 reactionary Republicans does not sound good to me.

  •  This diary and the diary No One Is Going (10+ / 0-)

    To Save You Fools are the best two diaries on the list today. Both well written and reality based.
    Kudos Rena.

    Sitting here in my cheerleader uniform, drinking kool-aid; sharing my thoughts with you. Gimme an O!

    by Blogvirgin on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:56:21 AM PST

  •  Have I told you lately... (8+ / 0-)

    ...that I love you? ;^)

    That was a terrific analysis that hit a couple of bullseyes. Thx much.

    PS - got the little woman a copy of Texas Chainsaws for the Hollandaise...

  •  Great diary, but I will say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Catatonia

    I am finding it hard to be too pissed off at the panic around here right now. First of all, while Lieberman may take blogger input and do the exact opposite, because he is opposite-man, I do think that progressives in the house and senate need constant reminders of who their base is, and whether their base is unhappy. I don't think the progressives are as clueless about the electoral consquences of a bad bill as the "centrists" are.  

    Second, the tanking of the poll numbers seems to echo EXACTLY what is going on here at the blogs, so I would postulate that this place is more of a reflection fo the country as a whole than  anything else.

    I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

    by decembersue on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:57:54 AM PST

  •  You note that the health care industry... (4+ / 0-)

    ... is the only growing industry right now.

    There is a reason for this.

    It's at the cost of our health, and our lives.

    It would not be growing if rates weren't going up and quality of care for many were not going down.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 10:58:30 AM PST

    •  depends on where you look (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

      here in the twin cities, hospitals are laying off staff. And this is in Minnesota, the state with probably the best health care profile in the country in terms of health costs and overall healthy population.

      I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

      by decembersue on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:03:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      It's like when people say that the health insurance industry is 17% of our GDP and so we can't kill them.

      Why not?

      Find another industry that doesn't steal, cheat, lie, and separate people from their lives and their livelihoods, and THEY can take over 17% of the GDP.

      It's nonsense.

      Why didn't we prop up manufacturing or publishing or engineering or IT or any of the other industries that have left our country over the years?

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:06:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  not a bad diary, but... (3+ / 0-)

    it seems to assume that the bill that passes will be good, and that my problem is that it's not good enough. Diarist seem to even imply that I am not "reality based" for questioning the apparently undeniable fact that this bill will be progress.  

    I reject that assumption.  I think the bill will be very destructive, and I will not be quiet about it so as to ensure that the people responsible for enacting it get re-elected.

    The mandate is the reality, and this diarist fails to even mention it.  

    •  Hm... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I worked hard to communicate that what's on the table in the Senate is BAD.  I didn't quantify the bad because there's just so much of it.  What I was trying to say is that there HAS GOT TO be a point at which we recognize that the badness may happen, and have the wherewithal to fight on despite our disappointment.

  •  I agree (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, askew, Nina, RenaRF, Eclectablog

    this exact say bill in 1993 & 1994 passed would just be improved over the next 16 years.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:01:13 AM PST

  •  Rena, you are as always a voice of reason (5+ / 0-)

    You stand with Dean or crawl with Lieberman.

    by Grassroots Mom on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:02:10 AM PST

  •  We're boned...hahaha...hahahahahahaha...hahaha (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Benintn

    I'll support Obama no matter what.  I might not work for him as hard as I did last year, or, ya know, maybe I might.  What I'm losing, though, is any sense that Obama might be a transformative leader of the scale of a Ronald Reagan, or even just a Democratic president who is regarded at the end of his term as someone who did a pretty good job.  

    We're going to get hammered next year.  Who can be proud of this process?  Progressives will stick with Obama--of that I have no doubt--but the Dems will go into the midterms with unemployment about where it is today, with average Joes and Janes not being able to point to ANYTHING tangible they got for their support, and the millionaire's club that makes up our political elite will try to sell the message that without their efforts things could have been so much worse.

    B*L*O*O*D*B*A*T*H.  Oh well.  Totally agree with you that it's not worth getting too upset about all of this.  Progressives need to support Obama if for no other reason than this: when the dam breaks it has to be crystal clear that the problem wasn't us.

    •  I wouldn't be here if I wasn't involved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My concern is my friends and former fellow-volunteers who refuse to donate, make calls, knock on doors, or work toward electing more and better Democrats.

      My concern is that we've alienated our base - it's the people who have said GBCW who concern me.

      "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

      by Benintn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:13:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if only we Got A Grip (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, gratis4, two roads

    2 years ago.  Instead of wasting time battling over which corporate Democrat got to win the primary, we started with the much tougher fights required to get things like real universal health care.

    Too many people thought that was the essence of the primary fight and they were so wrong.  Too bad so many people are only learning that now, and many others still haven't learned that.

  •  so, you're telling us... (10+ / 0-)

    ...that we should have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference, basically?

    Prison rape is not funny.

    by social democrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:03:20 AM PST

  •  You might want to look at my diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, zett, drache, IL JimP

    from today, where I outline the talking points from the White House and Organizing for America (DNC).

    I think the position of the White House is that they will try to merge the best of the House and Senate bills at the end of the day, and put it through to conference committee.

    That doesn't mean we stop fighting.

    It does mean that we should be clear about our goals.

    That's one reason why I support the Kos position of "no mandates without a public option".  We're not going to mandate coverage without providing better choices and more controls on the insurance companies.

    "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

    by Benintn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:03:53 AM PST

  •  I've GOT a grip, thank you very much.... (8+ / 0-)

    and all the rationalizing isn't going to change the fact that, regardless of how this turns out, regardless of who did what as part of the process, the process of creating this bill has been a net FAIL for Obama and for the Democrats so far. It is complete denial to pretend otherwise.

    This does a pretty good job of summarizing how a lot of people feel. I'll quote part of it:

    But none of that (public option, etc) happened, and the things that people care about died with a whimper.

    ... you can show leadership for big ideas and there's always still room to compromise at the end. At least then it would be clear that there was no other way, that you put up the good fight, better luck next time.

    Instead they feel like the people they voted for and trusted to lead them failed. And it's hard to imagine making that same emotional commitment again in the future. Self defeating, yes. Temporary, maybe. But we're talking primal stuff here - people don't like wimps, no matter what party.(my emphasis)

    Again, I didn't come into this with any illusions about the "60 vote majority". The Democratic Party has always been bipolar and we have seen worse in the past.

    However, the fundamental flaws about Rahmbama and the Dems that have been exposed by this process cannot be dismissed as just "the way things are in Washington" or "part of the process", implying that those who are angry are some immature idealists. The same impulses--the obsessive reactivity against the results of the 1990s, the contempt for progressives while kissing the asses of lobbyists and corporate cronies, the cynical feeling that any and all campaign promises can be jettisoned whenever convenient, the instant caving to any faux conservative objection--will continue to derail other Obama initiatives. This isn't about pouting and emotional idealism--this is about staying in touch with the American people so that we can win again in 2010 and 2012. This goes way beyond a few DFHs crying in their bongs. THAT'S what I find so scary.

    Dear Obama and Dems: If you don't stand for anything, you can't expect people to stand with you.

    by Azdak on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:06:50 AM PST

  •  No, No, And NO again (5+ / 0-)

    Nice lengthy post. Also wrong on so many levels. here's just a couple...

    1. writing a bill that makes OUR gov't the enforcers for any industry is WRONG. Period. End. Of. Discussion.
    1. For anyone who thinks this is some kind of incremental advancement that can be built on later, I have some land in Florida, and bridge for you to look at.

    Have a nice day..and btw try not to choke on the crap sandwich the WH is trying to feed us..

  •  Great diary - you so well capture my thoughts (7+ / 0-)

    We have a bad system of governance - it imposes numerous constraints on what we can get done and how we get it done. I suspect that Barack Obama is rational enough in his assessment of the system that he entered this process knowing full well that in the end all he would be able to do was lay a framework for the start of reform. That is where we are. I would prefer single payer and, if not that, a robust PO, etc., but I also know how unrepresentative the Senate is, how purchased so many of its members are, and how unresponsive so many senators are (Lieberman loves it when we attack him and he just digs his heels in). Let's tighten up the pending proposals and prepare to revisit the issue in the next Congress and the one after it and so on.

  •  Reasonable, Well-stated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, Eclectablog

    Thanks for some sanity. People need to realize that they are being manipulated as cover for the massive failure of congressional Democrats to pass a meaningful health care reform bill.  

  •  I'm going to defy you. (6+ / 0-)

    I will say that if the bill as it stands today had been passed 16 or 17 years ago that we'd be worse off today.


    Because the Health Insurance Industry would have become Too Big To Fail.  They'd have grown out of just doing health insurance, and branched into other investments, which would eventually have crashed.  Then they'd have claimed that they were the social entity responsible for health care, that they could not be allowed to fail.  And we'd be TARPing them in addition to the mandates that people would already have.  Plus, by giving them that monopoly that long ago, they would have already have acquired even more pull in Washington, and found ways to not only weaken all the regulation in the bill, but to well neigh completely de-regulate.

    If we'd passed the bill 16 or 17 years ago, we'd be just that much further along the road to neo-feudalism or full and complete Corporatism or neo-fascism - whatever you want to call it.  We would have handed that much more social responsibility to entities that by definition exist to generate wealth for themselves.

    If we'd passed the bill 16 or 17 years ago, all that Washington would be talking about was how to keep the horrendous system that this bill would create afloat, no matter how broken it is.  They would be talking about how many hundreds of billions it needed to keep it alive, not about completely reforming it.

    This bill is not a step in the right direction.  It is a step completely in the wrong direction.  It mandates that we effectively tithe to corporations that have proven themselves more than willing to maintain profit margins and executive benefits at the cost of our lives with no guarantee at all that their end of the contract will be maintained at without a cost beyond most people's ability to pay.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:08:47 AM PST

    •  Could You Extrapolate on This (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Because the Health Insurance Industry would have become Too Big To Fail.  They'd have grown out of just doing health insurance, and branched into other investments, which would eventually have crashed.

      Other investments like what?  Health insurance companies already invest billions of dollars in the stock market.  Are you suggesting they would have gone out and bought a bunch of penny stocks or baseball teams or something?  What about this bill would have increased diversification of their holdings?

      You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

      by TooFolkGR on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:16:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, signals, TNThorpe

        It is my belief that this bill would permanently enshrine the insurance companies as the mechanism to control and regulate health care in our nation, just as the financial industry now controls and regulates the coin of our realm.

        With this position, and knowing that if they go down, we all go down, they'll make the assumption, as the banking industry did, that they can take undue risks, because they know that they'll be propped up and bailed out if they fail.

        At the end of the day, right now, the health insurance companies make sure that they can at least pay out a certain percentage of their contractual obligations.  Yes, their policies of denial of care, or recension, of effectively prescribing care based on cost are vile at best, but if they can't pay at least some portion of the majority of the claims, they go under.

        If, however, they are enshrined in the pantheon of Too Big To Fail, they'll take riskier investments.  Oh, I'm sure that they'll justify it to themselves - they'll embrace statistical algorithms like those that led to the bundling of toxic assets; they'll say that they need to expand horizontally to increase income to pay medical costs, but eventually, they'll crash, just like the financial industry has.  In effect, it will become the true unholy union of the financial sector, the health sector, and the government.

        And when they do crash, as I said, they'll know that We The People will be forced to bail them out, no matter how bad a job they're doing.  And because they'll be so entrenched, because they'll have so much money and Washington power behind them, because they'll have the bucks to sell us on how vital they are to our society, we'll do it.  And the cost of doing it will be that we'll be even less healthy and live shorter, harder lives.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:27:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary. (8+ / 0-)

    I hope this stays on the rec list for weeks.  

    There was Allen, a gaunt midwesterner who smiled, when he smiled, with all the humor of a skull. - (from A Rumor of War)

    by dov12348 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:10:09 AM PST

  •  Respectfully, "Get Real" (5+ / 0-)

    I literally about lost my lunch when you excused this travesty with "Healthcare is 1/6th of our economy; Obama wants to save jobs."

    Tell that to blue collar workers, computer programmers, and customer service reps who have lost jobs overseas, and watch their company get tax breaks.

    Tell that to the millions of Americans who are paid far less than they are worth in the free market, because they're held captive by their insurance.

    Tell that to small businesses that have to close, because their owners need to work for a larger company for an affordable health plan.

    Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of creative entrepreneurs who would love to go into business for themselves, but can't, due to health insurance issues.

    Nobody would lose jobs if a decent health care plan passed. Care providers would save billions of dollars a year in administrative costs. Insurers MAY become slightly less profitable enterprises, they would not shut down altogether. They would need to adjust their way of doing business, and their CEOs may make 12 million dollars a year rather than 15 million.

    Wall Street does not want reform, because health care is a reliable and growing profit center. If strong reform passed, we'd see a slight market correction but then they'd just find another way to fill their coffers.

    We are the briefest, tiniest presence yet we are wholly connected with everything that was, is, and shall be.

    by MarkTrueblood on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:10:12 AM PST

    •  Yikes You Literally Almost Threw Up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Over something you read?  You should get that checked out.  I hope you have insurance.

      You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

      by TooFolkGR on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:15:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

        "you have to consider the impact of any changes to healthcare from an economic and employment perspective." and "any reform has to occur fully within the current system."

        You seem like a well-intentioned person, but I do think the above statement is an excuse for a bill that amounts to everything the insurance industry hoped for.

        On top of that, given the Administration's clear favoritism towards Wall Street and giant banks on financial issues, I do not find it believable that Obama's compromise of the compromise of the compromise of the compromise of the compromise on healthcare is out of concern for jobs.


        We are the briefest, tiniest presence yet we are wholly connected with everything that was, is, and shall be.

        by MarkTrueblood on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:11:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is absolutely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          nothing wrong nor exculpatory about saying that healthcare - and healthcare reform - doesn't exist in a vacuum.  What we do with HCR will have an impact, both short- and long-term, on other things that we also concern ourselves with (like the economy and jobs).  If I'm being totally candid, I would say that I would absolutely HOPE that all major decisions we make as a country from a policy perspective are so well-understand that where they fit with other issues has at least been considered.  

          The fact that the bill in question may or may not be "everything the insurance industry hoped for" is unproven and beside the point - it is an assumption.  What you offer is one possible explanation, and what I offer is another.  I'm sure there are myriad others that could be added to the list.

          But to characterize my diary or my tone as "excusing" the bill-that-is-not-yet-a-bill in the Senate is a mischaracterization.

          •  Fair enough. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I hear you.

            I, personally, am not very confident that this nuanced position is due to their concern for employment opportunities for the American people.


            We are the briefest, tiniest presence yet we are wholly connected with everything that was, is, and shall be.

            by MarkTrueblood on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:29:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              there's a lot of possible reasons why we're being driven in the direction we appear to be heading.  But those possibilities DO include well-intentioned - even if wrong - reasons.  :)  They don't all have to be some evil secret plot that effectively have Obama perpetrating the fraud of the century on Democrats everywhere.

              My hope is that we eventually get off the need to demonize a person who a scant 10 months ago we adored so completely that it almost made my hair hurt.  :)  That kind of borderline political bi-polar-like behavior can't be good in the long run, nor does it enhance our chances of keeping our hands in the fight for meaningful change.

              We understand one another, and it's all good.  :)  Would that all discussions here on Daily Kos resolved themselves in such a friendly fashion.  ;)

              •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I happen to be an advertising creative so I'm the last person who should be preaching holier-than-thou.

                I simply do not understand why every Administration bends over backwards to ensure that multimillionaires amass ever-increasing fortunes, partially from the suffering of the American people, while the rest of us are left in the cold.

                A rising tide should lift all boats.

                My current dismay at the seriously wrongheaded direction Obama's administration does not change the fact that I think the guy will continue to have a positive impact on the world.

                We are the briefest, tiniest presence yet we are wholly connected with everything that was, is, and shall be.

                by MarkTrueblood on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:26:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  No, you get perspective. This POS bill is not (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    jbou, Larry Bailey, zett, Brooke In Seattle, JRandomPoster
    Hidden by:

    yet passed and now is the time to wail and call out the corporate cocksucking fascist whores, not after it's passed, further enriching the various companies that will fight agaisnt any change -- not after we've been fucked by it.  

    Also, getting fired from your job, wrongly, sad.  Mourn a bit but yeah, get a grip.  A country being further subverted to fascist interests, criminal, even treasonous wrongdoing not even investigated, a President spreading "change we can believe in" no shitting the same-o' same-o' on his base!!  There is no grip to get there--just realization so change can occur.

    There only one grip to get right now and that is around these fucking self-styled "owners" throats and their lackeys and dupes; sopme of which seem to be, sadly, Democratic!

    We the People in order to establish Justice, Defense, Welfare, Liberty do establish the US of A. That is what America is about!

    by FightTheFuture on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:10:33 AM PST

  •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

    I, too, am thoroughly sick of the OMGTHESKYISFALLING business, especially when people (like Kos) start slagging the Massachusetts healthcare system without any experience living under it.  The current bill is far from flawless, and I am very worried about the abortion language, but you know what?  Getting coverage for the people who are dying and suffering is ultimately what matters.

    As Keith Olbermann said a few weeks ago, it's about death.  I can't see that scrapping the process when we've finally gotten something that's actually on the Senate floor and coming up for a vote is going to do any good at all.

  •  thank you for stating so eloquently (8+ / 0-)

    what my drive by posts have been attempting.

    what can we do to feel better?

    i know what I did - i sent half of what was in my bank account to help defeat lieberman (okay okay, so it was only $5 and not QUITE half - that would have been $6 bucks) - but i'm already gearing up to work on every campaign effort to purge the senate of those who got in the way of the bill we wanted.

    same goes for the house, but not quite as critical.

    don't b*tch, work harder!  that is the only way to succeed! (is that the capsulated version of your diary?)

    thanks renaf - you ARE the best and your former employer is a fool.

    Totalitarian tyranny is not based on the virtues of the totalitarians. It is based on the mistakes of the liberals - albert camus

    by edrie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:12:32 AM PST

    •  oops... renaRF.... sorry.... my bad..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      crappy typing - arthritic fingers.....

      Totalitarian tyranny is not based on the virtues of the totalitarians. It is based on the mistakes of the liberals - albert camus

      by edrie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:14:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "nuance" I want is in reconciliation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not one to look for evil subterfuge on the part of Rahm Emanuel or certainly President Obama in their "capitulation" to Sen.s Lieberman or (soon) Ben Nelson.  But I AM willing to fan the flames of outrage in order to force Congress to get GOOD POLICY through reconciliation rather than imprint BAD POLICY for decades to come with a dog of a bill.

    If that means acting in a political way by demagoguing the betrayal of our goals a little bit, well, that's just me speaking in the Public Forum for effect.

    And effecting the direction of this reform is what I want to do.

    Lack nuance?  Sure.  But, like money, inflammatory language is effective when practicing politics.

  •  Zero? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, zett

    You are wrong about underfunded candidates winning races. Paul Wellstone and Russ Feingold both won their senate seats as underfunded candidates. Hell, for Feingold's reelection the Republicans threw everything they had at Russ and he was able to overcome it and stay true to his word that he wouldn't take PAC money. It can be done if you have the work ethic to drive to every district in your state and hold town halls and talk to the people. It can be done if you know how to organize on a grassroots level and get people out knocking on doors and getting people out to vote. You can do it if you meet the people.

    I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

    by jbou on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:15:33 AM PST

    •  In all this debate I keep thinking of Feingold (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou, RenaRF

      saying this:

      "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."

      But then he did say this:

      But Feingold added there are "obviously good things in the bill" and focusing on an individual member is not an "accurate portrayal of what happened."

      I will be deeply interested to see if he ends up voting for a bill without a public option, for instance, because he thinks there are "enough" good things in the bill.

      emphasis mine

      •  Russ has always been... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a man of action. He tries his hard to stand up for liberal ideals while working within the horrible framework of the senate. I am waiting to see what he gets added to the bill so they get his vote.

        I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

        by jbou on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:51:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Russ compromises. Russ works with Repubs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          even ones like Tom Coburn (shudder!) but why do I not have the feeling that it's a sellout or a betrayal when he does it?

          And why do few other Democrats make me feel like that?

          Rhetorical question. :)

          I want to re-phrase 1 point you made, if I may:

          He tries hard to stand up for liberal ideals

          I get the impression it is not about ideals with him, per se.  He actually knows that Progressive policies work and he tries his best to get them enacted. That's the kind of pragmatism I can get behind. :)

          I wish more Dems (pols and voters) showed his quiet certitude about what works and would strive for it in terms of its benefit to people, not just electoral politics.  He understands that good policy is good politics.

          Gawd, why can't more get that?

  •  Exactly. Politics is the art of the possible. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, RenaRF, Patricia Bruner, mallyroyal

    I think there's a strong point of debate that has probably occurred about how much change can be implemented that:

    a) doesn't cause unemployment to rise;
    b) doesn't affect the employment growth rate in the healthcare sector;
    c) doesn't cause the overall economic outlook to worsen; and
    d) doesn't adversely affect an individual politician's ability to remain within the system (e.g., be re-elected) in order to further change.

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:16:59 AM PST

    •  Health care reform is like pulling teeth. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, Patricia Bruner

      If we'd fixed the cavity in time, we wouldn't need to now go through the pain of a root cannal.

      Yes, some people are going to be hurt in the short term if real health care reform is enacted.

      In the long term, we'd see economic growth, job growth, healthier people and less overhead costs associated with getting care.  But it's gotten so bad at this point, the vampiric leaches that are the insurance industry have become so entrenched, that there would be some pain in removing them, or even diminishing their roles.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:32:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's part of the problem. You buy all of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        anti-insurance company hype.  The profit margin in the insurance industry is relatively low, compared to almost any other industry.  They pay out the bulk of the money that they collect to pay claims.   It's no wonder that they are scared of reform.  With low profit margins, any change in the status quo could put them under.  

        But then, again, that's what a lot of people want. Kill private insurance and replace it with a government run unknown.

        Not me.  I'd actually like to see the bill, first, before I sign on for any significant and irreversible change in the status quo.  Don't you?

        Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

        by SpamNunn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:50:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Buy all the anti-insurance company hype" (0+ / 0-)

          You dare say that, then come back with a teabagger argument of:

          But then, again, that's what a lot of people want. Kill private insurance and replace it with a government run unknown.

          Not me.  I'd actually like to see the bill, first, before I sign on for any significant and irreversible change in the status quo.  Don't you?

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:17:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anyone who has a brain should want to see the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            actual provisions of bill before they support it, from teabaggers to the most progressive of Democrats.  Ad hominem attacks on people who don't just blindly support an undefined concept are unwarranted.   Yes, I do dare to say that.  

            Try the decaf.

            Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

            by SpamNunn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:26:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Ineffectual leadership/mastermind behind the bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, two roads

    There's actually no contradiction there. If he doesn't want to alienate the base but has a corporate agenda the best way to do it is appear passive. Let the conservative forces in the Senate push the legislation rightward. This is conjecture though. There is no proof of it.

    A better question is how come someone who has such supposedly little power over the senate can have Rahm call Reid and make them drop both the remnants of the PO and the very popular medicare buy-in?  

    "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

    by Grassee on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:19:31 AM PST

  •  Sorry Rena, you're rationalizing their sellout. (8+ / 0-)

    Learn more about second-class U.S. citizenship at

    by Larry Bailey on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:19:59 AM PST

      •  By... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...talking about first steps and incremental improvement to this stinker. We no longer live in an age of 40+ year Democratic congressional majorities. There'll be Repug control again and probably sooner than we expect (given the feast we'd be providing them with the mandate) and, back in control, they will twist this further to the advantage of their money base.  And then we'll seize a small majority and not do diddley for a few years and then back it'll go.  This argument for incremental improvement (and you're not alone in making it here) is based upon a myth of continuous (and as we've learned is needed -- huge) Democratic majorities.

        All that said, I love seeing that you are diarying more lately. You know you were one of my early faves here.

        Learn more about second-class U.S. citizenship at

        by Larry Bailey on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:19:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  yup (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Patricia Bruner

    We have to deal with the fact that money rules the day. Can we change that fact?

    I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

    by jbou on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:20:54 AM PST

  •  Great diary. (8+ / 0-)

    btw you sound like you have a wonderful husband.

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:24:53 AM PST

  •  WARNING: Long comment follows... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, neroden, lastman

    This isn't a particularly healthy thing to do. But I am going to attempt to go back and decipher exactly what went wrong that allowed us to get to this point in the HCR debate. Why? So that maybe we can come to some sort of closure on this and learn our lessons. Obviously, we need to do both.

    For the record, I don't believe Obama was a sellout. The reason I say this is because I am convinced that he would have signed a bill that contained a robust public option. Some might say that he knew it would fail and therefore felt comfortable publicly supporting it while stabbing us in the back behind closed doors. I don't buy this argument for one simple reason; Obama is in a really shitty place right know and there is no way he planned on being here. If he were a sellout, he would have planned this out much better.

    That brings me to my second point. If he's not a sellout, then what is he? I think the truth is simpler than many of us realize. Obama is a great speaker. He is well educated and graceful. At times, he seems incredibly thoughtful and insightful. A major improvement over his predecessor. But, when it comes right down to it, he is largely a failure. At this point, he is definitely losing the game. As they say, those whom can't do, teach. Obama has been very much like a college professor. Through his speeches, he teaches us how to see things from a moral perspective and elaborates beautifully on the differences between right and wrong. He is able to eloquently say the things we feel inside of ourselves. But in the end, his principles got in the way of real progress. Let's face it ...there are some things that Obama just will not do. Even when he really needs to. He won't abuse the power of his office for political gain. In contrast, George Bush was an idiot. But, he was an idiot that understood the difference between principles and progress. Bush's ideology was deeply flawed, but he still got it passed. Was it pretty or graceful? Not by a long shot. But it was effective. In the end, Bush got most of what he wanted; Obama didn't.

    Therefore, I ultimately believe that Obama is not a traitor or a sellout, but rather an incompetent. He knows how to sell the American people, but that's where his talent stops. He clearly has no idea how to truly take charge of a situation and lead. In the end, that is going to be the ultimate fatal flaw of Obama's legacy. Well spoken, well intended, but utterly spineless and therefore useless. Hillary and McCain warned us that all he had were really great speeches. So great, that we chose to ignore the lack of leadership experience he actually has. Poor Obama must feel like a turtle on his back trying to deal with all he has been charged with. But alas, he is only a great speaker. One that relies far too heavily on his cabinet for advice. One whom possibly thought it was wise or clever to surround himself with the same people that caused many of our problems.

    Here are some fatal flaws regarding HCR...

    Fatal Flaw #1 - We never had 60 votes in the Senate. Yet, we never addressed this reality until recently. We probably should have seen this coming, but we didn't. Many of us wrongly assumed that this obstacle would eventually resolve itself. As it turns out, had we had the 60 votes, most of us would be pretty happy right now with the bill THAT PASSED. Lieberman, Lincoln, Snowe, the 40 republicans ...none of that would have happened at all had we had a solid 60. Instead, we had a solid 50 and a very shaky 9. Being honest with ourselves about that from the beginning would have saved a lot of heartache in the end.

    Fatal Flaw #2 - We assumed Obama had the power to make it happen. If he had made more speeches and called out more traitors, would we have HCR right now? Honestly, who knows. But one thing we know for certain is that it wouldn't have hurt to try. Ultimately, it doesn't matter now because quite frankly it's too late. They smell blood in the water. They know Obama is salivating to sign a bill; any bill. He tipped his hand and everyone knows he's only got a pair of threes. Unfortunately, the Republican prophecy of this being 'Obama's Waterloo' may be coming true.

    Fatal Flaw #3 - We should have fought tooth and nail for single payer. Instead, we caved on it before it even got debated. We failed to make it clear that a public option was already a compromised position. Had we done that, perhaps we'd have a bill worth passing right now.

    Fatal Flaw #4 - We only addressed one side of the cost issue. While insurance companies are certainly dubbed the villains in our little tale, they are not the only ones. Providers still charge way too much for their services and drugs still cost way too much. Going after insurance companies alone was a mistake. We should have included everyone. Why? Because this would have given us more negotiating chips with the main culprit, Big Insurance. After all, regulating provider costs and pharmaceutical costs saves big insurance a lot of money. It would have completely changed the dynamic of all the deal making. On certain issues, we would have had insurance and drug companies on our side. Instead, Obama chose to offer the drug companies a sweetheart deal in exchange for their lack of involvement. Involving everyone would also have been truer to and more in harmony with the end goal of genuine health care reform. Instead, we blamed insurance companies for all our health care woes, which just isn't realistic. We turned the fight into a strict 'us vs. them' kind of battle. It could have been so much more.

    In the end, it is important that we learn from this. Not just on HCR but on electing a president as well. It's a really, really hard job to do well. Especially now. At some point we should also probably admit that our process for electing a president (and senators) is flawed. Four years is simply too long to allow incompetence to exist in such powerful and important positions. Six years is even worse. We need to get everyone on two-year cycles. Two years is enough time to prove yourself, but hopefully not long enough to destroy the country. Case in point, if Obama were working for a private company as their CEO, he'd be worried about his job right now. Not three years from now. That might have lit the proverbial fire under his ass to get things done.

    All of these things played their part in The Great Health Care Reform Failure of 2009. And, one bright little ray of sunshine is that we did get a halfway decent bill from the House. That's something to be proud of, in an academic and trivial sort of way. But if we want true healthcare reform, we need to change the players and bring it to their door one more time. Hopefully, this crisis will be addressed again in four years under a different Democratic president.

    In other words, we'll get 'em next time.

  •  In other words... (6+ / 0-)

    What we're getting is the best that we could have hoped for, so stop all the putulant whining, grow up, and join the real world.

    Um, no.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:28:28 AM PST

    •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Love you, kovie - always have - but it would be better put like this:

      Stop endlessly grinding cycles looking backwards and pointing fingers to the utter obfuscation of any plan moving forward.  If you want HCR, it's clear now that you'll (me too) have to take it.  Plan the forward assault on the chance that what gets passed isn't true HCR.

      •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

        I completely reject the argument that you SEEM to be positing that the current senate bill is the best that we can hope for at this point, and that it's a choice between either passing it in its current form, or passing nothing at all, and that opposing it at this point is bad policy AND politics. I could not disagree with that more.

        I don't think this is the choice that we have right now, because it implicitely rejects a third choice, which is what serious opponents of the bill are shooting for IMO, namely, threatening to kill it IN ORDER TO force centrist Dems to improve it.

        By forcing them to choose between no bill being passed, and passing a better (more progressive) bill, I believe that they'll go for the latter, even though it'll piss off their corporate overlords, because the former would be politically disasterous for them (more so than for progressives), and you can't govern when out of office or power.

        This isn't about whining or ranting or petulance, Rena. This is about political hardball, which is the only way to get things done in politics. Sure, there's ranting--most of it well-earned. But there's also much method to the madness.

        "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

        by kovie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:48:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kovie: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie, JupiterIslandGirl

          I am NOT in any place in my diary indicating that:

          1. It's a good bill
          1. It's a not-so-bad bill
          1. That anyone should stop fighting for reconciliation who feels inclined to do so.
          1. That anyone should stop fighting to kill it who feels inclined to do so.

          BUT.  It is FAR BETTER with ANYTHING in life that matters to evaluate and plan for ALL eventualities.  Work for the best, plan for the worst.  We should NOT fail to accept the idea that the worst may happen and this bill passes as written (or worse!).  If that happens despite efforts at reconciliation and efforts to kill it, we must have a plan to address that and make improvements.

          that's all I was trying to say.

          •  If it passes in its current form (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            then clearly we'll have to work towards improving upon it in the future. What I'm saying is that I believe that there's still an opportunity to improve it in its current form, and that the best way to do that is to threaten to kill it if it's not improved.

            Perhaps we're just addressing two different things and I misunderstood, but I sensed that you're upset with present efforts to kill it.

            Also, shorter diaries make for easier parsing. One only has so much time and brainspace for processing such things. ;-)

            "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

            by kovie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:12:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I DO write long diaries. (0+ / 0-)

              I always say to myself - I'll get right to it.  I even hopefully start the diary with "This is going to be a short diary".  And then I start to make my point and support my point and link and... needless to say, the opening sentence gets edited out.  :)

              My biggest problem with dKos and the noise level right now isn't calls to organize to kill it, or calls to organize to press reconciliation.  It's the absolutist cries of "Clearly he sucks and now EVERYTHING will suck as long as he's there" comments and their ilk, that are then supported by endless backward-looking without a whiff of movement towards something productive.

              You are focused on something productive.  Many others here are not - and in being negative-without-action, they are spinning conspiracy theories and overall badness that distracts others from things productive.

              That's my beef!  :)

  •  Sorry, way past the point of being influenced by (6+ / 0-)

    pseudo sermons or parental like advice. Might have worked when I was five.

    I believe a similar type response would be for you to "get real" as noted in one of the comments.  

    And that wouldn't be effective, either. You and everyone else here is capable of coming to their own conclusions, without making grandiose claims about who owns "reality."

    It's called the American Dream because to believe it, you have to be ASLEEP! -Carlin

    by gereiztkind on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:32:24 AM PST

  •  What if over 50% of registered Dems sat out the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, TheUnknown285

    I can't think of a stronger message we the voters can send than a sit out.  And this midterm is THE TIME to do it.  We have the numbers to sustain some losses and still retain control over both houses.  A lot of vulnerable congress critters would start to open their  ears to our messages if they truly believed we would sit on our hands and watch them lose otherwise.  People keep talking about how NOW is the best time to get something, anything that is a start on HCR, but I say no.  NOW is the time to send the message that WE the voters truly decides who represents US.  ANd if you are not going to represent US, then go away and we will find someone who will.  I know, you can't elect change by not voting, but you can send the message that we DEMAND change by not voting.

    Hell, maybe I'm just angry and full of shit.

    Raising Children: Long days and short years.

    by atmplant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:33:17 AM PST

  •  Thanks for such a thoughtful diary, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stonedown, RenaRF, zett

    here's where the analysis falls short.

    It's pretty obvious that this deal is of a piece with the Wall Street bailout in that it hooks up a failed industry to permanent gov't life support and in the process fails to extract the nearly the concessions it ought to have.

    How on earth is this bill going to bring our health care costs in line with those of other major democracies? Without controlling costs, which means making big medical business unhappy, this bill merely prolongs the agony of the current state of affairs.

    Politically, mandates w/o competition and higher rates for the elderly are disasters, not to mention a betrayal of social justice, so I wonder how the WH can be so tone deaf.

    Pres. Obama's Big Pharma deal is just one example of the public being sold down the river (and yes we were indeed sold down the river) in favor of a large campaign cash source. Does that even pass the smell test?

    Your diary is right on though in it's never say die attitude. Thanks for a good shot in the arm.

    This fight is far from over.

    Debt peonage in the 21st century, a fully bipartisan accomplishment.

    by TNThorpe on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:37:04 AM PST

  •  Um, this is part of the problem, not the solution (6+ / 0-)

    The health care industry is responsible for 1/6th of the economy.

    There are two sides to the equation of HCR.  Because we are compassionate, most of us are focused on the inferior product they are delivering.  The other side is that we are spending an unsustainable portion of our GDP on this inferior product.

    Put another way, employment is terrific, but we need more primary care doctors and fewer smiling drug reps and television ads for hard-ons.

    FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

    by geomoo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:37:31 AM PST

    •  I agree with you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo, earicicle

      I'm a "soft-lander", economically speaking.  So while i recognize that healthcare being 1/6th of the economy is part of the problem, I would prefer that the systemic issue you reference be ameliorated rather than blown up.

      Don't construe that to mean that I believe meaningful healthcare reform has to "blow up" 1/6th of the economy - I don't.  But I do believe that it has to at least be a consideration in any soft-landing scenario.

    •  What is bothering me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, jhw22

      there should be a third side. What about the people that this bill will help in spite of its flaws?

      In the beginning we heard the stories of the uninsured, they don't seem apart of the discussion anymore.

      I brought my mop Mr President, let's do this!

      by JupiterIslandGirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is troublesome, but I do think they are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        still in the discussion.  Did you see the diary this morning comparing the few actual benefits in this bill with the $300 tax refund the Reps gave away as a crumb when they passed huge tax cuts for the very wealthy?  That seems an apt comparison to me.  The people who are helped should absolutely be considered in this discussion, but it is still possible to argue that this bill does more harm than good.  I am convinced that it does, which doesn't prevent me from feeling the pain of people whom this bill would help.

        FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

        by geomoo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:18:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you see it doing more harm? (0+ / 0-)

          Don't know what to think one way or the other anymore. I've seen articles that say it brings the deficit down at some point and that seems like a good thing but I also understand many will not be able to afford it, including me. But if it's killed, I still won't be able to get any insurance, and or affordable health care since I can't afford the status quo, either. I know people are concerned about the low income people but it looks as if we're screwed either way since I don't see the votes for anything better. This is one big mess.

          As I was saying to someone earlier, I guess it depends on how the subsidies work and the proposed Medicaid expansion. Then again, I don't know.

          I brought my mop Mr President, let's do this!

          by JupiterIslandGirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:30:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Because many of the uninsured (0+ / 0-)

        aren't going to be helped by this piece of crap bill.

        We are going to be forced to buy insurance we can't afford and still be denied CARE, which is what we wanted in the first place.

        I don't give a damn about health insurance. I want health CARE, and this bill won't give it to enough people to even matter -- including ME.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:13:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't have insurance (0+ / 0-)

          I take care of my mother who has dementia and I'm unemployed, although I do graphics work here and there that brings in a small income. I'm not convinced it will help me either but it will depend on requirements for subsidies and or Medicaid. I haven't seen a doctor in over 5 years. To be honest, I'm more concerned with a friend who's financial situation is a little better than mine but she has several pre existing conditions. This is why I asked the question. I'm really concerned about people like her. It may, or may not help me depending on the final bill but it looks like it will help her. I'm guessing there are many like her. With so much conflicting info, there don't seem to be any easy answers to really look at this objectively at the moment. I just hope that changes soon.

          I brought my mop Mr President, let's do this!

          by JupiterIslandGirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:20:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with Rena (6+ / 0-)

    People have the right to be angry right now at the party leadership. I won't deny that, or the right of people to continue to lobby for progressive change. However, I want nothing to do with of the destructive proposals that are being tossed around. We can do better than this.

  •  Sorry, No. I've already got a grip, thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, I will almost certainly support and vote to reelect this disappointing president. And yes, it goes without saying that a return to an even more radicalized GOP rule would be an unmitigated disaster. I'll vote next fall, mostly for Democrats as usual.

    I won't even hazard a guess as to how close to Obama's liking this Senate HCR bill really is. I honestly can't say that I feel I know what is truly in this man's heart. I don't know if he's brilliantly gotten close to what he wants or if he and his political team have simply fucked it all up.

    I was never naive enough to think that he would truly be transformational. Once he made Emmanuel Chief of Staff it was pretty clear to me that it was going to be another Right Lite type of administration.  Obama may occassionally play a liberal on TV, but he's a corporate centrist at heart. From Punahou to the Ivy League to the US Senate, that's the world in which he was raised and trained. All that nice talk about taking on lobbyists and changing how Washington does business, and negotiating in full public view, etc. was just campaign rhetoric. It got him the nomination, because we progressives simply never trusted Hillary Clinton or forgave her for craven and calculated pro-war stands on Iraq. The nomination itself was pretty much enough to beat McCain and Palin after 8 years of Cheney/Bush. And that's something, I guess.

    But Good God, I sure hoped he would stand and fight once in a while for some decent things.  I see little fight, little pride. I see that the Capitulation Caucus, led so brilliantly on Capitol Hill by the traumatized and neutered survivors of 1994 and 2002 and 2004, has now set up shop in the West Wing. I see a president who looks weak, and I live among an electorate that punishes weakness every time. I fear the outcome what Josh Marshall calls the 'bitchslap theory of politcs'. And it didn't have to be like that.

    I get why people liken this adminstration's decisions on war, torture, security and civil liberties and its failures to investigate or prosecute the previous administration' crime to "George W. Bush's 3rd term".

    As for health care, I don't think we have to just take what we can get at this time. We don't have to accept a mandate to purchase shitty insurance from greedy corporations that enjoy antitrust protection. That to me outweighs whatever good remains in the bill. That's the deal breaker for me.

    Let's start over. Let's not worry about political consequences. That situation is already a clusterfuck. If we can use reconciliation for budget busting tax cuts for the wealthy, we can use it to expand Medicare and take a big step closer to universal coverage that way.

  •  This reminds me of that old chestnut: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, RenaRF, Patricia Bruner, drache

    There was a cadre - small but powerful - of early alarm-bell ringers.

    Like how economists have predicted seven out of the last three recessions?

    Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

    by Inland on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:42:30 AM PST

  •  It's a tough choice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, TheUnknown285

    Should I be more upset if Obama is weak or if has sold out intentionally?  The result is the same.

    I can't think of an occasion when Obama has stood up to entrenched interests except those on the left.  Did he do it to the Intelligence community?  Has he done it with the military? Wall Street?  Big Pharma?  The insurance industry?  Has he fought hard enough for unemployed homeowners who are losing their homes?

    Obama seems very weak.  Weaker than Joe Lieberman, weaker than Ben Nelson.  The only one who may be weaker than Obama is Harry Reid.

    •  and for this he grades his performance B+? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hardly, Mr. President.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:04:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gotta admit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I cringed when I heard that.

        •  of course, it is a trick question, of a sort (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Add to that the point that most people act like the children of Lake Woebegone - we are all above average, and I don't see how he could give an honest answer.

          It does suggest that much like every other administration stuck inside the Bloatway, there is an automatic disconnect from reality that afflicts them. I can't tell if it is something in the water, the air, or if their food is contaminated with a mental disconnect bacteria.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:00:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Yet we are remarkably resistant to facts... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, RenaRF, pvlb, JupiterIslandGirl, jhw22

    ...when they don't work out the way we wanted to."

    Line of the year.
    Best diary I've seen in months.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:45:05 AM PST

  •  We.Are.Not.Reality.Based. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

    Sorry, but that is just so wrong. Let's look at this from three different views

    a. individual
    Our range of hearing, the tones we can sense, recognize, process and collate into recognizable things like music or speech, is, frankly, pathetic. Dogs are far better listeners (unless they are stubborn, but beautiful Great Pyres) and even cats can out hear us, especially with quiet noises. The owl and the bat have incredible hearing. Worst of all, our range decreases as we age. This sense sucks, yet without it or with even a little damage, our lives are very tough.

    Sight? Bah. Even more limited than our pathetic ears. The visible range of the spectrum is so tiny as to be worthless. Animals all have far better ranges, and can even see in the relative dark, whereas we fumble around.

    Taste? Ditto.

    Smell? Ours, except for pheromones that get us guys horny, is weak, almost useless. Yet, even our tiny remnant makes food taste better or bitter, and activates sex drives.

    We have many other serious limitations. The temperature ranges in which we can survive are tiny. Light levels can easily exceed what we can handle. Pressures? without protection,even a tiny bit too little or a tinier bit too much kills us.  

    So, we are relatively deaf, dumb, blind, and insensitive to a degree that we should be questioning the why and how of life, rather than its meaning. Yet, our biggest, most rude and ponderous organ, the one that monopolizes our blood supply, (no, not the penis, although some seem to think thru theirs) our brain, manages to continue despite huge holes in what we are physically able to perceive. But it gets worse!

    What is even funnier, if we used any particular sense constantly, is that we would go insane. Imagine constantly sensing all the clothes you currently wear, from your socks (if any) underwear (ditto), to shirts, belts, rings, watches, etc. We don't. We cannot. The overflow of information and sensation would not only distract us into insanity, it would crowd out important senses (car horns, lights changing at an intersection, the need to cough up a really bad Taco Bell meal) and even if our sanity would survive, ours lives would be short.  

    So, the inputs into our brains are extremely limited, AND, how we process and control them limit those inputs to an even greater degree.  Yet, our brains hunger. Without input or sensation, we also go insane. (ask the japanese, german, and CIA researchers who went there) So, from a rational perspective, we make shit up. We fill in the blanks. We take a few, very different facts, and concoct some "understanding" that connects them in our minds. Even when there is no connection. As a daily example of this happening to all of us, let's move on to:

    b. religion

    Religions are all based in stupidity. Lack of knowledge. Fear. Ignorance. If some tribe started a crazy dance in the middle of a drought, and BAM, lightning struck, followed by life giving rain, you'd soon see that tribe doing rain dances, especially in  a time of drought.  Ye Olde Testament is a brilliant document, at least from a medical perspective, because of what activities it prescribes, and which activities it bans. Shellfish? All it took was one red bloom, or the gathering of clams in the wrong month, and bingo:  Massive death. I won't repeat a religious history lesson here, but many of those rules were a reflection of their limited knowledge, and a leap of logic (even faith) from taking a few facts and applying their knowledge base to those facts.

    Unfortunately, religions, long after they served any real purpose, continue to thrive. Which goes even further in displaying our ignorance, lack of knowledge, and just how often our reality is NOT fact based.  Faith healing? The Power of Prayer? Give me an effing break. Emotions are far more powerful than logic, and that is just one of the reasons why televangelists are so bloody rich. (and why too many believers in the south east parts of our country still cling to their guns and bibles)

    Now, let's apply our truly irrational character to

    c. politics

    Every single thing mentioned above applies to politics. And that is why Obama's performance on HCR has been so pathetic. What he did, or rather, what he failed to do in June, July, even August, set the course for this process, and that path led to disaster. He left huge gaps, and never tried to fill them in. K Street and Insurance lobbyists filled in the blank, and changed the meme, the frame, and the conversation. They scared 40,000,000 elderly about medicare. They convinced 45,000,000 uninsured that we were taking what little pathetic access they had left. They lied repeatedly, and what did we hear from Obama? Silence. Utter, unforgivable silence.

    That very silence went a long way towards creating fear and uncertainty over the health care debate. His refusal to even give us a specific, broad overview left even his supporters without a leg to stand on. A convenient lie that goes unanswered, in politics, ends up becoming the "truth" and that explains why so many people were so scared.

    Even more, Obama's complete failure in leadership has led directly to the formation of the Teabagger movement. Teabaggers are now more popular than the Democrats or the GOP, and for good reason. Had Obama laid out the absolute minimum of a real HCR plan, back in June, they never would have created signs claiming, "Keep the feds' hands off my medicare!" Or  my fave, "No Pubic Option!"

    No, we are not reality based. NEver have been, and quite possibly, it is humanity's fate never to become reality based. But given the power of emotions and leadership over the masses, Obama deserves every oath, swear word, and term of disgust and dismay we throw at him. He created this mess, when his job was to prevent it.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:48:02 AM PST

    •  that's why any serious progressive needs to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mentaldebris, RenaRF, agnostic

      start looking for alternatives now.  I am amazed how little discussion there is on this site about what comes after the failure of Obama and the "democratic" congress.

      •  Brilliant point! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It is easy to point out that the boat's on fire, but how to refloat it assuming the fire gets put out, IS THE KEY ISSUE.

        Given the amount of brains on this site, I, too, am surprised how little of that kind of thinking goes on.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:03:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's worth investing in traditional (0+ / 0-)

          structures anymore.  the filibuster logjam in the senate is like a "black hole" vortex sucking in any remaining hope/prospect of progress at the federal level.  Given the disaster in Copenhagen, substantially attributable to the U.S. failure to act due to the Senate, it can even be argued that these harmful political practices are eroding international progress on vital issues.

  •  Thanks for the diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, RenaRF, My mom is my hero

    enjoyable read.

    I was having a conversation with someone earlier. They are not politically savvy and only pay attention to water cooler talk and the news. Their position was to kill the bill but when I asked why, they could not give a reason. Ironically they were defensive about it and ended the discussion.

    I started thinking about all the people that are not connected to the blog world. People that go to work, come home, listen to news and check out the Reality Shows or whatever is on, and then start all over the next day doing the same thing. I have a feeling a lot of these people are the ones involved in the polls. They don't know any specifics, only what they have heard and the message hasn't been good.

    I like your story and I agree with your husband but keep in mind, you had to go through your stage of frustration before anything made a dent. That threshold varies from person to person.

    I'm at the point, if people want to engage in a civil discussion, great, if not, I move on. I can only do what I think is right, others have to do the same. That doesn't mean you should not try to reach out to people but don't let it get to you, when it doesn't change anything. Change begins with one individual and grows from there.

    Your husband sounds like a great guy, does he have a brother.LOL..Just joking:)

    I brought my mop Mr President, let's do this!

    by JupiterIslandGirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:49:50 AM PST

    •  AGREE! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm not opposed to the kvetching.  I kvetch - it's part of who I am.  But at some point that kvetching starts to work against the kvetcher if it remains the sole focus (the key word being "remains").  

      I am a huge believer in "work for the best, prepare for the worst" with the firm hope that the worst never comes to pass.  But to not have a plan for the worst is counterproductive to individuals and to society.

  •  Paul Wellstone defeated Rudy Boschwitz... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mentaldebris, RenaRF

    ...who was orders of magnitude more funded than Wellstone...

  •  Blah, blah, blah.... (4+ / 0-)

    I don't feel sorry for myself--I feel desperately sad for America and people struggling with their medical problems.  That group, btw, does not include me at this time.

    And for your comments about DK being a reality based community, well I hope that dems, too, can face a few realities, such as: hey, people seem to be turning against what-ever-the-heck it is that Congress is doing in the health-care area, that the dems now own the problems inherited from the gwb era, that a number of dem voters have concluded that the dems now in office don't care about them [regardless of what the officeholder said during campaigns].

    And the final reality for all to face? Dems will probably get slaughtered in the next few elections.

    And the reality that current dem officeholders need to face?  They did it to themselves.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:53:53 AM PST

  •  Sanity. (4+ / 0-)

    How refreshing. Thank you Rena!

  •  Burris says he won't filibuster the bill now (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, itskevin, RenaRF, Vacationland

    He said that today.

    But Thursday, he sounded far more open to supporting the final bill.

    "Because of what we’re up against now – and I’ve not crossed that threshold yet – but I will find it very difficult after we’ve gotten this far to be the vote that would kill it," Burris said. "Very difficult, that’s what we’re assessing."

    He added that restrictive abortion language probably wouldn’t cost his vote either.

    Now that just leaves Nelson and Sanders.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:55:12 AM PST

  •  I have two things to contribute. (10+ / 0-)

    A link to a short and excellent piece from Mother Jones.

    And, second, my new signature line, which for me says it all.

    "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

    by Mother of Zeus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:57:42 AM PST

  •  Thanks for some rational thoughts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Amber6541, ribletsonthepan

    (as opposed to emotional ranting) on this very important issue. I almost skipped the diary when I discovered it was about that tiresome subject, but I'm glad I persevered.

    Speaking of "tiresome"; a grammatical pet peeve:

    the vast majority who succeed (e.g., win)

    I think you mean "i.e., win". "e.g." stands for the Latin "exempli gratia", "for the sake of an example". "i.e." is "id est", "that is".

    "A little known President, e.g. Polk."

    "The 44th President of the U.S. i.e. Barack Obama."

  •  Finally, a voice of reason (6+ / 0-)

    I, too, totally agree with you. The health care insurance companies are a huge part of our economy. To go to a total government based program would indeed be a major problem for the many many people who work for these companies.

    I am old enough ( that's too bad ) to remember when Medicare was being discussed. The same people, Republicans, hated it. So did some Democrats. No one thought it would work.

    But today Medicare is an integral part of our system. And, it is not the same bill that was passed during the Johnson administration. It has been made stronger and better. Does it still need work? Yes. As our society moves forward, we should always look at our laws in order to update and/or delete.

    But if there is no foundation now on health care reform on which to build, there never will be health care reform. Never. Ever. Because the Democrats will hand power to the Republicans. That nightmare, to me, is inconceivable.

    Progressives also have to face the reality that most people are moderates. And I have no idea where anyone thought that Barack Obama was way to the left. Just look at what he did as a state senator. He is a pragmatic centrist.

    Here's what happened in the last election. We voted for change, and probably could have moved Obama left, but we did one thing wrong.

    We forgot that the Legislative Branch of the government is numero uno in the Constitution. For a reason. The President is not allowed to make legislation.But I digress. The point is we forgot to vote for Senators and Representatives that were more liberal. Barack Obama has to deal with the Congress he has. And by bashing him from the left, as well as from the right, we are only hurting ourselves.

  •  I have got a grip (4+ / 0-)

    And you are wrong.

    The president's lack of leadership has gotten us to this terrible impasse.

    He allowed the Congress to go to recess in the summer.

    He has indicated he was involved in health care discussions.  Indeed he was...with Max Baucus and the original Senate Finance bill.

    He's happy because this is the bill he wanted.

    I have been involved in the choice community for decades and it was his lack of leadership that allowed Stupak to bring his amendment to the floor. He was th eone who thought that the Hyde amendment was some sort of sacred federal policy tradition.  It is not. He was the one who told the choice community to back off and leave the Hyde amendment in place...don't try to make it better...make it easy for pass healthcare reform....of course it isn't clear to any of us just how rotten the bill he wanted to pass was.

    The president's leadership was involved though in turning 31 Democrats AGAINST another one of his campaign promises...he used to be for drug reimportation...but that went against the back room deal he made with Pharma....

    He went all out to kill someone good.  You would think he's go all out to do some good.

    You are behaving like an apologist.  You are being an apologist.

    You are not facing the reality of the kind of "leader" that Barack Obama is...He was always like this but you are unwilling to face that he was never the  person or politician you expected him to be.

    You need to get a grip on that

    Debra "But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not." SOS Clinton

    by debcoop on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:01:44 PM PST

    •  scary, when you total it up like you do. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

      but, as spock would say,
      "Your logic is impeccable."

      Which means our next 3 years will only get worse. The GOP has his number. They KNOW what to do. All they have to do to win is to say no. Obama has pretty much made it clear that obstructionists get rewarded, while supporters get a knife in the back.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:15:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, by all means... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic, zapus, jhw22

        Let's throw it all in the shitter!  It's absolutely positively GUARANTEED that the next three years will suck ass and all of us will be WAY WORSE off than we are today!

        The sky is falling!

        So let's just focus on that rather than anything - you know - productive.

        •  OK. How about sex? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Or scotch?

          Or better yet, a combination of both?

          I know what you are saying. And actually, I support the underlying thoughts. We cannot do it alone, mainly because of the structure of our government, the house and senate in particular. So far the lack of leadership present in the White House is only exceeded by the lack of leadership in Congress. Someone there has to stand up, (even stand up to the president, slap him to get his attention) and start working.

          There are many examples from both sides of the aisle, of capable, strong leadership, of people who knew how to get things done. So far, that seems to be missing on the D side. The GOP side, as silly and inept as they are, are unified as a minority.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:37:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This particular response is childish on your part (3+ / 0-)

          I have more respect for you than what this says about you.

          The way you make it better is NOT by accepting it...the way you make it better is by fighting it.

          I think one of the things people have to get right in their heads is that the next 3 years are years of pushing, pushing and more pushing.

          The president's first instinct is to go for th easy thing, he ignores liberals and coddles the right.  He refuses to meet with the Congressional Progressive Caucus but has Grassley over.  


          Only if you acknowledge where his instincts lie can you counteract them.

          If you support him because he's a moderate Democrat in attitude and in policy then you're right to support him.

          But lots of people supported him because he portrayed himself to them as someone who could bring progressive, transformational change not small, incremental change.

          If you support him because you think small change is all we should want then ok....But those who are disappointed are disappointed because they wanted, and were led to expect a lot more.

          Debra "But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not." SOS Clinton

          by debcoop on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:42:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right about (2+ / 0-)

            the childishness.  I'll beg forgiveness - but also caveat that I have seen endless, countless comments posted to numerous diaries about how much everything sucks and will definitely, positively suck right on into the future.  I'm over that sentiment - it's completely counterproductive.

            I've never believed that Obama is aligned where I am politically.  I read both of his books, and I furthermore think that his record is absolutely instructive.  What they told me long ago is that he'd rather bi-partisan efforts than not, and that he'd rather compromise to achieve that.

            Where I have issue with him generally is a failure to GET A GRIP when it was obvious that a bi-partisan effort was utterly unrealistic.

            The real question, for me, is whether or not progressive, transformational change is remotely possible within the current climate.  My personal opinion is that it is NOT.  So I WILL settle for small, incremental change if I have to.  

            I'm not advocating settling.  As the diary clearly states, I applaud the continued, productive push by those who advocate reconciliation and the continued, productive push by those who advocate killing this bill to force another outcome.  But I'm also a realist - we MUST have a plan to move forward and continue to press change if what we actually get is small and incremental (i.e., not good enough).

            And as to the idea that certain people know everything will just suck for the remainder of this President's presidency?  I utterly reject that.  It's so easy to nurture disappointment and use it as a reason to switch off - it's much harder to pick ourselves up and press forward.

            •  There is no need for forgivenenss (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RenaRF, Mother of Zeus

              Let's figure out to make it better.

              You have a talent for making people listen.  Let's do a little utzing as they say in Yiddish or nagging as they say less poetically in English.

              As my mother used to say to me all the time.  "If I nag, it's only for your own good and because I love you"

              Who knew I would think my mother was so right?

              Debra "But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not." SOS Clinton

              by debcoop on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:26:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

      He's happy because this is the bill he wanted.

      You can't know this.  It's these "black or white, he's either left or he's right" admoninitions that I find ridiculous.  Because you. Can't. Know. That.

      As to the rest, agree.  Bad expectations management, bad message management, a seeming lack of involvement, etc.  But he can't have gotten the "bill that he wants" AND have been criminally underinvolved.  Regardless - the test is what is done with what we get.  Looking back is essential - instructive.  Dwelling is tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot.

      •  There is enormous evidence that the only people (0+ / 0-)

        the WH talked to were Senate Finance ...via phone calls logs, visits,  etc from people like Messina and Rahm ...there are calls to Max Baucus...rememember Messina was Baucus's chief of staff.

        they never called any of the members of chairs of the other committees.

        And the White House fessed up to the Pharma deal which was in the Finance bill.  They admitted that the White House negotiated the deal which they did not publicly tell anyone about...Pharma's Billy Tauzin squealed to make sure they confessed so that they would fight the House provisions on pricing.

        He never fought for the public option.  Lieberman pulls a Lieberman and Obama THANKS him!!!!

        Debra "But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not." SOS Clinton

        by debcoop on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:34:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a matter of fact, there's lots of evidence to (5+ / 0-)

        the contrary. Bernie Sanders himself as late as last Friday sympathized with the President's position, saying that Obama was in a very difficult position. I'll bet he says the same thing tomorrow on Thom Hartmann's program (paraphrasing): "He's a brilliant man and his heart is in the right place".

        Knowing Bernie, he'll suggest some constructive way out of this mess that doesn't involve calling the President a traitor to the progressive cause, unlike the hysterical reaction at this site.

  •  Rena, please consider (12+ / 0-)

    that the character attacking is deliberate, and regardless of the facts, the narrative will be formed in the manner most hateful towards POTUS' character.

    If they can get a meme into the traditional media that POTUS is of poor character, then any accomplishments can be spun accordingly.

    Site's being gamed.  This is being done on purpose by an assortment of people with an assortment of agendas.

  •  I think it's awesome that HCR is now a jobs bill (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle, TNThorpe, iBlue

    for an industry that is indirectly costing every other economic sector in the country jobs.

    Selfishly, I am in the insurance business... life insurance, but it's close enough to the action to benefit from the industry getting what it wants.. and the American people getting jack.

    In a sense, the more legislative fail the more I prosper personally and professionally.. and investment-wise. I have thousands of shares of insurance stock.. and it's been doing great this year.

    I win either way.

    If there is reform, I can feel that America and the party I vote with are great and improving institutions.

    If not..too damn bad for everyone else, but life for me and mine will be just fine.

    I have the luxury of nihilism...but I don't choose to take that easy path.

    I choose to care, same as  - I am sure - anyone who posts here.

    But if you have to pin me to a microeconomic position?

    This bill failing or passing, mostly as-is, is a neutral event for me.

    Morally and ethically, I am deeply invested in there being a far better bill because in the long run not only do the American people need serious change in their health care social contract - the insurance industry is dying without the same serious level of change.

    And everyone knows this, inside and outside the industry.

    The status quo is killing us all.

    But for a few more years, perhaps a decade or so?


    I don't have to care. I can focus just on the politics if I so want. I can watch the markets go up and down on my stocks and made trades here and there when it suits.

    But I've never been one to just take the easy way, I guess.

    I've never just gone along to get along; it's not me.

    I chose to care about more than myself.

    I chose to care about my country and my fellow citizens' well being too.

    As I am very sure most of you here do, too.

    Everyone should have the opportunity to hear Shakespeare in the original Whale. (Bloop!)

    by cskendrick on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:02:16 PM PST

    •  Says it all for now! thanks cskendrick (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, Brooke In Seattle

      I think it's awesome that HCR is now a jobs bill  
      for an industry that is indirectly costing every other economic sector in the country jobs.

      cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

      by Pete Rock on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:53:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why is health care in America allowed to eat up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle, iBlue

        one-sixth the productivity of the economy?

        Everyone should have the opportunity to hear Shakespeare in the original Whale. (Bloop!)

        by cskendrick on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:58:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's rhetorical, no? (0+ / 0-)

          The USA is the ONLY country  where basic medical care is a for profit commodity and people are taught health care is a privilege, a privilege of the wealthy and the connected strata of society.

          The rest of the world has the moral high ground even if they don't spend as much or have as many toys and bells and whistles in their health care delivery system.

          BTW we have no "system", we have a series of markets, and we are priced out of nearly all of them.

          cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

          by Pete Rock on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:58:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You know, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pete Rock

        I didn't say the HCR bill was or should be a jobs bill.  But it's irresponsible NOT to consider HCR in context - we of all people know that discrete actions impact other ancillary systems and reactions.  To imply that any impact - large, small or neutral - on jobs, the economic recovery and employment is somehow wrong flies in the face of the way policy should be considered and made.

    •  That sums up how I feel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, Brooke In Seattle

      I have good health care coverage.  This bill won't make or break me BUT I can't stand by knowing what this is doing to my fellow citizens.  It's a disgrace.

      No offense but if I could I would pass single payer in a day and put the health insurance racket out of business.  Won't be good for your stock but it would be the best fix to this problem.

      The shortest distance between two points is never a straight line.

      by noofsh on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:18:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I have a vast set of skills and experience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can work just about anywhere.

        I will do just fine.

        (And most of my stock is NOT in insurance.)

        Everyone should have the opportunity to hear Shakespeare in the original Whale. (Bloop!)

        by cskendrick on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:47:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I LOVE IT. As a Brit for whom the admonition (11+ / 0-)

    'Get a grip' along with 'Belt up' was absorbed with mother's milk (or would have been anyway had my mother not abandoned me, but that's another tale!!!) the old cliches of 'if at first you don't suceed, try, try, try again' and 'pick yourself up and start all over again' and on ad infinitum have helped me through my fair share of life's adversities relatively intact, a bit frayed around the edges, but determined to NEVER GIVE UP.

    So dear RenaF I understand, agree and applaud your story and your determination. Thanks, I really needed some spirit boosting today at this way station I like to spend a few quality moments in every day. They have become few and far between lately and i personally feel really betrayed by this     so-called community. Not individual members, just the general  direction of destruction it is heading toward.

    For me and my family it seriously looks as though we are going to have to move to Europe, at least until the grandkids make it through their   school and college years.

    I'm sad, because i really loved America and don't understand what is happening to her get up and go, let's face it 'GET A GRIP' spirit and candoitness.

  •  Great diary (7+ / 0-)

    I always used the phrase "get over it" with my kids. I was always fearful if I used the term "get a grip" that they would grip the wrong thing. Kids have a way of taking things a bit too literally.

    I got so much honey, the bees envy me.

    by tazz on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:13:32 PM PST

  •  You know the silver lining? (8+ / 0-)

    I too have been belly-aching over the fracturing of the left over this senate bill. Then it hit me today. The anger from the left has turned the newscycle around from focus on the power of conservadems, to the anger of progressives on the outside. The removal of stuff from the already wounded bill has been halted for now. At least nothing else will be stripped out of it. The anger has saved the bill. Yes Lieberman is gloating but the reaction pops the balloon of his media attention. Sadly though Pres. Obama has become the punching bag, but it is no different from what the teabaggers turned him into earlier this summer.

    Ironically, Candidate Obama spoke of being a Rorschach test for people's aspirations during the campaign. Now he has unwittingly become the Rorschach Test for people's anger, from the right and the left. "Hosana" on election night, "Crucify" him a year later (no messianic reading intended; simply the metaphor that's all). Amazing.

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:20:31 PM PST

    •  We should be temperate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's absolutely part of being logical and reality-based. I agree so strongly that the policies we are discussing are being subordinated by distraction with the people discussing them.

      So let's remain focused on this bill. I see very little good in it now that it's been gutted by the Senate and then CBO.

      I think every one of us, particularly those of us who learned how to speak passionately during Obama's campaign, should now speak passionately again to the President about their feelings.

      Mine are that I support President Obama very staunchly. I refuse to crucify him for a host of reasons, none having to do with Patriotism. But I do not believe the bill now passed resembles what he envisioned, and probably would have personally written if someone had given him the pen. He deserves that sort of respect. Not the constant diversions of discussing him in this.

      The more we focus our attention away from the bill, the less we know if it's a good, or a bad, bill coming from our very corrupt Senate.

      "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

      by mahakali overdrive on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:22:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Rena... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I love reading your rants.

    A point with respect to employment.

    Do you think that if we passed real reform (and I'm talking single payer here), that costs would come down enough for firms to absorb anyone put out of a job by the death of insurance companies?

    Another point...  I love the reference to ST:TNG (I think it is) about the collective.

    If it's not, my mistake, but it fits.

    ... with liberty and justice for straight white Christians

    by DrWolfy on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:29:56 PM PST

    •  I can't answer (0+ / 0-)

      your question on single payer specifically.

      I can say that the remainder of the economy - let's use Microsoft as an example - is only going to hire as many people as they realistically need to get the job done.  That job, as i see it, is to meet demand in the present and, to a degree, in the future.  So there's a point at which they won't hire past what they need to meet demand.  I don't have the acumen to know if former insurance company workers can be absorbed by traditional, functioning industry.  I would imagine, however, that any adjustment and re-absorption would take time, and the intermediate period would see a spike in unemployment.

      Am I goober if I have no clue what ST:TNG is??

      •  You're only a goober if you KNOW (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        what ST:TNG is...  :)

        Star Trek: The Next Generation...

        Let's use any firm as an example and excuse me while I delve into some micro-economics.

        Pricing for all firms, competitive, oligarchic, or monopolistic, are all based on Marginal Cost.  

        Demand is downward sloping and responsive (in most cases) to price.

        So, if health care costs for workers dropped significantly, the marginal cost of producing product would fall, since labor costs make up between 60% and 90% of a firm's total marginal costs.  (some would argue that labor is fixed, but I don't).

        Anyway, as price falls (following marginal cost), then more will be sold, thus more will be demanded, and production (and support, etc.) will increase.

        It's not clear that it would be zero sum, nor would it be, as you point out, instantaneous, but if costs fall in many industries (like auto for example), then demand will rise as the firms become competitive.

        That is a simplistic argument I admit, perhaps an economist can straighten this out.  But, I think that a lot of jobs from the insurance industry could be relatively quickly absorbed.

        Plus, and somewhat off topic, these firms are monopolies for the most part, so we would also gain a huge amount of consumer surplus back.

        ... with liberty and justice for straight white Christians

        by DrWolfy on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:46:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hm. (0+ / 0-)

          Well, marginal cost has a floor - it can't go past a certain point, so prices will logically also only fall to a certain point.  I do agree that price drives demand (the entire basis of microeconomics!) BUT - there is a ceiling on any non-investment product a consumer might buy at which point demand levels off, regardless of what's going on with price.  The other problem you have is the international nature of the economy - you assume in your example that increased demand would be satisfied by absorbing US health insurance workers to fill the gap between production supply and increased demand - yet it's pretty clear that those jobs would go to whomever could supply them at the lowest labor cost - which is not typically in the US.  So while you may be right that increased disposable income leads to increased demand which leads to an increase in demand for workers, I don't think we can guarantee in the current climate that those jobs would be domestic.

          I'm with you - interesting question, and I'm an economist by education, but I lack the skill to do much more than speculate.

          •  Yep... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't think we can guarantee in the current climate that those jobs would be domestic.

            My point on demand is not about higher disposable income, although that is also a good point.  If we aren't shoveling out 20% of our gross pay to insurance companies, we could pay for a lot more stuff. (too bad, most of the stuff is cheap crap from Wal-Mart made in China).

            Rather, my point is about lower labor costs lead to lower finished goods prices, which increases demand even with no increase in disposable income.

            In addition, lower health costs overall would improve competitiveness of US goods.

            But, "on the other hand"  :)

            ... with liberty and justice for straight white Christians

            by DrWolfy on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:12:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry Rena we have spent a whole year (0+ / 0-)

    watching Obama and letting him make dumb choices while we sat by and said but he's new he will get it.

    I am finally at the point where I am saying. No he won't get it or he is getting it but its not what we thought.

    Maybe its because of what happened with Gore and Kerry and Bush. Maybe its a combo of all that. Maybe its because after all we have been through for the first time in a very very long time we thought we had a chance to fix it. We control congress and the senate and had our president. Who could wish for more?

    And then slowly but slowly we watch him over months make little comments here and there against us the very people who put him in office. We watch him give to the banks and wallstreet and CEO's while smiling in pics and looking so sweet and innocent.

    Sure he looks good, but is he good? I tell you I am wondering now. When this all started I stayed until the very very end in the hoping Gore would run crowd. He is who I wanted, and I sure wish he was there now.

  •  Simply excellent! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Patricia Bruner, jhw22

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:37:52 PM PST

  •  Healthcare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    is....YES....a large part of the economy because manufacturing is dead.  So we all go around working to keep people alive and on tons of medication...and throw away the too expensive sick ones? Or have them on our welfare rolls into the next millenium???  Gotta make a huge profit so that we have enough jobs and the big wigs can have their shit?  That's going to be our America??  That's a very depressing and nauseating prospect.......

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What if we had passed this exact same bill in 1992 or 1993? What if we had put into place a foundation - however flawed - on which we had built incrementally for the past 16 or 17 years?  What might healthcare look like today??  I defy anyone to tell me that it would look worse today, and probably even to tell me that it would look the same today as it does right now.

    Allow me to say that my crystal ball is defective, but that I don't trust anybody else's either.  Who says we would've incrementally improved this over the years?  Initially the party wallahs would've declared a great and overwhelming victory and moved on to other stuff.  If they did return to it, who says they could've passed any improvements, especially if they didn't start trying until GWB?

    Finally, I see that there would be pressure from insurance, the right wing, and center & left market magik true believers to eliminate all exceptions to the mandate and thereby make it worse. In the past 16 to 17 years there has been significant inflation, especially in health care, so if "cadillac plans" were then the same plans as now, but using those prices, then by today damn near every plan in existence, possibly even some of the subsidized ones would be taxed as a cadillac plan.  Would the people have risen up to stop this, especially under GWB?  My badly cracked crystal ball says no.

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:40:30 PM PST

  •  Just more Obama sycophancy (0+ / 0-)

    Prettier wrapping paper than usual, though.

    "There's nothing new except for the history that you don't know." -Truman...but I am Colin Kalmbacher

    by krikkit4 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:42:46 PM PST

  •  Thank you! (5+ / 0-)

    Excellent diary. Excellent.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:46:02 PM PST

  •  Thanks and a quote from Nate Silver (15+ / 0-)

    in his post today, 20 Questions, 20 Responses,  that goes though answers that Kos and Jon Walker provided to Silver's questions.

    "There are a lot of ways that progressives might be directing their focus -- arguing for more generous subsides, for instance.

    The point is, at this point I don't think they've been directing their focus in ways that optimize the progressive-ness of the health care bill. But, as both Markos and Jon imply, that might not be the point. Rather, progressives are fighting a sort of proxy war over the public option -- as a way to exert their influence and authority. This is where I've always parted ways with the strategy -- I think health care is too important an issue to use as a demonstration of one's authority."

    In lieu of flowers let's pass health care reform.

    by vintagejulie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:48:52 PM PST

  •  Rena, thanks but it isn't Obama's cause - (4+ / 0-)

    it is ours, the same as it has always been.

    Obama won't go further than the wave that surrounds him, and if they are a cautious footdragging bunch, he will be just one of them.

    It isn't only HCR, it is Afghanistan and permanent war, and then the small steps around eco recovery.

    The discussions around these issues that always sound so 'centrist' and cautious will be so as long as that element governs the debate. Which it does until a crisis forces the next inevitable option.

    Obama's election was a step, but only ONE STEP in a long journey to improve this country. He can't do it without a strong push in the back (and that push applied to the crowd of  mostly Harvard good ole boys around him, too.

    cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

    by Pete Rock on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:50:17 PM PST

  •  What is political reality? (3+ / 0-)

    This diary was nicely written and made some good points.

    But here is one of your statements "We. Are. Reality. Based. People." Political reality is what you make it. It's not like a hunk of granite. We create political reality by what we say and do or don't say and do. I'm old so I remember when so many wise and/or realistic people thought that what Dr. King wanted and was engaged in wasn't realistic at all. Don't fight; don't protest; they said. Wait. Go gradually. Settle.

    Actually, we have gone ever so gradually in this bill in terms of being very reasonable about what minimum amount of consumer protection is needed.

    I don't blame President Obama at all. He is for the public option. I remember one town hall meeting where he said somewhat plaintively "Well, I am for it." By the way he said it I took it to mean that some of his advisers or some Democratic politicians weren't so keen on it. As he said, so many times, the public option will keep the insurance companies honest. I agree.  

  •  "Flap Your Wings" (6+ / 0-)

    Great discussion.

    There's a quote from Eckhart Tolle's New Earth where he talks about the difference between people and ducks.  When duck's get upset--they really go at it.  Then, when it's over, they flap their wings.  Voila.  Ducks do not carry their anger, frustration, rage from one situation to the next, and so it doesn't not amplify from one person to another.

    Whether you find Tolle useful or not, this one example literally changed how I view things (in particular, my respect for ducks).  Especially when things get frustrating in an election or a legislative battle, we need to remember to flap our wings.  If we don't do that, the end result is that we begin to incubate outrage--and not the helpful kind.  

    So get angry, get pissed, stand up and shout--but then flap our wings, because if we don't, soon we will lose the ability to see what is happening. And once we're there, it's really difficult to step back from the ledge.

  •  Hint: The upheaval you have seen here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle, Grassee

    is the past week IS the dKos community "Getting a grip" on who these Dems are and what they stand for. The mask has come off and lots of people don't like the face they see.

    You are witnessing late stage Capitalist Carcinoma. Diagnosis, terminal. Hospice recommended.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:07:23 PM PST

  •  Defying us to answer an "unanswerable" question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angela Quattrano

    Wow, I really have to hand it to you for this creative rhetorical device:

    I'll ask this one question, while knowing absolutely that it's unanswerable - yet it's still powerfully worthy of consideration: What if we had passed this exact same bill in 1992 or 1993? What if we had put into place a foundation - however flawed - on which we had built incrementally for the past 16 or 17 years?  What might healthcare look like today??  I defy anyone to tell me that it would look worse today, and probably even to tell me that it would look the same today as it does right now.

    Let's break down all of the inherent contradictions in this "argument," shall we?  The diarist starts with admirable candor, admitting that she knows "absolutely" that her question is "unanswerable."  

    But then she embarks on an extended exercise in historical speculation.  Two "what if" questions are followed by a "what might" question.  In these questions, she asks us to conjecture about what would have happened if her counterfactual premise were true.  That is, she wants our opinions as to what we think would have happened if the legislation presently under consideration had been enacted 17 years ago (which of course didn't happen).  The diarist goes on to assume that said unenacted legislation would have constituted a "foundation" on which we would have built "incrementally" over 17 years.  (She appears to assume either that the Republicans would not have captured Congress in 1994 or that they would have cooperated in "building on" this imaginary "foundation.")

    Having posed her absolutely unanswerable questions and founded them on counterfactual premises, in the same breath, the diarist then defies anyone to disagree with what she appears to believe are the answers to the questions she'd previously declared unanswerable.  She believes that health care would be better today had this legislation been passed in 1993.  So she asks an unanswerable question and then answers it herself.  Not only that, but she contends that her answer is the only possibly correct one.  She defies anyone to say that health care would look the same today if health care legislation had been passed 17 years ago.  I think we can all agree that this is true by definition.  If legislation affecting health care had been passed years ago, health care necessarily would look different.  Nothing at all is proved by this simplistic truism.

    But of course, these rhetorical questions are not what we need to be asking.  The question before us is:  "Is this legislation worth passing?"  That can only be determined by looking at what the proposal would actually do.  That inquiry is in no way advanced by speculating about how things might have changed had history taken a different course.  

  •  Sanders beat a well funded candidate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CitizenOfEarth, RenaRF

    So, I don't buy it can't be done.

    The shortest distance between two points is never a straight line.

    by noofsh on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:15:10 PM PST

    •  I never said that it (3+ / 0-)

      can't be done.  I'm personally an advocate of wholly publicly financed campaigns with ZERO dollars going to a candidate and ZERO PAC influence.

      Give them all debate time, no political ads, and give them a budget for mailed information and let it go from there.

      There is overwhelming evidence that money buys elections more so than success when a candidate is poorly funded.  And I didn't say that a well funded candidate can't beat a better funded candidate.  I said that poorly funded candidates typically don't beat well funded ones.

    •  Sanders (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maracucho, CitizenOfEarth, RenaRF

      The guy was a legend in his state for years as the single representative from Vermont.

      Bernie is not necessarily an example of things that are really possible.

      Although, the point is decent.   Liberals can get elected in less liberal states.

      It's just that Bernie is a unique case.  

      Green Balloons! Green Balloons! - I am drawn from Satanic and Foreign Law - (Damn, it's hard to keep up with these idiots.)

      by otto on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:26:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)

    So lets kill this POS bill and fight for something that actually moves the ball down the field and not backwards.

    I have written an incredible book and YOU should buy it!

    by environmentalist on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:18:27 PM PST

  •  Here's the problem (5+ / 0-)

    We. Are. Reality. Based. People.  We must remember that and ensure that we aren't only reality-based when it suits us.

    Bush and Rove got stuff done, even without 60 senators. How? Because they "created their own reality" in I believe Rove's own words.

    Obama better figure out how to do the same or the current DC reality will crush him.

    I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

    by taonow on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:21:47 PM PST

  •  There was no conspiracy, no sell out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, No Looking Back

    But the thinking and execution of The President and the Democratic leadership was shallow and shortsighted. They re-fought the last war (the healthcare war that the Clintons lost) but brought us to almost the same point that the Clintons reached in 1994, by a different route. We and they have fortified the teabaggers and all opponents of change.

    There may be a silver lining as Nate Silver claims, but he assumes that the repeatedly compromised bill that emerges will increase coverage, decrease medical underwriting and won't be repealed by the 112hth Congress. I believe that the first may be true (nobody knows because no final bill has emerged) and that the second is false. The American public likes Obama, likes divided government and has made no frightening protests about the fading of the public option and Medicare expansion. They can’t or won’t see the pain and suffering caused by our profiteering system.

    Choice and individual rights are a strong trump card in the US, less so elsewhere. Many are frightened of unspeakable deficits, more than they should be. I won't vote Republican, but today's prediction is that they will control both branches of the 112th Congress. I think that we'll have to bring in real, non-profit healthcare one state at a time until we have many states where it is working well. That is the reality that I see.

    •  How do you know there was no conspiracy, no sell (0+ / 0-)

      out? I'm not saying there was or there wasn't -- just want to know why you state these things as facts. What about the not-so-secret big Pharma deal we've been hearing about for awhile now? Seems like a sell-out to me -- suddenly the President is twisting arms to get a drug-re-importation amendment killed! There's lots going on behind closed doors that we don't know about...

  •  Health care inflation will far outpace those jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

    And people won't be able to afford to work in any other industry, because the health sector will suck it dry.

    This is not good economics, because we need demand, which means people investing, spending money, and spurring the economy, but they already have too much personal debt so they are saving via the paradox of thrift. Health care costs make this much worse and do I even need to talk about the bankruptcies? then people default on their mortgages this driving housing prices down. No good.

    US Businesses can't compete with other countries with real UHC because of horrendous health care costs, so that falls flat.

    Consumers won't spend our way out of this recession, especially with this POS bill.

    Also, Obama did want this bill.

    Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers!- George Carlin

    by priceman on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:34:32 PM PST

  •  Fabulous post and I read it just as I (5+ / 0-)

    am coming round to accepting that in the world of bill making things can get ugly and appearances until the end of the process can make things appear really really Smelly and suspect.

    I am joining President Clinton in saying "PASS THE DAMN BILL" so we can get on to the next stages in this process.

    I for one will continue to inundate the congress pressing for single payer or medicare for all or at the very least regulating health insurance companies so that the real profits are brought down to a sustainable for all level. They are just the collectors of premiums for services ... they do no have anything to do with health care ... they are money manangers

    Who knows once we get past the threat of filibustering we might start to see some things come back in conciliation

  •  Your job fuck over pales compared to mine. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I moved across the state for a new job, sold the only "house" I've ever owned, then found out less than two weeks on the new job that the company was being sold to another company, and I'd be out of a job.
      Despite my efforts to "get a grip", my professional life went downhill from there as many job recruiters and potential employers ASSumed I'd been fired for poor performance, despite EVIDENCE that the aquiring company had laid off nearly everyone.  
      My career as a CPA that I'd spent 20+ years building was DESTROYED by people lying to me and about me, stabbing me in the back, and expecting me to still do all THEIR work happily and take their shit.
      I haven't worked in more than three years, haven't had health insurance in almost five years.
      And this morning I couldn't even get an H1N1 vaccine without falling into the trap of the #$*%&! insurance scams.
      So excuse me if I've lost all hope, and can't  get a fucking grip at this point.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:51:23 PM PST

    •  I'm sorry about the job stuff. :( n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mother of Zeus
    •  My friend, I mean this kindly, but Get a Grip (0+ / 0-)

      Okay, sounds like your life sucks right now, but for crying out loud YOU'RE A CPA!  You have the license.  Hang out your shingle and go to work.  Don't give me a bunch of crap about how it can't be done.  That's exactly what I had to do twenty one years ago when I was fired by the owner of the law firm I worked for.  I went off to bitch at another lawyer friend in the same building.  He looked at me, said "I have a tiny office down the hall.  Why don't you park yourself down there and maybe take a few cases and see what you want to do with yourself?"  Twenty one years later I still don't have a regular job.  I'm an entirely self-employed attorney.  Not the most prosperous one on the planet, but with my head above water and my pride intact.  I pay for insurance through the nose.  My complaints about the major sucking points of my life are endless, but they remain largely unexpressed because there's no point in complaining and all I really need to do is keep getting off my ass and trying to get enough business to stay a few steps ahead of the bill collectors.  I have that JD and it's what makes my life infinitely better than that of the poor guy down the street who just lost his job counting widgets or the nice lady next door who just lost her low-level IT job.      

      Stop waiting for someone else to employ you.  Of all the unemployed people out there professionals like lawyers and CPAs are the best situated to help themselves.  Put together some ads on Craigslist, do some networking, and get out there and make a living.  And good luck.  I mean that sincerely.  I know how hard it is to keep going, but at least you have a path you can follow.

  •  I am Pissed that Dems are rejecting a HCR bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because it doesn't have a Public Option or medicare buy-in.  What about the other good items?

    What about building on something later?

    Stop the Drama

    Health Care Reform will be passed.

    by kubrick2008 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:54:52 PM PST

  •  What she said n/t (3+ / 0-)

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:25:01 PM PST

  •  Thank you and thereisnospoon for (4+ / 0-)

    your leadership here to restore sanity to this place. It's the leadership of folks like you that makes me love this place and what it is and can be when it is at its best. And you and other leaders like you are what makes it rise to its best. And you do it through intelligent honest and wise persuasion. I admire that.

  •  NOW THAT WAS A DKOS DIARY! (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you RenaRF hells yeah.

    Full time Obamabot, Kool Aid drinking Democratic hopemonger just full of change you can believe in.

    by Adept2u on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:32:18 PM PST

  •  One huge problem is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maracucho, Brooke In Seattle

    we are dealing with a broken democracy that no longer works for the little people or the middle class. What's going on with healthcare, climate stuff, lobbyists, Wall St, banks,etc., these are all symptoms of the larger problem that our elected officials (except for a few) feel no need to do what's best for the people of this country.

    These are not small capitulations being made to the insurance companies. This is mandating us little people have to buy insurance at prices I cannot afford. So I have the choice of making no money and getting subsidized, or getting one of the crap pay jobs available and paying a huge chunk of my salary for healthcare.

    It's one thing to accept a bill with only a small amount of change for the better. It's quite another thing to accept a bill that puts me in a WORSE position than I was before.

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:32:45 PM PST

  •  As I opened DK this afternoon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, neroden, Mother of Zeus

    I was literally saying to myself that I need to be "talked down" ala Rachel Maddow.  I didn't expect to find it, it was just a coincidental thought while sitting down at the desk.

    Thanks, RenaRF for doing just that.  I'm still upset and not sure how the bill will work out when all is said and done.  I'm not especially hopeful the problems will be rectified because this experience has really given me a very bad opinion of the US Congress and I hate to say it, Dems.

    I understand how "get a grip" fits this circumstance and how we ought not be our own worst enemy.  But unfortunately, at this point, I do feel the electeds in the Dem Party are theirs.

    Repeal the Hyde Amendment
    Republicans are bad winners; they're gonna be miserable losers.

    by LeighAnn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:33:19 PM PST

  •  You forgot # 6: bend over (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Brooke In Seattle

    ""If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." JAMES MADISON

    by isabvella on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:41:32 PM PST

  •  Who the hell are you? I love this (6+ / 0-)

    post and you for the time you put together to convey an intelligent case here when this site has lost it. You are in my hotlist like yesterday. Boy, how about some intelligence. Thank you for this diary as I rec'ed and tip'ed it a million times over.

    ...and FUCK that ex-employer of yours! They don't fuckin know what they lost!

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:55:58 PM PST

  •  I have tremendous respect for the diarist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, OleHippieChick, CoExistNow

    AND I've been spending the better portion of the day touting the new Facebook Group Better No Bill Than A Bad Bill

    BUT, this much I'll say on Obama's behalf.  In the 8 years that the fascist GWB was in office, he didn't throw nearly the crumbs to his consistuents that BHO has.  Now, granted, they're crumbs, and I think that the Lieberman bill is pretty crummy, but can you imagine the anti-choicers leaving the republican american community if, after 10 months in office, their new president only gave them a bad illegalize-homosexuality-and-abortion bill?  They'd be popping their champagne corks all over town, while secretly grumbling that it doesn't go nearly far enough.

    So, yeah, we're doing better than they did.  It's still not enough.  I still think thatSanders or Burris or Brown or Franken or Gillibrand should stand up and say that Lieberman doesn't unilaterly get to give a trillion bux to the baddies who deny people care and wreck people's lives.  And, I really don't think there should be a for-profit industry standing between you and your doctor...

    But I'll concede the central point: Don't work against your own best interests.

    Howard Dean Speaks For Me

    by ultrageek on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:04:38 PM PST

  •  Extrordinarily well written and well thought (5+ / 0-)


    I certainly have stayed out of the fray here, but I've definitely been down in the dumps about this.

    We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:09:30 PM PST

  •  Reconciliation, not filibuster-busting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The most dangerous suggestion I've seen here lately is that we eliminate the filibuster or change the number of votes down from 60.

    The solution in the present crisis is to push for reconciliation in the Senate.

    The solution in the future, when the GOP controls the Senate again (someday it's gotta happen), is to push for filibusters of bad legislation.

    The solution is not to make it easier to end the filibuster, which protects minority rights to some extent.  It works.  66 votes was a ridiculous threshhold, but 55 is too close to 50.

    The GOP would have loved to have destroyed the filibuster as well when they controlled the show.  Don't fall victim to that illogical argument now that we do.

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patricia Taylor, RenaRF

    I don't have the time or the energy to come here often anymore. I was glad to see your name on the recommended list and knew that what you had to say would be worth my time to read.

    Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

    by BMarshall on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:25:48 PM PST

  •  Dayum! THIS is what I call a diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, OleHippieChick, Eric0125

    RenaRF, how I have missed your good sense and carefully reasoned diaries.  This is exactly what I've been trying to say, but with far less articulation.  Really an excellent explanation of a lot of points I've been mulling over in my mind, particularly the one about employment in the health care industry.  I've been wondering why we haven't focused more on that issue, because it makes sense that a lot of people who may be in favor of health care reform would not want to do anything potentially catastrophic to a major source of employment.  

    I am tired of all the purists out there who think the progressive agenda can be pushed forward on the sheer strength of their massive snit.  To do as they suggest, to kill the bill rather than suffer its imperfections, is akin to an angry teenager storming off to her room, or worse yet cutting herself, because "that'll teach them."  It won't "teach" them a damn thing except that Progressives are apparently a bunch of histrionic little teenagers who don't know how to play in a world full of conflicting viewpoints and motivations.  "Look at us," they scream.  "We're mad as hell and the world's unfair and people are stupid and we're just trying to help everyone and make them see what we see ..."  Well, there's no talking to sausage or rocks.  Sometimes people prefer to remain unenlightened as to what will produce for them the greatest good.  Just today I was talking to the former wife of a long time client about health care reform.  My client, a cancer survivor who has no health care coverage and is ineligible for any until he hits Medicare age, is convinced that HCR is a socialistic bamboozlement sent to entice ordinary Joes like himself.  Yep, he's AGAINST the thing most likely to extend his life and there's no convincing him he's wrong.  Logic doesn't appeal to everyone.  

    Purity of mind and purpose is great.  I had quite a bit of it before I got into the world and started having to deal with people who - shockingly - did not share my viewpoint nor accord the degree of importance to certain things that I did.  I found myself having to be polite to people I loathed, respectful to people I disdained, and importuning to people upon whose hands I would rather have spat.  Why?  Because it was and remains the only way I can get the job done for my clients and in my daily life.  The real world is impure and imperfect and being full of humans will ever remain so.  

    So PASS the bill (after reconciliation).  Pass it and let it be a mandate on people like my client who is so oddly content with the status quo and hold out to him the possibility that he may actually BE covered for the next cancer go-round and let him know that he IS screwed on the premiums because of the health insurers' greed.  Being mandated to do something he and millions like him will do it, but they will also suddenly become invested in a system in which they previously had no investment - health care insurance - and their 30 million strong voices are going to be added to those who say we must change things about this new legislation.  In a year or two people like my client, who once said NO, will be saying "Okay, but how come my premiums are so high?"  Let the process play out.  Pass it and fix it.  We've done it before with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  We can do it again.

    •  You make a great point at the end of your comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mandates might actually make regular folks, not too particularly concerned about or fond of HCR right now, actually take notice of their insurance premiums and may demand action from their HMOs or moreaction from the government.

  •  I appreciate your not trashing the President (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Mother of Zeus, ridemybike

    and this is something I've advocated for, and am in support of. I also appreciate the civil tone you're promoting.

    Thus said, the subtext of your argument is still in fundamental opposition to everything I believe not about the discourse surrounding the bill, but contained in the bill itself, which does not help people in any meaningful way that I can see and serves, in fact, from what I can discern, as a regressive force.

    In this, I am not thinking lock-step with any group or affiliation. I've listened to all sides of this argument, from Joe Lieberman to Jane Hamsher, neither of whom I personally care for. I've cautiously considered the value of Ezra Klein's words, as well as Nate Silver's. I've thought hard about John McCain's embrace of this bill. And I've considered Bernie Sanders, Robert Gibbs, and Howard Dean. In fact, I've spent three days deliberating over the fluctuations of this bill, reading perhaps tens of thousands of comments, reading countless articles, and watching umpteen youtube clips.

    And my perspective could still change with new, salient information.

    Yet this diary has not, in fact, provided me with anything new, other than a renewed call for civility and a cautionary note about personality over politics (which I agree with).

    So I'm not clear how you support your central claim that this bill is, in fact, at this juncture in time, "good." Unless you know something that I don't. Which I behoove you to let me know about. Thanks. I'd far rather be on the "right side of history" than the wrong one with this, and am as cautious in my support as I am in my repudiations.

    If I am NOT one of these knee-jerk froth-mouthed folks, can you explain to me why I should support this bill?

    I don't see enough evidence from your diary points. Although it's excellent analysis of some problems in our political discourse.

    "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

    by mahakali overdrive on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:15:02 PM PST

    •  And really, I should foreground (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenaRF, Mother of Zeus, ridemybike

      my appreciation for your call for civility and unification. That's my own call as well.

      I think we are not, at present, unified about this bill, however, and so it's difficult to find ways to talk about it, or fight for our beliefs. I'd like to find a way to do that though.

      But I think most people know whether they support it or not by now. And whether they support the President or not. I guess then, perhaps Rena, you are right in that we need to figure out how we support each other.

      That may not be something we really can do politically at this exact moment. But we can certainly agree to disagree politely and avoid any distracting name calling while coordinating action. I think what concerns me is those posting in diaries they ALREADY don't agree with. It's disrespectful and distracting from those trying to organize around their own beliefs.

      It's not for any one of us to tell another what to think or feel or believe. Unless we're asking for that information.

      "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

      by mahakali overdrive on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:28:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay, you've read a lot of comments, but ... (4+ / 0-)

      have you read the bill or at least a summary of what it DOES do?  I think perhaps not because here you sit saying you have no idea what it does that could possibly make things better.  Here's what I know:  my pre-existing conditions will no longer make me or my many health-impaired currently uninsured relatives ineligible for most insurance plans; caps on insurance coverage will be largely forbidden; and insurance companies will be forbidden to practice rescission (funny thing about that - a few years ago I was sent a bill by Humana declaring me ineligible for surgery they had performed in one of their own facilities and demanding $20,000.  I had to threaten to sue to make it go away).  Two of my sisters who cannot afford insurance will now have coverage, including one with a history of cancer and "female" problems.  My adult daughter will qualify to be added to her father's ample insurance plan in spite of her unemployment.  My afore-mentioned client will finally have insurance - remember, under today's system he's not even eligible, being a cancer survivor - and his newly unemployed son-in-law and daughter will be able to replace the policy they lost when the kid lost his job.  

      Yeah, I see a few good things in this legislation.  Getting tired of the endless negativity with extravagant claims that the bill is SO bad nothing about it should be salvaged.  That's right, let's just destroy any hope that any of the people I mentioned might be able to get coverage in the next year or two.  Much better to keep holding out like some hot baseball prospect with an overbearing agent.  Sometimes it works, but a lot of other times it doesn't.  Bird in the hand is better than two in the bush and all that.

      •  I see it as (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, CoExistNow

        One Last Chance for the ins co's to clean up their act regarding recissions, harrassment, etc. I say this one's a win-win in the long run - if they don't do so, indie voters will be clamoring for single payer in 2012.

      •  I've had five cancer surgeries (4+ / 0-)

        and two other surgeries. I'm very acquainted with the bill and have read the most current available form of it, or discussed it with those I trust (it's quite long!)... when people talk about "the bill," sometimes they aren't aware that it's been changing on and on, amendments are removed, etc...

        Pre-existing conditions are very important to me.

        But not if I cannot afford insurance. Mine's presently close to $800 per month. I'm actually not too concerned with my own situation at this point. In some strange way, I've had to face the possibility of death in a very real way. I do have a child and a husband, which is the only reason life is meaningful to me, along with when I can care for others.

        I am completely ineligible for any health insurance if I'm ever dropped for a late payment. I've maintained coverage but lived in a car to do so during my late teen years, for a whole summer. Think hard about this. I have.

        I don't want to destroy hope and am not into that. Hope is the only form of outrage that is remotely acceptable to me. But I do not see anything in this bill that stands to help more people than it stands to hurt, now that they've cut all of the cost controls. The Massachussetts health care model (which this is based on) shows the poorest being most hit by the highest rise.

        My concern is not for me here. I'm unmanageable and probably will eventually just die from some needed surgery that won't be covered, some medication that I can't afford. Lord knows. That's why I fight for others. For my child. For those who have lived in cars.

        How do you propose this will provide coverage to people in its present form?

        Cancer societies for children are denouncing it as harmful.

        How do you propose it will help the most people and which people?

        How will it be opened again in a year, or two years, or three years with this same Senate in place, and have a different outcome?

        Thanks for the dialog.

        "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

        by mahakali overdrive on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:43:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Welcome to my world (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My insurance is presently $822 a month.  I've been through surgeries and radiation treatment and all that stuff, but what I know is what we have now is unsupportable and that failure to do something now means you will be stuck with the status quo for the next few years.  I say let's pass this mutant thing.  At least if we pass it then we'll have moved another step closer to something different.  We'll have redefined health insurance as something just about everyone has, and we'll have made it possible to make the next big step NOT passing health reform legislation but IMPROVING upon it.  You're stuck in your current plan - can't even think of jumping to another one.  Well, if we had this stupid bill passed then at least you couldn't be rejected for pre-existing conditions, nor could they rescind the coverage, nor could they specifically raise your insurance just for you because you represent a risk, nor could they cap your lifetime coverage.  Sounds like at least a modest improvement to me.  And the other thing is that it evens out the playing field for a lot of insurers.  Remember, as profit oriented companies they have to answer to their stockholders.  I think one reason so many of them have been so heartless and so ready to cut people out and rescind their contracts is because it's the only way to compete with other companies.  If the bottom line is the dollar sign then one solution is to establish a floor beneath which they cannot go.  The rule that they cannot discriminate against you as a woman should also provide some small help.  

          I agree, it's possible that in the short term insurance premiums may rise; however, I suggest that they would eventually come down for a variety of reasons, not the least being that once the legislation is in place the debate will no longer be "shall we have health care coverage?", but "how do we improve the coverage?"  This is a whole new kettle of fish.  We have the chance here to move the stakes down the field and redefine the problem before us.  I'm a little astounded at the assumption by some here that the act of either passing or not passing this legislation is somehow going to be the last word on the issue.

        •  I don't have answers to any of these questions. (0+ / 0-)

          I have not read the bill -- don't even think it is available to read -- and feel as though information about what it contains is shifting on a minute by minute basis.  I feel totally unqualified to evaluate it at this point, which is not a good feeling.

          Lovely comment, BTW.  This, in particular

          Hope is the only form of outrage that is remotely acceptable to me.

          "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

          by Mother of Zeus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:21:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And McJoan explains this preexisting conditions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, Mother of Zeus, ridemybike


        Even the preexisting conditions clause is highly contingent on age, smoking, and weight.


           By more than doubling the maximum penalties that companies can apply to employees who flunk medical evaluations, the legislation could put workers under intense financial pressure to lose weight, stop smoking or even lower their cholesterol....

           In effect, they would permit insurers and employers to make coverage less affordable for people exhibiting risk factors for problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

           "Everybody said that we're going to be ending discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But this is, in effect, discrimination again based on preexisting conditions," said Ann Kempski of the Service Employees International Union.

           The legislation would make exceptions for people who have medical reasons for not meeting targets.

        "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

        by mahakali overdrive on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:53:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depending on how well-drawn those (0+ / 0-)

          exception are and ESPECIALLY where the burden to establish the appropriateness of the penalty falls (it unequivocally should be on the insurer and if the insured challenges it status quo must stay in effect until the issue is resolved through a neutral arbitration process of some sort), I don't know that I am in opposition to this, to be honest with you.

          "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

          by Mother of Zeus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:20:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Okay, I've got a grip. Here's my response: (5+ / 0-)

    Now it's time to "get to work".

    If the reality is that the bill in Senate is going to end up being our new health insurance policy (in some form or another), then let's start laying the ground work now for taking the necessary steps forward.  If we're serious about fixing things, we need to start as soon as possible, so that future reforms don't get continually delayed.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:15:19 PM PST

  •  Granted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, littlebird33

    this bill won't be the Swiss-like insurance regulation I'd like to see (as Medicare-for-all/single-payer is DOA in this session at least).

    Sen. DeMented said at the outset "If they can pass a health care bill, we can't stop ANYTHING else (for the rest of the session)!" I suspect that's why Rahm & Co. we quoted as: "Give Joey what he wants!" If pretty much all that's holding things up now is the abortion language, can they not pass what Nelson wants, and re-visit that specific issue after January 2011?

    The R's have the upper hand in the pissing contest and are using to it to infuriate the left wing reproduction-purity crowd. I'm pro-choice, but if ya can't see that, there's no hope for you.

  •  best diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have ever read! Awesome. Thank you

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Barack Obama

    by JanG on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:48:54 PM PST

  •  Would love to read more diaries with this tag-- (4+ / 0-)


    We work in the dark. We do what we can. We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion. Our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

    by cultural worker on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:56:51 PM PST

    •  I'm always flummoxed with tags. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cultural worker

      I mean - I get it.  But when it comes to picking MY tags, they're always kind of fluffy.  :)  I'm glad you iked it, though.

      •  I like a full range of tags-- (0+ / 0-)

        Hard, soft, pointed, smooth, fluffy--

        And seriously, great diary. Really great.

        (And I've been in that get-a-grip-place. Isn't it amazing, really, how we can grieve over a job where someone else did us wrong? My then therapist said it was like the survivors of floods, earthquakes, tornadoes . . . )

        We work in the dark. We do what we can. We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion. Our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

        by cultural worker on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:27:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, the classic "your not a victim" speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Pinecone

    This is my favorite, although I think when I do it I am too direct.  This was spot on without ramming it down your throat.  Great diary.

  •  I do appreciate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the rare reminder of how huge an industry we're planning to go after here, and the import of that, but it is also a reminder of the scope of what is required.

    The only meaningful reform to the health care system is for a massive governmental program to train and employ health care professionals. Everything else is blowing smoke.

    Obama believes the markets can solve this problem--they cannot. He seems to be afflicted with the mentality that we can take health out back to the Hajakian shoe stretcher and make it fit, if through some bizarre public/private hybrid that isn't going to happen anyway, obviously.

    Calls of a refusal of the mandate are thinly veiled generational conflict--the young are flat-out not going to pay traditional American pricing for the health care of a generation they short-sightedly consider wasteful and extravagant.

    Though health care may be one-sixth (probably a low estimate) of GDP, it is surely not responsible for one sixth of the establishment of American families in good economic stead.

    We can provide jobs and lower the cost of health care--but can capitalism abide the example?

    if we can't accept change, things will never be the same again

    by le sequoit on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:03:10 PM PST

  •  We can't build on this bill if it passes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    IF we are truly reality-based even when it doesn't suit us and IF we accept the fact that the current bill is likely to become the legislative foundation on which we build, can any of us realistically see ANY incremental progress under a Republican-controlled Congress?

    There will always be those in the Senate who will prevent progressive change in HCR. This bill helps the insurance industry. We progressives wanted a bill that helps us the American people. This bill is dangerous and must be killed. Under reconciliation we can add what the bill should have had in the first place: a strong PO, medicare for 55+ and safeguards that prevent the health insurance companies from ripping off the consumer.

    It is a fallacy to suggest that we can build on this bill in the coming years. Big Pharma and health insurance lobbyists will make sure there is always a Nelson, Lieberman, Landrieu and Lincoln to prevent that.

    "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." George Washington

    by Probus on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:09:01 PM PST

    •  *Maybe*. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Pinecone, Catzmaw

      Maybe it's a fallacy, Probus.  But what I know as fact is that there's nothing to build on right now.  Not. A. Thing.

      So IF a piece of shit passes that calls itself healthcare reform, we'll have to figure out how to convert it to compost and grow a garden.

    •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

      As the years go on and people get used to the fact of their healthcare coverage they're going to start looking for improvements.  We have plenty of legislative battles before us, but the solution isn't to throw our hands up and say how intimidating the prospect is and just take our ball and go home.  All the people so eager to kill this bill are approaching it the wrong way.  They want to change the game.  They want a new field, they want a new ball, they don't like the coach on the other team, they think their own coach is a wuss, they don't like the obnoxious bullies on the other team, they think the refs have fixed the game, they're afraid they'll get banged up during the contest - ALL BEFORE THE DAMN GAME EVEN BEGINS.  So what's their suggestion?  It's to go home and hope they find a new ball and a new field and a new set of opposing players at some undefined time in the future.  And while they're at it they'll pin their own failure to accept the realities of the game on their coach instead of looking at themselves and asking why they were so eager to concede the day to their opponents.

      Meanwhile, what happens in the present?  We forfeit the game AND the season, all in the hope that we'll be able to rejoin the league next year.  

      I say all those people who are so ferocious in their opposition to this bill and so fervent in their desire to see the Democrats fight should put down the pom-poms and their big team placards and get on the field, let the game get started, and then use all that energy to fight for what they want within the parameters of what they have, not within the parameters of some fantasy they wish they had.  No one said it was going to be fun, fast, or simple.  

  •  Read Paul Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He convinces me because he is not seeking any partisan gain. In contrast, the whole diary is an attempt to rally Obama supporters in line. Nobody needs to get a grip. Read Paul Krugman (who was routinely denounced here) and learn. Learn.

  •  Thanks, RenaRF (5+ / 0-)

    for some wisdom and a well-tempered diary.  It's so easy to get carried away with our emotions, especially when things don't turn out the way we had imagined.  We all have to do a little mourning for our loss and then get back to work.

  •  Its not the peoples fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    saying that it is makes you risk falling into the trap of thinking that we actually have a Democracy and a government for the people, of the people, by the people. The American people are not to blame for the growth of sociopathic corporations that control everything.

    In addition, public support for the public option and health care reform is eroding precisely because the case has not been made strong enough for meaningful reform. If Obama had made a stronger case from the begining, which he could have given his rhetorical abilities then we could have gotten National Medicare as a first choice and the compromise being a robust public option, but because corporations control the government instead of the will of the people he didn't. I don't think that it's Obamas fault persay and I think that he means well but ultimately he is a politician and is going to bow to the corporate warlords just like most American politicians.

    •  yes it is. (0+ / 0-)

      Important whining and Red Sox stuff at

      by Barth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:29:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  how so? (0+ / 0-)

        Are you going to try to deconstruct my argument or just make a blanket statement without backing it up?

        •  Not enough time to do it justice... (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, the President could have stayed on this longer, but the public is not listening.  They are, as always, obsessed with themselves; not with doing the right thing.  

          The public, in the main, is a group of uneducated fools, easily led by slogans, television sound bytes (the louder and more extreme the better).  They do not read newspapers, and know very little history and what they know is often off the point and wrong.

          A year or so ago I wrote this, which will have to do for now.

          Yes, it is the fault of a stupid public and the sanctimonious members of our own part of the ideological spectrum who trash their own the way they do the evil among us.

          Important whining and Red Sox stuff at

          by Barth on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:19:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thats true (0+ / 0-)

            The public is a group of uneducated fools, easily led and manipulated, but my question ultimately is how is that there own fault when corporations set the agenda and manipulate the publics access to knowledge? We have a broken education system, but that results in years of education budget cuts followed by an obsessive focus on standardized testing.

            Also, if you think that the public is "obsessed with themselves" and not doing the right thing then why do you even want universal health care? If you have contempt for the people who would benefit from it then why not just fuck them over? I guess thats what the current healthcare bill going through would do anyway.

            •  I can't think that way. I have to think about (0+ / 0-)

              individuals who will be hurt by the current system and those who will be hurt even more if medicaid and medicare go broke.  

              My point was as to fault for a broken down system.  There is plenty to go around, but the idea that "the people" have been led astray without their own connivance and failure to heed Benjamin Franklin's warning about "keeping" the republic, is wrong.

              Important whining and Red Sox stuff at

              by Barth on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:42:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  You used a story to point to a truth (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks.  I was just about to take a hiatus from this place until the bill was passed or gone -- just so I didn't have to expose myself to the rhetoric around here.

    I guess I'll keep coming back for a few more days.  ;-)

  •  Thanks for a great story and diary, RenaRF. (4+ / 0-)

    We did persevere through cheneybu$h's 8 looong years. We were grim but patient. We didn't end up in bu$hler's FEMA camps or in Gitmo. We survived the media groupthink. We had no champion. We waited it out. In agony.

    I've been trying to articulate something to myself all week and your diary helps some.

    It's about people 11 months in, so soon, so petulantly, doubting, abandoning, regretting their decision to help put Barack Obama in the White House, now feeling their judgment of his character was flawed or insert other reason here. This is extremely saddening to me, and doesn't speak much of their trust in themselves.

    Are people so bloody pissed because they believe they were wrong about President Obama and don't want to be caught on the "losing" side? Or are they pissed because their attention was drawn to the sausage making, and it made them sick because it's extremely ugly and it always has been, so they blame him?

    So, not sorry, I'm going with my original instinct that this man IS the right man for this place and time.

    And I'll take this opportunity to say that the majority of both houses of Congress detest the American people and deplore the thought of giving us anything whatsoever. It will always be epic battles between us and them.

    Grab a MOP, you GOPpers,
    Or getTF out of our way!

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:06:44 PM PST

    •  What happens (3+ / 0-)

      is that many here see all the stuff that went on from 2002 - 2006, where the R's put through most of what they wanted, thinking "Why can't we have done that already?" Well, a little reminder from Ancient History (a/k/a 2001) ... As of Sept 10, 2001, Bush wasn't faring too well at all. And then, within a week, he had sky high approval that didn't really crash until Katrina/Schiavo.

      They succeeded (largely) because of a one-time major event, just prior to which the pundits were predicting serious R losses the following year.

  •  There are times that I wonder who I am consorting (4+ / 0-)

    with on this site.

    I saw it during the campaign when anyone who did not support a candidate favored by someone else was called all sorts of names and the candidate of one's choice described as if he were President Bush's soulmate.  Certain candidates were called a "warmonger," and others trashed as well, making a reader think that if anyone other the poster's candidate won, that Sen McCain would pick up a new voter.

    It just doesn't work that way.  As this diary well points out, the system is broken.  Our system of government no longer works, a victim of many things, Buckley v Valeo certainly being at or near the top of the list, since it essentially prevented any meaningful reform of the way political campaigns are financed.

    My two cents on this appear here, and my nine cents here.  (Both are republished from Kos).

    But apathy and its cousin, disappointment leading to disaffection, are right there, too.  Many years ago, (like during the Clinton Administration) you would hear people tell you there was not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties which justified non participation in the process or a vote for Nader.

    Let's not repeat our worst mistakes, please.

    Important whining and Red Sox stuff at

    by Barth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:29:14 PM PST

  •  Excellent balanced, thoughtful, rational (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary that is sorely needed right now on Kos. I thought yesterday that this blog was tearing itself to pieces and tossing shrapnel and ill will everywhere.

    I knew basically what was going on. People were venting hurt and anger and grief and disappointment and frustration. But at times it verged on going over the edge. I myself went over the line a couple of times with my foul language and people told me so. They were correct. All along I always thought any organization, including Kos, could learn how to be a blog that could create and maintain a cadre of allies who could work together to get what we want. But it followed a human, all-too-human path of internecine warfare. One poster actually suggested some purges of some elements on Kos
    (I won't say which and at this moment it doesn't matter). Unless someone is a total disruptive prick here or obvious and pestering troll, I think anybody should be able to blog here, as infuriating as they may be. I don't really want to leave this blog, as much as I've rehearsed doing so. I'd like to see it grow and learn from its mistakes.

    Hang in there, fellow friends and adversaries!

  •  Thank you so much (0+ / 0-)

    for this diary.  The silver lining to all the frenzy about disappointment over the shape of HCR and the ensuing circular firing squad among progressives, liberals, and other allies of reform is that it has brought out some sensational (and highly recommended) diaries in the last few days.  It appears there are quite a few of us lurkers on board who think as you do.

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