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Glenn Greenwald wrote a very good post on whether the Rahm healthcare strategy, "to ignore the demands of progressives on the ground that they would fall into line at the end no matter what," has been vindicated by the outcome of the health reform debate.

For almost a full year, scores of progressive House members vowed -- publicly and unequivocally -- that they would never support a health care bill without a robust public option. They collectively accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars based on this pledge. Up until a few weeks ago, many progressive opinion leaders -- such as Moulitsas, Howard Dean, Keith Olbermann and many others -- were insisting that the Senate bill was worse than the status quo and should be defeated. But now? All of those progressives House members are doing exactly what they swore they would never do -- vote for a health care bill with no public option -- and virtually every progressive opinion leader is not only now supportive of the bill, but vehemently so. In other words, exactly what Rahm said would happen -- ignore the progressives, we don't need to give them anything because they'll get into line -- is exactly what happened. How is that not vindication?
....

I want to be clear here: I'm not criticizing progressives who support this bill, nor am I criticizing those who insisted they would oppose it but changed their minds at the end. Unlike many progressives, I was never among those who advocated for this bill's defeat because, as loathsome and even dangerous as I find the bill's corporatist framework to be (mandating that citizens buy the products of the private health insurance industry), I've found it very difficult (as I said all along) to oppose a bill that results in greater health care coverage for millions of currently uninsured people. Whether progressives are doing the right thing in supporting this bill is debatable (there's a strong progressive case for the bill -- any bill that restricts industry abuses and vastly expands coverage is inherently progressive -- and a strong progressive case that it does more harm than good), but that's a completely separate question from the one raised by Smith.

What's not debatable is that this process highlighted -- and worsened -- the virtually complete powerlessness of the Left and progressives generally in Washington. If you were in Washington negotiating a bill, would you take seriously the threats of progressive House members in the future that they will withhold support for a Party-endorsed bill if their demands for improvements are not met? Of course not. No rational person would.

That's the dilemma plenty of progressives, myself included, face--seeing the serious problems with this bill--the mandate in absence of a public option, the very real rollback of reproductive rights for women, the lack of effective cost controls on pharmaceuticals and device makers and hospitals, the fact that it doesn't provide universal care--it provides access to insurance to citizens, leaving out millions of undocumented workers who won't even be able to spend their own money on insurance, should they care to.

In short, there are a tremendous number of trade-offs for a bill that doesn't reach system healthcare reform, that settles for insurance reform that is lacking the most effective element--significant competition. Way back last summer, Obama shifted his rhetoric on this bill to call it insurance reform, a key shift that signaled that the kind of comprehensive system reform many were looking for wasn't in the offing. Nonetheless, like Glenn, I can't bring myself to advocate for its defeat because the very effort at trying to curb health insurance industry abuses and expand coverage is progressive, and there's little hope that we can argue effectively for more and better reform if this one doesn't pass.

At the same time, though, trying to argue that the provisions in this bill signify a progressive victory is from my perspective, a negotiating mistake. There are some improvements to this bill over the Senate bill achieved by the House--and by labor--that should be recognized and appreciated, but I think it's worth noting that little that was added came from either the progressive caucus in the House or certainly from progressive activists, and that we really don't have laurels to rest upon if we want to keep fighting for real reform.

Some of these improvements: the expansion of Medicaid, a very necessary development given the rough economic time states are still having, happened because Nelson and Reid blundered so fantastically with the Nebraska deal, and had to find a way out. Bernie Sanders increased funding for community health centers is another significant addition, but he did that pretty much on his own with some smart negotiating that didn't include the activist community. His state waiver provision which could theoretically allow states to set up single payer is actually a bit of a double-edged sword--the ERISA waiver that would be necessary to allow states to do this wasn't included in Sander's provision, and it's not yet clear whether it's in the reconciliation package. What's more, that same provision was written loosely enough to allow states to also opt-out of Medicaid and Medicare, waivers that Republican governors might be able to get out of an HHS in the next Republican administration (counting on Dems to hold the WH for the next few decades isn't a safe bet).

For those who were looking for systemic, comprehensive health care reform, we didn't get it. Ending insurance company abuses is absolutely vital, and those provisions very important, but have to be enforced. The exchanges might provide a start for that enforcement, but that's a limited "might." The exchanges are going to be state-based, not national. Right now we're gambling on them to create real competition and some sort of structure for real regulation and oversight of the insurers. But that's going to be relying in large part on elected state insurance commissioners, and federal regulation writers. The Senate bill is written loosely enough to allow for regs to pick up some of the slack and for a significant HHS role, but again, that's something that the next Republican administration can undo.

I'd argue that it's bad politically and for future policy efforts for progressives to lose sight of the fact that we had some pretty big losses in this one. Who lost? Labor, though the excise tax is better, it's still there. Single payer or public option advocates, obviously. Women. Hyde will be law now, and the fight taken beyond public funding to private insurance. Latinos. Undocumented workers can't spend their own money on insurance. And in the offing we went from 48 million uninsured to 31 million uninsured because we won't count the brown people. Despite the fact that from a systemic public health perspective, getting them care will still cost money because hospitals and emergency rooms will still be legally obligated to provide that care--as they should be.

In other words, the job isn't done with this bill. Is this a step forward? Yes, to the extent that now Congress sees it can do something about health reform. Should it be passed? Yes. Absolutely. Millions of people will now have access to coverage, and to care, that they do not have under the status quo. That's a societal good.

But if the deficiencies--and they are significant--are going to ever be fixed, we can't make the case for doing so by saying this is a progressive victory along the lines of Medicare or Social Security. It's just not. If, as progressives have been told and are now repeating, this bill is just the start to reform, we can't lose sight of exactly where it is we're starting, and what still needs to be fixed. Congressional progressives are already in a bad negotiating position for future fixes--when as Glenn argues they've already shown how easily they can be rolled--by not setting down markers now for what still needs to be fixed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rep. Defazio switches to "No." (5+ / 0-)

    http://info.detnews.com/...

    Its starting to look bleak.

  •  I wish media would spend more time educating (32+ / 0-)

    citizens about the substance of this bill than picking winners and losers among the inside-the-beltway-players.

  •  I disagree... (24+ / 0-)

    ...the goal of universal health care has long been a progressive goal.

    This is not universal, but it is the most far reaching expansion of health care coverage in decades.

    That's a progressive goal, and we are so close to accomplishing it.

    The progressive element of the Democratic party has set this entire debate up.  With all of the compromises and such, it's easy to forget that the premise of the debate has, in fact, been won by progressives.

    A lot of people considered Social Security to be a sell out when it was passed as well.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:41:26 AM PDT

  •  This bill needs fixing and it's going to get some (5+ / 0-)

    fixing with reconciliation.  The first line of this front page diary needs fixing, too, mcjoan!

    "has a wrote..."  just sayin'...

  •  This HCR shouldn't be seen as a victory... (28+ / 0-)

    ...for anyone.

    Victory means you go home and enjoy the fruits of your conquest.  We really don't have the luxury of doing that.  There is still so much to do.

    This is a step in the right direction.  And it's a step I think we need to take to continue the fight.  But people who would see this in terms of "win" or "lose" betray themselves as having a "politics as sporting event" mindset.

  •  Sorry Joan (14+ / 0-)

    But in my opinion this is the worst thing you've written since I've been a member of this site.

    And on the front page.  Way to trash the bill while we are still working our asses off to get the votes. Further, much of it is opinion, not fact.  And further still, it seems to be Greenwald's opinion, who I couldn't care less about.  

    Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4360+ dead - Bring them home -8.00,-5.79

    by Miss Blue on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:44:47 AM PDT

  •  How about waiting until it passes before (19+ / 0-)

    conducting a post-mortem?

    I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

    by dansac on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:45:07 AM PDT

  •  This is where I think you are delusional: (17+ / 0-)

    "In other words, the job isn't done with this bill. Is this a step forward? Yes, to the extent that now Congress sees it can do something about health reform. "

    Can you describe to me within the specific language of the bill where we can move forward regard to reform? The one way that I have latched onto of late are the so-so provisions for state based single payer.

    But, your thesis-- that there will be future steps (I imagine you mean in the next decade or 2) strikes me as complete fantasy. On what do you base this view? Do the same risk adverse progressivism that now pervades DC strike you as changing anytime soon?

    Let me allow Big Tent Democrat to sum up the problem with your thesis:

    " Indeed, the public option REMAINS much more popular than almost every part of the health bills that are actually going to be enacted (I think.) It actually stands as a testament to the ineptitude of progressives. Fighting for a very popular initiative, they still could not muster a bargaining strategy that could work.

    I certainly accept Silver's point that the bargaining strategies I have argued for carried risk. And not insignificant risk. But to get in the game, progressives will have to take some risk. No risk, no reward. Certainly if you believe that status quo of the political bargaining dynamics is unacceptable, you must be willing to try something new."

    http://www.talkleft.com/...

    Do you forsee the Democrats becoming something  other than what we have seen this last past year?  If not, how is future progressive remotely possible since we will face the same dynamic as now.

    •  One dynamic will change. (9+ / 0-)

      The Republicans will have failed, and their BS talking points will fail to come to pass.

      I've got a feeling after this is passed we're going to hear less and less from the "destruction of the Union" bloc.

      Even end of the world predictors shut up for a year or so after they are wrong for the umpteenth time on predicting the end of our little blue ball.

      -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

      by Zikar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:48:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As premiums continue skyrocket, the GOP (7+ / 0-)

        will harp on failure and mandates. Who knows if this will work -- but it's what they'll do.

      •  Oh please, YOu must be kidding? (14+ / 0-)

        You think the GOP lost? They passed their bill while getting such a bill labeled as progressives and progressive running around defending it. More than that, they can now run against the policies that they mostly endorsed under Romney and through organizations like the heritage foundation.

        They didn't lose shit under this bill. And you are not going to shut them up. this just gives them ammo while saddling us with a right of center corporatist bll now labeled as progresive.

        •  It's certainly more progressive (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, GN1927, indie17

          than any of the other health reform legislation I've seen passed in the last...

          uhh, what was it...100 years, or 70...

          The fact that we passed anything at all is a progressive victory. I mean, look at all the resources they threw at ensuring nothing at all happened.

          They thought it was 1994 all over again, and they were wrong.

          -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

          by Zikar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:24:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "The fact that we passed anything at all..." (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bruh1, churchylafemme, Uberbah, Jyrinx

            the words of someone who lost before the game started.

            •  Whatever, man... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indie17

              I fought my ass off for the most progressive bill possible. You're not gonna piss on my efforts.

              What have you got to show, oh progressive one? Where's your big victory?

              Yeah, that's what I thought.

              -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

              by Zikar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:12:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh please, now the fucking guilt tripq (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeavyJ, sneakers563

                This isn't about you. It's about the bill. Your bruised ego's inablity to address the substance of what is being passed is not the point. We want to discuss the bill itself, and what it means. Not what your politics of no expectations want to pretend it means because you can't handle the facts of what the bill is. Notice, I am not even saying whether it should or should not pass. I am saying call a duck, a fucking duck, and stop trying to pretend you achieved some great progressive cause. You achieved a right of center bill that the GOP would have passed in 1993.

                •  My ego isn't bruised. I worked, this is what we (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  indie17

                  got. And this "you" nonsense is strange, like I'm somehow personally responsible for the contents of this bill. I don't know what Us V. Them thing you've got set up, but I'm not a part of it.

                  What I'm saying is that no one, absolutely no one, has reformed health insurance, care, or whatever you'd like to term it, ever. That is a victory.

                  If you don't want to call it progressive, fine, whatever, that's your prerogative.

                  But framing it as some GOP victory? No, don't agree with you whatsoever.

                  -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

                  by Zikar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:31:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It is a GOP victory because that's what the (0+ / 0-)

                    policies are.

                    Were you not engaged in team sports, well pershaps, I should use an analogy to help you- you are declaring victory for having scored political points for the status quo of private health insurance that causes the problem in the first place. Congrats if that in your mind constitute a win, but let's just say even on the 'insurance reform" front let's not go there because many of the provisions will face regulatory capture.

                    •  Hey, I'm with you. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      indie17

                      I want the bill to do about 50 times more than it does.

                      But according to your framework, there is no victory anywhere, pass or fail, and the GOP can only win.

                      I don't agree with that. They said they'd stop it, they can't. That's winning, in my book, especially because I believe it will let a lot of wind out of their sails. We'll see on that, I suppose.

                      The bill gives insurance to people who can't afford it. There's a lot to not like about it. No, it isn't single payer.

                      But I'll take the something over the nothing. That's why progressives lose, because we will take anything over the status quo to help people, while others are content with nothing at all happening.

                      The insurance companies are already very powerful and corrupt, and this bill doesn't change that, for the worse or better. Sucks, but it became pretty clear we weren't dismantling the system from the get go. Again, not what I would do, but...I mean, what? What am I gonna do? It's this or nothing at all, and I am not, under any circumstances, giving the GOP their freaking "Waterloo".

                      If that's anti-progressive or liberal, guess so then.

                      -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

                      by Zikar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:55:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My point is call a duck a duck (0+ / 0-)

                        It is one thing for a bill to be right leaning,a nd quite another for people to be parading around like they have achieved some great progressive victory. Let the right own this.

                  •  Ummm (0+ / 0-)

                    What I'm saying is that no one, absolutely no one, has reformed health insurance, care, or whatever you'd like to term it, ever.

                    I guess you've never heard of HIPAA

              •  I tried too (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Uberbah

                I lost too. Not admitting it makes it far worse.

          •  certainly NOT more progressive (4+ / 0-)

            uhh, what was it...100 years, or 70...

            Medicare passed in 1965.
            Medicaid passed in 1967.
            SCHIP passed in 1997.

            And of course the latter was under a heavily Republican president that was obsessed with impeaching Bill Clinton by any means necessary.

            Which only goes to show you how pathetic current efforts have been, with a more popular Dem in the White House and a supermajority in both houses.

            I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

            by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. I think the fact they can't (3+ / 0-)

              even admit to the failure to create a progressive bill is telling. It is like they must convince themselves it is not a right leaning bill in order to pass and support it. My thing is be honest about whatyouare supporting.

              •  I like when SS is torn down to build this bill up (0+ / 0-)

                I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

                by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:35:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, the most telling moment for me was when (0+ / 0-)

                  I pointed out to some posters that the excise tax would hurt the middle class, and their response was to attack the middle class by saying "well they will just have less money for clubbing and partying."  As a response to what I was reading, someone said to me that part of the problem is that many of the people who post on this subject are not in fact impacted in any real way beyond the intellectual debate. That they are not really, despite their claims, the working class. I think that's the biggest issue with the American left. It is made up of more well off people and bad faith actors. The bad faith actors will use Rovian tricks like saying "oh you don't care about the uninsured" when in fact the issue is whether the policies are not going to help the insured over the long haul? The mere fact they are using such Rovian, use my weakness against my enemy, approach suggests that they are of the political elite rather than average worker class.

            •  heavily Republican Congress, rather (0+ / 0-)

              I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

              by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:35:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes - progressives forced to defend it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruh1, aliasalias

          is the most disheartening feature of all:

          "I love the Mitt Romney policy financed by the John McCain tax! Thanks Obama!"

    •  BTD has been delusional about this all year (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, taylormattd, Bob Friend, snout

      Armando and talkleft really aren't worth even going to imo.

      •  Yes, I am going to compare someone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger

        who negotiates against and for corporate interest as a litigator versus you- some one who basically leveled an ad honinem without any actual discussion of arguments made or not made.

        Look, you peo Bushian  as you are going to win this short term tactical win. Just be happy with that rather than engaging in this silliness that someone who actually negotiates for a living is wrong about negotiation while you , who lose everything you supposedly claim you stand for (which i question if you really do stand for it), is right about negotiation.

        The proof is in the outcome of negotiations. Not your labels. My labels differ because they speak to those outcomes and of the parties actually negotiating.

    •  It is a step forward for universal coverage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, Aexia

      It puts the mandate in place.

      The PO that was being written was bad, and expensive. Creating a whole new program when we have one in existence (medicare) seems redundant to me.

      After this bill is passed, I think the next push should be for incremental medicare buy-ins until everyone is covered.

      It's the slow route, but seems to be the most logical, and cost effective, and will be alot easier to pass rather than a giant new program on top of the bill that will pass Sunday. People will not be as afraid of medicare, as they are of a new program.

      I imagine medicare buy-ins could be done thru reconcilation if need be, as the framework exists. It would just be about funding.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:03:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have no idea what you are talking about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, HomersGhost

        I get tired of debating people who came to the discussion over health care in the last year (that's the charitable read of your ignorance).

        Universal private health insurance is not the same as universal health care coverage. The former definition was something made up by the private insurance industry in the  last 10 years when they realized they were losing the battle over whether americans wanted universal health care. They largely in this discussion have won precisely because people like you have no fucking idea what you are talking about (again being charitable toward you)

        You can proceed to whine about my not being nice to you about your ignorance now.

        •  Gawd (0+ / 0-)

          I'm tired of seeing you go after people with the f-word today.

          Her only post here today.  

          Why are you so rude?  Passion, okay, rudeness, no.

          •  Lord, why are you in politics? (0+ / 0-)

            Do you think the insurance companies or these people working in DC are nice people? They talk to you nicely and screw over because they know that's all they have to ever do. ANd if all you can contribue here is your sense of how tone should be, don't waste either of our time. Contribute something meaningful. Desire something more than people treat you nicely.

    •  Within this bill? (11+ / 0-)

      Not a whole hell of a lot. In the fact that they've taken a step in actually tackling and (this isn't a sure thing yet) passing a bill without the sky falling in, I see progress.

      I think we're likely to see something else--continued egregious behavior by insurers, finding every loophole possible to avoid regulations like they have been for decades even in states with stringent insurance regulation. After going through all this, it should be easier to take them on next time.

    •  Public Option through reconciliation (0+ / 0-)

      120 Reps, some Senators have signed on:

      http://www.whipcongress.com/...

      ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

      by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I simply don't trust progerssive in congress (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jyrinx

        to do a damn thing. They are not worth the time even to whip count since they don't mean what they say.

        •  Then why are you here? All 102 Reps. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, mahakali overdrive

          are progressives?

          ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

          by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:17:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because of policy. I k now that confuses some of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jyrinx

            you. This is all my team versus your team for you. We are speaking different language so even now I don't expect you to get what I am saying or why I am saying it.

            •  We are not stupid. Try bulleting (0+ / 0-)

              your points. Thank you.

              ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

              by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:01:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But you are very many of you are gullible (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias, indie17

                The right person or the right group, and you don't even bother to figure out what something means.

                To be clear, one of the issues is that I have followed this issue since 2004 when my mother passed away and I first started to do a lot of research.

                Thus, I am able to recognize what's been happening with this bill with that prior research in mind. It is like the guy who used to work in the industry but is a detractor of what DC has done. The issue is that when you know that people are now tauting a right of center bill as some vast progressive accomplishment (regardless of whether one thinks the bill should pass), then one is left to conclude people are either clueless or gullible enough to buy a sales pitch.

                Again, my thesis here is that this is a right wing bill. Many of you seem not to even realize that because of the team selling you the pitch.

                •  Yes, it is a conservative bill, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  indie17

                  absolutely. It is the best we can do, given the legislators, elections, fear, the economy. Pass it, and make it better. Need to start somewhere, a la Social Security. Sigh.

                  ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

                  by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:59:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This was not even the best a conservative (0+ / 0-)

                    Republican like bush was able to do with SCIPS. Try again. this was what the president wanted. The best and what the president wanted due to ideological bent are not the same things.

    •  I think calling McJoan delusional is harsh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett

      Maybe there is a bit of self delusion, but we all need to allow ourselves a little bit of self delusion.  Seeing things as they are is too painful.  However, I, too, don't how the current bill will lead in the short to medium term in additional progress.  First, this bill is an electoral loser. The White House, House and Senate leadership are trapped in the Alice in Wonderland world inside the beltway.  People in the heartland see this this bill as confusing and intrusive, forcing them to pay insurance companies for health care.  They may also see the Medicare savings as Medicare cuts.  The next congress will be even less progressive than this one.

      The other major point is that Rahm has won on this.  The progressives have caved.  Next time they (we) will be taken even less seriously.

      •  Yes it was harsh, but I get tired of reading (0+ / 0-)

        hope for the future when we know the problem are the progressives are not serious about reform anymore than conservatives are. Their behavior gives that away. That's why I would prefer hard reality to this let's all be happy at the possibilities. I don't truly think McJoan is delusional. I think the sentiment however is very delusional. This bill is it for a decade or 2. Probably 2.

  •  What a difference the election in Mass. (4+ / 0-)

    made.  There is pretty much one way anything can pass and they're doing it.  I just hope they're ready with immediates ads on the positive changes for people that take place immediately-donut hole in Medicare Part D, coverage for kids, elimination of pre-existing conditions for kids.  These need to be fully explored before the right-wingers have a chance to get their "socialized medicine" spiel to set in and harden.

    "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

    by Leftovers on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:45:29 AM PDT

  •  Didn't both bills expand Medicaid? (8+ / 0-)

    It's my understanding that both bills expanded Medicaid, per the progressive and liberal wish lists, from the get-go.  The funding is what was at issue, with Nelson receiving a funding concession for his state, and the House side car widening out that concession to all 50 states.

    I think that this spin on HCR is not really reflective of the concessions which liberals and progressives indeed received.

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:45:31 AM PDT

    •  Medicaid rates will be similar to Medicare rates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      ...in 2013 and 2014.

      http://washingtonindependent.com/...

      "The headlines today will likely focus on the plan to eliminate the sweetheart Medicaid deal that Senate leaders cut with Nebraska’s Nelson — a deal so unpopular that even Nelson himself claims now to oppose it. But much more significant for purposes of ensuring care is a provision of the reconciliation bill that hikes Medicaid rates to primary care physicians to at least the level of what Medicare pays for those same services. That provision was contained in the House bill, but not the Senate proposal."

      •  And that deal wasn't really eliminated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, mahakali overdrive, Eric Jaffa

        It would have had the federal government's funding share of new Medicaid enrollees set at 100% into perpetuity.  That deal was expanded to all 50 states plus DC, with the fed's share of the costs of new enrollees to be 100% initially, decreasingly slightly each year thereafter until settling into a 90% federal funding share into perpetuity.  And Nelson can't say a word because what was good enough for his state is good enough for the rest of the country.

        Great point about the Medicaid reimbursal rates.  That is fabulous.  I think that's going to do a lot to challenge the stigma of Medicaid; that along with a very specific set of low income, bottom of the latter professionals in the arts, etc. who will be be newly entitled to enroll in Medicaid as a result of this legislation.

        climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

        by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:21:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The higher Medicaid rates are good new for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, Brooke In Seattle

          ...2013 and 2014, but it's unclear what will happen in 2015.

          http://www.politico.com/...

          Sec. 1202. Payments to primary care physicians. Requires that Medicaid payment rates to primary care physicians for furnishing primary care services be no less than 100% of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014 (the first year of the Senate bill’s Medicaid coverage expansion to all individuals with incomes under 133% of poverty). Provides 100% federal funding for the incremental costs to States of meeting this requirement.

    •  What do you mean "from the get go"? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pithy Cherub, GN1927

      It doesn't start covering anyone new until 2014.

      And I'm still leery that it will do what it says. Even President Obama keeps saying that Medicaid covers all poor people and it doesn't.

      "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 Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:46:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I mean as originally contemplated (0+ / 0-)

        In the Greenwald/FDL/McJoan spin, the Medicaid expansion was a result of Nelson's perfidy.  IMO that's not true; the programs were expanded in both chambers.  Nelson obtained a federal funding boon for his state, which was subsequently expanded to provide that boon to the entire country.  This is no concession to Blue Dogs.  I can't see how it can be spun in that fashion.

        climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

        by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:55:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I think that POTUS (0+ / 0-)

        meant that with the bill, it will.

        Anyone below 133% of the federal poverty level will qualify, with the federal government and not cash-strapped states, taking on the lion's share of the financial responsibility for those new enrollees.  This is absolutely a liberal concession.

        climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

        by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:56:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I don't think Obama is aware (0+ / 0-)

          that it doesn't cover everyone now. There are extreme restrictions and even a person with zero income doesn't necessarily qualify.

          Obama keeps saying in all his health care speeches that the rich can afford to buy their own health care and the poorest are covered by Medicaid, so he needed to do something about the increasingly strapped middle class.

          Yes, the new bill is supposed to cover everyone, but Obama has been giving that line about Medicaid covering the poor for quite some time now, even during the campaign.

          I don't know whose idea it actually was to expand it based strictly on income. I wait skeptically to see whether the program in action does what it's supposed to do.

          "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 Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:06:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed that POTUS should be more precise (0+ / 0-)

            with that point, as there are a group of childless, abled, working poor under 65 who have huge issues accessing Medicaid.  Which is why it's been expanded.  But that's a legitimate critique in terms of asking for precision.

            But are you saying that you don't believe the provisions in the senate and side car?  This is pretty straightforward: make less than 133% of the federal poverty level?  You can access Medicaid.

            climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

            by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:17:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Mutually contradictory blogspeak from Greenwald (28+ / 0-)

    et al:

    1.  Demand that progressives push the Overton window, make aggressive bargaining demands, etc etc;

    then

    1.  accuse them of being cowards and wimps when they don't get everything they demand.

    Greenwald also ignores Bargaining 101:  the outcome of a negotiation will rest largely on the parties' respective positions.

    The progressives have a whole list of things they want changed.  The Blue Dogs and Republicans are perfectly content to do nothing.  

    Progressive threats to walk away are meaningless in the end, because, well, that would suit their counterparties just fine.

    The BATNA is the same for each side--nothing.  But, it is much more acceptable for the do-nothing crowd than the do-everything crowd.  

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:45:42 AM PDT

  •  Is any one of us going to stop fighting? (17+ / 0-)

    Progressives moved this thing.  We made it an issue and we've dragged the center along.  We didn't get what we wanted.  I understand that.

    But is any one of us going to forget about a Public Option, or fail to ask about it at rallies in 2010?  

    We aren't going away.  We're taking what we can get and getting ready for the next round.

  •  The road ahead will be very (8+ / 0-)

    difficult. But it will be far easier with something to build on than it would be with nothing.

    When the problems that will inevitably come up do it will be easier to show that the progressive ideas were better at fixing those problems. Convincing the Blue Dogs of this will be just as hard though.

    Still a man hears what he wants to hear And disregards the rest

    by Mike S on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:46:10 AM PDT

  •  Glen Greenwald is a perpetual pessimist (7+ / 0-)

    Just saying.

    Left is right, Right is wrong. True, 2 wrongs don't make a right, but 3 rights make a Left.From the right, make 2 more rights and u'll b home.

    by ruff4life on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:46:50 AM PDT

  •  No national exchange (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, badger, HeavyJ, Uberbah, filby

    is one of my biggest disappointments with the bill.  I saw it as being just as critical than the public option.

  •  At some point you have to choose. (13+ / 0-)

    What is more important?  Having progressives respected or expanding healthcare to millions?

    The argument that any bill without a public option was wore than the status quo was always specious.  It is a damaging meme that will continue to work against progressive aims long after this bill is passed.

    •  It's always been specious (6+ / 0-)

      but it has been pushed relentlessly on the front page here, and at loony sites like FDL.

      We now have so-called "progressives" who aren't much different from climate change deniers, running around claiming that a bill expanding access to health care coverage for millions is bad.  

      Of course, that's the inevitable result of a year and a half of trashing the shit out of a bill as evil.

      Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

      by taylormattd on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  because, for the billionth time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, sneakers563

      This bill doesn't expand health care, it expands health insurance.  And if insurance companies have been far and away the biggest problem with our system, how does it make any sense to mandate their product as a solution?

      I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

      by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 03:05:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Repitition does not make a bad case compelling (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew

        The  distinction between healthcare and health insurance is far less stark than you portray it.  Health insurance buys health care.  There is a causual relationship.  

        Of course the insurance industry sucks, but there was no path to expand healthcare and take out the insurance companies at this moment.

        •  nor does hand waving make the truth go away (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, Jiminy Cricket

          The  distinction between healthcare and health insurance is far less stark than you portray it.  Health insurance buys health care.  There is a causual relationship.  

          Right, which is why more than half of all medical bankruptcies come from those who have insurance.

          Right, which is why thousands of people suffer and die every year, who have insurance but are denied care.

          but there was no path to expand healthcare and take out the insurance companies at this moment.

          Sorry, but the word "possible" is not defined as "what Obama has bothered to get off his ass and do".  When 80% of the public wanted a public option, and even 50% of Republicans wanted it (when separated from lies about death panels), there was NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER for not passing one.

          I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

          by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:07:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yadda yadda yadda (0+ / 0-)

            You can continue to ignore the fact that the votes were not there to do more, and apparently you will. You have the luxury of being able to spout off on a message board with too many caps and lots of bold fonts standing in for an actual argument.

            As for your argument about health care vs. health insurance - nobody has argued that 32 million people would get better care than the rest of us, nor is anybody under the illusion that all problems with insurance will be ended with this legislation.  But millions will receive care who would not otherwise.  Any self respecting progressive ought to see that as a good thing.    

            •  hand wave hand wave have wave (0+ / 0-)

              You can continue to ignore the fact that the votes were not there to do more

              You continue to ignore the fact that the votes were there if Obama was willing to make them be there.  Which was easy to do when 80% of the public was already behind the public option.

              Remember the Vote Vets ad that helped to defeat so many Republicans in 2006 and 2008?

              You tell Democrats and Republicans that the public option will be the new Vote Vets ad, and anyone that votes against it will be facing one in the next election.

                     Cute nine year old girl: my daddy worked hard his whole life and had good insurance, but he got cancer.  First his treatments were denied, and then...and then (cries) he hit his policy cap and lost his insurance.  We lost him right before Christmas last year.  (cries some more)

                    My daddy would have been saved by the public option, but Senator McConnell voted against it.  Now it's time for us to vote against him.

              The ads practically write themselves.

              You have the luxury of being able to spout off on a message board with too many caps and lots of bold fonts standing in for an actual argument.

              Says the guy with nothing but apologism and hand waving.  You want an argument?  Here's how this could have easily been done:

              1. Make it clear from the beginning that a bill must have a strong public option, and this is not negotiable.
              1. Have friendly Senators and Representatives hold hearing after hearing after hearing pointing out the abuses and corruption of the insurance industry.
              1. Obama holds a dozen town halls a month, extorting the public to call Senator Nelson/Conrad/Snowe and ask them to support the public option.
              1. Tell Democrats that they will be getting NO money from the DNC if they vote against the public option, and ask MoveOn, unions, etc to do the same.
              1. Shove the "up or down vote" line back down the throats of the Republicans at every opportunity.
              1. Start prepping those Vote Vets style ads to run against obstructionists, and let them know it.
              1. Make it crystal clear that the public option will be passed - the only variables being how soon and how many obstructionists are driven out of office.

              Any self respecting progressive ought to see that as a good thing.    

              No one who supports a bill with mandates, excise taxes, no public option, no end to the anti-trust exemption, and no national exchange can call himself a progressive and be remotely honest about it.

              I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

              by Uberbah on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:09:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Boiling all of that down... (0+ / 0-)

                Your argument lives or dies on the assertion that a PR campaign could have put all of the conservadem holdouts in the pro-public option column.

                That is magical thinking.  Most of these folks lived in conservative states, and the coalitions they rely on to stay elected are fairly conservative.  They can easily turn their backs on progressives.  Hell - Blanche Lincoln is bragging about killing the public option in campaign commercials.

                Your battle plan is a template for a very inspiring defeat.  I imagine you'd be satisfied with that, but I prefer results.  

  •  Kucinich vowed to return every penny (10+ / 0-)

    he received as a result of his pledge not to vote yes drive.

    So everyone can just put their little drama doilies back in their sleeves and stop waving them about.

  •  Greenwald citing Hamsher (24+ / 0-)

    wake me up when the conversation is based in Democratic precepts please. Until then, the limited Government, Ron Paul-talking point conversation gets old.

    Jane Hamsher has absolutely no credibility if you've read her site as of late. Anyone who would say she was too Progressive for the CPC, but will gladly work with tea baggers and Libertarians, as she has been recently, is deeply questionable as an "authority source" in my mind.

    I'm sure I'm not alone in this particular assessment.

    And so why concern oneself with what Hamsher, or Greenwald (who shares some financial interests with her, last I checked) thinks?

    As a Democratic-voting Socialist, I could give a rats ass what Libertarians or Lib-leaners think of a Democratically crafted HCR bill.

    But of course, this type of dissent does a nice-looking hit job on the Democrats in general. So there's that.

    Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:47:58 AM PDT

    •  THANK YOU (12+ / 0-)

      Why exactly is this garbage on this site?  

      Wish I could rec your comment a million times.

      Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4360+ dead - Bring them home -8.00,-5.79

      by Miss Blue on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:54:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's on this site because the community here (8+ / 0-)

        is not thinking critically to examine the situation closely. It's a bit of a failure of community moderation, IMHO. When the community decides to think more critically, hopefully it will start resisting specious sources.

        I'm an academic. If someone continuously makes arguments that don't hold up, I wouldn't risk my personal reputation by citing them. Period.

        Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh please, ... (8+ / 0-)

          ...because I disagree with you I'm not thinking critically? I'm a Rocket Scientist, I get thinking critically. Does Rocket Science trump Academia?

          If you're going to profess to offer an argument, you should actually do so next time without making up a conclusion first.

          The sleep of reason produces monsters.

          by Alumbrados on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:07:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What exactly is your argument? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, GN1927, LV Pol Girl, indie17

            That I'm not making one?

            I have made a very specific argument and that is that FDL, which is parroting Fox News while accepting funding and support from Ron Paul Libertarians rather than Progressive Democrats -- like the CPC -- is used as Greenwald and Hamsher's (and McJoan's) "citation" that the health care reform bill is flawed.

            And this is because the community does not question the wisdom of looking to these sorts of sources.

            When the community seeks to question some citations, perhaps we will have more consensus about the bill.

            Because most of the arguments against it are mired not only in Right-wing rhetoric but also Right-wing PAC money which is completely publicly available information for anyone who wants to follow that line of argument.

            Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:13:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah - the hell with true or false (5+ / 0-)

              If I don't like the speaker or can conjure up some guilt-by-association argument, then nothing more needs to be said.

              It's so much easier than dealing with the actual issues and arguments.

              Bitte sag mir wer das Märchen vom Erwachsen sein erfand

              by badger on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:42:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right, because ethos doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                indie17

                and if someone is wading in Libertarian money, certainly it wouldn't color their argument.

                /snark

                Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

                by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:25:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Truth doesn't matter who pays for it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  churchylafemme, Uberbah

                  unless you have some very bizarre philosophy or are extremely lazy intellectually.

                  Listening to someone's argument and considering it is not the same as endorsing it, unless you're one of those purists I keep hearing about here all the time.

                  Rejecting the true statements of someone because they're your "enemy" is something most of us grow out of in primary school. It's why people starved in the Soviet Union when they based their farm programs on the politically correct Lysenkoism instead of accepting evil western science paid for (gasp!) by capitalists in some cases.

                  Bitte sag mir wer das Märchen vom Erwachsen sein erfand

                  by badger on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:56:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  MO has a bone to pick with Jane (3+ / 0-)

                    She really should recuse herself from discussion of things FDL. Because a long time ago Jane implied some of the same things about MO that MO implies about Jane ad nauseum.
                    Neither one of them can back it up. They just throw stuff out there.

                    Jane seems to have forgotten all about MO, to her credit.
                    It's just silly stuff and not credible on either of their parts.

                    Move Your Money The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail.

                    by Burned on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:32:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If that were true, I wouldn't be so (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      askew

                      vehement, given that it would seem a bit too apparent. Unfortunately, my comment history does not support your assertion. I did not have ANY problem with Ms. Hamsher UNTIL she allied herself with Grover Norquist. And I recommended many FDL diaries. At that point, however, I began questioning what was going on.

                      97% of Progressives currently stand with me on my views about HCR, which are in contrast to the 3% who support Jane, such as yourself.

                      You can always try to make it personal. Certainly. But that's not terribly successful when the person whom you are defending has recused herself of the vast majority of her Progressive allies while claiming to be an effective "activist." Go ahead and defend that as a position of powerful negotiation. Of course, she does still have the power of Fox News and a few really desperate looking posters here. And let's NOT forget Taylor Marsh. She's a real Progressive ally indeed.

                      With friends like hers...

                      Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

                      by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:10:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I won't encourage more on FDL from you (3+ / 0-)

                        I think you should recuse yourself as I said.
                        You may not realize how often you make wild accusations that you don't back up.
                        You have left some juicy bits of nothing dangling in several conversations on Hamsher.
                        Perhaps you should review your comments.

                        And now you attempt to align me with Jane, which you have no evidence for or against either, by willfully ignoring the whole of my comment.

                        Move Your Money The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail.

                        by Burned on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:54:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Because the front page of DK has stopped (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        driving the narrative in the netroots. They now wait for FDL or Greenwald to tell them what to think. It's pretty sad.

    •  agreed (6+ / 0-)

      we simply didn't have the votes to get what we wanted.  the FDL strategy was a no go from the get go.

      It was stupid.  Plain and simple.  Everybody knew we would have no other choice but to accept what was handed down.  

      They greatly exaggerate their power.  Our donations don't outweigh other interests.  It's that simple.

      If they do continue their cause, just because they think they have to otherwise then who would fear them, we will end up fighting them.  They will lose every bit of capital they have until they are completely marginalized.  We have to stick together but we also have to know the political landscape.

    •  Marcy Wheeler is at FDL (4+ / 0-)

      and I hold her in higher esteem than almost any FP blogger at this site. That's saying a lot.

      Say what you want about Jane, but limit them to Jane and not all of FDL. It just makes you look ignorant, otherwise.

      Repealing DADT "would offend the terrorists in such a way that could put soldiers-and America-at risk of further terrorist attacks."-MO St Sen Nodler(R)

      by just some lurker guy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:07:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  a noun, a verb, and FDL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme

      I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

      by Uberbah on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 03:07:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the latest bill, can insurers still raise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JRandomPoster, CKendall

    ...rates if you become ill? I read somewhere that that they were allowed to triple your rates if you become ill in an earlier version. I'm just asking, because what scares me is something like this will occur, you won't be able to make the payments because it's too much,; not to mention, if you're out sick, how are you supposed to pay premiums?

    I can just see in four years, people being dropped because they can't make the payments, but it won't be the insurers "fault" they were dropped. It will be the fault of all of those "sick, lazy" people.

    So, someone, please enlighten me on what's in the bill to keep you from being dropped when you're sick and can't pay the premium?

    The sleep of reason produces monsters.

    by Alumbrados on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:48:04 AM PDT

  •  I agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anglo, m00finsan, CuriousBoston

    Let's fight for this bill and then let's fight for a progressive victory on health care reform.

  •  Totally agree with Glenn (5+ / 0-)

    I only hope I'm wrong about everything, and that this bill will lead to lower costs.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:48:46 AM PDT

  •  When There Are Not Enough Progressives (9+ / 0-)

    In office to dictate all the terms of the bill, you have the choice. Destroy Obama and probably Democrats in the 2010 elections, or grit our teeth, declare victory, look to the future with hope for progressive fixes to the bill, and watch the Great Pumpkin Boner and McConnell and the rightwing loons lose their f*cking minds in front of the nation. Much more satisfying.   :)

    Pass it and fix it, now!

    by Ky DEM on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:48:58 AM PDT

  •  that was a no duh moment!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, PeakRaider

    of course...  we have no other option but to fall in line and everybody should know it.

    What the folks at FDL don't understand is that all you got is donations and they can get those elsewhere.

    Maybe that will change.  Maybe we will build our own think tanks and publications.  Maybe we start our own media networks.  Maybe corporate america starts giving us the money instead of conservative causes.

    Probably not.  We simply don't have that much power.

    What FDL and others did was weaken themselves and the Democratic congress.  We have enough votes to get Dems elected but not progressives.  We didn't have the votes for the legislation we wanted.  Everybody should have known it was kabuki theater.  

    •  But, since, (4+ / 0-)

      the folks at FDL don't actually vote on the bill, what does it hurt to have them out there still pushing for things to be as progressive as possible?  I agree that it was kabuki theater, but I also think FDL's actions helped expose that.

      They (we!) need to figure out how to be more effective, though.

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

      by TracieLynn on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:20:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And many of us here, several months ago, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeavyJ, TracieLynn, Uberbah, CuriousBoston

    agreed, saying that progs would roll. They did. They are always forced to. In this instance, hopefully history will show they were right.

    It still stings that Rahm may have been right, since he appears to be, lets say, lacking liberal cred.

  •  If this legislation... (15+ / 0-)

    ... has even a chance of being a step forward, it will be important that we keep up the heat from day 1 of it's passage.

    Have no doubt - the insurance companies will, as will those beholden to their monies.  They'll fight tooth and nail to strip out regulation, while maintaining the mandates if they possibly can.

    And the longer we wait, the more entrenched they'll become.  The more time they're given to use our premium dollars on ad campaigns, on lobbyists, and on election donations, the harder it is going to be to move forward from insurance reform to actual health care reform.

    This bill is weak, at best.  We've given away almost everything that we fought for.  And the potential for abuse is rife:  just the $100 per day fine for covering someone or rescinding a policy means that anyone with an illness that costs over $36K a year is in a world of trouble.  The insurance companies are not there out of any sort of altruism - just the opposite.  They are there to make money, and nothing more.

    So - celebrate this bill if you will.  But no one should think that this is the end of the fight by any means.  It is going to be a very long and hard road ahead of us.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:49:33 AM PDT

  •  Progressives turned out to be adults. (13+ / 0-)

    There is no perfect bill. The public option couldn't pass. So you either let the perfect be the enemy of the good or you take the good and use it as a launching pad later. There is no perfect world and there is no perfect bill. Progressives were adults and got what they could. Some should not have vowed to never support a bill without a PO knowing it would never pass. But mistake are always made.

    "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

    by Common Cents on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:49:33 AM PDT

    •  I disagree slightly (3+ / 0-)

      Some should not have vowed to never support a bill without a PO knowing it would never pass.

      I'm not sure that I agree with this.  Before the MA loss, when conference was still on the table, it makes a ton of sense that there was vocal opposition to any mandates + no public option regime.  That empowers whatever liberals and progressives would have been on the conference committee.  At that time, fighting tooth and nail against the senate bill made perfect sense IMO, as nothing was set in stone other than POTUS' commitment to health care providers that a public option would have better reimbursal rates than Medicare.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:02:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not without a VOTE, anyway... (5+ / 0-)

      The public option couldn't pass

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:54:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely right! the PO is so overwhelmingly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        the WH/DLC faction and the progressives seem to be acting on the same assumption:

        if the PO came to a vote, the Dems would really have no justification for not voting for it

        which is precisely why the WH worked so hard to make sure that it never did.

        "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

        by output on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:38:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  At what point... (7+ / 0-)

    ... will Rahm et. al. stop kicking sand at progressives and mocking us, and start asking for our dollars and campaign volunteer time again?

    Just wondering.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:50:18 AM PDT

  •  Rude Pundit = Epic Clarity (16+ / 0-)

    Here's what's going to happen after the vote on the reconciliation bill in the House on Sunday: Almost every Tea Partyer who was out there protesting will go the fuck away. They will devote whatever energy they have left to posting comments on blogs and Facebook pages. Their leaders, desperate to still be relevant and still draw a paycheck, will try to come up with some other phantom issue to whip up enthusiasm. But once it passes, no one will give a shit except the people it helps. The Civil War won't be re-fought. The Constitution won't be shredded. One or two states might try to force their misinterpretation of the 10th Amendment. Soon, Beck and Hannity and Michele Bachmann and Steve King will discover another Republic-ending crisis, probably immigration reform, and we'll start the magical cycle all over again.

    Meanwhile, those poor, ignorant bitches and bastards in the photo up there will shuffle home, curse the process, and, like good corporate tools, continue to suck down fast food and sodas and buy shit they don't need because it's cheaply made in China and sold at Wal-Mart and proudly drive gas-devouring vehicles and keep their children stupid and tell themselves that they aren't the problem, no, they are the solution, wondering how to fill the desperate couple of hours between the end of Limbaugh's radio show and the start of Beck's TV rants, despising those who are attempting to do something for them and their neighbors, wondering where their country went, when, after all, this is where it's gone.

    For a couple of them, the day will come when they lose their jobs. And the COBRA runs out. And maybe for a moment they panic about where they're going to get health insurance for themselves and their families. And then it will hit them, that "oh, yeah, there's that" and it just might end up okay. But, like the dunces who want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare, they will go on thinking the same, doing the same, never learning, never changing.

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/

  •  Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ, doesn't anyone (12+ / 0-)

    understand how negotiation and deal making work?  You start out with one position that is unalterable and immutable.  Then, a counter-proposal shows up, and you scoff at it.  Then, you amend your position all the while maintaining that you are being true to your principles.  Then, there's another counter-proposal, and so on.

    We are about to adopt what is more-or-less the Swiss system, and we have bleating and whinging over stuff that is clearly history.

  •  That we can't remove ourselves (27+ / 0-)

    from the predation of a corporate plutocracy that have decreed they are entitled to a third of our health care dollars is more than telling. It is in fact the perfect illustration of the state we are in here in America ca. 2010.

    That we can't institute the simplest of common sense reforms, that we can't have decent care for all, that insurance companies can only be slightly reined in and they must approve of what reining is done tells me all I need to know about what America is and that is it ain't what it's supposed to be. It's quite the opposite.

    America and her government simply operates now as a mechanism to funnel all the nation's wealth up into the pockets of a very few extraordinarily wealthy families whom we can collectively label as "The Plutocracy". It is for them that America functions. For you and me? Not so much.

    - Fools and dupes abound and wisdom is the subordinate of naked greed. What a country!

    by Dave925 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:51:05 AM PDT

  •  This is the best thing I've seen written.. (11+ / 0-)

    ...on the matter from the prospective of someone like me--struggling with the many flaws of the bill, while not being able to really advocate scrapping it either.

    This bill has just enough good in it that it makes opposing it on the grounds of its bad qualities a tough and ultimately impossible thing.  I won't turn backflips if/when this bill passes, but I won't wail and gnash teeth and devolve into hysterics like so many will either.

    If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then this is that step.  However, I won't devote too much energy to celebrating the first step...I'll save that until we're safe at the destination of single payer, whenever that may come.  (2020-2025, if I was a betting man)

    "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 Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:52:18 AM PDT

    •  Can we call it "Medicare for All" next time? (7+ / 0-)

      Comfortable, warm and fuzzy words and concepts seem to matter to our Independent fellow citizens.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:56:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More reform is going to be inevitable (8+ / 0-)

      The system will still be incredibly fragmented, and costs for consumers will still rise--not as fast as they have been, but they will still rise. As will costs of new technologies, pharmaceuticals, devices. Without serious cost controls on every element of health care delivery, healthcare cost are still going to rise.

      The policy elements that still argue for at least a public option haven't disintegrated because it was proven politically unfeasible. I still don't see a way of really controlling costs, and really providing universal care, without one.

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Not politically feasible now.

        But it will be.  

        That's what we all want to work for.  Not just trying to fix healthcare, but to make the politics of the United States fundamentally different from what it is now.  And we can do it.  

        Our corporate masters are winning just about every battle currently, but one day they will overreach.  Hell, maybe this is it.  Maybe in stripping out a real public option and forcing a mandate into a bill that will help but won't fix anything, they've set the stage for their own downfall in another decade or maybe a dozen years.

        Because by then, even with this bill, the system will have become truly unsustainable.  Like so much with Obama's policies, this isn't about creating a new paradigm, but trying to breathe life into the dying old one.

        Even this bill is just a respirator for vampire squid insurance industry though.  When this doesn't work, eventually the public will come around to our way of thinking.  And after another tremendous struggle, I'll be able to see my as yet unborn children enjoy single payer.  I take comfort in that thought.

        Deeply ironic that in this bill they fought so hard to strip and water down, insurance companies and their lobbyists have sown the seeds of their own destruction.  A genuine, robust public option could've actually helped keep them in business for years.

        Hey, how'd I get up on this soapbox?

        "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 Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:07:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you think we'll get (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, output

          the insurance companies to give up their newly mandated cash flow increases? Within a few years that will be so integrated into the capital structure of this country that to threaten to eliminate or even modestly reduce it or regulate how it's used will bring cries of financial panic, if not actual, full-blown panic. We're talking a significant chunk of the economy here, increasing as the boomer generation ages.

          IMO, that's the biggest problem with this bill, and it surrenders the ability of Congress to do anything but tinker around the margins. Like anyone else, my ability to predict the future is pretty poor, but I see this as closing the door on any meaningful health care reform (much less meaningful health insurance reform) for generations.

          Bitte sag mir wer das Märchen vom Erwachsen sein erfand

          by badger on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:20:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The costs/benefits were asymmetric (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Boston to Salem, m00finsan, CKendall

    Basically the nihilist Lieberdem types could honestly care less if a bill ever passed. Liberals, however, were not just going to say that if every one of their demands were not met they would walk away and let people continue to be crushed by our system. I think this Liberal view that were not just going to stamp our feet and say fuck the poor and downtrodden is what makes us liberals btw.
    Unfortunately, since we needed a bunch of Lieberdem votes at many of the chokepoints, they had the control. The only way to change this dynamic is to replace Lieberdems with liberals.

    The Republican Party: The Bridge to Nowhere

    by flounder on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:52:59 AM PDT

  •  I'm not a believer in something is better than (7+ / 0-)

    nothing.  No money from me to any Democrat.  They're all on the take and sold out to the Insurance Companies.  Too bad, we had a real good chance here.  Obama blew it.  But maybe he's on the take as well.

    •  Try no air instead of polluted air (4+ / 0-)
      •  more like polluted air vs. pure oxygen. (PO) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        insurance-dominated health care financing is the problem, not the solution.

        "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

        by output on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 08:56:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe? (5+ / 0-)

      Isn't there hard evidence that he made a deal with the hospitals (who have as much to gain from no PO as the insurance companies, BTW) not to include the PO?  And did a deal with the insurance lobbyists to include a mandate?

      So much for Candidate Obama.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:00:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hospitals Don't Benefit (0+ / 0-)

        No public option does not benefit the hospitals the same as the insurance companies.  The PO was an insurance arrangement, not a service provider like a hospital.  The hospitals would support HCR simply because it would improve their prospects for being paid something for a large portion of the patients they are treating now but from whom they never receive a dime.  That's the hospitals' incentive, so long as the reimbursement rates aren't driven so low that they wind up back on life-support as many are now.

        By your way of thinking, every physician and medical provider in the country would have benefited from no PO just like the insurance companies.  Eliminating the PO removed a potential competitive threat to only the health insurance companies.  The only way that a PO would compete with the hospitals would have been for the PO to create a health care system like the National Health Service in the UK and that was never being considered.  Even single-payer wouldn't do that.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:15:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there was a NY times article to that effect (5+ / 0-)

        with corroboration from unnamed sources inside the heath care industry.  To respond to PrahaPartizan, the health care industry desperately wants to avoid a robust PO because a large-enough public health care insurer would have enough bargaining power do negotiate lower rates for health care procedures.  The health care providers are really a bigger problem than the insurers.  One of the major reasons that health care costs so much less in countries with single payer systems is that the single payer is in a strong position to negotiate lower rates.

  •  Public Option Commitments (0+ / 0-)
    Senators and Reps. to support public option through reconcilation. 102 Reps. Have signed, see list of Congress here:

    http://www.whipcongress.com/...

    ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

    by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:53:33 AM PDT

  •  In the calculus that this bill will provide (9+ / 0-)

    insurance for millions, on the backs of taxpayers, but still, don't also forget to add in that progressive support of it will, in the future, as Greenwald points out, render progressives virtually impotent to demand anything substantive. It's impossible to determine how many people will be affected by this, but it's something to consider. Corporations now write our bills, progressives' threats now mean exactly nothing.

  •  Rham misplayed healthcare- it will hurt dems (9+ / 0-)

    this bill is just crappy enough, with just enough buillshit in it for the HC industry ,that GOPERS will be able to turn their "no" vote into some kind of stance against making people buy private insurance, not sure the dems could have played it any worse

    Obama didn't win becasue he was a middle-of-the road corporate appeaser, which he looks like supporting this turd bill

  •  How Do Mandates Help (5+ / 0-)

    Which would you rather do.. be forced to buy insurance coverage you cant afford, or pay a mortgage thats about to go bust, which means in all eventuality you will be homeless, and heaven forbid your unemployed, then how do you afford it all. Real Progressives VOTE NO,lets not give Rahm the satisfaction of being right. Lets get real reform on the table, not this pittance of a bill they are throwing at us

    •  from a liberal standpoint? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, BoxNDox

      Once you have mandates, you can more easily shift from mandated private health insurance to mandated Medicare-for-all. That's just switching providers, not switching systems.

      Without mandates, you have the Libertarian fantasy of tough go-it-alone investment banker producer class who deserve health care, against the parasites who make cars and build houses and teach children who don't.

      Granted, a mandate for private insurance sucks, but that's more easily changed.

      •  Not easily. (3+ / 0-)

        We couldn't even get a weak PO with a trigger into this legislation.

        And now that the insurance companies will have 30 million new mandated customers, and with the SCOTUS declaring that corporations can given every single penny they earn to legislators, there is not going to be any "easy" about this.

        Furthermore, have no doubt that the insurance companies will be running massive campaigns with their new found profits to tell people what a great job they're doing - and how they and they alone are fit to be the gatekeepers of healh care.

        Don't underestimate the fight still in front of us.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:24:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not underestimating the fight (0+ / 0-)

          "more easily" is not the same as "easy".

          But consider Grayson's bill. That bill is simple because the current one is complicated, and already deals with the adverse selection problems, mandates, and premium subsidies, and the Medicaid expansion for those unable to afford the Medicare premiums.

  •  It's healthy to say when we lost (10+ / 0-)

    We did lose what we came to accomplish and we got beat by members of our own team. What I learned is that I'm not on their team, and they aren't on mine, for instance the ones who think we are "fucking liberal retards."

    All is clearer. Progressives don't control the Democratic Party - and should. We are the real Democrats. We need to wrest control from the DLCers, the ConservaDems, Money Dems, Blue Dogs, and the WH / Wall Street establishment.

    How I see it: We lost - there's no shame in saying it. We aren't going away, we're going to get better at winning and taking over the Democratic Party in the locals, states, and D.C.  

    Agree:

    I'd argue that it's bad politically and for future policy efforts for progressives to lose sight of the fact that we had some pretty big losses in this one.

    Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

    by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:54:34 AM PDT

    •  IMO we lost one item on the agenda (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, ferg, askew, Miss Blue, Vicky

      One.  This round.  A persuasive argument can be made about the necessity of a publicly administered insurance program available to everyone.  Let's make that rather than declaring ourselves defeated and irrelevant.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:56:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eventually the public will ask the question (6+ / 0-)

        "If we are subsidizing private insurance, and they are taking a 20% cut on every dollar, isn't there a cheaper option?"

        That will lead to a discussion about the fact that Medicare has a 2-4% overhead. The logic of spending tax dollars on the more streamlined system will become apparent and a fix will be made.

        It's just a matter of time.

        Eventually, the Moneychangers in the Temple of Health will be exposed and kicked out.

        "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

        by greendem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:05:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Matter. of. time. (3+ / 0-)

          That's exactly right.  Anyone who doesn't trust socialized postal services can use FedEx or UPS or any number of private options.  But they have zero right to deprive the rest of us of a publicly administered postal program.  Same should apply with health insurance.  A basic product should be available to anyone who wants to opt out of the private insurance system.  Those who like their private insurers can do as they please.

          climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

          by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:08:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd point out... (5+ / 0-)

        ... that while some just say it's just a philosophical difference, that it doesn't matter how the job is accomplished, there is a world of difference between a corporate based system and a government based system.

        And it does matter how the job gets done - because in the end, how the job is done results in the quality of what is achieved.

        The insurance corporations will always exist for one purpose and one purpose alone:  to make money.  Their primary goal of generating profits for shareholders are diametrically opposed to the goal of providing money for actual health care to their customers.  And they will fight tooth and nail for those profits - they will run ad campaigns, lobby and pay rescinsion fines instead of providing expensive care to maximize profits.

        This legislation may be a start - but that is all that it is.  And we're going to have to fight just to maintain the regulatory gains against the very monies that we'll be paying into the corporate insurance structures.

        We've still got a long ways to go.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:06:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  AMA endorses bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JordanRules, DRo

    so now we have nuns doctors nurses seniors rights advocates cathlic hospitals.  So mcuh for they told me not to vote for it.

  •  I like most every provision except the mandate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00finsan, Noamjunior

    and I don't think the mandate will withstand a court challenge.

    (For those who point to auto insurance as the model, I remind you that many of us don't own cars and don't pay a dime of car insurance. This mandate will be new territory by forcing everyone to buy private products and fining them if they do not, this may not pass the muster of a court.)

    So that seems like reason enough to get behind this bill. Support the good things. Wait for the crap to die in the courts.

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:55:37 AM PDT

    •  hope your right- but doubt it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, oscarsmom, m00finsan

      pretty sure Mass already has a mandate like this in place

    •  So what will the Big Health Insurance... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem

      ..."legal eagles" say at the meeting table? In the face of a legal challenge that has some very good chance of declaring these mandates as is null and void I would assume that some "captive audience" is better than no "captive audience".

      Is it possible that Big Health Insurance will rather rapidly conclude that Public Option is indeed the price of having a mandate, as many of us silly Progressives have asserted all along?

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:11:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The powerlessness of progressives (8+ / 0-)

    Progressives are always in a disadvantage because they genuinely serve the country's best interests, whereas, their opponents (whether they be on the Right or Left-center) are willing to sacrifice what is right for what is politically expedient.


    "Preventive war is a crime not easily committed by a country that retains any traces of democracy." -George Orwell

    by Zackpunk on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:55:46 AM PDT

  •  Celebrating this bill is like a loud "Amen" ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, SpecialKinFlag

    ...to the...

    ...ex-first lady and mother-of-a-president Barbara Bush during a visit to the Hurricane Katrina refugee shelter in the Houston Astrodome:

       "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

    Anyone who wants to resonate the kind of values as Ms.Bush can start clapping.

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:55:58 AM PDT

  •  I've noticed-- those farthest removed from power (9+ / 0-)

    tend to have what appears to be the most principled stance, and also seem to have an amazing amount of inside information about the behind-the-scenes workings of the powerful.

    The older I get (by the minute, during this health care debate) the more I realize that these outsiders are mostly good for their entertainment value.  I love reading Gore Vidal, and watching Bill Maher is like getting a triple shot of espresso.  Michael Moore, Keith's "Special Comment" on going to jail before buying this insurance-- it's what makes a hardcore liberal like me get my juices flowing.

    But the Greenwald/Taibbi/Uygur approach is from guys who will never have "Senator" or "Congressman" in front of their names.  They just rail and rail while others have to deal with the flawed, bizarre, labyrinthine system.

    That's why I was so happy to see that Congressman Kucinich gets it.  He knows that power is about compromise, even when you hate compromise, and it's about winning the battles you can win now so tomorrow you can win more.

    I don't think this debate has made me less liberal.  Just more inclined to say-- either join the system and work to improve it from the inside, or do what Gore Vidal does and see through the entire scheme or farce of American history.  Instead of going ballistic over This Week's Topic (public option, excise tax) he sees the big picture of America, and that's why Vidal (some old age embarrassments aside) also gets it, while Greenwald doesn't, and probably never will.

    That's entertainment.

    •  samantha, by that reasoning, (11+ / 0-)

      voters should not stand up for certain principles, or be taken seriously at all, because they don't have (and may never have) "Senator" or "Congressman" in front of their names.  I completely disagree.  People who aren't elected to office are perfectly capable of dealing with and observing with political issues in a rational way.

      I mean, I haven't seen you make the argument along these lines: "If mcjoan/Meteor Blades/kos is so smart, why doesn't he/she run for office?"  Yet, that's more or less what you're implying when speaking about Greenwald/Taibbi/Uygur.

      •  One should write according to one's expertise (7+ / 0-)

        I'm a Nobody so I can rail against the military-industrial complex, the corporate stranglehold on America, etc, etc.  I know things only in very general terms so it makes it easy to rail.

        One step up from Nobody is Influential Blogger.  And IBs, entertaining as they are, don't have to do what Speaker Pelosi has to do.  It occurred to me earlier today how clueless IBs are: President Obama may not be reelected because it will be tough to repeat victories in states like Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana, but if he doesn't win it's not because he wasn't liberal enough.  Sure, he needs liberals' enthusiastic support.  But it's not Obama vs. Liberal, it's Obama vs. Conservative Republican, and when America elects Conservative Republican that will be a reflection of where the country as a whole is, with Greenwald et al. to one side.

        My point?  Being liberal means being empathetic and putting yourself in other people's shoes, and when I put myself into Speaker Pelosi's shoes I see someone who has to do a whole lot of compromising and even moving to the right just to get this bill through.  So, when it comes down to it, the public option debate, and excise tax, and all that was really secondary to the selfish, greedy reasons of a handful of Democrats, many of them opposing the bill from the right-wing angle.

        So I was worried I was becoming less liberal as I became more supportive of the Democratic (big D) power structure in Washington.  But I'm sticking up for my liberal beliefs on this-- as wrong as I sometimes think I might be.  What I see is, the unreasonable, take-no-prisoners Glenn Greenwald approach is illiberal in its inability to empathize with those involved in the legislative process (them damn villains!).  The least he could do is remove himself from the process entirely and just focus on what he believes, and if he believes he's right, to hell with everybody else.

        Since November 2008, the This Is What I Believe hardliners have poisoned one debate after another.  Listening to Bill Maher on "Countdown"-- it's like he has no clue just how conservative America is and how hard it is to do anything progressive.  So instead of praising the bill for the steps it does take, he rails against Democrats for not trying to get single-payer.  How could someone that smart be that clueless?

        In short, I've lost my patience with that sort of approach, not because I'm less liberal but because the dark days of Bush 2001-2008 are over, and I want actual progress, not just movies, books, TV shows, Jon Stewart clips, and blog entries that "bring it."  Those are fun, but this is real life.

        Rep. DeFazio's telephone contacts: 1-800-944-9603 or 541-465-6732

        by samantha in oregon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:23:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so, try putting yourself in my shoes (6+ / 0-)

          if that is your definition of what it means to be liberal.

          I'm unemployed.  I have to pay quite a lot of money to keep COBRA, that is, until I can get another job.  I'm terrified that without a public option, or some other robust cost-control mechanism that, even if the bill passes and when I get another job, that my health insurance rates are going to keep going up.  How do you or I know that I'll be able to afford it in a few years, especially if a mandate is being put in place that forces me to get private insurance?  This isn't just me -- there's millions of other progressive Americans who share that same concern.

          I don't say that to advocate scrapping the bill altogether -- I come down on the same side as mcjoan in that I think it's better to pass it, although I say so with reluctance and several caveats.

          But moving on.....what I'm noticing in your comment is the thought process that you said you became much more supportive of your elected officials because they were directly involved in the legislative process.  My question is, isn't that really just an argument to simply trust in authority?  When the White House claims that the American public should support our country's foreign policy because they get the intelligence briefings -- implying that if we read the same intelligence, we'd come to the same conclusions -- should we just trust them and agree with them because they're directly involved in that foreign policy approach?  The White House always gets better intelligence briefings.  Are we supposed to just trust them without treating their assertions to some skepticism?

          To me, the important thing about my politics isn't just the ability to put oneself in another's shoes (though empathy is no doubt an invaluable quality), but the ability to hold and advocate core principles over politics.  If a politician jettisons those important, core principles because it might be politically convenient to do so, then to me that means that they don't really believe in or advocate for what they think is right, but what will score them points.  Neither Greenwald nor I care if a Democrat is in the White House if that President is advocating policies that we consider to be wrong and extreme -- like denying habeas review and due process to war prisoners.  Of course, that being said, I think that given the two-party system we live in, the Democrats are a far better alternative to the Republicans, hence why I don't think I'll ever be voting the latter.

          Also, just as a matter of writing, I noticed a few inconsistencies in your comment, for which I'll give you the benefit of the doubt as having misspoke.

          What I see is, the unreasonable, take-no-prisoners Glenn Greenwald approach is illiberal in its inability to empathize with those involved in the legislative process (them damn villains!).  The least he could do is remove himself from the process entirely and just focus on what he believes, and if he believes he's right, to hell with everybody else.

          So, you criticize Greenwald for an "unreasonable, take-no-prisoners" approach, yet you preceded that sentence with this:

          But I'm sticking up for my liberal beliefs on this-- as wrong as I sometimes think I might be.  

          If you're going to criticize Greenwald for taking a principled stand on his beliefs, why are you writing that you're sticking up for yours, as wrong as you something think you might be?

          •  As far as the inconsistencies (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jim bow, indie17

            When I wrote

            But I'm sticking up for my liberal beliefs on this-- as wrong as I sometimes think I might be.

             

            I was thinking, "OK, maybe I'm wrong about Greenwald-- I've been wrong about a lot of things before-- and so I'll put myself in his shoes and try to see where he's coming from."

            Then I thought that this could be an endless circle-- if being liberal means having an open mind, then one should be open-minded about being closed-minded, and be open to the possibility of being like closed-minded people, because they might be right.

            So, I thought-- I have to stick by this, my belief that the closer you get to power, the more complicated it becomes, or as Mencken put it "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."  It's easy to rail in general terms against the corruption of government, but the more you understand how complex it is, the more you see that it can't be cast in right vs. wrong moral terms, but in more neutral, less judgmental terms.

            Where I'm being inconsistent is I'm not seeing the Democratic "No" votes in neutral, non-judgmental terms.  I see them as greedy, cowardly, dishonest.  I actually think it's illiberal of me to go for the easy condemnation over the more complex explanation.  Which isn't to say they are doing it out of principle, though they claim to be.  But their behavior is perfectly human, making me want to switch species, as a Kossack's sig line says.

            Greenwald as an Influential Blogger has to be held to a higher standard, the way he (and I) hold elected officials to a higher standard (though I try to be more understanding of their shortcomings).  The reason more is expected of Greenwald is: he has a larger forum, more influence.  A Nobody can come up with "Villain Rotations" and spew anti-Rahm Emanuel stuff all day long-- it's a free country.  But Greenwald should be more responsible.  Or maybe he shouldn't.  It's just my opinion.

            As for your situation, it's why I support this bill.  For one thing, your situation resembles that of my younger brother who can only find part-time work but is basically unemployed and doesn't have health insurance.  My older brother, the owner of a struggling small business, will be able to provide health insurance to his employees.  My mom, who battled lymphoma in 2005, won't have to worry about losing insurance due to a preexisting condition if she loses her job-- though that part of the bill doesn't take effect for quite some time.  

            From what I've seen in the bill, I think it will take care of those who can't afford the mandated insurance.  One provision I saw was, if you don't pay income tax you won't have to pay a fine for not having insurance.

            Hopefully you had a chance to read this, as I have posted it a long time after your original reply.

            Take care.  

            Rep. DeFazio's telephone contacts: 1-800-944-9603 or 541-465-6732

            by samantha in oregon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:52:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  And this right here is why (5+ / 0-)

    I had to go to the Field today.

    Al G. lays it out perfectly and inspires me to fight for the last few inches.  It's not even over yet!  And who care about Rahm right now!  

    SMDH

  •  if rahm is proud of this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, badger

    I am ashamed to be a Democrat.

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:58:08 AM PDT

  •  A very balanced overview of where we are. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KateG, TracieLynn, rasfrome

    Good soldiers that we are.

    I agree with all you've said.

    This is not home. ---Klaus Baudelaire

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:58:34 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, we have suck it up, hold our noses and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem

    swallow hard.

    But live with it:

    Progressives are going to have to continue to eat shit to provide cover for the "Moderate" Dems while we build up piece by piece Progressive Programs That Shall Never Be Named As Such.

    I Can Live With That.

    "Reason is six-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors. "Intelligence is what the enemy uses," said another.

    by Misterpuff on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:58:46 AM PDT

  •  No info on ERISA waiver? (0+ / 0-)

    All I know is that "ERISA" and "waiver" do not appear in the searchable text of the bill.  I'd like to hear something authoritative about this.

    My impression is that the Senate bill contains some opening on this, but nothing that will take effect until 2017--I can't cite the details.

  •  I feel like we were lied to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Pithy Cherub

    I think Dem. leaders lied to us about the public option.  (See Glenn G. here.)  And as chair of languages at a community college with over 11,000 students (link), I don't like what I read about AHIP getting money that had been promised to Community Colleges. (link) But I agree that this seems a necessary start if we are to hope for the real change later that a robust public option would bring.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:01:11 AM PDT

  •  already shown how easily they can be rolled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, aliasalias

    I call bullshit! The centrist democrats have been all primed and ready to blame failure to pass on progressives like Kucinich instead of their own waffling. If the progressives step in at the lest minute to pull your considerable asses out of the fire, have the decency to say thank you, and remember who saved your considerable asses when it comes time for really meaningful reform put forward by progressives...something to replace this papier mache piece of crap that gives us mandates with no public option. The centrist democrats have always looked for allies in the republicans ("bipartisanship") rather than finding allies within the liberal and progressive elements of their own party. That is what makes them so often the party of failure. Not only to pass democratic legislation, but failure to represent their constituents. If they were practicing law instead of politics they would be disbarred for malfeasance and collusion. If they were practicing medicine, we'd all be dead.

  •  Moreover ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...just as has been said that if this reform doesn't pass it could be a generation before we get another chance (a giant risk few of want to take), getting the "fixes" added could also take a generation. Which means we'll be stuck with this law for a long time - both the good and the bad, some of which is very, very bad.

    I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:01:44 AM PDT

  •  How could progressives NOT "lose"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, GN1927, Misterpuff

    When you are negotiating with people (GOP, The Establishment) who are HAPPY WITH NOTHING CHANGING, then of course you are not going to get everything you want - not even close to everything when your faction is in the minority of your party.

    There is no way to "win" in that scenario, if your definition of "win" = "I got most of what I want".

    Lisa

    All Kossacks are my allies.

    by Boston to Salem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:01:55 AM PDT

  •  Good policy (5+ / 0-)

    has been replaced with political expediancy. In 3-4 years when the mandates kick in, it will cost Democrats dearly...

    I did campaign on the public option, and I'm proud of it! Corporat Democrats will not get my vote, hence I will not vote.

    by Jazzenterprises on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:02:33 AM PDT

  •  Support the CPC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, mahakali overdrive

    In D.C. this is our natural team, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest one, but not the one with the greatest influence. We can help change that by supporting them, by identifying with them. Celebrate the CPC.

    Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

    by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:02:37 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, you're right they won't listen to us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag, JRandomPoster

    In order to get them to listen to us, we have to not accede to some of their demands.  Otherwise, why should they listen to us?

    This is not home. ---Klaus Baudelaire

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:05:27 AM PDT

    •  If our team had the power (0+ / 0-)

      instead of their team, we would accomplish our goals.

      Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

      by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:06:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to gain power (7+ / 0-)

        when your interests are diametrically opposed to the money interests, in a political system which is controlled by those same money interests.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:19:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why you have to work outside that system (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD

          When a health care reform bill answers the question, "How can we provide healthcare to all Americans?" we end up with a centrist, non-reform lump of crap.  That we basically end up supporting anyway.

          When a health care reform bill answers the question, "How do we get workers to calm down and call off all these sit-down strikes and blockades of government buildings?" then we can get real reform.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:29:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Blair

            I didn't want it to have to come to that, but at least it's Obama and Biden in there instead of Bush and Cheney.  It's not people who actually like throwing folks into detention centers--it's just people who don't have the guts or the spine to change things.

            This is not home. ---Klaus Baudelaire

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:47:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Greenwald ignores a very important aspect (6+ / 0-)

    in his analysis. He's assuming it's over. Score: Rahm and those who think like him, 1. Progressives, 0. Not so.

    Greenwald hasn't taken into account repercussions of not supporting this bill or the public option. The unions are hopping mad and look like they're serious about funding primary challenges to Dems who didn't play public option ball and/or support this final bill. Voters will have the ultimate say, and it's whatever message we choose to send at the polls that will determine who is vindicated and who takes it in the shorts.

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

    by Citizen Earth on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:06:49 AM PDT

    •  He shouldn't be setting up an us versus them (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, missLotus, mahakali overdrive

      in the first place IMO.  I don't know Rahm Emanuel; this man does not know I exist.  Why in God's name would I waste time trying to analyze HCR from the lens of whether he's "won" something?  Just makes no sense and Greenwald is framing this analysis improperly.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:14:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rahm Emanuel (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StuartZ, aliasalias

        always has been a corporatist DLC guy.  He will always push for policies that favor large corporations (except in rare instances in which corporate interests conflict with those of Israel).  Of course it is not just Rahm, it is a question of whether the Obama administration's policies will be DLC (i.e. Nixon Republican) or more progressive (e.g. Eisenhower Republican).  Since Rahm has been able to say F*ck you literally and figuratively to progressives and progressives have only been able to acquiesce, we can be very sure that the policies of the Obama administration will continue to be DLC or, more completely, very nice speeches masking corporate-friendly policies.

  •  Like Social Security and Medicare were AT FIRST (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, GN1927, NDakotaDem, indie17, JordanRules

    It's a progressive victory along the lines of what Medicare and Social Security WERE when they were FIRST PASSED -- just not comparable to what they are TODAY. That's pretty much how progressive victories work in U.S. politics; pass something, then work to improve it over time. We're very much an evolutionary rather than revolutionary society.

    In answer to some of your specific points: It's a mandate in absence of a public option but not in absence of regulation of the insurance industry, hence not a requirement to buy health insurance as it now exists; it does NOT represent a "very real rollback of reproductive rights," although the House bill would have; I agree completely about the need for cost control especially on pharmaceutical companies; and you are not going to get a health care system that covers undocumented aliens, period, so that's not a reasonable objection.

    There is simply no reasonable argument that this bill does more harm than good. It doesn't. It does, in fact, no harm at all that I can see. It is certainly arguable that it doesn't do ENOUGH good, but there's nothing to stop us from improving it down the road, and that would put it in the same general category as every piece of major progressive legislation ever passed in this country.

  •  not a progressive victory, and not a health care. (0+ / 0-)

    ...bill (as Howard Dean said last night).

    But it's a giant foot in the door.

    Now we know where the pressure points are.  What policies qualify for different legislative procedures.  What lies will be rolled out against us.

    The second this bill passes we need to get more organized, and knock the shit out of those who stand in our way: the GOP, Blue Dogs, Insurance Cos., Big Pharma, the Health-for-profit mega hospital companies.

    This bill sucks crap in all the ways you listed.

    It's also gonna pass, and the apocalypse will not occur. Kinda like with states that pass marriage equality laws.

    Making health care better is going to be a winning issue to run on as a Dem very soon.  What's the GOP gonna have? WAHHHHHHH!

    The bear and the rabbit will never agree on how dangerous a dog is.

    by fromer on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:09:38 AM PDT

    •  I don't think it's a foot in the door either (4+ / 0-)

      I don't think it substantively changes our chances of winning real reform in the future, chances which are incredibly low.

      It represents some improvements on a terrible, unjust, ridiculous system, and also represents some steps that make that system worse, like the abortion language and the excise tax.

      And I don't think the analogy with marriage equality laws makes much sense.  Marriage equality really has no practical effect on the lives of its opponents -- they just like getting off on their own homophobia and sense of moral superiority.  This bill will have actual effects on many people, some good, some bad.  The big problem in discussing the bill in the future is that insurance will continue to be a bureaucratic, hostile, anti-patient nightmare, and I think people will say to themselves, "I though the Dems said they fixed this?"

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:34:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The abandonment of the public option has soured (7+ / 0-)

    enough progressives to weaken the chances for many Democratic candidates in 2010 and 2012, if not beyond.  With typical short-term political thinking, which Obama essentially campaigned against, Emmanuel has done great harm to the party.  It took years to get the progressive and young voters back in the fold.  In one year, Obama and Emmanuel have chased them away again.  Forget the politicians - they are few.  The voters who feel betrayed are far greater in number and their lack of enthusiasm will be felt even if they agree that something is better than nothing even without the public option.

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

    by accumbens on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:10:23 AM PDT

  •  Missing the point (10+ / 0-)

    The point of Glenn's post was that the progressives once again let themselves get punked, and as a result of doing so have demonstrated that there's no reason to listen to their threats.  In other words, Rahm called their bluff and won.

    Whether or not the current version of the HCR bill is better than no HCR at all misses the point that the progressives in Congress demonstrated there's no reason to actually listen to them, because in the end they'll fall into line.  If they didn't really intend to stick to their guns, they should have never made the threat in the first place.

    Anyone who thinks this demonstration of weakness will lead to the current HCR bill getting improved after it passes into law is, I fear, deluding themselves.

    •  Agree 100% n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:16:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  also agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      but isn't the truth simply that this is the reality of the situation right now? progressives were never going to torpedo the only realistic chance to get health reform in the past two decades, although they certainly wanted to be able to negotiate effectively about it.

      the starting point of the debate was problematic, in that a ton was simply given away, for nothing, at the outset. but what happened is just the calculus that was written into the situation once the terms of the debate were set. it's not because progressives 'caved', they had no real choice. this was always going to happen.

      I for one appreciate Greenwald's skeptical views and general skepticism. but progressives voting for this bill as it is now is simply a forgone equation being completed.

    •  thanks for bring that back into focus n/t (0+ / 0-)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:57:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We'll just have to wait.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom

    until people get fed up with the inevitable abuses that insurance companies will wreak on folks who are buying the mandatory coverage.  Then we can enact a public market.  Given the ins. co.'s track record, this should not take long.

    Democrats have constituents, Republicans have clients.

    by whitsmail on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:13:16 AM PDT

    •  problem is the Repugs will be using that (0+ / 0-)

      against the Dems, 'look at what 'they' gave you, how do you like 'em now!'. It will work in some races , but the Repugs will have to have something other than just joining the complaints because they supported the even worse status quo.
      This is going to hurt, and maybe it will help push for what was given away in this junk. It's sad that even trash like this is ,comparatively speaking, good.
      We have a long row to hoe. The first high profile cause could be importing cheaper medicine from Canada because that hits home all over the political spectrum.

      Competition in the hallowed argument of 'free enterprise' should be hammered on for a real Public Option, or a Medicare buy-in.
      The list is a lot longer but I think we need to get some alternatives in the form of our Reps. in Congress, we need to find as many good people to Primary the problems we have in the Democratic Party.
      Bill Halter would be a good start in showing grassroots power, when used.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:14:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the three biggest lies.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag, oscarsmom

    This will only hurt for a little while, the check is on the mail, I won't vote for a bill without a public option.

    "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

    by Unbozo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:13:18 AM PDT

  •  I don't accept that we progressives were harmed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    Harm isn't the same as losing our goals. This isn't a game of virtue; it's a game of power. Our power increases with more progressive seats won in congress. Our team in losing our goal of Medicare buy-in or public option or single payer universal health care, learned about winning and losing power. The lessons are there to learn so that we can next time make more "progress." Make more progressives.

    Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

    by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:13:24 AM PDT

  •  your title (3+ / 0-)

    Thank you for using the term "insurance reform" rather than "health reform" for this travesty.

  •  Backed into a corner... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anglo, aliasalias, mahakali overdrive

    and holding my nose I would vote for this bill but not because I think it is a great bill, or even a good bill, it is only ever so slightly better than the status quo, and then only on the margins.  It is however, a win-win for the health care industry, an industry that should not even exist.  If the Democrats lose the vote, the health insurance company wins but if they win the vote the health insurance company still wins.  

    I defended progressive candidates for years against claims that they are no different than the corporatist Republicans in this country.

    I guess it is true that there is a difference between the two parties. However, I was wrong in thinking that any Democratic candidate will ever be able to effect the kind of change that I want to see.  I'm not sure any candidate from any party can do it, our system is designed to prevent it.  The system is fixed, the deck is stacked.

    Both of our political parties are hardcore corporatist capitalist who will always only answer to big business and manipulate the people to that end - to serve the interest of Capatalism.

    I will be looking to change my voter registration.  This isn't a rash decision but something that has been bothering me for some time.  Its like the veil has been lifting for years now and I can finally see clearly now.  I took the red pill and finally woke up to see the world as it really exists.

    I'm a Socialist and I'm not ashamed of it.  

    •  It would be easier to take over our party (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      than to start a new one. There's a lot of infrastructure to be had.

      Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

      by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:16:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BTW, I find it really scary that so many here (3+ / 0-)

    are willing to support this bill, because they PRESUME, or at least hope, that some other shoe will drop in the future--a PO will get passed, the mandates will be declared unconstitutional, etc.

    The time to stand up for those demands is NOW.  If you are willing to sell them out now, you can't complain when they don't happen in the future.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:15:07 AM PDT

    •  Not a virtue contest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      it's a power contest. Where the question is, How do we win and take power in our party?

      Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

      by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:17:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Everytime we've lost in the past on HCR the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Newsie8200, GN1927

      solution to fix it moves further to the right. The Country moves further to the right. You have to be a winner to get a win. When the Dems pass this they will be winners, from that position they can move a little bit more to the left. If they were to lose, what could they do but continue to lose?

    •  its the same on either side (0+ / 0-)

      of this debate.

      1. kill this bill, we can get a better one!

      well, no, there's no chance of that.

      1. pass this bill, we'll fix it later!

      well, no, for the same exact reasons.

      we'll be having political battles over specific provisions of this bill for years, decades to come. improvements will be very difficult to come by. weakenings - less so, at first. but I think that over time, that dynamic will reverse, if the bill works as promised. which is a big 'if'.

  •  Trying to follow this circular argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, mahakali overdrive

    down all the different rabbit holes as each blogger tries to be more progressive or defensive than the other, trying to make the point that they are right and pragmatism trumps purity after all, reminds me of why the blogs have started to lose their appeal to me.

    Maybe I come into the 'toobs' for different reasons than most people. I want information, journalistic analysis, so I can make up my own mind about what direction I personally should take and where i should put my energy, activism and funds.

    Most of these articles quoted here constitute yet another circular firing squafd or cheering section. I'm right, no, you are right. The whole thing is based on a very shaky premise and foundation of something that Rahm Emanuel, the President's Chief of Staff may or may not have done or even said, based on some kind of rumour or anonymous leak.  He is a human refrierator magnet for love and hate. He however also works for the President and is loyal.

    Who cares. Its all becoming a pointless waste of time. I say let Emanuel, Moulitsas, Greenwald,  Olberman, Shultz, Old Uncle Tom Cobbely and all fight it out the various toobs.

    Me, I'm going home. I'm returning to the man I love to hate - the infamous Armando at Talk Left, who along with Al Giordano at the Field and Nate Silver at 538, can ALL be relied on to give me the facts I require to be a grownup. And then I shall end my days listening to Rachel Maddow tell me where I went wrong that day!!!!. She at least has a great sense of humour, history and proportion. She also makes a mean cocktial.

    I experimented last night. A shot of sweet Marsala wine and a tablespoonful of Orange Bitters. Yummee, two of those and i guarantee you won't bother with Greenwald et al.

    Time to have fun again.

    •  This IS Armando's argument (5+ / 0-)

      Greenwald is quoting extensively from Armando, who was rebutting Silver. Did you read the piece? Because all of them are mentioned in it. Here's the very factual Armando you prefer:

      And there you have the progressive failure in political bargaining in a nutshell - no one EVER believed that progressive had veto power, or more accurately, no one ever believed progressives would ever EXERCISE veto power. That the progressives would be rolled was a given. Obviously that was an accurate view of the reality.

      Here's the link:

      http://www.talkleft.com/...

      Its the antidote to this whole "we are the realists" argument that some use around here.

      It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

      by Grassee on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:09:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not concerned about who is right or wrong. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17

        or  rather who is yelling the loudest. I can't be bothered with the intramural squabbling any more. I just love Armando's attitude, partly because i know pefectly well that he doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks of him. LOL. I don't care whether he is right or wrong, because there is no such thing, it is all many shades of gray.

        These blanket assertions that progresives think this, or moderates are traitors to purity or whatever has become ridiculous. No-one can speak for an entire 'group', they can only speak for themselves.

        I find it all very childish. Whatever your opinion is I am sure you think you are right!

  •  Greenwald misses. Rahm OK with Medicare for All. (6+ / 0-)

    He was just focused on getting a bill with some legitimate claim of fulfilling Obama's promise of health care reform.  If Medicare for All had the votes, he'd have been OK with that. If liberals in Congress had the power to push it through, he'd do it. The health care bill is a reflection of who the Democrats in Congress are vs. what Emanuel wanted.

    Remember that Emanuel is the guy who was there for Clinton's health care defeat and he's likely to be the guy who is there for Obama's health care win...and that was his focus...winning.

    Many have written that had Clinton's equally flawed health care bill passed 15 years ago, we would be much better off today with 15 years of improvements vs. total failure and 15 years of problem getting worse.

  •  political cartoon idea (0+ / 0-)

    the republican political spin machine has gone overboard in trying to find catch phrases to ensnare the ditto heads (corn huskers giveaway, Louisiana purchase etc). ever hear that phrase "as smart as a box of hair"? here's the cartoon:

    A picture of that good 'ol boy redneck and his sign of "get a brain morans" standing next to a diminutive box of hair having a dialog bubble stating: "Wasn't the Louisiana Purchase a good thing?"

    •  need to retract (0+ / 0-)

      with some reflection and cooling off, I shouldn't have used the term red... also some of my associations are with decent "good 'ol boys" so no slight was intended. it was all intended to portray that protest sign holder as yet another echoing "yeah, Louisiana purchase..."

      maybe the word has gotten out. I force myself to endure the sunday talk shows to get a feel of what say, a less served rural community might be exposed to (having no decent pbs or bbc world news and only getting exposure to the 3 major broadcast network spins). so on one they refrained from using the LP and instead referred to it as the Louisiana special deal. and most notable was what appeared to be an attempt to "fix the mistake" by cantor on face the nation. there he tried to fool the non-thinkers by drawing some attention to the fact of today's current cost Louisiana got included in the bill (btw: for katrina recovery bush failed to provide), to the 15M bargain that was paid back in 1803!. again spinning for the idiots! what next? suggesting suggesting a health care tooth extraction should only require a single buffalo nickel and a good sniff of ether or swig of whiskey?

      when you call them on their fraudulent soundbites they often retreat eg:
      "foreign fighter" - who really shares culture, religion, borders, language, customs etc and who doesn't? who is the real foreigner?

      "we returned gaza and the resistance didn't stop (or, "I read the book and didn't like it. why go see the movie")" - when madoff defrauded investors of 60B but 5B was found and returned, did you expect the investors to lavish praise and halt all lawsuits and investigations?

  •  Until we get more progressives in the party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    this crap will happen every time.

    So that's my personal focus going forward.  I plan on doing NO dollars and NO advocacy for non-Progressives, and pretty much will stick to that for the longer haul.

    One artifact of this bill is the incoming bunch of new voters just got kicked in the teeth.  I'm sure lots of them are jaded now, and for good reason.

    Those of us, who focused in on health care, also got kicked in the teeth, because "doing some real good at top dollar" is not material reform, and everybody knows it.

    Coin Operated Democrats won the framing battle, because they've got the party leadership, and a corporate friendly media to back them on it.

    Progressives have grown considerably, and my personal opinion on that is they did very well on this issue.  The losses are a simple function of size, in that we could not muster a credible threat to check the pressure to do "some real good at top dollar", with "let's actually legislate reform", and that's just how it is.

    One mistake I think is about to happen is Progressives will once again think that they are somehow not worth differentiation, largely for fear of the corporate party pushing back on them.  I think those fears are justified too, so it isn't a blame game with me, just to be clear.

    Longer term differentiation between Progressives and ordinary, or Coin Operated Democrats needs to happen, and I think the most important realization that I have come to is there being no really good time to do that, so we might as well do it right now, while we've got the product of this debate to highlight as the prime case why voting in more Progressives is a good idea.

    Finally, I'm not upset at Obama on this.  He made the deal, and I think that's not a bad call, given the general historical trends in play; namely, that Progressives roll on things.

    The right thing to do here is take some serious analysis as to WHY we roll on things, and fix that, with the sincere intent of changing it.  When or if we do that, we can then stand and build our political clout.

    If we don't do that, then we won't ever get that clout, and being a progressive will be highly likely to remain an outlet for those passionate people, who would otherwise be denied some expression, but it won't be any material force for change, and that too is how it is.

    So then, I'm looking for the national organizational efforts, and for that differnetiation to begin, and for challenges to begin.

    Those are all signs that we are intent on growing the movement to establish that political clout.  If those things do not occur, and we "get back to business", then it's clear now is not the time for Progressives, meaning perhaps it makes sense to at least discuss what the indicators of the right time is.

    Fuck if I know when that is, but I do think it should be sooner, if not now, rather than later, and I also think going down that road will be painful and somewhat divisive.  There are no getting around these things.

    Finally, perhaps things just don't suck enough for serious change to occur.  If that's reality, then really pushing for Progressive legislation is largely a waste of time that could be better spent building the numbers and making challenges.

    When it does suck enough for people to actually be motivated to hear the messaging and buy into it, those efforts to seriously grow and organize the movement will pay off nicely.

    However it goes, I'm cool with that, but under no illusion that most older school, "third way" Democrats only real value is in their generally more progressive social leaning, and they not being Republicans.

    That's not exactly a solid answer to the many people asking, "What good are Democrats?".

    If we tell them Progressives, that's good, but as I wrote above, that also means we've got to mean it, and I'm not convinced there is the political will to back that up at this time.

    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:20:06 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, churchylafemme

      We need more progressives in Congress, and local politics, too. Our young progressives took over our local Dem Party by increasing their numbers by 10 to 15 and won all the elections. Local is easy, good for democracy and the progressive movement.

      Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

      by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:24:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Notice the activity down on that too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        Truth is, progressives got their asses kicked.  Either they differentiate and grow, or suck it up, and realize they are really just good for GOTV efforts, and the occasional warm fuzzy.

        There are not a lot of people wanting to face that reality right now.

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:19:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Progressive Dilemma (7+ / 0-)

    Greenwald neglects to consider the fundamental principle of negotiations.  The side that is willing to walk away always has the upper hand.

    Progressives were faced with an opposition that was willing to walk away rather than compromise (Republicans, sure, but a lot of Dems.).  If Dems had stuck to no bill without a public option, a sufficient number of Dems would have said "OK."  

    There are a lot of causes of this (the media, purple states with blue dogs, unequal lobbying forces).  Until those are changed it will be difficult for progressives to hold the upper hand in negotiations.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:21:44 AM PDT

  •  IMHO, the REAL deadline is 2013 or 2014. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg

    We have until then to get a public option up and running... before the mandates are enforceable.

    "We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist" --- President Barack Obama, 1-20-2009.

    by tier1express on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:22:42 AM PDT

  •  "Rahm's strategy" was no strategy, (0+ / 0-)

    it was common sense, and I'm sure he wasn't the only one in the WH or anywhere else who foresaw how this would go.

    Progressives and liberals in Congress want health care reform, and have a solid majority of constituents who support their efforts. The conservatives, be they Democrats or Republicans, don't care about health care reform. The mushy middle is all over the place. Who stands the best odds of providing the most votes? The first group, of course.

    There weren't 60 votes for a public option in the Senate, and the public option in the House bill was so watered down that I'm not sure it was worth all the effort.

    Under the circumstances, reconciliation or doing away with the supermajority rules first would probably have been the best route to the public option (provided they have the 50 votes needed).

    And it still may happen that way. I'm hoping the public option proponents in Congress are keeping such a plan on the down low in order to dissuade conservadems from using it as yet another obstacle to passing this health care bill and it will resurface once the current bill is passed.

  •  Funny thing about that word "Progressive" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StuartZ

    My Right-wing, citizens-of-GlennBeckisthan friends never knew what it meant. They just thought I was hip. Now that Mr. Beck has been using it as a dirty word, equating it with Hitler and Stalin's regimes, I think they're finally catching on.

    Time to come up with another code word for Liberal.

    Not another dime of my money, not another minute of my time until there is concerted effort to repeal DOMA & DADT.

    by BlueMindState on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:23:23 AM PDT

  •  the way to repair 'our' credibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi

    and by OUR I mean the progressive netroots...who opposed the passage and now supports it.. its to hold to the threat to primary the NO VOTERS and withhold $$$ and physical support for things like call banking and GOTV efforts come the midterms... and to actively support primary challengers to the NO voters.

    its one thing to be opposed to the bill and then reluctantly support its passage but it is a totally other thing to continue to support the re-elections of the NO VOTERS simply becasue they have a D next to their names...  if they voted NO they must be pushed out on their own to either get re-elected or not, and we should not lift a finger to help them retain the seats they stabbed HCR in the back from.

    "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

    by KnotIookin on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:23:24 AM PDT

  •  Premiums. Skyrocketing. No end in sight. (5+ / 0-)

    Big Insurance will jack up rates in any case. Now they'll look for loopholes, etc.

    The regulations are a good thing, if they're enforced. The GOP will try to stop that at all costs - probably by blaming rate hikes on the regs, like they always do. And voters might well be dumb enough to go along.

    A Medicare buy in will look more attractive as time goes by, but I'm sure the Very Serious Deficit Hawks and the AHIP crew will torpedo that effectively for as long as they can.

    The mandates are unenforceable, period. Strict enforcement is political suicide.

    So what you have is the current system, with health insurance food stamps added. A new entitlement program to be held hostage by Kent Conrad et al.

    A significant defeat for progressives.

  •  Dionne: It's A Republican HC Bill (7+ / 0-)

    Why Democrats are fighting for a Republican health plan

    Yes, Democrats have rallied behind a bill that Republicans -- or at least large numbers of them -- should love. It is built on a series of principles that Republicans espoused for years.

    This scenario reminds me of when the GOP held both the WH and Congress. Had a Democratic president and Congress proposed the Patriot Act, the so-called conservatives would have howled like a London Werewolf over the fedgov spying on citizens. (Anyone remember the Clipper Chip under Clinton?)

    If this Not A Tasty Burger had a bunch of Rs after it, we'd be all it over like hippies on sensimilla. Word.

  •  Fleas (0+ / 0-)

    What do you people expect when you lie down with dogs? The saddest thing about Kos, Huffington, the Nation Magazine, Michael Moore et al is that they still believe that the Democratic Party is the only vehicle for progressive change. By any standard, the Nixon White House was well to the left of Obama's. When you attach yourself to a relentlessly rightward moving political force like the DP, you have to end up providing ideological justification for every reactionary move. And all these people are supposed to be idealistic? Don't forget, Mussolini started out as a leader of the Socialist Party in Italy.

  •  I agree with above (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    primary the NO VOTERS and withhold $$$ and physical support for things like call banking and GOTV efforts come the midterms... and to actively support primary challengers to the NO voters.

    It's what we are good at doing together - like the money raised for Arkansas primary. this is what we do:

    Primaries Matter Petition
    http://www.primariesmatter.com/...

    REFORM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
    We are the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
    We support Democrats with backbone, who lead with vision and who fight for core Democratic values.
    And we stand together in the fight to elect not just any Democrat, but better Democrats.

    Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

    by mrobinson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:28:45 AM PDT

  •  What state elects an insurance commissioner? (0+ / 0-)

    Forgive my ignorance, but the ones I'm familiar with are all appointed positions...serving at the whim of governors.

    Where are the "better" Democrats?

    by lalo456987 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:28:57 AM PDT

  •  since the SCOTUS ruling is already taking effect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, SpecialKinFlag

    (see millions going to the US Chamber of Commerce to "hide" contributor names) the administration has a few months to show support for progressive issues.  We took this one in the a**.  Okay, Mr. President. How many times can Rahm vote in November?

    Otherwise there will be a whole lot more Scott Browns coming in via disaffected voters that just want to show their anger in the loudest way they can.

    "What is this country FOR if not to take care of its people?" Keith Olbermann

    by lisastar on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Passing the HCR bill will show that the Repug (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    hysteria-driven campaign tactics used against it did not work. Imagine having devoted the last year or so to nothing but the defeat of this bill only to see it pass. Talk about demoralizing! Yeah!

    This is not a great bill and I am personally for single-payor health care. But having followed politics for about 45 years now, I have yet to see everything I would like to have seen incorporated into any piece of legislation.

  •  undecided Joe Courtny is a yes (0+ / 0-)

    I can't stand these congressional primadonas I swear to god by sunday every dam rep is gonna give supporters a heart attack by changing to undecided so they can have 15 minutes of fame only to suupport the bill agian like they always intended to do.

    Also go to TPM  The countdown to reform wire is epic.

  •  Don't look at HCR reform in isolation (0+ / 0-)

    I don't have a lot of time today, but I just wanted to say that there's an assumption that's being overlooked:

    Yes, the person who's willing to walk away has the most power in a negotiation, but only if you consider the negotiation in isolation.  There may be external factors that can change someone from a "walk away" to a "not walk away".  These factors can be "positive" (help me in this negotiation now, and I'll scratch your back in the future) and "negative"  (walk away, and I have a way to screw you out of something you want).

    It's just like "one-time" prisoner's dilemma (best course: defect always) versus "iterated" prisoner's dilemma (best course: tit for tat), if I recall correctly.  The fact that there will be other interactions with the same partners in the future means there are other ways to apply pressure.

    Bear in mind, the above could have been sarcasm. You never know.

    by mrami on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:34:11 AM PDT

  •  Preparing for the day after it is signed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    Progressives lost because they were the ones who could not walk away from the negotiation.  What that means is that progressives had the numbers to spoil but could not win and they could not spoil an agenda they wanted.  The strategic direction is obvious -- more progressive Democrats in Congress.

    The strategy for getting more progressive Democrats is also clear -- have progressive incumbents, primary challengers, and general election challenger run on an agenda for fixing this bill beginning in the 2011 session.  Continuing the Reform.

    The pivot is to point out that this bill is Republican ideas from the past 30 years and that those were modified by Republican input in committee.  And Republicans still wouldn't vote for it.  So now Democrats must use Democratic ideas to fix the bill--first of all being inclusion of a public option, a medical rate commission, and some of the other popular provisions that were stripped out of the bill.

    Then get a public mandate to fix it.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:36:44 AM PDT

  •  If Rahm's objective was to lower my respect for (5+ / 0-)

    Obama's leadership on HCR and PO he succeeded wildly.

    Support good reform not a political party blindly.

    by Eposter on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:38:39 AM PDT

  •  Shit sandwich w/ Chipotle Aioli (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, wsexson, aliasalias

    From what I can tell the progressives in Congress got next to nothing in this bill.  They did a lot of asking nicely and not much fighting.  Now even Bernie Sanders is dropping his threat to simply offer an amendment for the public option in the Senate bill to force Democratic Senators to stand up and admit they're really not for the public option.  

    The list of possible progressive sweeteners to this insurance industry bailout which never matrialized is long: Medicare expansion, PO, removal of the Cadillac Tax, no mandate, ending ERISA, drug reimportation, medicare drug bargaining, faster generics, ending insurance companies' anti-trust exemption, a high-earners tax to pay for the bill.  Progressives rolled on every single goddamn one of these.  At this point I'd accept any one of these as reason to unequivocally support this bill.

    As it is I just don't see it.  The "coverage" all those currently uninsured people will get will be junk insurance full of loopholes insurance industry lawyers will happily drive their truckloads of taxpayer dollars straight through.  Millions will pay 8% of their income (!!) for coverage they won't be able to afford to use due to the high deductibles and crappy coverage split.  That along with the cadillac tax places a huge burden for this bill on the middle class, who can NOT afford it.

    By funneling even more money into the insurance and Big Pharma industries, we help entrench them further.  We got none of the tidbits that could actually make this a step towards real reform.  The nation is exhausted of health care talk.  In my opinion we'll be further from fixing health care when this passes than we are today, right now.

    Sorry for being so upset...I'm willing to be disabused of any misconceptions I may have about this bill.  I want to love the Democrats, I really do.

    •  Some positives (0+ / 0-)

      Medicaid will expand, yearly out of pocket expenses will be limited to $5000 and change for a single person and $10,000 and change for a family, I believe.  (It is difficult to find out what is actually in the various bills.  There is more smoke than light.)  Community health clinics will be expanded.  Health insurance companies will have to pay out more than 80% of premium income for health care (imagine their lawyers are already working out ways around this).  In spite of these positives, we will still have the worst health care system in the so-called developed world.

  •  What is the Future price of this Strategy? (0+ / 0-)

    Will Rahm's strategy backfire in the long run?  Will there be more cautious or less support on Obama's future initiatives?  

    Will the Progressives become more aggressive in killing a measure before it becomes a legislative imperative like Health Care Reform?  

    Especially if it does not live up to Progressive expectations in Committee?  

    As the old adage goes:  'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.'  I don't think there is any patience left in the Progressive Caucus for tepid support.  As the House members do not trust the Senate to hold up a bargain, they seem equally distrustful of a White House that fails to campaign vigorously for progressive initiatives.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

  •  A Robust Public Option "Available On Day One" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    In other words, zero bills have passed a floor vote than would have met the standards pledged to by progressive legislators.  If this bill had "a public option" in it (or at least any version of the public option we've seen so far) it still would have fallen short of what they allegedly demanded.

  •  If the Republicans had a bill that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, aliasalias, DawnN

    forced us to purchase private health insurance or be fined, would all you Democrats just love it and whip them to pass it?  I think we have been sold out by all the Democrat who said they would never pass a bill that did not have the 1st compromise that did us in, the public option.  Or when word got out there had been deal cut between the President and the pharmaceutical people, the progressive could have realized then that we were getting the big brush off.  Now we can be like the good Germans and just go along accepting the crumbs offered by the big guys.  

    I am ashamed of Democrats allowing us to be rolled by the insurance and financial muggers.

    2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

    by Silverbird on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:43:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad progressives chose (0+ / 0-)

    not to be ruthless on insurance reform. It would suck if we were the voting block of "no" in this case. I truly believe we are on the side of history here despite our disappointment.

    Until we make our case and win the White House we're stuck with hard pills, but whenever legislation will move us in the right direction we need to get behind it and claim it as ours.

    President Obama is a pragmatist. He's not the ultra-progressive the right claims he is. I knew that when I voted for him. I also knew he was going to pursue an agenda that would move the country in the direction that I wanted to go, and we are moving in that direction.

    I think this is a victory for progressives. This bill amounts to "progress" for US healthcare. Its a significant move in the right direction.

  •  Rahm Shpahm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking

    Taking the "veal pen" for granted is always going to be the strategy of the centrist gamers. And Rahm is nothing if not that. Why waste good outrage on something so predictable?

    I do not like the current legislation, but I am supporting HCR ... now ... for the same reasons Dennis Kucinich is. The Republicans have made it about more than health care. And it does more good than the harm it also does. I know people who are uninsured now who will be insured because of this bill. In the end, people will be helped. Lots of them.

    Am I still furious that the public option was dropped? You bet. But who do I take it out on? And when? That's more my line of thinking.

    I will shed no tears for blue dogs who vote no and get voted out. And I will send my sheckles where I think they'll help the most, like Alan Grayson.

  •  The left marginalized itself even further (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, wsexson, two roads

    by breaking their word and by supporting this bill.  No one in Washington will listen to them or take them seriously.  And for good reason.

    The reprecussions from this will be felt for a long time after the current bill is voted on.

    The health insurance bill creates no public program. There is *nothing* to "build on."

    by Paleo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:50:18 AM PDT

  •  On the 'Cadillac' Tax--not a bad idea, actually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, littlebird33

    I think the motivation behind the Cadillac tax is to avert the steady transfer of money that would have gone into salaries from one corporate entity to another--employers to health insurance companies. How much, after all, do the plans actually have to pay out, after raking in the money from their fellow businesses?

    What this begins to do is to break the now imperative linkage between being employed and getting good insurance. That would be a big plus for many, many people, not only the unemployed, but those who freelance, are consultants, or work as artists, designers, etc. for fees, not for salaries.

    It would help divert this healthcare 'insurance' money back to salaries, and perhaps even allow people to take better care of themselves if they had a bit of extra in their pockets.

  •  The Repugs and teabaggers think this IS a (0+ / 0-)

    progressive bill. Their perception, thanks to Beck, et al., will be that we progressive, socialist, commie-nazi rat bastards won!

    The great wingnut prop/agit campaign to demonize any HCR bill as socialism, etc. means that passing the worst bill imaginable from a progressive point of view (which this bill is not) would still be perceived as a loss by the right-wing ignoramuses.

    We should reframe this issue and call this a great victory for progressives (not to mention commie-nazi rat bastards). You don't have to win, just make the other guy think that he's lost.

  •  Why this analysis is flawed (16+ / 0-)

    In a sentence, the diary says:

    "At the same time, though, trying to argue that the provisions in this bill signify a progressive victory is from my perspective, a negotiating mistake."

    So, lemme try to unpack this: We shouldn't call a progressive victory a progressive victory in order to establish a negotiating position for the future?

    That is so very wrongheaded on at least two counts:

    1. If on the road to bigger and better change we don't celebrate incremental victories as victories, there won't be a second battle. You will have only succeeded in demoralizing the people who worked so hard for the first victory. I know that's standard operating procedure for Eeyore Greenwald, who thinks only failure brings him purity, but, e tu, McJoan?

    2. The entire basis of this argument repeats the very same errors that led to the epic fails of trying to get a more progressive bill this round: It recycles the (false) suggestion that bloggers have a seat at a "negotiating" table. It makes it about us (and our fragile egos and our delusions of grandeur) rather than about crafting a better set of tactics and strategies for the future.

    You don't exorcize the mistakes made by FDL and Greenwald and others this round by accepting their (now proved to be) bad strategic presumptions heading into the next round.

    I do think there will be a next round, and continuing opportunities to improve the foundation stone laid by this current bill. But if you head into that without throwing the failed tactics in the trash can and starting anew with creativity and absolute rejection of those failed tactics, you are doomed to repeat the epic fail result.

    •  The netroots also acted like adversaries (10+ / 0-)

      instead of allies during the process. If they'd been productive partner in the process instead of a loud and noisy obstacle, it might have led to more influence down the line.

      Threatening to primary Bernie Sanders? Running ads against Nancy Pelosi?

      Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

      No one's going to look back and think "We wouldn't have passed this without the Netroots". They're just going to see some lazy asses who always complain.

      Labor played their hand very well as did several other groups.

    •  close but no cigar: (5+ / 0-)

      This is the part you had right: "we don't celebrate incremental victories."

      And this part misses the most important points made against the current process:

      You don't exorcize the mistakes made by FDL and Greenwald and others this round by accepting their (now proved to be) bad strategic presumptions heading into the next round.

      Those points are these:

      1. The president and Democratic leaders did not act in good faith on the public option.  They only pretended to fight for it.
      1. What we need is not just "healthcare for everyone." What we really need is affordable healthcare for everyone.
      1. You can't get affordable health care without a robust public option.  
      1. Until we get what we really need, celebrating what we were forced to take isn't very appealing.

      You can point fingers at those who pushed for a public option all you want.  But until you excoriate Democratic leaders for not dealing in good faith on the public option, I'm just going to roll my eyes.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:42:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, for heaven's sake. (6+ / 0-)

        The president and Democratic leaders did not act in good faith on the public option.  They only pretended to fight for it.

        I'm only pretending not to rec this.

        •  FDL and Glenn G. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme

          Maybe the best piece on this is here.  Jane Hamsher has written about this here, as one example.  Glenn has written about it multiple times too.  Here is one example.

          Since the commenter specifically mentioned FDL and Glenn Greenwald, it is only fair to actually quote what they have written and said.  Whether you pretend not to rec. my comment, whatever that means, is up to you.  

          The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

          by mikepridmore on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 02:22:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Al, I almost wish I had multiple personality (5+ / 0-)

      disorder so I could rec this more than once.

      Just kidding, of course. About wishing I had the disorder, not about wanting to rec it again and again.

    •  Do they want to fail? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Elise, indie17, Onomastic

      That's what I don't understand. It strikes me again and again that if one continuously uses a strategy that fails, and if one's credibility is continuously called into question because of not only that strategy but also due to some really unsavory practices, like taking money from wingers while claiming Progressive cred, like threatening actual Progressives by throwing online hissy fits while alienating 97% of the Progressive electorate in the process, and by actively spreading disinformation through major media channels, that one ought to actually HAVE one's credibility examined.

      Why doesn't anyone do that?

      I haven't seen it happen publicly.

      And so the damage continues. The talking points weave their ways into a Progressive Democratic camp.

      That's disturbing to me, Al. Seriously. I've been a radical activist for a long time here, and grew up in some very radical sectors as well. This is painfully transparent stuff and very dangerous, politically.

      I'd like to see it put up to the light someday.

      Best.

      Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

      by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:51:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "do you hate America (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, output

        for opposing President Bush's foreign policy?"

        See what I just did?  I tossed a baseless accusation at you that Republicans used to say about anti-war Democrats all the time when they were in power.  Saying "Do they want to fail" in reference to mcjoan and Greenwald ascribes a similar ulterior motive with which you can't back up with any solid evidence.

        The answer to both questions, obviously, is no.  Being opposed to the war meant that we held the principle that sending our military overseas to fight a war based on bad intelligence was a horrible idea.  It didn't mean that we hated America.  Similarly here, being aware of the health care bill's weaknesses and bringing them to the attention of others does not mean we want the Democrats to fail.  Don't ascribe motives to other people if you can't back it up.

        •  Did I ask you what you thought? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, missLotus, Elise, Onomastic

          And actually, I think taking talking points from a site that is partially funded by teabaggers and Libertarians and other RWingers is pretty significant when discussing motives.

          But I was asking "the Field" his sage opinion on this one, no offense, since it struck me as more relevant to my own empirical observations which have caused me to form my own personal opinion, which may be wrong and may be right. If I knew, I wouldn't be asking someone whose opinion I thought was more informed than my own. Then again, if I didn't have reason to think what I did, I wouldn't ask such things publicly.

          And now back to your regularly scheduled delusions ;)

          Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

          by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 02:13:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you don't get to choose who debates you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme, output

            on Daily Kos.

            If you make a point that I think deserves criticism, I'm more than within my rights to criticize it.  If you're going to opine about politics on a political blog, then you're going to get responses from a wide variety of users.  You're not allowed to complain that you "didn't ask me what I thought."

            And another thing: For whatever problems you and I or anyone else might have with Jane Hamsher and her tactics, at least she spent more time than most people on this website trying to whip Congress into supporting the public option -- a measure still highly popular with the American public at large -- and didn't jettison her support for it when it was getting attacked mercilessly by those teabaggers last summer.  That's more than I can say for some Democrats in Congress, who were more than willing to abandon their support for the public option out of political expedience.

            But go ahead and refuse to address my points by calling my observations "delusions."  Real mature.

            •  No, but I addressed that specifically (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic

              to someone and so I specifically restated that the question was not intended for you. Your welcome to respond to it all you want, however, I have not been very impressed with some of your previous posts and thus am not overly interested in your views on health care reform. I'm sorry if that offends you, but I'm on this site often enough to know the views of many posters offhand.

              I do not credit Jane Hamsher for "whipping" anyone, nor do I believe her self-perpetuated myth that she has done more for this site than others who have also been involved in such efforts.

              I do believe she's been highly counterproductive, in fact, to this process.

              Attacked by teabaggers last summer? Interesting considering she was taking their donation just a few months prior.

              Honestly, I'm finished talking with you. My question was addressed to Al Giordano. Feel free to talk at me all you would like. And, in case you didn't notice, I wasn't mocking your personal sanity, which would be pretty low really no matter how little we might agree generally speaking; I was mocking the lack of facticity I felt this diary presented citing such authority sources.

              Enjoy any further soliloquoy you care to indulge yourself in today. I'm in no mood to sugar coat FDL-flavored horse shit.

              Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

              by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:53:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Now that's an analysis. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Elise, NMLib, mahakali overdrive

      Wish there was more of that around here.

      Thanks Al.

      We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope. - Dr. Martin Luther King

      by Onomastic on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 03:01:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, I'm still amazed (0+ / 0-)

    that HCR is even up for legislation in the first place.

    Remember when Sicko came out? I do. HCR seemed decades away at that point, at least to me. Now, it's front and center, as it ought to be.

    This bill is crappy in many ways, and I agree that there isn't a whole lot that progressives can point to that really feel like "victories". But similarly I don't think there's a lot hear that are "defeats" either, especially when you consider that so few people on Capitol Hill ever really wanted to do anything about the status quo in the first place.

    I'm not going to dance a victory jig if it passes, nor beat myself up for supporting this current bill.

  •  The ERISA waiver (0+ / 0-)

    I think that's the concession Feingold got for his vote for the Senate bill.


    "Do your taxpayers a favor, and leave him alone." (My State Assembly Rep, Marc Pocan, to Denver's City Atty before 2008 DNC)

    by ben masel on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:06:50 PM PDT

  •  This one Vindicated, That one Vindicated.... (0+ / 0-)

    All of this "inside the beltway" vindication talk misses the point totally.  The Bill will help millions.  It can and will be improved later.

  •  Yes, the problem with progressive: (0+ / 0-)

    They're not willing to kill everyone everywhere to score ideological points.

    So life's harder for us.  We have to be smarter, try harder and develop better solutions because the better fortunes of the nation as a whole really do depend on us.

    Don't give up, y'all.  

    •  If you need to lie to yourself like this to (5+ / 0-)

      support a right leaning bill that will in all likelihood result in deaths by a different method, then that's your perogative. But don't think the attempts at emotional manipulation are working on others.

      •  Haha wow "emotional manipulation"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17

        For me, the most important part of this post was this:

        In other words, the job isn't done with this bill. Is this a step forward? Yes, to the extent that now Congress sees it can do something about health reform. Should it be passed? Yes. Absolutely. Millions of people will now have access to coverage, and to care, that they do not have under the status quo. That's a societal good.

        But if the deficiencies--and they are significant--are going to ever be fixed, we can't make the case for doing so by saying this is a progressive victory along the lines of Medicare or Social Security. It's just not. If, as progressives have been told and are now repeating, this bill is just the start to reform, we can't lose sight of exactly where it is we're starting, and what still needs to be fixed. Congressional progressives are already in a bad negotiating position for future fixes--when as Glenn argues they've already shown how easily they can be rolled--by not setting down markers now for what still needs to be fixed.

        I don't know why realism has to equal defeatism.  We have the moral high ground, we have the winning arguments, and even we have a duty as compassionate human beings to keep trying to improve this country for the good of all Americans.

        Seriously, the world doesn't improve when people give up after the first setback.  And jesus christ what am I saying only some seriously committed Democrats would go around calling a legislative victory a setback.

    •  If you believe that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, wsexson

      it's no wonder we didn't make meaningful demands, nor did you hear a single word that Joan or Greenwald said.

      If the better fortunes of a nation do indeed depend on us, then it seems to me that it is incumbent upon us to enact REAL Progressive reform.

      That may require bold action, not milquetoast compromise.

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:47:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I think there is a game of 11D chess (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Blair, churchylafemme

    going on, and progressives, once again, find themselves in "Check-Mate"

    "Sir, you look like the piss boy."

    by ranger995 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:30:57 PM PDT

  •  Retrenchment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, wsexson

    of a failed, widely reviled industry, and all the librul Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dem apologetics meant to make it seem like a really good progressive thing, and a great political success, is not a step forward.

    Real reform is not in the cards as long as the private insurance paradigmatic fraud, and its inherently, absolutely antithetical relationship with economically efficient, universal healthcare is dealt with honestly and directly.

    Shoulda happened now.  The interim between now and when it does happen is an interim of absolute waste and absolute  failure.

    AHIP and Big PhRMA deserved a stake in the heart not heroic resuscitation.  This is not a win.

    The wasted opportunity cost, wasted here and wasted now, will be tallied in ill health, wasted lives and bankruptcies, all on the unworthy altar of AHIP profiteering.

    On the Healthcare Denial Industry misery profiteering front, things will remain peachy.

    Everywhere else, this is an abject, absolute failure, and perhaps admitting will be the first step to moving forward.

    Until then, what a fucking waste of time and effort.

    Please don't feed the security state.

    •  This HC'r' is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme

      the change, and it is not the possible.

      It's a pre-emptive, corporate rear-guard action, another gift, at societies expense, to corporate America, along the lines of perpetual warfare and wallstreet handouts.

      All brought to you by the Big-Boy Pants(tm) Democratic Party: Fascist America's 'B' team!

      Instead of the teachable moment re the failure of greedhead institutions to serve the people, we get apolitical blather, apolitical drama, along with more massive retrograde greedhead subsidies which will not serve the healthcare needs of the populace.

      That's your HC'r'.  Put it in your pipe and smoke it.

      This is not progess, or anything even approaching political struggle.  

      It's misdirection.  

      No one should participate.

      Partisanship is not the heart of politics.  Partisanship is the abdication of politics.

  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    exactly right, Joan, both to your comments and Greenwald's.

    The significance of Progressives not making a successful stand this time will hurt us in future negotiations. Who, indeed, would believe that Progressives would mean what they say when they make a demand.

    Many of us have stressed that very point here. Good luck to us all.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:37:21 PM PDT

  •  Never EVER, take me for granted, as I support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    the ousting of Dems. who are spineless, weak,  and stand in the way of any reforms.!!!!

  •  Bad negotiators or bad negotiating position? (0+ / 0-)

    I've long thought the reason progressives lost so much in negotiation is not because they are poor negotiators but because they are in a bad negotiating position.

    In any negotiation the power goes to the one who's willing to walk away.  So conservadems were willing to threaten to kill HCR altogether, over and over, until they got exactly what they want.

    If this bill becomes the law of the land, I think progressives will be in a much better position to make the case for improvements.  Because once it passes the issue of bending the cost curve is not longer just an abstract moral issue; it's a practical one that the government has to solve.  

    So, it may not happen overnight, certainly, over even during the next 2 (or 6) years of the Obama administration... but I think we will be able to improve the situation if the bill gets passed.

    IF the bill gets passed.

    IF. . .

    In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
    The young emerald evening star,
    Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
    And ladies soon to be married.

    by looty on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 12:51:50 PM PDT

  •  Provides access to healthcare we already have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    Nice diary however please stop repeating the propaganda that this provides "access to health care".  

    The products are already out there, you can buy them now, period.

    You have access, you just aren't forced to buy them which is what this does.

    The exception would be the small provision for community clinics from Sanders which doesn't kick in until even after 2014, which means plenty of time for it to be gutted.

    This bill is a progressive rout.  A trojan horse.

  •  Greenwald likes to think of himself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    as someone who sees all sides, balanced on the fence, not a liberal or conservative.

    His writings of late reek of his internal conflicts, jumping on rumors with the zeal of a conspiracy-theorist, confusing both sides of an issue.  He doesn't seem to need facts to support his accusations of Obama and the big scary administration.

    All this from a guy who finally realized in 2006 that voting is important.  Before that he didn't vote -- again, protective of his view of himself as balanced.

    Therefore, his accusation of Progressive flip-flops are simply more braggery supporting his idealized view of himself.

    His opinions get zero respect from me, on any subject.  And, unlike the author here, I don't consider any of his posts to be 'very good'.

    •  hmm... who is being emotional now? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, valadon, output

      "zero respect on any subject"

      that is not rational.  everyone has a point sometime.

    •  are you a Keith Olbermann fan? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, blueoasis, output, Jyrinx

      That is, do you watch Countdown and find his show at least somewhat interesting?  Lots of people on this website do, so perhaps you do as well.

      Guess what?  Olbermann doesn't vote at all.  I'm not kidding.  If you're going to criticize Greenwald for not voting in 2000 or 2004, then you should do the same for Olbermann.

      As for Greenwald's specific points about in that particular column, how was he incorrect in what he wrote?  Progressives in Congress (most, anyway) did eventually relent on their demands.  Lots of them said they would never vote for the bill if it didn't contain the public option.  The bill doesn't have it, yet they decided to vote for it anyway.  That doesn't mean they're necessarily wrong to vote for the bill -- just that they don't have the power or ability to negotiate with the Democratic establishment.  If they did, they would have been able to convince the party leadership to get the public option in the bill.

    •  not a single point of refutation here. all ad hom (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, valadon, wsexson, Jyrinx

      all the time. i think glenzilla can safely rest his case.

      "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

      by output on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:38:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  H.R. 4789 by Grayson (0+ / 0-)
    "Medicare you can by into". Already has 80 sponsors. Rep. Capuano hasn't decided on HCR(HIR), but has signed onto this.

    Google, end up at Thomas for full listing.

    ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

    by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 01:37:27 PM PDT

    •  Good guy, good bill (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      valadon, Jyrinx

      will never come to a vote.

      •  May I borrow your crystal ball? (0+ / 0-)

        Graysons' webpage listing people who died, his quoting over and over the Harvard study 44K dying every year. The Republican plan, "If you get sick, die quickly". Those facts, those talking points, are known by everyone, whether they agree or not.

        He is walking around gathering sponsors. A good time to gather sponsors. They will sign just to get rid of him, sort of a polite ghost they want to see go away.

        Grayson always has a trick or twenty up his sleeve. Will you call your Rep, or google the bill to see the list on Thomas? I would appreciate it. Maybe your Rep. has already co-signed?

        ELECT BETTER POLITICIANS: NOTIFY DNCC AND INCUMBENTS, WHEN YOU DONATE AND WORK. PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVES; THE CAT FOR CHANGE.

        by CuriousBoston on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 02:55:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My crystal ball has been painfully accurate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jyrinx, CuriousBoston

          on HCR, but a futile gesture is better than giving up.  My representative is a right-wing republican, but I should be able to put in a good word with a democratic congresswoman that I have given a lot of money to.  She is not yet listed as a co-sponsor.

      •  Not in the Senate, anyway. (0+ / 0-)

        My guess is it does get a vote in the House; it probably even passes. It then dies the usual slow, gasping death in the Senate inbox.

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

        by Jyrinx on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:19:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is a shitty bill that will be passed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, churchylafemme

    Like Medicare D and No Child Left Behind, which were called "historic", look at it now.

    No this is a bill that has been hanging out there for so long, ppl are just tired of it.

    All the things that mcjoan said are real concerns about this bill because when it comes home to roost, many STILL won't be able to afford health care.  Those with pre-existing conditions will be given a choice of health care at astronomical prices.  And that is health care reform?  Insurance companies are greedily waiting for the new influx of customers.  Their products will be offered like auto insurance, where you piece meal it together for what you can afford.  This is going to be an outrage in this country.  And the reality is that no Democrats are going to re-visit this bill after all of this bullshit that swirled around it.  The GOP will destroy it, if they get back in power, before the chump Democrats will ever try to fix anything.  That is change you can definitely believe in.

  •  So basically, (6+ / 0-)

    No actual decision makers or policy wonks were calling the Senate bill worse than the status quo.

    The netroots don't like being marginalized as the fringe, but on HCR, they were largely the fringe. If you want to be there, then, fine -- own it. No shame in that. Just don't complain about not being taken seriously enough or not having a seat at the table if you're going to be on the fringe of Democratic and progressive opinion and policy making. Don't complain about not being taken seriously enough if you do shitty analysis of polling and misread the electorate and individual members of the caucus. Don't complain about not being taken seriously enough if you have no interest in figuring out who did what and what the political dynamics here were. Don't complain about not being taken seriously enough if you're completely wrong on the politics & strategy and refuse to acknowledge it.

    •  For those who wanted something real (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      it was very, very obvious and honestly, kind of sad to watch. The triangulation has been pretty stunning and I don't understand why many refuse to own their positions, which is an excellent point that you bring up here.

      Your comment is very important in that it lends a really crucial perspective to the table that's been missing, which is the anger of some in the netroots despite their self-marginalization on some HCR issues. And I say this as someone with very radical political ideals who, nonetheless, will not permit my ideals to stand in the way of my realistic analysis. The two are entirely possible and it would be good for the netroots to find a way to synthesize these two positions.

      Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

      by mahakali overdrive on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:32:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Public Option (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, output

      Yea right. Like the Public Option was the fringe. You guys amaze me. No wonder you all are ineffectual. I marvel at the arrogance and hubris that you all display. Do y'all really become that disconnected from the people? Will y'all ever learn? It's too late anyway, November is going to be a slaughter. I don't need a poll for that.

      •  Making it out that the PO was (0+ / 0-)

        the key to HCR or that without it, HCR was not possible... yes, that was a fringe position when it came to policy.

        Killing the bill because it didn't have a PO was and is a fringe position when it comes to the politics. That's exactly why virtually none of the established progressive orgs and players went that far. MoveOn did but quickly pulled back as their membership is never as far as some of their natl staff.

    •  This should be a diary. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      It sums up the problems with the netroots perfectly. The prominent bloggers are pissed they aren't being taken seriously, but they refuse to actually educate themselves on the policy or the politics of the issues. Instead they think aligning themselves with teabaggers to drum up false allegations against the WH CoS(see Jane); going after politicians wives (see Jane and eve); hurling names at politicians who actually reach out to the netroots (see slinkerwink and eve) are actually effective.

  •  Professional / Managerial Cla$$ Of Ex $ell Out$ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, output

    DLC'ers, and political incompetents.

    too many come from the upper quartile or quartiles of family income, household income, and money income, AND

    they think they can afford just 1 more sell out to the f'king fascists.

    Rahm is vindicated - his & the Big Zee-R-0's sell out piece of shit is gonna pass with all these hand wringing, belly aching, cowardly "progressives" nobly voting yes with reservations and sternly worded missives ...

    belch ... yawn ... burp...

    and ... where was I.

    ooops! elections in a few months, you better support us or the fascists will be back in charge!

    yawn.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:11:01 PM PDT

  •  Game Theory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, output

    We have been played. This bill will fail for the simple fact that it is not enforceable. I come at this from a different perceptive than you guys. You see I used to be a brainwashed conservative I mean fascist down here in the deep south. Down here you are brought up in the gladitorial camp of fascism bullshit. These fuckers are ruthless. There will be mass civil disobediance to this law and mass cheating on income taxes to manipulate the 2%. For example a teabagger will pay the 2% fine but cheat on his taxes 5% out of spite. And you can still game the system 2% one year healthcare the next. Simple cost benefit analysis, Unless you are willing to hire millions of IRS workers(not very progressive, police state) this is toast. The incoming conservative congress will kneecap the I.R.S. if there is a hint they intend to actively enforce this law(2014 too, by talking points if necessary) and there goes whats left of the general revenue fund and the treasure of progressive reforms SS and eventually Medicare. And to top it off this damn fascist bill will be pinned to progressives forever. Hell they can even accuse progressives of wanting to set up a police state to enforce this mandate for the for profit corporations. This is Glenn Beck's and his bat shit supporters wetdream. They are always the victim. These guys play for keeps. The rethugs could have killed this bill anytime with this simple assertion that this bill is the largest transfer of wealth to a private monopolized industry in United States history. The rethugs make the DLC look like the biggest neophytes in world history. Do not worry about the health insurance industry the rethugs will make sure they are never threaten again. Tails they win heads they win. Sorry guys you need more gladitorial progressives on your side like me. I do love you guys though.

  •  Greenwald and Hamsher have zero credibility (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, mahakali overdrive, indie17

    at this point. I don't know why anyone bothers reading them - outside of getting a good laugh.

    Telling 30+ million people to suffer the status quo is the Republican plan. Are you a Republican?

    by Elise on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 04:52:16 PM PDT

    •  The netroots have become the new beltway. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, indie17

      They are all echoing each other's out-of-touch talking points and getting defensive when the public points out that they wrong.

      •  The Public LOVES the public option. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        it's the white house and their corporate sponsors who are out of touch. that's why they're furiously spinning, here and in the non-cyber world. that's why it was so important to have Dennis Kucinich on board.  because the american public is onto them.

        "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

        by output on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:34:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Short term improvement; long term loss (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, Tommy Allen, output

    The Democrats want to put HCR behind them, but the Republicans will start attacking for real. Imagine the ads:

    "Obama is forcing you to buy health insurance from health insurance companies."

    Then the media will push that. Obama will be defending government enforced handover of money to health insurance companies, and won't be able to change the focus onto other issues. Meanwhile progressives won't be inclined to get out to vote. And if the legislation stays in place, it will be a boon for the evil health insurance industry.

    Bottom line: slaughter in November, Democrats on the run regarding HCR forever, and people no better off in the long-term.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  •  Whee Rahm won... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, output

    he managed to further divide an already fractious caucus further, pissed off a large fraction of the base of the party he's going to try to get people elected from in November, demotivated swing voters to the point they're beginning to have difficulty seeing the difference between Democrats and Republicans, allowed the opposing party to set the message throughout, and overall took an energized populace voting in a wave with his supposed party and willing to stand behind major changes in government and totally de-energized them first by having the entire party jump into bed with the most currently reviled industry in the US (investment banking) and then follow up by putting forth a barely better than nothing health insurance reform bill that has the party jumping into bed with the second most reviled industry in the US (insurance and pharmaceuticals).

    So unless he's a mole from the Republican party looking for how the most damage can be done to the party for a decade his victory in defeating his base progressives and marginalizing them appears pyrrhic at best.

    "...what Washington means by bipartisanship is mainly that everyone should come together to give conservatives what they want." --- Paul Krugman

    by puppet10 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:29:13 PM PDT

  •  Rahm was absolutely correct (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, churchylafemme

    Apparently, progressives can indeed be treated like crap and taken for granted.

    I'm not sure people realize what a blow to progressives this vindication of Rahm's strategy will turn out to be in the long run.

    Is Rahm going to give an ounce of credibility to people who blustered up and down that they wouldn't stand for a bill without the public option - then meekly got into line for this, on the dubious claim that it represents a small step forward?

    No. He'll think "I rolled 'em once, I'll just roll 'em again"

    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

    by Tryptophan on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:57:11 PM PDT

  •  And the fallacy in the 'small step' approach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, output

    is assuming there are going to be subsequent progressive small steps. I doubt very much there will be.

    Do you honestly think representatives in DC are, upon the passage of this year long slugfest, going to grin cheerily and say "Well, that was fun, now let's really get down to business making a health care system that will benefit the American people!"

    Ah. Ha. No. They won't touch healthcare again with a 10 foot pole as long as they live. The thing they want most passionately is for healthcare to go away and never ever come back - hopefully in time for people to forget about it for the 2010 elections.

    And once 2010 rolls around, there go the democratic congressional majorities. Do you think a post 2010 house is going to be more strongly inclined to aggressively push for healthcare reform than the current batch? No. They'll say "Yep, healthcare reform done! Can cross that off our list".

    In fact, given the way the taxes kick in now and the benefits not till later, progressives will be doing good to keep this bill from being rolled back in a couple years.

    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

    by Tryptophan on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:01:00 PM PDT

  •  I Invite You to Be Consistent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    It isn't too late! You could join me in opposing this bill without a public option.

    This isn't the same as opposing passage of the Senate bill by the House. That would be necessary for the cause to advance.

    However, if it goes through the Senate without a public option being added, then it will (in fact) be worse than the status quo. And the progressives will have handed their opponents a win.

    For one thing, it will pump billions of dollars into the hands of for-profit insurance companies, which are then free to turn around and use that money to lobby against us. For another, the Democrats will have sold out on the Republican mandates. This is selling your soul if you believe in the Constitution.

    So, let's just be clear. This is shaping up as a defeat. It might be a defeat of progressives "that fall in line". But, it's an even bigger defeat for the Democratic Party, which can't even fashion a solution to a problem and get it passed through Congress, and more importantly for the American people, who need and deserve real relief from the healthcare crisis.

    I'm fully prepared to use whatever little power I have to punish Democrats that didn't help us get a public option in this bill. I think you should do the same. After that, we'll see who has the last laugh.

  •  Pick a New Presidential Contender (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    The logical response to this is for the progressive community to pick a new presidential contender for 2012. No Obama, no Rahm. Simple as that.

  •  Rahm may have 'won' in the short run (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    because he 'got a bill passed'.  But how many progressive and young voters were turned off by the sellouts and cave ins and general lack of vision that accompanied this whole thing?  And by the squandering of a once-in-a-lifetime sense of momentum that real, fundamental change was necessary and possible?  November will tell, but the "enthusiasm gap" between left and right is ominous.

  •  Obama's incremental pragmatic approach... (0+ / 0-)

    ...while it falls short of our progressive agenda by miles, in this volatile political climate, it is the wisest course. Obama is right. It's our foot in the door and nothing is written in stone that we can't go back to the well later and fight for a better plan. But to walk away with nothing to show for a year's worth of work-and tens of thousands of man-hours is political suicide. So at this point in the game, it's either incremental change in steps or nothing, and no hope for any change at all in the foreseeable future.

    I always advocated for universal single-payer, and opposed a public option "married to the harlot" of the current corrupt, for-profit, "murder-by-spreadsheet" HC system, that needs to be grabbed by its roots and thrown into the incinerator! But I've learned over a long life, that one has to choose their battles carefully and judiciously. I'm going to cast my lot with our president. If he fails we all fail: "If we do not hang together, we most assuredly will all hang separately".

    "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:07:43 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the context. nt (0+ / 0-)

    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

    by Terra Mystica on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:37:25 PM PDT

  •  The Dilemma? (0+ / 0-)

    That's the dilemma plenty of progressives, myself included, face

    That might be a dilemma. For those who came out in opposition to the bill form the start, of course. They are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to flip-flop on a bill many rightly point out is numerous steps in the wrong direction.

    But it's certainly not the bigger dilemma Progressives face, which is that which Glenn mentioned but gets no play from mcjoan in the summary:

    Will Progressives return to the arms of their abuser, once again, the be turned right back into Rahm's bitch in the future... and thereby exhibit once again the sure signs of battered spouse syndrome?

    Smart money says yes... because some folks just never learn from history...

    thus, they are doomed to repeat it.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 06:25:11 AM PDT

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