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And in this case I'm not talking about defending him from the Left, the fact is that it's not that easy sometimes to defend him from the attacks coming from the Right when basic facts seem to be unattainable commodity in the conversation.

Ya see, when we defend Obama against the Right - this is what they hear.

The Video Makes several key points which have become staples of the Right-Wing, while at the same time actually presenting some Left wing defensive points - only to knock them down as "Straw men" (even though in many cases - They Aren't!).

1) The Race Card is just a "tacitical ploy" by the Left not a legitimate complaint about someones biased motivations for putting forth bogus arguments.

2) The Military got Bin Laden (downgraded from the "Torture" got Osama) and all Obama did was say "Yes" when given the option to take him out or not.

3) The Stimulus was a "Flop".

4) The Bailouts were a Waste, and it's Bush's fault because he started them - not Obama's for continuing them.

5) Gas prices are too high because Obama is ineffectual.

6) GM is a great success story, for Union Workers.

7) Obama will grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants, since he's already "Done everything he's been asked to secure the border" with 35 Miles of fence.

8) Obama policies are hurting the Market

9) Obama has exploded the debt

10) Obamacare will destroy healthcare.

Ten pillars of Right Wing argument against Obama, can they be effectively defended or not?

Taken them point by point.

1) The Race Card is just a "tacitical ploy" by the Left not a legitimate complaint about someones biased motivations for putting forth bogus arguments.

As we look at the recent debate over Newt Gingrich's use of the term "Food Stamp President" you can see a clear schism in how this is heard by different ears. (the Dog Whistle) To some it sounds like an innocent statement of current fact, yes indeed more people are on Food Stamps today than just about any time in history, but then that's a by product of being in the largest recession since the 1920's and the Great Depression. And we didn't have Food Stamps in the 1920.

No one reasonable or rational can argue that Obama somehow started this Recession, particularly since - as even the phony liberal in the video acknowledges - it began under Bush.  But the question I have to ask is what would Conservatives do differently?

Well, the answer apparently is drastically cut food stamps as the Ryan Budget Plan does.

The federal budget cuts that have the backing of Tea Party activists in Congress would cut the foodstamps program by 20 percent over the next 10 years.

The $127 billion in reductions over the next decade proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, would be subject to negotiations and approval by the Senate and President Barack Obama.

Just as the Right-Wingers would not like us to see this in destructive racial terms, nether would they like to us to see their attacks on gays from state to state as xenophobic or bigoted.  Yeah, right - it's just a difference in policy opinion eh?

We're not supposed to take comments like as being wrong-headedly bigoted or driving a wedge between people for political gain?

Gingrich: I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion.

When you proclaim, without any evidence of course, that there are "fascist who are prepared to use violence" to get what they want - you are declaring WAR, and by extension you are rationalizing and justifying any and all means to fight them, legal, illegal, rhetorical or violent. You are justifying "defensive" violence - in exactly the same manner that al Qeada does.

And these false images of gays, blacks and "secularists" as the enemies of America and Freedom are not rare - they are common.

At a certain point, when people are walking around with picture of Water-melon on the White House Lawn, Obama as a Witchdoctor, with a bone thru his nose, as a Pimp with the First Lady as a "Ho" this stops being cute and funny. It becomes part of a clear pattern of dehuminization of the opposition and the President, not a honest debate of policy or ideology.

We're supposed to believe this is really just a joke to these people? Really?  Where exactly is the funny? Is their only defense that this isn't racism simply that they're too ignorant and dumb to realize how Racist it is?

Although I can believe some people are pretty dumb, I refuse to believe that everyone in the entire GOP is really that dumb and clueless.  And worse, that those among the GOP and Tea Party who don't actually think and feel racists thoughts, don't realize that they standing amids a growing pack of people who do have those thoughts!

I mean, give me a break ok?

When a Top Tea Party Spokesman says and defends saying "Obama is an indonesian muslim turned welfare thug-in-chief" that people have to realize this isn't just salty rhetoric, and they have to Stop Making Excuses For It.

If all this is perfectly "inbounds" what exactly is out of bounds and beyond the pale anymore?

When we see the right-wing huffing and puffing about Black-Rapper Common being invited to the White House, yet not a peep about Johnny Cash or Bono or Bob Dylan we have legitimate cause to wonder if race might be involved.  When we see this furor over a supposed "supporter of cop-killers", yet not a peep about Mike Huckabee letting out hundreds of criminals as Governor - one of whom actually killed three cops and nothing about people like White-Supremacist Richard Poplowski who killed three cops in a fear stricken panic about "Obama taking his Guns Away" or Byron Williams who wounded several police as they stopped him on his way to massacre the ACLU and Tides Foundation based on Glenn Becks Rants, or James Von Brunn who shot a guard at the Holocaust Museum on his way to murder David Axelrod - you have to more than wonder about the complete lack of balance shown by those on the Right.

If Obama isn't supposed to "associate" with someone like Common based on what he said in a song and poem, why is it anyone still openly associates with someone like Beck after what he said on TV nearly got some people killed (and that's according to the attempted killer) or with Huckabee after his actions -really did get some cops killed!?

If Common should be personal non grata for his statements and actions regarding alleged killers why not Beck and Huckabee?

Bottom line: There are a few racists on the Right (just as there are on the Left), the difference is that the vast majority of the right excessively pander to their racists and make excuses for them rather than confront them as they insist the Left should do.

Take some responsibility people.

2) The Military got Bin Laden (downgraded from the "Torture" got Osama) and all Obama did was say "Yes" when given the option to take him out or not.

As has been well documented, the military didn't just "Find" bin laden by accident. Obama made it the TOP PRIORITY of the CIA after Bush had allowed the Bin Laden unit dedicated to analyzing and finding him to be shutdown.  Even then , they still weren't sure that he was even there - and rather than use drones or B2's Obama took the riskiest path by putting U.S. gear and troops directly in harms way in order to minimize collateral damage and ensure that they got who they are aiming for.  The idea that he just "show up" suddenly is patently ridiculous.

3) The Stimulus was a "Flop"

The video argues that the stimulus "failed" yet facts and common sense show the opposite.

If we hadn't had the Stimulus where do you think this jobs trend line would have gone?
Should the stimulus have been bigger? Probably. Should it have had fewer ineffective tax cuts in it? Definately.  Are Republicans the blame for that? No, actually I blame Obama for that one, since the White House mistakenly added more tax cuts as a way to try and appeal to Republicans who petulantly rejected the entire plan anyway.

4) The Bailouts were a Waste, and it's Bush's fault because he started them - not Obama's for continuing them.

Well as it turns out most of the TARP funds have been paid back so it really wasn't a "waste" at all since we really didn't lose anywhere near $700 Billion on the deal. In fact some of the TARP pay backs have actually exceeded loans according to the Wall Street Journal.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday the total amount repaid to taxpayers for government funds used to bail out U.S. companies has surpassed, for the first time, the amount of outstanding debt.

The Treasury, in its May report to Congress on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, reported TARP repayments reached $194 billion, which has exceeded by $4 billion the total amount of outstanding debt—$190 billion.

However, the outstanding debt amount does not include $106.36 billion that has been committed to institutions but has yet to be paid out by the Treasury. Factoring in that amount, the outstanding debt would be roughly $296 billion.

According to the report, $489.88 billion has been committed to specific institutions, and $383.52 billion of that has been paid out by Treasury. The department said it does not expect to use more than $550 billion of the $700 billion program.

The math does get a little hazy, but essentially the Treasury hasn't even used all of the $700 Billion in funds they had available.  They've only issued out $383.52 in loans and been repaid by about $194 Billion holding the rest in reserve.  Let us all recall that during the Bush Administration Congress cut the TARP funds in half allocating the first $350 Billion to the Bush Administration and the second to Obama - which means Obama hasn't really spent ANYTHING of significance on TARP.  In fact he's tighten restrictions and scrutiny on companies that accepted TARP money while paying massive bonuses, which is just one of the reasons they've been paying it back so quickly - to get out from under those restrictions.

5) Gas prices are too high because Obama is ineffectual.

Under testimony to Congress the leading Oil Execs admitted that our Oil Supply and Demand have not changed significantly, not enough to justify recent price hikes, instead they "other forces (ie speculation)" attributed as much as $43 per barrel of Oil.

"It's harder and harder for any reasonable observer to dismiss the role of excessive speculation in this market," said Michael Masters, a professional Wall Street investor who knows how this game works. He's testified before Congress repeatedly that speculators are pushing prices up well beyond what supply and demand would warrant.


Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson noted Thursday in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that this year's oil prices don't make any economic sense, though that's not quite how he put it. He said that current fundamentals and production costs would dictate oil in the range of $60 to $70 a barrel. That's at least $43 cheaper than this year's highs of $113 a barrel reached on April 29 and May 2.

Here's one other thing the oil execs said.

"No one person, organization or industry can set the price for crude oil," he said.

Since Obama is ultimately just one person I guess that means he can't set the price for oil either doesn't it?

6) GM is a great success story, for Union Workers.

The salvaging of GM is a great success story - for all Americans. It's not just those evil, nasty, reasonable well-paid, benefit laden UNION jobs that were at stake, but Millions of Jobs all across the country in dealerships and repair shops everywhere.

Imagine the potential ramifications of losing just GM, the biggest of the Big Three.

Millions of jobs: General Motors employs 123,000 people, and losing those jobs would be bad enough. But GM's demise could set off a chain reaction that might cost the country almost 3 million jobs. Here's how.

General Motors regularly owes auto-part suppliers such as Delphi and American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL, news, msgs) lots of money. If GM declares bankruptcy, a court could relieve GM of its obligation to pay off its debts to those suppliers, which could topple them. The death of GM could have a similar effect in the longer term.

He's simply describing the exact same ripple effect through the economy that occurred after Lehman and BearSterns Collapsed.  We shouldn't be surprised by the idea that this can and probably would occur with the fall of GM and/or Chrysler. But GM didn't fall did they, in fact both GM and Chrysler are booming.

MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) -- (02/14/11) -- General Motors hourly and salaried workers should be very happy today.

Profit-sharing checks for the workers will be larger than originally reported. The company sent hourly workers a letter today outlining how much they will receive.

Although the calendar says it's Valentine's Day, today is more like Christmas for GM workers throughout the U.S.  A person briefed on the matter says GM will pay more than $189 million in profit sharing to its 48,000 hourly workers.

Salaried workers will also receive big bonuses.

Now, those are the kinds of bonuses I can get behind.  The Wall Street kind, not so much.

7) Obama will grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants, since he's already "Done everything he's been asked to secure the border" with 35 Miles of fence.

Requiring people to pay restitution for their law breaking is NOT AMNESTY.  It's fairness. Making go the back of the line for immigration after that - is also fair.  Kicking them out if they don't do either of the above is fair also.

From Politifact

DHS reports there are currently 36.3 miles of double-layered fencing, the kind with enough gap that you can drive a vehicle between the layers. But the majority of the fencing erected has been vehicle barriers, which are designed to stop vehicles rather than people (see here), and single-layer pedestrian fencing (see here). The design specifications vary depending on geography and climate characteristics, but according to the Customs and Border Patrol website, it includes "post on rail" steel set in concrete; steel picket-style fence set in concrete; vehicle bollards similar to those found around federal buildings; "Normandy" vehicle fence consisting of steel beams; and concrete jersey walls with steel mesh.

That's not enough for some opponent of illegal immigration. "They are interpreting the requirements of the Secure Fence Act in a way that is clearly contrary to what Congress intended," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors tougher enforcement against illegal immigration.

Maybe your grandmother could hop over them, but could she also cross 100 Miles of open desert on foot afterward?

What this ignores is the fact that this type of strategic fencing is actually working and that the rate of illegals entering the country has gone down for the first time in 20 years.

There were 11.1 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally in March 2009, down from a peak of 12 million two years earlier, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report issued Wednesday. From 2007 to 2009, the number of illegals entering the country shrank to about 300,000 per year, down by nearly two-thirds from the estimated 850,000 per year from March 2000 to March 2005.

"The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades," the report said.

The Wingers say that people need to "come to America legally" but in the process they ignore that unless you're a high-end technology worker, a doctor or a an agriculture worker - That simply isn't Possible because there are no Visas Available for you

High end tech people can apply for and be granted an H1B Visa if a local company has done their due diligence to find someone domestically who is qualified and they can't.  Similarly Agricultural workers can be granted a H2A Visa and enter the country legally to work in the fields, but if you're a plumber, carpenter, landscaper, house-keeper or other type of domestic the only legal path is via the H2B Visa which is limited to 65,000 people per year.

These Visa are of course driven entirely by the request by companies for workers, where it is assumed they will be fully documented and paid with the same salaries and benefits as U.S. citizens - unfortunately far too many companies don't even apply for these Visa and rather just let low-cost under-the-table labor fall off the latest tomato truck into their lap.

If you want to end this issue, you have to address both supply and demand with a dual-pronged approach that besides using video surveillance, the National Guard and aerial drones along the border to fill in gaps in the fence - Obama has also addressed the demand more aggressively than any previous President.

The Obama administration announced a crackdown Wednesday on hundreds of companies suspected of employing illegal immigrants, signaling a shift in strategy: going after employers instead of workers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, said that it had begun an audit of 652 U.S. companies to verify whether their employees were eligible to work. Violations could lead to fines, as well as civil and criminal charges

But let's not let facts clog up all their fear-mongering and xenophobia, eh?

8) Obama policies are hurting the Market

This is one that frankly makes no sense.  The Markets are going swimmingly, with absolute record profits by U.S. Companies for the last 3 Quarters in a Row bringing them to a 60 year high.

The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms.

If Obama were trying to implement policies that "Hurt the Market and Business" - it seems to me he's pretty much failed at that.

Although they scoff, the argument that it is actually business leaders who are deliberately keeping the employment rolls low in order to pad their profits is entirely true.

The Commerce Department reports that corporate profits have never been higher in American history, so why aren't Republicans -- the party of business -- celebrating the news? After all, those profits are coming not from revenue growth -- which would benefit workers and executives -- but from cost cutting. It's that cost cutting that is keeping the unemployment rate at 9.5%, while allowing more of companies' meager revenue growth to flow to the bottom line.

How historic is this accomplishment? The New York Times calculated that at $1.66 trillion, U.S. corporations are on track for annualized profits that are the highest since such records were first kept back in 1950, and notes that the gains in profits are due mostly to rising productivity.

That productivity boost came as workers spent more hours working, and getting paid less to do it. Specifically, between the third quarter of 2009 and the same period on 2010, productivity was up 2.5% as output rose 4.1%, hours worked increased 1.6%, and unit labor costs fell 1.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

See full article from DailyFinance:

So the workers work harder, for longer hours and less pay -and the companies keep the profits.  If they can keep doing that and continue making more and more record breaking profits for their share holders, exactly what is the incentive to increase hiring and risk slowing those historic profits

9) Obama has exploded the debt

Well that's about half-true.  The debt has exploded, but Obama didn't do it - just like the Great Recession, TARP and the auto Bailout - it started under Bush.

But in recent months as the CBO has show, it's been the tendency to extend the Bush Tax Cuts that have created the greatest risk to the deficit and debt - and if you can fault Obama it's because he's gone along with that plan, not because he fought against it.

This is the CBO projection of the U.S. Deficit before and after the Lame-Duck Budget Deal from last December.

If we'd ended the Bush Tax Cuts as was originally projected, the Deficit would be significantly lower and if you want to Blame Obama for that go ahead, I do. However if we implement the Ryan plan - it will deficit explode even further for decades as he cuts the top marginal tax rate from 33% all the way down to 25% and not reach "balance" for decades.

10) Obamacare will destroy healthcare.

Besides the fact that hundreds of thousands of young people and small business have began to get healthcare they didn't previously have, according to Medicare Trustees Report the ACA initially extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by another 12 years (although they've revised that downward by 5 years lately)  That's not exactly what I'd call "Destruction".  By comparison the CBO says the Ryan plan would do this to out-of-pocket costs for Seniors.

Which plan do you really think has the greater chance of "Destroying Healthcare"?

These are the debate points that I think the GOP is going to rally around, and we need to be ready and able to counter in a split second without hesitation. Without even thinking about it.  I think the facts are on our side, but we need to be able to martial those facts to shoot down their arguments each and every time.

Hopefully this summary will help with that.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (141+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, BillyZoom, scilicet, Happy Days, JekyllnHyde, BarackStarObama, Gary Norton, Barbie02360, SherwoodB, kalmoth, Hedwig, begone, Gemina13, We Won, MTmofo, Quantumlogic, Dauphin, punditician, dmitcha, Joieau, badlands, ThisIsMyTime, frisco, THAT One, terabthia2, Stein, Loudoun County Dem, ParkRanger, soccergrandmom, buddabelly, somtam, snackdoodle, Lying eyes, KenBee, Jeff Simpson, fumie, kamarvt, aoeu, mjd in florida, RhymesWithUrple, philipmerrill, AuroraDawn, kat68, Statusquomustgo, aznavy, lineatus, Little Lulu, christine20, FiredUpInCA, dmh44, hyper, Hawkjt, gwilson, doroma, JayBat, onanyes, soothsayer99, I love OCD, Lefty Coaster, boophus, smileycreek, ribletsonthepan, kerflooey, fou, carpunder, Dom9000, dizzydean, jhb90277, JanG, Funphil, zizi, tomjones, ekyprogressive, IndieGuy, in2mixin, jakebob, Dr Squid, SoLeftImRight, jennybravo, linkage, ATFILLINOIS, rage, dmhlt 66, zapus, JoanMar, Jose Bidenio, Davui, psnyder, jiffykeen, 207wickedgood, LeighAnn, gulfgal98, kevinpdx, dle2GA, ItsSimpleSimon, Tookish, rapala, Nada Lemming, Curt Matlock, Trix, gramofsam1, DBunn, notrouble, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, wader, Praxxus, zerelda, KathleenM1, Wek, CanyonWren, Mistral Wind, vixenflem, tjampel, TXdem, virginislandsguy, Escamillo, jl4851, elwior, lompe, Knarfc, boriquasi, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, TDP, lycey, Forward is D not R, orrg1, TFinSF, panicbean, MartyM, sodalis, RhodaA, Cedwyn, otto, createpeace, caul, Matt Z, MasterKey, Deoliver47, Imhotepsings, mofembot
  •  why you arguing facts? (8+ / 0-)

    fact based debate does not win elections. emotional appeals and repetitive messages win elections.

    Only when all hope is lost does shit get really funny.

    by jbou on Sun May 22, 2011 at 01:49:22 PM PDT

  •  You begin a good discussion of the talking points (12+ / 0-)

    of the 26% that can't or probably won't be budged from their delusions, and you counter their talking points well.

    This is why I am encouraging the Democrats to have a consistent national platform based on core principles. No dissembling, no regional tailoring of messaging to garner evangelicals and conservatives. Many wouldn't change their opinions anyway, and catering to them dilutes the Democratic message nationally.

    I'm hoping that reasonable heads will prevail, and that a national, reasonably progressive platform will be formulated that includes the environment, energy, women's and LGBT rights, peace, entitlements and jobs.

  •  I'm a sucker for charts, links, facts (8+ / 0-)

    Good diary!

    •  yeah but .... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tennessee Dave

      I really don't understand the Medicare Chart (and I work in healthcare).  Why do some of the bars not add up to 100?  And what are the various scenarios? Standing by itself, it is almost an "insider's explanation."  A bit more discussion of what the various scenarios represented, and why some bars didn't add up to 100 would have been helpful.

      •  The 100% Line (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is the projected cost of Ryan's Plan for Medicare.

        The other lines are are current estimate for Medicare cost under existing law which CBO estimates will be between 20-30% cheaper than Ryan Privatized approach in the same way that regular Medicare is about 28% cheaper than Medicare-Advantage.

        Within those lines are shown the percentage of Federal/State spending and out of pocket spending for - on the average - for Medicare recipients.  Generally speaking, Medicare under Ryan's plan will be 20-28% more expensive, with Seniors on the plan picking up 61-68% of the total cost out of the own pocket while government expenditures are dramatically decreased.

        I screen grabbed the chart directly from the CBO report.

  •  what, you want to argue the facts? (22+ / 0-)

    We can't have that.  We have to have our political theology.

    Of course, remember that not a single Republican voted for Clinton budgets.  At least one current Republican contender for the nomination to lose to Obama, Newt Gingrich, argued that the Clinton budgets would destroy America's economy.

    Then that administration saw the production of 22 million new jobs, and a project surplus over the next decade in the trillions.


    Only solution?  Destroy the economy.  Then find a Democrat upon whom to blame it, right?


    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun May 22, 2011 at 01:51:10 PM PDT

    •  They started it (10+ / 0-)

      at least in this video they do make the attempt to present what appears on it's surface to be a factual argument criticizing Obama, and some of what they say is actually true, even when they semi-lampoon Left-Wing talking points (Like Bush started the bailouts) they actually get them right.

      This video moves beyond simple hyperbole, and even accurate points out that the (full portion of the) border fence is only 35 Miles long.

      This is why I felt is critical to respond directly and seriously, not just to bolster the quality of our own points, but to meet there's head to head.


      •  what we say, what they hear (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dmh44, dizzydean, Matt Z

        was the takeaway for me. the gulf between us is measured in centuries.
        I actually got the sense the guy in the video had made what he considered to be a real attempt to listen to "our side" and was doing a semi-serious job of regurgitating what he had heard.
        And he was so far off.
        Telling that a few keystones in his fortress you demolished in a single sentence, though.

        Someone with true intellectual rigor would be forced to admit #2 and #8 pretty much right away. Which delegitimizes all of the Right Wing's noise about OBL and the economy. Which leaves that person left only with immigration and racism.
        Or, more simply; racism.

        Hey Republicans! OBAMA got Osama, and this ain't T-ball, so stop whining!

        by kamarvt on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:30:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Gingrich is trying to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      take the credit now. I'm surprised to see the media allow him get away with it.

    •  With respect, tk (0+ / 0-)

      It's true that "the economy" seemed a lot stronger in the Clinton administration. But really, how much of that was due to the bubble, which had the grace not to burst until a few months after he left office.

      Clinton championed or allowed NAFTA, welfare "reform", and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Not a great economic record IMHO, although quite bi-partisan if that's important to anyone.

      If we want to cite the Clinton years as proof that higher taxes on the very rich don't seem to have much negative effect on the economy, I'm good with that.

  •  And good luck to them continuing... (17+ / 0-)

    the phony controversy involving the 1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations in the I/P saga... President Obama gave a rousing speech to AIPAC this morning, not changing his policy one bit, and forcefully pushing back against the ignorance of the media and the haters.

    "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun May 22, 2011 at 01:58:03 PM PDT

  •  Excellent! Thank you for compiling (7+ / 0-)


    I've tip, recced, and hotlisted! I have a feeling I'll be using this diary a lot.

    2012 bumper sticker: GOP = Greed.Oppression.Poverty

    by Barbie02360 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 02:07:40 PM PDT

  •  Number #1 is interesting since we see it here too, (21+ / 0-)

    by a group led by Rec. List favorites.

    1) The Race Card is just a "tacitical ploy" by the Left not a legitimate complaint about someone biased motivations for putting forth bogus arguments.

    This argument is made by a lot of racist liberals who accuse black members of DailyKos and their allies of playing the race card. When liberals on this site take a stand against the b.s. that goes on here then we can talk about defending Obama against the right wing attacks. The left can be just as bad and denial is a motherfucker, not just a river in Egypt.  

  •  Thank you... (6+ / 0-)

    for this thoughtful and well-researched diary. It will likely change nothing with respect to people who are impervious to facts, sadly, but the points herein might help one convince a few souls who are not that far gone.

  •  stop trying to defend healthcare damnit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crazy like a fox, caul

    Everything else is spot on I'd say, but the healthcare bill was terrible. who cares how many little bandaids it came with, it was a disaster that empowered republicans and demoralized democrats. also, fuck the mandate.

    cut your losses and stop defending that shit bill.

    •  Right! Sorry but I think it is time to get your (27+ / 0-)

      head out of the sand. How you will need to evaluate progress is by comparing what we would not have had had we not had passed HCR last year.  These are what we have gained and what we will continue to build on but short changing a huge accomplishment as nothing is as good as a right wing talking point. Well, here is some food for thought and they are called facts that hopefully will help the likes of you see what is very elementary.

      On Health Care Reform:

      1)  Coverage can’t be denied to children with pre-existing conditions.
      2)  Adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plans.
      3)  Free preventive care.
      4)  Rescinding coverage is now illegal.
      5)  Eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
      6)  Restricting annual limits on insurance coverage.
      7)  More options to appeal coverage decisions.
      8)  $5 billion in immediate federal support to affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions.
      9)  $10 billion investment in Community Health Centers.
      10) Create immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees.
      11) Made an $80 billion dealwith the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to cut prescription drug costs for the nation’s seniors reduce the size of the "donut hole" in the Medicare (Part D) Drug Benefit.
      12) Provides a $250 rebate to 750,000 Medicare Beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010. As of March 22, 2011, 3.8 million beneficiaries had received a $250 check to close the coverage gap, according to an HHS report.
      13) Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 35% of employee premiums effective 2011 and a 50% tax credit effective 2013.
      14) Creates a state option to provide Medicaid coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. By 2014, States are required to provide this coverage.
      15) Provides a 10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care services and also a 10% Medicare bonus payment to general surgeons practicing in health professional shortage areas.
      16) Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requires that insurance companies spend at least 80 to 85 percent of the proportion of the premium dollars on clinical services. As an example, WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross unit in California has reduced its proposed rate increase.

      There is more but I will stop here.


      ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

      by ThisIsMyTime on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:25:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, that's not going to happen (10+ / 0-)

      because all the alternatives are either non-viable politically, or like Ryan's Plan, horrifically destructive.  We have to defend what he have or risk losing even that.

    •  "it was a disaster that empowered republicans" (12+ / 0-)

      Well, shit, if Republicans fired up about it then it must be bad right?

      The health care bill was not terrible.  I can agree that it doesn't go far enough to solve the long term problem... Will you agree that it solves a lot of short term problems, and puts the pieces in place for a long term solution?  Because it certainly does do that.

      •  It Doesn't Solve Shit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sanctimonious, caul

        All the bill accomplished was firing up Republicans, while also demoralizing us here. If it did those things and accomplished something like, oh say, the medicare buy in, the public option, or any number of reasonable policies that increase access for people while decreasing their costs, I could live with it.

        But so far the health insurance reform bill has only managed to oversee insane premium increases, and has acted as a conduit for our money to go into an insurance executive's pocket.

        How that fixes 'little' things like having enough money to feed your family AND go to the doctor while balanacing out everything else that is wrong with this country is beyond me.

        Also please explain to me how passing something unpopular, which is still unpopular, is going to act as a springboard for change later. If anything, it will dissuade people from trying every again.

        •  Please (5+ / 0-)

          explain how not passing anything,like Clinton did not in 93,or Nixon in 71 helped springboard us to any reform at all?

          Not doing anything at all was going to ensure democratic re-election in 2010? I do not think so.

          I agree that it is too bad that the public option did not make the cut, even tho it was  a tiny part of the reform bill,but at least it would have been something for some of those who seem to value style over substance.

          Me? I applaud the 30 million more people who will be insured....I know, nothing to you,but to me,important.

          •  It Doesn't Need Explaining (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sanctimonious, caul

            Clinton's 93 healthcare disaster was just a preview of Obamacare 08. You talk behind closed doors to a bunch of insiders, load the bill up with as many pages of paper as you can to keep everyone absolutely happy because Lord knows what Americans want is more INSURANCE and not something like singlepayer. If Clinton had passed his bill it's likely his '94 losses would have been even more traumatic. What's that a springboard for but disaster?

            It's also... odd that you keep harping about not doing anything at all, as if the only alternatives available to Obama were DO NOTHING or PASS REPUBLICAN BILL.

            Well that's called revisionism, and that's a bunch of crap.

            •  So could you answer this question? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mjd in florida, gramofsam1, foufou, Matt Z

              How do you, as president, get the policy of single payer insurance enacted in this country?

              My guess is that you would want Obama to come out strongly for single payer, to use his bully pulpit as much as possible to hammer home the issue.  Maybe that works... Or maybe it turns out the exact same way that Clinton's health care plan did: A whole lot of nothing.

              Obama's plan, currently, is allowing states to experiment with single payer insurance: This is happening right now.  Without the ACA, it wouldn't.

              •  when i'm running for office (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I'll let you know, till then I'm just happy to point out that retreat and surrender are not the virtues of victory. :)

                •  Right, so you don't have any alternative plan. (5+ / 0-)

                  Single payer, as a national policy, was never an option to pass through congress.  Obama fought for the next best thing: General reform with a strong public option.  Even that wasn't enough of a concession to get passed through congress... So what next?  Do you give up?  Settle for good instead of great?  Keep fighting, even if it doesn't get you anywhere?

                  Obama made his decision, and the resulting change has been overwhelmingly positive.  Vermont, and hopefully California, will soon have single payer health care.  They wouldn't without the ACA.  The only negatives are things that were already problems.  You don't dislike the ACA for creating problems... You dislike it because it doesn't solve enough problems.

                  •  You're niave (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    For one, you just don't realize that I'm not running for office. Any implication that my lack of political titles implies ignorance in political matters is an elitist, disrespectful thing to say that seems to come straight out of some Tory's sad, tear-stained diary.

                    Second, single payer was never going to pass, we all know that we're not dumb. But single payer could easily have been sacrificed in exchange for the public option, or any number of decent alternatives. That's basic negotiating.

                    The problem is that, from the start the Obama white house wanted to keep pharma and the insurance lobby on board so as to preempt what happened to Clinton in '93. Having them on board meant that single payer, the public option, medicare buy ins, and industry-restructuring policies were effectively dead: no one is going to help you cut off their arm, and businesses will certainly not help you lower their profit margin.

                    THAT IS WHY the President's plan so like Nixon's alternative to Kennedy: that was the only plan business' would accept.

                    So tell me, how has this arrangement changed, TELL ME how the President is going to pursue stronger reform when he wants to keep Aetna and CIGNA happy all the time?

                    That's a better question than asking me how I was going to personally pass a bill, moron.

                    •  So let's at least try to keep this civil (6+ / 0-)

                      I asked you a simple question: How do you get single payer passed in this country?  First you responded with a straw man (I talked about lack of political titles... where?), then you actually do answer the question:

                      "But single payer could easily have been sacrificed in exchange for the public option, or any number of decent alternatives. That's basic negotiating."

                      No, actually, it's not.  Clinton tried to get more than Obama; he failed, and health care in this country continued its decline.  Obama succeeded: With the minimum amount of congressional support, he actually managed to get something done.  Without the ACA, Vermont wouldn't have single payer.  I, personally, wouldn't have health insurance.  Overall, no, it doesn't go far enough, but it does a ton of good.  It shouldn't be attacked, the way you're attacking it: The flaws should be pointed out, but the successes should also, and we should keep pushing for it to be stronger.

                      •  what clinton tried to get (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        was still more fucking health insurance, and guess what his secret meetings were one of the primary factors contributing to his bill's eventual defeat. Don't act like what Clinton was going after was single payer, because the two are not identical.

                        You're idea of getting something done was letting a piece of paper land on his desk for a little inking. How momentous.

                        •  No Clinton wasn't trying to get single payer, (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gramofsam1, malharden, foufou, Matt Z

                          and, you admit, neither would you: You said above that there is no way to pass single payer through congress.  Even with a strong public option, the ACA would still be "more fucking health insurance."  My idea of "getting something done" is that, for the first time in this country, single payer has been signed in to law.  It would not have happened without the ACA.

                          For years nothing has happened in regards to health care reform.  For the first time, changes are starting to get underway.  And your response is... Well, I'm not exactly sure.  Would you rather have the president not have signed the bill at all?  Should he have given up, saying that if he can't get the public option, then it's not worth doing?  I honestly don't know what you're saying.  People have been listing positive thing after positive thing that the ACA has done, and you say it doesn't really matter.

                          •  straws are a bitch to grasp (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sanctimonious, caul

                            I admit there was no way to get what I wanted right here and now, everyone knew that. Even social security and medicare were shadows of what they are now. I admit that single payer could be used as a bargaining chip to GET TO single payer. what about that is beyond your mind?

                          •  You're admiting that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            malharden, foufou

                            a) Single Payer wasn't an option and b)SS and Medicare were "shadows" of their future selves when enacted...  And you still are trying to tear down the ACA?

                            You say "single payer could be used as a bargaining chip to GET TO single payer."

                            So, I'm assuming your thinking is this: If Obama had started out demanding single payer, when he "conceded," we would have been left with a strong public option.  Is that what you are trying to say?  Maybe that is a strategy that would have worked, but I would argue almost certainly that it would not have.

                          •  the ACA (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            isn't anything for me to tear down. It's a huge, monstrous bill that contains enough garbage that any lawyer worth half his salt will figure out a way to to screw over their 'customers' (you can't really be a customer if you're FORCED to buy it) the ACA be damned. The ACA has left the insurance market almost completely intact; that is why share prices for health insurance companies soared.

                            Medicare and SS still DID SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY for the ailing in our society. The ACA hasn't.

                            And yeah, basic bargaining dictates that driving hard for something you might not be able to get is a good way to get a litany of concessions. Obama did not chose that route, and the PO died. Whatever you're prepared to argue about this save it; you're clueless at negotiating.

                          •  Driving hard for something you might not be able (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gramofsam1, malharden, foufou, Matt Z, Vyan

                            to get is also a strategy that makes the risk of outright failure go a lot higher.  Obama pushing hard for single payer makes it easy for Republicans to paint him as unserious and unreasonable:

                            You keep getting evidence of the good things that the ACA does, "RIGHT AWAY for the ailing in our society," as you say: the fact that single payer is currently a law in part of this country, the fact that I, and others under the age of 26, are able to get quality health care coverage through their parents, the fact that "preexisting conditions" are soon to be no longer a factor... But you just don't seem to really give a shit, for some reason.

                            You're main problem with the ACA seems to be the fact that, essentially, health care in this country is still overall controlled by private interests.  This is a sentiment that I agree with.  But you have to admit, that even with a public option, the lack of which seems to be the main negative you can find with the ACA, that same system would still be in effect.  You also ignore the fact that, while there is technically no public option, there is a system in place that does almost exactly what the public option were to do.

                            We agree on two important points: a) Single Payer is the only real solution, and b) Single Payer is not politically realistic at the federal level at this time.  So, of course, anything Obama had done would have, on some level, been a disappointment.  It's just how we are looking at that disappointment: You seem to think it is an unforgivable betrayal; I see it as an unfortunate concession for a greater overall goal.

                          •  You're Right, I Don't Give a Single Shit (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sanctimonious, caul

                            Like I said earlier, the Democratic party has become the Silver Lining Party, where the members are so emphatically happy over the meagerist of victories, no matter how many of their principles and how much their interest is sacrificed to get that single, shallow victory.  

                            Guess what, you just don't have a clue about negotiating, not a single one. You can wax lyrical about how Obama might have APPEARED unreasonable, or something very vague and unprovable like that, and somehow I am supposed to be happy with the other extreme where he surrenders, capitulates, and calls me ungrateful for not wanting to my friends' life-savings drained bit by bit through greedy insurance. Unbelievable. Washington is no doubt puking in his grave.

                            You're idea that some how market manipulation - that's what preexisting conditions, rescission, and the like are, ways to manipulate the market to increase profits and decrease loss (through service providing) - is FIXED because of the ACA is laughable. Nixon's HMO plan was supposed to solve everything, it didn't. The litany of small changes passed over the years to try and patch up the listing ship that is the insurance industry in this country have also, all failed at keeping insurance companies honest.

                            Your almost exactly PO doesn't impress me one bit.


                            He did a good enough job picking you apart.

                          •  And you can wax lyrical (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            malharden, foufou, Matt Z, Vyan

                            about how your ideal progressive president would have somehow gotten a public option passed through congress (using a strategy that I haven't heard anything about besides to actually demand more).

                            My point is this: Even the PO would not have solved the overall problem.  Even having a PO would keep health care in this country essentially privatized.  We agree on this.  Which means we also agree that single payer is the only option.  We also agree that single payer is not politically realistic at a national level at this time.  So, by your own admission, the best possible plan that could have been passed would still have not been enough.  If Obama had gotten a strong public option pushed through congress, you would still be able to use the exact same arguments you are using now.

                          •  my ideal president (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Is irrelevant. Let us stalk about reality instead: Obama chose a certain path, it was the wrong one, and we're now enjoying the consequences. Why you keep trying to latch onto this "well blah blah blah what would you have done" schtick as if I was born to give a flying fuck about your puerile line of questionings.

                            Your point is ridiculous. A Strong PO is something to build on towards the path to single payer. How would having an accessible, affordable, Government provided alternative make it privatized exactly? Last I checked USPS doesn't keep the postal industry 'essentially' privatized.

                            The rest of your argument is a wash, I'm not bothering with it.

                          •  And the ACA is something to build on (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou, Matt Z

                            towards the path to a strong public option.  It's the exact same reasoning.  There's good (what we got) great (what we got + a strong PO) and the best (single payer).  You admit the best was out of reach.

                            Let's look at higher education: College is still insanely expensive, despite the "strong public option" of public universities.  Public universities don't solve the basic problem (affordable access to quality higher education) but they help a lot.  A public option, likewise, wouldn't have automatically made healthcare affordable for all citizens.  It would have helped, but it would still be a band-aid that doesn't solve the main issue... Just like the ACA.

                            You're mad at Democrats for being the "Silver Lining Party" because the ACA wasn't perfect.  But you admit that, even if it was as good as it could have been, it still wouldn't have been good enough.

                            And you're right, we are enjoying the consequences: for me personally, and a lot of folks my age, it is a huge deal: I would not have health insurance without the ACA.  Vermont would not have single payer without the ACA.  Single payer is a policy in this country RIGHT NOW, solely because of the ACA.  But you just don't care, and I can see now that nothing I say will get you to do so.

                          •  Your Routine is Getting Stale (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sanctimonious, caul

                            The ACA is a path to the public option how? You just keep saying it without any proof. You think the path to the public option is easier now that Pharma and the Insurance industry have more money in their pocket? A joke if I ever heard one.

                            I admitted no such thing, I admitted the best could be obtained via fighting for it. Not fighting for something has never won anyone anything.

                            College and healthcare are apples and oranges. A public university charges out of state students double normal tuition. Tell me how that helps anything. There is a ton of reform needed for education, and that's a subject for another day.

                            Your characterization of my argument is also false. I'm calling them the Silver Lining Party because the ACA was, is, and always will be SHIT LEGISLATION. It is a ROADBLOCK to single payer and nothing else. Empowering your enemy has NEVER been a winning strategy, which is why Sun Tzu left it out of his book.

                            And the end of your lil' screed demonstrates it perfectly: somehow scraps - being on your parents health insurance costing them additional money, and Vermont being ALLOWED to create their own independent system while still paying for the current one - are all enough to justify clapping as HARD as you can, until your BLEEDING your clapping so hard.

                            What a joke.

                          •  So if I get sick and require (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Matt Z

                            expensive medical treatment, is that still "scraps"?  No... In fact, the ACA would probably save my life.  When people in Vermont have access to a single payer system, will that be "scraps," even when it saves people's lives?  You seriously call the ACA a "roadblock" to single payer while ignoring the fact that, without the ACA, there would be no single payer in this country today.

                            "That's a subject for another day" you say about the rising costs of higher education.  So does that mean you're throwing college kids, and their families, under the bus?  No, of course not... You recognize that there are times when making a political fight is worth it, and times when it isn't.  That is what I'm saying about the public option.  Obama fought for it, and he lost the fight... He didn't flip flop, and try to argue that actually the public option was a bad idea.  He saw that it wasn't politically realistic, and made a deal.  It's a disappointment, but not, in my mind (and in the minds of most progressives on this site) not an unforgivable one.

                            And please... You think I'm misrepresenting your argument?  You say I'm "clapping as HARD as you can, until your BLEEDING your clapping so hard."  No, that's not true and you know it.  Every single flaw that you have pointed out with the ACA I have pretty much agreed with you on: Will you agree that, even with those flaws, the health care system in this country is at least slightly better than if no reform had taken place?  Will you agree that, while it doesn't solve every problem, it also doesn't create any problems, and therefore actually isn't "SHIT LEGISLATION?"  This is my last post for the night... Thanks for, at least for the most part, keeping it civil and sticking to the topic.  These conversations are important.

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

                            Save them for when they put food on the table.

                            The ACA has done nothing for single payer. I'll repeat it until you finally get it. The waivers MAY NOT be granted, in the years between now and 2014 (possibly 2017) there is plenty of time to further hamper Vermonts efforts at creating a single payer system. You're acting like it's a slam dunk, how depressingly naive.

                            And now I know you're dishonest. Obama never fought for the Public Option. He never made it a priority, he merely emphasized that if it was a good idea, then he would love to have it. He. Never. Fought. For. It.

                            Your fallacious reasoning regarding education is annoying. Stop bringing in a different subject when we're not discussing the first one.

                            Your basic argument gets down to, "Well it's better to have a turd to eat than anything at all!"

                            Silver. Lining. Party. No, I don't want any of your fucking information.

                          •  Alright I lied (0+ / 0-)

                            One more post I guess... I brought up colleges because you brought up the postal service... Neither are perfect comparisons, obviously, but I think they are still useful ones.

                            "There is plenty of time to further hamper Vermonts efforts at creating a single payer system."  And you sayI'm depressing?  Here's single payer actually getting PASSED INTO LAW, and all you can say is, well, they're just going to fuck it up anyway, so who cares?  If a PO had been included, you would still be able to say "Well, people still have to pay for health care, so who fucking cares?"

                            "He. Never. Fought. For. It."  What's your idea of fighting, exactly?  You know that he gave speech after speech about it, so what comes next?

                          •  He threw sand at it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but he had to ignore the actual legislation and CBO analysis to do so, just like you are.  

                            We both had experience working with Kaiser/Permanente, I worked in the Compensation Dept developing the software that allowed each Department Chief to determine what he would pay each Doctor in his section.  We each had our opinions.

                            The point is that there isn't any independent analysis that supports your point. As I mentioned in the Diary the Medicare Trustees Report gives all types of credit to the ACA for improving the outlook of the Medicare trust fund.

                            The Affordable Care Act improves the financial outlook for Medicare

                            It was the CBO that said that Kennedy version of Health Reform would begin to lower costs and decrease the deficit by $130 Billion after they added the PO.  It was also the CBO that said that the replacement for the PO would save about the same amount as the regular PO.  The CBO didn't say that subcontracting out the PO would decrease the downward pressure on premiums in the exchanges the way you predict.

                            So who exactly are you choosing to believe, the CBO or not?

                            It's not like Medicare-for-all or full-on Single Payer wasn't proposed and attempted because it was - only to die in the Senate.  Bernie Sanders single payer bill couldn't even get voted on.

                            The proof that your suggested "My way or the highway" approach would have been more likely to produce nothing is the fact that that's exactly what we got during the Clinton Health Care Initiative where the White House dictated the entire plan and demanded complete fealty to that plan.  

                            That approached Failed completely and totally.

                            This approach is working, certainly slower that both of us might like, but it is working.  Bitching and whining that they should have been more strident and ultimately failed just as Clinton did isn't about helping people, it's about your own sense of betrayal.

                          •  You're so Desperate (0+ / 0-)

                            That it's rather annoying at this point. The 'stealth public option' is not whatever you feel like it is. Projecting a bunch of feelings onto it - that it's somehow the same thign as the public option, or that it somehow saves more money, or that somehow BC/BS and the rest of the 'non-profits' are going to be the panacea for all of our healthcare woes, is hopelessly, hopelessly naive.  

                          •  the PO didn't die (0+ / 0-)

                            The PO was replaced with a Semi-PO that does exactly the same thing.  I've already quoted the legislation and the CBO analysis for you.

                          •  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (0+ / 0-)

                            After a little reading I realized what this 'semi-PO' really was: Kent Conrad's bullshit co-op idea that he trotted out once his industry handlers started to call.

                            Sorry, but BC/BS, and Seattle Group Health are not-for-profit and they still have rates just as high as everyone else. They will not get magically better because a paltry 6bn has been appropriated to setup a nation-wide, state-based system. Sorry to crush your dreams.

                          •  No these are not Co-ops (0+ / 0-)

                            those are "member owned" but still otherwise Private and for Profit rather than Non-Profit. Yet even if they were providers that price gouge above the 85% MLR right now can be forced to pay rebates and be banned from the Exchanges and this Option which clearly would exclude BC/BS who couldn't possibly meet the requirements that OPM will setup even if it only matches the base 85% MLR requirement (although I suspect and hope that it will approach 90-95%) Not to mention the fact the direct of OPM has control of their PREMIUMS.  Let me say that again the government can set their Premiums, their copays and their deductibles.

                            You think BC/BS is going to be able to meet those demands?

                            However, just for the sake of moving this discussion forward - where exactly is the study that proves that the Full Public Option is better than this Option?

                            Either of us can argue guesses forever, what does the best available data say?  I'm more than willing to admit this might happen, or that might happen - but without data and professional analysis all we have are prognosticating opinions.

                            But first remember that it was the CBO that said adding the PO to the Kennedy version of the bill would bring massive savings of $1.5 Trillion over 20 years, and extend the life of Medicare Trust Fund by 9 years. That's what made it popular in the first place.  Where is the study - by anyone credible - that says we have lost those savings with this version of that idea?

                            I'll be waiting.

                            And just so you know this is the CBO Scored of the final bill as saving $2 Billion More than the previous version, while the Medicare Trustees originally estimated the final draft extended the life of the Trust fund by 12 years, and then updated the estimate this year to 7 years (due to the still sluggish economy) which is still pretty close to the original 9 years.

                            Who disputes this and can back it up?

                            Give me something besides obstinance and bitter rhetoric, please?


                  •  Yes, the Democrats made sure of this. (4+ / 0-)
                    Single payer, as a national policy, was never an option to pass through congress.

                    When the Democrats had Single Payer advocates, doctors and nurses, arrested for trying desperately to at least speak at the "round tables" concerning the direction of health care reform.

                    The Democrats did that.  

                    The Democrats also set the rules of the Senate so that the Republican minority could block any actually progressive legislation if it DID manage to get out of committee.

                    Then this year they doubled down and did it again for the NEXT two years.

                    Tell me about how the Democrats are on our side again?

                    The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                    by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:27:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So what's the right course to take? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Scream and shout about how single payer is the best course available, and hope that somehow you influence congress enough to get it voted on?

                      Here's how I look at it: Single payer wasn't killed by Obama, or conservadems... It was ultimately killed by Anthony Weiner.  I don't recall ever hearing any push to primary Weiner, or about how he was ever called a progressive traitor, even though he just gave up on the issue.

                      •  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Rick Aucoin, pot, Sanctimonious, caul

                        Yeah, it was anthony weiner's fault for not setting the President's healthcare agenda.

                        troll on

                      •  That's pretty ludicrous. (6+ / 0-)

                        Single payer was killed by the Democrats.  

                        Not just Anthony Weiner, who among Democrats was always pretty good on the right side of the debate.

                        But Harry Reid and the Democrats who sat idly by as they enacted the Rules of the Senate that guaranteed the Republican's the right to de facto veto anything that came across the table are to blame.

                        And, again, it was the Democrats who had the doctors and nurses advocating for Single Payer ARRESTED.

                        Single Payer was killed by the Republicans and the Democrats, working together like hand and glove.  

                        So, tell me again how the Democrats are on my side?

                        The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                        by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:50:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm pointing out that (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gramofsam1, foufou, August West, Matt Z

                          even Anthony Weiner, a progressive strongly supported by pretty much everyone on this site, recognized that fighting for Single Payer "might undermine that important goal [of passing overall reform]."  And I don't consider him to be any kind of traitor because of it.

                          Single Payer was not killed.  It is the law of the land in Vermont RIGHT NOW, and it is because Obama managed to pass the ACA.

                          •  I'm not sure if you saw the news or not. (3+ / 0-)

                            But Democrats had Single Payer advocates arrested, after specifically cutting them out of even the discussions about Health Care Reform.

                            And Democrats set the rules of the Senate so that it would take 60 votes to accomplish anything.

                            And then Democrats did it AGAIN this last January.

                            So, again, tell me how the Democrats are on our side?

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 08:18:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Could you provide a link? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou, Matt Z

                            I think I know the story you're talking about, but I don't remember any Democrats ordering the arrests...  But, of course, that is a pretty pointless story, and distracts from the overall issue: Are you saying that, if those advocates hadn't been arrested, they would have somehow convinced congress to pass single payer?  Of course not... So I don't really see what this has to do with anything.

                            And did Democrats "set the rules," as you say, or did they simply not change the old rules?  I don't know as much as I ought to about the technicalities in the Senate, so I don't know the answer to this... I'd appreciate some background info.  Because you seem to be saying that Democrats had the opportunity to get things passed with only 50 votes but chose not to because... Well, I'm not exactly sure what you are saying.

                            Democrats are on my side: I have quality health insurance now, and I wouldn't without the ACA.  People in Vermont would agree: Without the ACA, they wouldn't have been able to pass single payer.

                            My overall point in referring to Weiner still stands: Weiner said that fighting for his single payer amendment "might undermine that important goal [of passing overall reform]."  So basically, he was a pragmatist: He gave up the pursuit of great to settle for good.  I don't see anyone here calling for his head.

                          •  That's exactly what happened. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Angry White Democrat, caul

                            At the beginning of every congress the majority party in the Senate gets to set the rules of the next two years.  In 2008 they kept all of the old rules, allowing that it would take 60 votes to pass anything.

                            They could have, at will, made it so 50 votes would pass legislation.

                            They chose not to.

                            Then, after two years of utter obstinacy by the Republicans and just enough Democrats to keep real progress from happening, THEY DID IT AGAIN this last January.

                            Neither the White House, the national party, or more than a handful of Democrats in the Senate pushed to get the rules changed when they had the chance to do it with only 50 votes.  No, they engaged in a "gentleman's agreement" with the Republican's that if the Republican's promised to play nice the Democrats wouldn't change the rules to make it so they couldn't obstruct every damn thing.

                            How's that working out?  

                            Exactly as the Democrats intended, I am going to guess.

                            You see, I don't buy into the meme that the Democrats are idiots, or incompetent, or naive.  

                            And here's one place you can get a start on the Democrats actions concerning advocates of Single Payer.

                            ...they were protesting the fact that Committee chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) continues to exclude single payer advocates from a series of hearings on health care reform.

                            And Weiner gave up on the Public Option after fighting for it.  Once the White House made it clear they were not advocating for the Public Option, Weiner threw in the towel on it.  Just to be clear of what the context was.

                            How anyone here can say with a straight face that the Democratic party is on the side of the people, the side of the middle class, the working poor, and so on in the face of these and dozens of other outrages over the last two years is utterly beyond me.

                            This last January when the Democrats had the opportunity to fix the problem in the Senate that had derailed so much legislation and CHOSE VERY DELIBERATELY TO NOT DO SO should be all anyone needs to know we have two parties in our politics who are working AGAINST our best interest.

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 08:59:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All that your link shows... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou, Matt Z

                            Is that I was right: You say that "the Democrats had Single Payer advocates, doctors and nurses, arrested."  The link shows that, shocker, it was actually the police that arrested the protesters, not at the order of Democrats at all... And all for, as far as I can tell, legitimate reasons. (I'm not sure what the definition of "congressional disruption" would be... But I don't see any evidence that shows that the police were wrong in making the arrests).

                            And now a point on context... You say "Weiner gave up on the Public Option after fighting for it.  Once the White House made it clear they were not advocating for the Public Option, Weiner threw in the towel on it."  More context to that would be the fact that congress was not going to pass a public option.  Obama threw in the towel because he saw a congress that wasn't giving him all he wanted.  Weiner threw in the towel for pretty much the exact same reason. Again, is he a progressive traitor?

                            The White House did advocate for the public option: Obama supported it in speeches time and time again.  You admit Weiner gave up, but say that at least he "f[ought] for it..." Well, so did Obama, so I don't see what you're point is.  I'll admit that Obama stopped trying to advocate for the public option once he realized it wasn't realistic... Will you admit that he did indeed "fight for it," and he did at least put out solid arguments in its favor?

                            And as for the rules of the Senate... Well, won't you be glad those rules are there if Republicans take back congress and the presidency?  Again, I don't know as much as I should on this issue... But correct me if I'm wrong on this: those rules are there, as best as I can see, to protect the minority from the majority.  We have to take the good (protection from Republican agendas) with the bad (not as much of our agenda can get pushed through).

                          •  No, I'm not glad. (3+ / 0-)

                            Because having a 60 vote threshold doesn't apply when the Republican's are in charge.  You may have noticed the Patriot Act got passed?  The Iraq War Resolution?

                            Because there is a rotating cast of Democrats who are cycled through to provide enough votes to make sure these things get done.

                            And, how can you look at yourself in the mirror with the level of disingenuous speech you are engaging here for the purposes of obfuscating who's at fault for the shit sandwich of HCR we got?

                            Do you for even one minute believe that if the Democrats had not excluded the advocates for Single Payer from the table there would have been arrests?  Do you also manage to believe that if the Democrats running that meet had said the capitol police "No, no, let's get them a chair and have them sit here with us and these Insurance Company guys..." that there would have been arrests?

                            Let me quote something very recent from Union leader Trumka on that subject:

                            It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside -- the outcome is the same either way.

                            Except in this case the Democrats couldn't even claim to be "standing aside" as they usually do. THEY WERE RUNNING THE MEETINGS.

                            Room at the table for every insurance company executive out there.  Not one advocate for Single Payer.  Not ONE.

                            And don't give me that this White House fought for a robust Public Option.  It is a well known fact that the Public Option was traded away in closed door meetings at the White House with the medical industry in exchange for them not going full opposition against HCR.  

                            Don't give me President Obama's equivocating speeches where he mentioned the public option.  Give me a reason why the Democratic Party spent party money on radio ads in Ben Nelson's district supporting him... as he sabotaged HCR.  And he wasn't even running for ELECTION that year.

                            We watched every move and every meeting, every speech and every step of the entire HCR process and you damn well bet the Democrats in the Senate are why we got the shit sandwich we got.  

                            A public option PASSED the House.  People like Weiner stopped lobbying the public to pressure their senators AFTER that point because the Democrats in the Senate AND in the White House made it clear that a robust Public Option was no longer on the table.

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 09:37:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, because Max Baucus didn't invite single payer (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Matt Z

                            advocates to those two meetings, all of a sudden it's "Democrats having Single Payer advocates... arrested" which, apparently, means that Single Payer will never be the law of the land... Or something.  Can you show me any evidence that shows that they should not have been arrested?  As in, yeah, they were breaking the law, so yeah, they're going to get arrested.  Again, this isn't an important point at all, and it just gets in the way of the real issues.

                            Yes, the public option passed the house.  It didn't pass the Senate.  It's that simple: Get mad at the Dems that refused to support the PO.  Obama supported it.  Weiner supported it.  They also both gave up on it when it became clear that it wasn't going to become a reality.  So, yeah you're right: Obama, and Dems, did "trade away the public option..." But they did it to get the overall reform passed.  That's politics.  You can say Obama should have stood tall, and not accepted anything less than a robust PO... But then what would have actually gotten done?  Would any HCR have been passed?  Maybe, if Obama played it the exact right way... But maybe not.  And if not, what then?  Single Payer in VT and CA is dead.  Thousands of young people still unable to be covered on their parent's insurance.  Preexisting conditions are still a reason to deny people coverage.  The system is still the exact same.

                            I'm also glad you brought up Richard Trumka: You do know that he is a pretty big Obama supporter, and that he and Obama meet regularly, right?  I've always thought it was funny when people accused Obama for being weak on union issues, considering that fact...

                          •  Yes, I know how the story was written. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Thanks for re-iterating it.

                            You know that if the Democrats had simply set the rules of the Senate so that the Constitution was followed it would have been possible to get a good Public Option, right?

                            That if the Democrats had started out with "Here's our table of interested parties.  On one end the advocates for Nationalized Health Care ala Britain and going down the line through Single Payer, Public Option and so forth to the other end of the table with the Aetna reps" that we'd have gotten a damn sight better bargain than we did by starting with "A public option or... you know... something that does as good a job as one for controlling costs...."

                            50 votes plus the Vice President.  That's what the Constitution says.  The Democrats in 08 confirmed rules that made sure it took 60.

                            And after TWO YEARS of utter obstinacy on the part of every Republican AND the usual rotating cast of villans-of-the-week Democrats they DID IT AGAIN.

                            Can you justify that?  Is there ANY reason why this is acceptable to you?  

                            Do you understand just what the Democrat's actions in this regard cost us?  Both in the 08-09 congress and in the current one?

                            At what point are you unable to believe the Democrats are incompetent or stupid and start believing they are actually quite competent and quite smart.  And getting exactly what they mean to get?

                            The White House, the Senate, and the national party crushed what hope I had left, in January of this year, when they proved beyond a shade of doubt that they are not, after all, on our side.

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 10:21:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ha, so you link to a story that disproves your (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Matt Z

                            point, and then you say that, well, that's just how the story was written.  As an example of how Democrats don't care about single payer, you link to an article reporting that people who broke the law got arrested.  Wowzers.

                            Now for the Senate... Again, I don't know the technicalities, but I'll ask this: Would you have been fine with Republicans setting the rules in the Senate in the same way as you want the Democrats to?  If so, alright... But you have to recognize, that with those rules, if Republicans get in to power, they will be able to get away with more.  Your argument is that it doesn't matter, because Republicans already get away with shit when there in power as is, so who cares if they're able to make it worse?

                            I'll cede you some ground on that third paragraph: Obama didn't do a great job, especially at the beginning, of negotiating the health care bill.  But that's it: It's not that he betrayed us, or sold us out... It's that he didn't do as good a job at getting what he wanted pushed through congress.  You're determined to think that this is because he didn't care, or he's in the insurance companies pockets, or whatever.  You don't even accept the possibility that maybe this was simply a political battle that Obama lost.

                          •  They can't do MORE. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            They get what they want done.  Patriot Act.  Iraq War Resolution.  Dozens of other atrocities.

                            Because there are always Democrats ready to do their duty to their masters and make sure what "needs" to be done get done.

                            Yes, these doctors and nurses broke the law and spoke out.  How... dare they.  And yes, the Democrats in charge of the Senate made sure they had no other option, no other venue to speak... but that's okay, right?  It's not the Democrats fault, they aren't responsible.

                            No.  They're never held responsible.  

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 10:50:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't think that, if Bush had only needed 50 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Matt Z

                            votes instead of 60, he wouldn't have tried to do more?  I get your point that a lot of the main legislation would still have passed... And I'd agree.  Dems from 02-06 were about as disappointing as they've been in a long time.  But I'll also say that they've been better since then: 09-10 was a more progressive congressional session than any since LBJ had even larger majorities than Obama.  But none of this changes the fact that, had Dems changed the rules, we maybe could have gotten more in the short term (although that is debatable; there would likely have been some political fallout had they done that), but there could be undesirable consequences in the long term.  There's the answer to "Is there ANY reason why this is acceptable to you?"

                            And for the whole arresting incident, all I'm going to say is this: You started that argument saying that "Democrats had  single payer advocates arrested."  The actual situation is not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be: Single payer advocates broke the law, and they got arrested.  Don't tell me they got arrested for "speaking out" and don't tell me that they have "no other venue to speak."  In this meeting, yeah, fine, maybe they didn't.  But holy shit, don't act like they were making some brave stand, and don't act like they were unjustly arrested.

                          •  Doctors. Nurses. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SoLeftImRight, caul

                            People who'd been fighting for a merciful system of health care delivery in this country against all odds and we finally had that chance, that once in a generation chance.

                            And the Democrats, and yes, I'll keep saying it, the Democrats did not even sit them at the table.  Can't have the CEO of Aetna bothered by these rable.  These... Doctors.  Nurses.

                            This wasn't just some meeting.  It was THE meeting.  This wasn't just a subcomittee of some minor House setting, it was THE congregation of those who would have a voice in the upcoming Health Care Reform bill.

                            Nationalized Health Care?  Not at the table.  Single Payer?  Not at the table.  

                            The Health Insurance Companies?  Oh, certainly sir, here, may I fetch you a glass of water as well?

                            This was not something that can be blamed on the Republican's.  This is the Democratic Party, at work.

                            And when these people stood and tried to speak they were arrested.  Could the Democrats in that room have waived off the Capitol Police?  Yes.  Did they?  No.

                            They broke the law.  Thank god some people do.  Otherwise we'd still have Negro water fountains and women would be chattel.

                            This nebulous fear of "oh no, maybe some day the Republican's would pass something horrible so we can't set the rules of the Senate to follow the Constitution, we can't set the rules of the Senate to allow even 5% of the legislation that makes it out of the House to even get a vote" is dishonest and self defeating.  

                            And it's an excuse.

                            The Democrats set up the rules of the Senate for the last two congresses and made it so the Republican's could stop damn near anything they wanted to.  And insured that the most conservative Democratic-Villian-Of-The-Moment would be able to stop any real progress.

                            It's Nelson, it's Leiberman, it's Conrad, it's Landreau... it's always one of them, isn't it.

                            Why?  Because that's the way the party wants it.  If they didn't want it that way... well, they'd not have set it up that way, would they?

                            I get that you won't hold the Democrats responsible for what they have done.  There are always excuses for lack of progress.  Always excuses for why a thing cannot be done.

                            Meanwhile, we're dying out here.  Fuck them.  And their excuses.  

                            I, for one, no longer buy their mealy mouthed excuses and reasons.  January 2011.  The Democrats, knowing exactly and beyond any doubt what the Republican's would be like in the run up to the 2012 presidential elections... set the rules to require 60 votes... again.

                            This isn't football or baseball where your team, right or wrong, is who you cheer for.  This is life and death for real people and the powers that be in BOTH parties have blood on their hands.

                            The Democrats set the Rules of the Senate. Don't like the President's nominee's being filibustered? Don't forget who could have kept it from happening. The Democrats. Why didn't they? They didn't want to.

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sun May 22, 2011 at 11:22:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, just to be clear: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You're totally fine with Republicans, when they have power, to set the rules in the exact same way?  Like I said: Fine, but you can't tell me that there wouldn't be some negative consequences from that.  Our government is set up, at least in some ways, to protect the minority from the majority, and you want Dems to change the rules so that is no longer the case.

                            And Jesus dude, if you really want to look at it as "both parties have blood on their hands," then you probably just don't have the stomach to follow politics.  This is the way politics has always been: Sacrificing the best to get what is at least attainable (Or, for Republicans, getting what you want through less than honest methods).  FDR and LBJ were the only two presidents in the last century to pass more progressive legislation than Obama did in 09-10, and they did it with larger Democratic majorities.

                          •  stop calling that legislation progressive (0+ / 0-)

                            Nixon's bill was not progressive. Empowering the for-profit medical care industry has never been, and will never be, progressive. The end.

                          •  Here's a challenge for you: (0+ / 0-)

                            Find me a more progressive legislative session in the last 100 years than 09-10.  I find that there are only two times where there were: FDR's presidency (with 68-75 Dem Senators) and LBJ's (with 66-69).  Care to prove me wrong?

                            "Empowering the for-profit medical care industry has never been, and will never be, progressive."  Right: So, by saying that, you agree that the only true progressive solution is single payer, right?  You also say above that "single payer was never going to pass, we all know that we're not dumb."  So, to be clear, this means that even the best possible outcome would not be good enough for a long term solution.

                            Here's the thing: we agree on almost everything... Just not in how we want to look at it.  In my opinion, the way forward on health care right now is clear: Follow the lead of Vermont and push for single payer in the states.  Highlight the good things that the bill does (significant, life saving things that you call "scraps") while also highlighting ways it could be improved (the addition of a strong public option).

                            What's your way forward?  To tear down the ACA and start over, even if it means the return of preexisting conditions, even if it means that Vermont's and California's plans for single payer are dead?  If you want to be that negative, and join the Republicans in demanding a repeal, fine... You'll find that even on proudly progressive sites like this, you won't find much support.

                          •  Your challenge is bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                            You're holding the bar so low that Obama passing Nixon's bill can be lauded as 'progressive' but that's stupid. Really stupid.

                          •  Great, so you can't do it (0+ / 0-)

                            You admit that the only times in modern history that Democrats passed more progressive legislation than they did in Obama's first two years was when they had larger majorities.

                            And, clearly, Obama's bill is not Nixon's bill.  There are similarities sure... Just as there would be similarities even if a strong public option had been included.  Because that seems to be what you are saying: Without a public option, it is shit legislation, basically a Republican plan.  With a public option, it is the best possible piece of legislation that could have been passed.  You've made it clear that you believe both of those things, and then you ignore the fact that the CBO says that there is a provision in the bill that produces almost the exact same outcome as a public option.  You ignore the fact that with this piece of legislation in place single payer is being passed in to law in this country right now.

                            Like I said, what now?  Do you use the ACA for progressive causes, or do you tear it down and start again?  Both arguments have valid points, but I think you won't find much traction with your extreme negativity.

                          •  you're arguments are a-historical (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rick Aucoin

                            First, concerning Nixon:

                            Yes, Nixon would love the Bill, it has so many of his ideas in it that if he were alive today he'd demand his name on it. You're wrong here. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

                            As to your cute little challenge, it's completely a-historical. I admit no such thing, you're simply projecting because of your woeful performance here.

                            Democrats under Carter were only interested in experimenting with Centrism: from politics to business, there was no road without a middleground for them to straddle. They were not interested in progressive legislation.

                            And then Clinton: NAFTA, welfare 'reform', DOMA, DADT, and a litany of other non-progressive items came sprinting off of Clinton's desk because by damn if it isn't bipartisan it doesn't count.

                            And finally Obama: defending DOMA, flopping on NAFTA, deporting more immigrants than any president ever, prosecuting whistle blowers more than any president ever, embracing the health insurance mandate after rejecting it first... there is a whole list of things that are not progressive about Obama.

                            LBJ and FDR actually fought, IN PUBLIC for progressive legislation. Carter, Clinton, and Obama could not run away faster from progressive's once the primary is over.

                            Also I'm not ignoring anything about the CBO: Kent Conrad's non-profit co-op plan isn't even a bandaid. That's what you and your friend Vyan have been harping about for the past two days, and what do you know it's nothing to be proud about.

                            Now stop calling the ACA progressive. It's not, we all know it's not, and simply repeating a lie over and over and over again isn't going to make me believe it like I'm a damned Republican.

                          •  Fine, so how is the CBO analysis flawed? (0+ / 0-)

                            You can't simply say "the CBO is wrong" and then not provide any evidence.

                            And, to a different point: Let's say I cede you every single one of your points.  Let's say, fine: the ACA is shit legislation.

                            Now what?  Are you fighting for repeal?  Are you fighting to strengthen the original bill?  Or are you going to sit on your hands and do nothing?  Because those are your options.  I'm choosing the second one.  I can't tell if you are choosing the first or the third.  You say it's "shit legislation"... Are you going to demand from your congresspeople that they repeal the bill?  Or keep bitching about it on the internet?

                          •  How is the CBO Correct? (0+ / 0-)

                            The CBO ASSUMES that 6bn will be enough to get the exchanges off the ground;

                            The CBO ASSUMES that these exchanges will be as good as their private counter-parts;

                            The CBO ASSUMES many many things which are not in any way concrete. For all I know the CBO is spot on about everything it says COULD happen, but it has to happen first.

                            And yes, I'm fighting for the repeal of the mandate. I'm not going to let some damned bureaucrat re-introduce feudalism in 21 century America through the fucking mandate. And no, I don't want the mandate strengthened, or the private market strengthened. I was a restructure of the healthcare market, so that it is no longer a market and healthcare is no longer a consumer good.

                            Stop being so satisfied with the scraps of scraps that Obama deigns you just barely worthy of. It's pathetic.

                          •  Good to know (0+ / 0-)

                            You're fighting for the repeal of the mandate.  Good luck with that.  Which do you think will be more beneficial?  Fighting for the repeal of the mandate, or fighting for the addition of a strong public option?  You'll find that you will join a much larger group if you join the later fight, and a group that is even more likely to succeed.

                            Let's be clear about this: Repealing the ACA is one of top priorities of the Republican party today.  If you want to help them out, fine.  There are arguments to be made for your side, and you've made them.  I'm not going to convince you of anything.  You've made your choice of how you want to try to influence the way our country is run, and I've made mine.

                          •  What a Joke (0+ / 0-)

                            Yeah, so I cannot fight to repeal the mandate and fight for a public option? Yeah. Makes NO sense.

                            There is no such group, because let me tell you pal I actually took to the streets in support of the public option, we actually managed to outnumber the right-wing nutters that came to counter-protest us in the southern state I live in, and the public option was still completely destroyed, and is now a political no-go as far as Congress is concerned. Your ideas here are not very good.

                            The Republican party will completely abandon the Mandate repeal if they get even a whiff of a hint that the Progressives will be meeting them in that direction. The insurance companies love the mandate, and if there was a chance in hell that the Republicans would actually repeal it, then the Insurance companies would step in and tell them to quietly fuck off.

                            You've spent this entire discussion admitting that everything I've said about the ACA is true, and yet you're still defending it. Guess what: You'd be unpopular canvassing, so don't do it.

                          •  The mandate is necessecary (0+ / 0-)

                            for keeping costs low... Here's the deal: Insurance companies like the mandate because it means more people buy insurance.  You're saying, basically, who cares if people get health care coverage if they're giving money to insurance compaines?

                            The ideal situation (besides single payer, which we both agree is unattainable at this point) would be both a mandate and a strong public option.  You fighting to get rid of only the mandate is not only a hopeless battle, but an unnecessary one as well.

                            And make no mistake: Republicans love it when progressives criticize the ACA.  They will not "completely abandon" repeal, they will welcome your support.

                          •  You're in the Wilderness Now (0+ / 0-)

                            The Mandate keeps costs lower than without it, not one is argument that. What it does not do is fundamentally change the system in such a way that healthcare costs become less expensive. Masking it doesn't make it go away. And yeah, I'm saying who cares if people get coverage through insurance: insurance was the whole fucking problem from the get go. Oh, so more people can be screwed - even against their will - by Aetna? Let's bust out the champagne.

                            The ideal situation has the mandate NO WHERE NEAR IT. Stop trying to make it out as if we agree on something when we do not: you think that the ACA is a good idea, or something other than a steaming pile. I don't agree with that assessment in any way, shape, or form, so please do not attribute such a completely incorrect thing to me.

                            And ideal situation was the PO and the buy in. That would have lowered costs. The mandate is a distinct, and BAD idea from the public option.

                            You've been wrong about every single other thing thus far, why should I trust what you think about the Republicans?

                          •  So, of course the only solution (0+ / 0-)

                            is single payer.  This is where we agree.  We also agree that, at this time, it is not politically realistic for single payer to be adopted as a national policy.  We agree on those two points, correct?

                            That's why I'm confused: You seem to be fully supportive of the ACA + a strong public option, even though that too "does not ... fundamentally change the system in such a way that healthcare costs become less expensive," as you put it.  Could you explain how I'm wrong?

                          •  Stop Saying We Agree (0+ / 0-)

                            It's insulting at this point. I said that Single Payer would not make it out of congress, you're trying to get me to then agree that Congress should not have even tried, and that's what's really pathetic about your argument. "Well, we can't have it, so we shouldn't fight for it." that's what you're arguing, and from comment 1 I've disagreed.

                            I was supportive of the public option, the ACA without the public option was not a healthcare bill.

                            It was, and still is, a health insurance reform bill.

                            And the PO DOES fundamentally alter the market mechanics of the healthcare industry in the same way that Medicare did. It is the democratization of a privatized industry, and no, Conrad's cute little coops are not the same thing unless Obama amends the ACA to have 600bn startup cash, then we might have something to vaguely agree on.

                          •  But we do agree on some things (0+ / 0-)

                            So I won't stop saying it.  We agree that single payer is the best option, and that single payer, as a final end point, was never available.  We do agree on both of those points, and that's all I have said.  I never said that "we shouldn't fight for it"... I've said "I understand why Obama didn't fight for it."  That's all.

                            Here's where we disagree: You think that the ACA is shit legislation that will lead the country down the wrong path.  I think that it is a decent starting point to build to single payer (as it is doing right now in VT and CA) and includes a lot of very good smaller reforms.  Note that I never said it was any kind of true progressive solution... But, of course, legislation does not have to be progressive to be good legislation.

                            Another disagreement: You think that Obama should have fought for single payer, even though a) it is not what he said he would do during the campaign and b) it was not a realistic goal.  Had Obama done this, one could easily accuse him of pandering to progressives, pretending to support a position that he knew was never going to happen.  But maybe you're right... Maybe if Obama had started out strong for single payer, we would have ended up with a PO.  But we don't know, and I think there are serious flaws with that strategy, which I pointed out above.

                            So let's be done arguing about the bill: You clearly are not going to change your mind that it is "shit legislation," (though you've also said that there is only one part of it that you actually want to get rid of) and I'm not going to change my mind that it is overall a good bill: How can I? Without it, if I got seriously sick or hurt, things could turn ugly for me very quick.

                            So here's where I'll make my last point: Good or bad, the ACA is the law of the land now.  So what now?  Can we agree, at least, that a full on repeal would be bad?  So, then, you say, repeal the mandate... Alright, then what?  Add a public option?  OK, and then, in order to drive down costs as effectively as possible, the mandate would have to be added back in... Right?

                            I asked before: What next?  You responded "I'm fighting for the repeal of the mandate."  I see this as both a foolish and a pointless battle to wage, for that simple reason: The ACA can be strengthened with a public option, and for the public option to work most effectively, there needs to be a mandate.

                  •  SoRightImWrong (0+ / 0-)

                    doesn't want single payer.  It is just another incarnation of the mandate. :)

                    We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

                    by August West on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:00:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL (0+ / 0-)

                  Paul Ryans budget is in fact a suicide note.

                  by tdslf1 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:43:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You don't have to answer because complaining from the sidelines is so much more effective.

                  Golly, we should always get our political advice whose plan is to do nothing.  

                  I can't believe that after all this time, there are people whose answer is to throw up their arms and go on a freakin' self-pity jag because they didn't get everything.

                  If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

                  by Dr Squid on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:47:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Says the guy who embraces (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  "retreat and surrender" from a simple questions on an internet forum. You would make an awful president. I prefer Barack Obama.

                  We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

                  by August West on Sun May 22, 2011 at 11:59:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  besides, there is no bully pulpit (0+ / 0-)

                "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
                I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

                by TrueBlueMajority on Sun May 22, 2011 at 09:10:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddhistfist13, Matt Z

          the bill's biggest opponents on the Left are generally either Single-Payer supporters or Public Option proponents.

          The fact is that the fight for both of these is not over.  The Bill allows states to implement their own Single Payer plans under it's "State Waivers" provision which the state of Vermont has already passed and will sign into Law.  Other States like California just might follow suit.

          This bill has made accomplishing this in progressive states that much easier.

          On the issue public option, as I've long argued that it wasn't just removed from the bill - it was replaced by a Non-Profit Option that is to be administered by the head of the Office of Personnel Management allowing him/her to Set Premium Pricing, CoPay, Deductibles, Profit Margin and the Medical Loss Ratio for the plans.

          This is written directly into the legislation.

          SEC 1332 (3) NON-PROFIT ENTITIES.—In entering into contracts under paragraph (1), the Director shall ensure that at least one contract is entered into with a non-profit entity.
              (4) ADMINISTRATION.—The Director shall implement this subsection in a manner similar to the manner in which the Director implements the contracting provisions with respect to carriers under the Federal employees health benefit program under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, including
              (through negotiating with each multi-state plan)—
              (A) a medical loss ratio;
              (B) a profit margin;
              (C) the premiums to be charged; and
              (D) such other terms and conditions of coverage as are
              in the interests of enrollees in such plans.

              (5) AUTHORITY TO PROTECT CONSUMERS.—The Director may prohibit the offering of any multi-State health plan that does not meet the terms and conditions defined by the Director with respect to the elements described in subparagraphs (A)
              through (D) of paragraph (4).

              (b) ELIGIBILITY.—A health insurance issuer shall be eligible to enter into a contract under subsection (a)(1) if such issuer—
              (1) agrees to offer a multi-State qualified health plan that meets the requirements of subsection (c) in each Exchange in each State;

          The only thing difference IMO between this and the Public Option is that the employees handling the plan will be contractors, not federal employees like in Medicare.  That's it.  That's all.  The OPM directed sets all the rules, but someone else will sign their checks besides the Secretary of the Treasury.

          CBO scored this replacement as being just as strong a cost saver as the Public Option

          This estimate incorporates the effects of the manager’s amendment,   which would make a number of changes to the Patient Protection and   Affordable Care Act as originally proposed. The changes with the largest   budgetary effects include: expanding eligibility for a small business   tax credit; increasing penalties on certain uninsured people; replacing   a "public plan" that would be run by the Department of Health and  Human  Services (HHS) with "multi-state" plans that would be offered  under  contract with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM);   deleting provisions that would increase payment rates for physicians   under Medicare; and increasing the payroll tax on higher-income   individuals and families. Of the total deficit reduction of $132 billion   projected to result from the legislation, the manager’s amendment   accounts for about $2 billion, and the act as originally proposed   accounts for the remaining $130 billion.

          People have argued with me vehemently as to whether this is the same as the "Public Option" or not - and that's fine.  I'll accept it's different. What they can't argue is that this option doesn't exist, it DOES, or that the CBO didn't say that it helped the deficit outlook just about as well as the plan did with the Public Option would have, they DID.

          If either single-payer or the public option is what you craved - you have something that is about as close as it could possibly get on the table already.  It's just outsourced.

          So do you want to fight for more of that direction, or attack those that defend what we've gotten in order to try and actually get more?


          •  oh golly gee the states (0+ / 0-)

            Yeah, I feel real good that the federal government failed the states so badly that now Vermont and California have to figure out how to manage their own system.

            "The Silver Lining" party is at it again!

            •  So, if I get this right, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1, foufou, Matt Z

              the only policy that is good enough for you is single payer.  I agree: In terms of long term health care, it's the only way to get everyone in this country quality coverage.

              But how do you get that in to action?  Do you say "Single payer or bust?"  As in, do you say, from the get go, single payer is the only solution you will consider?  That is the strategy that many suggested Obama to take... But what would it have gotten?  Would Vermont have single payer as a policy right now?

        •  Get this: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scilicet, foufou, August West, Matt Z

          I have quality health care insurance right now.  If the ACA hadn't been signed in to law, I wouldn't.  Solved that problem for me, which is pretty swell...

          But here's the problem with your argument:

          "Also please explain to me how passing something unpopular, which is still unpopular, is going to act as a springboard for change later."

          Counterpoints: Social Security.  Medicare.  Neither were popular when created... And neither were as strong as they are now either.  The ACA has slowly been getting more popular.  When it is more popular, it will be easier to make additions.  And tell me, with Congress barely even voting for the modest reforms in the ACA, how exactly would you, as president, get single payer passed?  You wouldn't.  You would fail, just like Clinton did.

          Doesn't solve shit?  Tell that to Vermont... Without the ACA, they wouldn't have single payer insurance now.

          •  Fail, The Definition Of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Your counterpoints are COMPLETELY worthless.

            Medicare and Social Security were both polling in the low teens, granted this was the time of CRAP polling, but we'll roll with it.

            Now guess what happened when they passed: they got REALLY popular. They worked, too, as a point of fact you shouldn't let fly completely over your head.

            The ACA has SLOWLY gotten SLIGHTLY more popular, and that's only when talking to voters about it vaguely. The mandate, the whole mechanism from which the rest of 'reform' springs, is as unpopular now as it ever was.

            Clinton never tried to get single payer passed, I take it that was a joke - good job, it was pretty funny.

            And like I said to vyan, the federal government shouldn't fail the states so bad that not only do those states have to keep paying for deficit-worsening healthcare costs, but they have to do that while trying to solve the crisis on their own.

        •  So you know about this health care bill? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Like the maximum people would have to pay in a year including deductibles and co-pays, even at income levels too high for a subsidy? Or at income levels that require subsidies?

          You know about the move away from fee for service for many groups?

          The percent of premiums that have to go for direct medical services?

          and so on?

          And knowing so much I'd guess you know CBO estimated public option to be slightly more expensive than other options on the exchange? (Admittedly it was a weak )

          The "insane premium increases" have been going on for many years, not sure how they are to be blamed on the plan that has not kicked in yet

      •  There in lies the problem.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Obama does not go far enough for lots of people.

        Paul Ryans budget is in fact a suicide note.

        by tdslf1 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:41:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As someone who has struggled... (8+ / 0-)

      with physical illness from early childhood, healthcare reform is a very personal and emotional issue for me. As a supporter of single payer (and later the public option) I was very unhappy with the bill when it initially passed, and was quite vocal about that. My opinion has changed considerably over the last several months. I have come to agree with the bill's defenders. Whatever the bill's shortcomings, some change is better than no change, and at least we are moving in the right direction. Many people will be helped and lives will be saved because of this legislation. That's no small accomplishment, and Obama deserves to receive credit for that.

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Gandhi

      by AuroraDawn on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:49:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better than Nothing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Rick Aucoin, pot

        Let's just call the Democratic party the better than nothing party huh?

        Let's look at it from a different angle: should Bush get credit for spurring economic growth vis-a-vis his perpetual war machine? Think of all the jobs that shuffling of money created. Why it just justifies the whole thing don't it?

        The Democratic party needs to stop being the party of the silver lining.

        •  On more than one occasion... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foufou, amk for obama, Matt Z

          I have been frustrated, angered and disillusioned by the policies and actions (or lack thereof) of the Democratic Party leadership. But I have no intention of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Scrapping this bill won't solve anyone's healthcare woes.

          Sometimes you just have to work with what you've got. Even if what you've got isn't everything that you wanted or needed it to be.

          I'm not suggesting that we simply accept the bill and move on. I see it as a stepping stone, and will be fighting to pass single payer at the state level.  For me, the goal is to have single payer healthcare at the national level. I realize it will takes years to win that battle, but I'm prepared to keep fighting.

          I can acknowledge Obama's efforts while continuing to fight for single payer. I can thank him for giving us a foothold.

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Gandhi

          by AuroraDawn on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:40:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree...lets push for PO... (0+ / 0-)

      since everybody agrees that healthcare is the number one driver of the deficit.

      Paul Ryans budget is in fact a suicide note.

      by tdslf1 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:38:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is not pushing from the bottom up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, dmh44, Matt Z

    Some like the top-down approach and are waiting to receive. This group is where you'll find the most vociferous Obama-bashers. They stood down after election night 08 and are focused on Obama.

    Others believe history instructs us that presidents are just the icing on a cake already baked before he takes office. These folks apparently did not expect revolutionary change in less than 2 years and so continued to work focused on removing Republicans from office.

    The Left does not know how to reconcile the fact that people say they like our solutions, with the fact that voters keep voting for conservative types and Republicans nationally and locally.

    People in other countries are overthrowing dictators and sustaining protests, but we believe that we just cannot overcome Fox News and Rush. In other words, as long as conditions are near perfect, we are ok. Buy when times are tough, we chew on each other rather than stand up to the real obstacles.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:16:36 PM PDT

    •  I think the opposite is actually true (7+ / 0-)

      we pushed from the bottom in 2006 and 2008 through the darkest times I could have ever imagined.  I think a lot of people thought after 2010 they could take a "breather" and that we could start reaping the benefits of all that hard work.

      The Tea Party of GOP overreach has shown that isn't true and I believe - like in 2006 - they have once again re-awoken the grass roots giant that allowed us to take back Congress and the White House.

      We may squabble internally in the meantime, but as long as that fights help us hone a stronger message it's a good thing.


      •  Then where are the results? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Matt Z

        When was the last time someone diaried about the 50-State Strategy? Have we abandoned that grassroot plan already? I think we are more focused (some even comfortable) when we are the minority.

        We have lots of work to do as the Congress is now in play thanks to Republican overreach. Time spent "defending from the Left" is wasted time.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

        by sebastianguy99 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:36:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  your # 5: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AuroraDawn, Sparhawk, Matt Z
    5) Gas prices are too high because Obama is ineffectual.

    I agree this point is bogus. Understanding energy prices and availability ought to be a part of good citizenship in this day and age. We do face a crisis and people need to understand it. We need to stop false narratives like this one.

    Your explanation cites oil company execs and closes thus:

    5) Since Obama is ultimately just one person I guess that means he can't set the price for oil either doesn't it?

    This may be logical, but it sounds funny, because Obama is holder of the world's most powerful office ... and quoting oil co execs is iffy since they may not be telling the truth in any event.

    What I would say is "what about the oil spike in 2008? and the long rise in oil prices from 2000 on? Maybe there is something going on here bigger than one president, hmmmmmmmm?" or something like that.

    And then I would cite rapidly increasing petroleum usage in populous countries like China and India coupled with global production that is really not increasing. But then one is presented with the "speculator" argument and one wonders what to say about that ....

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:27:43 PM PDT

    •  It's clearly a variety of factors (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AuroraDawn, mightymouse, Matt Z

      which was the Oil Execs point.  The Right-wing likes to say prices are up because of Obama's response to the BP spill in temporarily banning new well exploration in the Gulf.  Well, that ban is already OVER and didn't impact any wells that were already in production so what's the excuse now?


      •  Prices being up is good not bad (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, amk for obama, Matt Z

        Americans need to get used to high prices and low availability of fossil fuels and start to tailor the economy with that in mind.

        Or we can just keep prices low until some supply shock blasts prices sky high and implodes the economy all at once in a wicked depression the likes of which the planet has never seen.

        Your choice.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:07:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lie #11: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No redtailed hawk would willingly let its image be associated with this kind of bullshit.  

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:44:54 PM PDT

  •  You think you can win these people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    over by pointing out mundane things like "facts", "indisputable evidence", and "logic"?  Even though these people are the same damn people who supported Bush to the bitter end?  I laugh at your general direction.


    •  These people hate and are jealous of Obama... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Nothing you say or do on a board is going to change that. All of this relation building will need to be done in person, door to door. Other wise you are just pissing in the wind.

      Paul Ryans budget is in fact a suicide note.

      by tdslf1 on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The difficulty of arguing against republicans: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    it requires you to understand facts mean NOTHING to them.

    it is 2011, and well over half the people in their party still say climate change is a scam, and that its not happening.

    Whenever you have to defend Obama from the right, think about how they view climate change, an area of argument that has more graphs, math, statistics and data supporting it than any other issue argued over by the parties.

    Socialist Fuckstick No. 308273

    by culturejammer on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:15:15 PM PDT

  •  i hate to tell you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    just spoke to someone today, who thinks the "bin laden assassination was faked" types. which fits his already long-established "9-11 was a (COMPLETELY) inside job" thing, ala no foreigners involved, or populated planes, for that matter.

    and claims to think "limbaugh is just funny; beck is (now) a maniac"... they are cornered and coming apart.

    i hope this guy doesn't really represent the majority of young american men; i know at least two now and that's more than fucking enough.

    FUCK T.BOONE PICKENS AND HIS NATURAL GAS ENERGY PLAN! Failing Green Energy Wind Turbine Whore, turned into Natural Gas Fracking Whore! HE IS HIS OWN PETROLEUM WHORE! FRACKING RUINS WATER TABLES! FRACKING KILLS PEOPLE - even if it has not already!

    by theChild on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:23:23 PM PDT

  •  Very nicely done, and your (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, Catte Nappe, Matt Z

    graphics are terrific.  I'm saving this to cull when I need facts.  

    I have noticed, and I give progressives credit, that when you bring facts into the "Obama is a loser" arguments you get crickets, not reconditioned lies.  

    I'm a little unhappy about the crickets, but hopeful that maybe someone is paying attention.  When you just get noise back you know you've got no hope of getting through.  I'd never expect to get through to the hard core haters, but I have had good luck with people who are simply misinformed because of our media environment.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:40:18 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the ammo! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Hotlisted for future reference.

    FDR: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    RNC: The only thing we have is fear.

    by smileycreek on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:48:59 PM PDT

  •  The biggest problem with your diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knarfc, Matt Z

    is that it presumes fighting intellectual battles with the right is a worthwhile endeavor. It is not.

    If liberals are evil, christian baby killing sexual deviants, then explain to me how the Right is capable of being intellectual, tell me how we are capable of convincing them with words the merits of our positions. The right wing spreads lies, but only the right wing typically believes those lies.

  •  Fixed your tags. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zapus, foufou, Matt Z

    Great post.  

    Obama! Bumaye! Obama! Bumaye!

    by fou on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:04:08 PM PDT

  •  What do "facts" mean to an authoritarian? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zapus, Matt Z

    If the true facts spouted by their leaders support their argument, then they will beat you to death with them and feel a rush from the truth being on their side. If the true facts oppose their argument then they will argue their wrong viewpoint with equal vigor because knowingly supporting their leaders in spite of the facts proving the opposite is a way for them to satisfy their deep primal urge to yield to authority, and thus, they will feel a rush from submitting to their leaders. Either way, they get their fix, and either way, it matters more that they follow their leaders rhetoric, the facts be damned.

    So we can't ever argue with these authoritarians with facts, but rather we must find way to cause internal divisions between the sheep and their flogging shepherds and between the flocks themselves.

    And because they are often sociopathic as well, we cannot make arguments that relate to others, but we must instead frame everything in a way to address their own circumstances. They are psychologically incapable of empathizing with someone else's.

    There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
    I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

    by Reality Bites Back on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:41:43 PM PDT

  •  The "Stim" myths continue. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lompe, RASalvatore, Matt Z
    Should it have had fewer ineffective tax cuts in it? Definately.  Are Republicans the blame for that? No, actually I blame Obama for that one, since the White House mistakenly added more tax cuts as a way to try and appeal to Republicans who petulantly rejected the entire plan anyway.

    Even in a relatively "balanced" diary, we get a bunch of bull about Obama.  The folks who got the ineffective tax cuts put into the deal were pseudo-crats half-Nelson and Blanche Baby, along with the Maine (R) twins.  

    Getting the facts straight can be a tough business, even when we try to make the right points.

  •  Fact: Obama didn't honestly face nations problems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoLeftImRight, Sanctimonious, khereva

    The problem isn't "framing" or hokey answers to hokey "right wing memes".

    The problem is that it is a fact that Obama did not honestly face the nation's problems.  He didn't stand up and articulate the problems, propose real solutions, use the bully pulpit to persuade the American public about those solutions and, finally, he never fought for the solutions (having never proposed them in the first place, he had nowhere to go).

    Health care. Honest answer was insurance companies have no place in health care, German (or any European system that works) should be model and here's how we get there.

    Had Obama told the truth and proposed a real solution, Medicare Choice for All, he could have been a contender.

    The list goes on or every major issue, health care, military spending (why do we spend $1.4T vs. China's $150B?), Social Security. Taxes...good grief..Obama's restoring the Bush tax cuts was an economic and political disaster. Energy oil, killing the Climate Bill with giveaways to oil and nuclear industry that undercut the bill's supporters.

    So where can Obama go?  He  won't do what he should which is propose the real solutions. He has to pretend he accomplished anything over the last four years (he hasn't) so he can do the presidential charade.

    But to what purpose?  Obama offers no real solutions.

    At least go down doing the right thing for the nation.  Truth and courage are the facts missing from Obama's sad resume.

    •  ROFLMAO (4+ / 0-)

      The frustrati is funny.

    •  "Had Obama told the truth and proposed a real (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      solution, Medicare Choice for All, he could have been a contender."

      First of all, of course, Obama never proposed single payer.  No Democrat with a serious chance at the presidency did.  He fought for pretty much exactly what he said he'd fight for: General reform with a public option.  When the PO didn't have enough votes, he gave up on it... Maybe the wrong decision, but I would disagree: The PO simply wasn't worth scrapping the whole plan.

      And how, exactly, did restoring the Bush tax cuts lead to an "economic disaster?"  I mean, I'm also disappointed that they got extended... But, you have to admit, all extending them for two more years does is add to the deficit, which isn't really a problem in the long run.

      "Obama offers no real solutions."  Did you hear his most recent plan for the budget?  Even Paul Krugman says that it's a solid plan... Not as good as the People's Budget, sure, but the PB will never have a chance at passing through congress.

    •  Hahahha (0+ / 0-)

      Did you snap your fingers after this:

      "Honest answer was insurance companies have no place in health care"

      If I ruled the world... :)

      We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

      by August West on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You mean like Kucinich did (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      right before he got less than 5% of the vote in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY????????


      •  Personalities count. Obama could have been.... (0+ / 0-)

        a contender.  Kucinich gets a lot right but he is a bit wifty with Dept of Peace cliches that sound like something from a 30's campfire meeting.

        And that Kucinich was right and lost doesn't give Obama a pass to just BS his way through the presidency,  not honestly and courageously addressing US problems.

        US is in a hell of a mess and Obama is not facing up to his responsibility.

        •  When you pile (0+ / 0-)

          one pile of bullshit on another, all you get is a bigger pile of bullshit.

          •  Gore example proves my point. (0+ / 0-)

            You basic premise is political leaders can't tell the truth or they won't get elected.

            Gore 2000 proves that is wrong.

            Gore waffled and weaved  saying what is pollsters told him people wanted him to say.  He waffled on Elian Gonzalez, not saying what he would do, saying both sides were right.  All people really wanted was straight answer and Gore wouldn't give one.  Gore dropped 5% in polls after that and THAT is why FL was so close.

            After 2000, Gore suddenly starts telling the truth and he becomes hugely popular.

            So Obama could have told the truth. He knows that it takes Medicare for All, German type system. He could have said that, proposed it, fought for it.  If he lost, people would respect and vote for him. No matter what he would be doing what leaders need to do, tell people the truth and try LEAD them to the necessary right solutions.

            Obama failed to do it and the facts are hard against him on every issue in which he didn't do his duty.

  •  I rec'd your diary, although it is relatively (0+ / 0-)

    easy to defend Obama from idiotic GOP based attacks. As you found, just check and report the facts.

    The thing to remember though is that not all voters are idiotic GOP party loyalists. A key question might be what will the independents do in 2012.

  •  Thank for a great diary. A pleasure to read (0+ / 0-)

    a diary with factual rebuttals.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Mon May 23, 2011 at 02:30:15 AM PDT

  •  The hardest (0+ / 0-)

    one to defend is the stimulus because of the UE numbers and saying that "it stopped a depression" really doesn't work because saying things "might have been worse" is a really hard sell.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 23, 2011 at 04:43:53 AM PDT

    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

      where else did the direct reversal of that downward trend, and over 2 Million private sector jobs since 2009 come from - dumb luck?

      •  People (0+ / 0-)

        aren't going to care that there were jobs created. They are only going to care that we still haven't caught up with where we were. 9% unemployment is pretty rotten. Essentially you're saying well, we would have had 11% unemployment if not for the stimulus.

        Remember Bush Sr. talking about the jobs created in '92? Nobody cared because UE was still 7%.

        It's the policy stupid

        by Ga6thDem on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:18:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's true (0+ / 0-)

          people tend to look at the percentage number, not the fact that generally speakings we're no longer losing jobs, were gaining them.  We simply need to gain them faster, but the problem is - what's the strategy for doing that that doesn't involve either government investing (which increases the deficit) or tax cuts to business for additional hiring (which also increases the deficit)

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            Obama has ceded the conversation about the deficit so you're right. He's pretty much dug his own grave in this area. There's not going to be much of a job uptick before the Presidential elections in '12.

            It's the policy stupid

            by Ga6thDem on Mon May 23, 2011 at 04:32:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your work (0+ / 0-)

    in compiling these facts.

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