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It is that time. It is time to give up the defensive posture. It is time that liberals realize the best defense is a strong and robust offense. This is made much easier when morality is on one’s side. It is made much easier when what one supports is the will of the people.

Republicans came out with their battle plan to win the 2014 elections. It is nothing but a PR document. It is however a very effective strategy if it goes unchallenged. Republicans’ basic strategy is to lie by inference, lie by omission, and outright lie. They are disciplined and focused. They are committed to their ideology irrespective of the damage it does to most Americans. It does not matter if facts and evidence are provided. Republicans stick to talking points. The repetition of talking points has a tendency to become truth in the psyche of many low information or time deprived citizens.

Republican conviction to their Randian ideology irrespective of consequences denotes a kind of strength that many admire. It is irrational but results of our elections are probative. Americans know that Republicans do not look out for their best interest. However they exude the semblance of strength. Americans love strength.

The Republican playbook is really no different than what they are already doing. They have just encapsulated it into one 18 page document. It consists of the following:

  • Task their politicians to promote the three basic lies: Obamacare cost jobs by forcing employers to reduce hours; Obamacare causes health insurance premiums to increase; Obamacare causes people to lose the insurance they like.
  • Task their politicians to collect the stories of citizens who believe they are negatively impacted by Obamacare.
  • Task their politicians to write op-eds, create online videos, send tweets, send Facebook posts and use other social media to promote the false information widely.

More on the playbook below the fold.

The playbook is shallow and devoid of substance. It is a message without any attempt to provide any solution to America’s health care fiasco. However, its simplicity makes it that more dangerous because many scared, concerned, busy, uninformed and misinformed Americans can fall prey to it. The Republicans will follow the plan lock, stock and barrel.

Progressive politicians must not cower to the onslaught. Instead, they must go on the offensive. Progressive politicians are the ones solving and attempting to solve what ails the poor and working middle class. Republicans do not have any answers or solutions that they can point to over the last several decades that helped the poor or working middle class.

Americans however must see unwavering strength and conviction by progressives supporting progressive policies. Americans must be made to believe it’s not temporary. Americans must look at progressives and feel in their souls that they have someone that will fight for them. They must know that progressives will not cower or bend at the first sign of resistance. (e.g., a poorly functioning should not have sent progressives into a panic. Instead they should have put their heads together to modify strategies.)

So what should progressives do to counter the Republican playbook? They must not only go toe to toe. They must go on the attack.

  • Every single talking point is a lie and can be refuted in one or two sentences. Obamacare does not and will not cause job losses. Companies hire if they need more workers to maximize profits. Taxes or Obamacare has little effect on that. Obamacare premiums are coming in lower than expected. Moreover, since the inception of Obamacare, U.S. health care spending growth slowed to the lowest rate ever tracked. Obamacare is not canceling insurance policies. It is a financial choice by insurance companies that have free will within guidelines that protect consumers. Remember, Obamacare is not government takeover of health care.
  • Progressives must collect stories from those that have benefitted or will benefit from Obamacare. That turns out to be the vast majority of Americans. All Americans benefit from all or some of the following: Children can stay on parents’ policies till 26 years of age; policies cannot be rescinded; policies can no longer have caps; policies can no longer exclude preexisting conditions; policies all have a maximum out of pocket that will prevent bankruptcies; free preventative screenings are provided.
  • Write op-eds with these stories. Write op-eds that tell the truth of all the benefits of Obamacare. Flood social media with real videos of these positive stories (tweets, Facebook posts, Tumblr, Vine, etc).
  • ATTACK! Republicans have had decades to propose their Universal health care solutions. Now that a Democratic president has instituted a solution based largely on their own proposed solution, they object. Anyone who proposes the repeal of Obamacare without a concrete alternative plan does not care for or value the uninsured, the poor, or the working middle class. Every Republican lie must be countered quickly, effectively and with short simple easy to understand sentences. Then immediately put them on the defensive. Ask them why they want to reinstitute caps, preexisting conditions and useless insurance policies. Ask them why they are condemning many in their states to death by refusing a fully paid for Medicaid Expansion that their tax payers are already paying for.

Progressives have the moral high ground on these issues. Do not allow Republicans to challenge that. Do not expect any help in promoting the truth from the traditional media. Do not depend on the progressive politician to get the message out. Every progressive must do their part. The heavy lifting must be done via social media, door to door, via word of mouth, at grocery stores, in coffee shops and everywhere in between.

One should not despair however. Fighting a war in this manner builds the progressive base and makes it that much stronger. Many lasting connections are made. This permutes into a continual progressive expansion. Running on Obamacare and on progressive values with absolute conviction will bring both moral and electoral victory.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You WISH (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els, David54, northerntier

    And so do I.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:24:15 AM PST

  •  The defensive crouch is born... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...of appeasing the campaign donors.

    Their agenda is never one that embraces balance of any sort.


    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:28:03 AM PST

  •  Republicans lie? Unpossible! n/t (9+ / 0-)

    Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

    by ten canvassers on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:28:46 AM PST

    •  Too defensive (23+ / 0-)

      I am tired of apologizing.  ACA is awesome.  All complex sweeping legislation is imperfect.  But I want more Howard Dean-style campaigning.  Wear it like a badge of honor for what it does right.  We need spines.  I hate being the party of conflict avoidance.  

      No offense intended Armando.  I get and agree with what you mean.  It is how you are saying it that I have a fundamental disagreement with.  I want unapologetic messages and unapologetic messengers for 2014 and 2016.

      Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

      by ten canvassers on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:42:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Especially for 2014 Because That's Where Base (15+ / 0-)

        participation is extra important. It's less important or wise to water everything down for moderates who tend to stay home anyway.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:47:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ACA has serious problems (6+ / 0-)

        Stupid to pretend otherwise.

        •  but don't campaign on that! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LouisMartin, TheOpinionGuy

          We fix the problems and brush aside the attacks but run on what it does right.  Otherwise we get swiftboated.  I am tired of getting swiftboated.  Energize the base by highlighting what we have done well already, what good new stuff is to come, and what we will do next (e.g., raise minimum wage to $10/hr; get states who turned down the medicaid exemption to vote out the R's in charge and balance their budgets and help the poor at the same time).  
          The diary begins with

          "It is that time. It is time to give up the defensive posture. It is time that liberals realize the best defense is a strong and robust offense."
          So again, indeed, let us not ignore we need to fix the problems.  But we march forward on the positives while we fix the negatives w/o making that our focal point.   As Kos says, if you are explaining, you are losing.

          Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

          by ten canvassers on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:15:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hard to know until it's fully implemented (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ten canvassers

          I'm sure there are things that could well be tweaked, and things that will have to be worked out with regulations. (How big is a reasonable-sized network? what about the people who earn too little to qualify for subsidies under current law, and live in a state that refuses to expand Medicaid?)

          But many of those won't show up until after the law is implemented and people have their insurance. And the fixes will require some careful balancing.

          At the moment, as far as I can tell, the two biggest problems are the issues with the federal website, and the GOP Governors and legislatures that are doing the equivalent of Governor George Wallace barricading the door to the University of Alabama to prevent black students from enrolling -- deliberate actions to obstruct and prevent the law from being implemented.

      •  Yes, we also need to be proactive on other things (7+ / 0-)

        It's not enough to simply dispute their talking points. We need to present historical evidence that shows they lie and force them to dispute known facts AND then try to defend their false positions as well.

        The drum I keep beating for instance is on taxation of the wealthiest in America. Common wisdom says they are taxed too much already. If we tax them more and close corporate loopholes and raise tax dividends and capital gains to the same rate as payroll taxes the economy will crumble as the makers will cry and be unable to continue to create jobs due to the vapours.

        Yet I almost never hear the Democratic party point out that for a nearly 50 year period the top tax rate on the wealthy was between 70% and 91%, from the mid 30's until the late 70's. That was our greatest period of economic growth and economic fairness. GDP more than tripled. It was unparalleled in the history of at least the modern world. Wages were high across the board because unions pushed all wages up. Corporations paid an average of about 20% of all tax revenues, not the 8% they pay now. And we spent enormous amounts on government investements while paying down nearly 1/2 of a 121% post World War II debt in about 10 years and paying all of it off while ever growing our economy with large tax revenues and investments for another 20 years.

        If progressives don't demand explanations about why that can't work again (with a proposed 49% top tax rate on billionaires, closing tax loopholes that offshore money and jobs) no one else will.

      •  We are of like mind (0+ / 0-)

        on this issue and approach.

    •  I wouldn't say mend it or fix it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VPofKarma, ten canvassers

      I'd say make it better, continue to fine tune it.

  •  I tend to separate those two things: (22+ / 0-)

    the ACA and Progressive Values

    I'll support the ACA, (but I don't really think of it as "Progressive") a temporary bridge to Single Payer.

    The progression we need is one that leads away from health care as a for-profit enterprise.

    The ACA is a bandage that is going to come off in the shower.

    •  I too am having trouble seeing warmed-over (8+ / 0-)

      Heritage-RomneyCare as "progressive."  On the whole it's better than the status quo ante, but that's about it.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:07:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't get it all now all the time... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, fcvaguy

        Sometimes you have to get halfway there, so you can keep on walking...

        If you're only willing to get all or nothing, you will always get nothing.

        OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

        by Jyotai on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:42:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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

            That's how I see the ACA.

            Its a foot in the door. The GOP knows that too, so they're trying to slam the door shut on that foot.

            But once we've got that foot in there, and people realize they like this thing, then we can start talking about "hey, you guys love the ACA, but see this problem here, lets just tweak it a little..."

            Get there in steps of mending... But first we have to get there. We've got to "win the battle of hearts and minds" (horrid phrase that may be, its fitting).

            OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

            by Jyotai on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:57:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I wish Obama had just proposed the good stuff (0+ / 0-)

          -- you know, like preexisting conditions coverage, or under-26 coverage -- and left out the rescue of the health insurance industry.  

          But the latter is really what it was all about; the former is the sweetener to the pill.  Which is why I'm at best skeptical of "mend it, don't end it" -- ever since passage, it's actually gotten worse (e.g., postponement of the employer mandate).

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 04:40:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama was trying to appeal to reasonable GOP... (0+ / 0-)

            He made the same error liberals have been making with conservatives since we all crawled out of trees onto the open Savannah...

            He assumed the other side was mostly reasonable, and if given an olive branch, would realize a solution mostly designed to benefit them...

            But they've never been reasonable, and they never will be.

            OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

            by Jyotai on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 12:02:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Obama was trying to appeal to reasonable GOP" (0+ / 0-)

              -- surely he'd had enough experience chasing that unicorn by then to know that doing so was really rather foolish.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:38:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unicorns and Ponies (0+ / 0-)

                Seem awfully fun I suppose, until the poop on your leg and kick you in the teeth.

                I guess he just assumed they'd see a president, and not a black man in an imagined hoodie...

                I think he had a little too much MLK in him, and not enough Malcolm X.

                I dunno...

                I don't know what he was thinking... but you can see it all over his actions that he's been throwing out so many olive branches that tree is just about striped bare now.

                OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

                by Jyotai on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 10:05:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My point, which you seem to have missed, (0+ / 0-)

                  is that he should've learned his lesson about "appealing to reasonable GOP" by sometime around late spring 2009.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 04:06:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  It is progressive in the since that it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        progress.  Progress is moving in a forward direction, it does not mean arriving at the end point.

        “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

        by ahumbleopinion on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:01:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are in sharp disagreement with Republicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bud Fields, Naniboujou

        who see the ACA as doom for the Republican Party. Bill Kristol laid out the argument in 1993, in a strategy document for his Project for the Republican Future on killing HillaryCare.

        The sum of all GOP fears

           Passage of care plan, in any form, would guarantee and likely make permanent...the largest federal entitlement program since Social Security. Its success would signal a rebirth of centralized welfare-state policy at the very moment we have begun rolling back that idea in other areas.

            But the...proposal is also a serious political threat to the Republican Party...It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.

        Since the Republican plan, originally the Southern Strategy until Reagan took it to the North, was to protect the "middle class" (everybody who could claim to be better off than the poorest Blacks) from uppity Blacks, I should say so. This is the only thing that I know Bill "Stopped Calendar" Kristol to have ever been right about.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:18:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course I'm in sharp disagreement (0+ / 0-)

          with Republicans.  As the Democrats move ever rightward, the Republicans have the opportunity to move even farther rightward themselves.

          It's still a Republican fix to the economic/demographic threats facing the health insurance industry, with a few (granted, highly valuable) sops thrown to the people in the bargain.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:19:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  ACA is progressive (10+ / 0-)
      favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.
      Expanding health insurance to tens of millions of people who don't have it now meets this definition twice -- it's social reform, and it is a liberal idea.

      It's not the most liberal possible approach by any means, and there are arguably alternatives that are even more progressive than the ACA.  That said, it is progressive.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:16:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Progressives should stop shooting (20+ / 0-)

    themselves in the foot if they want to build a Progressive base.   It would help to stop turning up the nose because the ACA isn't single payer, but rather look upon the ACA as the bases to build towards a single payer solution.  

    •  But ACA *Is* a Single-Payer Solution... (10+ / 0-)

      …via the Medicaid expansion in those states that have embraced it and made it the most successful part of the ACA rollout. When, as in some states, four out of five ACA enrollees are enrolling Medicaid, single-payer is already a rousing success.

      Rather than pointing to some ephemeral moment when enough Dems are elected to Congress to get around to the Fix It part of "Pass It, Then Fix It," we should concentrate on electing pro-Medicaid-expansion legislators at the state level and expanding ACA's most notable success.

      •  Oh I don't disagree with you (5+ / 0-)

        but there are those who sport Medicare for all and not just for those who would qualify for it.

        I only use the ACA as an example of how we as Progressives tend to pile on with the criticisms instead of staying on message to advocate our point of view.

        I know that we tend to be more a big tent group, but we have to find some common ground that we can agree and promote to grow the base.

        •  Romneycare won't be that common ground... (0+ / 0-)

          …nor should it be, since it narrows the political discourse about reform to roughly the distance between Mitch McConnell and Joe Lieberman.

          Expanded Medicaid can and should be the common point of celebration; in one fell swoop it's swept away the neoliberal argument that "America's not ready for single-payer" and has also the potential to cripple those evil private insurers to which we're doling out hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars.

          •  This is a temporary situation (0+ / 0-)

            Firstly, the ACA is well to the left of The Senator from The Hartford, Connecticut. Pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, and many other features prove that.

            Secondly, we have single-payer for retirees, the military, and the poor, and will be able to expand them all. Some expansions will be at the margins, affecting relatively few people to begin with. We just got Tricare and VA care for same-sex military spouses, for example. Some already affect millions, to be expanded to tens of millions. Medicaid expansion is the biggest.

            The original Medicaid took 17 years to be adopted in all 50 states, with Arizona the last to sign on. This time it will be much quicker. One reason is that this time the doctors, the hospitals, and the rest of the health care industry are looking at tens of millions of new customers and at the elimination of huge unreimbursed costs. Another is that the Republican Party is in a slow-rolling implosion, running at the rate of about 1% of the US population annually.

            This is the same rate as the historical Federalist Party implosion after eight years as the original Party of No in opposition to two Jefferson Administrations. The Federalists won one Presidential election, in 1896, and became irrelevant nationally after 1815. They were replaced by the Whigs in 1833, after the ironically named Era of Good Feelings when there was nominally one-party government, but in fact the Democratic-Republicans were fracturing four different ways.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:53:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hadn’t thought of it that way (6+ / 0-)

        – and it’s and excellent point!
        And as fellow Kossack Brainwrap’s excellent tally shows:

        At least 716,707 people have signed up for the Medicaid expansion.

        “The meaning of life is to find it.”

        by ArcticStones on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:34:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Managed expectations........ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, newinfluence

      As a negotiator, my hardest contract was the first contract.

      You have to work with the other side to get a framework established for future negotiations and at least some of the particulars your side wants.

      On your side of the table you have to keep the fire going for next year and deliver what you can for the present without it being seen as a disappointment.

      Science? never. Art-form? always.

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:42:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We shouldn't make 2014 about Obama (5+ / 0-)

    at all. Obama is not up for election and right now is not in great shape politically. They should refer to it as ACA and tout things like no lifetime limits, etc.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:36:24 AM PST

    •  Lot Can Change Between Now And The Election (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Mokurai

      The government shutdown that boosted Clinton into frontrunner status in 1996 took place between November of 1995 and January of 1996. As benefits from Obamacare increase and the rollout debacle is forgottern his numbers will go up. He is a great campaigner and candidates would lose a lot by not having him out there with them.

  •  Shouldn't you be exhorting the conservative Dems? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You know, the ones who are running away from the ACA?

    •  Nobody's running away from the ACA. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Matt Z, JBraden

      And Boehner's backfiring stunt is a perfect illustration why they aren't.  It's already working, and enrollment is escalating.

      Now, the media will say that Representative Shithead (D-Somewhere) is "running away from Obamacare" but that's only because said Rep is simply using ambiguous language to talk about their position. "Yes, I do think we should strengthen the law" is the same to the media as "OH MY GOD IT SUCKS!"

      Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:47:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congressional candidates need Obama voters. (8+ / 0-)

    Running scared and looking weak rarely inspires people to vote for you. Congressional candidates need Obama voters to show up for them.

    In 2010, most Congressional Democrats didn't give Obama voters any reason to support them after failing to pass most of his agenda and running away from their biggest accomplishment. Look at Russ Feingold. Sure, he was progressive but he also publicly distanced himself from Obama and opposed significant parts of Obama's agenda, like voting against the financial reform bill. How did he think he was going to win Wisconsin after alienating the Democratic base?
    Candidates need to smarten up and not get so skiddish about the latest poll du jour showing Obama's numbers are down.

  •  The Republican plan is already in play and working (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Sylv, Naniboujou

    in my neighborhood.

    Appreciate all Dems in office and elsewhere with a spine and hanging in there.

    Easy to splinter folks when medical care is splintered.

  •  Problem is, Republicans are partially right (5+ / 0-)

    Look, I will point to 2 things:

    Myself:  Here in VA, I have an individual policy.  It was a good policy, $5K deductible, 0% co-insurance thereafter, $25 office visit and tiered prescription drug co-pay maximum $50.  The policy does not meet the full standards under ACA due to pre-existing conditions and required coverages (none of which affected me).  The best alternative I have now will cost me about $50 more per month.  This is a fact, pure and simple.

    Local employer: A local non-profit is in fact cutting back many employees to 24 hr weeks to eliminate coverage for these employees. Before Obamacare, they had a two-tiered plan in which part-time employees could get a mini-med, and then after 3 years with at least 1,000 hours they could move up to the full coverage plan. They had this for a long time, so that they could at least provide some coverage for part-time employees.  Also, I would note - they had a very good track record of promoting from within and boast that over 50% of their part-time employees have become full-timers within 10 years, they do not deliberately keep people at part-time.

    So, there are in fact going to be many stories like this.  Couple that with the gross rollout failure and the President's fuck-up and cave-in over the "if you like your health care plan you can keep it", I don't see how you can expect politicians to run on Obamacare.

    I agree with running on progressive values and countering negative stories with positive ones at the grassroots level.  But this was supposed to be Obama's signature achievement and the spectacular rollout and message failures have made it his signature failure, at least going into 2014.  I have high hopes that by 2016 we will see the benefits and improvements under Obamacare, but for now, you can't expect politicians to run on it.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:43:58 AM PST

    •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

      You're going to pay a lot less for coverage thats given under the pretense of no pre-existing conditions. Thats what allowed insurance companies to cherry pick who they would cover. That was one of the fundamental improvements in Obamacare. My policy was much the same as ours. I supported ACA fully knowing my rates would go up.

  •  What "Obamacare premiums"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is a legislated market for insurance companies. Nothing wrong with that and much can be said, in a free enterprise country, in its favor ... with basic protections grounded in past experience with this type of insurance in these marketplaces in modern times.

    Besides meeting the GOP's advocacy over-simple point by point, we need to defend the PPaACA with some descriptions of our own, that send argument points in our direction instead of starting with theirs.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:48:09 AM PST

  •  This WAS their solution. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "ATTACK! Republicans have had decades to propose their Universal health care solutions."

    One of the most powerful counterarguments and it happens to be the truth. They hate their own ideas because a black President agrees with them and they just won't stand for that. Next response, is to admit that there is one big huge difference...Romneycare covered abortions and Obamacare does not.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:07:48 PM PST

    •  The republicans I know, and there are a lot of (7+ / 0-)

      them, do not think healthcare is a right.  That is the very first hurdle to get over.

      With those people, I go right past the moral and right, and get into the dollars and sense.....remind them that their high premiums pay for moochers' ER care, and the huge fancy houses for the executives.  That sometimes gets them to come around.

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:17:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Problem is... (4+ / 0-)

      ...that a lot of Republicans haven't bought into their own solution for the simple reason that they don't consider the uninsured to be a problem.  If you can't afford medical care, you don't deserve to receive it is their attitude.

      To some degree, I think this has been true of the Republicans for decades, and the Heritage Foundation developed these ideas as an alternative to Hillary Care in order to derail Hillary Care, as opposed to really being sincere about actually trying to make it into law.

      And those who were sincere about it are generally the ones who have left their party.  So it was a Republican solution, but it's a Republican solution that the Republicans have left behind as they regress back to the 18th century.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:21:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, the republicans we know do not think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, ahumbleopinion

        that insurance is a right.  Their attitude if people cannot afford or do not have insurance has been...

        Oh well, too bad.
         That is their problem. If they really wanted insurance, they would find a way.

        They do not believe there is a healthcare problem and they do not believe the poor should be helped or those without insurance ..oh well.

        We heard the Oh well Too bad for them..mantra a lot.

        These people overall are very selfish.

        They yawn and get bored if we talk about the homeless, the working poor, the uninsured and so on.

        Make it about kids though, and that is how I got some interested in discussing it.
        They think all kids should have excellent healthcare but they do not think that needs to extend to the parents...but they will show empathy for kids ...

        Talk about poor and homeless kids and not poor and homeless and sick adults to get their attention.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at

        by wishingwell on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:56:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How come progressive values (5+ / 0-)

    aren't in the manifesto of DKos web site?
       Why is it only "support Democrats" period?

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:08:06 PM PST

  •  Welcome to Delaware (11+ / 0-)

    We took that approach in 2008 and 2009 and have chased Republicans completely off our landscape.  What was a 55-42 margin in 2000 is now a 65-30.  

    The trend began in 2004 with the founding of Delaware's Progressive Democrats who refused to let untruths go unmatched....

    Reality is it's own success.  Our past two Republican chairs have had to leave the state after the past two dismal performances.  Our Delaware Chamber of Commerce head quietly exited in shame as well...

    Try telling truth. IT WORKS.

  •  I support replacing Obamacare for Medicare for all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, lunachickie, johnnygunn

    That's a TRUE progressive value!

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:10:59 PM PST

    •  And what's your proposal... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, AlexDrew, rsmpdx

      ...for a political strategy to actually make this happen?  Because without a strategy, it's just a fantasy, akin to my desire to be able to borrow a TARDIS for a few weeks.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:23:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is and has been a stratagy in place (0+ / 0-)

        Vermont is moving toward a single payer system.

        If a state like California or New York become single payer states then I suspect the rest of the country will follow.

        No one ever said it was going to be easy. The civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement eventually succeeded.

        Or are you saying that the people we elect are just playing us for fools and we have no political power.

        When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

        by Unbozo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:50:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is really hard to promote expensive (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, a2nite, Choco8, lunachickie, AlexDrew, Unbozo

      individual private insurance as a "progressive value," even if most people would have the cost partially subsidized by the government--it's still wasteful, not to mention very confusing. The idea that people would love to shop for health insurance is just weird--people like being able to have health insurance, but having to shop for it--or, in some states, getting stuck with whatever one crappy plan the insurance monopoly decides to offer up--is not what anyone wants.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:32:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, fcvaguy

    All the pearl clutching about the roll out is bullshit.  Crisis and failure is sensationalist manna for the trad med; once the Obamacare "victims" start finding their new plans are better, there won't be a story anymore.

    Once the states that have built good exchanges, and the ones that have begun a public option, start posting good job and growth numbers, that will become the story.  And, just in time for next fall.

    Rolling out the ACA when they did was brilliant timing.  Yes we will need to spread the word far and wide, but the trad med will not be on this story much longer.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:17:02 PM PST

  •  I disagree that we should take every one of those (6+ / 0-)

    talking points and dismiss them as a "lie".  When you do that, and people know better, (because there will be many who do have hours cut, and/or have a rate increase, and/or can't see there favorite doctor etc) and we go around saying it is all a lie and untrue....then in essence we are dismissing them (voters) as liars about there own personal experiences with the ACA.

    Everyone is not going to be thrilled with the ACA.  Everyone is not going to come out of it ahead or have a better plan/rate/network.  It is just the way it is.  It would be no different than if we had been able to get single payer and taxes had to rise because of that.  Sure, the republicans would then be moaning the fact that some in the middle to upper middle class would have had a tax increase....would we say it was a lie when real people would see a real tax bill?  No, we wouldn't.  What we would do it explain that is was a necessary evil, in a sense, and that a prosperous nation and a better society must accept the idea that those who have more must help those less fortunate. It is the only way to make us all have better lives.  Taxes are not fun but in the end people will get more for their dollar.

    It is the same with the ACA.  There will be hours cut in some jobs.  My own husband's company is thinking this over as we speak.  It will happen to some and perhaps even many, and we have no idea how widespread it will be.  We can't say that is all a lie but rather we should promote the idea that it is the companies who are doing it that are wrong and not the ACA and it's needed application to a very real national emergency.  That should be the meme...that "we feel you pain and your company was a jerk for doing it and hopefully, in time, it will get better".  

    We shouldn't say "you are a liar and if your hours were cut, oh has happened before for other reasons then don't tell us about it because Sally down the road loves her free insurance.  That will never win support for anything.

    The same with rate increases.....if millions experience a rate increase and blame the ACA for it (and in some cases it will be because of certain provisions of the ACA)....we can't just say "oh well, it's a lie.  Even if you are paying more...suck it up, it has happened before because of X, Y and Z....and Sally down the road loves her free insurance."  No one will listen to that, if they are paying double or triple.    We need to explain why.  We need to tell them they now have better insurance and have better protection.  We need to explain that they can't go bankrupt or lose coverage etc. etc. etc.  We need to explain that they had low rates before because it was junk, or because others who had medical conditions were denied so they could enjoy a low premium simply because they were in good health.  

    This whole lie thing is silly, when there will be some who experience not so pleasant things at first....again, perhaps even millions.  People are not blind or that stupid.  They will see the increase or see the lack of hours on their paycheck.  They will blame someone for it, and it may be us, if we don't level honestly with them.

      We need to help them see why and that in the end everyone will be better off, even if they have to pay a little more or have to find a company that cares about their employees or find a new doctor.  In the end, everyone will be better off.

    •  Honesty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, Bailey2001

      AMEN!  it does not do our progressive cause any good if we ignore the people who will pay more because of ACA perhaps or have their hours cut because their employer does not want to pay for health care.  Robbing from Peter to give to Paul is not a good argument.  But, by requiring everyone to have health coverage that really DOES provide real insurance and to include in the pool young, healthy people helps our country as a whole in the long run by slowing down the cost of health care.  I also believe we are on the side of morality in this issue, but let's not diminish that by also only telling half truths that everyone is going to benefit from the ACA, not in the short term.

      What kind of things could Obama actually do to help those who are paying more??  Could he offer a reduced tax rate or something like that, or is that only possible through congress?

    •  Either we own it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and explain it to them, or Megyn Kelly & Wolf will. There are more winners than losers under ACA (sorry Mr. President, but its ACA from now on). But the "losers" must be told about the greater good.

  •  Tell it to the Prez... (3+ / 0-)
    All politicians must run in support of Obamacare and progressive values
    Tell that to Obama, who has been running away from progressives values since he took office.

    Obamacare is a ripoff of a GOP plan from Massachusetts, ironically enough.  

  •  GOP is better at in-message... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Sylv, ahumbleopinion, AlexDrew

    They've always been better at staying on message, while throwing up Red Herrings to freak us out and keep us from paying attention to the real game.

    We here love to ridicule the GOP Civil War and Cruz... But I'd wager there is no such thing - he's just a shiny ball for us to chase.

    Put there, even if he himself doesn't know it, to make their other members seem a lot more reasonable and a lot more able to slide one by under the table.

    Time after time, year after year, they've seemingly thrown a few of their own under the bus, looked defeated, and then somehow we wake up in the morning and see one of them in bed with us...

    On the Dem side on the other hand, we are willing to completely fracture and descend into internal bickering because we're only getting 98% of what we want...

    We are too willing to jump at the chance to embrace a "reasonable opponent" and ignore the knife he's pushing into out throats...

    We need to stand up, fight dirty, and recognize that every olive branch they hand us is laced with arsenic. That's just how they play it, and we need to stop looking for the 'reasonable republican' to form a 'gang' with because gangs are never reasonable...

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:38:47 PM PST

  •  I was down at the docks yesterday buying a (11+ / 0-)

    bunch of live dungeness crabs.  As I walked home, I passed a number of crab fishermen boiling up their catch in the parking lot (it's the thing to do here in Half Moon Bay - eat 'em on the spot).  I overheard one say, "Yeah, I signed up.  Insurance starts January 1.  It was a pretty good deal." Another guy said, "My wife and I are looking at the options now...just makes sense."

    This is how I know Obamacare will be a success story.  Regular blue-collar guys, sitting around drinking beer in the afternoon, talking about getting health insurance...not football, not insurance.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:43:45 PM PST

    •  Wow I am so thrilled to hear that, thanks for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      sharing and be sure to tell as many people as possible about this. Be sure to post this comment on other sites if you want, especially sites discussing ACA.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at

      by wishingwell on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:01:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been. Will continue to do so. (0+ / 0-)

        The ACA is a success story, despite whatever narrative the media thinks will bring the biggest ad revenue.

        Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:51:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Similar story here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      darthstar, JBraden, Naniboujou

      I overheard the cashier and bagger (both women in their 40s or beyond) at the local chain supermarket talking, and chimed in -- they're all part-timers, of course, and I gather have had insurance through the business but it's ending April 1. I encouraged them to go in person to the ACA office, which is practically walking distance from the store. They were pretty enthusiastic about having other options that might even be cheaper and better.

      I'm actually thinking many of them may be eligible for the expanded Medicaid. So whatever they were paying for the employer policies will be available for other spending.

  •  ACA/ObamaCare is not a product/insurance policy, (0+ / 0-)

    much confusion about that with low-information-voters.

    Only some on MSNBC are even mentioning that. Would take the sting out of "gubment take-over of health care".

    21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

    by geez53 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:00:01 PM PST

  •  Since when is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, Dem Beans

    this President a progressive on anything beyond "social issues"?

    Can we please be careful to not conflate the ideas of "progressive-ism" with "neoliberalism"?  The ACA is not the least bit "progressive" in execution, other than it puts some very important "progressive" regulations on insurers.

    I don't believe it's the diarists' intent--and I do, in fact, support the regulations on insurers and intend to continue supporting the ACA where appropriate. But I am once again seeing some folks trying to mis-appropriate the label of "progressive" to describe their corporate centrist pandering to Big Business, in order to "stay on top". There is a BIG difference between those two belief systems and I'll be damned if I'm not going to fight tooth and nail to keep DINOs from fooling everyone into believing they're something that they absolutely are not.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:00:33 PM PST

  •  good post. We lose if we run away (0+ / 0-)

    from the ACA.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:01:28 PM PST

  •  It Has Been Said Before But - (0+ / 0-)

    I cannot support a program which is so unsound.
    Literally a huge welfare program for the insurance and pharma industries.

    Quite a few of the front-pagers here once said that they would not support any program that did not offer a public option - - god forbid than anyone advocate for single-payer.

    I find the GOP actions repulsive, but that still doesn't mean I can come out in favor of something which I view as completely unsatisfactory.  Not slightly - but completely.  I won't attack it, but I won't support it, either.

    One should not be surprised that ACA is in the predicament that it is in today.  It could have been foreseen long ago.

  •  If you're explaining, you're losing! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Want to win?  Do this:

    1) Pick the positives you want to run on. 3 to 5 at most.
    2) Shout it from the rooftops all day every day.
    3) Deliberately and strategically overstate your case.
    4) Never explain, justify or apologize for anything. Ever.
    5) Ignore critics and aggressively reassert your positives at every turn.
    6) Repeatedly tear down and claim as false any positive your opponent runs on.
    7) Present all info in clear, memorable soundbites.

    This approach gives maximum time on message and maximum appearance of strength and confidence.  This is what the average joe/jane on the street is looking for and wins elections.  It's effective politics.

    Sound familiar?  It should - we've been on the receiving end for about 30 yrs now and it's not going to get any easier.  We need to start playing the game better.

  •  The ACA leaves health insurance partially (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the hands of private providers, which makes it unwieldy and complicated, hard to sell, and more expensive than it needs to be. We need single payer insurance, like most of the developed world.

    ACA is Obama at his best and worst. Marginal improvement of a corrupt structure left intact -- which leaves him, and us,  politically vulnerable to attack from the Right. This "middle way" strategy may or may not bear fruit, depending on the tide of history. Obama seems convinced that it will, and I hope he is right.

  •   bad strategy to ignore an opponent's best weapon (0+ / 0-)

    and i'm talking mainly about all those progressive orgs out there who ignore talk radio while it negates much of their effort- generally and specifically.

    lack of action on radio puts us way behind in messaging. and i'll keep repeating these points to catapult the facts.

    when it comes to attacking, there's probably few more efficient targets of activism than RW radio - attacking the opponent's strength is good strategy.

    and it's a tragedy that they have this profound advantage- an advantage that gets a free speech free ride because it can't be read and it's headache-producing to listen to.

    so we can generally assume that talk radio is working for them as part of a broader corporate media assault but there is no measure of how many times those lies are reinforced every day or to how many people from 1200+ radio stations that often piggyback and depend on our state funded universities. and radio is where the groundwork for selling those lies gets done, by local and national talkers, and well coordinated by their think tanks and probably using a lot of paid callers.

    talk radio is the main obstacle/opponent here- without that advantage the RW obstructionists and their discourse distorting think tanks will have to compete straight up with facts and truth.

    and as long as our major orgs continue to ignore talk radio progressives have to depend  generally on a passive absorption of facts and truth relative to the coordinated ubiquitous blasting of BS the RW is capable of.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:17:53 PM PST

  •  This is exactly the worst possible strategy (0+ / 0-)

    The right is resorting to lies because the truth would expose not the bankruptcy of their opposition but their corruption.

    The US spends nearly $3 trillion a year on "health care" - in parentheses because 1/2 of that money is sheer waste. The ACA, if its supporters are right, will reduce that cost by $19 billion a year - literally a rounding error. What it really does is transfer the costs of a corrupt system from employers to federal tax subsidies. Progressivism?This would be doctrinaire fascism if it weren't for the regulatory improvements in benefits - and especially the increased Medicaid eligibility. But the right cannot oppose the ACA on fiscal grounds - their natural and truthful position - because a truth based "conservative" argument would have to call for removing as much waste and corruption as possible - putting as many insurance company executives  and Congressmen and Senators as possible in jail.

    But the ACA's supporters are ultimately in a worse position. Defending the ACA means ultimately to defend the waste (theft) of trillions of dollars - the fact that that waste (theft) was already occurring is no defense. At this level it is the supporters who are the worse hypocrites.

    Do not fall into the trap of attempting to refute the right's threats. They have the power and the inclination to carry out those threats, regardless of the economic truth or falsehood of their justifications. Businesses will cut hours - just because they can, and because they believe that they would benefit by it. The ACA will have nothing to do with it, but it will provide a convenient excuse. If prices do not rise it will have nothing to do with the ACA - prices are always as high as the market will allow. If insurance companies cannot raise prices doctors and hospitals will, unless prices are already as high as they can go.

    The diarist's recommendation that we attack by pointing out the improvements in benefits is sound, but has to be done with discipline. The insurance companies did not limit benefits because it was too expensive, but because they were stealing the money. Doctors are not refusing Medicaid patients because Medicaid does not pay enough, but because insurance companies, and office landlords and student loan providers, are costing doctors too much - Medicaid lowers costs enough to compensate for its lower payments - if it doesn't those costs should be lower, not the payments higher. Speak the truth and stay on subject.

  •  Fired UP! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty, If your cup is full may it be again

    by VPofKarma on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:56:52 PM PST

  •  So right! (0+ / 0-)

    Progressives need to take an aggressive stance in countering Republican lies - and should show that they are proud to be liberals/progressives. I would like to share a little anecdote on this point - when Dukakis was running for president, he was "accused" of being a "liberal." In other words, at that time the opposition managed to turn the word "liberal" into some kind of a slur. I recall my dad, who was very much a liberal, was annoyed with Dukakis for trying to distance himself instead of being "branded" by the "L" word - my dad said that Dukakis should've proudly embraced the label and said yes, I AM a liberal, and proud of it.

    My dad's comment floats into my mind often. I consider that Dukakis appeared weak in his eyes; how much worse, then, does someone appear to those not already committed if he runs away from that label? The point, then, is this: Democratic politicians should be proud of being liberals, and fight back against the way the term has been vilified by the right by embracing the term - although I don't mind if they wish to substitute the term "progressive" instead.:)

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:58:45 PM PST

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