The politics of defeating the health care bill

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 12:00


During the public option fight, I didn't focus much on the political ramifications of the health care bill.  But now, with that fight seemingly over, and my attentions turning toward electing more Progressives / progressives in 2010, I give it a shot in the extended entry.

Lots more in the extended entry

Chris Bowers :: The politics of defeating the health care bill
1. The health care bill is historically unpopular
Back in August, I looked through polling data since 1993 to try and find the least popular pieces of legislation that passed into law.  There were not many instances where Congress passed a law that was unpopular at the time of passage, but NAFTA and the Wall Street bailout were among the few examples I did find.  The health insurance bill comes in at roughly the same level of unpopularity as those two bills:

2. Even if the bill is defeated, the bill is still unpopular, and the base is still demoralized
Despite the bill's unpopularity, Democrats don't get to escape from it if they defeat it now.  There is historical precedent for this:  an unpopular health care reform didn't pass in 1994, and that defeat did not save Democrats at the ballot box that year.  Quite the opposite, really.

If the bill goes down, it is because of Republican leadership.  They get credit for it, while Dems are still the party that spent all of 2009 pushing an unpopular bill.  Plus, Democrats look lame and ineffective, too.  Defeating the bill does not improve the political picture for Democrats.

As far as the base goes, as I explain in point number four below, defeating a bill that is still very popular among Democrats is not going to rev up the rank and file.

3. The health care bill would have been unpopular even with a robust public option
Even if the health care bill had a Medicare +5% public option, and a Medicare buy-in, and a 90% medical loss ratio, it still would have been unpopular.  No matter the popularity of those individual provisions (see here for the public option, and here for the Medicare buy-in), whatever bills they were included in were still unpopular.  Because of the general disconnect between the popularity of individual provisions in the bill and the popularity of the overall bill, progressive activists were looking to pass an historically unpopular bill, too.

4. The health care bill remains popular among Democrats, complicating the primary picture for Progressives
If we want to use primary elections to elect more Progressives and progressives to Congress, having our candidates vote or argue against the health care bill would hurt our cause.  While the exact numbers are quite varied, every poll still shows the health care bill to be very popular among Democrats.  PPP shows (PDF, page 8) Dems favoring the bill 83-14, Gallup shows 76-17, and Quinnipiac shows 65-25.  These numbers are even higher for self-identified liberals.

The primary rank and file is behind this bill.  As such, if Progressive / progressive candidates break with the rank and file of the party on this, it will make our efforts to help those candidates win primary challenges much, much harder.  More right-wing primary candidates would actually be able to use our opposition to the bill to outflank the Progressive / progressive candidates with the liberal rank and file.

Further, those right-wing candidates could very conceivably get White House support in the primary, as Rahm seeks payback for Progressives who crossed the White House.  The ongoing popularity of President Obama among the primary rank and file would be further devastating to Progressives in primaries.  All of this would mean that we not only get beaten on the public option, but that we end up getting beat in primary after primary, too.

5. Hard to see how we can defeat the health care bill
Finally, I don't even think we can defeat this bill.  And, after apparently losing the public option fight, I am not particularly eager to immediately turn around and lose another health care fight.

The Senate likely has 60 votes.  Burris is preparing to justify his vote in favor.  None of Feingold, Brown and Wyden have made any noise about defeating the bill.  Expect Bernie Sanders to go along, too.  60 votes are locked in, from what I hear.

In the House, the Lieberman deal on the public option likely gained more votes from Blue Dogs than it lost from Progressives.  The only thing that could still derail the bill would be Representative DeGette's anti-Stupak bloc.  However, almost every member of that bloc already voted for the bill with Stupak language in it.

Finally, what arm-twisting the White House does successfully is almost entirely directed at the more progressive members of Congress.  The White House flipped huge numbers of Progressive votes on the bailout, for example.  Afghanistan, too.  Plus the White House can, and actually does, credibly threaten Progressives who cross them with primary challenges.  (Emanuel does everything he can for conservative Democrats, but plays real hardball with Progressives.

*****

I don't intend to help this bill pass.  If progressives get backstabbed by Lieberman and then ordered to cave at the finish line, then as far as I am concerned the White House has made its own bed with this.  They can try and pass the bill, but they are going to have to do it on their own.  I'm not helping.  In fact, I kind of just want to hang out in the tall grass for a while and plot my revenge.

I am also not going to begrudge any progressive organization that works against this bill.  Nor will I begrudge any member of Congress who is a co-sponsor of HR 676 and who votes against this bill.  The last thing I am going to do is join in with the browbeating of Progressives.  Again, if the White House wants Progressive votes and progressive support, then they have to do it on their own.

I strongly recommend to anyone who does work to defeat this bill make their calculations based entirely on policy, rather than on politics.  If you oppose the bill because you think it is bad policy, then do what you feel you have to do.  However, as far as the politics goes, because the bill would be unpopular even if we won our demands, because Democrats would still take a real hit from this bill even if it doesn't pass, because progressives probably can't actually defeat the bill, and because it would make winning Progressive / progressive primary challenges a lot more difficult, defeating this bill does not add up as a political calculation for progressives or Progressives.


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So we're screwed? (4.00 / 1)
Is it just a matter of how hard we're f*cked? Who knew that something that was supposed to be so good would end up so crappy. Will we ever get universal health care in this country, let alone a universal single-payer system?

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

Let Them Campaign And Elect Themselves! (4.00 / 2)
Next year when the Democratic party starts calling me and asking for donations and for me to campaign for them they going to get one response:

F-U! You betrayed us on everything. You can contribute to yourselves, and re-elect yourselves!

Sen. Michael Bennett's (D-CO) campaign left me a message last night that he's having a "town hall meeting" and that he's:

"enormously optimistic that we're on the right track again, getting our economy moving again, passing real health care reform, and reigning in the abuses of Wall Street. Listening to and fighting for Colorado is one of the great privileges of this job."

Well, I'd be "enormously optimistic" too if any of that were true. But, from where I sit Senator, all I see is an endless series of cowardly retreats in the face of right wing attacks: a piece of shit health care bill that does NOTHING to move us to universal coverage and is an enormous giveaway to the insurance industry criminals who are fleecing us, alongside the wall street tycoons who contemptuously give themselves huge bonuses after destroying our economy.

Oh, and we are escalating the war. Just for a bonus feature!

It's nearly as if we re-elected George Bush!  


[ Parent ]
I Forgot To Mention! (4.00 / 8)
I seriously doubt that ANYBODY in America will be happy with this piece of crap!

Democrats who don't follow the daily ups and downs of exactly what's IN the health care bill may tell pollsters that "they are in favor of the health care bill" -- but that's because they think it's going to solve the health care problems by providing for universal coverage and affordability.

It won't be long before they discover that's totally wrong and the the bill as passed does NOTHING to make health care more affordable or available to those in need. In fact, insurers are going to RAISE their rates just to make SURE America hates this bill and to punish the Democratic Congress so they doen't ever try anything like this again.

Meanwhile Republicans will be chortling that they "stopped the socialist takeover of health care." They will cheerfully vote out every Democrat they can.

This is a total flaming disaster any way you look at it. Flat total failure at every possible level.

I don't know who these "democratic base voters" are, but I don't know ONE SINGLE PERSON who favors this garbage. Everybody either is a conservative who wants it defeated -- or a liberal who wants universal coverage and is angry that it's not included.  


[ Parent ]
You're talking to the wrong crowd! (4.00 / 2)
Seriously, I mostly agree with you on the policy, but I know a bunch of people who are basically liberal Democrats, like Obama, are happy he's "trying to get health care" and hate the evil Republicans who are opposing him.  We need a reality check sometimes to remind ourselves that we pay way more attention to politics than normal people.

[ Parent ]
Wait until they find out... (0.00 / 0)
...that they will be forced by law to pay and subsidize insurance companies every month, whether they want to or not.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR

[ Parent ]
Answers (0.00 / 0)
Yes to the UHC and No to the Single payer happening in our lifetime.

[ Parent ]
I don't know (4.00 / 14)

 Obama has decided to fail as a president. In every issue before him -- the wars, Wall Street, health care, gay rights -- he's taken the right-wing side of the debate. The same side Americans rejected decisively in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

 Obama has indulged Joe Lieberman at every turn, despite ample opportunities to marginalize him at various points. He did this, one presumes, to secure Lieberman's cooperation and support on certain big issues. Good thing that's worked out so well.

 So Obama has clearly chosen a path of failure, and when the details of this joke of health-care "reform" become palpable to the public, his numbers will go down even more than they have. He'll be politically toxic, like Clinton in 1994.

 Against this backdrop, the less associated a congressional or senatorial candidate is with Obama, the better his chances will be. And I think that the progressives should seize this opportunity to establish some serious distance between themselves and Obama. Obama wouldn't mind, would he? After all, Obama HATES to be called a "liberal" -- the progressives, in uniting to sink the bill, would be doing Obama a huge FAVOR. Obama could blame the liberals and thus assure the public he's not one of them. Win-win all around.

 Because Obama's revealed himself to be a conservative (not even a "centrist"), his personal reputation is irrelevant to the progressive movement. If he wants to wreck the Democratic Party, we need to make sure it's only the DLC club car that winds up in the crash. Progressives need to stay the hell away from this trainwreck.

 So I say we kill the bill. The Dem base might support "reform" now, but I seriously doubt they'll support this "reform" once the details become clear.

 

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


Excellent points - (0.00 / 0)
Let Obama commit suicide with this health care bill. You're totally right. He brought this on himself, beginning with the big Pharma deal. No, not beginning there, beginning with his insistence on sticking with vague principles, such as not increasing the deficit and expanding coverage to more people. Right, expand coverage to more people, but how, Mr. Obama, how? Take your stand for the people, Mr. Obama. He failed.

As this post says, the Democratic Party - under Obama - can go down too.

Progressives in the party should use this opportunity to distance themselves from the 'centrists.'

How do we do that? Let's get a campaign to rally the Progressives of the Democratic Party!

If health care reform is a watershed moment, the moment is now!

But how do we do that?


[ Parent ]
Perhaps this sort of analysis needs to be done earlier (0.00 / 0)
Given that several political actors seem to work more based on what they believe about the political ramifications than what they think is good policy.

If one wanted to block the bill, perhaps the better bet would be to enable Stupak's bloc if the overall bill doesn't include his language, since they've actually proven to be able to stick together.  I have a bit more faith in the ability of pro-life progressives such as Kaptur, Oberstar, and Obey to actually stand their ground and not cave when motivated.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


Are you serious? (0.00 / 0)
You want to let the Stupak Democrats pass a health care bill? Do you realize that would mean serious encroachment on a woman's right, under Constitutional rights to privacy, to choose abortion?

[ Parent ]
Heartbreaking (4.00 / 1)
I can't help but to support Obama until the bitter end, but if this plays out as expected my enthusiasm and hopes are dashed and diminished. It feels horrible. The medicare buy-in should never have been dangled about. It turned Lieberman's double-cross sucker-punch into a devastating blow. Its going to be hard to get over this one.

I don't support Obama anymore (4.00 / 10)

  Like I said above, he's always taking the right-wing side of every issue before him. This after promising "change" as a central campaign theme.

  I can't support a right-winger, whatever his party label.

  His remaining fans keep assuring us that if we don't back him up, he'll become a hobbled and ineffective president for the rest of his three years in office. But that ignores the fact that (a) he's been extremely ineffective in his first year, and (b) do we want him to be effective if all he's going to do is indulge the right?

  Yes, he's supposed to have this great progressive agenda that he'll eventually unveil. Sure. We need to wake up. To quote John Fogerty, someday never comes.

 I've cut the cord. I'm a liberal and a progressive. I'm only a Democrat if the party lives up to liberal and progressive ideals. Which it shows no interest in doing.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
So Jack, join the Full Court Press (4.00 / 1)
It's a way that we can go beyond anger, make them pay.  Develop some progressive infrastructure.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
Wow... (0.00 / 0)
You REALLY need to learn the difference between what a right wing view point is.     Center or Center Right I'll give you.    But the Palins, Becks, Thunes of the worlds are RIGHT WING.   Just because you aren't happy (and rightfully so) don't make stupid things up.

[ Parent ]
Here's an exercise for you (4.00 / 3)

 Over the last year, identify a policy decision Obama has made in which he took the more progressive option of the choices before him -- or pressured Congress to deliver such.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
Not the point... (4.00 / 1)
Without Googling, off the top of my head, He did sign the Equal Pay Bill and the Hate Crimes Bill in law.  A right winger would not have done that.  He scrapped the Bush Missle Defense system... again, something a Right Winger wouldn't have done.   The bill to extend unemployment in Nov was minor but not RW.      There are some others like Credit Card Reform that is not RW, and is arguably progressive DEPENDING ON THE POV.    

So go back and read what I wrote.   Not ONCE did I say his actions were that of a progressive.   I said lumping his decisions into the same category as Palin, Thune, Etc is just wrong.   You have this simplistic black and white view of the world (really the same view that people like PALIN, BUSH and Beck have, just opposite of their beliefs).  The world doesn't work that way and anyone who thinks it does is extremely ignorant.   I'm not saying don't be disappointed.   I'm not saying his choices have been progressive.  But to call him a right winger shows you either don't know what a right winger is, are upset and spouting incorrect, stupid things or just feel like lying.   I'll choose to believe its number two as I can understand being upset.  I am myself.    


[ Parent ]
Just read Taibbi on (4.00 / 3)
the takeover by Rubinites and Goldman sachs and you'll see the same pattern emerging on health care reform. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, or is it shape-shifting?

Gotta face it - the libertarian cynics may have it right after all - it's all about money and power. The rest is padding. Obama is simply one more tool for the oligarchy to work its magic, turning the country into a neo-feudal state - just as Paul Rosenberg says.

All you needed to know about Obama is that he appointed rahm, Hillary, geithner, summers and gates. The rest followed as naturally as winter following fall. Obama is surrounded by chicago buddies whose expertise is local, not national and it shows. As for the rest - the forces of the status quo are far stronger than progressives give them credit because they are a naturally optimistic bunch. Lucky tea-baggers - they get to criticize without ever having to propose a solution.

So progressives cannot become tea-baggers, because one needs a certain crassness and stupidity for that, "virtues" that progresssives tend to shun, being for the most part, an educated, lovvy-dovvy bunch. But they CAN learn to play hard-ball. Even Lincoln and martin Luther King did that. We may just not be desperate enough yet. Though I'm sure that in time, not too distantly, this will be rectified.


[ Parent ]
LOL (0.00 / 0)
1) Well, even Paul can be somewhat correct once in a blue moon.   The system is corrupt and thats that.    Of course to get Paul's point you have to wade through 5 pages of utter hack writing and sayings that make him come off as a douche.   Sorry, can't stand the guy.  Can't stand his writing...   It makes me want to stab my eyes it, its so bad.

2) I have read Matt.   I've actually met him once as well (he was kind of an arrogant douche, although that's a hallmark of a lot of writers I know).    He makes some good points.  He makes some really fallible arguments that don't stand up.    His research is so-so.   Regardless though, please, don't be foolish enough to use one mediocre opinion columnist from Rolling Stone as your basis and argument of fact.  That's as ignorant and stupid as the RW morons who base all their views on Rush, Beck and the rest of the idiots.    Matt is the soup of the day.

3) I'm not sure I'd call any group lucky who is nicknamed after a sex act.   I also wouldn't want to become a member of said group.

4) I will agree on the forces of the status quo.    Until you find a way to ban lobbyists and federally fund campaigns with hard limits, anyone with out access is fucked.

5) I would say some of the tactics of the RW protestors are similar to the Anti War protests of the 60's, except the RW are idiots protesting worthless shit.    I think progressives could re-channel the 60's protestors in some ways.


[ Parent ]
Thanks for the comment, even if (0.00 / 0)
you are not being altogether fair. and I was late reading your comment. sorry but, you must know how it is.

I'll spring to both paul's and matt's defense. must be done. Paul is a natural wonk who is often original and puts his finger on most of the sore points that ail us in his own way, though I admit, one must wade for a while to get there. I do sometimes wish he perfected a glenn greenwald like lawyerly layout of the arguments (though, in all fairness, glenn  too take some reading through. neither is for the ADD crowd, that's for sure).

Taibbi can indeed be careless with facts and his argumentation technique may be occasionally sloppy, but the overall analysis is spot on. He takes on the evidence that we already are a corporatocracy and does so in an entairtaining manner that matches the magazine he writes for. Sure, doesn't write for the NYT and  that's fine - if one is willing to see the forest not just check them trees. Compare to the feint of heart - the great compromisers like krugman - our heros who are forever quick to fold in the face of push back. And he can certainly write, but does he have the guts to go with the brain and the craft?

And I can cite many other than Taibbi who make similar points since the point - that the corporate is becoming one with the state - is becoming pretty obvious under Obama (with shrub, we could delude ourselves). matt and paul - as well as glenn - are gut level writers - each in their own way - they call the truth as they feel it - deep in the soul. A few extra words is a small price to pay for such company when we are all heading into the heart of darkness.


[ Parent ]
You're nitpicking yitbos - (0.00 / 0)
 accusing Master Jack of using the term "right winger" in a wrong sense.

[ Parent ]
No... (0.00 / 0)
I'm forcing someone to make an intelligent CORRECT argument.   Using the term Right Winger is bullshit that shows a lack of understanding of the political system of this country.

[ Parent ]
if Obama seemed to be trying (4.00 / 10)
to keep his own campaign promises on health care, I would understand your support to the bitter end.

Given the way things have developed, it's hard for me to understand why you're not as angry as, say, this early Obama supporter from Iowa.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.


[ Parent ]
i am just being honest (0.00 / 0)
my ongoing support will be muted by this turn of events.

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
Being disappointed is far different from not supporting.   After all, things were far far worse under Bush, they would have been far worse under McCain.   All signs show to things being similar under Hillary, although I do think she would have played hardball a little more so I guess that's a positive, and Edwards turned out to be a complete douche bag whose personal life would have either ensured McCain winning or made him a lame duck already, depending on when the story broke.    

So I'll continue to support my President, as I did with Clinton despite his monumental fuck ups.  That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed.   But I'm also not going to attack him the way I attack the GOP and instead will support groups working to pressure the white house.


[ Parent ]
One thing you might consider (0.00 / 0)
Is selectively supporting.  We're probably stuck with Obama (or worse) till 2012.  I totally agree he's better than Bush or McCain.  But given the crisis situation the country is in, I think we also need to ask whether or not he's good enough.  At some point, it really does cease to be relative, if the alternative to good enough is a fascist dictatorship.  I'm not one to cry the sky is falling, I still don't think this is a likely outcome, but for the first time in my life (I'm 43) I fear it is a genuine possibility.

[ Parent ]
... (4.00 / 1)
I'm supporting Obama in I'm not going to go onto a blog and writing insulting posts calling him a douche bag, an asshole, whatever.   There are those on here whose posts about Obama belong on Redstate and those assholes should be ashamed of themselves.    And I'm not referring to posts that disagree with policy to be clear.    

NOW I have NO issues with people being upset about policy choices or being disappointed.     I share some of that.    But that doesn't mean I'm going after him in a personal attacking way in the way I would with Bush.   With Obama, I believe in his potential and support a PUSHBACK by progressives to affect policy.  Unfortunately, it will be hard until RAHM is gone.   I still think his fingers are all over this.  But it doesn't matter.  

Obama is FAR better than Bush, and frankly, while some will disagree, I think he's much better in his first year than Clinton, Bush or Reagan ever were in their first year.   I think there is a LOT of room for improvement and I think, like Clinton, we can see that from Obama.  FTR, I do rate Clinton as the best President of the last 40 years.

As for Presidential Primary challenges, I think they are really bad ideas except in the most extreme circumstances (like the POTUS just got arrested for Child molestation.   All it does is create a fight that damages the incumbent or creates a weak challenger (I have no issues with them for a non sitting President).   When was the last significant primary challenge to a sitting President successful, and when was the last time that either that challenged President or the Challenger was elected President?     There are NO examples I can think of in modern primary times, all of the ones in my mind go back to the 1800's.    Unless he becomes Cheney toxic and its the only possibility, I'll support him.    I will also pushback on him through my support of various groups to help influence a better path.  


[ Parent ]
a primary challenge from Eugene McCarthy (0.00 / 0)
and Bobby Kennedy is what caused LBJ to quit!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Revisionist history... (0.00 / 0)
First off I said modern primary times... 1968 had very few primaries... about 13.

Second, LBJ quit as much due to poor health (remember he died right after Nixon's first term ended) than anything else.     Yes, those challenges helped make his decision, but they were 1 of a myriad of factors.    

Even if you want to give the challenge credit, it worked ONCE in the 20th Century... and going back to my point on damaging all involved...   McCarthy was never the nominee.   Kennedy MIGHT have been, but then again, Humphrey was ahead by over 150 delegates at that point. As you may know it is a contentious source of debate whether Bobby would have won the nom had he lived.     Regardless, he was not an overwhelming favorite.    Meanwhile, Humphrey lost the Presidency to Nixon, although I don't feel he was damaged by that kind of thing him since he didn't enter until after LBJ was out.   Either way, this was NOT a primary in the traditional sense of things.  

If we look at Primaries for Sitting presidents in their current form...

Ford was primaried by Reagan.   Ford lost and Reagan couldn't beat him.
Carter was primaried by Kennedy.   Carter lost and Kennedy couldn't beat him.
Token Challenge for Reagan in 1984.
Token Challenge for Bush in 1992.
No Challenge for Clinton in 1996.
No challenge for D-Bag in 2004

Of all the primary season, when ever a strong primary challenge happens, the Challenger does not win and the President loses.    


[ Parent ]
We need to primary Obama in the worst way! (4.00 / 3)
I'll support anybody in the Dem primaries against Obama.  He has got to go.

[ Parent ]
I agree... (4.00 / 1)
...of course assuming that they are a progressive populist.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR

[ Parent ]
I don't think Obama is going to be a problem in the primaries (0.00 / 0)
Whoever is running against him will win.

Unless we have another good candidate, the Democratic party will lose. If Democrats run Obama again, he'll lose by default - nobody will show up to vote for him. This will be the ultimate insult for anyone who worked for him and voted for him the first time.  


[ Parent ]
You have to be... (0.00 / 0)
The stupidest human being alive to think that Obama will lose a Primary in 2012.  First off, you are talking 3 years from now... ask the idiots who had clinton as a one termer how accurate their predictions.       Second, there is only one candidate in the party with the chance of doing it and I doubt she runs because if she loses, she's screwed for all time.    

Seriously, don't make stupid comments.  Go educate yourself on history and then you can speak without being an utter embarrassment.


[ Parent ]
My God... (0.00 / 0)
I hate stupid people.    Seriously, why couldn't your parents have abstained that night instead of dumbing down the country further.

[ Parent ]
Substance and tactics (4.00 / 1)
I suspect we disagree on substance to a degree, and the tactics follow, or at least think differently.

For example, I agree that Clinton was the best President of the last 40 years, but don't give that the significance you seem to.  To me it's like saying a moldy piece of bread is better than the completely rotted or cyanide-laced ones.  I think Clinton was a horrible President who contributed greatly to the neoliberalization of the U.S., and thus to the fix we're in now.  Not good enough, to say the least.  Bush II was a monster.

At some point, you need to ask whether the usual approach is simply not working, and try something else, even if the something else looks like it will fail too, because something has to be done to keep the ship from hitting the iceberg.  To me at this point that would appear to be a serious attempt to start a third party, with real progressive Democratic party politicians as key leaders, a much more radical approach to Democratic primaries, or both.  And I say this as someone who has always played the inside game (delegate candidate for Harkin in '92, activist on behalf of Gephardt in '04, and Edwards in '08, voted for Obama in the primary, very active campaigner on behalf of both Kerry and Obama, never voted for a third party for President -- I did vote for Reagan in '84 when I was young and foolish).


[ Parent ]
Well... (0.00 / 0)
I have no issues with a strong third party.  The only problem is a third party would kill this country.  What we NEED is a third and fourth party...

Party 1) Theo-cons, Tea baggers, Nutjobs, Douchebags - Ideal Nominee - Sarah Palin.

Party 2) Corporate Sellouts, Right Wing Social Agenda - Ideal Nominee - Mitt Romney

Party 3) Corporate Sellouts, Slight left center social agenda - Ideal Nominee - Barack Obama.

Party 4) Progressive party - Ideal Candidate - Howard Dean (although hearing from some on hear even Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be satisfying)

If the Dems split and the GOP stay together, we are fucked.   I'd rather see the GOP split, shuck off a few DLCers and see progressives gain influence.

But I do think a major third party may be coming in the next 10-20 years.    


[ Parent ]
so you go from unwavering support of Obama (4.00 / 2)
to complete and total despair without pausing at the one emotional stage where you could do actual good: healthy anger and commitment to actual change.

[ Parent ]
call me emotionally unintelligent... (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Kind of agree but (4.00 / 1)
Dangling the Medicare buy-in reminded people that there is a pretty easy way to accomplish that part of the reform goals. Based on past history, if this package fails, no one will touch health care reform for another 6-10 years.  If this does pass, with all the incremental pilot program cost reforms, we may slowly see what works in that part of the problem and then be able to make another run at the Medicare buy-in.  Same if the 55-64 age group, who votes in high numbers, gets screwed by the insurers.

I also agree with Chris' analysis and his conclusions about what to do.  It is galling that a prick like Lieberman had the power to stuff it to the progressives.  But that isn't the point here; the point is to get more affordable health care for more people.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
Chris, how firm do you think the numbers will be.... (0.00 / 0)
...among Democrats for this most likely health care bill?  

I think the ideal has immense support, but I suspect that the popularity for it within our own party will drop like a stone when the final bill is presented to the American public.

What becomes the final straw, in effect, to kill its popularity within our own ranks, if any specific thing in particular?  

And can we use that final straw to our advantage?


Probably fine... (4.00 / 3)
But I guess we'll see.  My guess would be that it drops maybe 5% or so among Democrats.  The fact of the matter is that most people don't really follow the specifics of these things.  Democrats support the bill because its the Democrats in congress pushing it, along with a Democratic president.

[ Parent ]
What do you think progressives should do (0.00 / 0)
If the opposite of what you expect happens?

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
I am being ratings abused (1.33 / 6)
upthread!

My blog  

No you're not... (4.00 / 3)
You personally attacked Chris.  Troll rating seems appropriate.

[ Parent ]
how (2.67 / 3)
I just said I knew progressives didn't have the guts to primary anyone, which was confirmed by his diary!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Again, utter bullshit. (2.00 / 2)
See above.

[ Parent ]
Lies (3.20 / 5)
No, you said Chris didn't have the guts to primary anyone, not "progressives".  So now you have lied twice.  I tend to uprate most every post I see troll rated, but I think this is very legit.  Chris has consistently been one of the largest advocates of primarying Democrats.  You know this, or at least should.

What Chris did was stick to reality.  The base still wants the bill passed.  That isn't not Chris' fault.  Blaming the messenger in this case is troll worthy.  If you have/had an actual arguement against what Chris reported or other ideas, that would not be troll worthy.  But you just lied and attacked with venom.


[ Parent ]
Stop this nonsense with the uprating, Mark! (0.00 / 0)
Dameocrat is trolling here with his unreasonable complaining, this should be clear. According to the rules, this is TR worthy. You can't use your own rules here. Do that at your own blog!

[ Parent ]
Uprated (0.00 / 0)
I did uprate this response to counter the troll rating.  Lying in general isn't worth troll rating, I don't think.  Besides, I responded and want others to see what I responded to.  :-)

[ Parent ]
You don't make the rules, here, Mark! (0.00 / 0)
Stop this nonsense.

[ Parent ]
Are you drunk? You're really trolling with this crap. (0.00 / 0)
Not only did you deserve the TR, you started an abuse rampage. And this is, what, the third comment where you complain? This is trolling.

[ Parent ]
do you really think (4.00 / 3)
that the president will be able to successfully interfere with Congressional primaries?

FDR tried backing liberal primary challengers in 1938 that would be more amenable to him, and as a result he split the party and aroused strong resistance in Congress. I don't think Obama will have more luck than that great man, should he try to forcibly remake the party in a more conservative mold.

With the Internet, any meddling by Rahm will be instantly detected and splashed all over the blogosphere. He was already detested and with the revelation that he insisted that Reid go along with Lieberman, his credibility is plummeting.

For instance, I suspect that Rahm would love nothing more than to primary Grayson with a more Wall Street-friendly candidate backed by the White House, but that's the surest way to send voters into Grayson's arms.


He already has ... (4.00 / 2)
do you really think that the president will be able to successfully interfere with Congressional primaries?

See the Colorado and NY Senate seats .. more so NY as being successful .. and that's just off the top of my head


[ Parent ]
that was before this debacle happened (4.00 / 3)
The situation in 2010 will be different; the bloom will be off the rose, the base will be angry, and Obama will be openly trying to drive the party to the right.

You think he can succeed in that task?


[ Parent ]
Only because Grayson has his own nest egg (4.00 / 1)
If the Party doesn't think you're going to serve the Party's interests, they don't have to give you squat in a primary or any other time.  I wish I could remember the name of the California State Assemblyman where the D candidate got two grand from the party for his general campaign and the R candidate (of course) won decisively.

Socialists are not welcome in the D party.

Now Grayson could shift right; for reasons that are unclear it seems that most pols do shift markedly to the right during their first term.  The party's treatment of Grayson vs the degree of his compliance with the mainstream ought to make for an educational time series for independent leftists.


[ Parent ]
Suspect numbers will go up (4.00 / 4)
If the public option was in I'd be very confident public opinion would go up after passage.  I'm less sure now, but still suspect it will be true.

I'm strongly biased against the status quo when it comes to health care, so I'm not at all convinced this bill should be defeated.  Not that anyone should base their votes on Lieberman, but I suspect he'd love nothing more than for liberals to vote against the bill so he can blame them.

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that the parts of the bill just removed are exactly the same parts that can easily be passed via reconciliation.  (At least procedurally.)  Once this bill passes, I suggest we apply whatever pressure we have on Reid to have either Medicare expansion or a public option introduced via reconciliation.


Why not just use reconcilation after the current bill passes? (0.00 / 0)
Why couldn't the senate just wait until the much-weakened health care bill is passed into law and then use reconciliation to pass a version of the public option and/or the medicare buy-in?  We wouldn't need Joe Lieberman (or Nelson, Snowe, etc...) for that.  

Because that would reform health care. (4.00 / 10)

  And this administration isn't interested in health-care reform.

  This administration is interested in the illusion of health-care reform.

  Why do you think they kept Lieberman handy?  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
Dude... (4.00 / 1)
Your confusing opinion with fact.  Show me a memo or video or something, until then its pure conjecture.    

However, I don't think the WH or Reid has the balls to do what is neccessary to get meaningful HCR passed.  Or to say it another way they care, just not enough to risk it all to get it done... which is ironic because failure to risk it all will end up hurting them more than helping.   Reid just signed his death warrant as a Senator.   We will have a new Senate leader come November 2010.

Sigh... THAT is a position I wish Hillary was in.  She would be a phenomenal Majority leader.


[ Parent ]
Lieberman could have been dealt with MANY times (4.00 / 6)

  In the aftermath of his primary defeat, the party leadership could have thrown its weight behind Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee. They didn't. They coddled Joe.

 After Lieberman campaigned for John McCain, the LEAST they could have done was strip him of his seniority and chairmanships. They didn't. They coddled Joe.

 When Lieberman lied his ass off over his support of Medicare, they could have publicly and loudly embarrassed and humiliated him. There was VIDEO, for crying out loud. They didn't. They coddled Joe.

  And their payoff for coddling Joe was... what? What, EXACTLY, have the Democrats gained from all this coddling of a liar and a murderer?

 "Oh, Joe would have filibustered if we hadn't coddled him." Well, then, MAKE him filibuster. Make him make an ass of himself arguing why Americans shouldn't have healthcare. Make him stand with the still-very-unpopular Republicans. Make the public see WHO's just fine with 44,000 Americans dying every year for lack of insurance.

 They never did any of that. They coddled him. To me, that suggests that they agreed with him.

 

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
Campaign for McCain, caucus with Dems (0.00 / 0)
This sure shows coddling to me! I think they were looking to attain the "vital 60" votes that the Dem leadership had been citing for several cycles.

I keep remembering the blogs' dumping on Tennessee's Harold Ford. There was so much antagonism and derision about his being DLC, on MyDD, for example. I regret that we have Corker and I really wish there had been more support for Harold. We might not even have Lieberman as a committee chair if Harold had been elected!  


[ Parent ]
Umm... (4.00 / 2)

 ... that's the POINT. The Dems coddled Lieberman to get those Magic Sixty Votes, and... didn't get those Magic Sixty Votes anyway.  

  Ford would have been every bit as much a headache as Lieberman. No net gain there.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
Again though... (4.00 / 1)
You are right... THey were STUPID for not punishing Joe.   But it is STILL circumstancial for grand conspiracy charge.     And that's my point... don't post emotional conspiracy theory.    Saying they got bit in the ass by the dog they tried to tame... that is 100% correct.

[ Parent ]
Oops. I asked this exactly question, below. (0.00 / 0)
It strikes me that we might be better served trying to organize to push for reconciliation later instead of trying to scuttle this bill now.

But nobody I read who really knows this shit is talking about the steps necessary to move toward reconciliation. I'm not sure if that's because it's a pipe dream or what.


[ Parent ]
My mind says yes... (4.00 / 2)
But my heart says no...  I think I feel similarly to Chris... I just don't give a shit any more.  Part of me says that progressives should take a stand and defeat this shit, but in the back of my mind I think I still want it to pass.  Why?  Basically because what Chris says... I don't think defeating this bill will actually help progressives at all, and more than likely would hurt them.

So in a sense, yeah, we're screwed.  The optics of this are pretty bad from every angle, but they're even worse if it goes down in flames.


Chris: Is there any way to include the public option (2.67 / 3)
via reconciliation after this bill passes?

If so, how? Who do we need to pressure? Harry Reid is in an extremely precarious position: can we capitalize on that?


Yes (4.00 / 3)
Absolutely.

To my knowledge there is no reason why it can't be done this year.  Even if that is not the case, it can happen in future years, but this year would be easiest unless Obama himself asks for it, which won't happen anytime soon.

Reid has been better in this fight than I suspected.  I actually think there is a small chance of this happening if we push for it.


[ Parent ]
Any idea how we push? It just strikes me that (0.00 / 0)
now, when the passions are running so high, might be a good time to start laying the groundwork.

[ Parent ]
it would have to happen next year (0.00 / 0)
It would have to be included in next year's budget to fall under next year's budget reconciliation purview.

But even within reconciliation, there are a ton of procedural stops along the way that can be filibustered. The final vote is 50+1, but the idea that reconciliation can be used to bypass the filibuster is an illusion.


[ Parent ]
Actually, yes (4.00 / 7)
there will be a reconciliation bill on education, I believe. A public option could be attached to that bill.

I am going to look more into this admittedly remote possibility.


[ Parent ]
Thanks. I'd love to see what you discover. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Thanks. I'd love to see what you discover. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
not to mince words, but this is approaching delusion (4.00 / 6)
Why do you think the progressive bloc would be able to slip a public option through the backdoor? Do you think the forces that killed it the first time are so stupid as to let that happen?

Every time the leadership has broken a promise and watered down the bill, the progressive bloc has come crawling back for more. They have shown they have no power to get anything they want into the bill.

And you're still operating in the "we can fix it later" mode that this progressive bloc which has been rolled at every turn can slip in a public option at some future date when no one will notice. That is just magical thinking.

The hard truth is that the only power the progressive wing has at this point is the power to kill this bill. Give that up, and they won't have any power at all.


[ Parent ]
The question is, can we figure any points of leverage? (0.00 / 0)
For example, if Reid's choices are a) support public option via reconciliation or b) lose his seat, what will he choose?

I honestly don't know, but suggesting that he might choose a) is not delusional. And suggesting that a coalition of progressive forces could injure his reelection bid isn't delusional either.


[ Parent ]
Reelection is NOT a point of leverage (0.00 / 0)
The same equation of macroeconomics with microeconomics that serves as a useful excuse to jettison general welfare programs is operating right there.  Just because a six-figure salary is the best job WE'LL likely ever have doesn't mean that's the best job THEY'LL likely ever have.  Remember, 43% of former Members of Congress register as lobbyists (Public Citizen study), and lobbyists make much more than Members.

[ Parent ]
No it is not delusion to think that a public option - HCR - could happen in another way (0.00 / 0)
Haven't we learned anything about the sausage factory that Congress it?

[ Parent ]
Another crazy idea (4.00 / 2)
Public option in the defense authorization bill?


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[ Parent ]
Now do you understand Nader voters? (4.00 / 5)
For everyone who is still angry at those who voted for Ralph Nader instead of Al Gore in 2000 because those votes helped George W. Bush get selected as President, now maybe you can see. After being screwed by Bill Clinton for 8 years (and having him directly lie about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky), a lot of progressives were angry at DLC Democrats. Bush didn't seem much worse than Gore at the time and Gore was doing his best to disavow progressive stands, including the environmental measures he called for in his own book. (My favorite chant from this time was "Gore, read your book".) So some progressives voted for Nader and others sat at home.

President Obama seems to be doing his best to follow in the footsteps of Presidents Carter and Clinton. Like Carter, he may get a primary challenge from the left (Ted Kennedy challenged him in 1980). But whether or not he does, he has done a very good job of alienating much of his progressive base. I just hope that 2012 won't mirror 1980 with Sarah Palin getting elected by a landslide. If so, it will be time for me to move to Norway.



Sorry... (4.00 / 3)
We have even more reason to be pissed at Nader now... If Gore had won we would've gotten Holy Joe out of the damn Senate nearly 10 years ago.

On the other hand, maybe we'd be talking about President Joe Lieberman now... yikes.


[ Parent ]
True... (0.00 / 0)
But then Joe wouldn't be the bitter old man he is now because his embarrassing loss in the 2006 primary.   Whether he retires or runs again, Joe is going down in 2012.      

[ Parent ]
Greeeeat, Lieberman could've been the D party's Cheney (0.00 / 0)
and used 9/11 as an excuse to use US military to expand Israeli settlements all the way to the Pakistani border.  Smart!

[ Parent ]
I always understood Nader voters (4.00 / 11)
Having voted for Nader in both 1996 and 2000, myself, I always thought I understood them pretty well.

Further, I am pretty disgusted by people who attempt to browbeat people into not voting third-party.  It is a pretty insulting form of persuasion.

The truth is, I don't trust Nader anymore than I trust Dems.  His strategies haven't exactly stopped the corporate capture of America, either.  His recent record has just as many failures as those of anyone else on the left.

I'm just going to keep working at whatever avenues my best judgment tells me will lead to progressive change.  I am under no illusions about chances of sweeping success.  But I'm not going to give up.

If someone has the brilliant strategy to fix everything, I haven't seen it.  From anyone.  Including myself.


[ Parent ]
I call it the "Bootstrap" (4.00 / 2)
Step 1 is a mass wave attack at primaries, which at a minimum will change attitudes about what is possible. jeffroby's version of this idea is the Full Court Press, but FireDogLake has their own version.

With public outrage building, I can see some of these candidates getting elected even with minimal $$.

Step 2 is better organization and concentrated allocation of resources, via a funding portal that can handle instant runoff voting. I mentioned this just today, here. In that post I floated the idea of a voting bloc, which can back either Dems or a third party, constituting and informal fusion voting.

Step 3 is an IVCS, which allows voters to determine their voting bloc's policy positions, and semi-automates the process of growing the voting bloc either permanently (via mergers) or temporarily (via forming a transient alliance for the purpose of picking a winning, compromise candidate)

(I don't want to discuss IVCS, at this time; I am just mentioning it as part of a bootstrap process. Hopefully, we will be reading about it as an updated, polished proposal on OL, before long.)

Here's a question for you, Chris: Do you know anybody at ActBlue who could be petitioned to create an enhanced, instant-runoff-of-campaign-resources enhancement of their existing funding portal? Or, some entrepreneurs who would create a new one with this capability?

I'm thinking there should be one just for Senate races, and one just for HR races. Given the healthcare debacle, I'm starting to think that outraged and dispirited progressive voters should invest in making Senate races competitive, ahead of HR races, even though they're so much more expensive.

As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for."

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Not you personally (4.00 / 1)
Sorry Chris, I didn't mean you personally didn't understand Nader voters. I should have been more clear that I was speaking to the Nader-voter-trashers who get so angry. I think I voted for Nader too, but I lived in California at the time and it didn't really matter.

Now that I live in a swing state (Ohio), I worked hard to get Obama elected and I'll keep working hard to promote progressive ideals. But if Palin gets elected in a landslide, I'm not sure I can stand it anymore. I've fought for 32 years against the Reagan revolution and the DLC Democrats and I'm really tired.

I was hoping we'd have a breather of a year or two under Obama, but no, we're undercut practically from Day 1. It is very frustrating.

I don't have a brilliant strategy either. We do what we can and hope for a breakthrough somewhere...


[ Parent ]
I have always understood them tooAn (0.00 / 0)
And considered voting for him myself in 2000, and vowed after voting for Gore that it would be the last time I ever voted for a corporate Democrat.

The consequences of the Bush presidency were horrendous, so one thing I took away was don't help elect Republicans lightly.  We have to find a better way.


[ Parent ]
my disagreement has always been one of tactics, (2.00 / 2)
not necessarily of policy.

Running a liberal third-party candidate against the Democrats in the hope to force them to the left resulted not in a liberal reawakening, but a hard turn to the right, both for the country and the Democratic party.

It was a childish and ineffective thing to do, and remains so.


[ Parent ]
I agree with you and I am more glad than ever I voted for Nader... (4.00 / 2)
...I voted Democratic all my adult life until 2008.  I will never vote again for a corporate Democrat.

Regards,

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR


[ Parent ]
I am not wasting my time electing more (0.00 / 0)
progressives.  We'll just be electing more people to vote for this stinker of a bill!

My blog  

And once again, you're on this site because.... (2.00 / 2)


[ Parent ]
well, primaries against (0.00 / 0)
bad dems for one, but it has beocome more and more obvious Chris at least has sided with you obabmacrats.

My blog  

[ Parent ]
You know nothing about me.... (2.00 / 2)
....and you should be very careful about who you call what without evidence to back it up.

[ Parent ]
An Obamacrat is someone who supports Obama mindlessly (0.00 / 0)
Seeing him as a means to progressive ends may be a mistake, but doesn't disqualify someone as a progressive -- it's a tactical disagreement.  All of us who share the same goals are on the same side, unless we choose not to be.

[ Parent ]
telling people to leave is inappropriate (0.00 / 0)
... however much you disagree with them

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
I don't want the user to leave permanently.... (4.00 / 2)
...but this user isn't contributing to the conversation.  I've asked for them to come back when they've calmed down, not forever.  Have a look at my comments above.

[ Parent ]
I understand (0.00 / 0)
but nobody wins in a flame war.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
WTF? (4.00 / 5)
I'm losing patience with all the rationalizing going on by some on the Left.  What's going on here?  Didn't we encourage and support the Progressive Caucus members who wrote a letter saying they wouldn't vote for a bill without a public option?  

Chris, you're getting real (4.00 / 4)
My objections to the bill are policy-based.  The mandate forcing us to buy corporate insurance is disastrous.  I haven't seen any numbers, but I fear there are going to be millions of Americans who won't be able to afford the corporate premiums and yet won't qualify for any subsidy.  I fear that I will be among them.

I understand the pull to do things for the sake of political maneuvering.  Not to sneeze at.  But it has ultimately alienated us from substance and that is now and will continue to bite us on the ass.

I still believe in the Full Court Press, and yes I am up to my ears, and yes the suggestions you laid out in your Netroots Organization post are good ones (I was not unaware of such things).  And I would add that I do not now question your motives.

We still disagree on tactics and strategy.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...


The mandate is what angers me the most as well.... (4.00 / 3)
Without decent access to health care as a trade-off, we stand to lose a huge portion of supporters between their mid-20's and into their early 40's on this basis alone.

And once the health insurance plans get this sugar mainlined into their systems, they'll do whatever it takes to keep it.


[ Parent ]
I don't get Chris (4.00 / 1)
He declared a willingness to accept defeat and drop the public option for moral reasons, ie, that the policy compromise he had seen was sufficient.  It was better, apparently, to score an incremental policy win, and accept a political defeat (At least for progressives).  Now that the policy has proven to be unacceptable, he's still accepting defeat--but for political reasons.

I think there is more political room to (0.00 / 0)
kill this bill than may appear.

From a purely political perspective, I think you can make the argument that killing health care reform would not be as lethal to Obama as it would be to Clinton.
HCR in '94 was killed shortly before the election, and exit polling showed voters believed HCR was the single most important issue.  

There are 11 months before the November elections, and they will be overwhelmingly decided on other grounds - the economy.  Moreover, if Progressives can work with the administration on a second stimulus package there is an opportunity to rebuild relationships that would be damaged by killing this bill.

In short, I am beginning to think the political breach that would be caused is neither irreperable nor significant in the context of the 2010 Elections.

This is all irrelevent, because I think there is absolutely going to be a bill for the reasons I have articulated before.  



re: unpopularity (4.00 / 1)
There was an argument put forth elsewhere quite awhile back that if a decent bill were passed, and people had an opportunity to become acquainted with the benefits, they would pretty quickly come to embrace that legislation in the same way that they have embraced Medicare.  I found that argument persuasive.  So, to acknowledge now that the bill would be unpopular - whatever its incantation - as a reason for accepting its defeated-form makes me uneasy.  It would seem that the better strategy would have been for the (progressive, centrist, or Conserva-) Democrats to make the bill as strong as possible, betting that in the long run it would better tie people to the Democratic Party.

I think the things to remember here are: (1) Backdoor deals were being made around this legislation before the legislation even had a form. (2) The nature of Republican obstructionism was a known quantity early in the game. (3) The media was not going to be supportive.  (4) The teabaggers opposing/demonstrating/organizing against it at the town squalls had corporate support.  (5) That it was a real eyeopener to see Obama quoted that there would be money to support military actions in the Middle East, but health insurance reform was required to be deficit neutral.  Etc.  All of which leads me to conclude that as far as the White House was concerned what they needed and wanted was the appearance of reform, and they really didn't care what shape that appearance took.  See Digby

I'm a little less anxious to hang this on the failure of progressive Democrats.  The structure of the process forced them into defending a pre-compromised position.  And, a lot of really good people on the "outside" did their damnedest to help them hold that line.  It wasn't going to be enough.  I've since gone back to reread Sick in the head:
Why America won't get the health-care system it needs By Luke Mitchell (Harper's)
, Understanding Obamacare By Luke Mitchell (Harper's) and Health Care Reform: The Big Sellout by Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone; September 2009; can't find this online).  The bitterness of this defeat is made tolerable by understanding how substantially the deck was stacked against that which people wanted so badly to accomplish.  We were, and are, fighting a monster opponent.  And, that opponent is well girded with almost all of the advantages in their favor.

We have yet to grasp how deep the hole.


Well said (0.00 / 0)
And thanks for the links to Harper's on health care.

Here's the link to Taibbi in health care
http://www.rollingstone.com/po...


[ Parent ]
Oops, sorry, that was a link to an advertisement on the article. Here's the actual link (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
Time has brought many around to my original position (4.00 / 1)
1) Health care reform was a strategic error of timing; jobs were and are far more important

2) No good bill could pass, partly because the Democrats don't know how to craft a good bill

2) The best outcome could only have been having the GOP be seen to have defeated a good bill

For the love of God! The modern welfare state should consist of giving people free money and / or a good job so that they can make purchases from the free market, NOT ANOTHER GOVERNMENT RUN CORPORATION!

Until we get the philosophical piece right, nothing good can happen!


Stop that libertarian propaganda, Goodman. (4.00 / 1)
Really what is this nonsense good for? This is a progressive blog. Do your stomping elsewhere, pls.

[ Parent ]
Sorry to go on-topic (0.00 / 0)
But I think Chris has a point. I don't like it, but I think his argument is sound.

I would say that anyone voting for this should try to avoid talking about how great it is. Politically, it's one thing to say 'I am voting for this because we have a crisis and this is the best we can do but I will continue to fight on this issue' and have people on the other side feel like they were screwed. It's quite another to say it's a great bill and then have that happen.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


Good not begrudging us single payer supporters. (0.00 / 0)
Now how about going to bat for it?  Let's say this bill does go down in defeat, that Sanders votes against it at the end of the whole bloody stump of a process.  All this means is that we start over from scratch with the benefit of having a crapload of politicians up for reelection and willing to do anything to save their asses from the fire for having screwed this up so badly.

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