What's the Point?

The last few weeks we have seen FireDogLake gearing up in an effort to challenge and ultimately weaken Democratic incumbents who supported healthcare reform. This effort has included running surveys in swing and even quite red districts now represented by left-of-center moderate Democrats who stuck out their necks to advance the cause of near-universal healthcare reform, with one poll arguably forcing into retirement one such Democratic Congressman.

Now FDL is going after a bona fide progressive champion, Earl Blumenauer (for whom I did some consulting a few years ago). Blumenauer's apparent fault: Not pledging continuing to pledge* to kill the Senate bill, which would cover 30 million Americans who currently do not have health insurance. No matter, of course, that Blumenauer has been one of the leading progressives in the House for more than a decade, fighting for livable communities, clean energy, and other smart policies that all too often get short shrift on Capitol Hill, voting against measures ranging from the PATRIOT Act to the Iraq War. No matter that he spoke out on the need to reinforce the levies in New Orleans for fear that they might be breached during a hurricane -- in a speech delivered months before Hurricane Katrina hit -- that he had the prescience to submit legislation restricting primate sales long before the chimpanzee attack that seriously wounded a woman last year, and that he was one of the few in Congress willing to speak out and organize against the Tom DeLay-led effort to thrust the federal government in the middle of Terri Schiavo's end-of-life decisions. No, not pledging continuing to pledge* to kill the Senate bill is enough to place a target on the back of a member of Congress.

This all really has me wondering, what's the point? What are we doing in politics? Has the purpose of our involvement over the years been to prove an ideological point, to show how resolute we are in our beliefs? Or rather, has the point been to make tangible steps towards the betterment of the lives of those who so desperately need it?

Lest you think I am setting up a straw man argument, that this is not a binary set of choices, think about where we stand today. If the House is unwilling or unable to accept the legislation already passed by the Senate -- and that appears to be the case at present, though the situation remains, to a great extent, up in the air -- a significant portion of those 30 million who would be coverage will still have to go without health insurance (half, according to a reports, if the House and Senate can agree on a pared down bill; all if they can't).

And it's not like reform will be easier to come by in a later Congress with fewer Democrats. After Harry Truman tried and failed to enact universal healthcare legislation, it took another generation until Congress seriously moved again on a similar measure. Even then, Congress was unable to enact universal healthcare legislation, opting instead to cover senior citizens and the extremely poor. Though Congress debated legislation during the 1970s, it took another generation until such an effort moved forward again under the Clinton administration. Now, more than 15 years after the failure of the Congress and President Clinton to move forward on healthcare reform, we again stand at the precipice. Can we really afford to wait another decade or longer?

This is far from the first time that there has been disagreement over how best to forward progressive policy initiatives. One need not even think that far back to the candidacy of Ralph Nader, when promises were made that if the left cost Democrats enough votes to block the party's nominee from the Presidency, the liberals would be emboldened and thus progressive policy would be made easier to enact in the future. We all know how well those promises worked out -- a War in Iraq, a conservative activist Supreme Court, a Great Recession.

Simply put, I cannot see how killing healthcare reform today -- and, no, not just the Senate bill (which has its positives along with its negatives), but any meaningful healthcare reform -- will make it easier to pass a better bill in the future. And I can't fathom how attacking Democrats willing to risk their jobs to try to cover 30 million more Americans will do anything to forward the cause of universal healthcare.

* - To clarify, apparently the disagreement is more over the continuation of a pledge than a pledge itself.

Tags: healthcare reform, Firedoglake, FDL, Earl Blumenauer, 111th Congress (all tags)



I visit firedoglake occasionally,

and they consistently place principle above pragmatism.  They represent the Democratic Party before 2006, when we were very self-righteous but politically inconsequential. 

We need to oppose firedoglake for risking everything by wanting everything.


by Georgeo57 2010-01-22 05:27PM | 5 recs

Very Nice, Jonathan.   As usual, you hit the nail on the head and remain my favorite and, IMHO, the best writer on this site.

by FUJA 2010-01-22 05:28PM | 3 recs
Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

but there's a problem closer to home. The Supreme Court decision was praised by someone quite big around here. Deal with that first.

by QTG 2010-01-22 05:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

I'm assuming you are referencing Jerome's post ... I didn't read that as praise.  He specifically said there are strong arguments against, but pointed to one aspect that he thought was worth noting.

If you aren't referencing Jerome's (and I'm sure he can defend himself) my bad.

by toonsterwu 2010-01-22 05:56PM | 0 recs
RE: Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

I'm as big a jerome critic as anyone, but I don't think he was praising it.   He wasn't as down on it as others, but said it could eventually lead to better transparency and felt the effort was better focused there.  Personally, I want an amendment AND transparency.   

by FUJA 2010-01-22 10:06PM | 0 recs
"I'm as big a jerome critic as anyone"

lol, thats a badge.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-22 10:46PM | 2 recs
RE: Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

So, you are saying that as you read it, the ruling is "kinda/sorta" in Jerome's considered opinion. OK. Here's what he said before the ruling dropped:

"As you know, today is also the day we might get a landmark decision from the Supreme Court that could poison the system even further, giving corporations unlimited license to use their money to affect elections in this country."

and after:

"...there are parts of the ruling that are quite favorable."

Given what every other Democrat has said on the subject, I would charge Jerome with putting lipstick on a pig, and I'm left with two possible reasons for it - neither of which is printable.

by QTG 2010-01-22 10:49PM | 0 recs
RE: Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

iirc, you are confusing what Jonathan Singer said about the bill (your first quote) and my reaction to it (second quote).

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-23 11:16AM | 0 recs
RE: Certainly FDL is worthy of scorn

hi!  forgive the OT post, but i was hoping to correct the record re:  blumenauer and this FDL nonsense.

blumenauer signed a letter, which FDL characterizes thusly (scroll down and it's on the right):

In July, 60 Democratic Members of Congress signed a letter (PDF) to Speaker Pelosi and House Leadership saying they would vote against a health care bill from conference committee if it didn't have a public option.

But when you click through and read the letter, you learn it was written in specific response to a proposal being worked in the Energy and Commerce Committee. More specifically, it was about an agreement between Waxman and the Blue Dogs.  The words "conference report" don't even appear in the letter. And nobody says anything about their final vote on anything.

That letter is completely separate from the pledge, which FDL describes as:

16 progressive Members of Congress pledged to vote against any bill without a public option that was available nationwide and on day one.

Earl Blumenauer never signed this pledge and everyone who did sign it has already disregarded it in voting for the House bill.

so i totally don't get hamsher's point here.


by Cedwyn 2010-01-23 04:03PM | 0 recs

realize this bill, as imperfect as it is, would have been done 6 months ago had it not been for the love affair with Olympia Snowe. Are we allowed to blame Obama for anything?

Is anybody putting pressure on Stupak? Nobody is getting what they want in this bill, so why can't he take one for the team like everybody else? He's with us on everything except abortion, don't you know.

by bay of arizona 2010-01-22 05:32PM | 0 recs
RE: You

You're unaware of the politics of this site?  Nobody is allowed to NOT blame Obama for ANYTHING.

by lojasmo 2010-01-22 07:46PM | 2 recs
How so?

The bill would have been done six months ago if we had just taken Olympia Snowe's offer of triggers.

by ND22 2010-01-22 08:58PM | 0 recs
RE: You

Cause Stupak's a dick?

by FUJA 2010-01-22 10:07PM | 1 recs
RE: What's the Point?

yes, of course, once again, the progressives have to bend over and take it in the behind. the progressives must always compromise while the corporatists must always get what they want...

go on punching hippies if you want, but eventually those hippies will stop supporting your corporate giveaways, and that's what's happening.


by jeopardy 2010-01-22 05:39PM | 2 recs
There's a party

for people like this.  It's called the Green Party.  But party-building is hard work, low-visibilty, and thus not something the Jane Hamsher Vanity Project is into.  Much easier and more emotionally gratifying to destroy what someone else did than to create something of your own.

by JJE 2010-01-22 05:48PM | 1 recs
RE: There's a party

here's what's particularly galling about the "attack the progressives" strategy that the WH (and many of you on this blog) are advancing:

you are accusing us of some sort of bad faith. you and others are saying stuff like "it's more emotionally gratifying to destroy" or "you are throwing a hissy-fit" instead of addressing the real issue.

let me spell it out for you: many of us simply think it is a bad bill that hurts things more than it helps things.

I've had many great discussions with people on here about why i think the bill is bad, and why they think it is good, and that's how these discussions should go. but accusing progressives of acting in bad faith is not going to get us to see it your way, though, becasue we know that we are not acting in bad faith.

by jeopardy 2010-01-22 06:05PM | 2 recs
RE: There's a party

The bill is dead. Now that we've all got what we want, I guess we should be happy.

by vecky 2010-01-22 08:08PM | 0 recs
RE: There's a party

don't act like this is what we wanted. we wanted a real effort to get something more progressive (and popular) like the PO or Medicare expansion.


But at least maybe this woke the Administration up to the fact that they have to fight for some progressive policies (note their recent moves towards bank bonus taxes and regulations)



by jeopardy 2010-01-22 08:32PM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

What a crock. You won, dude. You told us so. Enjoy your victory.

by QTG 2010-01-22 08:38PM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

"what a crock"


this is the sort of reasoned discourse we've been getting if we think that the Seante Bill is harmful.

there's no discussing this rationally with some of you.it's just attack, attack, attack


by jeopardy 2010-01-22 09:03PM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

HCR is dead. DEAD. You won. Enjoy it. Take a victory lap. You told us so! Yippee! We have a WINNER!

by QTG 2010-01-22 09:07PM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

please show me even one post where I said anything of the sort.

I have never said "i told you so", "i won", or "yay".

That's not how I feel about this.

You are creating a straw man and then mocking it, all because I comitted the sin of disagreeing with you about the substantive policy.

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 09:18AM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

 You argued that no bill was better than either of the negotiated bills. You got no bill. I fail to see how that doesn't equate to getting what you wanted. Unless you were just throwing a tantrum and secretly hoping that the Congress would pass a bill.

Tough Shit. You won.

by QTG 2010-01-23 10:28AM | 0 recs
RE: don't act like this is what we wanted

Please see my comment "grow up"


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 10:46AM | 0 recs
RE: There's a party

This IS what we wanted. We progressives wanted to kill the bill, so along with conservatives and republicans that is what we did.

Sure we didn't get the PO or Medicare expasion. Nor did we get Medicaid expansion, which was an estimated 16 million people versus 2-3 million on the PO or Medicare. And did you know Medicaid dosn't have any deductibles or high co-pays (unlike the PO or Medicaire). But hey expanding Medicaid is not important, not now when were hemoraging money. We won, i'm revealing in our accomplishment.

by vecky 2010-01-23 03:55AM | 1 recs
RE: There's a party

The only attack the progressives strategy in this diary is being performed by the FireDogLake crowd.  That's kind of the point of the diary, you see.

by JJE 2010-01-22 09:00PM | 1 recs
Are we allowed to blame Obama for anything?

BOA, you are at MyDD. Please blame away. It's the reason we exist: that no Obama blame might be left unblamed! (we hit a dry spell yesterday and one of the poohbahs blamed Obama for not expressing hatred of bankers. seriously. Made it into a diary! It was wonderful.) 

And your question is valid. Before, during, and after the blaming, we like it when you throw in a few expressions of exasperation over the imaginary onslaught of O'defenders shouting down the truthsayers. It adds drama.


by QTG 2010-01-22 05:40PM | 1 recs
I very much doubt that

(a) we will have to wait another generation for meaningful health care reform.  According to current trajectory (and also the trajectory proposed by the "reformed" health care system), health care costs are expected to hit around 22% of GDP in less than 10 years.  Those numbers will drive real reform ("Stein's law":  a trend that cannot be sustained will be stop); what was being proposed (under either the house or senate versions) was meaningless.  (Past history vs future performance and all that...)


(b) that there is any point in wondering what the point is (or was).  The point, made most emphatically by the MA election, is that the anger is real.  In his first week in office, Pres. Obama had famously declared to the bankers "careful gentlemen, my administration is the only thing that separates you from the pitchforks".  The "point" is that the President tried (and has been seen to be trying) too hard to protect the bankers, and the metaphorical pitchforks are now getting readied again. You can argue that some of the anger is unjustified; but you would also have to admit that a big chunk of the anger is justified.  Where is the promised $2500 reduction in health care premiums, for instance.  What about Guantanamo ?  What happened to the ME after Cairo ? Yada yada... 


And, as with any other situation, wondering about the mental state (or the motivations) of those that are angry is not the best way to proceed.



by Ravi Verma 2010-01-22 06:23PM | 1 recs
RE: I very much doubt that

We will have to wait another century for real healthcare reform.  The issue is so unpopular and divisive that no politician will touch it.  If costs hit 22% of GDP, people will just have to work harder to earn healthcare.  The government doesnt give you things in America, no matter how much they cost. 

by Kent 2010-01-23 12:59AM | 0 recs
this party will self destruct in.....

.... nine months.

I'm not a fan of the Senate bill, but this behavior is really self-destructive.  Does FDL want a GOP Congress?  I didn't know we had teabaggers on the left.

by esconded 2010-01-22 06:27PM | 0 recs
RE: What's the Point?

I am a constituent of Rep. Blumenauer, and I find this targeting of him inexcusable.

Jonathan has made the point very well that Earl is a real progressive. He is not a public firebrand most of the time, but he has stood for the right things and accomplished a lot for progressive ideas. Anyone who rides a bike in America should regard him as a hero.

I want to focus instead on the wrongheadedness of attacking progressives if they don't maintain 100.00% purity to the cause. Moderates and progressives are at a real structure disadvantage in American politics, and that disadvantage is not going away. Here are the basic building blocks of this disadvantage (others can certainly think of more).

1. Two senators from every state, even though more than one-half of those states are rural, conservative, and have very small populations.

2.  The filibuster rule in the Senate, which gives even more power to the conservatives. That rule won't go away because rules changes take a 2/3 majority (unless the Democrats are willing to go with the nuclear option of recent notoriety).

3.  The huge power of corporate money, which infiltrates every aspect of national and state government. One of the less-noted ways in which small state senators and representatives are unable to deliver on health care reform is that in many of those states, one or two health insurance providers dominate the state, and can easily make or break a politican there.

4.  The national and regional news media,fundamentally hostile to most progressive ideas. This is only made worse now that newspapers and magazines are in crisis and cannot afford to offend the groups that buy 90% or more of their advertisements.

5.  The ease with which reactionaries can take a complicated idea and attack it with hysterical, simple-minded responses. The truth of those responses becomes irrelevant, because they are memes that stick, while the complicated policy ideas are never understood by most of the people.


Progressives just don't have the power to force most of their big ideas through the system. It is stacked against us. We instead need to play the cards we hold. We need to have good ideas. Then we need to develop SIMPLE, understandable policies to introduce those ideas to the public. Hand in hand with the simple policies, we need to control the message about the policies. (Democrats are once again letting the GOP define everything the Democrats do or say.)

Then, with good message control and good basic policy, the people can actually sample the good results that the progressive ideas create.

A concrete way to accomplish health care reform now, with the cards we have. Make it a two-pronged strategy. First, take the reconciliation path on a very simple plan to greatly expand Medicare and Medicaid, paid for by increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations. (This simple approach ensures that there is little or not not budgetary items that the Senate can challenge as not allowed in reconciliation.) Second, have the House send a very simple health insurance reform package to the Senate, with an end to pre-existing conditions, dropping coverage when a covered person gets sick, etc. That very simple package, easy to sell, easy to understand, will be very hard for the Republicans to oppose.

by anoregonreader 2010-01-22 06:28PM | 2 recs
Unless you missed it

What FDL and everybody else thinks became moot yesterday. It's fun to pretend, but seriously. Corporations will decide who gets the seat. But Jerome sees good in the transparency, so it OK.

by QTG 2010-01-22 06:31PM | 1 recs
The Senate Bill is a

Sh&t Sandwich and a Corporate giveaway. If I was a house member I wouldn't pass the Senate bill w/o the Senate passing a bill that allows anyone to buy Medicare plus 5 that starts now.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-22 07:01PM | 1 recs
RE: The Senate Bill is a

Only 60% know bill bans discrimination on pre-existing conditions; only 40% knows it bans coverage limits, only 70% know about subsidies.


Are you one of those who are unaware of the good the senate bill can do?

by lojasmo 2010-01-23 09:43AM | 0 recs
Are you aware the House Bill does all that and more?

The House Bill isn't a Sh&t Sandwich and has a public option. Why doesn't the Senate just pass the house bill before Brown is seated.


Oh Yea the Senate Democrats and Obama have no Balls. It never should have come to this. HCR should have been done by August, but no leadership from Obama allowed it take for f-ing forever.

I still believe Obama can be a great President, but he needs to lead starting today and stop worrying about reaching out to Republicans.

I hope Obama has learned that Republicans put Party before Country.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-23 01:50PM | 1 recs
RE: Are you aware the House Bill does all that and more?

The House Bill isn't a Sh&t Sandwich and has a public option. Why doesn't the Senate just pass the house bill before Brown is seated.

And why doesn't Jesus come down from heaven and stop all wars?

Aside from the fact that there aren't 60 votes for the House bill in the Senate to break a filibuster of the House bill, there aren't even 50 votes for it if we could just invoke a nuclear option.


by ND22 2010-01-23 01:58PM | 0 recs
Well if the House passes the Senate Bill w/o

any changes, we will lose the House and Senate in 2010. 

Forcing people to buy Health Insurance w/o an Public Option and taxing Health Insurance Benefits is Political Suicide. Also not passing any Health Care Reform is Political Suicide.

So the Senate and the President better find a way to get something with a Public Option and w/o the Health Benefits Tax thru the Senate.

BTW take look at this from the Hart Research Associates Poll:


3. Massachusetts voters say that President Obama and the
Democrats have done too little, rather than attempted too much.

 Voters were not worried about Democratic “overreach”—47% said their bigger
concern about Democrats is that they haven't succeeded in making needed
change rather than tried to make too many changes too quickly (32%). Even
Brown voters are more concerned about a lack of change (50%) than about
trying to make too many changes too quickly (43%).

by srliberalguy 2010-01-23 04:24PM | 0 recs

forcing people to buy health insurance is going to be so much more popular when they have the oh so popular government to chose from.


I'm kinda sick and tired of hearing about how people voted for Scott Brown because they want more change, especially considering he ran on a campaign of obstructing change. We get it, voters are irrational.

by ND22 2010-01-23 05:46PM | 0 recs
RE: What's the Point?

"Blumenauer's apparent fault: Not pledging to kill the Senate bill.."

Blumenauer signed a pledge to vote against any bill that did not include a public option. The Senate bill does not include a public option. FDL is going after him for breaking that pledge.

Funny how Jonathan Singer left that part out.

by Alvord 2010-01-22 07:03PM | 0 recs
RE: What's the Point?


but I'm not surprised that so many people who decry any questioning of the President feel that asking a representative to not break his pledge is "unfair targeting" of the representative.

I suppose it is now off-limits to ask that politicians stay true to a written, notarized promise.

by jeopardy 2010-01-22 07:46PM | 0 recs
RE: What's the Point?

The bill is already dead!  Haven't you been paying attention the last few days?  It's going nowhere, the writing is on the wall.


Going after Blumenauer now is just an exercise in vanity.  F*ck that.


Jane and FDL are going to get exactly what they want, they killed the bill.  I hope they are happy with the result.  I sure as hell am not.

by you like it 2010-01-22 08:32PM | 2 recs
FDL is going after


wow. I'd ask what are they thinking but it's obvious they're not. This after threatening to primary Bernie Sanders. That was pretty much the last time I visited FDL.

by Charles Lemos 2010-01-22 07:03PM | 2 recs
Absolutely it's their fault

I mean how dare FDL question a bill that

  1. has no transparency
  2. forces people to buy a crappy insurance plan
  3. has no cost control
  4. is a massive giveaway to PhRMA
  5. has no meaningful competition
  6. expands the monopoly of the insurance industry nationwide
  7. gives 30 million new customers to the same industry
  8. forces progressive caucus to make concessions to Presidents Snowe and Lieberman
  9. makes a special medicare deal with tax payer money for Ben Nelson
  10. is nothing more than a bailout for the insurance industry

I mean how dare they ask Congress and Senate to stand up for principles? How dare they hold the WH accountable? How dare they expect leadership?

by tarheel74 2010-01-22 07:06PM | 3 recs
RE: Absolutely it's their fault

Points 1 to 6 are meaningless. The bill has been very transparent, there is nothing in it we don't know about. There are protections on what insurance must cover and out-of-pocket expenses. There is cost control, in the bill - 50% of the funding for the subsidies comes from cutting costs in the medical industry itself. The current situation is a giveaway to phRMA - the bill reduces that by about 8$ billion a year. The bill establishes natioanl non-profits to compete and exchanges where private companies compete.

Point 7 is a progressive goal. 160 million people already have private health insurance and like it. Another 16 million will get this private insurance and 14 million will get medicaid coverage. That's pretty darn good.

Points 8 to 9 are meaningless as well. Who care about Snowe and Liarman? Vote them out of office when you get the chance. The special "medicaid" deal for Nelson with taxpayer money - ummm, medicaid is taxpayer funded anyway. The bill saves the government 13$ billion a year, sounds more like a bailout for the taxpayer too.

by vecky 2010-01-22 08:16PM | 2 recs

I couldn't agree more with this post.  Well said.

by dvk 2010-01-22 08:31PM | 1 recs
misdirected anger all around

Stupid for FDL to target Blumenauer, and stupid for bloggers to blame progressives for insisting on improvements to the horrible Senate bill.

If Obama wants a bill, he should lean on Conservadem Senators to pass the fixes via reconciliation. Otherwise, House Democrats are right to drive a hard bargain. There is no reason the Senate should get 100 percent of what it wants, especially since the Senate bill is inferior to the House bill in almost every way.

President "I don't need a poll to tell me what I think" is hiding instead of leading on this issue. As usual.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-22 08:50PM | 3 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

It would be stupid to blame those progressives who fought so hard to make sure that Health Care Reform was defeated. We know where the blame lies. It lies at the feet of the guilty one. We also know that 59 Senators is better than 60. We also know that the Supreme Court overturning 30 years of settled law and 100 years of practice is a pretty good thing.

Because we're so politically astute here at the MyDD blog, home of PoliSci on crack.

by QTG 2010-01-22 08:57PM | 1 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

Maybe you should direct your misplaced anger at the President who showed no leadership, gave the farm away to conserva-dems and for one Republican vote because he was unwilling to fight. Or the senators who crafted such a terrible bill. Don't blame the progressives. The house voted on a much better and much more progressive bill which the Senate killed. If the Democratic leadership has the cajones to fight "special interests" that they rail against during election, they would take the the bill that the house passes and pass it using reconciliation.

by tarheel74 2010-01-22 09:26PM | 0 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

Don't be so modest. You deserve the credit. You worked tirelessly to kill the bill, and succeeded marvelously. You're winners, truly powerful political operatives, clairvoyants, sages, soothsayer, and President slayers! Too bad you aren't a corporation, since the new (pretty good) rules eliminate all but the corporate citizen from the game.

You won the last fight under the old rules! YOU ROCK!!!

by QTG 2010-01-22 09:31PM | 1 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

Well if you put it that way, I humbly accept the plaudits. I might be a mere mortal and not some powerful Wall street wheeler-dealer but I sure as hell won't swallow the shit sandwich being tossed to me.

by tarheel74 2010-01-23 01:19AM | 0 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

Obama made an impassioned defense of HCR today in Ohio. So far with Dem Progressives from Weiner to Frank running as far away from HCR as possible, with the House and Senate leadership mum or defeatist, it was the only positive case made for HCR since Tuesday.

And we all know that without Obama HCR would have been dead at the end of August. It was not progressives or the net roots who rallied democrats to get moving ahead after the tea-bagger dominated recess.

You see I don't think the House Bill is all that better than the Senate - becasue of Stupak. And while Peolosi and progressives were silent on Stupak-pitts, atleast Obama spoke out against it. If Conservadems don't fear us - the voters, they won't fear Obama either.

by vecky 2010-01-23 04:06AM | 2 recs
RE: misdirected anger all around

His latest, he has enough on his plate and would rather have a hands-off approach!! Question is when was he ever hands on?


by tarheel74 2010-01-22 08:59PM | 1 recs
everyone understands...

that killing health care reform now means killing health care reform in (at least) my lifetime.  president obama's not coming back to it, he's got other items on his agenda.  and what democrat will run on health care reform in the foreseeable future, once both president's clinton and obama failed miserably to unite the party (and the country) behind the subject?

i'm sure that's the point.  we aren't talking about stupid people here...

by bored now 2010-01-22 09:14PM | 2 recs
RE: everyone understands...

I don't know how old you are, but not everyone agrees that healthcare reform will not be addressed again.  It is a fact that the helath insurance/care industry is broken in this country.  It will need to be fixed.  This notion that there is some nebulous force making health care reform impossible is defeatist.  The problem is that our politicians are in the hands of corporate lobbyists.  If we get rid of them we can have health care reform.  The people need only be offered a real alternative to the sellouts to get the change they want.  Sure, it's a rough climb, but we really have no other choice at this point.

by orestes 2010-01-23 04:54PM | 0 recs
it won't matter to me if you put off reform...

for another 3 to 4 decades.  that's how old i am.

look, the purist vs power argument is older than i am, but the one thing i've learned is that the purists are never happy.  so chasing the approval of the fire doggers is pointless.

since the school doors are open, whatever inherent interest there was in fixing health care or insurance just got up-ended by the supreme court's ruling on citizens united v fec.  unless, of course, there is some billionaire fire dogger who's willing to drop a few billion on it.  btw, that would be great!

your suggestion that facing reality is defeatist is just silly.  it has been clear for months that those who are really interested in far-ranging health care reform had neither a message nor an interest in getting that message across to regular americans.  otoh, just mention health care reform and conservatives go absolutely nuts.

so i'd be impressed if you choose to make that rough climb, but it would be a lonely one, and i suspect the boulder would keep falling down the mountain on you.

the real question is, do you want reforms that help people NOW or must it be all or nothing?  personally, i love the fact that health care reform that could actually pass congress wouldn't satisfy people.  that means that they won't stop pushing for more and better reforms.  that is the kind of reform process that barack obama always talked about engaging in when he ran for president.  but the purists would rather have a rallying point (and you can't blame them when so few voters are really moved by health care reform as a decisive issue) than reform.  i think we all knew that they wouldn't deal well with an obama presidency.  i'm just waiting to see which one of them opposes the president in 2012 primaries, filfilling the jimmy carter comparison that tea baggers so love...

by bored now 2010-01-23 05:12PM | 1 recs
RE: it won't matter to me if you put off reform...

you said: "the real question is, do you want reforms that help people NOW or must it be all or nothing?"


That is a gross misstatement of our position.

Lets look at where FDL and the rest of us were during this process:

We supported this thing when it started without an effort towards single-payer.

We supported this thing when the keys were handed to Baccus and Grassley

We supported it when "deadline" after "deadline" passed by without progress

We supported this thing when the PO was weakened.

We supported this thing when it became clear that the better parts wouldn't go into effect for many years while the taxes would start right away

We supported this thing when the PO was initially dropped 

We supported this thing when the PO was dropped completely after a brief revival

We supported it when triggers were being talked about (depending on the nature of the trigger)

We supported this thing when it eroded womens' right to choose in the House


But many of us hit the breaking point when the Medicare Expansion was eliminated by Rahm running to Lieberman within an hour of Lieberman's demands that real reform be killed; when the White House started vicious attacks on Dean; when this thing looked like a giant gift to the very companies that are ruining so many lives while not having tough enforcement mechanisms for anything besides the mandate; and when Nelson demanded bribes and abortion restrictions in the Senate Bill.

How you can claim after all that that we took an "all or nothing" position is astounding.



by jeopardy 2010-01-23 05:41PM | 0 recs
i call bull...

the fire doggers jumped ship from the beginning.  i can't remember seeing anything written in support of the president, let alone his position.  but you probably think that ed shultz supported the president, too.  i understand the need to reinvent history, but it only works when other people believe it...

by bored now 2010-01-23 06:48PM | 1 recs
RE: i call bull...

if you want to post links from FLD saying to kill the bill before, say, late October, early November, then be my guest.

I would be interested in reading it.

As for me, I was writing pro-Democratic Party diaries on here as late as November

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 07:12PM | 0 recs
RE: i call bull...

i said: "i can't remember seeing anything written in support of the president, let alone his position."

the words "kill the bill" weren't in that sentence.  i get the bait and switch thingie, but i'm only willing to defend what i write, not what you do...

by bored now 2010-01-23 08:51PM | 0 recs
RE: i call bull...

sorry, i assumed when you "called bull" on my post, you were responding to what I talked about in the post.

that would be my assertion that FDL supported the bill through many, many steps of watering-down before they turned on it and decided to try to help kill it.

and by "his position", i therefore assumed you meant "his position on health care reform" aka "the bill(s)".

if you were not, then you were the one using "bait and switch" after calling "bull"


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 09:35PM | 0 recs
RE: i call bull...

FDL did not support the bill, they supported a position. The moment the PO was dropped, as expected, FDL came out guns blazing. I don't recall any support for triggers or any other compromise proposal either.

by vecky 2010-01-23 11:48PM | 0 recs
RE: i call bull...

Don't waste your time. More than six months ago, when this bill was in the hands of Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley (of all people), I had written that bipartisanship for the sake of it is a big mistake and it will end up killing any meaningful reform. This guy attacked me with the usual bait and switch because to him any criticism of bipartisanship is a personal criticism of Obama. Well look who ended being right. The fact is you are talking to two people without any principles or convictions barring pushing the official line of OFA.

by tarheel74 2010-01-24 12:07AM | 0 recs
RE: i call bull...

Baucus was only one of 5 committees crafting bills. In the end it was Reid who produced the Senate bill and Pelosi the House bill. Baucus atleast allowed votes on all amendments and the negotiations were on CSPAN.

Ofcourse with the Reconcilliation Bill it will now be in the hand of Kent Conrad. You can get all hissy about that too I guess.

by vecky 2010-01-24 02:34AM | 0 recs
feel free to document that...

i'm confident i argued that obama *promised* he would work with both sides of the aisle during the campaign, so your attack on his willingness to do so can reasonably be seen as an attack on him...

by bored now 2010-01-24 07:41AM | 0 recs
RE: it won't matter to me if you put off reform...

Well, your choice of language (purists) and straw man argument (all or nothing) inform me that you are not really interested in a discussion of this issue.  If that is how you honestly see the debate, your mind is closed to any arguments which counter your preconceptions.  So much for the wisdom of age, I suppose. 

As to so-called purists, I don't understand what you find so threatening about them.  Our political voices fall on a spectrum.  Someone who argues forcefully for the whole enchilada is not my enemy.  I respect people who take a strong view and hold to it, whether I agree with them or not.  I certainly don't think strong progressives are a threat to my potential willingness to accept less.  The further left some push the agenda, the better we all are in my view.  My ire is reserved for those who push the agenda in the other direction- our elected officials desirous to ram a bad bill (as policy and politically) down our throats with vague promises of "adding rooms" to the starter home at some undetermined point in the future (a low point for Harkin (whom I respect) in my view). 

You argue that the "reality" is that no one will touch health care again.  Sorry, but that's not reality, that's your opinion/prognostication about future (in)action.  I understand the basis for your opinion (Clinton and Obama failed, yada yada).  I would argue that although Clinton failed to pass good reform, Obama failed because his plan (the senate version per Feingold) was unpopular with the Dem faithful (labor unions, nurses, progressives, etc.), not because the reality is that better health care will always fail.  The industry is broken, people cannot get good healthcare, and, increasingly, more and more Americans can get no care at all.  This problem will have to be faced.  Your willingess to adopt the view that it can't be done and won't be done is what I called defeatist.  That is simply the way I see it.

I do see health care for all as a struggle that will require some reflection to ponder better means of achieving it, while building stronger coalitions with traditional Dem constituencies.  I personally have been heartened to hear Trumka speak out forcefully for pro-people policies.  Clearly, we need some real coalition building. 

So, the struggle may be lonely and Sisyphean. I don't agree with your assessment, but even if you were correct, it does not deter me in the least.  Perhaps because I come from a working class background and was given the opportunities that my parents (and siblings) did not have, I have always understood that justice and equity require a fight.  I have seen the inequities in our society from inside and out.  Standing up for my principles and fighting the good fight are not negotiable for me.

I would love to have you along for the battle, but I get the sense from your statements that you are not interested.  That's your decision.  You can sit in your chair and moan about "purists" ruining your day.

by orestes 2010-01-23 06:51PM | 0 recs
RE: it won't matter to me if you put off reform...

Look, I appreciate your remorse, but the Bill is dead, kaput, it's an ex-Bill. Deal with your guilt any way tou like. If it helps to remember the Bill and the many things it had going for it, to re-experience the hurt and the bad behaviour which led to your complicity in it's murder - we'll be glad to allow you to vent, or to confess to your crime as I like to call it.

by QTG 2010-01-23 07:09PM | 0 recs
thanks, but no thanks...

i'm not really interested in discussing the policy implications and you're not (iirc) not really interested in discussing the politics.  i'm not the least bit surprised that you glossed over my observation that the purists (wonks might be less insulting, since you seem to have decided that being called a purist was some form of insult) have yet to develop a message that reaches the voter.  that little fact has always been evidence to me that people like yourself isn't really interested in reform but interested in talking about reform.  my interest is more in enacting change -- you know like ending the right to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, expanding coverage to those who can't afford it, etc -- then talking the thing to death.

i can't speak for you (or anyone else), but i've done my part.  that's why i know that the purists have been more interested in killing the bill then enacting reform since this summer.  we started to see the purists peal off in supporting the president's agenda early on.  doesn't really matter to me whether individual wonkish idealist 1 waited until the fall or individual wonkish idealist 2 waited until leiberman's threat.  what has been clear (to those of us in the trenches of this battle) is that people have been looking for an excuse to give up, blame the president (or congress) and repeat the conservative frame, "we need to start over."

and i'm sorry that i've been unable to communicate effectively for you.  i'm not threatened by the purists or the ideologues.  this is politics (for me), there are no permanent allies or permanent enemies.  there are only people who will vote with you or against you on any specific issue.  feel free to stand up or fight for your principles.  but until you can come up with a better message and frame than republicans (government takeover of medicine!), then you really shouldn't expect those who don't think exactly like you do to join you tilting at the windmill.  democrats, liberals, and especially progressives don't have a powerful brand like conservatives do, so we don't get to simply assert that something is good policy and expect others to follow.  we have to explain why that is, and our effectiveness -- as witnessed by the president's speech on this issue -- is fleeting at best.  we elected barack obama to take on a lot of battles and sacred cows.  i don't know about you, but i'm moving on to the next one, because this one is done.  we can't even convince those who claim to think like us on how to reform health care, so it's hard to believe that we can convince a skeptical electorate...

by bored now 2010-01-23 09:20PM | 1 recs
RE: thanks, but no thanks...

I have no problem discussing political implications; I don't know where you got that impression. 

I think it's a bit disingenuous to claim surprise that the term purist has been used against the far left as a pejorative, certainly in the blogosphere.  It is used as an ad hominem attack to dismiss a view as unworthy of consideration. 

I did not "gloss over" your contention that real progressives need to get their message across more effectively.  I did not think it was necessary to restate my observation from my first response to you that we need to come up with a more effective way of building support.  I stressed the need to build a coalition of like minds to generate action on the issue (supporting new candidates who support affordable health care for all). 

The progressive position always faces the mostly hostile news media and we learned from this battle that we face significant resistance from our elected officials, including some from whom we would have expected more leadership.  This health care debate was tarnished by the constant bait and switch of our reps.  Was the public option still in play?  What will it look like? Etc.  In fact, up to this week, there was still talk of a public option coming from the conference discussions.  The gaming of the whole discussion worked to the detriment of the left- people didn't want to put the cart before the legislative horse and continued to push and hold out for a decent compromise (still are).  No one would have expected that promises made during the campaign (must have a robust public option, national exchange, etc.)- topped by the stunning statement by our president that he never campaigned on the public option- would have been so readily tossed aside.  I think Obama's comment was the turning point.  That comment dropped the scales from the eyes of many, followed by the vote on the terrible senate bill.  So, I would disagree that the public is hostile to real health care reform (polls have consistently supported this view). 

On which side has chosen to "give up," we are simply going to have to disagree.  I think those who have so readily acquiesced to a health insurance giveaway with no real reforms on cost are the ones who have given up.  That would include our president who adopted positions on this issue that he excoriated as foolhardy during his campaign.  To me, it is the lowered expectations crowd who have let us down.

by orestes 2010-01-24 12:47PM | 0 recs
RE: thanks, but no thanks...

 I am humbled to be in the cyber-presence of a person with enough integrity to sacrifice everything rather than settle for something that they see as unnacceptably flawed. I'm a pragmatist, and although that has worked out pretty well for me in life, I will never be such a saint.

I have copied your remarks and saved them, so that I can show my friends and family, sometime in the future, when the opportunity to explain just what the hell were people thinking when it was within our grasp to bury the term 'pre-existing conditions' in the dust-bin of history and we said, 'no thanks'. When 'lifetime caps' could have been made a thing of the past, but we said, 'we'll keep them for now'. When millions could have had some rather than no coverage, we said 'we stand united, and shall not pay a cent for coverage.'

orestes, you're like my Ghandi.

by QTG 2010-01-24 06:07PM | 0 recs
RE: thanks, but no thanks...

Don't worry man, I saved several of your comments some began with the grandiose "mark my words"!! What a joke!!

by tarheel74 2010-01-24 09:56PM | 0 recs
Real health care reform is the enemy of passing a HCR bill

We'd be much better off if all those damned liberals and progressives just realize that the House of Lords really have our best interests at heart and just accept this incredibly fine piece of legislation that they worked so long and hard to produce. All those letters and emails and calls coming from constituents to the "lower" house against the Senate bill must be due to the nefarious influence of FDL and it's evil web of health care hatred. If the Reps would just give up and sign off on the Senate bill President Glorious Shining Heart Obama can gather around him all his multi-millionaire House of Lords buddies for a beautiful and touching signing ceremony and everything will be all right and we can all believe in "Hope" again.

by Stoic 2010-01-22 10:33PM | 3 recs
RE: Real health care reform is the enemy of passing a HCR bill

Relax. HCR is DEAD. It's yesterday's news. You get to keep your wonderful plan that you love so much, and the line won't be 40 million freeloaders longer. We dodged a bullet, thanks to you and the other progressives.

by QTG 2010-01-23 01:54AM | 0 recs
RE: Real health care reform is the enemy of passing a HCR bill

Lesson learned. I shall be donating to the GOP in the future and attending their rallies. Clearly since all 58 Democrats voted for the bill and all 40 Republicans voted against - it's a pretty good sign of which party is on my progressive side. And no, even an (I) party dosn't hold much appeal to me at this point. That crook Bernie Sanders voted the dam bill.

by vecky 2010-01-23 04:11AM | 3 recs
RE: Real health care reform is the enemy of passing a HCR bill

Boy, you and qtg are really on a roll.

by lojasmo 2010-01-23 09:47AM | 0 recs
RE: Real health care reform is the enemy of passing a HCR bill

Along with FDL. But we're all on the same page now. I love our unity.

by vecky 2010-01-23 01:37PM | 0 recs
That's right blame on the FDL

Trying to blame this disaster all on FDL instead of the real culprits disgust me. The President and people like Rahmbo,Reid and yes, Pelosi bear the full responsibility for this fiasco. For example "IF" Obama had taken charge and stood up to the Repigs instead of wasting preciouse time compromising the bill in a desperate grasping effort for "BiPartisan Ponies" we could have had a strong bill way back in april. If THe Pres and the Democratically held Congress stood up to the Wingnuts, Lieberdems, Blue dogs and Special interests and gave us a Public Option, Protecting a womans right to choose, Reimportation of Perscription drugs, taxing the rich etc. the voters wouldn't have been so frustrated with the process and rebelled in Mass. FPL is just fighting for a Bill the President and Congress promised. Keeping Pols to their promises should not be held up to ridicule instead it should be supported. You guys represent the worst quality of Democrats and that is, your always making excuses for the failures and lack of courage to fight to the end for what is right. To the average voter this says you lack a backbone and as usual you are quick to wave the white flag, giving up without a fight. In effect you always seem to be asking americans to grovel,  and take it in the ass again, and again. All under guise of being pragmatists.

by eddieb 2010-01-23 09:51AM | 1 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

Bravo to everything said above. Blaming Jane Hamsher and FDL for the failed strategies of Rahm Emanuel is shameful and disgraceful!

by politics64 2010-01-23 10:06AM | 1 recs
sounds like you have never talked to another voter...

let alone the "average voter."  you'd be hard pressed to find an average voter who knows much about this stuff, let alone the specifics that you think people should fight for.

i know, i know, you didn't really mean the average voter, but some mythical average voter that thinks exactly like you do.  because the average voter is more concerned about all the bickering coming out of congress, not the specifics of some unknown bill they hardly know anything about...

by bored now 2010-01-23 10:33AM | 0 recs
RE: sounds like you have never talked to another voter...

Sorry. I talk to average voters every day! Now what?

by eddieb 2010-01-23 11:14AM | 0 recs

your comment doesn't reflect what average voters think about, so how was i to know???

by bored now 2010-01-23 05:13PM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

I can't understand the "pass any HCR bill" crowd. I suspect that they are beginning to see the dilemma that progressives are in with Obama and Rahm at the helm.  This is the best we can get from this Democratic administration and Democratic Senate so we might as well capitulate, declare "victory" and move on.

by Stoic 2010-01-23 10:48AM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

And your alternative would be?   

I'd like to see them pass the Senate bill with substantial improvements in a companion reconciliation bill.  What do you have to offer that's better than that?

by TL 2010-01-23 10:58AM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

one idea: Medicaide expansion through reconciliation for people who can't afford health insurece.

That's how the lion's share of the newly covered people under the Seanate Bill were going to be covered anyways, and:

"Expanding Medicaid to everyone below 215% of the FPL, and expanding SCHIP coverage to all uninsured children, should give roughly 30 million more Americans insurance for a cost of just under $800 billion, which is less than the Senate bill."

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:13AM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

And the folk who earn more than 215% of FPL (i.e: a good portion of the country), should just be left out in the cold I guess? The current bills provide subsidies for upto 400% of FPL. Households who earn 50-60K struggle with afford HC just as much as households who earn 30K. I would like it so someone dosn't have to choose between a 50K job and no health insurance or a 25K job and Medicaid.

by vecky 2010-01-23 01:42PM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

yes, but that 400% FPL still has very large out of pocket costs, and this would not.


and further:

"The Medicaid expansion could be structured to also work as a de facto extreme catastrophic insurance policy for people over 215% FPL. You could set it up so that if anyone suffered from a major medical emergency, which cost so much it effectively made their yearly income below 215% FPL, they would, at that point, be covered by Medicaid."


and finally, this moves us to our real goal (government or single-payer) while the Sente Bill further institutionalizes private corporation profit-taking


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 02:01PM | 1 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

" yes, but that 400% FPL still has very large out of pocket costs, and this would not. "


How do you figure that? In your scenario those at 215% of FPL get a good deal, but those above are left to twist on the vine. Not to mention the current bills include quite generous coverage for those at 200% of FPL. At that level a family of income 36K would pay only 2.3k for family coverage. Actuarial values would be between 90-80% and total expenses would be capped at 3.2k.


" and finally, this moves us to our real goal (government or single-payer) while the Sente Bill further institutionalizes private corporation profit-taking "


Good luck on that one. The last thing anyone wants is for the democrats to try and sneak something through by stealth. I prefer doing it via the direct route rather than adding fuel to the fire.

by vecky 2010-01-24 12:22AM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

"The Medicaid expansion could be structured to also work as a de facto extreme catastrophic insurance policy for people over 215% FPL. You could set it up so that if anyone suffered from a major medical emergency, which cost so much it effectively made their yearly income below 215% FPL, they would, at that point, be covered by Medicaid.

This would effectively put an end to medical bankruptcy in this country.

Early Medicare buy-in could be added for people without insurance who are between 47-65. This is the group who, even if they have money, tend to have the toughest time finding affordable, quality health insurance.

Expanding Medicaid, Medicare, and SCHIP are all doable under reconciliation. A bill that does these three things would only need a simple majority in the Senate, would be cheaper than the current Senate bill, and probably be no more than 30 pages long.

This strategy of simply giving people who can’t afford insurance coverage through Medicaid and Medicare is extremely easy to explain. Also, these public programs are already covered under the Hyde amendment, so there shouldn’t be objections from anti-choice Democrats like Bart Stupak. I don’t doubt for a second that a 30-page bill that simply gave those without insurance Medicaid would be dramatically more popular than the current Senate bill.

Don’t buy the lie that passing the Senate bill “as is” in the House is the only option. The Senate can adopt a reconciliation sidecar strategy, or they can do a significant coverage expansion even more cost effectively by using a reconciliation measure for a whole new bill. The problem is not reluctant House members or Senate rules. The problem is the Democratic senators themselves."


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:33AM | 1 recs
RE: Look at the game clock


Everyone's gone home. The game is over. There are no more games scheduled this season, and there are no plans for a new season. It's over. The lights are out.

by QTG 2010-01-23 11:41AM | 0 recs
I see a L00:00SER clock!

I believe your should realize Progressive fighters don't play by your rules!

by eddieb 2010-01-23 12:25PM | 0 recs
RE: I see a L00:00SER clock!

You won. I've been admitting that for days, now. Congratulations.

by QTG 2010-01-23 12:40PM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

" You could set it up so that if anyone suffered from a major medical emergency, which cost so much it effectively made their yearly income below 215% FPL, they would, at that point, be covered by Medicaid. "


How does this work in practise? Say I earn 50K a year and I suffer an accident requiring medical surgery and expenses that costs 35k. Do I have to pay the 35K to bring my income down to 215% of FDL to qualify?

by vecky 2010-01-23 01:47PM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

that's the idea of catastrphic insurance, yes.

again, this method would cover around 30 million more people outright (with good coverage and no out of pocket costs, unlike the Senate Bill), would provide catastrophic for people above 215% FDL (of which most of those people have insurance already) so that if they are one of the few above that level without it, or if their insurance is so bad that it doesn't cover enough costs, they would not go bankrupt.

It would also cover ALL children


and as you have been so very fond of saying for many months, Vickey, it "could be improved later". In fact, it would be easier to improve it later by raising the % of FDL it covers through reconciliation.


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 02:09PM | 1 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

No, that's not the idea of catastropic insurance. CI includes a small monthyl premium, but will only pay for certain events and have a very high deductible. It's better than no isnurance, but it's not a good deal for famalies or the like, who have regular medical expenses, take the example of asthama or diabetes medication for example.

Also i'm still not quite clear - does this policy also include folk who have private insurance? So basically the government bails out these companies by taking all the high expense patients off their books and onto the tax-payers dime? Where is the money for this going to come from? Taxes?

by vecky 2010-01-24 12:34AM | 0 recs
RE: That's right blame on the FDL

You see I would like to see a medicaid expansion to 200% of FPL, but how is it possible if we can't even get an expansion to 133-150% in the current bills? Plus Medicaid is expensive - it's close to half the costs of the Senate and House bills, not including the amounts to be paid by the states. Plus expanding Medicaid is not reform, nor is it universal coverage - it only helps a small subset of the population - who needs help to be sure, but as does most of the middle class.

by vecky 2010-01-24 01:45PM | 0 recs
grow up

Listen, I understand the feeling of wanting to lash out, but accusing us of being happy about this or "winning" is a disgusting tactic.and blaiming us is hypocritical for those of you who kept claiming that we should be focusing our anger at the GOP and BLue Dogs instead of the President (listen to your own advice and focus your anger at the GOP and Blue dogs instead of FDL)

Lets be clear: This is a trajedy. It's horrible that we were only given the choice between a really bad bill or nothing at all. That is absolutely NOT what FDL or the rest of us wanted, and nobody's happy about this situation. So please stop saying we are.

Lets look at where FDL and the rest of us were during this process:

We supported this thing when it started without an effort towards single-payer.

We supported this thing when the PO was weakened.

We supported this thing when it became clear that the better parts wouldn't go into effect for many years while the taxes would start right away

We supported this thing when the PO was initially dropped 

We supported this thing when the PO was dropped completely after a brief revival

We supported this thing when it eroded womens' right to choose

But many of us hit the breaking point when the Medicare Expansion was eliminated by Rahm running to Lieberman within an hour of Lieberman's demands that real reform be killed; when the White House started vicious attacks on Dean; when this thing looked like a giant gift to the very companies that are ruining so many lives (including my gradfathers and therefore my family's at the moment) while not having tough enforcement mechanisms for anything besides the mandate; and when Nelson demanded bribes and abortion restrictions in the Seante Bill.

For anybody to claim that we don't want reform, or that we were not operating in good faith here is completely and absolutely rediculous. We clearly did not require the bill to be "perfect" to get support it, as some of you have been claiming. 

You may disagree about the substative value of the bill, but it is just flat-out unfair and malicious to claim that we wanted real reform to be defeated.


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 10:38AM | 1 recs
RE: grow up

 You and the other kill-billers, most notably FDL, made 2 fundamental miscalculations: 1) that you could force improvement of the bills with threats, 2) that no one would dare to actually kill the bill rather than listen to the outraged progressives and come into compliance with their demands.

You drew a line in the sand.

Reality took a piss in your Post Toasties.

Bon Appetit.

by QTG 2010-01-23 10:51AM | 0 recs
RE: grow up

You and other people willing to follow this thing off of a cliff made a really big miscalculation: that if you give in to every demand made by a guy who wants to kill real reform (Lieberman), you can somehow give him everything he wants AND still get real reform.

And now you are throwing a little tantrum and attcking people who wanted reform because they disagree with you about substantive policy. I understand the feelings you are having right now, but you are acting like a child.

Oh, and how nice of you to completely ignore the entire comment. For instance, do you deny that the FDL crowd supported this thing for a long time and throgh many different instances of it getting weaker? Do you deny that we wanted real health care reform? DO you still maintain that we are happy and gloating about this whole thing?



by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:02AM | 1 recs
RE: grow up

2 things. First thing: I am a pragmatist and cheered at every compromise that moved the Bills forward. I was looking forward to more compromise as the Bills were reconciled (my hopes are now dashed). HCR was killed by its opponents, I was never an opponent. You were. You won.

2. FDL was for the Bills before they were against them. I don't see why that makes a difference, especially now that they are continuing to punish Democrats for trying to pass HCR. They are lunatics.

You are a surprised winner, who appears to want to replay the game to a different outcome. Maybe you'll live long enough to see a replay, but given the SCOTUS ruling, that's probably just an empty wish.

by QTG 2010-01-23 11:12AM | 0 recs
RE: grow up

you don't see why it makes a difference that FDL crowd supported this thing for a long time and through many waterings-down?

It shows that you are completely wrong about the FDL crowd's motives and feelings about reform.

But I am done talking with you. You are not arguing in good faith here anymore when you refuse to acknowledge that the FDL crowd sees the lack of real reform as a tradjedy.

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:19AM | 1 recs
RE: grow up

FDL and you both had good motives, improving the legislation. But your tactics ultimately resulted in the death of HCR, an outcome you didn't actually want but advocated in the mistaken belief that you could improve the legislation with threats. You continue to believe that the game is still on, as evidenced by your continued suggestions for how a good bill might be written. The game is over. HCR is dead. We can stop discussing the 'substantive issues' now. There is no HCR this time. You won. Congratulations, Champ.

by QTG 2010-01-23 11:29AM | 0 recs
RE: grow up

That's rich- FDL and jeopardy are responsible for the senate bill failing.  Hmm.  I thought it was our reps who came out after the MA election and started hinting (or outright stating) that HIR was dead.  Could you take a moment away from your tedious proclamations that those who wanted a good health care bill won and please explain to me how FDL and jeopardy killed health care reform?  Because I'm under the mistaken impression that our elected officials hold that power.

by orestes 2010-01-23 06:03PM | 0 recs
RE: grow up

Another successful kill-biller chimes in.

by QTG 2010-01-23 06:42PM | 0 recs
What, no response?

Come on- I asked you to please explain how FDL and jeopardy killed the bill.  You are quick to throw blame.  I am simply asking you to explain how you reached this conclusion.  I had a conversation in a bar with someone who opposed the bill.  Was that conversation a cause of defeat as well?  Or do FDL and jeopardy have some special powers?  My tone is snarky, I admit, but my question is sincere.  I would like to understand your thinking on this.

by orestes 2010-01-23 07:23PM | 0 recs
RE: What, no response?

 For weeks we heard about Kill Bill. Now, the remorseful murderers want to become ghoulish Dr. Frankensteins and reanimate the body of their victim.

It's Dead. Bury it. Don't subject us to your crocodile tears.

by QTG 2010-01-23 07:33PM | 0 recs
RE: What, no response?

As I suspected, no response.  Don't you have anything better to do with your time than to act like an a**hole, trying to disrupt others' discussions?  I will go back to simply ignoring you.  You offer nothing to the discussion but attempts to piss people off.  That you would get something out of this is pretty pathetic. 

by orestes 2010-01-23 08:01PM | 0 recs
Got your feelings hurt?

I'm 64yrs old and there is not much time left for me to "Grow up". Simply put attacking FPL by suggesting she is to be held responsible for the death of HCR is rediculous. To advocate just surrendering and passing the Senate's HCR bill without a fight to me represents a quality that is perceived as weakness and an inherent unwillingness to stand up and for what we all know is right. Frankly I'm disgusted with a party that seems so willing to give up it's ideals all under the Banner of "It's sure better than nothing". Look at whats going on here.. This blog is promoting just giving up and passing the Senate bill all because we lost a single Senator! Imagine that. We Dems have 59, thats a 59 vote majority and we are discussing accepting  a bill that, guts a womans right to choose, Taxes the middle class, forces Americans to buy private insurance, forbids Drug reimportation, lacks a Public option! All this and more with out a fight! You all seem to think the negotiations are over, the fight is over, why? because we lost a single senate seat. Now to me thats pathetic and if you are offended by my position fine but responding by telling me to "Grow up" says more about you than it does me.

by eddieb 2010-01-23 11:10AM | 1 recs
RE: Got your feelings hurt?

umm, you didn't read my post, did you?


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:21AM | 0 recs
I think I may have goofed

I think I mistook you comment as a response to my comment! I think I put my foot in my big mouth again!

by eddieb 2010-01-23 11:22AM | 0 recs
RE: I think I may have goofed

no worries - it happens to us all from time to time

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
I stopped reading FDL

It's just not constructive anymore.

Of course we should fight for a better bill - so long as there's time.  But it's past time to take our winnings and start defending and explaining them to a public that still doesn't know what's in the bill.

Start with: 30 million on a path to insurance, closing the donut hole, no denials for pre-existing conditions, community rating for premiums.

Of course there is more to do - this is going to take 20-30 years, folks.  Just like Social Security.  Just like Medicare.

by TL 2010-01-23 10:55AM | 0 recs
RE: I stopped reading FDL

Where did you get the idea the negotiating for a better bill is over? Why are you and so many here at MDD acting like a bunch of defeatists. Maybe you should read FDL a lot more. FDL is still fighting and personally as a Vietnam Vet I'd rather be on the side of fighters. Remember as Yogi Bearer said "It aint over till it's over"

by eddieb 2010-01-23 12:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Where did I get the idea?

Eddie, you really have to stop dreaming. The only thing that anyone is talking about at this point is the very unlikely possibility that some stripped down shadow of the Senate Bill just maybe, might, but probably won't - nah, there's actually no chance, ....pass.

Them's the facts, Eddie. You can thank the 'fuck pragmatism!' crowd. They killed the Bill.

by QTG 2010-01-23 12:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Where did I get the idea?

Thems not the facts qt pie. The facts are those of us who want to get the best for our country and are willing to fight instead of submit, aren't to blame. Its the cowards who quickly cave at every turn resulting in making bills totally unacceptable. I find your desire to blame the "Fuck pragmatism" crowd over the cowards, Rethuglicans, Blue Dogs, Lieberdems etc. telling. You seem quite willing to let slugs like Lieberman rule your world by blaming everyone else.

by eddieb 2010-01-23 03:50PM | 0 recs
I still have yet

to hear a suggestion on how we can deal with Lieberman other than the fantasyland of trying to turn him into a Sunday morning martyr.

by ND22 2010-01-23 05:47PM | 0 recs
RE: I still have yet

First of all, you can bypass him with reconciliation.

Even without that, a combination of carrots and sticks gets the country a better deal. you put public pressure on him, and stuff like threatening to kill all his favorite pork projects, for instance, and you most likely get a better deal from him when you negotiate. christ, even let him stew in his "was in favor of expanding Medicare only two months ago tapes" for a little while.

But running to him within an hour of his demands to give him absolutely everything he asks for is guaranteed to get you what Lieberman wants - a insurance industry gift and real reform killed.

by jeopardy 2010-01-23 07:20PM | 0 recs
my list still only has 47 senators who support this...

i'd love to see your list of 51 senators who would go along with your ideas through reconciliation...

by bored now 2010-01-23 09:23PM | 0 recs
RE: my list still only has 47 senators who support this...

well, for starters, OpenLeft's whip count had 51 for the PO, for example as of September:


but even if they are in fact a few short of the 51 right now, persuading/bribing 4 of the remaining 12 (was 13) would get much better terms than when one person can scuttle the entire thing for a few reasons:

1) some of them are more to the left than lieberman and their demands would be better;

2) in terms of Senators getting deals, if they hold out for a better deal for themelves, they could get preempted by another senator taking a deal and get shut out without getting any pork. That's why a seller with 13 bidders will tend to get a better price than a seller with only one potential buyer that knows he's the only potential buyer.


by jeopardy 2010-01-23 09:44PM | 0 recs
RE: I stopped reading FDL

Read more Liarblogfake ?!?  Oh, and Yogi Bearer.  That's about all I need to know to fully consider your suggestions.  No thanks.

by fogiv 2010-01-23 02:20PM | 1 recs


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