[updated x2] Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bipartisanship meme

Once again I was and never am big on bipartisanship and high Broderism. Bipartisanship works when you have honest partners, not some manipulative lunatics who see the defeat of a marquee and much needed legislation as a way back to power. Pursuit of bipartisanship today is self-defeating and to quote Howard Dean "The earlier the White House realizes it's negotiating against itself, the quicker it can produce a bill that better satisfies the people who actually got the president elected."
But on to Krugman:

"I am in this race because I don't want to see us spend the next year re-fighting the Washington battles of the 1990s. I don't want to pit Blue America against Red America; I want to lead a United States of America." So declared Barack Obama in November 2007, making the case that Democrats should nominate him, rather than one of his rivals, because he could free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past.

Some of us were skeptical. A couple of months after Mr. Obama gave that speech, I warned that his vision of a "different kind of politics" was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face "an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can't bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false."

So, how's it going?

Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.



Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is one of these supposed moderates. I'm not sure where his centrist reputation comes from -- he did, after all, compare critics of the Bush tax cuts to Hitler. But in any case, his role in the health care debate has been flat-out despicable.

Last week, Mr. Grassley claimed that his colleague Ted Kennedy's brain tumor wouldn't have been treated properly in other countries because they prefer to "spend money on people who can contribute more to the economy." This week, he told an audience that "you have every right to fear," that we "should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma."

Again, that's what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.



The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.

So far, at least, the Obama administration's response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It's as if officials still can't wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren't named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.

What, then, should Mr. Obama do? It would certainly help if he gave clearer and more concise explanations of his health care plan. To be fair, he's gotten much better at that over the past couple of weeks.

What's still missing, however, is a sense of passion and outrage -- passion for the goal of ensuring that every American gets the health care he or she needs, outrage at the lies and fear-mongering that are being used to block that goal.

So can Mr. Obama, who can be so eloquent when delivering a message of uplift, rise to the challenge of unreasoning, unappeasable opposition? Only time will tell.



Update [2009-8-14 23:38:1 by tarheel74]:

Thank you everyone for reading this diary for recommending it and having a spirited discussion. I did not want to add my opinion to the same space where I am outlining the opinion of one of the sharpest minds in this country. However being one of the few people who has been the sentinel on this issue from early May after closely following all the developments on health care I am surprised that the administration continued to follow this failed quest for bipartisanship and in effect ended up negotiating against its best interests. What did it do wrong?

Everything in my opinion. Let's begin at the very beginning. The administration could have chosen a proven Democrat with sharp elbows and a medical degree in Dr. Howard Dean to head its HHS division but instead chose someone who would be more centrist i.e. Kathleen Sebelius. Then instead of listening to the more progressive voices like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, they decided to put more credence in the opinion of people like Tom Daschle, Larry Summers and Austan Goolsbee. In the Senate the administration decided to hitch its wagon not with the more progressive faction, but with the more conservative trifecta of Messrs. Baucus, Conrad and Bingaman. They decided to hand over complete responsibility of drafting the legislation to Congress and Senate absolving itself of all leadership role. Then while all signs pointed towards the Finance Committee undermining the public plan, the White House decided to get into some closed door back-room negotiations with the Pharmaceutical and Hospital lobby on behalf of the same Finance Committee thus undercutting the efforts of the progressive House caucus that actually came up with the most comprehensive bill yet. Meanwhile Finance Committee member Kent Conrad went on the record to state his opposition and his unwillingness to support a public option.

As I have said before, these are self-inflicted wounds. Right now what we have is no longer a comprehensive health care reform but instead a health insurance reform much like what they have in Massachusetts. Will it keep our premiums down? Maybe in the short term. Will it stop the cost of health-care from rising the way it is? I don't see how it will. It did not in MA and having the same plan nationwide will not make much of a difference. Does all this make me angry? No, I am past that point. I am sad that the administration is letting such a chance go away, because right now I do not see how there will be a public option with more and more Democratic Senators and Representatives voicing their opposition to it. From being hopeful, I am now wishing on a miracle that suddenly everything will align and we will get some semblance of health care reform, otherwise it is health insurance regulation with maybe an exchange and a co-op.

Update [2009-8-16 13:5:59 by tarheel74]:

Someone is ringing the death knell for the public option, the question is can you hear it or are you still in denial?

First it was at the Netroots Nation where Bill Clinton tried to prepare the progressive base for a bill without public option:

"Trying to hold the president's feet to the fire is fine, but first we have to win the big argument," former President Bill Clinton said Thursday at the Netroots Nation convention, a gathering of liberal activists and bloggers who will prove most difficult to convince. "I am pleading with you. It is OK with me if you want to keep everybody honest. . . . But try to keep this thing in the lane of getting something done. We need to pass a bill and move this thing forward."

“I want us to be mindful we may need to take less than a full loaf,” he said after recounting the political troubles that followed his failed reform effort in 1994.


Then there is Kent Conrad another of administration centrist allies who since a few days back have been signaling that he will vote against a public option. Today on the Fox News Sunday show he said this:

A public health insurance option took more hits Sunday as Sen. Kent Conrad described its pursuit as a “wasted effort” and an administration official said it is not an “essential” part of reform.

Conrad (D-N.D.), who supports setting up health insurance co-operatives with government seed money to compete with private insurers, described the public option as all but a lost cause.

“Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the U.S. Senate for the public option, there never have been,” Conrad said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”

“So to continue to chase that rabbit is, I think, a wasted effort,” Conrad said.




Then there is the White House's HHS secretary who more or less waved the white flag on public option:

Apparently ready to abandon the idea, President Barack Obama's health secretary said Sunday a government alternative to private health insurance is "not the essential element" of the administration's health care overhaul.

The White House indicated it could jettison the contentious public option and settle on insurance cooperatives as an acceptable alternative, a move embraced by some Republicans lawmakers who have strongly opposed the administration's approach so far.


Make no mistake, funding co-ops is a much more welcome alternative to the GOP and the insurance lobby. Co-ops are untested and unregulated entities working on a state by state basis without portability and would do nothing to keep costs down. Sen. Rockefeller has already voiced his concerns about co-ops and you can read them here.

But to the greater point, who here thinks that the direction we are heading as far as health care reform goes is progressive let alone Democratic and more importantly will keep the cost down for consumers? This is NOT health care reform. This is INSURANCE REFORM. The government is more interested in passing the buck to the consumers. The legislation as it is being proposed by key members of the Finance Committee and embraced by the WH is something that the Republicans under John McCain proposed. It creates a mandate which shovels millions of new customers to the insurance companies but does nothing to keep costs down.

In the same vein who here thinks that a bill without public option will fly as anything but a defeat for the Democrats? Tim Pawlenty, who is a contender for the Republican ticket in 2012, is already saying out loud what other Senate Republicans like Jim De Mint has been saying. You cannot appease these people, but a party with 20% identification with the American public has just hijacked one of the key Democratic policies. Bipartisanship in this case has not only been a misguided endeavor but it is failing the majority of the people of the United States by throwing us once again, but with more pomp and splendor, at the mercy of insurance companies and their cronies.

Tags: Health care, krugman, obama (all tags)

Comments

116 Comments

Re: Paul Krugman's bipartisanship meme

Here's the takeaway:

But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

So much agida over whether or not he gives lip service to "bipartisanship", which is nothing but a poll-tested word, and has no relationship to anything that's going on.  

by Jess81 2009-08-13 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Paul Krugman's bipartisanship meme

Riiight!!

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 03:48AM | 0 recs
Obama's working v hard for the bipartisan Baucus

health care bill, which is of course the least progressive bill, and ignoring the 'side show' House bills. This is not lip service but real policy grounded in real bipartisanship, and it's bad for most of us.

by fairleft2 2009-08-14 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: "bipartisan Baucus"

You know what would be a novel approach?

A HEADCOUNT.

Because Baucus, Nelson, Cantwell, Lieberman, Specter, Landrieu, Bayh, and I'm forgetting a fistful of others I'm sure, are Democrats.  If they say they need to get Republicans on board before they'll vote for the final bill, then no amount of examining Barack Obama's navel will trump that simple fact.

by Jess81 2009-08-14 03:51PM | 0 recs
Good luck

getting this point addressed.  

The belief that if Obama was tougher Health Care would just sail through the Senate is faith based.

by fladem 2009-08-15 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Paul Krugman's bipartisanship meme

Can only agree. "free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past" is a fantasy. The Republicans have manufactured most of their opposition out of unrealities, and Grassley fell for it too.

Time for the DNC to get out the truthmobile with money and ads. HillaryCare fell because there was no opposition to the medical industry lies. People are so easy to fool.

by MainStreet 2009-08-14 11:09AM | 0 recs
If that's true

then it's going to be a hell of a lot harder to get real change and a hell of a lot harder to get the public involved.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:24PM | 0 recs
So Paul Krugman

wants Obama to ratchet up the drama.

"What's still missing, however, is a sense of passion and outrage..."

What are we, a bunch of children? I disagree with Krugman. "No-Drama Obama" is who he is and that's working just fine for me.

For those who remember, I'll paraphrase: "Let Obama be Obama."

by QTG 2009-08-14 05:50AM | 0 recs
Krugman nails it!

If Obama were just to say "Shame on you, Besty McCaughey and Chuck Grassley" then the crazies would get scared and run back to their homes, and single-payer would emerge unbidden from his forehead.

by JJE 2009-08-14 06:30AM | 0 recs
Obama's strategy is massive praise for Grassley,

and we see how that is not working.

By getting out front, personally, of the ridiculous b.s. Obama probably would have prevented, for example, common-sense end-of-life counseling from being axed from a final bill. Scaredy-cat-ism has real negative consequences.

by fairleft2 2009-08-14 09:04AM | 0 recs
I doubt it

The wingnuts will do what they will do.  No amount of "getting ahead" will prevent that.

by JJE 2009-08-14 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: I doubt it

but here's the cognitive disssonance- who are the wingnuts when he refers to one such wingnut as someone willing to work for "bipartisanship?"

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I doubt it

Yeah Chuck Grassley is now actively hawking Glenn Beck's books at townhalls; and he is Obama's trusted partner!!

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I doubt it

I believe this dissonance is why Obama's approach is making it difficult for him to get out his policy message and why he keeps having to change message.  When one side is openly trying to defeat you at all cost while you are saying "they are good people" no one is going to read that as "Oh, brilliant Machivellian move" They are going to weigh the words of the "bipartisan" as something they should listen to. It's just human nature.  

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:27PM | 0 recs
common-sense end of life counseling

you know was put in there by a Republican Senator?

oh, hey, BIPARTISANSHIP!

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman nails it!

Also, Max Baucus would resign his finance committee chairmanship and say "alright lefties, the doors are wide open!  Write your bills and send 'em through!"

Umma go get my ruby slippers.

by Jess81 2009-08-14 03:53PM | 0 recs
As good a comment

as I have read about the Health Care Debate and some progressives.

by fladem 2009-08-14 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

In conjunction with Paul's op-ed, there is this article in the NYT about the same old villians of yore engaging in a disinformation campaign.

False `Death Panel' Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots .

"right-wing media complex" is spot on.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-14 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

I think this line captures the problems we are facing now:

"So far, at least, the Obama administration's response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It's as if officials still can't wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren't named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away."

Just because you are nice does not mean that the other side will extend the same courtesy. Obama should have learned when the house passed the stimulus bill without a single Republican vote in spite of getting nearly a 100 billion in tax cuts in that bill.

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

This is where psychology comes into place. Maybe the issue is that he has blinders for this sort of thing.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

There's been some great palmistry on the issue as well.

by Jess81 2009-08-14 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

Up next: goat entrails.

Also:  Have we yet examined the possibility that Obama's fears are related to a 'clown' incident at the tender age of seven, because that analysis is overdue IMO.

by fogiv 2009-08-14 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

This is amusing. You people whine constantly about prior behaviors of others in that you believe it can be predictive of what we can see in teh future. I have seen you personally if I remember write about other people we should be concerned iwth in congress, and yet, here, when one does the same with  Obama (hold him to the same standards as others) you resort to lazy hyperbole and mockery. It requires nothing of you. You set up nos tandard by which we can judge sucess. And you do not have to be held accountable for anyting you say because you can just mock and not say anything at all that will allow us to judge whether you actually have a standard for judging Obama's actions.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

This is amusing. You people whine constantly...

Let's say it's 1918 and there are only two automobiles in the entire state of Kansas.  Now, imagine these two cars colliding head-on.  That's called situational irony.

by fogiv 2009-08-14 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

Like I said, you set up no standard by which others to judge you by. You just keep attacking, and then when called on your behavior, claim in the Rovian fashion that the person to whom you are speaking is guilty of your behavior. Ironically, below, I predicted this outcome. Guess what- it did not require an eight ball or palmistry or any other pychic impression. It is that your shtick is as predictable as PResident Obama's post partisan approach.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

Read what you wrote.

you set up no standard by which others to judge you by

Ahh, the lede for your pending judgment.

You just keep attacking, and then when called on your behavior, claim in the Rovian fashion that the person to whom you are speaking is guilty of your behavior.

You still don't get it.

by fogiv 2009-08-15 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading

Again, we have his actual behavior. Only those in denial keep pretending as you like to do that we do not. Indeed, you set up the situaiton such that yo never have to actually have a way to test whetehr his behavior as a strategy is effective. When I asked you point blank in the other diary "what is your legislative line in the sand to say whether his approach is working" you avoid the conversation and returned to trying to avoid the issue. It's now 3 major bills in, and all three have went down the exact same way. At some point- perhaps after 8 years, you will conceed that maybe it is important to examine whether approaches are working rather than the lazy 'we can not possibly know" when in fact we can based on actual behavior, actual outcomes, etc.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:05PM | 0 recs
Would be nice

If your diary was less than 75 per cent cut and paste. I read the Krugman self exculpation. You added very little to it.

by brit 2009-08-14 04:14PM | 0 recs
I think this

does violate fair use...

by fladem 2009-08-14 08:23PM | 0 recs
You do know

that this;

100 billion in tax cuts in that bill.

was added in the Senate, where he needed Republican votes, and not the House, right?

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

I do not forsee him changing.

I keep going back to this, but I saw a documentary on President Obama. In the documentary, they discuss ed the President being elected Editor at the Harvard Law Review. His liberal colleagues expected him to use the post to bring forward a new era of advocacy for liberal views on the law. Instead, he chummed up to the conservatives. One of his colleagues mentioned that she was surprised by this. Not because he chummed up to them. But by his saying that they really are not as bad as they seem or something like that. That they were just like everyone else.

I remembered thinking "Why did you ever think they were not like everyone else? Why does that even matter with regard to the views they advocated?

Take what his students said of him as a law professor. They said that he's someone with whom you could have a great conversation, but come away not having an idea of what he stands for. He is , in other words, Bill Clinton II.

In these two moments (watching the documentary and reading the article), I understood that what we are seeing now is President Obama's character flaw. He will follow bipartanship to his own detriment because he can not see any other option.

Now, I hope I am wrong. but, at a certain point- like with Grasseley outwardly lies to to President Obama, but President Obama responds by continuing his bipartisanship schtick- one realize it's not a choice for him. It is who he is.

THe best thing progressives can do is to realize this and to continue to hopefully pressure him to be more than what seems like  his natural inclination.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 10:30AM | 0 recs
at some point

Obama needs to understand that he can't run the country the way he ran the Harvard Law Review and expect good policy out of the Congress.

Maybe it will take a huge failure to wake him up.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-14 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: at some point

There are quite a number of voices that will make it difficult for him to pick up on why his strategies are failing:

a) DC Bubble

b) Centrism

c) Conservatism (the ape throwing poo variant)

d) Identity politics

e) Ineffectual left that does not use the power it has

f)His cult of personality

These forces along with his personality work against him realizing when he is making mistakes. So far, what I have seen is when he makes a misstep, they try to transform it into 11th dimmensional chess or use it to whatever interest they are representing.  They being the audience from one member of the list above.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 02:24PM | 0 recs
I think most of the discussion

on Health Care Politics misses the point by a fairly large mark.  The point was never bi-partisan versus partisan: it was now versus 4 months from now.

Time was the key variable in this fight.  The Post Partisan talk was, I think, the right strategy IF it meant he could get a bill sooner rather than later.  As long as the Bill appeared inevitable, the incentives of all of the players were to get what they could in the negotiations since all anticipated a Bill was inevitable.  

Here is the key point to understand: the quicker
the Bill was done, the more leverage Obama had.  

Now any Bill no longer appears inevitable, and the incentives of the players have changed.  Obama's position is far weaker whatever strategy he chooses.

Grassley understood this.  

Most of the talk in liberal blogsphere, I think, is completely is beside the point.  This notion that if he were tougher he would have gotten a bill isn't really grounded in any political fact that I can see.  

by fladem 2009-08-14 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I think most of the discussion

Actually I think you miss the point. The reason why we find ourself where we are is precisely because you and others advocate this post partisan shtick and President Obama follows it to his detriment in each of the legislative goals he has thus far tried to pass including the stimulus, climate control and now healthcare. At some point, if you want things to go better on the next bill or the next one after that, you have to stop making excuse and take stock of whether an approach or strategy is working. clearly, post partisanship is not.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:02PM | 0 recs
I am not an advocate

of post partisan anything.  I am not an Obama apologist.  It is interesting that you need label the argument without addressing it.  

What I am saying, as I clearly argued, is that that stragegy wasn't the reason for the delay.  He could have been as post-partisan as he wanted if he kept to the timetable.  

I have yet to hear a convincing explanation about how being more partisan would have changed s single vote in the Senate.  

The argument about the Stimulus Package really doesn't make sense, by the way, given that Obama got probably 90% of what he asked for.  

by fladem 2009-08-15 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I am not an advocate

a) Your confusion in a nutshell:

"If someone advocates that post partisanship by itself is not enough that means they are advocating partisanship alone." Reading your post and others- what makes you an apologist is the mindset of setting up this false choice of the "stick or the carrot" rather than the "stick and it.

It is critical that President Obama at some point as I have written before crack the whip of the stick against conservatives as much as he seems willing to have leaked into the press that he is doing against progressives (a la Rahm  and no I do not believe that such a disciplined team would continously accidently only mention discussions attacking progressives and yet none are heard regarding conservatives).

You offer positions that in a  nutshell say "well you have not proven x can work" but you never seem to realize that is because x was never tried. No one uses the stick.

If you read the articles outside of blogs on sites like NY Times and Wash Post, you see that in fact President Obama has been substantively focused on the Senate Finance approach since the spring. I had hoped reconciliation was a sign that President Obama was finally willing to use the stick, but not if there are deals to kill any real reform in that process.

I am not advocating partisanship or post partisanship. I advocating fit strategy to behavior by using both so that the enemies of reform will not be able to react predictably because you are acting predictably.

The right ward lurch of the bill is predictable fro the behavior of the Democrats, including President Obama.

Speaking of predictions, how would you know what would have changed a 'single vote' since Democrats have not truly tried a different approach in decade and a half?

Remember President Obama is just applying a modified form of what Democrats have actually been doing in application since the mid 90s.

Legislatively (with the exception of not actually controlling legislation) post partisan works out to be about the same thing in terms of focusing on the Blue Dogs as the source of where policy should eventually be and trying to blame any failures on the 'far left' regardless of how elusive that terms becomes when one day it is single payer, the next it is the public option and whatever post partisan will be next to water down healthcare reform.

I am for real bipartisanship in which elections for the losing party have consequences. That means that like with Social Security and Medicare while the GOP may help shape it, but they do not get to kill something like the public option not because of public will or even Congress but because a narrow band of interests as Sirota points out  controls the debate.

b) Cognitive dissonance

Explain to me how post partisanship requires President Obama to argue the cognitive dissonance of Grassley is "bipartisan" as Grassley argues that Obama is setting up death panels? This is ot the first time I have seen this cognitive dissonance at play, but it is the first time I placing a concept to describe the general since of why what he is doing has bothered me.

I get tired of abstractions. This to me is a concrete example of how post partisan works out substantively as the sole strategy on the table. I will believe in that they are willing to use the stick when they stop pushing the date back for Sen. Baucus on the bipartisanship approach. I would also believe in the WH more if they were not  making deals with the drug industry and negotiating with the Senate Finance committee since the fall at the exclusion of the House progressives rather than bring them altogether to shape a bill that reflects both sides. This was recently reported in the NY Times and other sources.

In substance, they are saying one thing, and doing another. They are saying post partisan, but doing the same triangulation of the past, but now it has even less of a reason to be triangulated so far to the right. It is not at all clear that he can not get the votes from the members in other ways for a more progressive bill such as the Senate. Yet he chooses this way - why?

Let me ask you a question- what would have happened if, rather than pushing for the blue dog approach- the WH had been focused instead on the progressive caucus and strengthening them as an organized force in Congress rather than weakening them (again a la Rahm)? Do you know? I don't.

c)Stimulus-   Remember President Obama submitted that number for the stimulus because he was looking for 80 votes or some such bipartisanship cover. He got hardly any. Contrast that number with the Bush team that submitted a higher number so that they could get the higher number that they eventually got on the bailout. President Obama through surrogates in Dec was quoting much higher than what they eventually requested.

Remember also what was said by the Senators. They choose that number because President Obama said that was his number. So, what is leading whom here? You assume that the number submitted was what President Obama could have gotten because that was what was voted on. It is more accurate to say that if he had asked for a higher number he would have gotten that.

Much of this conversation requires a memory not just for what was the end result but what was the process through out including what was said and how it changed over time. Saying President Obama obtained 90 percent of what he wants again dumbs down the standard to whatever he got, he wanted rather than listening to what he said he wanted,but choose to limit himself to because of post partisanship.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: I am not an advocate

Oh, and as for your contention that strategy was not the reason for the delay is b.s. Sorry, it just is. The delay itself was strategy. How do I kn ow this. Compare what the Blue Dogs, in the house, for example wanted to what they got. One quick practical example since again i want concreteness here- they claim they were doing all the delaying for fiscal responsibility, and yet the bill the things they eventually wanted to change would result in a higher price tag on the bill, but surprise surprise is intended to weaken the cost containment aspect of reform and limit the eligibility to the public option. These things are not happening in a vacuum. President Obama's post partisan approach plus the hands off "no skin in the legislative game when it suits him" approach also makes these sorts of delays  possible.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 09:59AM | 0 recs
but fladem

A post-partisan approach could lead to a faster process only if the Republicans were negotiating in good faith. Which Grassley definitely was not:

Grassley let the applause die down, then he replied by (again) defending his work in the "Gang of Six" senators from the Senate Finance Committee. "We may never have a bill, or after Labor Day, you could have the Democrats deciding to go ahead on their own," Grassley told the crowd, saying his participation in the bipartisan negotiations had stopped that Democrats-only approach  "...If (Democrats) do go ahead (on their own), this is what I fear.  They get done what they want, they're going to change our health care system forever. You understand I feel a little bit like the boy sticking his finger in the dike, trying to stop the ocean from coming in...If I had not been at the table, there would have been a bill through the (Senate Finance) Committee the week of June 22 and it would have been through the senate by now because there's 60 Democrats so I think that I have, by sticking my finger in the dike, I've  had an opportunity to give the grassroots of America an opportunity to speak up as you're seeing every day on television and I think that's a good thing."

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-15 12:48AM | 0 recs
The argument Obama

needed to make was that a Bill needed to be done by August.  That isn't a partisan argument. Of course it did have partisan consequences.

In the end I am not sure how much control Obama had over the Senate negotiations anyway, since we are talking about the Senate. here.  

by fladem 2009-08-15 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: The argument Obama

This is become bizare. The reason he did not make the argument is because of post partisanship. He wanted to give the appearance that he was being bipartisan thus allowing time for the enemies of reform to use that against him to pretend like they were interested in it. He can not claim ignorance of their intent. They have been making that clear since  Dec 2008. He saw that effect with the stimulus in which they said one thing, but when push came to shove he got 3 votes rather than dozen or more he expected to get for having watered down the iniatial stimulus.

And as for control, go google the NY Times article, the WH has been closely involved since the Spring.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 10:02AM | 0 recs
Are you saying

the President didn't really lay down an August deadline...because he did, and Congress told him no.

That should prove how much influence he actually has over Congress.

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you saying

I am saying his behavior has a logic to it that allows others to predict what will happen. That the Blue Dogs and the Conservadems delayed because they ultimately felt they had nothing to fear from him.  He can certainly set up deadlines, but who is going to fear that deadline if you know that ultimately the most important thing to President Obama is    bipartisan? I am saying that President Obama is not a very good bluffer, and that hurts him because he's telegraphing his willingness to eventually get whatever he can get. Look, right now, I am starting a business. One of the most important tools I am discussing is that you have got to be able to walk away from the table. It does not mean you will. 99 percent of the times you want. But you have got to be able to have the other side believe that you will. For the August deadline to have any emotional impact, people had to believe that President Obama really would proceed without them. No one believes that. This in a nutshell is why his position creates dissonance and is a fatal flaw.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you saying

PS- Pres Obama style works very well in small communities such as he might have found in community activism because often despite conflicting interest, people do feel like they got something vested. But he is facing nihilists who are trying to prevent what he wants at all cost. Thus, if you announce your principle concern above all others is to be post partisan, you are sticking a target on your back.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

I do not forsee him changing.

Then shake that crazy 8-ball thing again, maybe you'll like what it says better next time, eh?

by fogiv 2009-08-14 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

I don't need a crazy eight ball. It is based on his prior behavior. Your view point - that this is all just some kind of Machivellian chess match requires that we see the future. My approach just requires I pay attention to what the man says about himself, what others say about him who know him personally, and actual prior behavior. My comments are not a put down. They are a reflection of telling progressives to realive who President Obama is and to proceed to realize what their role will be because of these prior behaviors.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

lol

How is it that you know what my "viewpoint" is, especially without need for a crazy 8-ball?

by fogiv 2009-08-14 09:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

I have read your comments which are basically the same shit, different diary as are a number of other posters here. It does not matter who you are talking to, the subject matter or the tone of the person to whom you are talking.

And anticipation of a move I have seen you do before, no, you and I are not the same and I am not projecting this point.

You and others through out are consistently applying a double standard with regard to President obama that you apply to no one else.

Here's how Glenn Grenwald once described this documented behavior. You will say you agree with Obama on Monday when he says he supports disclosing the torturer photos (a subject I have no opinion of) and agree with Obama  again on Wednesday when he says he does not support disclosure despite the fact nothing has changed substantively between Mon and Weds. Which tells those who do care about the issue, that you don't give a shit about anything beyond protecing President Obama at all costs.

As I said, I did not fully appreciate this until I saw it with the torture fotos because I do not know how I feel about that so it was bizare to see the same sorts of behaviors I see here of people circling the wagons and saying anything without regard to reality or a standard.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

I have read your comments which are basically the same shit, different diary as are a number of other posters here. It does not matter who you are talking to, the subject matter or the tone of the person to whom you are talking.

And anticipation of a move I have seen you do before, no, you and I are not the same and I am not projecting this point.

You and others through out are consistently applying a double standard with regard to President obama that you apply to no one else.

Here's how reasonable people explain this documented behavior. You will say you disagree with Obama on Monday when he says he supports disclosing the torturer photos (a subject I have no opinion of) and disagree with Obama  again on Wednesday when he says he does not support disclosure despite the fact nothing has changed substantively between Mon and Weds. Which tells those who do care about the issue, that you don't give a shit about anything beyond attacking President Obama at all costs.

As I said, I did not fully appreciate this until I saw it with the torture fotos because I do not know how I feel about that so it was bizare to see the same sorts of behaviors I see here of people burning the wagons and saying anything without regard to reality or a standard.

Also:

You and others through out are consistently applying a double standard with regard to President obama that you apply to no one else.

Prove that, about me specifically, or stuff your broad brush where the sun don't shine, Compadre.

by fogiv 2009-08-15 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

Another expected tactic. When called on your behavior. You ask someone to spend their valuable time proving it. I am not wasting my time on you man. You are what you are. Your behavior is well known by several people here with whom I have discussed it.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman rips Obama's bi

Another expected tactic. When called on your behavior. You cannot prove it.

I am not wasting my time on you man.

Promise?  Listen, I know that in your universe you're the smartest person alive, but in the universe you share with others this is most assuredly not the case.

Now, your behavior is well known by several people here, which is why you're alomst universally considered an obnoxious know-it-all known for wild prognosticating and subsequent proselytizing.

by fogiv 2009-08-15 10:28AM | 0 recs
Good

I do not forsee him changing.

I sincerely hope not.

He is , in other words, Bill Clinton II.

Thank God.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:41PM | 0 recs
Simplest Solution:

Psychologically speaking, Obama is incapable of understanding the situation well enough to seal the deal and would be very well advised to visit MyDD for some excellent pointers on where he is too fucked up to get Health Care accomplished, and what he MUST do to salvage the situation. Our experts can remind him that the skills required to be President of the USA are not the same skills required to be President of the Harvard Law Review. How our  experts know anything about either job and the requisite skill sets, let alone know more about them than the man who has held both is perplexing and part of the charm and attraction of this place.

by QTG 2009-08-14 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Simplest Solution:

He would be much better of listening to people more educated and smarter than him like say the Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, or the other Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, or the owner of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffet. Instead he shut them out and surrounded himself with Wall Street cronies like Larry Summers and Tim Geithner and insurance lobby shills like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad.

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 03:34PM | 0 recs
That's exactly

the kind of logic that could straighten out that dumbshit in the WH! Oh, won't someone get Barry on the MyDD line??

by QTG 2009-08-14 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: That's exactly

Seriously.  It's just like Bill Clinton - he had this need to be accepted by everyone, and it led him to some self-destructive behavior.

Also: Al Gore was not comfortable in his own skin.

Sorry about that, I just got kidnapped and forced down Psychobabble Media Memes Memory Lane.

by Jess81 2009-08-14 03:46PM | 0 recs
Because both Krugman

and Stiglitz have extensive lists of legislative accomplishments.

Sorry, I know that is a bit confrontational, but a Noble Prize in Economics is not based on you ability to foresee political events.

And I say this as an admirer of both.  

by fladem 2009-08-14 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Because both Krugman

There are several who do have those extensive list of legislative experience who also disagree with him. Next excuse?

by bruh3 2009-08-14 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Because both Krugman

Well I can rephrase that and ask what legislative experience does Austan Goolsbee, Peter Orszag, Timothy Geithner have? The difference is opinion. Krugman has been a progressive and critic from the left while Obama preferred his centrists.

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Because both Krugman

It is an exercise in futility regarding Obama's strategy  to attempt to provide any context by which we can judge them a success or failure regarding policy since we are not "psychic."

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:19PM | 0 recs
Who?

And while you are at it, please list the Senators who would have changed their votes if Obama was "tougher".

by fladem 2009-08-15 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Who?

"please list the Senators who would have changed their votes if Obama was "tougher".

This is why I believed you to be an apologist. You want  me to prove to you that a strategy that President Obama refuses to use is one that would yield more votes? You ask for an impossible answer.

We both know that by the very nature of him having not used it, we have no way of ever knowing the answer to your question. That the very thing I am saying he needs to test, you want me to prove before hand that it will yield votes. With the sitmulus, if you want to go there- with post partisanship President Obama was promising 80, then it was less, and finally he barely passed the  bill.

In this context, your question is meaningless gotcha-isms.

First because you rely on false choices. Either he's tough or he is post partisan. I am advocating he use all strategies available to him rather than limiting himself idealogically to one.

Second, you make it sound  like no one has ever used toughness in the past as a part of their toolbox for success. I can not give you one with president obama but I can give you  historical examples - would that surfice or would you say those are not applicable?

by bruh3 2009-08-15 10:16AM | 0 recs
so nobody then

you make it sound like no one has ever used toughness in the past as a part of their toolbox for success.

why don't you give us those examples so we can discuss them...and compare how they can be used to help the President now, and if they really worked the way history thinks they did.

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: so nobody then

quick references- LBJ, FDR, Reagan and Bush II. Each used the stick of being the President when it came to legislation. They used the bullypulpit, had bottom lines they would not cross (power of veto), twisted arms in private, were willing in the case of LBJ to change staff that result in Medicare, and a multitude of other approaches, etc.

Bill Clinton used it with the shutdown of the government.

Different men, different Congressional make ups- some that favored the Dems and others that did not.

The only President I can think of who was not particularly good at the stick was Jimmy Carter. He also seemed rigidly focused on process-y thing s rather than outcomes. He also came into office under promises of a new era of bipartisanship.

He did not face the level of virulence from the GOP that President Obama faces, which is even more of a reason to have the stick as a part of the toolbox.

No one is against bipartisanship as a concept. The House approach is an actual compromise. It is not the best public option but it is one.

The Senate approach is capitulation. Were president Obama using the carrot and the stick, I would expect him to be pushing more for the House version than the Senate. Yet the reports are the opposite. It seems he is only using those methods that become self reinforcing: THis is all I can get because this all that I got using post partisan meetings with only those right wing GOP members and Democrats who are excluding others from the debate (Finance committee). That's not a standard for judging his performance under post partisanship as an approach.

Clinton got what he wanted under the government shut down although it was a gamble. FDR got the new deal. LBJ in a different economic time got medicare.

What I am against is having programs eliminated entirely because the GOP does not want it.

For example, you will cite that LBJ and FDR had to compromise to get Medicare and Social Security with the GOP. First, that means they programs were still going to exist, but with the public option and drug price negotiation we are discussing this on existential levels, not what form it will take. We have yet to settle their existence.

President Obama is still playing the back and forth even at this late date with what he is saying on that. He has no line in the sand, and that's part of the stick too. A clear line you will not cross, if only in rhectoric of the bullypulpit.

Second, for post partisanship to work, it requires a different GOP than what exists now. The one that exists now is regressive, acts in bad faith and nihilistic. I It is uninterested in compromise that is not capitulation, which returns us to the core point about the cognitive dissonance of calling someone bipartisan while they saying you want to form death panels to kill granny.

I am not against compromise, but I am against compromise that will not result in real cost containment, which is at the core of the problem with our healthcare system. Without cost containment, this system eventually collapses. That's the bottom line.

Having listened to President Obama, I know he knows this. Thus, I am able to judge his actions based on what he has stated he understands to be the problem. I can judge when he starts to change language to shift that bottom line.

I can ask why is tying it hand with one strategy when there are multiple strategies? Why are we being given the false choice of he has to engage in this cognitive dissonance even as the right tries to destroy any chance of a bill? What's the legislative advantage that does not rely on 11 dimensional chess?

by bruh3 2009-08-15 12:08PM | 0 recs
Fallacy, Ignorance of history here

For example, you will cite that LBJ and FDR had to compromise to get Medicare and Social Security with the GOP. First, that means they programs were still going to exist, but with the public option and drug price negotiation we are discussing this on existential levels, not what form it will take. We have yet to settle their existence.

Johnson wasn't specific at all with what he wanted with Medicare. Medicare was a universal health care plan gone wrong. When his UHC plan failed, he said he wanted a plan that would cover all retirees. There were three bills in Congress for most of 1964 concerning Medicare...one was drafted by Congressman John Byrnes, a Wisconsin Republican who opposed universal health care, one was drafted by the AMA, and one was drafted by the Democrats in the House Ways and Means committee. Johnson endorsed the latter, but refused to say that would be the only bill he would sign...he left open the possibility of signing the other three as well. The chairman of Ways and Means combined the Byrnes bill and their bill, and left out the AMA bill because he was having drama with them.

So actually it wasn't LBJ would said the program would exist, it was that all three bills already had the program existing. We don't know what would have happened had John Byrnes said "you know what, no government run plan in my Medicare proposal"

Also, the bill wasn't finalized for months...it went through five hundred amendments, including a few dozen aimed at stripping government control of the plan, something that was not LBJ's line in the sand, but the Democrats in Congress'. Johnson never said he wouldn't sign a bill unless Medicare was government run or single payer, he had no line in the sand...the Speaker of the House at the time, John McCormack, did. (sound familiar?). Southern Democrats had lined up enough votes to defeat it at one point, but many of them were outnumbered by the Republicans who Byrne was able to bring over. So basically the Democratic leadership trivialized the "blue dogs" with Republicans...something Obama would like to do, but may not be possible, as you like to point out.

And you're missing something here;

The Senate approach is capitulation. Were president Obama using the carrot and the stick, I would expect him to be pushing more for the House version than the Senate. Yet the reports are the opposite. It seems he is only using those methods that become self reinforcing: THis is all I can get because this all that I got using post partisan meetings with only those right wing GOP members and Democrats who are excluding others from the debate (Finance committee). That's not a standard for judging his performance under post partisanship as an approach.

the President has not and is not pushing Baucus' bill on the House, he's pushing Baucus in the Finance Committee...to get a bill out of Finance and allow for something to reach the floor of the Senate. He was pushing the Blue Dog compromise to get the E&C bill out of committee...he is using his strength to push something out of committees...LBJ didn't have to do this as the Democratic leadership was able to get Medicare bills out of committees with little problem (since they had a handful of Republicans voting for it).

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Fallacy, Ignorance of history here

I will keep this short. I know you like to think your BA makes you a master on the subject of history, but very few people agree with what you write on LBJ and your revisionism. More importantly, I am not confused about the fact he was not focused on process for the sake of process as President Obama is. Which is the thesis of my post. Of the many ironies here, it is President Obama advocating one and only one strategy from getting from point A to B.

All I have to go on is what is being reported. They do not agree with your last paragraph.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Fallacy, Ignorance of history here

very few people agree with what you write on LBJ and your revisionism.

Actually, that's not true, a lot of students of history agree with what I write. Those who simplify LBJ's presidency don't, because they don't go more deeply into the process of how his landmark legislations got passed.

All I have to go on is what is being reported. They do not agree with your last paragraph.

Which is why you need to not go only on what is being reported...maybe do some research for yourself...of course that might mean finding out you're wrong about some things.

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Fallacy, Ignorance of history here

a) They agree that LBJ  was postpartisan and centrally focused on process rather than passionate about Medicare regardless of what it took to get Medicare? Who knew. Thus, the revisionism.

Your revisionism is to deny LBJ had a bottom line that was not comparable to President Obama's announced focus on post partisanship as his bottom line.

Look- here's the question- when choosing between a policy that is crucial to the American people (like the public option) and post partisan bipartisanship)- which will President Obama choose? So, far, he's leaned to post partisan.  

b) Your dig about research is projection. The comments I am making comes from research outside of reading blogs. It comes from listening to PResident Obama, the people around him, reading articles from sources in the WH, etc. Your comments are not research. They are what you would  like to believe about the WH and President Obama.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 01:54PM | 0 recs
Your "research" is your opinion

It comes from listening to PResident Obama, the people around him, reading articles from sources in the WH, etc. Your comments are not research. They are what you would  like to believe about the WH and President Obama.

Another words you form your opinions based on what the media decides to tell you, I form mine by comparing what the media decides to tell me vs. what I hear from the inside and what occurred at similar points in history.

Watching MSNBC is not research.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Your "research" is your opinion

Wonder how your comment holds up today?

by bruh3 2009-08-16 06:09PM | 0 recs
Even better than it did yesterday

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Fallacy, Ignorance of history here

ps- to clarify - your arguments do not make sense in  regards to either the deal with the drug companies or setting up a deadline, and then pushing it back. At one point they were comtemplating going around Baucus, what happened to that? The simple answer is that he cares more about the process than he does the outcome.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 01:18PM | 0 recs
Actually, having met Krugman

I can say the general opinion of him is that he's an encyclopedia of economics, and the best conversation you can ever had on the issue, but completely out to lunch when it comes to politics.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, having met Krugman

Not knowing who you are, why does this rate anything?

by bruh3 2009-08-15 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, having met Krugman

Nobody knows who you are either, so tell me exactly why we care what you think?

Seriously, you are out of control.

by JDF 2009-08-15 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, having met Krugman

Except I am not making claims about Krugman based on  having met the man like it's meeting someone is relevant to whether or not we can understand their policy views.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, having met Krugman

The general opinion of him? Who's general opinion? This is the kind of comment that is almost totally meaningless because it can't possibly be refuted.

by Denny Crane 2009-08-16 06:02PM | 0 recs
Perhaps

you'd be interested in Krugman's Monday column;

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/opinio n/17krugman.html?_r=1

So where does Obamacare fit into all this? Basically, it's a plan to Swissify America, using regulation and subsidies to ensure universal coverage.

If we were starting from scratch we probably wouldn't have chosen this route. True "socialized medicine" would undoubtedly cost less, and a straightforward extension of Medicare-type coverage to all Americans would probably be cheaper than a Swiss-style system. That's why I and others believe that a true public option competing with private insurers is extremely important: otherwise, rising costs could all too easily undermine the whole effort.

a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work.

So we can do this. At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

Guess he's an Obamabot now?

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 11:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman

Not to rerun the primary wars, but I remember that one of the many reasons provided for supporting Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton was that she was too polarizing, as if polarization had to do with the Democrat candidate rather than with the Republican obsession to bitterly attack ANY Democratic president.

by markjay 2009-08-14 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman

Ah, don't worry about it.  This is primary city.

But your point is kind of vague.  More specifically, people thought that since Obama hadn't had enough time to generate a pavlovian wingnut response, he had a better shot at getting elected.  The right-wing media complex hadn't been gathering pressure for sixteen years, ready to bust open the dam as soon as you could say the word 'go', as was the case for Hillary.

I subscribed to that.  On the other hand, I thought his name and background would lose him some votes in Appalachia that would be available to Hillary - but just not as many votes.

by Jess81 2009-08-14 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Required reading: Paul Krugman

Actually that's rather the point. He and too many of his more ardent supporters are stuck in the primaries rather than the here and now.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 08:58PM | 0 recs
I think the polarizing issue

was more about electability.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:30PM | 0 recs
God...

...is this the point of this struggle over the most expensive healthcare system in the world, which still fails to insure 45 million Americans?

Let's vindicate Paul Krugman and MYDD?

Move on, guys. Obama is struggling because of the massive entrenched lobbying opposition, and a demoralised right wing that can only negate rather than create.

This is not the time to start saying: "Well Paul told us so..."

by brit 2009-08-14 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: God...

Wow, the amount of projection here. No, the diary was about listening to a different approach than the one presently taken because it is failing president Obama. But all you hear - is "i told you so." But that's you, not the diary or what is being said.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: God...

It is amazing that even at the face of near certain legislative defeat of the public option and with that any semblance of comprehensive health care reform, some would rather circle the wagons around their leader much to the detriment of all progressive principles. I read some of the comments in HuffPo when they first broke the story of the PhRMA back-room deal memo, they were insane. So I am not surprised by comments like these. I have seen worse when I first started raising the alarm.

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: God...

They (the audience here because I can not speak to the behaviors at Huffingtonpost) seem to not ultimately care about whether policy outcomes are effective or not regarding the intended goal. One of the reasons I wrote the diary I did on the subject this week was to see whether there was any line they were not willing to cross. As I said, the normal approach was to so lower the standard as to make it impossible for President Obama to fail despite his own stated objectives. At this point, I have no doubt if the bill fails they will blame progressives  rather than looking in the mirror at their own strategies.

by bruh3 2009-08-14 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I want to

confess my complete responsibility for the utter and miserable failure of Health Care Reform. I take full responsibility.
Since I have publicly apologized and admitted my personal shortcomings, I hope my detractors will stop the mean-spirited attacks on me personally, after all I am only human. This has been a difficult time for me, but most especially my family. Please allow us the time and space to heal.

I expect no further mention of the matter. As far as I'm concerned, it's in the past. Now, let's go round up some Granny's!

by QTG 2009-08-15 03:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I want to

Your mindset reinforces everything we see out of DC.  You being plural. ANd yes, sadly, I feel I must say you plural with you, singular.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop

the Kabuki, bruh.

by QTG 2009-08-15 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Stop

Yeah- I am engaged in Kabuki. I could list out the three or four arguments that you and your crew make in every diary to change the subject.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: That's cool

 Although the definition of argument I use differs considerably from the one you apparently use, which is "I am smart, unappreciated, and extremely disappointed in Obama and everyone who thinks he's a good President."

by QTG 2009-08-16 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: That's cool

Meanwhile why you do your routine here and get support from your fellow crazy crew we find out on the front page that the capitulation on healthcare reform is begining. You are a waste of my time. Bye.

by bruh3 2009-08-16 11:55AM | 0 recs
uh

clearly you missed what this site is all about...it's about bitters like tarheel and know-it-alls like bruh playing armchair president and stroking their own egos by finding any possible proof that they're smarter than the President.

Oh, you thought they were interested in healthcare reform? Oh no, it's about calling out us Obamabots.

See you over at Moose brit...you know, where we step OUT of the sandbox.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:38PM | 0 recs
Re: uh

fuckin' A!  pardon my french.

by fogiv 2009-08-15 08:44AM | 0 recs
Maybe

if we spent a little more time trying to fight for the best healthcare option and a little LESS time trying to pinpoint every fault the President has, we'd get somewhere.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 10:35PM | 0 recs
would Americans rather have

a "bipartisan" approach even if it fails to produce policy that solves our current problems? Because that's what it looks like we're getting with the bipartisan approach to health care reform.

If people are still getting screwed over by their insurance companies, or can't afford insurance, or have to declare bankruptcy because of a medical emergency, I don't think they'll say, "I'm sure glad President Obama has kept his promise to be post-partisan."

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-15 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: would Americans rather have

I am yet to hear an answer to the these two points from all the people defending the current course of the WH:

1) How does the administration plan to keep health care costs and premiums in check without a public option?

2) If the final bill does not have a public option how will the administration spin what will be a major defeat of one of this president's marquee policies as a victory?

Right now if insurance reform is the goal let us be clear about that.

I would like you to listen to what Howard Dean had to say about this:

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heat her/howard-dean-president-obama-going-ha ve-com

by tarheel74 2009-08-15 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: would Americans rather have

 The central problem is that you are trying go figure out a way to link policy to strategy in a way that is to hold people accountable.  The goal ultimately of bipartisanship right now is to avoid responsibility and  any eventual blame.

by bruh3 2009-08-15 12:19PM | 0 recs
Is this the same Howard Dean

who thought the Blue Dog compromise was great?

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Is this the same Howard Dean

Instead of attacking the messenger, which is what you generally do, can you tell me what part of the final HR 3200 you did not like? Not that it matters because all the WH back-room deals on behalf of the Finance Committee has cut the legs from under this bill.

by tarheel74 2009-08-15 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Is this the same Howard Dean

Again good luck getting an answer that does not so dumbdown the goal at this point as to make any bill  a 'win"

Good luck even more on trying to get them to admit that the WH has been undermining the efforts to make a more progressive bill

by bruh3 2009-08-15 01:11PM | 0 recs
Oh I'm sorry, is HR 3200 dead?

Kindly point out where it was announced that it was dead.

But since you asked, the idea that the government should important cheap drugs from Canada...that's probably the dumbest idea I've ever heard in my life, both because it A.) relies on a free-trade agreement we want to rid of anyway and B.) will cause the prices of drugs in Canada to rise significantly, completely defeating the purpose.

Oh, and the provision where the public option is negotiated at Medicare rates for three years. What happens after three years? Oh, that's right, massive premium rate increase.

by DTOzone 2009-08-15 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh I'm sorry, is HR 3200 dead?

Is that the extent of your knowledge? Or are you being selective of the back-room deals. Well just as a refresher, the deal that the WH struck with pharmaceutical company is two-fold: 1) it will prevent any importation of drug from Canada and 2) for a concession on Medicare upto 80 billion dollars over 10 years the administration or the Congress will not be able to negotiate with the industry to lower drug prices in case they set up a public plan or a co-op.
With the hospital lobby the WH has struck a deal by which the hospital lobby will contribute to Medicare up to 150 billion over 10 years in return if there is a public option the Congress or the administration may not negotiate any deals that leads to concessions in lowering costs above and beyond the 150 billion.
In return PhRMA has decided to campaign for health insurance reform.

So 150 billion and 80 billion over 10 years that is like pissing in an ocean. Do you really think any public option or for that matter even private insurance costs can be lowered if the cost of drugs and health care (i.e. hospital costs) are not negotiated and lowered accordingly?

by tarheel74 2009-08-15 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh I'm sorry, is HR 3200 dead?

"How is it a dodge? (none / 0)

If I'm reading you right, you're saying the difference here is that passing a healthcare reform bill without a public option doesn't give us anything to build on in the future, the way social security did.

I'm suggesting the possibility that co-ops could be something to build on.

Keep Yelling, Nobody's Listening -SallyCat
by DTOzone on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 09:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]"

by bruh3 2009-08-15 02:00PM | 0 recs
you didn't listen

which isn't a surprise...importing drugs from Canada WILL NOT lower drug prices, it'll raise drug prices in Canada.

The only way I can think of to really lower drug prices is to get PhARMA to lower them...which Obama did in his deal.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: you didn't listen

Now you know why I don't take you seriously, because you are incapable of addressing the question but go back to parroting talking points. Giving 80 billion only reduces some governmental cost to medicare but it also takes away the Congress' ability to negotiate cost cuts for a public option. Like I said 80 billion (technically it is upto 80 billion so it can be far less) over 10 years is like pissing in the ocean. In reality, Obama's deal had more to do with PhRMA spending money on health care ads than against it. It is a victory for the drug company lobby.

On the Canada issue, do you really think rank and file Americans really care about prices of drugs in Canada? All they care about is getting affordable drugs in the US. Also Canadian drug prices do not increase arbitrarily as in the US, they are controlled by the government.

by tarheel74 2009-08-16 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: you didn't listen

Also the point of importing drugs from Canada was generics and other drugs whose prices are controlled there. There is an industry in the northern part of our country that has developed around transporting seniors back and forth from Canada to buy drugs. In Detroit, seniors plan a day trip across the St. Lawrence river to Windsor, spends a day there at the casino and river front, buy their drugs from the CVS which is right on the other side of the tunnel and comes back. The PhRMA has been trying to outlaw this for years. Their main worry was this government will use legislative powers to buy generics from companies in Canada. Guess what they stopped that and struck a deal by which they don't have to make anymore concessions above and beyond 80 billion. Don't you love back-room deals?

by tarheel74 2009-08-16 08:13AM | 0 recs
Boy, you are stupid

do you really think rank and file Americans really care about prices of drugs in Canada?

They'd better if they want to keep getting lower prices.

do you really think rank and file Americans really care about prices of drugs in Canada?

and what do you think will happen when the government now has to price drugs for 400 million people instead of 40?

Simple economics...price goes up...they have to buy and create MORE drugs, the demand goes up...demand goes up, prices go up.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 08:20AM | 0 recs
Ha! is that best you can do?

Once again you would rather dodge the main point, that a viable public option cannot offer low prices if it is not allowed to negotiate lower prices with drug companies and hospitals which the WH back-room deal just ensured but keep harping about a peripheral issue.

by tarheel74 2009-08-16 09:02AM | 0 recs
No, I think it can

IF PhARMA already cut costs to begin with to lower the prices of drugs. You assume the people in charge of negotiating lower prices will actually negotiate lower prices.

But this doesn't made sense in our conversation. You asked me what I didn't support in HR3200 and I told you.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated x2] Required reading: Paul Krugman

Time for Wyden Amendment.

by TxDem08 2009-08-16 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated x2] Required reading: Paul Krugman

Wishful thinking!! Obama opposes it. Right now in the absence of a public option the Wyden amendment is much better than what is being proposed by the finance committee IMO.

by tarheel74 2009-08-16 02:12PM | 0 recs
You know who else opposed Wyden?

progressives.

just sayin.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: You know who else opposed Wyden?

Don't think so.  There are plenty of progressives on board the Wyden Amendment.  It's 1M x's better than what was proposed and what is being offered up for slaughter.

by TxDem08 2009-08-16 09:07PM | 0 recs
No, there's not

If you look around at other liberal blogs and liberal pundits, all of them have slammed Wyden for his bill...FireDogLake threatened him with a priamry.

There aren't plenty of progressives on board witbh Wyden's amendment.

by DTOzone 2009-08-16 10:36PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated x2] Required reading: Paul Krugman

Agree.  What happened to "I'll listen to all ideas"???

by TxDem08 2009-08-16 09:07PM | 0 recs

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