Democrats & Liberals Archives

It takes two to tango. In other news, Republicans not on dance floor.

You got to watch how you define Bipartisanship. Some define it as date-rape, but we we’ll politely back away from those people and not buy into their argument. The legislation on getting counselling for a living will or other medical arrangements had Republican support and Republican content. Democrats were more than willing to let this stuff in. Unfortunately, the Republican Party’s overall strategy of opposing any major policy changes from the Obama Administration has rendered the political flexibility of some in the part a moot point.

Democrats have sixty seats. If Obama wanted to be hardass, he could have rammed through legislation long ago. Instead he chose to give the Republicans more and more time, more and more opportunities to speak their minds.

The results have not been worth the effort. We could give them every concession they want, but they won't grant us the one concession we'd want in exchange: passage of a bill.

The only concession this party wants is one on election night when the returns come in against Obama and the other Democrats.

Even now, the President hasn't given up on negotiations. He's even taking flak from his party for not doing so. His own Chief of Staff floated the possibility that Democrats might have to go it alone.

And we might just have to. But having heard that, the Republicans go and try to claim the Democrats killed Bipartisanship.

That's their approach, right? It's been the claim from the start, that Democrats are somehow responsible for the inability of legislation to move forward.

I wasn't aware that Republicans were being bipartisan, really, unless you take Grover Norquist's rather nasty definition equating it to date-rape seriously. They broke the record for filibuster threats for a Congression in just a year- half the time it took to achieve a record the last time. In the end, they blocked legislation 112 times. That didn't mean they voted against it and somehow got Democratic Party support to vote down the measure, no, that meant that they didn't even allow the legislation to have the chance to be passed or not passed. They effectively shut down the Democratic Party's legislative efforts for that session.

You might consider that justified if you are a Republican. But is that the behavior of a bipartisan group? Bipartisan Republicans could work out compromises, water down legislation, lessen the impact, or even work with certain Democrats to hit the brakes on that legislation altogether.

The trouble is that Democrats might get something through, might get credit for it, and people, God forbid, might even like it. The Republicans want to operate, still want to operate as if Democrats aren't even in the room. They still want to dictate terms. History doesn't show us any other political minority playing this game, and with good reason. Sooner or later, people start to think the way that Rahm Emmanuel thinks: There's no reason to negotiate with these people. There's no good that will come of showing up to the dance floor, just to look like a fool dancing without the partner who never really bothered to show up when it counted.

I know, you Republicans will blame us for not being bipartisan. You will do this after we voted for your war, your deregulation, your welfare reform, your tax cuts, and all your other big mistakes. We helped you, time and time again, hoping to get the scraps from your table. That's why many Democrats are even now attempting to work with you folks. But right now, you're humiliating and discrediting the very people who are extending you the hand in bipartisanship.

There will come a time where people either elect better bargainers, or the folks you bargained with all those years to get all those things done, to do all those compromises just say to themselves that there is no point in further attempts to reach settlement.

And who really will be to blame? Those who tried? Or those who could never be pleased?

This is a warning: The Democrats are becoming less and less thrilled that they have the numbers but not the power. Sooner or later, we will want the power our numbers justify.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 12:14 PM
Comment #286592

i liken working w/republicans as standing in a corner and beating your head against a wall. the president states he is working w/grassley, and grassley states i will not let the passage of this bill go any further - and something about a death squad.

i see the anger in the town halls, and the one thing that strikes me is the difference between those against health care reform and everyone else is money. those who have money do not want a change, and those without change (money) NEED change (money). those are the one’s working most likely 2-3 jobs and have no time to voice their opinions. but, the rich, white, republicans have nothing but time, and money to travel to all events. is it fair that because they can afford to travel to town hall meetings that they are the only ones heard? no.

but, the americans who are lined up to file bankruptcy, in emergency rooms, in free clinics know that change is needed. i see it, and wonder why the rich do not. they stand oblivious to others needs. that is why they keep getting beat in elections. they no longer represent the american poor/middle class. their scare tactics are being debunked every day, and that makes them not only look ignorant, but also uncompassionate.

so, is this the stand? is this what the republicans really want to be known for? saying no to the sick, poor, and needy? they want to stand for the rich so much that they are willing to watch the collapse of their party? because this will be passed, and when it is, and is successful, do the republicans want to stand up and say i thought helping the poor, and sick was a bad idea, that’s why i voted against it? they better find out that this is an astroturf situation, and that the bankrupt, sick, and poor vote too. they surely realize the huge implications of opposing healthcare. but, are they so deep into the corporate pockets they no longer see the long lines of the needy? my advice, look around - catering to the elite, will it get you elected again? my guess is no.

Posted by: bluebuss at August 19, 2009 1:43 PM
Comment #286593

and as a side note, gov’t insurance will not take down the industry. heard of geico? started out gov’t employees insurance co., and now competes nationally. did it end the insurance industry? no. it competes w/insurance companies daily, and did not destroy the market. so, another one debunked.

Posted by: bluebuss at August 19, 2009 1:52 PM
Comment #286595

This is just precious. Remember the guy who said defeating Healthcare would be a loser for Democrats? Seems like he’s concerned we might lose if we pass reform without his party’s support.

Lucky guy. He can’t lose!

At least if he’s not full of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #286597

Should it surprise us that the Republicans are playing word games to adjust the polling to their benefit?

This is the money quote, where Sean Hannity shows where his true colors are:

Frank Luntz: It’s one of the most important points in this entire debate. If you call it a public option the American people are split. If you call it a Government Option than the public is overwhelmingly against it.

Sean Hannity: You know, that’s a great point. From now on I am going to call it a Government option.

This is how Republicans deal with public policy disputes. They take public policy, policy that belongs to all of us, and make it government policy.

The reality is, though, if you give people the actual details about Obama’s healthcare reform, people actually like it. It’s only when they are mislead and lied to, or fed the kind of loaded talking points the Republicans use that these things fall into disfavor.

Which tells you something: when plainly presented to people, folks like our policies. When obfuscated behind layers of ideological propaganda, of course it doesn’t sound good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 2:21 PM
Comment #286599


This is way off Stephen’s thread, but GEICO was never a part of the government. It has always been a civilian insurance company, non-affiliated.

It made its way up the ladder by allowing servicemen to THINK it was part of their government. That way it could sell insurance to them without having to compete with other insurance companies. That worked so well GEICO jumped from an almost unknown company to the fourth largest auto insurer within a few short years.

Something everyone should know about that company before they purchase insurance from it…back in the seventies North Carolina elected a strong Insurance Commissioner, and while every other insurance company operating in the state of North Carolina was able to meet the new standards of fair play and fair pricing, GEICO elected to move out of the state (take their marbles and run home). Then, when Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida (Homestead AFB), GEICO was the first company to pull its Claims Adjusters out of the state. Those who needed help the most had to wait and do all claims work by phone and mail. In other words, when the going gets rough, GEICO gets going…out of state…

Sorry Stephen, but I thought that bluebuss’s entry might be misconstrued, and when I was in the Marine Corps, and until I found out the truth about GEICO, I purchased my auto insurance from it.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 19, 2009 3:01 PM
Comment #286600

geico was only offered to gov’t employees. hence the name. period. 1st started off w/postal employees. that is the facts. and you are right, none of them can be trusted. that is why the need for change.

doesn’t it burn your acid that all of the claims denied during hurricane katrina, and then you turn on a sporting event and it is hosted by those same companies? really look at NASCAR. you’re in good hands, and seats w/insurance, but don’t file a claim.

Posted by: bluebuss at August 19, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #286603

That is precisely why we need regulation of these industries, not merely concerning healthcare.

Aside from healthcare, there’s a legitimate consideration of risk in the pricing, but at some point it’s no better than a racket. People are buying security, and if they’re not getting it in fair terms, the insurance industry isn’t doing its job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 3:59 PM
Comment #286604

The 60 democrats should absolutely get out of the town halls, get in a room and hammer something out. If they all get voted out for it so be it. They’re on a losing path anyway.

Posted by: Schwamp at August 19, 2009 4:15 PM
Comment #286607

“Democrats have sixty seats. If Obama wanted to be hardass, he could have rammed through legislation long ago. Instead he chose to give the Republicans more and more time, more and more opportunities to speak their minds.”

Funny… not all the Senate Dems are even with the president on his health care reform… so I am not sure he could “ram” anything through it this point.

I’m sorry, but the statement that implies Obama’s benevolence regarding Repubs inclusion only speaks to the partisan slant this author naturally has.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 19, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #286608

And another thing… isn’t it funny how anyone that is against the president’s health care plans can ONLY be as such for political reasons? It’s imposiible that it could actually have anything to do with… say… having philosophical differences with the prsident?


Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 19, 2009 5:11 PM
Comment #286609

Seems to me there are some moderate to conservative Democrats that are opposed to the health care reform as it is written. Medicare and medicade are about broke, social security is about broke and you guys on the left want the government to run health care. How pray tell is the government goint to fund all this?

Posted by: KAP at August 19, 2009 5:58 PM
Comment #286612

The plan for funding the public health option is to go back to the Clinton era tax rates. That, combined with efficiencies already identified in reform proposals, will cover the cost of health care quite nicely, thank you.

Social Security can be covered by removing the cap.

The solutions are simple and fair.

The answers are readily available. It’s just hard to hear for all the shouting and misinformation and insane gibberish about death panels and euthanizing grandma. Don’t let the insurance corporations and Big Pharma take you in, and don’t let the people on their payroll do it either- not the GOP, not the corrupt Blue Dog Democrats. The time is here, and it is well within our ability to make things better for everyone.

Posted by: phx8 at August 19, 2009 6:36 PM
Comment #286613

bi-partisinship is dead and Republicans killed it for 12 years when they had the house and senate and degraded their fellow politicians by labeling them as communist, weak, untrustworthy and so on. Besides name one republican who sides with the majority, I can name seven minority leaning democrats, that seems more like bi-partisanship to me.

Posted by: Jeremy at August 19, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #286614

Obama extended a hand to the Senate GOP and offered to negotiate a solution. He did it at the possible risk of alienating his base- people like me- and personally, I think he was being too nice a guy. I understand the long-term value of a bipartisan approach. However, when Senators Kyl and Grassley made statements over the weekend that even dropping the public health option meant nothing to them, they were still opposed to reform, well, that was that.

The GOP has made a political calcuation that they will benefit if there is no health care reform. That doesn’t mean there is no need for reform. It just means their own gain is more important than the country’s well being.

Hopefully the Democrats will do what is necessary, and use a manuever which requires only 50 votes (the same one Bush used to pass tax cuts).

Elections have consequences. Obama has been gracious and extended a hand. It has been decisively rejected. Time to move ahead without most of the GOP.

Posted by: phx8 at August 19, 2009 7:04 PM
Comment #286616


It’s not that anyone against the reform is somehow a kook. It is that those who are merely against reform are hiding behind the kooks…what does that say about them? Those who are against reform are just wrong, and there is nothing really kooky about being wrong, but allowing kooks to run the show is cowardly crap. Being cowardly is not necessarily un-American, but it is…cowardly.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 19, 2009 7:35 PM
Comment #286617


It’s not that anyone against the reform is somehow a kook. It is that those who are merely against reform are hiding behind the kooks…what does that say about them? Those who are against reform are just wrong, and there is nothing really kooky about being wrong, but allowing kooks to run the show is cowardly crap. Being cowardly is not necessarily un-American, but it is…cowardly.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 19, 2009 7:36 PM
Comment #286618

i can see the commercials now - family after family who had to file for bankruptcy protection asking their sen’s and house members “why didn’t you protect me”. or the poor dying having faced the insurance companies “death panel” asking why they let this happen.

it is a funny thing the only thing w/a death panel is the insurance companies. no uproar. no shouting at the president. no carrying arms out side their homes, no chanting, no scary signs. like you killed grandma. some how it is twisted like bizzaro world - the people should be shouting at the insurance/pharma ceo’s and their 12 million dollar salaries, the ones denying coverage to grandma and mentally challenged children. yet, at a hint of change the rolls are reversed - ceo’s get a free ride and still kill grandma, and obama is a grandma killing, special needs hating, socialist.

this would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. how do the republicans do it? oh yeah, they own the media.

Posted by: bluebuss at August 19, 2009 7:43 PM
Comment #286621

“Hopefully the Democrats will do what is necessary, and use a manuever which requires only 50 votes(the same one Bush used to pass tax cuts).”

Phx8, I know that my memory is faulty but, I believe you are referring to what the Republicans called the nuclear option to break a fillibuster.

That came several years after Republicans passed the Bush tax cuts. I believe the Republicans got 60 votes for cloture and then passed the tax cuts on a 51 to 50 vote, with VP Cheney casting the deciding vote. And although the Republicans threatend to use their nuclear option, they didn’t follow through.

I doubt seriously that the Democrats could get 51 votes in the Senate for healthcare reform even using the nuclear option unless the bill was acceptable to the health care insures. The industry has enough Democratic Senators in their pocket to stop any serious healthcare reform.

Having said that, the Democrats would never invoke the nuclear option for the same reasons the Republicans didn’t use it. It is contrary to the rules of the Senate and that is why Frist couldn’t get the Republicans to use it.

It doesn’t matter anymore to the blue dogs if they join the other Democrats to pass healthcare reform or not. They are not going to catch a break from Republicans. Most of them will be targeted by the Republicans and defeated unless perhaps they switch parties.

Posted by: jlw at August 19, 2009 8:18 PM
Comment #286623

jlw said: “The industry has enough Democratic Senators in their pocket to stop any serious healthcare reform. “

I think this statement is true, but, only to a point. If, and it is becoming increasingly likely, Democrats perceive their 2010 reelection numbers more impaired by a failure to pass effective health care reform, than to pass some reform so compromised as to be ineffective in meeting voter’s expectations, Democrats may, as Republicans did, choose to play hardball with their own, warning their contributions to the legislative process will never see public light if they won’t get on board.

I acknowledge the odds of this happening are small, but, I would assert that they are growing. Health care reform has become the Democrats election fulcrum issue, like it or not. No other policy issue has the public attention, or will have, barring another war or re-dip into Recession, like this health care issue. It is what voters will carry in their minds about Democrats to the polls in 2010, just a little over a year away.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 19, 2009 8:55 PM
Comment #286624

Marysdude said: “It’s not that anyone against the reform is somehow a kook. It is that those who are merely against reform are hiding behind the kooks…what does that say about them?”

What an astute and succinctly stated statement. Bingo! Democrats should be shining the camera and lights on these hiding behind the Kooks, perpetually, daily, hourly, like Sen. Grassley, and force the public to acknowledge the supporting role these Republicans have in promoting the misinformation, lies, and flights of fantasy.

But, can they do this on vacation in their respective disparate districts? NO! Dumb Democrats, DUMB!

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 19, 2009 9:02 PM
Comment #286626

“But, can they do this on vacation in their respective disparate districts? NO! Dumb Democrats, DUMB!”

David it is not that they are dumb, the dems and their followers are generally to kind and to worried about fairness to really succeed in politics. Well that and the fact that their elected representatives are bought and paid for by corporate campaign donations. Money talks.
However, Hats off to Barney Frank for having the cajones to tell the talk radio conservatives where to stuff their false rhetoric, to bad he is the exception that proves the rule.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 19, 2009 9:43 PM
Comment #286627

The moderate Democrats are for it, for the most part. It’s the Centrist/Conservatives we’re having problems with. However, you guys haven’t put them in the best of positions, really. With the Republican unwilling to deal on any level, their position of being able to create compromise bargains that will get more votes is badly weakened. The best they can do is screw up things for their own party, and paint a target on their backs for the rest of the Democrats to take aim at.

Social security is not about broke, even under the unrealistically worse case scenario Bush used to sell Social Security Reform. It will be decades before there is a problem.

Not so for healthcare. Healthcare is a fiscal crisis now, in no small part because the way things currently are. See, Medicare and Medicaid have gotten more expensive with all the rest of the healthcare. If we succeed in reducing those costs, we succeed in doing something to keep Medicare and Medicaid solvent. If we fail, things get worse much faster.

The Public Option is actually a money saver. It competes with insurance companies that more often than not have overwhelming market share, and prices to match. The CBO said that it would save us 160 billion dollars, something that can’t be said for the alternatives.

Part of how we pay for overall healthcare reform is by taking some of the Republican’s non-money-saving reforms, Such as the Medicare Advantage and Drug Benefit programs, and reconfiguring them to save money on those programs. We’ll also be raising some money on the backs of the rich, which means folks will have to go back to lamenting the terrible condition of those making over 250,000 a year, and still taking home six figures even after taxes. But on the upside, when they set up a business, they can afford to employ more people and keep them happier rather than having to hand so much of the money to a healthcare provider.

See, sometimes a pain can get you a little gain.

All these arguments about expense miss two facts: we have the programs mostly paid for, and the system we’re dealing with right now is ruinously expensive in its own right. So, it’s not as if keeping the torch aflame for a purely private market is really a cost-saving approach, either for taxpayers or for the economy in general.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 9:47 PM
Comment #286628


The filibuster threat is a non-starter. The Democrats have a filibuster-proof Senate. You really have to get off this blame-Republicans for Democratic disorder idea.

Democrats have it all. Indeed, they SHOULD work hard to bring Republicans along. So far they have not done a good job. BUT Democrats can pass anything they want and if they don’t it is because they don’t have it together. If Democrats NEED Republican votes, they better get their attitudes right. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot attack Republicans and expect they will support you.

You claim that Democrats voted for “your” i.e. Republican policies. Are you really so partisan that you divide the world so neatly? And are Democrats so dishonest that they only vote based on political calculations?

I think the Democrats who voted for welfare reform, deregulation, the war etc may have really believed they were doing the right thing. It is ironic that I have much more faith in their honesty and integrity than you do.

Politics is the art of the possible.That is true. We must all make compromises. But I do stick to the old fashioned idea that some principles are important enough not to compromise. I think some Democrats believe that too. Maybe some of them just don’t believe some of the proposals will work.

Posted by: Christine at August 19, 2009 10:07 PM
Comment #286629

Doug Langworthy-
Oh, The Republicans have done us a favor there. Their Solidarity puts their Democratic Allies in a tough situation. What good are folks who specialize in creating compromises with their Republican counterparts, when the Republicans aren’t making any deals?

They will feel the pressure, no doubt. They will not make many friends sabotaging their own party, especially if their other colleagues vote a workaround that gets healthcare through anyways. Not much point to claiming you stopped anything there.

If Obama was a hardass, he could have done exactly what Bush, who was a hardass, did with his votes: play hardball. He could do what LBJ did. But Obama has a different style.

Obama’s given your people so many opportunities to modify, comment upon, even on special occasions actually read the bills in question. And what’s the best you guys can do?

Grassley, waving around Glenn Beck books, talking about Death Panels, and reassuring Democrats that even if he gets a deal that fully satisifies his issues, he’s not going to go with it, unless he’s got other Republicans working with him.

Democrats could have long ago rewritten the Senate Rules (a constitutional prerogative of the senate: writing its own rules) so that they could pass legislation on an up and down vote. They haven’t. No nuclear option from the Democrats. Yet. I have a feeling that even the Democrats we currently have in Washington won’t want to appear impotent for much longer.

As for differences with the President on the Plans?

Well, I’m all for people airing their differences.

Unfortunately something else has gotten into the air itself. There’s a phrase thats’ going to catch on in a few days time I think: “actual details” See, when you ask people about whether they like the actual details of the Healthcare Plan, a majority likes it.

We Democrats only get into trouble when folks are polled about the BS Plan that Republicans and other Right Wingers have convinced Americans that we’re offering.

So why don’t I lay this out plainly? The Republicans are winning a PR battle against their own strawman. That will last only about as long as people remain misinformed about the plan. If the President succeeds in laying out his plan properly, he more likely than not wins people’s trust.

Can you say that about the Republican’s approach? The more truth Barack Obama tells, the worse it gets for the Republicans on Healthcare Reform.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 10:11 PM
Comment #286631

On the history and origins of socialism:


Posted by: ohrealy at August 19, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #286632

All I see her is that liberals need mommy and daddy government controlling their lives from cradle to grave, and you want everyone else to be in that boat also. Sorry Stephen I personnally do not want more government intrusion in my life. Maybe that’s what you and other liberals need but not me. I am satisfied with the health insurance I have. The only thing that could make it better would be the right to go across state lines to find a carrier that would give me the same coverage at a lower rate. That IMO is what congress should be looking into, instead of their”public option”

Posted by: KAP at August 19, 2009 10:28 PM
Comment #286633

I suppose Obama’s just talking with the moderate Republicans to expend his breath, right? You’re oversimplifying things. We have just enough votes to break a filibuster, if we all join together. That’s the condition.

If Republicans were consistently willing to help break filibusters, this wouldn’t even be an issue, but for some mysterious reason, every Republican, more or less, is cooperating to support filibuster threats.

But no, we shouldn’t blame them. It’s not as if they’re actively standing shoulder to shoulder with each other in the Senate, and punishing people (like Arlen Specter) who cross party lines.

As far as dealing with the Republicans, what do you think Democrats have been doing all summer, while the fringe of the opposing party comes out in force? Why didn’t we just pass this thing through before the break?

Answer: We were trying to get some Republicans on board. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like we can get them to bargain in good faith.

As for our attitudes? Your people have abused a parliamentary practice in order to nullify the verdict of the voters. Are we supposed to appease folks who are holding the legislative process hostage? Democrats can, and often will compromise, often too much for their constituents’ tastes. What you’re asking is for Democrats to ignore the people who elected them to give the Republicans what they want.

And you heard your own people: what they want for Barack Obama to meet his waterloo. This is politics holding things up, not disagreements on policy.

As for faith in integrity and the rest of it?

Why don’t I be blunt. So much has gone so wrong that intentions back then matter little. Your Party’s policies are no longer credible alternatives. Yet the Republicans continue to insist on their old policies, their old solutions.

Cut off from the world, stupid, foolish, or just misinformed. Doesn’t matter. If you look at the policies your party supported, the groundwork of most of this crisis lies in Republican-favored policies. That’s not merely supposition, that’s fact.

One thing you should keep in mind, while you’re handing our praise for reform opponents: do you know how much of their campaign money comes from insurance companies?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2009 10:31 PM
Comment #286634

Stephen said to me:

“Obama’s given your people so many opportunities to modify…”

Uuhhh… did I miss something? MY people??? I would challenge him to find anywhere in my posts on this subject, or any others I have made, that even slightly infer that the repubs are “my people”. That’s a laugh.

I voted for Obama, and at this point would do so again. I am a registered independent, and proudly so. There was more damage done to our country in the 8 years previous to this administration than quite possibly any other 8 years in our history. YOU will find no hard core conservative apologist here, my man.

I was simply pointing out that Obama does NOT currently have the 60 votes needed to pass his legislation as-is without some compromise with the Blue-dogs and/or moderate repubs. The assertion that he does and he just hasn’t used it b/c he’s a nice guy is nothing but obvious partisan dribble.

I, for one, am all for some form of health care reform, simply from a pragmatic point of view… there are options that will cost our government less money than the option we are currently using. It’s not rocket surgery. But simply demonizing anyone against Obama’s version is niether helpful, nor will it get anything meaningful passed.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 19, 2009 10:42 PM
Comment #286635

Stephen said to Christine:

“Your people have abused a parliamentary practice in order to nullify the verdict of the voters.”

I am curious as to what, exactly, he means by this?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 19, 2009 10:47 PM
Comment #286636

And one more thing before I give up the floor…

I have read on here many different times some form of whining about how if only people knew what Obama’s plan REALLY entailed they would be more likely to support his idea…

Uummm… okaaaayy… how about they start hitting the pavement to get the word out? Is it because those nasty wepublicans are dominating the debate? Awe… you poor democwats… poor, poor democwats…

Stop whining and get your word out… educate the freaking public and stop LETTING the republicans do it!

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 19, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #286637

It’s not the nuclear option. The Democrats could use the budget reconciliation process. It’s rare, and it’s not intended for policy matters, but the process could be used to push through reform. Budgets cannot be filibustered, so the the Democrats would only need 50 Senators + Biden. The two Maine GOP Senators might be brought on board. Senator Baucus from Montana and a few other “conservative” Democratic Senators are bought and paid for, so they cannot be counted on; still, the Democrats could conceivably lose 12 Democratic Senators, pick up two GOP Senators, and get it done.

The Obama administration is still putting out talk that it wants to negotiate, but by now it must be obvious to the administration that the GOP has no intention of reforming health care. The Senate Finance Committee has an overwhelming Democratic majority, but the leader, Senator Baucus, arbitrarily decided to restrict health care reform to a negotiation between three Democrats and three Republicans. If allowed, they will use the same tactic used to ultimately defeat the Clinton plan, namely, delay.

Now is the time. It won’t get better. Liberals will not go along with another Republican sell-out to the Insurance industry and Big Pharma. It is time to do something decent and worth doing.

Posted by: phx8 at August 19, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #286642
Stop whining and get your word out… educate the freaking public and stop LETTING the republicans do it!

It is hard to do when the congressmen haven’t read the bill and the White House is lying left and right to get this done…

Are the republicans lying and misrepresenting? Yup. Are they the only ones? Nope…

For example:

You can keep your insurance if you like it! Right…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 12:20 AM
Comment #286648

Doug Langworthy said: “Stop whining and get your word out… educate the freaking public and stop LETTING the republicans do it!”

Absolutely right on. Part of the problem Democrats have is that Obama has not drafted a Health Care Reform plan. He has only issued forth several objectives to be met by any such legislation which Congress may issue forth.

So, all the right wing bashers of Obama Care, are speaking about something that doesn’t exist, and are actually referencing Committee Bill markups in the Congress if not just B.S. for the cause of opposing Democrats.

Democrats utterly failed to get their ducks in a row on what precisely they, as a party, were going to insist on, in a health care reform measure. That in turn, opened the doors wide to specualtion and their opponents owning the topic. As a manager of an organization, I know and practice that fundamental prescription when working with the public, plan your announcements in detail, with every conceivable question and counter-argument already answered BEFORE you make the announcement.

Democrats didn’t do their homework, and went off half-cocked, a bit drunk on their majority win of Congress and the W.H., as if simply having power is all that is required. DUMB, very Dumb.

Even Obama failed to recognize and anticipate the OBVIOUS position of Republicans which was, Democrats must NOT be allowed to succeed with public opinion. That after all, is the Republican ticket back into power. We shall see if Obama has learned anything from this embarrassing event over health care.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 20, 2009 6:02 AM
Comment #286650

Rhinehold said: “It is hard to do when the congressmen haven’t read the bill”.

There is no “the Bill”. That is Democrat’s ultimate vulnerability. There are 5 proposals for A Bill. Which means the Democrats don’t have a centralized plan they can all agree upon and defend.

And all those on the right referring to The Bill or ObamaCare, haven’t a clue either, since they are referencing something that is still nebulous and far from becoming THE BILL to present to the public, House, and Senate floors for a vote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 20, 2009 6:06 AM
Comment #286653

Doug Langworthy-
I apologize for mistaking you for a Republican.

I am not the sort to count my chickens before they’re hatched. Or votes before they’re cast. I will wait to see how things work out.

But I am the sort to push better policy over worse, and if we have to do a workaround around the Republican obstruction to get what we need, then we do so.

As for what I mean by what I said to Christine, I mean the use of the filibuster to obstruct the Democrats ability to vote on legislation. I think it’s overuse is one of the most chickens*** things that the Republicans have done in the past few years. They screwed things up royally, but don’t have the decency to let the rest of us adults get going on repairing their damage.

Healthcare is just one of the Republican’s legacies of government mismanagement, and they’ve decided that once more, Their party’s victory in 2010 is more important to the country than dealing with Healthcare while we still can.

I would love to work out a bipartisan bill with the Republicans, but the problem is, we would likely have to compromise it so much as to have no effect at all. For me, that’s not pragmatism, that political expedience. Pragmatism for me is that we do what works in practice, rather than sticking to ideology as our guide.

I see the president out there, telling people about these things. But the media seems to only like to show the clips of those astroturfed fringe radicals, screaming their fool heads of.

As for the “whining” that if people saw the actual plan they’d like it? No, that’s actual polling. A majority of Americans would approve of what Obama has proposed. It is ignorance and deliberate deception on the right that has created the false appearance of public disagreement with Obama’s plans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 8:33 AM
Comment #286654
I think it’s overuse is one of the most chickens*** things that the Republicans have done in the past few years.

And Democrats before them.

But you know, it would end pretty quick if they would actually force people to filibuster instead of the chickens*** way they ‘acknowledge the intent’ of a filibuster. No one can filibuster indefinitely, eventually it would end and then they could vote…

But no one wants to lose the ability to just threaten one and get away with it when it is their turn so they have developed this ‘gentleman’s agreement’.

Both sides are responsible for its overuse because of that…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 9:37 AM
Comment #286741

Your argument has one key flaw: it addresses opportunity. I’m addressing explicit political decisions for which only the Republican Party can possibly have responsibility.

Every Republican has made a conscious decision to support the legislative blockade. They are deliberately choosing to vote a certain way, deliberately choosing as a party, to base their strategy on voter nullification.

Without these deliberate acts, there are no record setting filibuster threat numbers.

You would equate deliberate acts, deliberate political strategy, with passive adherence to the rules and traditions that make it possible.

I hold the Republican Party for the deliberations that would have to take place in order for these threats to be levelled again and again. This not something that happens by accident, and creating the potential for this, should not be equated with carrying out the thing itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 21, 2009 8:21 PM
Comment #286858

Phx8, thanks for the clarification, like I said, my memory.

As to your assertion that “Liberals will not go along with another Republican sellout to the Insurance industry and BigPharma.” I say, don’t count your chickens until they hatch.

Big Pharma has it’s deal with Obama and the liberals, no government negotiation on behalf of the people over prices. That is why BigPharma is supporting healthcare reform.

I believe that Obama and the liberals would make a deal with the blue dogs and the Republicans that would give the insurance industry most of what it wants if they could be assured that they could get enough votes from Republicans, in the House, to pass the legislation without the progressive caucus. Single-payer is off the table and Obama has signaled his willingness to accept a healthcare reform bill without a government option.

Posted by: jlw at August 24, 2009 2:34 PM
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