Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Rules Do Apply

I remember the scene in the movie The Firm where Mitch McDeere tells the mobsters he’s been unknowingly working for that he is like a ship whose cargo (all the information he knows about their operations) will never reach a port so long as he lives. He’s referring to the Attorney-Client Privilege. An Attorney is not supposed to share their discussions with their clients, or any other information given in confidence. Apparently, one of Obama’s critics is unclear on the concept.

My brother is a lawyer, and one of the things I've learned talking with him is that you try not to tick off the judge. Orly Taitz, the so-called "Birther Queen" (sounds like a monster from a sci-fi movie. Birther Queen, not Orly Taitz.) not only has a judge wanting to slap her with a fine for bringing a frivolous lawsuit, but he's basically telling her, that even if she does take herself off her client's case she cannot divulge anything covered by the privilege.

Such disregard of the rules is of course a demonstration of power, or at least bluster. If you can disregard decorum, disregard the rules the rest of the little people, the cowards and the cretins have to follow, then you can make everybody think that you've got the dominant position in the debate. At least that's the theory, because if you're wrong, what you are is an embarrassment and a poor example for those who look to you for leadership.

The other side in such a debate can spin all the conspiracy theories they want to, but that's only buying deeper into what has to be a lousy position to begin with.

My philosophy has always been that the best position for convincing people of uncertain sensibility to your cause is to start from basic facts and a position that is respectful of law and order. If you can't even get the basic facts right, if you've got nothing of substance to offer, you're not arguing from a terribly good position.

My brother, after reading the scathing decision the judge handed down said that the judge in question was more or less treating her as a vexatious litigant- a person pushing claims who's ticking the court off, more or less. The Republicans have to realize that the way they're arguing some things, the way they're behaving, is making them a vexatious litigant to much of the country. They're trying people's patience, increasing their anxieties, preventing the fruitful resolution of problems. People are not impressed with the level of intellectual firepower the Republican Party throws at the public anymore. Not with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and others like them heading up the party. When even relative moderates like Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are forced to adhere rigidly to a platform mostly unpopular with the American people, they make the decision of whether to go with Republicans or stick with Democrats fairly easy.

The Republicans, as a party, have taken to heart the idea that they can do anything and get away with it, which at this point is a fairly foolish idea, given that at least two times in a row, the inability to escape accountability has been made screamingly obvious. Even when they do win, when they do shift the balance their way, they're shifting from more to less balanced, not the other way around, and the imbalance they create sooner or later has to be addressed with a levelling of the situation, which will not be to their profit.

I mean, it's the real answer to the question of why the Republicans have taken things to such extremes, I think, even the reasonable folks. They since that if they let things settle to where they'd naturally go, the results wouldn't be pretty for them. They'd be marginalized, they'd be less powerful, they'd lose the confidence of their very fickle base, cats would be living with dogs, and so on and so forth.

I'd tell them to let it go. To accept that they were and have been defeated. But such acceptance is not easy for a party that cast itself in the role of saving western civilization. The trouble is, the rhetoric fed back into what people actually believed, and as a consequence, Republicans actually believe the worst would occur if they relented, if they settled down. Some people really do see the end. They don't trust our Democracy to restore things should the Democrats' policies fail. Well, they should. Because even in the face of a massive financial catastrophe, the Democrats think they can salvage America's economy, even restore it. They are optimistic enough to believe that we can wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, whether foreign or domestic. They believe that America can become a fairer place, and that their politics can help make it that way, despite the degree to which our competitor's policies have imbalanced the fortunes of the different classes. We believe America can get past race, else why did we choose and help electe Barack Obama? We believe Americans can decide their religion for themselves, which is why we support that freedom.

If Democrats didn't, for the most part, believe we could change the world within the rules, It would be a different story. Democrats waited through a decade and a half of various degrees of powerlessness to return as the congressional majority. The Republicans of yesteryear patiently worked through decades worth of liberal dominance. The question here is, why the Republicans of today think that they are entitled to have public confidence, power and other things restored to them, despite being not much more than a few years off of some of their worst failures.

The Republicans must remember that actions have consequences, and some reckonings must be faced and penance done before they can be forgiven for what happened under their authority. Otherwise, they will only face worse and more complicated consequences for those actions. The rules do apply to the Republicans, even if they won't admit it.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2009 8:29 AM
Comments
Comment #288632

Steve, this is a waste of time and unproductive for those involved or that show support. It does have some tendency to make the Right look stupid. However, did not the 9/11 truth-ers do the same during the Bush Presidency? Conservative politicians that I follow and respect have no agreement with these citizens.

Would you be willing Steve, to garner an opinion on why there are more death threats against President Obama? I heard it in passing several times, but have no facts or information. What I heard was that President Obama has had his life threatened more than Bush had.


Posted by: Edge at September 29, 2009 11:13 AM
Comment #288637

If you don’t like a woman questioning B. Soertero’s birth and eligibility to be POTUS, how about a white bearded man:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPxi9ispU9w

or from the Born Conspiracy at:
http://www.obamacrimes.com/new/COLB%20Facts.htm

Posted by: ohrealy at September 29, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #288640

The ‘Birthers’ have had their day…enough is too much. It’s not a matter of whether we like to have President Obama’s legal birth questioned or whether we do not, it is a matter of, ‘the question has been asked and answered’, and it is time to move on. Just because three people in the United States still feel the need to express their ignorance, does not give the question legitimacy.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2009 1:52 PM
Comment #288642

Edge,

It is the nature of the beast. Liberals always have more death threats than conservatives. It just means there are more hawkish, unthinking types on the right.

I’ve submitted several hundreds of ‘letters to the editor’ of various newspapers from Arkansas to South Carolina and Virginia to Florida. Most, if not all of those were of the liberal bent. I cannot count the number of threats, many written in crayon, that I have received. Once when I told my wife I’d gotten an especially nasty one, my thirteen years old son heard me. The next morning we found him alseep in the crotch of a tree out front. He’d fallen asleep guarding us with his coumpound bow.

There may be danger in those threats, but it is hard to take the kinds of people who make them seriously. Timothy McVeigh did not write a letter in crayon before he blew up that federal building.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #288643

Edge,
“A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama — quote — “in this environment” go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president.”
Rick Sanchez, national news anchor, CNN

I don’t think the Secret Service officially releases numbers on death threats. The topic can encourage copy cats.

Here is another article on Obama receiving 30+ death threats per day.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5967942/Barack-Obama-faces-30-death-threats-a-day-stretching-US-Secret-Service.html

Posted by: phx8 at September 29, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #288646

Never, in my long memory, has there been the type of out-shoutmanship practiced. That is probably because TV lends itself to these types of entertainment news programs, but with the Coulter’s, Hannity’s, Beck’s, Limbaugh’s, et al, calling for the president’s head, it is no wonder the numbers of threats have increased. We live in times of great incivility, and bark-shooters listen with uncivil ears. Ignorance is ‘not’ bliss, as the saying goes…ignorance is a hazard to our national health

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2009 2:22 PM
Comment #288658

“President Obama’s legal birth questioned”

It’s not a birth question, it’s a question of Soetero/Obama never telling the truth. I thought it was odd back when he was running, and his own website contained more information about his wife’s background than his. Then the passport stuff came up, and he started looking more and more suspicious. This is all relevant because his re-election campaign started several days before last November’s election. We are still in an election campaign. It didn’t end. Daxelrod’s running the PR campaign out of the oval office.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 29, 2009 4:22 PM
Comment #288665

Oh, man…and I thought…never mind, it’d just get me kicked off this site. But ridiculous is still ridiculous…

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2009 6:11 PM
Comment #288667

ohrealy,
You’re joking, right?

Posted by: phx8 at September 29, 2009 6:50 PM
Comment #288668

Edge-
My response to the Truthers is the same as my response to the Birthers. It’s not that I don’t respect people who don’t respect the official story, it’s that I don’t respect people who don’t have high standards of evidence, who keep on looking for proof even when their theory has been gutted by the evidence.

As for Obama getting death threats? Pretty simple, three words: First Black President. That’s got to tick some folks off.

It doesn’t help, though, that the right has effectively labelled Obama as the worst threat to Western Civilization since Nero and Caligula. It doesn’t help like they’re acting like he’s the Anti-Christ, like he’s going to become a dictator. This encourages people with less sense than zealotry to try and save the world at the business end of a gun.

ohrealy-
I have a tendency to drop kick conspiracy theories to the curb regardless of what poor fool is pushing them. I don’t discriminate in terms of politics nor in terms of gender. I do not care.

This is a Diary I posted at Daily Kos after a few diaries were posted on that kind of stuff. This is the comment I posted near the bottom of that diary’s comments, where I went so far as to dig up high-rise demolition videos to demonstrate the sound and the look of an actual high-rise demolition.

Just read them, and read my other comments, and you’ll find just how far I go to knock down conspiracy theories.

Obama’s told the truth. He’s American, born on American soil. It doesn’t matter what you feel, the real facts and your theory are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2009 6:53 PM
Comment #288671

Steve:

Your arguments are of a person loosing the debate.

All we need to do is move back two short years, and look at the left. OH MY GOODNESS!!

General Betray US!!

“I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”

“The surge is a failure”. (As US Troops on on the way to the war).

The irresponsibilty of your party officials in a time of war was staggaring.

I would not tolerate a lecture from you of all people on civility. You are a part of the party that wrote the BOOK!!

At it wasn’t a talk show host, it was Reid and Pelosi.

Kill the self righteousness. Your parties hands are bloody with hyperbole. It’s just you don’t like the Republicans to do what you were so gifted at a few years ago.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 29, 2009 7:42 PM
Comment #288672

Stephen, I read your intitial post three times in an attempt to understand what point you’re driving at, and it seems to me that there is a great deal of illogical free-association going on that doesn’t even come close to justifying your conclusions.

You draw a straight line between this Orly Taitz person and the Republican party without once demonstrating the connection. Is she even a Republican? I for one have never even heard of her. I notice that the judge who tossed her lawsuit is a Republican—so how does that effect your argument? Shouldn’t it? What does she have to do with Republicans like Romney or Pawlenty and the last two elections except that you say that she goes to “extremes”?

Is anyone who goes to extremes a Republican? Is everyone who goes to extremes a Republican? If a Democrat files a court case and then loses or has the case tossed out of court, is that a reflection of the Democrats’ popularity with the American people, or of the viability of their politics? You don’t even bother to connect the dots using logic. I see nothing to unite all of thise otherwise completely unrelated data—your brother, the birthers, the last two elections, etc—except your personal animus against Republicans. I don’t mind that you hate Republicans—I have my issues with them too—but I’d at least like to see a carefully reasoned argument against them instead of this mushy stuff we’re being served.

Democrats waited through a decade and a half of various degrees of powerlessness to return as the congressional majority. The Republicans of yesteryear patiently worked through decades worth of liberal dominance. The question here is, why the Republicans of today think that they are entitled to have public confidence, power and other things restored to them, despite being not much more than a few years off of some of their worst failures.

This is at least something worth talking about. The Democrats did not return to power by sticking to the Republican script, falling in line, or being “reasonable” according to a standard that the Republicans would have had them follow. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s no suprise that Democrats like yourself don’t like it.

Your question could be reversed: Why do Democrats of today think they should have public confidence, power and other things restored to them when they are obviously failing to earn and keep the confidence of the American people? If they were able to propose and defend their policies effectively, they wouldn’t have to worry about the out-of-power Republicans at all. Displacing and projecting frustration with the American people onto Republicans will only hasten what is most likely coming—the Democrats getting booted from power just like the Republicans before them.

You can complain about Republicans and praise Democrats all you like, but the fact is that the Republican’s electoral prospects are far, far better now than they were two or even four years ago. And the Democrats’ electoral prospects are becoming increasingly dismal. Looking at the direction of the polls, why should Republicans take advice from someone like yourself or share your opinion that what they’re doing now is hurting instead of helping them? That Democrats are so frustrated by present circumstances seems to be pretty solid evidence that Republicans should not only keep doing what they’re doing now but do even more of it.

Posted by: Paul at September 29, 2009 7:49 PM
Comment #288674

On death threats, BHO is the child of Fortuna Primigenia. He’s very lucky. I seriously doubt that anything would ever happen to him.

I voted for the guy twice, in the primary and general election for the Senate. By the time that the general election came up, I was already smelling something funny, not that unusual in Illinois, when Jack Ryan had to pull out of the race, and was later replaced by Alan Keyes( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSgK8opbGcQ ).

Last year, I supported another candidate in the presidential primary, and I thought I would be able to vote for BHO if that candidate lost. Supporters of Obama here at Watchblog, starting with Walker Willingham, began making ridiculous claims about their candidate, so I looked very seriously into as much information as I could about him from a variety of sources.

I live near Chicago. People here talk every day and write every day about everything that goes on, and went on, here and in Springfield. There are 10 local tv stations, innumerable radio stations, 3 main daily newspapers, and 8 more weekly or monthly local papers plus many local magazines. One source of information, a conservative suburban newspaper called the Daily Herald (circ.abt.140k) was particularly pro-Obama, which seemed very odd.

People here who like Obama, don’t have the same views as his supporters at Watchblog. Michelle Obama never even had those views. Jesse Jackson Sr. certainly doesn’t. Obama’s bio must have been shown here on PBS at least a dozen times.

Established facts about his bio are considered heresy at Watchblog. The funniest one was “community organizer”. That was something Daxelrod dreamed up to make him sound good after Bobby Rush defeated him in 2000, to give him more credibility among black voters. I’m more of a “community organizer” than Obama ever was. Yet here at Watchblog, this was viewed as an important qualification for the presidency. Don’t you see how ridiculous that is?

He’s a President who is still running for the Presidency, because, as with the US Senate seat, they never thought for a minute that he would be able to get a second term. He’s always running away from himself. Why do people feel hurt or angry when anyone has anything to say about him other than praise-singing?

“Obama’s told the truth.” I suggest you read Barack Obama and Larry Sinclair

Posted by: ohrealy at September 29, 2009 9:04 PM
Comment #288675

Craig Holmes-
I try real hard to be civil. I see it as a virtue, not a weakness. But even I have limits to my patience.

I wasn’t a fan of the Move-On title for its full-page ad. It struck me as rather immature. I would not say what Howard Dean has said. But I did say what Reid said. I don’t deny responsibility.

But I find your strident judgment on us galling, to say the least.

First, you forget the trajectory of the war to that point, and the huge rise in military deaths that occured in 2007. It was only around September that the death toll began to settle.

I spent years telling you guys we needed more soldiers, years telling you guys that if you didn’t get your crap together, that the goals we initially came in to achieve would be out of our reach. Only after everything went to hell, and the Sectarian civil war started, only after your party lost the midterm election of 2006 did we see this new strategy. And for much of 2007, this doubling down seemed little different from the rest of the “stay the course” rhetoric.

Like I said, I found the title “General Betray-us” fairly juvenile. But at that point, there were good arguments to be made that the troop surge itself wasn’t going to do the trick.

So forgive us for not having such optimism. We had, at that point, quite a long history or reasons to distrust the competence of the Bush White House in war.

As for your party’s civility, I would be embarrassed to be a Republican at this point. But I guess that’s why I became a Democrat in the first place. I was embarrassed, back then, to have a party that acted like the kind of schoolyard bullies I long despised. I was embarrassed to have a party that seemed so eager to accept the industry line BS, despite what I knew to be true through my studies of science. I was embarrassed as big fan of the Diplomatic achievements of Bush and Reagan to see my party degenerate into the fundamentalist anti-UN conspiracy theorists they seemed to become. And all the stuff about militias and everything? My God. For me, once, the Republican Party was a party of law and order. Yet it seemed to celebrate, after Clinton got elected, the destruction of government restraint on what were obviously bad behaviors.

And I couldn’t get over just how eager so many of these people, these Gingrich Republicans were to say the stupidest, foulest, most inane things.

I became a Democrat in no small part because I felt that as a moderate, as a person who didn’t then fit the complete profile of leftism, I could fit in. I could fit in as a person who believed that contact with, commerce with, and diplomacy with other nations was fruitful, good for our country. I could fit in as a person who believed in religious freedom. I could fit in as a person who valued intellectualism and rational appeals in debate. I could fit in as a person who believed that other values could be satisfied other than just economic ones, and that there was a place for government in the moderate managing of society.

I have not since seen much reason to go back. Still, I thought the Republicans could be a civil party. I had nothing particularly strong against you fellows. I went to Baylor, for crying out loud, where two different conservative groups were duking it out, and the student Democrats were a distinct minority.

Since 9/11, Its become regular for me to expect that the Republicans might, this time, dispense with the politics to help the rest of the country face a terrible crisis united, but again and again, the party has sought out a least common denominator path of trying to talk itself out of its trouble, and just keep on trucking with a status quo that most other people find to be a bitter joke. If anything, you should understand, I give Republicans the advice I do out of pity and compassion. They are scaring themselves senseless, severing their ties to other people, and becoming immersed in this world of craziness, and I don’t think that’s any picnic.

Relax. Be unapologetic fellow Americans. Quit looking under your beds for the communists you people defeated twenty years ago. Join the rest of us in repudiating the crazies, the cranks, and the conspiracy theorists.

Paul-
What Orly Taitz is saying, is being said by members of congress and major conservative and Republican pundits. And that’s the thing. You don’t see Republicans just slamming this and other dumb crap down. In fact, you see people who should know better bandying this stuff about, the death panels and the government takeovers.

The Republicans, like Taitz, whose efforts many of them support, have come to believe that anything goes when it comes to getting back what they feel rightfully belongs in their hands.

We Democrats are working on our end of the bargain, but at least we’re doing our best to keep the nuts in their place. We’re not encouraging people inciting people, making heroes out of people who show up at rallies near the president with a gun. Neither party should be comfortable with the spectre of political violence.

As for electoral prospects? I’d take a second look, if I were you. growing skepticism about the Democrats (deserved in a number of cases, has not translated into popularity for the Republicans. Our frustration does not equal your party’s recovery.

Your folks are just as unpopular now as you were when you started the year. A year of tea parties, town halls, filibustering, blockading, stalling, party-line votes. A year when you folks went for peddling urban legends about this president I didn’t even believe sane people could buy into.

People are not going to forget Bush, or the Republican Majority, and what they did all that quickly, especially if your folks insist on repeating their mistakes interminably.

I think Obama realism, pragmatism, and calm outlook has a much longer shelf-life than the Right-Wing hysteria. You got people’s attention for August, and that’s going to be your peak. Now the adults in the political system are going to go to work, as difficult as that may be, and we’re going to get something out of this.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2009 9:58 PM
Comment #288676

ohrealy-
Yes, pay attention to the man with the criminal record for being a con artist.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2009 10:03 PM
Comment #288680
We Democrats are working on our end of the bargain, but at least we’re doing our best to keep the nuts in their place. We’re not encouraging people inciting people, making heroes out of people who show up at rallies near the president with a gun.

Right. These guys are our heroes. We name our kids after them and hang their photos on our walls. It seems that many of these complaints of yours against Republicans are figments of imagination. And which nuts are Democrats doing their best to keep in their place? Howard Dean? Jimmy Carter and his buddy Michael Moore? Charlie Rangel? Nancy Pelosi? It’s hard to tell who the Democratic nuts are sometimes because they seem to be running the asylum.

Posted by: Paul at September 29, 2009 10:42 PM
Comment #288682

Paul-
Let’s see what bright eggs survive your party’s sure to be entertaining primaries before we start counting the chickens that are supposed to hatch. You’re citing a generic survey. But the Republicans you folks are going to push will be anything but generic. They will be hardliners because your party accepts nothing less. And this election is more than a year away.

There’s more to this equation than numbers.

As for loonies, don’t try and pass off your all too typical list of talking point targets as a bunch of loonies. Okay? If we have Jimmy Carter, you have George W. Bush. If we have Michael Moore, you have those self-righteous twits who walked into ACORN offices as a Pimp and a ho. If we have Howard Dean, who actually won elections as DNC head, you have Michael Steele, who can’t seem to open his mouth with out keeping his teeth company with his toes.

If we have Charlie Rangel, you have Duke Cunningham, Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, and so on and so forth. and what’s more, your people spent a lot of time excusing this behavior. Democrats are just as inclined to dump liabilities like this, rather than let them sink the party.

As for Nancy Pelosi? Do you want to compare Newt Gingrich, who shutdown the government because Bill Clinton wasn’t feeling talkative on the way to a Friend’s funeral? Or do you want to compare Denny Hastert, who allowed the Bush Administration to use his Congress as a rubber stamp?

But tell me Sarah Palin and screamer Joe Wilson aren’t held in high regard for their disrespectful tones and their breaches of decorum. Tell me you don’t have media figures like G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, who rose to fame on the back of their own criminal prosecutions, respectfully burglarizing a psychiatrists office and DNC headquarters, and selling arms to Iran to reward them for taking hostages so you could illegally fund an war in Central America.

Tell me that your major pundits like Rush and Glenn Beck are talking about substantive things, rather than ranting insanely about Barack Obama’s inclusion in a song by schoolchildren, as if he were trying to found a Hitler Youth.

You’re one to talk about inmates running the asylum. If doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, what is the Republican party and its policies at this point?

Do not underestimate your liabilities again. You cannot keep this insanity up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2009 11:47 PM
Comment #288690

Stephen:

My point is that you as a democrat don’t have the moral authority to criticize on hatred. Work on the hatred from the left. When that is solved come back and talk about what you have learned.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 30, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #288693
Okay? If we have Jimmy Carter, you have George W. Bush. If we have Michael Moore, you have those self-righteous twits who walked into ACORN offices as a Pimp and a ho…

Stephen, this kind of talk is what I’d expect before a food fight breaks out in a middle school cafeteria. “You started it!” “No, you started it!:

I’ve never said that there aren’t eccentrics and loons on the right. But I’ve also not said that my side is lilly-white pure and washed in the blood of the lamb while the other side is the spawn of the devil, which seems to be your general approach to comparing the parties.

We can quibble about who the “loonies” are in the other party, but the point is that they’re there. And it has in fact always been a part of politics that one side thinks the other is playing low-down and dirty. This accusation comes hottest and heaviest when the party in power can’t get their way, which is why we see leading Democrats and their followers getting so pouty lately. It also seems to the case when the public seems to buying into the other side’s lies and distortions instead of your own side’s lies and distortions.
This is the way of it, and nobody can just pick up their ball and go crying home to mommy. Politics is a rough and tumble business.

When the Republicans were in power, we saw novels and movies that fantasized about murdering the president, forged documents used to attack the presidet, and the same if not a higher degree of fact-skewing and mud-slinging from all quarters of the left. Is there some of this going on now from the right? Why, yes, there is! What a shock. And is it succeeding? To a great extent, yes. What a shock that is too.

A person can always choose to get down in the mud and wrestle with the pigs if they want. But as the old addage goes, you just get dirty and the pigs like it. If you choose to rise above the fray, then all you can do is try to make the strongest case you can for the policies you prefer and hope that the public agrees. Complaining about “fairness,” however, gets you nothing. Life isn’t fair, and politics sure isn’t.

Posted by: Paul at September 30, 2009 12:25 PM
Comment #288696

Craig Holmes-
It is a matter of proportion. Obama wins a clear victory in the electoral college, a clear majority of voters, and yet some Republicans seriously consider his hold on the office illegitimate, whether because of the irresponsible questioning of Barack Obama’s documented status as a natural born American citizen, or because they think somehow that his politics cancels out the mandate the public gave him.

Compare that to Democratic Party complaints about George W. Bush, who really did come to power in a disputed election where his people threw some pretty sharp elbows.

Compare Obama, who has fought for a bipartisan deal on healthcare, even when it’s undermined support from his own people, to the Republicans who basically called a triple amputee war hero a friend of our enemies, and replaced him with a man who sat out the war with knee injury.

Compare the Democrats, who fought a bitter fight to take back the Congress and the White House, but never really let the rhetoric reach the point where anything else than a peaceful, constitutional, electoral victory was considered the goal. There was no hinting that violence or secession, or any of that garbage would come if we didn’t get what we wanted.

You talk of hatred, but point out the Democrats to me who are seriously willing to sever their states from the rest of the nation. And then show me that this person is taken seriously by the political mainstream of the party.

That a Republican like Rick Perry would even flirt with the idea that Texas might secede shows where your people are at. That last years presidential tick included a person who associated themselves with secessionist interests up in Alaska shows people the same thing.

No, it’s you has to come to grips with the hatred brewing within your party, the pathological rejection of anything and everyone who departs from the party platform. There’s no give, no tolerance within your party for real dissent.

And what makes this BS even more difficult to tolerate is the Double Standard. One Democrat sizes up the Republican policy on healthcare as, “Don’t get sick, or if you get sick, die quickly”, and they’re up in arms demanding an apology. How dare he? But what have Republicans said in the health debate?

As for the politics, isn’t it a little late in the game for congressional Republican to feign outrage about death-related rhetoric? Ryan Grim noted this morning, “[C]harges that the opposition’s health care plan will kill people have been about as common on the House floor lately as resolutions naming post offices.”

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) said Dem plans would tell seniors to “drop dead.” Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said Democratic plans for a public option would “kill people.” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said Dems’ proposals might “put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.” Plenty of other House Republicans have made similar remarks, and not one of them has every apologized. House Democrats haven’t even asked.

Grayson may have been deliberately provocative to highlight a larger point, but if “die quickly” is beyond the pale, the GOP should probably start lining up now, asking for forgiveness for months of dishonest fear-mongering.

I mean, really. It’s like the Republicans get to be punks with attitudes, and are expected to lose their temper and say unfair and belligerent things, but the Democrats are expected to be good little boys and girls in bowties and bonnets, and are given dirty looks for even raising our voices.

Not that I want us to become punks like the Republicans, but can we stop asking Democrats to bite their tongues while the luminaries in the Republican parties scream bloody murder with their hair on fire?

Paul-
Your eccentrics and loons seem to be in charge of the party. My party’s far from perfect. I keep telling folks to go to Liberal websites and actually look at what people are doing and saying. Nobody’s saying that my party is washed in the blood of the lamb either. But we are acknowledging the need for change in our party away from what it’s been in the past.

About that movie dealing with Bush’s death: from what I hear, it’s a serious movie about the imagined circumstances and consequences of Bush’s assassination. What’s more, it’s not even American made.

Recall, though, during the Clinton administration, that there were plenty of movies about a wayward president: Primary Colors, Absolute Power, Wag the Dog, Mars Attacks, just to name a few. At least two of those named kill off the President at the end. And don’t forget the use of the destruction of the White House as an applause generator in Independence Day. Although you did see, as in Air Force One, Dave, and The American President chief executives who played against that type.

Many of these filmmakers were Liberals. It’s not unusual for Hollywood to play off the current political scene. If you wanted better representation in the movies, you should have had a better President.

But if you look at the Right Wing right now, you’re seeing more than just the usual satire, veiled references, and healthy fun that many of those movies represented. Instead, you get stuff that gets people worried that certain folks are wanting to kill the President, or do something similarly foolish. Politics is rough and tumble, but it’s not worth killing people over a difference of political opinion.

As for getting down in the fray? Well, I’m a big fan of folks who remain above the mudslinging. I do my best to make sure I’m backing my points with statements and facts. But I’m not Vulcan, and I can’t help but be disturbed at the level of vitriol on the right. Why can’t the Republicans be reasonable about what is a perfectly natural changing of the guard in politics?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 30, 2009 2:59 PM
Comment #288706
Why can’t the Republicans be reasonable about what is a perfectly natural changing of the guard in politics?

If you really don’t know, it’s because they want another changing of the guard and are effectively maneuvering to bring one about. What do you mean by reasonable? Republicans in Congress were elected to represent those who elected them and not to roll over just because that would make things easier for Democrats, so asking them to be “reasonable” is akin to asking them not to do their jobs.

Let’s not forget how the Democrats achieved a changing of the guard in the first place. Besides attacking Republicans in ways that the Republicans probably didn’t consider “reasonable,” they recruited and ran a great many conservatives, which is why the Blue Dog coalition is now such a powerful force. These people are not leftists, and while they proved useful to the left by getting elected in such numbers that Pelosi and Reid were able to take over their respective chambers, they are now refusing to be led around on a leash. This is the price that Democrats had to pay to achieve a majority because there just aren’t enough liberal voters out there to install a liberal majority in government.

Compare Obama, who has fought for a bipartisan deal on healthcare…

Obama always says that what he’s doing is “bipartisan,” and will march out the names of whatever two or three Republicans in the nation who support whatever he’s talking about. I wonder, though. How many of the major Bush intitiatives that the left condemns him for had as little actual bipartisan support as anything Obama has done? I don’t believe that any president in recent memory has been less bipartisan than Obama.

Posted by: Paul at September 30, 2009 4:34 PM
Comment #288708

Paul-
The Democrats recruited broad-spectrum, not just blue-dogs. The reason why Blue-Dogs are a significant part of the Democratic Party is that conservatism’s rise over the last few decades has been quite favorable to conservative Democrats. Democrats couldn’t afford to let go seats in order to get more loyal Democrats, and these guys could also work out deals with the Republicans.

Only problem is, these guys are your folk’s first targets, and they no longer have real pull with the Republicans in Congress, so they can’t get deals for bipartisan legislation from the Republicans when they really need them.

The combination of Democratic dominance and Republican intransigence is making them as useless as teats on a boar. Expect their influence to decline. You’ve already made a laughing stock and a political pariah out of Max Baucus. See what happens when you try and make deals with the Republicans? You don’t get votes for them, or respect from your fellow Democrats, because the Republicans concede nothing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 30, 2009 5:47 PM
Comment #288711

Stephen:

It is a matter of proportion.

I got it. Your argument is that we are terrible because we hate more than you do. We are more pregnant than you are.

Hogwash.

Here is an article that explains it a bit better than I can:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/09/024618.php

Where were all of you defenders of civility for the last eight years? It is simply that she show is on the other foot.

Obama is experiencing nothing that George Bush didn’t experience. Or Clinton for that matter.

I think their is a need for more civility in public discourse. but you are way off the path. You are so far to the left that you can’t see hate when it is in your own party. It is back to we are all pure and light, and Republicans are all hate. It is just pure crap.

As your former party chair said:

“I HATE Republicans and everything they stand for”

And all of you democrats let him keep his job and now want to stand in judgment.

we have a long way to go.

Stephen, on this one you are a part of the problem. Just be opposed to hate wherever you find it. Better yet, start with your own parties hate, solve that and then come teach us what you learned.

Your argument that we are not as pregnant as you are is not very strong.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 30, 2009 7:04 PM
Comment #288712
You’ve already made a laughing stock and a political pariah out of Max Baucus. See what happens when you try and make deals with the Republicans?

Max Baucus was put in an impossible position and set up to fail by his own party. Chiefly he was set up to fail by Barack Obama, who stood on Mount Olympus making lofty oracular statements about bipartisanship and some kind of magical, mystical, healthcare plan that didn’t yet exist but would insure all Americans, improve healthcare coverage for all, and save money all at the same time! WOO HOO! Now write the thing, Max, and we can all ascend into the clouds!

But seriously. Why in the name of all that’s holy should it have fallen to poor little Max Baucus from Montana to work all of Obama’s magic for him and write the plan that Obama himself refused to? A good rule of thumb that might be followed by anyone looking for political victories is this: don’t unnecessarily put yourself in positions where success requires the willing cooperation of those whose goal it is to unseat you. Blaming the failure of Baucus on Republicans is like expressing righteous indignation at an opposing team’s defense for costing your team the game.

The combination of Democratic dominance and Republican intransigence is making them [the Blue Dogs]as useless as teats on a boar. Expect their influence to decline.

This reads like a message from another planet, an alternate reality, or possibly the wonderful world of Disney, where mice can talk and dreams come true. If it wasn’t for the Blue Dogs, a liberal healthcare plan would have been passed months ago. So much for their declining influence. In a way, the situation of with the Blue Dogs is the best of all worlds for Republicans. On many major issues, they provide what is effectively a working conservative majority in Congress. But at the same time, everybody knows that Democrats run the place, so Republicans themselves get to duck the lion’s share of public ire directed against an increasingly unpopular Congress.

Posted by: Paul at September 30, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #288716

About Google,

I have a Question….. I have noticed that when I do a Google search on my machine at home that the results tend to be fairly relevant to me.
When doing the same search on my Mother’s machine this is not the case, which I am assuming is because her “Cookie” and search history are different than mine.The search results seem to be more relevant to her, which I also assume is the goal, Tailored Search results. If this indeed the case, is this type of search algorithm used across the board? I ask this because I noticed a disturbing trend. When I search on political issues most if not all of the results are of the Left leaning type which I admit are relevant to me. Doing the same search on my mothers machine the results are mostly of the far right bent and are relevant to her. These types of results while great for durable goods and services seem detrimental to the public in search of balanced discourse. My mother ( “Who is not at all computer literate” ) thinks that the search results are the totality of what’s on the Net and I am sure that there are a great many people just like her. There seems to be some sort of positive reinforcement loop thing going on where ” I’ll only tell you, what you want to hear. “. When so many people today use Google as their primary way to gather News I just wonder if the ” I’ll only tell you, what you want to hear. ” type of results is “aiding and abetting” the divisions in our country.

This posted here because this blog popped up in my search on this subject but the same search on my mother’s machine came up with one of your republican counterparts blogs on the same subject matter.

Quorumforum * “Some Assembly Required”

Posted by: Quorumforum at September 30, 2009 9:53 PM
Comment #288744

Paul,

The declining popularity of Congress is not directed at Democrats. It is directed at Congress and the Republican minority specifically.

As a citizen, my ire is fermenting because nothing seems to be getting done on the health-care reform front. What is stopping that progress? Nay-sayers and Nattering Nabobs. Baucus failed, not because of his assignment by the President, but because he’s in the pocket of insurance lobbyists, and because of nay-saying Republicans.

President Obama placed the onus for the Senate Plan, and the bi-partisan effort right where it belonged, and did not present his own plan or interfere with Baucus because that method had been attempted by the Clinton’s and had failed. Why would the President wish that upon himself?

We are going to get a health-care reform package through this year. Republicans will then start scrambling to take credit for it…too little, to late. Your guys will wish they’d not been such obstructionists.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 1, 2009 6:22 AM
Comment #288747

Craig Holmes-
So you’re saying hard feelings and partisanship operate in a binary fashion? Right. So if we have even a hint of partisanship and hatred, that gives you folks license to go off the deep end?

Nice. I do think there is a need for civility, but I guess the way I could put it, is that the improvements in public discourse I want go beyond simply having people be nicer to one another.

Maybe base arguments on facts. None of that Death Panel or Birther bullcrap. Nor that Truther BS either. Let’s stop making paranoia the running joke of how we operate our politics.

You point towards the DNC chair saying he hates Republicans as evidence of how bad it is. I can point towards the attempts to delegitimize the Democratic Party lead government as my evidence. You know, that’s the thing: when we called out Bush, it was for things he actually did. He actually did tap people’s phones and worse without a warrant. He actually did detain citizens, and plan to hold them without benefit of habeas corpus. He actually did try to justify torture and any number of things under the theory that he had unlimited power to defend the nation under his Commander in Chief role.

Meanwhile, Obama is criticized mostly for what Republicans imply that he’s going to do. Every government stimulus package, healthcare reform bill, and other similar legislation is attacked as the beginning of a totalitarian state. But unlike with Bush’s actions, nothing actually creates the injustice spoken of, it’s just assumed that we’ll just run away with the country to the left, and we’ll be communist Russia or Socialist France before the day is out.

We are meant to reject Obama’s agenda based on outlandish, outsized fears of what would happen if liberalism is given even an inch of freedom to flourish. We are called upon to agree with their picture of what liberal’s intent must be.

And as a Liberal who knows that his intentions do not have the slightest bit of resemblance to that horsecrap, much less my party’s actions, I’ve got little patience to be bipartisan with you about the matter. Unless and until you can recognize just how far over the edge your party’s been driven, there’s no point in giving in to your people, especially with the terrible policies you folks seem fixated on maintaining. People like me know we’ve hit rock bottom, and we’re wanting to head in the other direction. People like you seem to want us to try, try, try again until your policies work as they desire it.

It’s time for you people to realize that your policies have been been weighed, and found wanting, not just by public opinion, but by practical experience. You folks screwed it up. Somebody else should have the chance to do something, and if that’s a screw up, then we do something different. But we can’t just try your stuff again, and expect things will go differently. I’ve seen thirty years of repeated tries with these policies. It’s time for a change.

Paul-
No, there was nothing magical and mystical about our plan. Max Baucus’s impossible position is that he wants to make deals with Republicans who will never vote for his legislation in Congress, even if it does give them everything they want. Grassley and Enzi on his committee said as much. Why should we do so much to please your people, when nothing will please them?

And what function does somebody who negotiates a median position between the Republicans and Democrats have if the Republicans won’t play ball? The Democrats have included hundreds of Republican amendments. Effect: nothing. No rise in support, no bipartisanship in reward. You can’t expect us to tend to your self-interests at the expense of our own without some kind of compromise on your part.

And it seems compromise is out of style with your party. So maybe bipartisanship is out of style with our party until next fashion season, when you folks are willing to bargain. Until then, we do our best to take our majority and put it to good use, thank you very much.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 1, 2009 8:43 AM
Comment #288761

Paul-
Obama decided he was going to leave it up to the legislators to legislate, rather than make Clinton’s mistake of working on a bill himself in secret for a long period of time, then expecting a Congress that had no part in shaping it to vote for it.

Maybe his mistake was delegating the work to a man who just couldn’t handle it, in the case of the Finance Committee. Now, you say things like this:

A good rule of thumb that might be followed by anyone looking for political victories is this: don’t unnecessarily put yourself in positions where success requires the willing cooperation of those whose goal it is to unseat you.

Wise as that may be in certain respects, it’s precisely what Baucus and others on the finance commmittee insisted on doing, trying to get your people involved so it wouldn’t just be us passing it. Most Democrats really started to tire of this, though, as it became apparent that your side wasn’t going to work together for reform, just stop it altogether.

You see, your mistake is in failing to understand one key, crucial concept: Americans are all on the same time, when it comes down to it. The reason we would want people to be bipartisan is so that we can look past our differences, and agree on things. But with the Republicans just sitting here like a brickwall, requiring every bit of legislation to pass by unanimous Democratic Party support in the Senate, bipartisanship, without doing exactly what the Republicans want, is impossible. Nobody elected us, I should observe, so that we could do what the Republicans wanted.

This reads like a message from another planet, an alternate reality, or possibly the wonderful world of Disney, where mice can talk and dreams come true. If it wasn’t for the Blue Dogs, a liberal healthcare plan would have been passed months ago. So much for their declining influence.

Their near term utility goes up, but like all obstructions in high pressure system, their position puts them under immense pressures that they wouldn’t have to feel if they were mainstream Republicans or Democrats. Now your party has demonstrated that it won’t tolerate those who vote with the Democrats on anything, nor will the Democrats willingly inflict a person who collaborates with the Republicans on themselves.

That’s the lesson you Republicans never learned with Bush. You let him push and push, never let yourself acknowledge out loud that if he pushed too long and too far without public support that people might think it best to take back support from the Republicans. Most people, even in these Senator’s home states, support the bill, yet they don’t. Who knows why they don’t support it, but they are playing a gamble here that doesn’t necessarily benefit them in the long run, especially if it guts their support among Democrats.

They’re playing the wrong game at this point. Things are different.

If Democrats are successful, then Republicans would have ducked a chance to be part of that success, rather than it’s single greatest hindrance. Republicans have a funny idea of what’s supposed to earn their return to power. Republicans would have been better advised to provide a good alternative that could be bought into by both sides, ensuring its passage. Then they could take some credit. But then again, Obama would get to sign on to it, and it would be positive reform carried out under his administration, not the previous one.

See, the game was never to provide an alternative, but to ensure that there was no alternative. The problem is, the Republicans deeply invested themselves in this policy stance, and let me tell you, there are few policy stances less popular than standing with the insurance companies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 1, 2009 1:44 PM
Comment #288762
Grayson has taken fire from Republicans since he said on the House floor Tuesday night that the opposition party’s proposed health care reform amounts to “don’t get sick” or, failing that, “die quickly.” The Florida Democrat did not back down Wednesday, calling Republicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals” and expressing sorrow only that delays to reform cost more American lives every day.

“I think we should be on the offense, not the defense, and that’s where I plan to stay,” Grayson told reporters.

We finally have a Democrat who stands up against the Nabobs…the worm is turning. Republicans will be sorry they created the stone wall.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/01/pelosi-grayson-shouldnt-a_n_306338.html

Posted by: Marysdude at October 1, 2009 2:26 PM
Comment #288763

PS:

For those who can’t make themselves open Huffington Post, here’s another link for you enlightenment:

http://us-state-policy.suite101.com/article.cfm/representative_alan_greyson_targets_republicans

Posted by: Marysdude at October 1, 2009 2:32 PM
Comment #288768

Stephen:

You are too far to the left. Too Democrat to be of much use on this one. Our country is out of control. On my side Republicans have lost a great deal of faith in our party. We see the corruption. We also see the same corruption in your party. We saw the raw desire for power when your leaders exploited the war for political gain. We saw it when outlandish actions were taken on your side and you guys sat on your hands.

You will be where I am in a few years. Our countries government is rotten to the core, and your party is a full partner in the corruption.

It is far broader than the tired old left verses right, Republican verses Democrat that you are caught up in. It’s far deeper.

No I don’t think there is some crazy conspiracy. However I do think voters sense something and are reacting to it. It is the blind ambition for power that has corrupted both parties. That is what they feel, and then that takes them to some irrational conclusions. (birthers for instance).

You party like the Republicans is pregnant with twins. It’s a deep value that is a cousin to the corruption we saw in the financial markets, that is a deep value of victory at the cost of honor that if left uncheck will destroy the country.

My whole life I have been optimistic about our country. That is gone. Right now, I believe our country is on the path to fast decline as a world power. It is our generational challenge to put asside our deep need to be “right” or to “win” at the expense of our honor and dignity that is leading us to that point.

Obama isn’t even close to the answer. Not even in the ball park of the answer, as he blows it at the UN and now goes off to get the Olympics for Chicago. I see no one on ourside that I could get excited about to run against him.

Your party is not serious about health care reform. You are simply cramming through your values (single payer) as much as you can get, because that is what you want. It’s not what the people want at all. They don’t even want Health Care to be dealt with right now. They have other priorities. The deficit and the size of government. They are concerned about the economy.

You want health care reform because you want it, and have the power to get it. So go get it. Enjoy yourself. Pat yourself on the back when you get it. It’s pretty symptomatic of our current culture that government does not address the pressing needs of it’s voters but instead votes to increase it’s own power.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 1, 2009 4:21 PM
Comment #288771

Craig Holmes-
You guys need and look out for Obama to fail. That’s all you got left. Note what you said about Obama and the UN. Apparently, to your mind, success in foreign policy is when we challenge Iran and succeed in isolating ourselves on the matter.

For my part, I’m happy that things went the other way around. Now if you’re referring to Qaddafi, or any of those other morons, oh they of feature-length rambling speeches, it’s not Obama’s failing that those people can’t string coherent thoughts together.

You say our country is out of control. Bull. Your party is what’s out of control. You’re stirring up opposition just for the sake of opposition. I mean, the Olympics? It doesn’t seem that Obama can say black without the Republicans saying white these days.

You say it’s our blind ambition that’s fueling this. Bull. Who is supporting the logistics of these tea parties? Who’s paying millions to oppose healthcare reform? It’s the Republicans nowadays who seem willing to do anything and say anything to get what they want. It’s they who think it’s the end of the world if they don’t win.

As for not being serious about healthcare reform, also bull. If you think we’re not serious about it, look at the time and space spent on every Democratic Political site on the matter. It’s your party, with it’s plan to privatize Medicare, it’s pathological dishonesty, and it’s commitment to blocking progress and reform that’s not serious.

As for healthcare reform not being a pressing need for our electorate? Again, I’m tempted to say something I really shouldn’t. My family, even it’s better off members, have experience the worst our current system has to offer. Even being well-off is no defense against the expenses, no defense against the medical mistakes and the negligence. We’ve paid the price for pre-existing conditions, paid the price for a healthcare system that leaves indigent and uninsured out of the loop.

There is so much I could tell you, were I not intending to guard my family’s privacy on the matter.

So you can natter on about the Deficit your people didn’t even care about addressing until a Democrat, until Obama became president. You can tell people that the size of governemnt is a more important issue than dealing with the appalling greed and corruption on Wall Street, and the failings of healthcare. You can tell them that when twenty percent of the GDP is devoted to a healthcare system that doesn’t return more value for that exorbinate cost, that it’s not a healthcare issue.

The Republican’s decidedly unsystematic, overly simplistic idea about what is right policy is nothing but apologetics for industry deregulation and changes in regulation aimed at making their friends in industry more money. It’s the prioritization of the needs of the elites over the needs of the average American, of the rest of America.

How many problems are the Republicans saying Do nothing, or let the market handle it? In how many places and in how many ways are they asking people to just trust the industries and trust them, despite the appalling track record of the last decade?

I am sick and tired of arguing against such closed-minded, dogmatic unwillingness to acknowledge objective truth. I am sick and tired of people whose answer as to what must be done in a given situation by the government doesn’t change with the circumstances.

I am sick and tired of us standing still as a million things get worse in this nation, in the economy. You can’t solve half the economic problems we have without solving a myriad of technical, organizational and regulatory problems as well, or without introducing new laws and paying somebody to enforce them.

We’ve tried things your way, tried it to death, tried it again and again. Your party has begged perpetually for second chances, and emotionally blackmailed the rest of us with visions of fear and the end of the world when we don’t buy into it.

If I believed this time last year that we needed a fresh start, new approaches to policy, I believe that now more than ever. I’m sick of waiting for the laissez faire economics and the market fundamentalism to work the way its been promised to work, and sick of getting browbeat when I complain about the breaking of those commitments.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 1, 2009 5:36 PM
Comment #288776

There, There, There Mr. Daugherty…I can see your blood pressure rising from here. I wonder if Mr. Daugherty knows from where the concept of “insurance” came from. Here’s a hint, it wasn’t from any government…government didn’t give a damn. It was from business people looking to insure against the risks in shipping. Good ole capitalism not good ole government.

Liberals are desperate to pass some health care bill because they know very well they will loose much of their power in 2010. American’s are disgusted with congress, this one and other recent ones. Congress merely represent a huge ATM machine for those who have the right PIN number. A day of reckoning is coming soon.

Should the president continue to be absent from his post concerning national security I believe we could witness a military take-over right here in the US. And, should that become necessary I believe most American’s would understand the need. There is a lot a stake right now and this novice president is incapable of making decisions that will increase our security. He has his head so far up in the clouds, convinced of his own greatness, that he has become a laughing stock to our enemies….of which their are plenty. Even our allies don’t understand his inaction and ineptness.

Congress is picking our pockets, derelict in its duties to protect the country, and on a course to disaster.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 1, 2009 7:31 PM
Comment #288780

Stephen

In 2010 Democrats will run on their record. The Democrats will have controlled both houses of congress for 4 years. We’ll see if the American people think they are better off.

Frankly, I am surprised at how fast the bottom is falling out of the Democratic wagon, as they have been shown unable or unwilling to live up to most of their promises (and some of those they have kept are odious).

Let me ask a hypothetical question. If Republicans win big in 2010, what will you say about the will of the people?

Posted by: Christine at October 1, 2009 8:13 PM
Comment #288788

Royal Flush-
I did indeed know that insurance came from shipping. And what insurance did was allow much more shipping to take place because people could reliably ship goods with less risk of losing their shirts.

Your last barb in that paragraph, “Good ole capitalism not good ole government.”, hits way off the mark. I don’t oppose capitalism. I just don’t buy the notion that having a nice set of rules in place as to how people operate poses a problem either.

You got to ask the question, why does insurance work? Why would people essentially pay for other people’s losses, why would people pay the premiums? If we wanted to, in life, we could go through betting on the likely outcome that the best case, or at least the acceptable case, would tend to occur more often.

Why don’t we do that? Because bad luck isn’t rational. If a storm rolls your boat back in the old days, you were on the hook for an awful lot. If only the people who could absorb the losses participated in the economy, then the economy would be roughly like that of medieval times and before. Everybody would be self reliant! Of course most would be poor, because nobody could afford to bet on a good outcome for fear of the bad.

On the other hand, what happens when you make it too easy to insure against losses, when it becomes automatic, pervasive, and not done according to a likelihood of failure? In the old days, even then, they would grade your ship, maybe even your goods, according to the likelihood of a claim. They would require things of your ship in order to avoid nasty outcomes. If your ship was a risk, they made you pay more.

Basic principle of insurance. Insure a good, ask for a premium in return according to risk of a claim being made on it.

That principle works in most cases, and under most circumstances I would recommend people stick to that principle.

The issue with health insurance, though, is twofold.

One side of this is a common problem that comes about with insurance unless it’s properly regulated: put plainly the insurance companies try to take a free ride with your money by finding some way out of paying for a claim.

The other side of this problem is that in the process of excluding the risks, we progressively exclude all but the healthiest people from the insurance pool. And then, to make things worse, even these people might end up being hit with a recission.

We go back to the original purpose of insurance: to smooth out markets by making sure that when disaster hits, you’ve got the ability to recover your loss. If they’re doing everything not to cover losses, what use is the pure capitalist system of health insurance to the average American? We don’t get insurance to cover small losses, but big.

Healthcare reform as the Democrats have it now is the last chance for even a partially capitalistic system of healthcare finance. From here on out, the likely recourse will be like that of many European countries, with a public system funded by the government rather than by premiums. We intentionally set out this middle ground, with Insurance companies still serving the bulk of customers, an Exchange for competitive shopping and large scale buying power, and a Public Option to cover those who are straggling. We also include a mandate that essentially gives insurance companies nearly everybody as customers.

But your folks play it like we’re just going to make a huge government takeover of healthcare. Or you say it’s in the cards unless we valiantly resist.

I think the Republicans heads are in the clouds, rather than Obama’s. This is not an issue that we can defer any longer. It’s a fiscal issue because runaway healthcare costs are going to raise the deficit in turn. It’s a human issue because most of us don’t see our relatives and friends healthcare as “medical costs” to be aggressively suppressed.

It’s a national security issue because a bioterror attack could be caught too late if people are uninsured or underinsured such that they can’t afford to go the doctor to head off problems. That also applies to natural epidemics, which can cripple our economy.

Speaking of that, it’s an economic problem because it cripples small businesses ability to hire and give healthcare as they are required to, eats up wage and other benefit increases among workers, it keeps people from abandoning bad or underpaying jobs because of the problem of pre-existing conditions. And of course there’s the little issue of us paying one out of five dollars ten years from now, with no corresponding increase in quality of care.

The Republicans? Their idea is to hand medicare to the people who screwed up the healthcare system. Other than that, their strategy is this: Make Obama lose. They’re thinking 2010, 2012, so it doesn’t matter whether they’re wrong or right, just that they win.

That’s what sickens me, really. They think we can afford to wait until they do something, and what will they do? Something not unlike what they did with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Drug benefit, essentially throwing taxpayer dollars at private corporations in the hopes of achieve market power magic?

Are you aware that part of Obama’s plan for financing the healthcare system he proposes is taking subsidies given to insurance companies, subsidies that don’t go to any patient’s care, that are just pure profit, undeserved, unearned, and using them to help defray the cost of actually getting people real healthcare?

I think that says pretty much what needs to be said on the matter. Republicans think of the government as a trough, Democrats think of it having some purpose, a purpose that can be refined and improved upon. Republicans spend a lot of money making private individual rich with public money, for doing not much at all— we require something more. Even the mandate requires that they take all customers, good and bad. The Public Option is there to make sure people’s costs under this system don’t go too high, and the Robust version of the proposal saves money according to the CBO.

As for national security? SDI was a pipe dream. The electronics didn’t work as they were supposed to. besides, the ballistic phase is the lousiest time to hit a missile. Obama’s plan hits them in the boost phase, where the general agreement is, the chances of hitting it and taking it down are better, and you’ve got a nice heat plume to follow. You’re not having to hit a cold, dead object and make sure it’s the real thing.

Again, we substitute political rhetoric for good sense. Folks insisted on SDI, because SDI was the missile shield, the way to make us invincible against the threat of rogue nations lobbing missiles our way. But the technology doesn’t work. The other technology, the Boost phase, is far cheaper, and far harder to fool.

Do we have to run down the list of Republican dogmas, the unfounded beliefs they insist upon, and whose critics they vilify?

Your party cannot forever continue to just be people who badmouth Democrats in the name of protecting discredited dogmas.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 1, 2009 8:59 PM
Comment #288804

Stephen:

No, I am not saying blind ambition is fueling you as democrats. I am saying we are out of control and heading for a fall, all of us.

Look at these two news clips:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/10/02/grayson_the_gop_is_a_lie_factory.html

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/10/02/rove_on_rep_joe_wilson_vs_rep_grayson.html

I understand that you have one string on your banjo. (Demcrats are right and Republicans are wrong no matter what). Pretty much like Pelosi.

Step back and think that this is the level of debate in supposedly Democracies greatest institution.

We are on the road to bankrupsty. We have no money. And that issue is not being dealt with. We are talking about a new program without fixing the broken ones.

Our country is fundamentally broken we we are not addressing the key fiscal issues.

Here is a commentary today by one of the most influencial bond traders of our day. This came out today. By the way, this is a man who voted for Obama.

http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2009/Bill+Gross+Doo+Doo+Economics.htm

This is an a great investor and Obama supporter!! Manages Pimco Total Return Fund, one of the largest if not the largest mutual fund in America.

The economy is THEE issue. The government can’t keep the promises it has made now, so if Government wants to make additional promises it cant keep, it’s pretty much irrelevant.

Go ahead with irrelavant health care. Make more promises you can’t fullfill. I know and the America People know you can’t fullfill what you are promising. Then when people are angry you call us unamerican.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 2, 2009 11:07 AM
Comment #288806

Stephen:

By the way, stop the you guys thing. I am about to leave the republican party. I think you are all corrupt.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 2, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #288807

Obama sort of looks dumb for going to Europe to bid for Chicago. He was the first president to personally bid for the Olympic games. My guess is that he will go down in history as the ONLY President to do so.

Some day this question will be on Jeopody.

Answer: Obama

Question: who was the only US president to personally lobby for the Olympic games to come to America.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 2, 2009 11:59 AM
Comment #288811

Mr. Daugherty writes; “put plainly the insurance companies try to take a free ride with your money by finding some way out of paying for a claim.”

That is a very narrow view Mr. Daugherty. American’s with health care insurance overwhelmingly want to keep what they currently have. The would hardly be the case if many were experiencing such chicanery by insurance companies.

I am in the insurance business selling life, disability, long-term care and fixed annuities. While I don’t sell health insurance I do have an understanding of risk pricing.

In all the lines I sell except for annuities the companies I represent price the policy considering the health of the person applying for coverage. While not the only criteria, it is one of the most significant, combined with age, affecting premium. A healthy person presents less risk and thus pays a lower premium.

I smoke and pay an extra premium in my life and long term care insurance for that added risk. That’s not a hard concept to understand. I have life insurance clients who have dangerous avocations such as scuba diving and flying their private planes. Can you possibly believe that they should pay the same premium as those who don’t pursue such risky behavior?

Some of my long-term care insurance providers have up to seven rating classes to determine premium based upon health. They attempt to insure everyone they can. Those with the most serious health conditions are declined for coverage and will have to use their own assets for care until such point that they qualify for Medicaid. That’s not a novel concept is it? Those who need care and don’t have insurance should use their own assets before they use mine!!!

Now, I do understand that those with poor health are not usually to blame for that condition. However I can tell you with complete confidence that many of those folks could have been insured at some point in their lives, when they were healthy, but choose to wait too long and lost their bet. Why would we expect the insurance company to reward such gambling by insuring the uninsurable who delayed obtaining coverage when they could have been approved for a policy?

I am not a republican or a democrat…I am a conservative who votes for the individual candidate based upon the political philosophy of that man or woman which most closely matches mine.

I will repeat once again what I believe to be a compassionate and frugal solution to health care in the US. For those who don’t have health insurance due to poor health or poverty we should relax the requirements and allow them to qualify for Medicaid. We could cover the 30 million that the president believes are in that group with far less cost and no negative impact on those who already have health coverage they wish to keep. We should adopt those cost saving measures found in the various bills floating around congress that relate to savings thru elimination of fraud, abuse, and duplication. Combine this with meaningful tort reform and we could see significant benefits and lower costs in our national health care.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 2, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #288817

Mr. Daugherty writes; “Healthcare reform as the Democrats have it now is the last chance for even a partially capitalistic system of healthcare finance.”

I would say; They use free market language to sell their socialistic schemes and promise transparency while concealing their legislative misdeeds.

—Sen. Jim Bunning’s proposal to require the Senate Finance Committee to post the final language of the nearly trillion-dollar health care bill, along with the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill, on the committee’s Web site for at least 72 hours prior to a vote on the bill was voted down 12-11, with only one Democrat voting for it. Now, why would that bill be objectionable to Democrats when their president promised long ago to follow just such a policy?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 2, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #288840

Craig Holmes-
Curious that you use that clip of Grayson. He’s right nowadays. It’s not that the Democrats are always right, and the Republicans are wrong. It’s that the Republicans aren’t even wrong nowadays.

You know what that phrase means? They’re not even dealing with reality. They could be wrong or right if they weren’t dealing in fictions, if they weren’t expecting the rest of us to pattern policies around lies and discredited political dogmas.

You say we’re on the way to bankruptcy. Did that happen overnight, if that’s true? No. We had decades worth of policy, or non-policy that lead to this point. But rather than acknowledge that, acknowledge that their policies didn’t work, the Republicans scapegoat irrelevant provisions and factors that could not necessarily of themselves cause a problem. They act like Obama’s recent policy is what’s to blame for the continued economic slump, even as evidence demonstrates that Obama’s stimulus has been successful.

There’s a reason Republicans aren’t simply allowing votes to go through, albeit with their disapproval noted. They don’t want to take the the chance of our policy working.

I keep on telling people like you to look at the sites that Democrats frequent. You are wrong on two important counts: one, we don’t have to start from perfection to start fulfilling promises, and two, Democrats are not interested in unfulfilled promises themselves.

The only people who are interested in leaving the Democratic Promises unfulfilled are the Republicans and their Senate Blockade. That is the whole rhyme and reason for that strategy: to make it impossible for Democrats to fulfill campaign promises.

And of course Washington. If good things start happening because of Washington spending, why then, that might make it difficult to sell people on a rhetoric to conservative politics.

As for Unamerican? If what you say is true, about where you’re heading, take this opportunity to stop watching Fox and all that other junk. Otherwise, you will not make as clean a break as you think you are. The Liberal media canard has become the primary reason folks in your soon to be former party have become so divorced from the rest of us, so captive an audience to the Becks and the Limbaughs. If you want to be independent, you must be truly independent, and those people are servants of the Republican Party.

Royal Flush-
No offense, but I’ve seen far too much rigamarole out of your industry in general to believe that insurance companies can be trusted to work on a good faith basis alone. All too often, the game is to find an excuse to keep people’s money, and that decision is often the cause of much in the way of litigation and red tape. This doesn’t merely apply to health insurance, but beyond that as well.

I will not tell you that everybody who has ill-health didn’t do something to deserve it, what I will tell you is that this is irrelevant to the question. The first problem is that public health, when it slips, when people are unable to get good healthcare, becomes a problem for everybody else who depends on those people.

The Second problem is that the economic consequences, the debt and bankruptcy caused by the nature of these policies also wreaks its own havok. As time goes on, the expenses will consume an objectionably large part of our GDP, and will become a secondary burden to entrepreneurship and small business growth, and by extension of that to jobs and earnings across the board.

At some point, something has to give. What do you want it to be?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 2, 2009 8:07 PM
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