You As Well: The GOP's Hypocrisy About Political Honesty
What Obama said was not entirely true. Yes, some people, in fact, didn’t get to keep the policies they liked, and Obamacare’s regulations on coverage are part of it. But when he reassured people that they could keep their insurance if they were pleased with it, he wasn’t responding to allegations that some people paying for cheap plans would find their policyholders yanking the plan in favor of more expensive, more comprehensive ones. He was responding to all the Republicans and Conservatives accusing him of trying to create another British or Canadian medical system.
He was saying that people would not be forced to take the exchanges, that the system wasn't some sort of obligatory government run healthcare system.
In short, he was responding to lies by the Republicans, Republicans who, between the time when Obamacare was passed and now, ran on and won majorities based on those lies. Should he have been clearer? I think so. I respect the difficulty, the pressure towards rhetorical expedience, but he's paying for the failure to set expectations properly.
These weren't failures to nuance possible behavior by private insurance companies, nuances that I doubt would have made Obama's point about the private character of coverage under Obamacare. These were broad, overall, general claims about what the Affordable Care Act really was, and what it was meant to do.
Republicans profited by their deception, much more than Obama has profited by a failure to lay out all the potential outcomes. It seems what matters in terms of dishonesty is whether the liar is a Republican, and whether they're ambitious in the scale of their dishonesty.
Obama will pay for the gap between what he told people and what actually came about. I can't really stop that. There will be ticked off people out there.
But you know what? If we're going to be ticked off at people for not telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, why don't we have a nice, single standard, punish consistently across the board? I know many of my friend on the right try to use tu quoque (You as well) arguments to force Democrats and Liberals to back off on whatever given problem they're talking about. But let's turn that on its head! Rather than use it as an excuse to define down deviancy, and promote an overall laxness on these matters, let's hold Republicans, corporations, and other individuals responsible for their actions.
Let's hold Rand Paul responsible for his plagiarism.
And for his dishonesty about Obamacare:
"Under Obamacare and the current evolution of things, we have 18,000 diagnostic codes. We're going to 144,000 diagnostic codes," Paul told them. It wasn't the first time he had implied that the number of codes--complete with seemingly absurd categories for injuries from macaws, lampposts, and burning water skis--was exploding as a result of the Affordable Care Act. But fact-checkers across the spectrum, from the conservative website The Blaze to USA Today to the liberal site ThinkProgress, had thoroughly debunked that notion months earlier. As Paul must know, the new diagnostic codes were approved by the Bush Administration and have nothing to do with Obamacare.
We should include this as well:
In discussing the expenses the law will impose on consumers, Paul rarely mentions the subsidies many people will receive, and he sometimes says a single person making $30,000 a year will have to pay $15,000 a year in premiums. The government is going to require somebody to pay 50 percent of their income for health insurance? "It depends on circumstances," Paul replies. "I can't tell you where the cutoff is for single without kids. But I think there will be people who are single without kids who don't get subsidies who will struggle to pay $15,000 for insurance." PolitiFact labeled that assertion "especially off the mark." Citing available facts, PolitiFact said such a person would pay at most about $3,000 and could pay far less due to the law's caps, subsidies, and bare-bones coverage options.
Of course, if I demand this from Rand Paul, I'll probably get all kinds of claims of "bias" coming from the Right. Pity. This sort of tribalism doesn't help the GOP, it encourages the kinds of charlatans, phonies, and cranks that give the party a bad name. While there is a political price for accepting that the behavior of some of your own is embarrassing, there's a larger price to be paid when you encourage those who do the most embarrassing to stick around, and stave off the critics at all costs.
It also extends to policy. Let's talk about "special treatment."
Another example is Paul's lead role in trying to end what he calls "special treatment" for federal employees who must switch to Obamacare and to require more of them to make the switch. In fact, the special treatment is in forcing them to give up the insurance they currently receive through their employer, the federal government (no one else in the country has to do that) and--part of Paul's proposal--in disallowing the feds to continue making an employer contribution to premiums (the equivalent of a huge pay cut, and not imposed on anyone else with employer-sponsored plans). This is a cause célèbre among conservatives and, along with other positions and statements judged wanting by fact-checkers, could actually help Paul in the 2016 primaries.
They're prospering by lying to their constituents.
That includes for the biggest lie they've been telling: That Obamacare is a government takeover of healthcare.
It's not a lie they've been telling without reason:
In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to overhaul America's health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a "government takeover."
"Takeovers are like coups," Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. "They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom."
Dictators and a loss of freedom.
Absolute words, loaded words... they're lovely to manipulate people with, aren't they?
Unfortunately, they're also lovely at spinning people off into irrational directions if they're taken too seriously, and then even more if those inspired by that irresponsible rhetoric push things even further.
In my opinion, there is a way in which the GOP is paying for lying: It's current, inflexible situation with the Tea Party. When you encourage people for the better part of a couple of decades to be difficult to reach by nonpartisan media sources, and difficult to talk down from their beliefs, You're going to get a situation in which folks stop being reasonable as to their standards for who they want to lead them.
They've let that UN paranoia get away from them for sure. Where the Republicans of the 1980's could easily and reasonably address that body and gain advantage from it, today's Republicans have to, at the very least, keep their mouth shut about it, if not join in the conspiracy theory bull hockey, in order to avoid looking excessively "globalized" to their base. Where a Republican like Reagan could adjust tax rates in both directions, and did, Republicans after Bush have had to take George Bush's unfortunate campaign promise, and make it an absolute doctrine. With only the ability and willingness to adjust tax rates downwards, or worse, offer up absurd flat tax plans as an alternative, the GOP's become a fiscal joke. If we took out all the tax cuts and spending that came out of the Republican's time as fiscal stewards out of the equation, how big of a deficit would Obama be running right now?
The uproar over Benghazi and other similar scandals has shown similar lack of regard for the truth, prioritizing the sharpness of the accusations over the truthfulness of the charges.
With Benghazi, plenty of mistakes were made. Including where Republicans in Congress cut funding for embassy security. But the judgment on whether mistakes were made didn't even wait for the fires or the bodies to cool. Accusations flew about abandonment of the diplomatic staff, despite the profound distance between Benghazi and Tripoli (hundreds of miles for vehicles too slow to cover the distance in time), much less the airbase in Italy from which air support could have been scrambled.
Republican eagerly jumped on the latest reports concerning Benghazi. Unfortunately, their latest witness told two different stories. They're mutually exclusive ones. One where he scaled a 12 foot wall, clubbed a terrorist with a rifle, and saw Ambassador Stevens in the hospital, the other where he was at a Villa on the beach, and couldn't get to the compound thanks to roadblocks in the city, and only saw Ambassador Stevens as a charred corpse on a cellphone.
Speaking of difficult to reconcile truths, how about this? The Ex-Sister-In-Law of Mitt Romney, Ronna, posted an image to facebook (since removed) that waved the bloody shirt on the deaths in Benghazi. The lurid images featured dead bodies, including what was supposed to be Ambassador Stevens in one part. They managed to insert a photo of the corpse of the man that Ambassador Stevens helped yank from power, Muammar Gaddafi..
Then we have the Fast and Furious debacle. The Republican stance on this has been that Obama's ATF, under Eric Holder, deliberately walked guns in a botched attempt to trace the guns to the Cartels. Again, they wave the bloody shirt on this, that of Brian Terry, a US border agent.
A Fortune Magazine investigation broke a somewhat different story, one where lax gun laws give Straw Buyers little incentive to roll on their brutal cartel buddies, and the antiquated nature of the reporting system for these weapons makes it next to impossible to track these weapons as they're actually being purchased
Worse than that, as the article states in the beginning:
Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.
One in particular is important, that guns were deliberately walked in many cases. Instead, the truth is more a consequence of our pathetic reporting system on guns.
Even had they all gotten along, they faced a nearly impossible task. They were seven agents pursuing more than a dozen cases, of which Fast and Furious was just one, their efforts complicated by a lack of adequate tools. Without a real-time database of gun sales, they had to perform a laborious archaeology. Day after day, they visited local gun dealers and pored over forms called 4473s, which dealers must keep on file. These contain a buyer's personal information, a record of purchased guns and their serial numbers, and a certification that the buyer is purchasing the guns for himself. (Lying on the forms is a felony, but with weak penalties attached.) The ATF agents manually entered these serial numbers into a database of suspect guns to help them build a picture of past purchases.
We were asking the ATF to commence a war against straw buyers sending thousands of guns over the borders armed with spitballs, in essence.
The policy will probably not get any better. They'll have discouraged the ATF from ambitious investigations into folks like the cartels, it'll be a cold day in hell before they update the laws to allow for a more immediate reporting system for these purchases, or greater penalties for failing to purchase guns in good faith, as the straw buyers have done. The net effect? More guns "walked" than ever. Will the GOP wave the bloody shirts of those who their policies kill? Of course not. The lies take their toll.
Even in less dangerous circumstances, the Republicans are failing to be honest with citizens when they claim to hold the Obama Administration accountable. Prime example?
The IRS controversy.
Yes, Conservative Groups were given extra scrutiny. But the claim wasn't that they were merely scrutinized, but that they were singled out to be scrutinized because of their politics. In actuality?
The Treasury inspector general (IG) whose report helped drive the IRS targeting controversy says it limited its examination to conservative groups because of a request from House Republicans.
A spokesman for Russell George, Treasury's inspector general for tax administration, said they were asked by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) "to narrowly focus on Tea Party organizations."
The inspector general's audit found that groups seeking tax-exempt status with "Tea Party" and "patriots" in their name did receive extra attention from the IRS, with some facing years of delay and inappropriate questions from the agency.
But top congressional Democrats have wielded new information from the IRS this week that liberal groups were also flagged for extra attention on the sorts of "be on the lookout" lists (BOLOs) that also tripped up conservative groups.
In reality, many other groups of all different political persuasions were targeted. That's not to say that everything is alright, and reform is not needed, but from the looks of it, the Republican's complaint, their fear and paranoia were stirred up and deliberately amplified by Issa and other Republicans on fundamentally dishonest grounds. Nobody was told that the Inspector General had been told to keep the investigation strictly focused on that narrow question.
As a result, many Americans made a faulty assumption: that the Tea Party and Right Wing groups were narrowly targeted, making this a politically-tinged action by the IRS at best. Oh, the howls of the Republicans as they claimed their victimized status, as they savaged the Obama Administration for their partisan behavior!
But it was a lie. Not one lie, though, but a series of lies, all meant to form an inaccurate picture of what's going on with our government, with the Obama Administration.
This has been a brutal subversion of what the Right has supposed to have been doing, being a loyal opposition that points out the real shortfalls, real problems with the policies. Instead, the GOP has engaged in a constant campaign of media manipulation in order to rebuild their party's tattered image in the wake of the disasters of the Bush Administration. They've encouraged distrust were none was deserved, blamed deaths on folks who asked for more money for security and were denied.
More recently the Republicans have engaged in another appalling display of dishonesty, blaming the Democrats for the shutdown, even with a letter like this in open circulation, with the Tea Party Caucus telling John Boehner to use the power of the purse to try and force Obamacare's demise.
What's the deal?
Well, here's a theory: For the past few decades, part of the marketing of the GOP has focused on something: the failures (and failings) of the Democrats, and how that was supposed to disqualify them from leading this nation.
The trouble is, as time has gone on, Republican politics has become more dogmatic, less focused on policy initiatives on which they can be proved wrong, and more focused on trying to convince voters by concerted campaigns of propaganda and focus-grouped rhetoric. Rather than be the reality based community, they decided, they would make their own reality.
And this is where some of my studies relating to fiction give me a unique perspective.
Put simply, part of my studies concerned symbolism and logic, because I wanted to figure out how to perfect a convincing world. As I went further and further into how people interpret and understand things, and how this meshes into language, I came to realize two things.
One, nothing has to truly be real (in reality!) to be seen as real. What strikes us as plausible in stories does so for a mix of reasons, some having to do with our own experience and preconceptions, others having to do with aesthetics and the kind of illusions that often work wonderfully on the big screen. As in dreams, we can see all kinds of things in a movie, and not think twice about them, because perception doesn't require reality to be convincing. It just requires our belief.
Two, once a story becomes detatched from reality, though, it can often mutate substantially from what something more synchronized to the real world would appear like. That's why discipline is often important in creating fantasy worlds, because most people don't keep themselves locked into those flights of fancy. There's a space between what we imagine, and what is real, where the most compelling stories can be told.
The trouble for Republicans is that their perspective on Democrats, on Obama, and in particular on current politics is a flight of fantasy that's become detached from most other political group's understanding of reality. There are whole demographics, young voters, black voters, latino voters, and women voters, who have retreated from the Republicans in great numbers. This last election bears that out. Chris Christie's only demographic defeat was among the young.
Political parties can become victims of this from time to time, because they have to sustain a sort of cohesion, a common narrative of what's happening in politics. At the greatest extreme, the political party becomes like a cult. It's not a good outcome, because cults have to basically throw out all the "impure" people in order to maintain this tight, cozy, narrowed common perspective.
The better party arrangements can be described as more fractal, with the party having a mostly common narrative, and the different factions having different, not entirely compatible versions of the story which they mostly agree to overlook in the name of a common purpose. If a party is less dogmatic, it can afford to be more accommodating in negotiations, in compromises, because the members understand they won't get everything they want.
The narrative for Republicans, though, has been one that essentially says, "we can get what we want, despite all the setbacks and shortfalls, if we just push everything with our willpower!" Rather than overlook differences within the party, they've been trying to purge the impure. However, that means they've drifted rather badly from the mainstream perspective. It doesn't profit the Republicans if most people perceive a different story at work than they do; they can't exactly argue they're the good guys unless others sympathize.
Enter this blanket sort of dishonesty. The point of all this has been to try and shift the perspective of the average person towards the Republicans, to paint the Democrats as harsh ideologues, inflexible, incompetent, subversive, etc. They need to do this, because otherwise, what they're doing might just be seen this way. It doesn't help that they've got the Bush Administration in their immediate past.
It's not for nothing that Republicans did such a tire-screeching turn on fiscal stimulus, going from having supported it in 2008, to vilifying it in 2009, despite the fact a third of it was tax cuts. They wanted to recover their fiscal reputation, so they supposedly turned over a new leaf. Except, if you really looked at their policies, the changes were mostly superficial and partisan, not very effective in changing the big, important, overwhelming budget items like the military budget, or the entitlement spending.
Put another way, they just wanted to shift the blame for messing up the fiscal books from them to the Democrats.
So, hence all this rigamarole.
There's a problem, though: these imaginary scenarios don't exactly help the Republicans keep their policies in line with what the country needs, nor have they always been successful in convincing people they're right. Sometimes the Democrats pull unforced errors, or forced for that matter, but we're not always so helpful. Republicans who were hoping deficits would increase haven't seen that. Syria's a mess, but where's their alternative? The Obama Campaign effectively called them out for their cynical criticism, Romney lacking a clear alternative. Benghazi, no matter how much they obsessed over it, did not become Teheran.
As Republicans become more fixated on these fictional scandals, as their rhetoric becomes more and more heightened, they put themselves in a position where they're successfully drawing in supporters, and some other voters, but failing to convince many others. As their picture of things departs from reality, other voters depart from their trust of what they say. Sure your true believers think what they think, but if that becomes a distinction between them and others?
You get situations like the Shutdown. The result of that shutdown was predictable to most political observers. But Republicans, stuck in their own narrative, could not look outside it to see the problems with their story.
They went ahead with it, and now they may lose Congress over it entirely. They want Obamacare to be the big boogeyman again, to win them another election like 2010, but the reality is, people are not as obsessed with it as they are. Unless something really bad happens to ensure otherwise, Republicans might believe that Obamacare is very important, a scandal to rock the administration down to its foundations, but others won't buy the story.
As time goes on, it won't just be the difference between the stories on one side of the aisle or another that gets them. Already, there's a question as to whether the Tea Party is a liability or an asset, with many Republicans having decided they're the former. Others, just as convinced, think the latter. Result? A battle within the Republican Party as to what good conservatism is.
A battle I suspect neither side will win.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2013 1:05 PM
Obama lied. He lied on purpose. He and his aids discussed the lies and decided to continue to lie.
You can say what you want about Republican narratives. I understand that you hate Republicans. But even you cannot overlook the flagrant, repeated and premeditated lies by Obama, told to help him sell his program and win the election.
You say you study symbolism and logic. Well, Obama lied. What symbolism is that? His logic was that he wanted to win the election and he knew that lying would help. Very logical.
About the year 2000 or so, I was a much more accommodating sort of Democrat. Okay, Bush was President. I didn’t think much of how he got there, but it was his office to lose. 2001, after 9/11, I was quite willing to back him.
So what happened? What turned me into the hardened opponent you see today?
1) The 2002 campaign, and the sense of betrayal I got from the President treating folks like me, who didn’t want to go gallivanting to Iraq without a very good reason, as almost traitors (and those among the Republicans, who didn’t bother to mince words.)
2) The Failure to properly justify and prosecute the Iraq war, especially after Colin Powell had done the work he had done to convince skeptics like me.
3) The practical failures of the Bush Administration, which I was bashed for opposing. It wasn’t ideological, really. I just wanted Bush to admit mistakes and move on from them. Instead, Bush insisted he could still find the weapons, and did not take care of the budding insurgency in the first few months, when he could have contained them. Then you had the deficit, the insistence on tax cuts during wartime, the stagnating economy, the failure to deal properly with… When Republicans said that being a good compromiser meant I had to go along with all that? No. I didn’t think that failing strategies and policies were worth compromising with.
4) The Swiftboating and other such Rovian tactics during the 2004 campaign. As a Grandson of a veteran, since passed away, I found that the most appalling, shameful behavior, especially from somebody who got into a unit probably for reasons that had everything to do with stopping short of going to Vietnam. The Valerie Plame affair was even more alarming to me, since it demonstrated a sensibility that put political defense of the President ahead of national security.
5) The campaign of obstruction from the Senate, with the Republicans blocking a huge proportion of Democratic Party policy through an escalation of procedural attacks unprecedented in American history. This hasn’t gotten better, Republicans have persisted in doing this right up to the present day, impairing the President’s appointment power as never before.
6) The incredibly nasty response of the Republicans to not only necessary counter-recessionary stimulus and rescue plans, but to any notion of Democrats doing anything with the power the voters gave them.
7) The Tea Party. Oh, damn, the Tea Party. With nobody in the Republican Congress who can actually make a deal without getting hamstrung by these people, what’s the bloody point? To the extent we have made deals, the cost has been more to the economy and to our nation’s prestige than I’m ever willing to make again.
I don’t hate Republicans. It’s just nearly impossible to strike a bargain with them that isn’t toxically stacked against me and what I believe. No, I’m not going to reward people who take my nations credit rating and solvency hostage, nor those who shutdown the government to try and repeal what their numbers won’t. I won’t compromise on policy that doesn’t work. I save my compromises for the practical stuff. I will not tolerate those who demand that I roll over for them when they are in control but then completely stonewall everybody when they fall from grace.
And no, I will not be in a better mood to make deals with you when you call me a socialist, when you tell me I collaborate with terrorists, and when you demand that I practically become a Tea Partier myself to get anything passed.
Compromise is not holding a gun to a person’s head and asking for everything. There’s no give for all your take.
As for Obama’s dishonesty? Well, you know, I’m an adult. I’ve seen politicians lie in a whole bunch of ways. I don’t particularly like how this has unfolded, but before you start getting moralistic on me, I expect you to confront all the lies and mistruths your people have dealt out. Take the damn log out of your eye before you take the sawdust out of mine! Repudiate what Rand Paul, John Boehner, and hundreds of other Republicans have said about Obama and Obamacare. Otherwise, your arguments are hypocritical in the extreme.
The fact that all politicians lie to some degree does NOT make it right. They all should be held accountable for those lies. The way Obama lied about the ACA IMO will come back and bite him in the A**. By the way Stephen your form of compromise is like Obama’s “It’s my way or the Highway”.
You criticized what you thought were lies in the past.
What we have today is a clear case of lying by President Obama. He did it many times; he did it in a premeditated fashion. He discussed lying with his aids. It is a very clear case.
Much of what opponents said about ObamaCare is proving to be true. People are paying more. People are losing the coverage they liked. People are unable to keep their doctors. On top of all that, people cannot even sign up for the programs if they want because of the extreme incompetents of the Obama folks.
We have all seen politicians lie. Obama is one of the biggest and for the longest time. It is not a matter of different points of view. He lied and he knew he was lying.
I liken the length of your posts to the length of Obama’s nose. Seriously. I try to get through them, but cut us all some slack. Brevity is the soul of wit.
The latter gist of your latest novel is that people who oppose and distrust Obama must first trot out and address every lie ever told by any Conservative politician or else anything we say is “hypocritical in the extreme.”
How do the actions of anyone else carry weight on the actions of another? He either lied or he didn’t. He lied.
No lies or ill deeds of Bill Clinton make ANY criticism about Bush hypocritical.
On some level, I’m know you understand this is true.
Obamacare is going to destroy the Democrats in next years elections. Utterly. Republicans that voted yes to cloture and no on Obamacare (symbolically) are gonna get whacked too.
No one at my church almost ever talks politics AT CHURCH. It’s taboo. The pastor actually asked for families who were either losing their Blue Cross coverage or having large premium increases to stand, almost 2/3rds of the room did. He then asked for prayer for the families who have been impacted.
Most federal policy is very localized in its pain, so its easy to cover up. This is horrendous and is affecting MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people and Obama knew it would happen, and promised that it wouldn’t.
Calling conservatives hypocrites for saying so is ridiculous and stupid.
You should stick to talking about how good its going to be and redirect (you’re good at that) - this is a point you have already lost.
The republican/conservative/TP/independent/libertarian (OK from now on I am just going to say right wing machine) has disseminated their most current talking point. Obama lied, he lied, he lied and he lied. I even heard on one of the morning shows that the right wing machine is calling on Chris Christie to call President Obama a liar, even insisting on that. I think Chris Christie is to smart of a politician to do something like that.
I know that the right wing machine has all of you up in arms about the latest talking point but keep in mind there has been one or another talking point consistently pushed by this right wing machine. It has been one after another for the last 5 years. Excuse us is we don’t pay to much attention to that as we can see where it comes from. Let’s let our President do the job he was elected to do and see what the outcomes will be. He will have to live with that as we American will too. But so far it has been 5 years of the gloom and doom forecast in one way or another with little proof of the maladies that have been predicted.
Okay you can now start with the “you’re just a cheerleader for President Obama”. Well duh, I’ve never denied that or said anything different here and will continue to say what I believe.
Did I say it made it alright? No, I said it was a mistake he’s paying for, and I’m asking Republicans to pay for their mistakes right along with him.
As for my form of compromise, the mandate, the lack of a public option was a compromise. It went against what he was talking about in the campaign. So don’t say we didn’t compromise. We took RomneyCare, a Republican program which worked on a bipartisan basis in Massachusetts, and made it the national program. We were repaid for this compromise with LIES from your side saying that it was all socialism!
That’s why I’m not a big fan of unforced compromises with the Republicans anymore. We don’t even get credit for reaching across the aisle, or adopting your ideas, you just lie and lie and lie and say we gave you nothing.
What I thought were lies? Nope. I documented several mistruths in the article, even quoted out the relevant sections. Special treatment for Capitol Hill employees is an example. So is the claim that it’s a government takeover.
Your own claims are somewhat dishonest. Yes, some people are paying more. A lot are paying less. Some are unable to keep their doctors, but most will. And yes, there are problems with the site, but you fail to mention that part of the reason why that is, is that a Conservative Chief Justice threw a monkey wrench into the implementation, thanks to judicial challenge by conservative AGs, which let many Conservative states refuse to set up exchanges of their own or medicaid expansions. Additionally, the Republican House has not allowed further allocation of funds to make up for the difference.
You folks are even telling people not to sign up if they’re eligible, and are requiring more bureaucratic hassle for those who want to get jobs in the new system. Both are aimed at undermining the large risk pool that is essential in keeping insurance prices down in the exchange.
Can we stop for a moment and consider that people may end up having to pay more for their insurance under this system than the system as it was designed and implemented cleanly would have?
Yet you claim the system’s failings are all just natural and native to it. You can’t both deliberately sabotage a system and claim its collapsing of its own weight.
I think you should start being concerned for how much you’re having to lie in your quest to try and stop Obamacare.
What makes what Conservatives like yourself are doing hypocritical is your own actions. You call filibusters un-American, say they’re an affront to Democracy, then when you turn around and see a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats in the majority in the legislature, suddenly it’s all we can do to save the Republic, and oh, we’re not a Democracy anymore, and filibusters are the salvation of the minority rights.
You think Obamacare is going to destroy the Democrats. I think Democrats are going to do their best to make sure it doesn’t, and I don’t think Americans care about it as much as you think they do.
Fact is, your people have actually made it more difficult for people to care. You so overhyped the failures that when people see this sort of stuff, they’re going to go, “that’s it?” Worse yet, if Democrats actually get the system working by the end of the year, then you’ve lost your whole argument.
You want to talk redirects, though? Everything the Republicans have done over the Obama Administration is a redirect. It’s your attempt to make the economy our fault, to distract from the extremity of your policies by claiming extremity with ours.
Hell, even this controversy and Benghazi now constitute a redirect, distracting people from the hugely unpopular behavior of a hugely unpopular Republican majority in the House in order to win the next election, which their actions have put them in danger of losing.
The long and the short of it is, Republicans have been lying the whole time, and if Obama is to pay a political price for not being straight with the American people, then I believe Republicans should have their debts of honesty called, too.
Even more fitting with the subject of redirects, now that I notice it, how many of my Conservative commenters here have actually dealt with the lies that I provided proof of? I know you complain about novels, but when you’re actually trying to make a serious point with serious proof, you provide material for discussion. So you tell me, where am I wrong, and if I’m not wrong, then why aren’t you calling on Republicans who have said such things to be straight with the American people?
Sorry, Stephen, but, Chris Christie was dead on right, in advising Obama to to just own the mistake, and address the case of those whose plans have been cancelled. Your defense of Obama on this issue is stretched beyond the breaking point. Obama did not explain the nuances of the plan, and results failed to match his oversimplified statement, repeated many times. The facts don’t change just because you want to defend Obama. Obama should own the mistake and work to get affordable replacement coverage for those whose plans were cancelled.
Stephen, you criticize Republicans only answer as “you as well,” and then you spend a significant amount of time using spoon fed liberal talking points to say “you as well, only worse,” yourself?
I actually give President Obama the benefit of doubt on Benghazi (something you would NEVER do with President Bush) but only a blind partisan fool would think something terribly wrong did not happen and that a serious investigation is warranted. Instead of worrying about what those results might show, you should be worrying about preventing such incidents from happening again.
How about we let the law and the voters hold Rand Paul responsible for his “plagiarism?” Geez man, it’s not like he is the VP or anything like that.
The IRS? Were specific groups flagged for extra attention? Yes. Should we just sit by and let government use that tool whenever it feels like it? No.
I don’t think you want the IRS being used in such a way, but once again, I believe you are afraid of the possible results. You know darn well that the administration in power at the time is the one that gets blamed for problems with such government entities.
Government takeover of healthcare?
The ACA is a government program. It controls and dictates who and what a private business must cover. It controls and dictates the profit of a private business. It controls and dictates if a private business provides insurance or not. It controls and dictates what individuals must purchase. There is even talk from “your people” saying they want government to control and dictate if doctors and hospitals can freely choose to accept “obamacare.” I’m sure there is a lot more.
Once again, you claim something is false simply because it has not yet been completed.
The shutdown? Well, it’s now clear that liberals knew the ACA was not ready, so what would have been wrong with delaying it and getting it right? That simple, common sense approach would have prevented the government shutdown.
I have been working a lot lately and haven’t been able to keep up, so I could be completely in left field on this one. I apologize if so.
But didn’t one of “your people” at one time say they would not agree to fund the government if they didn’t get to soak the rich with more taxes?
Stephen, Do you reread what you write? If not you should maybe then you would realize why you get the flax you do.
Even more instances of Rand Paul Copying verbatim from sources. Yes, he cites the sources, but even then, you are not supposed to present their words like yours.
I mean, he and I both went to Baylor, and they teach you better than that how to deal with a source.
Stephen, so basically he’s only qualified to be VP?
David R. Remer-
My Aspergers Syndrome makes me very vulnerable to confusions relating to exact words. I know people like to think of words as being like pulses coming out of a computer, which mean one thing, and nothing else, but real world language never maps that exactly.
In fact, it’s the habit of many languages and many jargons to use the same words for different things. Example: I’ve been doing archery on a weekly basis, and when it’s time to take the arrows out of the targets, the word they use is “pull”. Of course, at a firing range, those words take on a different meaning!
So, I got to thinking, why was Obama making that point? Was he trying to reassure people that nothing would change, that no policies would go away? Or was there something else?
I think the line is at least somewhat influence by the fact that Republicans were calling it a government takeover, which by the way I have as one of my documented lies. Now if we’re just scoring a debate, you might fault Obama for the technical incompleteness of his point.
But we’re not merely dealing with a formal, rule-bound debate, we’re dealing with the active use of rhetoric in the wild. We’re dealing with a political environment in which John Kerry, perfectly truthfully, said that he was for the bill before he was against it. And he got hammered for saying that.
In an environment where the Republicans were ruthlessly pushing a monster of a lie, that it was all a government takeover, and would exploit any nuance in what he said, he needed to make his point plainly. He might have chosen better words, but the basic meaning of what he said was, “this is not a government takeover, you won’t lose your policy or your doctor to a government system that regiments and rations taxpayer-funded healthcare”
If he started saying “Oh, but if you have an insufficiently comprehensive policy, and your insurance company doesn’t continue it (a factor since policies before the transitioned were grandfathered in) You might see that plan cancelled and replaced by a more expensive plan from your insurer or elsewhere.” The Republicans would have latched onto that small exception and crowbarred open the whole defense.
I wish that wasn’t the way the world worked in terms of political rhetoric, but guess what? It is. I believe what Obama did, at worst, is calculate the political impact of making that insufficiently true claim (since the vast majority of Americans did keep their policies or get better, cheaper ones), against letting the Republicans get away with an egregiously false claim.
Even so, if you say, should Obama just speak plainly? Yes. But plainly, and carefully. In the meantime, Republicans need to be held to account for unambiguously false claims, including the government takeover one. If I have to sit here, and perhaps justifiably so get grief over what Obama failed to warn people about, then I think Republicans should, at the same time, have to suffer on account of all of the lies their leaders have told them, and told the rest of us Americans.
I don’t argue that Obama made an altogether good decision. More like a rather compromised one. A forced error, if you will.
The tu quoque fallacy operates when somebody argues that hypocrisy on the other side’s part means that the people who committed the offense described shouldn’t be held accountable.
But you know what? I’m resigned to Obama taking a political cost for not sufficiently explaining this. I know he was under pressure to oppose the Republicans’ lies on this matter, but that mitigates things, doesn’t exonerate him. What he said wasn’t entirely true, and though it was originally intended to answer a bigger, more thorough lie, and avoid the traps nuanced arguments can fall into, it was also taken as a promise that nobody would lose their affordable plan.
As far as Bush and Foreign policy goes?
When he said, “I’m going to get Bin Laden, dead or alive” I took him at his word, thought that he of all people would be motivated to get him. When in March 2002, he said, he wasn’t really that concerned about Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, that’s when he lost some of the benefit of the doubt. it didn’t help that he spent the summer campaigning for Iraq.
I wanted a better explanation for Iraq, given the fact we were already in one war, and eventually, he seemed to give it to me. It was only after he failed to find what he said was there, after months searching for it, that I lost my patience.
I expected Bush to be no-nonsense about policy in Iraq, swiftly getting his ducks in a row on the subject, because that’s what I expected of Republican Presidents. I didn’t think he’d take such a slacker’s approach, or be that lacking in motivation to nip the insurgency in the bud.
At each point, Bush had to do something to waste the benefit of the doubt I gave him after 9/11.
Obama wasn’t even hours into Benghazi when the right jumped him! When their candidate for PRESIDENT jumped him!
I never argued that there were no failures, nothing that went wrong. But for somebody to crassly wade in the day of the attack and start blasting the Obama Administration for knuckling under to the enemy was to set a new low. Accountability waits for the facts. Republicans never did.
As for the IRS? Groups were singled out. But not Tea Party and Conservative groups by themselves. That was supposed to be the scandal, that the Obama Administration, either by a lack of leadership or from conspiratorial intent, abused the power to single out conservative and Tea Party groups. But the truth is, all kinds of different groups were flagged, including quite a number of liberal groups. Is it hamhanded, potentially abuseable? Yes. But it wasn’t abused in the way that Darrel Issa deliberately cooked the story to make it look like it was.
At the end of the day, the Government just serves as middleman for private insurers for most people. Yes, it regulates some of the aspects of insurance, but then you got to set some rules to make sure this doesn’t become a game of taking healthy people’s money to keep it away from the sick.
And really, what are people accepting when they accept Obamacare? There isn’t really an actual plan called Obamacare, there’s private insurance, and then there’s Medicaid.
As for whether it’s false simply because it hasn’t been completed? Well, if you’re going to take that argument, I’m going to move the goalposts myself, in retaliation, and claim that over the long run that Obamacare is going to lower the rates of those losing their current cheap policies now, so the President didn’t lie!
No? Of course not. If you’re going to talk about what Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act is, then you don’t get to fantasize about what it might become. You deal with what is actually passed, and law now. The notion of what may follow in the future is too easy to abuse, and counterfactual to boot.
Deval Patrick told him to use those arguments. Copyright is about seeking permission from the holder first before reproducing a work. Obama did not plagiarize, as it was not an unauthorized copying.
Stephen, whether he had permission or not, presenting the words as your own without proper attribution is still technically plagiarism.
And you are also just ignoring Biden’s long history…
The point is that these are not agregious attempts to take other’s works and try to make them seem as your own as they are just ways to make a point and technical slipups were made. As the author of the article (someone not in politics but rather focused on plagiarism specifically) said:
What is clear, however, is that this issue is a distraction. Both sides are hurling plagiarism accusations while not talking about the critical issues of the day. They are smearing one another vigorously over stolen words while ignoring other, more important matters.
Part of the problem is that politicians, for better or worse, are not generally held to the same standard as authors, researchers and artists. Most people realize that the words from a politician are not wholly their own. They have speechwriters, image consultants and others working behind the scenes to help them craft the right message.
Does this excuse plagiarism? Not in the least. But it does show that plagiarism accusations in politics are, generally, purely political attacks, especially when they are as questionably grounded as this one. I feel that this not only belittles the issues that are being ignored, but also plagiarism itself.
Your attack on Paul is politically motivated, just as the ones on Obama were. You can’t claim hypocrisy and then be a hypocrite, as you do many times in your comments in this article alone. This is just another example. Paul was not setting out to make it appear that he came up with those things all on his own, they were, as they were with Obama, honest mistakes.
Get over it and move on to actual issues.
I know some folks find beating up on Rand Paul for this minor, but here’s what the guy did: he took sources, took their language verbatim, and failed to distinguish his words from theirs.
It doesn’t take that much more effort to make the quotation visible, and obviously attributed.
So basically, what you are saying is that it is ok for the President of the United States to knowingly lie to the American people if he is responding to another lie?
That Republicans meant ALL Americans when they said “you will lose your policy.” BUT President Obama did not mean ALL Americans when he said “you will keep your policy?”
You held Bush to a higher standard than you are willing to hold Obama to. You questioned Bush at every turn and you demanded answers. With Obama, you blindly accept what you are told.
This administration has done plenty to waste the benefit of the doubt people have given it.
Perhaps you would have a better understanding of what others are saying if you held him to the same standard?
When it comes to the IRS, the truth is that government used the IRS to single out groups that did not deserve to be singled out. THAT is the scandal and it should not be dismissed because of who brought it to our attention.
The bottom line is that government is no longer just making “some rules,” it is now dictating and controlling how our health insurance and health care systems will work.
You may need a doctor employed by the government to convince you that it has taken over, but I do not.
“And really, what are people accepting when they accept Obamacare?”
They are accepting the fact that they will be punished if they do not accept it.
They are accepting the fact that their “choice” is from what government has already chosen for them.
They are accepting the fact that their government is forcefully taking money from their fellow Americans.
“As for whether it’s false simply because it hasn’t been completed?”
That was in reference to the government takeover of health care and how you claim there is no such thing because government does not have total control over ALL of it.
It’s like when you call for banning scary guns but claim nobody is infringing on 2nd Amendment rights because people can still own guns YOU approve of.
“and claim that over the long run that Obamacare is going to lower the rates of those losing their current cheap policies now, so the President didn’t lie!”
First, the claim was that we could keep our current policy if we wanted to. NOT that it would lower rates over the long run.
Second, the “current cheap policies” talking point is BS. Just because a policy doesn’t cover what the LEFT thinks it should does not mean it is a bad policy.
Third, my objection to the ACA is the fact that it takes away our freedom of choice. Money does not trump rights.
“You deal with what is actually passed, and law now.”
I dealt with the facts. You were the one who jumped on a soapbox to tell us how great the ACA is going to be in the future.
Biden paid the price. Both bids for national office were affected, the 1988 bid most strongly. He withdrew from the 1988 race on account of the allegations.
Question is, should Rand Paul do the same? If he recovers after twenty years and runs with somebody else as a Vice President, fine, then the treatment will be equal, but if Rand goes on to try and run for president now, then we have a problem.
So, that’s the question to you: should Rand Paul be forced to set aside his Presidential ambitions?
As for political motivations? Facts are facts. Why does it matter to you why I learn about these things, unless the stories are false?
That’s the thing, really. You cannot say strictly on the basis of the fact that I don’t like Rand Paul and would love to see him go down that what I’ve said about him is wrong. In the links I’ve provided, there’s plenty of evidence of what he did.
Are you arguing it shouldn’t be taken seriously simply because of my politics, or because other Democrats and Liberals may have flirted with or committed plagiarism at some point? Neither of those sets of facts actually affects the truth of the charges one way or another.
I never said it was okay. I’ve highlighted both the political and practical problems, and accepted that these are the consequences for the words Obama used.
Here’s the thing. When Obama said he would get Bin Laden, I believed him. But then he got Bin Laden, so, jeez, for some reason, I’m happy. When he said he’d end don’t ask don’t tell, he ended it. It wasn’t always smooth, but it happened. When Obama said he was getting us out of Iraq, I believed him, and he got us out.
When he’s fallen short, I often know the reason why, so I’m not bent out of shape.
Which is not to say I haven’t had my disappointments, or points at which I wish he took a different path. But I’m an adult, and I’ve grown up learning that even the best leaders don’t come without their disappointments.
Bush? What I expected of Bush were some pretty basic things, and you’ve yet to tell me why I shouldn’t have expected those things.
As for the IRS? Don’t make me laugh, the whole point of that scandal was that it was Conservatives who were targeted. But that perception was mainly the result of the Republican oversight committee chair asking ofr a narrowly targeted investigation, and then telling nobody how he had narrowed it.
That is a lie. Even if you can rationalize that it revealed something about the IRS, the characterization was wrong, and so was the outrage.
As far as the government takeover is concerned? If it’s just government involvement, we go back as far as the 1940’s rule to see a takeover. Medicare and Medicaid, then laws requiring treatment for indigent patients, then… Heavens to Betsy, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Drug Benefits! Why aren’t you pillorying the Republicans for THEIR government takeover?!
I like the standard of single-payer and/or the doctor being employed by the government as a takeover, because then we’re talking about something concrete, simple, something that we can both agree on is a true takeover.
When I asked the question of what Doctors would be accepting if they accepted Obamacare, I was asking a specific question underneath all that: Is Obamacare an actual new program, in Medicare or Medicaid’s sense, a new benefit?
No, actually, it’s a market place. Minimum requirements, alright, but what kind of choice are you really talking about, the choice to go bankrupt if they’re unlucky enough to get something the policy doesn’t cover? The choice to get their healthcare at the emergency room as free riders of the system (thanks to another, pre-existing federal law)?
You’re arguing out of an sentiment, more than out of a consistent, factual description of a program. You’re arguing out of the opinion that if we allow Obamacare’s actual policies, the results will be the future institution of such a plan.
You are not telling the truth about what I believe about guns. You’ve told yourself too many lies about that, and haven’t bothered to actually absorb what I’ve written. I’m more an advocate of making people jump through certain hoops and meet certain common sense criteria, for getting the extra-powerful weapons. My belief is that gun violence will be curbed because exercising those rights, while perfectly possible, will require that a person commit to proving that they are of sound mind to be using such weapons. If nothing else, it’s a tool you can use to put the people who do abuse their second Amendment rights for criminal behavior off to prison for longer times.
As for what I said the ACA would be in the future, that wasn’t a serious argument, but a parody of your “Obamacare leads to socialism” argument. I basically said it was an invalid argument, because being a statement of something that is future and not contingent on anything passed now, it’s just, at best, a figment of your imagination.
I know all about imagination, given my writing. I know it can go in any direction you want it to go.
And that’s why you can’t really use it in a factually based argument, because it isn’t fact yet, and people can imagine any number of outcomes, including the kind that aren’t possible or likely.
Daugherty wrote; “And this is where some of my studies relating to fiction give me a unique perspective.”
Daugherty’s unique perspective was learned by most of us by the age of 12. To think…he had to study to get this concept is hilarious.
Speak writes; “Let’s let our President do the job he was elected to do and see what the outcomes will be.”
We have seen the outcomes and we don’t like it. Why do you suppose he is dropping so fast in recent polls? We don’t have to wait until 2016 to judge this president a near total failure, a liar, and a corrupt politician. We see the evidence today.
Daugherty wrote; “I don’t argue that Obama made an altogether good decision. More like a rather compromised one. A forced error, if you will.”
Ah, Yes…the old fallback position. I lied for the good of the nation. Or…the people can’t handle the truth.
Daugherty writes; ” You deal with what is actually passed, and law now.”
Unfortunately, the prez has changed the law with new regulations and exemptions.
Daugherty writes; “There isn’t really an actual plan called Obamacare, there’s private insurance, and then there’s Medicaid.”
Private insurance with coverage dictated by government.
Oh please, Stephen, Obama was guilty of the same thing as well, not attributing words that weren’t his own. He even ADMITTED that he should have attributed and didn’t. It’s nickel and dime crap that is getting very old. The same with Hillary, the same with McCain, they have all been guilty of this in the past. Biden wasn’t hurt as much about borrowing someone’s words as he was for borrowing someone’s experiences and passing them off as his own. And the myriad of other things that cost him his chances of winning election, it wasn’t just the plagiarism…
You defend the democrat and attack the republican for the same thing, again and again, over and over.
You attack republicans for not wanting to pass the debt ceiling increases, yet Obama voted against doing the same thing when he was a senator. You defend the unconstitutional acts of this administration while charging against the same acts of the previous one.
I know Rachel Maddow has told you this is important and therefore you have your marching orders and talking points, but seriously, stop and try to think for yourself here for a minute and realize how much of a pretzel you are trying to make yourself out to be.
Speak writes; “Let’s let our President do the job he was elected to do and see what the outcomes will be.”BTW, he says this with a straight face after a) the way he worked to stop Bush’s policies and b) while simultaneously telling the elected Republicans in the House not to do the job THEY were elected by their constituents to do…
Enter this blanket sort of dishonesty. The point of all this has been to try and shift the perspective of the average person towards the Republicans, to paint the Democrats as harsh ideologues, inflexible, incompetent, subversive, etc. They need to do this, because otherwise, what they’re doing might just be seen this way. It doesn’t help that they’ve got the Bush Administration in their immediate past.
With all due respect, conservatives and citizens in general, simply point out fact and reality with regard to the decisions, laws and ideology that the Dems espouse. Nothing more, nothing less.
You’re trying to (what I like to refer to: curing world hunger with your avoid-reality manifesto.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the complexities of our society. If you have a solution or panacea to fix stuff you think is bad, go for it! Heck, I’d be the first to congratulate you on your Nobel peace prize, if you warrant such accolades.
Only because he got found out that he lied in the beginning and just recently with the extra spin on the lie. I would have more respect for the man if he would have said from the beginning that coverage would change and some would not pass the ACA muster. So now he apologizes?????? How many more lies will be found out?????
Since there’s been a lot of comments related to plagiarism, I’d like to add a link to the best speech that I’ve ever heard in person.
In 2000, Doris Kearns Goodwin was slated to give the Commencement speech at our graduation; however, a month or so before graduation, she became embroiled in her own plagiarism scandal.
Exit stage left, Goodwin. Enter This Guy.
A former chief economic policy adviser to President Obama Larry Summers
“>weighs in on the Obamacare fiasco:
Summers also spoke with Ramos about another controversy of the moment, Obamacare. Ramos asked Summers how the website could fail in a country that is home to tech successes like Apple, Google and Amazon.
Summers said that the heathcare website’s glitches are the result of a government brain drain.
“Now I think one of the things the opposition has to recognize is that they have made it almost impossible for many well-intentioned people to go into government,” Summers said.
Why is that?
“The fact that it takes so long to be confirmed by the Senate, the fact that you have to go through the financial equivalent of a colonoscopy to enter government…The fact that there are so many rules and restrictions and bits of hostility towards those who are in government.”
I don’t understand this…Valerie Jarrett said Obama is so intelligent that the job of President has become boring to him…there is no challenge; and Stephen Daugherty and other leftist on WB have parroted these talking points. How is it possible that Larry Summers could even think there is a “brain drain” in DC? Obama’s whole cabinet are liberal progressives…aren’t liberal progressive the most intelligent people in the world.
I guess the problem is the dimwit outside contractors who built the obamacare website, they just didn’t have enough knowledge to build the site that was envisioned by the smart people.
On another note; the Democrat Senators had a 2 hour meeting with Obama yesterday…panic time in liberalville.
Obama lied and Stephen Daugherty wants to change the subject…”Rules for Radicals 101”…change the subject when caught with your pants down!!!
Finally, the prez admits he lied, but in softer words. OK, I can accept that and I am glad he did it. It’s a start. I don’t expect him to fall on his sword. Perhaps with this small beginning we can look forward to more honesty from this man.
What else can he do when 15 of his Senators are about to jump ship? Evidently they didn’t get SD’s memo.
Like the regrettable Red Line comment on Syria and chemical weapons, Obama has painted himself into a corner.
This time, Putin and the Russians weren’t around to bail him out. This is the first contrite statement I believe I’ve seen from our president since taking office.
He had no choice.
Obama apologizes for the pledge.
Err, no he didn’t. He apologized because ‘they didn’t live up to the pledge’, as if they just tried hard and didn’t make it. This does NOT answer the fact that he KNEW they were not going to be able to do what he said and still calculatedly made the decision not to qualify what he was saying accurately.
He apologized that he got caught, not that the knew he was misleading people and chose to do it anyway. Sorry, try again.
This is the first contrite statement I believe I’ve seen from our president since taking office.
Not to mention his numerous apologies for limiting the size and scope of ARRA as well as pushing it through Congress before anyone actually knew how bad the recession actually was.
My friend Rhinehold, the libertarian, is correct. Obama only made an act of contrition because he was forced to do something for his 15 Senators who are about to jump ship.
He only said the web site failed…and it was because the web site failed that people are suffering; but he said nothing about fixing the problem.
All debate and BS aside…the United States is in real trouble. We have a HC system that is about to collapse and (the evil) insurance companies are about to go out of business. There is already a shortage of HC workers; young men and women are looking at the mess we are in and saying no to being doctors. It has finally occurred to the Democrats up for re-election in 2014 that they are in trouble and Obama is so arrogant and hard headed that he WILL NOT reverse a failed agenda.
He flat out lied and deceived the American people and he came out and said he was sorry his agenda is not working; but tomorrow he will be on the campaign trail once again blaming the Republicans or the web site builders, or even blaming global warming for the failure. Don’t think for a minute that Obama is going to accept responsibility for any failures and don’t think he will back off on the despair he is putting Americans through.
Wait until the reports start coming out that people are dying for lack of medical treatment because their policies were cancelled. Wait until people are going bankrupt because they can’t afford the tripled HC policies.
Obama is so concerned about how bad the American people have it that he’s currently trying to find a way to give obamacare tax breaks to the unions. Oh yes…he’s very contrite, isn’t he?
WP, couldn’t you come up with a better apology than Obama apologizing for trying to appoint the tax cheat Daschle to the Sec. of HHS?
His health care statement was not a mistake; it was a premeditated and repeated lie.
couldn’t you come up with a better apology
Kevin claimed that yesterday’s apology was Obama’s first, whereas it was actually the apology regarding Daschle that was first. If I had used any other example it wouldn’t have been Obama’s first.
Let’s accept that Obama is sincere. I taught my kids that saying sorry doesn’t matter unless you do what you can to fix the hurt you caused. Obama CAN make his words come true. All he needs do is support a bill introduced by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson that would do what Obama promised.
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When Obama falls short, you are willing to justify it to yourself because of his politics, something you do not do for others who hold different beliefs.
You miss the point with my pointing out your partisan inconsistency. I don’t care what you expect from anybody, but an honest person will hold them to the same standards.
OBL was a target of opportunity. Both Presidents said they would get him. The opportunity came under this administration and our boys got him. You can pretend Bush slacked off if you want, but I have no doubt that both Presidents were gunning for him.
“the whole point of that scandal was that it was Conservatives who were targeted.”
To you and conservatives, but not to me. I care only about the what, not the who.
Government using the IRS against its people is wrong. It means nothing to you now, under a liberal administration, but you will be hollering to the moon when it happens again under a Republican administration. And guess what? I will be right there agreeing with you.
“Why aren’t you pillorying the Republicans for THEIR government takeover?!”
Sigh, I have and I still do, IF anybody brings them up. But they don’t.
“I like the standard of single-payer and/or the doctor being employed by the government as a takeover…”
Of course you do, that approach allows you to encroach as far as needed in order for you to get your way while still being able to claim it’s not happening.
The fact remains though: people who say government is taking over health care are NOT lying.
“Is Obamacare an actual new program, in Medicare or Medicaid’s sense, a new benefit?”
I prefer to use ACA, and yes, it is a new benefit for some. Government giving you something for nothing is a ‘benefit,’ doesn’t matter where you use it.
“but what kind of choice are you really talking about, the choice to go bankrupt if they’re unlucky enough to get something the policy doesn’t cover?”
Ah, one of the latest talking-points from the left. We have to protect you from yourself and the evil insurance companies.
Truth is, such incidents were rare and usually the fault of the individual not really caring enough about their policy.
Sorry Stephen, but you have no clue as to what insurance I need.
“The choice to get their healthcare at the emergency room as free riders of the system”
Funny, when people on the right talk about free riders, they are labeled as racists. Go figure.
“You’re arguing out of the opinion that if we allow Obamacare’s actual policies, the results will be the future institution of such a plan.”
We are punished by government if we do not choose to purchase the health insurance that government mandates. That is fact, not opinion.
“You are not telling the truth about what I believe about guns.”
You have stated before that you believe there are certain guns the average citizen does not need to own and you say in this very post that you support making people jump through certain hoops in order for them to own weapons you desiginate as extra-powerful.
That VERY clearly supports the point I was making. That you don’t believe the 2nd Amendment is being infringed upon because guns are not being totally banned.
“As for what I said the ACA would be in the future, that wasn’t a serious argument, but a parody of your “Obamacare leads to socialism” argument. I basically said it was an invalid argument, because being a statement of something that is future and not contingent on anything passed now, it’s just, at best, a figment of your imagination.”
Like your prediction of all the money going to be saved in the future because future ERs won’t be abused? Or that future gun violence will drop if we make people jump through MORE hoops?
Oh, but it’s somehow “different” when it comes to things you support, isn’t it. Projections of the future make your arguments valid, don’t they.
The ACA mandates what a private business must offer and the profit it is allowed to make. It mandates what a private employer must pay for its employees. It mandates what choice private individuals must make and punishes them if they don’t.
Those are facts, not projections. I’m not telling you what MIGHT happen IF everything falls perfectly into place, I am telling you what is already happening.
The devil is in the details, and the vague ones I’ve seen so far don’t suggest it’s a permanent solution, or even addresses the actual problem.
In essence, the plans were cancelled by the insurers, despite the fact that nothing in Obamacare says they had to be. All Obamacare would say is that once you’ve cancelled such plans, they’re gone, because they no longer meet the standards.
The question is, how does it achieve that? Does Ron Johnson’s bill actually solve the problem, or does it make an empty statement that won’t prevent insurance companies from cancelling those plans anyways?
Let’s leave aside your whining about the fact that I’m a Democrat, and would tend to support Democrats.
My standards are not that complicated, and I don’t see where you’ve really demonstrated they’re unfair. Bin Laden was a leader, a symbol, the head of the organization that actually attacked us. Getting diverted from that to go after Saddam Hussein, who, while a bad man, didn’t just attack us, seemed like a bad idea to me. Saying he wasn’t important made me want to walk through the screen and give him a lecture on the importance of charismatic leaders in movements like his.
This isn’t some nation with people and an economy and other things to lose. These are bastards who won’t take hints, won’t back down when you’ve hit them hard. Letting up on them was a huge mistake, like failing to take all your antibiotics when you’ve had an infection, and for the same reason: the stronger ones will survive and be all the more virulent in their effect for it. The long, drawn out war on terror, while politically lucrative, was strategically moronic. They’re among the main reasons we’re in so much debt.
As far as Obamacare goes, it’s not a program that pays for healthcare. It’s a reorganization and regulation of programs, public and private, which do. There were already regulations in place on insurance, already big systems that fund healthcare, other than private insurance, etc. More or less, I reject your takeover argument for the basic reason that it rests on a failure to keep up with all that the government does in the healthcare market to begin with, and how those precedents operate in line with what Obamacare is doing now.
You’ve bought into this cancerous mass of propaganda, and into a big lie: that this was a socialist plan to start with. it wasn’t. What we have here is a fundamental dishonesty about what the healthcare law does, and where it’s basic principles come from, all done so that Obamacare could be the fulcrum they could use for leverage in getting folks like you to oppose Democrats.
Stephen, still peddling the lie that the only reason that the insurance policies were cancelled was because of the insurance companies? You do realize that not all policies qualify for the grandfather clause, right? That means that no matter what kind of insurance you have, if the policy does not meet the ACA requirements and does not fall within the guidelines for grandfathering, they HAVE to be cancelled, per the law…
I would invite you to read about a couple who have run into this situation. They were ‘cradle Democrats’ who found their very good policy cancelled because of this reason. The replacement policy is not as good and costs twice as much. And they don’t fare any better on their exchange either.
San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.
Since 1995, Hammack and Brothers have received their health coverage from Kaiser Permanente, where Brothers worked until 2009 as a dietitian and diabetes educator. “We’ve both been in very good health all of our lives – exercise, don’t smoke, drink lightly, healthy weight, no health issues, and so on,” Hammack told me.
The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The couple would need to find another one. The cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.
So I tried to find flaws in what Hammack told me. I couldn’t find any.
• The couple’s existing Kaiser plan was a good one.
• Their new options were indeed more expensive, and the benefits didn’t seem any better.
• They do not qualify for premium subsidies because they make more than four times the federal poverty level, though Hammack says not by much.
So what is Hammack going to do? If his income were to fall below four times the federal poverty level, or about $62,000 for a family of two, he would qualify for subsidies that could lower his premium cost to as low as zero. If he makes even one dollar more, he gets nothing.
That’s what he’s leaning toward — lowering his salary or shifting more money toward a retirement account and applying for a subsidy.
“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said. “We’re gratified that the press is on the case, but frustrated that the stewards of the ACA don’t seem to have heard.”
“In essence, the plans were cancelled by the insurers, despite the fact that nothing in Obamacare says they had to be.” This is a lie, perhaps even an Obama-class lie.
They are cancelled because they do not conform with the ObamaCare rules. If not for the ObamaCare rules, they would not be cancelled.
It is very liberal of you to advocate a law and then blame people for following it.
The Ron Johnson bill will simply allow insurance companies to continue to offer those policies. Why not just have the simple law that if a person is happy with a policy, he/she can have it?
ObamaCare makes everyone buy the kind of plan Obama thinks best. If I was to buy a plan on the market, I would seek one that has a high deductible, one that protects me from big thing that I cannot afford. That is insurance. It would not make sense to pay more for a policy that gave me routine care, since I could pay for that myself and there is no good reason to run it through a third party.
I don’t have life insurance anymore. Why? The premiums are not worth it. When I die, the kids will get enough to take care of expenses. I don’t need to play the lottery.
Or consider auto insurance. I have insurance against big collisions and liability. My insurance doesn’t pay for routine maintenance, car washes, gas or new tires. Why not? I could probably find an insurer to do this for me, but the premiums would be greater than the expected cost for buying those things myself.
Obama would want to make me buy a policy that include all that stuff. It would be “better” than the one I have now,but wasteful from my point of view.
But we KNOW why Obama wants to force everyone to buy a similar policy. It is kind of a tax on the healthy and people with good habits. In the car insurance example, Obama wants me to pay for things I don’t want in order to give this stuff to you. He wants to make us all equal in results. I hate equality of results. It is un-American.
Stephen, I understand the reasons Obama didn’t cover the details of implementation, as that would have put the AMerican public to sleep and cause them to change channels in less than a minute. That is not the issue. Obama has now acknowledged the problem, has committed to addressing it, and apologized to those surprised by the policy cancellations, which is all Chris Christie and I recommended. He is the president, he needs to own what takes place at the hands of those in his administration, including himself.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will endear most Americans once they have come to experience its many benefits, so long as Republicans are not permitted to torpedo the act in ways that increase the liabilities and disappointments, which of course they continue to attempt, unsuccessfully, so far. I have personally benefited already in as much as our employer provided Humana insurance premiums DID NOT go up this year, for the same coverage as last year, for the first time in about 18 years.
No matter how miraculously beneficial Obamacare could be, some Republicans and Libertarians will always decry it an abomination of governmental overreach. That is the nature of Party politics. Obamacare still needs to be proven to the majority of Americans and Obama needs to be proactive in that proof, not reactively defensive, as he was prior to yesterday.
Look, your Tea Party star Rand Paul is rapidly developing a reputation as a serial plagiarizer, and Lindsey Graham had to slink back to the Capitol in shame after having hyped a man who, as of this point, no longer even has a book in the publishing pipeline because of all the lies he told.
So quite with your sanctimony. At least Obama has had the grace to apologize for what he said wrong. Your side will never admit that your portrait of Obamacare as a socialized medicine program above and beyond what already exists is a colossal lie. What he promised, he didn’t entirely deliver on, but what he promised was mostly true, which is a lot better than the “pants on fire ” rated BS of the Government Takeover.
As far as the Ron Johnson bill goes? If that is your understanding, and we take it at face value…
Two things wrong: first, the insurance companies could have maintained the policies in the first place. It was their choice all along to drop it.
But second, exactly what policies are we talking about here? Well, the kind of policies, to be frank, that create the economic problem the President also promised to prevent in the first place: insurance that covers so little that it doesn’t even really prevent the unpaid bills and crippling debts that the affordable care act was meant to prevent in the first place.
The basic economic theory behind the law is that if we reduce these unpaid for bill, the hospitals, clinics and doctors will need to demand less money for their services, and this will bend the curve of cost increases down. That;s the point of the mandate. Not merely getting everybody nominally covered, but covered in substance for medical expenses.
Ron Johnson’s bill, depending on its provisions, but judging from your descriptions, would undermine that. Obama’s got an idea in the wings of extending subsidies to those effected by the gap, which would allow them to get the more expensive plans at less cost out of their pocket. That seems, though imperfect, a much better solution to the problem, one that doesn’t ignore the basic purpose of the law.
I do think he should be more proactive, he’s just got to chose wisely what he’s proactive with. I think the most important thing he can do at this point is to use his authority in order to better implement what he’s already got, to fix the IT problems to get the site going well. The more the website complaints become a thing of the past, the sooner the Republican noise machines becomes an engine for making people think that their experience on the site is better than expected.
Stephen, agreed. But, when the website is fixed, it will just be something else. That is the nature of destructive adversarial politics throughout American history. Whether it has sway capacity is what is novel these days, since Independent voters outnumber either Democrats or Republicans. The Independent voters will ultimately decide whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has a future.
David R. Remer-
It will always be something else, of course, the question will be whether it’s anything that’s of interest to people beyond their base. We shouldn’t shrink reflexively away from their attacks, that’s half their point to begin with.
I think the American people are beginning to recognize that the Republicans are more interested in bashing the President over their fixations than they are in actually governing. They actually shut down much of the government for the sake of trying to get rid of Obamacare. Perhaps they’ve scored a public relations victory since then, but the Tea Party is itching to do obstruction in again in a couple months. I can’t predict the outcome absolutely, but here’s what I think we can count on: Ted Cruz and all his ilk will once again try and create a crisis over Obamacare and everything, and if they don’t get their way, it’s going to be because the Republicans just let something else pass over the objections of the Tea Party.
There are many places where I think Republicans could have exploited the weakness and divisions they created, but where their own faction’s hostility towards one another, and the Tea Party’s inability to compromise have instead turned their advantage against them. They could still win, but I’m fairly sure they’re too angry at themselves to really organize effectively. wait until after the Primary Season to see what’s left of the GOP.
Whining? Lol, not quite. I am simply pointing out the absolute fact that you allow your politics decide who or what is right or wrong.
And there is no need for you to try and lecture me on OBL. I supported getting him at all costs long before the ‘Bush failed to get him’ talking points were given to you. I was the one saying get those “bastards who won’t take hints” back when you were complaining about us using too much force.
The ACA pays for healthcare insurance for those who cannot and who refuse to take responsibility to purchase it. It IS a program that pays for healthcare.
Yes, there were plenty of regulations on it before, a huge reason why it was so expensive, but there was never regulations that took away freedom of choice as the ACA does.
I have not bought into any lie, in fact, your inability to disprove what I said about it shows quite clearly that your rants are full of the “fundamental dishonesty” you love to accuse others of.
I oppose Democrats because of the anti individual policies that you support and desire, Stephen. It has nothing to do with what others say about you or your policies.
You keep on laboring under the assumption that you’re unbiased here, and the only person who believes they have rational reasons for their beliefs. I’ve read enough on psychology and neuroscience to understand that this is a typical bias for people in general. Your knocking me on it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
And I think that’s part of your whole problem. You simply can’t admit that the distortion could be yours, that you could be falling short because you got wrapped up in an idea that suits your philosophies and understandings better than it suis reality.
The reality is, it’s not simply about force. It’s about winning, and how you win. Not merely overwhelming force, but overwhelming force concentrated on the right points, and conversely, kept off the wrong ones.
The raid on that compound shows us overwhelming force , but concentrated, disciplined. Obama rejected using a smart bomb or other such device on the grounds that we could never be certain who it was if we did that. So we took a risk, and used one of our best fighting forces to strike at the target, and we won big on that.
If only we’d done that five years ago. Instead, we wasted a lot of our strength and military readiness fighting an unnecessary war, not to mention turning people off of military interventions for a decade. I grew up under the cloud of Vietnam, with all the lawmakers bellyaching that any war we got into could turn into one. Until this last decade we were finally over that. Then another President pursued a pretext-based policy based on freeing a people who obviously weren’t prepared to create a functional democracy on their own, and who, thanks to an obsession with winning the war with technology and heavy-handed policies concerning the police and military, started up an insurgency our low (for an occupation) troop numbers couldn’t suppress..
As far as the ACA goes, responsibility has nothing to do with it, aside from mandating it for those who can pay. It’s about making sure that everybody’s sufficiently insured or covered by some program so that at the end of the day we’re not paying the bills through our own, because the hospital has to absorb their emergency care costs.
Obamacare only changes Medicaid, introduces subsidies for people to purchase health insurance on their own, when they can’t afford it.
But that’s not what people like you are saying. You’re claiming it as a government take-over, when the hospitals are remaining private and the insurance companies are, too. Whether you’re a liar yourself, your opposition is founded on a lie promoted by people who simply did not want to work past their political opposition to Obama to work out a deal.
I oppose people like you in part because I disagree with your policies, but even more so because many of your policy choices are based on lies, and as such have no chance of actually working. Tax policy that promises revenue increases and job increases that they never deliver. War plans that have been demonstrated to be wrong. Austerity plans that are already shown to have cost jobs, from people who promised to create more of them. When success and failure cannot be properly determined, thanks to political manipulations, then failure of policies will be widespread, correction will be difficult, and we will pay the price for all that.
Our implementation of ACA is far from perfect, but you know what? We’re not going to tell ourselves anything else than the truth about that, and we’ll understand that it’s not tolerable to let it remain that way. We don’t believe government has to fail. As such, we’re far less willing to rationalize bad policy and let the consequences continue to hurt people. We made mistakes, and we will make amends. The only question is, are Republicans going to help repair the policy, or are they going to throw even more monkey wrenches into the plan to profit from its collapse, with consequences for everybody.
I’m sick of paying that price so a few elites can enjoy not having their special interests harmed. I’m sick of arguing with people so thoroughly hampered in their reasoning by propaganda that they can’t even be bothered to respond to the arguments I make, instead critiquing some outrageously stupid strawman.
I am not a fundamentally dishonest man, and I don’t bother trying to lie to be people about what I bellieve or what I seek. I am as straightforward as they come. If you can’t grasp that because you hate and despise the left, the Democrats and liberals so much, that’s your problem.
SD, we’ll see, but, I am reminded of the GOP’s incredible ability to march in lock step despite their individual priority differences, since, liberalism remains the devil, and their individual differences don’t scare them or evoke near the hatred as their common hatred of progressive liberalism. The one thing they have in common is deeply emotional desire to return to the past before FDR and liberals got hold of the reigns of power and so successfully moved this nation forward to its current position of power and prosperity, if not for all, certainly for industries of profitability.
When it comes to our foreign policy, I pretty much am unbiased. Have you ever seen me jumping all over President Obama for his decisions? No. I always place politics to the side and give whoever is President the benefit of the doubt on foreign affairs. To a fault, I refuse to believe that a President of the United States would intentionally harm our country. If the actual evidence is there, I even support further investigations.
Those are my beliefs, so tell me Stephen, what is so unrational about them?
You know, reading about something is one thing, but being able to properly apply it to reality is another thing all together.
I am only human and because of that, I fall short on many things. But my ideas, EXPERIENCES and understandings are not one of them.
My refusal to accept the reality YOU read about and desire does not mean I do not understand what is actually happening.
Here’s the deal Stephen. I don’t criticize President Bush for not getting OBL because I don’t pretend to know if he was ever presented with the same opportunity to get him. I don’t pretend one President bombing a country is bad, but another President bombing a country is ok. I don’t ignore the killing of innocent civilians simply because of the Presidents political Party.
“As far as the ACA goes…”
The lack of responsibility is the sole reason you people believe government involvement is required. That combined with emotional hypocrisy is how you justify ripping apart a system that 85+% were satisfied with and replacing it with a government system that you falsely believe will lead to everybody being sufficiently insured or covered.
And like it or not, at the end of the day we will STILL be paying more through higher premiums and higher taxes. People will STILL be abusing the ER. People will STILL have a difficult time seeing a doctor, probably moreso. People will STILL have to jump through hoops.
“Obamacare only changes Medicaid,”
Which is paid for with TAXES paid by US. Oh, and as you very well know, it also changes (MANDATES) what must be covered and that EVERYONE has no choice.
“introduces subsidies for people to purchase health insurance on their own”
Again paid for with TAXES that WE pay.
“when they can’t afford it.”
BS. The ACA was NOT created to only help “when” people can’t afford it. It was created to ‘help’ those who won’t or can’t afford it. You know, the people who vote for “your people.”
“But that’s not what people like you are saying. You’re claiming it as a government take-over, when the hospitals are remaining private and the insurance companies are, too.”
Again with the 100% or it’s not happening BS? Government is controlling who and what must be covered. How much is to be spent and how much can be profit. Those are facts, not lies or propaganda.
“Whether you’re a liar yourself, your opposition is founded on a lie promoted by people who simply did not want to work past their political opposition to Obama to work out a deal.”
Yet you are unable to refute any of those “lies” that I presented. Your refusal to face a fact does not make it a lie.
“I oppose people like you in part because I disagree with your policies, but even more so because many of your policy choices are based on lies, and as such have no chance of actually working.”
No, you oppose people like me because my policy choices do not lead to the outcome you desire. You oppose people like me because we put the individual before society, because we put individual rights before the money you need to create that society you fantasize about.
You claim them to be lies out of fear, not fact, despite our nations history.
“Tax policy that promises revenue increases and job increases that they never deliver.”
So our ever increasing HUGE government has nothing to do with it? LOL.
“War plans that have been demonstrated to be wrong.”
My war policy is to avoid it when possible and to do whatever it takes to end it when it’s needed.
“Austerity plans that are already shown to have cost jobs, from people who promised to create more of them.”
I don’t support government TRYING to create jobs, so meh, I’d be happy if we had ‘austerity’ time a hundred.
“When success and failure cannot be properly determined, thanks to political manipulations, then failure of policies will be widespread, correction will be difficult, and we will pay the price for all that.”
Then freaking stop trying to use government to manipulate it.
“Our implementation of ACA is far from perfect, but you know what? We’re not going to tell ourselves anything else than the truth about that”
Then why is it so hard for you to admit government has used the ACA to basically take over our health care system?
“We don’t believe government has to fail.”
Again, we view that failure from two different angles. If government doesn’t provide, it is a failure to you. To me, if government intrudes and controls individuals, it has failed.
“As such, we’re far less willing to rationalize bad policy and let the consequences continue to hurt people.”
The consequences of your people rushing the ACA before the peoples vote has led to policy that is currently hurting people, but yet you are absolutely unwilling to delay it until it can be fixed.
“The only question is, are Republicans going to help repair the policy, or are they going to throw even more monkey wrenches into the plan to profit from its collapse, with consequences for everybody.”
Hopefully, the Republicans will stop caving and do all they can to protect us from the ACA. The loss of rights and personal property of the VAST majority in order to placate the few are consequences NONE of us deserve as Americans.
“so thoroughly hampered in their reasoning by propaganda that they can’t even be bothered to respond to the arguments I make, instead critiquing some outrageously stupid strawman.”
Amen to that. I hate when people ignore a fact like ‘government controls and dictates how a private business is to be ran’ or ‘government has taken away individual choice,’ and starts yapping about ER costs.
“I am not a fundamentally dishonest man,”
Didn’t say you were.
“If you can’t grasp that because you hate and despise the left, the Democrats and liberals so much, that’s your problem.”
Man, the ACA gets off to a terrible start, Obama gets caught lying to the American people, his poll numbers go down, and you guys start taking everything so personal.
FWIW: I don’t hate and despise the left, I disagree with the policies it promotes. I can only hate or despise leftists after I have met them and judged their character.
I am fine with what actual Democrats believe. In fact, IF the so-called Dems in Washington were still actual Democrats, myself and my family would probably still be Democrats.
I describe my real attitudes in great detail. I can’t help your compulsive need to think of me as a government-addicted Marxist Leninist.
I think your notion of government and liberty only works if you’re thinking about things on a vague level. When the actual questions of law and logic intrude, the effect of policies like those Republicans propose falls short of the sentiments.
What I want is a point of equilibrium between necessary government and necessary liberty. If you don’t strike that balance, you might have life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice on paper, but in the real world, you’ll be sorely lacking for what you actually want.
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