Don't "Misunderestimate" Obamagic

Conservatives keep falling into the trap of “misunderestimating” (allegedly a Bushism) Barack Obama and “misoverestimating” (definitely a Romanism) their own success, all this while Obama keeps eating their lunch. I know President Obama is down in the polls now. And with Republicans and conservatives crowing about our chances to oust the Democrats in this year’s election and the seeming unpopularity of health care refrom, it seems like a strange time for pessimism from the right. But I haven’t been swayed from my opinion held in the wake of Obama’s victory, namely that we—conservatives—were in trouble, not just because Obama won, but also because conservative opnion leaders tried to twist the meaning of the election results into something that it was not: as if somehow Americans really showed that they wanted lower taxes and smaller government.

Simple minded as I may be, I interepreted the election to mean that Americans had a healthy appetite for more government spending and more government programs, since those are precisely what Obama ran on and what people voted for. I also warned that if conservatives didn't face up to the enormity of the challenge ahead, they were going to be powerless to prevent an increase in the scope and power of government unseen since the New Deal, the recent passage of a massively expanded health care entitlement being pretty strong proof of my thesis already.

Oh, and remember how all those new Democrats who got elected in the Democrat takeover of Congress were really "conservative" "blue dog" Democrats? They weren't going to vote in lockstep with the Democrat leadership. They were going to be a thorn in Obama's side, right? Conservatives, how did that worked out for ya?

Another question that I need help with is, exactly what part of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda has been held at bay by a combination of "conservative" Democrats (an endagered species if there ever was one) and Republicans?

Senate election in Massachusets

Who was that guy that won "Kennedy's" seat? I forgot his name for a moment. Of course conservatives overplayed that victory, as though it was the beginning of the end of liberalism in America. And Scott Brown hasn't exactly bowled conservatives over . Surely health care reform was dead, right? . The Democrats can't possibly pass it now. They are going to run for the tall grass and forget they even raised the issue in the first place. How did that work for ya?

Apparently health care reform was only in a coma, from which it awoke, more potent, indeed invincible, than before. While Republican's were celebrating its funeral, the Democrats were bringing it back to life.

"Go ahead make my day"

Once the reform passed, many a conservative was heard gloating: “This was political suicide for the Democrats. We are going to run against it this year and run them out of office.” I will believe it when I see it. Again, though polls would seem to validate this contention, I say "not so fast." My prediction: Democrats will figure out a way to sell it better now than before it was passed, and by November a majority of Americans will be if not enthusastic in their support, at least lukewarm in their tolerance of it. Few will have the stomach for the contentious and likely frutiless campaign to repeal it. If you think it's hard to prevent passage of more entitlement programs, try taking them away once they're enacted into law, especially since no one has had to pay a penny for it yet.

Obama understands basic economics

This is nothing new, of course, but bears emphasis nonetheless. Obama (like all advocates for paternalistic, provider government) understands and knows how to exploit the principle most elementary to economic liberty: that people are rational in their pursuit of self interest. In other words, they seek to maximize their gain and minimize their pain. Thus, people will always favor a benefit to themselves that is paid for by somebody else. This health care refrom, with costs partly being born by "the rich," in terms of a medicare tax on investment income over a certain amount and a tax on "Cadillac" health care plans, is another in a long line of examples.

Obama's double whammy for "youth"

Another aspect of the health refrom that is politically very promising for Democrat futures is the double-play for the youth vote that was executed adroitly by Obama with one pen stroke. The new health law requires that young people up to age 26 without their own insurance have to be kept on their parents' health insurance plans, regardless of their status. Up to now, you had to be a full time student if over age 18. In the same bill, Obama wiped out what was left of the private student loan business, nationalizing the entire industry and ensuring that Uncle Sam will be the sole provider of student loan money. Both of these changes should please the twenty-somethings (at least until the loans come due), already a lopsidedly pro-Obama demographic segment.

I just finished the book Game Change . Without apparent irony, the writers, who themselves were obviously smitten by Obama, chronicled how the national press corps was, er, smitten by Obama. It's hard to know what to believe in such gossipy tell-all, yet one thing is undeniable. Obama was a much craftier politician than many had at first given him credit for, and though his prospects looked unrealistic early on and risky at other points throughout, he knew how to turn on the magic when he had to. Remember, Republicans, when you thought (like me), "I hope the Democrats don't nominate Hillary: she will be hard to beat . . . I can't believe they are going to nominate this Obama guy. He doesn't have any experience . . . he has Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers . . . If they nominate Obama, we can take him in November . . ."

With all the talk of a Republican juggernaut and Obama's and health care reform's "unpopularity," the "tea party" movement's ascendancy, Sara Palin's book tour, I sense a ripening moment for Republican's to overplay their hand with the clumsiness that only a Michael Steele can muster, and once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Beware the Obamagic.


Posted by Jack Romano at April 20, 2010 12:28 PM
Comments
Comment #299237

jack, wait for the pain, then comes the gain.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 20, 2010 3:48 PM
Comment #299240

Jack, you are on the right course for this article. But the data set suggests other reasons. More than half of Tea Party supporters say their taxes this year are fair. More than 6 out of 10 Americans agree. Most recent PEW and NY Times/NBC polls. Taxes are not a winning issue for Republicans, yet the have turned it into the sacred mantra.

Republicans have done nothing, NOTHING, to bridge the chasm between what voters KNOW about Republicans and what Republicans say today. Example, Bail outs. Republicans INITIATED the big bank bail outs in 2008. Republicans say they are against bail outs. Yet, Republicans in Congress are opposing legislation that would forever end tax payer bailouts, defending instead the corporations, as with McConnel’s conference with the Execs. The majority of voters know these contradictory facts about Republicans and trust Republicans even less than Democrats by nearly 10% in most recent polls.

The Tea Party activists, have only 4% public representation.
And Tea Party supporters represent only 18% of the public. Their gig is the size of government. That is not the gig of the majority of Voters. This is still a democratically elected government, and this means Republicans have nowhere near the majority support amongst voters to sweep Democrats out of the majority.

Finally, the anti-incumbent movement is larger than ever before and hostility toward both parties is higher than ever before in polling history, as reflected by new polling reported by the NY Times this week. Republicans are fools if they think this movement isn’t going to wash their own out of Congress this Nov. along with Democrats.

Republicans are denying realities, and denying realities is the surest way to make unsound judgments and decisions going forward. The laughable and very humorous dynamic in the GOP is they hire Luntz to give them their talking points, and far, far too many Republican spokespersons and office holders turn around and accept those talking points as reality in the making, even when they aren’t. It’s the blind following the wishful.

Finally, those less problematic, is the schism between the Palin supporters and the Paul supporters, the evangelicals and the Libertarians, tearing at the unity within the GOP. I say this is less problematic, because as long as both camps are occupied with demonizing Democrats, the harm they do each other is minimized. However, this schism does portend the inability of the GOP to hold onto majority power if they were to ever reacquire it. In the majority, these two camps would go after each other like to alpha males over the last bone on earth.


Posted by: David R. Remer at April 20, 2010 5:15 PM
Comment #299257

Jack R.
You just can’t count on Blue Dogs to be able to leap into the alternate reality the current Rep leadership employs on their minions to persuade them to vote against the best interest of their constituents and country. The HCR law is decidedly moderate and will save money according to the best estimates available. It will certainly save lives. The student loan changes are also saving money that was slated to go to financial firms bottom line instead of helping students go to college. According to the Rep alternate reality saving taxpayer dollars is now all of a sudden,wasteing taxpayers dollars. Setting up an industry funded liquidation fund is now ,through some form of black magic, become a bailout fund. Down is up,peace is war,freedom is slavery. It is surprising just how effective these twist of logic have been. The tactic of selling this nonsense uses a disgusting appeal to what amounts to tribalism and racial fears to convince people to oppose common sense solutions. BHO is a Muslum,they are socialist,they are gay,they are evil..evil.I tell you. Dems are not like you. Dems are alien.Then theres Mitch,”Who are you going to believe? Me or your lieing eyes”Mac Connell. The sooner your party starts listenning to the small segment left in your party like Powell that seeks realistic solutions to problems without special interest bribery and disproven idealogy the better off the country and world will be.
To paraphrase David Plouffe ,” If your so positive of victory you should break out the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner again.”

Posted by: bills at April 21, 2010 4:49 AM
Comment #299258

Jack R.
For all the poison being spread about BHO and the inclusion of Rassmusen and Fox push polls his numbers are not all that bad,especially considering that the left of the public is not all that happy with him. He is too moderate for many.

Here is more reliable data:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/passage-of-health-care-reform-brings-democratrepub,17281/

Posted by: bills at April 21, 2010 5:53 AM
Comment #299309

Jack the lack of arrogance and the real world look at the conservative mindset is a breath of fresh air. Are you sure you are a conservative?

The fact that those on the right have not responded to your opinions tells me that they are to stunned, or to upset to do so. Myself I am amazed that they have not yet taken shots at the messenger.

Anyway good post.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 21, 2010 10:22 PM
Comment #299321

At least one Republican is paying attention.

Posted by: gergle at April 22, 2010 12:28 AM
Comment #299325

I’m a strange type of conservative maybe more closely libertarian. I believe that what the people want is the best type of government for the people to have. So if people want big government, then it is generally better to have it. If majority want smaller government then it is better to do that. The reason I believe this is simple. People generally take care of things better what they care about then what they have no interest in. I’m also an economist so to say. I believe in the general principles of economics. Which to me point out that government insurance can, and should provide the best result of insurance. I didn’t say perfect, for no government, business, or human is perfect.

I believe marriage has no place in the law besides a general contract of relationship. Basically stating that you are taking care of each other, or you claim responsibility to take care of that person. That would apply to both marriage, partnerships, sons, daughters, step children, etc……

I also believe that people should be responsible and pay their taxes, whither you agree with what it goes to or not, as long as you agree that the majority rules then you should pay them. I believe in putting your hand where your mouth is. If you think something is wrong then you should try to fix the problem and not just complain about it. Example of what I have been hearing not so much here but other places is how the poor don’t pay their fair share in taxes. Well, fix that problem, either make them pay more taxes, or better yet help them not be poor. But just whining about it is not what America is about. Do something to help you fellow neighbor, I’m not talking about government programs either, it can be, but doesn’t have to be. I know too many conservatives and liberals that will help a friend but almost never help a stranger. (Of course be safe about helping strangers, I hope I don’t need to say this.)

The biggest thing that I find that need to change in politics is be has honest as you can. I know both sides can really be dishonest. But the stuff I have seen the right do far out crys the left (I’m talking about giving out general misinformation and misrepresenting facts knowingly). I’m not saying you can’t change your mind and “flip-flop” but give the reasons why. This goes to both sides.

The reason I voted for obama was a simple reason. He is really a moderate in disguise. He just doesn’t say big government is bad, and doesn’t say government should run everything. From what I have seen and read, he believes in balance, which is something I believe in. A balance in all things. This is why I think he will win again. I would of voted for Ron Paul, for prez, but no luck.

One last thing to the health care insurance. My personal opinion. Outlaw health insurance in general. Problems solved. Doctors and hospitals will either lower prices or go out of business. People at first will be hurt and lives will be lost, but it’s the only true way to bring down the costs of health care is when sick people die and people stop using it. I’m not saying there isn’t bloat in there, because we all know there is bloat expenses in health insurance in general, but the easiest way to get rid of the bloat is to get rid of health insurance, which would eliminate that bloat. Then Cap Punitive damages to zero. The person should only get what they need to survive to fix the problem or sustain a “normal existence”. If you chopped off the wrong leg, A chop off the other leg, free of charge, or pay someone else to do it. Compensate them the costs of having electric leg and to maintain it the rest of their life. Now if it was criminal, take away their licenses and through them in jail. Really simple stuff, doesn’t have to be really hard unless if you make it that way.

Posted by: kudos at April 22, 2010 4:30 AM
Comment #299331

Hmmm…amputation, a twofer…wow…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2010 9:24 AM
Comment #299332

PS:

All them folks dying for the cause of readjustment would be very heroic. We’d all appreciate that heroism…except perhaps the heroes…do you think presenting their survivers with a Congressional medal would sufice to ease their pain?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2010 9:26 AM
Comment #299334

j2t2,

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a David Brooks conservative (which is to say not at all a conservative, but one whom the New York Times is comfortable labeling a conservative.) I am probably more idealistic even than practical conservative. I’m misty-eyed original intent constitutionalist, limited government, founding fathers, the whole thing.

I am not saying the GOP needs to moderate to win elections. I am trying to say that I see warning signs that they don’t realize the enormous challenge they face in trying to persuade/educate a critical mass of Americans to think about politics and government through a paradigm (forgive the trendy jargon) that may be entirely foreign to most people.

How do you address first principles in a political debate that is mostly about who gets what, who gets screwed, and who pays for it all? That to me is the challenge facing conservatism and GOP. Is it a difficult challnge? yes. May it be ultimately insurmountable? quite possibly. Is it still a fight worth having? Quixotic as I am, I say yes.

When thinking as muddied as that expressed by kudos, above, is not an isolated phenomenon, then you can see the problem we face. Sorry, kudos, I don’t want to sound harsh, but it’s more than a little alarming to here someone say they are libertarian leaning conservative, then basically say the majority rules, then come up with outlandish policies like banning health insurance (what if free people choose to create health insurance, though? Isn’t that a libertarian principle? I am going to assume the cut-off-the-other-leg thing was a fair attempt at Swiftian satire—gosh I hope so), then say they were for Ron Paul but since he couldn’t win they voted for Obama, who BTW is really a moderate who doesn’t want the government to run everything! What has Obama done so far but try to make the government run everything? Auto industry? check. Student loans? check. Health care? check, sort of, but we still have more to go. Wall street? check-a-roonie. Banking? check-a-mundo.

In short, I am not a fake. I voted for Reagan, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, McCain. I am pro-life, believe in second amnendment, hawkish on terrorism.

Fellow conservatives, we have a problem. I hope I am proven wrong this year, but even if GOP wins in November, will they know what do do with that victory?

Posted by: Jack Romano at April 22, 2010 10:03 AM
Comment #299336

kudos-
The main problem with that, as a doctor could argue, is that Doctors don’t always succeed, even when they are practicing good medicine, so it would rapidly become uneconomical to practice medicine. The purpose of torts, which actually do very little to effect actual costs, is to punish doctors who make mistakes or who are incompetent. Without substantial awards, the Medical system doesn’t have the incentive to sideline their problem children.

As for that other part? I believe than sink and swim approaches are unethical in government. People have to be let down easy, if you’re going to let them down at all.

A government is responsible for the welfare of its people. It should follow, first and foremost, the dictate that doctors have to follow: First, do no harm.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2010 10:09 AM
Comment #299342

Jack I couldn’t agree with you more the GOP needs to continue to swing to the extreme right even farther than it is now. Throw out the McCains and Collins and bring back the DeLay’s Lott’s etc.. Give us voters a real difference in the two major parties. But don’t be surprised that this move may not be as successful as those on the right may think. Us Americans may have short memories and we may not be able to focus on anything longer than a bumper sticker but we are still reeling from the conservative led 107th,108th and 109th Congress and GWB.

If you are to be successful in balancing out the Congress it is time to tell us what it is you plan on doing that would actually solve problems as tax cuts and small government hasn’t worked,in fact it just allowed our representatives on both sides of the aisle to be bought and paid for by corporate America special interests and has left us with 2 wars and a mountain of debt.

If the GOP and the conservatives that run the party continue to believe that Americans don’t want Wall street regulated and the rules enforced, and Bankers to be Bankers not Banksters then it is my opinion that the GOP won’t be as successful as many think they will be this coming election. The have shown us that they are only interested in regaining a majority for their own selfish concerns, as they demonstrated when they last held the majority, by becoming the party of NO this past 3 years. That is not what most of us expect from our representatives.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 22, 2010 11:17 AM
Comment #299345

Jack Romano-
I would tell you this: first sort out the BS from everything else.

Obama does not want to run General Motors forever. He does not want to have to bail out Wall Street forever. But he didn’t forsake those options when it came to creating a real world policy, as stopgap measures.

The Problem with current conservatism is that it’s willing to let a bunch of harm come to the country in the name of changing things for the better. It like, “There will be this huge catastrophe, dogs will be living with cats, everybody will see the paint peel off their houses and be given permanent orange afros…”

“… and then everything will be find and we’ll all tiptoe through the tulips.”

If we define Conservatism as careful government, that’s not it. If we define it as the tendency to preserve current institutions, rather than initiate radical change, that’s not it.

What is conserved in today’s conservatism? I mean, seriously, your challenger for Harry Reid is trying to sell a barter-based approach to healthcare. I am not making this up. She is seriously talking about exchanging chickens for medical services as a modern means of payment.

I mean, if your party’s intent on giving the twentieth century a miss and dragging the county back to the 19th century, that’s not conservatism. That’s a radical excess of nostalgia.

The Republican’s problem is that they succeeded in purifying their party at the expense of calcifying it. They can’t adapt as fast as they need to, and those who would bring change in the party seem to be providing a cure that is worse than the disease.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2010 11:48 AM
Comment #299346

Jack R.
It is nice to hear from a non-hysterical conservative. Perhaps you do not even believe that BHO could be the Anti-Christ or was not born in the US.
Very often those that refer to “original intent”,limited government etc. cite the Federalist Papers,forgetting entirely that they were largely authured by Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was,among other things,a supporter of a strong central government. He even pushed for an agressive industrial policy of government intervention.

http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/text/civ/1791manufactures.html

Sorry to pop your bubble ,but the original intent is not all that cut and dried. One of the problems the left and right have with trying to communicate is that often the right thinks in terms of platitudes.Platitudes aren’t very adaptable . When these platitudes are confronted with real world complications there is a tendancy to take solutions as personal insult. Like an insult to ones religion. Its not helpful for discourse and leaves many suseptable to manipulation. Their idea of reasoned debate becomes mouthing slogans instead of interpreting facts.This can catch the intelligent as well as the not so cerebral.
As for BHO overextending the powers of government, it looks more to me that he has gone out of his way to limit a necessary response than he could have or maybe should have.The HCR law keeps insurance companies in the picture and does not even have a public option. It is nowhere near the single payer system most on the left would have prefered, nor is it the government running everything.Its a consumer protection bill. The auto industry bailout loans were needed to keep a bunch of Americans employed,for obvious national defense reasons and limit the recession.It was an emergency ,not a policy shift. Banking? BHO did keep the economy from total collapse with the bailouts. This policy was started under Bush. He did not,as many economist recommended,move toward nationalization of failed banks. Now the country is trying to replace the regulatory regime that previously protected us from a series of bank failure recessions since the Depression and develope appropriate new regulation for a global economy. This is a necessary and legitamet function of government with much precedent.. Student loans? The system was set up to simply pad the bottom lines of banks. Banks make money by taking prudent risk. That is their function. They were taking zero risk with the student loan program. It was pure pork at taxpayers expense. If you favor efficient use of taxpayer money ,how you can oppose the change is beyond me.

Posted by: bills at April 22, 2010 12:07 PM
Comment #299349

Original intent included slavery. Original Intent is not what so many on the Right wish it were. It was a dramatic improvement for its day. But, that was more than 230 years ago, and original intent could no more work for America today than the horse and buggy would for interstate commerce today. There is a reason the Constitution provided several options for altering and modifying original intent, and that reason was part of the original intent of the signers.

The Constitution is far too complex to be left to dittoheads on the right and left to define and interpret.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2010 1:44 PM
Comment #299365

Original intent…hmmm…perhaps to allow possession of weaponry so that instant defenses could be established in cases of Indian raids or if the French suddenly gathered on the Canadian border. A swift gathering of volunteers could form up under a militia captain and run to the hot spot. I wonder how long it’s been since we had to worry about Indian raids or a French invasion…now all we have to worry about are a bunch of fruitcakes running around flaunting their phallic symbols.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #299368


Ditto heads? Fruitcakes? Phallic symbols? Bad hair day?

Are centrist ditto heads better at defining and interpreting?

Posted by: jlw at April 22, 2010 11:55 PM
Comment #299374

Marysdude
Guns are not going to go away. There is too many of them.Its like abortion. You can outlaw it all you want but its not going to go away. I wish the left and right would get over these red herring issues. Pretty simple. If you think gun ownership makes no sense,then by all means,do not buy a gun. If you think abortion is wrong,then by all means,do not get one. I can’t claim that minding ones own business is part of “original intent” but seems a pretty good idea to me.

DR
I’ll just bet that some on the right would be quite happy to revert to 4/5ths representation for Blacks.

Posted by: bills at April 23, 2010 8:57 AM
Comment #299380

DR
I’ll just bet that some on the right would be quite happy to revert to 4/5ths representation for Blacks.

Posted by: bills at April 23, 2010 08:57 AM

BILLS, THAT STATEMENT SHOULD BE BENEATH THE DIGNITY OF ANY AMERICAN.

Posted by: ROYAL FLUSH at April 23, 2010 4:09 PM
Comment #299386

Hate, hate, hate on the left.

Royal Flush, don’t expect to play on the conscience of the left: it has been “seared with a hot iron”. The have none…

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 23, 2010 6:28 PM
Comment #299387

beretta, you’re right. liberalism is a mental disease.

Posted by: royal flush at April 23, 2010 6:56 PM
Comment #299392

RF, yep, give us our drugs for our mental disease, and we will be all kumbayaaa again. But, NO! The right loves a good fight, and deprives the Left of their feel good pot and LSD, so they can have someone to lose elections to. Liberty is the antithesis of the Right, and the drugs issue is prima facia evidence. Too bad Republicans won’t get behind Ron Paul’s libertarianism, they just might have a fighting chance at sustained majority power. But, Republicans elect leaders who shoot each other in the face and foot. Viola’! Perpetual minority party in history.

I love it.!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2010 8:05 PM
Comment #299398

bills,

I don’t want guns to go away…very few on the left even think of it, but I like to drive the small thinkers nuts on that issue, because they’ve been sold a bill of goods by their leaders that if they don’t watch out someone will come around and take them. How many times have you heard a leader, one with any power or influence, say ANYTHING about restricting gun ownership? All that crazy talk comes from the right…passing along the fear, their best bet for reelection.

I am serious when I say that gun purchasers should be required to take a test (written and practical application) before the sale is consummated, but I’m not serious in thinking it will EVER happen.

Hell, I’ve owned guns myself, and would again, if I wasn’t afraid some a-hole would come along and take it away from me and shoot me dead with it.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 23, 2010 10:27 PM
Comment #299402

RF:

Liberalism is a mindset that only government can correct all the woes of mankind, and everything accomplished by the individual is destined to fail. And if he does succeed, it is because he has used and abused those around him. It is a pessimistic view of life. The glass is always half full.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 23, 2010 11:26 PM
Comment #299404

I’m guessing Conservatism is believing you have a fix on Liberalism. The glass is full of it….minus a gl.

It’s always nice having a conversation with one’s self. Why thank you, you’re both a gentleman and a scholar. Why thank you.

Posted by: gergle at April 24, 2010 12:04 AM
Comment #299413

Beretta9,RF

You guys do not get to define us. You haven’t a clue.

liberalism: American Heritage Dictionary

“A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority. “


Now I suppose you will accuse the dictionary of having a liberal bias,all those big words and all.

Posted by: bills at April 24, 2010 6:05 AM
Comment #299420

bills;

Perhaps I should have used the true word of “Progressivism”:

“Opposition from Conservatives & Libertarians
Conservatives dislike progressivism due to the George Orwell “Big Government” they long to create. Originally, when technology was evolving, progressivism was thought to be a good thing for America. After the Depression, America was looking for reform. Unfortunately a lot of the laws and regulations progressives helped to create also robbed Americans of liberties they used to enjoy. Progressive-influenced laws have been known to fail miserably. One example is the unpopular Prohibition legislation which led to an enormous outbreak of organized crime.

America’s founding fathers drew up The Constitution in hopes of keeping government small, allowing the people to have the power, not the leaders of America. Conservatives and Libertarians prefer to honor the Constitution and keep government as small as possible.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism

This seems to sum up the liberal, progressive movement in America.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 24, 2010 9:31 AM
Comment #299423

Beretta9

Interesting about prohibition. We have the exact same thing regarding the prohibition of drugs currently. Outside of a few libertarians it appears to me that progressives tend to favor more tolerance in drug enforcement than conservatives. How about your opinion? I also do not know any progressives that think big government has any business controlling what goes on in a womens uterus.Most conservatives support this incredibly invasive use of government power.
I and others have tried to explain some communications misunderstandings before. Again, conservatives ,as a philosophy, are opposed to government involvement,or at least they say so. Progressives and liberals do not have a philosophy of wanting a bigger government per say. We want policies that work to solve problems. Sometimes that means more government,sometimes less. The bedrock belief is that problems ARE solvable.
conservatives: less government is good government
liberals:solve problems,good governance is one way some times. Government is not a goal.Its a tool.

When you site the founding fathers you should try to be accurate. AS pointed out above Alexander Hamilton,who penned most of the Federalist Papers, supported a strong central government and a industrial policy of major government intervention. You guys do not get to make it up as you go along.
What other progressive policies failed,in your opinion? If you got your SS check this month,it didn’t fail BTW.

Posted by: bills at April 24, 2010 11:28 AM
Comment #299425

bills:

I don’t receive an SS check each month. If SS is your example of a successful government program, can you explain it’s eminent failure?

“Progressives and liberals do not have a philosophy of wanting a bigger government per say.”

This statement is not true: every liberal government run program, has increased the size of government. While the private sector is loosing jobs in our present economy, Obama and the government have continued to hire more employees. While the wages in the private sector have continued to drop or become stagnant in this present economy, federal employees wages have continued to rise.

The question is not, “What other progressive policies failed, in your opinion? “

The question is, what progressive policies have been successful? Name a government run program that has been successful, that has covered all americans, and that has saved money?

So you believe there should be no prohibition on drugs? Should all drugs be legal? At what point do you say these drugs should be legal and these should not?


Alcohol is alcohol, but drugs include a geat veriety: grass, cocain, heroin, LSD, date rape drugs, etc. Are you suggesting all be made legal, or just some? If some, then which ones? Who should make the decision?

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 24, 2010 11:50 AM
Comment #299427


THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED

The only means that the governed have in voicing their opinions is through elections. When both political parties support issues that the governed do not give their consent for, the governed are defied by their politicians, leaving the governed without an ability to effect that which they disagree with.

Hopefully voting out incumbents will allow the people to regain control of their government and prevent the two political parties from working in collusion to thwart the consent of the governed.

If that doesn’t work, the people may be forced to seek representation with third parties.

Posted by: jlw at April 24, 2010 11:56 AM
Comment #299432

Let’s see…Benny Franklyn created and supervised the first postal service, and it gave the country the cheapest and most efficient mail delivery, to more of the population than any other in the world. It has slowed considerably in the last two decades as electronic communication has taken over much of the burden, but its demise will not be because it was not a successful program. Hmmm…1775 to, let’s say 1975 is 200 years. How do YOU measure success?

Social Security…how do we measure the success of a program that for eight decades has helped older citizens live a longer, more comfortable life? What private sector action or system would have compared to that? And, projections are still projections…we don’t know that the Social Security program will not be salvaged, reformed or replaced. How successful does a program have to be for you to admit it was a good idea? If you asked all those who were relieved from poverty in their old age, and all their struggling families who did not have to shoulder the entire burdon on their own, do you think they’d tell you Social Security was/is a failed program?

I think I could go on, but nothing I say will impress you, or change your mind (which has been saturated with the negativism being screamed 24/7 by so-called conservative pundits).


>If that doesn’t work, the people may be forced to seek representation with third parties.
Posted by: jlw at April 24, 2010 11:56 AM

jlw, good luck with that…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 24, 2010 1:14 PM
Comment #299436

Postal Service: belly up!

In 2009 the Postal Service lost $3.8 billion. In the years 2007 and 2008, it lost $7.8 billion. In Nov. 2009, Postal Service spokeswoman told CBS News this interesting point:

“Yoerger told CBSNews.com that the Postal Service is seeking “flexibility to better manage our business.”

Translation: We may technically be a government agency, but we’re also a business — and we want the government to get out of the way.”

Interesting that the Postal Service wanted freedom to operate as a business outside of the government. Do you think government control is destroying them?

How about SS? Yes, I will agree, the concept was a good idea, but again, with the Federal Government running the show, it was doomed to failure. Social Security is already $12.8 trillion is debt. The projections that they would be paying out more in 2012 than they are taking in, have already come true, two years early.

http://www.socialsecurity.org/reformandyou/faqs.html

The future is bleak for those who have paid in and want the benefits of SS. Either raise the payroll deductions for all Americans, which would hurt the lower income people, or raise the age of eligibility, which will make people upset. Again, the answer is similar to the Postal Service; to privatize. But that creates a problem for democrats, because they have been using SS payments as a slush fund for social programs for years. The HC plan is a means to again take HC taxes and fines and use them to prop up SS, Medicare and the standard social programs.


This article is interesting:

http://www.socialsecurity.org/reformandyou/faqs.html

Sorry MD, both of these programs have failed and are in a constant state of life support by the taxpayers. You need to come up with another successful government program that has worked.

Do you have another?


It don’t take a conservative 24/7 pundit to see both these programs have failed and are costing taxpayers money. Actually the article from CBS is a liberal MSM article.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 24, 2010 3:52 PM
Comment #299437

Sorry, I forgot to add the Postal link, I know you guys are sticklers for proof:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/19/politics/main5711797.shtml

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 24, 2010 3:55 PM
Comment #299447

You still don’t get it…let me try it this way:

Once hunters and trappers and pioneers were the carriers of our economy

Once Cattle ranchers and cowboys were a very important factor in our economy

Once steel mills and mines were the cause celebre of our economy

Once manufacturing…blah…blah…blah

Throughout all that the postal service ran smoothly. Now the postal service may go the way of the hunter, cowboy, smelter, et al. That does NOT a failure make…think progress…er…oh, well, since that is impossible for you, just stop thinking…er…hmmm…maybe that’s been the problem all along…too much talk radio.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 24, 2010 7:31 PM
Comment #299450

“You still don’t get it…let me try it this way:”

If the Postal Service had been a privately owned company: they would have been bought, acquired, repossessed, auctioned off, or experienced a hostile takeover. But that would never happen because the taxpayers are footing the bill. As long as we pay the bill, status quo…

SS is and has always been nothing more than a slush fund. Railroad Retirement was started about the same time as SS and yet SS is broke and RR is very successful. What is the difference? Even though RR is under control of the government, it was allowed to take the donated funds and invest them. As long as the government keeps their hands out of the till, RR will continue to be successful. They operate almost like independent investment. The investments of SS, on the other hand, were spent as fast as the government received the money. A complete failure…

Remember what the spokeswoman for the Postal Service told CBSNews.com in 2009, “Yoerger told CBSNews.com that the Postal Service is seeking “flexibility to better manage our business.”

They wanted to manage themselves, but politicians could never allow this to happen, because it would interrupt their slush fund.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 24, 2010 8:53 PM
Comment #299454

Baretta9, if the Postal Service were a privately owned company, rural areas (largely Republican) would not be entitled to receive or send mail, just as under Republican ideology, 10’s of millions of Americans have no right to health insurance, for the sake of profitability. Rural areas are among the biggest profit losers for the postal service. It’s like Cheney shooting fellow Republican in the face all over again, metaphorically speaking.

There is a reason voters who used to vote Republican changed their mind in 2006 and 2008. The Republican Party didn’t live up to so many of the fundamental rhetorical promises to those voters who used to vote Republican.

Thank you for making the chasm in your comment’s argument an open door for exploitation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2010 11:16 PM
Comment #299461

Seeing history in perspective requires a thought process.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 25, 2010 12:10 AM
Comment #299475

Beretta9
The Postal Service was set up in the original Constitution. It is part of that “original intent” cons are so fond of siting. Maybe there were “progressives” among the exalted founding fathers!
SS HAS 11 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS! Repeating the BIG LIE that it is broke does not make it so. The right does not want to pay the bill they owe,as usual, but the right is going too. Again,look at facts,not BS talking points.Of course if you did that you might become a liberal.

Posted by: bills at April 25, 2010 7:14 AM
Comment #299495

Conservatives fought tooth and nail against that most social of Socialist programs, the Social Security act. Conservatives have attempted from time to time every decade since then to bring on its demise. The closest we’ve come so far, was by a Democrat, and a Progressive to boot, ie, bringing the trust fund into the general budget in order to placate Johnson’s war gods, without having to ask the American people to pay higher taxes on a war they were becoming suspicious of. Conservatives began saying the program was failing because of big government ineptitude before it even showed any weakness at all.

My point? If Social Security has bumbled along through all that and survived to this point, it may outlive us all. Now, THAT, my dear Watson, is a thought to chew on.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 25, 2010 1:35 PM
Comment #299503

DR:

It was a Postal Service spokesman who asked that government to allow the postal service to run its own business, but government cannot give them this freedom. If they had been a private enterprise and not financed by taxpayers, they would have failed long ago. Capitalism, when given freedom, always finds a way to provide a service. Will it cost? Yes, but that is part of supply and demand. I have a relative who lives in rural Indiana. They had dial up Internet service, which they hated. In order to get faster service, they had to buy and subscribe to satellite service. It cost them, but they are happy with the speed. Was it the government’s responsibility to provide and pay for their service? Or was it theirs?

bills:

“SS HAS 11 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS! Repeating the BIG LIE that it is broke does not make it so.”

Where is this $11 trillion? Is it in the AL Gore “Locked Box”, or is it in the form of IOU’s? If it is there in th form of IOU’s, then should this amount be added to our national debt?

MD

“Conservatives fought tooth and nail against that most social of Socialist programs, the Social Security act. Conservatives have attempted from time to time every decade since then to bring on its demise.”

Let me ask you a question, where would SS be today, if the money had not been stolen and used in the general fund? As I said earlier, the idea of SS was noble, but it could never succeed when the money received was used in a slush fund.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 25, 2010 4:41 PM
Comment #299518
Where is this $11 trillion?…is it in the form of IOU’s? If it is there in th form of IOU’s, then should this amount be added to our national debt?

The SS Trust Fund is money collected by the SSA, but not spent on current beneficiaries. All of it is invested in government securities similar to treasury bonds.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 25, 2010 10:51 PM
Comment #299522

Damn! And, I thought you’d jump for joy that it was a Democrat who created the greatest fault line in Social Security…but, noooo, you’re still harping on the slush fund thingee. Being part of the general budget might be called a slush fund by some who hate government, but calling it that won’t keep it out of the general budget. The Gore ‘lock-Box’ you seem so disdainful of had mostly to do with separating it back out of the general budget, as it had been in the past, it couldn’t have hurt and might have helped. We’ll never know now. The Supremes took care of that in 2000, when they elected the wrong President. You know, the President who used it to placate his own war gods, so he wouldn’t have to raise taxes on folks who found his war suspicious…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 26, 2010 1:06 AM
Comment #299526

WR:

Great, I thught it was broke. Then the rumors of taking in less than it paid out, this year instead of 2019 are incorrect? And the rumors of raising the rates another 2% and raising the retirement age are also incorrect? All this time I thought it was a pay as you go fund.

So what you are saying is that the Fed owes SS, just like they owe the Chinese? And SS is part of our national debt? And our g-kids will be paying into SS and also paying taxes to reimburse the SS fund, so it can pay the grandparent’s government checks?

Sounds solvent to me. I have mine, and I hope your not young, because if you are young, you better have an alternate retirement fund.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 26, 2010 8:08 AM
Comment #299539
So what you are saying is that the Fed owes SS, just like they owe the Chinese? And SS is part of our national debt?

Yes. Once SS starts taking in less money than it pays out, it will start to cash in the securities it has invested in. This means that future budgets must account for this by either raising taxes or cutting government spending if the system is not reformed. Otherwise, we will need to borrow even more money from Asia (bad idea).

I hope your not young, because if you are young, you better have an alternate retirement fund.

I’m only 20 years old, so I’m not expecting any money from Social Security. Unlike your generation, I’m taking personal responsibility for my retirement.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 26, 2010 10:37 AM
Comment #299551

Although I did pay into SS some over the years, I do not draw SS. I paid into a retirement program for 36 years and this is what I draw. I live a very comfortable life, we live in the north, but also own a place in Florida, where we spend the winters.

So you are only 20 years old. I am certainly surprised at the amount of worldly knowledge you have gained in 20 years. As for me, I only have 63 years of experience. A man once said, “it takes 63 years, to gain 63 years of experience”. But what did he know, he was just an old man.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 26, 2010 1:09 PM
Comment #299553

Beretta9,

I have the benefit of six thousand years of human recorded history from which to gain my experience. The internet has only accelerated the rate at which I can learn new things. However, I must concede that reading about something is one thing, and living through it is quite another and I admit that I have not lived through all that much.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 26, 2010 1:20 PM
Comment #299563

WR;

You would never know how much our nation has changed in my lifetime alone. I am sure our founding fathers would not even recognized our nation.

When I was a kid, we didn’t even have a lock on the front door of our house. We would leave home and never think that someone would break in and steal something. As kids, we would take off in the morning on our bikes and be gone all day, and our parents would never think someone would hurt us. I drove to highschool, as many of my friends did, with a shotgun in a gunrack, because we would go hunting after school, and no one ever thought anything about it.

I had one friend in HS whose parents were divorced, and it seemed strange to us that he only lived with his mother.

Yes, we have changed, and not for the good.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 26, 2010 2:11 PM
Comment #299582

We are a better people now than we were the day you were born. We are a better nation now than on the day you were born. The golden years did not exist, except in your imagination…you tend to remember only the good parts or the parts you witnessed. Warped likely has a better grasp on history than you do, because you are locked on the fantasy of some Utopian past that was not there. Go to the INTERNET or to a library and read some newspapers from that year…1947?…and see if what I say is not true.

WWII was just wrapping up after the bombs, the starving in Europe were just being helped with the Marshall Plan, the Exodus was nye and the millions of Jews who had just been released from concentration camps finally had an opportunity to put their lives back in order, North Korea was shortly going to invade the South, Jim Crow was alive and well, even though Harry Truman had authorized ‘colored’ troops into the armed forces, they were segregated and spat upon.

There were plenty of bright spots too, unions were helping create a middle class in America and the GI Bill would soon begin educating millions to feed that middle class, but your dream world only existed for YOU.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 26, 2010 6:13 PM
Comment #299598

Baretta9, your example using a more costly private sector option fails to persuade. First, by being more costly, by definition of supply and demand cost curves, many are not able to afford the private sector option. Second, you are talking about discretionary entertainment item, not a basic necessity. There are many rural communities here in Texas without a single health care professional. They have to travel to larger towns or cities to get health care. That is the private sector’s flaw. Where there is a universal need, the private sector will ALWAYS prove incapable of fulfilling that demand, because of marginal rates of return on cost of goods delivered or services provided. They won’t take a loss to extend those good or services to areas where demand is too low to produce a profit.

The Tennessee Valley Authority brought millions of Americans out of the 18th century into the 20th in the span of 30 years. An accomplishment that ONLY the government could afford to produce. Sure, the private sector might have provided electricity to those communities a century or 2 later, but, the tax revenues the government took in from incomes earned by TVA recipients paid for the project several times over the following 60 years. That too is beyond the scope of the private sector, to defer return on investment for such lengthy periods.

There is much that private sector will always do better and provide more effectively to the society than government can. But, the reverse is also true. If health care is to be universal, the private sector can never achieve it, and the government can and cheaper than the private sector ever could. Education is another, the military is another, air traffic control and border security another, and insuring the elderly against poverty and horrible suffering in their retirement years, yet another.

America was begun as a mixed economy of socialist and capitalist methods of providing the American people what it needed to advance and grow. It is still a mixed economy today. The trick is defining what should be for the American people, and allocating to the private sector or government the most effective and efficient to meet those definitions.

In the past, Americans regarded health care as something one could afford or did without. There are many reasons for this, to include the relative absence of pandemic health threats in the past, should people be allowed to go without health care. With the advent of AIDS, surges in recurrence of diseases like Measles, pandemic flu virii, tuberculosis and hepatitus, in a vastly more mobile society, allowing carriers to go without health care and in mobile society now constitutes a serious national security risk. We can’t afford to allow mobile people to not afford to see a doctor when they become ill, anymore. The consequences of doing so have national economic and security risks that were never posed historically with a vastly smaller and much more widely dispersed and less mobile population than exists today.

When time and circumstances in a society change, that society’s priorities and policies have to change as well to meet the risk contingencies that come with societal growth and change. Adapting to changed circumstances is vital to the survival of a society and civilization. Many great ones are now known only in history books due precisely to their failure to adapt and change their priorities, policies, and contingency plans to accommodate their civilization’s advanced growth and changed circumstances.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 27, 2010 2:35 AM
Comment #299617

Berreta9
Mister, there are plenty of reasons why today’s society would be unrecognizeable to any of the founding fathers. let me list a few:

1) 37 More states.

2) About 80 times more population.

3) Territory stretches from Atlantic to Pacific.

4) Telecommunications enables lightspeed communication, as opposed to communication that relied on the speed of transportation.

5) Universal motorized transportation, including Cars, Trains, Buses, and Oceangoing vessels with screw propellers.

6) Materials technology advanced in all areas, enabling larger buildings, larger cities.

7) Emerging technologies allow direct manipulation of forces that were not even fully theorized in their times.

8) The discovery of and weaponization of Nuclear physics

9) The technological development and interest interconnection of nations around the world, and not just those from Europe.

10) The Emancipation of the vast majority of the African American population and the subsequent fight for and attainment of equal rights between them and whites.

11) The constitutional provision of the vote to women, and the subsequent large-scale entrance of women into the workforce, politics, and academia.

12) The industrialization of America.

13) The Urbanization, then suburbanization of America.

14) The Fundamentalization of Christianity, and the secularization of American society.

And that’s the short list.

The point? Yes, America as it is today would be unrecognizeable to the framers. They would not know how to to govern this country. But you know something? They did something marvellous for us: They gave us the system and the political power to govern ourselves according to the agreement of today’s electorate.

Whatever principles we hold to in the constitution, bill of rights, and subsequent amendments, we do ourselves little good trying to govern ourselves as if we were a rural, agrarian, mainly substistence farming, 13 state, 3.93 million person, 1790’s era nation.

We have changed, and government must change to fit that, regardless of the nostalgia some might have for the shape of government in yesteryear, because it’s reality that will put that government to the test, not the philosophical positions that people dream up on these matters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2010 1:43 PM
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