Clyburn Caves

Now that didn't take long. House Majority Whip James Clyburn who represents the Sixth Congressional District of South Carolina long a proponent of a government-run public plan today said it was of "no consequence" as long as the final bill offers more choice and competition in the insurance industry and reduces costs.

From The Hill:

Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if he could back a bill without the public plan, he said "Yes, sir, I can. Because why did we do-- why do we want a public option? We want a public option to do basically three ten-- things: create more choice for insurers, create more competition for insurance companies, and to contain costs."

He continued, "If we can come up with a process by which three-- these three things can be done, then I'm all for it; whether or not we label it a public option or not is of no consequence. What we want to do is get good, effective results from whatever we put in place."

Something about a lack of a spine comes to mind. Perhaps a class on negotiations is in order.

Tags: Public Option, Rep. James Clyburn (all tags)




If you want this site to maintain even a shred of credibility, please ban Caro (a.k.a. "more more more") and ludwigvan immediately.  I assume they're roaming PUMAs, but they're too angry and illiterate to even type out the standard PUMA tripe.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Credibility?

Trust me I am at my wit's end with those two.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 04:43PM | 0 recs
You have the power!

Speaking as someone who had to create a couple of new accounts to get around Jerome's random bans during the Primary Wars...  as a front-pager, can't you just shut down their accounts and be done with it?

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 05:12PM | 0 recs
I have the power!

Yes, but I don't want to stifle debate either. On the other hand the disruption they are causing is increasingly hard to dismiss.

But you're right I am concerned that this reflects poorly on MyDD. I wish people wouldn't respond to them.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 05:26PM | 0 recs
Stifling debate

IMHO they've demonstrated that they're both uninterested in and incapable of actual debate.  MyDD was the smart person's Kos back in the '04 cycle, but trashed that reputation by coddling thoughtless PUMAs in '08.  Maybe it can recover, but only after demonstrating that PUMAs are completely unwelcome.

You're clearly not an Obama fan, Charles, and have both trashed OneGoodMove and used NoQuarter as a platform, but at least you have something interesting to say.  These PUMA idiots have nothing to contribute, and should be sent back to their echo chambers.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Stifling debate

I think I go issue by issue on Obama. I wish he were bolder but at the same time, I am fully aware that the GOP alternative is a non-starter. Still if I had to grade the President, I'd give him a B on domestic issues and C on foreign affairs. I thought that the budget was the fairest in a decade.

I actually turned NoQuarter down when they asked me to write for them but allowed Susan to repost posts of mine. That relationship was ended when they went off the deep end. In hindsight, any association with that site was a mistake. Not quite sure what you mean by "trashed OneGoodMove" since Norm is a close friend and we speak weekly. I often run by ideas by him. But reliving the primaries is not my idea of fun. I have always felt the Obama the nomination won fair and square.

There's certainly plenty of criticism of Obama across the lefty blogs. Firedoglake for one. Paul Rosenberg at Open Left today called the President "mediocre". The difference is that their complaints are based on arguments and well-reasoned. The Pumaesque diaries here are emotive based. Some of them are downright childish. I wish people wouldn't respond to them. I can't believe the thread over in diaries about the attack on MyDD. Oh the irony.

You're right, they have become disruptive and they stifle debate. I am not quite sure why they want to be here in the first place considering that among the lefty blogs this site is largely supportive of the President and his efforts. It's not like Ludwig et al are winning over hearts and minds.

Time that I have to spend moderating is time that I can't spend reading and writing.

Keep the faith, this will pass. If their behavior doesn't change, well then  . . .

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Stifling debate

Dear Charles,

Message received.  I think it's important to oppose and expose bad faith actors.  But at this point I'll follow your cue and minimize contact.  I apologize if you have seen my involvement as exacerbating the problem.


by Strummerson 2009-12-27 06:57PM | 0 recs
"Firedoglake for one."

And Grover Norquist for two?  Hamsher's a joke, but at least she makes some effort at justifying her claims.  Banning PUMA a few morons here will take a few seconds, and save much credibility.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I have the power!

by JJE 2009-12-27 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I have the power!

Very clever. Kudos!

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 06:59PM | 0 recs
OMG, "defying Jerome?"

I've heard that lands you straight in GITMO.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 06:52PM | 0 recs
You already said that.

Have another hit off the pipe, buddy.

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

What do we expect?  I think the House is going to accept the Senate bill with few changes.

Disappointing, but we also need to move beyons health care to jobs.

by esconded 2009-12-27 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

It may be the political reality but why announce what you are willing to settle for before you start negotiations?

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 04:44PM | 0 recs
Seems to be contagious in Washington these days...

Now not to play Devil's advocate, but wouldn't we say the three aspects James Clyburn mentions are more important than a public option, per se?

create more choice for insurers, create more competition for insurance companies, and to contain costs.
I'm waiting for word on how the current Senate Bill accomplishes these three objectives, though... :/

I agree that a public option deftly deals with all three aspects, if it is sufficiently robust. But I also wonder if a public option is too abstract.

As you note, the political will for the public option seems to have evaporated. I wonder if it is more approriate for the left to drop the phrase "public option" and start arguing to ensure these three aspects are guaranteed (choice, competition, and cost control).

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-27 05:18PM | 0 recs
I didn't call you a racist

Any comments I made were directed at more more more, so you don't have to worry. You're mistaken... unless you and more more more are the same person.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-27 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Liberal dems never seem to demonstrate good negotiating tactics.

by Lolis 2009-12-27 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Something about "I told you so" and "not surprised" comes to mind...

Ah, that it.  Marvelous darling...marvelous.  What a brilliant bouquet of indignation and self-righteousness.  

by TxDem08 2009-12-27 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Hello, puma douche.

by lojasmo 2009-12-27 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Well hello there my little reactionary, self-indulgent, knee-jerk ass hat.

Mmmm, the self loathing is frothing nicely.  Someone please put in a pinch of self realization to taste.  I'm busy getting my groove on: 4c

by TxDem08 2009-12-27 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Look:  The important thing is the outcome.  Public option, no public option:  If we can get thirty million people insured on an affordable basis, that's befificial, no?  

Hell, according to the senate, I'm gonna get taxed on my "cadillac" plan, and I'm actually good to swallow that, if necessary.

Incidentally, the PUMA's have evidently organized a resurgance here.  This place is an absolute sewer today, much thanks to Jerome and Bruh for fomenting a consistent culture of Obama criticism.

by lojasmo 2009-12-27 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

There's nothing wrong with criticizing the president.  This president needs a critical and organized left flank as much as any.  Most of us who supported him in the primary and in the general knew that last year.  But the criticism needs to be issue based and should unite us around action items.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-27 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Never said there is anything wrong about criticizing the president.  It's just that some find it to be a full time job.  When the admins here take it as such, it is an open invitation for the PUMA brigade to use this place as a bullhorn.  It doesn't really lend to productive and credible discussion of the issues.

by lojasmo 2009-12-28 11:54AM | 0 recs
Please don't insult Jerome

He may be critical of Obama, but he has something to contribute.

You, on the other hand, are a troll. You shouldn't even be a loowed to mention his name.

You have an average user rating less than 1, which is quite a feat consdering your number of comments. You have many suspected sock puppets. You are here to cause trouble and disrupt the discussion.

Don't think he's on your side. He's in a whole different class than you.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-27 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Please don't insult Jerome

Upthread Charles expressed a wish that we not respond to them.  While I have consistently confronted and opposed their tactics, in part to expose them, I think it best we honor Charles' wish in his own diary.  If he wants to delete their comments from the discussion, that's up to him.

by Strummerson 2009-12-27 06:43PM | 0 recs
Fair enough.

It is very tempting to get drawn in by their (his) tactics, but that is what they want.

I acknowledge that Charles had asked. Others had discussed ignoring them previously. I think it was working, which is why we saw the ratcheted up activity these past few days.

I think we all just need to agree to ignore it until such time that action is taken.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-27 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.


He's capable of making lucid points which is why I don't want to ban him plus we don't ban for expressing opinion. But the hijacking of threads has become a problem.

I am befuddled why we have this problem to begin with. This doesn't happen at FDL or Open Left.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 07:40PM | 0 recs
Okay, I will go into "ignore" mode.

Just out of curiosity, have y'all ever thought about instituting an auto-ban system? Or would that require an overhaul of the site?

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

I'm sorry but that is a weak excuse for not banning him after thatpurplestuff, DTOzone, Jess and many others over the past year far more capable of writing lucid comments were banned.

He is a troll, pure and simple. He is the epitome of 'a stopped clock is right twice a day'...and the stopped clock is being allowed to clog up and disrupt this site.

He has attacked EVERY SINGLE commenter here..other than more more more (ANOTHER TROLL) and Jerome (apparently he has some minimal sense of self-preservation)....EVEN YOU!!

And yet he remains.

It is ridiculous and shows poorly on the site.

As to why FDL and Openleft don't have this problem?? He would have been banned WEEKS ago on either of those sites. They would not have allowed this problem to fester as it has been allowed to here.

Ban them. They are making a mockery of this site....and of you (and Jerome by proxy).


by Kysen 2009-12-27 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

DTOZone and Jess were banned? Not by me. For what?

They were (are) great. I'll look into it.

Thanks, I appreciate your advice.

More More More just joined this week. And Ludwig about a month ago. He says he worked for Harkin in 1992 (which would make him in his late 30s) and that he went to Columbia but he acts like a child at times. His lack of judgment is speaks for itself.

My concern is that they reflect poorly on the site which is still widely read. It's like moderating a kindergarten.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

if I had to guess, if he was banned it is because he ran up and down the threads doing exactly what Lutwig is doing.

I think again you seem to have a double standard here about what behavior and lack of judgment you notice.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

You didn't know that those fine posters, along with thatpurplestuff, spacemanspiff and countless others were banned in the last year?

Does Jerome just do these random culls out of pique with no consultation?

Why do I bother asking? I know the answer, but since you're doing your sterling best to restore some sanity to MYDD, Charles, you'll see why (from these random bannings) the presence and proliferation of trolls jars so much.

So many good posters lost. So many trolls left untouched.

by brit 2009-12-28 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

According to a recent post at FDL, they sometimes delete individual comments instead of banning the user. In addition, I have seen them leave in a comment but snip out the offending parts [with an editor's note] when users engage in personal insults against one another. They use a variety of moderating techniques.

At OpenLeft, Rosenberg just banned a user a week or two ago for being a troll. I didn't see the discussion that led to the ban but saw an apology from Rosenberg for accidentally wiping out the entire comment threads the troll was part of when he meant to simply lock out the user.

by tsunado 2009-12-27 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: hijacking?!

I never called Trumka anything of the sort.  And you are not confused.  You know whose comment that was.  It's just another ad hominem lie.

by Strummerson 2009-12-28 03:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Please don't insult Jerome

I shouldn't be allowed to mention Jerome's name?  That's rich.

by lojasmo 2009-12-28 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Please don't insult Jerome

Wait:  My "average user rating" is less than one?  I don't think so.

And I have no other profiles here.  Were you even responding to me?

by lojasmo 2009-12-28 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Please don't insult Jerome

ludwig got banned and his droppings were scoured from the thread.  Hence your confusion.

by Strummerson 2009-12-28 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Please don't insult Jerome

Okay, thanks.

by lojasmo 2009-12-28 05:26PM | 0 recs
Delete and repost?

Charles, I think this diary is extremely important and many people could contribute, but the mess here is growing and becoming hard to ignore.

I fully confess in responding to the trolls when I should not have and thereby exacerbating the problem.

But I was wondering if this diary could be reposted at a later time.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-27 06:36PM | 0 recs
Why is it that the only people

who seem to be capable of putting pressure on the administration are the traitors/conservadems, rather than liberals/progressives in Congress? Jackasses like Lieberman and Nelson are able to hold health care reform hostage until everybody else bends over backwards to please them. Then people like Clyburn who want to do the right thing don't even bother to put up a fight. Is it truly the political reality that there's no point?

Watching just a few Congresspeople here and there manipulate proceedings is making me increasingly bitter about the Bush years -- surely we could have stopped a lot more than we did. But a lot of Democrats bent over and took it from that administration. And now all of us are bending over for a few assholes who want to cripple HCR.

After all of this is said and done and a shit health care bill is ultimately passed, some chairmanships better be yanked.

by sricki 2009-12-27 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is it that the only people

Thank you for staying on thread and adding to the conversation. I apologize for the antics of others.

I appreciate Clyburn's candor but wish he would negotiate. Who knows what he might get.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 07:14PM | 0 recs
Well, I clearly am not capable

of staying completely on thread. See below. I'm sorry Charles, but the muck is getting hard to sift through.

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I clearly am not capable

It's cool. I understand your frustration.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is it that the only people

Agree on the wish that they would negotiate.  However negotiation was given away months ago when the deals between the WH & big pharma/insurers were struck.

No amount of of tangible negotiation/concession(s) was going to ever happen after that...

by TxDem08 2009-12-27 09:53PM | 0 recs

How on earth is your comment relevant to mine? How high are you?

I guess I am one of the "freaks from this motley moose blog site" -- and I will gladly be open about it. I can assure you that we do not all hate Jerome. He frequently irritates me these days, and has for a while, but I have great admiration for much of his past work. I certainly do not want to control his site, but I think he ought make better effort to control it -- to keep elements like you/moremoremore in check.

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:14PM | 0 recs
Agreed with your comment. I personally

like Jerome's site because it gave me an opportunity to write when DKos was becoming a difficult site to write/read early last year. I disagree with some of his recent writings but do have lot of respect for his work. However sometimes the offensive statements of the trolls here get under one's skin...

by louisprandtl 2009-12-27 07:26PM | 0 recs
Yeah, have another... and another... and another.

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:26PM | 0 recs
Who are you talking to?

have you no self awareness whatsoever?

Me or the reflection in your bong?

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is it that the only people

The situation aside, it's nice to see your name around here again!

by January 20 2009-12-27 08:02PM | 0 recs
Hey Jan!

Good to see you!

by sricki 2009-12-27 08:03PM | 0 recs
To ludwigvan --

I am posting this here, since I assume near any of your comments will be hidden, meaning you probably won't be able to see my response.

Fucking shut up.

I know I am being stupid for replying to you since you are clearly a troll, but just shut up. Quit complaining about name-calling WHILST calling people fanboys and stalkers. Are you completely stoned out of your mind? Don't you realize you can troll without being a complete fucking hypocrite? If you were in any way sincere, you would just diary and comment, offering your viewpoint for honest evaluation, without attacking everyone in the vicinity for supposedly stalking and harassing you. Such intellectual dishonesty I have rarely seen.

I HATE downrating people, and I only do it when they are being totally disruptive. But I must have given you at least 25 HR/TRs today, all well-deserved. Stop giving me a reason. I know there are no repercussions for it here like there are on dKos, but do you WANT the hide bin to be your personal private space?

By the way, capitalize your I's -- you look fucking ignorant.

Jerome... Todd... Charles... Jonathan... Josh -- seriously... MyDD was a great blog at one time and has plenty of potential to be so again. You have good front pagers who are thoughtful, educated, and thorough. Please get the troll problem under control. A lot of the people who have shied away from here in recent months/years might return if things weren't such a mess.

by sricki 2009-12-27 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: To ludwigvan --

Thanks, it's under consideration.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Thanks Charles. Unfortunately this is

the only person I'd ever TR/HR-ed on MyDD. Normally I upgrade people from the hidden comments. However I'll take any blame for responding to this person last week. Wouldn't happen again.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-27 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: To ludwigvan --


by bruh3 2009-12-27 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: To ludwigvan --

"Fucking shut up"

Well said.

by vecky 2009-12-27 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: what is there a conference of cyber bullies 2n

To be blunt, I keep saying this to you, stop responding to every attempt to bait you. I don't see the point. You can get your point across, but eventually you need to just let it go.

Part of the game of the "serious posters" schtick is to bait. Once you play into it (and I have been guilty of this a lot- allowing some of the same posters here to bait me) they go into "we are the serious crowd" and this person is the disruption. You are not going to win this because the whole point is to make you act like this.

It is not legit that texasdarling attacked you above for a legit post, but it is what it is. And yes, I have seen some of the crap they have written in perfectly okay diaries by you. Most of it snide and meant to flip your switch. The choice is to ignore them or respond by clearly stating an argument  because frankly  the exchange ends up meaning nothing for others who might e reading it.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: what is there a conference of cyber bullies 2n


The fact you so seriously counsel, sympathise and otherwise extol someone who is (regardless of any political allegiance) clearly a flame baiting trouble seeking troll serves you no good.

Your attempt to try to turn ludwigwan into some martyr of free speech and anti consensus thinking would be contemptible, if it wasn't so laughable.

Your attempts to spin it this way, puts you in interesting and informative company..

by brit 2009-12-28 12:17AM | 0 recs
Re: what is there a conference of cyber bullies 2n

I will give give you a practical example- Fortunate Son has a habit of assuming my focus is on Obama rather than whoever is in the office of the presidency, and thus, my focus being about holding that person accountable. My response has been to start to talk about the authoritarian personality traits I see coming of out of online bloggers who support the president, as well as quotes from the administration. I do this because rather than taking the bait, I re-focus the discussion into a problem that others like Gleen Greenwald are noticing. This is an important discussion that needs to be had. But having a post in which all you do is call everyone a fanboy is about as useful as these same posters who call me a hater. It tells us nothing.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 08:00PM | 0 recs
Todd is no more a FP here since he started

working for the Sen. Gillibrand campaign.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-27 08:29PM | 0 recs
Todd got out just in time.

by ND22 2009-12-28 02:49AM | 0 recs
Re: oh stop pretending

I would have gone with Troll myself.

by vecky 2009-12-27 09:53PM | 0 recs

a) This outcome is like predicting the sun coming up. I am not happy to say that- but it is.

There were always signs of what would happen. I admit I was hopeful (read deluded earlier in the process) about what would happen.

From the abortion language finding its way into both the Senate and House bills to the unexplained dropping of reconciliation to increased penalties for failure to comply with the mandate  to claims by the president that he never campaigned on the public option to demonizing those who support such legislation as "left of the left fringe", this outcome of the Senate bill being the bill we see out of Congress has been telegraphed.

I think that the capitulation was telegraphed by the House last week with Woosley (spelling?) and her double speak express. This kind of behavior is not going to change any time soon.

I don't see any real efforts out side of Jane Hamsher to place pressure on progressives for basically talking out of both side of their mouths by signing letters and making public statements while later ignoring all of that to vote "yes." I see a lot of hero worship. I see a lot of partisan support. I see a lot of discussion of ideology. I don't see a lot of pressure.

So long as there is no pressure on them why do any of them have a reason to change behavior? Certainly not because of the odd post saying that they lack a spine.  They are enablers, but even they face no pressure for their enabling.

b) If you are going to have a problem with some posters behavior here, you need to have a problem with it all. No double standards. Some of the same "serious  posters" here asking you to ban another poster have come into diaries I have written or those  written by others to engage in exactly the same behavior they are complaining about here. I don't expect you to respond. You rarely do. But, the idea that you are complaining about this guy while others are also engaged in the same behavior serves what purpose here? Neither of the first two posts were particularly offensive. What started that nasty exchange, and it is no excuse for their behavior, is the unnecessarily "I am a serious person, but they are not" comment by Texasdarling.

I think that the others should ignore the baiting, but the claim that this is one sided turns me off  a lot. I imagine there are lurkers who feel the same way.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 07:49PM | 0 recs
Agreed that this outcome is pretty predictable.

A) I think pressure should absolutely be placed on progressives in Congress and on the administration. But Jane Hamsher's way of doing it is pretty dirty -- she is not someone I would hold up as an example. There is a lot of hero worship of her as well, and I can't for the life of me understand it.

B) I think you might find that some of the people you are saying engage in similar behavior to ludwigvan's/moremoremore's would stop if such trolls were to disappear. I am not saying that it should be excused on either side, but things have gotten to the point where some people come here solely to parody the blog and poke fun at the trolls -- thus becoming trolls themselves, in a sense. Eliminate the ludwigvan types, and the people who come around to respond to them would either leave themselves, or become more serious/thoughtful commenters/diarists.

by sricki 2009-12-27 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Agreed that this outcome is pretty predictable

a) I don't agree with all of Jane's tactics. I do agree with her decision to try to build a short term alliance with Norquist (whom I hate for personal and ideological reasons) because of the idea of interest aligned politics. Something that is missing from politics today.

I mean that I understand her as pressure when I mention her.  I don't need to agree with everything she does. I also don't personalize it to her. I don't care bout her other than she's doing something that no one else is doing on her level.

This is absolutely a problem right now. No one is pressuring anyone. People keep making excuses whether it is for President Obama or progressive representatives. Frankly, I would rather err on Jane's side, and have them be afraid of voters than on the side of being reasonable. The problem with reasonable is that this also makes voters predictable. They know they have nothing to fear from us.

I agree with what Bloomberg said today:

"You know, if you really want to object to something in this bill, number one, I have asked congressperson after congressperson. Not one can explain to me what's in the bill, even in the House version. Certainly not in the other version," Bloomberg said during an appearance on "Meet the Press.""And so for them to vote on a bill that they don't understand whatsoever, really, you got to question how-- what kind of government we have. Number two, when they talk about bending the curve as -- the governor said, bending the curve is a flimflam euphemism for increasing costs, but we're going to say we'll do it at slightly lower rate than we would have otherwise."

"They are not talking about reducing costs," he added. "They're talking about changing the first derivate, slowing the growth down. And when you look at where the cost savings are going to be, well, they're going to cut something out of Medicare and Medicaid. Now anybody that runs for office will tell you, you don't do that. I mean, the bottom line is it's so politically explosive, it really would be a first time in the history of the world that they ever cut anything [from those programs]." /bloomberg-on-health-care_n_404271.html

In terms of accountability, this is unacceptable in a democracy.

b) No, they trolled me even before those people showed up. This goes deeper than recent postings. This is about concerted efforts on part of a segment of posters here to shut down dissent. I see that more at Daily Kos (althooght this weekend has been excellent), but as a fact- I have seen this behavior in diaries, including with front page diaries by people like Des Dem and J Orton. I am a big believer in no double standards. That's why I hold the Democrats to the same standard that I hold the GOP. That's why I hold all elected official to a high standard. It is unacceptable to me to complain about one idiot poster with out sayign the same bout others. If they said this was a rule for all of  us, I would follow it.

However, that being said, this poster does seem trollish at times in his need to run up and down threads. Baited by others or not, sometimes it is better to just make a more substantive argument.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 08:12PM | 0 recs
A) If you agree with Hamsher's

sordid alliance with Norquist, what tactics of hers do you NOT agree with? Has she started a campaign I don't know about to decapitate a puppy for every Democrat who votes for this compromised health care bill? How can you possibly see any merit in such tactics -- making a deal with the devil to get something done? Even if I were in full agreement with the "kill the bill" crowd, that is not how I would go about it. The end doesn't always justify the means. Why on earth do you think allying ourselves with horrible people to kill legislation we don't like is "something missing" from politics today that we need to see more of?

I do think the administration and our representatives in Congress need to understand that there is, indeed, something to fear here -- that there is a very real possibility that progressives will sit on their hands in 2 or 3 years. But I don't think cozying up to teabaggers and their ilk is the way to go about it. Opposing Democratic legislation from the Left is fine, and the people who disagree with it should be loud and ought exert whatever pressure possible -- but forming unholy alliances will not benefit us in the long run. We clearly need better ideas.

B) Who all are we even talking about here? I have not frequented this blog of late, so I'm really not sure which commenters are the problem beyond ludwigvan/moremoremore.

by sricki 2009-12-27 09:05PM | 0 recs

That felt good!

by January 20 2009-12-27 09:09PM | 0 recs
Just noticed your sig line.

Near choked on my wine laughing.

by sricki 2009-12-27 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Just noticed your sig line.

Thanks but the sig is pretty old now.  I'd try to update it but I think there's a character limit.  

by January 20 2009-12-27 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: A) If you agree with Hamsher's

a) I said I agree with the idea of allying with people who are not progressives. I m not sure it is going to work. There is doubt. What I don't agree with is your attempt to reinforce personality as the sole determinant of action. I am interested first and foremost in experimentation because clearly what you and others are doing is not enough since the Democrats right now don't give a shit what you or I think. They certainly don't give a crap about Charles posting his diary at mydd because they know push come to shove Charles will be with them. As will , I am guessing (althogh I have no certainty on this point) most of you.  I am for risk taking. I am not for sitting around saying what should or shold not be in bounds until I see what happens with it. It is a different perpsetive on politics than personality, party or ideological driven politics. There is little to add if you don't undrestand the need to change. Many don't. They think we can keep doing the same things decade after decade, and obtain a different result.  I don't. That's why I am open to something riskier.

Second, she's grouping with  him over potential government corruption. It is anissue she has covered at her site outside of health care. The fact you don't know that she covers these issue, and that this is not about health care says to me, you have not done any research.  That's also part of the problem.  A lot pontificating. Not a lot of checking out what people are actually saying/

Were I too take your argument seriously, you would have been against Obama crossing the aisles when interests aligned to work with Senator Coburn (if I am remembering the odious Republican). What's the difference here since both people are odious- Norquist and the republican in the Senate.

And, the means is calling for an investigation (what a horrible end to call for) and  end is to find out whether there has been govt corruption (again a horrible thing). I have no idea whether the allegations are true. I would like to find out. Even if legally valid, Rahm's actions, if true, are ethically questionable. He should not e any where near deals involving the two organizations. But again, that's assuming you believe in interests outside of ideology, partisanship and personality. My interest is in good government here. Not who is calling for it.

As side note, Glenn Greenwald put it- it is incredibly easy now that people are trying to sell the bill to mischaracterize the arguments of others. You  do that here. If you are not willing to actually listen, and mischaracterize what people are saying, there is little point to this.

I wrote up a comment recently in which I specifically stated to someone claiming that they needed the recission provision fo the bill that in fact a) the recission provisions are loosely written to fail and b) that the bill had no enforcement provision. Neither point was a theorectical argument based on my opiniion. It was based on the language of the bill as to how it has been applied at the state level, and the fact there is no federal enforcement for the bill. Instead they will rely on the defective state level. this person responded as if I was just siting opinion rather than actually listening.

This reminds me of Booman this weekend shilling for the administration with absurd arguments over the PO. Saying anti corporatists were against corporations rather than the concern being that a monopoly who has acted in bad faith will continue to be a monopoly that acts in bad faith. I f you again want a legit discussion, discuss the legit arguments being made rather than mischaracterizing them. The kill the bill crowd is concerned that things are moving along as Bloomberg just illustrated without people much giving a shit if the bill, even on its own terms, even does what it says it does. The problem is no one gives a shit. They just want to say they have passed something.

Webb last week was damning in saying something similar to what Bloomberg said.

b) The proof of fear is in behavior. The Administration and Dems don't fear anything. They already through surrogates setting up the usual "It was because we went too far left" as their rebuttal to loses next year. Never mind how far right tey are right now. that will be their argument, and it will work because progressives are too stupid to fight. Instead, they say silly things like "means to an ends" which means nothing unless one looks at the means and the ends, and what is being done with specificity and does not as a rule eliminate any choice or risk so long as it can reasonable achieve a specific end.

By the way- I am not the "left.' I am 60 percent o f the American public. I am the moderate here. DC is acting as the extremist.  In deed this is true on most issues you can name regarding how I think versus how the American public thinks versus how DC thinks. It is completely unreal to speak of "left" when discussing some of these issues. What is left about questioning the bailout of banks that are too big to fail? You are changing the definition of left as being anything that is against where the administration and party leaders are. The problem is that I know that's what is happening. There is nothing left of center about their policy making. It is at best right of center, and more specifically neoliberalism run wild. Never has it been argued that the solution to a monopoly is to ignore the monopoly and give it a captured customer base. I imagine that old leftist Teddy Roosovelt is spinning in his grave considering his views on trusts. ''

We don't know what will benefit us. If we did, we would not be losing.

c) I note the back slapping going between you and Jan 20. This is illustrative of what I mean by some of the swarming that occurs here. One of you jumps in then another often not adding anything other than back slapping to each other. It is a form of intimidation. Of course, the part I love is where you then complain that someone else is posting too much although they are really responding to each person swarming them. I am not even going to respond to 20 because i don't want to hear how I am "trolling"

What normally has happened in the negative version fo this in the past, is someone will jump into a diary saying out landish comments, and then when someone responds, they swarm with negative comments.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 09:59PM | 0 recs
Now I understand

why so many people find it frustrating to engage in discussion/debate with you. You write unnecessarily lengthy responses in which you misrepresent other people's positions and twist their words around in some convoluted, holier-than-thou attempt to make your position seem enlightened or progressive, when in fact it is hardly tenable and in some cases almost incomprehensible from a sane, reasonable perspective.


A) There is nothing wrong with taking risks in theory -- or even in practice, so long as your risks are well calculated. That does not mean we have to roll around in the dirt. I am no fan of Rahm's, but the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, and to assume that he is -- and to ally ourselves with people who will stab us in the back at the first opportunity -- strikes me as unwise. The administration and sensible progressives in Congress will not be swayed by a progressive-far Right alliance. The administration has shown that it considers liberals and progressives inconsequential and will take us for granted; likewise, it considers teabaggers and the far Right a fringe element unworthy of much notice. The former is unfortunate and -- in my view -- a potentially devastating error, but the latter is likely accurate. What makes you think that two groups the administration is already ignoring will suddenly become a force worth noticing when combined? Zero plus zero does not equal one. The administration is capitulating to conservadems, centrists, and moderate Republicans -- they have no interest in the far Left, progressives, liberals, or the far Right.

There is something tragically humorous in someone like you suggesting that others are pontificating. I am aware of the stated reason behind Hamsher's alliance with Norquist, but if you think that it does not tie into the health care debate, you are short-sighted to say the least. Rahm has been vilified, perhaps rightly so, for his hand in many of the issues that are currently outraging progressives -- health care is not the least among them. This investigation is simply a way of reaching him.

There is a distinction between Obama-Coburn and Hamsher-Norquist, and you are missing a point of nuance here. There is a difference between what Hamsher is doing and two elected individuals compromising to get things because that is what is necessary for them to fulfill the duties of their elected offices for the good of the country. Do you really think any alliance is appropriate? The end really does justify the means? Should Hamsher reach out to the KKK if they are willing to help her? Have you no standards at all, bruh? That is really a pity. Not so much a surprise, though.

B) You are right in that I see no fear on the part of this administration. Nor do I see any reason that Hamsher-Norquist or Hamsher-teabaggers will strike fear into anyone's heart. Just disgust and irritation. It's really quite eye-roll inducing.

Label yourself moderate or whatever you like, but I assure you, you are not 60% of the American public. Thank god. Of course there is nothing left of center about this administration's policy-making -- we elected a centrist, and anyone with any sense knew that was what was going to happen long before they cast their votes for Obama.

C) I'm ever so sorry you find it so dreadfully disturbing that I greeted Jan in a friendly manner. It was hardly backslapping, but you have already proven that you have a fairly significant problem with choosing appropriate terminology. Unfortunate, really, since you talk so much. One would hope you would be more adept at it. As for ludwigvan, I can't imagine why anyone would "swarm" such an honest, helpful, constructive, thoughtful contributor.

Your entire comment above was littered with shameful mischaracterizations, unfounded accusations, shoddy logic, sterile intellectual platitudes, and morally reprehensible reasoning. Respond to me in such an embarrassing and disingenuous manner again, and you will not receive a reply. Since I'm fairly certain you're utterly incapable of responding to me without misconstruing and misrepresenting my every sentence, maybe you should preemptively be the one who doesn't bother to reply.

by sricki 2009-12-27 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Now I understand

The sighs, distortions and whining about length definitely proves  ludwigvan wrong about you. This will remain short. As long as there is this bad faith behavior, and I have made my point clear enough for others to understand, I will simply ignore the attempts to bait. Good  luck. You are just as  much a waste of my time as your cohorts.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 11:28PM | 0 recs
Re: thank ye bruh

You didn't start it but you are acting childish. I don't see the point of half the shit you write. You don't say anything additional. It one thing if you were trying to do snark like I was as an argument sytle the other day to address a diarist equating disagreement with the Senate bill, but I don't even see that. I just see you running up and down threads attacking. At this point, when they attack you, I am going to bow out. You seem to be hell bent on winning something you can't win.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: im just defending myself

You can make your points without trying to engage people who are not engaging you in good faith. That's all I am saying. The only time I respond now a days is if I am making a larger point. For example, I try to avoid convo with vecky or a fortunate son because I know it will go no where. WHere I do respond, I know that the point I am making is not to argue with them directly, but as with the case of discussing authoritarian personalities or interest aligned politics.  These are important concepts to remember in politics without regard to what other people say about me bringing it up or their attempts to bait.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: im just defending myself

Just want to point out, bruh, that you are trying to speak logically to someone who cannot engage in a civil exchange with Charles Lemos or Bruce Webb.

I know you have gone round and round, toe to toe with many of the user's who are calling for ludwigvan to be removed....but, he attacks even the most even-keeled (and longterm...Bruce is user id 67) of MyDD users.

He is a serial liar and has a serious problem with reading comprehension. Note that sricki never called him a traitor, the comment is HERE ...note it is a direct comment to the diary and has nothing to do with ludwigvan....he also is incapable of keeping users straight in his head, having accused no fewer than 3 persons of being the one to call someone 'fat with a white mustache' or something (when, really, he is the ONLY one I have seen use such words).

Bottom line is, ludwigvan is a troll. Whether or not you feel your treatment has been poor here, ludwigvan is a troll. Any objective reader will come to only one conclusion, ludwigvan is a troll. Whether he is a sockpuppet of another user gettin' their jollies, or he is really as cracked as he comes off....ludwigvan is a troll. There is no way, at all, to read teh body of his commentary and come to a different conclusion. I know you mean well in trying to talk him down....but, you are trying to talk sense to...a troll.

Now, as to the actual content of this diary...I agree with Charles, and you, and sricki, and probably the majority of Progressives that the Admin and Congress have grabbed their ankles when it comes to HCR and allowed the Conservadems to stick it to 'em (and us). I do not share your support for Jane Hamsher...I think she does the cause no good AT ALL by aligning with the likes of Grover and the Tea Party wackadoodles.

Lastly, btw....ludwigvan is a troll.

by Kysen 2009-12-27 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: im just defending myself

Fair analysis. I am just a bit sensitive to the swarming I see around this person. Having been on the receiving end of this sort of attack by several of those rushing in to chime in on the subject, I can say it makes them less credible defenders of appropriate behavior here to me.

by bruh3 2009-12-27 10:14PM | 0 recs
83 comments in the past few hours

this should prove interesting...

by Khun David 2009-12-27 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: 83 comments in the past few hours

yea... 38 and counting by Ludigwan alone.

Can someone say SPAM?

by vecky 2009-12-27 11:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

"Perhaps a class on negotiations is in order."


Time to make a stupid analogy:

I once took a class where the professor asked us at the end of the term what grade we felt we deserved and asked us to justify it.  I probably only deserved a B and would've been fine with that grade, but I argued for an A, because maybe, just maybe I'd get it.  And I did, sorta; I got an A minus.  

In this instance, Clyburn and much of the rest of the Dem leadership are asking for a lousy C on HCR.  It's a passing grade, I guess.  Will they get the C they desire, or will they cave further?  Better hope not, because a D or an F means you have to repeat the course, and I don't think anyone wants to go through this HCR nonsense again any time soon.

by gravypatrol 2009-12-27 10:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Clyburn Caves

Maybe, but it also presumes that the House liberals had some sort of negotiation power that senate liberals lacked.

I don't think that was the case. In fact the slim margin by which the house passed HCR weakened their negotiating ability going into conference, IMO.

by vecky 2009-12-27 11:45PM | 0 recs
the slim margin

should have increased the House Democrats' negotiating ability, because they could argue that weakening the bill in any way could cause enough progressives to defect.

Just like the senators are arguing that they can't give an inch because they have no margin for error.

But brinksmanship doesn't work when House liberals give the game away before negotiations begin. Everyone knows they are not willing to vote down a bad bill.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-28 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

The problem that progressives face, particularly on domestic issues, is that we face an entrenched opposition that would be happy with nothing and spin obstruction successfully as a victory.  But beyond belaboring the obvious, this leaves the democratic caucus with three options:

1. Vote down a bad bill and try to win the spin in order to regroup for a better version.

2. Take the "something is better than nothing" attitude.

3. Try to get a bill through that cracks open the door for further reform.

With regard to health care, I think 3 is the best.  There is a preponderance of opinion by those close to the process, both policy wonks and legislators, that even the senate bill can function as groundwork for further amendment and reform.  The public and legislative attention span is finite.  Going back to the proverbial drawing board seems a bad dice roll.  The idea that this bill is simply "better than nothing" seems a form of cynicism or defeatism that will do nothing more than will ultimately embolden the opposition and demoralize those who want real reform.  Clyburn seems to be falling into this option.  Otherwise, why raise the white flag before convening conference?  

In a certain sense, the die has been cast.  It seems almost a done deal that we will get a bad bill resembling the senate version.  Regardless of which of these 3 options seems the best path, nuber 3 is where we are at.  What we must do now is look down the road:

1. We need to identify those who actually put up a constructive fight fro the PO, for repealing anti-trust, and for drug re-importation and make sure they know we have their backs.  

2. We need to identify those who urged passage based on the argument that there will be further opportunity to improve this bill and that there is more to be gained from passing than killing in the long run, and hold their feet to the fire.  I will be looking for Harkin to make good on his stated intention to push the PO in separate legislation next year.

3. We need to do a much better job of confronting the anti-reform spin.  This is where we needed much more effective leadership from Obama.  We needed him to use his talents and charisma to cast reform in terms of identifiable "values" just as Reagan did with his tax cuts and Friedmanesque anti-governmentalism.  We can't rely on him for this and we need to find a better way.  Maybe then he will get on board.  Presidents often lead when pulled.  It was true of FDR on the New Deal and with LBJ on civil rights.

4. We cannot successfully primary all those conservadems and those who have caved like Clyburn.  But we do need to identify one or two symbolic races where we can replace a centrist or progressive with insufficient backbone with someone willing to fight and make sure that it captures national attention.  This is what the teabaggers are doing effectively.  We don't need the same kind of rabiid purity police that we see in the GOP, but we need to display some muscle or Obama will be having lunch with Lieberman, Nelson, and Specter all too often for the next three years.  And the consequences of that will be bad if he wins reelection that way and worse if he doesn't.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-28 04:48AM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

With regard to your plans of action:

1.  I agree with you here.  This is an easy task, with no potential for loss;

2.  how do we pressure Harkin and others in an effective manner?  If we cannot apply effective pressure today on the bill, where are these reserves of power going to come from?  More importantly, sure, Harkin can go ahead and introduce additional legislation, but how will it get much further than that?  What can we do to make that happen in light of the fact that we haven't been able to make anything happen with regard to this bill?  Harkin introducing legislation with no possibility of it passing doesn't get us anywhere- especially because much less attention will be paid to some piece of legislation designed to tinker around the edges of healthcare;

3.  you can hold out hope that Obama will miraculously see the light, but I think that is folly.  And it certainly is not something I will put any store in.  We already know Obama has gotten the bill he wanted, which is supported by his claim that he did not campaign on a public option.  It is this kind of passive thinking that renders the left useless.  "Maybe he will get on board"- and what if he doesn't?;

4.  At this point, I don't think sacrificing a few scalps will do anything to increase the strength of the progressive movement.  First, it will have no real effect because, as has been made clear on this bill, we don't have enough strong progressives willing to stand up for us to make any difference.  One or two more ineffectual so-called progressives will not help matters at all.  It only serves to perpetuate the current game.  Perhaps with a few more Dem progressives [sic] in congress, we'll be listened to.  Perhaps with more pressure, Obama will listen to us.  Your plan is full of maybes and what-if's.  We cannot afford to barter in this trade any longer if we want real progress.  Your ideas actually perpetuate the rotten system with hopes for a brighter future based on nothing substantive.

by orestes 2009-12-28 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

First off, all strategy aims toward a future and thus deals with hypotheticals.  I don't see you offering any alternatives here, just an accusation that what I propose perpetuates what is wrong.  I reject that.  Secondly, I reject the idea that we've done the best we could this time around, that we cannot improve our effectiveness and that there cannot be cumulative effect from one step to the next.  These 4 points represent general approaches that take into account what has occurred in the past months.  For instance, I expected Obama to lead on this.  He did not.  We need to make the case against the anti-reform thugs ourselves.  This might or might not get him on board.  But look at what I wrote above.  I clearly argue that we cannot depend upon him for this.  That already represents a major difference.  And I think getting past the pro- vs. anti-Obama divide among us and returning to more issue focused advocacy, which we should always have maintained is crucial.

But perhaps you can propose some other alternatives that do not waste time painting those you disagree with on tactics as culprits?  I posted a slightly revised version of this comment as a separate diary that is now on the rec list.  Please share your insights there.  Something close to the senate bill is passing.  It's not good enough.  What do we do to improve it?

by Strummerson 2009-12-28 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

First off, you didn't offer any explanation as to why future efforts would be more effective (other than, I expect, the presumption that more advocacy will simply result in better solutions).  Secondly, I assume out of an inability to provide any rational explanations as to how your plans would produce positive results, you engage in an ad hominem attack.  You are offering proposals; I simply ask you to support their efficacy.  Turning around and accusing me of not having any better solutions only exposes the flimsiness of your proposals.  Finally, if we could have improved on our effectiveness, why not do it now?  Why not rally the troupes to obtain good results today with the healthcare bill?  Instead, you would rather sacrifice the current momentum for some future hopes and dreams.  If we are to embrace these approaches, you- as the proponent- have the duty to explain how they will be effective.

by orestes 2009-12-28 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

Dear orestes,

You have written me several very frustrated comments on this issue over the last few weeks.  I am asking you not to vent your frustrations at me personally.  I did not attack you.  Please read what you wrote me before where you basically blamed me and my approach as the root of the problem.  I think that is unfair.  What I proposed here are general approaches.  The question of how to execute them effectively needs to be explored.  You ask me to give you a reason why they will succeed.  I do not know that they will, but I think we need to try.  I invited you to participate in proposing other alternatives and now you simply ramp up your ire at me.  There are plenty of people to blame for the state of HCR.  In this I include the republican obstructionists, the cynical centrists, the ineffective progressives in the caucus, the president who failed to lead on this issue, a divided and ineffective left flank and the insurance industry.  You seem to want to blame me.  I invite you to participate in this discussion further and to present alternatives and you accuse me of going ad hominem on you?  I'm sorry you misunderstood me.  Generally inviting someone into your diary is not a way to attack them personally.  If you would like continue this further, can we not do so with some civility and by granting one another the benefit of the doubt?

You suggest that there is no proof that what i propose will work.  I agree.  But I think we need to thing tactically in these directions and I reject the notion that past failures dictate future failures.  If you have other approaches, I am sincere when I solicit them.  But if all you want to do is demand that I prove a future circumstance, which is impossible, and yell at me that the bill sucks and we're fucked and it's somehow my fault, I find that ludicrous and unproductive.  Your choice as to how to proceed.  But I just spent several days sparring with antagonistic trolls (no, I do not equate you with them) and I am simply all sparred out.

by Strummerson 2009-12-28 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

Your attempt to personalize this issue only exposes your weak intellectual underpinnings.  Stop trying to martyrize yourself.  I am not venting any anger at you.  I am asking you to support your positions.  That you are unable to do so has become apparent.  As to the ad hominem complaint, I assume you are schooled enough to understand the appropriateness of this charge.  If not, let me lay it out for you.  You proposed guidelines for ensuring greater progressive success in the future.  I simply asked you to explain how your goals would be obtained in light of history and the current debacle over the health insurance bill.  

As for my (I assume you believe) falsely accusing you of "going ad hominem," you surely are erudite enough to recognize that my challenge was correct.  Instead of providing a defense for how your principles will succeed (as requested), you chose to try to turn the tables and challenge me to provide better solutions.  That is an ad hominem attack (ie, yeah, well, what solutions do you propose?).  You certainly ask me what I would propose (that is fair game in debate), but to try to use this as a tool to avoid addressing the issue is an ad hominem attack and demonstrates bad faith.  And then you want to accuse me of attacking you personally?  These games may work with the children, but I am an adult and believe deeply in this issue for moral and political reasons.  You will have to do better than this.

Sadly, you try to personalize this debate- which I have noticed is a personal favorite of yours.  I never blamed you of being the source of the problem on the health care issue.  Either you have to learn to read more clearly or relinquish your martyr crown.  I never accused YOU of anything.  I may have said that your brand of thought is the root of the problem, but I would have expected that a literate reader would intuitively see the difference between disagreeing with your philosophy and having any animus towards you.  But that would be inconvenient for you.  So, instead of defending your positions, you would rather make personal allegations.  Shame on you.  

In your comment you mention that you have spent several days sparring with trolls (a battle of personalities by nature).  I choose to ignore trolls because it is useless.  I tried to engage you on substance and all you can rotort with is an ad hominem attack.  I guess you are happier battling the trolls.  I try to engage you to discuss ideas so that perhaps we can enlighten each other.  You do not know me, but I asked for support in order to engage in a dialogues with you.  How can I challenge your principles (clearly I am skeptical about their efficacy) without you supporting them?  My rhetoric may be heated, but it is respectful.  

I appreciate that you acknowledge that you have no basis (other than blind faith, I would argue) to expect that your principles will lead to effective change.  I agree that past failures do not dictate future failures, but I also believe that, as Santayana aptly put it, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  On this, my guiding principle, I cannot accept your position as anything more than wishful thinking.  I respect your right to adopt your position, but, without more, I cannot give it any credence.

As an aside, please stop trying to personalize issues (as a defense mechanism?).  It may cause some, less skilled debaters to back off, but it really does nothing to support your cause.  Indeed, it only exposes your thoughts as weak and ill-thought.  

by orestes 2009-12-28 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin


by Strummerson 2009-12-28 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

Thanks for challenging Stummerson to provide some concreteness. It helps to read your attempts to pull substantive action plans from people. They often frustrate they often are arguing from assertion.   Often, it seems the point is to make bare assertion without backup or proof or to win arguments. I make it a point as much as possible to not just make an assertion. I try to use examples, links, data, historical analogies, etc because the point is not merely to opine on the subject, but hopefully come to a better understanding.

The fact is that health care reform is going to end badly when one looks at the bill, the president's behavior, the economic projections, the middle class and the bill impact on them, and the inherit behavioral acts of the progressives and bad faith actors. Putting lip stick on it by claiming someday  is just pushing the emotional button of progressives. I don't have any easy solutions. I think the start of change comes by taking more risks because right now what we are doing is not working. This is not going to be a hope for the future argument. It is more like what choice do we have kind of argument.

I certainly enjoyed your exchange when you attempted to pin Charles Lemos down regarding populism, and, now, this exchange is equally illuminating of another aspect of debates that matter regarding how one should view what is occurring and what we should do about it.

Two of the more frustrating things to address when debating here is a) the extent to which logic, consistency and facts are unused when it comes to bare assertions (often relying on belief alone or distraction) and b) the extent to which they refuse to be pinned down for whatever reason and/or bullshitting factor.

I recently read this, and I think this applies too many exchanges I have had with people here:

"One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory."

Frankfurt, one of the world's most influential moral philosophers, attempts to build such a theory here. With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all.

Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are." tml

Over the last year, with all the attempts at continued branding of the party as "liberal" and attempts to avoid issue of accountability, I think the Democrats have taken bullshit to a new artistic level.

And with a select few, the issue being that they seem to make arguments that are really just to win the moment.  Obama was always for the PO, but he never campaigned on it type of debates.

The question is whether a week, or a month or a year or 5 years from now will they truly believe anything they are saying now or are they just saying what they are saying in the hopes to distract long enough to move on or because they don't really want to confront plans of action. To overcome this requires a level of rigor that I am not always able to muster given the numbers who engage in these sorts of exchange. It is, in short, difficult to overcome belief masquerading as substantive argument.

To go further into your question, the reason why, if you ask, any of them what they think will really achieve a result other than vague hope or appeals to emotional buttons that progressives have about progressive is because that's all they really have when you think about it. What other solutions can they offer given their focus on partisan and personality based politics?

by bruh3 2009-12-28 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

Thanks for your support.  A frustration that I have always experienced as a working class, liberal By that I mean I was raised working class, but was the lucky one who was precocious and was able to attend an excellent college because there were opportuntiies for kids like me. I attemded one of the most liberal colleges during the 80's and I was suprised at how much more limited the perspective of my more privileged (and well-intentioned) peers was.  Frankly, I feel much of the left blogosphere is a recreation of that experience.  I encountered a lot of right-thinking people who never considered putting their asses on the line.  As a very small example, there was a trustees meeting on campus (Warren Buffett was a board member of my school) and students were planning an anti-apartheid rally (divestment and the Nestle boycott were the big issues of the day).  I was in support, but didn't see the value in standing outside the building chanting "Divest now!" I was up for locking them in the buiding or some other civil disobedience.  I could not get anyone to support this.  I was raised to understand that anything you believe in is worth going to the mat for.  Your beliefs are nothing if you're not willing to fight for them.  I have come to understand that for many people the fight for equality does not have the same immediacy as it does for others.  So, I have come to accept this fact.  A lot of people will pontificate about how we can make things better, but the minute someone steps up and makes noise, they are quick to call protocol.  (See the turn against Jane Hamsher from the left blogs.  Whether you agree with her tactics or not, as a leftist, I give her respect for standing up for her beliefs.  The same lot who will decry Jane Hamsher point accusatory fingers at others claiming they are doing nothing.  The hypocrisy is astounding.)  You only have to obseve how so many have fallen in line to extol the virtues of the health insurance bill (and decry the proponents- you want people to die?)to appreciate that many (if not most) of the supposed left blogosphere will never put their own asses on the line to affect change.  I have come to think that the problem is tryin g to bring along well-intentioned over-privileged people to fight for change.  They are never going to to sully their clothes.  The only real change can from bringing it back to the working class who have been ignored politically over the past 30 years.

by orestes 2009-12-28 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

s regards my exchange with Charles, I respect his right to his position, on populism, but I personally believe it reduces to a fear of what hoi polloi can do if it revolts.

by orestes 2009-12-28 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

I am starting to agree with your assumptions. There are several problems here

a) No economic skin in the game

b) I might add that they are most political operatives thus what they say is often tainted by self interest about getting ahead with whatever the dominant status quo political situation is , if that status quo like saying being a Democrats, is on their side

c) They are heavily invested emotionally in the democrats and personalities within the party above all else

d) They develop relationships and friendships with others in the biz they are in, are thus affected by it

e) Many online at least do very little research as to the accuracy of the claims and counter claims. And offer very little back up even if they do the research to test whether that research is accurate. Right now, on another thread I know for a fact that Bruce Webb is faulty in his positions, but at certain point I also know the point is that of a political operative: repetition of a point until peo who want to believe will believe it. When, a simple googling of his claims will demonstrate how many holes are in them.

And any number other factors that have nothing to do with trying to figure out whether policy proposals actually are going to impact people in a positive way, and figuring out how to achieve those proposals rather than the politics of imagecraft

by bruh3 2009-12-29 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: the slim margin

Or it showed that the House bill only had support of 51% of the House, whereas the Senate bill had to garner 60%.

The Impetus was set then to move the bill even further to the right, even allowing that the senate has slightly more liberal members than the House (see Stupak vote).

by vecky 2009-12-28 11:32AM | 0 recs
Thank you, Charles.....

...for the removal of more more more and ludwigvan. Muchly appreciated from the readership I assure you.

Hope the last few days of 2009 treat ya kindly...


by Kysen 2009-12-28 06:41AM | 0 recs
Is it true?

Are they gone?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-28 11:03AM | 0 recs

Well done, Charles! Bravo indeed!

by sricki 2009-12-28 11:52AM | 0 recs


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