Toss-Up in MA

This has been building for a while now, and now it's tipped. Brown has pulled ahead of Coakley by a narrow margin, 48-47, according to PPP. Check out the massive lopside among Independents toward Brown:

-Republicans are considerably more enthusiastic about turning out to vote than Democrats are. 66% of GOP voters say they are 'very excited' about casting their votes, while only 48% of Democrats express that sentiment- and that's among the Democrats who are planning to vote in contrast to the many who are apparently not planning to do so at this point.

-Brown has eye popping numbers with independents, sporting a 70/16 favorability rating with them and holding a 63-31 lead in the horse race with Coakley. Health care may be hurting Democratic fortunes with that group, as only 27% of independents express support for Obama's plan with 59% opposed.

-In a trend that's going to cause Democrats trouble all year, voters disgusted with both parties are planning to vote for the one out of power.

For those who want to work on behalf of Coakley, OFA has set up a phonebanking tool, to get on the phone tomorrow and make a few calls on behalf of Coakley into MA voters. Im checked in.

The Republicans are fired up, a couple of reports, here, here, here, and here. The covert Republican strategy:

As usual, the centrists and independents are driving this movement. I heard Brown on a few talk shows and he is smart to  not uncork too much rabid conservative issues, keeping with the economic angles and staying away from the hot social issues that got the GOP in hot water in 2006 and 2008.

That's McDonnell. The Republicans have a pretty good playbook in hand, heading into 2010.

[update] The Boston Globe poll shows Coakley up by 15 percent-- quite a disparity. PPP will be going back into the field one more time before next Tuesday's election.



Tags: Scott Brown, Martha Coakley (all tags)



typo--he leads 48-47

in that poll.

I am hoping that the media coverage of these late polls will light a fire under Dems who weren't planning to vote.

Any word on early voting statistics? Has Coakley's campaign been banking absentee ballot votes?

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-09 08:40PM | 0 recs
RE: typo--he leads 48-47

I'm kicking myself for not requesting an absentee ballot far enough in advance.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-09 09:31PM | 0 recs
RE: typo--he leads 48-47
You have the right to go to your polling station and fill out a provisional ballot in Mass which will be verified later.
by Karatist Preacher 2010-01-09 11:24PM | 0 recs
I'll be out of state on Tuesday

Can I still get one in time?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-09 11:59PM | 0 recs
Yes, I can!

Thank goodness I have until Friday the 15th to request an absentee ballot.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 12:08AM | 0 recs
RE: typo--he leads 48-47

Thanks for the correction. For a minute I thought it was a FOX News poll.

by hilltard 2010-01-10 12:06AM | 0 recs
Time to put health care on the back burner

I'm really thinking HCR (esp. the Senate Bill) is a liability for Democrats.  Spending nearly a year on health care with unemployment rising to 10% looks completely out of touch.

Pass a big jobs bill (with reconciliation if necessary) in a month, otherwise 2010 will be a bloodbath.


by esconded 2010-01-09 09:03PM | 0 recs
Health care is already pased, bud.

But yeah, that would be really, really politically wise after investing all this effort; having come farther than any other time in our history, to just throw our arms up in the air and give up right on the finish line.

Even if Brown wins this, and the chances of that happening are still very remote, the house will pass the Senate's health care plan as is. So if you want a better health care plan, I'd suggest start making calls for Coakley.

Pass a big jobs bill? First, there is a big jobs bill working its way up through the houses. Second, with what money?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-09 09:31PM | 0 recs
With what money?

Let's not forget that the top one percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.  Let's also not forget that the top tax rate under Eisenhower in 1959 was 91 percent, and today's top tax rate is about 35 percent.

Bottom line; there's more than enough money available to pass a MASSIVE jobs bill. 

If we continue to hold more dear Americans' right to obscene salaries and wealth over Americans' right to jobs, that's not a position the universe is likely to reward.


by Georgeo57 2010-01-10 12:09AM | 0 recs
If you think convincing people of HCR reform is hard...

...try convincing them that raising taxes on the wealthy is needed.

I know the top tax rate is despitcably low. Wait for the fallout from the bonus announcements this week.

But in a struggling economy, convincing people that it is necessary to raise taxes on the top earners, in this country, is surprisingly hard. Taxes are the third rail right now :/

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 12:47AM | 0 recs
RE: If you think convincing people of HCR reform is hard...
You should look at some actual polling regarding the idea of raising taxes on the rich, which remains quite popular.
by Steve M 2010-01-10 02:52AM | 0 recs
The key is to highlight "on the rich"

As steve m pointed out, taxing the rich is very popular.  It's very popular even among the white working class who vote heavily Republican.

Republicans defeat tax increases on the rich by telling people that Democrats are going to raise "your" taxes.  What Democrats need to do is boldly and persistently accuse the Republicans of lying when then say that, and then be very specific about whom they intend to raise taxes on.

by Georgeo57 2010-01-10 11:45AM | 0 recs
yes it is

but taxing the rich isn't the answer to every ill. We're already raised taxes on the rich. We can raise them more, but keep in mind when we didn have the 90% tax rate, no one actually paid it because they found ways around it

by ND22 2010-01-10 01:19PM | 0 recs
RE: yes it is

Taxing the rich very probably IS the answer to every ill.  As FDR discovered, when he raised taxes on the rich their political power waned greatly as well.  It was those taxes on the rich, and the legislative accomplishments that resulted from a disempowered rich class, that created the middle class, at least according to Krugman in The Conscience of a Liberal.

Your point about tax loopholes is well taken.  So, the answer, of course, is to raise taxes on the rich in ways that they cannot circumvent.

Even if taxing the rich was just the answer to one problem, climate change, that would  be sufficient reason to tax them back into the middle class.

The rich have created enough problems in our world.  It's time we realized that the right of the many, including non-Americans, to a viable civilisation trumps the right of a relative very, very few people to make as much as their greedy little hearts desire and to hold on to obscene amounts of wealth at the expense of everyone else.



by Georgeo57 2010-01-10 02:04PM | 1 recs
Did it really?
FDR was rich, so was most of his cabinet. Their political power didn't wane greatly, they WERE in power, they just cared more about people than their fortunes, whether it was because they were better people, voters were smarter or not in tune, or what, I don't know, but if what you said was true, then rich white men wouldn't have continued to run the country, which they did. As far as taxing, I've been that argument not work so many times, I've lost count. In America, we grow up wanting to be rich, we pick careers based on pay, our dreams to be rich...taxing the rich may be popular in theory, but the conservatives have always been able to win the argument by convincing voters Democrats and liberals are punishing success, including their success and when their dream of being wealthy comes true, the government will take it away and give to people who weren't as smart and hardworking as you. How many times have you heard people say about winning the lottery or money on a game show "Bah, the gubmit' gonna take away half the money anyway." Heard it ALOT. Wealth is a sign of success in America, if you're rich, it's because you worked hard and got there, if you're poor, it's because you're a lazy bum, even though neither is necessarily true.
by ND22 2010-01-10 02:32PM | 0 recs
Yes it did.

Yes, taxing the rich disempowered them and according to Krugman, made possible the creation of the American middle class.  That FDR and his cabinet were rich misses the salient point that they were among a very minute minority of rich people who cared enough about people, rich and poor, to wage war against the rich.

Many people may at one time have believed that the rich earned their money.  After the 2008 global recession and the continuing obscene bonuses to top executives, far fewer hold that view.

Raising taxing on the rich did not succeed in the past largely because there was not enough of an incentive.  That was, of course, before we understood the necessities of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The choice we face is between continuing to enable the political power of a grossly irresponsible rich and ensuring that our children and grandchildren will enjoy the continuation of civilization a we know it.  Because of that choice, the rich don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of holding on to that wealth.

by Georgeo57 2010-01-10 08:18PM | 0 recs
RE: Time to put health care on the back burner

It's been a liability ever since the overreach last summer. But, its never too late, until its a done deal, to go ahead and go for those smaller improvements rather than this bill that pleases no one.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-09 11:05PM | 1 recs
RE: Time to put health care on the back burner
Not overreach... Even the better bills were inadequate. We've let this problem fester so long that it takes enormous resources to even begin to address it. Anyways, it's irrelevant... The public soured on the legislation only after blue dogs started validating republican lies about the bill. It's been the lack of unity from the right flank of the party that has been "dooming" democrats as of late. How can the public trust the Democratic party, when a 1/3rd of the group isn't onboard and is constantly validating the other side's criticism. It makes it look like we're trying to "pull a fast one" and not being honest about our intentions. Even when Republicans were the ones with the big tent they showed a lot more unity. Even if some "moderates" disagreed, say Voinovich opposing Bush's tax cuts, they NEVER backstabbed the party or spoke badly of its priorities. When you had all these blue dogs on TV slamming the house health care bill as Democrats you are not going to get much independent support. Ironically, the blue dogs are hurting their own cause by trying to be "independent". By being so irresponsible about it, they've diminished the public's perception of Democrats as a whole, and that hurts those democrats in marginal districts the most.
by LordMike 2010-01-09 11:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Time to put health care on the back burner

some democrats just refuse to admit that this bill is not popular even with democrats.  I think the thing should die a quick death, personally, because I do not believe for one minute that the congress will spend time going back to fix anything after it is passed.  Because of that real HCR is dead for a generation or more. 

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2010-01-10 11:57AM | 0 recs
Actually polls show it is popular with Democrats

and only Democrats.

by ND22 2010-01-10 01:20PM | 1 recs
Any unpopularity with democrats... because it doesn't go far enough.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 04:53PM | 0 recs
RE: Time to put health care on the back burner
You think it should die a quick death because you want to see Obama fail. Even though it would probably benefit you personally to see this pass.
by lojasmo 2010-01-10 01:41PM | 1 recs
I'm beginning to think it really is all about Obama

There are some credible constructive criticizers out there who seriously hope to pull the Nation to the left. I think Charles Lemos is the perfect example.

But there are others who twist and cotnort themselves into nonsensical and inconsistent positions only out of desperate hope to hand the President a defeat.

And these are not just the PUMAs. There are people who say that Obama cheerleaders can never be taken seriously, as they are biased and can never disagree with the President. The flip side is that anyone who never cuts the President some slack from the left can never be taken seriously.

I'm not paid for my opinion. But there are those that are. And I have to wonder if they are content foresaking all their credibility?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 04:52PM | 0 recs
RE: Time to put health care on the back burner

I disagree.  Giving the American public comfort that they can get affordable health care if they face financial difficulty is not out of touch at this time.  Frankly, I don't see how it could ever be out of touch, given our health care industry.  The problem is that the health insurance reform we are having forced down our throats does nothing to make people's lives more secure during these difficult times.  The Dems may suffer not because they addressed the issue, but how they addressed and resolved [sic] it.

by orestes 2010-01-10 05:46PM | 0 recs
RE: Toss-Up in MA

Gotta admit, I am in total defeatist mode.  Since Democratic sites/sponsers are either A.) totally sugar-coated mindless followers or B.) angry anti-democrats, I think I would rather the Republicans were back completely in power.  At least I could hate them in peace.  Now I gotta get sliced and diced by bickering Democrats who are pissed about one thing or another.


However, I doubt we will loose total control.  Just enough to loose all hope of passing any meaningfull legislation, in any fashion, and the total right-wing loonies can be put into power.  That should be a blast. 


All because we cannot just up and elect a total progressive Democratic legislature and enact a left leaning agenda.  So lets hope the country burns down around our ears...I have hot dogs and  a good folding chair.


Man, I hate it when I get like this, but all the negative waves I am getting from the non-corporate Democrats is suffocating.  Too bad, I liked working for the Dems. 

by Hammer1001 2010-01-09 10:23PM | 0 recs
RE: Toss-Up in MA

Don't get down...  The conservatives never get down... they keep fighting after they lose, which is why they always win again...  Liberals always quit at the first signes of trouble.  This is a long term thing... We won too many seats too fast... We need to replace the old guard with the new, and that takes time.  It took Repbulicans over 30 years to get where they are.  We should not quit now!

by LordMike 2010-01-09 11:47PM | 0 recs
That's why liberals never win

because they give up in the first signs of dad used to say that to me when I was young, that liberals never fight, if it the fight gets too hard, they backtrack and give up. He was right.

Liberals are wimps, when they don't get what they want, they just go into solitude and sulk instead of fighting we really want these people running the country?



by ND22 2010-01-10 01:15AM | 1 recs
We are children

And I say that with all seriousness. Some of the comments over on Daily Kos, in response to diaries urging action for Martha Coakley, are truly repulsive. If I hear one more response about Rahm Emanuel, I'm going to punch someone.

I always described liberalism as the adult philosophy over the adolescence of conservatism. But having held power for a mere 11 months, I can say that despite our more evolved beliefs, we are far more childish.

Liberals are wimps. We blanche at the first sign of a struggle. We readily surrender hope. We will cut off our nose to spite our face. We always see the glass as half empty, and fixate upon the hole and not the donut. We lack patience. We demand immediate results. We are profoundly myopic, and always lose the forest through the trees. We expect everyone to believe as we do, but never have the patience to convince them. We turn our anger on each other instead of those who deserve it. We are profoundly lazy, with all but a few ever putting it all on the line. We accept loss. We believe that our elected officials owe us.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 03:16AM | 2 recs
Too true on most counts

Conservative Republicans tend to be much happier than Liberal Democrats, whether they are winning or not.  We need to change that, and it would help if Obama started doing some more Reagan/Clinton style smiling.

We need to change the Liberal Democratic psychology, and that can only be done as an organized effort by our Party leaders.  There is a voluminous amount of research on how to change attitudes, and our leaders should get better acquainted with it.  It's not enough to demonize Republicans.  We Liberals need to feel much better about ourselves.  And yes, we need to fight much harder.  If Obama frames climate change about fighting for our children and grandchildren, we will rise up to the challenge and go about the business of destroying the Republican Party.

by Georgeo57 2010-01-10 11:56AM | 1 recs
RE: Too true on most counts

<blockquote>If Obama frames climate change about fighting for our children and grandchildren, we will rise up to the challenge and go about the business of destroying the Republican Party.</blockquote>


Except he has and what have we done? We've nitpicked every little piece of his climate change plan and convinced ourselves it's another corporate sellout.

All I've seen all year are the ones who should be fighting, finding fault in EVERYTHING.


That's fine, is it expected we will find fault in every piece of legislation because we're all different and all have different opinions...but that doesn't exclude us from fighting.

If everyone who wasn't 100% happy with everything stopped fighting, nothing would get done, and that's whats happening.

by ND22 2010-01-10 01:17PM | 1 recs
RE: We are children

Re your last paragraph, could you explain how those complaints could not be applied to conservatives as well? 

Also, I'd be interested in your position on the health insurance bill.  I would agree with your complaints about liberals caving too quickly, not fighting for what we believe in, not making demands.  That is precisely the problem with HIR.  Too many liberals lay down like wimps, as you say, rationalizing a truly conservative bill to the point that they abandon their more fervent liberal friends (the ones you presumably support because they are unwilling to lie down and are demanding a better bill- much like conservatives do) and hurl epithets at them. 

Somehow, I would bet that you support this bill.  For those of us who have been fighting the liberal cause for the past decades, through some really dark, lonely periods, the supporters of the bill are the people you are criticizing.  See, we have been through thirty years of the kinds of arguments HIR supporters put forth (I don't know how long you've been an adult, but you will remember these times if you are old enough)- that we'll make it better; ssh, just bite your tongue now, we'll take care of you later on, etc.  And, that day has yet to come.  And if it does not arrive when the party has such a strong hold over both elective branches of government, it may never come.  Thirty years and more.

by orestes 2010-01-10 06:15PM | 0 recs
Threatening suicide isn't ever a good bargaining tactic

Also, name one social program that was implemented in full scope on Day 1.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 07:33PM | 0 recs
RE: Threatening suicide isn't ever a good bargaining tactic

Threatening suicide?  I don't even know what that means (although it is a tad melodramatic).  Fighting for a better bill and expressing anger and disappointment at the crap we are being handed is precisely what progressives should do.  Interestingly, upthread you complain that liberals don't fight hard enough, they give up too easily.  Yet, here you are, minutes later criticizing those who would do just that.  Doesn't that just reduce your earlier point to a baseless rant against those who are not lockstep in agreement with you?

by orestes 2010-01-10 08:11PM | 0 recs
That's not what you're doing

you're saying if I don't win the fight for a better bill, I'm going to destroy the country and the majority and make everyone pay...that is threatening suicide.


instead of staying you're going to fight for a bigger majority that makes those you're fighting irrelevant, but I suspect you don't think you can do that so it's time to burn the house down.


by ND22 2010-01-10 08:39PM | 0 recs
RE: That's not what you're doing

Okay, now you've gone from a bit melodramatic to full court press melodramatic.  Opposing this health care bill will destroy the country?  Do I also wish to kill children, since you think you know what goes on in my mind?  Also, I believe you are accusing me of homicide, not suicide.

Seriously, not only is it rude to try to paint your opponent's argument in this manner (a trick you must have learned from the right wing), it adds nothing to a debate.  It is the most weak and fallacious argument to claim that opposition to this bill is tantamount to destroying the country.  It reminds me of the right's attempt to tar everyone who opposed the Iraq war with treason.  You do see the similarlity, no?

As for threatening the majority, I would argue that this bill does more to threaten a Democratic majority than my meager opposition to it.  We will have to disagree on that.  As it appears likely this bill will pass, we'll have to wait and see if my prognosis is accurate.

As for fighting for a bigger majority, I see little room for growth.  And I have no say in which candidates get the backing of the Dem establishment.  They get to determine whether we will be given any progressive choices.  Their support of Specter over Sestak (and failure to throw much support behind Lamont) do not bode well.

Again, appeals to inflammatory emotions are meritless in a debate.  Do you have something of substance to add?  I see now that your real complaint with liberals is that we don't all agree with you.  For that, we get called all kinds of names.  It's time to debate like an adult!


by orestes 2010-01-10 09:05PM | 0 recs
RE: That's not what you're doing

Apologies to you and nofortunateson for failing to note that the comment was not written by nofortunateson.  Please disregard any references to that discussion.

by orestes 2010-01-10 09:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Threatening suicide isn't ever a good bargaining tactic

On your second point, the issue isn't whether health care reform must be perfect on day one, but whether the present bill provides an appropriate foundation on which to build.  For me, this bill fails miserably in this regard because it further entrenches the insurance industry.  It kicks a response to the current abuses and costs down the road and thereby strengthens what is a collapsing industry.  Under the current system decent health care would rapidly continue to evade the reach of more and more Americans, forcing a response.  This tepid bill forestalls the inevitable at great expense to the American people.  It simply locks in more revenue for the industry without improving actual health care at all. 

Comparisons to SS are inapposite.  If we were talking about any form of public option or extending Medicare to a younger demographic then that claim would have some merit.  SS was a matter of extending it further.  This bill requires extensive reform to the structure being implemented to achieve the ultimate goal of health care for all. 

by orestes 2010-01-10 08:20PM | 0 recs

I'm willing to bet gay marriage will be legalized in Saudi Arabia before we ever get rid of the insurance industry.



by ND22 2010-01-10 08:32PM | 0 recs
RE: That's why liberals never win

Are you referring to liberal politicans or liberal voters?  Re the first class, I agree with you.  On the second, I strongly disagree.  I have been a liberal and progressive all of my adult life and I have never given up.  And I am not alone.  The problem is that many people who self-identify as liberal are not really liberal.  And I agree, they are unwilling to fight.  Look at the rationalizations being put forth regarding this health care bill by supposed liberals.  Platitudes presented as arguments, such as, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, we have to accept what CAN be accomplished, and accusing those with true liberal principles of being purity trolls, naive, etc. are where the real problems in the liberal/progressive movement lie. 

The reason conservatives are more effective is because they are willing to fight for their principles foremost, political alliances be damned.  They will turn on a politician on a dime if s/he betrays them.  Many so-called liberals are too cowardly to do this. 

by orestes 2010-01-10 06:00PM | 0 recs
No, that's not true

not until recently anyway, if it was, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe would not still be US Senators.

And now we mock them for turning on politicans when they betray them. It's not brave, it's stupid.

by ND22 2010-01-10 08:37PM | 0 recs
RE: No, that's not true

I don't agree.  I am not certain of this, but would expect that Maine does not have enough conservatives to toss them out.  I personally do not mock anyone for turning on politicians who betray them.  It's the core of political advocacy.  Do you embrace politicians who betray you?  I would call that stupid (and a bit masochistic).

by orestes 2010-01-10 09:19PM | 0 recs
No there aren't

but Maine's conservative population voted for them anyway, and didn't challenge them in a primary despite the fact that primaries in Maine are open.

they knew Snowe and Collins are the best they could get there, and reacted accordingly.

Do I embrace politicians who betray me? Every politician I've ever supported has betrayed me at some point, if I stopped supporting politicians who betrayed me, I'd be writing my own name in every damn election.

No one is going to do 100% of what you want them to.

by ND22 2010-01-10 10:20PM | 0 recs
RE: No there aren't

On what do you base your conclusion that conservatives in Maine know that Snowe and Collins are the best they could get so they dutifully voted for them?  Do you live in Maine or have connections with the state?

There is a long distance to travel from being betrayed to not agreeing with everything a politician does.  We all accept the latter.  Betrayal is a much higher threshold, as the definition of the word would demand.  I would hope you would not mock people for reacting when they feel betrayed.  Perhaps this is not what you intended, but, if so, you should choose your words more carefully.

by orestes 2010-01-11 05:28AM | 0 recs
My aunt's from Van Buren
and currently lives on Mount Desert Island and I worked on Tom Allen's campaign and on the No on 1 campaign. What? you think I pulled Maine out of my ass? I don't see what you mean by betrayal? Did any of these Senators change their views on something? Other than Lieberman, I don't think any did. Lincoln, Landrieu and Nelson all ran as conservative Democrats. I know nobody I voted for betrayed me.
by ND22 2010-01-11 02:41PM | 0 recs
RE: Toss-Up in MA

what are we fighting for?  We have the white house and both houses of congress and we are getting lousy republican lite legislation.  WHAT are we fighting for?  More blue dogs in red districts? 

I give up on the democratic party males.  I am voting for women and I will take a lot more pleasure in voting for a moderate republican women than I will for a democratic male who will tell me how happy he is that the catholic bishops signed off on HCR before he voted for it.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2010-01-10 12:03PM | 0 recs
Sexism wouldn't have worked for you in MA

Mike Capuano was the progressive firebrand who lost in the primary to Martha Coakley, widely regarded as more moderate.

I still strongly support Martha Coakley, and will try to get some phone banking in today.

As an aside:

There have only been 38 women in the Senate in all of History. Today there are 17. Martha Coakley would make 18 (18%). 50% of the population is women.

There are only 5 (five) minority senators. Two asian Americans, both from Hawai'i, an Hispanic-American from FL and NJ, and temporary senator Roland Burris from IL. Minorities constitute 25% of the US population.

Perhaps if the Senate more reflected the diversity of the United States, we wouldn't be having these problems.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 01:15PM | 0 recs
Oh good, the PUMAs are back

"moderate Republican women"


As if there are any left. lol

by ND22 2010-01-10 01:21PM | 0 recs
which moderate Republican women

did you have in mind? They're pretty thin on the ground.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-10 01:31PM | 0 recs
RE: Toss-Up in MA

This is the same trope you've been spouting for six years.  Saying it again doesn't make you more credible.

by lojasmo 2010-01-10 01:42PM | 0 recs
The circular firing squad

We democrats can look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning. That's the benefit to being a democrat. But the cost is the circular firing squad. The stones come with the farm.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 12:01AM | 0 recs
RE: The circular firing squad

or we could just be happy that our team won and congratulate ourselves on even really crappy legislation just because it was passed by so called democrats.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2010-01-10 12:07PM | 0 recs
A lesson in history

First, there's a lot of good, even in the Senate Bill, and you know it.

Second, if Coakley loses because liberals throw a temper tantrum, you are going to get the Senate Bill verbatim. the House will not be able to improve upon it.

Third, there has never been an instance where a progressive social change to America has been implemented perfectly in the first step. We were just having a discussion this past week about all the compromises and setbacks during the so-called golden age of populism in the first half of last century. The GOP opposes HCR so vociferously because they know that even the Senate Bill lays the foundation for substantial improvements.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 01:04PM | 0 recs
RE: A lesson in history

I disagree that the GOP opposes this bill.  This is precisely the kind of health insurance bill we would get from a republican congress- it props up an unpopular and presently failing private insurance industry, taxes union workers, gives government subsidies to the insurance companies.  What's a republican not to like?  Sure, they may have sweetened the industry pot more, but that's merely a matter of degree.  They may vociferously oppose this bill for political reasons (wisely), but they would have handed the same thing to the insurance industry.  They want those lobbying dollars as much as Rahm. 

by orestes 2010-01-10 06:25PM | 0 recs
Succumbing to FDL Groupthink

I'm sorry, but I can't play the FDL game that there is nothing good in this bill, and that it therefore needs to be killed.

Many of us badly need the reforms in this bill.

You can readily find out what is in the Senate bill online, but I will summarize here for you:

  • Mandates and subsidies to those who cannot afford the mandate.
  • Subsidies for small businesses to provide coverage.
  • Expansion of medicaid to 133% the poverty level to include millions.
  • Ban on recisions.
  • Ban on policy procing descrimination based on gender or health history.
  • 80% to 85% of premiums must be spent on care for private insurers.
  • Ban on preexisting condition exclusion.
  • Billions for rural health clinics.

And that was all I could recall off the top of my head.

I don't care if it doesn't make me liberal any more, but I never ever supported driving the private insurance industry out of business (as much as they deserve it). Many european countries use a system of private insurers. When Howard Dean flip flopped to supporting this bill, my last qualms about the bill evaporated.

What I agree is missing from the equation is competition and cost control. Both of which can readily be added under separate cover.

If we cut off our nose to spite our face, we throw all the above achievements away, and we're stuck with the current system for another 30 years.

Obama made missteps in this historical achievement, no doubt, but I'm so weary of the Rahm Emanuel straw man and conspiracy theories. The truthg is, we never had 60 democratic senators. More like 55 at best.

And don't think for a second that Republicans support this bill. They may try to play that game, and the Kill Bill crowd may love to assume as much, but no way no how would any true conservative ever support this health care reform effort:

Health care reform signifies a fundamental change in American Society. Just as Social Security did in the 30's. With reform, Health Care is no longer an entitlement and a privaledge, but a public service. And Roosevelt had to struggle to get social security through with 67 democratic senators and a lack of special interests arrayed against him. He was branded a sellout and traitor to the then "progressives" because social security was miniscule in scope. It took 30 years to finish the effort.

If you don't have the stomach for another 30 years of fighting for health care reform, then I don't know what to tell you.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 07:21PM | 0 recs
RE: Succumbing to FDL Groupthink

I am well aware of what is in the senate bill and what is lacking.  Certainly there are some elements of the bill that anyone on the left would applaud.  The issue is whether the good outweighs the bad or, are these crumbs (which is all the left usually gets) are enough.  For many of us, they are not.  If good bits are enough for you, fine.  But many of us disagree.  And to accuse some who disagree with you of playing a game is not good form.  It shows a lack of respect for the opinions of others.

Furthermore, I find it surprising that you accuse FDL of playing games when they are engaging in just the form of advocacy you find so lacking among the left.  I think you fail to differentiate between leftist advocacy and leftists who disagree with you.  I personally always have respect for people who advocate their positions- whether they be Cindy Sheehan, FDL, Nancy Reagan even (on stem cells), or the conservative movement.  Engagement in the political process, in my view, is always a good thing, even if I vehemently disagree with their views. 

We will simply have to disagree on whether republican politicans approve of this bill. 

I think you overstate the significance of this bill.  First off, it is a health insurance bill, not a health care bill.  More importantly, when you consider what could be done to reform either health insurance or care, it is not nearly as revolutionary as SS.  For my further views on the false comparison with SS, see my comment above.

Finally, I find it disappointing that you embrace this bill with the expectation that the fight for real health care reform will take, in your estimation, another 30 years.  I would rather have that fight today than resign myself to having to continually deal with insurance industry chicanery and political battles for the next 30 years to get to a decent starting point. 

by orestes 2010-01-10 08:41PM | 0 recs
RE: Toss-Up in MA

My "despair" does not come from being upset with the "pragmatism: of our leadership, or with being tired to fight to implement a more progressive congress/President. 

I am tired of all the incessant whining from the press to the blogs to the "experts".  Like I said, it was better when I could just hate the right-wing loonies.  I hated living under the Bush Admin, but at least then we were all relatively united.  Now I have to contend with the "circular firing squad" mentioned. 

As to the meme that Democrats or Liberals are wimps, I take that as personally offensive.  Maybe the best way to turn me, and a LOT of other voters/helpers, is to make sure that we are insulted for our pragmatic views on issues.

by Hammer1001 2010-01-10 06:22PM | 0 recs
If it lights a fire

A couple of points to add:

  • PPP may have called VA and NJ, but it also predicted Hoffman by 17 in NY-23. There is a history in MA of national democratic candidates polling close or tied, only to see blowout wins. I can think of Kennedy versus Romney in 1994.
  • Alarming news such as this presents a paradox for Brown. His key to victory is to catch demcorats sleeping. Polls such as this don't help him to that end. As we see from the Herald poll, likely voter models are key here.
  • Brown has nothing to lose. I just cannot fathom why (why?) Martha Coakley has been absent from the race for a month. I feel this has less to do with national issues as it does with just failure to follow basic campaigning.

I hope this lights a fire. She says she raised $100,000. Now spend it.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-09 10:28PM | 0 recs
RE: If it lights a fire

I tend to agree. I'll email my friends in MA and tell em to vote, but I find it hard to believed that Coakley will lose. But if this motivates the Dems, all the better. We Dems are only motivated when we are worried about losing.

by Lolis 2010-01-10 01:11AM | 0 recs
My absentee ballot request is right here next to me

One more vote for Coakley who wouldn't have otherwise voted (I didn't even look into it until thos poll came out)

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 03:07AM | 0 recs

Coakley is going to win comfortably .

However the election night in November is going to be a long one for democrats unless they can somehow solve jobs , spending and deficits.......


by lori 2010-01-09 11:21PM | 0 recs
only jobs matter

If unemployment is starting to go down, that is much more important than tackling the deficit.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-10 01:32PM | 0 recs
For now

when the employment situation does improve, I predict suddenly the deficit will become a huge issue and albatross. I've seen a lot of people complain about the deficit, for no othe reason than they're being told it's a problem. "China owns us" "We keep handing the bill to future generations" "We have no money" etc.

So far I've been able to push people to grudginly accept a larger deficit on the idea that money needs to be spent to keep the economy afloat, but once the economy improves, that argument won't fly anymore. In fact because no one told them to be concerned with the deficit until this past year, they do not seem to understand the deficit is a problem Obama inherited and not created, so it's obviously his fault and Republicans have plans to fix it.

Keep in mind the vast majority of the population and voters having comfy jobs. High unemployment is a problem for them because it makes them afraid they're next to be out of a job, once the unemployment rate drops, and jobs are created, no matter how slow that happens, they feel more job security. That's why Reagan was about to win 49 states with nearly 8% unemployment.

We have to be outfront and make it clear the deficit is an issue we want to deal with when the times comes to deal with it.



by ND22 2010-01-10 01:54PM | 0 recs
Obama and the Democratic leaders are not unaware

It would be naive to conclude that internal Democratic polling has for weeks shown just the horserace, and not how deep and steady Coakley's and Brown's support has been.  Obama and the DSCC may pretend to be surprised by Brown taking the lead, but their polling techniques are too sophisticated and effective to have missed the current trend.

The DSCC has a healthier bank account than does the RSCC.  If they have chosen to not invest in this race, that is telling.  If Coakley loses, its because Obama and the DSCC wanted her to lose.

Perhaps our Democratic leaders have concluded that having only 59 Senators going into the 2010 election is a better strategy than having the full 60.  A bit more cynical analysis might be that with so many Democratic leaders being among the rich in America, they are concerned about gaining and keeping power, but they don't want the kind of power that would render imperative raising taxes on the rich and dividing our economic pie more fairly.

When Republicans don't care about our poor and unemployed, there is a lot we can do.  When our own Democratic leaders decide that the time is not right to help them, or they also don't really care nearly enough, what is there left for us to do?

The universe is presumably eternal.  As imperfect as our world is, in so many ways, time rushes on into the future and eventually those imperfections will give way to something else.  Humanity will not survive forever.  Neither will the planet.  If there is such a thing as justice, our callous Republican and Democratic leaders will soon enough feel the effect of that callousness.  As unfair as it seems, climate change will probably visit such punishment on their kids and grand kids.

In the final analysis, no one here has a free will (quantum indeterminacy gives you at best a randomness that cannot in any true sense give rise to free will). 

If Obama is willing to lose the Mass. senate seat for greater gains in 2010, great.  We can only hope the strategy is, in fact, the lesser of two evils, and that it succeeds







by Georgeo57 2010-01-09 11:57PM | 0 recs
Blue Mass Group reporting

That Coakley is up 51-35 in the Boston Globe poll, but is only tied 47-47 in people "very interested" in the race.  I don't know if that means likely voters or very, very likely voters or what, but interesting spread. Hopefully, that means that Coakley has nowhere to go but up... I certainly hope so, at least!

by LordMike 2010-01-10 01:35AM | 0 recs
RE: Blue Mass Group reporting

Boston Globe poll is out! It's a good one!

Rumors were true.. 15 point lead for Coakley among LIKELY voters.  Politico says that the Globe is the gold standard in Mass., but I don't trust media polls in special elections, especially when they all hosed NJ.  Keep working!

by LordMike 2010-01-10 02:45AM | 0 recs
Check the fine print

This is a three-way race, the third candidate being a libertarian (Liberty Party) (That's what state law said he was eligible to run as).

The polling question gave voters two choices.  It qualifies as a push poll, telling those people who were polled a false list their choices.

The poll should raise concern -- the candidates who were polled could have hoped fora  blowout -- but as a poll in a close race it is not worth the photons coming off your monitor.

Perhaps someone could persuade Nate Silver/ to start agiating for minimum competence standards for legitimate polling, e.g., 'when it is known who is on the ballot, the lead polling name list should match the ballot'

by phillies 2010-01-10 07:41AM | 0 recs
RE: Check the fine print

Dont know which poll you are talking about. Unfortunately, it is the PPP guys who are going to release the final polling number. I do not believe that Boston Globe has another poll commissioned. We will not know the actual outcome until the election day! Too bad!

by Boilermaker 2010-01-10 10:26AM | 0 recs
RE: Check the fine print

He's talking about Joeseph Kennedy being on the ballot. his name is worth something, a couple of percentage points?

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-10 10:32AM | 0 recs
But from whom?

I'm not smart enought o figure out who he would syphon votes from in a special election.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-10 12:41PM | 0 recs
RE: But from whom?

I would speculate that the name Kennedy might draw some old Teddy voters, esp. those senior citizens who always came out to vote for him.

by orestes 2010-01-10 08:47PM | 0 recs
Coakley has stepped up TV advertising

The campaign has clearly gone for the 10 day blitz until the election strategy.  Ads were on during all NFL playoff games over the weekend here in Boston.

by Kyle Shank 2010-01-11 11:14AM | 0 recs


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