Squandered Political Capital and the Stench of Failure

Not that they’d listen – they don’t listen to anyone – but I’d counsel Republicans along the same lines as the Democrats when they came to power…keep the fist pumps, terrorist or otherwise, to a minimum. Refrain from the siren call to rub it in, lest you be treated to the swirly next election cycle.

Voters partially returned you to power, but don’t mistake that for an overarching mandate. Their opinion of ALL politicians is only slightly higher than that beagle that shit on their new shoes and they’ll tire of you just as quickly if you can’t turn things around within a few months. That’s highly unlikely and some polls already indicate voters believe there will be as little progress under the Griping Old Pootieheads as there has been under the Demojellies. I fear they are right.

Many voters went Republican not so much because they thought Reps were good, but because they don’t like El Jefe and wanted to send a signal. As goes the President so goes Congress in midterm elections.

Walking on Water to Drowning In Water
No doubt, the O-Man has squandered a tremendous amount of political capital in his two years. CHANGE meant continuing or expanding far too many policies he railed against from the last administration. As for HOPE, he left too much of his base and moderates hoping he would get better – while he didn’t. Had he seized the power of his huge win, he could’ve gotten much more done and he and Congressional Dems would stand a better chance of delivering the Hope and Change they touted. Instead, he let the power of NO run his agenda.

But, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.

Bush the Lesser squeaked into the White House in an election decided by some moronic guy named Chad who couldn’t operate a punch card without putting an eye out. Dub’s first few months were lackluster at best, but then he got the best political gift a pol could ask for – a scruffy hermit with a penchant for bad home movies dispatched some nuts to cause massive mischief on the Hudson.

He, rightfully at the time, climbed up on a pile of rubble, loudspeaker in hand, and railed against the evil trying to defeat America. People rallied around him as they haven’t done since WWII. In a week he went from just another run-of-the mill stumble bum to someone with more political capital than Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina could ever buy… combined.

Imagine What All That Capital Could Buy
With that amazing power, he could’ve done so many things to help this country. For example, and there were many others, he could’ve used it as a bloody pulpit to preach the dangers of foreign oil dependence. Instead, he encouraged domestic and foreign oil companies to poke more holes in the country than ever before at the expense of enforcing any regulation, no matter how trivial. Today we find ourselves not only more dependent, but watching oilagarchs rob the country blind.

He was still riding high at the beginning of term two, although the first rumblings against the most useless and poorly managed war in history were getting louder. By the time Katrina made his uselessness truly evident, the rumble became a shout and he went down in hot flames of embarrassment.

Everyone else’s embarrassment, not his. And all that political capital he crowed about? He apparently banked with Washington Mutual.

Clinton managed to get a few things done in term one, but pissed it away lying about the world’s most expensive BJ. An entire four years wasted, an incredible historical blot on him, and the final death of whatever shred of bipartisanship and civility was left in Washington.

Bush the Elder fared no better. He squandered the terrific political abundance delivered by Gulf War I by encouraging people to watch his lips as they said, “No new taxes”. He then called every new tax a fee until it got to be such a charade he asked people to stop staring at his lips. Voters repaid him by saying, “Watch our lips. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

He did manage to stay out of jail over that whole Iran/Contra thing though. No small feat that.

Failure is one of the few things that is truly bipartisan. Whether, like Obama, you negotiate like a fear-crazed 90-year old lady buying a used car at Mad Man Dapper Dan’s Used Car Emporium or are so incompetent you choke on a pretzel, whether you can’t keep your Johnson out of your intern’s mouth or puke in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap, there are a million ways to fail. Failure is cumulative. Failure is contagious. In short, failure fails.

Unfortunately, I’d say odds are far more than even that we’re well on the way to another failure.

And, it will no doubt be one huge MoFo.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

FAIL : Ironically Roland Burris Ends Obama's Health Care Scheme

After many months of Obama staffers making it very clear that they were very willing to trade away the public option in order to achieve success, it seemed earlier today that this was exactly what theyd done.

It looked like Obama had lucked out by having Joe Lieberman step up to take the both the bait and the blame for this and save having "the One" pay the price for failing to achieve real and lasting health care reform.  

Needing and wanting a Obama victory much more than they ever cared for any kind of reform, the Obama cheerleaders and fanboys - like Nate Silver - then began crying that Democrats must rally behin Obama and support this totally fake health care reform bill or we will NEVER see any attempt to do reform again...I guess the idea being that if the great Obama cant do it, no one could...

So it seemed that we were going to get what I always expected - a Obama political victory that sacrificed real reform for his greater glory...

But look what member of the ol' Obama "under the bus" brigade has been the first to stand up in the Senate and say no to this bullroar-

Roland Burris thats who!

From the NY Times"

Roland W. Burris, Democrat of Illinois, has vowed that he will not vote for a health care bill that does not include a government-run insurance plan, or public option.

And on Monday, after Democrats indicated that they were prepared to meet the demands of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and strip the last vestige of a public option from their bill, Mr. Burris went to the Senate floor to warn that he had not committed to vote for the legislation.

"I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option: competition, cost savings and accountability," he said. "I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals."

"My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine."

"As Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, `All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.'"

Other liberals are also expected to resist appeasing Mr. Lieberman. But they may have little choice if Democrats hope to adopt a health care bill and avoid a failure to achieve President Obama's top domestic priority.


These days, to many Democrats - on and off the web, its Really ALL about Obama isnt it?

They're all willing to pass this sham of a bill, this give away to big pharm and big insurance and then head off to Christmas and pretend that its all n' all its been a great success for the Obama administration.  Yay team! Go Obama!


Good to see that a real man of principle did come from Chicago to serve in DC in 2001 afterall.  

How come Im not surprised that his name is not Barack Obama?

There's more...

Tracking Rep. Lynn Jenkins Many Failures' -- JenkinsFail.com

Laughing Lynn Jenkins is safely back in Washington this month after a string of nationally embarrassing stories, headlines, and videos. Safe among her real friends, Jenkins is surely hoping to forget what some Kansans have dubbed her horrible no good very bad August recess.

True to form, she's also hoping the people of Kansas will forget all about it too.

But we're not gonna let up.

To start, we're launching JenkinsFail.com, a new website from the Kansas Democratic Party with the sole intent of keeping track of Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins' repeated failures both past and present.

Wanna know more? Meet me below the fold...

There's more...

Health Reform Enthusiasm Gap

We won the 2008 Elections in part because we had an overwhelming advantage over the opposition in our level of enthusiasm. We risk losing the opportunity for ANY reform of the Health Care System because of our lack of enthusiasm, or so argues Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic:

As a fan of single-payer health insurance--a scheme that would, if properly designed, cover everybody with relatively small exposure to out-of-pocket costs--I certainly understand the ambivalence.

That sounds familiar!
It's tempting to think of what might have been, if only the bill writers had raised their ambitions and pushed a more pristine, more far-reaching measure.

No shortage of downer diaries about the Democrats failure in that respect! So many dreams of utopia dashed... very depressing indeed.
But there's a reason they didn't:(billwriters pushing for perfection, that is)

To be fair, we have discussed the reasons why some of the (barf alert!) compromises (yech) might have crept into the Bill. Those were certainly enthusiasm busters, though.

But this certainly sounds compelling to me:

Health care reform is politically difficult, particularly given the setup of American government. (The U.S. Senate, with its overrepresentation of small states and use of the filibuster, make it hard to pass anything.) It's easy to forget, but the reform scheme Bill Clinton tried to pass in 1994 would have come pretty close to achieving most of the goals reformers now seek: It would have given generous insurance to just about everybody, by radically reorganizing the way medical care is doled out. That ambition was also a major factor in its demise.

What's worthy of our enthusiasm in the Bills moving through Congress, now?

Jonathan Cohn offers this:

Maybe that means those of us on the left should dwell a bit more on what reform still would achieve--even if it's not everything we hoped. The bills that passed the House committees might not mean every single American would have insurance. But they would mean that every single American could get insurance if he or she wanted it. Insurance companies couldn't deny coverage to somebody because of pre-existing medical conditions--nor could they cancel a policy retroactively, after a large claim, as insurers have been known to do. In fact, that change--an end to the practice of "rescission"--would happen right away.

The insurance people get under reform would be relatively good insurance, too: The House bills, for example, would limit out-of-pocket expenses to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a family. That's still more than people in other countries pay, yes, but it's a far less than what many Americans end up paying today once they get a chronic or catastrophic illness. And keep in mind the exposure would be a lot less for lower-income people.

There's more. You can read it here:
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?i d=5cb3998e-3ee2-494a-ac7d-763a37a6643c

We have a role in this. We can show a little enthusiasm. Those disruptive morans at the town hall meetings show theirs.

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Dan Quayle: Still Wrong

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

Dan Quayle was Vice-President during the years of George H.W. Bush. This was a time that saw the first Gulf War and and deep recession that cost these men their jobs. Actually, were it not for the second Bush Administration, the first would have probably been remembered as the most incompetent Administration ever. Now, Dan Quayle is speaking out and showing he has a lot more intellectual failings than just his spelling skills.

There's more...


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