It's really immaterial what my personal tipping point is, and it would deflect this overall discussion if I replied to that and allowed a nitpicky argument to derail this thread, as you appear to hope to do. The point is that for many of us in the base, that tipping point has already been reached where we no longer will lift a finger to assist in getting people elected who do not represent us.
The Democratic party is already losing seats because too many of us will not support it with our votes, volunteerism, or dollars. Many of us are the long time foot soldiers of the party, and when we sit home, the Democratic Party loses. So whether the elected Democrats choose to get some spine on more of the issues the base holds dear will determine how many of us will ever get back on board. No need to elaborate or be specific which issues those are.
No supply of corporate and lobby dollars will supplant the need for the real life support of friends, family, and neighbors getting out the votes. We are the lifeblood, the people who really care and are capable of the long term dedication a party needs to survive and thrive. Many of us cannot be bought.
Most dangerous of all, when we decide to work against candidates who betray true Democratic Party ideals, even though they are nominally Democrats, we are very effective. Sell us out at your risk.
I am one of the "base", and if you enact policies that betray your promises and betray the bedrock values of the Democratic party then no, of course I will not support you, won't vote, and won't donate a dime. Simple. You screw me, I screw you. No fancy analysis needed here.
Liberals lacked the backbone needed to get our values enacted, and many allowed a climate of corruption to prevail in our party, which undermined many of our better policy prescriptions. That is why conservatives have won the victories you cite. Our fault entirely. Until we stand up for our principles none of them will prevail. I refuse to give energy and money to a party that no longer represents me.
Wyden-Bennett is conservative crap, and you are simply wrong about the effects it would have on America. It calls for employers to voluntarily provide the money they now use to pay for employees benefits for employees to use to buy their own on the private market, so after inflation the workers take a huge hit. How do you think a single worker will fare trying to negotiate a contract with the insurance companies? When even moderate sized businesses don't have enough clout to get affordable policies for their groups of workers?
The bill is a complete givaway to big business, at a heavy cost to people, and makes no sense other than it being a sellout to the insurance companies, which is not my goal as a progressive. That's a Republican goal, so perhaps you could post your recommendations at Redstate.
And as a health care provider, I can tell you that preventive medicine costs doesn't save any money, we do it because it improves people's lives. Prevention will not be a panacea for continuing a grotesquely wasteful system of medical profiteering. In most areas of medicine preventive efforts cost more, so they are not budget neutral from an economic standpoint. A few interventions such as childhood vaccinations actually save money, but those savings are already being realized now.
Preventive medicine is not an excuse not to revamp our system to eliminate profiteering, which has no place in health care.
Do you mean the Wyden-Bennett plan? It completely destroys the employer based health insurance system, and places everyone in the position of having to buy private health insurance. So it is a nonstarter with unions. It prescribes complete privatization of the system.
Politically, it has the effect of destroying all political will on the health care issue, because everyone would have a private contract with a health care insurer, and the battle would be between the consumer and the insurer. Considering the wealth and legal clout of a huge corporation against a sick, perhaps incapacitated patient to fight for coverage it would turn us all into sitting ducks.
With government programs at least there is accountability and a target for political action, and a clearly identified group of people to organize with.
The innate problem with health care as an issue is that at any given time, only 20% of the population is sick and interacting with the health care industry, the others are busy with life and couldn't care less until they get sick and need those services and realize they may be denied what they need, or have to fight like hell to get it while they are also undergoing the trauma of illness.
I am a health care provider, and have seen too many people die going through that process. This is not a mere political effort for me. Lives are on the line.
I don't support the Wyden-Bennett bill at all.
Right now, I don't support the Democratic bill in the Senate Finance Committee, I believe it will be worse than what we have now, and will vastly increase the already overpowering force of the insurance companies, making further reform even more difficult. I am sure they believe that they can overturn the consumer protection regulations we might gain now in the near future. But they won't overturn the individual mandate that everyone must have insurance.
What a gift Obama has given the insurance and drug companies. It will be the gift that keeps right on giving.
Hmmm, do you think the American public understands that they are about to get hit with an individual mandate to buy health insurance, without adequate subsidies, or a public option to run to when the health insurance companies price gouge them? I wonder how that is going to go down.
Tell me how much they are going to love this health care reform.
I can hear it all now - conservatives shrieking, "Big government doesn't work! Look what happens when the government intrudes on the markets!
And how about when the fabulously wealthy insurance and drug companies have a captive market (since Obama has bargained away the ability of Americans to purchase their medications from Canada or other world markets) and with their new found largesse decide it's time to back the Republicans to overturn all the nice regulations (guaranteed issue, community rating, no pre existing condition exclusions, etc) that are passed right now? They will be in an ever more powerful, entrenched position to reverse consumer protections as well as being "too big to fail", and it will be much in their self interest to do so.
Obama has caved so easily, as I knew he would.
I'm for single payer Medicare for all, and supporting Congressman Anthony Weiner's amendment to allow states to waive ERISA and enact a state level single payer program to cover to serve as a model. That is the last little thing we might possibly win out of this debacle.
Weiner is having a Town Hall on health care in his district in Queens, NY tonight, and we single payer supporters will be there to support him. If anyone is interested, I can update you afterward.
There is zero political will to sustain the quality of income based programs - witness the horrific condition of Medicaid programs around the country, that arbitrarily cut benefits and throw people off when budgets get tight., So changing Medicare to an income based program is a recipe for total disaster.
Preventive care does not save any money in overall health care costs, it increases costs. The occasional case it can delay or prevent through early detection screening and patient education is the only savings, the overall cost of screening and educating millions of people who would never develop the diseases we know how to detect early and influence the course of anyway is astronomical. Good preventive care increases the overall quality of patient outcomes slightly, so it can be of value, but it is very costly.
Insurance companies employ many sophisticated marketing devices to "cream skim" the population so they will only get the healthiest people as clients, and they will simply refuse to offer policies that will not be profitable for them. They aren't idiots, they don't want to lose money.
Electronic medical records don't save any money in any of the places they have been tried out so far. No savings have accrued, and many medical errors continue to take place, so waiting for some imagined lowered health care costs on the basis of installing an electronic medical record system everywhere, at the cost of billions of dollars, is sheer political hogwash. There is zero evidence such a stupendous outlay of money will lower costs one penny.
Only a single payer system has proven to lower health care costs substantially and consistently in country after country where it has been adopted, see Taiwan for the latest fantastic results - far lower costs and everyone is covered!
But Max Baucus has put single payer "off the table". They are also, with Schumer, trying to destroy any hope that there will be a government "public option" program that is based on a Medicare for All approach, that might eventually turn into a single payer program if enough Americans chose it.
At our latest meeting of single payer advocates with Charles Rangel, he said that House Democrats will go to the wall to get a real public option in their health care reform bill, but what the Senate does will likely be far less progressive.
Now is the time to speak out for real health care reform - single payer. It is the only reform that will work, all we need is to generate the political will to do it.
Yes, many bridges were burned during the primary, permanently. Some at the point where the race card was being played against Ferraro and the Clintons, and for others later with the unabated sexism leveled at Hillary Clinton and left unopposed by the Democratic party, for some it was watching the traveling busloads of Obama people from Chicago and Gary voting all over the country in caucuses and primaries, and still others when delegates from MIchigan were stolen from Clinton and given outright to Obama at the RBC meeting (I was there in the room, booing). And finally for the most eternally optimistic of the Clinton supporters, it was when Hillary was passed over for VP. That is when the final holdouts revolted and bolted.
A speech from Obama at this point would be plain silly. Most of us stopped listening to anything he says, we turn the TV off and don't read any of it, we had enough of him a long, long time ago, he turns our stomach. That's the honest truth.
Of course, you don't need us. All us bitter, racist, uneducated voters don't even belong in your Obama nation.
I don't know any of my fellow Clinton supporters who ever listen to anything Obama says. We got so sick of the insults and abuse from the Obama campaign and Obama supporters we tuned out a long time ago. There is a permanent schism. Trust is a fragile thing, it takes a long time and much effort to establish between people, and can be destroyed so easily. Once it is gone, it is gone.
With the press calling Hillary a "shrill, nasty bitch" in it's most generous moments, she was still gaining primary wins and accruing huge numbers of voters - gaining momentum as the months went by. No matter what the media did to her, she ended up winning her voters - the ones the Democratic ticket now needs most. Her message overwhelmed what the shrill, nasty media dealt her, and she would have been the greatest asset on the ticket in the general election.
I would like to see how you would respond to being tortured, with both of your arms broken, at the mercy of an enemy with your life at stake, and see how your "temperament" holds up in constant pain, illness, being beaten to within an inch of your life. Then you are judged for your character by people who have never been through it. What a load of horse sh-t.
If that's what you think it takes to win an election and that is worth your integrity to do it you go right ahead, and watch as it sinks the Democratic Party.
I do not support this ad at all. I don't care who it is - Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal - slamming someone's military service who was tortured as a POW for years is a rotten, offensive idea.
All it "means" is that we don't want that valueless tripe invading our blogs, so we keep Obama propaganda out. If we wanted to read patronizing deception or virulent abuse we would just go to DK. We already know what each other think, and we are complete enemies, no further conversation is necessary.
I completely disagree that it is due to the Bradley effect that Obama is losing ground now - in fact, that makes no sense at all according to any explanation of the Bradley effect - that people will say they will vote for a black candidate in advance of an election, then vote against that candidate in the relative privacy of the voting booth. It is still long before the election, and incrementally more people are saying they will not support him. He may yet receive a post convention bounce, it is to be expected. If that doesn't show up, then I believe it will be clear that Clinton on the ticket was essential to the GE win. She agreed to serve as VP if asked, so it was up to BO to pick her, and his responsibility to be a successful candidate.
The more likely explanation is that Clinton supporters who were counting on her being the VP are registering their rejection of a ticket that does not include her as they were expecting, resulting in a negative bounce for the VP announcement.
Clintons for McCain has NEVER SAID THEY ARE A DEMOCRATIC PARTY ORGANIZATION. In fact, spokesperson Cristi Adkins has always specifically stated that she is an Independent, and that C4M is a mixture of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans who sincerely supported Hillary Clinton.
So what is your point? The C4M people are exactly those swing voters who the Democratic Party was supposed to attract in this election when the disapproval rates for George Bush's administration are so high.
There is a rift between PUMA/JSND and C4M specifically because C4M includes some Republicans, so conflating the two as though they are one is pointless, and based in either ignorance or self serving, deliberate obfuscation of the issues involved.
Each group has it's own main objections to BO, PUMA focuses more on the undemocratic process of the primary and undemocratic turn of the Democratic Party, C4M focuses more on what they see as unreconcilable flaws in BO himself as a candidate. Each represents issues the Democratic Party will ultimately have to address if they wish to be successful.