The rightwing nutjobs have a bunch of arguments against the public option, but most are nonsensical or misinformed.
I think the legitimate concern with the "public option" is that it will undercut private insurers, not by greater efficiency or ability to negotiate better economic terms from providers and drug companies, but instead by using taxpayer subsidies to charge prices that don't reflect the true cost.
If a public option can beat private insurers at their own game, then great, but if the only way it can compete is by operating at a loss, then I can at least understand the argument.
Yes, please let us not ever use "but the Republicans did it" or "but, the Republicans didn't do it" as a justification for any of our future actions. America just rendered a clear verdict on the Republicans' way of doing things.
For those of you arguing that Spitzer's seeing a prostitute is irrelevant to his being a governor (which I don't agree, but accept for the sake of argument), remember that the early press stories suggest he was a regular client, and previously, Spitzer was attorney general. I think most would agree that involvement with prostitution is perhaps even more inappropriate for an AG than a gov.
Also, Spitzer has so far been very ineffective as governor. He has wasted the loads of political capital he had on his inauguration with scandals, bungles, and an inability to work with almost everyone of both parties.
Very, very disappointing. Thought this guy could be in the running for national office someday, but he pretty much has been nothing but a disaster. This guy doesn't really deserve our sympathy or support here. He walked right into this one himself.
Abramhoff has some legs, but by 2008 no one will care about Libby. Dubya made an immoral but politically wise decision. His poll ratings can't fall much more, the people who will like this are the wingnuts, who are mad about immigration, but he can get them back. The vast majority of Americans who will get pissed off by this have completely given up on him anyway.
Guiliani, Thompson etc. made the wily choice to back this, too. This helps them with their base, but isn't going to make a big difference in a general election. Plame is an insider story, most of America never cared much about this anyway.
This is why Congress is important, but nothing beats getting the presidency back into Dem hands. The pardon is outrageous, but Dubya and his crew won't suffer any significant consequences for it. Everyone except us will have forgotten about it in two weeks.
I think Thompson would be a fairly formidable candidate. The guy has a style that will appeal to a lot of people in the heartland. He's not a juggernaut in waiting or anything, but he's better than any of the Reps' current candidates. He's got the ability to hold the right-wing base and still stretch to the center some.
He's got some skills, which he will need to pull off the "I'm conservative, but not like Bush" act that Reps will need to figure out to win.
I think his acting skills would make him dangerous for Hilliary; he'll play himself as the homespun straight talker in contrast to Hilliary's over-practiced style. This advantage wouldn't play as much against Edwards and Obama who have effective, although different, communications styles of their own. Not saying Hilliary isn't articulate, but she "sounds like a politician".
Although we will need to keep pressure to make sure Bush doesn't behave recklessly here like he did with Iraq, let's not forget that Iran is not a victim here. They have been resisting multi-national attempts, led by Germany, Britain and France, to limit their nuclear program. It's highly likely they have been meddling in Iraq, and for years Iran has supplied funding and weapons to Hezbollah.
This kidnapping of the British soldiers is outrageous behavior. Strong international comdemnation and pressure is warranted in this situation. The important thing is that Dubya, unlike Iraq, goes about it in a responsible way coordinating with allies.
The answer is not to condemn any US attempts to bring Iran to account, the answer is to make sure we do so in a responsible way this time.
I guess the question is this: Democrats, at least progressive ones, were adamantly against Vietnam. And the American people agreed with getting out. However, the long term effect, the effect ten years down the road, was that Americans saw Democrats as weak on foreign policy. Despite the fact that Americans strongly disapproved of Vietnam, the memory they held many years later was that Democrats were weak on defense issues.
So the challenge is, when the current Iraq issue goes away, and the painful memories fade, will Americans see us as the prudent party that extracted us from a bad war and saved the lives of thousands of troops or as the party that is instinctively against projection of American power.
That's the challenge. Somehow, despite our role in getting us out of the Vietnam quagmire, we came away stamped with the tag of the "weak on defense" party.
Our position on Iraq is the right one, and we have now won an election because of it. But we have to make sure that the narrative this time is not hijacked by the Reps again. Last time, they managed to take the Vietnam mess they were largely responsible for (granted LBJ has much blame too), and turn it around a decade later to label us as anti-american and weak on defense.