Guys, cheer up! Obama's off to a pretty good start

In the view of this primary Clinton supporter, it is way way too early to start crying over the demise of health care reform or the failed Obama Administration. We can all point to something disappointing about any politician, but I cannot say things would be better off if Hillary had won the primary and been elected President. No doubt things would be better in some areas, probably worse in others, but largely the same.

For perspective, lets just remember: at this point in the previous administration, President Bush's one accomplishment was a giant tax cut for the wealthy with no attempt to pay for it, and W himself was finishing up a month-long vacation at the "ranch" in Texas, cutting some brush, riding bikes, and ignoring his National Security briefings. "OK, you've covered your ass, now you can go back to Washington." In other words, we can - and have - had much worse leadership.

For all the defeatism of my fellow lefties on health care reform, let's keep in mind that there is still an decent chance we will get a good bill in the end. The Obama team seems to finally be engaging, and the bully pulpit is a very powerful tool.

And if we get a crappy bill? Or no bill at all? I guarantee that health care costs are not going away as an issue. We just go back to work on raising consciousness, educating the public, and pressing our representratives for action. If the insurance lobby succeeds in killing real reform this time, the issue will be back with more momentum in a few years. The current system is flat out unsustainable. It would be best to fix it before a total collapse, but it simply cannot continue as it is.

Tags: Bush, clinton, Healthcare, obama (all tags)

Comments

49 Comments

Re: Guys, cheer up! Obama's off

I f health care reform dies now... it will be dead for another generation, at least... No politician will touch it with a ten foot poll after the grief that this situation has gotten...

by LordMike 2009-09-01 10:53PM | 0 recs
Nine Presidents

Two Republicans and Seven Democrats, some with larger Democratic Congresses than this one, have attempted. All have failed.

Something is going to come out of Congress, some sort of reform. Perhaps a government-run healthcare plan will be dead forever. Perhaps that's just part of America's fabric, that anything government run or extremely expensive is unrealistic.

Or perhaps everyone needs to stop fucking overreacting to every rumor or whisper coming out of media outlets with zero credibility.

by DTOzone 2009-09-02 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Nine Presidents

I agree with your point on the liberal blogosphere overreacting, even if your language wasn't the best.

by spirowasright 2009-09-02 08:12AM | 0 recs
I'm from New York

I thought my language was quite tame actually lol

by DTOzone 2009-09-02 08:50AM | 0 recs
Yeah, I'm from Brooklyn

It's common vernacular to use fuck or fucking when you need extra syllables or are short on adjectives.

by PD1769 2009-09-02 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, I'm from Brooklyn

Rappers have known that for decades.  I used to buy the "clean" versions of songs because the lyrics were sometimes more clever.  Compare:

NWA is like a mix of fix of tricks.  Real N***z with big dicks.

to

NWA is a mix of hard rhymes and hard times.  In the same lines.

WAYYYY of topic.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 01:10PM | 0 recs
A good thought

There is still a very good chance that meaningful healthcare reform will pass.  When it does, it will be another nail in the coffin of hate politics.  Think about it, there has been no restraint this time around.  According to the the detractors armageddon is truly upon us if healthcare reform passes.  THey are throwing every insult and hyperbole they can at the plan and yet it may still pass.  Where does this kind of politics go from here?  It apparently is not working anymore.  It didn't work in the campaign last year and it has only a fifty-fifty chance of working now.  Maybe this is the great awakening.

by the mollusk 2009-09-02 07:09AM | 0 recs
Polyanna

The math is simple.  No public option = no health care reform.

Even though 64 senators are going to insist on a public option, Obama is not:  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/090 9/26672.html

When that watered-down legislative proposal is ready for a vote on the floor, it's gonna be time for Kill Bill, Volume 3.

When proof presents itself that the Democratic Party at large have had their spines reinserted, then I'll have some hope.

Until then, urging everyone to hold up their kitties and puppies and dance in the sunshine won't lead to anything promising.

by PD1769 2009-09-02 07:39AM | 0 recs
64 Senators?

huh?

by DTOzone 2009-09-02 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: 64 Senators?

I'm referring to the letter sent to Kathleen Sebelius after her comment about the public option not being essential.  I believe the number of senators that signed off on that letter was 64, but I could be wrong.  

by PD1769 2009-09-02 09:00AM | 0 recs
I think it's 44

There are 44 Senators in support of a public option, but I think that number is 47 now.

If it was 64 Senators, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. It would mean there would already be bipartisan support for a public option.

by DTOzone 2009-09-02 09:24AM | 0 recs
Actually it's 60 in the House, not the Senate

Correction to my previous post.  It was 60 reps in the House who drew a line in the sand about the public option.

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2 009/08/18/letter/

by PD1769 2009-09-02 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually it's 60 in the House, not the Senate

The House has never been the problem, it's the Senate.  You don't even have 50 votes for a public option and somehow this is Obama's fault.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 01:13PM | 0 recs
This quote is an excellent example

of the problem. Yes, many progressive believe this is Obama's fault because they're wrongly expect him to "twist arms" to get votes.

See cause Bush did it (even though he didn't) and LBJ did it (even though no one actually changed the votes when he did it and he was forced to compromise anyway)

So pretty much Obama is expected to do what no other President in the past has ever succcessfully done.

The irony is those who claim they knew he wouldn't be like that are prancing around here claiming Hillary Clinton would have been.

Maybe the reason the party is ignoring their "base" is because their "base" is living in a fantasyland.

by DTOzone 2009-09-03 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: This quote is an excellent example

Wait, Bush didn't twist arms?  Those phone calls from Cheney on all the national security measures were just a myth?

There is a valid point here but let's not pretend that never in the history of the Republic has a President succeeded in pressuring Congress.

by Steve M 2009-09-03 10:35AM | 0 recs
Actually no he didn't

for the most part those Cheney threats were a myth. Bush got what he wanted out of Congress because Republicans always backed him and the wavering Democrats were usually scared into submisson by public opinion in thier districts/states and by Tom DeLay and Trent Lott.

I actually can't find a good example of a President successfully pressuring Congress in history. I see examples of public opinion or Congressional leadership doing the biddings of a President succeeding in pressuring Congress.

by DTOzone 2009-09-03 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Polyanna

If 64 Senators insist on a Public Option (and boy I hope there is any semblance of reality in your math), then Obama will have been quite successful, getting it without having had to insist upon it.

I am withholding judgment on his efforts until a final bill is passed, but it would be a testament to catching flys with honey if it included a Public Option (and a failure if it did not).

by Pragmatic Left 2009-09-02 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The Math is Simple

The difference between 64 Senators and 60 Representatives is the difference between your post making sense and not making sense.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 01:12PM | 0 recs
The sound and the fury

Only poll I see today specifically asking about the public option.

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/us_nationa l_survey_ipsos_82731.php

From Ipsos-


Do you favor or oppose...

Legislation to permit the creation of insurance co-operatives
NOT run by the government
54% Favor, 36% Oppose

Creation of a public entity to directly compete with existing
health insurance companies
49% Favor, 41% Oppose

Might be a little biased toward Dems (34 % vs 22 % Republican).  But not absurdly so.

People still like the idea and don't totally understand why co-ops are a bad idea.  Game over.  Hitler wins.

by the mollusk 2009-09-02 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The sound and the fury

A few more public option polls are mentioned here:


* August Quinnipiac national poll (question 23): 62% support a public option. 80% of Dems, 64% of Independents, and even 40% of Republicans

* August Research 2000 poll of Max Baucus's "red state" Montana constituents: 47% support and 44% oppose the public option

* August Research 2000 poll of Blue Dog Jim Cooper's constituents: 61% support and 28% oppose the public option

by PD1769 2009-09-02 09:05AM | 0 recs
This PUMA is laughin' at you

Sorry, guys. This was all so obvious when you looked at the political sophistication of the health care plans during the Democratic primaries.

Oh, and how's that gays in the military thing working out? What's taking so long? With control of the White House and both houses of Congress I don't understand the hold up on some of these promises? Oh wait, you don't think he was just lying' do you?

You picked a pig in a poke and the Democratic Party will now pay a price.

I'm rather enjoying the trainwreck.

by hwc 2009-09-02 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

By definition, you cannot be a PUMA if you were never a Democrat in the first place!

by Steve M 2009-09-02 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

Oh, wait. Shhhh... I think I hear a "PRESENT" vote on a public health care option.

by hwc 2009-09-02 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

I think I hear a very bitter person dodging the point.

by Steve M 2009-09-02 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

We've been through this. I think voting for every Democratic Presidential candiate from George McGovern to Al Gore and donating to Democratic candidates establishes my bona fides sufficiently, thank you very much. But, your point is well taken. Democrats don't want my vote and I'm OK with that.

by hwc 2009-09-02 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

And I'm the First Lady of Texas.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

Re: Running the Gauntlet...and Throwing It Down (none / 0)

I'm a registered independent and strongly supportive of Clinton's candidacy.

by hwc on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 12:07:17 PM EST

See, the PU in PUMA stands for "party unity."  So you can't be a PUMA unless you're actually IN THE PARTY!

by Steve M 2009-09-02 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

That's cool. I've been registered as an Independepnt for a very long time. I've never really felt like the government needed to know which party I favored. Plus, it's nice to be able to pick and choose primary ballots. There are times when it's more advantages to cast a disruptive vote in a Republican primary rather than waste an unecessary vote on Dukakis in the Massachusetts primary.

Of course, you are free to do things as you like. How's the repeal of DOMA coming along with supermajorities in both houses?

by hwc 2009-09-02 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

Every time you show up here, you make me embarrassed to have supported Hillary.  Why can't you send someone pleasant like georgep instead?

Anyone who voted for McGovern is way too old to be playing this childish "I told you so" game.

by Steve M 2009-09-02 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

So, you voted against John Kerry?

You aren't a Democrat.

by Khun David 2009-09-02 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

I said that I didn't vote for John Kerry. I woould never vote for John Kerry. He's my Senator. He's worthless. I never said I was a yellow dog Democrat, although he was only the second sitting Democratic Senator I had not voted for in a Senate race. The first was Herman Talmadge in Georgia, right after it had come out that he had stuffed the pockets of his rain coat with bundles of cash in exchange for political favors.

Kerry lost my vote in 2004 when he did one of the most despicable things I've ever seen a politician do -- use Dick Cheney's daughter's sexuual preference as a hammer in a debate. Descpicable. Now, of course, we are seeing that Kerry and the Democrats are no friends of gay rights.

by hwc 2009-09-02 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

NOW?  Who signed DOMA?

by Jess81 2009-09-02 06:15PM | 0 recs
um...

your use of the phrase 'sexual preference...' is one of the most disgusting things I've seen used in a political debate.

by Khun David 2009-09-03 12:19AM | 0 recs
Re: um...

Indeed.

Plus that was actually John Edwards, not John Kerry.  This person is confused I think, about a lot of things.

by Jess81 2009-09-03 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: um...

Kerry brought it up too, and was not nearly as smooth about it as Edwards.  But it's neither here nor there.

by Steve M 2009-09-03 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: This PUMA is laughin' at you

That's nice dear.

During your next conjugal visit tell Lyndon Larouche hello for me.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 01:20PM | 0 recs
The problem is that

most evaluation being done at this point is evaluation of process.  There is a reason the sausage making comparison is always made.  However, I think the sausage making comparison is unfair...to sausage.

The evaluation of process won't matter because they are now going to go and forget the process they previously used to try and get reform.  I think it is a wait and see what bill makes it out of the reconciliation process.

There's still a lot of baseball left, because the reconciliation is going to take a while because there are going to be a lot of votes to overrule the parliamentarian.  So this may drag on a while.

by AZphilosopher 2009-09-02 11:10AM | 0 recs
Just a minute...

Sorry to say, but the only health-care anything we will be getting is INSURANCE REFORM.

Even the DNC knows this, just take a look at the slogan their pushing on their Organizing for America bus to push the message.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2009/08/30/AR2009083002654. html

The message is:

"Health Insurance Reform Now: Let's Get it Done."

This is what Obama wanted in the beginning and is what is being pushed now.  Health-care is for all intents and purposes..."off the table".

The only people arguing for it or it's merit's/methods....is US.

by TxDem08 2009-09-02 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

Enjoy....

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /post/bradleyportnoy/gGM7kx

INSURANCE REFORM.

Nothing more.  Nothing less.

by TxDem08 2009-09-02 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

"Insurance reform" is a reframing designed to appeal to people who already have insurance, not some kind of substantive retreat on the issue of health care.  The idea is that people who already have insurance will think not "this bill is going to take something from me to give to the people who don't have insurance," but that "this bill is going to fix the things I don't like about my insurance," such as exclusions for pre-existing conditions, unreasonable rate increases, and the like.

There are things to be concerned about but I don't believe the reframing effort is one of them.  I just think that progressives were really not the target audience for the new terminology.

by Steve M 2009-09-02 02:16PM | 0 recs
You're on crack

How on earth is insurance reform and the public option mutually exclusive?

Nothing in anything you've quoted suggests that the public option isn't something that they're interested in.  In fact, the public option would be a tool for insurance reform, in fact the most efficient one at that, because it will levy the strength of the market against the insurance companies.

That's the true irony of this: the Republicans are essentially arguing against the spirit of the capitalism they pretend to adore.  The fact is, if they had their druthers, everything would be in a monopoly, just to maximize profits.

by Dracomicron 2009-09-02 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: You're on crack

Insurance REform and a Public OPtion will not go hand in hand.  NOTHING so far from the administration has indicated so, or has given proof that they will use one to get the other.  NOTHING.

I agree w/ you about the Republicans, and assert that w/out a public option, insurance reform is a band-aid on the gash of our health-care system.

by TxDem08 2009-09-02 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

do you mean reforming health insurance so that they don't drop sick people, refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, and reduce prices as well as costs?

by KLRinLA 2009-09-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

And how do you propose that the insurance co.'s will accept those caveat's?  Out of the goodness of their hearts?

Without the stick...the carrot is just a vegetable on a string.

The Insurance industry will not substantially reduce prices, cover pre-existing conditions or drop sick people if they don't have to.  Arguing that "Oh, we got 1 out of 3, and it ain't bad", is just humming a tune.

Insurance REFORM will not happen w/out a public option or some type of universal health plan.

by TxDem08 2009-09-02 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

Actually, Congress would write say a 1000 page bill with various regulations prohibiting various practices within the Insurance Industry.  I think that is how you do it.  No industry will "accept" these regulations on principle, however once the law is passed and then enforced, it's just them crying at that point.

I think the point is, if there is something out there that effectively achieves the same thing the public option is supposed to, then we should consider it.  

Are you right, that there is nothing that could compare to Public option? most likely, but what if there is, then let's consider it.

And if there isn't, then we go for the public option, Dem only route

by KLRinLA 2009-09-02 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

...but your proposal would mean that we can't pitch a big shit fit right now, this minute!

What the hell would we do in the meantime?  In the liberal blogosphere we have only two speeds: Light-Speed Outrage and Stop.

by fogiv 2009-09-02 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

...and occasionally "pie!"

btw, Brit, if you're reading this, fix your troll rating.

by Jess81 2009-09-02 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Just a minute...

Good point, I reject my previous comments so that we all may gain a few notches in our progressive street cred on teh blogses.  Obama is a traitor!! Harrumph!1!

by KLRinLA 2009-09-02 11:37PM | 0 recs
itsthemedia!!!

havent heard from you and your rainbow unicorns in a long while. great diary and couldn't have said it better myself.

by canadian gal 2009-09-02 07:17PM | 0 recs

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