Hey Guys.. Reform means... Reform

There are those who say that the current bill, without any form of real change regarding the chance to get good, single payer healthcare from a stable source like the Government - is reform. It is not.

In order for us to see reform, we have to be able to see it. We are the public. What has happened , if I may. Is this.

First, someone tried really hard to get you to think about including the public's consideration in this healthcare bill - as an 'option'. It was never optional. And it is not optional now.  But thats what the Insurance companies paid for. Someone, just like the guy who coined inheritance taxes as the 'death tax' - got paid alot of money to call the key provision of the healthcare bill the public option. It isn't optional. It is not an option.

But hey, the insurance lobbies at that point were spending 1.24 million dollars PER DAY trying to block the reform package. So someone took their money and coined the term then paid a bunch of trolls and bloggers and everyone else to popularize it.
And so it stuck.

Then there's a bunch of legislative process. My political hero, Otto Von Bismarck - once said "laws are like sausages, and better not to be seen being made." So we'll skip that process for a second and focus on the end result. An email was leaked from an anti-reform lobbyist, regarding this latest bill..

"We Win" -"Administered by private insurance companies. No government funding. No government insurance competitor."

 After the lieberdems backed down and the bill that exists now, drops to the floor without any real public benefit - you can take statements like this with a grain of salt. Clearly the reform you want isn't there. But also, any other reforms that are in the bill - they want killed. So what they'll do is leak stuff like this to throw you a red herring.  

But what the lobbyists don't understand is the blogosphere. Youtube.  Us. They don't understand how to control us. I would argue , they can't control us. We can make an end run around them, just like we did with the youtube commercials that became more popular than the TV commercials ever did.  They aren't in control.

If they were in control, then the bill would get passed.  And we wouldn't be making any sounds.  I have already called all my representatives and asked them to vote ONLY for a bill that contains strong elements for we the people , the public.
That means taking the stronger house bill , and not the now-weakened senate bill.

Call your congressman and senator and  ask him to vote for the stronger house bill, the one that contains a real public element. Make your voice heard.

And not just something that makes everyone sound like they're doing their job, while the Senate Finance commitee- which was headed up by former employees of insurance companies - actually wrote the law you're seeing now .. ? No thanks.

Please remember two things. First, legislation exists that can benefit real people. But the primary package sets the tone for all reform to follow.

And you can throw the bastards out in 2010. And that means going after Republican Seats. Lets face it folks, 2008 was a game-changer. Why not go after GOP held seats? Why not go after lieberdems.  Keeping true to the course of real reform energizes independents, and progressives. And those, my friends, are the voters that participate in off-year elections in addition to the party die-hards.

Reform means reform! Change means change. Right?

Tags: healthcare reform (all tags)

Comments

59 Comments

Krugman

There's enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill -- and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That's why progressive health policy wonks -- the people who have campaigned for health reform for years -- are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12 16/illusions-and-bitterness

I'm undecided, but when people from Bill Clinton to Jay Rockefeller to Tom Harkin to Paul Krugman are saying take this and try and improve it, I think they deserve a hearing.

by Strummerson 2009-12-17 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Not if you have been following the issues and can think for yourself.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:00PM | 0 recs
Oops

I guess I don't follow the issues and cannot think for myself.

by Strummerson 2009-12-17 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

That's abundantly clear since the sum of you post is telling us a) a list of people that you think we should use over our own ability to think (a list I might add that other cheerleaders were online using earlier. Yet none of you know each other off this site); and b) You can not posit a view about say Nelson's presently negotiating the bill down even further including eliminating the medicaid expansion and requiring the inclusion of the anti-abortion language. There are whole topics of which I say absolutely nothing such as on Israel because I honestly admit I know nothing, but I also don't argue people should  listen to others simply because I am ignorant of the topic.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

I'm no cheerleader.  I suggested that there are credible progressives whose arguments deserve consideration.

But, as usual, straight to the ad hominem...

WHat I think is important is whether killing or passing the final version of this bad bill creates more opportunity for further reform.  My mind remains open on that question.

Of course, if all you want is to continue to be a nasty and pretentious jackass, go right ahead.  Then you can hold the fact that I am undecided against me as indicating ignorance.  But I don't need to be convinced that the bill is bad.  I think that's been pretty well established on many accounts.

by Strummerson 2009-12-17 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

You resort, as did the other cheerleaders earlier, to using arguments based on authority. I don't really care anymore what you think this is a personal attack on you, because guess what- it is intended to be one. Offer some substance about the policy. Disagreement over the issue, provide links that show you have thought about the damn issues, do anything beyond resorting to "well this authority says to do it."

Well, if Bill Clinton likes it, it must be okay. Except, many of these people are not making policy arguments. Krugman is making an argument based on the fact he does not believe in Obama's ability to do better. He gives that far away in his articles recently. He's  man that's given up.

Clinton is the godfather of centrism so I would be stunned if he would want to kill his baby. Hell, many of the people surrounding Obmaa re former clinton people.

The Congressional Democrats are playing the same role they have played out the same role they have been playing for decades- capitulation is their norm. There is a reason one of the A list bloggers described them as suffering from "battered house wife syndrome" back in 2004. It is because that is how they think on every issue. The test thist time was not whether they would capitulate, but whether they would fight. And the answer as it has been for 15 years now- is no. To use that capitulating as a sign of the bill needing to be passed is beyond contemptible. If you want to make an argument, base it on something you think about the actual health care bill and be able to prove it.

The shocker would be actually taking a risk to pass better policy over this crap pile. Explain how you think this bill with link will make the situation for Americans better. That I would love hearing. Not this cheerleader crap.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

Bruh... smarter than Krugman.

Seriously, have you thought of running in a primary? Share your smarts with the masses.

by vecky 2009-12-17 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

Krugman is brilliant. Krugman is also human just like the rest of us. Humans can be wrong- see the Cuban Misssle Crisis, NAFTA, Clinton's deregulation of the finance industry, and Obama's amount of spending on the stimulus, for a few examples of how brilliant men can make mistakes. That's why appeal to authority and branding by endorsement is a mistake. when you substitute their thinking for your own, you don't take the chance to ask how a bill with weak regulatory language is going to accomplish even the goals they say they want to obtain:

For example, getting into policy, when discussing the number of deaths that will prevent under this bill- is that true? Or are we faced with under insurance? What if we look at MA?

"There is some good in this snippet. It says that people-presumably some of them for the first time in a while-are getting primary care. But it's also saying that more than one-fifth of them are forgoing medically necessary care because the health insurance they have is too stingy to make that medically necessary care affordable."

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/1 2/17/21-of-people-in-ma-still-forgo-nece ssary-medical-care/

For example, looking at comparisons to other countries, is our regulatory reform sufficient to the job of producing the results that the authorities you want to use claim will occur?  One comparison chart provided is to Dutch regulatory reform:

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12 17/this-is-nothing-like-the-netherlands -that-is-why-individual-mandate-is-unacc eptable

This is substantive analysis I would love to read from those defending the bill because so far I have seen a one sided analysis of why the bill is bad that I agree with, but little if anything from the other side that equals analysis of the details of the bill. What I am seeing is a sells job and more branding. It may indeed work, but it is not analysis.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

Your whole "appeal to authority" thing is a jackassy red herring.  From what I can tell, you have no better idea than anyone else around here as to whether passing or killing creates more possibility for reform.  That's the only thing that matters now.  Considering the perspectives of credible individuals who are close to the process who take both positions is exactly what a critical and independent progressive should do at this point.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

This is funny.  This is the divide:

I discuss the substance of the policy by comparing it to other regulatory reform both on the state level and compared to others countries to determine its adequacy or harm.

You respond, "From what I can tell, you have no better idea than anyone else around here as to whether passing or killing creates more possibility for reform." Setting aside what "anyone else around here" means considering most of you say little and a link to even less, I discuss specifics like loopholes in the language and link to specifics like comparing the bill to other regulatory regimes to ascertain its effectiveness or harm.

How do you address that issue of the specifics. You say "Considering the perspectives of credible individuals who are close to the process who take both positions is exactly what a critical and independent progressive should do at this point. "

How do you determine credible? How is this not appeal to authority? Why is this, more importantly, now " exactly what a critical and independent progressive should do at this point" rather than actually, you know, analysis the policy coming out of DC.  There is nothing particularly critical and independent about what you proposing. It is is fact the opposite to assert that critical thinking involves what you describe.

No, the other way is to discuss the particulars of what is being proposed to determine its value as I do. THere is nothing wrong with discussing others, but in so doing, you need to explain why their arguments are or are not valid by integrating it into an actual argument for how we can understand the policy's impact. These discussions about hoping for future possibilies are next to useless in a bill that contains no such possibility. As I said to Mike Lux, hope is an opiate unless you are planning for it like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund did in overturning Jim Crow. I don't see any of that here. What I are rationalizations for capitulation and bad policy making that no one can seemingly justify without saying others support it. Thanks, but none of that helps anyone.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

It's not about hope, but about strategy, which is by definition forward looking.  I'm glad you find yourself useful.  You're in the minority on that one.  

As for the distinction between authority and credibility, an appeal to authority begins and ends with accepting the suggestion of an authority figure.  Consulting credible individuals entails giving the arguments of those with experience and insight a critical and fair hearing.  If you do not understand the difference, I cannot help you.  SO keep asserting your own authority if that serves your needs.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

I like as I said below how you both whine I am attacking you but then you attack me (now with a new one "How useful I am" Owww. That one hurt! Seriously.) , but then, as I also said, this is your shtick.

Experience matters if they have produced good results. Have they? If so, point them out in the last few decades where Democrats have done so.  If these were FDR or LBJ type figures, i might care. As it is, they are not.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

You work with the leaders and advocates you have as best you can.  LBJ and FDR cannot help us now.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

I am not going to lower my expectations or we keep ending up stagnated rather than progressing.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

by the way- the MA plan is better supposedly than the Senate plan, and thus, the question of whether it will even do what the MA plan does.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 04:21AM | 0 recs
Birds of a feather

poison debates together

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:30AM | 0 recs
get a room

PDA is so gauche.

by JJE 2009-12-18 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: get a room

I just threw up a little into my mouth.

by QTG 2009-12-18 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Oops

As long as you use this "cheerleader" slur, I will keep pointing out that it's utterly unnecessary to be a jackass and that this cliche does not represent and argument.  The reason so many of us respond to you the way we do is not that we are part of some conspiracy, nor are we mesmerized into some groupthink collective, it's that this is how people respond to jackasses.  

And you still insist on twisting what I wrote here, both explicitly and in spirit.  I am not suggesting we go along with these folks in obedience to their authority.  Only a jackass with a jackassy spirit detector would read it that way.  The fact that I have stated clearly that I remain undecided as to whether it is more productive to kill or to pass the bill pretty much demonstrates that both of your slurs (cheeleader and slave to authority) indicate that you are a jackass.  My point is that if a wide range of figures from Blue-dog Bill Clinton to Paul social-democracy Krugman suggest that it's better to pass the bill than to kill it, that we should give their arguments a real hearing.  Ron Wyden thinks it can provide a flawed but improvable foundation for further reform.  Krugman points out that most progressive health policy wonks back its passage.  I think Dean's argument deserves a hearing as well.  But only a jackass would dismiss the arguments of others who have established some credibility (not authority) on this issue, when what is at stake in my view is not Obama's lack of leadership on this issue or the degree of the bill's flaws, but whether killing or passing creates better prospects for further reform.  Your arrogant rants prove unhelpful for considering this question.  But they do prove that you are a pretentious jackass.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Come on. Get real. People have different perspectives and have a right to their views without being insulted.

I don't begrudge anyone supporting this bill even if I don't. There are merits in this bill. Not enough in my view but others see it differently.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-17 11:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I am asking him for his opinion of the bill based on analysis, links and information rather than a list of endorsements which amounts to appeal to authority.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Bill sucks.  Obama has been utterly insufficient.  Legislators have punked to the insurance oligarchy.  Some argue passing will create further opportunities for reform and that killing slams the door.  Other argue that killing will create further opportunities for reform and that passing slams the door.  Credible individuals on both sides of this, which is the only relevant question at this point.  Now stop being a pretentious jackass.  If you have an actual argument for how killing gets us further than passing, I would be quite appreciative.  Otherwise, bray at someone else.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 04:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I read your comments to another poster who made the mistake of not agreeing with you over Israel.  I did not comment because it was not my subject. However, I learned a lot about your shtick in that exchange. He received the same treatment that you are now giving to me. The point being- if it were just me, the pattern would not be repeating itself with others. So you can pretend as much as you want that I am being unfair to you to question your initial post, but I do not care.

Even your frame is more of the same regarding the questions being asked now. The only argument for those who care about policy is the substance of the bill because that is what affects the lives of the American people. Not rationalizations of what is or is not going to happen in the future. Democrats are very good at rationalization their bad choices.  So are liberals. Therefore, I am much more interested in whether the bill is or is not a pile of crap, and if it is, what about it will  not lead to something that no one admits- a worse situation than we have now.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

The only argument for those who care about policy is the substance of the bill because that is what affects the lives of the American people. Not rationalizations of what is or is not going to happen in the future.

This would be brilliant, except for the fact that all bills are about what the enable with regard to the future.  Legislative arguments have always been considered "deliberative rhetoric," which by definition focuses on benefits or detriments of future actions.  Progressives in particular look forward.  We both know that this bill will not even pass or fail as currently constituted.  Given all of that, you seem to choose your frame according to what you are comfortable with analyzing and according to which gives you the ability to spout off rudely to everyone else.  I am not interested in what motivates this compulsion.  But I think "those who care about policy" need to frame positions according to a process, not assigning a letter grade to a step in the process to express one's self-proclaimed expertise.  Is this bill a way to move things forward or will it slam the door?

If you have a useful response that does not spin into reductive ad hominem silliness, I welcome it.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

You know, I will take the last part first- if you don't want to be "attacked" maybe you should take your own advice, and look in the mirror a bit. That's my point of saying you do this "innocent party" shtick with others- hence why I mentioned it. Through out you say incredibly nasty things to me, and I ignore it in favor of the substance of your posts.  I am not buying you are some innocent lamb that I am hurting by telling you that you are cheerleading for the status quo by appealing to authority.

Even your argument about "credible" is more of that appeal to authority that i mentioned in the first place. Credible to me is whether the language of the bill does or does not do what people say it will do.  The rest is just politics that no insurance company will care about years from now when they are screwing over patients. Credible is not- well this is some big famous name is politics so I should weight their opinion as right.

This part of you post is wishful thinking:

"This would be brilliant, except for the fact that all bills are about what the enable with regard to the future.  Legislative arguments have always been considered "deliberative rhetoric," which by definition focuses on benefits or detriments of future actions.  Progressives in particular look forward.  We both know that this bill will not even pass or fail as currently constituted.  Given all of that, you seem to choose your frame according to what you are comfortable with analyzing and according to which gives you the ability to spout off rudely to everyone else.  I am not interested in what motivates this compulsion.  But I think "those who care about policy" need to frame positions according to a process, not assigning a letter grade to a step in the process to express one's self-proclaimed expertise.  Is this bill a way to move things forward or will it slam the door?"

This is what  you would like to believe. This is not necessarily, and often when looking at conservatives, what will happen.  That's what I discuss here:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2009/12/17/ 165233/10/61#61

You are seeking transformation, but this bill is more of the same rather than anything that will allow even a future transformation. It actually introduces something far worse- more plutocracy our systme. It is perverse to say that forcing people to buy private health insurance due to the influence of health insurance companies on DC is a sign of progressive or a sign of a chance for future progress. I don't care who says that it is. They are wrong. By definition, they have lost the battle for future generations or at least made the battle longer.

Indeed, the argument that you look forward is a bit funny to me.  Looking forward here means winning definitional battles that influence how people are thinking, and you are  losing those- so how are you "looking forward" in any meaningful way?

I could careless about process. That's more of the Obama shtick that I hate. I care about outcomes.  Process only matters to accomplishing outcomes. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund in fighting Jim Crow did not

by bruh3 2009-12-18 05:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

When did I advise you to look in the mirror?  It seems to me that you spend more than enough time doing that instead of actually attending to others.

And given that the majority of your encounters here are riven with unproductive nastiness, II find your interest in lecturing me on my behavior risible.  

You injected the nastiness by suggesting that I think we should just take the opinions of one set of authorities and follow them blindly.  Nothing I have written advocates that.  And calling someone a "cheerleader" and lumping them in with "other cheerleaders" is not a substantive response.  Just more nastiness.  And particularly stupid nastiness, given that I have neither defended Obama's leadership or the bill itself or even backed its passage.  I raise a question based on conflicting opinions.  It's not a question that interests you.  Fine.  But if you are going to misrepresent it, I will point that out.

I agree with you that "process only matters to accomplishing outcomes." The question I raise has to do with how we judge outcomes.  You are only interested in immediate outcomes.  I am interested in strategic progress, which is a longer-view kind of outcome, but not less focused on results.  That's our difference.  It might have been civil and respectful.  But you felt the need to call me names and twist my post.  That's on you.  When treat others like a jackass, I'll call you a jackass.  But what is sad is that the difference between us is a substantive difference in perspectives, but perspectives that might be related in mutually constructive ways.  But you seem utterly uninterested in doing this.  I wish you good day.  If you need to continue to be a jackass, you may have the last word.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Did you read the link?  I think you do this shtick of false outrage (fake because you both attack  others even as you claim to be the victim of unfair attacks) to avoid the substance of what was written.

There is no way you read my links. The whole point of transformative politics is about winning definitions over  the long term.  In the link that I questioned whether you read, the insurance companies got wind of the fact that the polls were turning against them:

"2. The public wants the government to play a leading role in providing health care for all. For example, in an October, 2003 Washington Post/ABC poll, by almost a two-to-one margin (62 percent to 33 percent), Americans said that they preferred a universal system that would provide coverage to everyone under a government program, as opposed to the current employer-based system. Similarly, in Kaiser polls from 1992 to 2000, a large majority of the public agreed that the federal government should guarantee medical care for people who don't have health insurance. In a slightly different question asked more recently by Kaiser in June 2003, more than seven in ten adults (72 percent) agreed that the government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means repealing most of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush, while less than one-quarter (24 percent) disagreed with this statement. Finally, the last time Gallup asked whether the federal government should make sure all Americans have health coverage, they agreed that was a federal government responsibility by 62-35 (November, 2002).

3. American overwhelmingly agree that access to health care should be a right. In 2000 just as in 1993, eight in ten agreed that health care should be provided equally to everyone, and over half agreed "strongly" or "completely". In addition, in 2004, about three-quarters (76%) agreed strongly or somewhat that access health care should be a right.

4. The public says it is willing to pay more in taxes to provide every American with health care coverage. In August, 2003, Pew found Americans favoring, by 67-26, the US government guaranteeing "health insurance for all citizens", even if that meant repealing most of "recent tax cuts". And the majority was scarcely diminished (67-29) by referring not to repealing tax cuts but more directly to "raising taxes". Similarly, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/Public Opinion Strategies (GQR/POS) found, in January, 2004, a 69-28 majority saying they would be willing to pay more per year in federal taxes to assure every American citizen received health care coverage."

http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweb log.com/donkeyrising/archives/001291.php

It took the NAACP 50 years to overturn JIm Crow, they did so by introducing the definition that separate but equal is unequal in smaller ways. They did not do so by agreeing with the segregators like the administration is agreeing with the insurance companies about the fundamental idea of what health care should be in this country: Controlled by private sector interests including with back room deals with Big Pharma.

Instead, what definition has the administration introduced? That plutocracy- transferring wealth from the public to the private sector corporate interest due to corporate influence over the government is "progressive" or the "left."

What has the insurance industry won here? They responded to the polling data by redefining universal healthcare in ways that are favorable to them. That's the strategy they have been employing.   That's why they wrote last week "We win!"

Outside of the specific policies that are actually going to leave us about the same or worse than we are now, that strategic long term battle is the most important one that we needed to win here, but lost.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Your premature conclusion: "policies that are actually going to leave us about the same or worse than we are now" proves your prejudice once again. Significant changes would still be required to make the result, however distasteful to the idealistic hopes of those who harbor unrealistic aspirations for the final product, worse than the status quo.

substitute 'that are actually' with 'might potentially' and your statement would be fairer, but not necessarily correct. Only time will tell.

by QTG 2009-12-18 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Nelson is trying to make the bill even worse:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/18 816105-Ben-Nelson:-Bill-covers-too-man y-uninsured-people,-must-be-scaled-back

by bruh3 2009-12-18 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

If the 'real world' was really your focus, you wouldn't spend so much time here. Even if you were to convince all of us at MyDD, nothing changes in the real world. Sorry.

by QTG 2009-12-18 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Well talk to a nut, get a nutty response.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Your name calling habit has been discussed by others ad nauseum, so I'll chalk it up to a character flaw you can't control.

by QTG 2009-12-18 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Yeah- because you aren't a nut, and I am supposed to try to argue with someone who respond it is "progress" when the White House is left attacking Dean seeking a better bill while supporting guys like Nelson who is arguing the bill "covers too many people." When you can come up with something that is not nuts, let me know. Feel free along with the rest ofyou to zero rate this too.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: this guy has serious "issues"

i think its best just to not acknowledge him at all.

besides being mean spirited and insulting, i think hes kinda kracked...

he is MANIC about having the last word.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: this guy has serious "issues"

i think its best just to not acknowledge him at all.

besides being mean spirited and insulting, i think hes kinda kracked...

he is MANIC about having the last word.

by QTG 2009-12-18 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: practice what you preach bro...

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I'm not convinced by the list of people lining up in support of this bill.  I think the Democratic establishment has decided, for whatever reason, that it is will be less harmful to them to pass a bad bill than no bill.  Why this is the case, I am not sure, but I imagine in part, at least, there is a need to give the insurance industry something for their bucks, perhaps personal pride for Obama (since the R's decided at the outset to make this his Waterloo), or the other sad possibility that they really are all bought and paid for by corporate interests?  To me, the fact that the administration has chosen to deride Howard Dean personally and will only speak about the bill in generalities (Harkin's modest house- I don't know why that one really got under my skin)- etc.) is telling.  If the administration/Dem establishment talked openly and honestly to the American people about the components of the bill, then I might give them the benefit of the doubt.  The reason they won't do this is because they know this is not something the American people want.  As polls indicate, the people want a public option.

by orestes 2009-12-18 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Krugman, of course, is exempt from my comment above.

by orestes 2009-12-18 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I just think they are all, including Krugman, doing what Democras have done over the last 30 years. They are stuck in a certain mindset.  There is nothing particularly nefarious about it , but I do think the mindset is detrimental because it enables bad faith behavior from corporate interests and plutocrats. Krugman makes a number of assertions that he provides no evidence or supporting arguments for how the present process will achieve or move toward the future progress he claims will happen if anyone capitulates now. Without this evidence or supporting arguments his assertions are little more than the typical rationalizations that liberals do to explain to themselves why they are accepting crap.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I get your points, but I am willing to give Krugman a little more leeway.  I am surprised he has come out in support of the bill, but I trust his sincerity.  I would assume he has come to his conclusion based on some inchoate impulse.  Perhaps he is acting from a place of privilege:  Gee, if there is a possibility that people who are struggling will be able to get care, how can I stand in the way of it.  Of course, I am just speculating, because I really don't know why he has taken the position he has.  And I agree that he provides no analytical support for his position.  Very strange to me.

by orestes 2009-12-18 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I am actually assuming it is nothing nefarious involved at all.

Here's what I think if you were to push me: He like Clinton and others want to do incremental good. They think this bill is incremental good because on paper in theory it should do x,y and z. They are doing the standard liberal shtick. I call it shtick because ultimately they are short term thinking, but thinking that what they are doing is long term. In fact, there is nothing log term about it. It is all tactical short term decision making. 'I want to help the maximum number possible given the chocies I have" but then over the longer term the reality is that they are helping fewer people they could if there were any real long term strategy involved- which there isn't.

However, my problems are with the details because it does not even do x, y and z. It does not save as many lives as they claim. It does not provide the protection on the l evel it needs to to matter.

And what happens in exchange for this Faustian bargain with plutocrats?

More importantly for the health and suffering, it leaves plutocrats in control. We transfer huge sums of wealth from the public sector to the private.

Glenn Greenwald speaks bout that level of the debate here:

"Kilgore doesn't call it "corporatism" -- the virtually complete dominance of government by large corporations, even a merger between the two -- but that's what he's talking about.  He puts it in slightly more palatable terms:

To put it simply, and perhaps over-simply, on a variety of fronts (most notably financial restructuring and health care reform, but arguably on climate change as well), the Obama administration has chosen the strategy of deploying regulated and subsidized private sector entities to achieve progressive policy results. This approach was a hallmark of the so-called Clintonian, "New Democrat" movement, and the broader international movement sometimes referred to as "the Third Way," which often defended the use of private means for public ends."

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_ greenwald/2009/12/18/corporatism/index.h tml

this is a faustian bargain. In the long term, it will harm more people than it helps because a) we are dealing with bad faith actors and b) we have enough historical knowledge to know what happens when government interests are captured by corporate powers.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I can't say I disagree with any of your points.  I expect that Krugman is aware of all of these pitfalls, so I am stymied as to why he would embrace this bill (hell, we're not even sure what the bill is at this point- gotta love the transparency; it goes so well with my change curtains).  I cannot impute any motive to Krugman for being so trusting?  simplistic?  self-delusional?  I just don't get it.  

 Of course, I understand the motives of the Dem establishment.  It is preservation of the status quo and their positions.  I thought it was especially shameful for Obama to claim the economy will collapse if we do not adopt this bill.  The fact that they've reached that kind of pitch demonstrates how desperate and worried they are.  

by orestes 2009-12-18 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

You see nothing but nefarious motives behind the Democratic Senators' and the President's action moving this Bill toward passage and the Conference, but I suspect that there might be a different explanation. The possibility exists that the realities of the Senate, both in ideological make-up and the intricacies of its procedures and traditions, have devilishly harmonized to get us to this point. Some individual actors (all the Republicans, Lieberman, and the Blue Dogs) are no doubt sick in mind and spirit... but those Senators who hope to get something to Conference are hogtied and hamstrung - they don't have the luxury of toeing a purist line (sorry, it's true) and have by necessity compromised along the way. The bill is alive, which means the process is alive.

I don't think the Bill would even be alive if all Senators were intrinsically evil. They could have gotten more money to better ensure their re-elections from back-room deals with the lobbyists and killed the bill off. Now it's the liberal blogosphere which wishes to short circuit the process. I won't psychoanalyze them, but since you are so good at it perhaps you will.

by QTG 2009-12-18 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

a) The Dem establishment acts as it does because it assumes the type of people who provide support such as you find in this thread with accept anything. If we were as crazy against them as we are against each other, you would see a different establishment. I am actually leaving politics out of my life soon or going to try. One of the reasons is that I get this, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to convince politico types such as those you find here that they are part of the problem. No one is scared of them or us.

b) Did Obama actually say that? Wow- that's the second whopper he has said. The other one being this will bend cost. That one is just a lie. It won't do shit for cost, and he knows it. You are right if he said that- that's reprehsible. It is funny the upstanding guy that everyone claims here is about such crass politics is more than willing to use fear to pass  a crappy bill, but not to obtain a better bill. That's why many question his motives. I just think he's a centrist, but wow with that statement. Ironcially, by not controlling cost of course he is destroying the long term health. As someone pointed out , the subsidies actually create an illsion of cost control because we are still paying for the health care increases either way rather than making sure the cost do not increase. But, it is more important for some here to demonize this dissenting view. I really am begining to become tired of this site on that level.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Costs

CBO scores it as a deficit reducer. I know, oligarchs, etc., trust you not them... I know the drill: I'm just stupid.

by QTG 2009-12-18 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Costs

100 percent grade A nuts.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Costs

Yes, s/he is a troll who just tries to get a rise out of people with provocative language.  Better left alone.

by orestes 2009-12-18 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Costs

I agree. I just think the level of nutty behavior regarding defending this president is amazing. I said this before and was attacked for saying it, but we seem to have from one cult of personality to another, and I am wondering if this is the new normal in American politics? The reality is that countries headed the way we are headed tend to start attracting charismatic cults of leadership and authoritarian thinking.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Costs

That name calling thing is something you'll have to deal with if you want to succeed in your new business. Good Luck!

by QTG 2009-12-18 09:25AM | 0 recs
Next stop, Birkenau!

Get a grip.

by JJE 2009-12-18 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Next stop, Birkenau!

 Messiah or Fuhrer? We sycophants want to know! (Do I wear robes, or a brown shirt... so many decisions!)

by QTG 2009-12-18 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

I understand your frustration.  I personally believe that real political reform will have to come from the working class, where the real numbers lie.  As a general rule, the overprivileged do not have the same passion/principles because everything comes too easily for them and usually nothing personal is at stake.  I have seen you mention that you have a working class background.  I think that fuels some of your frustration.  The sense of urgency and importance you feel is a good thing, although it can be burdensome.  You have to learn to accept that there are many dilettantes, egotists, and self-interested people involved in the political game.  They can be maddening, but sometimes good things are done.  This HCR is not one of them.

by orestes 2009-12-18 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

You are right, and your argument is an excellent mirror.

I see the class issue differently than most because for me it is something that I went through personally. Health care especially because my mother was denied health care, and that contributed to her death. That's why I am not willing to entertainment much bullshit in that area. This is personal.

I am actually thinking of giving up on politics for a while because I want to focus on growing a business. Part of the reasons I am frustrated is that I am starting to give up on this country and society. I think something is broken in this society. Maybe things will change, but I am not sure I have the energy to be a part of it.  We shall see.

by bruh3 2009-12-18 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman

Good luck (meant sincerely)

by orestes 2009-12-18 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hey Guys.. Reform means... Reform
Right.
Reform is needed to make better life for citizens.
by floodpictures 2009-12-17 10:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Authority

Confession: I rely on experts sometimes, especially on complex issues. While I will seek a second opinion, I'll never debate technicalities with, for instance, a brain surgeon or the guy pumping my septic tank. So, I guess I'm wimpy in that respect...
 Current subject matter: On HCR we have several complexities intermingled, which exacerbates the problem. There are (at least) moral, economic, political, and medical complexities all mixed up in the public policy debate which make rocket science seem simple!
 Dilemma: We are being advised to trust our own minds and judge not only the Bill, but the process, the particulars, even the moral character of people involved in the process while - and this is the weird part - disregarding reasoning of experts we would otherwise carefully consider if that reasoning doesn't support our preconceived conclusions.

Conclusion: I'm left with the following 2 choices:

  1. Watch from my position of anonymous impotence as the process runs its course while agreeing with bruh3
  2. do so while not agreeing with bruh3.

In the big scheme of things, I don't see much of a difference. I could even agree with Ludwig and it wouldn't change the outcome by one billionth of a scintilla.

by QTG 2009-12-18 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Authority

As long as you accept the authority and expertise of bruh3, you are smart and good.  Take issue and you are a blind faith cheerleader with a "shtick" or, in lv's favorite slur, a fanboy.

None of this has to do with the health care conundrum.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: that krazy fanboy-cheerleader guy

When someone is an uncivil jackass or an unethical liar, it is coherent to call them out on that.  It's neither hypocritical nor is it that complex, though in your case it is indeed inconvenient.

by Strummerson 2009-12-18 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hey Guys.. Reform means... Reform

Does "reform" actually have a meaning?  I thought it was one of those Gingrich words that polls well but basically means whatever you want it to mean.

by Steve M 2009-12-18 01:12PM | 0 recs

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