Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

HARRY & LOUISE & BARACK....A week ago, in the wake of multiple slimings of Barack Obama by the Hillary Clinton campaign — including "Osama" emails from two of her Iowa county chairs, Billy Shaheen's drug accusations, and Bob Kerrey's "secular madrassa" comments — I was feeling pretty poorly disposed toward Mrs. Clinton. But my dyspepsia wore off pretty quickly. Politics is politics, after all, and in the annals of campaign black arts this stuff is small potatoes. In the end, it's forgivable.

But I have to say: my less charitable feelings toward Obama aren't wearing off. They're growing. It's true that I've never been a big fan of his Kumbaya schtick, but I also recognized it as both sincere and a good campaign tactic. I figured that if he could use it to win an election and build a wave of public opinion for progressive policies, that would be great.

But you know what? I've been voting for three decades now. I've heard lots of politicians take up the "bold truthteller" meme. I've listened to lots of great speeches. I've seen plenty of campaigns that turned on whether the press simply felt more warmly disposed toward one candidate or the other for no good reason. (It's Christmas, so: yes, Bob, the worst example in recent memory was the press corps' treatment of Gore and Bush in 2000.) And I've also been exposed to my share of "post-partisan" candidates who could somehow bring a third way to Amerca's hyperpartisan politics.

Maybe this is one reason that I'm not quite as taken by Obama as a lot of people: I've seen it before. Gene McCarthy, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson, Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, and John McCain, among others, have all taken up this banner in past elections. And not to put too fine a point on it, but this isn't exactly a hit parade of either electoral or policy success.

And now there's this. Obama's using Harry & Louise clones to attack a key plank in progressive healthcare policy. I know that we blog readers are policy geeks and barely one person in a hundred cares about this kind of stuff. But I do, and I'm only willing to put up with the Kumbaya campaign as long as I think that, in the end, it really is going to promote progressive ends. Takeoffs on Harry & Louise decidedly don't. If that's where he's going, I'm getting off the train.

Kevin Drum 1:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (109)

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Comments

Wow. So Obama is too cynical for you, so now you're supporting, uh, more cynical candidates? Remember the Iraq war vote?

Obama ain't perfect, but he's still the best guy out there.

Posted by: chris m on December 24, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Obama must have missed Gephardt's flameout in 2004. He's trying to use health care the way Gephardt used his support for the war

You can't fight the general election till you win the nomination.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on December 24, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the problem was Obama wasn't willing to play real politics. Sure seems like real politics to me. This is also the issue that resonates the most with low wage workers, so it should work.

Nice to see Obama can play hard ball. Makes me more confident he'll win in November.

Posted by: Mark on December 24, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's using Harry & Louise clones to attack a key plank in progressive healthcare policy.

Kevin, I went to the link and found it was from Krugman. Don't you think Krugman's a pretty biased source when all he has is a e-mail to substantiate this? I heard that Kruman's son is working for Hillary's campaign which means he's even more biased in his hatred of Obama. I wouldn't trust him if I were you. But even on the merits, what Krugman said is invalid. A recent poll shows Hillary's base is against mandating health insurance which means it would be smart for her to drop universal health insurance if she wants to win the nomination or else Obama will trounce her with his fact checking conservative arguments.

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/globeunh_on_healthcare_mandate.php

"Opposition to the notion of an individual health insurance mandate -- "should individuals be required to buy health insurance" -- is greatest among the less well-educated and downscale voters that are the core of Clinton's base in New Hampshire and elsewhere."

Posted by: Al on December 24, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Krugman says, "I was willing to cut Obama slack on the lack of mandates in his plan". ROFL. And I take Kevin's mountain out of a molehill indignation equally seriously.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on December 24, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Typical Al. Krugman has no children.

Posted by: penalcolony on December 24, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

>I heard that Krugman's son is working for
>Hillary's campaign

People keep saying this. It is not true. But the rumor mongers keep at it:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/about-my-son/

Posted by: Ivan on December 24, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Al, YOU GO BOY!. I personally have heard that Krugman is sexually attracted to snakes. Proof that he can't be trusted!

Typical Liberal Wacko. Carry on, nutballs!!!

Egbert, where are you? We need some support here.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty on December 24, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with KD here; I don't want to compare an apple to an orange, but when Obama goes after social security (fer gawd's sake) and uses dog whistle tactics to attract - what - republican voters in the primaries or caucuses? Who is he kidding? I want a progressive as president. Stand up Mr. Edwards...and Dodd for Senate Majority Leader. So there.

Posted by: Aurona on December 24, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - I take this as a healthy sign that you now realize that you are far more of a policy wonk than any kind of real political animal. Coming to terms with the truth is good and the truth should set you free.

Posted by: professor rat on December 24, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand Obama. If he really were running an outsider campaign- opposing Bush, opposing the craven Democratic leadership, he would be hands down the favorite in the race. Instead, he has run a front-runner, inside the beltway campaign. It is very sad. Most likely, he is afraid of getting dumped on by the MSM, like they did Dean. While I certainly understand that, we need a candidate with some courage and intestinal fortitude, not poll-tested Republican noise-machine approved talking points.

Posted by: spiny on December 24, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I felt the same way when he attacked Clinton for "flip-flopping" on drivers licenses for illegals. Creating divisive issues out of what should be the stuff of compromises, is just going to make it harder for the eventual nominee further down the road.

Posted by: Jeffrey Gordon on December 24, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Krugman does not have a son, nor a daughter. Good post on the Obamian shctick which increasingly clear a combo of sophomoric pseudo-innocence and downright unmitigated obtuseness re policy and tactics and Krugman spot on in skwering this naif in the sandbox.

(Thanks for mentioning ol' Bob whometh am reading much more including his archives as I work on magnum opus re core depravity of Americkan civ with help zinger apercus of good buddies Nietzsche and Mailer. A disease of the blood.)

Posted by: Bertie Russell on December 24, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Moving on to more substantive matters . . .

" . . . this isn't exactly a hit parade of either electoral or policy success." No, but sometimes it does win an election; worked for Carter, and GWB did something not too dissimilar in 2000. His "different kind of Republican" (ah, had we only known how different . . .) and "compassionate conservative" lines had a lot to do with getting him close enough to steal the White House.

That said, good post.

Posted by: penalcolony on December 24, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Based on a single, anonymous, email QUOTED BY a guy who obviously "has it in" for Obama?

Wow.

Posted by: Stephen on December 24, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Mark: This isn't hardball. If it were just a tough attack on Hillary, that would be one thing. But it's an attack on a core issue of progressive healthcare policy. That hurts the whole movement, and he barely even seems to realize it. And this is hardly the only example of him doing this.

Gary: Krugman did cut Obama slack on the mandate issue. He only started going after him when Obama began using mandates as an attack on Edwards and Clinton from the right.

professor rat: Golly, I never realized that before today. Probably no one else did either, aside from every single person who actually reads this blog.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on December 24, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Al, when you were sucking my cock last night, I faked my orgasm.

Posted by: jerry on December 24, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Chris, I do remember the Iraq war vote. And I remember that I was the only person in America against going to war. There was a mob mentality about it. And, if you like, everyone but me got caught up in it. So, it's not a reason to dis Hillary. Everybody was voting the same way. And, besides, that screed has gotten sooo boring. Hey, why don't you go heckle Kerry or Edwards on that issue?

I'm also very tired of Kumbaya. It doesn't work.

It was nice to use when I needed to get laid in college back in the day. But now we're trying to run a country with a bunch of organized neo-con Nazis who have made us the scourge of the world. Kumba6ya belonds with the golden oldies.

Maybe Obama has a chance in eight years if he studies real hard.

But, it's Hillary all the way. Go Girl Go!

Posted by: LuigiDaMan on December 24, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

a key plank in progressive healthcare policy

Progressives mandating the purchase of insurance from wealthy corporations makes me a dipsomaniac.

Obama just drives me to drink.

Posted by: Brojo on December 24, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a two person race. When Hillary goes gutter it doesn't mean Obama is the only alternative. When Obama goes cynical it doesn't mean Hillary is the only alternative.

John Edwards, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd would all make great presidents. I'm still undecided, but one of those three will get my vote in the California primary.

Posted by: Nonplussed on December 24, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

i'm pretty disappointed that you'd be so short-sighted as to forgive hillary clinton for race-baiting. the woman is running the most anti-black campaign a democrat has waged since the 50s, and this is sometyhing you can excuse? progressive implies progression, but if that isn't a regression into the most anathema political tendencies of a party and people, i don't know what is.

enjoy your heath care mandate (that also, btw, would leave millions uninsured) while HRC wins an election playing on the racist vacillations of a few farmers.

Posted by: joe on December 24, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

If only George W. Bush could run for a third term. Sigh.

Posted by: Al on December 24, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

This is one of KD's sillier posts in memory. I'm going to rack it up to too much eggnog.

Posted by: Callimaco on December 24, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nonplussed, I give you a 2 for 3.

Joe Biden and his bankruptcy bill are apparently a nice additional factor in the subprime meltdown.

But yes, Edwards or Dodd would make for great presidents, and you're absolutely right about the idiocy of thinking it's only Clinton or Obama, especially at this moment.

(If Kevin were to throw his blog behind Edwards, and call for a crowdsourcing solution....)

(The question I've been thinking about is based on an NPR report that there are only 80,000 people likely to caucus in Iowa. If in 2012, we hold YearlyKos in Iowa in October, Eschacon in November, Animalia in December, .... can we get toss a monkey wrench into the caucus in January (by getting 40,000 more democrats registered as voters....))

Posted by: jerry on December 24, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

the woman is running the most anti-black campaign a democrat has waged since the 50s, and this is sometyhing you can excuse?

And Obama has a homophobic gospel singer in his campaign. Answer: Vote Edwards!

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on December 24, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

A Krugman endorsement does not a progressive program make. He is not Lord On High of all things liberal. There's a clear trade-off between the Hillary and Obama programs. Neither is a slam-dunk, and there are progressive arguments to recommend both.

Posted by: KobayashiMaru on December 24, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond the Kumbaya there is nothing, absolutely nothing. I wonder why is Obama considered progressive? Is it based on his says so? The Obama campaign started with 6 months of "look how wonderful I am." Once, his honchos realized that it doesn't work, the campaign started adopting all kinds of ideas most of them, e.g. half-nelson health care, social security, right wing. Progressive? Edwards is progressive; Obama is a wonderful fake!

Posted by: Koshembos on December 24, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I really want to make an LOL Cats pic wrt Krugman's "son", but it's Christman eve & I'm waiting for a cab, so the text will have to do & you can fill in your own kitty graphic:

I R in y3r inTerNets
Pret3din to be kRugm@n's s0n

Happy whatever it is that you're celebratin' at this time of year y'all!

Posted by: raff on December 24, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a bit at a loss as to why the race- and religion-baiting whispers originating from the Clinton are "forgivable"/"small potatoes," while Obama's ads regarding mandates are a dealbreaker. If you're worried about a candidate's commitment to progressive goals, shouldn't dog-whistle appeals to racism and Islamophobia be a little harder to overlook?

Posted by: Henshaw on December 24, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, this is becoming achingly clear: for whatever reason, Obama is just not much of an economic liberal. He's a pro-reform process liberal, sure. But making the economy once again safe for non-plutocrats just isn't his bag.

Posted by: Jasper on December 24, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oprah has inspired me to vote without inhibition on the basis of skin color.

Posted by: Luther on December 24, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I don't mind Obama playing a little politics to win the nomination and the election. Apparently, the country makes its decisions based on sound bites and shallow reporting, so anyone hoping to win has to entertain the whims and fancies of the under informed, illiterate, lazy voting masses. Obama's Iraq war vote and his explanation for that vote is a strong indication of his ability to think clearly and to act based on his thinking. It was very hard for anyone to vote against the Iraq war, considering the nation's mood, yet Obama managed to stick to his convictions. votes on matters of war are hugely important compared to votes on most other matters. You can fix a poor choice made on many domestic matters, even important ones, but it is hard to undo decisions made on foreign policy matters involving several countries and hundreds of thousands of lives.

The state of the political campaign is rather pathetic. Obama can either play the campaign game or let others swift boat him.

Posted by: rational on December 24, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'll say it again: What Barack Obama is to the Democrats, Oakland was to Gertrude Stein.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 24, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Progressives mandating the purchase of insurance from wealthy corporations makes me a dipsomaniac.

Brojo: Both Edwards's and Clinton's (and Obama's, for that matter) plans allow for people to purchase Medicare-style insurance directly from the government.

Posted by: Jasper on December 24, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Have you seen and heard about the radio ad.." for Christ's sake, this email is idiotic, and there are a lot of progressives that think mandates are a bad idea.

Kevin Drum in the Tank for Mrs. Clinton?

Posted by: Boronx on December 24, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

What Henshaw said.

Posted by: scruncher on December 24, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I stand with Krugman re Obama. Obama is not taking a democratic line re health care, unions or a number of other democratis issues. He is not doing the democratic party any favors.

i am not interested in pre-emptive cooperation with the Repukeliscum. When we say "compromise" they hear "capitulation." When we are in a position of total strength and have passed our core issues, I will compromise with the Repukeliscum Party and not outlaw them.

Posted by: POed Lib on December 24, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, since I really like Oakland, I feel compelled to say that apparently Stein was referring not to the city itself, but to how her childhood home had been razed. Apart from that, I agree with your sentiments.

Posted by: jerry on December 24, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

OK, that's enough kibbitzing about Obama, Hillary, et al., for me today. I'm shutting down my political antennae for the next 48 hours.

Aloha, everyone. May peace be with you and yours this holiday season and thereafter, wherever you may happen to be.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 24, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Obama bin Lieberman showed his true colors last year in Connecticut. He and Hillary are the LAST Democrats I'd vote for, but I'd take Hillary over Obama. The repukes and the press would eat him alive before he even gets inaugurated (he'll still pardon them all). He's totally unprepared for what's ahead of him, and his bipartisan instincts are all smug, cynical Liebermania. At least I think the R's are afraid of Hillary.

I'll take Edwards. But since I'm in Texas and it will all be over before I get to vote, I'll probably vote for Ron Paul in the R primary, just to fuck with them.

Posted by: jussumbody on December 24, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's shtick always appeared to have a sense of phoniness about it, may be, as Kevin says, because we have seen lots of such acts over the years, but his tactics of attacking the liberal causes whenever expedient are definitely beyond the pale.

He could never win in November anyhow.

I have been off the Obama train for a while. Too bad he feels the need to attack the liberals in order to overcome the natural resistance to his candidacy because of his race and the perceptions about his religion. Only Clinton could pull off a Sistah Souljah moment, and even that was quite tacky.

Posted by: gregor on December 24, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, Chris, I do remember the Iraq war vote. And I remember that I was the only person in America against going to war. There was a mob mentality about it. And, if you like, everyone but me got caught up in it. So, it's not a reason to dis Hillary. Everybody was voting the same way. And, besides, that screed has gotten sooo boring. Hey, why don't you go heckle Kerry or Edwards on that issue?"

I don't remember it that way. I remember huge antiwar rallies all over the country and the world that barely got mentioned on the news. I remember that public sentiment was decidedly AGAINST going to war until it actually started and the moral blackmail about not supporting the troops came out in full swing. Kerry and Edwards were very wrong for their votes and I held my nose when I voted for them, but at least Edwards admits it was wrong now. Hillary still defends her vote.

Posted by: jussumbody on December 24, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's recent shot against Edwards, that the 527 groups supporting Edwards are "corporate special interests" when they are really in fact unions, is just plain stupid. This kind of stupidity, smacks of our current administration's neo-con penchant for re-defining whatever necessary to fit the policy. He should just sit down and honestly consider why he is not garnering union support at this time instead of relabeling the support as some kind of nefarious deal that Edwards has struck with the devil. An honest, forthright discussion would have gone a lot further in the minds of many who are trying to determine whether he has the maturity to be entrusted with the highest office in the land.


Posted by: jcricket on December 24, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I wish the shout out to Bob wouldn't just happen once a year, but alas, we are born losers when it comes to elections and the media.

Posted by: Chuck on December 24, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

So where's the link to the actual Obama ad?

It seems to me that the Clinton campaign, as of late, has engaged in the same type of Rovian whispering campaign as has been aimed in the past at Clinton.

Ambition is not enough in a candidate, nor is supposed greater foreign policy experience.

Clinton's has repeatedly exercised poor judgment (i.e. her vote to authorize the invasion and occupation of Iraq while plenty of very credible voices were calling BS on the Cheneypaths and her vote for the useless Kyl-Lieberman measures). She is also demonstrating her suspect management skills in allowing the Shaheen, Kerrey, Winer, and President Clinton gaffes, not to mention a couple of Iowa county chairs passing on the Obama as Muslim email.

So I am puzzled. Just in the last few days we get another Krugman Obama rant, your riff here on Krugman's ranting, and Steve Clemmons rendering as to Clinton's greater foreign policy experience.

Posted by: Chris Brown on December 24, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

While Al should be ashamed of himself for spreading the Krugman's son canard, he raises half a good point, as do others. I've been looking all over for some reference to Obama's purported "Harry & Louise" ad that does not trace back to Krugman's post citing a brief quotation sent to him by an anonymous friend (Mark Penn? Joe Trippi?) in an email. The absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but I'd think it would be in the interest of some reputable journalist to back up this rapidly spreading rumor with actual text or audio from that radio spot.

Posted by: Sean Wright on December 24, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I have a slightly different take.
For Obama supporters, this should make you rethink the entire "new politics" rhetoric of his campaign.
For Obama doubters, this should make you realize he is willing to do whatever it takes to win.

After almost two years, I still have no idea why Obama is running for President, what policies he would actually try to implement and what kind of President he would be. Some days I think he is the second coming and others a complete douche. Go figure.

Posted by: riddle enigma wrapped in something on December 24, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I find it very odd that you hear virtually unanimous praise about Dodd (and he is my favorite by far) yet he is absolutely flat-lining in the polls and unless we have the biggest upset in political history he is gone after New Hampshire. I also find it odd that Hillary is viewed favorably - she is clearly running on Bill's coattails and while she is an intelligent lady, she has done very little to suggest that she is presidential material. She certainly has no materially better experience than Obama, who is far more likely to bring about an idealism that just might transcend the gutter politics this country has embraced the past 30 years.

Posted by: Jim on December 24, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Calling how Obama is trying to change the game of politics his "Kumbaya schtick" trivializes it. He is a ex-basketball player and from Chicago: he knows that you have to throw a few elbows now and then. Indeed, he's throwing a few elbows at Clinton and Edwards right now. He just doesn't think that politics is productively served by demonizing the opposition, which is precisely what the Clintons and their enemies ended the last decade doing to each other.

Besides, who is the naive politician: the guy who thinks you can turn around one day and simply seize power from corporations, or the guy who thinks that--with all their money, influence, and constituency--they too have to be shown what's in it for them, in a reformed system?

Posted by: tim on December 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Similar to Bush in 2000, who ran as a 'compassionate conservative' and was anything but, Obama is running as a 'conservative compassionate' simply to get elected, as Bush did. Obama is playing his cards in order to win an election. Clearly, being the bright fellow that he is, he knows what Paul Krugman is talking about and I expect him to make a 90 degree turn, and embrace universal single payer health careif elected and if dems win a comfortable majority in the House and the Senate. Leave the guy alone!

Posted by: Dilbert on December 24, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

If that's where he's going, I'm getting off the train. - posted by Kevin Drum

You've never been on the Obama train, so how could you possibly get off it?

Posted by: bob in fla on December 24, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper @ 2:44 PM: "Folks, this is becoming achingly clear: for whatever reason, Obama is just not much of an economic liberal." "...making the economy once again safe for non-plutocrats just isn't his bag."

That pretty much nails it. What kind of progressive is that?

Posted by: AK Liberal on December 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

obama campaign e-mail

An e-mail from the Obama campaign headquarters probably takes this out of the "Rovian whisper campaign" catagory.

You can parse it all day long, but at the end of the day, Obama in a short excerpt of his e-mail says:
**
"Some of it is negative and even deceptive, and a lot of it is paid for by huge, unregulated contributions from special interests.

Taking on these groups isn’t just a matter of setting the record straight about me or my positions.

It’s about proving that a new kind of campaign — funded by ordinary people who want something better for all of us — can defeat the same tired, old political textbook that so many Americans just don’t trust anymore."
**
Those special interests that we "don't trust anymore" (listed earlier in the e-mail) are AFSCME,AFT,Emily’s List,Working for Working Americans/Carpenters, Alliance for a New America (SEIU). Excuse me, but these are unions and people trying to keep the middle and working class of America from completely disappearing.

If Mr. Obama really believes that there is something wrong with an alliance with working, middle class Americans trying to keep their heads above water, then Mr Obama does not understand the roots of the Democratic party, and what is happening to those fatigued people who are treading water and looking for a life raft. That alone, should make one sit up and ask to what depth does his knowledge go?

At the risk of sounding Rovian, this could very well be Obama's fatal flaw.

Posted by: jcricket on December 24, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

No progressive advocates forcing people into buying health insurance. That is just another wolf-in-sheep's clothing proposal. Obama is right to criticize it & you are wrong to support it, just as you are wrong to "forgive" the Clinton camp for their so-called "political hardball".

You're not so forgiving when the Right attacks Hillary, are you? Don't your posts on that subject usually include some variation of the descriptive "spittle-flecked Hillary haters".

Try to show a little more ... I don't know ... morality ... or I'm likely to lump you & Limbaugh & the Powerline guy together in the same bag.

And, by the way, I'm not an Obama supporter either, i just don't like spittle-flecked mudslingers - from either side of the aisle.

Shame on you Drum, shame.

Posted by: sidewinder on December 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

So Obama's rhetoric, policies and persona are simply a huge ruse to help him get elected. That makes me feel much better about his candidacy.

Posted by: true believer on December 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's dirty little secret: It is time--in the run-up to and within the general campaignn--to now test the depth and spread of racism in this country.

Republicans are licking their lips at the prospect of running against a black man! Though "polls" may show how NOT prejudiced people are, when the time comes to enter the voting booth, the racism reality shall strike. Result: eight (8) more years of a Republican presidency.

His campaign consists of promising "compromise" with our Republican righties. In other words, go along to get along. No righteous upsetting of the R's fascist agenda; just a gentle plea to them" "Please...can I get universal health care fgor americans...please...and YOU (Rs) tell me how I need to compromise with R's to pay obeisance to the R's wants.

Is this time to COMPROMISE the progressive agenda? When so much is needed to do to rescue our country from the evil alliance between Righty Evangelists and the Corporativism now running our govcernment.

Both Sen. Clinton AND John Edwards are owners of our REAL progressive agenda. One of them deserves our votes; send Obama to caucus with Joe Lieberamn whose views sound much like Obama's.

As for Obama's anti-war position being righteous indignation, we should remember the great pressure exerted by BUSH'S FALSE INTEELLIGENT DECEIT on ALL legislatures. Almost ALL Dems voted as did Sen Clinton. And, so did John Edwards, then a Senator from NC.

Obama was not subjected to that great pressure together with the intelligent deceits; had he then been in congress his vote MAY have been against the war...and maybe for itr. We don't know because he was not there. We are supposed to accept that his vote would go against almost all other Dems...?? We just don't know, do we?

Obama's screeds against real universal heath care being "mandatory" is right out of the R's playbook.

The real definition of Obama is : "Republican light!"

Make Obama our candidate and watch as the R's get it together with american racism as they elect THEIR candidate...for another 8 years.

And WEEP!!!

Posted by: Art D. on December 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dilbert, what's wrong with taking Obama at his word? I thought that he's supposed to be a different kind of candidate. Besides, Bush's "compassionate conservativism" was dog-whistle politics that meant one thing to the fundies and another to the general population. So on that basis, Bush did what he promised. I think that we have to take politicians at their word and then hold them to it.

Posted by: AK Liberal on December 24, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

here
Trying one more time. Sorry.

Posted by: jcricket on December 24, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Where do I sign up for the universal healthcare that no one has to pay for? If mandates are not progressive then singlepayer must be downright evil.

Posted by: free healthcare for all on December 24, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to second Bob. Kevin you were never an Obama supporter. For all you're "policy wonkishness", its amazing how you continually follow Krugman's lead nitpicking obama, and completely ignore Hillary's gigantic flaws -- especially in foreign policy. I could have sworn I read a couple of Iraq war peices on this blog once upon a time.

Why don't you just come out and say it. You support Clinton because most of the democratic establishment supports Clinton and the Clinton family is almost now the equivalent of the Bush family. This is obviously why there is a gigantic disconnect between your "analysis" and you're readers analysis.

Posted by: Jor on December 24, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

...and as for being against the Iraq War/Occupation "from the beginning"...let's set fire to that strawman too.

On Meet The Press In July of `04, Barack Obama, “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know,” in terms of how you would have voted on the war. And then this: “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.” That was July of `04. And this: “TR: I think” there’s “some room for disagreement in that initial decision to vote for authorization of the war.” It doesn’t seem that you are firmly wedded against the war, and that you left some wiggle room that, if you had been in the Senate, you may have voted for it. BO "Now, Tim, that first quote was made with an interview with a guy named Tim Russert on MEET THE PRESS during the convention when we had a nominee for the presidency and a vice president, both of whom had voted for the war. And so it, it probably was the wrong time for me to be making a strong case against our party's nominees' decisions when it came to Iraq.(”Meet the Press,” 2004, via MyDD, Nov. 11, 2007)

So which is it? Against the war and shut up when it is politically expedient to do so? Or maybe not so vehemently against it after all?

MyDD Link:
MyDD

Posted by: jcricket on December 24, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you've got the sequence wrong. Obama didn't initially criticize the Hillary or Edwards plans for including a mandate (or for any other reason that I can recall). Obama was certainly drawing contrasts, but not on their healthcare plans. That started only after Hillary criticized Obama's plan in a debate b/c, in her view, the lack of a mandate would leave out 15 million (Krugman jumped in with the same critique). Only then did Obama respond with his counter-criticism about the mandates. But before his plan was criticized as less than universal, my recollection is that Obama was not focusing on any healthcare differences among the candidates.

But more fundamentally, I fail to see how this relatively modest policy difference rises to the level of "attack[ing] a key plank in progressive healthcare policy." Not that it's a bad idea (I'm agnostic on the issue), but since when has mandating purchases of private insurance been a "key plank in progressive healthcare policy"?

Posted by: TB on December 24, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - why don't you just come out and support Hillary. Maybe all of you folks who supported invading Iraq need to cluster together so you aren't as ashamed of yourselves.

I wonder who sent Krugman that email with allegations against Obama. I'm going to have to think long and hard on that...

Krugman, not a progressive AT ALL until Bush freaked him out, is doing Hillary's dirty work with these half-baked, misleading columns and blog clips. When Democrats lose the election by offering up the recycled goods of "Clintonism", I'll hate you clowns as much as I hate Nader.

Posted by: brucds on December 24, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum has to periodically post something stupid to rile up his readers. This is just his latest installment.

Posted by: Boronx on December 24, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

A couple points. First, why is criticism of individual mandates "from the right"? Atrios has criticized the mandate feature a couple times this year, saying "just sign everyone up". Ezra Klein was critical of the concept back in 2005. But now, all of a sudden, it's this keystone of progressive policy that no one's allowed to question.

Criticism of individual mandates is not an inherently "left" or "right" issue. This is about pragmatism. Krugman and Klein are saying, "The politics of this is settled. We're not doing a single-payer model. Multi-payer with an individual mandate is the best option we have on the table right now, so people need to get with the program and not shoot ourselves in the foot by raising the points the GOP is gonna use against us." That's a political argument, not an ideological argument.

Second, here's what Kevin Drum said about this issue on November 30, 2007:

Both John Edwards and Hillary Clinton include "individual mandates" in their healthcare plans that require everyone in the country to sign up for coverage...

Paul Krugman calls this a "terrific idea," but I'm not so sure. There are at least two big problems here — and probably three.

First, do we really want the IRS enforcing healthcare mandates?...

Second, a Rube Goldberg enforcement program like [this] does nothing except highlight the absurdity of individual mandate healthcare plans in the first place...

Third, this is a political loser.

But now, just 25 days later, and Kevin Drum says:

Obama's using Harry & Louise clones to attack a key plank in progressive healthcare policy.

Huh?

Posted by: Chris on December 24, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

What Chris said at 4:58. Well put.

Posted by: TB on December 24, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

"his Kumbaya schtick, but I also recognized it as both sincere and a good campaign tactic"

????

Kevin, I'm sorry, but you sound like a rube. How in the hell would you know what Obama is sincere about?


Even fricking Milbank notices enough to write it in the Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121301785.html
"The 46-year-old freshman senator from Illinois, trying to topple the 60-year-old front-runner, never once utters the words "Hillary" or "Clinton." But the target of his stump speech is unmistakable -- and his derision is brutal."


Obama recognizes the antipathy of the celebrity press for Sen Clinton and uses it as a campaign strategy. Fine, he's entitled, but he's still as full of crap as all the rest, and I for one don't care for his tactics.

Posted by: david on December 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

On tonight's NPR broadcast, it was reported that in Iowa Obama said that the problem with Clinton's health care attempt was that it was worked out behind closed doors and that he would avoid that problem BY PUTTING THE NEGOTIATIONS ON C-SPAN.

This has to be the most cockamamie naive idea I have heard yet from Obama. I sure don't like the "why can't we all get along" tone, but this specific idea is really off the wall.

Posted by: pinetreestater on December 24, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

They say the Republicans are waiting for a real choice. Am I the only Dem still sitting squarely on the fence waiting for someone to lead me? I can and will support any of the Dems as our candidate, but nobody has inspired my hope and passion since Howard Dean. Obama and Clinton seem manufactured--Edwards only slighly less so. Obama not ready. Clinton way too ready and eager. Edwards not ready. Biden and Richardson--ready but . . . uh, huh? The only one who really puts his butt on the line is Dodd. And now we got them slinging mud. Sheesh.

Posted by: jackie on December 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

A couple points. First, why is criticism of individual mandates "from the right"? ...
Criticism of individual mandates is not an inherently "left" or "right" issue. This is about pragmatism.
-Chris

First off, I'm an Edwards supporter, but I just don't see that a lack of a mandate on individuals is a make or break issue with a health care plan at this stage. Tell me what I'm missing here, but amongst the 50 million or so that are currently uninsured (and that's the group we are talking about here), wouldn't a significant proportion of those get coverage by an employer after the employer mandate takes effect? IOW, wouldn't one assume that let's say half of these employers would go ahead and insure their employees instead of pay a tax? Also, if a federal plan that was much more affordable was available to say self-employed people, why would many choose to go uncovered?

If Obama is skipping an individual mandate because the enforcement is impractical and thorny, then why doesn't he say so? One could make the argument that an individual mandate would appeal to the "right" because it doesn't let people get a "free ride".

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 24, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Krugman did cut Obama slack on the mandate issue. He only started going after him when Obama began using mandates as an attack on Edwards and Clinton from the right." -- Kevin Drum

So, just how is Obama Progressive then?


John Edwards for President -- Leadership to implement solutions to America's problems!

Posted by: MarkH on December 24, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I've seen it all before...McCain...this isn't exactly a parade of ...electoral success."

When McCain kicks Hillary's ass, you'll rue the day you wrote this. "Conventional wisdom" Democrats are going for another Kerry ! Only with higher negatives. Pathetic...

Posted by: brucds on December 24, 2007 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Merry Christmas, despite this being the most depressing post Kevin's put up in a while. Hillary and Edwards supporters criticizing Obama's lack of progressive fire, or political chops, or whatever Kevin was trying to throw in there, reminds me of two fat old hags at the supermarket checkout criticizing some babe on the cover of People magazine -- maybe her gums are too big, but compared to the flaws in your own candidates it's laughable...Kevin, have you read anything written about Hillary Clinton' brittle Nixonian personality disorder in the last 15 years - and you're still so desperate to throw stones at Obama you latch onto this kind of story? I can only put it down to your liberal death wish.

Posted by: mr insensitive on December 24, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Read Mark Schmitt at the American Prospect. Makes Drum and Krugman look like the naive, come-lately "progressives" that they are.

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_theory_of_change_primary

Posted by: brucds on December 24, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone actually heard this ad?

I have heard the Clinton/AFSCME attack ad against Obama, but nothing like this from Obama. I'd be curious to know what stations in Iowa are broadcasting this.

I thing Drum and Krugman have their facts wrong here. The airwaves are full of ads right now, and it is definitely possible that I just missed this one. But has anyone actually heard it?

Posted by: jps on December 24, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

The facts - which Krugman's "emailer" doesn't address are that AFSCME - the national union, not the locals which tend toward Obama and Edwards - has run a series of "Harry and Louise"-type radio ads in Iowa attacking Obama for not including mandates in his initial plan - a position that national AFSCME has explicitly endorsed ! If Obama's running ads, it's in reaction to this dishonest attack by AFSCME bosses, not something he cooked up. Just as his questions about 527s were in response to Edwards frontal attack on 527s and his "attack" on Krugman was in response to Krugman's columns carrying water for Hillary.

Question - how can one attack Obama for being too "cynical" and brash in attacking his opponents and then call him "kumbaya." I guess he's supposed to conform to the stereotypes that others paint of him. (Doesn't know his place.)

Posted by: brucds on December 24, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Man that's twisted. To turn all this into some kind of racial thing is sick.

Obama says 'change', but then doesn't offer much detail. And, when he does specify things it's just so-so lukewarm okay. What's to get excited about?

I haven't heard it in C-SPAN speeches, but some people are saying he uses Repub talking points, particularly with regard to Soc. Sec. What's up with that? Is he really a Progressive?

Now he bashes Edwards & Clinton over the health care mandate. Just what kind of Democrat is Obama, that he doesn't accept there is going to be variety in all kinds of policies? If he doesn't support one of the main Progressive positions (that health care should be Universal), then can he even be categorized as Progressive?

Just what does he stand for? I'm beginning to think his entire campaign is a great big triangle -- just like Hillary's.

Posted by: MarkH on December 24, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

OK, does anybody have any links or any other information that would yield some ideas to what the reasoning is behind the various candidate's positions on this issue is, that might result from answering the following question...

"You believe that individual mandates to buy insurance are (or are NOT) important if an employer does not provide health insurance coverage, how do you justify your assertion?" If I can't get that information in a reasonably straight way from *anybody*, that tells me I might as well support Kucinich (or some other candidate), who supports single-payer-which is what myself and most other posters here believe is the best way anyhow. What gives?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 24, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't heard the ad yet, but I'm willing to trust Mr. Krugman - if he says it's being aired then it most likely has been.
As for cutting slack for Clinton, could it be because she hasn't tried to outflank anyone? Same goes for Edwards.
I really like the way people just know why some politician has done something - because they're in the pockets of the corporations, because of this or because of that. The word bullsh*t comes to mind. I doubt anyone on this board has any close, personal knowledge of any of the candidates and, quite frankly, I'm a bit tired of the presuppositions, for and against, them.
If you can't post something concrete then a simple line saying you don't believe it will suffice.


Posted by: Doug on December 24, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

I've strongly lean Richardson but I'm taking a closer look at Edwards before my primary in February... but Obama? Not at all. He'd make a better judicial nominee than POTUS and he can stay in the Senate for all I care.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on December 24, 2007 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's unnerving to see the Obama apologists at it. Obama can do no wrong -- as long as Hillary is in the field. I wonder what that magic carpet ride would look like if she were gone, and it was just him against the Republican machine, wonder what kind of positions he would take to try to move to the right of the Republicans and show how hard a guy he is. The really sad thing is if Hillary was taking these right wing enabling positions, these exact same people would be screaming until they bust their lungs about "Triangulation!" and "Republcian light!" and "DLC sellout!" and "Corporatist hack!" and "No backbone" and all the rest.

Frankly, you people make me ill with your gross, stupid, self defeating hypocrisy.

Posted by: Martin Gale on December 24, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, can you respond to Chris' comments, and the quoting of your recent comments?

Posted by: scruncher on December 24, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Getting off the train?

Kevin do us a favor: stop pretending to be the "gee I don't know, may this or that, you tell me, I don't know for sure" guy.

And hats off to Brucds. Kevin and the Krugman gang are missing the point.

NEWS FLASH TO THE HILLARY SUPPORTERS -- SHE IS HATED BY 50% OR MORE OF AMERICA SO GET OVER IT. ONLY OBAMA HAS THE POWER TO DRAW INDEPENDENTS AND REPUBLICANS. AND PERHAPS YOU ALL MIGHT WANT TO THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT CHANGE IS INCREMENTAL, AS HILLARY DEMONSTRATED -- AND NOW ESPOUSES -- BY HER FAILED ATTEMPT TO GET KRUGMAN -- ER, CONFRONTATIONAL -- BACK IN 1993. GROW UP LOSERS! BETTER YET, GET SMART.

And by the way, will someone tell me since when did a Princeton academic pundit really have any influence over anything? I am amazed by the left's desire to aggrandize The Krug as if he really has some control over something.


Posted by: Obama/Webb 08 on December 24, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

So where's the link to the actual Obama ad?

yeah. I'm in Iowa and haven't heard this ad. Like to see a link.

Color me skeptical.

Although there is a Obama radio ad that features Iowa's butter cow lady.

Posted by: Iowan on December 24, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see a lot of hope for our Democratic Party when the best we can do is a 60 yr. old spouse of a Democratic ex-president. We suck. But they suck worse. How depressing.

I think I'll take a few days off....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 24, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

NEWS FLASH TO THE HILLARY SUPPORTERS -- SHE IS HATED BY 50% OR MORE OF AMERICA SO GET OVER IT.

News flash to Obama supporters: Obama's negatives, too, will be MUCH higher after the right wing machine gets involved. At least with Hillary, we have some idea of the "ceiling" of her negatives, and we also get a candidate likely to be the most thoroughly vetted in history. But hey, universal-healthcare-hatin' Andrew Sullivan is supporting Obama, so he must be AOK.

Posted by: Jasper on December 25, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

wow

john anderson -

not too many people remember that name -

a sort-of-liberal-republican congressman from illinois who helped usher in the reagan era of republican racism that has not ended to this day.

a ron paul - before his day.

principle is a great thing -

used wisely.

Posted by: orionATL on December 25, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Can you go over, one more time, the reason that individual mandates are a great thing? I just read Krugman's answer, and it seems absolutely idiotic. Basically, it ignores those of us that are poor (aka I make less than $900 a month for only 9 months of the year). How are we suppose to pay for this? I want healthcare, but the reality is, we have never before had a system that forced everyone to *buy* something. Even taxes won't tax you if you make too little, and car insurance only works if you own a car.
Explain to me what you expect poor people to do?

Posted by: Scu on December 25, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Right on, Scu. The progressives have thrown in the towel way too early. Krugman is acting just like the Democratic congress. They are so afraid of phantom consequences, they give up before the first punch is thrown.

If the thrust of Krugman's book is right, that we are witnessing the beginning of a new progressive age, why should we assume, more than two years from any kind of action on healthcare, that the insurance industry can't be beaten? Every day more horror stories about their malfeasance gets into the national psyche. Be bold, fellows! A gentle push and they will fall!

Big big mistake: Don't assume because you got beat before that the same crowd will be just as strong the next time around. Go for universal healthcare. Our time is coming.

Posted by: James of DC on December 25, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've never been on Obama's train. I think anything I've read from you about him in a positive light has been done very, very grudgingly. You turn a blind eye to Clinton's foibles and more serious issues, conjure up this notion that she's someone who can work across the aisle (something I still have never seen), and basically give cite cynicism ("I've seen it all before") as the main reason for supporting her now.

I'll tell you what I've seen before: Tow the party line candidates who are more interested in being permanently ensconced in Washington than doing anything progressive for this country.

Posted by: Quinn on December 25, 2007 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

WTF is Obama supposed to do. As I recall Hillary was first to make Obama's plan an issue. So Obama is not supposed to defend. Gimme a break. Dave

Posted by: Dave on December 25, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

My early instincts on this may be correct, people hate to be told they have to do something like buy health insurance. "Mandates" may make sense to you, but it isn't a selling point to the base.

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/globeunh_on_healthcare_mandate.php

Posted by: RollaMO on December 25, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

RollaMO, interesting link. Now, I would like to see the same question asked of South Carolina voters to see what the breakdown looks like. If you see the opposite, then that might explain Edwards' stance on mandates. If you see the same thing, then I think HRC and Edwards are mining for independent voters.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 25, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK
Kevin, Can you go over, one more time, the reason that individual mandates are a great thing? I just read Krugman's answer, and it seems absolutely idiotic. Basically, it ignores those of us that are poor (aka I make less than $900 a month for only 9 months of the year). How are we suppose to pay for this?

Is this obtuseness intentional?

All the Democratic plans that include mandates also include subsidies. The complaint that mandates force people to spend money they can't afford is a complete non-sequitur, an intellectually dishonest bit of claptrap that takes mandates in isolation and judges them apart from subsidies and the remainder of individual universal health insurance plans.

I don't know the specifics of the Clinton or Edwards plans, but it's extremely safe to say that your out of pocket costs under their mandates, if you really have a salary of about $8,000/yr, would be pretty much zero.

Discussions like this one make me want to strangle Obama supporters for their manifestly rampant and deliberate dishonesty Do you have another disingenuous strawman about which you'd like to complain?

Posted by: Robert Johnston on December 25, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Doc, I agree that may be what's going on. I just think claiming superiority in competing plans based on achieving universal coverage through "mandates" won't work outside of wonky circles.

Posted by: RollaMO on December 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting for a link to Krugman's reported Obama ad. I've searched and searched and haven't yet found it.

I think it is extremely irresponsible, Rovian, in fact, of Krugman, and you Kevin, for posting about an ad and to not include a link.

Apparently Krugman's problem with Obama's plan is only the lack of mandates.

So to both Krugman and Kevin I say put up or shut up.

For the record I don't support any particular candidate and I would be happy with any of the democratic candidates, but think the campaign debate should be honest.

Kucinich is the only candidate advocating a single payer, non-profit, government run health insurance system. Such would be the least expensive system but will never happen as long as corporate interests continue to trump the "general welfare".

Posted by: Chris Brown on December 25, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

It is rather sad that the entire Democratic party doesn't adopt a simpler, cheaper, single-payer plan as a common platform for *all* the candidates, and then let them fight out the differences on other policy issues instead. Oh well, I guess we're stuck with a system where all the individual candidates has to mark their own special spot on something as crucial as healthcare when the whole party should be plugging ONE policy. This is nauseating that they are fighting over this stuff, when these policy proposals are already compromises to start with!

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 25, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

orionATL wrote that John Anderson was “a sort-of-liberal-republican congressman from illinois who helped usher in the reagan era of republican racism that has not ended to this day.”

I disagree. Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election with 50.7% of the electoral vote, so even if all of Anderson’s votes had gone to Carter, Reagan still would have won the popular vote, and the electoral vote as well. And, as Anderson was a Republican before he was an independent, he certainly took votes from Reagan as well.

Kevin Drum wrote, “I've also been exposed to my share of 'post-partisan' candidates who could somehow bring a third way to Amerca's hyperpartisan politics. . . . Gene McCarthy . . . among others. . . .”

I disagree. Gene McCarthy did not run a post-partisan campaign; he did not call for a “third way” and during the Johnson administration, Democrats controlled the House and Senate, and politics were not hyper-partisan. There were controversial issues of the day, including the war in Vietnam and civil rights, but there were Democrats and Republicans on all sides of those issues back then. If there was one overarching plank to the McCarthy platform, it was not that we should all just get along. It was that we should get out of Vietnam.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on December 25, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

the reason that individual mandates are a great thing

I am against subsidizing insurance companies with laws mandating everyone must purchase health insurance, but I understand where Mr. Drum and the Hillary's are on this issue. Although they are not Italian Fascists, they understand the huge power of corporations in America, and of insurance companies' power particularly to prevent universal healthcare from becoming national policy. Mr. Drum, and, I think the Hillary's, endorse mandated insurance purchases in order to move the nation forward and at least have most people covered. They seem to think then we can move towards a single payer system from there.

What this acquiescence to the insurance companies' power means though is a capitulation to Italian corporatism, otherwise known as Fascism. Instead of attempting to reign in the power of these corporations that hoard capital, these 'pragmatists' want to utilize the corporations to provide the services the corporations say they can provide with greater utility in a market system. It is my opinion that this compromise will not work very well. Like the moneycons, who opened the Pandora's box of Christianizing American politics, and their Huckabee problem, I think 'progressives' are making a similar mistake of letting the insurance corporations participate in providing for universal healthcare in America. Once they become institutional members of the policy they will be very difficult to remove from it, even though they add no value to healthcare.

The insurance companies are being co-opted into the healthcare solution only because of the power of their wealth to prevent other solutions from being implemented. This is why I dislike and disagree with it, but it may be the only way to move toward universal healthcare in our so-called democracy.

Posted by: Brojo on December 25, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know the specifics of the Clinton or Edwards plans, but it's extremely safe to say that your out of pocket costs under their mandates, if you really have a salary of about $8,000/yr, would be pretty much zero.

They would be zero for that level of income under all three of the big three Democratic candidates' plans (yes, Obama's too). In addition, all three Democrats include a public sector option for people who would prefer to buy coverage from a Medicare-like plan directly from the government. But the economics of this style reform work much better if everybody is enrolled, which is why Clinton's and Edwards's approaches are superior.

As I recall Hillary was first to make Obama's plan an issue. So Obama is not supposed to defend.

It would be a different story if Obama were attacking from the left. In other words, if he were criticizing mandate plans because his own plan called for single payer, I don't think many economic liberals would have an argument with him. But he's not doing that. Of the big three, Obama's plan is weakest on the issue of universality.

Posted by: Jasper on December 25, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand where Kevin is coming from on this. Hillary Clinton votes for the war resolution, votes for Kyl-Lieberman, is advised by the neocon wing of the Democratic party, calls Obama naive for wanting to meet with foreign leaders we don't like, and has basically tried to triangulate her way through the senate. Obama doesn't have a mandate in his health care plan and twice used the word "crisis" when talking about Social Security (which he later said was a mistake). He isn't the perfect candidate, and I can definitely understand arguments in favor of Edwards, but I don't understand how a liberal/progressive ends up voting for Hillary.

Posted by: Charlie on December 25, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

News flash to Obama supporters: Obama's negatives, too, will be MUCH higher after the right wing machine gets involved. At least with Hillary, we have some idea of the "ceiling" of her negatives, and we also get a candidate likely to be the most thoroughly vetted in history.

Posted by: Jasper on December 25, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Jasper, explaining why Edwards is the most electable of the three "major" Democratic candidates.

Posted by: Vincent on December 25, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards may be the most electable, but I would also consider Edwards the most malleable to the moneycons' agenda. He worked for a hedgefund in 2006 instead of fighting against the occupation of Iraq or trying to ameliorate the already known housing bubble that was brewing, even though he probably knew he was going to run for president again.

Edwards was a senator when Clinton bailed out Long Term Capital Management. Edwards should have known that hedgefunds need to be highly regulated. Instead of leading on that policy issue, he made over $500,000 consulting to a hedgefund that owned two subprime mortgage companies in 2006. Edwards is more a part of the problems of America than a solution.

Posted by: Brojo on December 25, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

On Iraq:

All senators who wanted to remain viable to be president gave this (awful) president the benefit of the doubt on foreign policy. Given the information Bush offered them it is quite understandable. Edwards has since said it was a bad result and he regrets it. Clinton has yet to apologize.

On the growing housing bubble:

Clinton signed the bill which repealed Glass-Steagall and I doubt you'd find many Democrats arguing at that time to reinstate it. Also, back at that time there wasn't a call to 'fix' a 'problem' which wasn't yet recognized, as it is today. If you were reading this blog you probably recall some discussion of the housing crises, in several places around the country. We weren't recognizing it as a national crisis until most other people did too. Don't blame any senator for not being prescient enough to recognize the problem years before.

On LTCM:

I don't know about that and you don't say whether the Clinton bailout was wise. Perhaps Edwards didn't know as much about hedge funds back then as (I'm certain) he does today. Not everybody (and certainly not senators) are wise about everything. To argue he shouldn't have consulted for a hedge fund which wasn't (and largely isn't today) considered illegal or immoral or risky or anything bad is just silly. So, how many other people who have worked for a hedge fund are evil minions of the Devil? Silly. He worked, they paid, he got out when he saw how they were treating people with mortgage problems.

Edwards has a wealth of experience and is saying he has a lot of solutions. If you don't agree, then look at the other candidates. I'm sure you can find flaws with each and every one of them.

For my money I think Edwards has the best overall chance of doing well as president. YMMV.

Posted by: MarkH on December 25, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin's laying on the "Kumbaya" a little thick, but he's trying to compensate for the unpleasantness of Hillary. Whoever wins the nomination wins the White House--this year Ronald Reagan couldn't win as a Republican--and a fresh face free of baggage is a nearly irresistable thought.
But there are some ugly people dug around the Beltway, and Maureen O'Hara's line from "Big Jake" comes to mind:

"It is, I think, going to be a very harsh and unpleasant kind of business and will, I think, require an extremely harsh and unpleasant kind of man to see to it."

Posted by: Steve Paradis on December 26, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

I am glad Mr. Edwards repudiates his AUF vote. I am sorry he has not spent his political capital and national political celebrity to fight for the end of the occupation of Iraq. He has regretted his AUF vote but not much to correct it.

The housing bubble was well known to anyone who was paying attention by 2005. I would expect a potential candidate for president whose platform advocates for economic reform to have at least expressed the alarm about it by 2006.

Same goes for hedgefunds, except even more so, since president Clinton said he bailed out LTCM so prevent a collapse of the financial markets, when Edwards was a senator. Edwards, the self-proclaimed champion of the little guy, decided to consult for a hedge fund a year after losing the VP instead of leading a movement to reign in these threats to the financial markets that affect all of our lives.

I have no problem with people who desire to exploit financial markets to enrich themselves, as long as those exploitations are transparent in well regulated markets. My problem with Edwards is he seems more like a traditional Republican, who wants to keep those financial markets gamed, not a social democrat.

I think that way about most other Democratic candidates, too. I do not single Edwards out, except when his electability is used as a reason to vote for him. Had Edwards led anti-war marches with Nancy Sheehan, I would almost certainly be supporting him. Instead, he went to work for the forces of capital, not humans. Some people think being an anti-Iraq-war leader makes a person unable to win the presidency. I would say that is the kind of bad advice that has cost Edwards the presidency.

Posted by: Brojo on December 26, 2007 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

jcricket If you need to lie to make your point it just shows how weak your argument was to begin with.

The Obama campaign email DOES NOT say anything about not trusting these groups. It justs makes the case that his campaign is funded more by small individual donations and that allows him more independence. The actual "don't trust" quote is:

"It’s about proving that a new kind of campaign — funded by ordinary people who want something better for all of us — can defeat the same tired, old political textbook that so many Americans just don’t trust anymore."

Posted by: memyself on December 26, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

[...] www.washingtonmonthly.com is other must read source of tips on this issue,[...]

Posted by: Cheap home insurance quotes >> Tips on getting home insurance quotes ... on November 25, 2009 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Здравствуйте уважаемы читатели данного форума! У меня в семье такая проблема. С мужем мы разошлись, но не в разводе. Брак хочу сберечь.Поэтому для меня важно наладить отношения с родителями мужа. Изначально ,я им понравилась, относились ко мне хорошо, буквально каждый день с улыбкой встречали. Но прожив какое-то время, я стала в них развосхищаться, т.е. мне показалось, что они фальшивят, кроме всего прочего много было ситуаций. После такого, как с мужем мы разбежались, вся его семья отвернулась от меня. Я никогда с ними не ругалась, никогда грубого слова не говорила им. Старалась выглядеть в их глазах достойно. Но в последствии такого как благоверный ушел, его отец сказал мне по телефону, что он буквально каждый день был против нашего брака. Для меня это был шок. Как человек мог притворятся 3 года? До сих пор тяжело в это поверить. С его мамой у меня отношения никакие.
Посоветуйте, как можно наладить отношения? Они живут за 300 км от меня. И общаться со мной вообще не хотят. Плюнуть на это не могу, т.к. есть веские причины. Они на нас с мужем делают постоянные рассорки, наводят любую чепуху, и быть может в следствии этого мы все никак не можем помириться

http://seexi.net

Posted by: Rinatkaallka on September 26, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK
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