Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

August 19, 2009

TIPPING POINT.... By all appearances, Democrats have gone above and beyond in trying to secure at least some Republican support for health care reform. GOP leaders have gotten a lot of face time at the White House. Dems have signaled a willingness to make all kinds of concessions. When Republicans insisted the majority slow down, the process slowed to a crawl. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in late July, "Working with the Republicans, one of the things that they asked for was to have more time. I don't think it's unreasonable."

This week, however, we seem to have reached the tipping point. A variety of GOP leaders explained that Dems could drop the public option altogether, and it wouldn't make any difference. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who's become increasingly belligerent about the very idea of reform, said he's prepared to vote against his own compromise bill. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) announced that Republicans will reject reform no matter what's in the bill.

By late yesterday, it seems Democratic leaders had seen enough.

Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority's cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.

Top Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans' purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month's Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

"The Republican leadership," Mr. Emanuel said, "has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama's health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day."

That is painfully, obviously true. Negotiating health care reform with politicians who oppose health care reform doesn't make sense. Negotiating reform with politicians who've vowed to vote against reform under any circumstances is insane.

At this point, keep two angles in mind. First, should Dems follow through and go it alone, watch to see who gets blamed. I think the majority has a very compelling case: "We tried in good faith, to reach out and compromise, but the 'party of no' slapped away our outstretched hand." They'll be able to point to this week -- Grassely, Kyl, and the GOP reaction to scrapping the public option -- as the point at which bipartisan reform died.

Second, going for an all-Democratic bill won't necessarily make reform easy. Easier, sure, but not easy. In the House, there are a whole lot of Blue Dogs who, as you may recall, were ready to kill reform in July. In the Senate, there's a core group of about seven center-right Dems who support reform in theory, but have balked at many of the key provisions, including a public option.

That said, giving up on Republican outreach gives Democrats a historic opportunity to finally get the job done.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I am going to miss the daily beating on the head , sigh ...

Posted by: FRP on August 19, 2009 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

-Sleeping giant stirs?

Yeah, well, call me when he's up, had his morning coffee, and is strapping on his armor, and sharpening his sword. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 19, 2009 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

"The Republican leadership has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama's health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day."

That pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: chrenson on August 19, 2009 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

I think if the Democrats amputate the Republicans they have a better chance of forcing the blue dogs into their fold.

If it were me, I wouldn't even make a big announcement or issue any statement. Cut them off and be done with them.

Posted by: Saint Zak on August 19, 2009 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's about time. Perhaps Obama and Co. have learned their lesson about non-existent bipartisanship, and they can now get on with their reform program that actually makes some changes for the better. Time for some spine guys.

Posted by: rrk1 on August 19, 2009 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know why they ever thought they'd have any GOP cooperation on this-- as others have said before, the GOP would vote against curing cancer if it were a Dem proposal.

Frankly health care reform has never been a GOP talking point, they may say now that reform is needed but by that they mostly mean tort reform and letting someone in Ohio buy health insurance in Oklahoma, without any proof whatsoever that it would accomplish anything. (Wouldn't everything be out-of-network then?) They don't care about the uninsured, they don't even pretend to care about the poor or disabled, they only worry about "corporate rights" and their ability to make obscene amounts of money off of the sick.

I wish the Dems would realize that the GOP cannot be counted on. If they want to work privately with some moderate individuals behind the scenes, that's fine, but there is no need for them to give up on their agenda waiting for anyone from the GOP to support anything they do. They're just not gonna do it.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on August 19, 2009 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's about effin time. The recent poll that showed that 42% believe that the plan involves some manner of death panel , lets you know that the majority of the populace is unable to even comprehend what is being proposed. They are taking all their info from a few headlines supplied by a compliant mass media who fails to point out LIES but frames it as he said she said. It needs to be passed with the public health option for their own good and once it is done will realize that it was the right thing to do as they see their health options increase and the price go down.

Posted by: John R on August 19, 2009 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

of course, if it fails now, it is a Democratic failure. That it is not bi-partisan, it is clear as it could be that it is a GOP choice.

This is not 1993-94.

Posted by: tom in ma on August 19, 2009 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

To all those who are asking in comments, "Why did it take so long for Obama and the Dems to give up on the nonexistent bipartisanship?" the answer is obvious. Obama has been deliberately maneuvering the Republicans into a position where their own partisanship, and their lack of desire to do anything to help the American people, is obvious even to the mainstream media. This was an essential step if Obama is to have unofficial national "permission" to go ahead with a Dems-only health care deal.

Posted by: Karl Weber on August 19, 2009 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid that healthcare reform is so toxic now that the Blue Dogs and those so-called moderate Democratic Senators will cave. It's possible Obama and Pelosi will salvage something out of this epic p.r. disaster but I'm not wildly optimistic. The centrists have been spooked by guns at townhalls, socialized/fascist/anti-Christian medicine, "Keep government's hands off my Medicare!"

This is a failure of leadership from the top down. Hard to believe that Obama & Co. couldn't see the writing on the wall after the vote on the stimulus bill (zero votes in the House, including a lack of support from veeeeeery moderate Republicans like Mike Castle and Mark Kirk).

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on August 19, 2009 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Karl. Which is why Goldfarb's jibe about Democrats being willing to negotiate with North Korea and not the Republicans is a shot across the bow that needs to be countered with the fact that the Democrats have been negotiating with Republicans and have bugger-all to show for it.

The persistent demon in all this, of course, is the fact that the so-called "liberal media" isn't willing to report these facts as such, but instead relates them as matters of opinion on which demonstrably lying, bad-faith Republicans are given equal credibility.

Posted by: Gregory on August 19, 2009 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have become the cult of hate, right now the people who hate just about everything are part of the republican party. Just look at the faces of the crazies at the town hall meetings.

Posted by: JS on August 19, 2009 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Too bad the Republicans won't be able to claim any credit when a bill passes.

Also, this should free the center-left to put together a coherent plan as opposed to a patch job. Will the Blue Dogs want to stand for re-election as the group that effectively blocked health care? I think not.

I wish they had gotten to this point sooner, but at least they've gotten here.

Posted by: Stacy in Singapore on August 19, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has been deliberately maneuvering the Republicans into a position where their own partisanship, and their lack of desire to do anything to help the American people, is obvious even to the mainstream media. This was an essential step if Obama is to have unofficial national "permission" to go ahead with a Dems-only health care deal.

Forgive me for observing that he could have accomplished the same thing far sooner and without the huge drop in voter support if he had gotten on simple, succinct message six months ago and stayed that way.

If we succeed, it's going to be in spite of the GOP's demonstrable ability to draw serious blood, not because of Obama's magical jujitsu ability. He has skills and support like no other politician of my lifetime, but he has so far failed to use them on this issue.

Posted by: shortstop on August 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone remember when Obama said this was going to be hard and he could not do it alone, he said everyone should contact their elected reps and make sure their voices were heard, well I guess we went to sleep. Now we are beginning to fight back!
He will help us if we help him!

Posted by: JS on August 19, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

This is too rich.

When the Dems were out of power, they clamoured for bipartiship. Republicans worked with Kennedy, the butcher of Chappaquidick, to pass NLCB. Dems also supported the Republican bankruptcy bill, the Iraqi war authorization, and President Bush's SC appointments.

But now, drunk with power, if only fleeting, Democrats want to run roughshod over process, treating the Congress as their own personal court, as if Republicans suddenly didn't exist. What happened to bipartisanship?

Posted by: sensible indy on August 19, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

he said everyone should contact their elected reps and make sure their voices were heard, well I guess we went to sleep.

Speak for yourself. A lot of us have been awake and highly recognizable at our reps' offices/on their phone lines/in their inboxes through this whole thing. I'm not arguing that Obama can do this alone, but a certain amount of complacence on the part of Obama's supporter network isn't responsible for him largely bungling his own legislative strategy and public presentations on this issue -- at least, until recently.

Posted by: shortstop on August 19, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Robert Palmer

I went to the doctor He said lose some weight.
And if you don't do it quick we got to amputate.
I talked to my lawyer he said case is closed
That woman got it all even the garden hose.
I'm starin' at the ceiling thinking just my luck
I think I'll roll back on over - why get up ?

The response in the song lyrics match the enervating Pow pow Power™ from the party of limbaugh

Posted by: FRP on August 19, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

But now, drunk with power, if only fleeting, Democrats want to run roughshod over process, treating the Congress as their own personal court, as if Republicans suddenly didn't exist.

God, yes. As far as I know no Congressional Democrat has actually given Grassley a blow job yet. The heartless tyranny!

Posted by: shortstop on August 19, 2009 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Sensible people from any walk of life rarely call other folks butchers for a little rhetorical flourish . However wingnuttis republicanus do it as a knee jerk rite
You go girl !

Posted by: FRP on August 19, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

BrklynLibrul - Well, I'm cautiously optimistic. Seems there is more momentum on the pro side than the anti side. You didn't see this in 1993.

Posted by: Steaming Pile on August 19, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

I'll be a bit pissed if they don't actually go through with this, but I just think they've been trying to give Republicans enough rope to hang themselves.

As with the stimulus, had we worked without them from the start, they would have bitched about how we weren't working with them and the Village would have listened. And even worse, we couldn't have any effective argument otherwise, and many moderate Americans might have listened to them. But by allowing them to stay on-board and slowly "giving in" to their ever-changing demands, we've finally gotten them to admit that they are against ALL healthcare reform, just as they eventually admitted they were against ANY stimulus. And so while they'll still complain about how we worked without them and the Village might still consider their arguments, we can now prove that they're full of shit, just as we did with the stimulus. Polls showed that Americans blamed Republicans for the partisanship over the stimulus, just as I think they'll do now. And so we won't be blamed now that we're cutting them out of the picture.

Politics is all about image, so it was important that we not look like a-holes about all this. And as long as we can go back to the good bill we were starting with, I'll be quite confident that this was the plan all along. But if we end up without end-of-life counseling and/or a weak public option, and we get something a Republican could almost be proud of (privately), I'll stand corrected.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 19, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

" They'll be able to point to this week -- Grassely, Kyl, and the GOP reaction to scrapping the public option -- as the point at which bipartisan reform died.

This presupposes that there was ever the possibility of such a thing as "bipartisan reform." To believe that such a thing was possible with this post-GWB-Cheney-Rove Republican party was, as Paul Krugman had presciently warned during the campaign, a Quixotic Quest. No POTUS has ever come this close to getting health care reform -- that elusive liberal and progressive "holy grail" -- done. To now fail because they caved in to the demands of a clearly politically motivated Republican party, when they have solid majorities in both houses of Congress and occupy the White House, could spell the beginning of the end for the Dems and the Obama presidency.

Time will tell, but Obama simply must learn from this that it will be nearly impossible for him to count on the Republicans to enact any kind of meaning legislation. No one can say with a straight face that Obama he has not tried to reach out, but a fool he ain't. So here's hoping that this might indeed be the "tipping point" that returns his presidency on path to becoming as "transformational" as it has the potential to be.

Posted by: dcshungu on August 19, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, "sensible indy," every word of your post is a lie, including "and" and "the" (to say nothing of posing as an "indy" while spewing Republican talking points; that dodge got old years ago!). Nicely played!

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on August 19, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP knows that if a meaningful health care reform bill were passed, it would most likely ensure a second term for Obama. The message from the Right has been clear since the election - they want Obama to fail and this is their best hope in seeing that he fails. Obama approached health care reform with an openness and inclusion for all sides to work towards a solution. His hope that the need for our country to solve our current problems would overcome cynicism and partisanship was admirable, but overly idealistic. At least he can say to the American people he tried. Now, if health care reform succeeds, the GOP will be even more irrelevant in the eyes of the American public. What an enormous task ahead of him.

Posted by: Steven on August 19, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

But now, drunk with power, if only fleeting, Democrats want to run roughshod over process, treating the Congress as their own personal court, as if Republicans suddenly didn't exist.

Some of us actually remember the shabby treatment the Republicans gave the Democrats when they were in power, and have been puzzled that the Dems didn't respond with a bit more, well, in kind.
You know, the sort of treatment exemplified by G. Norquist's deathless definition of bipartisanship as "date rape".

And you know this sort of talk really, really makes David Broder concerned.

Posted by: MR Bill on August 19, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

For all the noise we've heard from [and about] the shouting, gun-toting right, I've heard a lot of folks talk about what idiots the Republicans are. If these toothless, brainless gorgons are their front line then maybe, just maybe, the general populace is waking up to see what vacuous dolts have been running our country.

I mean just look at them. Republicans turn a discussion of health insurance reform into shouts of death panels and gun rights and God. Of course they would.

There's a part of me that thinks this was Obama's plan all along. I small but hopeful part.

Posted by: chrenson on August 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

The story is that John Paul Jones, standing tall amidst a storm of shot and shell, declared to the enemy captain who demanded his surrender, "I have not yet BEGUN to fight!"

A Marine up in the bullet-shredded rigging of the Bon Homme Richard, who'd been trading musket shots with the enemy for an hour or so, proclaimed in disgust: "There's always some poor sap who doesn't get the word!"

Looks like Obama and Rahm have finally gotten the word.

Posted by: Midland on August 19, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

The message from the Right has been clear since the election - they want Obama to fail and this is their best hope in seeing that he fails.

No truer words has ever been spoken! Remember Limbaugh going on and on right after inauguration day about how he hoped Obama would fail? How can anyone doubt the their true intention after what has transpired up to this point?

Posted by: dcshungu on August 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

One thing I've noticed is that despite all the misinformation out there, support for reform remains fairly high. The death panel talking point did not convince that many people.

1. Do you think the health care reform plan being considered by President Obama and Congress creates "death panels" which have the authority to subjectively determine whether or not a gravely ill or injured person should receive health care based on their "level of productivity in society"?

Yes 11
No 72
Not sure 17

Yes No Not sure
Dem 5 88 7
Rep 26 43 31
Ind 8 76 16

Northeast 6 91 3
South 17 46 37
Midwest 9 81 10
West 10 78 12

Posted by: Unstable Isotope on August 19, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

I say it is about time. I was getting discouraged with the approach being taken, but if the D's start moving things, I could see folks getting energized. No more give aways to a few R's who cannot seem to stand up to nutjobs and tell them to go find a new rock to hide under. My state is mostly hopeless except for one blue dog D, but I am now going to watch closely, and you can bet he is going to get my [real, not faked up] letters pointing out the importance of moving this ahead.

Posted by: bigWisc on August 19, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

How about "Look BlueDog - if you support a filibuster you can kiss any help from the Whitehouse during your next election campaign goodbye." We only need 51 Senate votes, not 60.

KO

Posted by: KO on August 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP is a bunch of sandbaggers. They feign cooperation, water down the legislation while supporting astroturf disruptors and AR15 gun-carrying town hall intimidators before finally uniting to kill reform with their partisan opposition vote in Congress.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) outlined the GOP's Taliban-inspired insurgency strategy back in February. True to form, the GOP is acting out their obstructionist plans.

When the health care debate ends it will be replaced by the climate change debate and the GOP will do the same thing over again. They are not trustworthy political partners.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on August 19, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Midland,

I'd always heard that when John Paul Jones said, "I have not yet begun to fight!" the guy in the rigging said, "Don't you think you ought to start? I mean, we're getting our asses handed to us."

Posted by: chrenson on August 19, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

It is about time the Dems go on alone with health care legislation. As so many commentators have said, the Reps could care a rat's ass about improving health care. Their sole modus operundi is to defeat Obama, and they really don't care how they do it. As for the Blue Dogs...withholding money from the Dem coffers for their re-election bids should do it.

Posted by: RogerL on August 19, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Obama, et alia, should remind people that:

--The Republicans opposed Social Security.
--The Republicans opposed Medicare.
--Medicare is government-sponsored, single payer health care.
--If you (or your parents or grandparents) like Medicare, you will like health care reform that contains a public option.

Remind people of these things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. K.I.S.S.

Posted by: Soprano on August 19, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Since the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party was actually right (again), when do you think well get that public apology from the Administration for being described as the "left of the left" as though we weren't the mainstream?

Posted by: howie on August 19, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Not only did the publicans oppose ss and medicare they currently want to kill those programs. Publicans wanting to kill medicare should be one of the main D messages going forward. Put them on defense. Make them deny it.

Posted by: reduced on August 19, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

It's past time for the Dems to realize that you can't reason with a rethuglican schoolyard bully who is going to kick the snot out of you no matter what you do. I'm sick to death of you spineless bastards and I voted for you no less.

Posted by: mee on August 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm of the opinion tht Obama has played his hand well here. By signaling that he's prepared to drop the public option, and by Jon Kyl (rather stupidly in my view) stating that the GOP is going to oppose reform with or WITHOUT the public option, Obama positions himself as a moderate who wants to work with the opposition. Now liberals are engaged (or enraged, which amounts to the same thing), and reform is moving onto democratic turf where democrats debate and make concessions with members of their own caucus. Obama can now plausibly say that, gee whiz, I reached out to the republican's but they bit my hand. I'm thrilled to see these developments.

Although, I still think the dems should drop the public option, and that likely will be the grand compromise within the caucus. Steven Perlstein in the WAPO writes a great editorial today demonstrating how much of a straw man this debate about the public option has become.

Posted by: ChrisNBama on August 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

To "Sensible Indy" above: A "sensible" way to enter a dialogue about an important national issue is to begin it with "the butcher of Chappaquidick." Congratulations on your sensibility & independence.

Why can't we all get along, Rodney? Because folks like "Indy" think they're sensible.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Posted by: Marie Burns on August 19, 2009 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

I could be overly optimistic about this, but what I think might have happened is this: Obama's team has maneuvered the Republicans into taking off their pants, painting themselves blue, and running around in the streets barking like rabid dogs for the last month. Now when the August recess comes to a close, he can get on teevee and say, "Do you want health care policies from serious adults, or from this bunch of lying, raving lunatics?" At which point he brings out a few news clips showing those bone-dumb right-wing hicks - not just the mean, ignorant and clueless Fox News audience, but also the moronic and pathologically dishonest legislators they elected, such as Palin and Inhofe and Bachmann - ranting insanely about stuff that clearly exists only in their heads (e.g. "death boards").

Posted by: W. Kiernan on August 19, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

To "Sensible Indy" above: A "sensible" way to enter a dialogue about an important national issue is to begin it with "the butcher of Chappaquidick." Congratulations on your sensibility & independence.

Why can't we all get along, Rodney? Because folks like "Indy" think they're sensible.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Posted by: Marie Burns on August 19, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

I hate to point out the obvious, but what Rahm said was, "The Republican leadership has made a strategic decision..."

He was talking about the leadership: Boehner and McConnell. His remarks were never meant to apply to wonderful moderates like Grassley and Enzi, who, he will hasten to assure us yet again tomorrow, are as ever negotiating in good faith and must be part of any final agreement.

The Administration may or may not know any better than this. But this statement doesn't yet really signal any change in their public bipartisan posture.

Posted by: pt bridgeport on August 19, 2009 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK
Doctor Biobrain@9:02: Politics is all about image, so it was important that we not look like a-holes about all this.

... and it might do us well to remember that 'looking like a-holes' is something for Democrats to avoid, while Republicans are rewarded for being a-holes. We are held to a higher standard because of the nature of our constituencies.

On the other hand, maybe we'd win over some on the right by being a-holes... nah, prolly not.

Posted by: JTK on August 19, 2009 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

I'd always heard that when John Paul Jones said, "I have not yet begun to fight!" the guy in the rigging said, "Don't you think you ought to start? I mean, we're getting our asses handed to us."

Yup. Each generation translates that parable in its own way.

Posted by: Midland on August 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

It would be neat-o if Rahm (or Reid, or the President) would quote Al Pacino to "Death-Panels'r'Us" Grassley, and any Blue Dogs thinking they're on top.

Works better in theory than practice, but it's nice to imagine.

Posted by: SFAW on August 19, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

It would be neat-o if Rahm (or Reid, or the President) would quote Al Pacino

Tony Montana's "Don't fock wit me?" Rahm's been saying that all along. Now he's saying it to the right people.

Posted by: shortstop on August 19, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Let's continue the thought:

--The Republicans opposed Social Security.
--The Republicans opposed Medicare.
--Medicare is government-sponsored, single payer health care.
--If you (or your parents or grandparents) like Medicare, you will like health care reform that contains a public option.

--Social Security is a broken Ponzi scheme that is draining the nation.
--Medicare is a broken Ponzi scheme that is draining the nation.
--If your grandparents liked Social Security and Medicare, it was probably because they lived in a time before the demographics revealed they were supporting and benefitting from a huge Ponzi scheme, and that just servicing the debt from such "entitlements" is wrecking the U.S. budget.
--The same government that has done so poorly with Veteran's Administration health care and Medicare will probably do much worse with expanded health care, especially a single-payer system.
--A government that can not even deliver mail without huge losses probably can't deliver health care management without worse losses.
--A government is good at applying force under due process (i.e., police and military) and not good at much else, for that is the raison d'etre of government.

Posted by: MKS on August 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Tony Montana's "Don't fock wit me?" Rahm's been saying that all along. Now he's saying it to the right people.

Actually, I was thinking of his "final offer" to Senator Geary. But yours may work better. Of course, "Say hello to my little friend" (figuratively speaking) would be interesting, too.

Posted by: SFAW on August 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

MKS -
How refreshing!

Stay as clueless as you are, honey.

Posted by: SFAW on August 19, 2009 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

NEWSFLASH: Since the election, Democrats have always had the votes to pass this anytime they wanted --- a huge majority in the House, a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate and zero veto threat from the White House.

Please explain to me how Republicans somehow "obstructed" a 100% unobstructable piece of legislation.

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs on August 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

What to tell the Blue Dogs:

If this reform is defeated, the Democrats will lose seats in 2010.

Conservative Democrats in Red States will be the first to go.

And if you screw us on this, we'll actively support primary challengers and cut off all support in the general election.

If you don't vote for this, you're fucking worthless to us.

Posted by: Kevin Carson on August 19, 2009 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Eff the republicans and blue dogs. Dust off single payer and ram it down their throats (or up their tocheses, or both) via budget reconciliation. I'm sure Rahm and Nancy would twist enough arms among the blues to get it past both houses. And if the Democrats think this summer has been fun, wait until summers '10 and '12. They're gonna make this summer look like a game of Candyland. Did you hear a single republican politician condemn the open carrying of firearms (including assault rifles) near presidential townhall meetings? Me neither, although I did hear Phil Gingrey encouraging the wingnuts to keep doing it. Throw your markers down now, Democrats, and start fighting back. It's what we elected you all to do.

Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy on August 19, 2009 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the healthcare negotiations are C-SPAN, just like candidate Obama promised, is a real gas. Who could have imagined that his visionary proposal would reap such benefits for the nation ?

Posted by: John Q Public on August 19, 2009 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Another Obama Rope-a-Dope?

Posted by: jack fate on August 19, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

What to tell the Blue Dogs:

We'll cut off your medical benefits.

Posted by: Kevin on August 19, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

He will help us if we help him!

No. It works the other way around. We will help him if he helps us. There's no point in expending extreme amounts of effort in a state of constant mobilization unless we know that Obama has our back. I'm perfectly willing to get involved to help Obama's agenda. I'm not going to engage in some self-aggrandizing acts of "Activist posturing" unless I know that there are politicians that are going to back me up on this one. If Obama doesn't care enough to fight for health care reform, why should I?

Posted by: Tyro on August 19, 2009 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

The need for an intelligent debate on reforming health care has been eclipsed by our insatiable thirst to gawk at the absurd. We've been hi-jacked by crazy-stupid people, and the ratings obsessed media has obediently followed... http://unreasonablysafe.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/teabaggingtownhalls/

Posted by: 2sayf on August 22, 2009 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly