With Democrats reeling from the Republican victory in the Massachusetts special Senate election, President Obama on Wednesday signaled that he might be willing to set aside his goal of achieving near-universal health coverage for all Americans in favor of a stripped-down measure with bipartisan support.
Could someone please point out that not one Republican is going to vote for any HCR, because they simply want you to fail. The guy who got elected last night? He ran as the 41st vote to stop HCR.
What is this? Battered spouse syndrome? Stockholm syndrome? What is the name for this delusion? WTF are these guys thinking?
*** Update ***
LOL. Fair enough. I confess to being consistently inconsistent. I blame the pain pills.
Democrats are pussies and Republicans are insane. Either way we are screwed
its called being a democrat syndrome.
my exasperation stores are running low. as is my hate reserves.
Maybe if Obama lets the Republicans fuck him in the ass and then wipe their dicks off on the White House drapes…
Jesus Christ. I want to believe, but I don’t know how much longer I can stay on the team.
They just don’t see things the way I do: the overarching goal of the GOP is to destroy the presidency of that uppity n****r and put him back in his place. That’s all that matters, which is why Limbaugh went completely off the deep end once Obama became president.
So all the better for them if the country continues to implode. Better unemployment be 20% instead of 10%. Better inflation start spiraling out of control. The more this happens, the more Obama gets blamed.
What about the millions of people whose lives are affected by this? Collateral damage. What matters is that the uppity n****r loses.
Why can I see this but Obama can’t?
Or is he referring to what would be the stripped down reconciliation bill?
Jesus with leaders like these, who needs enemies.
Just tell China and India, to say nothing of the E.U. or Russia, to take vacations and chill. They can fight for global domination after we finishing eating ourselves.
It was never about how good the bill was.
It has always been about something to run on in 2012.
I am an OBOT, but this is truth man.
I suspect he talks to Olly and Sue and Dick and Chuck and John and whoever the fuck else, and they’re polite and reasonable and say things like “Of course, Mr President, we all want to put party before country.” Then they vote with DeMint and McConnell and Inhofe, and Obama and Rahm are left wondering what happened. I don’t actually believe that. But it makes more sense than the reality.
Yep. This is exactly it. All hands on deck to destroy Obama. Scorched earth policy.
It’s so freaking obvious. Why can’t they see it?
General Winfield Stuck
Get out yer ya ya’s. Stripped down. LOL. My Plastic Unicorns will be filled with wingnut welfare case. All of them, instead of just some.
Got a fund-raising call from the DNC tonight. You wanna talk about low morale. I felt sorry for the guy. Still told him to take my name off the list.
Well heck, *if* that is the case, we might as well get this crushed hope thing over with asap. I figure it will take me about 6 mos to get over the stages of grief. Unless I decide to camp out at anger for a while. And I just might do that.
I need kittens!
Scott Brown’s nude photo has been around for months, why all of a sudden is it okay to show it.
Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod are the George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer of presidential advisers. Obama needs to fire these 2 shitheads ASAP.
You don’t think Collins or Snowe would vote for HCR under any conditions?
This is a paraphrase of a paraphrase. What you quote is the words of a New York Times writer, not the words of Obama. The basis for the New York TImes writer’s words are statements from an ABC News interview from earlier today which has already been hashed out in many places (a particular quote has shown up in several comments threads on this site today). Although many people interpreted this interview as the White House wanting to slow down, I have not seen anyone interpreting this interview in the particular peculiar way from the NYT blockquote.
Here is a statement from the White House from later in the day that seemed to be intentionally dialing back some of the ways the ABC News comments were interpreted.
That’s what pisses his supporters off about Obama the most. The first thing he does is give half of what he wants away. Then the repiggies just sit back and say “ok, now give us the rest”. He does all their work for them.
It’s not a “progressive whine”. It’s a freaking fact.
Welcome to this morning.
Maybe now you understand why some of the leftest of the left (you know, those who think that maybe Snowe and other Republicans might not always negotiate in good faith), have been royally pissed off all day.
There’s no way the ping pong strategy will work without the big guy on board, and he doesn’t even seem to see where the action is. Lotsa luck getting the House Democrats that won’t even vote for the current bill to vote for it after it’s been made even shittier. Even more luck getting a single Republican to vote for anything. Anything.
Nothing will get 60 votes in the Senate for the rest of -Obama’s term- the year. The Senate bill sucks ass, but it has 60 Senate votes. Pass it and do what you can in reconciliation. It’s simple math.
I have been very patient through all this. As a progressive pragmatist, I argued that we had to take account of the realities of the Senate and the fact that Nelson and Lincoln represent conservative constituencies.
But. I. am. done. now.
There is no reason to give up and strip the ball. It’s not that complicated: 1: prepare reconciliation “amendment” to merged House and Senate bill, 2: pass merged bill, 3) pass amendment through reconciliation. Or do 3 before 2.
Just finish this up. How dumbass are Democrats? I have been one for decades and this is too much for me.
During the election, my one fear about
CarterObama — literally the only possible drawback I saw about him as a politician — was his constant droning on and on about “bipartisanship” and “changing the tone.” Foolishly, I persuaded myself that he was just trying to charm the electorate, and even if he was serious, I thought a few months of Republican craziness would disabuse him of the idea he would work with those animals.
Now, I see it’s so much worse than I ever imagined. He is plainly so obsessed with bipartisanship and appearing reasonable to the point that he is incapable of conceiving Republicans as deadly political enemies as opposed to “people with a different point of view.” Before this is over, I honestly expect some Republican to flat-out call him a n****r to his face in the Oval Office and for him to just chuckle and respond “well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” I look at Obama now, and I just see Dukakis in his tank. Hapless.
You know, one of my best friends is a Republican and he’s loving this right now. And his very liberal wife said it best: as fucking insane as the Republicans are you can respect them. You can’t say that about the democrats any more.
Why? Because you got to respect someone who fucking believes in something and goes out and fights for it.
That’s what the country is looking for right now and the only people taking to the streets and fighting for something are the teabaggers. And unlike progressives, they’re taking names and getting shit done and they’ve taken over the Republican party.
God, now NPR is pissing on me with David Frum.
Well, the problem is that the Senate is hamstrung on the right and the House on the left. One side or the other needs to give in, and neither is willing to.
Personally, I’d aim for reconciliation, take the 50 vote route, get a better bill that goes into effect NOW and force the GOP to take everyones health care away in 10 years.
General Winfield Stuck
@General Winfield Stuck:
I’m sadly with you there. I don’t know of a single bigger supporter of Obama among my friends and family than myself. But today after reading Obama – Obama! – backing down after losing a single senate seat, I’m almost ready to give up. I’ve had a bumper sticker on my car for almost 3 years now, and a sign in my window since I went door to door in negative temperatures in Iowa in the primaries and got to bring home a nice sign. I’m beginning to wonder if what we have is one party who is nihilistic and has no clue how to govern and another who is weak and has no clue how to govern.
I’ve always thought Obama made the most sense of anyone in Washington. Now I’m realizing that I was grading on a very steep curve.
You know how we were all saying that Republicans were giving terrorists what they want by making such a huge deal about the undie-bomber?
Well, Democrats are doing the same kind of thing. They’re making the MA election the most scary, horrible, no-good thing and they’re working themselves into a state.
Maybe they’ll snap out of it. Barney Frank, who was ready to give up on hcr, now thinks that it’s worth pursuing.
Now, if he does that, doesn’t that give HRC an excellent reason to resign in 11 mos and start her successful run for the 2012 nomination?
Yeah, I’ve been patiently optimistic for the sausage grinder part to be over, and then people to transition to being happy that they now have insurance, and knowing who to thank…
And then last night I thought “well this isn’t so bad. Now at least the republicans will be publicly revealed as the obstructionist asshats they are”
And now I’m thinking for the first time that 2012 really will be president Palin. I think I might want to go back to Canada, and I think I might really mean it.
@mcc: The Gibbs statement is irreconciliable with a ping pong strategy. Nothing has to go through the Senate again if the House passes the bill that already has 60 Senate votes.
This sloppy messaging confirms to me that the administration not only didn’t have a contingency plan, but didn’t even bother to develop one once the really bad polls started coming out. That’s unacceptable. Heads should be rolling over this. People need to be sacked.
OK, not sure which thread to work it in, but here seems as good a place as any…
Research 2000 did an exit poll, and some of these numbers almost make me want to give up on the party as a whole:
Are you fucking kidding me? How can 41% oppose something and not know why? The very fucking nature of opposition means you have an opinion!
OK, so that one makes me have less faith in humanity in general. But yeah, all those people who think that they can prevent Democrats from caving to Republican demands by voting for a Republican make about as much sense.
They’re thinking exactly what they’ve been thinking for the past year while you’ve defended them, John.
The Republicans don’t believe in policy and therefore avoid running on policy, choosing instead to run on tribalism. The Democrats don’t believe in policy either but run on a policy based platform because underpants gnomes. They can’t stand even a little bit of heat because they’re completely unprepared to actually defend their policy platform with policy arguments and they can never match up with the Republicans on tribalism.
What the Democrats are doing, as opposed to thinking, is proving that the country needs to burn before the government can be fixed. Maybe a nice quick conflagration under the Republicans is better than a slow smolder under the Democrats . . .
Bad idea Barry. These morons LOSE ONE FUCKING SEAT and now the end is here.
Idiots. Maybe they deserve to lose. They sure as hell aren’t doing what they were elected to do (save us from the mess Bush and friends created).
I keep thinking of George McClellan during the Civil War. Because that’s what US politics is now – civil war by other means.
Oh, and if this “stripped down measure with bipartisan support” includes tort reform or malpractice reform in any way, shape or form, I will do everything I can to support a primary opponent and/or a third party candidate in 2012, and if any of you Obots want to bitch to me about “the Nader effect,” you can suck it.
Stay calm, everybody. It looks like this paraphrase of a paraphrase got it partly or mostly wrong. Keep calling your representatives. For guarded semi-optimism, read Ezra Klein.
(ETA:) Fantastic comparison!
I wonder if Frank wasn’t trying to play some hardball chess (is that an oxymoron, or just a mixed metaphor?) there, but was surprised to see just how eager Bayh and McCaskill and Webb were to join the CT for Lieberman Party.
The Grand Panjandrum
I am going to spam every relevant thread with this: Let the House pass the Senate HCR bill, send it to the President and let him VETO the motherfucker if he wants to be so goddamned bipartisan. See how that works for him.
John Cole, g-darnit, wtf?
Where have you been? This has been going on all year! The President makes a proposal, the Repubs savage it, the media decides the Repubs have a point and they join in savaging the WH over it, the WH backs down into a crazy “bipartisan” position.
You feeling Manic yet?
I’ve been talking to some other former Obama/Democratic Congressional campaign workers through email all day, and they (we) are sad howling puppies today. All are in the Ezra Klein “the Democratic Party is betraying its members” mode, and I don’t see how the Dems get out of this without passing the Senate Bill, going to reconciliation to get the Public Option and to clean up the crap from the Senate Bill (cadillac tax vs. tax on wealthy, more subsidies, etc), going after the Bankers, fighting with the Repubs on major jobs/infrastructure investments, and finding some compromise on climate change legislation.
This running to the middle is not going to work; independents and centrists don’t staff campaign offices and don’t donate time and money to Dem candidates. We can’t keep being forced to give up stuff to the Republicans for what’s looking like the only two years we will have any power, that’s not how politics and base-organizing works.
Now it’s time for vodka…
The thing that’s most depressing? McCain was in favor of cap-and-trade and a different type of HCR (one based on individual markets instead of group ones). If McCain had won, we might actually have had a more progressive year, legislatively speaking.
We are all David Broder now!
If the economy doesn’t improve, she could well be. It’s all going to turn on the economy.
I figure as dumb as the majority of Americans seem to be, we’d deserve her.
A stripped down measure instead of the current bill? Okay, this guy is just trolling now.
Is this simply a function of the fact that 1) the corporate money is too good to really work for the people anymore and 2) the party itself makes more money when they are out of power?
The fact of the matter is you pretty much have to be doing very well in our society to even have a shot of being in Congress. And well, giving rich people the power to make the rules that will further enrich themselves? I don’t know if there’s any system that’s going to be able to actually stop that dynamic.
I think we have a two party system in which one party is unwilling to govern (Dems) and one party is incapable of governing (Reps).
Now is the perfect time for Democrats to come out and announce that they plan to depend on Republicans to help out, because, of course Republicans will help Democrats when Democrats acknowledge the terrible loss of having had 1 more Senator in their caucus than they did a year ago.
You see, with 58 votes, Obama was planning to greatly change the nation, but now that we only have 59 votes, you might as well announce to Republicans in advance that your political party is completely helpless and so in a bipartisan fashion we will steadfastly resolve to push for policies that are simply far too weak to keep the nation from falling further into the shit-hole, and voters will surely reward them for that.
Strangely enough, as I strap in for the long haul on this rollercoaster of emotion, I am reminded of the words of Puff Daddy from his classic song, “Victory”:
What is the name for this delusion? WTF are these guys thinking?
It’s always Nov 9, 1994 to DC Dems. The response to any sign of trouble will always be to “tack to the center”. I would suggest that filling the space where their intestines should be would be better received by the general public.
Also, keep this in mind: Emanuel was an investment banker.
I think we ought to withdraw the current Senate bill and instead just pass a bipartisan resolution that Americans should strive to be healthier!
Now, today, Wednesday, you’re gonna get all pissed off at Obama, JC? This is the day?
Dude, STFU and take whatever healthcare bill that can be passed. That’s what you were saying last week to the Firebaggers, wasn’t it? Drink your stinking medicine and be grateful it’s not poison?
“Don’t attack your own, you morons, when we agree on 90% of the issues.”
“If I read one more… blah-blah-blahbetty-blah …I’m going rip someone a new asshole (or whatever).”
Now you’re going to take the gloves off on Obama?
I doubt it.
I don’t think you have the stones.
Still, I think Obama needs some time to absorb the blow. The State of the Union address will be decisive.
I’m glad to see you made it out of your coma. No, no they wouldn’t. In fact, after being teabagged for voting against economic meltdown last year, they won’t vote for a Democratic bill requiring that all residents of Maine receive free beer.
A month ago, I would have dismissed this comment as either trenchant satire or else the ravings of a mad man. Tonight, in front of my computer, with three empty beer cans sitting on my coffee table, I find it strangely seductive.
Even a man who is pure at heart
and says his prayers by night,
can become a PUMA when Health Care dies
because Obama has swung to the Right.
@gex: Your conclusion does not answer your questions.
Yes to this. I didn’t see this before I hit Send on mine.
Yes, williamc. And more yes.
That bugged me too, together with his penchant for scoring points by attacking the left for divisiveness. I wondered if he was aware of what we’d been through the last decade. I hoped he’d prove me wrong, but Republican intransigence was even greater than I expected.
As for the excerpt above, I’d like to hear Obama’s exact words, because as it stands it doesn’t make sense. And I have no idea why he’d be signaling he’s ready to give up on what was to be his signature legislation at this point. Stripped down measure? What we had was stripped down. It was the pretty much the minimum you needed to attain the goal of covering all Americans, so we’d no longer be a backwards nation where illness could bankrupt a citizen at any time.
Worst president ever. Failure we can believe in.
The Gibbs statement is describing a “ping pong” strategy. That’s all he says. He says that health care will not be sent through the Senate without Brown being seated, clearly referring to a statement from the ABC interview earlier today where Obama said he wanted to take “off the table” the idea of passing a bill through the Senate before Brown is seated. He then says that health care can go forward without passing anything through the Senate. He says one option is for the House to “work on” the Senate bill. In other words, you can reconcile the White House’s desire not to steamroller Webb or whoever by blast things through the Senate with a desire for health care reform to move forward by using a ping-pong strategy, as Gibbs describes. Would you like me to diagram it?
The White House has put out some terrible, easy-to-maliciously-misinterpret messaging on this, and clearly does not have any specific strategy on the bill yet (honestly I think any strategy will necessarily have to be up to Pelosi at this point). This doesn’t give you license to do the NYT thing and intentionally misconstrue everything they say in the most right-wing way possible.
Hey now, I wanna ride the Failwagon as much as you guys do, but is it not even POSSIBLE that Obama might actually meet up and form some kind of agreement with the minority leadership in order to make this happen?
But Obama pretty much cannot win, can he? Because if that happened, the leftmost leftists of the left hand of doom would probably get all shitty with him. I can’t believe my ears but I did in fact hear the other day that some people are wanting to use Howard “Yeagh!” Dean to primary Obama in 2012. I like Dean and admire the 50-state strategy that he championed in the DNC, but talk about a dead fucking horse.
Seriously, though, it’s times like these that I just wish that we could all agree to take a week off the internets, because as badly as this sucks today, it’s a blip even in the short term. The right is going to start hating on Brown in less than ten minutes, anyway. (Glenn Beck already is, I hear) So, whatever. This too shall pass and other pleasantries.
Mind meld. When I got to this…
I was instantly thinking this…
I dunno, maybe it could be called DDS, Democratic Delusion Syndrome. Fuck, even a rat that steps on a metal bar in a maze giving it a shock learns way quicker not to go down that path than these dumbasses.
The Republic of Stupidity
And in the end, the crazy mofos are STILL gonna call him an Islamonazified Sociomaoist Retrostalinist American Hating fool…
***starts beating head on wall…***
This. Is. NOT. What. I. Voted. For…
Wait wait, Ezra says we should hold off the Seppuku for another day or two, things may be stabilizing a little:
EDIT: Looks like some people have already beat me to this thread of news. Good on ya peeps.
From the Ezra Klein post Tom Hilton points to in #39:
Well, jeebus. I told them that in my blog post at 0818 this morning!
Guess they don’t read my erudite advice column.
Health reform doesn’t have to go through the senate again if the House passes it as-is and works to improve it through reconciliation later. This is what Barney Frank, Andy Stern of the SEIU and others are urging Congress to do right now and I’m not really seeing anything from the White House to contradict this strategy. They can do this well before Brown is sworn in – if the House progressives would calm down long enough to accept the political realities they face. I suspect the flood of calls from Frank’s constituents changed his stance and is changing the minds of Grijvalva and others as we speak.
@Amy: This. If they give up on HCR; I’m giving up on the Democrats. There just isn’t any reason to support them if they can’t fight for their core issues.
I wonder how much of this “we’ll let him be seated before voting” business is really due to timing. Given how bad the Coakley polls looked in the last week, I tend to think they would have pushed the merged Senate-House bill through if they had already worked out getting the needed number of votes in the Senate and House. They didn’t and maybe they anticipate not having it together before Himbo Spice legally has to be seated.
How is this a shock to you? Hell, even on this board, which I would consider to be fairly well informed you have a fair degree of opposition to HCR without knowing why. How many arguments against HCR have come from the ‘well, so and so opposes it, so I don’t see how I can support it’ angle?
I mean, one of the loudest arguments here I’ve heard opposing the Senate bill is that insurance executives don’t end up poorer.
No. Palin’s function is not to become President. For one thing, it doesn’t pay enough. Palin’s function is to make other Republicans who are nearly as crazy seem normal in comparison because they can actually speak English.
Barney Frank walked (no, RAN) back his “no House vote on Senate bill” assertion today, so MAYBE that’s still an option. Short of that, though, I’m sorry what other option is there? Pixie dust?
Whether we like it or not, the public, esp. “low information voters,” love the High Broderism of bipartisanship. My main criticism of our side is we’ve done an AWFUL job explaining how nuts, crazy, etc the GOP is. If people aren’t scared of the GOP, they’ll want “bipartisanship.”
Finally, having the House pass the Senate bill is, IMHO, the best option. But it will have consequences. For mostly BS reasons, the public isn’t supporting the bills. Passing it as is, after last night, WILL piss people off. Long-term, it will benefit the country and should be done, but the immediate outcry will be strong.
@Sentient Puddle: This was my favorite thing I saw on the Boston Globe’s Web site yesterday:
Deval Patrick is the governor of Massachusetts. That’s right—this guy voted to send a conservative state senator to the federal Senate because he thought that would reduce state spending and state taxes.
There need to be remedial civics classes outside voting booths, I swear.
I would suggest actually watching the interview with Suffleupagus before
we all go Galt (again). Obama’s statement wasn’t even close to a white flag. He stated that he would not support going back to the Senate before Naked Truck Guy is seated. Who fucking cares? It’s the House we need right now. If THEY punt, then I will lead the charge over the cliff.
And, yes, after -I’ve had a couple of beers, my mood has improved since the last post.
And again: Everybody. Take. A. Deep. Breath.
The President doesn’t appear to have said what the reporter inferred (“signaled” is kind of a dead giveaway that there’s creative interpretation going on). Gibbs is talking about ping pong. Barney Frank is walking back his earlier comments. Things are not hopeless.
Keep calling your representatives. It’s cheaper than having to replace all your garments after you rend them.
The most important thing is to pass it. Yes, earplugs and blinders will be neccesary for a couple of days, but that’s life in the Big City.
Stay on target, Red Five.
Short term memory loss, huh? that must suck.
But this doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting piss poor leadership from the White House on this, putting out ambiguous statements and one that lend to so many interpretations.
Well yes, when translated, that does mean “I’m not sure why I oppose it,” but at least there’s a pretend reason on the face of it. Here, that 41% literally picked the option marked “not sure.” I mean, come on.
How many people have actually read the bill? How many people could name even 5 features of it? ALL the dems have failed at communicating this, from the WH down to freshman congresscritters.
Hell, I’ve seen very smart people refer to it as shit, while simultaneously say they are neither for or against it, and have not read it.
I just don’t get that.
@Neutron Flux: who said i was concluding anything? I’m plus whatever and im just saying stuff.
That was a shot across the bow. I’m absolutely certain it was followed, in private, with “OK, liberal caucus, pass the Senate bill and we’ll fix it later.”
“But if you don’t…”
I still think this bill is history. That said, labor signing on was a HUGE step in the right direction.
I would add that, no matter what Brown’s stated position is, he still might like to get re-elected and he represents a state that is not only still quite an Obama fan but also in favor of HCR. And he ran as a “liberal” republican. I’m certain there is a form of the current bill – probably pretty damn stripped down – that he would vote for (with appropriate face saving noise – something like ‘I fixed it.’)
I’d just be happy if they fired that dolt Tim Kaine and reinstalled Dean as head of the DNC. He was unquestionably the best DNC head we’ve had in my adult lifetime, and I truly believe that if he were still on the job, last night’s fiasco could have been avoided. Not to mention the tea-bagger frenzy could be counterbalanced by serious Dem competitors for Republican seats in the purplish states.
@Malron: Exactly. And for the optics minded, having the House pass the Senate bill does a nice job of instantly neutering the effect of the MA election, shifting the news to Democratic success and turning the media loose on the ‘how this affects you’ messaging that they actually do like to do. Obama can claim victory at the SotU, talk entirely about what needs to come next, and off we go.
And there’s nothing that stops the House from sending over smaller HCR related bills as they suggested they wanted to do instead of this – either as fixes to the current Senate bill or as add-ons. Lost in the shadow of the big bill, it’ll be easier to get people like Snowe to cut against the filibuster.
Call your representatives and say What? See, that’s the bit that hasn’t been hashed out yet. Call them and tell them to… push the senate bill through? Maybe. But how about call your senator and tell him to go to the Nuclear Option and sidestep the filibuster, passing the conference bill?
That, to me, is the better option.
“Until” means that something will be sent through after Brown is seated, and not before. “Without” means we’re keeping our options open. Unfortunately for your argument, I quoted Gibbs accurately and you paraphrased him.
And then, after paraphrasing what Gibbs said, which was that nothing would be sent through the Senate “until” Brown was seated, not “without” him being seated, you have the gall to compare me to an alleged paraphrasing by a NYT reporter? That’s so dishonest you must be a public relations professional.
John Cole thank you. Are we done pretending that Barney Frank is the roadblock?
Getting the House liberals to firm up behind the Senate Bill is only setting them up for another rug-pull. The pres and the Senate are figuring out how to split the difference between the Senate Bill and what the old SNL skit about Theodoric of York, the medieval doctor, would want.
Maybe the House prog strategy of taking HCR apart, voting on item after item and at least forcing the Senate t go on record as being for or against the good, the bad, and the ugly, is a better electoral strategy than the Dems getting out in front on capitulation.
Exactly my thoughts. I’m reserving my opinions until then.
@Sentient Puddle: Well, presumably there was a list that didn’t include ‘executives end up poorer’ and the people being polled actually liked the things that were presented, so they were left with ‘don’t know’.
I think there is something else going on. I think people have realized that if they want HCR they are going to have to get off their fat asses and start doing some legwork themselves and tell their representatives that they want it. Reading this tells me that people are finally getting it that THEY have to fight it. That they can’t just let Obama go out there and fight for it. I’ve made this same damn point over and over again, and by God I hope people are listening and start doing it.
Labor didn’t sign on to the bill they would have to pass. Labor signed on to the changes made in conference. But that isn’t the bill that would pass. Labor today announced that they WOULD NOT agree to the senate bill as it passed a couple of weeks ago.
@Bobby Thomson: Are you retarded or something? If the House passes it, it never goes through the Senate, so Gibbs is clearly describing any possible outcome that involves the senate and not all possible outcomes.
Jesus, some of you guys work entirely too hard at this victim thing.
Talk about the hard bigotry of high expectations.
@Ecks: It doesn’t matter how many times the White House patiently explains that [whatever] isn’t what they were trying to say. 20 minutes will pass, some news source will write up a new paraphrase of comments Obama made yesterday morning, and 400 blogs will freak out linking it and presenting it as new information which washes the White House’s attempts to explain themselves away in a wave of “I told you so”s.
This is why getting the messaging right the first time is really, really important. Obama sometimes does do the Kerry thing of speaking in “complete sentences” with “dependent clauses” which can be “quoted out of context” and “made to sound like they’re saying basically anything you want”. That’s sort of the kind of President we want– I mean, someone who thinks and speaks in complete sentences– but at some point they are going to have to figure out that there really are times when job #1 has to be eradicating all ambiguity on the White House’s position.
Not going to happen. For one thing, there probably aren’t 40 votes for that, much less 51. For another, IIRC you can change the rules by a simple majority only at the very beginning of the session; I think that opportunity has already passed.
So, to clarify: call your representative and tell him or her to vote for the Senate bill. That, or give up–which, to me, is not the better option.
Just want to say: I love both the new tags.
Frustrating and depressing, but I love ’em.
This thread is about Obama, not Bush.
More from the Department of We Are SO Fucked – an anonymous email from a senate hill staffer says:
Thanks for serving up such insightful analysis with your gratuitous insult.
I guess we can drop the no-drama Obama meme.
Exactly my read. Brown took the damn tarbaby off all of their hands.
I think it’s time to listen to Tom Hilton and mcc on this. Let’s be patient a little longer – we know that Obama is cautious and Pelosi is still working on ramming the Senate bill through. Also, consider that Dems must clearly know that a HCR failure this late in the game is political suicide.
That goes for you too John Cole: you’ve supported these guys through it all, let’s give the leaders the benefit of the doubt here.
President Obama on Wednesday signaled that he might be willing to set aside his goal of achieving near-universal health coverage for all Americans
All us Dirty Fucking Hippies told you so, jackass.
Well, someone doesn’t work in PR or isn’t very good at it. News flash: “Retarded” stopped being publicly acceptable as an insult about 30 years ago.
I’m well aware that if the House passes it, it never goes through the Senate. I’ll assume that Gibbs is also well aware of that, which makes his framing of the issue very revealing.
yesterday there were 59 living Democrats and 40 living republicans.
today there are 59 living democrats and 41 living republicans.
41 = supermajority
why aren’t we doing this kind of math with the deficit?
Yeargh. The only thing that gives me any hope at all now is that in the campaign Obama had a long history of rope a dope – letting himself get pummeled endlessly then turning into badass Obama, taking numbers, and kicking ass.
Well right now we’re all feeling like Rocky in the “he-gets-smashed-to-pieces-to-build-dramatic-tension” fight of any given Rocky film… and the first sign’s from Obama and the dems aren’t encouraging… but if he comes out and turns this around and actually starts throwing punches and spinning a narrative that actually SELLS all the good things the Dems are trying to do, and forces the Rethugs to publicly own defending the banks…
Yeargh…. Redemption is possible yet, but the difference is I’m not actually expecting it much any more.
Uh, no. HCR is on life support, and if you don’t want this to be thrown back to Snowe and Grassley, now is the time to speak the hell up.
General Winfield Stuck
@scudbucket: I thought you were a bill killer? But then I am a lowly Obot, and don’t know anything.
Yup, fired up, ready to go. I haven’t called this many elected representatives and yelled at them in a long time.
@Tomlinson: If you are right about that, wouldn’t that be an insane thing for them to think? Relief? That makes my head spin. I mean, I could barely even vote in 1994 but I remember the reason for all the losses that year. It was failure to pass an ambitious bill which took an inordinate amount of time to construct. Seems like the current bill took even longer and had even more drama, so they cannot possibly be feeling relief. Er, right?
You’re forgetting about the possibly more frequently used, even less relevent: ‘well, so and so supports it, so I don’t see how I can support it.’ argument. That one’s been banging around a bit as well.
(Edited to allow that augments are being made in good faith, even if poorly.)
@Zuzu’s Petals: The coma crack was over the line. You’re right. I apologize.
And, no, Snowe and Collins won’t vote for anything. They learned their lesson after Limbaugh sicced his dogs on them.
TBogg snarks at our expense.
The delusion is called insanity. Obama knows all about it too.
From the Financial Times:
“During the long campaign Mr Obama had become fond of quoting Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: ‘Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.'”
Hahahaha! Welcome to the Democratic party! I have been here for 44 years and I have to say the Democrats are their own worst enemy. I had the epiphany today that Obama doesn’t care about political parties, he just wants to get legislation passed and if that means pissing all over the Democratic base, so be it. Learn to love being a fire hydrant, I guess.
@General Winfield Stuck: But I’m a Democrat!
I think it’s “learned helplessness.” You know, where the rat just sits there and lets you shock it, even though it could avoid the shock by moving three inches to the left.
@Bobby Thomson: I think he meant being patient about feeling despair and writing off the party.
But personally, feeling outrage and thinking about actions steps is fine. Just keep the options open so you can take further action later. Disengagement shouldn’t be an option; either something passes or people start building a mechanism that WILL change things.
Same. My trick for multiplying my voice is I call all of my senators’ and rep’s offices. They have 2-4 offices each, and generally only ask for my zip code. I do it on rotation so the staffers at every branch hear that they need to get health care reform fucking done, even if it means having the house pass the senate bill, getting the president to sign it, and then send any changes through reconciliation later.
@General Winfield Stuck: Actually, the reason I supported killing the bill back in Nov/Dec was because I thought it would be a tough political sell, that Dems would get hammered in 10 and 12, and I wanted it improved before the final Senate vote. Oh well.
@Martin: When the initial anger and hysteria of the first 48 hours subsides, people will actually hear what we’ve said.
Fully agreed, but just noting why it will be harder than it should be.
Labor leaders are starting to come together and realize that passing the Senate bill in front of the house is a must. There will be assurances and I hope with the better leverage of having nothing pass the House progressives can get 50 Senate votes for something more than just a higher level of subsidies and excise tax workouts. All that being said I am pretty sure that the Senate never had 50 votes to expand public insurance whether it be through a Medicare expansion or a public option.
Tell me this is a good sign. Or not?
@danimal: If they don’t fight for this, what ARE their core issues?
The funniest thing to watch is going to be how quickly the circular firing squad on the right tees up Brown. Hell, they already are!
Both these political parties deserve each other. We, however, don’t deserve them.
@mcc: True and true. The WH’s attempts to speak to Americans like adults have been a horrible failure. Simple sentences that build simple stories that evoke powerful emotions. “Americans are dying without health insurance. We are going to stop them from being cut off.” And “Our country is under threat, and Republicans are refusing to let us appoint people to security jobs”… Drew Westen for all his blagginess has a basic truth that he keeps hammering about this stuff.
And how would the hippies have made this better? I have heard a lot of complaints from the hippies, but not one single solitary constructive idea as to how to make it better or get what they have been screaming bloody murder for.
Until you come up with something besides primary everybody for the opportunity to field a candidate who is completely unacceptable to 60% of the population, you got nothing,
That’s known as “Typical Democratic Politician’s Epic Rhetoric Fail Syndrome”. I believe the editors of the upcoming DSM 5 (expected 5/2013) have decided to include this syndrome under “personality disorders, severe”.
So, is he still a master of 11-dimensional chess?
@Heresiarch: I have a solution. How about purpose of “achieving near universal healthcare for all democratic party members.” Since healthcare coverage is so horribly vile to the republicans, and moreso to the poorer ones, they should think this a great plan.
@Tonal Crow: turns out all the pieces he was moving around decided to stab themselves in the chest and jump off the board.
Okay…this is hilarious! Glenn Beck doesn’t trust Scott Brown, and Randall Terry is already talking that they need to work to replace him. Welcome to the wacky right, Scotty!
Of course they’ve been a horrible failure. How many times do elected Democrats have to lose before they understand that most voters are ruled by their emotions most of the time?
I called my congresscritter’s DC office today and will start tomorrow on a round of calls to district offices.
An office-mate asked me today if she should call this House member and I said yes. I am going to suggest it to some more folks tomorrow and forward them the phone numbers. Anyone else in?
Exactly. I agree.
What exactly will be the Democratic platform? When the going got rough, we rolled over and played dead, or stayed in bed under the covers and hoped the Republicans would go away.
What the HCR debate showed the Republicans is that the Democratic leadership, including the administration, can’t fight back. The minority party controlled the narrative from the beginning and at no time did the administration and the Congressional leadership take the narrative back.
Congress and the administration are classice enablers — they enabled the disfunctional Republican party to continue to preach one set of values, while continuing to practice a whole other set of behaviors. No where, and I mean no where, did the Democratic Congressional leadership and the administration come out and say enough. Either support necessary reform that helps the majority of Americans or GET OUT!
Yet again, it seems that the Democratic party can campaign, but they can’t govern. They don’t have the balls….
I know Congressmen don’t read their email, but this made me feel better. I think I’ll print it out and snail-mail it so someone actually reads it.
@Tonal Crow: There’s actually some psych research on this… and the answer is that both emotional and rational appeals work, but the emotional ones work a bit more… So your best case scenario you double punch with both. But when the R’s are ONLY punching emotional, and the Dems are ONLY punching rational, that’s net win for crazitown.
The populace will always prefer a man (or woman) who actually stands for something. Nobody ever won an election while hedging their bets.
Nope, they are so terrified of failure that they are frozen in place.
What they do not seem to understand is that looking like a bunch of incompetent wimps is the surest path to failure.
See “Coakley, Martha”. Also filed under “Failure, Epic” and “Goal, Own” (with picture.)
now is the time to attack. when the repugs lost both houses in 2006 everyone started talking about when we were going to get out of iraq. g bush put more people in called it a surge and claimed a win. don’t back off. the people who elected obama didn’t do it because they wanted that half-ass bill that worming through congress. we wanted change. we wanted heath care not a windfall for the insurance companies. strip the bullshit off the bill force it through and if it fails it fails because we the people decided not to have healthcare. not because big pharma and the insurance companies decided they weren’t ready to let go of the tit.
Yes it is.
Geez you guys, here’s a simple trueism I would think that most us would have come to grips with along time ago:
In times of hardship, message discipline will always be something you’re going to appreciate grudgingly in Republicans, not point to proudly in Dems.
Half of these dire predictions are getting walked back before the breath of the last word leaves the speakers lips. And tomorrow, those walk-backs are going to get walked back.
Give it till Friday. If the same stuff is still being said- then you can let the great liberal freak-out begin.
WTF are these guys thinking?
They’re thinking: “thank god for yet another excuse to do what our corporate masters want of us.”
The democrats are neither stupid nor spineless. Once you realize that the rest will be clear.
Very funny, and true, too.
I was waiting for them to bolt, I could feel them running for the exits, but they seem to be “stabilizing” according to Ezra, which is just a pathetic word.
They have to stop acting like wounded animals. They really do.
I would think they could at least do this: shut up until you have some idea what you’re going to do. Just shut up for 24 hours. Don’t speculate, don’t ponder publicly, until you know.
Yeah, things were so much better in those eight years when Dubya and Cheney were in charge!
“My main criticism of our side is we’ve done an AWFUL job explaining how nuts, crazy, etc the GOP is.”
You know, people saw for themselves, up close and personal for eight years how nuts, crazy, etc. the GOp is, and voted them out in large numbers. But people will always prefer the ideas of someone crazy over someone catatonic.
What scares us really does not scare the general voting populace because most people do not pay that much attention. George Bush is a just bad memory to most people by now. They do not care about bipartisanship, they just want somebody to look like they are doing something to make the lives better of something besides Bank of America. Democrats, as usual, have done a shitty job of articulating how ANYTHING they have done will help anybody-especially in the short term, where we all live-and Republicans have done a fantastic job of filling in those blanks with death panels and socialism.
These people probably faint when they see their own shadows and run screaming from small children and baby rabbits.
I mean, seriously. Grow a backbone or take lessons or something. Good examples of backbone are conveniently located on the other side of the aisle, but I’m quite sure they could learn something from your average two year old.
Here’s an idea: how about not taking your Senate seat for granted just because you’re a Democrat in Massachusetts?
I know, I know, it’s about six months too late, but Coakley shouldn’t have needed a fucking billboard put up outside her house to fill her in on that strategy.
Here’s a more current idea: Now is not the time to panic. The time to panic was last October, when the United States was revealed as a kleptocracy.
Now, do the centrists have any constructive ideas besides supporting bastards and imbeciles like Lieberman and Nelson?
@Ecks: Yeah, I’ve heard this from plenty of Democrats on TV, they just get drowned out by the pundits.
I do not know any real Democrat who thinks that Lieberman and Nelson are worth supporting, but the fact of the matter is, this is what you have to work with right now.
And claiming that Barack Obama is throwing you under the bus because he has to deal with ass clowns like those two (who are both dead in the water anyway) is asinine.
Yes. And we are actively reaching out to our colleges on both the left and the right to find common ground to build on, so we can implement these good, common sense reforms that will dramatically improve the lives of common americans just like you.
I could and do laugh at it, but then I get a little angry, because I think about how risky a lot of regular people’s lives are. Particularly right now. Somehow, regular people are managing to make decisions when all they have is bad choices.
“Walk away from the house I’m underwater or on or try to modify?” Cash in the retirement account and take the tax hit or stop paying tuition?” “Should I MOVE to find a job?” “Now that I’m unemployed and without health insurance, what if I get sick?”
Members of Congress cannot deal with the risk inherent in passing legislation. Which, not incidentally, is their job.
Mike in NC
The usual bobbleheads on TV are already talking about the clown Scott Brown’s awesome political future. How long before some teabagger starts handing out “Demint/Brown 2012” bumper stickers?
This man speaks wisdom. “signaled” WTF does that mean?
Let me clarify my position. I understand that every Blue Dog cannot be replaced with a fire-breathing Kucinich clone. We’re going to get some centrists and some foot-draggers.
My original point was that there are reasons for us Dirty Internet Hippies to be angry at centrists, which is what John Cole apparently realized today.
I wish I could find it within me to read all the comments. I am sure there are fine points among them. I am just so discouraged; during his campaign Obama said he did not believe in approaching politics from a “defensive crouch.” I did not know he meant he would approach politics from the fetal position. I keep trying to set aside my growing sense of unease, but this sort of crap just pounds me down.
Yeah, I know, which is why you see me very rarely drag it out, but some people just rise to the occasion.
Consider yourself special.
I’m still turning blue over our “progressive” wing’s gift to tonight’s media narrative; failed presidency one year in. Why would it be otherwise? Successful locker rooms are boring.
So instead of a years worth of stories about a dysfunctional Senate, GOP obstructionism or, God forbid, finally putting the lie to Milt Friedman and the Laffer Curve, we get wall-to-wall coverage of the Democratic Party’s in-house pissing match. We get our Democratic hack-pols, getting their cable face time when they concern bash Obama. Because hell, how could Rahm possibly know something Jane doesn’t? They needed payback for their suffering, and the GOP just wouldn’t hold still, so… Frigging professional victims. Sorry for the rant, but I feel a little better now.
I’m interested in reading that research. Have you any cites?
Am I the only one who chuckled almost to the point of piddling in my pants on hearing the GOP leadership talk about the “arrogance of the Dems”? The same leadership that believes that a proper minority party is to shut down the gov’t because they know the will of the people. The same group of people who believe if they don’t work with the Democrats, then it is all the Democrats fault for everything.
If I was in the DNC leadership, I would announce that we are going to work in bipartisan fashion and then show the voting public that the otherside of the aisle is nothing but obstructing whiney malcontents who are doing nothing for the country but whine about the Democrats at every turn. I know this was tried but this time the Democrats need to get on every media source they can and show how the Republicans are acting. Name names. Release youtube videos. Finally wipe that smug look off of their fucking faces.
@gex: No prob then. Enjoy.
But…he got elected. I thought it was the “intricacies” of the Massachussets electorate. The election was not a mandate on hcr. The “people” want a “better bill” Blah blah blah.
Coakley ran on a platform of “vote for me and I’ll go forward with hcr”
Brown ran on a platform of “vote for me and I’ll STOP hcr”
Brown crushes Coakley.
And you want Democrats to forge full steam ahead on hcr??
Brilliant!! (for Republicans)
I really doubt it was HCR, if for no other reason than we already *have* it, or some reasonable facsimile thereof.
The overwhelming reason I’ve heard for voting against Coakley was that she is a cold fish, a fucknut, doesn’t care about voters, assumed the seat was hers, so fuck her. And she really went out of her way to reinforce those messages.
Look at Coakley’s polling numbers. If this was a referendum on HCR, they should have collapsed exactly along with approval for HCR. They absolutely went through the floor while HCR has remained (fairly) constant.
People ‘met’ Coakley for the first time, Brown defined her, she not only did not effectively counter, she made it worse, and that was that.
It’s gonna be crappy for several months, but the good news is come August, Obama will be in our good graces and popular once again. (Please don’t ask me for my secrets to this divine knowledge.) Oh, and he’s going to win re-election in 2012, although it will be closer than 2008. And even with 2012 being Palingeddon, I think that will bring a more liberal/progressive O that many of us stupid-whiny-pony-wishers (you know, the ones that want common sense solutions that are politically impossible know matter who’s in office) were hoping to see.
Bad news: Palin will be around again for the next presidental election… although only as a (failed) King-maker, not a candidate. You’d think after she fails (again) that’d be the last of her, but nooooo… Zombie Palin won’t let us off that easily.
I don’t understand. That would be, like, a negative space. It couldn’t exist. How could you strip it down any more?
Well it might mean abandoning even a pretence of reform and just handing money to Ins Cos…
@Dennis-SGMM: Yeah, that might work.
Certainly would be newsworthy.
Not bad… I would have also accepted Omar Minaya.
@Neutron Flux: I’ll see your OBOT and raise you an Ed Rendell in 2012.
@Jim: Man’s downright gullible.
Needs some street sense.
Or common sense.
Best and most accurate distillation I’ve heard all day. And you’re not being paid by someone for your analysis why exactly (and forgive me if you are)?
@Joshua Norton: Very true, Josh.
I was never very good at liar’s poker, but I might do pretty well against our prez.
Anyone know how many times Barry was rolled for his lunch money in high school?
Would splain alot.
There isn’t. And after SCOTUS legalizes corporate campaign contributions later today, it’s only gonna get worse. Banana republic? This time next year, you’ll be soaking in it.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Good to spend a moment in always sane ABQ.
Hope you are well, my old friend.
Oh, they have them, but as Jon Stewart said two nights ago, they have to go to the school nurse because they glued them to their thigh again.
Ladies & gentlemen, LisaK for the win.
@gwangung: Good one, as usual, gwangung.
I imagine if I were a Dem on shaky ground for re-election come November I’d be in fear of getting Coakleyed.
More likely, however, they will just get Skullfucked and continued to be outplayed — make that played — by the hypocrites who make up the bullshit loyal opposition that is today’s GOP. The President, too.
Enuf with the Ping Pong Strategy — or any other strategy involving balls.
Because it’s clear this White House, this Democratic Congress, does not have any.
General Winfield Stuck
@bedtimeforbonzo: Don’t you ever get tired of wanking your horseshit? I mean even for a few minutes.
Chillout, have a banana
TBogg has linked this post with the subhead;
“We’re all Jane Hamsher now”
I love TBogg and JCole more than my mom, but…
Jesus what a lousy day.
Since 11th dimensional chess from the political genius Mr Hopey Changey isn’t working, he’s progressing onto:
12TH DIMENSIONAL CHESS !
You’ll all be laughing on the other side of your faces when it all finally falls into place.
“My original point was that there are reasons for us Dirty Internet Hippies to be angry at centrists, which is what John Cole apparently realized today.”
I do not think I have ever heard Cole defend Lieberman and Nelson or any of that clique, and I would not consider either of them a centrist. That makes me no different than a hippy in that respect. On that, everybody to the left of Reagan agrees. They are both immature, self-righteous, overbearing douchebags. So you are not telling anybody here anything when you say that.
But when hippies are angry because Barack Obama has not been able to wave his magic wand and turn Ben Nelson into George McGovern…well that is what makes THEM immature, self-righteous, overbearing douchebags, and these are people I agree with on most policy issues.
@FormerSwingVoter: All well and good except for the part where the letter-writer talks about electing somebody who can solve America’s problems and then says he/she is going to vote Republican, by God. Might as well not vote at all if you think putting the Republican party back in charge is going to in any way, shape or form do anything to solve America’s problems. You’d think the writer would have figured that out by now. Or maybe I’m missing something.