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AdLib On January - 19 - 2010

It was one year ago Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States…or wasn’t according to teabaggers who protested the mucking up of the oath by Roberts. Remember? The de-legitimizing of Obama’s presidency literally began on the day he became president.

What also ended that day was the era of bipartisanship, which  is clearly over for at least a generation, possibly forever.

The end of bipartisanship was observed by the GOP at the beginning of the year during the Stimulus conferences, discussions and votes.

Unfortunately, President Obama, with the best of intentions, mistook the end of bipartisanship for an initial setback. He deserves to take the heat for this mistake in perception, this misplaced optimistic altruism.

But forgiveness should not come with much resistance, Presidents have been guilty of far worse deeds far more frequently in recent history.

Wrapping up the finger pointing, Rahm Emmanuel’s political malpractice, his total failure to guide Obama and his agenda successfully and intact through Congress should not be permitted to be swept under the rug. He should resign or be fired, he and his pro-corporate DLC ways have undermined and sabotaged this president.

One more note about this bipartisanship thing. As brilliant as Pres. Obama unquestionably is, the dynamics of productive bipartisanship is far different than de facto bipartisanship and it is the latter which he pursued.

Negotiating away things that would greatly benefit Americans just to coax one or more Republicans to sign on may technically be bipartisanship but goes against serving the American people. It is not what the American people meant by bipartisanship, what they wanted was for both parties to come together and work together to do what’s best for them.

Once the GOP made clear that they did not want what’s best for The People but for Obama (and the country) to fail, Obama’s continuing a pursuit of a technical bipartisanship was neither supported by the American people nor to their benefit to support. And that has been a huge factor for the political blowback from HCR, the economy (because of the compromises on the Stimulus), the MA election and Obama’s approval ratings at record lows.

We can’t and shouldn’t dwell on what can’t be changed. We have 3 more years in this term to change this nation for the better and regain positive momentum for Progressive issues. And those so-called Progressives who want only to condemn Obama can kiss Rush Limbaugh’s ass.

I think Pres. Obama has to turn his back on the 2009 Obama and truly “start” his presidency in 2010 as he should have in 2009. Fighting for the people, not accepting the concessions to corporate interests, not readily negotiating away valuable benefits for Americans to pursue  some disconnected concept of technical “bipartisanship”.

It is this kind of bold leadership that he represented he would bring to the country and which was expected. It is this kind of bold leadership he must embark on now as he begins again.

I suggest that Pres. Obama meet with Harry Reid and splash a bucket of reality in his face (though a real bucket of water would please me too). “Face facts, you’re going to lose your seat in the Senate, the Dems look incapable of leading and accomplishing things in Congress and will lose control. The only hope any of us have to turn this around is to get rid of that damn filibuster. If what gets accomplished after that doesn’t get you reelected, you can at least leave the Senate proudly as  having helped make the most fundamental and meaningful changes to this nation since FDR instead of as the ineffective leader that doomed Democratic control of Congress and the Obama Presidency.”

Short of nuking the filibuster, the Dems in the Senate need to use all the levers that Repubs used when they had 51 votes under Bush to get huge changes through. And yes, despite all the whining, that means using Reconciliation.

In either one of these scenarios, only 50 senators plus the VP are needed to pass legislation and no compromises with Blue Dogs or Repubs need to be made.

This is it for the Dems and the Progressive agenda. With the huge majorities they still have and a brilliant, fair minded president, if there is a possibility of the Democratic Party delivering for the American People in a big and sustained way, it will begin now. If not, the Dems will lose the enthusiasm and faith of their members for a long time to come. It will be hard to believe again in change being possible with the Dems if they can’t manage it now.

Word is that Obama’s SOTU Address will reflect more of a pivot towards being a bold leader. I’m pleased to hear that.

Hope and Change 2010. Be it and be it strongly, Mr. President and hold The Senate’s feet to the fire, I think the tables will quickly turn if you do.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

231 Responses so far.

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  1. nellie says:

    From Cher — moved up so we can discuss this great comment.

    Nellie- I am sorry, but this is why the Dems are failing. This is why many on the Left are angry

    • nellie says:

      Honestly, I don’t know how he can tell the senate to proceed without Brown. The GOP could get away w it because the media is on their side. I don’t see how Dems could pull it off without a major backlash.

      You know that I admire this president, but I concede one of the mistakes he has made is trying so hard to get legislation passed that he has abandoned his campaign persona. He’s buried under the amount of work to be done, and he’s letting himself lose his connection with the public. I think he has been “reporting” to us, but not connecting the way he did as a candidate. And he needs to be more honest and direct about these bills.

      It may be wishful thinking, but I would be very surprised if health care is not passed before the elections. I don’t hear anyone in the House or the Senate saying health care is over. I don’t hear the president saying it. And with this upset, I’m expecting things to change in congress, too. If they don’t, the dems are going to lose again in November. And I think they know that.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Personally, I don’t see how they can, constitutionally, not wait for Brown.

        The current senator was appointed to replace Kennedy. If it was a matter of a lame duck who had been elected and lost reelection, that would be different. But this is an elected senator (gag) replacing a seat warmer.

        I think it would be an insult to all the ignorant fuckwits in Mass who voted for Brown to rush legislation thru. And I know the Rethugs would ram it right up our asses.

        No. The only solution is to take our medicine and abolish the filibuster.

        • kesmarn says:

          I think Barney Frank said pretty much the same thing. As much as it hurts, we have to play by the rules. Even though “they” don’t. If both sides resort to the law of the jungle, we end up with anarchy.

          The infuriating thing is that the Repubs know this full well and leverage it to their advantage over and over. When you can batter people with the weapon of their own decency, you’ve sunk to a very low place indeed. But they are there.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I don’t mind, Nellie dear. But now that you’ve done that, I have to leave for a while! Not because if the discussion, but because of an appointment. :-(

  2. KQuark says:

    Cher this may make you feel better about what is going on in the white house.

    In the end, the White House does seem likely to incorporate some of these suggestions into its approach going forward. There could well be some strategic changes — more arm-twisting on the Hill, higher-profile speeches and public events, threats to recalcitrant Democrats and obstructing Republicans — but some changes could come at the policy level, for instance by taking a tougher line against Wall Street. The results will be clear by, at the latest, Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address a week from today.

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    I am fighting every impulse I have to get back in bed, pull up the covers and never pay any attention to politics AT ALL.

    I am disgusted by Americans and disgusted by the Democrats, who are blowing it big time. And it wouldn’t be so bad if they were blowing it against a plausible Party. But to blow it when the alternative is the Reptilian party, is pretty effing close to unforgivable.

    • PatsyT says:

      I have been feeling the same way Cher, I am going back to baking.
      But that would let them win and make my family fat.
      So I will give it a little breather and be back.
      We have to give ourselves a bit of time to adjust
      Thankfully, I have a little trip coming up to keep me busy.
      Hope you can find a little distraction to refresh yourself.
      You have worked very hard on all of this.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Yes, Patsy, time for a time out. I am working on an article that has nothing to do with any of this, and I’ll put on blinders and keep my head down for a few days. Very wise advice!

    • KQuark says:

      Cher I would love to be able to say something to make you feel better.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Thanks KQ.I really appreciate that. But the only person who can make me feel better is the President. He can say something that makes me feel he gets it. I want him to say that this is his wake up call and that from now on, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy-- from now on he will not listen to those who claim he must be bipartisan. Now it is time to show some fight. I agree with you that he is a long-term strategic thinker, but elections are not won in the long term. Politics sometimes matters more than policy, and by that I mean that you and I can bemoan the whiners and the unrealistic, but that’s politics and Obama better play to the one that brung him. He’s played to the Indies and the Right and it ain’t working in the world of voters.

        • choicelady says:

          I think bipartisanship has to be over. And the DINOs have to back off because the loss of support for health care was swift and immediate when the public option was LEFT OUT, not when it was in.

          There are strategies that might work that I’ve mentioned below -- pass the Senate bill and work out the budget issues including the public option as a cost saver, the reduction in the tax on Cadillac plans (who gets those -- not labor!) and pegging even private payments to income percentages, not the market so that we can see the budget costs. All that can be done via reconcilliation.

          We have to have real leadership from both the Congress and WH. Pandering to the center right is absurd -- that is NOT where the loss is coming from.

          Obama has done amazing things cited here -- but he has not taken credit for them. They have passed unnoticed in the MSM and now even on the liberal side.

          His political capital is high -- 90% like him as a person. That is amazing. So he has room to BE Obama, not capitulate. When he has done that, he has lost support.

          Molly Ivins -- wish she were here -- always said, “Dance with the ones that brung you.” He has to support his base -- the people -- not the naysayers and skeptics. And he cannot be too modest!

        • KQuark says:

          I’m sure he gets it but all he is getting is bad. He has a base that left him, a disgruntle country, obstructionists Republicans and Democrats that will not follow his agenda.

          He said in another quote that he realizes that he’s been focusing too much on policy and needs to get back in more touch with the people.

          If you want him to be angry and divisive like the anti-Bush he was never that man. Right now I’m glad he’s focusing on populist politics which will be the path to a major comeback.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            I don’t want him to be angry-- I want him to fight. They are not the same. He can fight with populism --that’s one thing I want him to do. It’s a sad, bizarre world when Reps can claim the populist mantle!

            • nellie says:

              I think he is going to fight, Cher. I think this election may put the fight back into his style. Less wonk, more inspiration.

            • Kalima says:

              I believe he will come out fighting too nellie. He stretched out his hand to the other side, they didn’t have the decency to even consider shaking it, instead they spit on it and in some cases even tried to cut it off.

              Enough is now really enough!!

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Nellie-- I literally pray you are right.

    • Tiger99 says:

      “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” -- Groucho Marx 😎

  4. nellie says:

    Barack Obama:

    “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.”


    • Gretel1or2 says:

      I think Obama meant that people’s reported perceptions of the government were similar (whether true or not). I don’t think Obama truly believes that he is the same as Bush.

      It’s possible that Obama is courting Scott Brown to set him up for the health care vote. This will force Brown to show exactly where he stands on health care reform -- it’s one thing to say you’ll do this or that, but when people see how you vote, that will make them see the consequences of their actions.

      • nellie says:

        I think it’s a very brave statement. The president is talking about discontent — not comparing himself to Bush. Discontent and the desire for change is what got him elected, and what got Brown elected.

        He’s taking the lesson of this election to heart.

        • KQuark says:

          Yeah I don’t see it at all like he’s comparing himself to Bush either. He’s relaying two truths that he recognizes the political environment and Brown ran a great campaign.

          The fact is if he was like Bush he would have been delusional and said this means nothing.

          • nellie says:

            Yep. Agreed.

            I’m glad to hear him say this. It means he realizes that things have to change. That the public wants to see real progress.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Hi Gretel. (First, if i sound angry, please know it’s not at you!)

        If what you say is true--Obama courting Scott Brown-- than I have had it with him. STILL COURTING REPUBLICANS!? Way to lose, O. and Brown has already signaled that he will filibuster any health bill. I certainly hope that’s not what he meant.

        • Gretel1or2 says:

          I hear you Cher. I am just as pissed off at Obama to to hear him say that he will wait until Brown get’s seated. This is nonsense in my opinion. What can you possibly gain by waiting for someone who ran for senate just to upset your agenda???? Obama is nutz if he really believes he’s going to get something. In my wishful thinking, he’s doing this to set a trap for Brown. But we’ll see….it aint over ’til it’s over.

          • nellie says:

            He has to wait — because otherwise he’s just ignoring the people’s voices.

            The problem with this election is not so much what’s happening now, but what happened before the vote. Where was the DNC — why didn’t they do a better job of selecting candidates and crafting a message. Not to mention keeping their candidate from taking a vacation during such a pivotal election.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              How about the people’s voices in the other 49 states who want health care reform? Why is it about what Republican voters want?

            • nellie says:

              Cher, I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to quote your comment and move it up — it’s a great point to discuss.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Nellie- I am sorry, but this is why the Dems are failing. This is why many on the Left are angry-- including me.

              There were other options discussed for the bill to move forward before Brown is seated. Whether they were feasible or not, the message O sent (that he would wait for Brown) is exactly the wrong one.

              Health care is THE most important piece of legislation of his agenda. He seems not to be fighting to pass it. One of the criticisms I feel is valid is that Bush passed legislation with 51 votes, and we can’t with more than that.

            • nellie says:

              The senate has to take all states into account. And MA has said this is the person they want. The same would have happened if Coakley had won.

              I don’t think health care is over.

          • KQuark says:

            The Senate has nothing to vote on anyway. It’s up to the House if they want to ram through healthcare because any major piece of legislation the Senate passes now needs 60. I’m mad at all the Dems for not getting the bill done by now.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              KQ, regardless of the facts about the senate, do you see how that statement by Obama (about waiting to seat Brown) is tone deaf? Or easily misinterpreted?

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I just don’t understand. And Robert Gibb just said that Obama agrees with Reid that health care should be postponed until Brown is sworn in. I am just shaking my head in wonder.

      • KQuark says:

        That does not preclude the House from acting. This could be a ploy to push the House to pass the Senate bill. There is nothing to vote on in the Senate right now anyway because the bills have not been reconciled.

        They already have a paired down bill in the works for the Senate that should be an even more bitter pill for the House to swallow.

        Three choices now.

        The House passes the Senate version.

        The Senate and House vote on a pared down new bill.

        Healthcare reform dies.

        The last one seems to be more and more likely. Isn’t the last one what Dean, Hamster and Huffy wanted anyway.

    • KQuark says:

      Anti-incumbency vibe, a bad opponent and a great campaign. It’s actually true to a large extent. I was thinking about that last night.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        So Obama thinks that the people of MA think he is as bad as Bush? That the Dems are worse than Reps? That’s anti-incumbancy, right? Yeah, Coakley was bad, but so was Brown. he didn’t run a great campaign either. So I still don’t get Obama’s comment.

        • nellie says:

          He’s responding to the fact that the MA vote is a protest vote. It’s a vote against the focus on wall street without a corresponding focus on jobs.

          I really believe this is about jobs more than health care. I think November is going to be about jobs, too.

        • KQuark says:

          It’s anti-incumbency and has nothing to do with Bush because he’s not in office. Bush never had the expectations people, especially progressives had for Obama’s presidency. You said so yourself. What he’s saying is MA voters don’t think he’s done enough compared to expectations. I hear that all over the place from Dems.

          I beg to differ about Brown’s campaign he worked real hard and Coakly did not until it was too late. Brown even adopted Obama’s net roots tactics.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            What I meant Q is that Obama made that comparison by referencing HIS campaign after Bush. He is saying that voters are as unhappy with him as they were with Bush. And if what you said above is true, then he should feel pretty terrible.

            • KQuark says:

              I’m sure he does feel more terrible than all of us about this. I’m sure he feels totally repudiated but Cher come on that’s all progressives have been doing is attacking him, not to mention the Repubs and even the middle. I wish I had a nickle for every progressive that says Obama is just like Bush.

  5. choicelady says:

    My morning call with a Senate health staff person raised three possibilities. Yes -- pass the Senate version, warts and all, in the House then send the financial pieces such as the tax on health benefits (“Cadillac” plans) and other finance issues through reconcilliation. In the meantime, rid the Senate of the 60-vote rule and restore democracy.

    CA knows full well the tyranny of the weak that comes from supermajorities. We have them for passing both budget AND tax increases (not cuts, mind you -- only the ability to rescind those cuts.) Federalist Paper No.58 and others warned about this, and we’ve seen that it gives the unimaginative total control to block the creative. The minority trumps the majority. So enough.

    We need to find ways to do this, and the progressive forces must not block the framework. I’m heartened by the fact that the Senate as well as the House bill links what one pays to a percentage of income rather than -- as the MA plan and proposed CA plan did -- forcing people to pay market rates. YES -- government would subsidize the purchaser thereby handing the insurance corporation the full rate, but preserving the national oversight to make insurance companies justify rate hikes is a start. And that is how Switzerland and Germany began, too.

    We fool ourselves if we think at any point in US history we’ve made sweeping changes. We never have and likely never will. Even in the Great Depression, FDR did what he did fairly carefully, especially after the NRA was declared unconstitutional. (“Gone away, is the Blue Bird, here to stay, is the new bird”…)

    I do want to see him ramp this up. I also understand why he insists that nothing gets rammed through before Brown is seated, but there are end runs that MUST be done to get a decent bill that will immediately cover the 18 million waiting, hoping, praying, and dying that it passes. They are not negligable.

    So the evidence that 43% stayed home and did not vote because they wanted the House bill -- which they would have likely gotten had they not slit their own throats and ours -- is another piece of information about how arrogant our own side has become. They HAVE health care -- and I bet none is in the Mass Connector program -- so what’s it to them? Bet I have relatives who sat it out.


  6. nellie says:

    Research 2000 Poll Results, January 19, 2010

    There’s a real populist anger out there. Voters worry that Democrats in power have not done enough to combat the policies of the Bush era. Both sets of voters wanted stronger, more progressive action on health care reform, as well. In summary, the poll shows that the party who fights corporate interests

    • Tiger99 says:

      Nellie remember what I mentioned yesterday about what people visualize?
      You just can’t be seen sipping champagne in a Tux on Wall Street asking them to “play nice” and then insist on taxing Health Care benefits and expect the average working/middle class person to think you give a damn about them…

      I am noticing that President Obama does seem to be becoming more public about defending the people against the “Big Bankers” and “Big Corps” on Wall Street instead of all the closed door type negotiations… Perhaps if this trend continues people will understand he is fighting for them…

      • nellie says:

        I think I’m changing my mind a little bit about the president’s governing style and thinking more like you on this. He has been very diligent and deliberate, but he needs to be more inspirational. That’s who the country elected. And he can’t wonk out on everyone and expect them to understand what he’s doing.

        I think he might get the message, now. Or… let’s write him a letter and let him know!

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Nellie, apparantly he does not understand, if he can make a statement like he did about Brown-- the one you cited. Or if he can agree with Reid to table health care until Brown is sworn in.

    • KQuark says:

      I don’t want to bash Research 2000 but they are a de facto partisan poll.

      I think the president is already moving towards populist things like taxing bailouts. But with healthcare reform it’s easy to read it many ways.

      I hope the scaled back idea scares the hell out of House Dems enough to vote on the Senate bill but I doubt it will happen. The reason is when things like this happens everyone rationalizes and that’s when people are most unreasonable.

      • nellie says:

        I agree with them. MA residents have health care. That wasn’t the issue for them. Jobs was the issue for them. Main street vs wall street.

        This administration has got to do something about the job picture, or we’ll see more of this in November — as illogical as that would be.

    • Gretel1or2 says:

      I’m still at a loss as to why they voted for Brown -- he is certainly not a progressive candidate? What made them think that he would help to create a more progressive health care reform?

      • nellie says:

        He was a state senator, so he had name recognition. He’s attractive, he’s friendly. In our society, those two things count for a lot. And he called the open senate seat “the people’s seat” rather than “Kennedy’s” seat. I think that won him some points.

      • KQuark says:

        Or populist for that matter. He already said he would vote no to tax Wall Street bailouts, vote no on new regulations and received most of his big cash from Wall Street. I will always believe “populist Republican” is an oxymoron.

    • SanityNow says:

      hope Rahm read this…

  7. KQuark says:

    The scale back is in full swing.

    A simpler, less ambitious bill emerged as an alternative only hours after the loss of the party’s crucial 60th Senate seat forced the Democrats to slow their all-out drive to pass Obama’s signature legislation and reconsider all options.

    No decisions have been made, lawmakers said, but they laid out a new approach that could still include these provisions: limiting the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage to people with medical problems, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ policies, helping small businesses and low-income people pay premiums and changing Medicare to encourage payment for quality care instead of sheer volume of services.


  8. AdLib says:

    Uh oh! This just in on the AP (in our news widget):

    Obama urges Dems not to ‘jam’ health care past GOP

    By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer

    • SueInCa says:

      WTF? This bipartisan shit has gotten too ridiculous for me. Does he think for one minute the repugs are going to pay it forward to him? He must have lost his mind………….Okay, now for some serious comment.

      What the hell is he thinking? Is he giving them the go ahead to do something against his wishes? I sure hope so.

    • KQuark says:

      The Democrats biggest failure is always their biggest failure. Failure to fall in line when the leadership tells you it’s for your own good. The only thing Bush really accomplished was incredibly unRepublican, Medicare Part B. Sure it was a benefit for big business but at the expense of adding to the deficit for what Repubs saw as a social program. The Repubs fell in line and passed it anyway. The only difference is with Dems is healthcare had ZERO margin for error so Dems had to fall in line to get the initial bills passed but it took them too long. I guarantee had healthcare actually passed before the end of the year the election result would be quite different. People with their short attention spans really only care about legislation before it’s enacted afterwords it’s a notch on the belt of the party that passes it.

    • KQuark says:

      This is why I said nothing good would come of Brown winning. Dems are running for the centrist hills and this is their cover. They are reading this as a referendum to scale back healthcare reform and using the term healthcare insurance reform is the biggest giveaway. So much for HCR is right.

      Why Dems think enabling a GOP teabagger getting elected to move the country further left is beyond me.

      • SanityNow says:

        Those so-called Dems are not, as you know, true Democrats. They are going whichever the way the wind is blowing and following there anger. Plus Scott Brown is SOOO much better looking than Martha. Those “Dems” are deep.

    • SanityNow says:

      you think maybe he is taking SueInCa’s advice below? Part of me hopes so.

      Another part thinks that the current state of the HCR, given that it is nearly 100% compromised from the ideal, should be tabled and the process started over using reconciliation. We’ll see but I think you are right Ad. It is dead in its current form.

      I do think that Obama has the balls to continue the fight for this through different means. Bolder, less compromising. The current HCR was crippled by the unified, malicious opposition of the Republicans and so-called blue dogs. It never had a chance. At least now, the complete myth of the 60 vote majority is dead. It will be clear, if it isn’t already, who is obstructing our business.

      Time to drop the Senatorial Nuke and restore majority rules to our democracy?

    • nellie says:

      I’m not surprised. He’s a man of principle. That kind of person can be utterly exasperating.

      But I don’t think for a moment he’s going to let his centerpiece legislation go down in flames. We just have to wait to see what he does.

      • KQuark says:

        nellie I think Dems told him these bills are going down. They will never address healthcare reform this year from scratch. Dems read the exactly the way I thought they would based on passed history. It will simply be another maintenance presidency from now on.

  9. nellie says:

    Randi Rhodes has your back this afternoon, AdLib.

    She reports that 43% of registered Dems stayed home in MA.

    Of those who voted, 53% said they don’t like the Senate health care bill, they like the house bill, the policy isn’t liberal enough.

    Thought you’d like to know.

    • Tiger99 says:

      Howard Dean is on MSNBC saying that 80% of the Dems who stayed home did so because there was no public option… One-Third of the people who voted for Obama and then voted for Brown did so because there is no public option…

      • nellie says:

        This is definitely shaping up as a protest vote — a shot across the Obama Administration’s bow.

        If they’re smart (big IF there), the dems in congress will get a clue that their own elections could go topsy turvy, just like Coakley’s did. And they’ll start making some bold changes. And they’ll find a way to get the legislation passed.

        • javaz says:

          From reading some of the comments on the site below, some people are saying they voted for Brown because he ran as an Independent Republican.
          People are already saying that if he votes along party lines, something he promised not to do, that they’ll vote him out next time.

          People are angry and the anger, frustration and fear crosses party lines.
          People don’t like seeing people losing their homes, while the bankers get bailed out and then turn around and handout huge bonuses.

          Higher taxes in states, including higher taxes at local levels, property taxes, and then the health care bill, which would have brought even higher taxes without regulations in price controls, and people are already paying for skyrocketing insurance with no end in site.

          Sicking the IRS on people for mandated insurance didn’t sit too well with the general public.

          Plus, with states raising taxes at nearly every level, and cutting services -- cutting funds for education, closing state parks, closing rest areas, eliminating funding to help poor families with health care, and the rising prices for food and utilities isn’t helping people struggling to make ends meet.

          And then there’s the jobs, and the broken promise of going after corporations that outsource.

          People aren’t stupid and they see the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class getting screwed, while those responsible go free and are making profits hand over fist from our tax dollars bailing them out.


          • nellie says:

            Well said, javaz.

          • KQuark says:

            We pay some of the lowest taxes in the industrialized world now including local taxes. If taxes are always the issue Dems always lose because you can’t do more without increasing taxes on someone.

          • Tiger99 says:

            javaz I watched in disbelief today as SEIU President Andy Stern defended his behind the scenes deal with President Obama on Taxing Health Care Benefits… He said that they would be phased in based on “Race” and “Gender”, let alone the fact the President supports Taxing my better halfs benefits at about 40% rate while taking steps to see that his benefits remain untaxed…
            You wanna see anger let them pass the Bill that Taxes the working/middle class white guy while others with same excact benefits enjoy their’s Tax Free…

            • javaz says:

              I wouldn’t mind paying more in taxes so that every American can be insured, but when there are no controls on the cost of what we are already paying for our health insurance, and then to tax us at higher rates turned me off the HCR bills.
              And personally, I really despised giving even more power to the IRS in going after people who did not purchase insurance.
              The IRS already abuses their power and this would have been a nightmare for so many people.

            • Tiger99 says:

              The issue for me isn’t paying Taxes to help others it is the 40% rate and that it doesn’t seem to be a universal “Fair Tax” on all…

            • KQuark says:

              That’s not quite the final deal struck from what I understand it collective bargaining agreements would be exempt.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks for the update…it is discouraging but instructive.

      The path of incrementalism and compromise on core issues is a path to failure because it dampens voter enthusiasm for his base, Democratic voters.

      Everything else aside, no matter how good a case can be made intellectually for the HCR bill, if the net result is to discourage Dems from voting, it will ultimately be disastrous.

      The path for Obama seems clearer, to be bold and inspirational, in word and deed. He has plenty of time and opportunity to turn things around.

      • KQuark says:

        The biggest thing the Dems got wrong was not having the HCR bill done by now. It does not matter how bold he is at this point. He’s going to spend the rest of this year on immediate problems for our fast food nation because he’s lost that with the people. Any long term strategy is dead right now.

        • SanityNow says:

          K, how exactly were the Dems supposed to push HCR through with only 57 firm votes under current senate rules? Baucus, Lieberman, Nelson, Snowe, etc.: too many compromises and nothing was going to get out of the senate without too many compromises.

          I like cynicism too but reality is that the Dems were prevented from carrying out the will of the majority by the Republicans. You are probably right and certainly have history on your side, HCR may be dead for at least a generation, but I have to have faith that over the course of the next 3 years that O will stick to this business and resist the temptation to maintain status quo. He’ll never get a second term if he is not bold and audaciously risky in his pursuit of true reform.

          • KQuark says:

            Had they not hemmed and hawed of the PO that would never pass in the Senate the bill could have been done faster.

            I guess being uninsured and have a chronic serious disease I’m speaking for my self because without healthcare coverage anything else is the status quo for my daily life. I simply can’t wait a generation but it looks like I will probably have to I guess.

            • SanityNow says:

              clearly, tactical mistakes were made. Obama has a steep learning curve to overcome and an historical amount of problems to extricate us from. However, I think that with an historical majority (still) in the Senate, a safe majority in the House, and still a very popular and bright President, Democrats have time to wrest control of our country away from the obstructionist party.

              I myself am chronically uninsured, and unemployed for over a year after my consultancy collapsed along with the collapse of commercial building and trying to support a family of four and hold on to our house. Not fun or very satisfying but it is what it is and I still have hope. I certainly can’t afford to be cynical for more than ten minutes at a time.

              Here is wishing that you can find a way to stay hopeful.


      • nellie says:

        She’s also got my back.

        Jobs jobs jobs. More stimulus, more construction, more manufacturing.

        • KQuark says:

          Government can only do so much. Conservatives in business will not start hiring again until their own is back in power. I hate to be Kasandra but they death of HCR will lead to everything it did in 1994. The day progressives came out with their “kill the bill” mantra was the day it died.

    • KQuark says:

      Therein lies the logical disconnect amongst liberals.

      I would like to hear their logic on how enabling a teabagger make the bill more liberal?

      It was a spite vote and spite never leads to anything good.

  10. SueInCa says:

    Ok, I am going to admit it, I am in a bad mood today. But if I were president right now and I had an upcoming State of the Nation speech, here is what I would do:

    I would explain very calmly that “I understand the majority of Americans do not want government run healthcare and for that reason we are discontinuing the bill, BUT, since the majority do not want gov run healthcare we are also going to now discontinue Medicare, Medicaid and any payments to hospitals for non paid emergency care. The people want to save money and get government out of their lives, so this is the best way to do just that. Oh and good luck in dealing with the insurance companies on your own. And now I will take any questions people might have………………..”

    Talk about a “shock doctrine”. But then I am not president and probably for good reason.

    • nellie says:

      I think the Dems made a huge mistake at the outset.

      They should have presented Health Care Reform as Medicare for All. It would have been very difficult for any opposition to shoot down that idea. They just didn’t have the courage to do it.

      • SueInCa says:

        The only one not to compromise in this whole mess is Nancy Pelosi. I am not real fond of her, but I used to really really dislike her. I have some respect for the woman now.

    • SanityNow says:

      I think it is a great idea and would satisfy my current acerbity and desire to see the fauxgressives and baggers howl.

      • SueInCa says:

        can you see the phone banks lighting up, the servers at the WH and Congress would go down for sure. they thought the attention with the TARP was bad, this would probably take down their data center LOL.

    • SueInCa says:

      That was supposed to be State of the Union speech

    • LABC63 says:

      LOL!! Well, since the american people have spoken (according to every media source on the planet) and do not want this, that sounds like a plan to me -- I can do the “I got mine, fuck the rest of you” attitude just as well…

      I am in foul mood too, btw….:{

      • SueInCa says:

        LOL, but someone just needs to say it to the nation, in a nicer way than I just did.

        BTW I would add that seniors will get a final statement to show that for the most part, they received more care than they paid for and in the event they did not, a refund check would be included, closing their account.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Sue, I think you’ve hit on something here…no ticky no shirty, oh well, next person in line….

          It might be high time that someone reminds these dimwits what the government does do for them…

    • AdLib says:

      I’m pissed off too and I know where you’re coming from.

      I know you’re joking but I think your point is important for him to express. He needs to connect the dots for those who have been brainwashed by the Repubs and MSM.

      Corporate Death Panels and Corporate Debt Panels is what you have today and will have tomorrow if you want government to stay out of the way of corporations.

      Impress on people all the good that government does and why, historically, it is only government that protects people, not corporations.

      Remind people that it was corporations that destroyed the economy and took away their jobs, foreclosed on their homes and raised their credit card rates.

      Remember $5/gallon gas? Lead paint in your children’s toys? Pollution that’s destroying the planet you live on?

      The thin red line is our government, that’s what needs to be both communicated and proven through action.

      • SueInCa says:

        Here here Adlib. I knew someone would express it in more gentle terms than I did. But I would love to make that announcement and watch the phones light up. I think we need to have national referrendums similar to the states on these types of bills. They affect us, why not let the American people decide?

    • BigDogMom says:

      Sue, I am hoping your being sarcastic, LOL, :smile: !

      Saying something like that would surely snap everyone to attention and back to reality!

      • SueInCa says:

        In a way, I am, but in another way I am not. I guess I would love to see the storm after such an announcement, clarifying they are all hypocrits and think only of themselves.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Actually I agree with you and I have tried to no avail posting something like this over at other sites…

          Some seem to willfully forget what and how much our government does for us, and how little, percentage wise, we pay in taxes compared to other countries.

          Would love for Obama to say “Fuck you everyone, I’m cutting you all off to save money and cut the deficit…”

  11. Questinia says:

    Isn’t “collusion” another, albeit very cynical, possible operant of “bipartisanhip”?

    Done cloakatively, of course. Yay! I used that word! Or should I say “Coakleyatively”

    • AdLib says:

      I think people just didn’t like the taste of the New Coakley.

      They wanted Kennedy Classic.

      • SueInCa says:

        So they voted in a teabagger LOL. Seriously though, she did run a terrible campaign. Where was Tim Kaine?

        • AdLib says:

          She really was the worst Dem candidate I’ve seen for a while.

          I mean, Brown didn’t just win, she lost voters left and right.

          A typical Dem machine candidate with no reason to be elected, none whatsoever.

          • SanityNow says:

            it may have been just me, but Coakley sure looked and sounded releived to have lost. A main reason for her terrible campaign might be simply that she didn’t want the job. She certainly showed no flair for professional politicking.

          • BigDogMom says:

            Should’ve stood out in the cold in front of Fanway Park and shook hands with the Sox’s fans….

            • AdLib says:

              I heard she did wearing a NY Yankees hat.

            • Khirad says:

              More like heresy than high treason.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Sounds like it, if you read the comments made on the Boston Globe’s site, she just about committed high treason by not acknowledging the Sox’s fans according to those posts.

  12. Questinia says:

    I’m sometimes left, especially after yesterday’s “upset” in Massachusetts, with the feeling that “fighting for the people” is not wholeheartedly embraced by this administration.

    Isn’t anyone struck by the dissonance between Obama’s ability to perform so seamlessly during the election (in order to attain power) but has little influence on what happens in Massachusetts? You’d think this would be anticipated. Really anticipated. Perhaps it could not be, but that would be kind of odd.

    Has Obama become too centralized and lost the “feelers” of the periphery? The periphery become increasingly important as the complexity of the system increases. Or does his election approach have no practical merit when applied at the top. Where is that bottom-up mantra now? He certainly needed bottom-up to attain power. He doesn’t need it now to maintain the status quo, whether inadvertently or not.

    Or, I wonder if the Massachusetts election was partially “thrown” so as to continue the status quo in the main spheres of the financial and healthcare sectors (both highly corporate connected) while actual items of change were made in areas of less consequence to the well-being of the people. Areas of change not felt by the people.

    I will continue to support our President. But is he naive or shrewd?

    • KQuark says:

      Obama thinks in strategic terms, years down the road. This center right nation is filled with short thinking reactionaries. The new breed of progressives are just as reactionary. So call it what you want he’s not thinking on the same level as most people.

      The fact is our system of government does not work with this level of hyperpartisanship. That’s exactly why since LBJ, JFK and FDR we have done nothing major for domestic policy in this country.

      • Questinia says:

        But how many years down the road? Isn’t there a shelf life for some of the things he would like to institute, as in, how much time a President actually has to be effective?

        I do believe Obama is a leader, that is clear. The role of a leader is to see farther down the road and inspire the people to follow. But there are some people who don’t want to follow because they are just not ready. Contrary to bipartisanship, they should be left at the old campsite until they’ve had enough time to process there is more water and softer moss at the new one.

        Don’t ask me why I chose softer moss. But I do think soft moss is important.

        • KQuark says:

          It sounds to me like what Obama needs to do is more portfolio management like we did in R&D. You start out with an empty pipeline. You have short, medium and long term goals you start stuffing down that tube obviously the short term objectives come out first fill up the now part of the tub and the medium and long term projects fill up the back of the tube and come out later. The point is to always have flow in the tube by working on a proper ratio of each type of project. It’s late and I took my meds so I probably could say it better but that the idea.

          For the last few months Obama has been working longer term project too much with Afghanistan and healthcare policy while people want to “see” results with the economy.

    • AdLib says:

      I think what happened in MA was a Perfect Storm.

      1. Outrage over ineffective government.
      2. (Related to that) A seemingly endless recession and joblessness.
      3. A very poor candidate.
      4. A surprisingly popular extremist in MA.
      5. An overconfident and under-informed (on polls) DNC and WH.
      6. MA already has universal health care
      7. Ted Kennedy died and no other Kennedy ran.

      Add all those together and I find it hard to lay this all at Obama’s feet.

      As I’ve said, I think his aspirations for a better way of governing combined with the DLC influence of Rahm and others with a stake in not shaking up the status quo too much contributed to setting the scene.

      The DNC bears a lot of blame and Coakley herself and her campaign bears the most. She stopped campaigning in the middle of a campaign! She said one thing after another that upset voters! She was the main reason she lost.

      • Questinia says:

        But this is precisely the data the administration had to deal with. They must have been knowable to some extent. A perfect storm at some point appears more and more perfect. They should have seen her as a weak candidate.

        After all Teddy Kennedy didn’t just drop dead out of the blue.

        I say caveat superior. If this were a medical procedure, it wouldn’t fly, you will lose the patient. Perhaps the complexity of the country has outgrown the notion of a “President”. Maybe a “President” should be seen as a go-between as opposed to the generator pf policy change.

        I totally agree with you on the sequence of Medicare expansion first then the public option. Obama has no cred yet.

        Like it or not, Obama IS the symbol of the policies. He is already so scapegoated, it is truly tragic that he does anything that perpetuates that. He is in a no-win situation in many respects.

        • AdLib says:

          The thing is, it is the DNC that is primary in all the support and oversight of races. The White House is very limited by what it can do.

          I’ll turn it around to ask, what is it that The Obama Admin could have done that it didn’t…and wouldn’t have been a breech of protocol or Constitutionality?

          • Questinia says:

            Perhaps you are right in this. But then this is a dysfunction of the DNC’s relationship with their ultimate symbol, Obama, their brand, so to speak.

            If that is the case. Their marketing strategies suck. They need to take more business courses and learn how to sell widgets like the Republicans.

            • AdLib says:

              IMO, the DNC only evolved from an incestuous and ignorant entity to a sharp one when Howard Dean took over.

              Rahm stole all the credit for Dean’s wins for Dems in 2006 and 2008 then made sure Dean was cast off disrespectfully.

              Without Dean at the helm, we have our first big election and the DNC participates in one of the biggest upsets ever for Dems.

              They have devolved back into ignorance, if you ask me.

  13. SueInCa says:

    This president is doing as well as could be expected with the hand he was dealt. IMHO the TeaBaggers just proved they have no agenda other than to vote republican. They can talk all day long about third party candidates but until they put their vote where their mouth is, they will remain an unbelievable fringe organization. They were put together to hurt Obama and quite frankly, most dems are letting them get away with it. There was no big showing of Indies or Dems in the healthcare debate. If there was, the media, including MSNBC, totally ignored it. Until Dems start making noise, we will continue to be ignored. Indies will not be ignored because they have the power to move elections from one side to the other, teabaggers are known for their ignorance and they provide comic relief, Dems are known for their willingness to just sit back and let it happen.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Sue!

      My point is that we have to be able to admit when Obama messes up so we’re credible when we campaign for what he’s right about.

      It seems very clear to me, even your valid point about Dems and Indies not stepping up underlines it, by taking a hands-off approach on the HCR bill, Obama made a big mistake.

      His involvement and passion would have energized Dems and Indies to step up. He basically admitted this mistake after seeing how it led to Repubs and Teabaggers energizing their mobs by being vocal and turning the town halls and HC debates into travesties.

      I think it’s very important to acknowledge mistakes so they’re not repeated.

      I want Obama to come out in 2010 fighting hard for his/our agenda and never sitting back on any issue that’s important again, no matter how strategic it may seem at the moment.

  14. FrankenPC says:

    I agree with 99% of this post. I think it’s dead on.

    I disagree with: “And those so-called Progressives who want only to condemn Obama can kiss Rush Limbaugh

    • SueInCa says:

      You are right there. I see it the same way that you do. One thing though, President Obama needs to get tough. He needs to stand up and be counted and get rid of Geitner(LOL) I can live with Rahm, but not Geitner. It is a little known fact that Geitner’s father and Obama’s mother worked together in the macro economics field for countries like Indonesia at the Ford Foundation………………..that makes me nervous.

      “While at the Ford Foundation, Dunham worked with Peter Geithner, father of Tim Geithner (who later became United States Secretary of the Treasury in her son’s administration), to develop the Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia”

    • AdLib says:

      FrankenPC, yes, you’re right on the money on who I was referring to. The Ariannas and Hamshers and on and on, all the talking heads boasting of being Progressive but de facto trying to undermine the only Progressive agenda we’ve had or will have a chance to achieve in a very long time.

      They are media whores who are addicted to seeing their faces and hearing their voices everywhere, to feeling that they are smarter than everyone else and have the power to damage a president.

      They are small minded, egocentric people who should be exposed for who they really are and what they are really doing.

      I will always criticize President Obama, constructively, when I feel he is doing or has done the wrong thing but I would never encourage attacking the one man who can offer the most promise in fixing so much of what’s wrong in this nation.

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