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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:46 PM
Original message
"I wanted Medicare for all / Public Option / Single Payer, BUT..."
"...this is all we're going to get right now, so shut up/grow up/face reality and get behind this Senate HCR bill".

This argument, cropping up as of late, ignores one glaring truth: this is all we have right now, because THIS WAS ALL THAT WAS FOUGHT FOR. The total bankruptcy of courage and leadership by our President and our leadership in the House and Senate meant that this was all they were willing to really try for, in order to "pass something". No skull busting (weak whips in both chambers), a sold out from day one Rahm Emanuel, and a President who damned with faint praise a robust bill that actually bends the cost curve.

If you ask a stingy person for a slice of bread from the loaf, don't be surprised if they give you only crumbs.

Discuss.

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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. A bad bill is still a bad bill.
Why get behind something bad, really stinky?
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'd agree with this - Obama basically shot for what he wanted
Maybe that's because he legitimately believed this was all that was possible, but it seems more likely to me that he shot for a compromise that would improve things a bit while benefiting the insurance companies.

That said there really are two separate questions - Did Obama and Congressional Democrats really fight for us in this bill? and Given that this is the only bill around for now, should we support it and work to improve it or oppose it and pressure Congress/Obama to come up with something better?

Bryant
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I suspect that supporting it and working to improve it will
get better results than fighting it. But, that's not where the battle needs to be fought, really. The place for the battle is in the congressional districts and in senate races. A third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2010. Shall we see if we can strengthen the majority and maybe replace a Senator or two who is not with it? How about putting a few more Democrats in the House. All that will help make the necessary changes this bill needs.

I don't see any good alternative to that route.
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I don't either.
Bryant
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Logically speaking and I agree with you 100 by gawd percent
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'll give you any circumstances or hypotheticals you want.
Give me a road map to how we get 60 senate votes and 218 house votes for single payer. You must explain any questionable votes. You may use tactics such as extortion if you please, but you must prove some kind of credible evidence that you had leverage.

Until you can do that, your argument is completely invalid.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Politicians have two prime objectives. Attaining power, and keeping power.
Endanger any of these functions, and they'll come to heel quickly. Threaten some of the softer "Blue Dogs" with no party support, no support for their ammendments or bills, primaries, and stripping them of chairs/seats on committees, or actually do it to a few in marginal districts, and watch the others come around with the quickness.

It's not as if Republicans will vote for them because they killed or watered this bill down--they can't hide the D after their names.

Health Insurance Reform was too important to soft-shoe these fools. Unfortunately, we don't have folks with balls willing to do that in order to attain real reform in this very important issue.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. This doesn't at all answer what to do with Lieberman or Ben Nelson.
1) Lieberman didn't get party support the last time he got elected; Nelson finds party support to be a disadvantage in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat besides him to the Senate or the Presidency in... well, nearly ever.

2) We did primary out Lieberman. Again, threatening a primary against Nelson is suicidal - there is no chance we'll get someone more progressive from that state. It's a hollow threat, to say the least.

3) We could threaten chairs/seats on committees, but the fact of the matter is that we need their vote more than they need ours. In order to get to 60 votes without any Republicans, we had no leverage to do this against them whatsoever.

4) Again, in most of these Blue Dog districts, you're absolutely right - Republicans won't vote for them. And they won't vote for another Democrat either. Which puts us either precisely back into this same predicament or worse - with Republicans in their seats, whom we know we can't negotiate with.

There is no leverage whatsoever to use against them so long as a) no Republicans are willing to cross over and b) we need them more than they need us. Threatening their seat is more of a threat against us than it is them, and they know it.

We have no power without Blue Dogs. Just take a look at the Senate, where there are at least 15 Democrats coming from states where we know we likely cannot get a more progressive Democrat. That knocks us immediately down to 43. If we want something in the Senate, we have to go through them.

Even in a best case scenario - one where we somehow got a solid progressive in every state Obama won, that'd be only 56 solidly progressive Senators. We'd still need 4 red state Senators to beat back a filibuster. That is the very antithesis of leverage.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. Messers. LIEberman and Nelson WANT THINGS.
They won't get them as low-ranking members of the committees they are on. They sure as HELL won't get things done for their states with the money spigot turned off. Neither will they get these things as Republics. The citizens will soon put pressure on them to do their jobs. All it takes is the political will to do these things. Why throw up your hands, shrug, and say "no we can't"?
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Political will is not a magic wand.
And what you describe still doesn't give us what we want. We turn off the spigot, either they or their seats turn Republican, and we lose and don't get anything we want. We don't turn off the spigot, we have no leverage and get 65-75% of what we want. You are not understanding that the bottom line is a lose-lose proposition unless we have votes to circumvent them, and with no Republicans crossing over, we don't have that.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. And your dire predictions make things worse, how exactly?
Especially when compared to now?
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. We did not need 60
This would require the political will to do it but I can't think of a more important issue. We do not lack the ability to pass a good bill. We lack the political will.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

The nuclear option is used in response to a filibuster or other dilatory tactic. A senator makes a point of order calling for an immediate vote on the measure before the body, outlining what circumstances allow for this. The presiding officer of the Senate, usually the vice president of the United States or the president pro tempore, makes a parliamentary ruling upholding the senator's point of order. The Constitution is cited at this point, since otherwise the presiding officer is bound by precedent. A supporter of the filibuster may challenge the ruling by asking, "Is the decision of the Chair to stand as the judgment of the Senate?" This is referred to as "appealing from the Chair." An opponent of the filibuster will then move to table the appeal. As tabling is non-debatable, a vote is held immediately. A simple majority decides the issue. If the appeal is successfully tabled, then the presiding officer's ruling that the filibuster is unconstitutional is thereby upheld. Thus a simple majority is able to cut off debate, and the Senate moves to a vote on the substantive issue under consideration. The effect of the nuclear option is not limited to the single question under consideration, as it would be in a cloture vote. Rather, the nuclear option effects a change in the operational rules of the Senate, so that the filibuster or dilatory tactic would thereafter be barred by the new precedent.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Ignoring the fact that nearly all of our Senators opposed this when Rs wanted to do it....
sure, we could've gone that route. But a) that would give us no firewall if Republicans want to repeal the bill and b) it would make us enormously hypocritical.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. OK, you promote single payer - write letters to the editor, call your congress critters,
donate to anyone and everyone that supports it, and don't let up...

and then compromise by accepting a STRONG public option and an expanded Medicare buy in.

When fighting for legislation you do NOT start with the weak-assed compromise position because (as we have all seen) it only gets worse from there. Maybe there is no way to get those numbers for single payer, but if we were to actually FIGHT for it we might get those numbers for a GOOD compromise, instead of the POS that we are now presented with.

Of course, it's too fucking late now.

Unless we can KILL THE BILL and start from scratch, recognizing that the repukes will NOT compromise no matter what we offer them, so we might as well swing for the fences.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Under this hypothetical, which "no" votes turn into "yes" votes.
You don't have to list the obvious "yes" voters - just the ones who opposed the public option at any point during the current-reality proceedings. Explain why they change their minds.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. By killing this bill. A new one won't be offered up in the immediate future,
and we can vote the assholes out before we try again.

If this bill is approved, it will set like concrete. We will NOT be able to substantively improve it, and we will be stuck with it for a generation. It does NOT help control costs, it establishes for the first time in US history a mandate for citizens to purchase a commercial product which is, by most definitions, fascism - corporatism - and it will further enrich the wealthiest class with no guarantee of helping those it is meant to help.

The healthcare bill would have far more public support if it actually addressed the issues it was supposed to to begin with. With public support, you get congressional support.

Look at it. Lieberman is NOT going to get another term. I think most of those turncoat dems who are fucking with us will follow him out. And I won't give odds on Obama being re-elected either.

Their 'no' votes will become OUR 'no' votes.

The party has a choice - do it right, or LOSE in '10 and '12.

IT'S NOT ABOUT COUNTING THE FUCKING VOTES.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You didn't answer my question - which votes change and why?
Secondly, there is a long, long history of laws being changed. You literally have no evidence or reason to believe that this would become the solitary exception and would be set in stone.

Further, Lieberman isn't going anywhere until 2012 at the earliest, and I'll not be surprised if he makes a return appearance. Beyond that, where do you see us winning more seats? Because frankly, it looks like we're going to lose them. Do you think Byrd will be replaced by a Democrat even half as progressive when he retires/passes away? Do you think Tim Johnson will continue to serve even though he's rarely there and who do you think replaces him in South Dakota? You're way overplaying the notion that we'll ever be better off than we are today. And in the meantime, 30 million Americans will continue to not have health insurance.

And for your last line - as long as votes are counted, it will ALWAYS be about counting the fucking votes. That's the whole fucking point of having votes.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. No, it's NOT about COUNTING the votes.
It's about CREATING the votes. LBJ didn't just count the votes for the voting rights act - he waded in and created them, by pressure, by twisting arms, threatening appointments, threatening loss of support in upcoming elections.

just counting the votes, like Reid does, is passive and a losing proposition.

"And in the meantime, 30 million Americans will continue to not have health insurance."

That how many are left WITHOUT insurance AFTER this bill passes. There are nearly 50 million uninsured today. This bill leaves more than half of them out in the cold. That would NOT be the case if we had even a weak public option.

And the only way Lieberman has a snowball's chance of re-election in 12 is if he runs as a republican - that's who put him in office this time. No way he'll make it as either a Dem or an independent - he's shown his true colors.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. So which votes are you creating?
Which votes are capable of being created? Name names if you think it's possible.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-23-09 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. I am no Reid or Obama - it's not my fucking job. it's THEIRS.
And you, sir, are being an ass.
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-23-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. I'm not being an ass.
They're telling you that it's not possible. You're contradicting the claim. Since you're contradicting that claim, you must believe that there are current Senators capable of changing their minds. I'd like to know which ones and why. What makes you believe that what they're telling you isn't true? Support your claim that it's possible. That's not being an ass at all, it's asking you to back up your beliefs.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. What's to discuss? You said it all. nt
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phasma ex machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. "don't be surprised if they give you only crumbs" and make you pay top $$$ for them. nt
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
16. k & r and:
Edited on Tue Dec-22-09 03:08 PM by amborin
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's not all that was fought for.
Some of us made noise about single-payer--but so few that our efforts were never televised. Many moons later, people get to pretend that it never happened.
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libertypirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
21. Can you imagine a better world?
Then stop being so pragmatic about it and make it happen while we have a chance.

That is really it 'the chance' to make something happen. We handed it to them on a silver platter, more than a majority of Americans want a single payer type system. And he back peddled to the demands of liars, cheats, and thieves. It was about the chance to do something for the people who supported him because we see the greater good over the liars. We know that no matter what we do the same narrative will be applied. We also know you don't waste chances, because shit happens.

Team Obama is still playing by an old paradigm that sees us as adversarial to it's own needs. What he should have done is keep his supporters on the march instead of going on vacation until the next election.

Team Obama is doing the exact same thing because they see the world exactly the same.

Obama should have choose people who didn't want the power he gave them.

People are much more careful with the very precious things that they know are important but really don't want. People who want, enjoy, and believe they have special power destroy civilizations.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
24. Bottom line is 60 years of fighting for more got us nothing

If you read the bill it provides a good floor to build on, including a lot of things like changing from fee for services to outcome based incentives that no one is talking about.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. What if I prefer not to live on the "floor"?
What if I don't have 60 years to wait?

These are questions that the "grownups" that tell folks like me to shut up ignore.
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Kansas Wyatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
27. Keeping the Bar Low
That way you can pat yourself on the back and declare how successful you are...

But it's still horse shit and broken promises to the American People.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
29. I knew we'd only get crumbs at best. We will never get good
reform of any kind as long as the corporations can legally bribe our lawmakers. Total public financing is the only way we can regain some power on Capitol Hill.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
30. I don't see how we would have gotten much more, unless had three or four more Senate seats.
It all came down to few Senators. Obama might have helped more, but I'm not sure that he would have accomplished anything. Maybe I'm wrong.

The 60 seat issue in the Senate is a killer.
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Generator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
31. Feingold told the truth
And Obama is now fessing up. He never campaigned on anything more you fools. He doesn't give a shit about what those that voted for him wanted. He's rubbing it in your faces. But this site and his loving fans well still expect you vote for him no matter what. Because if a really bad guy gets in the office-it won't be Obama's fault-oh no-it will be mine, ms. middle class who doesn't vote for liars again.
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