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September 25, 2009

Comments

There are many Republicans, in power(Olympia Snowe and others) who expicitly want this type of HCR to succeed. Many others want HCR at a different scale.

And there are many Democrats who have been going along with the health insurance companies just as much as the Republican party has.

Saying that the Republican party is institutionally opposed to people having healthcare is not to accuse every single Republican, or to whitewash all Democrats. It's just stating a political fact of life in the US, as much as saying that the Republican party is institutionally racist and homophobic.

is fearmongering as sure as death panels is.

The difference is: There are no "death panels" in the NHS: it's a right-wing lie.

But you really can die of a treatable disease in the US because your health insurance company decides it will cut into their profits to let you have the treatment you need. That happens to thousands of Americans each year.

Telling people that Cthulhu will eat their brains if they venture too far into the Grand Canyon without first buying a specially-blessed silver cross from Lovecraft Industries, Inc, is fearmongering of the kind that warns you about "NHS death panels!"

The signs at regular intervals along the cliffside paths warning tourists that people have fallen from these cliffs and died are fearmongering of the kind that warns you that you can die because your health insurance company can decide not to pay for your treatment.

Warning people about a threat that exists and is the death of thousands of people each year is not the same thing as inventing an imaginary threat and using it to make a profit.

"Warning people about a threat that exists and is the death of thousands of people each year is not the same thing as inventing an imaginary threat and using it to make a profit."

No, they are not equal, but they are both fearmongering in this context.

If every objection to individual proposals is met with the standard response that Republicans are "institutionally" against HCR and that means you will die, then it's fearmongering. (and a lie, because every objection to a proposal doesn't lead to the status quo.)

"Saying that the Republican party is institutionally opposed to people having healthcare is not to accuse every single Republican, or to whitewash all Democrats. It's just stating a political fact of life in the US, as much as saying that the Republican party is institutionally racist and homophobic."

Having read this several times now, I would like to try to understand what it means. If it is not an indictment of the majority of Republicans as being racist and homophobic, then what does it mean?

No, they are not equal, but they are both fearmongering in this context.

Looking up the definition of "fearmongering", I have to agree with you on both counts: "the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end".

The specific end of the Republican fearmongering about socialistic health care is to ensure that health insurance companies stay in business, and they don't care if that means people don't get healthcare.

The specific end of the fearmongering about the Grand Canyon cliffs and the practice of rescission is to make sure thousands of people each year don't die of perfectly avoidable hazards.

No. Not equal. What beats me is why you have such a problem with the signs on the Grand Canyon cliff paths and the warnings about rescission.

If it is not an indictment of the majority of Republicans as being racist and homophobic, then what does it mean?

I personally read it as an indictment of the leadership of the Republican party as being willing to promote racist and homophobic policies and grandstanding to advance their agenda. That necessitates a minimum of apathy to such behavior on the part of the majority of Republicans, but it does not necessarily imply that they themselves are racist or homophobic - just sufficiently indifferent to those issues as to support an institution which supports racist and homophobic rhetoric and acts.

"is fearmongering as sure as death panels is."

Marty, you're fine, but bear with me. I'm a nice guy in real life.

Which death panels? The ones Sarah Death Palin and company operate right now in America, or the ones they want people to think might operate in America someday.

By all means, let's keep Obsidian Wings on an even keel, given the incredible reach of its influence.

Why, if I wasn't losing my health insurance in exactly four weeks, I'd have to come over here to be scared crapless about my future at my age. (there are alternatives, all so effing expensive that the emergency shortage of bullets in America might be a good thing).

Meanwhile, as Washington Monthly and TPM report, the New York Times has assigned an editor to keep the rest of the staff informed on Glenn Beck's reasoned perorations.

The Washington Post is bending over frontwards to appease (they will never be appeased) the followers of Drudge, FOX, and other assorted philosophical types who believe in Santa Claus (who, because he works for a non-profit, does not have health insurance) and 13 underaged El Salvadoran sex slaves.

It's so bleeding obvious that fearmongering doesn't work in the latter days of the American Republic, as its internal enemies drive it over the cliff in a fit of apocalyptic whimsy.

I don't want a Fairness Doctrine.

I'm going to push on the accelerator as hard as I can, because when I'm forced to live in fear, then Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are going to have the unfortunate experience of living it with me, the lousy fecks.

As an aside, Limbaugh's apparently taking elite snob Sec. Sibelius to task (ironic inversion no doubt) for her instructions to sneeze into your arm rather than your hand during the swine flu season (the flu operates under the rules of ironic inversion, too, given all of the upright swine on the country).

I'm going to work on a really good case of the swine flu and I'm going to find Limbaugh and do the down-home-salt-of-the-earth-look-ma-no-hands-sneeze right into his kisser and then I'm to plant a big wet Daffy Duck right on his poisoned lips and stand back and witness the ultimate ironic inversion of an actual hog expiring from the swine flu.

It's a waste of good pork loin, but there are more pigs where he came from.

I want to win, without mercy, by whatever means the enemy has defined.

You didn't make the rules, Marty. Neither did I.

Brutal fear is going to win this one, because for reason to win out, there are approximately one million lying far-right enemies of America who need to be shut up forever.

Come on Marty, even you know much better than this. You're reaching for an apples-and-oranges comparison that doesn't cut mustard, let alone fruit.

Grand Canyon warning signs apply to all, whereas recission only applies to some; and falling off the cliff doesn't kill the poor bastard who runs Humana any less than the guy who just lost his insurance because said Humana bastard decided it was a cost-effective move to do so. Cliffs don't discriminate. The problem is, insurance companies do.

But I wholeheartedly agree that labeling the GOP as wholly homophobic and racist is a considerable stretch; the thing is, they haven't done much to dispel the notion, especially when the extremist base they kowtow to demands homophobia and racism. They have the same relational position to their beliefs that the insurance industry has to their profits: they don't give a toss whether it offends/screws over a whole lot of other people, so long as it maintains the position it wants. The thing also is, in the case of the GOP, I do care about charges of racism and homophobia, because they don't realize that these are going to be colossal millstones around their necks the more their extremist base demamds them, and it's only going to get worse for them. And since this base is comfortable with deliberate misinformation and know-nothing exhortations, well, I can't lose sleep over whether the GOP is being labelled "unfairly" or "extremely" since they pander to a kind of politics that has people sleeping like babies over unfairness and extremism.

But since at present, we don't expect the right to care all that much that their primitive and mean-spirited politics alienates a big chunk of the country, anyone who isn't on the right has to do so. And if such politics informs their stance on health care reform, well, that gives me just all the more to care about, because they don't.

NV:

"That necessitates a minimum of apathy to such behavior on the part of the majority of Republicans, but it does not necessarily imply that they themselves are racist or homophobic "

I suppose this would be applicable depending on who you define as the leaders of the Republican party. I also might suggest that the two things, racism and homophobia aren't equal. Homophobia runs deep across a much broader spectrum of society than Republicans, and Democrats (including the current administration) don't have a stellar record of knowing how to deal with it.

If I accept your point about leadership (I think it's questionable) I might add strong disagreement with the Democrats on other issues as a reason besides apathy.

For sekajin:

(paraphrased)

I am going to lie and fearmonger because (some of) you did and I am going to win at all costs

doesn't exactly dispute my point.


Marty: Having read this several times now, I would like to try to understand what it means. If it is not an indictment of the majority of Republicans as being racist and homophobic, then what does it mean?

It's an indictment of the majority of Republican voters being so indifferent to the homophobic policies promoted by the Republican party, certainly. If you feel that the Republican party shouldn't be known as the party of homophobia, it's up to registered Republicans to make sure their Republican representatives know that, whenever a Republican politician gets up on his hind feet and brays away about "protecting marriage" by denying marriage to same-sex couples. Every single Republican candidate for President in 2008 was against equal marriage and against letting LGBT people serve openly in the military - and happy to say so openly, apparently secure in the knowledge that this would lose them no Republican votes. Are they wrong? Have you ever voted against a Republican candidate because you knew they opposed equal access to marriage and adoption and military service for your gay neighbors?

Historically, since 1964, the Republican party has been the party friendly to racists and ready to promote racism. Notably so. You must be aware of that, if you're aware of the history of your own party at all. If you think this is no longer so, do explain why Republicans in Congress were shuffling and denying and calling a vote to condemn Joe Wilson's outburst "partisan", and getting mad at Jimmy Carter for pointing out that it was inspired by racism.

Individual Republicans may not be racist or homophobic. But they don't care that their party is.

"Brutal fear is going to win this one, because for reason to win out, there are approximately one million lying far-right enemies of America who need to be shut up forever"

John, bear with me. If the Democrats will focus on legislating the battle is over. There will be HCR in some form that reasonably resembles the bills in process.

It is counterproductive to parse every discussion or debate in the committees to fuel a dying fire. The worst of all possible worlds (for all of us)is for the Democrats not to employ the oldest rule in sales:

Once the customer says yes quit talking.

They seem to be doing ok at this so far, we shouldn't spur the backlash. Each cycle of charges and speeches has diminished the acceptance of the plan in polls, so quit arguing and get the bill done. No one has anything to gain by public debate at this point except the opposition.

Every time I see a story, comment, post like this one I am more insulted and less for supporting anything the name callers want, and I AM FOR healthcare reform. Imagine how it is heard by the fencesitters.

Democrats need to just do the work, get the bills to the floor, force a vote and get it done. I think everyone will be surprised how many Republican votes it gets if they just do the work.

If I accept your point about leadership (I think it's questionable) I might add strong disagreement with the Democrats on other issues as a reason besides apathy.

I personally find it difficult to dispute that a large proportion of people holding institutional leadership roles in, and/or members with sufficient public prominence as to influence the direction of, the national Republican party support policy and rhetoric with racist and homophobic implications (or explications). By which I mean people recognized by large swathes of the public and the Republican membership as leaders of the party.

As to the bit about disagreement with Democrats... it's actually fairly irrelevant. I purposely avoided touching the issue of why people would join or remain members of the Republican party. In a narrow sense, it's not important. The point regarding apathy is that whatever their reasons for joining are, they do not feel strongly enough about racist or homophobic posturing and policymaking by prominent Republicans (individually or on behalf of the party) as to choose to disassociate themselves with the party.

IOW, pretty much what Jes said at 12:20.

"The point regarding apathy is that whatever their reasons for joining are, they do not feel strongly enough about racist or homophobic posturing and policymaking by prominent Republicans (individually or on behalf of the party) as to choose to disassociate themselves with the party"

I would only point out that the number of LGBT and Black Republicans is a much stronger argument for my position on other factors than any argument that it is apathy. However, on homophobia, I think the reality is that the assumption that the Democrats are demonstrably (rather than rhetorically) better is questionable.

Marty: Homophobia runs deep across a much broader spectrum of society than Republicans, and Democrats (including the current administration) don't have a stellar record of knowing how to deal with it.

I note that far from condemning your own party for its notable record of supporting, enabling, and promoting homophobia, you just shrug it off and point at the Democratic party - which yeah, is not exactly stellar, but is still a lot better than the Republican party.

So do you care about your party being the homophobic party - when apparently you don't care enough even to condemn it in a blog discussion thread? Can we just agree that the Republican party is the homophobic party, and most Republicans - including you - are sufficiently indifferent to your party's homophobia that this is not likely to change for at least a genderation?

I notice that you're not answering my question. Do you have a Republican representative you voted for? Do you know what their position is on same-sex marriage, adoption, military service? Do you even care whether they're for or against equal rights for your gay neighbors?

To drag this back, however vaguely, to the issue of healthcare, one aspect of marriage denial to same-sex couples is healthcare denial. As we argued about earlier in the year: LGBT people who have federal jobs aren't allowed to share their federal health insurance with their partners, thanks to a law a Republican-controlled Congress forced on the nation... and not a single Republican voted against it.

genderation

This is a great word, but I don't know what it means.

What I meant to type was "generation".

I would only point out that the number of LGBT and Black Republicans is a much stronger argument for my position on other factors than any argument that it is apathy.

Actually, it isn't a stronger argument. To wit:

Individuals who are negatively affected by racism or homophobia are not apathetic about them.
There exists minorities within the Republican party composed of non-white and/or homosexual individuals.
Therefore, members of the Republican party are not apathetic about these issues.

This is a straight-up fallacy of composition. That some minority of the Republican Party (whose economic or social politics, coupled with a desire to belong to one of the two most prominent US parties, weigh higher than their opposition to racism and/or homophobia) are not apathetic about these issues does nothing to prove that the majority of members are not individually apathetic (or possibly worse) about these issues.

"Do you have a Republican representative you voted for?"

See the point is your generalization is absurd. I do have a Rep, that I have both voted for and against over the years, despite disagreeing with him on many things he has demonstrated that, for the most part, he has the best interests of my district in mind. I just wish he would be less contentious overall as a senior member of the house. His name is Barney Frank.

"Individuals who are negatively affected by racism or homophobia are not apathetic about them.
There exists minorities within the Republican party composed of non-white and/or homosexual individuals.
Therefore, members of the Republican party are not apathetic about these issues."

Yes, this is a fallacy, however it was not mine. I was pointing out that it showed there were other factors that COULD be more relevant than apathy. You jumped to "members are not". I still think my argument is better than your declarative which is supported by nothing, as is jes's whole comment, other than your own opinion.

"So do you care about your party being the homophobic party - when apparently you don't care enough even to condemn it in a blog discussion thread?"

So we are clear, I am happy to condemn homophobia, here or anywhere else. My party is a fleeting thing, as I have expressed many times, I disagree with many things in both parties. I pick the one I disagree with less.

And, one more note, I am not required to answer your question in this or any thread. I rarely ask a personal question in this forum and never the kind you ask regularly. This is about my opinion and yours on this topic. I try my best not to make it about me and you. I wish you would.

Marty: See the point is your generalization is absurd.

Marty, this is now way offtopic from healthcare, but why, since you don't want to condemn the Republican party's homophobic policies and campaigns, do you care that I identify the Republican party as the homophobic party?

If your representative is Barney Franks, you live in Massachusetts, and the Republican Party platform of Massachusetts includes the following clear call to homophobic values on Preserving Traditional Marriage, and another lightly-coded call to promote homophobia and homophobic discrimination under the title Safeguarding Religious Liberties. So the Massachusetts Republican Party has a political platform written to promote homophobia.

You can't "absurd" that away: that's what the Republican party in Massachusetts decided they wanted to be known for: being homophobic, and protecting the right of homophobes to use their religion as a justification for homophobia.

Now, if you don't like that, there's no point complaining to me about it: you need to complain to the Republican Party of Massachusetts, and tell them you want to get that homophobic crap out of their party platform before 2010.

(I noticed some Brett-style pro-racist code, too, using the careful language of "we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides".)

Grover says: "But if maternity coverage is unaffordable for many young people, and we end up with a bunch of unpaid hospital bills, what does that do to health care costs?"

We already have a national government program for maternity coverage for those who can't afford it: Medicaid.

Jes,

I suppose that in every event that the statements in any platform represent anything but complete support of any LGBT position it will be coded homophobic, because that is the new racist.

However, there are reasonable people who would prefer to change the laws so gvernment has no authority to define marriage. Until that is done there will be people who believe that the traditional definition is the one meant in the law and will support that for religious or other reasons.

That doesn't make them homophobic, it means they disagree with you. I would be much happier if we took every law that provides a benefit for being married and deleted marriage as the qualifier. Then we could have a simple way to define those benefits that are currently designated as such. Then people wouldn't have to get "married" same or different sex to qualify. Many of my "single" friends with straight domestic partners would like that very much. Then we could all celebrate the joy of the communion of two spirits or not without worrying about how the benefits would be disbursed, and get government out of the marriage game.

So I don't agree with either side, although several of my LGBT friends agree with my position.

So we are clear, I am happy to condemn homophobia, here or anywhere else. My party is a fleeting thing, as I have expressed many times, I disagree with many things in both parties. I pick the one I disagree with less.

I'm sorry I made it about your voting habits: you're right, that's rather too personal for a blog discussion. (My Inner Dialogue with myself last time I was faced with a voting ballot was more like an Inner Opera, as various voices shouted at each other.)

But nevertheless: I'm quite clear why I call the Republican party the homophobic party, and it's because the Republican party openly supports and promotes homophobia and active discrimination against GLBT people, as I have just cited from the Massachusetts party platform. I was pretty sure I could have done the same whichever state you lived in: that's the Republican party.

And quite evidently, registered Republican voters and party members are, at best, apathetic about their party promoting this kind of bigotry and discrimination.

Marty, it was your fallacy. That some minority of members of the Republican party are members in spite of non-apathetic support for these issues gives exactly zero support to your assertion that apathy on these issues does not exist for the majority of Republicans.

However, the point remains that some degree of apathy (or, yes, worse) must exist for the Republican party to maintain its policy, rhetoric, and member base. At the very least, members must view associating themselves with a political party that promotes racist and homophobic rhetoric and policy as being superior to associating themselves with a party less closely aligned with their other social and economic views, or not associating themselves with any party. They are choosing their company, and it does say something about their beliefs. Major-party membership is not obligatory, and party platforms are composed of separate planks. They need to be sufficiently apathetic as to tolerate the behavior of the institution to which they belong, and to fail to punish it for continuing to behave in that manner.

The support for my assertion of apathy (at a minimum) on these issues on the behalf of the majority of Republicans is that the national Republican party has supported them for so long. Some portions of the party plainly are racist and/or homophobic (else these wouldn't work as dog-whistle and rallying issues within the party), and the majority of the rest* plainly tolerate it. I.e., are apathetic about it.

*I suppose it's also possible that the aforementioned racist/homophobic portion could be the majority, in which case the remainder might not be tolerating it, but would be incapable of changing it. If that is the situation, however, they're being fairly quiet, and in any case your objection to an implication that the majority of Republicans could be racist/homophobic would be spurious.

"I'm sorry I made it about your voting habits: you're right, that's rather too personal for a blog discussion. (My Inner Dialogue with myself last time I was faced with a voting ballot was more like an Inner Opera, as various voices shouted at each other.)"

Thanks Jes, I appreciate the exchange of ideas, even criticism, at a nonpersonal level. I do live in a state where often my choices are rather limited. My voting booth experiences, however, are pure rock opera. :)

I suppose that in every event that the statements in any platform represent anything but complete support of any LGBT position it will be coded homophobic, because that is the new racist.

However, there are reasonable people who would prefer to change the laws so gvernment has no authority to define marriage.

Please show me the Republican legislator or party platform that has done just such a thing. Please. I'd love to be proven wrong. Such a thing would be a wonderful change from the archtypical posturing that they engage in on marriage.

I know responding to Jay Jay is feeding the troll, but I wish he would stop with the fallacy about Medicaid being there for people who can't afford maternity care.

"Major-party membership is not obligatory"

Well, no, its not. But the vast majority of people find it better to associate themselves with one or the other for things like, voting in primaries, etc. In my state independents can pick one to vote in, in other states it takes away your right.

For most people, it requires a choice in their minds.

And, btw, I am ignoring racist in this discussion, on purpose, because it is just too absurd to think of any platform of either party as actually being racist today.

Tell me there are some racists in the Republican party, I won't argue. But, in general, I dismiss that either party is racist out of hand.

Jesurgislac sez:
"sanbikinoraion, Jay Jerome is trolling. DNFTT."


Sanbikinorion: Jesurgislac is a censorious puerile petulant sophomoric
juvenile who lacks language skills, hence his reliance, over and over, on the don't feed the troll acronym, an accusation he hurls, whenever anyone offers opinions that stymie him intellectually (frequently) and challenge him linguistically -- therefore his usage of pompous blog abbreviations instead of coherent English.

I suppose that in every event that the statements in any platform represent anything but complete support of any LGBT position it will be coded homophobic, because that is the new racist.

Setting aside for the moment the code expressed by "defend religious liberties", there is no code at all in the plank of the platform that explicitly declares the Massachusetts Republican party to be against equal civil rights for same-sex couples: it's explicitly a homophobic position.

I admit someone apathetic about LGBT equality might glance over the "defend religious liberties" plank and see no difficulty at all with it. After all, nothing required you to pay attention when the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts claimed "religious liberty" required them to close down an adoption service rather than allow it to implicitly acknowledge that same-sex couples make as good parents as mixed-sex couples do.

However, there are reasonable people who would prefer to change the laws so gvernment has no authority to define marriage.

No, there are none. Claiming that you want government to be banned from defining civil marriage is a fundamentally unreasonable position, and anyone who asserts it is neither a reasonable nor a thoughtful person. (I'm willing to accept they may not be actively bigoted against same-sex couples, just rather stupid libertarians who haven't thought their stock phrases through since they were given them.)

Until that is done there will be people who believe that the traditional definition is the one meant in the law and will support that for religious or other reasons.

Yes: those people are the homophobic bigots.

That doesn't make them homophobic, it means they disagree with you.

No, it means they're homophobic. They think that same-sex couples shouldn't have the same legal rights, benefits, and obligations to each other as mixed-sex couples do, and there's no reason for thinking that except homophobia, whether justified by religion or whatever.

I would be much happier if we took every law that provides a benefit for being married and deleted marriage as the qualifier

Okay, you obviously haven't really given this any thought at all.

Civil partnership in the UK took a couple of years to draft and over a year to become law and the legislation is the size of a telephone directory, and all they were doing was creating an equivalent same-sex legal option carrying all the same legal rights as marriage but not called marriage.

Your vague goal of "deleting marriage" either entails repeating the same kind of work as was done for the Civil Partnership Act for every item of legislation and every regulation in US law, state and federal - a huge piece of government work, compared to simply repealing the ban on same-sex couples marrying

- or you mean that civil marriage will just be ...deleted. All married couples in the US will lose their legal rights, benefits, and obligations towards each other. This would be the most hugely unpopular piece of legislation that any government ever passed: and it would have to be done both at state level for every state, and at federal level to de-recognize civil marriage for everyone.

It's a view one could hold if one was very stupid/ignorant and had never really thought about the implications. But it's in no way a reasonable or a sensible or a rational view. It's too stupid for that.

russel says @ September 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM:
"Kyl doesn't want to pay for maternity insurance because he's not going to get pregnant. The flip side of that is that women will want to opt out of coverage for testicular or prostate cancer, or for any of the many other unique and colorful ways in which male bodies are prone to breaking down."

Fine, let women buy insurance based on their usage of health care, and let men do the same: those who use it more, pay more. And, (drum roll) we already do that in many states. And (another drum roll) it turns out women are higher utilizers of health care, especially females under the age of 55 (complications from pregnancy one of the high risk factors). And in fact, women pay more for individual health insurance coverage throughout the U.S.

Now I know you're going to go into a huff of indignation at the private health care carriers, and blame them for greedy sexism, but mandated state insurance pools also charge women higher primiums: in the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool women ages 25 to 29 pay 39% more; in the Nebraska State Insurance Pool they pay 32% more.

But some states, including New York and Montana and Maine, have prohibited sex-based rates, because -- ya know, only women can bear babies, which is perceived as a societal benefit (out of control population growths notwithstanding)and therefore men with individual policies have to pay more in those states, even though they seek treatment less often. Sort of like a Dutch Treat dinner date where the woman orders Lobster Thermador, and the guy orders a cheeseburger, but ends up paying half the bill.

Jesurgislac is a censorious puerile petulant sophomoric
juvenile who lacks language skills, hence his reliance, over and over, on the don't feed the troll acronym, an accusation he hurls, whenever anyone offers opinions that stymie him intellectually (frequently) and challenge him linguistically -- therefore his usage of pompous blog abbreviations instead of coherent English.

A few points:

(1) Jes is a she, not a he.

(2) I've argued with Jes many times in the comments over the past few years and she has NEVER called me a troll. In fact, I don't think she has ever called anyone a troll without there being a colorable case that the individual was actually a troll. Jes has many flaws (as we all do, especially me), but calling commenters who are arguing in good faith trolls is not one of them.

(3) Your entire comment constitutes a posting rules violation. I've already explained to you that the posting rules forbid abusing other commenters. Apparently, you are not capable of understanding that simple rule. Or perhaps you are capable and are simply trolling. Thus proving Jes' point. So, which is it: are you so intellectually deficient that the sentence "do not abuse other commenters" is too difficult for you to understand or was Jes right in calling you a troll?

mattH: Please show me the Republican legislator or party platform that has done just such a thing. Please. I'd love to be proven wrong. Such a thing would be a wonderful change from the archtypical posturing that they engage in on marriage.

I think even the Republican Party of Texas isn't stupid enough to write that into their party platform. *checks* No, they're not: they're all for government-defined and government-enforced marriage.

It's not mere stupidity that allows people to say that they think government "should get out of the marriage business", as I've heard it phrased: it's straightforward ignorance, mostly, on the same lines as "get government out of Medicare!" Government and the courts defines civil marriage because that's what civil marriage is - a relationship recognized in law and by the government.

The Texan Republican Party's racist policies are almost open enough that I think even Marty might be able to read the code: denying citizenship to people born in the United States if their parents aren't citizens is a fairly obvious one. Denial of healthcare is another...

"denying citizenship to people born in the United States if their parents aren't citizens"

I'm absolutely in agreement that this is a racist policy, but in passing one should note that this is actually the policy that obtains in the UK - for exactly the same racist reasons.

The baby my American friends just had in London does not have British citizenship by birthright.

"it's straightforward ignorance, mostly, on the same lines as "get government out of Medicare!" Government and the courts defines civil marriage because that's what civil marriage is - a relationship recognized in law and by the government"

No, really it's not. Due to the general acceptance culturally of the term it was a simple way to define benefits for families. If Families now meant only two options, same or different sex marriage then it would be easy to just expand the definition, argue through the civil unions language, and do that fifty times. But families are really more complex than that, at least in the US today, so if we want to extend all of those rights now associated with marriage to any two people who cohabitat or share some bills or decide to have a child in a nonmarriage situation or are the person in the family (brother or sister) that you want to have those rights...then we should just call it a benefits union, fifty times. Or we could take the time and trouble to redefine federal laws that reference marriage to call it a civil union or whatever, but change the mindset to include more people than just those that are "married" in the conventional sense. Same sex unions, same sex marriage, etc. are just an extension of that conventional viewpoint. Those who want to stop there fall into the "as long as I get mine" mindset.

See the long term problem to solve is what benefits do you want all people to have. This gets bogged down in the marriage discussion. So I think several years of working on it is ok, if we get it right.

Democrats need to just do the work, get the bills to the floor, force a vote and get it done. I think everyone will be surprised how many Republican votes it gets if they just do the work.

I appreciate your comments in this thread, but my guess on "how many Republicans" is less than 10% of them, in either house.

I would, of course, be delighted to be proven wrong.

russel says @ September 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Two 'l's in 'russell' Jerome.

Or should I say, Jerom.

"I appreciate your comments in this thread, but my guess on "how many Republicans" is less than 10% of them, in either house."

Russell,

I will be disappointed if it gets less than 70 votes in the Senate, I think 75. I think that would be a surprise to most.

We should bookmark this thread.

Thanks to Marty and Jes (yes, Jes, you too) for hijacking the thread. While I agree 100% with Jes on the subject, the GOP's ignorant and bigoted attitudes aren't really what the post is about, not at all.

JJerome may a fool, but he has been a mostly on-topic fool.

John Miller says: "I know responding to Jay Jay is feeding the troll, but I wish he would stop with the fallacy about Medicaid being there for people who can't afford maternity care."

From the Desk Of The Troll:

As of Sept of this year Medicaid paid for 43% of newborn hospital charges in the US.
HERE


In California, Medicaid maternity coverage is mandatory: HERE and stats from that Kaiser Foundation site show that in California alone Medicaid financed 244,000 births.

"Thanks to Marty and Jes (yes, Jes, you too) for hijacking the thread"

Not really Jes's fault, it's really my fault, mea culpa. Done now.

Marty: No, really it's not.

No, really, it is. Civil marriage, by definition, is a legal relationship recognized by the law and by the government. It's nothing more and nothing less.

Due to the general acceptance culturally of the term it was a simple way to define benefits for families.

Actually, it's the way benefits for couples are defined.

But families are really more complex than that, at least in the US today, so if we want to extend all of those rights now associated with marriage to any two people who cohabitat or share some bills or decide to have a child in a nonmarriage situation or are the person in the family (brother or sister) that you want to have those rights...then we should just call it a benefits union, fifty times.

Ah: you want to abolish civil marriage in favor of the French solution: a Pacte civil de solidarité.

1: The notion that you would ever get any politician to support legislation to divorce by fiat every married couple in the United States and transform their marriage into a PACS, is absurd. This is not a reasonable position.

2. Even if you were Dictator of the United States and could enforce your wishes to get government out of marriage and have everyone in a PACS instead of a marriage, why would any reasonable person want that to do that to everyone in the United States?

See the long term problem to solve is what benefits do you want all people to have.

Fine. But why get hung up on marriage, in that case? Begin by agreeing that both same-sex and mixed-sex couples can have a civil marriage, which means you're not unreasonably denying the benefits of marriage to couples who want them, then figure out what family benefits you want all families to have.

One of the most important ways to lower infant mortality rates is to ensure access to maternity health care. This is another example of irony where the women hating hurts/kills the babies. Pro-life?

There is also the assumption that maternity care only helps poor and single women who should be punished rather than married women. They don't realize that they are hurting the men as well. As Grover Gardner pointed out that women aren't living in a vacuum. We're part of your families.

Oops. Sorry, I didn't hit preview and so didn't notice Marty declaring the discussion over with mass divorces for everyone. ;-)

I figured once the discussion had got to JayJay trolling, the thread was pretty much dead anyway (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Ahhhhhh, *that*'s what DNFTT stands for! I've seen it elsewhere but never with enough context to figure it out :)

Marty, except that people *have* actually died in the US from a treatable disease that the insurance company wouldn't pay for, whereas the death panels thing, well, not so much.

Not sure if this thread is dead or not, but...

But I wholeheartedly agree that labeling the GOP as wholly homophobic and racist is a considerable stretch; the thing is, they haven't done much to dispel the notion, especially when the extremist base they kowtow to demands homophobia and racism.

By refusing to stomp on the racist and homophobic elements in the Party (indeed, by encouraging them), I think the GOP deserves as much condemnation for racism and homophobia as any Tea-Bagger. For any Republican offended by this, I say "Tough." If your party isn't representing you, get out of the party.

=====================

I suppose this would be applicable depending on who you define as the leaders of the Republican party.

Rush is the de facto leader, since no Republican of any standing has the guts to stand up to him. Other than that, if you can name one major Republican who has condemned (in other than weasel words) the Party's philosophy, name them. I'll call their office immediately and thank them.

=================

But, in general, I dismiss that either party is racist out of hand.

Did you see the flyers that several Republican State officials sent out during the campaign? You can dismiss it -- that doesn't mean it's not there.

Sort of like a Dutch Treat dinner date where the woman orders Lobster Thermador, and the guy orders a cheeseburger, but ends up paying half the bill.

Whereas your version is a date where both eat lobster and the woman picks up the check.

Bernard Yomtov asks: "Whereas your version is a date where both eat lobster and the woman picks up the check."

And pays the tip too...:)


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