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February 03, 2010

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I love the atmosphere of this post.

Yeah, yeah, a little Slug to start us off. Good catch, Slarti.

Didn't it pretty much have to originate in the house under Article I, Section 7, Clause 1? That is, if it was going to appropriate any revenue?

Right, I'm sure there were just oodles of house Republicans who were dying to cast yes votes on Obama's signature reform effort.

C'mon dude, they're now attacking him for tax cuts for crissakes.

Did HR 3200 skew the debate, or was it the lies Republicans told about what was in HR 3200? Or are those also the fault of House Democrats?

Hogan: If House Democrats had just left the socialism, death panels, and government takeover of medicine out of H.R. 3200, the Republicans would have negotiated in good faith.

Also, Democrats in the Senate wouldn't have threatened to support a filibuster of the bill.

And House Blue Dogs wouldn't have spent the whole year grandstanding and lying about it.

But, as always, the all-powerful hippies called the shots and Barack "I didn't campaign on the public option" Obama was totally powerless.

Didn't it pretty much have to originate in the house under Article I, Section 7, Clause 1? That is, if it was going to appropriate any revenue?

Obama could have proposed a more moderate bill for the House to adopt (that, yes, included a public option). Or guided the debate to any extent. There is a precedent for that after all (see, e.g., the Clinton Administration).

What Kenny said.

Von, you shouldn't confuse *your personal* willingness to reach common ground, with the political imperatives of House Republicans. They have been running a scorched-earth campaign since the 1990's, and have absolutely no reason to stop doing so now.

The GOP base would instantly destroy any Congressional Republican that voted for the Democrats' signature issue. To think otherwise is a nice little bit of happy-go-lucky rumination, but it only shows how thoroughly detached you're letting yourself be from the current political reality.

There is a precedent for that after all (see, e.g., the Clinton Administration).

Yeah, hard to see how that could go wrong.

I am starting to get the sense that there might have been room to cut a deal on health care...

The entire post is irrefutable insofar as it's alternate history. But it strikes me as the height of either partisan apologetics or profound political naivete.

And even there, its logic doesn't hold up- the GOP was made unable to negotiate a bipartisan compromise that would've helped America, because HR3200 was too good of an opportunity to attack? Attacking is more important than producing a good bill? Ok.
But if they're willing to score political points at the expense of a good bill, what makes you think that they didn't hold that position prior to HR3200?
I mean, Wyden-Bennett offers a picture-perfect political attack: you'll lose your employer-based healthcare! So again, the GOP could've make bank running against it. Why do they behave one way in reality but another way in your fantastic scenario?

Von, there wasn't a bill when prominent Republicans started calling this Obama's Waterloo.

The President expected a conference to produce a version quite different from the House bill, and indeed this is what would be happening if Republicans hadn't figured out, correctly, that they would be richly rewarded for preventing the passage of any bill at all.

We have a politics and a media fit only for a nation of pathetic losers.

Obama could have proposed a more moderate bill for the House to adopt (that, yes, included a public option).

Er...what would this bill have involved? If the public option is okay, then what part of HR 3200 is so objectionable?

Near the end of the interview, Ezra asks Paul Ryan about the Senate bill. Ryan won't name one provision of the bill that he agrees with, and when pushed for specifics on his one complaint about the Senate bill--that it is "government-centric"--he can't explain how his own bill is any different from the Senate bill in that regard.

I'm not saying that Ryan is opposed to the Senate bill just because it is supported by Democrats. Ryan may have simply done a bad job of explaining himself here. But I can't figure out why this interview leads Von to believe it is more likely that there was room to cut a deal.

I would love to believe you, Von. I don't feel one bit better contemplating the possibility that the Right reflexively opposes even reasonable proposals based on wild caricatures of what they believe the other side's intentions are. And I'm glad that there are some proposals out there that show ideological support for some of the principles that good Leftists like Lieberman hold. But when I hit facebook and see my HS friends on the Right giving examples of all that is evil in Obamacare that are taken from things that aren't even in the Bill and mocking the very idea that there is anything wrong with our health care model and cheering louder the more outrageous and offensive the caricature becomes I think that the reasonable Right have lost all control and are just hoping to ride this rough beast out.

Just out of curiosity, what exactly was in HR 3200 that "tanked" any possible deal? Was it the Death Panels proposed by the Republican for Georgia? Was it the small business tax cuts originally supported by the GOP? Did the explicit upholding of the Hyde Amendment ruffle too many feathers?

Maybe the problem is on the Senate side. Lets ask Chuck Grassley.
http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/bipartisanship/grassley-admits-health-care-proposal-has-republican-input/

“This bill, except for the five to 10 things that weren’t resolved, has been put together with some Republican input,” Grassley said.

Nope, not that.

Hey, I wonder if Republicans supporting and then yanking said support has some kind of precedent? Let's ask the Conrad-Gregg Commission.

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/stan-collender/1454/gop-officially-demonstrates-it-not-party-fiscal-responsibility

The Conrad-Gregg commission, which needed 60 votes in the Senate, was defeated 53-46. The amendment creating the commission would have been adopted 60-39 if all of the GOP senators who co-sponsored the amendment voted for it. Instead, seven of the Republican co-sponsors withdrew their co-sponsorship the week before the vote and then voted against it.

Well fuck a duck.

to let the House Democrats take first crack at a bill.

Oh, and for the record: the Senate HELP committee reported out its bill a week before HR 3200 was introduced, at which point Max Baucus had had his "subcommittee" of the Senate Finance Committee at work for roughly six months but hadn't produced any actual proposed legislation. So "first crack" doesn't sound quite right to me.

Von: my gut tells me that President Obama's first and greatest mistake was to let the House Democrats take first crack at a bill.

Ugh: Didn't it pretty much have to originate in the house under Article I, Section 7, Clause 1? That is, if it was going to appropriate any revenue?

Have a little charity, Ugh. Clearly Von is calling for Obama to have relied on the theory of the unitary executive in time of perpetual war to dissolve the House, arrest at least 10 Republican senators, and get a reasonable, decent, moderate bill passed by the Senate at gun point.

Well f^$% a duck.

You may Make Sweet, Sweet Love to the duck, but F^$&ing it is off limits- check the posting rules.

May I suggest: "Gently caress a duck"

It was all a ruse; none of the Republicans were truly serious about reform.

I don't agree, but if that makes you feel better, fine.

von,

Get serious. It's not a question of anybody feeling better. Republicans don't want anything that Obama wants. That's their decision rule. If Obama had introduced a Republican-written bill they would have voted against it.

Wake up. Your party has been taken over by nutballs and its legislators are terrified of offending them. The Democratic plan is imperfect, no doubt, but expecting Republicans to produce and suppoprt a better one is just delusional.

"Obama could have proposed a more moderate bill for the House to adopt (that, yes, included a public option). Or guided the debate to any extent. There is a precedent for that after all (see, e.g., the Clinton Administration)."

He did.
The left wanted single payer. So the proposal was a strong public option. Which was bargained down to a weak public option. Which was bargained down to Medicare expansion. Which was bargained down to, well, not a whole hell of a lot.

No matter what was proposed, that was going to be portrayed as extreme left-wing socialism. No matter what was proposed, you were going to sit here and say 'if only the President had met us half way!'

It's governance by Zeno's paradox.

Do you have a post somewhere detailing why we should credit any of the blanket condemnations in this one? Because it sure isn't here.

Your party has been taken over by nutballs and its legislators are terrified of offending them.

HUGE surprise that Kos' research project reinforced conclusions he'd already made.

Von: Obama could have proposed a more moderate bill for the House to adopt (that, yes, included a public option). Or guided the debate to any extent.

Sure, I could wish for the sake of my American friends that Obama had led the debate on healthcare like an American Aneurin Bevan, consistently and moderately say that the US should "take pride in the fact that, despite our financial and economic anxieties, we are still able to do the most civilised thing in the world: put the welfare of the sick in front of every other consideration".

For a Republican to whine that the debate would have gone better had Obama been more involved with it is kind of pointless: the debate would have gone better had the Republicans not been so determined to oppose anything Obama supported, and to defend at all costs the well-being of the health insurance companies.

Terribly sorry, but Ryan's big idea is to privatize Medicare and hold down government spending on it by limiting the growth of his proposed vouchers to well below projected increases in healthcare costs. So no, I don't really accept the notion that this guy is at all serious about reforming healthcare and health insurance.

Also:

"It was all a ruse; none of the Republicans were truly serious about reform.

I don't agree, but if that makes you feel better, fine."

Well that's nice, and you're entitled to your view, but it's really not that hard to prove you're wrong. Consider a pernennial go-to in Republican rhetoric, selling insurance across state lines. Well, everyone in the debate agrees with that proposition. Where people split is in how you do it; Democrats think it should be accompanied with national regulations to protect consumers, Republicans think regulations should remain with states (turning insurance into the new credit cards). Now it would have been pretty easy for Republicans who actually believed this was crucially important to do to accept the Democratic premise in order to make it happen, being the deep minority and all, but, well, name me the Republicans who took that position.

Now whatever else you make think things like this say, it certainly tells you that, at the least, Republicans weren't at all interested in working with a Democratic majority to accomplish healthcare reform. If you insist otherwise, you're just lying to yourself.

Pretty bad when the only defender you get is attempting to sidetrack the discussion.

Nice piece of performance art I guess von?

I sure do love good alternative-reality fiction.

What happened to the one truly "bipartisan" effort to enact a health care bill? It was called the "Gang of Six" - and the Gang's GOP members spent the entire summer trashing the whole effort, throwing their lot in with the Tea Party crowd, and publicly claiming that they weren't going to vote for HCR no matter how many concessions Max Baucus gave them.

It is the standard meme among Beltway conservatives in 2010 that Obama has refused to meet them halfway on HCR. He has - far more than half, in fact. George Will spouted last week that if Obama had talked to Ryan six months ago, a bill would have easily passed. Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.

It is a deluded, self-congratulatory lie to claim that the GOP has ever been even remotely interested in a bipartisan solution to HCR.

This has been another edition of what Bernie said:

Get serious. It's not a question of anybody feeling better. Republicans don't want anything that Obama wants. That's their decision rule. If Obama had introduced a Republican-written bill they would have voted against it.

Honestly, Von, your post read like all those insane Tom Friedman posts during the first three years of the Iraq war, dispatches from another universe. Friedman used to write the same essay every week or so about how there were good reasons and good methods for going into Iraq and for occupying them, and if we'd gone into Iraq for those reasons and in those ways and occupied them thoughtfully then everything would have been fine and maybe if we clapped really hard then in six months we'd find ourselves in that wonderful alternate universe.

You post is similarly obtuse: the Republicans will not vote for anything for the next year. 40 Republican Senators voted en bloc for the government to declare bankruptcy rather than keep going, in response to a budgetary situation they did as much as anyone to create. The Republicans have adopted a policy of pure nihilism, and at this point if you write posts like this one the only question is whether you're attempting to convince yourself or whether you're really that deluded.

@ Slartibartfast:

Your party has been taken over by nutballs and its legislators are terrified of offending them.
HUGE surprise that Kos' research project reinforced conclusions he'd already made.
I'm not a huge fan of Kos, but this is a cheap shot. Kos is perfectly aware not only that he's biased but that he's known to be biased, and so he's always been very careful that the polling he commissions be transparent, so that people who suspect it was constructed to ensure a desirable motive will have to explain how, instead of simply mistrusting him. And so there's really an awful lot of information available about the methods, including the precise wording of the questions. And, yes, respondents were allowed to say they weren't sure - the third who supported impeachment and said Obama wasn't born in the US were certain. Now, maybe there are all sorts of systemic problems here: respondents with landlines, the spare time and willingness to answer two dozen questions, and willing to identify their affiliation may be weird and nonrepresentative people. Heck, maybe people identifying themselves as "Republicans" are weird, after Dubya and what with the right-wing excitement eschewing that party label. Heaven knows how many people imitated neanderthals in their answers dishonestly to tweak the pollster or for some other obscure reason. But you can't just sigh and say "it's just Kos".

WT,
I think a lot of Kos's results can be attributed to the fact that (iirc) about 20% of people self-identify as Republicans. So half of that is 10%, a pretty believable number for extremist views or beliefs (eg it would mean 5% believe Obama 'wants the terrorists to win').
Id have liked to see the poll results for Indys and Dems as well, to see if to what degree the GOP-leaning Indys believe this stuff.
I hadn't looked at the detailed results from the Kos poll before, but I noticed something interesting in the age cohort breakdowns: younger people were less-supportive of conservative positions than older ones almost across the board.

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