Krugman Accuses Obama Of Going Harry and Louise On Health Care

By Big Tent Democrat

Harry and Louise. The infamous fictional couple used by the Health Insurance industry to fight against health reform remain synonymous with the power of special interest money in politics. As a result, Paul Krugman's charge (see also Ezra Klein) that Barack Obama's campaign is playing the Harry and Louise game is a serious one:

Obama does Harry and Louise, again

The Obama campaign sends out an ugly mailer. Sorry, but this is just destructive ó like the Obama plan, the Clinton plan offers subsidies to lower-income families. And BO himself has conceded that he might have to penalize people who donít buy insurance until they need care. So this is just poisoning the well for health care reform. The politics of hope, indeed.

More . . .

In his column today, Krugman also provided this easy to run with quote:

[I]t remains true that on the key issue of health care, the Clinton plan is more or less identical to the Edwards plan. The Obama plan, which doesnít actually achieve universal coverage, is considerably weaker.

Will this issue have traction for Hillary? As Roland Hedley, Jr. says, time will tell.

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    Mandates now not progressive (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:28:55 PM EST
    Amazing, over at some other sites the spin has started that mandates not progressive. I am curious, these sites thrive on controversy and criticism. If Obama becomes president, what will they do? What will their role be? Justification. For self interest they should be wishing for Hillary, they would really enjoy a long life.

    Two Things (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    First, many are young healthy adults who don't want to be mandated to by insurance.  Ironically, many of Obama's supporters are the very people most likely to undermine his own plan.

    Second, they don't care about policy.  Obama must be right about everything because he's their guy.

    What's particularly noxious about the blogs signing on to this line of attack is that most participants on blogs will have the means to buy insurance under either plan.  What they are doing is supporting Obama's efforts to scare lower income, working class folks about Hillary's plan by making it sound like she's going to make them buy something expensive and if they can't, she's going to throw them in jail or something.  If the Republicans were doing this, it would be unacceptable.  But because it's Obama, it's perfectly fine.  

    I'll also note that for people who want to turn the page on the politics of the 1990s, it's kind of ironic that they spend so much of their time parroting and supporting the rightwing attacks used on the Clintons during that time.  Because that's been so good for Democrats.


    Part Of His Strategy To Appeal To Young Adults (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:54:22 PM EST
    Undermining Universal Health Care and talking about the crisis of Social Security is a very well planned strategy of his campaign. As you said, many healthy young adults do not want to spend their money on insurance and believe that Social Security will not be available to them. In an effort to capture this group, he is more than willing to risk programs that are part of the framework of the Democratic Party and programs that people need.  

    Now who is the candidate that will do anything to win?


    That's a losing strategy (5.00 / 4) (#121)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:50:52 PM EST
    And we've seen how well that strategy is working for him. He is being absolutely creamed in the Baby Boomer vote. He is so tone deaf that he doesn't realize how scared we are that social security is not going to be around for us, after we've paid into it all our lives.

    The health care issue is another one that older americans are very concerned about, since many are either losing their health care when they get sick and their insurance company drops them. Or the premiums are so high they can't afford them.

    Were there no other issues at all in this campaign, I would vote for Hillary just for those 2 issues. Obama may be getting more of the 18-25 vote, but they don't vote in anywhere near the amount that older americans do. This is really a stupid strategy, to say nothing of how undemocratic it is to play youth against age in some cynical aim to win an election. Dems are better than that. We don't throw whole groups of our party under the bus like that.

    I guess last night was all a show for Mr. Obama. He really doesn't get it.


    We Boomers (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:16:52 PM EST
    understand that the young people who don't have insurance are paid for by the rest of us when they wind up in the emergency room. That is one reason we are not going for Obama. He has a lot of learning to do.
    By mandating that everyone, particularly  healthy young people are in the system we keep the costs down. Then when they need it there will be other younger healthy people to pay for them. If they don't pay in, some of them will fall sick or get into accidents and we all wind up paying more than we would have if they had been insured since they would likely use emergency rooms. Obama seems to be saying that he would allow young people to take that gamble, and if they lose, they would have to cough up some back payments. That is ludicrous because it is an incentive to take the gamble.
    If I am not mistaken, the insurance companies are not dead set against this plan because, even though they would have to tolerate cost controls, they would get more healthy young people paying in to offset it. As much as we are all fed up with the insurance companies, they need to be on board or they will "Harry and Louise" reform to death. We have to start somewhere and the American people have been lied to for so long about how terrible health care is in other countries, that this is the most practical approach.

    not to be dire (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:33:57 PM EST
    but what happens if said young person does not make it?  A lot of the catastrophic accidents seen in the ER result in mortality.  Are you going to then sue the family?  What about traumatic brain injury, which is a very common problem in the sorts of accidents young risk-takers are involved in.  Are we going to follow them to the hospices, where they are learning the basics like tying their shoes, and demand back payment?  Are we going to take their homes from them?  Are we going to sue them and garnish their future wages when they will never be able to hold down a job?

    Like many "quick fixes" Obama comes up with, when you take it to the next logical step, you quickly fall off a cliff.

    It is a moral imperative in America that we have universal, mandated health care for all.  We are the richest country in the world.  How are we going to pay for it?  End this useless, bloody war and balance the budget.


    easy for the Obama supporters (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:57:42 PM EST
    to be against mandates when they can buy insurance anytime...How very stupid of them....if we don't get universal health care in this country, I personally am so totally screwed as I am ineligible for health care now and need cancer treatments...Obama is really hurting the democratic party.

    Trust (none / 0) (#34)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:07:34 PM EST
    Can't trust a latte progressive or should I say libertarian?

    No Mandates, No Universal Coverage (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    Via Ezra Klein, the Urban Institute, a well-respected think tank ran the numbers on mandates vs. no mandates.  Its conclusion (emphasis mine):

    In this brief we conclude that, absent a single payer system, it is not possible to achieve universal coverage without an individual mandate. The evidence is strong that voluntary measures alone would leave large numbers of people uninsured. Voluntary measures would tend to enroll disproportionate numbers of individuals with higher cost health problems, creating high premiums and instability in the insurance pools in which they are enrolled, unless further significant government subsidization is provided. The government would also have difficulty redirecting current spending on the uninsured to offset some of the cost associated with a new program without universal coverage.

    Exactly Right (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:55:11 PM EST
    Exactly. Obama keeps claiming that Hillary's plan makes people who can't afford it get insurance. And that is his stance even though HER PLAN actually makes the insurance more affordable PLUS subsidizes it for poor people, and HIS PLAN - without mandates - will make it more expensive for everyone. By not having mandates, everyone ends up paying more. How can anyone think his plan will make things cheaper? It won't. It will make it more expensive, thereby keeping health care out of the hands of people who most need it.

    His Plan Does Have A Mandate (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:15:33 PM EST
    His plan requires parents to insure their children. I guess using his own criteria (i.e. lies) he doesn't care if the parents can afford the cost of the insurance.

    Foolish (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:40:20 PM EST
    this is very very foolish of the BO campaign to create divisiveness again after the democrat party showed such unity last night...Worse thing they could do at this late date...

    There is an election on. (none / 0) (#68)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:47:50 PM EST
    This is not Kumbayah.

    That's right. (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:18:49 PM EST
    However, Obama claims that he represents a different kind of politics, and thereby sets the bar higher for himself.

    He is not living up to his own standards by using this Republican frame to fight one of those "battles of the 90s" that he wants to get away from -- fighting it on the wrong side of the argument.


    so go tell that hypocrite obama that. (none / 0) (#141)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:32:38 PM EST
    The last straw (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by eric on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:55:27 PM EST
    This is the last straw for me.  I was undecided after Edwards dropped, and was beginning to rethink Obama after the debate last night.  Then, I see this ad and I am shocked back into reality.

    I can't believe Obama would use this ad.  It is disgusting.  I also think that, if Edwards sees this, any chance at an endorsement is gone.

    The ad (none / 0) (#108)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:33:41 PM EST
    provides a different sort of transparency than what I was hearing from Obama in the debates last night.  What an insult to activists and the netroots.  

    i say front the getgo that edwards would (none / 0) (#135)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:21:00 PM EST
    never support obama. what's there to support for edwards? the answer is not much!

    Edwards? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by djork on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:56:08 PM EST
    I wonder what John Edwards thinks about this in his consideration of which one to endorse - seems like a potentially bridge-burning type of thing coming from Obama.

    I Hope He Sees This (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:03:10 PM EST
    If this doesn't keep him from endorsing Obama, nothing will.

    in doing this mailer (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:00:46 PM EST
    He might as well have done a mailer that said, Dear Edwards supporters, please support Hillary Clinton for president....Very very foolish....

    speculation (5.00 / 0) (#92)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:12:22 PM EST
    This appears to be such a negative twist to the campaign, I just wonder if Obama's info on the debate shows him losing ground or at least not gaining enough. Smacks of desperation to me and playing high risk with the general election.

    Would probably have had to go out (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:18:20 PM EST
    for printing, at least, before the debate.

    printing (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:51:04 PM EST
    four color process, design, lead time, labeling, bulk mailing...this thing was thought of at least a month ago, probably right when she announced her plan.  He has been pushing this same mantra in both debates, so there is no way they just came up with it last week and threw it out there.

    Actually, I think his proposal is the more (none / 0) (#97)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    politically feasible one for the general election. People don't like the word mandates when it requires them to contribute their money. It is still wrong though.

    clarification (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:27:37 PM EST
    It certainly would enhance the risk for Hillary who has taken her stand for mandates. Also Obama himself may be open to charges of pretending to want change while all along wanting what many repubs want.If so, the distinction between Obama and McCain gets more blurred. Finally, as noted above in one of the comments,Obama has admitted there could be a huge problem if many people do not voluntary participate. Costs will go up and what will he do.Charges of hypocrisy now could leave him vulnerable. Especially when he presents himself as a different kind of politician.

    Now is the time (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:24:06 PM EST
    People are really fed up with how much insurance is costing and are really afraid of losing what insurance they have. There has never been a better time to enact universal health care. I know that single payer is not politically viable now, but universal coverage is what the vast majority of people want. With the Republicans as discredited as they are, there will never be a better time, unless we wait until our out-of-control system ruins our economy completely.
    We must all fight with everything we have to make this happen. When Hillary tried this in the early 90's there was not internet and the vast majority of Democrats just sat by and watched the right wing destroy any hope of reform.

    Politico... (none / 0) (#102)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:22:45 PM EST
    ... had the mailer yesterday... so it was going out, or even out, before the debate last night.

    Even worse; he was a hypocrite last night (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:40:32 PM EST
    in the debate then.  And I therefore treat as suspect everything he said that impressed me.

    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#118)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:49:48 PM EST
    I thought the schtick was he transcended all divisiveness and was the great unifier? How does this return to the "past" using repub talking points of the nineties, which he supposedly left behind, not show him as a hypocrite?

    Thanks (none / 0) (#106)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:31:26 PM EST
    I was unaware of the timing. However the point still stands as both Hillary and Obama have gone negative when they view themselves as falling behind.

    What is really going on (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    I have often read that the big reason the Republicans fought so hard in the '90's against health care is because they were so afraid that passing it would sink the Republican Party forever. The Democratic Party would then forever be seen as the party of Health Care and Social Security, which would be 2 of the most popular programs to ever be passed. They were afraid it would insure a democratic majority for decades. I think they are right to fear. Which is exactly why I think what Obama is doing is so contemptible! Universal Health Care is our big chance to build a progressive majority that will turn this nation upside down. But Obama is about himself, not what is good for this country.

    The reason was profits (none / 0) (#165)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:15:55 PM EST
    and control -- not fear of losing the public.

    The Demcratic Party is already the party of social security and healthcare (medicare, medicaid).  For whatever reason, it didn't insulate us against the Reagan years, the Gingrich revolution...


    Blame Bill Kristol (none / 0) (#169)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:30:22 PM EST
    The Republicans initially were admitting that we needed health care reform. But when Hillary presented her plan, fully expecting to have to negotiate with them, Bill Kristol sent out a memo to Republican leaders urging them to refuse to work with her. He said that they would be better off politically if they denied Clinton to accomplish any kind of reform.
    The Republicans then completely changed their tone and Bob Dole, Senate Majority Leader came out and said that we had no health care crisis. This was a purely political move.

    Advantage gone (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:02:32 PM EST
    Just when the ol' juices could be marshalled by the Clintonistas against a Harry and Louise flashback, they have to ruin it all by having one of their surrogates liken the ad to Nazis marching through Skokie IL.

    You say "huh"? Yeah, me too.

    What incredible incompetents! Throwing away the buzz of the news cycle, as small as it may be, with an absurd and over the top counter-attack that only reminds everyone of the darker side of the Clintons.

    Oh well. Whats next?

    It was stupid but somehow . . . (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:22:55 PM EST
    Obama's mailer is far more egregious, to me, than a comment by not Clinton but -- and this tells me an egregious amount about you as well as your candidate -- a "Clintonista."

    So once again, Obama supporters who don't want to see the larger issue here can seize on someone's comment all they want -- but they weren't going to support Clinton, anyway.  Pffft.


    Cream (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:53:49 PM EST
    As usual, I totally agree with you.  And that whole Nazi thing is stupid, but Nichols, the man who said it, was also a supporter of the Edwards program. He does not work for the campaign. He switched his full allegiance to Hillary when Edwards dropped out.

    Just more thinking from Obama supporters that anyone who says something negative about their guy must be another stupid Hillary supporter.

    It's getting a bit vapid, you know?


    Is HRC anti-First Amendment? (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:12:58 PM EST
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Talk radio am hosts say McCain is against the First Amendment due to his campaign finance legislation.


    After listening to Mark Penn (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:13:48 PM EST
    last night after the debate, I can see how something like this happens.

    Mark Penn (none / 0) (#137)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:22:13 PM EST
    He is a disaster in front of a camera. They should never allow him to do that. Just let him do his work behind the scenes, but please keep him away from cameras.

    He and Axelrod can't seem to resist. (none / 0) (#150)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:07:42 PM EST
    But do their candidates know how bad they are?

    Agree, except.. (none / 0) (#133)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:19:19 PM EST
    You saying "having one of their surrogates", which is of course nonsense: they never asked the guy to say that specifically because of the reasons you mention.

    But you're right. Any news about this will be "evil Clinton supporter compares Obama to a nazi". Advantage gone. Especially because it plays right into the hand of the Obama campaign tactic to attack the messenger, and not address the charge being made.


    Mandates (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by piezo on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 10:05:38 PM EST
    You have to pay for insurance to drive a car. Why should you get a free ride at some emergency room when that cost is pushed onto a premium payer? If you use the system or expect it to be there when you need it, pay up!

    I guess I'm not getting this (1.00 / 1) (#142)
    by sucka4hope on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:36:20 PM EST
    I mean I  understand that "talk left"is very pro-Clinton, but that does not seem to be the issue at hand.  Obama's and Clinton's have different plans.  It's only fair that we get a chance to decide which plan we like best. I would suggest that if you think that "mandating" people to buy health insurance will 1) provide universal health-care and and 2) lower costs, you are being naive. Car owners are "mandated to have car insurance and the does not mean there is universal car insurance and just ask the resident of MA how they feel about penalties attached to their mandate.

    My real issue with this is the Nazi attack by the Clinton surrogate. Really? More divisive politics. This isn't gonna fly beyond your guy's blog.

    Harry and Louise isn't divisive politics? (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:55:07 PM EST
    Shaking head.

    What is that saying? (none / 0) (#159)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:39:33 PM EST
    Those that don't know history.....

    This issue is the attack mailer (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:06:04 PM EST
    against Clinton, by Obama -- so don't try to muddle it with that DKos term that makes everybody who ever talked about them a "surrogate" for one or the other.

    Or else we'll bring up some of those Obama "surrogates" who brought up race in the first place.


    The remark was not made (none / 0) (#153)
    by echinopsia on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:14:22 PM EST
     by a "Clinton surrogate." It was a health care expert, unaffiliated with the Clinton campaign.

    no surrogate but a pro-Clinton health care expet (none / 0) (#156)
    by sucka4hope on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:30:26 PM EST
    who is most likely looking for a job in the Clinton admin.  

    I'll be honest with you.  I don't like the ad, not because it lies but because of the imagery. But what you're not getting is that if (only if) this ad is supposed to evoke Harry and Louise it is not directed to the base of his support. If anything, its done to get Clinton's supporters (older persons familiar with the old campaign) in a tizzy. I am 35 yrs old I had to youtube the old commercial to even get the reference. Most of Obama's support swells from people younger than me. So I'll accept this may be divisive, but not for the reason you think.  This imagery (which I still haven't decided exists) is not targeted at potential Obama supporters.  This does, however, upset me.  JUST PLEASE DON'T PLAY VICTIM. No one is innocent in this campaign and that makes me sad.


    I don't think (5.00 / 5) (#160)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:04:24 PM EST
    anyone is playing victim.  We are simply asking why the candidate who says he is above the fray is using republican tactics from a very, very nasty time that, while perhaps you do not remember details on, Obama's advisers certainly do.  (Remember, the change candidate has basically enlisted old Clinton supporters to run his campaign).  They are using the images again, the same intent, because it WORKED.  It scared the crap out of everybody.  It vilified Clinton.  It made her seem as if she was a devil and it gave fuel to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, who grew out of that debate like weeds out of horse sh*t.  What this stirs up for me is how negative and nasty they were against this WOMAN for trying to get something done.

    The fact is that it is a dirty trick, it is misleading and there is a reason this hit on a Friday (slow news day) before the Super Bowl (no news day Sun/Mon): so it will lose traction by Tuesday.

    This just brings up so many bad feelings for me.  I am sickened by that image.


    No one is playing the victim here (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:08:43 PM EST
    The problem is that the ad evokes everything that activists, grassroots and netroots oppose.  And it is very disturbing to have a candidate who is telling us he is about changing the atmosphere in Washington and the way things are done use this as part of his own campaign.  

    Here is a quote from the testimony of Sarah Dufendach of Common Cause before the HJC Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Hearing on Lobby and Ethics Reform March 1, 2007:

    Astroturf lobbying should be disclosed.

    It is called Astroturf lobbying because it looks like authentic grass roots activity but in fact is the result, not of concerned citizens petitioning their government, but rather of lobbying firms paid to generate everything from paid media and phone banking to direct mail and other paid public communications campaigns aimed at influencing the public to contact their members of Congress on specific legislative proposals.

    We regret that the Senate failed to pass a disclosure provision for Astroturf lobbying. For those who think we do not need this type of disclosure, we have three words, "Harry and Louise." Healthcare insurers, according to media accounts, spent $17 million to pay for TV ads attacking the Clinton healthcare plan.6 Those ads were credited with playing a large role in killing the proposal. But not one penny of this multi-million dollar campaign had to be publicly disclosed.

    The aim of Astroturf lobbying disclosure is not to impose reporting burdens on legitimate groups that do grassroots lobbying. We urge the House to propose and pass an Astroturf lobbying provision that would require disclosure by a lobbying firm or a firm that does not presently file federal lobbying reports but that earns at least $100,000 a quarter to engage in paid efforts to stimulate Astroturf lobbying. This provision would impose no additional disclosure requirements on an organization that lobbies. Only firms that do paid Astroturf lobbying would have to file lobbying reports that include the names of each client, the issues they work on for
    each client, and an estimate of the income they earned from that client for paid efforts to stimulate Astroturf lobbying. (The firm would not have to report income from a particular client that did not exceed $50,000 for the reporting period.)

    The public and our elected officials have the right to know who is behind major ad campaigns stirring up public opinion on legislative issues, and how much money a client has invested in these campaigns.  When the public and Congress are not able to distinguish between genuine grassroots campaigns and Astroturf lobbying, citizen-generated efforts to communicate with their elected officials are devalued. That hurts genuine citizen advocates most of all and is a disservice to Members of Congress genuinely trying to assess what most Americans and most importantly, their constituents, really think. (my emphasis added)

    Don't you think a candidate who continues to hold himself up as one fighting for ethics and reform should refrain from using this as part of his campaign?  Why shouldn't I or any other person who has worked to expose this use of propaganda by corporations against the citizens of this country feel offended?    



    Ezra Klein (none / 0) (#1)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:24:14 PM EST
    Also discusses the Obama mailer and helpfully links to the Harry and Louise ad.

    It's this kind of crap that drives me crazy about Obama.  And to think I liked him much better last night.

    This makes me wonder if he would be a help as VP.  The last thing Hillary needs are arguments against her plan that start "as your own Vice President noted..."  Ack.

    That's it. Last night, I was willing to see Obama (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    as the vice-presidential candidate.  But not with this crap today against, finally, the very real possibility of pushing good health care coverage in this country.

    This is a very personal issue for me and my family, and in a city with the highest health care costs in the country.  My insurance costs have soared, and the need for insurance has pushed one of my kids with a chronic health condition out of college too soon -- where we have seen that there just are so few jobs with good insurance coverage, and it has meant having her move back home to be able to afford to cover her, too.

    I'm back to Wes Clark for Clinton's VP.  

    And if I have to vote for Obama, I will -- but I will not be happy about it, at all.  Turns out he was just posturing last night, after all, when he sounded like he was working for the Dem agenda.  Nope, he still is acting like he has a third party, but sucking strenth even more from the Dem party than Nader did.


    Re: (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:39:28 PM EST
    I personally think BTD owes Ezra an apology after suggesting yesterday that he had ceased to be an honest broker on this issue.

    What came first? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:42:43 PM EST
    The chicken or the egg?

    The critique? Or the concern?


    Sorry but (none / 0) (#23)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:54:50 PM EST
    with all due respect, I think you give yourself too much credit on this one.

    The fact that Ezra has not repeated the same points on individual mandates over and over again does not make him a sellout.  He is doing better than just about anyone in the blogosphere at analyzing this issue objectively.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:01:39 PM EST
    But if you think it is the central isse then TREAT IT as such.

    Ezra was playing Big Media games.

    Did I have an effect? OF course not. But I do not think I was the only one who noticed this.


    Not only (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by koshembos on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:19:42 PM EST
    Health care is only one of many cases where Obama play games such as Harry and Louise. A great example is the reality behind yesterday's debate. Nastiness and personal attacks, in debates or otherwise,  started by Obama and blamed on Hillary.

    this is disgusting of Obama (none / 0) (#2)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:24:42 PM EST
    campaign to do this at this point in the game to her and to universal health care. I personally resent it as health care is my number one concern.

    Universal Healthcare (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:33:41 PM EST
    I care far more about the damage to universal healthcare than Clinton, who I think will probably be just fine.

    But the threat to universal healthcare is real.  As I listened last night, I think Obama's plan isn't universal and he knows it and what he'd do to correct it isn't very different from what Clinton would do.  He's hoping - there's that word - that everyone will buy it.  If they don't, then he admitted there could be a problem.  How would he solve that problem?  Possibly by forcing folks who end up in the emergency room, but don't have insurance, to pay back premiums.  That sounds a lot like either a mandate or a penalty meant to ensure people buy insurance.

    This is nothing but demagoging from the right.  What makes it worse is that it's on the one issue that has the most potential to build a democratic majority or at least make the biggest difference in most Americans' day-to-day lives.


    this could truly (none / 0) (#9)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    have the effect of people not voting democratic in GE because of stupid ads like this...Geez thanks Obama!!!! I hope it backlashes on him big time!!!

    your number one concern (none / 0) (#13)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:47:57 PM EST
    I believe you are the one who said it was personal because you didn't have health insurance, right?

    Well Obama and Clinton's plans would essentially be the same for you - both would provide ways for you to get it.

    The main difference is that Obama's plan would not force you to get it.


    And would be more expensive (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:43:50 PM EST
    because healthy people can opt out.

    Bad Link? (none / 0) (#3)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:26:11 PM EST
    Sent me to a different Krugman column, one about John Edwards.

    To clarify (none / 0) (#4)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:27:16 PM EST
    it's the second link that sent me to the wrong column.  The first one looks to be fine.

    It is there (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:41:48 PM EST
    read the column.

    I did but somehow missed it (none / 0) (#17)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:50:55 PM EST
    Off to sign up for remedial reading classes.

    My apologies for the confusion.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#7)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:36:37 PM EST
    Ok, I was going to be nice and try to like the guy, but I have to say. This is truly low. Opportunistic for a few votes. I hope you all see what a progressive he is.

    For my mental health (none / 0) (#14)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:48:14 PM EST
    Can you make a padded room somewhere so I can curse all I want. My god. My god. Axelrod is really trying to win at any cost. He wants to be idealized like Rove. I have thought from the beginning that this is a game to the Obama team, it's about winning at any cost. Can you people not see how he is using all the tools that the other side used? I will get some energy, going at 4:00 to see Hillary in San Jose.

    Wow... just wow. (none / 0) (#15)
    by blogtopus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:49:38 PM EST
    I posted this image on Dkos a few minutes ago... I think they must be calling for my head about now.


    That is great! Do duck and see cover . . . (n/t) (none / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:52:42 PM EST
    Three minutes later (none / 0) (#21)
    by blogtopus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:54:08 PM EST
    19 Comments. Man, I'm afraid to even read them.

    Is this what it means to be a troll? Feels dirty.


    Primarily Making Fun Of It (none / 0) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:29:12 PM EST
    I think one person said it was not a good thing. All the Obamia supporters are either saying Clinton is worse or completely making fun of it.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#58)
    by blogtopus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:38:38 PM EST
    I intend to go back in a day or so when I'm not so raw about this issue. As an artist I'm a SENSITIVE soul. :-P

    Actually, I think it would be kind of funny if this became a viral game, where you can alter the image as much as you can for funny benefits.


    Best Tool is Ridicule (none / 0) (#70)
    by blogtopus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:50:11 PM EST
    hahaha (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:58:56 PM EST
    You gotsa cheezburger!

    I am so infuriated by this mailer.  I feel DUPED, because I was actually falling for the conciliatory crap he did and thinking he was okay and all that.

    My question is: what does this accomplish?  Who is the mailer targetting/trying to scare?  What market was it sent to?  Wasn't Ted Kennedy for Hillary's plan with universal mandates?

    I just don't understand.


    Who did it target? (none / 0) (#175)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:47:17 PM EST
    Well the quote on it from the Daily Iowan might give a hint.  The Daily Iowan is a STUDENT newspaper for University of Iowa.

    I looked for your blog (none / 0) (#26)
    by PlayInPeoria on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:57:54 PM EST
    can't find it. I wanted to see the reaction... I needed a good laugh to distract from my anger.

    I can't find it (none / 0) (#35)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:08:11 PM EST
    under blogtopus

    I found it (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by PlayInPeoria on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:12:09 PM EST
    What a hornets nest. One of the bloggers has this as his sig

    One Man with Courage Makes a Majority - Andrew Jackson

    Apparently he doesn't know much about Andrew Jackson. I wonder if he took a history lession if he would change his sig?


    I have been.. (none / 0) (#19)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:51:16 PM EST
    ... thinking about this ad today.

    Why is it that bad?

    Is it not true?  Is it not a legitimate policy difference?

    I fully admit that I don't fully understand that intricacies of health care and mandates and what not.  And I admit that I lean towards the Obama view of not having a mandate, but I am definitely not sold on it.

    But I think it is very valid to send mailers out highlighting specific policy differences.

    I find it quite funny that the same people who claim that Obama never talks about policy are now complaining when he uses policy differences to campaign.

    Why It's Bad (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:14:18 PM EST
    • It's not true.  While Clinton does include mandates there are also subsidies and cost controls, there is no reason to believe people will be forced to buy something they cannot afford.

    •  It is not true because Obama has mandates in his plan for children and has admitted he might need to add some sort of penalty to get universality of healthcare.  Last night he specifically said that if not enough young and healthy people participate he would consider charging uninsured folks who seek emergency room treatment back premiums on insurance.  He has said other places he would consider a mandate.

    •  The mailer is designed to pray on the fears of poor and working class people, those who worry about affordability, and make them oppose Clinton's universal healthcare plan.  Think about that, it's using fear to get the very people who most need and would most benefit from Clinton's plan (or even Obama's plan) to oppose that plan.  Remember Obama talking about how Reagan got people to vote against their economic interests?  Well, this is one way Republicans did that - by misrepresenting democratic proposals and scaring the crap out of people.  That's exactly what this is.  It isn't a policy difference, it's fear mongering.  And it's raising fears about universal healthcare (both Clinton and Obama's plans have mandates and, in any event, Clinton is still the likely nominee even if Obama has closed the gap).

    •  Obama is a hypocrite. Obama is running the exact same campaign against Clinton's universal healthcare plan that the insurance industry did in the 1990s.  Hell, as Ezra Klein points out, these folks are almost Harry and Louise clones.  So after Obama blames Clinton for the failure of universal healthcare and promises he can make it happen, he adopts the exact same attack on her plan that the industry used to kill universal healthcare in the 1990s.  And this is supposed to make me think Obama is better on universal healthcare? Or that he wants to turn the page on the politics of the 1990s?  He's mimicking the politics of the 1990s.

    • If you think this won't comeback to haunt universal healthcare efforts, you're crazy.  He's basically saying the industry's attacks in the 1990s were right.  They are going to use those same attacks against universal healthcare again - regardless of who is President, Clinton or Obama - only now, Obama has already admitted they're right.

    Mailers are dandy (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:18:34 PM EST
    there are two problems with this ad specifically, though.

    The most glaring is that it hearkens back to the imagery and messaging that was used by the republicans to destroy health care reform outright in the early 90's. Seriously. Check out the Ezra Klein post linked above -- it has a direct comparison between the two ads. That's not a method of messaging on health care that is, we'll say, helpful to pushing change now.

    The second problem is broader, and is what Krugman has been trying to get at for a long time. If Obama tries to bring down Clinton's plan by attacking the whole concept of mandates, what he's doing is taking the mandate option entirely out of the realm of political acceptability. The fact is, Obama has mandates, too -- he has them for children, and last night he tried to come up with options for penalizing people who didn't buy in but who show up at the ER, which is essentially a mandate. He has to do this because when he insists that coverage will be available to everybody regardless of preexisting conditions, he absolutely needs the younger and healthier folks out there to also join up to make the numbers work. He's hoping they will, but if they don't, he is quickly going to find -- and I believe that he's talked about this himself, but I'm not sure of a link -- that he needs some sort of formal mandate so that more healthy people are paying in than sick people taking out. He's hobbling his own ability to do this, if elected, and the ability of anybody to do it, by making mandates themselves seem so utterly terrible that they should be rejected outright.

    There are ways to highlight their policy differences and make a case that his ideas are better without actually damaging the cause for which both are fighting. The concern is that this sort of ad does exactly that damage.


    More problems (none / 0) (#44)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:20:06 PM EST
    that I didn't hit on are well expressed by BDB above.

    I expect better of you (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:19:58 PM EST
    The complaint of "those people" - Paul Krugman and Ezra Klein, is the SUBSTANCE of the ad.

    Your comment is extremely weak.


    Fair enough... (none / 0) (#47)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:28:00 PM EST
    Yea - that is fair.  But "those people" that I was referring to were some of the commenters on this thread.  

    But again - I think that it is a legitimate policy difference, and in turn one that can be used in campaign ads.  

    Again - I know that there are people who clearly support mandates, and in turn would find this ad appalling.  And that is valid.  And I understand that.  

    And I have seen numerous comments attacking the ad for "attacking" rather than the substance of the ad.

    Summary - I understand attacking the substance of the ad (though I wouldn't agree that it was untruthful).  I just don't understand attacking the ad for "attacking" over a legitimate policy difference.


    Were You Around for Round One? (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:37:57 PM EST
    I don't mean that in a bad way, but I can't help but wondering if you're old enough to remember the battles over universal healthcare in the 1990s?  Because what came from the industry was ugly and looked exactly like this ad.  

    The choice isn't going to be between universal healthcare coverage w/mandates and UHC w/out mandates.  The choice is going to be universal healthcare or no universal healthcare.  This ad repeats an argument against universal healthcare, right down to the optics.  Personally, I cannot see this as a good thing.


    Round 1 (none / 0) (#66)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:47:01 PM EST
    No... I wasn't really around.  I was in my early teens.

    Again - I understand arguing against the actual substance.  I have no problem with that.  And I question it myself, though I lean towards no mandates.  


    obama is back to pitting the young against (none / 0) (#139)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:26:37 PM EST
    the older generation. same song, second verse!

    Did You Read Ezra Klein's Post? (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:34:45 PM EST
    It pretty clearly states why the ad is untruthful and why it is harmful to enacting Universal Health Care.

    Please do yourself a favor. Go read the post and try to be objective.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#63)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:42:34 PM EST
    ... I read Ezra's post.

    And Ezra calls the ad shortsighted, not untruthful.


    Misrepresents (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:49:47 PM EST
    misrepresent |ˌmisˌrepriˈzent|
    verb [ trans. ]
    give a false or misleading account of the nature of : you are misrepresenting the views of the government.

    Obama is, of course, right that affordability is an issue, and needs to be in place before a mandate. But what a mandate does is, additionally, force you to think about affordability. The Clinton campaign does that, with a plan that limits total expenditures to a percentage of income. Not a dollar amount, a percentage. If you make very little, your total expenditure, by law, can't be very much. Obama's plan has a more traditional subsidy mechanism that simply goes on a sliding scale by income, and given how much money goes towards his reinsurance plan, he's actually got less in there for subsidies than Clinton. So while he's warning that she'll make you pay even if you can't afford it, she's actually got the right affordability mechanisms in there -- she keeps it to a small percentage of income. By pretending her plan lacks those and is just a mandate, he's misrepresenting its fundamental premise, in much the way the Clinton campaign misrepresented his arguments on Social Security taxes.


    I don't see... (none / 0) (#72)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:53:26 PM EST
    ... where this Obama mailer pretends that Hillary's plan doesn't have affordability mechanisms.  

    BTW... (none / 0) (#52)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:33:19 PM EST
    ... the Clinton campaign is attacking the attack (and the "imagery") also.

    And compares it to Nazi's.  


    Ummm (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:41:36 PM EST
    I doubt that was the Clinton's call. Indeed Wolfson specifically DISAVOWED that statement.

    I wonder at the stupdity of people sometimes. Nicholls sounds like a buffoon.

    But you are being dishonest saying it was the Clintons.

    We do not play that way here.


    That's fair... (none / 0) (#65)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:44:00 PM EST
    ... I misread the post slightly.  It was a "health expert" that was invited onto a call by the Clinton campaign.  

    on the call (none / 0) (#83)
    by Klio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:02:05 PM EST
    but unaffiliated with the campaign.  Joan Walsh at Salon has a report too; understandably HRC has disavowed the Nazi comment.  

    HuffPo (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:09:52 PM EST
    Has not; they are using it in their headline.

    My God, what has this party come to?


    Is this a positive promo pushing his policy (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:55:07 PM EST
    or is it a negative mailer, an attack ad?

    Which do you think it is?  And as you still are not clear on the policy differences, it didn't help you understand them, did it?  So what is it intended to do?


    woh... (none / 0) (#36)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    ... I never said I was unclear on the policy differences.  I know where each candidate is at.

    I said I don't fully understand that intricacies of the healthcare system, and I am not sold on either side of the mandate discussion.  

    With that said... it is a negative mailer, but it is about policy.  Is that no legitimate?  The intent of the ad is to bring attention to a major difference between their policies.  That seems legitimate to me.


    No It Is A Flat Out Lie n/t (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:36:04 PM EST
    So many cues (none / 0) (#27)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM EST
    What about the race card and class card? His supporters are mostly yuppies, is this not pandering?

    OT - but have you seen the reason (none / 0) (#28)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:00:28 PM EST
    for Kennedy endorsing Obama?

    Clinton's LBJ Comments Infuriated Ted Kennedy

    I do not believe that for a second (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:02:21 PM EST
    LBJ (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:04:16 PM EST
    LBJ, without Vietnam, could kick any Kennedy to the moon. And Vietnam came from Kennedy. LBJ was the last great politician. He was not an ideologue, he was not pretending to be anything else. He changed America's racist immigration laws from 1924, laws based on eugenics. So, Ted can get mad all he wants, he does not get the right to pass the torch. It's not his to pass.

    You may stir up the protectors of JFK's (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:07:12 PM EST
    reputation.  They assert JFK was drawing down U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and LBJ pumped up the forces again.

    actually stellaaa, (none / 0) (#46)
    by cpinva on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:27:41 PM EST
    kennedy inherited vietnam from eisenhower, and then bequeathed it to LBJ. the first US military casualties were in 1957, army helicopter pilots shot down delivering supplies to the french.

    LBJ did force most of the civil rights legislation through congress though; he knew what closets all the skeletons were in.

    he also inherited kennedy's advisors, "the best and the brightest", who advised him to disaster in vietnam, much as they were doing with kennedy, before his death.

    the only, repeat, only way to achieve universal health care in the US is to follow one of the successful european models; why reinvent the wheel? in those models, everyone is covered from conception to the grave, period. much like the public school system, it's funded by taxes. and like that system, you can opt to enroll your child in a private school, but you still pay the taxes.

    it's the only way to be sure.


    lst U.S. military casualty actually in 1945 (none / 0) (#101)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:19:37 PM EST
    in Viet Nam.  Our Thirty Years' War.

    And here we go again. . . .


    mind providing a cite for that? (none / 0) (#209)
    by cpinva on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 10:34:08 PM EST
    perhaps against the japanese in vietnam, but since it wasn't carved into north and south until after the end of wwII, i seriously doubt any US casualties intentionally occurred at the hands of the vietcong, prior to '57.

    See Arlington Nat'l Cemetery site (none / 0) (#212)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:57:02 PM EST
    at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/apdewey.htm -- with description of the fatal events, etc.

    See also A. Peter Dewey on Wikipedia and many other sites listing casualties in Viet Nam.


    Read Steve Benen (none / 0) (#89)
    by Klio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:06:28 PM EST
    at the Washington Note for a far more persuasive explanation.  Scroll down to 28 January for the article.

    If Steve Benen is correct (none / 0) (#199)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:18:11 PM EST
    about Obama gaining the Kennedy machine, Obama will be another faux populist like Huey Long

    Benen incorrectly states Obama does not have (none / 0) (#204)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:37:56 PM EST
    a machine.  Obama came from the Daley machine in Chicago -- the machine said to have gotten JFK elected.  So I guess this melding again of the Daley and Kennedy machines was to be expected?

    i read an article where it was opined that (none / 0) (#140)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    kennedy wanted obama for purposes of control including jobs for his followers. i believe judith has indicated it being a power issue. it seems to be a good call.

    It is my understanding Massachusetts (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    state plan has a mandate.  Any info on how that is working?

    I doubt it's working very well. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:28:18 PM EST
    They have a mandate but subsidies were left out, due to compromises with Romney.  That ain't gonna work if people don't get help to pay for it.

    Also Clinton's plan, like John Edwards, has a low cost public option.  Her public option is open to anyone who would like a Medicare style plan.  It's one of the best things about her plan, in that it forces private insurance companies to compete with government to keep the costs lower.  It's also a camel's nose under the tent for real single payer, which I know is the ultimate goal.

    John Edwards health care advisor, Peter Harbage, was on a conference call this morning with the Clinton campaign and said the mailer "drives to the lowest common denominator" and it was "disgusting".  Not a ringing endorsement :-)


    I also see the public plan (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:50:42 PM EST
    particularly in conjunction with the mandate as a step in the direction of constructing single payer, so I'm glad to see others are thinking of it that way as well.

    Also, and this isn't necessarily aimed at you but you made me think of it, I would love to see somebody do a point-by-point comparison of the various state mandate plans and the plans from both Clinton and Edwards, because the assumption that they're just alike (and so because the state plans aren't working, the national level plans won't) is becoming a common one. The complaints that I've heard from people who know more about the issue than I do are usually based on

    (1) the lack of a low cost public option,

    (2) the structure of subsidies that leaves too many people out, and

    (3) the relatively small size of a state-sized insurance pool in comparison with the nation as a whole, which doesn't put enough downward pressure on costs -- most of the folks I've talked with have commented that the only way they can see a mandate working is if it is across the board.

    Mostly just rambling. Maybe later if I have the time, I'll look up the details of the MA plan for a direct comparison. The idea that all mandated plans are just like all other mandated plans, though, strikes me as a sort of silly argument -- clearly, the devil is in the details on any of these plans.


    This makes me doubt an Edwards (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:56:39 PM EST
    endorsement will come Obama's way. I think he'll stay out of it but the health issue solidifies my opinion. Like everything else, I'm sure I'm wrong but I do know that Edwards strongly backs mandates.

    Well I Hope That Eliminates Any Chance (none / 0) (#200)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:22:29 PM EST
    that Edwards will endorse Obama.

    This Obama Ad Is All Clinton's Fault (none / 0) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:17:27 PM EST
    From the comments section of Ezra Klein post.

    Instead of complaining that the Obama people are preying on peoples fears, why doesn't the Clinton campaign do something to address those fears? I know they are ideologically opposed to actually helping people unless they can funnel money to their campaign contributors at the same time, but it would certainly make a lot more sense than complaining that Obama is accentuating the differences between these two plans.

    To be fair many of the comments indicated dismay at this ad and the one above was one of the worst, but numerous Obama supporters thought the ad was just fine. No lies, no distortions and definitely not any dirty politics involved at all.

    I don't understand that comment (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:18:48 PM EST
    ditto (none / 0) (#54)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:34:51 PM EST
    but I guess anyone can just make something up as their own justification.

    But I really do not understand (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:39:13 PM EST
    what the argument is supposed to be.

    Confused (none / 0) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:42:41 PM EST
    Not sure whose comment you are referring to. Mine or the one I quoted. I was pointing out that some of Obama's supporter can twist almost anything to make it Clinton's fault. Just makes me mad.

    It's standard pushback. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:26:04 PM EST
    If she's going to accuse him of not caring about universal coverage by rejecting mandates, he gets to turn that back around at her.

    The California Nurses Association backs Obama up on this 100%.  They view individual mandates as a scam and corporate welfare.

    Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:30:44 PM EST
    Then you do not mind if he owns Harry and Louise.

    Considering he's been compared to (1.00 / 0) (#55)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:35:46 PM EST
    Nazis, Rudey Giuliani, and traitors over this issue by Krugman, Harry and Louise is pretty weak tea.

    Whaaa? (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:38:38 PM EST
    Krugman never did that. BTW, pretty funny hesring you complan about character assassination considering what goes on at daily kos.

    You do not have strong credibility on THAT front.


    Links: (none / 0) (#67)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:47:27 PM EST
    1.  Nazi reference.

    Krugman quote:

    First they came for the mandates . . .

    which is an obvious reference to First they came . . .

    "First they came..." is a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

    In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

    I'm sure Obama's secret police will be carting Prof. Krugman off to a concentration camp shortly.

    2.  Comparing him to Rudey Giuliani:

    Krugman's quote from his column Mandates and Mudslinging:

    Mr. Obama, then, is wrong on policy. Worse yet, the words he uses to defend his position make him sound like Rudy Giuliani inveighing against "socialized medicine": he doesn't want the government to "force" people to have insurance, to "penalize" people who don't participate.

    3.  Krugman using the language of treason against Obama

    Also from "Mandates and Mudslinging" (irony is lost on Krugman):

    Now, in the effort to defend his plan's weakness, he's attacking his Democratic opponents from the right -- and in so doing giving aid and comfort to the enemies of reform.

    Which is an obvious reference to this:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    In short, Krugman's absolutely over-the-top rhetoric against Obama indicates a deep, personal, and quite frankly irrational hostility bordering on hatred.

    And, yes, he is more like a Kos diarist than a respectable national columnist.


    So Krugman didn't say Nazi (none / 0) (#75)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:55:33 PM EST
    so you had to grab it out of the air.  Very good but a very long stretch.

    So, if I accuse Clinton of wearing jackboots, (none / 0) (#80)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:00:14 PM EST
    goose-stepping, and say "Heil Clinton" that wouldn't be considered a comparison to the Nazis?

    Please.  Everyone knows what "First they came for" means.  It's not even a dog whistle.

    I treat Krugman on Obama the same way we treat Freepers who refer to "Hitlery."


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:07:08 PM EST
    That's the craziest thing I've ever heard said about Krugman from someone on the left.  Maybe from someone on the right too.

    Primaries really drive the good sense right out of people.


    No reaction to Krugman's (none / 0) (#93)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:13:03 PM EST
    extremist rhetoric?

    Using the language of treason is stuff I expect from Michelle Malkin.

    Comparisons to Nazis is something I expect from Alan Dershowitz.

    Krugman is a sacred cow to many on the blogosphere.  Had Joe Klein used this language towards a Democrat, the entire blogosphere would be up in arms.  But, since it's St. Paul, they just pretend he's merely discussing policy instead of demonizing.


    Uh (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:23:32 PM EST
    Your contention that "first they came for" equals a comparison of Obama to the Nazis is just dumb.

    As for "treason," are we seriously going to play the General Betrayus game here?  The reason Obama is being accused of acting like a Republican is that his mailer is indistinguishable from what the Republicans would send.

    I feel stupider for even having engaged in this discussion.  Look, you want to think Krugman is as off-kilter as a Freeper, go nuts.


    As I said, most online folks (none / 0) (#109)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:34:22 PM EST
    adhere to the "Krugman can do no wrong" school of thought.

    Go ahead and defend the use of treason language.  Just don't sit there and tell me that people who use the language of treason when talking about policy aren't making it personal, because that's so blatantly false that it insults my intelligence.

    Accusations of treason are per se character assassination.


    Everyone does know (none / 0) (#94)
    by Klio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:13:46 PM EST
    that it means a person should speak up against wrongdoing when they see it, even when it's not their own ox being gored.  

    Saying Krugman dog whistled "Nazi" is a cheesy attempt to derail the conversation.


    Sure, just like Nazi references mean (none / 0) (#96)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:17:02 PM EST
    people who are unpleasant and bossy (e.g. The Soup Nazi, Grammar Nazis, etc etc).

    That seems to be a standard tactic. (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:23:16 PM EST
    Favored by the Obama campaign.

    Don't adress the actual content of what people say, but cry foul, and counter-attack on style.

    I'm growing rather tired of it.


    There is a policy disagreement between (none / 0) (#107)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:32:17 PM EST
    Obama and Krugman on this.

    Krugman goes five steps further and uses it as an excuse to engage in character assassination.


    Character assasination is in the eye of (none / 0) (#111)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:36:12 PM EST
    the beholder I guess.  "First they came" doesn't quite do it for me.

    "giving aid and comfort to the enemies." (none / 0) (#117)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:49:20 PM EST
    If I asked you who was more likely to use that phrase to characterize a policy disagreement, would you say:

    1.  Michelle Malkin; or

    2.  a progressive, respectable national columnist?

    Krugman's language (none / 0) (#113)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    is over the top and out of line. However defending Krugman's verbiage or name calling isn't the point that's important. The important point for me is Obama may be helping to kill any hope for universal coverage, by using republican attack points from the nineties. I thought he was supposed to be transcending all that. What is this hypocritical return to the divisiveness of "the past"?

    Only if you think mandates are a good idea. (none / 0) (#114)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:47:18 PM EST
    I think they're a terrible idea--at least they are until you get costs completely under control.

    mandates (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by rilkefan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:48:37 PM EST
    Doesn't that mean you oppose a lot of Obama's plan?

    You can't get costs (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:49:50 PM EST
    completely under control without broadening the pool drastically, which is the whole point of mandates.

    And you can't get everyone in unless (none / 0) (#123)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:53:31 PM EST
    they can afford the premiums in the first place.

    There are people in Massachusetts who are paying a fine rather than buying into the state plan--because they can't afford it.


    That's the point (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:57:19 PM EST
    of subsidies, premium caps, and a public option.

    A failure of one particular system in MA does not spell doom for the entire broad category of mandated plans.


    ACK (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by spit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:58:05 PM EST




    So republicans (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:58:37 PM EST
    are right? How progressive of you. And it appears how Liebermanesque of Obama.

    I doubt it is necessary to utilize republican talking points to clarify differences between Hillary and Obama. It is bad for the party. I suspect it will be bad for Obama. My suspicion is he will lose a lot of democratic support. Time will tell.


    Insurance companies want mandates. (none / 0) (#129)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    Does that make you an agent of the corporate special interests?

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by hookfan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:19:28 PM EST
    I want a single payer system. Obama nor republicans seem to get me there. The current system is broken.Volunteerism isn't working.In fact I would be willing(oh the horror) to pay higher taxes to establish universal coverage provided for all. I think health care is a human right.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#136)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:21:15 PM EST
    I oppose the idea of using individual mandates to pretend you're providing universal coverage.

    Bad joke (none / 0) (#115)
    by rilkefan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:47:32 PM EST
    While it's true that I've been a big Krugman enthusiast from the start of Bush's term, I'm sure that's just a joke in very bad taste, not a deliberate Nazi smear.

    And, well, it's not mudslinging if it's true.


    California Nurses Assoc (none / 0) (#51)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:31:06 PM EST
    wants only a single payer plan.  They're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here.

    It is really interesting that the CNA (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    wants single payer whilst California state medical care for state inmates is in receivership under the direction of the federal district court.  

    Are they the ones who endorsed Nadar (none / 0) (#73)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:54:03 PM EST
    or is that a myth? I do know the national association endorsed Clinton.

    No clue about Nader (none / 0) (#78)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    but I was glad when the national assoc endorsed Clinton.  I think it's very good backing.

    They... (none / 0) (#79)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:59:23 PM EST
    ... endorsed Nader in 2000.  Maybe that is what you are thinking.

    And remember... California wasn't really close in 2000, so Nader didn't have an impact.  So it is very possible that they endorsed someone they believed in more than someone they believed could win, knowing that it wouldn't have a negative impact on what happened between Bush and Gore.


    If they believed in Nader more than (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:02:11 PM EST
    Gore, that speaks volumes to me. Thanks for this link. I just found it when you posted it.

    Why? (none / 0) (#87)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:04:57 PM EST
    Really not wanting to get into a Nader discussion, but Nader's views clearly align better with labor and the working class than any politician currently running for President.  It makes sense that labor union, especially one of nurses, would support the most worker friendly and single payer health care friendly candidate.

    Excellent point.... (none / 0) (#120)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:50:12 PM EST
    in this political climate, supporting the candidate who most closely matches your views is considered a mental illness.

    Why that is I have no idea....every working class person in this country should be begging Nader (or some other working class advocate) to run.  Hillary or Obama ain't it.


    Does that mean Obama is too far left (none / 0) (#82)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:01:10 PM EST
    on the issue of mandates?

    Oh Geek. Just quit that. You may not like (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:06:16 PM EST
    mandates but you do know it's the only way to universal coverage. You know it is the more left position. Would you also like Social Security to be voluntary?

    It was the deciding factor in my vote. You just don't give in on that issue and I think Obama will live to regret this mailer. It will be used against anyone supporting universal health care.


    The only way to universal health care (none / 0) (#91)
    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    is to give it away.

    Mandates are either a back-door tax or corporate welfare--take your pick.


    Well, this is one issue I strongly agree (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:13:53 PM EST
    with John Edwards and Hillary Clinton on. It won't stop me from voting for Obama in November, but it disappoints me and has before this mailer was an issue.

    If we had made all social programs voluntary, how successful do you thing they would have been. The smaller the pool, the higher the costs Geek.

    And to pretend that Clinton has nothing in her plan to help those who can't afford it is just wrong. Much worse than over-blowing the Reagan statements by the Clinton campaign.


    Repeat after me, (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    Same applies to health care, someone will pay.  Either all of us will pay, or some of us will pay for the free-riders.


    I don't recall (none / 0) (#154)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    her ever accusing him of not caring.  I think she said quite clearly that they had policy difference, and that she did not believe, as he did, that everyone wanted health insurance and the only thing stopping them from getting it was the cost.  The one fear-mongering here is not Hillary Clinton.

    As an aside, my stupid brother makes 50K a year.  He is 32 years old and refused his company health insurance because he is active and healthy and doesn't feel he needs it (he's also for flat tax, legal pot and prostitution, but that's another story).  Did I mention he's stupid?  When I asked him what would happen if he cracked his skull open on one of his stupid motorcycles, he said that they would take him to Grady (our only remaining public hospital which is, by the way, in serious financial trouble) and he'd be fine.


    Link to the video (none / 0) (#99)
    by eric on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:18:34 PM EST
    I found the link to the video of the old commercial on Youtube if anyone is interested.


    Playing to win (none / 0) (#122)
    by rilkefan on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:52:35 PM EST
    I don't like this stance (to put it mildly) but at least it's hardball.

    Why mandates are a bad idea, for now (none / 0) (#144)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 03:53:42 PM EST
    As even Obama-plan detractors note, you cant really impose mandates until and unless the full scope of subsidies are in place to make the plan affordable to everyone. Otherwise you really will end up with people being fined for not buying something they cant afford.

    The only rational approach, both politically and morally, is to roll out the full set of subsidies, then take a breath, see if they are sufficient, tweak the package where necessary, and then, and only then talk about a mandate.

    Obama has indicated that he might be open to mandates down the line. This makes eminent sense. If your subsidy package is good and complete, and there really arent any people in the country without healthcare besides freeloaders, then it will be very easy to marshall political support for mandates. No one likes freeloaders.

    But until people TRUST that they will be able to afford insurance, and that trust will only come with empirical evidence - i.e. they have a plan in front of them that they know they can sign onto and afford - until that time, there will be little popular support for a mandated system.

    I love Krugman for so many reasons, but I really hate the way he is inflating the importance of the distinction here, in a propagandistic manner.
    The goals of the two approaches are the same - it is a question of understanding how to marshall political support for implementing the various parts of the plan. Krugman is a complete incompetent when it comes to understanding poltical dynamics.

    The great unwashed masses do not instinctivly trust government programs. A mandated plan forces them to grant that trust. A mandate-delayed plan does not. It gives them the option of joining - and if the plans are good they will join. Then they will agree to mandates when it becomes clear that the only ones outside the system are freeloaders.

    Social Security (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by eric on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:28:42 PM EST
    Social Security is mandated - that's why it works.  And the arguments against mandated health care are the same arguments that people use in their attempts to privatize - and destroy - Social Security.

    (I can't really take credit for this comment, I learned this from John Edwards - Thanks, John)


    Blaming Krugman? Blame the attack mailer (none / 0) (#148)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:03:58 PM EST
    that is what is making this news again.

    Y'know, the mailer that is the point of this thread, the mailer from the Obama campaign, the mailer that attacks the Clinton plan and even lies about it. . . .

    But yeah, blame Krugman.


    hey, I am discussing the issue. (none / 0) (#152)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:13:36 PM EST
    Do you find fault with my analysis of the mandate issue or not?

    I did not mean to "attack" Krugman. I am very disappointed in his approach to this issue.

    The flier is not a lie. Unless you can guarantee me, 100%, that everyone in America will be able to afford insurance under Hillary's plan, on day one, then the charge is true.

    And there are millions of Americans who will understand that, whether prodded by ads or not.

    That is why I think you give them the subsidy package FIRST, so that you can convince them, and yourself for that matter, that it really is set up properly. Then you can start talking about mandates.

    What is wrong with such an approach?


    It's all part of the plan (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by eric on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:31:33 PM EST
    Nobody is going to mandate anything that people can't pay for.  That would be insanely stupid and political suicide.  Nobody has even suggested that a madate would come before help for those that need it.  Don't worry.

    oh really (none / 0) (#158)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:35:28 PM EST
    Gee, pardon me then. I thought that mandates were an inherint part of Clinton's plan. You mean she is only going to implement them later?

    Doesn't that make her plan the same as Obama's?


    No (none / 0) (#171)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:30:46 PM EST
    Jeebus, READ what was written. (none / 0) (#210)
    by echinopsia on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:23:54 PM EST
    Nobody is going to mandate anything that people can't pay for.  

    Subsidies, cost caps, etc. Percentage of income. Everybody pays, even if it's a little it and it's heavily subsidized, and everybody's covered.

    This is a mandate that everyone can pay for.


    Fear Sells! (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by joc on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:22:44 PM EST
    Some people may think that political elections should be about the policies and ideas. Some people even say that they will be different than all the other campaigns, that they will inspire hope in people and move them by speaking to their better angels.

    But when push comes to shove and the ideas of the candidate don't win out, they resort to distortions and half-truths to scare the electorate into voting against their opponent not voting for them.

    Tano, asks, "What is wrong with such an approach?" Indeed, what is so wrong with preying on the fears of poor people in this country? And Tano points out that if even one single person, out of the 300 million in America, cannot afford a low premium, then the entire plan should be attacked for being unacceptable. And you should respect that fear-based attack.

    Hope. Integrity. Inspiration. Just pretty words that Obama uses to get what he wants, votes. And when they don't get him enough, it's all about the fear, baby!


    Why do you write such things as... (none / 0) (#205)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:56:55 PM EST
    "And Tano points out that if even one single person, out of the 300 million in America, cannot afford a low premium"

    Is that what I pointed out?

    I am making a political argument, if you havent noticed. Its focus is on how to maximize the possibility that we achieve a goal that we both share.

    I get a sense that many people here, maybe Krugman too, are falling into the same trap that Hillary did back in '93. Gather 'round all the genius policy wonks, come up with the ideal plan, then assume that its magnificence will overwhelm any opposition and start the prarie fire of support necessary to get it passed.

    That aint the way it works. I repeat what I wrote above. The people in general out there are not inclined to trust grand proposals. If part of the proposal is some provision whereby they might be fined if they dont go along, they will resist.

    There is no need to stick something like that in their face. Give them the benefits first. That is not a hard thing to sell. Then, when they KNOW that those outside the system are just freeloading, they will gladly go along with mandates.

    Your comment (Fear Sells) is a gross distortion of what I have been arguing. I have not attacked the entire plan - I have attacked the notion that mandates, up front, as part of the original package, are necessary or desirable.

    There is no substance to your comment whatsoever relative to this debate - just a lot of dishonest hot air. Shame.


    I write what is true, why do you write? (5.00 / 0) (#206)
    by joc on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 08:31:39 PM EST
    When asking "Is that what I pointed out?" The answer is a resounding yes.

    You wrote: "Unless you can guarantee me, 100%, that everyone in America will be able to afford insurance under Hillary's plan, on day one, then the charge is true."

    "I am making a political argument"

    I agree, you are. I am simply pointing out that arguing based on fear as Obama and you are now doing is not in the best interest of the country.

    "The people in general out there are not inclined to trust grand proposals."

    Especially when Obama and you tell us that we can't trust it. Fine, you don't trust it. I can appreciate that. But don't sell out of fear and then get upset when that is pointed out.

    The argument is based on two fears. First is fear of the "freeloaders." Clearly you want people to feel afraid that the system will have them paying someone else's bills. You write:

    "there really arent any people in the country without healthcare besides freeloaders"
    "No one likes freeloaders."
    "Then they will agree to mandates when it becomes clear that the only ones outside the system are freeloaders."

    Second is the fear of vague uncertainty. This is most evident in the mailer which repeatedly states that "Hillary's plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it." Clinton's plan, as Krugman rightly points out offers subsidies to poor families.

    At least, your claim about politics is amusing:

    "Krugman is a complete incompetent when it comes to understanding poltical dynamics."

    You want to give people a benefit without a mandate up front, and then come back at a later date and ask people to pay for it. And Krugman's the one who doesn't understand political dynamics? Please.


    You lke the word fear, dont you, but (none / 0) (#211)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:41:03 PM EST
    you are getting a little confused.

    "First is fear of the "freeloaders. Clearly you want people to feel afraid that the system will have them paying someone else's bills."

    Thats not me. Thats Hillary and Krugman and all those who insist on mandates. Thats the whole basis for their argument - that without mandates, young, healthy people will not bother buying insurance - then we end up paying for their care if they do get sick or have an accident. Do you not even understand the arguments for the system you are pushing?

    "Second is the fear of vague uncertainty. Clinton's plan, as Krugman rightly points out offers subsidies to poor families."

    Are the subsidies sufficient to make the plan affordable for everyone who will be subject to penalties if they dont sign up? Why not find out first? Roll out the program and then analyze who is signing up and who isnt. See if the mix of subsidies is sufficient or not. Why is this such a difficult concept to understand?

    "You want to give people a benefit without a mandate up front, and then come back at a later date and ask people to pay for it. "

    Huh? That is totally nonsensical interpretation. What I am talking about is doing the exact same thing YOU are proposing - imposing a mandate - with the only difference being that I want everyone who is willing to buy affordable health insurance to be able to do so, first. In other words, fulfill the promise of all these plans - make health insurance available and affordable to everyone. Get to a situation where the only people who dont have it are those who can afford it but choose not to buy it.

    At that point, imposing a mandate to force them to buy in will be very easy. It will be a small number of people, and everyone else will see them, correctly, as freeloaders.

    Your approach is to impose a mandate immediatly - on all 47 million people who dont have health insurance.

    I am not denying the possibility that Hillary's plan will be affordable for all 47 million from day one. But I guarantee you, that even in the absence of any ads, a lot of those 47 million will not be confident that they will be able to afford it.

    You are asking them to trust the program. Why? You still dont answer the basic question - what is wrong with DEDMONSTRATING to them that the plan is affordable for all? What do you imagine the downside could possibly be?

    "arguing based on fear as Obama and you are now doing is not in the best interest of the country"

    That is a lot of bs rhetoric. The fear I have is that we will repeat '93, that the program will fail to be implemented because of a lack of understanding of how people react to these type of big programs. Most people are not policy wonks. Most people will not have the time or the training to parse out all the details and feel confident about how well it will work. Most people will make judgements based on trust. And to have as part of the package a provision that they will either have to sign up or be fined is a big red flag. Why on earth do you insist on making the job that much more difficult to win acceptance, when it is totally unneccesary to do so?

    Please. Stop with all the nasty insinuations and address the simple issue. How is the system made any less ideal by holding off on mandates until everyone who wants insurance can buy it?


    I'm done with this (none / 0) (#220)
    by joc on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 08:17:35 AM EST
    You ignore that I did answer your "simple issue" in my last post. Why is that? Is it because you know your 'solution' of late-mandates is politically unworkable? Are you being intentionally obtuse so that you don't have to deal with that?

    You certainly are being intentionally obtuse to say that you aren't using the fear of the freeloader to argue for your system. Read what you wrote again and ask yourself why you kept using the politically loaded term freeloader.

    Until you are ready to debate and not simply talk past the issue, there is no point in my wasting any more time on you.


    in re: (none / 0) (#201)
    by english teacher on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:23:57 PM EST
    "The flier is not a lie. Unless you can guarantee me, 100%, that everyone in America will be able to afford insurance under Hillary's plan, on day one, then the charge is true."

    but i think you are losing on this politically because everybody in the real world is recognizing we can't afford not to.  mandates now with the quick and ultimately goal of some form of medicare for everybody is what public opinion overwhelmingly supports.

    in the present climate long time democrats wonder why obama is not on board with that, other than that there is no other real rationalization for his candidacy.

    on health care, which one of these two will walk in there and do what has to be done?  the question answers itself.  


    clinton new hampshire pro choice flyer (none / 0) (#162)
    by javaman on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:09:11 PM EST
    Well if Hillary is so full of inegrity than why did her flyer claim that Barack Obama was weak on pro choice issues, when he isn't

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:14:11 PM EST
    misled about "present" votes.  You can find the story here.

    "Voting Present on those bills was a strategy that Illinois NOW did not support. We made it clear at the time that we disagreed with the strategy. We wanted legislators to take a stand against the awful anti-choice bills being put forth. Voting Present doesn't provide a platform from which to show leadership and say with conviction that we support a woman's right to choose and these bills are unacceptable.

    The Present strategy was devised to give political cover to legislators in conservative districts. Barack Obama did not represent a conservative district; he could have voted No with very little negative consequence in his district."

    - Bonnie Grabenhofer
    IL NOW State President


    hey (none / 0) (#163)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:10:52 PM EST
    at least we know now what Obama was saying to Hillary at the end of the debate in the semi-embrace:  "Uh, we got this mailer, see, and it went out before I realized that we have to play fair, so, uh, you know, my bad.  Here, let me pull your chair out for you."

    Shouldn't that read let me pull your chair (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:03:38 PM EST
    out from under you?  She should have run the chair wheel over his foot.

    Undermines the Dream Team (none / 0) (#170)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:30:27 PM EST
    possibilities bigtime.

    How would he explain this on the campaign trail as veep candidate in a debate with the Rs?  He's not that good when confronted with inconsistencies in his positions.

    Obama and inconsistencies (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:40:05 PM EST
    Did anyone notice in the debate last night, where he took a slap at Hillary over the immigrant drivers license thing, that she called him on his earlier equivocations, and he nodded his head up and down and said, "yeah, yeah, you're right," or something like that?

    It's actually the point at which I stopped thinking he was an arrogant jerk.

    And then this mailer!  UGH!!!

    Oculus? arthyrio?  Was it you who posted that great link to the "I don't want a president like my ex-husband" thread?

    Because it is so freakin' true.  He comes to pick up the kids, you have a nice exchange, he compliments you on your hair, says you're looking good, and you think, "hey, we are getting along like adults.  This is nice."  And then the next morning you're talking to your boss at work and some kid posing as a courier gets you to sign a summons that says your basta*rd ex is taking you to court to lower child payments because, apparently, he can afford to give his 23 year old child bride breast implants, but he can't keep up the health insurance premiums on the kids because his policy at work just went up 30%.

    Okay, I might have gotten a little heated there, but you know what I am getting at.

    Please don't give me a one.  I just learned about ratings and I'm terrified.


    Oh, cripes...I'm LOL but (none / 0) (#177)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:03:07 PM EST
    not really.  Want to laugh and cry at the same time.

    Missed the link to the ex-husband thread but today's Harry & Loise mailer makes it more than germane.

    Gee...I wonder why there is a gender gap in this primary?

    I'm back to being pessimistic and heartsick.

    Phoney charm doesn't work for me...I perfected my radar on that one as a teenager which made it easy to read George Bush in 2000 and now...sad to say, Obama.

    Discouraging because he can't be trusted on the major issue for so many Democrats...which raises the issue of trust on all the other issues.

    Who is he, anyhow?


    MoDo says an "electable suit." (none / 0) (#182)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:07:22 PM EST
    Ahhh...Bush '43. (none / 0) (#189)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:20:33 PM EST
    Frontman for the powers that be.

    Yup.  The establishment candidate.

    BTD is dead right about that.


    I didn't post that. (none / 0) (#179)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:05:07 PM EST
    Also didn't read it, but now I'm really curious.

    link (none / 0) (#187)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:15:03 PM EST
    "A President Like My Ex-Husband"

    "So let me get this straight: Obama is like the person you marry the first time round, when you're young and passionate and Hillary is like the one you marry the second time round, when you're older and smarter"


    Must be quite subversive, as I'll (none / 0) (#190)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:21:59 PM EST
    need to access elsewhere.

    Reminds me of a country western song I wrote (none / 0) (#194)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:00:19 PM EST
    for a woman friend.  Title:  Did We All Marry the Same Man?

    First time around, anyway.  This time, I married a marvel.  But sorry, his brothers all are taken.


    An interesting observation (none / 0) (#176)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:55:39 PM EST
    Huffington Post

    All 3 are blogs owned by once Republican, now, self-described "Democratic" activists.

    All are more concerned about the "Nazi" comment than about what the invocation of "Hillarycare" does to the Democratic party and its platform on healthcare.

    Are these people tacking right?  Or were they always "right" but realized that since the blogosphere was majority left, that they needed to feign leftiness.

    Okay BTD, flame me away.

    If Rove has them that well (none / 0) (#180)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:05:30 PM EST
    organized into a fifth column...we're dead.

    who do you want (none / 0) (#197)
    by english teacher on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:14:06 PM EST
    cleaning up junior's mess?  what marshall, kos, and huffington think means bupkis.  

    Yup. (none / 0) (#219)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 01:58:01 AM EST
    Has Kos actually endorsed Obama? (none / 0) (#181)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:06:04 PM EST
    "Tepidly." (none / 0) (#183)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:07:47 PM EST
    Oh, sister. (none / 0) (#184)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:10:33 PM EST
    I know he'll never, ever be an HRC fan.

    BTD can speak for himself. (none / 0) (#185)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:12:22 PM EST
    It'll be interesting to hear his take on this.


    All TalkLeft wants to know....


    Ain't that the truth. When did Kos (none / 0) (#186)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:13:52 PM EST

    Couple of days ago. (none / 0) (#188)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:15:54 PM EST
    I read it and saw much more than "tepid" (none / 0) (#195)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:02:56 PM EST
    But I expected it, having been through the "women's studies set" debacle.

    With BTD or Kos? (none / 0) (#223)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 08:44:43 PM EST
    I missed it....what the Hell was that?

    He told the blog he voted for him (none / 0) (#191)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:42:56 PM EST
    but that he doesn't endorse him.

    LOL!  Talk about parsing language.


    I'd call that a decline to endorse, wink, wink. (none / 0) (#193)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:44:17 PM EST
    He told the blog he voted for him (none / 0) (#192)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:43:09 PM EST
    but that he doesn't endorse him.

    LOL!  Talk about parsing language.


    He Announced That He Voted For Him (none / 0) (#202)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:33:28 PM EST
    Stop a wee bit short of actually endorsing him. He did jump the shark on a couple of posts about Hillary in mid January.

    Kos voted for Obama and (none / 0) (#203)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:34:58 PM EST
    bashes Hillary on the front page...

    Where's the RAID? (none / 0) (#208)
    by piezo on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 10:11:18 PM EST
    I can only hope that those blogs are infested with Republican trolls. It would be depressing if all those cretins are actually Democrats.

    I talked an older (none / 0) (#196)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:13:26 PM EST
    Republican woman into voting for Hillary today!!!WOMEN UNITE!!!!!!

    Numbers (none / 0) (#221)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:15:03 PM EST
    link fix (none / 0) (#222)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:16:51 PM EST
    numbers Always take tow tries with safari to make link work...

    has anyone considered (none / 0) (#224)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 08:55:17 PM EST
    the effect that universal health coverage will have on lawsuits?  Let's say you were in a car accident.  Your medical bills are paid for no matter who is at fault.  This would actually free up the courts in a lot of cases.  Pain and suffering, of course, are still valid but a lot of small claims issues are simply over getting medical bills paid.  I bet your car insurance would go down as well, because a chunk of your policy is to cover medical.  Homeowner policies.  Umbrella policies.

    So, it looks to me like universal healthcare is even more affordable than Hillary is saying.