Nate Silver: Progressives Only Care About The Public Option Because Lieberman Hates It

Not surprisingly, Village blogger Ezra Klein recommends these 20 Questions from Nate Silver. I thought about answering them (though most of them showed a complete ignorance regarding the nature of the debate on health care reform this year (disingenuous too - Silver asks how insurance company profits MARGINS will grow instead of asking about profits)), even though I am undecided on the Lieberman Bill. Until I read Question 20:

20. How many of the arguments that you might be making against the bill are being made out of anger, frustration, or a desire to ring Joe Lieberman by his scruffy, no-good, backstabbing neck?

In the word of Ezra, sigh. That someone could insinuate today that the arguments made by rational, intelligent, thoughtful people are a result of anger about Lieberman instead of from firmly held, reasonable and LONG HELD views, demonstrates that that person is a dilettante who just started paying attention in the last few days. It tells you a lot about Silver and Klein that they think these are good questions.

Update below:

Update - Kos and Jon Walker answer the questions. Quite well in fact. time for the Village bloggers to bring some substance to the debate. so far they have brought a lot of ad hominem, but not many answers. Krugman is understanding, and shrewder (no apologias for Obama), but not particularly convincing imo. I may have some questions for him tomorrow.

Speaking for me only

< Obama's Approach On The Health Bill | Let's Argue Policy >
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    What's next? (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:26:04 PM EST
    Are they going to be pretty sure that the angry girls just all got their periods too?  My sitting in surgery waiting rooms flanked by other parents would have nothing to do with my anger.  Or the fact that they are doing everything in their power to make all of that even more difficult and horrible for all of us!

    How is your boy (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:32:40 PM EST
    doing, M.Tracy?  You have both been in my thoughts and prayers for quite awhile now.  Be strong, for him and for yourself.  And try to take care of yourself, too- you can't take care of anyone else if you first don't take care of yourself.

    I think he may go back to school tomorrow (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:24:35 PM EST
    He has had more tenderness after surgery this time, not incisions but very muscle sore.  His growth spurts are getting bigger though, so I suppose that the expansions are going to be getting longer.  He is doing well, and looking forward to Christmas and going to Charleston to see his sister and his nieces.  I'm looking forward to going to Charleston too.

    I'll give Nate some credit (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:30:11 PM EST
    obviously progressives genuinely care about the public option and the Medicare buy-in and all that, as matters of policy.  I don't think he's entirely discounting that, although he could write more clearly.

    But I do think some of the anger - and I bet people will agree with me - has to do with more than the policy.  There's anger, yes, over the fact that we are just surrendering and giving Joe Lieberman, of all people, whatever the heck he wants.  This is part and parcel of the fact that the Democrats do not seem to be fighting very hard for anything that progressives care about.  Progressives are angry at that.  They want to feel like someone is on their side.

    I think progressives would feel quite a bit differently about this process if Obama was out here acting like FDR and fighting for progressive priorities and the Democrats were using every tool at their disposal to get a good bill passed and yet somehow at the end of the day we came up a couple votes short.  I believe progressives are upset BOTH about the policy outcome and about the fact that it seems like the whole process has been one long capitulation to the insurance lobbyists.  So I think Nate is accurate to a degree although obviously he's trying to be snide and dismissive about the latter point.

    Nah (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:34:25 PM EST
    Honestly, people just disagree with the policy. Nate just has no idea what the debate has been about Steve,

    He joined it a couple of days ago.


    I would even go so far ... (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:41:10 PM EST
    as to say that progressives have been remarkably tolerant of all the personality-based shenanigans.

    Especially given the fact that a majority of the public, in poll after poll, has supported much stronger reforms than were ever on the table.


    You don't believe (none / 0) (#6)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:36:12 PM EST
    the process has been more than a little demoralizing?

    Sure (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:39:46 PM EST
    But that is not the basis of the critiques.

    Silver joined by taking on CMS (none / 0) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:51:16 PM EST
    which basically brought me to the conclusion that the guy has gotten way too big for his britches.

    He may be good at short-term political pollster stuff, but claiming to understand the model for healthcare outcomes and claiming to have better data/understanding than CMS is just not a credible claim on his part.

    I remember when I didn't understand healthcare 25 years ago.  Now after years of experience in the industry I still barely understand it on some level.  It is an evidence-based universe.  One doesn't play in it successfully or honestly by doing a cursory review of some polling numbers and CBO data.


    He's an obama stooge (none / 0) (#51)
    by Salo on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:26:43 PM EST

    Okay, time for some alcohol... (5.00 / 13) (#8)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:39:38 PM EST
    I can't even go look at the other 19 questions, at this point.

    I suppose I would offer this question to the legion of Village Bloggers:

    How many of the arguments that you might be making for this bill-that-is-not-even-a-bill are being made out of ignorance about policy, denial about how badly this has been managed, or a desire to be named Captain of the Obama Cheerleading Squad and gain entree to the inner-inner circle of inside-the-beltway, Obama-has-me-on-speed-dial Wankers and one day grow up to assume the mantle of that fount of wisdom, David Broder?  

    I'm thinking about sending them all some miniature pom-poms.

    Time for a drink.

    Can I use that question for (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:40:55 PM EST
    a later post?

    Abso-freakin'-lutely. (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:43:49 PM EST
    Be my guest...

    Pretty good for an alleged Obamabot. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:11:19 PM EST
    Boo-yah! (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:55:55 PM EST
    That question knocks it out of the park, Anne!  Calling them Broders, that's a (well deserved) shiv right to the liver there.  LOVE IT!



    Woo Hoo! (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:16:19 PM EST
    Great question, Anne!  And I'll also agree- time for a drink.  (Vodka on the rocks for me.)

    I'm (none / 0) (#27)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:15:26 PM EST
    Eastern Standard time, Donald, so it's after 8 PM here now, and I've already hit the vodka.  I envy you your location- I love Hawaii, and I'd move there if I could.

    Obligatory (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:25:51 PM EST
    link for these thoughts.


    As for me, it is approaching 5:30 and soon I'll be with my friends doing something Normal.  ;)



    Awesome. Wish I could buy you that drink. (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:07:05 PM EST
    Did we (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:20:06 PM EST
    really need anymore proof that Nate SIlver is bad at politics?

    Well, he was (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:42:19 PM EST
    pretty good at baseball stats.  ;-)

    Death of Liberal HCR hopes greatly exaggerated (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ellie on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:09:13 PM EST
    Game on, Bernie Sanders tells Neil Cavuto.

    Sanders vows NOT to vote for the POS ObRahma's BlueDog clown car were touting in the article I quoted here (TL site)

    D-Day at FDL has the clip.

    Uh-oh (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:03:15 PM EST
    Keith Olbermann just called Obama "Sir"....yeah in that everso biting tone too.  No I didn't watch, but I heard a "Speshul Comment" was forthcoming, so I went to the Cheeto site and found Keith's consistently accompanying post.

    And there it was.  The word "sir".  Wow.

    When you've lost the blowhards, SIR, you've lost the country.

    The one thing that remained ridiculous is that Olbermann said that "Sir" had the noblest of intentions.  Um, congratulating Lieberman and calling Dr. Dean names proves to me what the intentions were....SIR.

    But yeah, Nate, you couldn't have said in a clearer tone that you are a Johnny come lately.  We hated the lack of public option even before Mr. Lieberman gave us permission to do so. LOL.  

    I can't do Keith Olberman anymore (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:57:25 PM EST
    He blew so hard getting Obama elected he blew himself out in my head.  I tried to read spoon's diary just now and I can't stand him.  There's something about a spoon essay that causes me to start retching after the first paragraph.  Have no idea what that is about.

    Why oh why shouldn't Sanders's single (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:20:55 PM EST
    payment amendment be read to its conclusion on the Senate floor.  What's the GD rush, already?

    Because (none / 0) (#37)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:28:00 PM EST
    the Dems would not be able to file cloture on the defense appropriations bill, which means no money for the troops.

    I'll be home for Christmas? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:03:25 PM EST
    More like (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:06:16 PM EST
    Bernie Sanders is the bigger man.

    I'm okay if he isn't the bigger man (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:00:21 PM EST
    on this one.  We have so much crap stockpiled it isn't going to change that much for the troops in the next few months :)  Of course Fox News would have a field day.

    No Nate (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:21:14 PM EST
    but I can't rule out the possibility that my future opinions might be influenced by my anger and frustration at bloggers like you and Ezra. I'm only human.

    nate silver is a liar (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by The Last Whimzy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:36:10 PM EST
    why can't he just be honest and call the thing what it is:  "20 attempts by me, Nate Silver, to reframe the debate in a way that portrays progressives as angry purists."

    Oh, sure (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:30:09 PM EST
    We only care about the public option because Joe the Schmoe  hates it.  Right.  I used to at least somewhat respect Silver (not Klein, though).  I have suddenly lost all respect for him.  True progressives have actually been for single-payer from the beginning, accepting public option only as a watered-down alternative.  

    Nate Silver is kind of like Chuck Todd (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:39:05 PM EST
    good with numbers and voting trends, but not politics.

    So for someone who disagrees with Dean whose opinion is worth listening to, John Podesta just wrote this essay on Think Progress.

    BTW: I still agree with Dean (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by magster on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:40:59 PM EST
    Not with lines likes this (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:41:58 PM EST
    "The Senate health care bill is not without its problems. But if enacted, it would represent the most significant public reform of our health care system that Congress has passed in the 40 plus years I have worked in politics."

    That is just a lie.


    Well it depends (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:40:24 PM EST
    on what he considers "40 plus years," BTD, since Medicare/Medicaid was passed 44 years ago.  And would that we had a president now who was as willing as LBJ (for all his many faults) to twist arms, pressure, cajole, and bribe Congress to pass what was necessary.

    See what Jay Cost (none / 0) (#33)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:19:00 PM EST
    has to say about the Dems' current betrayal of what the party has stood for historically  -- from Andrew Jackston to LBJ at realclear.

    Jay has his own agenda, of course, but (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:24:06 PM EST
    he's not really wrong.

    On the contrary, I think (none / 0) (#38)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:31:49 PM EST
    he's hit the bull's eye on this one.

    Devil's advocate (none / 0) (#15)
    by magster on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:47:52 PM EST
    If health care is nuked, is there political will to start from scratch again, especially if Dems aren't [nominally] in charge of one or the other branches of Congress?

    S-Chip was passed in 1997 (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:50:33 PM EST
    by a GOP Newt Gingrich led Congress 3 years after the 1994 failure.

    The good assistance stuff can be passed later.

    Reform is dead. But it is dead now.


    The will to tackle it this time was generated by (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:32:24 PM EST
    the concern about health care out here among the citizens, who consistently rated it a top issue in the campaigns last year, despite the media trying to ignore it.  That is not going to change - in fact it is going to get worse with or without this bill.

    New Villagers and VSPs (none / 0) (#18)
    by kidneystones on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:59:16 PM EST
    I'm struck by how stubbornly Dems have embraced the whole President Daddy meme, like the Obama savior is actually real, and might still actually ride to the rescue of a bill crafted by and for America's corporate masters.

    Journalism has evolved and changed. When Eric Boehlert is pulling down six figures over at the Media Matters chop shop and the NYT is cutting salaries you know that big changes are taking place and some folks, at least, are getting rich despite the spreading pain.

    Ezra is an easy target. Matt, Josh, Jane, and GG join old media hacks like Silly Sully and Klein as the new Broders. Markos and Josh are definitely VSP and market themselves as edgy independents despite Markos clear sympathy for liberaltarianism and Josh's Dem neo-con bona fides.

    Hooking-up with this crew means sucking-up to them and allowing them to suck much of the oxygen out of the debate. The cavalry is not riding to the rescue. The problems facing North America are deep and profound. Government can provide jobs. It isn't. Progressives surrendered the day they agreed to support a corporate hack and have prostrated themselves ever since, inventing new and imaginative ways of dignifying their countless collective and individual capitulations.

    The result: one year of pure misery for America's underclass, a Dem-created and mis-managed Katrina of epic proportions that swept across the entire country, draining the hope and optimism of millions of first-time voters and many lifelong Dems. 2009 is a year of infamy and shame during which Dem control of the WH, Senate, and the House produced record levels of unemployment and record levels of debt.

    The new villagers and VSPs yammer away while millions lose their homes and savings. The current level of 'debate' is an obscene joke.

    Did I mention two endless wars and Gitmo North?

    Jesus wept.

    Silver lining? (none / 0) (#30)
    by s5 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:57:09 PM EST
    Maybe the mandate will get the teabaggers on board with Medicare-for-all? I've been hearing a lot of "I'm libertarian but I would MUCH prefer single payer to a mandate" sentiment that I've never heard before.

    I'm not saying that's been the 11th dimensional chess plan all along. Just that it's a possible outcome.

    Remember how fast that constituency threw out (none / 0) (#47)
    by esmense on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:59:55 PM EST
    the Dems just for messing with their assault weapons and getting a little careless with the house bank?

    Just wait until the Feds mandate they contribute 17-22% of their income to the insurance companies and start snooping into their books to see if they qualify for a subsidy.

    This reform, if passed, won't be around for long (and neither will the Democrats). But it will do immense and long lasting damage to the prospect of ever achieving the real, pragmatic reform we desperately need.

    Why these idiot pundits think only "the left" will object to these "reforms" is a real mystery. Are they just stupid?


    I hope Krugman shows his work (none / 0) (#42)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:09:32 PM EST

    Progressives have always wanted a public option (none / 0) (#43)
    by AX10 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:22:57 PM EST
    at minimum.
    Mr. Silver seems to be carrying the water for Obama.

    Actually (none / 0) (#49)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:06:18 PM EST
    I have seen the "village bloggers" attempt to bring substance to the debate. I often disagreed with them, but some did try. And, of course, there was also some good substance from pro-public option bloggers. There were faults on both sides. On the "village" side, sometimes an inability to step back and look from outside the bubble. On the "activist" side some too shrill public-option-or-bust noises.

    Also, I think some of Silver's questions were fair.

    There's entirely too much shouting in this whole mess. In addition to the failure of the Senate, etc, of course.

    Really? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:33:31 PM EST
    Like this from Jon Cohn?

    "I'm all for a loud, angry left. If nothing else, we need it to balance out the loud, angry right. But there's a fine line between being constructive and destructive. This latest gambit, I think, crosses it."

    At least they have stopped claiming it will be the "most progressive legislation since Medicare."

    There has benn a fundamebtal dishonesty from the Village blogs, now coupled with ad hominems.

    We have a whole new breed of Tom Friedmans.

    I respectfully dissent from your assessment.


    It's all very top down. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Salo on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:50:48 PM EST
    Lots of money and patronage at stake. TINS is at it again btw. Mandates without a PO smacks of coruption to me. Very sinister and malevolent forces at work in the Democratic party hiding behind Joe Liebermans indie status. It's all Obama IMHO. This IS what he was planning from the get go.

    Wait (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:55:07 PM EST
    When Obama campaigned against mandates and pulled all that Harry and Louise crap... his secret agenda was actually to pass mandates without a public option?  Really?  11-dimensional chess lives!

    Agree (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:01:31 PM EST
    Obama seems more a man without a plan to be honest.

    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:13:55 PM EST
    He never cared about the substance of healthcare. But for whatever reason he has decided to have a "win" at all costs.

    You know, if we had a real media and not just Sunday morning wankers, he would be asked to explained the substance of his "evolution."


    I disagree (none / 0) (#59)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:32:11 AM EST
    He's had an agenda but he's only just reveiling it now.  He's a very determined and deliberate person.  Steve yes he contradicts himself on all sorts of policy positions.

    Sure (none / 0) (#56)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:12:38 PM EST
    I said that some "Village bloggers" tried, not that I think that they were all good, and/or respectful, at all times.

    On the other side, things like "let's get Hadassah Lieberman" and "supporting this bill is like supporting the Iraq war" isn't exactly helpful either.


    On the unhelpful (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:14:02 PM EST
    Completely agree. cohn was quite disappointing because he was pretty cool the whole time up to now.

    In any event, check out my new post. you might like it.


    I feel like Lenin today. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Salo on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:20:00 PM EST
    You have the freedom to make apologia for for the failure of the party. Allow me The freedom to apologize for sending apologists in front of a firing squad.

    (Duval in Apocalypse Now) (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 12:21:33 PM EST
    "Dont these people ever give up?"

    Jesus (none / 0) (#62)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 12:30:21 PM EST
    at least spell it right.

    Must be another teebagger :)