What Can Be Done?

Short answer - nothing by Dems in the next 2 years. Getting ready for 2012, by Dems and progressives alike, should be the plan. Markos says:

What has happened has happened. I'm less interested in talking about the ways the administration screwed up, than in what they're going to do about it in preparation of 2012. First thing's first -- stop bashing the base, or the professional left, or whatever liberal boogeymen pisses them off. Fact is, people who fall in those disaffected categories -- the young, blacks, Latinos -- don't read blogs, or watch Keith Olbermann, or read Firedoglake. But they are losing their jobs and their homes, and they see Wall Street get all manners of bailouts without any of it trickling down to them. That has killed us. Make their lives better, or (since nothing will happen with Boehner in the House) at least fight to make their lives better.

This isn't about throwing a bone to the base to make them happy, it's about doing the right thing for America -- fight for jobs, fight for opportunity, fight for equality under the law. Democrats believe that government can make people's lives better, so embrace and fight for that belief. If Democrats are in it to protect Goldman Sachs, they might as well flip to the other team.

(Emphasis supplied.) The next two years can't produce anything worthwhile in terms of policy (unless Obama decides to use the HAMP money for a HOLC.) Markos is right. Progress won't happen in the next two years. But avoiding exacerbating the problem is an attainable goal. And setting up the fight for what to do after 2012 is a must. The truth is Obama and the Dems probably won't do anything right in the next 2 years or 10, imo. But we can hope they do. In the meantime, progressives need to fight to shape the Dem Party. To me, that means fighting to get candidates who will fight for the right thing in 2012. Don't expect anything on policy in the next 2 years.

Speaking for me only

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    Here's (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:41:19 AM EST
    the problem that I have with Kos' statement: if you don't examine the problems with the Obama Administration and deal with them, then you are going to make the same mistakes over and over again.  You can't change what happened on Tuesday but you sure can try to learn from it.

    Did you notice NO mention of the problem with women voters? A 20 point dip happened and it has gone unnoticed by Kos.

    Did you also see the comment about not wanting the party "polluted" with those people? It's the same thing that has driven lots of voters away from the Dems with that type of attitude. I want to say how's that Nu Dem coalition working out for you?

    The bigger story is that we should be the party of the working class but that is not going to happen as long as Obama is at the helm. That is something that everyone needs to face.

    So weird to have Markos rail (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:49:28 AM EST
    against 3rd way and Blue Dogs, IMO.

    I wonder if women's studies (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:56:32 AM EST
    are meaningful to him now too?  All that talk of equality under the law, but I well remember when he told me I could take myself and my complaining that women's rights were not party bargaining chips and shove it :)

    Don't forget, Kos has a daughter now. (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:44:51 PM EST
    But the "daddy factor" (none / 0) (#72)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:58:19 PM EST
    bless it for what it has meant in history, does not seem to kick in until a daughter is old enough to start dating boys who give daddies new nightmares.

    And also... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:30:58 PM EST
    The 'daddy factor' doesn't necessarily make the daddy any less sexist - it usually just takes the form of the Madonna Whore Dichotomy.

    Lord knows we all know a whole lotta sexist daddies.


    I prefer to be optimistic on the effect of (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 02:15:26 PM EST
    having a daughter on a blogger dad.

    Oh, yes. A daddy (none / 0) (#92)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:10:47 PM EST
    or any guy has to be, as we say, educable. . . .

    You are right (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:49:41 AM EST
    "Turn the Page" is not beneficial and is exactly how we got here.  I do not want to beat dead horses, but when leaders have utterly screwed up and will then continue on the same path after giving ANOTHER "meaningful" speech, not only is turning the page not beneficial but for sane persons it is impossible.

    Did you also (none / 0) (#102)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:10:38 PM EST
    see that in 2008, about 29% of those who voted were under 30, but in 2010l only 18%. Wasn't the youth vote one of this Admin's core constituencies?  Funny how they get turned off voting when they cannot get jobs or affordable healthcare.

    Populist (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by star on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:47:44 AM EST
    mantel seems to be slipping away from Dem party.They are increasingly being labeled elitist. Unless this is reversed and Dem party does not come on top fighting for the little guy, this party will be limited to the Coasts loosing entire middle America.

    Sounds great if Kos were the President (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:53:24 AM EST
    Just because Kos has said this though does not mean that Obama is now not going to go forward with his catfood commission and cutting Social Security.  As far as I can tell Obama's mind is made up just as it was that there would be no public option.  And if that is how it is going to be, someone needs to tell the Dems right now that they have only begun to feel how bad things will be for them and how out of office, out of committee leadership unemployed they can all get two years from now.

    Hey, a President that takes (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:56:51 AM EST
    a strong stand on credit card interest rate increases, stating firmly that any increase has to come with notice, is as good a representative as we can hope for.

    LOL, Observed. (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:01:43 AM EST

    I guess this is what now passes for best progressive governing evah - advance notice of the fleecing of the working class and middle class!

    We will get fleeced by extortionist interest rates from credit card companies - but at least we'll be notified!

    We will get fleeced by continually rising health insurance premiums and continually lowering standards of care - but maybe we'll be notified!

    We will get fleeced by the banks - but maybe next time the Dems can pass legislation requiring that we be notified first!

    The most progressive legislation in recent history!

    Oy vey. It's so pathetic...


    Raising Hand (none / 0) (#48)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:16:18 AM EST
    Can someone just give me an ETA on how long the "Bash Obama" period is? Some of us don't think he's the anti-christ, generally liked what he did and want the left to focus its death rays on the real bad guys that just took over the House.

    I know that this feels good and cathartic and all, but it kind of sucks for folks like me.  

    It's sad when the imperfect good guys gets more negative ink than the perfectly bad bad guys.

    I used to look at the religious right and marvel at how ridiculously uncompromising and narrow minded they were.  How silly they looked with their rigid ideology and unwillingness to concede anything or adopt pragmatism.

    I am not saying I owe them an apology for that, but . . . well I won't be talking as much %$#! about them after this past month of bashing the Dems mercilessly.

    Hope it ends soon. Something (really) wicked this way comes. And we're busy killing the ones who could stop it.


    This is politics (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:44:08 AM EST
    so endless adulation is not to be expected.  See: History.  

    It is interesting to ponder why, if it sucks for you, you keep punishing yourself?


    According to Kilgore 3 to 4 months (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:04:03 PM EST
    Unless the Cat Food Commission continues to march forward....then who knows.

    It's only "bashing" to you because (5.00 / 6) (#61)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:04:21 PM EST
    you don't, apparently, have a problem with his performance, his policies or his pathological need to please those on the other side of the aisle; from my side of this debate, I could ask you when you are going to wake up and understand that he is working awfully hard to marginalize "the left," has turned off women voters in record numbers, has his sights set on weakening the social safety net at a time when it is all that is keeping a lot of people alive, has failed to offer or implement a comprehensive jobs plan, and that saying "me, too!" to way too many Bush policies is not my idea of what Democratic presidents are supposed to stand for.

    Are you a New Democrat?  If so, I guess you are pretty happy, but I'm not a New Democrat - I'm a liberal Democrat who expects the Democrats who represent me to adhere to Democratic ideals and positions that this president has all but abandoned.  Do I not see room for compromise?  Within reason, yes - but not when it turns into "okay, we give up."  Especially when the give happens while (1) holding majorities in both houses of Congress and (2) before seeing how much we can get before we have to make a concession, and (3) when the result are policies and laws that could have come right out of the Republican caucus.

    I think people have been pretty clear on why they have problems with Obama, and I think you can expect that, if things don't change - and there are no signs that I've seen that they will, only signs that the bending and rolling over is about to increase - there isn't going to be any sudden let-up in the criticism or any embrace of Obama.

    And, by the way - you wanted the left to focus on the bad guys, but you don't seem to have much of a problem with Obama's - and many Dems' - embrace of Republican ideas, or their capitulation to GOP demands.  But, I guess that might mean having to admit that what's happening isn't because the left out here in America isn't working hard enough to keep up the pressure, but because the Dems in Congress and the WH - the people charged with the responsibility to work for the people - are doing about as bad a job of that as it's possible to do.

    Give me a break.


    What are the numbers on women (none / 0) (#64)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:18:13 PM EST
    voters, btw?

    49% went Dem, 48% went Repub (none / 0) (#68)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:38:28 PM EST
    this week, the most significant change in three decades, since the gender gap first was measured.  Previous election stats, at least for presidential years, are here.  (A great website from Rutgers' Center on American Women in Politics to explore for more, btw.)

    Btw re turnout, I've seen varying reports, but it looks like it was good overall.  It certainly was good in my state, resulting in the greatest sweep of offices by Repubs of any state.


    According to Olbermann, (none / 0) (#104)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:27:03 PM EST
    this % represents a significant decline from 2008 in % of women who supported Dems.

    Ugh, Keithy as an expert (none / 0) (#106)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:29:29 PM EST
    on women.

    But yes, see the link I provided above for, no doubt, the source for his staff.  


    Did I say Obama in my comment? (5.00 / 5) (#75)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    I am an equal-opportunity-Dem basher - and that's because they deserve it.

    Get a grip on your Obama Defensiveness dude.


    I'm in ignore Obama mode (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:18:25 AM EST
    but I assume you are referring to comments.

    its like Herpes around here (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:24:50 AM EST
    just when you think you have it in hand . . . .

    IIRC you were in the "Herpes" mode (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    for several days on how the president was handling DADT.

    I rag on him a lot (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    but I always try to make sure it is not personal.

    that is not the norm for criticism of him here.  and that is what bugs me.


    Well, the comment ABG responded to (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:23:59 PM EST
    was also not personal.

    Neither are many of the critical comments around here.

    So I guess it's just whatever anyone wants to say whenever they want to say it; then criticize others whenever they feel like it for doing the same thing. Oh wait... that's a normal blog thang.


    Are you of the opinion that this (none / 0) (#71)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:54:25 PM EST
    democratic administration wasn't the primary factor in the demise of so many democratic seats in congress? He even came out yesterday and admitted his major contribution to the shake out. The country lost some strong advocates for the people on Tuesday.

    Yes, one has to give the President (none / 0) (#109)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:32:44 PM EST
    credit for holding the press conference, taking responsibility, etc.  My biggest concern, however, is the only lesson the Admin seems to believe is relevant is that its message machine and West Wing procedures must be streamlined, made more effective, etc.  Yes, the President -- also to his credit -- did indicate that his Admin will have to focus more on jobs and the economy, but if cutting Social Security, having the Fed loan zillions of dollars, etc. are the nature of the new focus, the Dems are tone deaf.  Reminds me of post-2004 when the DNC and WLF decided the main reason the Dems 'lost' was that the party's message had to be communicated more effectively.

    Different conversation (none / 0) (#116)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:58:59 PM EST
    Had my comment been a statement that began a string, your response would be more easily connected. But, if you read the string and see what commenter I was asking the question of you'll see your response was misplaced in the conversation.

    Apologies for (none / 0) (#120)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 08:26:17 AM EST
    the breach of protocol

    You know what is funny? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:04:01 AM EST
    That is the one thing that my husband takes up for him on too, but it was the only thing that we noticed that even got remotely better for us.  When Joshua travels for medical care, which is about five or six times a year, we have to carry that balance on credit usually and then fight with Tricare and the Army for reimbursement. Paperwork gets lost, people change jobs, receipts aren't clear....sometimes we carry balances for months before we get paid back but they never pay the credit card interest.  Reining in credit cards is the only area where our lives were improved, and it was small for us but my husband never forgets it.

    check (none / 0) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:08:12 AM EST
    wed afternoon open

    Bad for them (none / 0) (#13)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:02:56 AM EST
    More like bad for us.  "Them" will be in the boat with us unless they're able to parlay that time in congress into something else.  

    If you are the President (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:18:12 AM EST
    And you start hacking on Social Security after what has happened to pensions during the worst economic crash since the Great Depression, and if you do this while Wall Street is going to hand out bonuses, and if you do this during the largest economic disparity in the history of this country, and if you do this while giving the rich another two years of tax break, you and your party are finished and there isn't a damn thing I can do for you.

    If they hack away like that on the most religious voting block when it is economically bleeding to death, they are DONE.  I don't care how bad any of his economic advisors pound on tables.  It will not help our economy much if at all because less spending within the economy will be the long term payoff, and it will KILL them all politically.  It is so stupid, but so was pulling the public option from the table, and then lying to the people about it, and then watching insurance rates go completely through the roof, and this President is stubborn about deviating from HIS set agenda.


    We agree (none / 0) (#24)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    However, let's see what the proposals are first.  That they are looking at this at all should be something we can get behind.  I, like you, have children that I don't want to saddle w/unnecessary burdens.  Am I wrong to think that way as a Dem?  I don't think so.

    The public option was just not something that could be done in this country at this time.  It would have led to even more job losses - and no, I'm not talking about in the insurance industry.  Staff in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's offices, software firms, and all the supporting businesses - poof, gone.  It's sad, but true.

    The fact that one's policy hope went down in flames doesn't mean you should cross your arms and wait to pounce and shout failure everytime things don't go exactly as you think it should.


    Job losses??? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:31:13 AM EST
    On what basis do you make that assertion?

    Common sense. (none / 0) (#29)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:39:20 AM EST
    Or are you thinking doctor's and hospitals would've been getting reimbursed by taxpayers at the same rate as they do today by private insurers?  If they are paid less how do they pay employees?  

    Common sense tells me there is a huge (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:40:51 AM EST
    demand for medical care providers.
    But anyway, I thought you had a real argument. Apparently not.

    Majority fo people get insurance through the feds (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:20:56 AM EST
    Medicare, VA etc.  A public option would hardly have bankrupted medical providers.  

    IIRC aren't you employed by the (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:47:40 AM EST
    insurance industry? What might be driving your rhetoric is your own job security.

    What does this have to do w/anything? (1.00 / 1) (#32)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:58:24 AM EST
    I work on the IT & Project Mgmt side of things.  I have no special knowledge other than experience on the front lines working in the industry.  As such, I bring a persepective that those who get all their information from "reports" may not have.  I'm not ashamed of that.  I would ask that any who read my posts don't assume to know me or my motivations.  While of course you have no reason to trust me, you also have no reason to assume I'm some clown who can't think for himself or is dishonest.  

    Of course I want to keep my job.  However, what drives my rhetoric are facts.  I don't post w/o them.


    Didn't see any facts supporting your (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:06:58 AM EST
    claim that a public option would mean the "loss of jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's offices, software firms, and all the supporting businesses - poof, gone."

    You were asked to provide the basis for your claims and your only response was not to provide facts at all only your opinion that it was only "common sense."

    Since "common sense" from people who are or were employed by the industry can replace facts, let me say my "common sense" response to your claims is that it is BS.


    See my post above. (none / 0) (#41)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:29:22 AM EST
    Then tell me what you think.

    I think that there are cost saves (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:18:35 AM EST
    that hospitals can realize that would more than make up for reduction in payments if insurance companies were removed from the equation. Various doctors and nurses associations have said that moving from a insurance based system to a single payer system would save lives, money and create jobs.

    Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today. It may be viewed at www.CalNurses.org.

    Also, having an insurance and employer based system impedes our ability to in a global marketplace where all our competitors have had the government take the burden of healthcare off the shoulders of their employers.



    You and I have debated this for some time (none / 0) (#65)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:21:10 PM EST
    we are not going to agree.  The virtues of single payer vs. a market-based solution is not what I'm talking about.  I don't doubt that there are pros and cons to both solutions.  I will note the study you provided (after a quick scan admittedly) uses existing reimbursement and utilization rates:

    The coverages, cost sharing, and administrative cost structures are based on existing Medicare coverage, but the estimates of health care utilization and other assumptions will be discussed within each scenario.

    Which is kinda my point about why the PO as a plan didn't fly.  It's all about the money and we all know it.  

    Nonetheless, I'm not posting to debate the virtue of any plan.  Rather, it is about the political feasibility of an idea and the ramifications of that idea on our economy and political future.  The issue was why we could not attempt any major structural change to our healthcare system at this point in our history.  I submit it is because neither short-term job loss, or, the upheaval any major change brings to large aspects of our country are good for an economy and political party that are struggling.  IMO, we need to maintain power first.  If that means compromise now, so be it.

    We can disagree on that.  As long as we both vote democratic and don't discourage others from doing the same.  :-)


    We can disagree on that regardless (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:07:33 PM EST
    of who I chose to vote for or against. My positions on the issues do not change based on which corporate owned political party is in power at the moment.

    I submit that we are not able to compete in the global market because employers are burdened with health care costs, our health care costs are 2 - 3 times higher than other countries, our prescription drugs costs 35 - 50% more than other countries and increasing more and more people cannot afford health care or prescriptions even if they have insurance. More and more people will lack health care even if the current legislation survives.  

    The public option plan did not fly because Obama and the Dems traded it away during the summer of '09. Corporate money was more important than providing universal, affordable health care. Political feasibility was based on keeping campaign coffers filled with corporate cash and had little or nothing to do with jobs or what the public would have supported.

    Since the public option that was in the final House plan and the one Senate plan was not based on Medicare rates or even Medicare rates plus 5, the "facts" that you supplied would not even apply when discussing the proposed public option.

    Oh and BTW how did maintaining power go for the Dems. Seens that the POS that the Dems tried to pawn off as health care legislation didn't help them one bit at the polls.


    That makes no sense (none / 0) (#99)
    by Rojas on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:48:30 PM EST
    Employers do not have to pay for health care. There is no mandate in that regard.

    Amazing, someone gave me a "1" for this (none / 0) (#66)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:23:33 PM EST
    sticks and stones.  seriously.

    Let us play fair (none / 0) (#97)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:58:24 PM EST
    So anything that Dr. Molly, CC or MT says from now on regarding increasing govt should be taken with huge doses of salt because their salaries (or their spouses) come from the govt?
    I am not employed in the health sector, so I do not have a dog in the fight. I would however like to see same standards applied during arguments. Keep things honest!
    Look, the economic interests of a retired person on fixed income are not going to be the same as that of a young machinist or admin or a middle aged engineer or accountant working in the private sector. However all of them can be part of the democratic base. I will request all to see things from various points of view, not just their own.

    Ha. Yes, I am an expert (none / 0) (#107)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:31:50 PM EST
    on all things gummint.  Not.  I know what I see.

    And fortunately, my spouse is in the private sector -- which somewhat compensates for the pay cuts in the public sector.  And what I just heard today is terrifying about pay cuts and other budget cuts to come.  So my spouse never gets to retire. . . .


    My former colleagues and I are (none / 0) (#110)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:35:16 PM EST
    suddenly very happy we spent our entire careers working for government entities.  It seems any type of retirement and/or health care for retirees have evaporated in the private sector.  Plus tales of large law firms downsizing.  And offering very bright law grads. an associate position but to start a couple years down the road.  Meanwhile--go clerk--preferably for a federal judge so our firm will accrue prestige.

    B.S. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:21:01 AM EST
    How lazy.  If anything, we have so much unemployment because everyone argues it takes too much time, energy, and money to do this or that, and that argument has been winning until it blew up the world and led to enormous disparity.

    Everyone has needs, getting those needs met equals jobs.  I will not be brainwashed into thinking that nonfeeling, never eating, never sleeping corporations must not pay taxes and make big profits in order to stay healthy while people die, have no home, no money, no healthcare.  I'm sick of the insanity!  I am done with it.  Living is about people, living is not about serving corporations as if they were Gods, living is about serving each other and with each other!  I am not a sociopath.


    Unless I am not remembering (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:28:11 AM EST
    correctly, the theory was that we would have a shortage of medical personnel if the millions of people who didn't have insurance coverage would have it via a government-based plan.

    And the insurance industry jobs were expected, for the most part, to be able to be transitioned over to the government operation.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Deficit Commission is not a good thing, at all.  In these economic times, the last thing that should be on the table are social safety-net programs - the number one priority for this president should have been jobs, jobs, jobs.  

    The government's budget is not like yours or mine, and the continued insistence that it can't spend money it doesn't have is fueling the hysteria.  The government creates money when it needs it, and as long as its checks are being cashed, there simply is no problem.

    This manufactured hysteria is being used to go after the old, the poor and the sick, is pushing the middle class closer to the edge, and fueling a class war.  That much of the gasoline being poured on this fire is coming from Democrats, much less a Democratic president, is unacceptable.

    And if they continue on this path, I am less concerned, really, with their future, than I am about my own, and about the quality of life of millions of people.

    When this devolves into "every man for himself," it is going to be very, very bad.


    It's sad all right (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by waldenpond on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:46:24 AM EST
    Please be aware there are people here with educations (gasp, even in the relevant fields).

    The failure to understand even the most basic of economic principles is very sad.  Job losses? sheesh.   Try shortages.


    Job shortages (none / 0) (#47)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:03:19 AM EST
    Only ones I'm aware of wrt healthcare were internists vs. specialists.  How many are going to jump in the field knowing they will have less control of patient load and be forced to accept lower reimbursement rates?

    What other shortages are you referring to?  Medical suppliers?  Support staff in the medical office?  Wouldn't you first have to figure out a way to encourage specialists to either change their career focus?  Or, incentivize a move to general practice for docs-in-training?  How long will it take for these docs to go into practice?  What happens in the meantime?  Would there not be losses in the interim in both the professional and institutional industries?


    Going Galt (none / 0) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:32:10 AM EST
    Too fun.  In your hypothetical an 'American' wouldn't tolerate having their pay cut from 500k to only 300k or so a year?  Sure let's pretend that would ever happen.  Tax me and open a state med school or open the borders.... How Galtian.... if they don't want to go live in a compound, they can always go into plastic surgery where they are paid cash if they are that big of snivelers.  

    Your second paragraph is the answer to your own position.  That is the current state of our health system for the average person, so your point is?


    Are you kidding? (4.83 / 6) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:34:15 AM EST
    Do you know how much the insurance industry is a drag on business in this country? It costs an average of 10K per worker and it's one of the reasons that the economy is stagnant among other things. Fact of the matter is, hospitals are laying people off already simply because people are not getting treatment because they either can't afford to pay for things themselves or they can't afford the insurance premiums or on top of that even if you can afford the insurance premiums often times you can't afford to pay for the deductibles etc on TOP of the premiums.

    Unfortunately, this isn't true. (none / 0) (#37)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:18:31 AM EST
    Argument: Decreased revenue leads to job losses.  Replacing insurance company payments w/lower levels of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement = decreased revenue.

    for your consideration:

    Combine growing costs, decreasing revenues, and high debt loads, and you can't dig out. Then what happens? "If you've accumulated any reserve over time," an executive at a major local hospital says, "the first thing you do is eat it up. Then you cut costs on staffing and support services, sometimes below levels you know are safe. Then you stop spending money to keep your physical plant and equipment up to date. The condition of the physical plants of many New York City hospitals is staggering. Then, when there's nothing else you can do, you declare bankruptcy.

    The bottom line is sobering: In 2008, local hospitals spent $3 billion more delivering care than they took in. Overall, they operated at a 6 percent loss--an average that masks much deeper red ink at the worst-performing places. In contrast, hospitals nationwide have earned average profits of about 4 percent over the past decade. Within the hospital industry, a 3 percent surplus is considered necessary just to keep a hospital in decent working order.

    Why do you think hospitals fought so hard against the public option?  Contrary to what some believe, the docs did this same thing.  Did you at any time hear of maintaining reimbursment rates?  Did doctor's go for the so-called Medicare Rates+5 proposal?  No.  Why?  They've got a business to support, employees to pay, lifestyle to maintain.  I don't have a problem w/that.  The public however needs to be better informed so they can determine if they don't have a problem w/it also.  Too many on our side live in the echo chamber and are either unwilling or unable to hear alternative, valid, perspectives.

    This is why the PO failed - not because of President Obama or spineless dems.  It is, as I've always said, the reality of our country.


    The "public option" failed (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:59:13 AM EST
    for many reasons, one of which is that it was never more than a bumper sticker - there was no actual plan; there were ideas, but there was never a plan; I don't think that was unintentional.

    Somewhere in the article you cited ought to have been a question and some serious exploration/discussion about why there was so much resistance to changing the status quo if it already wasn't working, don't you think?

    But all we were allowed to hear about throughout the whole boondoggle was why something wasn't going to work, because the danger in letting the other side have a turn was in the risk that we might actually have to consider the benefits of a single-payer system.

    So, you can drag anti-bumper sticker articles in here, but it doesn't' change the fact that when you limit the discussion to only one side, you limit the ability to actually solve the problems - but you do stand a better chance of protecting the turf of those with the most power.

    Why anyone thinks it makes sense to seek advice, or cite as authoritative, the opinions of those who are responsible for this mess is beyond me - but that's what our esteemed president and too many Dems in Congress have done again and again and again, which might just possibly be one reason why life doesn't seem to get any better for us.


    I'm (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    not talking about insurance being a drag on hospitals, I'm talking about insurance being a drag on other business like manufacturing.

    Your post just solidifies what I already thought: the hospitals and the medical community are going bankrupt because we simply cannot sustain their high costs in this economy.

    Obama did not even try for the public option so you really can't say it failed. And wasn't the AMA on board with the plan?

    You're also conceding that we cannot keep our current model working therefore HCR is really not going to change anything.


    Conceding (none / 0) (#67)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:37:46 PM EST
    My posts aren't about that at all.  It's about the politics of upheaval in the midst of an economic downturn and the optics of a plan that could be characterized as a job-killer in a polarized nation.

    In answer to your AMA question.  No.


    The (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:26:28 PM EST
    HCR that Obama wanted could be termed a job killer or an economic killer too. Do you realize how much health insurance costs? Mine costs 10K per year and that's even BEFORE I've met any drug prescription plan deductibles or copays.

    Don't you think if I spent that 10K on something else other than insurance, it would do more for the economy?


    He had a filibuster proof majority (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:49:13 AM EST
    and then he thought he would phuck the people a little and they took away his filibuster proofiness away then because he couldn't be trusted with it.  Could anything ever be clearer?  Public option was doable, but he never wanted it, never planned on it.

    Agree that we should not unjustly burden (none / 0) (#111)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:35:23 PM EST
    future generations, but why is it that the peoples' monies have to be looted, while the wealthy get extensions of tax cuts, no-bid contracts, earmarks, bonuses paid to bankers on the backs of the taxpayers who bailed them out, etc.?

    This admin is (none / 0) (#103)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:13:07 PM EST
    tone deaf now as much as before the 2010 elections to the state of average people and their concerns.

    No progress in policy=no catfood commission??? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:56:10 AM EST
    Sounds good to me!

    sadly I think we can expect progress there (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:05:13 AM EST
    it also sad that this:

    But avoiding exacerbating the problem is an attainable goal.

    sounds so reasonable and doable and probably even that goal will not be met.
    McConnell is planning to double down on his pledge to make limiting Obama to one term as job one for the republicans for the next two years.  its what their base wants.  they dont want progress in any other area.

    its going to be a long two years.


    first read (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:28:15 AM EST

    * McConnell doubles down: Twenty-four hours after Speaker-to-be Boehner and President Obama talked about the need to work together, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking a different tack. In a speech to be delivered at 11:00 am ET in DC, NBC's Ken Strickland reports, McConnell will defend his statement that defeating President Obama in 2012 is his top priority -- a comment that drew criticism from Democrats, especially with unemployment near 10%. "Some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office," McConnell is expected to say, according to excerpts of today's speech. "But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things."

    Did McConnell vote against Wall Street bailout? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:16:43 AM EST
    I sincerely doubt it

    you were (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:37:36 AM EST
    expecting consistency?

    Of course he's less interested (5.00 / 7) (#16)
    by mjames on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:05:16 AM EST
    in talking about the ways the administration screwed up. He's part of the reason for that screw up. He backed an incompetent who doesn't really stand, and I mean stand, for anything. He threw me (a registered Dem for 47 years) and several million others, under the bus. And he continued to back Obama when the evidence was clear Obama wasn't going to do anything for the working stiff. I'll listen to Kos when he takes responsibility for his own massive screw up. Otherwise, he's got nothing to say of any value to me.

    Crucial words in that quote are (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:12:11 AM EST
    "at least fight."

    That's really all that Obama can do now, with what he hath wrought -- and what Markos hath wrought, too.

    The rest is just column filler.

    They'll be plenty of policy, mostly bad (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:15:28 AM EST
    and counterproductive to what the economy requires.

    Aid to states, municipalities to continue essential services - GONE

    Extending unemployment benefits - GONE

    Investing in job creating infrastructure projects - GONE

    Cutting expenditures, reforming SS - YES

    All the above promise to put a quick end to whatever modest recovery has already begun.  Heading into 2012 with near 10% unemployment for going on 3 years does not bode well for those in power, either the GOP House, Dem Senate or Dem WH.

    Compromise: the first of many? (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by the capstan on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:26:09 AM EST
    "White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated on Thursday that the president will be open to extending the upper-end Bush tax cuts for one or two years as part of a broader compromise with Republicans."

    Here we go again--telegraph your eagerness to please; never negotiate.

    Who could have predicted this? (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:34:26 AM EST
    Obama and the Democrats are "forced", I say "forced" to maintain the tax cuts for the rich. Soon we will see if they are "forced" to make poor people take cuts in their Social Security to pay for these cuts for the rich.

    President Obama and the Democrats (none / 0) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    seem to have learned nothing.  A firm and feisty response and robust explanation of policies is needed.  What we hear so far, in response to the shellacking, is we look forward to working with the Republicans, we are looking forward to cooperation, we expect that the Republicans will now be conciliatory, and they really don't mean it when they say their only goal is to defeat Obama.

    The "temporary" extension (two years) of the temporary Bush tax cuts was telegraphed before the election in Peter Orszag's first NYT op ed column, so it is not a surprise (no time to "raise taxes", but it is a good time to cut social safety nets)  However, once again, the curious negotiating stance of Obama will be the way business will be done, even if the only new program will be a revisiting of school uniforms and all the new tailor and seamstress jobs.


    Of course, we should ignore (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:11:29 PM EST
    the mass firing of teachers. Something tells me that they did not ignore the prospect of losing their job when it came time to vote on Nov 2 or will they ignore it in 2012 regardless of what their union might recommend.

    BTW for those who didn't know, teachers in many economically disadvantaged schools received notice that they may be fired on mass because of test scores. Funny how in my state, I don't know of one public school in our wealthy areas that are failing.  


    OK I 'm one of those who didn't know (none / 0) (#79)
    by sj on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:38:19 PM EST
    Where can I read about this?

    If you want to spend the time you can (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 02:46:30 PM EST
    google "mass firing of teachers under Race to the Top." Links below will give you some idea of the issue.

    Mass teacher firings in Washington, DC

    Mass firings at R.I. school may signal a trend

    Race to the Top? Just Another Race to the Bottom - Winners of Race

    Not sure how well the links give both sides of the issue. Personally, as I stated in my previous post public education does not fail in wealthy neighborhoods. It fails in the most economically depressed areas. Even in the same districts, schools from more affluent neighborhoods do better than those in the poorest sections.

    IMO the Race to the Top is No Child Left Behind on steroids with the ultimate goal of privatizing all education through charter schools and a voucher system. The charter schools that succeed such as the Harlem Promise School are heavily subsidized with outside money.

    He has raised a lot of money to try to do that. The budget of the Harlem Children's Zone is $36 million a year -- and growing. Only a third of it comes from the government; the rest comes from private donations. That money made it possible for Canada to open his own charter school in a new $42 million building. It's called "The Promise Academy."

    Classes have a ratio of one adult for every six kids as well as state-of-the-art science labs, a first-class gym, and a cafeteria that looks more like a restaurant. Only healthy food is served here, to help fight obesity. link

    There is no way that the Promise school will be duplicated to provide an education to all of our children. In the depressed schools the class size is often 30 children who have entered school well behind the children from better neighborhoods.  


    More than that (30) in some cases (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:05:23 PM EST
    and English as Second Language (ESL) and special needs students to boot.  

    That is true (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:23:15 PM EST
    Thank you mentioning the English as Second Language (ESL) and special needs students. Those are important points and should be mentioned.

    A friend works in a school with the most economically depressed students in a depressed district. (based on lunch subsidies) Not so surprising the tests scores in her school are the lowest. Class sizes are 30 and above in many of the grades. They have been told that there is a possibility that all of the teachers in the school may be fired and have to reapply for their jobs. From what I'm told some of the best teachers are now looking outside the school district for employment. A very predictable outcome.

    Also, my daughter works with pre-school special needs children and has been told that MO may eliminate the budget for their program.

    Can't help but think that the priorities in this country are severely messed up.  



    Agreed. My ex is a CSW in Public School (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:51:31 PM EST
    So I have some familiarity w/some of these issues too.

    Teaching for the test is another problem.

    Kids are overloaded due to all the focus  on learning what's needed to keep scores up and ultimately, jobs safe.  I can't blame anyone for that.

    Our priorities are definitely screwed up.  I generally don't have a problem w/Charter Schools, except that they drain funds from public education and are too often seen as a panacea by the uninformed.  Public education is what needs to be funded and managed properly.  We've had some improvement here in NYC due to great schools chancellors recently but much work still needs to be done.


    I have sympathy for teachers, (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:28:13 PM EST
    however their employment challenges are hardly unique. Please note that in the private sector, mass RIFs (layoffs or reduction in force) of the workforce happen whenever a company goes through a downturn. Just as teachers do not have total control over the performance of students in tests, ordinary workers in the private sector may not have total control over how their company competes, yet there is no protection from job losses for them. Employees, whose job performance have been excellent can lose their jobs for no fault of their own (bad executive decisions, bad economy, lack of demand, etc).
    Workers in small companies often have to compete against workers in other companies with more and better resources for their survival using their creativeness and adaptability. IMO, teachers in economically disadvantaged schools should overcome challenges regarding resources through creativity, hard work perseverence and team work.

    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:35:28 PM EST
    IMO, teachers in economically disadvantaged schools should overcome challenges regarding resources through creativity, hard work perseverence and team work.

    Somehow, many of them do overcome the challenges -- but if spent even a day in their shoes, you would be so embarrassed by this comment as to what it takes.

    And your comment equating products off the factory line with students is just appalling.  Losing teachers is not compensated by, what, more study halls?


    very difficult job (none / 0) (#118)
    by dandelion on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:43:22 PM EST
    I teach myself in a program for working adults, teaching people employed in all sorts of work.  Based on what I see, the two occupations that most grind down employees, that leave them exhausted and worn out and with very little emotional or intellectual energy at the end of the day and also offer very very little personal space or collegial space in which to recharge are:  1)primary and secondary schoolteachers and 2) attorneys.  Of course, most of the attorneys I teach live a bit better than the primary and secondary schoolteachers.

    Extend higher income tax cuts (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by ricardo on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    I hope Obama understands if he can't lead at least he should do no harm...he must reconcile himself to the fact that he will be a one-term president and permit himself to do what's right - there is no second act for him.

    He must let these pernicious upper level income tax cuts expire - they have done nothing for the American economy...in the US they have simply contributed to speculation, asset inflation, and the proliferation of the luxury economies on the Coasts...investment in real economies is only taking place abroad and not in the States (perhaps with the exception of the US auto industry, which was, thank God, too big to fail).

    Let the upper level tax cuts expire and send the signal to the rest of the word that we are starting to get our financial house in order.


    It's (none / 0) (#91)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:07:55 PM EST
    just my opinion, but I don't think that Obama was about to let the tax cuts for the rich expire.

    Yes (none / 0) (#108)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:32:02 PM EST
    Let upper level tax cuts expire and prosecute banksters!

    But Harry Reid (none / 0) (#86)
    by Madeline on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 04:48:48 PM EST
    said last night:

    "In an effort to stimulate the economy by fostering a positive environment for small business owners, Republicans have been steadfast about extending Bush's tax cuts for every American, including those with an income of over $250,000. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, however, fresh off his own hard-fought reelection, indicates his unwillingness to bend on the Bush tax cuts, explaining that he wishes to see them extended only for those families earning less than $250,000."

    Do these guys ever check in with each other?


    And, DNC Chair Tim Kaine (none / 0) (#100)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:57:01 PM EST
    assured the viewers on election night that the president was firm on not extending the temporary Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent.  Robert Gibbs says, well, we are ready to give it to the Republicans if we get something in return.

    But, Peter Orszag fresh out of the White House wrote in his first NYT op-ed (Sept 7, 2010) that the Bush tax cuts were not affordable, so we should extend them for two years and then get rid of all of them, altogether.  Of course, after two years, that would be much easier, apparently, than extending the tax cuts now for everyone except  the top two percent.  The heavy lifting would be left for another day and in the meanwhile, we would have a handy-dandy rationale for doing what was really wanted--keep the temporary tax cuts for all permanently temporary.


    Wasn't Harry Reid also a staunch supporter (none / 0) (#113)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:37:40 PM EST
    of a public option at some point?

    Holding the line on key issues is (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:30:20 AM EST
    the best one can hope for---and Obama will be NO help, as you said.
    One area of focus should be climate change policy. Republicans are planning to hold a 3-ring circus to showcase scientific conspiracies to promote the "myth" of global warming. In fact, the GOP position is unpopular  and strong public pressure may prevent backsliding in this area.

    Obama is just as bad a President as possible.
    He displays no learning curve at all. Congress is hardly better.

    Not too encouraging. (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:39:34 PM EST
    President Exelon is no surprise (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:00:27 PM EST
    on these issues.

    A little introspection may be in order for some (none / 0) (#7)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:55:52 AM EST
    Democrats believe that government can make people's lives better

    Problem is the other half of the country doesn't automatically think that way.  If we want to attain the power to set/control the agenda we have to be able to triangulate better, have patience, and support the team.  The only thing standing in the way of us is us.

    If there were no mid term elections (none / 0) (#11)
    by Saul on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:57:38 AM EST
    Why are there midterm elections.  Why is  H of R not a four year term.  And why don't all congressional  elections coincide with a presidential election.

    Was this done by design by the founding fathers or did they screw up on this.

    Seems that midterm elections just destroy any agenda a president wants to accomplish.  Or maybe help them but IMO in what I have seen midterms have done more harm than good for a sitting president.

    I know that the current midterms is a two way sword and cuts both ways.  It can benefit either parties or hinder either party

    Ever wonder what type of history could have been written if we did not have midterm elections.

    Can you imagine (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by star on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:02:27 AM EST
    How much harm Bush &Co would have done if Dems were not in charge of congress during his last 2 years of presidency?

    He did do harm (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Saul on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:16:38 AM EST
    even with the Dem in power.   The Dems wanted to cut the purse strings on Iraq cut.  The voice of the Dems mandate in 06  was for the Dems to oppose the war in Iraq at all levels.

    Yet Bush said, I know what the 2006 said but I am still going to disregard what was said and I am going to put more troops in Iraq and that was the big surge.   He paid no attention to those who controlled congress.


    I can't (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:21:16 PM EST
    think of anything that Bush wanted that he didn't get in and after 2006.

    Crazy founding fathers (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by honora on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:09:33 AM EST
     thought that the elected representatives (including the president) should actually care what the electorate (their bosses) think.  Elections every two years in the people's house was an integral design component and not a flaw.

    My question is has it done more harm than good (none / 0) (#22)
    by Saul on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:19:41 AM EST
    if that was the design.   If the founding fathers could come back and re do the Constitution would this be one thing they change.

    I think they would be more likely (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:39:15 AM EST
    to make the POTUS and Senate also a 2 yr term. Entrenchment of power is more of a problem than too much changeover. They would probably have some strong words about the length of campaigns however.

    Then every member of Congress (none / 0) (#114)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:39:44 PM EST
    would spend his/her full time in office running for re-election.  At least, in theory and in structure, Senators have some time for thought and deliberation.

    They may not do anything right (none / 0) (#27)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:37:20 AM EST
    but they will probably do something.  I think the Obama Administration is actively searching right now for some area where they can successfully triangulate based on the comments they have made about moving from issue to issue and looking for areas of agreement.  They're going to want to pass "bipartisan" legislation before 2012.  

    Of course, there are plenty of Senators who also desire that "bipartisan" label so maybe it won't be as difficult to pass some kinds of legislation.  Who knows.

    First post here... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ricardo on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:32:31 AM EST
    Just posted this over at Kevin Drum's...I'd like to see a progressive challenge to Obama in 2012 - it will fail, but I'd like to see a stalking horse battle-testing some rhetoric/talking points for the election in 2016:

    "Obama's is a failed presidency - the guy had no executive experience, he doesn't have the temperament, he has no vision of what is required in this time of crisis - and after this election he'll be the far right's punching bag for the next two years.  The ship of state will continue to drift for the next two years, and one already sees Bernanke and the Fed stepping up with yesterday's $600 billion stimulus in an effort to steady the tiller.

    Unless he steps aside, Obama will secure the nomination in 2012 and then be repudiated at the ballot box.  2012-2016 will be more years of living dangerously under Republican Party rule - is this a replay of Rome at the end of the republic or is this Rome and the crisis of the third century AD? - I'll let the historians decide...

    Bottom line, we'll have a chance to re-boot only in 2016...I'd like to suggest that next time we nominate a progressive Democrat with executive experience and a track record - governor or big-city mayor - it doesn't matter.  The White House is no place to ride with training wheels."

    I don't think the problem was (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by observed on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 05:05:13 PM EST
    lack of experience so much as bait and switch.
    If you paid careful attention to Obama's record and his speeches, you knew he was an extremely cautious centrist---something like Jimmy Carter, but with less guts and more charisma.
    He campaigned as something completely different---and ran that sales job brilliantly.

    But in addition, (none / 0) (#93)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:16:46 PM EST
    Obama showed, early on, a severe dent in his moral fiber when he went to Connecticut to campaign for and praise Lieberman. Far worse than Carter, imo.

    The best you can say for him was that he revealed himself to be an average ambitious party hack.

    The worst you can say, and this is what I feel, is that he knew the cruel nature of the war - how we were lied and forced into it by unscrupulous and immoral people - and he went ahead and tried to defeat a candidate who was speaking out against it and stumped instead for one of the architects and most rabid supporters of the war.

    Right then I saw the reddest flag. All that was necessary to know the nature of this guy.


    You are fueling the fire. Anti-war (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:25:34 PM EST
    speech--not all wars--just this one in Iraq.

    Don't (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:45:01 PM EST
    you think it is astounding that the wars were not even discussed as an issue in this election?

    I do. Espec. with the recent escalation (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:57:54 PM EST
    of violence in Iraq and the upscaled embassy complex in Afghanistan. And, of course, the urgent need for deficit reduction.

    Circumstantial evidence points (none / 0) (#119)
    by observed on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 08:20:51 AM EST
    to waging war with Iraq to be the #1 reason he was chosen; likewise, Obama was chosen in large part because he would wage war with Aghanistan, and possibly Pakistan and Iran as well.

    you are gonna do (none / 0) (#81)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 02:41:34 PM EST
    just fine here.

    I empathize with you (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Madeline on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 04:55:16 PM EST
    in re to Obama bashing.  However, what are we to do with the elephant in the room? Ignore it?

    I used to feel sorry for him.  Poor guy has a lot of issues and certainly was talked into something that was way over his head.

    Now I am incensed, truly.

    I think this is my first 'personal' bash.  


    Im with ya (none / 0) (#89)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 05:55:15 PM EST
    like I said I rag on him all the time.  but it not hard to find over the last couple of day for instance some really nasty very personal attacks.  it just bugs me.  because I know where they usually come from and who they usually come from.

    but I make or enforce no rules much of any place and certainly not here.
    another Thoreau quote:

    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."


    Perhaps I missed some (none / 0) (#115)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:43:47 PM EST
    entries, but all I see is criticism of Obama's policies, both in office, and as he portrayed them during the 2008 election season.

    Say what? (none / 0) (#90)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:06:05 PM EST
    Fact is, people who fall in those disaffected categories -- the young, blacks, Latinos -- don't read blogs, or watch Keith Olbermann, or read Firedoglake.

    Young people, black people and Latinos don't read blogs?

    Has Markos lost the rest of his marbles?


    He didn't say they don't read his blog! (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 06:27:07 PM EST
    The only sensible expectation is... (none / 0) (#117)
    by pluege2 on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:11:42 PM EST
    to expect obama and the democrats to do the absolute worst thing, which is to tact further to the right. 2012 - bye, bye. plutocracy 4 evah!