Rude Awakening

Via dougj, some upset with Change You Can Believe In:

When I voted for Hopeín'Change two years ago, I didnít think it would involve bribing the living sh[*]t out of every major stakeholder and interest group in the country.

Told you so. Pols are pols and do what they do.

Speaking for me only

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    Today's lesson, class (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:38:39 PM EST
    Lesson 1) All politicians lie.

    Lesson 2) Do a little investigating before committing your heart to a politician.

    Lesson 3) Anyone who says they are a "Washington outsider" or is "going to clean up Washington" or "I will bring back transparency to government" is absolutely lying to you.

    Lesson 4) Governing is more than fancy slogans

    Lesson 5) Pols are pols.

    Class dismissed.

    you wonder where (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:42:28 PM EST
    some of these people were for the last 30 or 40 years.

    Professor speaking on NPR this morning (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:58:21 PM EST
    re HCR says what is different is the internet.  Just as much wrangling re civil rights bill, per him.  

    Even a brief look at how the internet (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:15:03 PM EST
    impacts political discourse and action is fascinating. Looks to me that the internet both turns up the volume of argument, but also de-fangs it since it is a very solitary activity. The "creative class" is weakened in many ways because so much of the communication is via internet. The teaparty would not be much if it was not a physical movement (and the media exaggerates it).

    The view that "pols are pols" is one of experience. Since so many were brought into the Obama campaign who did not have political experience (am specifically thinking of all the young people) then they will be rudely awakened. But that is just what experience does - it awakens. And where there are vast fortunes at issue, there's rudeness.


    I think the internet (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:18:38 PM EST
    has influenced how politics is organized.  
    I dont think it changes many minds.  people dont look for sites they disagree with.

    those of us on here constantly overrate our own importance and influence.


    Also, (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:01:57 PM EST
    political parties work on peer pressure. By 'work' I mean, organize and motivate. Facebook has lots of peer pressure, as do blogs. One can go to the blog that one feels peers with and fit right in.

    Most of us may have actually graduated from middle school, but we all still want to fit in and peer pressure is a deep force. But that's the thing - people can choose their peers. It does NOT guarantee the youth vote for dems if the 'coolness' factor of dems changes or backlashes. And, youth are fickle. The young people I know say that they no longer are required to think Obama is cool. OK, say what you might about them being stupid or whatever, but the fact remains that I've heard this several times and find it worth noting. And they drive and vote.


    Maybe not so much in the opinion area (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:06:45 PM EST
    But people get news updates all day long. This Senator is getting this deal, this one says this, the other says that, and for all the data that is out there, no one ends up knowing anything. All they see is a big mess, and regardless of their political leanings, they do know one thing - Congress seems to be in disarray.

    Disarray at best. More often looks crooked. (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:07:17 PM EST
    Its what one might (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:43:59 PM EST
    imagine slightly rotten haggis to look like (sorry haggis lovers - but I don't think even haggis lovers think it is beautiful to gaze upon).

    About not knowing - Yes, I find that really interesting about the internet. Rumors and what so-and-so says (that does not count), and conjecture serve as headlines. We can know what the content of an email will be just by which org sent it. But, truly, most people do not follow politics or even current events day to day. I have a friend who still insists Obama strongly advocates for a public option because he gave a great speech on it in September. It was a memorable speech I guess. I missed it.


    Turns out all he was doing (none / 0) (#103)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:21:51 PM EST
    with those wonderful speeches on the PO -- which I confess took me in for quite a while -- was threatening the insurance companies with it so he could get them to make a deal.



    "organized" (none / 0) (#22)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:42:59 PM EST
    If you mean how bases are activated and communicated to, then I would agree. It is an extension of broadcast media. It is a very powerful tool and as such can be used for truth, falsehoods and variations on those themes. It really DID get out the youth vote in the last election and that was new. Not completely new of course.

    Facebook was started in 2004 and now has some ever growing huge number of users. It is another tool to create and then activate groups of voters.

    And yes, I agree that most people just go to the sites that say what they want to hear. If you surf different sites its interesting that the actual 'news' and 'facts' are different too - cherry picked (or made up) to support a pov. Its one reason I really like this site - its very unusual.


    Great observation (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:25:10 PM EST
    I think you're entirely right.

    Those of us who are more comfortable, perhaps, with reading and chewing things over by writing each other about them over the Internet are "de-fanged," as you say, because that satisfies us more than going to rallies and such.  But speaking as a '60s antiwar activist, the sheer visceral power of being part of even a small physical crowd is incredibly reinforcing.


    I don't remember multi million bribes (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:05:56 PM EST
    for Medicare or Civil Rights.

    It's called logrolling (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:37:51 PM EST
     A bribe implies personal gain by the politician.....No bribes have even been alleged in the HCR process....

    But giving a politician something for his or her district to get a vote on something else.....been done forever....or are you shocked, shocked that legislating is going on in this establishment.


    Yep, it's gone on (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:40:52 PM EST
    for a long time.  You vote the way the admin says, and you've increased your chances of getting the funding for that dam, etc.  Defy the prez, and no dam -- and possibly worse if you had to deal with LBJ or Nixon (i.e., the IRS would suddenly become interested in your tax returns).

    In Medicare, JFK punished a WV senator who'd refused Kennedy's personal entreaties for an aye vote -- expected added funding for public works and welfare for that state was denied.  When Kennedy needed to butter up a key pol, like the anti-Medicare chair of the House W&M comm'ee Wilbur Mills, he personally went to Ark to help dedicate a dam, underscoring Mills' power and influence in the eyes of his constituents.  Mills soon thereafter began to come around on Medicare and finally agreed to the admin's financing for the bill, the key stumbling block.


    Perfectly clear... (none / 0) (#147)
    by dkmich on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    Which squarely places the blame for this corporate boondoggle on Obama as some have said all along.   If this is the best Obama and Democrats can do with a mandate and a majority, let em lose.

    Hannity-speak (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:44:04 PM EST
    It's all about conjuring up a certain image in peoples teabags, I mean minds.

    really (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:11:31 PM EST
    Im sure that means nothing like that went on before 10 months ago.

    no doubt.


    Perhaps you can provide examples? (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:35:55 PM EST
    Should be easy???

    Davy Crockett (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:49:13 PM EST
    had this to say:

    The first known use of the term was by Congressman Davy Crockett, who said on the floor (of the U.S. House of Representatives) in 1835, "my people don't like me to log-roll in their business, and vote away pre-emption rights to fellows in other states that never kindle a fire on their own land."[citation needed]

    There is a famous quote about LBJ and threatening the loss of a dam or bridge if members defied him on Civil Rights....


    You might be (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:45:04 PM EST
    referring to a lively exchange between LBJ and Sen Frank Church (D-ID), though my memory says it might have been in the VN War context, perhaps in Church voting against some add'l war funding or surtaxation for same.  

    Church told Lyndon his position had the backing of prominent newspaper columnist Walter Lippmann.  Lyndon replied, "Well, Frank, the next time you need a dam for Idaho, you be sure to call Lippmann to arrange it."


    None of this rises to the level (none / 0) (#145)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:37:32 PM EST
    of the Louisiana Purchase or the Corhusker kickback and lord only knows what else.

    I am sure that is correct (none / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:00:25 PM EST
    and social security and medicare and on and on

    Prof. also sd. usually people aren't (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:02:21 PM EST
    required to pay for something and then not receive it for a couple of years.  

    Details, details (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:04:40 PM EST
    That's how it worked out with the Obama campaign! (none / 0) (#48)
    by lambert on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:25:41 PM EST
    I'm still polishing the commemorative plate I paid good money up front for, but I haven't seen a whole lot of return on my investment....

    you know (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:46:20 PM EST
    sometimes I actually feel sorry for these guys.  I honestly think that those of us who never really wanted Obama have had it easier.  we were never deluded.  we never had to go through the whole "waking up in abject horror at what you brought home last night" thing.

    must be tough.


    I still can't believe he's this obvious about his (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:07:14 PM EST
    Corporatism...running dog corporate lackey that he is.

    Also, I am competely gobsmacked at just how audacious he is in channeling St. Ronnie and other Repub crap. That sort of thing we do not get from run of the mill pols.


    We do get that from (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:03:05 PM EST
    Republicans, who mostly consider Ronnie not only a saint, but a Republican god.  We generally don't get that from Democrats- at least, not until Obama.  Which should tell all Dems who are still believers something very important about Obama.

    What I meant to say (none / 0) (#94)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:45:04 PM EST
    is that Obama did this throughout the campaign, and it fell under the radar; he's convinced no one notices now, but I think the public realizes full when who truly benefits from the health insurance legislation.

    So, what (none / 0) (#92)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:43:34 PM EST
    has changed?

    Waking up in abject horror at what (5.00 / 5) (#99)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:17:33 PM EST
    your roommate brought home is only marginally better

    One comment I thought really got a point across (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 05:49:52 PM EST
    was from a commenter at reddit a few weeks ago, responding to Associate Attorney General David Margolis, with Holder's approval, reducing the conclusion of the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility report on Yoo and Bybee's Torture Memos to Bush to say that they showed only "poor judgment":

    If Obama's 'Justice Department' had conducted the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, all of the Nazis would have gone free - 'Merely Poor Judgement, the Holocaust was just a policy mistake'!

    Yes, you did. (5.00 / 8) (#12)
    by Garmonbozia on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:10:36 PM EST
    And I feel compelled to offer you a personal apology. I wasn't exactly the Captain of the Troll Team on here back in 2008, but I was rather harsh in my criticism for your lack of faith. I was wrong.

    I think quite a few of us got caught up in the "whatever it takes to beat the Republicans" pro wrestling theatre and lost all objectivity and common sense in the process.

    I'd also like to thank you for your exceptional posts regarding the collapse of progressive bargaining the past few days. You and Greenwald have been spot-on. That's high company, IMHO.

    Good for you (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:27:51 PM EST
    Not many of the believers are willing to admit they were wrong and apologize for it.

    Personally, I appreciate it a lot.


    Thing is... (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by Garmonbozia on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:01:45 AM EST
    ...I knew better. I'm not the standard Democrat at all; I'm one of those radical, Chomsky-reading, off-the-spectrum moonbats who keeps telling everyone that there aren't really two political parties, just rival factions of the Corporate Party. I'm practically a marxist. Looking back on 2008 is like trying to piece together a lost weekend or a blackout. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    But, regardless, I was an absolute ass to BTD/Armando on 5-6 occasions and really need to acknowledge my error.

    My poor wife canvassed for Obama 3-4 days a week; she's lividly furious now. Remembering how enthusiastic and hopeful she was just about breaks my heart.


    As a moonbat (none / 0) (#125)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:46:32 AM EST
    near-Marxist myself, I can appreciate the feeling.  The whole thing sure was fascinating to watch as it developed.

    I'm (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:12:14 PM EST
    of two minds about this sort of thing. First of all, Obama did sell himself as some sort of messiah and apparently plenty of people bought into it which makes me feel kind of sad for these people. No Obama fan myself I didnt even think he would turn out as bad as he has.

    The other mind is that all they had to do was look at his record and see that he had done nothing outstanding his entire political career and was virutally a jellyfish.

    That's being of the same mind (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:52:48 PM EST
    with two different reactions--one of sympathy, and one without that....

    There is a different view beyond just those two....  


    What he sold was... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Garmonbozia on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:05:50 AM EST
    ...total ambiguity. You write "hope" and "change" on a chalkboard and it's almost like picking animal shapes out in the clouds.

    How'd they get the bribe down under the bus? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by lambert on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:29:46 PM EST
    I haven't seen any bribes. Did I not get the memo?

    The check is in the mail. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:09:00 PM EST

    I ran into an old neighbor the other day (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:38:52 PM EST
    who took a few years off from working to raise her kids. (She doesn't have to work; her husband is a major breadwinner.) She didn't understand why I -- previously self-employed, currently unemployed, back in school, and in the individual insurance market -- was complaining about the mandates w/o public option bill we are getting forced down our throats.

    "But it's better than nothing, isn't it?"

    "Not for me. I'll be forced by law to pay over $500 a month for an inadequate policy."

    Then the conversation turned to the FISA bill, the Patriot Act, wiretapping, and the fact that Obama has extended the egregious Bush policies on civil liberties. So, why does she give Obama a pass on all these things?

    "Well, he's better than Bush! Anyway, I have still have faith that Obama will do the right things in the future."

    Hopey-changey-faith. But she can't deal head-on with the reality of who and what Obama is: just another game-playing pol.

    At that point, I had to be on my way and she got into the car with her multi-millionaire husband the internet mogul. I'd say their health insurance costs are covered, and then some. Not to worry.

    Commenter at Ian Welsh's posted this great summary (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:00:37 PM EST
    ...Chris Floyd hit the nail on the head, when he revealed the true euphemism for HCR --

    HCR (High Corporate Returns)

    That's Obama's historic achievement. Period.

    Hat tip to john in sacramento's comment at this piece by Ian.

    (I hate the the use of the initials "HCR" --- bcz Obama's plan --and objective-- is health insurance reform and profit protection and has little if anything to do with health care. When he's being careful, he says he's working for health insurance reform. He talks about health care when he's out bamboozling the rubes.

    I have no trouble with back room deals (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:02:10 PM EST
    so long as I can accept the substance of the deal.

    But because people actually have to know things about things to talk substance, process eats up airtime.

    Oh yeah, and Obama ran on changing the process, so this is his own fault.

    Yep, he was the Bill Bradley candidate... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by masslib on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:27:08 PM EST
    I, frankly, adore backroom deals, even pork, when they mean achieving something worthwhile.  

    Exactly. What's wrong with pork?? (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    People who rail against pork don't understand the purpose of electing a Congressman or Senator to represent you! Bring home the bacon!

    I don't object to backroom deals---I expect.
    Where I may be naive is that I'd like the President to be reasonably straightforward about what his policy objectives are and how his major legislation is intended to reach them.
    The sales job on HCR has a lot more flim flam than I'm comfortable with.
    Also, far too much of the sales job consists of Obama and his team explaining how much he caved to Republicans. First of all, that's sickening; second, it does NOTHING to tell me why the bill will work to improve access to health care.
    Then of course there was the quote yesterday that drove me up the wall.. the one about how the exchanges would let people buy insurance in pools the same as Congress does. That statement is completely misleading, and will be taken by many people to mean that there insurance coverage will be comparable to Congress'.

    Another thing: I'm told that the states will settle a lot of the details for mandated insurance. What about the deductible and co-pay limits? Has Obama said anything recently about deductibles and co-pays? A while back, some really awful numbers were floated.. I don't quite remember them, but the gist of it was that people could have to pay quite a bit for any health care they received, beyond the cost of insurance.


    I don't either. (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by masslib on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:18:12 PM EST
    I agree on pork.  Frankly, It's the Obama/Bill Bradley types on the Democratic side who argue against pork.  I'm not a process person.  I like results.

    So it was actually 12 dimensional (none / 0) (#33)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:04:13 PM EST
    chess. Did hee double-bluffe with his talk about changing process---deliberately deflecting attention from the substance of policy?

    Well, this pol is pretty weak... (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by masslib on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:23:20 PM EST
    He didn't want to fight anyone with actual power( and I don't mean Kucinich), so he immediately crafted a plan that fit completely with what the insurance, pharma and hospital lobbies wanted.

    Pols are pols, this pol is extremely weak.  

    Well, this pol is pretty weak... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by masslib on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:23:26 PM EST
    He didn't want to fight anyone with actual power( and I don't mean Kucinich), so he immediately crafted a plan that fit completely with what the insurance, pharma and hospital lobbies wanted.

    Pols are pols, this pol is extremely weak.  

    No one has ever yet explained (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:11:59 PM EST
    to me how in the world they thought Obama singlehandedly would be able to "change the system in Washington".  Obama certainly never explained it to me, nor did his legion of supporters. Now they are disappointed because he can't do something that they never had a clear idea of to begin with.

    I can't feel sorry for them.

    Pols are simply human (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:25:33 PM EST
    They are likely to be as prone to self-delusion, as limited by personal experience, as contradictory in what they hope for and what they achieve or settle for as the rest of us. Here are a few things ttime has taught me:

    1. Overt corruption may explain the less noble actions of some pols, but, like everyone else, the whole host of usual human limitations, misunderstanding and petty vices explain most.

    2. If you listen carefully, study their records, take note of their associates and supporters, every pol will give you a very good idea of what his priorities are and what he's likely to TRY to accomplish in office. Only time can tell you what he will be able to accomplish.

    3. If you don't listen carefully to what a pol says (trying not to hear only what you want to hear), examine the record and investigate where and with whom his loyalties lay, being "disappointed" will mostly be your own fault. Pols do tell us who they are, even while they are trying to tell us they are who they think they need and we want them to be.

    4. Pols can no more predict or fully prepare for the future than the rest of us.

    5. The best we can hope for is that they'll respond to the unexpected creatively, effectively and unhampered by preconception as possible. (Even though we, their supporters, will likely use ideological preconceptions to judge what they do.)

    6. Presidents all lie and withhold information from the public.

    7. Never mistake a president for an a hero.

    8. No politician really represents you. Every President disappoints. Every president fails while in office.

    9. Even the worst pols are likely to have some ideals. (But not necessarily ones you share.)

    10. It takes a longer time to recognize politicians' real successes than their failures.


    Amen (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:00:29 AM EST
    Extremely well said.  All your points are right on the money, as far as I'm concerned.

    I will only say that within those categories, there are limits to what I will put up with.  Bill Clinton was generally within those limits, Obama has been outside them from the get-go.


    "Limits" within these categories (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Politalkix on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:37:00 AM EST
    are also artificial constructs. Personal biases play a role in setting these boundaries.

    Yes, and the sun rises in the east, too (none / 0) (#124)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:42:40 AM EST
    Was there some point to your comment?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Politalkix on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:28:42 AM EST
    When in one breath you identify yourself as a "moonbat, near-Marxist" and in another say that
    " Bill Clinton was generally within those limits" within the "categories" that esmense listed and in a third breath mock Obama's supporters for not focusssing on "issues" but on personality, you display a level of cognitive dissonance, IMO, which is actually quite amusing.
    Anne mentioned that she was a John Edwards supporter initially before falling for HRC. A lot of people that I know never supported Edwards because they never trusted his integrity and his rhetoric. Now when Anne keeps mocking Obama supporters for "getting duped", she is in my mind, performing in the street theatre of the absurd.

    If there's a shred of logic in your (none / 0) (#166)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:02:52 PM EST
    comment here, it's buried so deep it's not worth the effort to dig it up.

    The wonderful and terrible thing about (none / 0) (#121)
    by esmense on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:07:53 AM EST
    democracy is that ANYONE can run for office. And they do.

    Anyone can run (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Spamlet on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:47:54 AM EST
    Only those with corporate backing can get elected.

    So far, (none / 0) (#135)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:10:34 AM EST
    let's hope the country learned some valuable lessons in how to analyze and support candidates for every elected position.

    Some of those primary elections showed that the one with the most corporate backing could lose by double digits in places where the voters were listening and making decisions based on what they heard, and what they knew from actual work done in the past. They ignored the stage props.

    IIRC, that was true for both party primaries.


    Since the Democratic primary voters (none / 0) (#141)
    by Politalkix on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    of Arkansas and Oklahoma and West Virginia and Kentucky and Tennessee and Puerto Rico have so much more wisdom (according to IG) than the rest of Democratic voters in other states, why didn't we just ask the Senators and Congressmen from the mentioned states to write the HCR bill? Snark.

    I wasn't suggesting that everyone who ran could (none / 0) (#156)
    by esmense on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    win. Only that those who want and choose to run, successfully or not, don't come from any personality, character or ethics pool more special or superior to that of, say, your neighbors or co-workers.

    As for the kind of candidates the big money likes to support, well, superior intellect doesn't often appear to a much desired attribute. I think Bayh, Inhofe and many others easily illustrate that point.


    Imagine that (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:45:06 PM EST
    every single decision in your own workplace was subject to a vote by your coworkers, and then you had to get elected to your own job by people on the outside of that group.  

    I rail on them as much as anyone, but it helps to step back and keep your points in mind.


    Let's remember, though (none / 0) (#113)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:02:03 AM EST
    that they volunteer for this, and more than that, give up their very souls to get it.

    So my sympathy is limited.


    Thanks to some media (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by glennmcgahee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:10:27 AM EST
    we still have a problem. What you and I see as Obama being the same old tired politician making deals behind closed doors and taking big money from the corporate lobbyists, some only watch the soundbites on TV like MSNBC and think everything is going swell. Lots of people have never picked up a newspaper or read anything that have the word Treasury in it. Its just too  boring and complicated you know. Plus, any writer or columnist can sway you to see their slant and you never know what is true or not. Thats where the internet has helped. Until Twitter, we could dig deeper. Thats why we're all being encouraged to Twitter. Back to soundbites. We're divided because its to the Corporate World's benefit.

    Okay, so what are all the (4.57 / 7) (#27)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:59:58 PM EST
    disaffected, turned off to Hopey/Changey going to DO now that they have had this epiphany?  

    Now that they feel burned, betrayed and disrespected, will they be able to be "energized" into voting in November?  

    Will "but the Republicans are worse" (now, there's an affirmation) still work the same magic and fear in voters now that it's becoming clearer every day that the measure of "better" and "worse" is smaller than millimeters?

    Now that their eyes have been opened, will their wallets close up?  

    I think it's going to be a hard slog getting people to the polls...

    I do not agree with the premise (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:12:36 PM EST
    which is more than a little condescending.....

    Which premise is that? (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:47:40 PM EST
    That people who are disillusioned and demoralized may not be able to be wooed to the polls in November?

    Or that people ARE disillusioned and demoralized?

    Or that I dared to ask what these rudely awakened Obama supporters will do now that thier eyes have been opened?

    They seem like legitimate questions to me, and I suspect those who make their living running campaigns are already worried about it.


    Come on, Anne (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:02:17 PM EST
    You know what I am talking about....The implied assertion that all Obama supporters were duped....their eyes opened.....

    I prefer my condescension straight up without dissembling denial.....



    So what's your excuse for all the (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:11:15 PM EST
    dozens  if not hundreds of posts a Daily Kos and elsewhere assuring us that Obama was 110% in favor of the public option?
    Not rubes?
    Now, if we're talking Daily Kos, it is possible that there was an organized disinformation campaign; if so, props to a well-run operation. If not, then people were just plain dumb---sorry, there's really no other word for it.

    He Was (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:14:17 PM EST
    Now he is not. It is called politics, worship at your own peril.

    Um, duh. And it was obvious (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:18:52 PM EST
    he was not (no longer, possibly---it's irrelevant which) in favor of the PO from last summer, if not earlier. You still didn't tell me why the very intelligent people who supported Obama still thought he was in favor of the PO until very late in the game.

    Anyway, nice to agree with you on (none / 0) (#84)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:24:35 PM EST

    Good, the unvarnished insult (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:26:38 PM EST
    instead of the airey, rational-sounding tut-tutting.....

    I don't freak out over pro-Obama posts at Big Orange....

    Actually, I have not been particularly surprised by Obama.....

    The chief surprise I have is that he has spent this much time on health care....I thought he was going to go the green jobs route....

    Obama has been clear since 2004 that he was not going to be a strong partisan....and would try to get Republican votes....

    I think when all is said and done he will have been a successful two-term President....much to your and others' here chagrin.


    My surprise was that (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:35:51 PM EST
    he squandered that early very strong good will and election momentum by handing the ball off in leisurely fashion to Congress to work it out and, secondly, with his apparent decision to concede early on with the health insurance industry on the PO in return for their silence or semi-silence in fighting against his bill.  

    Both unwise decisions, which have cost him somewhat in the polls.  He should have struck early when the iron was hot -- and struck hard.

    That said, I think (or hope) he's learned his lesson in toughness and the need for playing hardball in what is a hardball game.  Like you, my guess is that if HCR does pass in a few days, and the economy slowly rebounds, with additional job-creating legis as needed, perhaps with beefier financial reform legis as well, he'll be set for another term.


    His success or the country's? (4.66 / 3) (#87)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:30:51 PM EST
    Why would I complain if he does a good job for the country? That would be ridiculous.

    By the way, how's Obama doing at getting those Republican votes? How many Republicans are voting for his HCR bill?


    I was responding to the quoted (5.00 / 9) (#91)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:39:41 PM EST
    passage in BTD's post - which referenced the Hope/Change thing, and the premise of BTD's post, which is that people are experiencing a rude awakening - those are BTD's words, not mine; I was not implying that ALL Obama supporters were duped - it's clear he still has many who do support him.

    Obama was elected in large part because of those who believed electing him and increasing the Democratic majority in Congress was going to effect a welcome and much-needed change from the status quo of the Bush administration; how does the party plan to overcome what may be a significant decline in voter interest?

    Even those of us who didn't vote for Obama (and to be clear, I did not vote for anyone for president in '08), are still feeling betrayed by Congress; there are a lot of people who gave money and time, did GOTV, all in an effort to elect Democrats to Congress to make a positive difference - it's all we heard: gotta increase that majority, the sky's the limit, oh, the changes we'll make - and look what has happened.

    I'm one of those demoralized voters, who may sit out the national 2010 vote (we will have a gubernatorial election in MD this year, and there is no way I am not voting in it) - and if that's how I feel, there have to be many others who feel the same way.

    Sorry you misunderstood me - and you did; things have gotten quite testy here, "bombs" being lobbed into threads just to get people riled up, and I have allowed myself to be baited by it, and reacted probably just as it was hoped I would.

    Going to have some beautiful weather this weekend, and I think a lot of fresh, spring air is just what I need.


    Gee (3.67 / 3) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:37:51 PM EST
    I haven't seen Anne do anything resembling dissembling or denial.  Her contempt for Obama and his followers has always been clear, sometimes brutally so.

    And yes, she has said straight out (and I agree with her) that basically all Obama supporters were duped.  What would you call it?  It's beginning to dawn on some of them now, others are still clinging to hopey-changey.

    If that's condescending, sorry about that.  I think condescension is entirely warranted, actually.


    I appreciiate your defense of Anne (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:48:56 PM EST
    That is honest.  

    You say her contempt for Obama supporters has been open.  She in effect denies having any such base emotion here in this very thread.  Who is being honest here?

    Well, I suppose Anne and you will have contempt for me, an Obama supporter, and that is just where we are.....Good to have all the cards face up.

    Of course, your comtempt for us Obama supporters is not all that rational or fair--emotions like that are usually not subject to rational analysis--and that is why we have the labored attempt to couch everything in rational-sounding tones.  This is just a good old fashion grudge match, playing out over and over again.  The teams are clear.  What cracks me up is the utter pretension that those who have contempt for Obama and his supporters are not at all, not in the least, not one iota, motivated by past issues.


    See, (none / 0) (#151)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:55:54 PM EST
    This is where your argument goes false:

    Of course, your comtempt for us Obama supporters is not all that rational or fair--emotions like that are usually not subject to rational analysis--and that is why we have the labored attempt to couch everything in rational-sounding tones.

    Seems to me you are saying those who supported Obama all along are struggling to maintain decorum and argued all rational, reasoned points, and it's those who do not like Obama's policies who have been immature and full of contempt.  If you really can't see the fact around here that once Obama starts getting clobbered (rightfully so, in most cases) for his policies, or lack thereof, it seems to be his most ardent supporters who start the bomb throwing and strawman-building.   If you can't see that there's blame on both sides, and you are not any more pure or innocent than anyone else,  then I guess there's no hope to have rational discussions with you.


    The foundation for rational (none / 0) (#154)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:33:18 PM EST
    discussions is for everyone to admit his or her own bias.  Saying you don't have one leads to all kinds of veiled insults and the like.

    I admit I am pro-Obama and have an emotional investment in his success.  As such, I will be quicker to see his successes and slower to see his failures than others.

    Now, to your side.  Many of you are and have been anti-Obama.  You have an emotional investment in opposing him.  You will be slower to admit his true successes and prone to exaggerating his failures.

    Admit that, and we have a basis for rational discussion.  Those who say they have no biases are those who are most subject to them....Put it out on the table, and the biases can be addressed and accounted for if not fully overcome.

    Or, you can say you never were biased but just came to a rational conclusion years ago-which led you, in one instance, to the Spock-like, rational deduction that you couldn't stand the sound of Obama's voice, and now your prescience has been validated--isn't that always the case that one's unexamined biases are always vindicated?

    I do believe the anti-Obama folks here will not admit their bias--perhaps even to themselves.  And this is why this proxy war continues all the time here....

    It is interesting to note, that the more likely it seems that Obama will "win" his health care vote, the more upset some get here.....which makes perfect sense if it is understood that many of you simply oppose Obama across-the-board no matter what.


    I AM biased (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:21:10 PM EST
    I expected very little from him, but frankly thought that he could do a lot of good things because being compared to Bush would magnify any success and minimize any failure.  That would have been true of anyone who won.  I thought that despite not having any experience, and seeming a little too invested in getting the job for his own legacy, he might bring a calming and adult presence to the WH. I never expected a progressive, as I always saw him further to the right than Hillary - not exactly a huge lefty, she. But the fact that he is even more center-right than I thought, and willing to sell out anyone (as most pols do), has certainly left me with very little trust that he will do anything he says, and it's still all about him, and not about you and me.

    For the record - I sent him money for his Senate campaign after I heard him speak at the 2004 convention.  It wasn't much, but I never felt moved to give money to a pol before - he was the first.

    And also for the record - I couldn't stand Michelle during the primaries and election.  I'm still not a huge fan, but I will admit, I think she has done a good job as First Lady so far, and I think the causes she has adopted are relevant and something ordinary Americans can get behind (military families, childhood obesity, growing an organic garden)and be interested in and care about.

    As much as I hated the process of how he got there, and I don't think it should be ignored (or else I never want to hear another "liberal / progressive / Democrat" complain about the 2000 election), I want, no, I NEED Obama to succeed.  I have several family members out of work, I am a single woman who might only ever have my income, retirement, and insurance to count on.  I have a mother and sisters that need to be successful and we all need infrastructure to be safe.  

    We all need clean air, clean water, and safe roads and bridges.  We need to be safe from invasion and terrorism, as much as that is possible.  We need a strong criminal justice system that punishes the guilty as well as shows mercy.  We need to have a strong rule of law in this country.  We need to fix our military and fight wars with people who actually threaten us, but not in our imaginations. We need a robust economy and solutions to the massive debt problem in this country.  

    THAT'S why I need him to be successful.  So when I perceive that he is doing things that will not accomplish these goals, and only seem to be self-serving, then whether you or anyone else on this blog or elsewhere, like it, I'm going to say something.  It will have nothing to do with elections past, because those people don't matter - the person that matters sits in the Oval Office.  And if he can't get the job done, then he needs to go. I will not be intimidated by those who say, "But he's better than...X."


    More for the record (none / 0) (#164)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:48:22 PM EST
    My first choice in 2008 was Bill Richardson because he had the most experience.  He was a member of Congress, he was an ambassador, he was chair of the DNC, he was Energy Secretary, and he was a governor - he had experience in two of the three branches of government and executive experience.

    Then, he opened his mouth at the first debate and I was over him.


    No offense, (none / 0) (#168)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:26:08 PM EST
    But you have just told me in effect how unbiased you are.....



    Maybe what I should have said (4.50 / 6) (#114)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:07:55 AM EST
    is that being duped doesn't necessarily correlate to intelligence - a lot of people I otherwise consider to be highly intelligent developed a startling inability to be objective about Obama; they bought the whole package and never questioned it.  But, clearly, some of Obama's supporters are fully on board with him and don't feel duped in the slighest - is that because they feel they are getting exactly what they wanted, or is it just deep, deep denial?  I have no idea.

    I do have contempt for Obama, for a significant portion of the Democratic caucus, and a boatload of it for the party leadership - the DNC, the DSCC and the DCCC - and they are all well-deserving of it, in my opinion.

    They are going to have a problem on their hands, as the Kool-Aid drinkers sober up, others consider how easily Obama sold them out, and 2010 doesn't look or feel a whole lot different than 2007, and I just do not see that the party has a whole lot to excite and entice people into voting the Democratic party anymore - much of what they used to do that in 2008, and all through 2009, has pretty much been exposed as fraudulent.  How do you fix that in the next 6 months?  How do you convince enough voters that the party isn't rotting from the inside?  I have no idea; there isn't enough Febreze to mask it anymore.

    I guess I've never been an easy sell; I am naturally skeptical, leery of celebrity for its own sake, inclined to use my head more than my emotion, and while I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt, that lasts only as long as it takes me to do my own research, and I do not take kindly to purposeful manipulation of information.

    If that makes me a contemptible person, well, so be it; I can live with that.


    I would agree that intelligent people (3.50 / 2) (#146)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:38:26 PM EST
    can be duped. They are very good at creating elaborate rationalizations to support views already arrived at, e.g., I "loathe, loathe" the White House, or I can't stand the sound of his voice.....

    Those most in thrall are those who say they are not swayed by emotion.  Everybody is because that is a human trait.  That you deny it, denies the obvious. Most people make decisions on emotional grounds and then backfill with "reasons" later.

    Anne you have hated Obama's guts from the beginnning.  Be honest about that.  You have also had contempt for his supporters from the beginning.  You do have material now to raise up as "reasons" for hating him but you skew everything to fit into that predetermined box.  You are perhaps the least objective poster here.


    From the beginning of what? (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:03:43 PM EST
    I didn't post here "from the beginning," so you need to define that term, please.

    As an Edwards supporter to start, and then after researching both Clinton and Obama on their records and their positions (ya gotta look at both, because words do not tell the complete tale), I supported Clinton.

    I didn't "hate" Obama; I didn't trust him, based on the disconnect between his record and his claims.  I didn't think he had enough experience for the presidency, especially given that every elective office he held was merely a steppingstone to the next - and he didn't apply a whole lot of effort while he held the offices he was elected to.

    I am the first to admit that his conduct during the campaign put me off; so did the conduct of many of his supporters - it was disappointing to see how many supposed progressives supported the rank misogyny of the campaign, the electoral hujinks, etc., and I am sorry to say those are not qualities I look for in people whose opinions I respect, nor are they qualities I look for in a leader.  Perhaps my standards are too high, but they're my standards.

    You don't know me, as much as you think you do.  I get that all you have to go on are my comments, but that's not really enough, in my opinion.  People who do know me would not scoff at my description of myself as being more analytical than emotional, but if it makes you feel better not to believe that, I can't stop you.

    It's no secret that I don't think much of Obama, as a leader, nor do I think much of his positions on a host of issues.  So what?  Is that not allowed anymore?  But "hate?"  I think that's too personal a word.  I don't like what he's doing, I don't agree with his positions, or his tactics, and I think he has not been good on issues that matter to me, or on issues that matter to the general health of the country.  

    He may be a fine and congenial fellow, one I would be happy to have a glass of chardonnay with, but as a leader, and a president, I think he sucks.

    Does that help?


    I don't agree 100 percent (none / 0) (#117)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:43:19 AM EST
    with everything you write here, Anne, but I do take exception to somebody accusing you of dissembling or underhanded rhetorical tactics.  You're entirely straight ahead, and I can only respect that.

    What I do get really fed up with is the heavy snark and sarcasm, even when I basically agree with the substance.  That's something you really don't do much.

    So carry on, and pay no mind to the little man yapping at you from behind the curtain.

    Agitprop (from either side) does not interest me.  Thoughtful critical analysis does.


    Yeah, C'mon Anne (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:35:43 PM EST
    Didn't you get the memo?

    "Those people don't have anywhere else to go!"


    My gardens/lawn/deck (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:46:54 PM EST
    are where I plan to go this beautiful spring weekend, at least; the fresh air will be such a welcome relief!  The ground is still so saturated from the close to 100 inches of snow (!) we had this winter, which will make weeding and clean-up easier; the trees are budding, the crocus are up, and I need to start planning the vegetable garden.

    Much better for the spirit than this soul-killing political situation, that's for sure!


    Gardening is the best therapy for the soul (none / 0) (#115)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:16:01 AM EST
    You can actually forget about politics while you've got your hands in the soil.

    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by itscookin on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:51:58 PM EST
    I have taken all of those "You're a Republican" comments to heart. I've been a Democratic leaning independent all of my life, have only ever campaigned for Democrats, but if the things I believe in are more Republican, like some of you here say, then maybe I am a Republican. I'm going to give it a try and see how it feels. I signed on to help campaign for a Republican candidate today. Try it on for size and see how it feels. I was certainly made to feel welcome. We'll see how it goes.

    Sayanara (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Realleft on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:26:53 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:03:25 PM EST
    it's a repeat of the MA election. They just simply don't show up. I guess the working class doesnt show up either.

    They're waiting to vote for Obama again. (none / 0) (#34)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:15:44 PM EST
    but I would say the thrill is gone for most of them since Obama has failed to deliver policy wise.

    Don't forget about Roe v. Wade. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:08:11 PM EST
    There's policy, and then (none / 0) (#108)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:32:57 PM EST
    there's tactics.  Yes, our ostensible Dems. are corporatist hacks and unable to effectively advocate for the good stuff they want to do, but just watching the GOP tactics over this HC bill, which I hate, but still, reminds me why I won't vote for a Republican ever.  EVER.

    Yes, it's the lesser of two evils.  But it's still exactly that, the lesser of two evils.  The Dems. are compromised and cowardly, but the Republicans are flat-out immoral and genuinely evil.


    The world's most passive aggressive commenter... (4.33 / 6) (#122)
    by lambert on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:28:00 AM EST
    ... strikes again!

    LOL - and I don't even (4.50 / 8) (#133)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:00:24 AM EST
    have to look under the numbers to see who it is :)

    Back at ya! (none / 0) (#169)
    by lambert on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 09:34:29 AM EST
    I mean, I don't write for ratings, but I'd sure like to know what the heck is in their mind!

    Now with META passive aggression! (none / 0) (#170)
    by lambert on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 05:31:14 PM EST

    One plus for me personally... (4.25 / 4) (#47)
    by masslib on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:25:15 PM EST
    I had no expectations of Obama.  He appeared to be a big ole empty suit from the start.  So, no expectations, no disappointments.

    Every Stakeholder????????? (4.00 / 3) (#139)
    by pluege on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:35:11 AM EST
    Excuse me, but exactly where or when did obama do anything at all, one measly thing to court and cur favor with progressives???? Nothing, nada, ZIPPP!!!!

    Instead what progressive "stakeholders" got were the republican treatment: lies, deceptions, stonewalling, and trivializing.

    Obama's a typical pol, but (3.40 / 5) (#31)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:02:45 PM EST
    his followers are not typical. They are really dumb, as a whole, as the HCR negotiations showed.
    You can bet that if someone else were President, he or she would not have been given so much slack by the left wing of the party for his concessions to Republicans.
    Obama only had to give a few head pats, and he was done with everyone to the left of Reagan, except for the unions.

    How incredibly (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:16:28 PM EST
    puffed up and condescedning that remark is....

    You are at war with Obama supporters--that appears clear.....

    And the policy arguments....gone in favor of this ad hominem.....


    Well, either that... (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by lambert on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:24:00 PM EST
    ... or Obama supporters are at war with him.

    Me, I'm so far under the bus that nobody's at war with me anymore. It's peaceful and quiet down here.


    Quiet? (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:56:36 PM EST
    How can that be?

    It's gotta be crowded beyond belief.


    Me I expected (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:08:03 PM EST
    to be somewhat under the bus with either Dem candidate and run through a thresher by the Repubs.

    Also, it never ceases to amaze me how it is, amidst all the continued wailing and gnashing of teeth, that no one here ever (and I do mean ever), questions whether it's possible for a candidate to be required to raise $500 mil and still, after the election, be positioned to move this country in a significantly more progressive direction -- generally against the wishes of many, if not most, of the major contributers.


    Are you talking fantasy politics? (none / 0) (#98)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    Whose the candidate who is moving the country in a progressive direction?

    No one (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:38:18 PM EST
    and none will, in any significant way, until we  find a way to have publicly funded elections that dont require candidates A,B and C to load up on Big Insurence, Healthcare, Defense etc etc money.

    I'm with you on that (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:23:01 AM EST
    Public funding is the key. But we both know that the parties themselves would have to be brought to that system kicking and screaming.

    I haven't really considered myself a Dem since 2006. I hate the Washington State Democratic party bosses, and I hate the caucus system they have shoved down our throats.

    I'm not planning on voting for any Dems in November. Greens maybe. Socialist party maybe. Independent and unaffiliated for sure. Just the way it is. They can stab me in the back just so many times before there are consequences.


    We had the option in 2008 (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:00:44 AM EST
    But one candidate refused to take public financing (after pledging to do so) so he could rake in more money.  We HAD the chance to see an election where an obscene amount of money was not being spent in the general (since an obscene amount had been spent on both parties' primaries already)

    The most dedicated advocates on (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:10:34 PM EST
    bahalf of Obama, at least those advocates with whom I am acquainted, are very bright, intelligent, and well-informed.

    Presidents shouldn't have advocates; (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by observed on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 07:09:17 AM EST
    policies should. That's the fundamental misunderstanding of the Obama supporters.

    A couple of points: (4.00 / 4) (#51)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:31:13 PM EST
    I"m not talking about the most dedicated advocates on his behalf, although  I AM talking about their approach to Obama.
    In fact, the very way you phrase this underscores the  problem: Obama has so many dedicated, bright "advocates" who don't seem to care what Obama does, and who make very naive assumptions about his policy priorities.
    A particular case in point was the public option.
    Whether it's good or bad policy is beside the point---it was totally clear from last summer if not earlier that Obama had at BEST zero stake in passing a public option, and more likely that he did NOT want it. When he said that the public option was just a "sliver" of health care reform,for example, only a complete moron would not see that as a write-off. Sorry, but I can't want to understate the stupidity I saw.

    You could take any other number of policy  issues, from his FISA vote, the Roberts confirmation, lack of torture prosecutions---any of these would show you that Obama is the most venal of politicians. And seriously, not that there's anything wrong with that! He has tremendous charisma, which is why he gets intelligent people to go to bat for him with such ease. With the proper left flank, he could be a very effective President. Unfortunately, as BTD has said time and again, Democratic supporters of Obama have forgotten what the proper relationship between citizen and elected official is.
    I"m sorry, but I stand by my statement.
    The Obama wing is largely made of rubes, and it has been PLAYED.


    No sale, still ad hominem (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:38:00 PM EST
    As long as you are trying to categorize Obama supporters according to your procustean bias, and putting yourself up as some kind of authority on what motivates Obama supporters, it is still nothing but an insult wrapped in a grudge, surrounded by viscious bitterness....

    You don't get it: motivation is not what (none / 0) (#59)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:45:19 PM EST
    I'm analyzing. I'm looking at behavior.
    Let me turn it around and ask you this: in what policy areas have the Obama supporters had any effect on White House policy? It's impossible to believe that they are completely happy, since Obama has gone back on many of his campaign promises (as most politicians do).
    I see a lot of concessions from Obama to the Republicans and Blue Dogs, but I don't see him living up to the promises he made to Democrats.

    These people---the Obama supporters, including the Progressives in Congress---are so  happy with him, by and large---that they are having no
    effect on  him at all.
    Obama's not a King, and he's not supposed to respond only to the demands of Republicans.


    No, you are being dishonest here (4.50 / 6) (#64)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:55:27 PM EST
    You label Obama supporters as Rubes or stupid....

    This is not about policy....or even Obama tactics....but about your antipathy towards Obama supporters, stemming from the Primary....It lurks beneath the surface of every vindictive, spiteful insult.  It is not enough for you to describe your views of Obama's supposed failing--you have this compulsion to label his supporters....

    This blog was in fact a refuge for Hillary supporters--not necessarily those who believe in liberal view of crime issues....and it shows to this very day in EVERY single tendentious comment you make.

    It is you who must vent all this hatred toward not only Obama, but his supporters too....or some of the more crafty among you here cloak your views with condesceding disdain for Obama supporters....


    That's your opinion (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:04:50 PM EST
    but you're quite wrong. I'm not going to belabor the point,  because unlike some people, I do NOT want to relive the primaries.
    My comments are about what I have seen since Obama has been elected, with some backward glances towards his important Senate votes, and to his campaign promises.  Nothing else is involved.

    Just a dispassionate, clinical (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:14:36 PM EST
    "observation."  Nonsense.....

    It is an attempt at self-affirmation through ad hominem.....


    Oh, here it comes! (none / 0) (#110)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:50:36 PM EST
    The whole commercial.  Give us a break.

    Take HCR: (none / 0) (#66)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:56:45 PM EST
    Perhaps the Progressive and left wing of the party were so happy that Obama was actually undertaking some health care reform that they were willing to accept any plan which Obama would sign off on. I think the evidence shows that's pretty much what  happened. I do not consider this an intelligent approach to making legislation.

    "Rubes"? (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:39:24 PM EST
    You are motivated by very small minded things....

    Try to stop the name calling....


    Well, lots of them were newbies to politics. (none / 0) (#39)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:11:57 PM EST
    It's very sad it was such a slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am experience.

    Obama (none / 0) (#128)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:09:58 AM EST
    Had a rally at George Mason University yesterday to whip up support for HCR.  The Washington Post  was reporting 8000 (now revised to 8500) people showed up - other sources said it was fewer than that (and maybe even half that amount).  A good number, but not considering the arena holds more than 10,000, it was a Friday, so lots of students with no classes, and lots of people who work in DC who don't work on Friday, as many of the government agencies offer compressed work weeks to many of their workers. Wasn't that long ago this arena would have been overflowing and people waiting outside (with big screen TVs outside to accommodate those waiting).

    Now, maybe college kids don't really care about this health care bill (although they should).  Or maybe the shine has come off the Obama magic a bit and it isn't nearly as cool to be at his rallies - and fainting at the mere sound of his voice is so 2008.


    I would not agree with this statement (none / 0) (#57)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:44:36 PM EST
    about Obama supporters. Many are extremely bright. But also, independent of that, many are extremely idealistic.

    I find it fascinating that the movie Avatar was happening during Obama's first year. Both have characters who are very attractive and where the viewer can park their notions of clear cut good and bad. I know a number of new-agers who are super Obama supporters. Worshipers is more like it as they are the religious left.

    And he has a magnetic appeal to youth who are busy with their lives and are not engaged anymore. And for the older idealists, it is just too hard to face being played. And, I don't even think Obama played us. I think that is just how successful campaigns are run now - need media appeal to have the boxoffice success of an Avatar or Obama.


    If (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:47:12 PM EST
    media appeal is all taht's need to win an election then we are in a heap of trouble in this country. We'll have empty suit after empty suit because they have "media appeal".

    Obama is not an empty suit, (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Realleft on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:30:27 PM EST
    Just ridiculous.  You can argue that he isn't pure enough, or focused enough, or in pursuit of progressive legislation enough, but the empty suit thing is pretty silly.  

    Politically and ideologically (3.83 / 6) (#111)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:55:29 PM EST
    he is an empty suit.

    Obviously a bright and thoughtful man, but an empty suit as far as any principled guidance.  Oh, sorry, other than "bipartisanship," which he really does appear to believe passionately in, but which is a process thing, not a policy issue.


    I think (none / 0) (#63)
    by ZtoA on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:53:43 PM EST
    we may be in trouble. Corporate money, corporate media, charisma, the right connections - the dialog is driven by these. Its not easy to have media appeal - look what all went into Avatar. Media appeal is very complex and difficult and it is a rare person who can ride it. Now we are considering if those qualities -help - have any relation to - or detract from political leadership qualities. The media is not going away. It will get stronger and include the internet.

    I really meant that they are dumb in the (3.00 / 2) (#61)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:47:24 PM EST
    area of politics, not as a whole. That's what's so frustrating---seeing intelligent people bend over backwards to justify whatever Obama does.
    As I said in another comment, this is a testament to Obama's charisma, and it's similar to the kind of devotion Bush  got from some genuinely intelligent people.

    Wow, so you finally (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:57:19 PM EST
    figured out that presidents can still enjoy the backing of many people who voted for them despite some early disappointments.  Gee, stop the presses ...

    Not the point. He gets the backing, (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:06:49 PM EST
    more or less unconditionally. That's the problem.

    Yeah, he gets the early (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:19:09 PM EST
    backing.  Shocking, isn't it.  

    We're already only 32 months from the next presidential election, the economy is slowly beginning to rebound and the not perfect HCR is about to pass and he hasn't started any new wars, and lots of people are still supporting the guy they voted for last time!

    Now, you know full well how things can change overnight in politics, and how a pol's current positive standing might just be a mile wide and an inch deep, at least in the places that matter.

    When this guy starts a war for no good reason, like his predecessor did, and utterly fails to continue to improve the job and health care situations as we go into 2011, starts in again on some off-key pro-St Ronnie campaign rhetoric, then wake me up and we can talk stupid rube backers and the like.


    He's doing abysmally on jobs. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:24:05 PM EST
    That alone ought to shake up his supporters.
    Obama took office at a time of crisis, and I think a lot more should be demanded of him than not starting  a war (the only positive point on your list I agree with).

    Keep wishing and hoping (3.75 / 4) (#86)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:29:05 PM EST
    and some day your dream will come true and Obama will no longer be President....and your long nightmare will be over....

    Just drop it. We disagree, but (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by observed on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:33:07 PM EST
    if you wanted to know if I thought you in particular are one of the "dumb" Obama supporters, rest assured that I would never have included you on my list.
    I made a comment that Obama's doing poorly on jobs. If you disagree, make a comment about that, and not some worthless gibe.

    Change is that you get the bribes. (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:05:43 PM EST
    Voters seem to pick a pol who will bribe them.  For example, a family of four pays no federal income tax on an income of up to 51000 as per taxgirl web site; of course, people poorer than that support those who would tax other people.

    Nope (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:08:01 PM EST
    The figure is around $39K gross for a family of 4.

    But I would like to see the numbers. Link?


    "A politician misrepresented himself"! (none / 0) (#19)
    by tigercourse on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:36:33 PM EST
    "Professional wrestling is fake"! "This deed for the Brooklyn Bridge was made at Kinkos"!

    "Pashmina." (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:43:15 PM EST
    OK, I grant you the coverage for kids, plus for (none / 0) (#30)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:02:26 PM EST
    them when they graduate from HS or college.  

    But, news today said one of the states is cutting all funding to S-CHIP.

    So, they can be covered...but how???

    Isn't it time for a primary challenge? (none / 0) (#52)
    by getagrip on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 07:32:06 PM EST
    Just asking.

    I'm just afraid the only challenger (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:02:07 PM EST
    will be Evan Bayh

    You and the rest of em (none / 0) (#126)
    by glennmcgahee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 09:58:30 AM EST
    just didn't think.

    Stupak deal is dead (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:22:01 AM EST
    They're going to have to pass the bill without those who back Stupak.

    So long as you're doing it, me too. (none / 0) (#131)
    by robotalk on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:43:04 AM EST
    Senate Bill.  I told you so.

    From Bad To Worse (none / 0) (#134)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:01:57 AM EST
    Get ready for
    Increasing Taxes
    Increasing health insurance premiums
    Increasing job losses
    A Larger more invasive IRS
    Worsening economy
    This HCR bill will not save money.....instead it may very well bankrupt the country !
    Those individuals who need this the most may end up being decimated financially long before any of these benefits kick in !!!
    I wonder is there a hidden agenda ?
    I am very worried for my family and my country.

    It is frightening (none / 0) (#136)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:14:25 AM EST
    last night at dinner we all were estimating how long it will be before the border crossings to Canada and Mexico are nothing but a line of Uhaul trucks.

    No surprises (none / 0) (#137)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:27:35 AM EST
    Taxes needed to go up to pay for Bush's tax cuts and wars (Obama keeping the cost going.) Premiums are always going up.  Job losses will continue as long as this administration uses tax cuts and trickle down economics.  The IRS will increase to handle the HCR penalty (job creation and deficit reduction.)

    I don't know how you estimate the HCR bill will bankrupt the country.  The bill may neglect to slow the increase but will not be the cause.  Maybe we can get some Dems serious about cost control.

    Hidden agenda?  You mean the conspiracy theory that Repubs run up the deficit so that Dems can't 'afford' their policies?

    I thought any Dem president would mean a recovery from the Bush/Repub era.  It's just a new reality.

    Most of my family members are secure.  I do worry about the ones coming in to the job market.


    The Canadian Economy (none / 0) (#140)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 11:43:27 AM EST
    Stalled for more than 25 years (1978-2006) They've been able to maintain  their  quality by centralizing  the delivery of care around  provincial academic hospital centers....  they do have long waiting periods...they have a large percentage of people who can't find a primary Doctor due to the shortage of physicians...they also have panels who oversee treatment methods with respect to budgetary constraints.The Canadian government made a mess and they incrementally moved the healthcare agenda starting in 1976 .....they have only 30 million people in Canada we have 300000000 million and a large Doctor private practice population. Scary!!!!!

    It's similar here (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:23:34 PM EST
    If you are not sick and call your primary care physician, it could take a while to get in.  I can't tell you how many times I've called my doctor for my yearly checkup and unless I say I have a problem, it will be months before I get in.

    What's the difference?


    Exactly :) (none / 0) (#144)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:33:51 PM EST
    Routine prevention is always limited to a certain number of appt slots so they have the time slots available to ailments and emergencies, and doctors do surgeries and rounds and many only take office calls 4 days a week.

    More doctors aren't going to magically appear just because millions more get their insurance cards. And, doctors aren't going to change their lifestyles to accommodate (at least not right away). Wait times will be worse than anything Canadians experience, I predict.


    That would help (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:40:48 PM EST
    As much as I sympathize with doctors being professionals, at some point, they have to realize they are in the service industry.  Maybe if they had office hours a little longer than 9-4, M-F (with an hour or hour and half for lunch, where they don't even answer the phones, even though there are 15 people working behind the counter), then it might be easier for people to understand.  

    About a month ago, I had a follow-up appointment with a doctor.  I knew the appointment would take, maybe 10 minutes (being generous), as it was just a routine follow-up.  I had the first appointment of the morning - 8:00 am.  I didn't see him until after 9:00, and like I predicted - 10 minutes.

    As someone who is currently working at a job where I am paid by the hour (and being an early bird on the job), that appointment cost me about 3 hours of paid time (by the time I got through traffic to the office), plus the office visit (which, thankfully, I have insurance for now - but even with my co-pay still ended up costing me almost $100 because they ran an EKG).  It was a pretty expensive follow-up.


    I know how frustrating (none / 0) (#152)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:12:13 PM EST
    It can be for patients. I work in the healthcare profession....I work a minimum of 60 hours a week I am on call at least one night a week and I work many weekends....The average week is 80 hours.....I eat dinner and lunch on the run. I love what I do.....In Obama's words "Let me be clear"  I don't do it for the money.No one I know went to medical school because they weren't accepted into an MBA program! I worry about the new physicians coming out .....most of them are buried under with debt.

    I get it (none / 0) (#153)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    I have around $100K in law school debt.  And I don't know what kind of medical profession you are in, but I also know that 80 hours a week is brutal. But I heard (and heard of) doctors in private practice who complain that they can only spend 5 minutes with a patient - which is completely wrong.  I just think if they extended the practice hours (especially if there are multiple physicians there) it would be better for them - they could spend more time with some patients, and it would definitely help from a customer service perspective.

    I mean, it's hard to feel sympathetic when I go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned and I'm charged almost $200 for 20 minutes worth of work  (after waiting an hour or so of time I CAN'T work and be paid)- about 2 minutes of that seeing the actual dentist.  I don't begrudge anybody their salary in this, but I think something has to be done in the business model of private practice.

    I once heard of a chiropractor in my area who, because of child care issues, opened at 5 am and worked until 7 or so (got all the busy people going to work).  He then went home, got the kids off to school, got a nap or ran errands, picked the kids up at 3:30 and took them to a sitter, where their mother picked them up around.  He went back to work from 4-8 (to get people on their way home).  Now, I'm not suggesting every medical professional use that model, but he had a personal need, and it dovetailed nicely with providing his service when most of his patients needed it and could be available.

    Seems like the medical profession needs to adapt to the changing face of its patients. (I already think the legal profession - especially big law firms - is about 50 years behind the times with the rest of corporate America in terms of hierarchy, compensation structures, and expectations).


    There are too many things doctors can't (none / 0) (#160)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:05:06 PM EST
    schedule: when babies are born, when accidents happen, when heart attacks occur, and so many other critical events.

    You can go to the emergency room, of course, but the first question is: "Who's your primary care doctor?" and that emergency call gets made.

    Chiropractors aren't part of the on call/emergent healthcare industry. They can set their schedules around their personal situations.

    I think there are solutions to the problem, just not piling on more hours to the already stretched schedules most doctors are on. Physicians assistants are starting to take on most of the routine stuff around here to leave the doctors to deal with the bigger cases. It takes fewer years of school to reach that level, so maybe that will be expanded.

    And, I've never had a doctor who didn't also do surgeries.


    And unfortunately (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:42:42 PM EST
    I have learned to play the game too.  My aunt was a nurse in an OB/GYN's office.  She told me when I call to make an appointment, tell them I have a minor problem.  It's amazing - I can get in within a week or so.

    I think the expectations of patients (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    also needs to change since many don't understand what the doctors are doing when they aren't seeing patients in their offices:

    1. Surgery
    2. Rounds
    3. Dictation
    4. Defending their treatment plans to insurance companies
    5. Continuing education courses
    6. Research (they don't know everything)
    7. Re-defending their treatment plans to insurance companies
    8. Studying patient charts for referral patients
    9. Attending industry conferences for learning purposes
    10. Learning all the new techniques and devices
    11. On Call

    They aren't playing golf.  

    Then (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:43:42 PM EST
    They still need to open longer office hours, or (gasp) maybe have weekend hours.  If there are multiple doctors in a practice - especially GPs or internists - most are not doing surgery (they generally aren't surgeons), or office rounds, etc.

    It is a labor intensive profession - if you don't see patients, there really isn't much point to the rest of the list, no?

    I guess I feel my time is just as important as a doctor's when they schedule me 4 months in advance.  If they are on call and something happens, then I expect not to wait in the waiting room for an hour, only to be called back to get undressed and sit for another hour or so - oddly enough I expect to be told and asked if I want to reschedule.  Likewise, education and research should be done after hours, or at the very least, on a day when they don't schedule patients.  

    Crazily, I expect to be treated with the same respect I give to the doctor (I show up early to make sure my paperwork is done by my appointment time, so I don't make them get behind).


    Most Doctors (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    Respect their patients time. My clinics always run overtime at least 2 hours....the .
    reason ...not every patient I see  has a simple dx. Some of them arrive in my office very ill. I'm sure the office staff will be happy to reschedule your appointment as long as your willing to take the next available. Physicians who do research work very long hours.your comment leds me to believe you have limited knowledge of it's importance to your health. FYI....family practice and internists are overworked and  underpaid. These guys do much more than office visits!!!

    Again I get it (none / 0) (#163)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:39:58 PM EST
    But I don't think you can tell me that you don't have a general idea about the patients you are seeing that day (depending on your practice), and how long each should take, then you need to take fewer patients or expand the office hours.

    I also think it comes down to more doctors trying to squeeze in more patients in the same amount of time.  More patients =  more money, and then customer service suffers.

    There is really no good reason I should have to wait for 2 hours for a 10 minute appointment where my appointment was made in advance and the doctor was aware that I was coming.  If the doctor was called away on an emergency, then I should be told immediately - not wait until 1:45 goes by. If a patient ahead of me needs a few minutes extra time - go for it.

    There are hospital library staff (if you are affiliated with a hospital) that can help you out with that.  I know - my sister is a hospital librarian - that's what she does all day (research requests from doctors).


    Research (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:56:26 PM EST
    The research I refer to is bench and basic science.
    You are correct..... I do have a good idea of the time necessary for each (well) patient As far as squeezing out every last dollar....as an attorney I'm not sure how you would react to receiving 10 to 30 cents on every dollar you bill. As I said in an earlier post if I was doing this for the money I wouldn't do it.

    I don't bill that way (none / 0) (#167)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:33:42 PM EST
    I move from project to project as a contract hire, so I get literally paid by the hour, and when I don't work, I don't get paid, which is why sitting in a doctor's office not only costs me money for the visit, it costs me income.

    All my point was is that part of the equation that needs to be looked at is changing the way patients see doctors.  If more people are going to be covered and you are arguing (rightly so, I think) that we already have a shortage of doctors, then I think people who are in private practice are going to have to change the way they do business. Whether that means expanding the practice, having longer office hours during the day, working weekends, something has to be done.  I don't think we can stick with the "patients are seen between the hours of 9-4, but not during lunch" model.

    I'm sorry if I made you defensive - it wasn't my intent.  But I think you would agree with me that somethings have to change.

    I also think we should offer incentives for more people to go to medical school - my alma mater (Central Michigan University) has started a rural medicine program.  Offer incentives for people to practice in areas where there aren't many doctors.  There's a world of things out there that can be done - we just have to get out of the mindset of "we've always done it this way."


    Guessing it is different from community to (none / 0) (#158)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:49:31 PM EST
    community. There are emergent care clinics for off-hour situations around here. No appts, just go and wait your turn. Very popular, actually.

    People need to get in the practice of making their routine appts 3 months before they reach their 1 year mark.

    I think the doctors already put in enough hours. I want mine alert, awake and with minimal stress when it's my turn to be examined.


    We, too, will have long waiting periods (none / 0) (#143)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:28:59 PM EST
    even though ours is an insurance-based/profit-heavy system. If people are going to be forced to pay for insurance, they are going to try to get some value from it. They will try to see a doctor for every little ailment....because they're insured.

    So, all these griping talking points about the long wait lines if we were to go single payer will happen under our expensive, big corporation model of health care.

    You know, big insurance really may be having some problems with this bill. You think they want to have to update their systems to handle 4X as many members who are racing to the doctor for every sniffle?