Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Government, Palin, Politics, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 6:54 am

Getting a lot of love in the comments from my post yesterday about Palin, the Democrats, and everyone else demagoguing the health care reform issue to death.

To wit:

1. It’s not enough that I think the bill is horrible, bad, a catastrophe, and a threat to individual liberty. I must also get hysterical about it. I must go over the edge of sanity and reason because if I don’t, it’s obvious I am a liberal and an Obama lover. I must extrapolate the most dire, sinister outcomes assumed in the debate with no evidence whatsoever that anything being proposed will lead to “death panels,” or denial of critical care. I agree, and have written previously, there are slippery slopes aplenty in what is being proposed. But the kind of over the top, exaggerated, hysterically fearful claptrap being thrown around by some conservatives is illogical, and in the end, only makes our side look like losers

(Note: Emanuel’s brother is not writing the bill, nor is Holdren going to have anything to do with running any state controlled health care system. For the reasons so many of you outlined, it is extremely doubtful that senate confirmation would be forthcoming for either gentleman if Obama was dumb enough to try and appoint them to any position of influence in his Brave New State Run Health Care Agency.)

2. Saying anything negative about Sarah Palin brings out the creepiest conservatives on the web. The parallels between Obamabots and Palin zombies is disheartening, and makes me wonder what would happen if she did indeed run in 2012. Both are blinded by the notion that their white knight can do no wrong, and say no evil. Both Obamabots and Palin zombies see qualities in their heroes that don’t exist. Both believe their saviors are rescuing them from evil. Both are pathetic manifestations of the times in which we live and reflect the depths to which the American character has sunk. When so many on both sides of the great political divide imbue a politician with almost superhuman qualities, I fear for the future of the republic.

3. People who bring my family into any criticism of me are cretinous louts.

4. I am the last, sane person in America.

Isaac Asimov’s brilliant, and influential short story Nightfall comes to mind as a metaphor for this debate. The sci-fi classic is about a planet that is bathed in continual sunlight due to the fact that it revolves around 6 suns. It is a world that knows no darkness, no sundown, and no stars.

Every 2000 years or so, all six suns go into eclipse and for a brief period, there is night. A cult that predicted this catastrophe, and scientists who studied the remnants of past civilizations on the planet, concluded that when the darkness descends, everyone goes stark raving mad because the night is so frightening, they destroy their own civilization by setting fire to anything that burns in order to bring back the light.

(The final scene is one of the most haunting in all of sci-fi literature. After the darkness has descended, the scientists, who are trying to measure the phenomenon - including getting pictures of the mythical “stars” that they don’t really believe exist - are in for a surprise. The protagonist goes to a window:

Through it shone the Stars!

Not Earth’s feeble thirty-six hundred Stars visible to the eye; Lagash was in the center of a giant cluster. Thirty thousand mighty suns shone down in a soul-searing splendor that was more frighteningly cold in its awful indifference than the bitter wind that shivered across the cold, horribly bleak world.

Theremon staggered to his feet, his throat, constricting him to breathlessness, all the muscles of his body writhing in an intensity of terror and sheer fear beyond bearing. He was going mad and knew it, and somewhere deep inside a bit of sanity was screaming, struggling to fight off the hopeless flood of black terror. It was very horrible to go mad and know that you were going mad — to know that in a little minute you would be here physically and yet all the real essence would be dead and drowned in the black madness. For this was the Dark — the Dark and the Cold and the Doom. The bright walls of the universe were shattered and their awful black fragments were falling down to crush and squeeze and obliterate him.

In America, the darkness is descending and torches are being lit. Fear stalks the land - fear of the unknown, fear of our fellow citizens, fear of our political leaders, fear of the future. This fear is being stoked on both sides by people who are well aware of the consequences of what they are doing, but continue to fan the flames of dread because it gives them power and influence, or furthers their political designs. Reason has left the building. It has been replaced by a raw emotionalism that feeds upon itself, spiraling out of control, threatening violence and disorder while making any rational debate about health care reform impossible.

President Obama may get his statist, ruinously expensive, ridiculously complicated health care reform. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory. For in pulling out all the stops to garner a political triumph, and becoming the number one enabler of demagoguery and fear mongering, he will have so riven the citizenry of this republic as to make any future efforts to solve our problems in a bi-partisan manner an impossibility.

I am one of those who would have supported reasonable reforms in health insurance and realistic means to bring down health care costs. The Democrats are proposing neither, and are ginning up fear and outrage - as are Republicans in opposition - to ram down the throats of the American people, without legitimate debate or discussion reforms that are antithetical to the American character and the American way of doing things. The proposals make a mockery of our First Principles, and threaten not to “remake” America” but to fundamentally alter the compact between citizens and the government.

Without congressional hearings, or any input from opponents; in secrecy, and using complexity as a beard to hide an agenda that they know full well would be rejected by the overwhelming majority of citizens, the Democrats are in full on attack mode. They are not defending what they want to accomplish with reform. They are simply going after those who oppose them, using the most vile and despicable tactics to delegitimize the opposition.

Judging by the polls, it’s not working. And if health care reform fails, it won’t be because of the hysterical fear mongering by Republicans and conservatives, but because they didn’t believe in reform enough to trust the legislative process and the give and take of democratic debate.


  1. Rick,

    I have just recently started reading this blog, and I can happily tell you that are not “the last sane person in America” and I am happy to know that neither am I.

    I agree with almost everything you said in this post.

    I too have been the victim of this default assumption that if you dare to question boss Limbaugh or Her Royal Highness Madame Palin then you must instantly be a limp wristed liberal swallowing everything MSNBC feeds you.

    What ever happened to critical thinking? Swallowing everything Beck, Hannity, and Palin tell you is no more noble or less idiotic than the left swallowing everything Obama tells them as gospel.

    Think for yourselves folks! Verify! do research!

    Like Rick said, this is a horrible bill, that needs to be stopped. However, it is so stuffed full of horrible ideas that we can easily defeat this bill without making sh*t up and alienating every critically thinking independent in the country along the way.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 7:35 am

  2. Of the 40 million uninsured maybe 10 million are undocumented. With Social Security going negative and the debit we have taken on cost containment is a major issue in this legislation. But talking about those and other issues requires thinking and that give me a headache. If I put on my tinfoil hat and shout about death panels and birth certificates I am in a much happier place. I like being in my happy place.

    Comment by grognard — 8/9/2009 @ 7:45 am

  3. Great post Rick.

    The only thing missing is a correction by you of the following statement in your 8/8/09 blog post..

    “Both sides have been flinging the “N” word (”Nazi”) around like a monkey in a zoo tossing his feces at the gawkers. Pelosi, the DNC, a few tea partiers, and even a stray GOP lawmaker or two have used the word “Nazi” to describe their political opponents lately.”

    Pelosi never actually used the word “Nazi” as you purport…she used the word “swastika”…and she wasn’t describing her “political opponents”…she was describing the homemade signs made by her political opponents at town hall protests.

    Big difference.

    Pelosi is not Limbaugh…nor is she stupid…she’s been a public figure long enough to know it would be political suicide to describe her opponents as Nazis..

    Your statement is misleading, and not up to your standards of sane reporting..

    I wont bitch much about the DNC quote, because they did actually use the word “Nazi”…but again, not to “describe their political opponents” but to describe their signage..

    Here’s the “money quote” from the DNC..

    “The repeated use of Nazi symbolism at community meetings by the Republican incited mob proves that these protests have nothing to do with health care, but rather that the Republican party is willing to sink to the lowest, most despicable levels to accomplish their goal of “breaking” President Obama.”

    You can take this one out of context if you choose to…but accusing Pelosi of “flinging the “N” word around like a monkey in a zoo” was completely off base..

    Please address this issue so you can at least regain your patina of honesty and reason with your left leaning readers.

    Thank you.

    I will not correct or apologize for anything. Any fair minded person can see that she and the DNC and the rest of the Democrats like Dick Durbin (”storm troopers”) knew EXACTLY what they were intimating when they used explosive terms like “Swastika.” The fact that you insist that black is white, up is down, and Democrats weren’t implying that protestors were Nazis marks you as a partisan.


    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/9/2009 @ 8:26 am

  4. “Rightwing Nuthouse” used to be ironic. Now it’s descriptive.

    It’s your party Rick. These are your people.

    Why are they still your people? Why is this still your party? Nostalgia?

    Back in the 20’s and 30’s it was possible for a decent person to be a member of the Communist Party because the truth of what was happening in the USSR still wasn’t widely known. It was still possible for a person of reasonable intelligence to buy propaganda about the worker’s paradise.

    But there came a point when it became ridiculous for a sane person to maintain that the Communist Party was anything other than a murderous totalitarian apparatus. At that point many people who’d been sympathetic with the supposed ideals of the CP saw the light and left the party.

    When are you going to see the light, Rick?

    Heh - conservatives think I’m not and liberals think I am. What am I doing wrong?

    Really, Michael. You have lost all perspective and become just another Obamabot hack. Your problem with me is that I’m not criticizing conservatives ENOUGH. That’s logical? That’s reasonable?

    And I were the party man you say I am, I think that would come through by my blind obedience to the party line - something that any rational person reading my blog would find impossible to say. But you are only seeing things through the lens of partisanship. Hence, unless I am as hysterical as you are in my opposition to the GOP, I am, in fact, one of them.



    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 8:42 am

  5. You can’t even admit and correct that Pelosi didn’t use the word “Nazi”??

    The word that YOU put in quotation marks?

    The “N” word? The word you said she used?


    Putting words into peoples mouths makes you look fringe Rick…I was under the impression that you fashioned yourself a reasonable man, and at the very least you would admit when you are wrong.

    I guess I was wrong…you cannot admit when you are wrong.

    I apologize…I had you mistaken for someone else.

    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/9/2009 @ 9:23 am

  6. Moltenorb-

    I’d say this question as to whether Pelosi was referring to the protesters or their signage is at the very least questionable.

    here’s the video

    her exact quote when asked if the protests were grass roots:
    “you be the judge, They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare”

    I will at least admit that it could be interpreted either way, though I’m not a Palin, Beck, Hannity-nut my first reaction was to be shocked that she was implying that the protesters are neo-Nazis.

    I will admit is was possible that she was expressing outrage that the protesters were calling Democrats Nazis. Though if that is the case she chose her words very poorly.

    You’re argument is that Pelosi is far to wise a statesmen (states-person?) to make such a blunder. I will firmly disagree and point to the recent CIA-torture-Briefing fiasco as proof of my argument.

    I’m not saying for certain that she was calling the protesters Nazis, but it came across that way, and there is at least a solid possibility that that is what she meant.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 9:26 am

  7. Michael Reynolds,

    I agree with you at least partly. I find myself in the same position as Rick.

    I firmly believe in limited government, and in upholding the constitution, which you would think would make me a conservative.

    However, I also pride myself on critical thinking, and would even describe myself as an intellectual (gasp!). The modern conservative movement, run by people like Palin, Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh wants nothing to do with people like me and Rick. They want people who rely entirely on emotion, reject critical, intellectual thought as “elitism”, and wholeheartedly swallow anything they shovel down our throats.

    Think about it, there isn’t a single Republican or Libertarian politician out there who calls out people like limbaugh for saying the Obama logo is a secret swastika, or Palin on her “death panel” BS. Instead they just complacently remain silent (or even stoke the flames) because they know it will fire-up the uneducated portion of the base who views critical thinking as “elitism”.

    So, the “conservatives” don’t want people like Rick and I, where are we supposed to go? The Democrats reject our core beliefs, so they’re out of the question, and I can’t think of any other party with enough power to make joining them worth-while!?

    Where are we supposed to go?

    Very well said. Until conservatism gets back to reason and rationality, you and I will probably go into the voting booth, holding our noses to vote for people either with no principles or those who pander to the base.

    Taking the world as it is rather than as you wish it to be is a sign of intellectual maturity. Fighting to change the world into what it should be while keeping the above in mind is a sign of enlightened rationalism.


    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 9:39 am

  8. You forgot the r in Holdren.

    Holdren is Science Czar.
    Holden is AG and has nothing to do with this.

    Please refer to zombietime.com

    Also you are full of shit saying Democrats never refered to Republicans as Nazis.


    Comment by JB — 8/9/2009 @ 9:39 am

  9. Rick:

    I’ve never said you don’t criticize your party enough. I’ve asked why you’re still in this looney bin.

    You know your party is nuts. You try to disguise your scalding attacks on Republicans with a lot of scat-throwing displays drawing false equivalencies to Democrats because that’s what you have to do for the moron readership at PJM. But the essence of this blog has become, (if I may paraphrase,) “WTF is the matter with you crazy Republican loons?” Followed by, “Of course the Dems are just as bad.”

    Even your conservative readers get the basic act. And God knows they’re a slow bunch.

    I’m not criticizing your attacks on the GOP as insufficient. I’m just wondering when you’re going to finally admit that the “excesses” of the party aren’t excesses they are the essence of the party. The crazy isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

    Communist Party member circa, oh, what 1934 or so? Still not quite getting that it’s not about dotty old Karl or even clever Vladimir Illich, it’s all about Uncle Joe now.

    I’m not saying you should join the Democrats. I’m saying you no longer belong in the GOP. They don’t want you, and you know in your heart you don’t want them.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 10:06 am

  10. Ken.McCloud:

    The GOP wasn’t there at the creation. It was built in the 1850’s and 1860’s out of the debris of failed parties.

    It’s time to build a new party.

    Don’t just look for something to join: build, create, invent, imagine.

    The United States needs a conservative party. It doesn’t have one. It has a liberal party and a crazy party. So build a conservative party.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 10:10 am

  11. Rick,
    From what I’ve read the Public Option polls well.

    People like you and Rick are the only hope the Republican Party has. Talk shows and some blogs and authors do better financially the worse the Republican Party does politically. An angry minority can be milked like a herd of dairy cows.

    Comment by Mike — 8/9/2009 @ 10:10 am

  12. It’s interesting that, while claiming to be the last one, or few, rational people left, it is also claimed that demagoguery is not necessary in this country in order to defeat really bad legislation.

    It isn’t rational to claim both. Either the majority of Americans are rational (which is highly debatable to say the least) or demagoguery and fearmongering are necessary.

    I think it’s true that the irrational make up such a substantial portion of the population that demagoguery and fearmongering are used for them, but we also have to continue to support rational arguments and critical thinking. I don’t think it’s true that there are enough rational people with critical-thinking skills that we can or should expect to see an end to demagoguery and fearmongering anytime soon. Blaming all Republicans (or Democrats) for the acts of a few members of the party is also unreasonable.

    As for myself, I focus on supporting good policy and opposing bad policy, without regard to faces or names. I wish more people did.

    Federalist 10 is a pretty good read, too.

    Comment by JohnJ — 8/9/2009 @ 10:31 am

  13. Ken, start a new movement? Thinking Conservatives are denounced as elitist, fine, let the Limbaugh crowd take the title of “real” conservatives. You don’t need all of that baggage anyway. Define yourselves in someway that shows seriousness about fiscal responsibility as well as non governmental, free economy, solutions to problems. That would resonate powerfully with not only a new conservative movement but also with the center that is looking for fresh ideas to get out of our fiscal mess. Don’t just go after Liberals, pick apart their arguments but offer alternatives. Fight them on the intellectual level, not the emotional level, like Wm. F. Buckley did. More and more people are identifying themselves as “independent”, so I think that there are quite a few citizens out there that are in the same boat as you, Find them, start small, and watch the numbers grow with the added benefit that you don’t have to answer for the Hannities and birthers. Looks like the movement might already be taking shape.

    Comment by grognard — 8/9/2009 @ 10:36 am

  14. JohnJ,

    I will have to sadly agree with your conclusion that a substantial portion of the American public is too willingly ignorant to even comprehend rational, intellectual arguments, be they from the left OR the right.

    One great example of this is the “creationism debate”:


    “Two-thirds in the poll said creationism, the idea that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, is definitely or probably true.”

    I’m an Engineer by trade and have a science-based education. That sentence makes my head hurt.

    The concepts behind radioactive decay aren’t even that complicated! I went to public school and we were taught them in the 7th grade. I could explain them in a few paragraphs! and yet two thirds of Americans willingly choose to outright ignore them. It really is like a horse with blinders on.

    How could we possibly get people on board using rational arguments for topics that are infinitely more complex, like the healthcare system, or the economy?

    I fear you may be right, that in this day and age the majority of the public is simply immune to intellectual argument.

    education reform anyone?

    if what you and john say is true, there’s not much hope, is there? I think fear mongering is a fine old American political tradition and predates our present day ignorance. Obviously, it works to some extent or politicians wouldn’t be using it.

    But I have to think that enough Americans are serious about debate to tune out the hysterics on both sides and seek to learn what is being proposed. Don’t have to be educated in the traditional sense to have this attitude. And it is likely that many won’t really understand or grasp the implications of some policies anyway.

    But I think these are the people who are going to decide this issue. And if they can be shown how truly bad these proposals are, they will come down on the right side of the issue (from my perspective). There is a native caution in this country in granting government too much authority. It is one of the things that truly make us an exceptional people and you’ve got to have faith that in the end, that is where their feelings will lie.


    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 11:01 am

  15. After the comments regarding the previous blog I’m heartened to see a meaningful discussion again. There always will be and has to be an alternative for government overreach. This is our conservative cause and I see no reason to give that up just because some so called conservative are acting like total morons.

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 11:02 am

  16. Rick.

    I’d like to believe you’re a reasonable guy. You’re certainly active in detecting certain hysterical rightist fantasies. However,
    I’m still waiting for your intelligent, logical critique of the currently proposed health care plan. If you were so reasonable, you would have one of these.

    Without congressional hearings, or any input from opponents;

    What? Are you kidding? Max Baucus has been locked in a room with Chuck Grassley and Mike Enzi for months, and you’re complaining about “no input from opponents”? Who should we be inviting? Sarah Palin? Do you think Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have anything worth hearing about health care reform, Rick? Or the commenters on your board? These people have nothing to add, man. You can see that yourself. They make arguments out of supernatural images and string, and they sure can’t be bothered to read any bill themselves.

    in secrecy, and using complexity as a beard to hide an agenda that they know full well would be rejected by the overwhelming majority of citizens,

    Are you kidding? Have you ***seen*** the polls on a public plan? approval ranges between the mid-50s and the 70s. Now you sound no more informed than the people you mock. What agenda exactly are you talking about? The SuperSpooky Secret Plan to eliminate private health care indirectly? You’re crazy. Out of your mind. For pete’s sake, go read a liberal website!! We’re not rubbing our hands with glee because this system is the back door to single-payer health insurance. A lot of people are disgruntled because such things were IMMEDIATELY OFF THE TABLE. Hell, I wouldn’t support any plan that I thought had any realistic change of making private insurance impossible. Who knows, maybe I’ll be rich enough someday to actually buy some worth a darn, although that’s all but impossible right now.

    the Democrats are in full on attack mode. They are not defending what they want to accomplish with reform. They are simply going after those who oppose them, using the most vile and despicable tactics to delegitimize the opposition.

    Broad brush much? Wanna look through Barack Obama’s speeches? Come back with a word count he spends on describing his plan vs. a word count talking about the crazies.

    This is projection and rationalization, Rick. You can see that your conservative bedfellows are crazy, thus to preserve your status as a centrist the “liberals” must also be crazy and mean.

    I want to hear your logical, factual, senisible critiques of this bill, Rick. I look forward to a reasonable, logical, evidentiary discussion of why you’re wrong. I doubt you have the chops or are willing to put forth the effort required to do this. You’re not as crazy as the Palin fans on your comment section, but your opinions are formed from the same lazy rumor mill.

    1. Max Baucus holed up in a room with a couple of Republicans who, like me, are in favor of some reform but not the kind being proposed, does not make “input from the opposition” a reality. This is especially true in the get along go along senate where such meetings are for show. The real work, as you well know, is going on between Baucus and the liberals - not between Baucus and the GOP.

    2. The public is for a public option largely because its complexity has obscured one of the few slippery slopes that I believe this proposal - as it has been publicly bandied about - represents; that the employer mandate will eventually cause most businesses to opt out of private plans and throw people on the mercy of the public plan. It doesn’t have to be spelled out. It is the logical, reasonable outcome to what is being proposed.

    3. I actually support some of the proposals; insurance pools for those with pre-existing conditions, a general re-evaluation of Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals; insurance portability; and while I think there is a better answer, more attention paid to preventive care than is now, although as the CBO pointed out on Friday, this won’t save much money.

    4. As for the rest, a Medicare or “Health Care” Commission would invariably represent exactly what the president is saying he doesn’t want; a one size fits all treatment regimen for many diseases. That is the purpose of setting them up in the first place and makes Obama out to be a liar. I have no quarrel with paying doctors to advise patients on living wills and DNR orders. Many are already aware of them but people don’t want to think about them. I think the hysteria on this issue comes from people who are claiming it will be a requirement for doctors to get people to sign on the dotted line. That’s an overreaction in my opinion and is being pushed by people who have never had a family member in that situation.

    I am not a policy wonk and neither are you, but I have read carefully what both sides are saying about the various public proposals. I reach my own conclusions based solely on my judgment and my understanding of what is being negotiated. Of course, much depends on the final language that will be in the bill - something that even lawyers who are familiar with health care issues will have a hard time understanding. And then there’s the idea of how the bureaucracy will interpret what Congress has written.

    How’s that for some “chops,” shithead?


    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 11:13 am

  17. Rick:

    Write a book. You have the chops. Possible titles:

    “Republican No More: 10 Reasons A Conservative Can No Longer Be a Republican.”

    “Conservative Should Not Mean Crazy.”

    “Farewell to Crazy: Conscience of a True Conservative.”

    “The Rational Right: A Manifesto.”

    You have enough online editorial positions to have a “platform” as they like to say in the biz. You should reach out to other rational conservatives you know, gather names behind a book, go with a co-author if you think one is helpful, or at least go armed with a list of blogs who have agreed to review and promote the book.

    If you really want to help your country (and I take it as a given) start talking to other rational conservatives. Now is the time. This is your opportunity. There is still a need for genuine conservatism. The GOP is melting down and you are not going to get it back. You won’t, don’t kid yourself you won’t. They own it now. So now you form a new party for a new age and a new reality.

    Focus on Northern Virginia, Colorado, Oregon and New Hampshire. These are places where the people want to be with you but can’t be because of the nuts you bring with you. You need to give conservatives a place to go and feel involved. Reach out to conservative Hispanics. Go to the campuses and push back against the Young Rpublicans. Craft a forward-looking, Silicon Valley conservatism based on economic self-reliance and realistic limited government.

    I think you’d be very successful and faster than you think

    The GOP went from Fremont to Lincoln in four years. The Whigs and Know Nothings all evaporated.

    By the way, yours won’t be the only such book. Publishing abhors a vacuum, and someone is going to start filling this particular need.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 11:18 am

  18. Seriously, Rick. Why are you any better than Sarah Palin?

    “Ruinously expensive”? $100 billion a year is “ruinously expensive”? That’s less than quite a few Iraq War supplementals, buddy. The average Bush era deficit was $400 billion. The stimulus package was $700 billion. Could you keep a grip?

    And that number up there is what you get AFTER pretending that the revenue raisers in the plan **don’t exist***. Part of the reason the plan is so “ridiculously complicated” is the debate over how the revenue is going to be raised, so that the whole plan can be…wait for it… BUDGET-NEUTRAL OVER TEN YEARS.

    Can I translate that into simple language for you? That means, 10-year addition to deficit = .. $0.

    So why the heck do you think you’re better than Sarah Palin’s rants about a “death panel”? The things you’re making up about the bill are less crazy than the things that she’s making up, but you still don’t know much about the bill and haven’t bothered to find out. Your instincts for crazy are a little better, but you apparently can’t be bothered to do your homework.

    I’m glad that you’re **interested** in not being as crazy as Sarah Palin, but in order to tell truth from lies, you need to do some darn homework.

    You place entirely too much faith in government to believe that this thing will only cost $100 billion a year. Get this: every single entitlement program ever passed by congress - without exception - has ballooned in cost once it has been made law. Every single one. The president says $1 trillion over 10 years. The CBO says $1.5 trillion (and rising) over 10 years with NO WAY TO PAY FOR IT. Some estimates go even higher. Who’s right? You or history?


    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 11:38 am

  19. Rick is one of the few conservative writers that did not lose their bearings over the last 8 years. Notice how very few liberal writers still have their wits after only 6 months of Obama in office. The kind of partisanship we all decry is here to stay, given the vast amounts of money that can be raised and bundled to support the wing nuts on both sides. I’m not calling for campaign finance but I would ask someone to follow the money.

    Rational and pragmatic people are often left out of the fundraising frenzy because rational and pragmatic doesn’t exactly fire up those campaign contributions and the $500 dinners in Iowa and New Hampshire. Why do we still argue over abortion? It raises money and both sides see no reason to reach pragmatic compromises or try innovative new ideas out because these things won’t keep the base riled up and contributing money.

    Anyone who was around for Bush’s massive Medicare expansion which will cost taxpayers a bundle in the long run may remember the stark lack of real debate on it other than some fear mongering about leaving old people in the lurch. I have not seen that in Obama’s healthcare debate, because as other commenters have pointed out, its been an ongoing argument and policy debate for years now. There have been multiple bills w/ bipartisan and partisan backing this year and a ton of negotiation between sides and factions over it. There have even been a good deal of hearings, though they have primarily been on health care problems, not solutions.

    Comment by Eddie — 8/9/2009 @ 11:44 am

  20. Ok, I’m obnoxious. But, credit where it’s due - your response is a good start at demonstrating that you know something about the bill. There’s no way that I could tell that from your original post.

    represents; that the employer mandate will eventually cause most businesses to opt out of private plans and throw people on the mercy of the public plan. It doesn’t have to be spelled out. It is the logical, reasonable outcome to what is being proposed.

    The point of the employer mandate is that if a business doesn’t pay for a private plan, it is therefore forced to pay money into the public plan. The problem you’re worried about is actually what would come about **without** an employer mandate. Without an employer mandate, the existence of the public plan might cause employers to try to save money by ditching their health insurance coverage, assuming that employees could fall back on the private plan.

    With an employer mandate, employers must pay some money into healthcare, period. It can pay for a private plan, or it can pay into a public plan. As long as the private plan prices are in the public plan price ballpark, than there’s no reason for employers to prefer one over the other.

    In fact, since the existence of republicans means that the public plan is on a rather tight budget - and thus the care provided might not actually be able to pay for all kinds of super-fancy things - employers that… compete for employees.. and that are highly profitable and can afford to do so… should still be going out to buy gold-plated private plans.

    This is how it works in Europe. Private insurance is for rich people. That’s kind of like how it is here right now, except instead of a public plan, poor people get squat. And middle-class people get BAD private plans that change their minds and deny expensive treatments. With a public plan, private insurance can start focusing on providing **fantastic** coverage to rich people, and the public plan can provide merely good coverage to everyone else.

    I’ll wait for your reasonable and logical counterargument. Until then, as I have demonstrated, you don’t understand how an employer mandate works.

    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 11:47 am

  21. Correction, post #19, para #2, strike “private” in last line, insert “public”.

    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 11:50 am

  22. Rick,

    It looks like everyone wants you to start a new party. If you do, I can promise you at least one new member. Hell, I’d even be willing to pound the pavement for a party of intellectual conservatives.

    What would the core principles of such a party be?

    #1) Governments are instituted among men to protect a small set of inalienable rights.

    #2) This country’s founding documents were written by wise men, who gained that wisdom by throwing off tyranny, they meant what they said and said what they meant.

    #3) Fair market competition is the best method for allocating a society’s resources. The role of the government in such a market is simply to ensure that it is fair and transparent.

    #4) Principles aren’t principles if you only stick to them when its convenient.

    What do you think?

    I think it’s a good start. A party that also promoted Kirk’s “voluntary community” would be tops in my book. Too much of conservatism today tilts toward individual rights absolutism - a philosophy that glorifies the individual at the expense of community. I am four square behind the primacy of the individual in society - but not to the ruin of the community. Liberals consider this ideal “selfish” when, as we both know, individual rights are the primary guarantor of a free society.

    But extremism in this sphere leads to a breaking of that community. Hence, a party that recognized individual rights in the context of a larger, voluntary community would be a much more realistic approach to governance than one that simply spouted “Leave me the hell alone” conservatism. There are times when that attitude is necessary, but to make it a mantra is not rational.


    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 11:59 am

  23. You place entirely too much faith in government to believe that this thing will only cost $100 billion a year. Get this: every single entitlement program ever passed by congress - without exception - has ballooned in cost once it has been made law. Every single one. The president says $1 trillion over 10 years. The CBO says $1.5 trillion (and rising) over 10 years with NO WAY TO PAY FOR IT. Some estimates go even higher. Who’s right? You or history?

    “No way to pay for it”, is not accurate. There are a lot of revenue-raising options being discussed. It’s pretty unlikely that they won’t be included, because the whole plan, for good or for ill, has been promised to be budget-neutral over 10 years.

    Let’s pretend for a minute that your reasonable pessimistic case is on the mark. (No, “Every single” government benefit does not rise uncontrollably in cost all the time - track, for example, welfare budgets since the Clinton reforms). Let’s say a bill is passed with expenses assumed at $1 trillion with revenue projections at $1 trillion. (That’s how the bill is budget-neutral). Let’s say the CBO is right and it costs 1.5 times as much as it’s supposed to. We get… a net $500 billion in debt over 10 years. $50 billion in deficit a year. In a $12 trillion GDP, that’s a rounding error. It’s less than $0.5 percent. That would be the best year for deficit since 2000, and excluding the end of Clinton, the best year since about 1970.

    The whole thing would be about 1/3 of the net Iraq War debt. And, if all this extra debt really does bring on the phantasmagoric crushing economic burden that conservatives are always waiting to happen… you’ll probably be propelled back to power! And you can cut $50 billion out of a $1.5 trillion budget with hardly a care. Right?

    Seriously, George Bush’s budget deficits did not destroy this country (our citizens’ private debts hurt it pretty good, but that ain’t the same). Out debt-to-GDP has historically been pretty good, compared to the world. Obama’s rather smaller health plan is also not going to be “ruinously expensive”.

    Thanks for trying.

    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 11:59 am

  24. You place entirely too much faith in government to believe that this thing will only cost $100 billion a year

    See, once we drill down far enough, you’re operating on heuristics and assumptions.
    There are **Revenue collection mechanisms** in this bill. “Every single entitlement in history” has NOT had its expenses exceed its revenue mechanisms. In fact, some of them go in the reverse direction. That’s why Al Gore was discussing the Social Security “lockbox” in 2000 - because Social Security WAS OPERATING AT A NET PROFIT FOR FORTY YEARS!!!


    Yes, cost estimates are not an exact science. Neither are revenue estimates. It’s both bad faith and sloppy heuristics to automatically score the cost of any government program at two or three (or ten!) times the projected and budgeted cost. There’s not a program of any kind, anywhere, that looks good when you assume its cost is ten times what it’s planned to be. If we’d all pretended that George Bush’s 1.5 trillion tax cuts were probably going to end up costing fifteen trillion dollars, we would need… a logical description of WHY that would happen.
    Or we’d be blowing smoke.
    You’re blowing smoke.

    Comment by glasnost — 8/9/2009 @ 12:13 pm

  25. Imagine if Grassley, Enzi, Hatch and a few others formed a Healthcare version of the “Gang of 14″ w/ more conservative Democrats in order to push Obama’s plan into a more acceptable endeavor that cost less and ended up covering significantly less.

    While the House libs would be furious and try their best to obstruct it, I somehow doubt Obama would think twice about them when he had the opportunity to present a “bi-partisan” program without using reconciliation. Now as to what the conservatives would do, who knows? They were already fiercely lobbying and threatening Grassley just for negotiating with Baucus and other Dems on healthcare.

    Comment by Eddie — 8/9/2009 @ 12:20 pm

  26. I think the greater point should be to support good policy regardless of who supports or opposes it, and oppose bad policy regardless of who supports or opposes it. Don’t support or oppose the Democrats’ plan because it is the Democrats’ plan. Support or oppose it because you think it is a good or bad idea.

    Unfortunately, too many people project their biases on others. They will see your support or opposition as partisan whether it is or not. But those people aren’t rational anyways, and merely declaring that you hate one side as much as the other doesn’t mean anything to them.

    Rational people need to rise above it by explaining why they think a policy is good or bad. Hating on one side as justification for taking a side on a policy is worse than explaining why a policy should be supported or opposed. For one thing, we want to encourage both parties to adopt good ideas. If they know that they will not be supported by rational people regardless of their policy position, they have no incentive to support good policy. Just as a business has no incentive to provide a good product to anyone who refuses to shop there.

    The only way to have good policies implemented is to support politicians who adopt those policies. Telling a politician that s/he will not be supported even if s/he adopts a good policy ensures that no politician will adopt said policy.

    But rational people start by advocating good policy, and then support whatever politician adopts said policy. Irrational people support the politician first, and then adopt whatever policy the politician advocates.

    Comment by JohnJ — 8/9/2009 @ 12:26 pm

  27. JohnJ:

    I don’t think that works as well because then you’re debating Sausage A vs. Sausage B and may not like either recipe. You have to be able to get into the sausage factory, to own a piece of it. Add your own ingredients from the start. You have to be in the committees and in the meetings. That means a party.

    I think there’s a tendency to work from the internet model which has to some extent atomized us more as individuals. But it has also formed self-selected groups, an idea I’d like to have Rick expand on.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 12:40 pm

  28. Rick,

    I in general support the concept of a “voluntary community” too, though this is not to say that I agree with everything Kirk says.

    In my opinion, one of the keys to a successful application of the “voluntary community” concept is to ensure that “community” refers to social construct that people choose to enter. (think about a church or a fraternal organization like the Masons or the Rotary)

    This is in contrast to a using “community” to refer to a geographical area or a municipality like we do commonly today. People do not necessarily choose to be a part of a certain municipality or geographic area. Requiring people to move away from their jobs or family in order to attain individual liberty is too much like what we have now.

    For example, Churches should be able to ban homosexuals, and force them out of their congregations if they choose. However, government bodies such as towns/cities/counties or even states should not be able infringe on individual liberties in the same way.

    I guess this just shows we need some kind of convention to hammer out what the core principles are?

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 12:41 pm

  29. Rick,

    Your virulent case of PDS is making you irrelevant. Among many who agree with Palin are Gingrich, Charles Lane, Althouse,and Legal Insurrection. How dumb is Palin to agree with them?

    Comment by walt — 8/9/2009 @ 12:49 pm

  30. So, the “conservatives” don’t want people like Rick and I, where are we supposed to go?

    The Democrats at least have the Blue Dogs. The conservatives, like Walt above, will brook no opposition or criticism. They want you out. They also want guys like David Frum and probably James Joyner out, too. Anybody who will not stand up and chant, “Death panels, death panels” is a turncoat and not welcome. You can become an independent or even (gasp!) a conservative Democrat (there is such a thing, you know).

    Walt lists as proof of how irrelevant you are luminaries like Gingrich and William Jacobson (Legal Insurrection) and accuses you of PDS, which about 60% of America suffers from by the way. There’s your party, dude. Love it or leave it.

    Comment by Pug — 8/9/2009 @ 1:08 pm

  31. That’s right, making mean-spirited attacks on Palin is really the way to go.

    Comment by walt — 8/9/2009 @ 2:55 pm

  32. @Eddie:

    Hell, if the Reds worked up a counter-proposal by themselves and ignored Blues entirely, they’d have something.

    From my view, the big weakness in the Repub position (and why I’m in favor of Obamacare) is that I have two choices: Obamacare, or nothing. I want health care reform, so I don’t have too much choice.

    Of course the bill has (and will have) problems . . . it’s a government bill, for God’s sake! They could pass a resolution saying “cake is yummy” and it would probably run 200 pages and take 4 committees. Dems are especially pathetic in this regard.

    But as someone that (a) doesn’t currently have health care coverage and (b) thinks the current system is a verified train wreck, I’ll take door #2. A likely train wreck beats a verified train wreck every time.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/9/2009 @ 3:19 pm

  33. These are your people Rick…

    Their true colors will begin (have begun) to show and the mass backpedaling will begin.

    These are not thoughtful people.
    These are not people you would have in your home.

    You know who and what I’m talking about.

    I hope you can find the middle ground you’re looking for, if there is any?

    No amount of rationalization will save this day.


    Comment by BellWeather Bill — 8/9/2009 @ 3:49 pm

  34. two things-

    Rick, Could you explain (or link me to a previous explanation) how the employer mandate leads to the demise of private insurance? I’m not denying that its true, I’m just not familiar with the argument.

    It seems to me that the key issue would be whether or not it is possible for a non-subsidized company to provide a profitable plan that conforms to the federal standards at a rate comparable to or lower than the subsidized public plan.

    does your logic simply assume the answer is “No”?
    (an assumption that is at least reasonable if not probable)

    The real scary part for me is how easy it would be for a politician with secret (or not so secret) desires to have a single payer system to engineer the bill such the the answer is guaranteed to be “No”.

    Second ->
    There is a fascinating doctoral dissertation to be done in sociology on the topic of Sarah Palin. She has a band of supporters that have a fierce loyalty unlike I have ever seen for a politician.

    We’re not just talking about that people like her, we’re talking about Red Socks vs Yankees kind of loyalty here. Like how people get beat up for showing up in the wrong bar wearing a Red Socks hat and laughing at Jeter missing a ground ball.

    I’ve seen a couple of sites where the mere mention that she may have done something in a less than optimal way triggers a flurry of “Hey, you elitist, leave poor Sarah alone!”, “Go back to Manhattan!” comments. Even if the original commenter has an extremely strong argument and is merely suggesting that she could have handled the situation better.

    So here’s my question, and the topic for that dissertation, what did she do to deserve such fervent loyalty? especially when so many of the supporters aren’t Alaskan and only know of her through the VP bid?

    I get it with the Yankees, they have 39 world series appearances and 26 wins they earned it.

    But what did Palin do? Is it her accent? her colloquial way of talking in formal settings? Bush and countless other southern politicians have both of these qualities and don’t inspire anywhere near this kind of loyalty.

    She has a knack for coming up with catch phrases like “Drill, baby Drill” and “Paling around with terrorists” and “thanks, but no thanks for that bridge to nowhere” but surely she can’t be the first politician with catch phrases?

    So seriously, I can at least understand why she has fans, but why are they orders of magnitude more committed, loyal, and defensive that other political fan clubs?

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 3:57 pm

  35. Eddie,

    I think one of Rick’s major points is that there ARE alternatives that even conservatives can get behind.
    (and none of them take 1200 pages long)

    One big one is allowing insurance competition across state lines. Its a pretty solid truism that fair competition drives prices down.

    Another is allowing individuals to form pools so that they can buy insurance at the “bulk” rates that big employers get. This helps insurance companies too because they can spread out the risk from high-risk individuals across the entire pool.

    There are many more of these reforms that cover more people and reduce costs but Do NOT increase government power or spending.

    I’d even be willing to discuss something like the Wyden-Bennett Bill (Healthy Americans Act)


    Why haven’t you heard much about them?
    two reasons?

    #1)Republicans don’t want to talk about them because doing so would admit that we need some kind of reform. One of their big arguments for killing the bill is that we don’t need.

    #2)Democrats (Obama in particular) want to stifle discussion about anything that doesn’t have a public option. Is it because they harbor a deep seated love for single-payer and government power in general? … I’ll let you be the judge.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 4:25 pm

  36. Ken,
    I can give you a lot of reasons why we need reform and actually some that we all agree on. For example, there has to be a different way than people without insurance including illegals flooding the emergency rooms. I don’t exactly know how to do this but this can not continue.
    As to reasons for Sarah Palin’s appeal, there are I believe a couple. One is that she is perceived as the feisty underdog, she has a church-going family, hunts etc. Another words ’she is one of us’ appeal. Secondly, she is attractive. I know it is always in the eye of the beholder but I believe I’m not the only guy. She is perceived as the anti-feminist, the gal that stands up for the average Joe. To make a long story short it is emotional not rational. My reaction was a bit different because I didn’t know her and after the Couric interview I just thought ‘OMG, she has NO clue about foreign policy’. That can’t be good. So I just don’t believe she has the intellectual capacity to be our candidate for 2012 but then we’ll see.

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 4:48 pm

  37. Rick,
    I appreciate the Asimov reference. I myself have felt we are rapidly approaching the world of another classic, Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons”, a work that amused me when I first read it as a teenager and now(35 years later) terrifies me. As it should.

    Comment by bunbury — 8/9/2009 @ 5:04 pm

  38. @Ken.McCloud:

    There are conservative proposals that Conservatives CAN get behind. There are conservative ideals to reform healthcare.

    The problem is . . . Red Pols AREN’T getting behind them.

    The Republicans havent’s put the proposals together and said “this is the bill we want to pass”. Instead, they mention that there are other ideas out there, ideas that might have merit. Maybe we should look at them . . . later. We’ll totally get right on it in the future. Right now, let’s kill health care reform. Once we totally destroy any momentum we’ll do it.

    There COULD BE alternatives. There could be good alternatives. But Reds aren’t even trying to pretend that they are interested in them. They want the status quo, period. They don’t appear to want to reform health care.

    Unfortunately, people do.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/9/2009 @ 5:28 pm

  39. Health Co-ops worked well in Grand Junction Colorado, and it is an attractive alternative for small employers. If Republicans were to join with blue dog Dems they could greatly influence the legislation along those lines. But with some Dems pandering the move on types on their side and Republicans calling for a “waterloo” for Obama [and don’t forget the birthers] all you get is a toxic stew of bile. Every member of Congress is looking at the primary fight they will go through and unfortunately it is these righteous ones that show up and determine the nominee. With birthers and move ons determining the candidates no wonder we are in the state we are in.

    Comment by grognard — 8/9/2009 @ 6:04 pm

  40. Ken,

    I can certainly agree with your reasons for why conservative ideas aren’t being talked up by GOP leaders. I would also love to see a concerted push by them to try to force Obama to a deal by holding out for meaningful tort reform. Bush got the Dems to override a key constituency (teachers unions) with NCLB, can the GOP get Obama to override a key fundraiser on a big issue?

    I would also note you have a lot more Dems (Durbin now, Bayh, Brown and others in recent weeks) admitting they would accept a deal if they had to w/o a public option.

    I can feel your desperation… I too no longer have health insurance. I have the option of one now that I am @ school FT but their plan is so full of holes and provisos I don’t want to pour $150 a month into something that makes me pay for everything (medicine, clinic visits, hospitalization) while giving me almost nothing in return if I get seriously sick. I do have catastrophic insurance through Allstate for cancer, stroke and a few other potential biggies but I don’t know how good it is, even though thus far the contract details don’t seem too gruesome.

    So, I am not happy that other conservatives are basically acting like there is no big deal here and we can just sit on the issue. I drive by the free clinic in downtown Greensboro every day and my heart sinks at the extraordinary long line of people grimly looking forward to a 2-3 hour wait to get into the 2-3 hour waiting room. This isn’t good.

    We do need something much better than what Congress has proposed so far. What Obama has done in letting President Pelosi and VP Reid run this deal is sickening, b/c he seems to have abdicated his leadership on it and let them trot out a bunch of stinker bills that are destined to get little support from conservative Dems, let alone Republicans. He can and could still do much better than that, but he has to get in there and do it. Will he sit back sniping at critics like he’s done or actually get his hands dirty? I don’t know.

    Comment by Eddie — 8/9/2009 @ 6:50 pm

  41. The problem is that Congress won’t table the Republican alternatives. They won’t even be presented in committee, much less put before the members for a floor vote. They actually tried early on in the healthcare debate, but the committee chairmen basically told them to fuggaboutit.

    Comment by Foobarista — 8/9/2009 @ 7:07 pm

  42. The only debate the Left will brook is what version of their bills to pass. They refuse to consider any free market ideas. I have an HSA for example and I love it. The Left’s bills will kill HSAs. That’s a step backward, not forward.

    Any bill that includes any government involvement other than regulatory is simply unconstitutional. If we want to throw the Constitution in the trash and just pass whatever is popular at the moment then let’s be honest about it and stop simply ignoring the law.

    Comment by Eric — 8/9/2009 @ 7:29 pm

  43. Eddie,

    We Conservatives aren’t “basically acting like there is no big deal here and we can just sit on the issue”. That is a false flag sent up by the Left. The GOP is fully behind many free market reforms that would achieve most of the goals Obama is claiming to want such as reducing price and increasing coverage. If ever there was a case of government being the problem this is it. Insurance is expensive for many reasons and most can be directly blamed on government like all 50 states acting as 50 independent insurance markets. The Fed has the authority under the Commerce clause to establish national regulations. Government also mandates coverage for things like chiropractic services, in-vitro services, massage therapy, mental health coverage, etc people wouldn’t choose if they actually had the choice. This drives up the price of insurance. It’s like being forced to buy towing, theft, loaner car, roadside assistance, etc for your car insurance policy when all you really want is liability!

    I personally have a high deductible ($6,000), low premium ($57/month for a family) plan with an HSA. It’s basically a catastrophic plan because that’s what it would take to actually need to use my insurance. This type of policy save me money and saves the insurance company money resulting in lower premiums. If enough people were enrolled in this type of plan the price of a policy would fall dramatically.

    To cover the truly needy all we would have to do is give them a prepaid HSA debit card that they would use to purchase insurance and to pay for out of pocket expenses. Any money not spent in any given year rolls over and is the recipient’s to keep. That provides incentive to make good choices.

    I went to the ER a couple weeks ago and when I got the bill I called and was able to negotiate 20% off my bill because I could guarantee immediate payment without the need for the hospital to have to work with the insurance company.

    Even Medicare and Medicaid could be revamped to use the high deductible, low premium HSA model.

    Please don’t buy the Left’s BS regarding a lsck of a solid GOP alternative.

    Comment by Eric — 8/9/2009 @ 7:40 pm

  44. “Judging by the polls, it’s not working. And if health care reform fails, it won’t be because of the hysterical fear mongering by Republicans and conservatives, but because they didn’t believe in reform enough to trust the legislative process and the give and take of democratic debate.”

    Why would any reasonable person have “trust” in a legislative process where the representatvies are not reading the bill and disregarding the arguments of the “Repbulicans” and Conservatives.

    You might not have notice this, but the Democratic Argument of Late has been “We won. Shut up and do as we say” Even if the Republicans wanted to have a discussion (which they may not) , do you seriously think that the Democrats would have listened and engaged them? If so, what evidence can you provide that such is the case?

    Comment by Weisshaupt — 8/9/2009 @ 7:41 pm

  45. Your mother wears combat boots…


    Cretinous Lout

    Comment by d2e — 8/9/2009 @ 7:42 pm

  46. I am in Rick’s shoes, but I get the hate thrown at me even more, since I am a conservative Republican FOR Obama’s healthcare reform plan and I support a public option (hey, I’m working trash and couldn’t care less about the insurance companies’ bottom line).

    Comment by Samir — 8/9/2009 @ 7:46 pm

  47. Regarding Palin, get a grip, Rick.

    I’m a huge Palin fan. And I think her statement on the healthcare bill was the biggest misstep I’ve ever seen her make. I’m afraid that it will come back to haunt her, if she ever pursues higher office.

    We’ll see what happens. Perhaps she will have the humility to step back and offer an explanation or modification.

    Please be assured that sanity is on our side. There are some crazy Palinistas out there, no doubt. But I think they are the minority. They’re just so damned excited to have a voice for their frustration. I think those that are out of power have a right to be a little angrier and crazier in order to be heard.

    Comment by connertown — 8/9/2009 @ 7:50 pm

  48. Intellectual snobbery is intellectual snobbery, whether it comes from the right or the left.
    It’s amazing to find so many who have so much faith in their mental “prowess”. All of the rest of us poor slobs should feel so grateful for your input.
    Note to self: it’s much easier to complain about the solutions others have found than to come up with your own.

    Comment by ldenton — 8/9/2009 @ 7:52 pm

  49. My current insurance is expensive and doesn’t cover what I want — therefore other people should be forced to help me pay for it, and we need to force these companies to cover my conditions — I DESERVE that.

    Thank god the government won’t ever slight me on care, like those evil insurance companies do!!!!

    And, since poor people need help too, let’s have the RICH pay for all of their care; those poor people DESERVE that.

    It is crazy to have people take any responsibility for their own health (well, the RICH should be responsible for their care, obviously).

    Comment by mockmook — 8/9/2009 @ 7:53 pm

  50. Eric,

    You bring up a good point, a “public option” would be a pretty clear violation of the 10th amendment.

    Not even the broadest definition of the interstate commerce clause could justify paying for people’s healthcare.

    But then again, the same could be said of social security and medicare. This is a great example of a “slippery slope”.

    Granted, social security and medicare didn’t turn the country into a socialist state like some said they would, but they did set the precedent that the 10th amendment and the interstate commerce clause are essentially meaningless. The concept that the federal government’s power is limited to a explicit list of powers enumerated in the constitution died with the opposition to those entitlement programs.

    Think about it, the concept is so dead that no one is even talking about how unconstitutional these programs are! I’ll even admit that I hadn’t given it much thought until now.

    Can anyone really say with a strait face that the government running a health insurance company qualifies as “regulating commerce among the several states”?

    If it does , then the clause is meaningless because by that standard there is nothing that WOULDN’T qualify.

    And if the clause is meaningless then why did the founders put it in? do you think they had nothing better to do and they were looking for filler?

    Principles aren’t principles if you only stick to them when its convenient. (or popular)

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 8:05 pm

  51. Mock:

    Your sarcasm doesn’t really work.

    1) It’s not a question of insurance not covering what we want, its a question of insurance not covering us at all, or lying about coverage, or deliberately obscuring coverage, or canceling coverage.

    2) Yes, I think I have more control over government coverage than over private insurance. I have no leverage over the insurance companies, and they are completely indifferent to my wishes or needs because there is no effective competition.

    3) Yes, the poor deserve to have their medical problems treated. No, I don’t want Americans to have cancer and go untreated. It’s barbaric.

    4) Since I am lucky to be in the top couple of percent on income let me make this very clear: I am willing to be taxed to provide health insurance to the poor. I consider it my duty to my fellow American citizens. Unlike you, apparently, I do not think it’s okay for a poor American, or an unemployed American, or a working class American living hand to mouth on minimum wage, to suffer pain and death for lack of care.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 8:20 pm

  52. All you “wise intelectual conservatives” your PDS is showing.I understood Sarah Palins’ reference completely. Legal Insurection explains it:

    Comment by Linda in Whittier CA — 8/9/2009 @ 8:25 pm

  53. This post is just backfill lipstick on that pig of a previous post. Hey, I’m not on the Palin bandwagon, but your superiority complex launches on her short Facebook post is just inferior and rushed writing when compared to the more thorough thinking at http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/08/inconvenient-truth-about-death-panel.html

    Comment by Mark30339 — 8/9/2009 @ 8:30 pm

  54. With your faith in the federal government, you may as well be a “a liberal and an Obama lover”.

    This administration is all about subterfuge and obfuscation. Don’t you find it interesting that each week some new Hot, controversial topic is unleashed as an attempt to keep everyone unfocused (today they are going after CIA agents).

    You say Emanuel is not writing the bill. You are correct. But explain to me why the man who advocates rationing on the basis of productivity to society is Obamas advisor on the subject of health?


    Now.. imagine the public option is passed. Predatory pricing from a government plan will destroy the smaller private companies, much like Walmart destroyed mom and dads five and dime store.
    HR 3200 on page 16 dictates that within 5 years ALL will need to be in a GOVERNMENT APPROVED policy (except Congress of course).

    Oh my. The Dollar is destroyed in the future and the ensuing CRISIS will result in rationing as the all citizens have been forced into government plans.

    Holdren is the Science Czar. Not sure what you are talking about “senate comfirmation”, but do you really think THAT would stop THIS administration from installing a psycho like Holdren or one that sympathizes with him. Do you think Holdren is just kinda hanging out at the white house for no reason? Why is he involved if not to help craft the legislation these power mongers are pushing.

    Cass Sunstein makes his living studying behavior modification and how to manipulate people into doing what they consider to be healthy living. Is he also “just hanging out” at the white house? Maybe he’s helping in the garden. Obviously he’s there to help shape this administrations ability to influence Americans through their poisonous legislation.
    So are you incapable of adding 2+2+2? Does the number 6 not exist in your world?
    You can call me an alarmist or conspiracy theorist, but, by the time I am proven right, you’ll be to old to receive that hernia repair you need.
    Have you checked out Palins facebook page? She posted many articles with much of this information in there and she came to the same conclusion I did.

    If you continue to say that there is NO WAY that some form of “death panels” can be formed, then I will continue to think you are really shilling for the DNC, or in denial. Otherwise, I would expect you to actually investigate these people, look into their motives, and you really have no other choice but to come to the same conclusion.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 8:52 pm

  55. Both Linda in Whitter CA and Mark30339 linked to the same blog post.

    The author is a skilled mental gymnist, as he contorted himself into an impressive position while bending over backwards to defend Palin.

    “Palin’s comments properly are viewed as a warning shot not to move to Dr. Emanuel’s concept of health care rationing based on societal worth, rather than a critique of a specific bill ready for vote.”

    really? you rally think all those loyal die-hard Palin fans out there see that Facebook post (Emphasis on “Facebook post”!) as a nuanced critique of Dr. Emanual’s academic journal paper?

    Or is it more likely that they will take it as gospel truth that the current healthcare bill will kill her Down syndrome stricken child for not be “productive” enough?

    I see the authors point, I’ll even acknowledge that its a valid one, but I think we need to acknowledge how far backwards he had to bend to get there.

    Similar to the Pelosi-swastika issue we discussed earlier, I’ll admit that its a valid interpretation, but I don’t think its what she meant when she said it, and I don’t think its how most people would interpret it.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 8:56 pm

  56. Oh Sillie Rick.
    Obama is playing tit-for-tat.
    SDB classic–

    There’s been a lot of analysis of this, and it turns out that honesty isn’t the best policy. One guy decided to run a computer tournament; people were permitted to create algorithms in a synthetic language which would have the ability to keep track of previous exchanges and make a decision on each new exchange whether to be honest or to cheat. He challenged them to see who could come up with the one which did the best in a long series of matches against various opponents. It turned out that the best anyone could find, and the best anyone has ever found, was known as “Tit-for-tat”.

    On the first round, it plays fair. On each successive round, it does to the other guy what he did the last time.

    When Tit-for-tat plays against itself, it plays fair for the entire game and maximizes output. When it plays against anyone who tosses in some cheating, it punishes it by cheating back and reduces the other guys unfair winnings.

    No-one has ever found a way of defeating it.

    Tit-for-tat is the optimal solution in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma, the IPD. In Evo theory of cooperation, the way for both sides to maximize their winnings is playing fair.
    That would be, as you point out so elegantly, the legislative process.
    But the conservatives initiated the cheat move with force-amplification, disinformation, and astroturfing.
    Obama is just returning each cheat move with another cheat move.
    The conservatives could return to fair moves and Obama would respond with fair moves in tit-for-tat….but the conservatives made their gamespace-goal “stop-healthcare-reform== break Obama.”
    So it would be difficult to reframe the game-goal to passing good legislation.
    Tit-for-tat is unbeatable….did I mention that?


    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/9/2009 @ 9:11 pm

  57. Ken

    You lost all credibility with your comment “Or is it more likely that they will take it as gospel truth that the current healthcare bill will kill her Down syndrome stricken child for not be “productive” enough?”

    Have you read note on Palins Facebook page? Have you seen the articles she posted there? This is the information from where she drew her conclusions.

    Your comment shows that you have taken her out of context and I hardly think that qualifies you to tell me what the Governor meant.
    Now does the fact that her comments were made on “Facebook” lessen the intellect or change the facts? Does “Facebook” lessen your precious “nuance”?
    Would it mean more to you if it was in the NY Times or on NPR?
    You exude elitism in your posts and use the usual liberal tactics of taking people out of context or attacking sources.
    I am sorry to tell you this, but people like you are part of the problem.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 9:11 pm

  58. I agree, I was smugly contemptuous of the shrill, irrational, hysterical left for the 8 years of the Bush presidency. It’s a bit dispiriting now to see a certain section of our own side go equally nutty.

    And it’s much more damaging to us, because the media, which spent 8 years covering up, excusing and ignoring the hateful, crazy left, will saturate the airwaves with footage of right-wing crazies whenever they emerge, allowing them to contaminate the conservative’s public image.

    These goddamn ‘birther’ scumbags need to be beaten to death. To death, seriously.

    Comment by Amos — 8/9/2009 @ 9:16 pm

  59. USS Clueless link…..that SDB guy was hardcore pro-l33t.
    He sure left a hole in the conservative intellectual firmament.
    Nice Azimov.

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/9/2009 @ 9:31 pm

  60. Rick: Here’s what the current “Special Advisor for Health Policy” at OMB wrote in Jan, 2009:

    Consideration of the importance of complete lives also
    supports modifying the youngest-first principle by
    prioritising adolescents and young adults over infants
    (figure). Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfi lment requires a complete life. As the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, “It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies and worse still when
    an adolescent does”;

    Comment by jeffco — 8/9/2009 @ 9:35 pm

  61. Also….the GOP is a party having a hard time appealing to youth and minorities.
    I don’t think having the msm showcase the new GOP demographic– people you could meet at a Klan rally.
    Angry old fat white people screaming and having public pyschotic episodes is not the branding you want to project.
    The teabaggers aren’t persuasive….they are scary and unattrative.

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/9/2009 @ 9:36 pm

  62. Wheeler:

    I read that piece.

    It’s funny how no one notices that we have bills out of 4 committees — something Clinton never managed.

    And how the debate has shifted so that the only really contentious issue is the public option — something I always suspected was trade goods anyway.

    And how Obama by showing deference to the Congress has left himself the option of making a last stage push to support a compromise bill.

    And as a bonus the Republicans have become so batshit even Republicans think they’re crazy.

    It’s the Obama way: he keeps looking like he’s losing until he wins. People should remember that he beat Hillary and Hillary’s people didn’t even know it had happened for another couple of weeks.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 9:38 pm

  63. Oh chicagotrauma,

    “Have you read note on Palins Facebook page? ”

    Nope! and I don’t Plan to.

    “I hardly think that qualifies you to tell me what the Governor meant.”

    When did I tell you what the government meant? I said that there is no such proposal being debated in either house of congress, nor is it being supported by ANY politician. These are facts, and I don’t see how they translate to me telling you “what the government meant”?

    “Does “Facebook” lessen your precious “nuance”?”

    In a word… yes

    “Would it mean more to you if it was in the NY Times or on NPR?”

    Again… Yes. Though neither organization is perfectly unbiased or factual, they both have editorial structures and fact-checking that at least nominally strive for real journalism and facts (though neither achieves perfect impartiality or accuracy)

    Any source of information should be critically examined for bias and accuracy. That being said, I can say with a high degree of certainty that more accurate facts can be gleaned from even a poor news organization than from an unfiltered social networking website.

    “You exude elitism in your posts and use the usual liberal tactics of”… “attacking sources”

    Seriously? this is exactly what I was talking about earlier. Since when did critical thinking become the exclusive domain of the liberal elite? Shouldn’t everyone examine and scrutinize all sources of information?

    What you call liberal elitism, I call essential to being a well informed voter.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 9:39 pm

  64. wheelers_cat Said:
    9:36 pm

    Also….the GOP is a party having a hard time appealing to youth and minorities.
    I don’t think having the msm showcase the new GOP demographic– people you could meet at a Klan rally.
    Angry old fat white people screaming and having public pyschotic episodes is not the branding you want to project.
    The teabaggers aren’t persuasive….they are scary and unattrative.

    Either Matoko-Chan from The American Scene or disciple of his. Do you get paid for this?

    Comment by c3 — 8/9/2009 @ 9:54 pm

  65. Chicagotrauma,
    ok, I’ll try to be nice. I believe you are a conservative who wants to fight for our cause. It does appear to get on your nerves when you spot so called elitism. However, let me assure you that it gets on our nerves too when every time a debate comes around people like you can’t wait to throw labels like Frumish, elitist etc around. What in the world is wrong with watching NPR as a conservative? This is ridiculous. So you like Palin, fine, just don’t call me a liberal or whatever just because I think she isn’t exactly the sharpest knife around.

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 10:03 pm

  66. Moltenorb #5:

    Would you think less of me if I called you an asshole…but, remember, if I only call you one, because I’m not calling you one. Really, I haven’t…I was just asking.

    Comment by Mike — 8/9/2009 @ 10:11 pm

  67. “And if health care reform fails, it won’t be because of the hysterical fear mongering by Republicans and conservatives, but because they didn’t believe in reform enough to trust the legislative process and the give and take of democratic debate.”

    A rather sane end-of-an-essay remark. But if health care reform is so important that we can ignore the loss of life in Afghanistan, then where were the conservatives on the issue when they had the presidency and the congress?

    Apparently loss of life means nothing to conservatives. Life begins at conception, but ends at birth.

    For conservatives there is no health care crisis. The market is working perfectly. Why tamper with ’success?’ Although they don’t believe in evolution, conservatives sure are advocates of social darwinism.

    One of these days I expect Rick to support a plan that includes himself.

    Meanwhile he shrugs off the “useful idiots” on the right while failing to support any alternative which his party will never provide! Mr Reynolds has your number.

    Comment by bobwire — 8/9/2009 @ 10:23 pm

  68. Funnyman
    I appreciate your “effort” to be nice. Hopefully, it wasn’t too hard. Please show where I said there was “something wrong with watching NPR as a conservative.”? Did I mention Frum? How about Brooks or Parker? I am sorry to disappoint you. If you feel that Palins (or anyone else’s )opinions mean any less because they have been lifted off Facebook rather than the Grey Lady then you sir are an elitist. I stated that Ken had used a typical “liberal” tactic. Please show where I called any of you “liberals”? You may not think Palin is the “sharpest” knife around” but I am positive that she and likely many of her supporters would read my comment and NOT write that I had said things that I obviously didn’t, as you have.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 10:39 pm

  69. I must extrapolate the most dire, sinister outcomes assumed in the debate with no evidence whatsoever that anything being proposed will lead to “death panels,” or denial of critical care.

    In Oregon, where they have a “public option” people are denied medicine but given advice on how to end their lives instead. But there is no evidence whatsoever. Of course.

    Comment by lorien1973 — 8/9/2009 @ 10:45 pm

  70. Chicagotrauma,
    ok, granted maybe I implied more than you stated. Perhaps I read too many comments that got on my nerves. So in that case I apologize. However, let’s not beat around the bush pretending you and I don’t know where we are both coming from.

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 10:51 pm

  71. Ken
    Please read my response to funny man as both of you seem to invent the meanings to my words, and have taken the liberty of moving them around.

    Liberal elitism is not a term or phrase that I mentioned. I mentioned “liberal tactics” and “elitism” as two separate things. I called you an elitist, you happen to be conservative. It is obvious you are conservative from your posts, but we all know that libs do not have a corner on the elite market.
    Palin’s words DO NOT mean any less because they were lifted (out of context in your case) out of Facebook.

    You wrote “Similar to the Pelosi-swastika issue we discussed earlier, I’ll admit that its a valid interpretation, but I don’t think its what she meant when she said it, and I don’t think its how most people would interpret it.”
    This is where you were informing us of what Palin did or did not mean. I think you are rather full of yourself to feel that you could even comment on what she meant without reading her own words.
    I read the Times , NPR, and all sorts of information as well. You really look bad commenting on someones words when you admit you haven’t even read them.
    Now, about that “government” rant of yours….

    I said “Governor”.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 10:51 pm

  72. I understand. Sometimes I get POed as well.
    No problem.
    I do have a problem with people who look down on Palin or Palinistas (if you will) because they are “commoners”. I see a lot of that and I really feel that people like Frum/Parker/Brooks do a disservice to the conservative cause by marginalizing a group of people. There are more commoners in either party than the elites.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 10:55 pm

  73. Ken

    “Seriously? this is exactly what I was talking about earlier. Since when did critical thinking become the exclusive domain of the liberal elite? Shouldn’t everyone examine and scrutinize all sources of information?”

    Just realized something wrong with this comment. Critical thinking has NEVER even been in the domain of liberalism. Liberals cannot be bothered with facts. Critical thinking is something that only conservatives do. Take Global Warming/Climate Change for example. Are the Kerrys, Gores and Boxers ready to have a debate? Nope. Critical thinking Liberals are like Unicorns. We’ve heard of them, but never seen them.

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/9/2009 @ 11:06 pm

  74. Chicagotrauma,
    exactly! (thanks for the understanding) However, I just have different opinion because there is plenty of the ‘commoner’ crowd that looks down on anything resembling intellectual debate too. I don’t mean you but if you want to see a Brooks hate fest just go over to Hot Air. You know along the lines Joe Six Pack versus country club. Seriously, I don’t recall conservatives having a problem with an elite in the past. Why all the class warfare now? I could also with some justification say that the Rush, Coulter, Beck crowd are a disservice to the conservative cause by stifling any rational debate. Anyway, the truth, sadly, is probably somewhere in the middle.

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 11:10 pm

  75. I think this article answers the ‘quo vadis conservatism’ quite elegantly:

    Comment by funny man — 8/9/2009 @ 11:22 pm

  76. Chicagotrauma,

    as for me telling you what Palin meant, I said “I don’t think…” These words were specifically chosen to show that I am expressing an opinion, not declaring a fact.

    If that didn’t soften the statement enough for you then I’m sorry.

    “I said “Governor”.”
    My mistake, but in my defense, she did choose to stop being Governor recently.

    “Liberals cannot be bothered with facts. Critical thinking is something that only conservatives do. ”
    … might be doing just a little bit of generalizing here… and by a little bit… I mean a lot.

    “Take Global Warming/Climate Change for example.”
    Okay, here’s a big sticking point. I will fervently stand up for the scientific method. Without it I would not be able to make my living, and we would not be communicating right now.

    ->The earth is ~4.5 Billion years old
    ->Co2 absorbs infrared wavelengths of radiation
    ->living beings mutate and selective pressure favors the more advantageous mutations
    ->Small changes in relative Co2 can be empirically shown to significantly change global temperatures
    ->Vaccines prevent millions of deaths and do not cause autism
    ->Human sources of Co2 emissions are significant compared to natural sources.

    All these things are provable scientific facts. I am sorry if they conflict with you religious beliefs or your political aspirations, but that does make them any less provable.

    The scientific method is the best method known to mankind for determining empirical truth. Its far from perfect and I can guarantee there are a lot of things we are getting wrong right now. However, this does not mean that you can cherry pick which facts to “believe” based on political convenience and throw out years of analysis without having the scientific chops to back up such a claim.

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/9/2009 @ 11:38 pm

  77. I’ve been hired by as a member of the death panel. I’ve decided three of the above commenters are going to have to die. I’m not telling which. However, a thousand bucks each would go a long way toward staying my hand . . .

    Death panels. Jesus Christ in a chicken basket, there is literally nothing so stupid some winger won’t believe it. Yes, wingnuts: the federal government is going to kill old people. Because it’s not like old people vote or have any political sway.

    Oh, sure, if old people had demonstrated any capacity to enforce their will, say, if they had drained vast portions of the federal budget into their pockets, or if they held sway in an important electoral swing state or two, well yeah, then they’d be safe from these wandering death panels of doom.

    In what lunatic alternate universe would any president ever, ever, ever, regardless of party, decide it was a great idea to euthanize old voters . . . er . . . old people?

    You want to see a “death panel” in action? Ask your health insurer to cover an experimental treatment for a child’s fatal disease. It’s fun to make the health insurers laugh.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/9/2009 @ 11:55 pm

  78. Did I mention I am also firmly opposed to the idea that you must be anti-science in order to be conservative?

    And yes, in my not-so-humble opinion, if you are anti-evolution, anti-climate-change, anti-Vaccine, or anti-round-earth then one of two things MUST be true:

    #1) You are a researcher in a relevant field, about to publish findings in a peer reviewed journal based on rigorous empirical or theoretical work.


    #2) You are anti-science

    Comment by Ken.McLoud — 8/10/2009 @ 12:00 am

  79. For Rick the world is irredeemably divided between Obamabots and Palin zombies.

    And I guess you are where? After all it’s your division. Sign up.

    Imagine a neither realm! you know you have it in you..

    Comment by bobwire — 8/10/2009 @ 1:32 am

  80. Funnyman

    I think this is a great write up the elite repub..


    Comment by Anonymous — 8/10/2009 @ 1:46 am

  81. Ken my friend
    My apologies for the delay in response but duty called and I had to deal with some badness.

    “The scientific method is the best method known to mankind for determining empirical truth ”

    I agree. I will not argue that the climate is changing. I won’t argue that we should be clean and try to minimize solutions. I just don’t think that Humans can stop climate change, or even affect it.
    My research wading thru scientific mags, articles, and such has led me to believe that the AGW/Cap and Tax is a scam.
    Following the money and the science I trust, tells me that it is.
    Would you agree that science should result in reproducible findings, whatever the results, and not be a means to a desired result as many of these AGW studies are (Example- James Hansen fudging GISS data, Antartic Ice shelf studies have serious flaws)? If so then we are probably in the same book, if not on the same page.

    Otherwise, I hereby dub you the King of Being Defensive :)

    Indulge me as I generalize about Libs. I will reiterate, facts are something that they just don’t understand.

    By the way Vaccines are cool. I like my viruses weakened. Thanks

    Comment by Anonymous — 8/10/2009 @ 2:33 am

  82. solutions should be pollution

    my bad

    Comment by chicagotrauma — 8/10/2009 @ 2:34 am

  83. @chicagotrauma:

    “I do have a problem with people who look down on Palin or Palinistas (if you will) because they are ‘commoners’. ”

    ??? I’m curious where that comes from. Do you have any sources?

    I’ve made no secret that I think Palin is an idiot, but it is completely unrelated to being “common” or “uncommon” . . . just as many common idiots as uncommon idiots. I’ve read many, many attacks on Palin, but none of them dismissed her because she was “a commoner”.
    In the same vein, the “Palinistas” (an oddly Socialist name for such an anti-Socialist club) get insulted for praising her, not for being “commoners”. Bill Kristol supports her, and for it (as well as many other bad ideas) he gets called an idiot . . . but her certainly isn’t a “commoner”. Same for Rush.

    Maybe part of the confusion for me is that I’m not sure what a “commoner” is. Is it based on your level of education? Is it your job? Your income? Your criminal record? Family history? Hobbies? I honestly have no clue.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/10/2009 @ 3:36 am

  84. C3, ima grrl, here’s my blog.

    @ Michael Reynolds….yeah…some version of healthcare reform is going to pass.
    The conservatives made STOP OBAMA==NO REFORM their game-goal so they will lose.
    They should have NO PUBLIC OPTION the game-goal, and they might have got that.

    A question for Rick Moran…can the conservatives go back to the legislative table?

    Here is a very scary statistic for conservatives…. 6% of scientists are republicans…that means 94% are NOT-republicans.
    65% of people with post-graduate degrees are NOT-republicans.
    That is very bad for conservatives because 99% of college professors are either teaching research scientists or people with post-graduate degrees. That means the reason that academe is painted blue is not because of liberal bias, but that there just very few conservative professors available to hire.

    They were never at the table to begin with. All of this talk of bi-partisanship is just that - talk. The real negotiating is going on between Harry Reid, who is fronting for Nancy Pelosi, and Max Baucus. Reid is relaying what the Finance Committee is doing to Pelosi who then takes it to the progressives to see if it will fly. And judging by how slowly this process is going, I imagine the liberals are not being very cooperative.

    There are independent efforts going on that involve Lindsey Graham and a couple of other GOP senators with 3 or 4 Democrats. But I guarantee you that effort will go nowhere. They are out of the loop and are simply churning chum in the water so they can say they sincerely tried for a bi-partisan agreement.

    I’m afraid that what has to happen now is a total defeat of what is being proposed and a trip back to the drawing board. That won’t happen which means we will either get a spectacularly bad bill from the Democrats or nothing and health care reform will die for another decade.


    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/10/2009 @ 6:22 am

  85. Learning new things can be fun, so consider, please. It seems there can be no real remedy to the clawing, scratching end of the Americans’ liberty unless the Congress is once again confined to its enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. As long as the “federal” government has a $3,000,000,000,000 annual budget and ignores the constitutional list of powers granted to the Congress, men will struggle mightily to have the government for themselves. Because so much wealth and power has been concentrated in so few hands, it seems necessary that the struggle continue and intensify.

    Comment by Kralizec — 8/10/2009 @ 7:51 am

  86. ok, Kralizec…..lets get government clean out of healthcare!!
    Let’s stop medicaid and medicare right now.
    Why not?

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/10/2009 @ 8:16 am

  87. They were never at the table to begin with.

    umm…conservatives were never at the table?
    I don’t unnerstand.
    Obama always makes the bi-partisan opening move public. Conservatives always just say no.
    They could force Obama to negotiate in good faith (fair move) by publically accepting his overture, whether it is genuine or not.
    The problem is that the conservative base has cast compromise as capitulation, so bi-partisan action has moved into the liberal payoff column.

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/10/2009 @ 11:40 am

  88. That is the beauty of tit-for-tat…..you can force the other player to play fair.
    Fair play maximizes both sides winnings.
    Otherwise the first side to cheat loses.
    I’m pretty sure that was conservatives this time.
    If conservatives went to the legislative table, that would force Obama to make a fair move in return.

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/10/2009 @ 11:47 am

  89. michael reynolds Said:
    8:20 pm

    4) Since I am lucky to be in the top couple of percent on income let me make this very clear: I am willing to be taxed to provide health insurance to the poor.

    CZ: Why wait Mr. Reynolds, or may I call you Mr. Lucky? If you’re as wealthy as you claim to be why not just peel off a trillion or so and build some free clinics for the poor? Or are you one of those “greedy” rich guys the democrat politicians tell us so much about?

    Why do you require federal legislation to motivate your personal thoughtful generosity? You can afford it, after all YOU ARE in the TOP COUPLE OF PERCENT ON INCOME, correct? You made that VERY CLEAR.

    You are either more mouth than money or more dung then brains but both is my guess. If not then get off your extremely wealthy and boastful dead beat ass and get busy. Why not put your money where your keyboard is?

    Be sure to write back and tell us all about your generous and thoughtful philanthropy. After all, it’s for “the greater good”, and YOU can afford it.

    Comment by CZ — 8/10/2009 @ 11:47 am

  90. So Rick Moran what would be a fair play for conservatives at this point?

    Comment by wheelers_cat — 8/10/2009 @ 12:23 pm

  91. CZ:

    Why don’t I pay a trillion dollars? Are you an idiot? Why don’t I just defend the country all by myself too, genius? Then I’ll build all the roads.

    Incidentally, “top 1 or 2%” does not mean billionaire. It doesn’t even mean rich. It just means well off.

    Look, I know conservatives are stupid, but try this out: some things we do together, as a country. We defend the country together. We build roads together. We patrol the borders together. We inspect food together. We negotiate treaties together.

    You know, as a country. Together.

    So the only question here is whether we treat healthcare as something we do together. I say yes. You say no.

    Or do you? Would you shut down medicare? How about VA health care? Shut down all federally-sponsored medical research? Somehow I doubt it.

    You asked who’s going to pay for it and I answered. Those of us who are able will pay a little more. I’m willing to be part of that.

    Now, if you want to continue discussing the issues, why not start with reality as opposed to hysterical Glen Beck rants?

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/10/2009 @ 12:52 pm

  92. Congratulations Reynolds, you broke Rick’s blog.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/10/2009 @ 1:19 pm

  93. For in pulling out all the stops to garner a political triumph, and becoming the number one enabler of demagoguery and fear mongering, he will have so riven the citizenry of this republic as to make any future efforts to solve our problems in a bi-partisan manner an impossibility.

    Some uniter, huh?

    There is always some degree of truth in demagoguery and hyperbole. Furthermore (and sadly), it works. While I wish the debate could be made without it, asking conservatives to eschew these tactics while the left wallows in it is like sending a soldier into battle, but telling him to leave the weapon at home. I don’t like gunfights, but if I’m in one, don’t ask me to just bring my knife.

    Comment by lionheart — 8/10/2009 @ 3:26 pm

  94. Rick said: “Heh - conservatives think I’m not and liberals think I am. What am I doing wrong?”

    More like what you are doing right if both fringes think you’re with the other. I do agree with you on . This bill (and BO says it isn’t even his idea of a bill) will go down in flames without all the flamers.

    Nice Asimov quote too!

    Comment by MochaLite — 8/10/2009 @ 3:55 pm

  95. 91michael reynolds Said:
    12:52 pm


    Why don’t I pay a trillion dollars? Are you an idiot? Why don’t I just defend the country all by myself too, genius? Then I’ll build all the roads.

    CZ: You seem to be angry. Professional therapy may help, a man like you should be able to afford it. Calling me names doesn’t help your case. You seem to be a well-educated, mature and thoughtful fellow who has acquired a good deal of personal wealth and said so yourself. So why all the anger? You claim to have all the answers and money to back it up too. BTW, the overpass on I-80 near my commune is in need of some flowers and landscaping. Could you help out by donating a few bucks? It’s shovel ready and I know some burly union guys who are willing to help. For a union price.

    Incidentally, “top 1 or 2%” does not mean billionaire. It doesn’t even mean rich. It just means well off.

    CZ: If you are “well-off” why not put some of that well-off money where your keyboard is? Why must your arm be twisted by some ill-conceived collectivist/statist government legislation? Why not do the right thing on your own? With so many less fortunate individuals wandering about without a federally funded colonoscopy as I write, why not roll up your sleeves and get busy?

    Look, I know conservatives are stupid, but try this out: some things we do together, as a country. We defend the country together. We build roads together. We patrol the borders together. We inspect food together. We negotiate treaties together.

    You know, as a country. Together.

    CZ: “I know conservatives are stupid”. Why would I want to do anything “together” with a mature, wealthy fellow who calls me stupid?

    So the only question here is whether we treat healthcare as something we do together. I say yes. You say no.

    Or do you?

    CZ: In a word, no.

    Would you shut down medicare? How about VA health care? Shut down all federally-sponsored medical research? Somehow I doubt it.

    CZ: I already pay taxes to support the elderly and veterans. But I would think liberal rich guys like you would be pro-active as the thoughtful, wonderful people you pretend to be and take up the slack…you know…together. If you are the thoughtful man you claim to be YOU can make a difference and shouldn’t need some ill-conceived collectivist/statist legislation to make you do so.

    You asked who’s going to pay for it and I answered. Those of us who are able will pay a little more. I’m willing to be part of that.

    CZ: I never asked who is going to pay for anything and you answered anyway. But you can pay for it since you are in the “top couple of percent on income”. Get Blake, Logan and Chatsworth down at your country club to pitch in too. What have you done so far besides pound your…ahem…keyboard? What are you willing to do right now? What will you be willing to do for the less fortunate in the future, without some hasty, ill-conceived collectivist/statist legislation holding the federal gun against your head?

    Now, if you want to continue discussing the issues, why not start with reality as opposed to hysterical Glen Beck rants?

    CZ: First, I don’t rant. That’s your job. Second, I refuse to continue “discussing” any “issues” with someone who calls me “stupid” and an “idiot”. However, I will respond to the dubious boasts you seem so willing to broadcast to the entire world. Like this one:

    michael reynolds Said:
    8:20 pm

    4) Since I am lucky to be in the top couple of percent on income let me make this very clear: I am willing to be taxed to provide health insurance to the poor.

    CZ: How genuinely generous you are! It’s so very nice of you to say that, how sweet. But what are YOU willing to do on your own…Mr. Lucky?

    Comment by CZ — 8/10/2009 @ 5:28 pm

  96. Guys (and girls),
    please behave!

    Comment by funny man — 8/10/2009 @ 5:48 pm

  97. There is, again, no moral equivalency between the GOP and the Dems on this issue. The Dems have lied, demonized and again marginalized themselves with the American public, who will crush them like bugs the next few election cycles. The GOP may have its crazies but the Dem brand has taken a beaten like it hasn’t experienced since Carter threw on a sweater and told Americans they suck. Good. Despite all the predictions of the GOP’s death, the Dems are rushing headlong to the morgue because of their blind arrogance.

    Comment by obamathered — 8/10/2009 @ 8:41 pm

  98. CZ:


    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/10/2009 @ 9:05 pm

  99. obamathered,
    just a hint of caution. Wishful thinking is not always reality. If you play chess don’t underestimate your opponent. Morals and politics, ohh well. Just thought you might find a little different take on Carter interesting.

    Comment by funny man — 8/10/2009 @ 10:52 pm

  100. (Note: Emanuel’s brother is not writing the bill, nor is Holdren going to have anything to do with running any state controlled health care system

    Good point — it’s not like America has to live with czars. Thank Gaia for that.

    Rick, you’re unquestionably the next John Cole. I smelled it during the “let’s give him a chance” phase of 200 days ago. Go ahead, cash your checks, and make your exit left. You’ve got the support of the requisite commentariat. Why do you maintain your stance as a conservative? When you don’t write like one? There’s nothing here remotely right wing, not for many moons.

    Comment by Scott — 8/11/2009 @ 12:38 am

  101. Rick, you’re unquestionably the next John Cole.

    Now that would be entertaining to watch, if Rick made that sort of transition. I recall catching the tail-end of John Cole’s transition to the the reality-based community (and the last gasps of the winger commentators 0n Balloon-Juice), and it was non-stop amusement! From what can tell, Mr. Cole is a happier man and has more readers than from his old online persona, so perhaps there’s hope for Rick yet…

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 8/11/2009 @ 1:00 am

  102. funny man:

    Obama in general and the congressional Dems in particular are considerably worse than their Carter-era counterparts. The McCarthyite tactics of today’s Left have alienated more than half of the country. The Dems have permanently lost one of their best allies, the elderly. The priceless part is you don’t even see the train coming down the tracks straight at you. That’s not wishful at all, but objective fact born out of polls. If you have any doubt, look how rapidly Obama has moved to distance himself from (and throw under the bus) congressional Dems and their more wild-eyed rants.

    If you want to bet the farm on continued Democratic electoral gains let alone huge losses, fine. Just get prepared to move off the farm.

    Comment by obamathered — 8/11/2009 @ 7:16 am

  103. Obamathered,
    why all the love? I’m not fooled by poll numbers going up or down. If the economy recovers, 2012 is Obama’s election to loose. All I’m saying it will not be a cakewalk like you suggest. The trains and farms don’t really add anything to your argument but then you seem to enjoy doing that.

    Comment by funny man — 8/11/2009 @ 9:39 am

  104. Chicagotrauma, your post #54 has a false piece of information. The bill HR3200 on page 16 says nothing to do with forcing people to take the public option in 5 years. Hell, the section is entitled ‘Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage.’
    It says if your employer chooses to keep the same insurance plan forever, that plan is grandfathered in. But if there are any major CHANGES in the plan (during that grace period), then your employer must offer the cafeteria-style plan. That selection WILL contain your current insurance company, and if you’re happy with that, you don’t have to change. But there is NOTHING forcing you to switch to the public insurance plan.
    You can’t take 1 section out of context with the rest of the bill. Read the whole thing over first.

    Comment by Brian — 8/12/2009 @ 3:45 pm

  105. @ Surabaya Stew

    I hate to break it to you, but Rick is not the next John Cole. I offer up the following reasons:

    1. Rick is much older than John, and more set in his ways.

    2. Sibling rivalry prevents him from eating crow.

    3. No photos of pets!

    Comment by bobwire — 8/17/2009 @ 8:31 pm

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