Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Running on fuming: The equivalency card

Conservatives play lots of cards these days. And, unfortunately, Texas Hold ’Em is not in their repertoire. Could have saved us all at least eight years of grief.

One of these cards that isn’t talked about much is what I call the equivalency card: basically, that any criticism of conservatives must be counterbalanced by a perceived liberal equivalent. If you are unable to do that, or didn’t see fit to criticize a similar event in the past, then your claim will be written off as invalid and hypocritical. If you can accomplish that, you’re asked what the big deal is if everyone’s doing it. Either way, it’s a convenient way for conservatives to frame the debate to where they don’t have to get their hands too dirty.

This tactic is nothing new, but it really became acute in the Bush era:

"The U.S. must not start a war against Iraq. Bush is being reckless."

"Well, why don't you also protest the recklessness of Saddam Hussein?"

Well, because Saddam Hussein isn’t preemptively attacking a sovereign nation over a strike demonstrably committed by an organization that not only has no ties to the sovereign nation, but actually hates said nation. But all of that is apparently moot, because I haven’t expended my energy protesting all injustice in the world ever.

The equivalency card helps conservatives turn any issue raised by liberals into a bout of persecution. It’s going on right now with the health care debate.

“A choreographed effort by the Republicans is ensuring that the health care debate is dominated by confrontational, angry opposition intent on shouting down any and all honest dialogue, sometimes to the point of physical altercation.”

“Why are you against freedom of speech? Liberals protested all through the Bush era. You were OK with that then!”

This particular argument ignores the comparative root causes of each side’s protests, as well as scale and intent. No one thinks conservatives have no right to protest; but it’s legit to question the methods. But again, the equivalency card is designed to crush any nuances in the conversation.

Some are almost pathological in their use of this tactic, rendering it one-note and useless. Even this very discussion can prompt it:

“Conservatives are using the equivalency card as a way of silencing all criticism of the questionable and desperate tactics of their campaigns.”

“Well, what about the questionable tactics all the liberals use?”

The sad irony is that, when properly applied, the equivalency card can actually be useful. One example:

“Under Obamacare, the government would have access to your bank account and your most sensitive personal information! That’s going too far! I don’t want some bureaucratic goon spying on me.”

“I don’t remember you protesting the Patriot Act, which unlike Obama’s health plan actually does that stuff and much, much more.”

But even that is a useful point only when followed up by a discussion of the Obama health plan itself, rather than a mere deflection to the Patriot Act.

The danger of the equivalency card is that a discussion about Issue A becomes a discussion about Issue B. For a Republican being forced to defend the tactics of the party’s worst elements, it’s understandable that they’d want to shift the subject to something more comfortable. But it can’t be allowed to happen. And that’s true for either side. After all, they’re equivalent.

44 comments:

Tom Alday said...

I see after all these years you're still a DNC controlled robot reposting talking points you can't even effectively articulate.

musing said...

Ah, Tom. I see you haven't changed any over the years, either. Still mindlessly sniping at anyone who doesn't believe exactly as you do, without ever offering a substantive alternative.

Tom Alday said...

You talk to me as if I should know, care or remember who you are. It's nice to know I left such an impression that you'd remember me after 5 years, I can't say the same about you though.

Ian McGibboney said...

So...how about that blog post?

Tom Alday said...

What about it? It's nothing particularly ground breaking or even interesting. This one, and your most recent one, offer nothing that hasn't been posted on hundreds of liberal blogs for the past 2 weeks and is actually fairly boring to read in comparison. You employ demagoguery and slander to admonish the other side for what you perceive as their demagoguery and slander. In all honesty I'm not even sure of the message you're trying to convey, it certainly isn't an appeal to civility or reconciliation. You make no attempt to understand or even try to examine the grievances of the other side, yet expect them to blindly accept your analysis of those grievances, and then have the audacity to sit by as your brethren chime in and admonish me for my supposed unwillingness to accept outside opinion. It just comes off as a wordy, boring and frankly unimpressive troll attempt.

Ian McGibboney said...

That's an interesting observation, Tom, because these are my own observations, based largely on actual conversations I've had. But I imagine if, as you claim, hundreds of liberal blogs have the same information lately (you must have lots of free time), then that really says a lot about the Republican hive mind, huh? I guess I shouldn't be surprised that everyone's having the same exact conversations. There's only so much material from you guys to work with.

Tom, I'd like to know your stances on health care and the heated town hall meetings. What do you think?

Tom Alday said...

My stance on health care is that Obama will fail, whatever weak sauce that emerges from the House will be next to useless and anything the Senate passes will be so neutered it will be laughed at by the left and the right. The public is very quickly souring on this garbage and there is one thing you can always count on Congressman doing, and that's whatever it takes to preserve their seat.

As for the town halls I think they're great. I think the Founders are smiling down at the citizenry standing up to their government. It's exactly as they envisioned as far as I'm concerned.

Ian McGibboney said...

OK, but what do YOU want to see regarding health care? Is there a change YOU would like to see? Do you think the system is fine as it is?

Or, judging by your town hall answer, is it enough just to bleat and boo?

Tom Alday said...

Health care in the US is covered by three main systems-- Medicare,
Medicaid, and private insurance.

Two of these systems are bankrupt, and will be unable to make payments
in 10 years.

The third is solvent, and can make all of its payments for the
foreseeable future.

Barack Obama's plan is to take the one system meeting its obligations
and fold it into the two systems that are virtually bankrupt.

NOLA Progressive said...

Tom- Don't you at least find it pertinent that the solvency of said private sector is only such due to the fact that they are basically setup to deny care and increase profits? Especially in light of the fact that the sector is not a commodity in the sense of competition can apply and dive down price? Also, I've heard Obama state that a driving force behind the reform push is to fix the problems with Mediciare/aid. Isn't admitting weaknesses and working to fix them an admirable trait?

Ian- I think your original point to the post is an often overlooked and underwritten about topic. Unfortunately, both sides of the coin do it alot! It would be nice to reach a point where political discourse simply addressed an issue at hand for what it is, not who backs it. I'm definitely guilty here, so I need to practice what I preach, but it has gotten way out of hand in this health care reform "debate".

Ian McGibboney said...

NOLA - I should clarify an earlier point: both sides do indeed do this. The equivalency card is not inherently bad, as long as it doesn't itself become the entire issue.

During the tea parties, I asked why these people didn't protest under Bush. I think that's a valid equivalency because the tax gap grew under Bush, but has started to shrink under Obama, and the stated purpose of the protests was a nonpartisan objection to rising taxes (which, again, were no longer rising). The way I saw it, the only reason for the sudden outrage had to have been the new president.

It's when someone skews or mishmashes the comparisons that the card becomes a mere stifling of debate. As in, we can't talk about Fox News being a propaganda outlet because George Soros is allegedly controlling all of our minds. End of discussion.

When a response starts with, "Yeah, but what about..." I sigh. Regardless of who you are, you should address the "yeah" before going on to "but what about..."

NOLA Progressive said...

Couldn't agree more. Kudos.

Tom Alday said...

@Nola

It's a business, I'm not going to demonize them for doing what they can to minimize expenditures and maximize profits, that's what businesses are supposed to do. Car insurance companies will deny you coverage if you suck at driving, I don't see why health insurance companies get singled out for doing basically the same thing.

Ian McGibboney said...

TA: "It's a business, I'm not going to demonize them for doing what they can to minimize expenditures and maximize profits, that's what businesses are supposed to do."

And it's government's job to give oversight to businesses, to make sure they give fair services that they promise. You may disagree, but the fact is that child labor laws, overtime, minimum wage, unions, safety regulations and much more exist precisely BECAUSE minimizing expenditures and maximizing profits often involves doing morally reprehensible things, which private industry cannot and will not police among themselves.

I find it absolutely disgusting that you value profits over people's lives, Tom. It's time for that mind-set to end.

Tom Alday said...

Insurance is not a right Ian, whether it's health insurance, house insurance or car insurance. I don't get the mindset Democrats have that this one type of insurance is bad when they do the same thing ALL other insurance industries do. Why is health insurance so important that the government has to swoop in and save it when it's not broken? Insurance is a business, it's not supposed to hold your hand as you skip off to the doctors office and tuck you in gently at night. It's not your friend or buddy, it's purpose is to provide a service in a cost efficient manner that doesn't bankrupt them. Same as any other company.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, we pay millions in health care costs for people who can't afford it already, and those are expensive procedures because people wait until they have no choice but to go to the ER. It makes sense to have a public option that people can buy into for a lower price. It helps all of us, not just those in need.

Health care is not a simple issue of capitalism. People don't choose to be sick, and it's not our constitutional duty to coddle the poor insurance companies.

As for the system not being broken...boy, that's a joke. It works for the people lucky enough to afford it. Just barely. I myself have full insurance, and yet I spent almost all the money I had on the deductibles I incurred over a single preexisting condition. If this had happened to me three years ago, when I didn't have insurance, I would probably have lost everything.

So excuse me if I think people deserve better than this greedy system. And I'd advise you to look at the human side. Just this once.

NOLA Progressive said...

Tom- While I understand the point that you are making, I have to disagree with you. The typical business archetype does not apply to healthcare. For starters, I can't shop around and see if they're having 2 for 1 on knee surgery at St. Mary's versus County General.

Also, my choice in insurers is severely limited due to a stagnation in competition in the market. When Blue Cross insures over 78% of a state, competition and free enterprise are not really applicable.

Finally, the most important fact of all that is unique to health care. You're life depends on it! Quite literally a person's health, well being, and longevity are inexorably linked to their health coverage.

I will honor this argument in opposition to health care reform. It is not paid for yet. Obama states that it will be in the final legislation, and I believe him at this point, but it's not there yet. I am interested to see how the legislation makes this happen short of going to single payer. (which would be fabulous in my opinion, but a topic for a different thread)

Tom Alday said...

Tom, we pay millions in health care costs for people who can't afford it already, and those are expensive procedures because people wait until they have no choice but to go to the ER. It makes sense to have a public option that people can buy into for a lower price. It helps all of us, not just those in need.

//Because we spend millions a year on some is not justification to spend TRILLIONS on a few million more. The economics don't even pan out if that is your justification. That's quite frankly a retarded way to spend money.//

Health care is not a simple issue of capitalism. People don't choose to be sick, and it's not our constitutional duty to coddle the poor insurance companies.

//Who's coddling them? Thanks to the revenue generated by those insurance companies the US leads the world in pharmaceutical development, medical equipment development and pretty much every other field related to helping people medically. I fail to see how evil they are.//

As for the system not being broken...boy, that's a joke. It works for the people lucky enough to afford it. Just barely. I myself have full insurance, and yet I spent almost all the money I had on the deductibles I incurred over a single preexisting condition. If this had happened to me three years ago, when I didn't have insurance, I would probably have lost everything.

//93% of US citizens are insured, don't act as if it's a lofty, privileged few who get coverage//

So excuse me if I think people deserve better than this greedy system. And I'd advise you to look at the human side. Just this once.

//That "greedy system" should be thanked for everything it's done to help people, if it wasn't for that "greedy system" we would all be in wheelchairs thanks to polio or dead thanks to smallpox. You can complain all you want about the insurance industry but the world and the US would be in piss poor shape if they weren't around.//

musing said...

Um, bullshit. The revenue generated by insurance companies goes to develop pharmaceuticals and medical equipment? In what alternative universe? Insurance companies don't pay for any of that shit. Most pharmaceutical and medical equipment research is paid for by the federal government, either directly or through tax writeoffs--often both.

And yes, the system is absolutely broken. We spend orders of magnitude more money for health coverage than any other industrialized nation in the world, and our people don't live as long and are not as healthy. Fifty million people in this country, more or less, have absolutely no health insurance. That's a crime, not something to brag about. And outside of people in Congress and the independently wealthy, the rest of us put up with lousy care, endless hassles, bloated bureaucracies vastly less efficient than the government itself is, and still can't get coverage for things most people take for granted.

I would love to live in this fantasy world you Republicans keep telling us is where we actually do live--that world where no one is ever turned down for coverage on anything, no one is ever told they can't see their favorite doctor anymore, no one has ever had to keep working a shitty job that they hate just because if they quit they'll lose their insurance benefits, and on and on and on. And I love that they call them "benefits," when essentially what they are is crumbs tossed to us by a bloated industry that is interested only in making more money for itself. If the insurance companies could figure out a way to stay in business after killing off all of their customers, you'd better believe they'd do it. And Wall Street would send their stocks sky-high because damn, they'd have great profit-and-loss statements every quarter.

And as for polio and smallpox, the "greedy system" had nothing whatsoever to do with stopping either one of them. Jonas Salk's research on polio was funded by a private foundation--not an insurance company. The guy who discovered the vaccine for smallpox died in 1823, and the eradication of the disease was the effort of, wait for it, the government (in the form of the World Health Organization).

If all you've got to spew are the latest Repuke talking points, keep it on your own blog where I don't have to read it even accidentally.

NOLA Progressive said...

Musing- That was an absolutely beautiful reply. Just thought I'd point that out, as this fella just keeps spouting the same stuff over and over in more recent posts while never addressing the rather large and gaping holes punched right through his logic.

Tom Alday said...

No one has poked holes in anything I've said, all I've heard is that we should have this huge, bloated government program that will waste money and lives because of some false beliefs and namby pamby feel goodery about how the government is all good and great despite you all hating it just a few years ago. No one here has addressed the elephant in the room; how this monstrosity will be paid for.

Ian McGibboney said...

I'm sorry, Tom, I just can't get as reflexively hateful of all government as you seem to be. And I'm sorry that you're unable to fathom that my intense dislike of Bush policies was because of him and his cronies, not some reactionary hatred of government in general.

Regardless, you'd make a much stronger case if you had an alternative solution. You can respond with supposed examples of liberal hypocrisy until you're blue in the face, but in addition to being wrong, they steer the discussion away from the real issues. From what I gather, you seem to think the private, for-profit sector is the source of everything good in this country. But all indicators seem to point to that specifically as being the problem with health care. Do you disagree? Do you think everything is fine as it is, and that health care is something worthwhile only for those with money? If so, do you feel that society has any obligation towards anyone whatsoever?

The public option, as I've said repeatedly, requires people to buy into it. It's not something that's just given away, like corporate welfare or no-bid war contracts. But, yes, taxpayer money will be spent, just as it is now, but in a smart way that will ultimately save the nation money. And, we'll get a healthier population out of it. I'm sorry that outrages you so much, Tom. Personally, I'm outraged that neocon apologists such as yourself love to spend trillions on pointless wars, corporate tax kickbacks and tax cuts to those who need it the least. What kind of bang did we get for that buck? Thousands of dead people and nothing else. Oh, and socialized health care in Iraq. Yeah, we pay for that too. Apparently, you draw the line at helping your own people. Which is why people like you will be out of power for what I hope is a long, long time.

NOLA Progressive said...

Right now the best overall proposal that is on the floor with a public option puts a defecit to the reform at about 230 billion over 10 years. Now, Obama has stated that he will only sign a defecit neutral bill, which leaves Congress with the task of drafting legislation that makes up about 20 billion a year. I think that is very possible.

We will see the proposal for making up that money, but if we are going to add to the defecit for anything (which our president has emphatically stated he will not) then healthcare is it! There are savings wrapped up in this reform that can only be guessed at right now.

The reform of this industry is the biggest fiscal move that could be made.

musing said...

I'll tell you exactly how it should be paid for, Tom. Fuck this BS about the "public option," we go right to single-payer. That's how every other industrialized nation in the world does it, and we'd realize huge savings. Administrative overhead for Medicare is around 3%. It's something on the order of 20% for the average private health insurance company. That's one huge cost savings right there.

Then add in the economies of scale. That's another huge chunk.

Not to mention cutting out the forty-seven different rate schedules, claim forms, and all the other BS that comes from trying to have a lot of different companies doing something that one government agency could do faster and better and for less money.

But the biggest savings of all would come from the fact that employers would no longer be on the hook for employee health benefits, and families wouldn't have to be spending their hard-earned to buy private insurance either in place of employer coverage or as a supplement. Sure, my taxes would probably go up a little. But so would my salary--and I'd be spending less money out-of-pocket when I do have to go in for my annual physical, or my dentist decides I need another crown.

The university where I work has about five thousand employees who are eligible for health benefits. I don't have the actual figures on how much they pay out for those benefits every year, but I do know what the state agency that negotiates the contract tells us we have to budget--it's right under $21,000 per employee per year. That's for the most expensive of the options available, and also assumes that the employee in question is insuring him/herself and at least two dependents. That doesn't describe everybody in the cost pool, so let's say the average cost per employee comes to a round $15,000 per year. Multiply by 5000 employees, that's $75 million, out of an operating budget that's somewhere around $400 million. Damn near a quarter of the budget. For a year's worth of employee health benefits. Now multiply that savings by all the employers that offer health insurance.

Hell, I think we could afford a program that costs twice as much as the one Obama is proposing, and we'd still have surplus money left over to fix other shit.

NOLA Progressive said...

Isn't it sad that single payer is so far from a reality given the facts and successful examples the world over? I mean we can't even get a legitimate discussion going on single payer in Congress.

Of course we are the "best country in the world" so hey I'm sure it'll be just fine.

Tom Alday said...

I mean we can't even get a legitimate discussion going on single payer in Congress.


//And yet you still vote for those same Democrats that fail to deliver for you, even though they have unquestionable majorities in both houses...//

Ian McGibboney said...

I support either a single-payer (preferred) or a public option. Either would be light years better than the status quo.

And yes, I'd like the so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats to come around. I like to think that they will. The trouble with Democrats is that 60 in the Senate doesn't mean much due to party diversity. Sixty Republicans are legislative lemmings, but the Democrats have a double-edged sword in their ability to think for themselves.

It's frustrating, but I'll stick with the Democrats for now. I hope the GOP isn't hedging its popularity on disgusted Democrats fleeing the scene. That'll work as well as Palin did for attracting Hillary voters.

Tom Alday said...

I think the GOP is hedging it's bets on the Democrats in general being the same bunch of do-nothings that have garnered record low poll numbers and stood by as the economy collapsed on their watch, setting the stage for '94-esque drubbing in mid terms.

Ian McGibboney said...

Yeah, good luck with that.

You know what else they could try? Having a platform of their own. Something perhaps different than what they did during 2001-09 that has nearly destroyed our economy and much of our clout in other areas.

Tom Alday said...

Read a poll now and then Ian, even Dem pollsters are expecting a beatdown in the House next year. You can only get by on approval ratings in the teens for so long. Eventually the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed, and it's watering time come 2010.

Ian McGibboney said...

Care to cite any of those polls, Tom? Like with most things you say, I have never heard anything even remotely resembling this beatdown forecast. If anything, I hear the diametric opposite.

But nice try, as always, into making every single response about the Democrats, instead of even trying to justify your rotting, repugnant views.

Ian McGibboney said...

By the way, nice little veiled threat with that tree of liberty remark. Saw that very thing on a protester's sign. You know who else is a fan of that quote, Tom? Tim McVeigh. He was wearing it the day he bombed the Murrah building.

Tom Alday said...

Well, you can go by Nate Silver's "20-50 seat loss" prediction -
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2009/08/13/nate-silver-sees-major-gains-for-gop-in-2010.html

Or Charlie Cook's more restrained 20 seat loss -
http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/0809/Charlie_Cook_Dem_situation_has_slipped_completely_out_of_control.html

Either way, when 70% of independents disapprove of Congress' job performance it's not a good sign for you guys.

As for that quote, know who else was a fan of it? The guy that said it, Thomas Jefferson. It's a cautionary quote, meaning that those in power should know that they work for the people, not the other way around. When you get assholes like Dingell telling his constituents that he's going to vote against his districts own wishes he should have a mob outside his office ready to throw him into the street.

Ian McGibboney said...

OK, Tom, I admit I took note of your links. Nate Silver in particular is someone I respect tremendously.

As I noted in the recent past to someone else, I've never been a big fan of polls. They're always interesting, but there are too many of them and most of them are too subjective to really say much. I rarely quote them here for that very reason, good or bad, but also because I don't feel like I need other people's opinions to validate my views.

Silver, however, is startlingly accurate on virtually every trend, so I do take notice. Polls may lie, but stats lie less.

After looking further into the Houses prediction, though, I see that Silver said that more as a verbal warning than as one of his usual statistical trends. Anyway, the current House makeup is 256-177 in favor of the Democrats, so even a change as seismic as 50 seats would give the GOP a slight edge at best (that is, assuming the seats wouldn't be filled by independents or new Democrats). What Silver's saying is, the Democrats need to act on their clout or it could go away fast.

There is disgust out there, Tom, but at least among Democratic supporters, it's because they're frustrated with the lack of progress on health care and the increasing impatience with Obama's insistence on bipartisanship, when it's clear that the GOP will never go along with anything that validates Obama.

Nate's warning is a good one. But Tom, you're dreaming if you think that it's some evidence of a conservative uprising. If anything, it's proof this country has shifted left. The GOP is in the wilderness and moderate Democrats are falling in popularity as well. Again, if this is the Republican strategy for getting seats, it's a pathetic one.

As for the Thomas Jefferson quote: Sorry to punch a hole in your rapturous revelation, but I'm fully aware of the quote's origins and history. In fact, I know enough about it to know that it's become virtually a mantra for the armed-militia right, who take its Revolution-era sentiment literally. Of course, I'm sure you'll deny it, claiming it means something else, so I'll ask preemptively: why not stick to your guns (not literally)? I don't recall you and your brethren saying this during the Clinton era, or even after 2006. It would be just as relevant to say, "We are unhappy with Obama and this Congress and we will vote them out in 2010." Why all the blood talk if you don't mean it?

But do go on, Tom. I love the fantasy genre.

Tom Alday said...



There is disgust out there, Tom, but at least among Democratic supporters, it's because they're frustrated with the lack of progress on health care and the increasing impatience with Obama's insistence on bipartisanship, when it's clear that the GOP will never go along with anything that validates Obama.

//They will never go along with anything as long as they are shut out of the process, which the Democrats are doing. Let's be clear, the problem isn't with the GOP, the Dems have majority and they can pass whatever they want. But they want cover so when this thing fails and bankrupts the country it's not all on their shoulders. They only want it "bipartisan" in the sense that they'll be able to pass the blame around come election time.//


Nate's warning is a good one. But Tom, you're dreaming if you think that it's some evidence of a conservative uprising. If anything, it's proof this country has shifted left. The GOP is in the wilderness and moderate Democrats are falling in popularity as well. Again, if this is the Republican strategy for getting seats, it's a pathetic one.

//The conservatives are already uprisen Ian. The problem the Dems have is the independents and moderates. Independents and moderates win elections and the DNC is shedding their support very quickly.//



As for the Thomas Jefferson quote: Sorry to punch a hole in your rapturous revelation, but I'm fully aware of the quote's origins and history. In fact, I know enough about it to know that it's become virtually a mantra for the armed-militia right, who take its Revolution-era sentiment literally. Of course, I'm sure you'll deny it, claiming it means something else, so I'll ask preemptively: why not stick to your guns (not literally)? I don't recall you and your brethren saying this during the Clinton era, or even after 2006. It would be just as relevant to say, "We are unhappy with Obama and this Congress and we will vote them out in 2010." Why all the blood talk if you don't mean it?

//So are you asking why Congressmen aren't getting killed in the street? It's because we're a civilized society Ian and when your Congressman starts to become a lemming for the party instead of your voice in government you vote his ass out. As for why the tone has broken down into anger, well I think your side's actions over the last few years is to blame for that.//


But do go on, Tom. I love the fantasy genre.

//Considering you seem to live in a fantasy world where everything is all good and great for Democrats and Obama despite every poll showing them sinking, it's obvious you're a big fan of escapist fantasy.//

NOLA Progressive said...

There are a handful of Democrats beholden to special interests absolutely. The Blue Dogs are liable to have their sorry asses primaried right the hell outta public service very soon.

However, it is more the overwhelming, remarkably huge, tremendous, absolutely unprecedented use of the filibuster that has caused meaningful legislation to be passed. Repubs are the Dem's bitch in the House. There is no contest or issue there, but in the Senate, despite there majority, it is different.

You see the whole idea imparted by the constitution for the Senate is 51 vote majority rule. The filibuster is supposed to be a one-off occasional situation.

As far as the Dem Congress being repsonsible for all of this, I'm sorry pal, but shove that drivel back into the orifice from which it emanated. Bush's complicit Congress allowed him to run up unfathomable debt and government size increase for years! All of which had no substantial impact on the overwhelming majority of the country. He rode a bullshit housing bubble right over the cliff, and now you want to pin it on the Dem's winning the Legislative in 2006? Get real chief.

This is the kind of discussion/argument that can span many many pages, but I've have it and so has everyone else. You know what the verdict is in on this one, and anyone who still defends that administration isn't relevant and quite possibly isn't sane.

Tom Alday said...

but in the Senate, despite there majority, it is different.

You see the whole idea imparted by the constitution for the Senate is 51 vote majority rule. The filibuster is supposed to be a one-off occasional situation.

//Don't even try that lie, they have 60 seats in the Senate, there is no filibuster possible. If there is any holdup in the Senate it's all the fault of Democrats, they don't need a single Republican vote at all to pass legislation. But they won't go that route because when this thing fails they want political cover, they don't want the failure to be solely on their shoulders like with the failed stimulus.//

NOLA Progressive said...

I believe we were talking about Dems passing legislation in general since they gained control of Congress. That is indeed what I was referring to when I mentioned the unprecedented by far use of the filibuster and the Republican party's abject disdain for the Democratic process.

As for health care you pose a very relevant point. We do have 60 votes and the republocrats are sinking us. I hope that the progressives stiffen their backbones and simply pass this reform with a hardcore public option through the reconciliation process and to hell with Blue Dogs and the Grand Ol Party. I hope the tent collapses on them all.

Tom Alday said...

the unprecedented by far use of the filibuster and the Republican party's abject disdain for the Democratic process.

//Of course when Democrats used the filibuster to hold up judicial nominations, something it was never designed or intended for, I'm sure you cheered wildly at their disdain for the Democratic process.//

I hope that the progressives stiffen their backbones and simply pass this reform with a hardcore public option through the reconciliation process and to hell with Blue Dogs and the Grand Ol Party. I hope the tent collapses on them all.

//Yeah, by all means do that, and when your support among moderates and independents sinks even further we can win in 2010 and reverse all your parties fiscal damage and bad policy before it bankrupts us all.//

NOLA Progressive said...

I think that their must be some part of a conservative's brain that is completely incapable of addressing factual data. They just go all haywire and start vomiting ad hominem commentary.

So let's see what we can make of this paranoid narrow minded crapola. First and foremost, comparing this recent run of filibusters is not possible with any other occurence or use of such. The goppers have blown the previous highest recorded use of the filibuster out of the water by far more than doubling said record. This is a departure from all reasonable application of the filibuster regardless of prior application. This surpasses political plotting and advantage seeking and elevates to the level of ambushing our country and its ability to serve its citizens.

Now for the rest of your snarky bile. While it has absolutely no bearing on the point of this discussion and is no way comparable I do not agree with the Democrat usage of the filibuster in many different cases. I don't finnd that democrats always walk on water. I simply find that the party has a progressive element attempting to help the citizens of this country.

Finally, I'm willing to have the progressives push through healthcare with reconciliation. Short sighted greed mongering corporate socialists such as yourself have no clue how much money a robust public option will actually save this country. Also affordable quality helathcare to millions?? I'm willing to head into 2010 with that type of political capital against the party of racists, warmongers, and religious supremacists.

Tom Alday said...

//Ok got it. Now that Republicans are using the filibuster it's a bad thing. Color me (not racist!) shocked.//

Finally, I'm willing to have the progressives push through healthcare with reconciliation. Short sighted greed mongering corporate socialists such as yourself have no clue how much money a robust public option will actually save this country.

//Lol, I have to laugh at the guy willing to add trillions to the national debt for short term political gain calling me short sighted. As for the public option being a magic fountain of money, well I haven't heard that, and the CBO certainly doesn't think that either. Even if it does defy every model available and eek out a profit, it will in now way cover the projected 9 trillion dollar deficit over the next 10 years thanks to Obama's shit policies.//

I'm willing to head into 2010 with that type of political capital against the party of racists, warmongers, and religious supremacists.

//Like most liberals you greatly underestimate the voice of the electorate and vastly overestimate your own sense of worth. Obama is sinking for the very same reason you think his presidency will be saved - his attempt at a massive take over of 15% of the economy. The majority of the public is against it, even some Democrats are against it. It will fail, and Obama's presidency will go down with it and it will be a glorious fall to watch.//

NOLA Progressive said...

You know I've been involved in a handful of these threads lately and one constant I see every single time in you guys, is a complete lack of understanding of what the thread you are responding to has said.

First and foremost, I quite clearly stated in my last response that I dissapprove of the Democrat filibuster in many instances. I also stated that I felt the filibuster was meant to be used as an isolated incident tool when it is applied. I think many sitting Congresses, Dem and Repub alike, have escalated its use beyond that level of application. This is a bad thing either way.

I also stated that the current Congress has blown previous usage of the filibuster off of the charts. This is indisputable fact for anyone who can count. I have yet to see you once admit to this. You simply bandy about ad hominem mumbo jumbo.

Now let us look at your fiscal claims. Do you really think that Obama can't put his head together and come up with approximately 20 billion a year somewhere? That's around what he will need for healthcare. I have not read the 10 year 9 trillion projection as of yet. I understand that it exists but with so many things you can not take anything on its face and there is always a caveat or 100.

The bottom line is obama still has stated that he will only sign a defecit neutral bill. I agree that this remains to be seen, but I think it will be a must. The electorate is firmly behind comprehensive health care reform. Also when polled correctly, I.e. medicare for all, polls have shown strong support for a public option as well. Its a bunch of suits running around scaring the hell out of everyone about Grandma and illegal aliens that jade opinion polls.

When Clinton undertook his administration the same spending and debt rhetoric was pushed hard. Didn't turn out to be the case. The debt didn't rise until ol WMD took office. I'm not nor should any other voter let the same crap scare them twice.

Tom Alday said...

Now let us look at your fiscal claims. Do you really think that Obama can't put his head together and come up with approximately 20 billion a year somewhere? That's around what he will need for healthcare.

//Lol, really? 20 billion a year? You do know Medicare, which insures only about 40 million people a year, has a budget of around $400 billion yearly, right? You really believe that Obama can somehow insure 300 million people for only $20 billion? Do you even understand how fundamentally wrong your numbers are? I know you think he is Christ risen but c'mon.//

The bottom line is obama still has stated that he will only sign a defecit neutral bill.

//I've seen you trumpet this a few times like Obama's word means anything. He's already back tracked on half the shit he promised during the campaign. Hell he's already back tracking from his pledge to only sign a bill that includes a public option. How much more shit does he have to LIE TO YOUR FACE about before you realize he'll say whatever people want to hear, that's what empty suits like Obama do. I know you're all enthralled because he's BLACK and a DEMOCRAT, but he's a fucking liar and a politician and he's played you liberals like a goddamn fiddle and you still blindly follow him out of ignorant party loyalty.//

NOLA Progressive said...

Tom. Relax take your pressure meds, drink a beer, and calm down.

Recent CBO estimates have put HR 3200 adding to the deficit by $239 billion mainly due to the Medicare payment fix. This number is over 10 years. Granted 20 billion was a rounded number. It would be more like coming up with 24 billion a year, but let's not split hairs.

Also there is discussion of applying "paygo" requirements to this provision in order to assure that this 239 billion would not add to the deficit.

Granted this is not a done deal, but it still pretty much boils down to about 20 billion a year. Further, while Obama hasn't met every obligation promised during the campaign, he certainly has made headway. I don't see any outright lying from him either. Certainly, he has moderated himself on a wide variety of issues, but I also understand his need to work within the contraints of the system.

I mean I would have loved for him to come in "guns ablazin" and eradicate DOMA, don't ask don't tell, push through a Single Payer mandate, and immediately repeal the bulk of the Bush tax cuts (passed through reconciliation btw), and pull every last troop out of the middle east. Alas, this is a pipe dream, but to paint him as some sort of betrayer and smooth talking do-nothing is foolhardy in the extreme.

As far as "blind party loyalty" goes, give me a freakin break man. It's simple math. If every progressive worked to get some Republican or Independent elected, we would see almost not return on our desires whatsoever. Electing someone who will push for some of our platform is much better than voting and supporitn someone without a chance or someone from a party who simply plugs their ears with their fingers and yells no..no..no...la la la la I can't hear you!!