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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Learning the wrong message from Obama's failures

(If you're wondering why I'm not writing about the catastrophe in Haiti, the answer is simple: I have nothing to say beyond the obvious. The situation is appalling, and morality demands that even the strapped among us make some donation, however small, to a reliable relief organization.)

Right-wingers have a formidable ability to scry absurd conclusions from agreed-upon facts. Today, the agreed-upon facts are these: Matha Coakley, the Democrat running for Ted Kennedy's old seat, is in serious trouble. Her Republican opponent is bludgeoning her on the health care reform issue. If Coakley loses, the Democrats no longer will have a senate majority large enough to override a filibuster.

(To me, that's a good thing. I don't like this reform bill and I long to see a real filibuster.)

My previous piece about Obama's toxic coattails was quoted by a right-wing pundit with whom I have little or nothing in common. Said pundit then segued into these words of Charles Krauthammer:
The reason for today’s vast discontent, presaged by spontaneous national Tea Party opposition, is not that Obama is too cool or compliant but that he’s too left.
First things first: The tea party movement was created by Richard Viguerie. Its origins were "spontaneous" only in the same sense that an Intel CPU can be considered a spontaneous creation. (Not that you can ever convince the teabaggers of that fact. People who follow post-hypnotic suggestion will always tell you that they acted according to free will.)

The pundit who quoted the euphoniously-named Krauthammer goes on to add:
Exactly.

Obama is trying to speed up the Left’s stealth conversion of America. Obama is trying to do in four years what the Left would have accomplished under cover of creeping regulation by a behemoth Leftist federal bureaucracy in twenty.
Bullshit.

I fear, however, that this bullshit will soon become common wisdom.

Just what has Obama done that was so bloody "leftist"? He's easily the second-most conservative president since Reagan -- perhaps since Carter.

In terms of public opinion, it's clear that Obama and the Democrats would have suffered far less political damage if they had stood up for the values traditionally associated with the Democratic party. Caro at Make Them Accountable offers some illuminating links which prove the point.
At a time when long-time Democrats should be cashing in on their years in the minority to pass legislation that favors the majority of Americans, and that the majority of Americans want, instead they’re quitting in droves.
She links to Political Wire:
President Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to 46%, according to a new CBS News poll…

Key finding: “Domestic issues — and not his response to terrorist threats — appear to be driving the president’s approval rating downward.”
The key domestic issue may be Obama's transformation of health care reform into a giveaway program for the insurance industry. Guys like Krauthammer want you to think that the public has soundly rejected socialized medicine, even though the proposed plan does not contain even a tiny dose of the stuff. Greg Sargent:
Could Obama’s dip to new lows on health care be driven partly by the fact that the reform proposal isn’t ambitious enough?

The internals of the new CBS poll suggest that this could be the case: They show that more people think reform doesn’t go far enough in multiple ways than think it goes too far.
In every one of those polled — covering Americans, controlling costs, and regulating insurance companies — more think the bill doesn’t go far enough.

To be sure, Americans seem close to evenly divided on the question of whether the proposal goes too far or not far enough. But the latter category outnumbers the former, suggesting that the desire that reform be more ambitious is a key factor driving dissatisfaction with Obama — even though that possibility is rarely discussed by the big news orgs or by top-shelf pundits.
Emphasis added. Obviously, if discussing that idea were not considered Beltway Thoughtcrime, then the polls would be even more one-sided.

Americans don't hate Obamacare because it represents "socialized medicine." They hate it because it isn't socialized medicine.

All of the polls (except for Rasmussen, notorious for its right-wing bias) indicate that a substantial majority of the American populace favors a single-payer Medicare-for-all approach. For some odd reason, those "top-shelf pundits" never discuss those polls.

The more recent polls cited above mirror the findings of this one from February, 2009:
A New York Times/CBS News poll released last week shows, yet again, that the majority of Americans support national health insurance.

The poll, which compares answers to the same questions from 30 years ago, finds that, “59% [of Americans] say the government should provide national health insurance, including 49% who say such insurance should cover all medical problems.”

Only 32% think that insurance should be left to private enterprise.
These days, it's difficult to get 59% of the public to agree that the world is round. Yet 59% wants single-payer -- and only 46% wants Obama to keep doing the same job.

Keep those numbers in mind whenever some well-paid big media asshole tries to convince you that Obama's "socialism" lost the public's confidence.

The Republicans want to persuade the nation that Obama failed because he's the reincarnation of Lenin. In fact, the public fell out of love with him because he is the reincarnation of Bush. The public is sick of Democrats who won't act like Democrats:
Poll: Americans think standing for principle is more important than bipartisan compromise.
Asked what actions elected officials could undertake to increase trust in them, a majority said that “making a stronger effort to stand up for principle” would help “a lot” while only 35 percent said more focus “on compromising with members of the opposite political party” would help “a lot”
Nevertheless, the GOP propagandists will insist that up is down, north is south, vice is versa and Obama went too far to the left. Alas, the American public has an appalling ability to fall for a well-publicized hallucination.
Comments:
First, Haiti – I have found your coverage of Haiti (column right side of page) to be the best and most factual out there and this includes the normally excellent BBC. It has the most and the type of information I like to read. I know it is mostly CNN, but you manage to put only the best from them here on this site. Thanks.

Second, as for Obama and health care, since he ran as a Democrat and as a liberal or progressive, it makes it easy for the right to paint him as a left wing fanatic or socialist. Those of us with our eyes wide open know that he never was a real liberal from his years in the Illinois Senate as well as his voting record in the US Senate. So his really being Bush II is no surprise to us.

The Republican Party and the right wing in general are far better at framing a message and hammering it home, and it does so in terms that ordinary citizens can relate to.

No matter what the health care bill would have contained the Republicans would have claimed Obama was a socialist. Anyone who has watched the right since Reagan could have predicted that. That the bill does not go as far in the direction of real reform as a majority of Americans want only makes it sadder from the perspective of those wanting single payer or universal coverage.

‘Democrats not acting like Democrats’ is why I changed my status from a registered Democrat of 40 years to a registered Independent in 2006. I will have a hard time forgiving Obots for foisting this fraud of a Democrat, liberal, progressive on the nation. This grievous error in judgment (kind) to just plain stupidity (unkind) will make it near impossible to get real health care reform once the Republicans take back Congress and perhaps the Presidency for at least several decades.

I hope I am wrong.
 
A free way to help, in a sense anyway, the crisis (in Haiti and elsewhere) is FreeRice.com, which donates a few grains of rice for every high end vocabulary word the user answers correctly.
 
Obama is the ultimate GOP ratfucker.

It will take at least a decade to recover from the damage he's doing to the Democratic party.
 
I guess I disagree. Santa's sack is full of gifts that have not been earned in the least, nor are the gifts even remotely on their way to being created.

The gifts are created by a logical, progressive economy that relies less and less on international resources.

It's like arguing which lifeboat to get onto to go see Avatar.
 
Basically, the Right say the same thing about every Democratic President, no matter how flamingly right-wing he is. This is weird, since Obama is a neocon.

To counter the Right's bizarre charges against Obama, I sometimes use the following arguments:

If Obama were a socialist or a communist, insurance company stocks wouldn't be skyrocketing.

If Obama were a fascist, he would be getting something done.


Of course none of this will have any effect on a real right winger.
 
The reason for the confusion is that both the republicans and the dems want to see Obama as a socialist for different but equally dishonest reasons.


The republicans want to paint Obama as a socialist because they want to destroy the democratic party and regain power and they can do it if they discredit Obama. So true or no he is a bad out of control socialist.

The dems want to see Obama as to the left because that is who they thought he was, and now that they sense he is something else, their fear that they were tricked is blinding them to the truth. The more they see he has mo moral compass the more they deny it and hope he will change and be the Super Liberal they voted for.

So both the dems and the republicans are lieing for different reason and confusing the public.

Finally there are some people he attacked through his campaign and they will say anything to make him lose face.

This is one crazy situation. I hope the dems win in Mass-it is so short sighted to allow the republicans to get back into power so soon. They almost destroyed the country-as bad as Obama's people are-given time people will wake up and if the dems are still in power things will CHANGE...I HOPE.
 
I don't know who is more clueless here: the GOP for calling Obama a socialist (he is when it comes to corporations risks) or Obama&gang when they think HCR the way they are passing it is a popular thing. It reminds me of W&comp expecting flowers and candy from Iraqis.
Martha Coakley was doing fine in the primaries speaking her mind on the HCR. They had to get her to recant all that - and the Mass voters who know all to well about healthcare turned against her.
I also wonder if the GOP nonsense with "moving to the left" is really believed by the party leaders or just fabricated by their think tank and sold to the ignorant as red meat that serves their agenda.
 
Joseph, you don't have to post this...just a typo alert...there's an R missing in Martha.
 
The reason that the pundits and MSM in general ignore the polls that favored real reform is because that what their masters want. They ignored during the primaries all Hillary's victories, the little whores in the media who fancy them selves as kings makers lied to every one about polls and results. It worked for them so why stop now.
 
Seems to me it might be useful to sometimes think in terms of patriots and traitors instead of Republicans and Democrats.

If the AIG/Geithner & Gruber/healthcare scandals can stop the horrendous "healthcare" legislation, I'll be grateful to whomever helps, no matter their party affiliation.
 
The population of Haiti is of the same order as the number of children who die every year from hunger.

I don't offer this as some smug arsy comment on anything. It would be vile to do so. The only conclusion to be drawn is what's already known. Namely that the current type of society in the world needs to be replaced.
 
"Just what has Obama done that was so bloody "leftist"? He's easily the second-most conservative president since Reagan -- perhaps since Carter."

Joseph,

I disagree, Obama is the most conservative Democrat since Wilson, who brought Jim Crow to Northern states.

Barack, is matching Bush The Second stroke for stroke. Bush II would be the most conservative by legislation prompted and Supreme Court nominees since the FDR era began.
 
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