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Krugman: Does Obama Have the Balls to Take on the Right Wingers?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    As usual Krugman is spot on. I'm not sure Obama is up to the task, but let's hope for the sake of the average American he can take on the benighted wing nutters and their country club puppet masters.

    Republican Death Trip

    PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: August 13, 2009
    “I am in this race because I don’t want to see us spend the next year re-fighting the Washington battles of the 1990s. I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America; I want to lead a United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in November 2007, making the case that Democrats should nominate him, rather than one of his rivals, because he could free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past.

    Some of us were skeptical. A couple of months after Mr. Obama gave that speech, I warned that his vision of a “different kind of politics” was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face “an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false.”

    So, how’s it going?

    Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

    This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

    Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course. The provision requiring that Medicare pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican — yes, Republican — of Georgia, who says that it’s “nuts” to claim that it has anything to do with euthanasia.

    And not long ago, some of the most enthusiastic peddlers of the euthanasia smear, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and Mrs. Palin herself, were all for “advance directives” for medical care in the event that you are incapacitated or comatose. That’s exactly what was being proposed — and has now, in the face of all the hysteria, been dropped from the bill.

    Yet the smear continues to spread. And as the example of Mr. Gingrich shows, it’s not a fringe phenomenon: Senior G.O.P. figures, including so-called moderates, have endorsed the lie.

    Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is one of these supposed moderates. I’m not sure where his centrist reputation comes from — he did, after all, compare critics of the Bush tax cuts to Hitler. But in any case, his role in the health care debate has been flat-out despicable.

    Last week, Mr. Grassley claimed that his colleague Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor wouldn’t have been treated properly in other countries because they prefer to “spend money on people who can contribute more to the economy.” This week, he told an audience that “you have every right to fear,” that we “should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”


    Again, that’s what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.

    So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh.

    The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.

    So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.

    What, then, should Mr. Obama do? It would certainly help if he gave clearer and more concise explanations of his health care plan. To be fair, he’s gotten much better at that over the past couple of weeks.

    What’s still missing, however, is a sense of passion and outrage — passion for the goal of ensuring that every American gets the health care he or she needs, outrage at the lies and fear-mongering that are being used to block that goal.

    So can Mr. Obama, who can be so eloquent when delivering a message of uplift, rise to the challenge of unreasoning, unappeasable opposition? Only time will tell.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/opinion/14krugman.html?_r=1
     
  2. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    I’m starting to agree with rocketsjudoka that it’s apparent that Republicans are not sincere about bipartisan solutions. You are either part of the solution and get on board with healthcare reform, or get out of the way (sound familiar?). The votes are there, Democrats need to come together, stand as one and come down hard on those that are hesitating.

    It does seem to be a situation like the civil rights movement where Democrats lost a generation of voters and the south when they stood up for human rights. I say pass healthcare reform and let the chips fall where they may.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Amen.

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to mc mark again.
     
  4. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    costing trillions of dollars and run by the fools who run medicare. no thanks
     
  5. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    then step aside
     
  6. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Excellent!

    Dem Congressman: Obama Willing To Be One-Term President Over Health Care

    During a brief question-and-answer session with reporters after the event, Boswell recounted a recent meeting involving Obama and the so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" (Boswell's a Blue Dog). The subject matter: health care reform. Boswell claims Obama said he's willing to be a one-term president if that's what it takes to get health care and energy reform. Listen to Boswell's remarks.

    "The president (said), 'I'm not going to kick the can down the road.' And he said that and I said, 'Well, that's something I'm kind of used to from southern Iowa, you know. I know about kicking the can down the road.' And he said, 'No, if it makes me a one-term president, I'm going to, we're going to take it on because the country is in need of us taking this on.' I respected that very much."
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

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    What exactly do you dislike about medicare? Costs are skyrocketing, but no more so than private health care costs. The problem is health care in general, not medicare.
     
  8. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    Sorry, I disagree. After 6 months of a decently reformed health care system, most Americans will wonder why it took so long.

    The voters lost over health care reform are the ones that will die because it's not done or, if it does pass, the ones who supported Bush to the end... but they have been lost since there were Tories siding with the British.
     
  9. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    That's ballsy.
     
  10. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    As a whole the Republicans are not sincere about bi-partisanship. Could you actually think they are? They tried to impeach Clinton when half of them were screwing around on the side.

    Unlike the civil rights case ,if the Dems stay strong and pass health care for all, it is the GOP that will be screwed for a generation as even the yahoos in Appalachia and the deep South can go to the doctors and access health care. Pass it on party lines. Let people know who is on what side. With improved health care many of these folks won't be so bitter about the changes that are happening in the world and will have a conrete hard to forget example of how government can actually help them. It is this sort of thing that drives the GOP wild.
     
  11. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Sure is, if true. I must add that this only applies if he is for real health reform, not just some sort of boondoggle in which we shovel billions and billions to inefficient health insurer middlemen, much of which is spent on marketing and CEO salaries and all we get is some sort of confusing system that insures half of the uninsured and has all sort of loop holes to be exploited by the insurance companies to deny coverage to the most sick.

    In reality Obama may very well be a one term president if he fails to pass any sort of health care reform. So in that way it is not ballsy, if he is wiling to settle for any piece of shiite but could just show he is trying to hang on to his job.
     
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the plug and as soon as I saw the thread title I figured this could've gone into my thread.

    As I said befor bipartisanship is a good thing and I don't fault Obama for wanting to pursue that but as I've said before it was naive to think that Republicans and conservative Democrats would just go along with Obama's agenda. Healthcare is one of those things were the lines are fairly solidly drawn and its no surprise the Republicans view this as being Obama's Waterloo. At this point if Obama wants health care reform he's going to have to do it the way GW Bush got tax cuts passed and leave it up to the voters to decide in 2010 and 2012 whether they approve or not.
     
  13. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Regarding bi-partisanship, what sort of bs is it to pretend that this exists withing the GOP when on virtually all important votes they vote 95% in lock step with each other and they do this regardless of whether their party has the presidency. Almost by definition they are not at all bipartisan.

    Howard Dean is right. Ram health care that will actually do what need to be done through with 51 votes on a reconciliation ? procedure and forget the Repubs.
     
  14. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    [
    Sorry about that. Working harder than usual and not keeping up with the bbs nearly as much as usual.

    I agree. What really convinces me on this is that Bill Clinton said that Bob Dole was about to sign on to Hillary Care, which might have passed when the more partisan Republican's convinced him that he needed to not do that as it would give the Dems a win that could really marginalize their party.

    Hopefully Obama realizes this and is just giving the GOP a chance to show the general public their lack of bi-partisanship so that it will not alienate so many moderates when the Dems have to go it alone.
     
  15. bnb

    bnb Contributing Member

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    You have to let the dessenters have their say.

    Those of you not local to Houston may be familiar with zoning public hearings. Often lots of hyperbole -- sometimes meaningful changes -- but more often than not, the original proposal goes through with minor tweeks (even there was lots of legitimate opposition). Yet the public hearings are a crucial part of the process.

    This was never going to get done that quickly. It's a big deal. And there have been a couple of global economic matters that had to be addressed first.

    President Obama's wisely kept his distance. Letting the rope-a-dope play out. You grasshoppers need patience. Judge him on this towards the end of his first term. So far, I'm cautiously impressed by how he's done.
     
  16. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]

    He has balls.
     
  17. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
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    note, democrats and republican is completely interchangeable.
     
  18. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    You should put "IMO" in that sentence.
     
  19. Major

    Major Member

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    This is exactly correct - bipartisanship is about process, not necessarily results. Anyone thinking that health care reform was going to be easy or straightforward, or not go through this type of process was misguided. You don't reform 20% of the US economy without major opposition and major challenges.

    I think Obama should be much more involved and more hands on in putting together specifics instead of letting Congress going in 10 different directions. But his talk about bipartisanship has proven very useful. While Dems are becoming less popular as expected anytime you introduce specifics to a general concept like "health care reform", no one is turning to the GOP. Polls consistently show that people really dislike the GOP, think they are not being cooperative, etc. Over the long haul, that helps *a lot* and that's in large part due to Dems basically making the GOP look bad by offering to include them and watching them flounder.
     
  20. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    GOP, circa 2009:

    [​IMG]
     

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