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Without Obama, We Lose So Much More Than an Election

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Posted on Jan 24, 2011
AP / Charles Dharapak

By Bill Boyarsky

The selfish negativity expressed by Republicans in the House health care debate last week showed why we should fight hard for President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Although their speeches were so canned, repetitive and boring that it was almost impossible to listen to them, the message was clear: Beat Obama, dismantle the health bill and take government out of the business of helping people. “Put a president in the White House who will repeal this bill,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the tea party’s chief harridan, “a Senate that will repeal this bill. We will continue this fight until Obamacare is no longer the law of the land.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Republican leader on fiscal matters, expressed the goal in even starker terms, going far beyond health care and heaping scorn on the very idea of the safety net that has been part of American life since the Great Depression:

“Over time, Americans have been lured into viewing government—more than themselves, their families, their communities, their faith—as their main source of support; they have been drawn toward depending on the public sector for growing shares of their material and personal well-being. The trend drains individual initiative and personal responsibility. It creates an aversion to risk, sapping the entrepreneurial spirit necessary for growth, innovation, and prosperity.”

These words are from Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which he issued a year ago to the great approval of Republicans and even tips of the hat from those Democrats who are more concerned about the deficit than the unemployed.

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With Republicans in control of the House, Ryan now has great power. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he has been given authority to in effect write the budget that will be voted on by all the members. Because of new Republican House operating policies, he can do this himself by setting limits for domestic spending categories—“more power than has ever been invested in a budget committee chief,” noted The New York Times.

His “roadmap” gives a clear view of what the Republicans see as their path to win the Senate, keep control of the House and unseat Obama in 2012.

One of the GOP’s major proposals is eliminating Medicare as we know it, except for those now being covered. Current Medicare recipients would get a small tax credit to purchase policies in any state, opening the door to unregulated marketing of health insurance that may not cover necessities such as maternity care and cancer screenings. Government would also provide a small cash grant and let you invest in a medical savings account. Social Security would be gutted, with recipients being encouraged to turn over a third of their government pensions to the stock market. Ryan’s Budget Committee may also try to eliminate funds to implement the health care law.

Another House Republican plan, this one from the tea party-influenced Republican Study Committee, would cut federal funds given to states for Medicaid medical care for the poor.

That program is one of the best features of the health care act that the House voted to repeal last week. By 2014, the working poor, now excluded, will be eligible if the plan is not repealed.

The health care plan—Obamacare, as the Republicans call it—was never much liked by a substantial number of liberal Democrats. Obama’s refusal to embrace the best plan—Medicare for all—infuriated them. So did his decision against including a government health insurance plan among the options to be offered to Americans beginning in 2014.

As a result, support from an important part of the Democratic base was absent in the crucial days before passage of the law. Abandoned by the left, assaulted by the right and afflicted with an odd case of inarticulateness, the president and his administration failed to explain what they had given to the country.

Now, too late for the 2010 election, supporters of the law are beginning to defend it. In the House debate last week, one Democrat told stories of how constituents have already benefited.

Young adults under 26 are remaining on parental policies. Policies can’t be canceled unless the insurer proves fraud. There are no longer lifetime limits on benefits (such limits permitted cancellation after a certain limit had been reached). New policies must offer free preventative services. Patients can choose their primary care, OB/GYN or pediatric physicians from their insurance network without referral from another doctor. There is a new right to appeal insurance company decisions. Medicare recipients have received a $250 rebate from the prescription drug plan. Small businesses are receiving tax credits for offering health insurance to employees. People with pre-existing conditions can buy insurance. You can use the nearest emergency room without suffering insurance company penalties.

By 2014, the landscape will change much more. Consumers will shop for the best policies at state exchanges, with competition hopefully driving the price down.

Of course, key parts of this plan are threatened by the lawsuits brought by Republican state attorneys general, who may succeed in the current Supreme Court. But even so, much of the law will remain, and be revised and strengthened over the years, just as happened with Social Security and Medicare.

The Republicans want to repeal the entire package and wipe out the other government programs created to help people in economic distress. All they have to offer is a ringing call for a return to Victorian days, as proposed in Rep. Ryan’s roadmap. And they insist on doing it as the country is barely recovering from a recession caused by Republican policies. That’s reason enough for us to start working now to make sure Obama wins another term.


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By km0591, January 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Since when have the Democrats ever been a real opposition party to all this crap?  All Obama and the Dems have done is to sing the same tunes, albeit a little sweeter, that the Repugs have belted out for years and, in the end, just placed the Bi-partisan brand on them, disabling any possible future opposition from within the system. 

“Obamacare” is nothing more than a watered down recycling of Republican ideas of the 1990’s for Chrissake.  He even gave his blessing to extensions of the totally irresponsible Bush era tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and angrily lectured those who opposed with patronizing lectures about “realism.”  You expect me to support his guy?  He is FOS.

Obama is a pompous, sniveling, corporate water boy, and I will be damned if I vote for him in 2012. Let the Tea Party.Republican lunatics take over the asylum and destroy it.  Nothing is going to change until the system collapses anyway. 

Sarah Palin for President!

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By frang, January 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

David J. Cyr, I agree with everything you state except this:

“The despicable liberals rescued a terminally sick insurance racket that should have been allowed to die.”

I think it should read:

The despicable NEOLIBERALS rescued a terminally sick insurance racket that should have been allowed to die.

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By RayLan, January 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Alright Queenie!

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By RayLan, January 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette
“The petulance you speak of, I submit, comes from a people who brought the Great Recession upon themselves and now do not have the courage to assume the blame. “
Whoa, back up the rhetorical train there! Let’s not blame the victims entirely. One ought to be able to trust the banking authorities and rating agencies which have been professionally licensed to extend credit and mortgages at an equitable rate. The bubble was a monetary one, blown by the deregulation of derivaties and other exotic financial instruments that the average American could barely know about or understand. It was an inside trading collusion of criminal proportions between banks, brokerage houses, rating agencies and unfortunately the Federal Government (since Reagan). It is not as simple as ‘caveat emptor’. None of my criticisms are founded on ‘petulance’ but the gradual realization that the American people got taken to the cleaners by the secret handshake between a corrupt administration and the controlling oligarchy. That is a solid and serious criticism, not a petulant one.

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By glider, January 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ,

And what you and your ilk have wrought is precisely what you continue to promote. Ever more moving further far rightwing because it is the lesser of the two evils sponsored by the Corportocracy. Count me out of your “democracy”.  Yeah, Nader was the horrible evil threatening the precious progress we are now witnessing from your Obama corporate tool.  Go ahead and feel proud of your “accomplishment” dumbshit.  Never dream or demand anything decent and worthwhile.  Accept the meager offerings given and just shut up, right?  I say vote 3rd party as what we got ain’t worth a damn.  Enjoy your “bipartisanship” with Mitch McConnell if that is what pleases you, but don’t tell anyone there is no other option than to kiss the boots of your executioner!

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By Queenie, January 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Listen up, Democrats - I’m not going to support anyone who doesn’t support me and my family. Never again.

Obysmal wants to take away my Social Security. So what makes him any better than the Rethugs? Nothing. He has never given me back my habeus corpus. He is killing civilians. Gitmo is not closed. I could go on and on but I won’t.

It’s over, Democrats. I will never again choose between bad and bad or worse. No one will ever get my vote that accepts corporate money. Enough!!!

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By prisnersdilema, January 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Yes, it’s true that the Republican party wants to dismantle what has come to be called
the safety net.  They have been about this business for decades. They also want to
anoint themselves nobles, pass on hereditary titles of royalty, crown a monarch,  bring
primogeniture back, and start a crusade in the holy land.  The Republican party doesn’t
give one dam about the American people or this country.  But will cover the their lies by
telling them as Christian fundamentalist propaganda, to appeal to dumbed down
Americans, that they created by gutting education. People have a right to fear them, and
they should fear them, because they will destroy this country, as the have been since
Ronnie Raygun, began his movement to privatize things,  The problem I have is that it
looks like Obama is one of them. Either that or he doesn’t have the backbone to stand
up to them. Because everything he’s done in office has supported them. So re electing
Obama, won’t stop them at all, it will only help them succeed because he’s on their side

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By David J. Cyr, January 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (Bill Boyarsky):

“The health care plan—Obamacare, as the Republicans call it—was never much liked…”
____________

ObamaCare had nothing to do with “health” care.

The Democrats provided mandated increases in the profits to insurance companies that specialize in denying payments on their paper promises.

The despicable liberals rescued a terminally sick insurance racket that should have been allowed to die.

Pull the plug on ObamaCare!

Single-Payer would evidence a government that cares about the health of its people. The lack of Single-Payer provides evidence that government doesn’t care.

Liberals are the perfect enemy of all the good that could be, because they ensure that every best possibility becomes an impossibility.

The “progressives” prove they are for regressives every time they vote for Democrats.

Impeach Obama… and all the other “progressive” Democrats too!

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By William, January 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How typical.  Elite liberal telling the progressives the lesser of two evils B.S. again.  It might fly but for some reason I don’t think so this time.  I’ve already re-registered Peace and Freedom in Ca. and am not voting for any dems next time (especially not for Diane Feinstine who has been a repub for years). Or I will not vote at all.  What Obama has taught this middle aged progressive (that I should have learned before now) is voting is indeed for suckers.  Corporatism is in complete control and HAS to have it’s day.  Time to let go and let it fall.  In the mean time we progressives need to live our principals in our private lives as best we can and accept the fact that we can not only not cause change through the ballot; we are making things worst by trying to.  All that’s been accomplished is to bolster and strengthen the right wings choke hold.  Things won’t change until the majority of the American people suffer enough pain to change their own minds.  We progressives need to heed the words of Franklin: “It is now time that I leave the scene.”

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By Anarcissie, January 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, January 24 at 4:19 pm:

‘tw: If Obama gives hoot for the middle class, he’s let two years go by without showing it.

Yet another American voter who is ignorant of the arcane American political system.

You expected miracles to happen, just because BO & Co got into the White House? Ever hear of the three branches of government in Washington, DC? ...’

The statement seems accurate enough regardless of the way in which the government is structured.  It is a long way from putting on an act to passing miracles, but Mr. O does not even put on the act.  Now cometh Boyarski and advises the proggies that, despite being kicked off the bandwagon a long time ago, and held in contempt ever since, they should ‘work hard’ for Mr. O’s reelection.  I doubt if this will happen.  Poor Cinderella proggies, weeping by the fireplace— maybe they should be looking for combat boots instead of glass slippers.  Speaking figuratively, of course.

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By Lafayette, January 24, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

tw: If Obama gives hoot for the middle class, he’s let two years go by without
showing it.

Yet another American voter who is ignorant of the arcane American political system.

You expected miracles to happen, just because BO & Co got into the White House? Ever hear of the three branches of government in Washington, DC?

I guess not ...

Btw, your list of grievances shows nothing that cannot be fixed by some judicious policy making ... that the Reps would not vote for those measures these past two years nor this and next year either. BO & Co. did not have the majority in either House to do what should have been done, but that was due to his own party. And who elected the Dem BlueDogs and MiddleRoaders? We did.

Whether you voted for the Reps at the mid-terms or against the Dems, it doesn’t matter; your vote went for gridlock.

So, enjoy it ... and read a book explaining our political system to prepare for the elections in 2012.

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By John Iacovelli, January 24, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What utter B.S. We should vote for Obama because the
the Republicans are such monsters. I have been a
registered Democrat for 35+ years, and live in Florida.
I strongly expect that I will NOT vote for Obama in
2012. The lesser of two evils is still evil. The
Democrats need to return to the principles of FDR.

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By Hank from Nebraska, January 24, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

How about the Democrats finding a better candidate than the corporate tool Obama?

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By Lafayette, January 24, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

SHORTSIGHTEDNESS

JD: I personally believe that criticisms of Obama and the Democrats are well founded, but the facts are what they are, and the political realities are what they are.

Well, I don’t. The petulance you speak of, I submit, comes from a people who brought the Great Recession upon themselves and now do not have the courage to assume the blame.

Binging on cheap money was nobody’s fault but our own. And it is consummate shortsightedness to blame an incoming PotUS for a mess that his administration did not create. The irritable and irritated cynicism on this (and other forums) is not justified from a people who elected (twice!) a Lead-head president that spent us into a hole by starting a foreign war costing a a trillion dollars.

That same PotUS lowered taxes and spent some more on yet another foreign war. Whilst his administration committed wholesale negligence by allowing a Financial Mess to fester and then explode.

It was a series of very serious administration policy errors that paved the way to the Credit Seizure of 2008 that caused the Great Recession of 2009. And from Exuberant Hope in 2009, that same fickle population lurched to embitterment because Mr. Fix-It did not save fast enough their sorry asses?

No, sorry, the petulance is not justified.

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By JJW, January 24, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d rather write in Bugs Bunny.  Obama has proven he can’t stand up to the establishment or the Republicans.

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By surfnow, January 24, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Mike789:

Absolutely. Americans can begin by boycotting the out of control communications corporations. Get the cheapest cellphone plan, with the cheapest phone- no one really needs an I-Phone- and use it as little as possible. Sell the SUV.Buy a smaller car. No one just HAS to have an SUV. Stop shopping at Walmart. There are many things that can and have to be done.

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By the worm, January 24, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

To believe that people are going to ‘work hard’ for the following ....

1. Shifting private debt to the public sector (thereby freeing corporations, esp
the financial industry, but also financial arms of GM, GE, etc, and saddling the
middle class with the obligation to ‘pay it off’).

2. Watching private sector profits reach un-precedented levels (while
investment goes abroad, hiring moves abroad, and manufacturing continues to
disappear and un-employment continues).

3. Raising the defense budget 6% (so, when “cuts” come, the defense industries
will be safely sandbagged).

4. Allowing the financial industry to ‘borrow’ from the ‘public sector’ (i.e. me
and you) at 1% and buy bonds that pay 3% interest (Banks take your $1 and
make $2 off each one they ‘borrowed’ from you. But, here’s the real deal: You
gave them the $1 they ‘borrowed’, and you pay them the $2 interest they
‘earned’ on the bonds. All the money they ‘invest’ came from you – a ‘loan’ –
and all the money they make comes from you – you have to cover the interest
on the bonds).

5. Allowing the financial industry to ‘borrow’ from the ‘public sector’ (i.e. me
and you again) at 1%, to loan to me and you at 4%, 12%, 18% or more
mortgages, credit cards and other lines of credit (pocketing 3%, 11% and 17% on
your and my money – first given to them by us, then ‘paid back with interest’ by
us).

6. Giving private sector insurers a windfall: mandated customers, with a
taxpayer-paid overhead rate of 20% for ‘mandated customers’ (20% of our
premium spent on administration, CEO salaries, bonuses, sitting on Boards to
set rates and decide who’s covered, lobbying for the insurers’ benefit,
advertising and propagandizing to redefine more and more as ‘health care
service’ while delivering fewer and fewer services—- essentially, giving our tax
money to insurers to do with it what they will). *The American people wanted a
government administered plan like Medicare - for everyone. (72% - CBS/New
York Times poll June 2009)

7.  Expanding the war in Afghanistan. (64% of the American people opposed
expanding the war in Afghanistan and wanted to disentangle from Bush-era
‘War on Terror’ and ‘preventive war’ policies. Still, over 60% of Americans
oppose the war.?

8.  Keeping the six too-big-to-fail banks – now bigger than ever; keeping
deposits at risk by maintaining huge grey areas between commercial and
investment banking; not ‘punishing’ the financial industry, ie taxing it - now
even more profitable, with bonuses among the biggest ever.

9. Supporting ‘The Compromise’ – giving billionaires $10 for each $1 to an un-
or under-employed person or family (with a 15% tax rate for hedge funds; 25-
33% for lower & middle class workers)

... is wishful thinking on the part of Obama supporters.

If Obama gives hoot for the middle class, he’s let two years go by without
showing it.

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By mrfreeze, January 24, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Paul Ryan’s quote:

“Over time, Americans have been lured into viewing government—more than themselves, their families, their communities, their faith—as their main source of support; they have been drawn toward depending on the public sector for growing shares of their material and personal well-being.”

What a crock of bullshit! It is not “the government” that has ejected 17% of the working population out of the workforce. This is a result of virulent (Friedmanish) capitalism and “innovation,” the innovation that’s supposed to save us…..right?

But of course, I’m sure Ryan would argue that the very “dependency” that he rails against doesn’t include the very same government that spends Trillions on a military industrial complex which keeps a huge number of Americans “dependent” on our tax dollars.

I could go on…but I’d like to add this: All of you arm-chair revolutionaries on Truthdig (and other blogs), you need to start pointing your sharp (yet ineffective) tongues against the Ryans of the world….not so much the President.

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By BarbieQue, January 24, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

FRTothus, January 24 at 2:44 pm nails it down hard.

Anyone notice most of the (R)‘s are pretending the individual mandate doesn’t exist?

It’s shameful. To see these ruling elites play the commoners for idiots. Over and over.

The (D)‘s did the mandate because the (R)‘s could never have even gotten close. The “progressives” would have rioted in the streets.

But since their guy thinks it’s a good idea (even though he campaigned against mandates, one of the only differences with the HildaBeast) the “liberals” are supposed to drink it up like koolaide.

And they DID!

Now, watch the (R)s lure their new found tea party members into another DC Circlejerk. They will “seem” to walk right up to the line and all of a sudden “repeal” will turn into compromise…

and one of the only surviving things about the Health Insurance Ripoff and Enslavement Act will be a mandate for the hapless citizens to contribute their part of the lucky CEO’s $22 million dollar salary.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. But hey, the people that will complain the loudest haven’t been born yet, so there’s that.

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By JDmysticDJ, January 24, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Bill Boyarsky is a member of a select, elite group of the much hated “Liberal Class.” He’s the author of four books, he is associated with an organization that shared in three Pulitzer Prizes, he has taught journalism at major universities, he is a mostly retired journalist with a great deal of expertise acquired from a long career in journalism, an award winner, and the City of Los Angeles has designated him the authority when dealing with ethics issues, but Boyarsky has opened himself up for a barrage of criticism and insult coming from the overwhelming majority of petulant and irrational commenters here at truthdig, from the Left and Right, who believe that a preference for Democrats over Republicans is an unforgivable offense, actual facts be damned.

Petulance and insults aside, I personally believe that criticisms of Obama and the Democrats are well founded, but the facts are what they are, and the political realities are what they are. There are currently no prospective progressive challengers to Obama who would be able to unseat Obama in the coming Democratic Primary, and even those progressives, within the Democratic Party who would have the most potential for unseating Obama, are perceived as being traitorous, and corrupt, by many of those who comment here at truthdig. I’ll offer my belief is that these blanket condemnations of Democrats come from partisan third party advocates, or iconoclastic radical ideologues, or those who are simply cynical and nihilistic at their core.

I’ll offer that the struggle for progress, and an all encompassing social justice is ages old, and has been: Incremental, beset by tragic reactionary setbacks, and that the struggle will be ongoing long into the future, and I believe that the speed at which progress may be achieved will be dependent on preventing reactionary elements from stalling and setting back progress. I believe that a principled but futile political action that effectively serves the interests of reactionary forces is counter productive, counter evolutionary, and dangerous. I do not advocate for the preservation of the status quo, but for a progressive reform of the status quo. Isn’t a more progressive status quo preferable to a reactionary status quo?

I believe that it isn’t the more progressive forces that are leading the charge towards self destruction and oblivion; it is reactionary forces that are leading that charge. Many, out of frustration, will abandon the democratic process, or actively perpetrate a diminution of the most progressive viable option, and back progressive alternatives that have no hope of achieving power, there-by serving the interests of reactionary forces adamantly opposed to reform, and progress.

Over the course of my life, I’ve been confronted by sages who have pointed out that, “The world isn’t fair,” my response has always been, and continues to be, yes, but it should be. I long for a world where less charismatic, but more intelligent, principled, honest, and humane politicians would be the political front runners, but that world doesn’t presently exist. I’ll continue to advocate for the only viable more idealistic, well meaning, but misguided, political option over a well meaning, callous, fallacious pragmatism that not only seeks to perpetuate inhumane behaviors, but also seeks to escalate inhumane behaviors. I will not effectively abandon the most progressive, because their agenda towards progress is limited and inadequate, as opposed to being nearly non-existent.

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By Mike789, January 24, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Surfnow and Raylan ~ Concur that boycotting is the last option left to counter the dumbing-down of American. Maybe picket K-Street to make a clear statement and get it on the radar.

Make your own stuff whenever possible. Improvise whenever possible. Take pride in saving a few cents here and there to offset buying costlier American made products. Buy from local small and micro businesses or crafters rather than buying clones destined for the yard sales. Buy legacy items that cannot be replaced by mass production. Boycott nonesensical devices that do not augment your capability for autonomy.

A nation that has so much time on their hands to tweet vapid condensed platitudes are reaffirming a co-dependency with a one-sided feedback loop; viz., more junk data, more junk stuff and hence less creativity outside the corporate model whose cherished wish is to indenture college graduates and glean the minimum payment on credit cards ad infinitum. Wake up, Madison avenue pays psychologists big bucks to cudgel you into an ever-narrowing vortex, funneling you toward a pre-packaged construct from birth to headstone.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 24, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Yesterday, on “Sunday Morning”, Ben Stein, the Republican wag, suggested that since the GOP doesn’t have ANYBODY good to run for President, the GOP should nominate…Barack Obama.  After all, most of his policies are now not too different than the mainstream GOP and he’s got the Reagan ability to project charisma.

Yeah, it’s a joke, but many a truth is said in jest…..

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By FRTothus, January 24, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Control the message.

Has this not been the plan all along?

Step One: Have the Democratic wing of the corporate
party propose a public tax to subsidize health
insurance companies, making certain to keep the idea
of expanding medicare or the congressional health
plan to cover ALL Americans completely out of
consideration.

Step Two: Have the Republican wing of the corporate
party fight any change to the status quo and instead
talk of fiscal responsibility and talk hysterically
about foreigners and fantastical made-up threats.

Step Three: Put the Liberals to work defending this
non-public option, entrenching the corporate takeover
of Congress, the furthering of fascism in our time. 

They will not listen to us.  They have never listened
to us.

We go in the streets, they ‘sic’ the army after us. 

Letters are ignored and spot you out for special
treatment.

A corporation is a private tyranny.  It is top-down
rule, the exact opposite of consensus rule.  Business
exits to make money.  Government, where it exists, is
to make things better for people, wherein all are
enriched, never harmed, by the power of the State.

We must get rid of this bribery.  We must take our
elections away from the corporations, yet they are
ever given more power and sway by the politicians
they buy and influence.  Should not be a surprise
that this “game” is what we get.

The Airwaves belong to the People.

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By surfnow, January 24, 2011 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

The only way to break up these centers of corporate power is to boycott and regroup.


I agree with Raylan.  The vote has long been proved now to be an insulting joke. Obama is nothing more than the friendly face of the empire- no different than Bush. The only way to get to corporations is to stop using their products. Stop shopping at Walmart. Buy locally as much as possible. Don’t run out and buy the latest electronic gadget, just to be the first one in the neighbor hood to have it. Get the cheapest cellphone plan and use it as little as possible.Take public transportation. Walk more.

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By Lafayette, January 24, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?

BB: The Republicans want to repeal the entire package and wipe out the other government programs created to help people in economic distress.

Let’s not concentrate on the Right’s doltish remarks, which is a waste of breath and bandwidth.

Negativism does not win election campaigns as do some really ‘n truly Good Ideas. But negativism helps, curiously enough, to win when a candidate campaigns with banal slogans that make eyes roll.

Progressives need some Good Ideas and Health Care is certainly the place to start. I can rant about how much better a European National Health System is than the American version. But that will convince nobody.

What would be convincing are testimonies from all those Americans who live in Europe, and particularly France, telling fellow Americans that they know it is a better system, having had the personal experience. Put a couple of the more articulate ones in front of a TV to explain how ... now, that’s a Good Idea! That’s Reality Politics on TV!

Or how about an education system that is free, gratis and for nothing from primary school up to post-secondary education (meaning vocational, college, university)? No saving-account need be established the day after your child is born in foresight of the day when they, an adolescent with their HS diploma, must then make a Very Important Decision about their future options.

A government subsidy of post-secondary education is another Good Idea that will guaranty them the skills necessary in a hotly competitive global environment.

Before waters from the melting polar ice-cap inundates Time Square in New York City, a Good Idea would be to get a handle on CO2 emissions towards unhooking us from fossil-fuels for our energy requirements.

Another Good Idea - in fact so Good it is Great - is to finally change profoundly America’s tax system towards enhancing Income Fairness—by taxing at much higher rates the 7% of households that earn 50% of the economic wealth our labor generates.

What a Good Idea that would be in order to reduce maintenance costs on the national budget and help pay for the other Good Ideas above.

Progressive Thinking is full of Good Ideas that are affordable by a country as rich as ours. Getting them across to a complacent America is the challenge.

Mission Impossible, some would say.

DICTUM OF THE DAY

Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. (Victor Hugo)

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By surfnow, January 24, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

The stupidity of these conservatives shows why the study of history is vital to a democracy. Even a rudimentary understanding of what America was really like bfore a safety net- at the turn of the 20th century- would show our citizens why any economy with no government is a brutal, dog-eat -dog society.

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By C.P.T.L., January 24, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How did President Obama come to imagine he could fundamentally go against the will of the people who voted him into office, not a few times, but many, upending campaign promises and going against his word, violating the character he presented to us for over a year as candidate for the presidency?

We all know what we expected of President Obama as we listened to his inaugural speech. We may have been brimming with hope, but could remain realistic, could distinguish between that which was hope-beyond-hope and utopian from that which was possible or even probable. Now, forget the Hope, the Possible is dead, issue after issue the fight forestalled or not even fought, and a bunch of words without reasonable, satisfactory explanation.

If President Obama could back-stab those hundreds of thousands of people come to see him that frigid January day, hanging on his every word, cheering him, what depths of reversal can we expect him to sink to elected into office a for second term?

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By par4, January 24, 2011 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is some of the lamest political propaganda I have ever read. There is no difference between Obama and any Republican slime that wins their primary. Would you trust your children with the lesser of two evils? Anyone who supports either legacy party is an enemy of democracy and the rule of law.

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By Kenneth Lane, January 24, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The constant march toward our feudal future as
envisioned by the right has enjoyed much success since
President Carter’s Administration.  Clinton did more
than Raygun and now Obama is doing more than Bush.  Our
friends are not our friends——————-the equation is
simple, if it walks like a Conservative Republican it
needs to be plucked!

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 24, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Ya gotta be kidding Bill. Obama’s performance has convinced me to de-register from the Democratic party.
It is such a sham pretending to be for the middle class, all the while rolling over for corporate interests. The last straw was his Wall Street Journal op-ed on de-regulation which blatantly contradicts his mid-term speeches about not going back to the policies that got us into the mess. How spineless can you get? I will go so far at this point to say the entire country is a capitalist totalitarianism as the USSR was a communist totalitarianism. The only way to break up these centers of corporate power is to boycott and regroup.

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By rczach, January 24, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

The democratic party cannot win without progressives. Period.  Obama now
parrots the exact policies that have been disproven over the last 30 years.  And he
has sold out so much to the republicans and corporate interests that I cannot
imagine him winning the White House for a second term.

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By Rich, January 24, 2011 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seriously?

If you love Obama so much, enlist and fight in one of his wars.

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By ardee, January 24, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Oh dear, Mr. Boyarsky, I understand the difficulty of your position, really I do, and I feel so sorry for you. To use the abysmal failures of the Democratic leadership as a reason to work for their re-election is a seriously hard sell.

I see no other alternative to believing that Barack Obama’s Presidency is as overwhelmingly a failure as was that of his predecessor. While, on the surface, all that talk of compromise, of working together, seems wonderful, if you are in a civics class somewhere.

The harsh reality is that ,when you are faced with an opposition unwilling to talk or bend, when that opposition convinces the American public that two and two are five, one has no recourse but to stand firm and speak truth to lies. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, none of them in fact, have a clue as to how that might be done. When the Democrats are too concerned with campaign funding they are too careful not to alienate their donors. Thus we all suffer.

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By Robespierre115, January 24, 2011 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Another pathetic article by a sad sheep who can’t find his way out of the pen.

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