Tag Archives: hcr

Redstate’s Erickson: threats of violence are bad, but not really that big a deal and Democrats deserve them anyway

[This post has been edited to correct the spelling of Eric Cantor’s name.]

This could be the beginning of the rightwing meltdown.

If King George Will Not Listen . . .

This is one of those posts that has to be written and has to be said, though I know going in to it I’m going to get beaten up from all sides, though especially from a left particularly out to get me right now.

Nonetheless, this must be said.

The threats, potential acts of violence, and violence against those who voted for the health care legislation must be condemned. They are neither helpful to those seeking repeal nor the acts of a civilized society. I comfortably say I speak for all the front page posters here condemning the violence and threats. The people who think this country has descended into the darkness do in fact send us down a dark path themselves with these actions.


I’ve said for weeks I was a bit fearful of what would happen as a result. I sincerely pray we are not on the cusp of some group of angry and now unhinged mob lashing out at congressmen for a vote in the Congress. But something seems to be brewing and I frankly don’t think the Democrats should at all be surprised. They were and they knew they were playing with fire to advance legislation many Americans see as the undoing of the American Experiment. Some of those Americans will now conclude that, like with the founders, if King George will not listen, King George must be fought. [emphasis added]

In a sane political environment, this could be the beginning of a rightwing meltdown. But, in our current politics, it’s probably not. How many Republican party officials will condemn this?

I’d be surprised if one did. Cantor is supposed to speak on the violence in a couple of hours today — will he be called, or feel compelled, to comment on this disgusting post?

This mealy mouthed cowardly condemnation of violence in one weak breath followed by full throated expressions of support and understanding of the violent impulses is exactly what too many on the right think they can get away with.

They cannot.

They can also not get away with claiming Rep Lewis lied about being the recipient of our most vile racial epithet. They are on record and will pay the price for cozying up to violent extremists in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box.

Erickson is explaining away, and in so doing, condoning and supporting political violence. Now and forever, he owns this.

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The trap of absolutist health care reform opposition will hurt Republicans

Greg Sargent at The Plumline has a piece up about the upcoming HCR litmus test the rightwingers are going to hold Republicans to over the next eight months.

He describes how anything less than absolute rejection and opposition from the likes of the already intensely disliked Mitch McConnell will not go over well with the empowered rightwing fringe:

That’s not good enough for right wing activists. Erick Erickson of redstate.org criticized McConnell for dodging the question. “Politicians should actually say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when they mean ‘no,’ instead of dancing around the issue,” he wrote.

Newt Gingrich threw down the same gauntlet on “Meet the Press” yesterday when he said, “I suspect that every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.”

By insisting on ideological purity and making a bet that the bill will be universally unpopular, conservatives are leaving Republican candidates with no room for flexibility.

Igor Volsky at Think Progress has the Gingrich video:

Volsky writes:

While the exchanges don’t go into effect until 2014, the Senate health care bill spends approximately $10 billion between 2011 and 2014 on interim benefits. The bill immediately prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage, imposing life-time or annual limits or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Applicants who are unable to find insurance in the individual market, can purchase catastrophic coverage and young adults can stay on their parents’ policies until their 27th birthday. Small businesses that provide health coverage will also be eligible for tax credits beginning in 2010.

The bill requires health insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of all premium dollars on medical care and reduces the size of the coverage gap in Medicare Part D “by $500 in the first year.” The bill also guarantees “50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap.”

These benefits could also improve as the Senate bill moves into conference. Several House progressives have pledged to push the conference committee to move up the implementation date of the exchanges in the final bill and front load more benefits into the interim period of the final legislation [original links not included here].

It seems redundant to add in all the links Volsky includes in his post since anyone interested in checking his claims can follow the links from his post. Also, sorry for the long quotes but they’re necessary to drive home the point: rightwingers and Republicans are over confident in general and specifically incorrect in their assumption that a majority of voters in 2010 and 2012 will adopt their absolutist opposition to HCR.

They have succeeded — only temporarily, I believe — in making a lot of people nervous about reform. However, they appear to have overly discounted the effect of the interim benefits kicking in immediately. Almost everyone will know at least one person who’s situation will be improved, perhaps very greatly, by one or more of the early benefits.

They will then weigh those tangible improvements in the life of someone they know and interact with against the abstract charges of communism, fascism, union thuggery or whatever bircherite nonsense some rightwing Republican is spouting off.

They will know that, if the rightwingers and their Republican lackeys had got their way, those improvements in the life of someone they know and maybe even care a great deal about would never have happened. And these voters will know that the rightwingers and Republicans have explicitly promised to rescind those benefits if they vote for them.

That will be an intensely powerful incentive to not vote for any Republican, even the few who are not such rightwing extremist on other issues. It doesn’t mean everyone will vote for Democrats, just that some voters who would be otherwise inclined to vote for Republicans in 2010 will instead stay home or withhold their votes in congressional elections.

Rightwingers and Republicans shouted all the same nanny state socialism charges when social security, medicare and medicaid went into effect. Now, of course, they pledge to safeguard those very programs. Democrats are now betting that the same will happen with HCR, and to a measurable degree before 2010.

Rightwingers and Republicans are betting not enough such benefits will kick in before next November, although they are really really frightened that enough actually will do just that. By instituting this purity test, they are putting all their eggs in this basket.

But I think this tactic will not succeed. It will be a concrete reminder that elections really do have consequences and most people are not so ideologically hidebound that they will inflict clear and immediate pain on others just to remain true to the health insurance industry’s best interests.

Of course, for this to happen, the benefits must kick in before the first Tuesday of next November.


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How many deaths will make little Joey Lieberman feel better?

Okay, we get it. Lieberman is pissed at liberals and progressives because they had the temerity to be angry with him for supporting an unlawful, unnecessary, and unwinnable war. He wants to stick it to us. And the only way he can do it is to screw us on HCR.

It makes him feel good.

It will also result in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people.

But it makes him feel good.

TPM has a piece up arguing that the White House and Congressional Dems don’t want Little Joey to stomp his feet and take his ball home because they need him on bills coming out regarding climate change, security and marriage equity:

Sen. Joe Lieberman might be persona-non-grata in the health care negotiations, but he’s juggling several large initiatives the Obama administration wants to see move forward.

As Democrats grow increasingly infuriated with Lieberman (I-CT) as he throws a wrench into the health care bill, the White House and Senate leadership can’t afford to kick sand in his face.

An exchange in the comments section of this story is interesting:

December 15, 2009 12:09 PM in reply to Steve LaBonne
The fact remains that Joe Lieberman is one of the most reliable liberal voters in the Senate and even more so this past year than throughout his previous senatorial career. There are better metrics of voting records than blog commenter tantrums.

December 15, 2009 12:28 PM in reply to AdAbsurdum
Joe’s a heartless asshole who chooses to look away from the giant pile of 44,000 dead bodies that directly result from his and the other bought-and-paid-for corporate whores’ decisions.

Joe thinks Joe is a deeply moral man. He is not. He purposely turns a blind eye to great suffering which he alone could stop. In a just Universe, Joe would spend eternity repeatedly dying to untreated stomach cancer. He deserves his own “medicine”.

There has to be a time in this country where we call our monsters what they are, monsters. Joe is monster #1. And if you think allowing 44,000 more fellow citizens to die next year is acceptable, you’re an immoral monster too.

There are different figures for how many die each deacde, year, month, day, or hour because of our so called health care system. But the premise holds: little Joey has decided that thousands of people will die because he’s in a snit and is using these people as proxies in his quest to stick it to liberals and progressives.

But he’s a Serious Person. And moral. An ethical paragon.

Sometimes I wish I believed in hell.


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