More Obama

So, did Obama screw this whole health care thing up? Can he recover?

I think he should have come out with a plan, and explained it from the start. He’s been way too cautious. He’s allowed too much process and hasn’t provided enough leadership. Which is why he’s stuck playing defense now. I’m guessing he’s lost the public option.

If he gets portability, competition across state lines, tort reform and subsidies for the poor, he’ll be lucky.

The real problem there is that this is pretty much what I’ve heard out of the Republicans. If that’s all he gets, the Mid-terms are going to be relatively ugly for the Dems.

Imagine if Health Care Reform is essentially authored by the Republicans?

He pretty much did screw it up, in my opinion, Faust.

It’s pretty much exactly as you said, all defense and no offense. He put himself into a position where he is answering more questions about what his proposed Legislation does not do than what it does do.

The town meetings are also not working well either for him or his Congressional comrades. They basically have either two options which are to either:

A.) Blatantly pre-screen the crowd so nobody incites any irate verbal opposition, though it will be obvious that the crowd was pre-screened to be friendly.

B.) Not pre-screen the crowd and face irate verbal opposition.

Neither of those two options are particularly attractive, but that’s what you get for doing town hall style meetings.

Then they keep changing who it is supposed to be competiting with the for-profit private insurers. First it is the Government, then it is a Government-funded NPO, then it is a self-sustaining NPO…

Who the Hell knows?

Not Obama.

Yeah, I think uncertainty is the biggest problem.

I think most people realise that the current system is not a good one. But people are worried that any change will bring the loss of what they have, and that what they get in exchange might not be nearly as good. Their natural anxiety is easy prey for opponents of change.

I think Obama wanted a lot of input. To build consensus. To give the Republicans the opportunity, whether they take it or not, to participate.

But this issue is too complex for that. I think you have to put the product on the shelf, ans see who buys it. You can’t let it be designed by every customer. Even Dell Computers limits the choices its customers have - those computers are not truly custom. And you can’t customise health care coverage.

It’s stunning, in a way. Obama may just be handing the Republican party, which was in great disarray, the lead on this groundbreaking legislation. If the Repubs can come up with the goods, they will be able to call themselves the party of change - and people will believe them.

I have to continue to agree with everything you said on this matter.

That’s the main problem with ground-breaking Legislation that has the opportunity to affect every single American, if you strike the wrong chord with people and lose the major battle it will be much more difficult to win future minor battles. Once again, it all comes back to proposing a make-shift plan that was not at all well-defined, in fact, the majority of the opponents of this plan are not even sure what it will entail.

I’m sure you remember hearing about Palin talking about how part of the plan was to pretty much just let old people die, now even though that was proven to be complete and utter bullshit, there are still people that are going to associate that with any health Legislation Obama and the Democrats propose now and forevermore.

It’s like a rape allegation, really. Imagine a prominent figure either on the local, state or national level being accused of rape. If this person goes to a full trial and everything and is acquitted, the person will still be a rapist no matter what in the eyes of many people.

“Chamberlain is going to be here to speak today, you should stick around.”

“The guy that raped the college girl?”

“No, he didn’t. He was acquitted, there was no evidence that supported her accusations enough for a conviction.”

“I’m still sure he raped her. He probably bought his acquittal.”

Even though I am sure it is only a minority of the opponents of this measure that actually believe they were going to systematically kill off the elderly, I’m also fairly confident that it is still a substantial number of people upset by (and who still believe) this accusation.

I was watching The History Channel today with this show about Jurassic Predators. Anyway, they were discussing the Short-Faced Bear and the Mega-Lion. Now, the Short-Faced Bear could stand at a height of 11 feet when on its hind legs, it packed a paw swipe of about 1,000 pounds of pressure and it’s jaw could bite with 2,000 pounds of pressure. Anyway, these two predators occupied the same territories due to a food shortage, otherwise they would have just as soon stayed away from one another. On paper, the Short-Faced Bear should destroy the Mega-Lion, except the Short-Faced Bear has a tendency to rear up on its hind legs as an intimidation tactic, unfortunately, that exposes its comparably soft belly which is its only weak point if attacked by the mega-lion.

In some cases, the Mega-Lion, which is actually built to wear down quicker that the Short-Faced Bear, can continuously attack the stomach and paw at the face of the bear to weaken it, and then kill it by clamping down on its neck.

There are a lot of similarities that can be drawn, but in the end, both animals ended up extinct, and I think that is what will probably happen sooner or later. Even if they still choose to go by the same names, those names will come with different ideals.

Bipartisanship is a curious strategy when the major negotiators from the Republican party have admitted publicly that they won’t vote for any plan they come up with. Half of me thinks that bipartisanship is just a political tool that allows Obama to act like the good guy while knowing that all he has to do is use Republicans to sink the legislation, or gut it beyond recognition. His behavior is unexplainable given how easily he controlled the discourse during the election and how out of hand he has allowed it to become now. He obviously knows how efficacious message discipline is, that was demonstrated by Bush’s WMD’s, so wtf is he doing. And why the hell would democrats continue to hold town hall meetings…why did they do it in the first place.

The other half of me thinks that he anticipated this severe over-reaction from the far right and is completing what he started in the election, allowing the Republican party to destroy itself from within. The crazy ass town hall people have generated a backlash from the mobilizable left that is coalescing in the form of support of the legislation, despite the fact that many of these people wouldn’t have supported anything less than single payer otherwise. If this is the case I expect a turn around in message discipline and some sort of internal insurance company memo will be uncovered that shows how despicable they are.

It’s all so damn interesting.

I dunno. So far, I’m going with “inexplicable”.

As for destroying the Republican party, it may backfire. The Republicans are looking like the sensible moderates, here - at least the ones that I have heard. A sensible moderates elect presidents. And members of Congress. The Dems lose just a few seats in the Senate, and the whole game changes for Obama.

[
Faust"]I dunno. So far, I’m going with “inexplicable”.

As for destroying the Republican party, it may backfire. The Republicans are looking like the sensible moderates, here - at least the ones that I have heard. A sensible moderates elect presidents. And members of Congress. The Dems lose just a few seats in the Senate, and the whole game changes for Obama"

K: UMMM, bringing assault rifles to health care meetings is “moderate”?
I am very disappointed in Obama for several reasons.
First of all, he hasn’t lead. He is playing the role of community organizer, when he should be leading and creating the vision.
He has been reacting instead of being pro-active. What is is trying to do is not allow the GOP a target and not realizing he is already
a target. By laying low hoping the GOP don’t notice he is there, type of thing. I hope he is done with the “rope a dope” and comes
out swinging.

Kropotkin

I know this isn’t really what the post is about…

But it seems that Obama had already lost the battle before it started. Think about how infinitely complex the healthcare system is, not only in and of itself, but in terms of how it ties into the economy, capitalism, etc.

Do you really believe that Americans are intelligent, educated, and interested enough to truly understand the problem? The evidence says no, given that people are shouting their opinion on “for” or “against,” but the conversation being had on the news and with the general public only scrapes the surface and touches on the superficial.

I’ve said it before, but the downfall of America right now comes down to the majority not being educated enough to vote for what will benefit them the most.

I disagree. people do make choices about health insurance and about health care. I’m not sure the yahoos with the open carries are a prime example. This issue can be made simple enough. Obama lost before he started because he never really started.

I don’t think you are disagreeing. People make a decision on whether or not to believe evolutionary theory, and they do so knowing next to nothing about it. People make uneducated, uninformed, misunderstood decisions all the time, and that’s my point.

Maybe it’s because I used to sell health insurance - makes me think people can understand it. It’s not that complex. The again, people don’t seem to know exactly what cable TV package they are buying.

I’d be interested in knowing how much of the healthcare system they had to understand in regards to your sales pitch.

I talked to a software engineer who makes programs for the government for medicare and medicaid, and he said from his perspective the system is extremely complex.

It’s not that I think a healthcare plan is complicated (as in which one I choose at work, and how it affects me), I think it’s how it is woven into our economy, government, etc. Understanding the relationships between them and what effect certain actions would have.

Well, I don’t think that the general public should have to be economists.

And engineers think everything (including ordering dinner - trust me) is complicated.

But to ask that the general population understand the macroeconomics of it is asking too much.

We’d never make any important political decisions if we all had to be experts on the economic consequences.

LOL. I’ll give you that one.

Exactly. We make decisions without fully understanding the issues. It’s a little too Russian roulette for me. But it’s the flaw in democracy that I’m not sure anybody has resolved to my satisfaction (and hopefully I’m not being too dogmatic about it and ignoring a solution): if the people are not educated enough to fully understand the issues, how can they vote in their best interest?

Would you agree that what most people know about the issues is what they hear on Fox News, CNN, etc.? Do you believe that information is sufficient to give Americans a good chance of voting in a way that will ultimately benefit us? I realize there is always a risk involved, and there probably isn’t one “right” answer, but I don’t think people are even informed enough to realize the consequences of the decision they make.

The problem is deeper than you might think, people not only don’t know enough information to choose what they genuinely want, they are incapable of understanding the questions at issue to begin with. I used to have all the data on this stuff back when I was at Uni., but I’ve lost it. There is an entire subfield of political science dedicated to analyzing how dumb public opinion is, though. Something like 50% of people consistently contradict themselves on questionnaires that are over 10 minutes long, and it turns out that many people believe that the reason we elect people to office is so that citizens don’t have to worry about, follow, or understand complex issues. They are actively ignorant, know they are ignorant, and think they ought to be ignorant. It’s seen as a luxury of a democracy.

The irony, ofcourse, is that American politics and politicians have been consistenly seen as untrustworthy by a majority of citizens, and the theorists of Democracy all note that people have to take an active interest for it to work.

F: : Well, I don’t think that the general public should have to be economists.

And engineers think everything (including ordering dinner - trust me) is complicated.

But to ask that the general population understand the macroeconomics of it is asking too much.

We’d never make any important political decisions if we all had to be experts on the economic consequences.

K: the basis of capitalism is this very fact. That by our individual choices we somehow collectively
benefit the whole. This is the lodestone of which capitalism depends on, allowing individual choices, not
government choices.

Kropotkin

dorky - democracy doesn’t excel in avoiding mistakes - it excels in the ease with which we can correct mistakes. It’s a series of ever-nearer approximations. In other words - it takes us a while, but we can get it right eventually.

I see what you mean, but it seems a pre-requisite for “correcting mistakes,” is the general public having the knowledge to know what a mistake is, and how to correct it. This comes back to the entire knowledgeable and educated masses issue.

I dont’ know, maybe I’m just more pessimistic about humanity than you. Maybe the intrawebz will help.

Well, there was a time when widows, orphans and poor people had no safety net in this country. Then they had one. Then, maybe, they had too much of one. Now some probably have too much and some too little. And everyone has a social worker. I don;t think Welfare is perfect right now, but it’s probably better than none at all, and probably better than it was just a few years ago. And it will probably get better. But not without fits, starts, mistakes, backsliding and a healthy dose of political nonsense.

But it’s still better than it was a hundred years ago.

For example.

Point taken. So it’s a matter of “if,” not “when,” in your mind?

I’m from an instant gratification generation, what do you expect? Waiting for things to progress isn’t in my game plan. :stuck_out_tongue: