Balkinization  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

John Boehner and Coalition Government in the United States

Mark Tushnet

Sandy's post on John Boehner prompts me to try to set down some thoughts I've had about the current situation. First, though, one (to me) real puzzle: Everyone appears to be saying that Boehner is acting as he is because he wants to continue to be Speaker of the House. My question: Why on earth would he want that? He can't be having much fun, it's clear that he isn't getting the jollies one gets from having and exercising power, he can't be holding on so as to enhance his reputation in history, he can't even be holding on so as to increase his post-Speakership income/employment opportunities.

Now, to my real point: Assuming that Boehner really does want to remain Speaker, there is a reasonably obvious solution (if, as people seem to think, there are about 20 Republicans in the House who really want to end things) -- cut a deal with the Democrats. The core of the deal would be (a) Boehner resigns as Speaker; (b) Nancy Pelosi moves to elect John Boehner as Speaker; (c) all the Democrats and the 20 Republicans vote for Boehner as Speaker. There are other parts of the deal that would have to be worked out -- allocating chair positions for committees, ensuring representation on conference committees, and probably more. But, I think, were Boehner to propose this deal, he'd be in a strong bargaining position (for the moment). So, for example, he could insist that there would be no changes in the chairs of committees (or he could reward some of his Republican supporters with positions as chairs). That is, the agreement would not have to put Democrats in the chair of any committee. [I note that there may be rules of the House that stand in the way of such a deal, but I'm confident that, if they exist, they could be worked around.]

When I've tried out this idea, one response is that Boehner might be Speaker until the end of the current Congress, but after that he's toast. It's not obvious to me that that's right -- if the new Congress is divided in roughly the same way as the current one, he'd be in a position to renew the deal. And, of course, if the Democrats manage to retake the majority, he's toast anyway. And, finally, it's not obvious to me that Boehner could survive a challenge from within the Republican caucus if Republicans retain control of the House.

But, for me, more important than all that political speculation -- a subject on which I claim no expertise -- is the fact that I'm proposing a more or less formal coalition government (in the House of Representatives), complete with a coalition agreement. And, we in the United States don't have a tradition of formal coalitions. We've done it informally, as in the Republican-Dixiecrat coalition in the 1950s and (sort of) the Democratic-moderate Republican coalition in the 1960s. The advantage of informality is that it allows more more fluidity (but also more unpredictability) on shifting issues. That's particularly true in contrast with formal coalition agreements elsewhere, where the agreement is not just about allocation of positions but also says something about a common program.

No strong conclusions here, but again: Why not a formal coalition government in the House, with an agreement that deals only with allocation of positions?

[It should be clear, I hope, that this is not a serious "proposal" or anything like that, but an occasion for reflecting on some aspects of our political structure and traditions that in principle could be different.]

Comments:

I think there's a three part answer to this proposal:

1. If it succeeded, he definitely would not enjoy being Speaker, as he'd be on the top of a majority of the fecal rosters in his own party. He could only do this if he intended to change parties, and even that would not get him a marginally pleasant Speakership, as he'd still be on that fecal roster, and, while Democrats might find quislings useful, you do not conspicuously respect them. So he'd still have the contempt of Democrats, perhaps more contempt. Think Bob Dole or John McCain. Both have something of a record of betraying their own party on a lesser scale, did it win your love?

2. Either way, after 2014 he would not only cease to be Speaker, he would cease to be a Representative. He would either lose the primary, or lose the general election. Democrats do not reward such betrayals with a lack of opposition in the next election, let alone support.

3. It would not work. In all likelihood, he'd lose a massive number of Republican votes, not all Democrats would vote for him, and on the second ballot Pelosi would be Speaker, or some other Democrat.

In short, he'd be burning his bridge, but he'd be doing it in front of him.
 

Might Speaker Boehner consider the exits taken by GOP Speakers during the 1990s? There is life after the Speakership, and it can be lucrative, even though embarrassments are reminded of from time to time. Perhaps the exits after sexual indiscretions are easier to deal with than leading to the shutdown/debt ceiling that might result in a Greater Recession. There's always the book deal.

Boehner as a youngster swept his father's bar. It's a shame he doesn't have that broom and work ethic today.

But there is comic relief. Unfortunately, except for Boehner, the Daily Show and Colbert Nation are on hiatus this week. But Brett does a good job with his engineering background about how to get rid of a bridge to nowhere. And the Tea Party lemmings will follow. The Neo-Confederacy will rise again - from the ashes?
 

I neglected to add that Brett's:

"In short, he'd be burning his bridge, but he'd be doing it in front of him."

is a reminder that anarcho-libertarians burn bridges on both sides of them.
 

Where did the idea originate that a Speaker should not allow a floor vote on any matter which does not have majority support within his/her party? IIRC, there used to be "free" votes in which party loyalty was not expected.

The whole political scene seems very pre-Civil War. First the Whigs (Democrats) lose their southern wing, while the Democrats (Republicans) seek to appease the firebrands in their midst, leading to Republican (Democratic) president whose mere presence causes the South to secede (blow up the Union).

And, so as not to be a buzz kill, why doesn't Boehner enjoy an extremely unpolitic sexual relationship and then resign when caught?

 

"IIRC, there used to be "free" votes in which party loyalty was not expected."

Considering that the passage of the ACA was not such a vote on the Democratic side, why would votes to attack it be such votes?

There are, of course, still such votes, the rule in question is only invoked on subjects of high partisan salience.
 

Speaker Boehner might call the Senate Bill for a vote and perhaps make himself eligible for a "Profiles in Courage" award. But he might be in competition with Justice Scalia for his self-proclaimed "courageousness" for declining to recuse himself from a case involving his duck-hunting buddy Dick Cheney.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], wasnot a House Standing Rule recently changed (October 1, 2013) giving this "power" to the Speaker? See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jd-iaYLO1A
 

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Mark:

Why not a formal coalition government in the House, with an agreement that deals only with allocation of positions?

You and most other Washington D.C. watchers need to move beyond the party establishments and start watching the voters. The only reason the GOP establishment agreed in the first place to pass an appropriations bill defunding Obamacare is because voters - primarily those of us in the Tea Party movement - have melted down our elected representatives' phones and email servers demanding they take action and threatening to fire them in the next election if they do not.

Every time the GOP leadership appears ready to cave, we start calling and emailing and they back down. Yesterday, the House rules committee yanked their latest surrender bill after we started raising hell during the day as the news spread around our social media networks.

As to your proposition, if the GOP establishment politicians openly allied with the Democrats, their political life expectancy would end in September 2014 when we primaries and fired the lot.

This is a fascinating time. I do not recall another example in American history of a party voter base going to war with its party establishment to keep it from supporting the opposition party. We do not have political parties, we have a bipartisan ruling class.
 

It's funny when someone who refuses to acknowledge that the Democrats won the last elections says "pay attention to the voters".


 

Although I would agree that at the bottom of all this is Boehner, Tushnet's analysis seems narrow to me.

It's likely true that Boehner is indeed worried about his political future as Speaker. However, to the extent that Tushnet is making the suggestion that the one thing he has to do is to keep the ultras happy is to miss a broader picture.

As Speaker of the House, Boehner is also a de facto leader (or one of the leaders) of the GOP. He not only has to keep the ultras happy, but he also has to maintain general unity of the GOP.

This is more difficult to do these days, given how fractured the party has become, and how easy it is to primary someone in the ultras' districts. Nevertheless, what alternative choice does he have?
 

RationalLeft said...

As Speaker of the House, Boehner is also a de facto leader (or one of the leaders) of the GOP. He not only has to keep the ultras happy, but he also has to maintain general unity of the GOP. This is more difficult to do these days, given how fractured the party has become, and how easy it is to primary someone in the ultras' districts. Nevertheless, what alternative choice does he have?

The "ultras" ARE the base of the Republican Party.

What alternative choice does he have?

Boenher can do what his district's and the nation's GOP voters are telling him to do - no appropriations bill without dealing with Obamacare and the rampant borrowing and spending.
 

It does not matter what the Tea Party lunatics want. Boehner will cave.
 

Our SALADISTA with this:

"This is a fascinating time. I do not recall another example in American history of a party voter base going to war with its party establishment to keep it from supporting the opposition party. We do not have political parties, we have a bipartisan ruling class."

seems to be prepared to go third party with the Tea Party, rising from the ashes of its destruction of the GOP in an attempt to save it. Will such a third party attract libertarians, anarcho and moderate? Militia-ists? What else?
 

"Boehner will cave."

My expectation all along, too. He has only been searching for a way to cave, while denying he has done so. Reading the most recent reports, it appears he has decided the search was futile, and is just going to cave without deniablity. Perhaps he intends to retire.


"We do not have political parties, we have a bipartisan ruling class."

Precisely.
 

Brett, he's caving because he has no choice. You stupid fucks lost the election. You have no leverage.
 

If we had no leverage, this fight would have been over weeks ago. It would not have been necessary for Boehner to cave, his choices would have been irrelevant from the start.

It's not that we had no leverage, it's that we had 'leadership' who didn't want to win, and only got into this fight because their voters gave them no choice. From the very beginning they were looking for a way to lose without having to admit that's what they had done.

Having failed to find such a way out, they've now decided to simply lose, openly. I expect the primaries are going to be vicious, with the GOP establishement doing everything it can to beat back all the challengers, and prevent the party's voters from taking back their party.
 

Bart DePalma:
Clearly, your post was very partisan and agenda-driven. Contrary to your confident assertions about what ultras and the nation's GOP want, I am not so confident that it's what they want.

The ultras may 'want' that, because they don't understand the principles of economics. Principles of anything really. The reptilian-brained region of America doesn't even get that default would be a bad thing for the economy. And it's certainly beyond their heads that the national debt is a big driver of our economy too (see Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the Republic). Frankly, I doubt even you understand that, given your pathetic book.

What I wrote in my post was a rational political analysis, not reiteration of mainstream talking points from the right. You seem to have settled for the latter.
 

Brett, you had no leverage weeks ago. You never had any leverage. You were never going to win. The only reason it took so long for the GOP to figure that out is because you're really, really, stupid.
 

You must mean something peculiar by "no leverage", then, because it appears to me the Republicans have only lost because they decided to lose, and the last several weeks have been nothing BUT a demonstration of the fact that, if you control one chamber of the legislature, you by definition have leverage.
 

Brett is absolutely clueless about the structural forces of politics. The prism through which he views the world is entirely agency-based. If only they had real "leadership", like a leader on a horse leading his tribe, would GOP have won.

This is patented non-sense, delicately put. This old canard has literally 0 basis in fact. It's a fantasy borne out of infantile understanding of impersonal and structural forces inherent in domestic politics. It reminds me of when leaders of political parties moderate their positions to attract more moderate voters and then lose, the cry from the fringe is invariably that the moderation was the cause in fact. These fringe idiots always fail to realize that had it not been for moderation, their candidate would have lost by even bigger margins. But no, the fringe marches on, undaunted by reality.
 

leverage: influence or power used to achieve a desired result

What was your leverage? The debt ceiling? People would blame you for that disaster. Government shutdown? You're being blamed for that, too. People discover how little they actually need the government? Your own side is screaming the loudest about parks and monuments being shut down.

You never had a chance. The fact that you're too stupid to realize that is a good indication that you'll be headed down the path of more humiliating defeats in the future.


 

IrrationalLeftist, you seem to miss the fundamental symetry of the situation: No legislation can pass without the House, no legislation can pass without the Senate, and, at some point, legislation must pass. The House and Senate have exactly equal leverage, in the sense of both having to sign on to whatever happens.

Quite seriously, if the Republicans had not caved, we could still be having this fight a year from now, because the Senate has no way to force the House to pass anything.
 

RationalLeft said...Clearly, your post was very partisan and agenda-driven. Contrary to your confident assertions about what ultras and the nation's GOP want, I am not so confident that it's what they want.

A super majority of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/08/fox-news-poll-majority-would-vote-against-raising-debt-ceiling/

And this opposition is long term.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/148454/debt-ceiling-increase-remains-unpopular-americans.aspx

Support for Obamacare as a whole has never risen above a minority. Check any poll you like.

A supermajority of Americans oppose the individual mandate.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/july_2013/56_favor_delaying_individual_health_care_mandate_26_opposed

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2383735/Obamacare-poll-shock-77-cent-want-individual-mandate-repealed-delayed-House-passes-block-IRS-enforcement.html

There is no polling on the subject, but a bipartisan majoirty in Congress wants to scrap the Obamacare medical device tax.

http://www.mddionline.com/article/medical-device-tax-repeal-effort-has-bipartisan-support-will-it-succeed-reader-poll

This is why the risk adverse GOP attached these amendments to their appropriations bills and the Democrats studiously avoid discussing the merits of these proposals and instead blame the GOP for "shutting down the government" by "demanding ransom."

 

Brett said...IrrationalLeftist, you seem to miss the fundamental symetry of the situation: No legislation can pass without the House, no legislation can pass without the Senate, and, at some point, legislation must pass. The House and Senate have exactly equal leverage, in the sense of both having to sign on to whatever happens.

Actually, the House as superior leverage, as intended by the drafters of the Constitution, because all appropriations have to originate there. All that is lacking is the will to use that leverage.
 

Sparky, if Boehner does not cave you lose the House in 2014 and have no chance of winning the Senate or White House for the next 20 years, and probably longer. A year from now the only argument we would be having would be about the size of the upcoming Dem election tidal wave
 

Brett, your understanding of politics is puerile, to say the least. The symmetry you are alluding to do is obvious, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the shutdown and the current debt ceiling fight.

You are viewing this political situation from some POV which has no explanatory power. Yes, you need both chambers of Congress to pass anything - who is disputing that? Anyone with GED knows this.

Your symmetrical framework explains nothing at all. It cannot explain or account for the political behavior of individual Congressmen.

Surely enough the House is controlled by GOP. But not all GOP members are equal. They come from politically, socially and economically distinct districts. The pressure exerted on GOP members in very red districts differs from the pressure exerted from northern, urban/suburban districts, where the politics is more moderate.

If the entire GOP membership allows the nation to default because they refuse to pass a clean bill (free of defunding ACA), those from very red districts would surely win their re-election in 2014, but many GOP moderates would lose, and might even tip the House to the Dems. Therefore, Therefore, the battle between Senate and House is irrelevant in this context. The relevant battle is between the GOP moderates and GOP ultras.
 

Blankshot, didn't you learn your lesson about cherry picking polls after your humiliating loss in 2012?
 

DePalma:
You can cite your partisan polls all you want.
In the run up to 2012 elections, I was checking Rasmussen, Fox and Gallup's polls almost daily. And more broadly, I was checking RCP.
According to all those right-wing polls, Romney was going to win. Dick Morris famously predicted it on the O'Reilly factor, and Karl Rove kept reassuring everyone that his money collection efforts would pay off for the GOP.
Instead, Obama steamrolled Romney (despite "losing" in the first and major debate), and GOP further lost the Senate.
The one person who got it correct, with precision, was Nate Silver.

WHY? Because the methods utilized by all those right-wing pollsters are outdated and don't account for new voters and newer models. So, citing those polls in this context is ludicrous.
Nate Silver, on the other hand, utilized modern and objective, free of bias, stats-based analysis. But you wouldn't understand it, because you are all too happy to provide polls that drive your pre-conceived narrative.

Not to mention that the poll numbers fluctuate a lot, depending on how the question is asked in a survey. And moreover, American are simply unaware of the benefits to them of Obamacare, so the polling is essentially irrelevant.

And your commentary is getting dumber by the post, at this point.
 

RL:

You are of course welcome to offer any contrary polling which shows majority voter support for Obamacare, the individual mandate or for further borrowing and spending.
 

So Bart...you think you can simply cite to the alleged unpopularity of the ACA without the further caveat that there is significant criticism from the left? I.e. a number of people oppose ACA because it doesn't go far enough?

Is Bart also going to acknowledge that the specific policies contained within the ACA (no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions; children remaining on parents' policies until 26; etc.) poll very well?
 

DP:
I did concede that probably a slight majority doesn't like Obamacare right now. But I also said:
"
And moreover, Americans are simply unaware of the benefits to them of Obamacare, so the polling is essentially irrelevant."

The more relevant polling will be one after most Americans get familiar with ACA, and after many will get direct benefits from it.

I might add: that something like 1/3 of the those that express some antagonism towards ACA are those that don't like the insurance, profit-based healthcare system. That 1/3 desires universal, single-payer healthcare coverage. Maybe a pipedream, if you ask me, but you cannot dismiss this sentiment. So, therefore, what you really have is about 35-40% of people who are against ACA, and I would bet that even a year from now, it will be something like 25-30%.

You also seem to be history-ignorant, which is why you are so giddy about citing the current polls - the political wind of the day. The history of the Republic, beginning with 1790's is replete with shifting sentiments. But early leaders, like the ones conservatives always tout, ignored them for the most part, and went on to implement programs and treaties antagonized by the majority. For all the talk about the supposed lack of Obama's leadership, he is actually doing what leaders are supposed to do, and not bragging about it (unlike cowboy Bush) - leading.
 

Blankshot, the fact that people might be opposed to something does not mean that they want to shut down the government or crash the economy to get rid of the thing that they might be opposed to. In fact, it would appear that only Tea Party morons are dumb enough to crash the economy now in order to prevent the crash that they are sure is coming in the future.
 

Unknown:

I completely agree that there is broad bipartisan opposition to Obamacare for a variety of reasons. The difference between opponents on the left and right is that the former are lemmings who will support their Democrat team no matter what train wrecks they cause while the latter simply want to stop the train wrecks period.

Whenever a poll offers a government program as free and without costs, the program inevitably polls well. I myself would love free health insurance. Of course, nothing is free and voters tend to oppose far more government programs when they know the cost.

Ask all those insured in group plans without adult children between 18-26 whether they like their premiums rising over the past two years so other parents can keep their adult children on their health insurance?
 

Blankshot, as someone who unblinkingly supported the Cheney/Bush train wreck, you're not really in a position to be tossing stones at other lemmings.
 

RINO Cruz has announced that he's not blocking the surrender. It looks like you Teabaggers need another hero. Primary Ted Cruz!!!!
 

LOL @Bartbuster!
 

The former are lemmings? That's rich coming from you (or frankly anyone that is part of the Astro-turf Tea Party nonsense). You kow, the folks that said deficits don't matter; that cheered on Bush-Cheney and then threw him to the side; etc.

And what causes premiums to go up more: the money paid to subsidize kids being on their parents plan through age 26 or the 24 year olds that don't have insurance, get sick, and stick everyone else with the bill? You don't want to stop train wrecks. First and foremost, you want to stop Democrats from governing, followed closely by stopping all governance period. You are nihilists trying to live out your teenage Ayn Rand fantasies.

Why don't you grow up and recognize that being an adult in a functioning multi-cultural society means accepting a little financial pain for the greater good. For instance, I'd love to avoid subsidizing churches as they engage in political hate speech, but I can't and I deal with it. Maybe you should try it.
 

Unknown: And what causes premiums to go up more: the money paid to subsidize kids being on their parents plan through age 26 or the 24 year olds that don't have insurance, get sick, and stick everyone else with the bill?

Nice talking point without any basis in reality.

Folks with insurance use more medical care than those without. Furthermore, using the ER for routine medical care has continued under Romneycare and will do so under Obamacare. So long as the law forces ERs to provide routine care, people will use them because they are convenient.
 

Blankshot, people with no insurance don't use the ER because it's convenient, they use it because they have no other options.
 

Speaking of leverage, I recall from hight school (EHS, Class of '47) that Archimedes said: "Give me a pole long enough and a place to stand and I can move the earth." A different kind of poll worked this time. Yes, the "o" in Boehner is no longer silent, loudly resonating "Obama! Obama! Obama!"
 

Unknown - well said!

DePalma:
What planet do you reside on, to make idiotic statements like:
"Furthermore, using the ER for routine medical care has continued under Romneycare and will do so under Obamacare. So long as the law forces ERs to provide routine care, people will use them because they are convenient."

Did you ever use ER yourself, while you had insurance?

Some time ago, my friend didn't have medical insurance (she still does not). She had an appendicitis and needed it removed. Thankfully, given that we still live in a civilized society, she was able to get an emergency surgery in a public hospital and the gov't paid for it.
She was at the time earning just above minimum wage, in NYC NO LESS, and her employer didn't provide medical coverage. What ought she have done? Spend the income she didn't have on medical coverage and live on the street?
Do you teabagging idiots even know that these problems exist in our absurdly unequal society, or do you all just recite your neo-Nazi talking points, because there is nothing left in your empty skulls??

I actually too had a similar story like it not long ago. I didn't have insurance and needed to get to the ER. They don't just provide care for free, they ask for insurance and do verification check afterward to determine how much I should pay, based on the income and resources (I was unemployed at the time).
What should I have done? Pay some $500 for minimal insurance coverage in NY, from the money I didn't have??

You right-wingers NEVER have any reasonable answers, or workable solutions to these questions and problems. You all just recite your worn-out, mid-80's, Reaganite talking points, but not once did I hear from ANY right-winger an actual solution.
No, wait: I did. It was from Heritage Foundation, some 20 years ago. And now Obama is trying to implement it!!
 

BB: people with no insurance don't use the ER because it's convenient, they use it because they have no other options.

My wife was a paramedic for years. Folks on Medicaid would call for an ambulance to take them to the ER because they did not have transportation and/or never bothered to get a doctor.
 

RationalLeft said...Did you ever use ER yourself, while you had insurance?

Yes. I had food poisoning and was willing to pay the deductible to relieve the violent vomiting even though this was not life threatening.


 

So, DePalma's argument in a nutshell is this:
Since some people abuse the system, let's get rid off it altogether, and let someone else give a shit about what happens to the majority of well-meaning people who genuinely need help and who don't abuse the system.

Your profile says that you attended law school. But your reasoning, and your pathetic ignorance of how the world actually works, is a shame and an absolute disgrace!
 

DePalma: " was willing to pay the deductible"

YES, if you have insurance to begin with, that means you are self-employed, or employed by someone else. Which means you have income!

What about the people who don't have a job and don't have money. What should they do? Literally either die, if your pipedream law gets enacted, or pay with their rent/food money.

You live in an alternate reality!
 

Wait, what? What does the fact that people with insurance use more medical services (duh!) or that people with insurance will still use the ER (double duh!) have to do with the fact that part of the rising health care costs issue is that people that have coverage are subsidizing people that don't?

If someone without money gets sick, they can, of course, get treatment. Said treatment is not free. If you think the providers are simply absorbing those costs, you are insane.
 

My wife was a paramedic for years. Folks on Medicaid would call for an ambulance to take them to the ER because they did not have transportation and/or never bothered to get a doctor.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 4:56 PM


What the fuck does that have to do with people who don't have insurance?
 

@Unknown: Even DePalma should understand these basics of the basic economics. But because he is such a committed right-winger, and has no obvious solutions to the problem of healthcare, he just recites the same old, and tired talking points - about lazy people, and how they abuse the system and blah blah blah.

Easy to live in your serene, isolated woods in CO, where you don't have to deal with the problems that cities face. Which is fine - but then shut up, get out of the way, and let adults deal with these problems in a way that allocates incentives in such a way as to prevent free-riding and abuse in the system.

The irony, is that for all the talk about abuse that MIGHT occur under ACA, there is SO MUCH MORE of worse abuse going on now - precisely what ACA is designed to remedy!
 

There are no solutions to the problem of healthcare, which is fundamentally that men are mortal, and resources limited, and we all eventually die.
 

And the poor should just have to die sooner, amirite?
 

Brett's:

"There are no solutions to the problem of healthcare, which is fundamentally that men are mortal, and resources limited, and we all eventually die."

sounds like he's an anarcho-Keynesian-libertarian and might lemming-like be prepared to go over the cliff in despair of no solutions. If only Adam ate the fruit of the tree of life instead of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The odds were 50-50.

Brett's words of wisdom are irrelevant, immaterial and (as we used to say in mock trials in law school) invenerial as far as I'm circumcised.
 

Now, where did I say that, anon?

The fundamental problem of healthcare is that, while a relatively cheap amount of food will save you from malnutrition, and a relatively cheap shelter will keep the weather off you, no amount of medical expense will change the fact that you're eventually going to die. This makes healthcare fundamentally unlike any other public 'entitlement': There can never be enough.

Complain all you like about the fate of people if the government doesn't rob Peter to treat Paul, the fact remains all you're going to do is shift the schedule a little, and you'll always be saying "No!" at some point.

So stop pretending Republicans are somehow categorically different from you, you're so compassionate, and they're so cruel for drawing a line. You're going to draw one, too.

Probably draw it even for people who could have spent their own money, just so that you can feel better about them dying earlier than they could have, just to be 'fair'.
 

Jesus, did George Martin start posting? This "all men must die" is one of the worst arguments I've ever heard. And considering the level of arguments being made on the subject, it's saying something.

Let's deconstruct this straw man a bit:

1. Who has even hinted at the fact that we can make someone immortal with unlimited healthcare? Because that's the argument you are responding too.

2. Who has ever argued to preclude someone from spending his/her own money to get whatever health care they wanted?

What you are suggesting is a free-for-all as comes to healthcare. Apparently, we're just "changing the schedule a bit", but since the fundamental issue is that people are dying, it's seems to be your position to let them die. If they have money to spend to live a longer life, great. If not, sucks for you.

You're ok with an insurance company saying "no mas", but a "bureaucrat" saying the same (and I'm just granting for the sake of argument that it would even happen) and that's a bridge too far.

See, I am different than you: you are a terrible person that doesn't care what happens to other people if it infringes on your economic sensibilities. I'm willing to help someone get some basic coverage so that he/she can "change the schedule" and possibly live a much longer/enjoyable life.
 

"There are no solutions to the problem of healthcare, which is fundamentally that men are mortal, and resources limited, and we all eventually die."

I think the above wasn't even meant to be an argument, so you are giving Brett too much credit, Unknown.
Rather, it was meant to stop the discussion in its tracks.

You see, this kind of "no can't do" mentality can only arise out of the isolated swamps in which someone like Brett resides. Someone like him is so fundamentally isolated and insulated from the Western civilization, that he cannot fathom that the very computer and technology he is utilizing for typing up his non-sense have, and ONLY could have, arisen from long-term, gov't investment.

If Brett's "no can't do" attitude was adopted early on, US might still have been ruled by the British Empire. And even assuming an independence was declared at some point, we couldn't have gone to the moon, couldn't have invented the Internet, couldn't have decoded the human genome and etc etc. These types of projects cannot be produced by the private sector. They can only stem from the type of long-term investment that the gov't does, funded by taxpayer money in the beginning and later coopted by the private sector to make broad inventions into usable, every day products and services.

No, Brett doesn't understand these basic core economic principles. He thinks that a country that went to the moon cannot do a better job distributing healthcare services to its population. Because, you see, we are mortal.

You know what, Brett, the best policy for you would be to just stay in your part of the swamp, and be quiet. Let the civilized people do the work.
 

Brett, when cancer comes looking for you again, turn down the treatment. Most likely it was developed with government research grants.
 

FWIW, I actually favor a single payer system using a national sales tax to collect the money for health insurance. No free riders any longer.

The government should then issue you a voucher to in part to buy catastrophic health insurance with a large deductible and in part to fill an HSA to shop for non-catastrophic treatments.

That is the full extent of the government's role. All other state and federal mandates and the gross distortions they cause would be lifted.

Over-insurance is actually one of the major problems with health care. No one except for the very wealthy can save enough for catastrophic events, thus you need to spread the risk of these through insurance. When you insure non-catasprohic treatment, however, you encourage overuse and price inflation. We should shop for non-catastrophic treatment and apply a cost benefit analysis as we do with everything else we consume in our lives. Costs would drop dramatically under true competition self-rationing.
 

DP:
The problem with a suggestion of this kind is that it's such a radical departure from the current system, or any system used by other modern and western democracies, that it's impossible to intelligibly respond to it.

You also just threw it out there, I think, as to basically preempt a rational discussion within the more familiar and workable framework. Because in the world which you inhabit, there is such a hatred for what used to be a republican healthcare plan, that your arguing strategy now is to throw everything into disarray and start from scratch. This way, no responsive and intelligent response can be provided.

Also, you speak about it as if it would just magically work. As if you crunched the numbers, thoroughly thought it through and analyzed it deeply as to so confidently assert it. And I highly doubt that you did any of that.



 

Our SALADISTA keeps reinventing himself, now with his favoring, FWIW, a single-payer system for healthcare. Recall a quite recent comment by our SALADISTA that Medicare was not socialism and pointing out that his Saint Reagan did not say Medicare was socialism but might lead to socialized medicine, with our SALADISTA then going on to point to Obamacare as proof of Saint Reagan's prophecy. Now, FWIW, our SALADISTA favors a single-payer system. Ergo, our SALADISTA is a socialist?

Those of us familiar with our SALADISTA's reinventions recall his abandonment of the sinking ship-of-state of Bush/Cheney as their eight (8) years of misadventures were ending with their 2007-8 Great Recession, like the proverbial rat. Now, the Tea Partiers are being tossed overboard and our SALADISTA has to plan his exit strategy from another bunch of losers. As a f(l)ounder ot the Tea Party, how can he remain a loyal member if, FWIW, he supports a single-payer healthcare system? Once again, it seems our SALADISTA emulates the proverbial rat.
 

Once again to Brett's:

"There are no solutions to the problem of healthcare, which is fundamentally that men are mortal, and resources limited, and we all eventually die."

How about applying this to the Second Amendment, as well as other rights and privileges? At Dorf on Law's post on Justice Scalia and the Devil, I mentioned in a comment Mark Twain's "Letters From The Earth," 11 letters from Satan to his Archangel buds. I'm rereading these letters and with Brett's "no solutions" pronouncement, I continue my read with Doctor Death Brett's thought in mind: We're all doomed.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Twain's "Letters From The Earth" are available on the Internet.

 

RL/Shag:

There is nothing particularly radical about my plan.

Forbes magazine has employed a catastrophic insurance / HSA hybrid for a couple decades and their costs dropped. The private sector was headed in that direction before Obamacare and my wife and I have and love one of these plans.

A sales tax would catch the millions in the gray and black markets who evade income taxes.

My plan is a free market social insurance with a set cap of benefits. No more entitlement to unlimited medical treatment. It is not socialism because the economy is not being directed. Instead, the health insurance market would be deregulated.
 

Sigh, forget it. DP is so entrenched in his position, that he cannot stop digging.

What's next? A privatization of the army?
 

Our SALADISTA in reinventing himself jumps through illogical hoops, including with his:

"Instead, the health insurance market would be deregulated."

Deregulated? It would be eliminated for the most part. The health insurance market was a product of the "free market," as are all private insurance markets. Single-payer attacks a portion of the "free market." Normally, our SALADISTA would call such attacks Socialism. But, our SALADISTA claims:

"A sales tax would catch the millions in the gray and black markets who evade income taxes."

justifies this attack. But the poor would not be paying their share, as they do not have the funds to spend for significant purchases that would be subject to such a sales tax.

If Obamacare constitutes Socialism, then the single-payer system is Socialism in spades.

Yes, our SALADISTA is preparing to abandon the Tea Party, and is getting his ducks in order. Of course if a single-payer system were adopted, he would hope the political significance of the brand "Obamacare" might be lost in history. But our SALADISTA should keep in mind that Abe Lincoln is still remembered as the Great Emancipator despite the adoption of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. With a single-payer system, history will also remember that it came about because of Obamacare, which was fought tooth and nail by the Tea Party as it Cruz-ed to oblivion.

Let's welcome our SALADISTA as a Socialist.

 

I wonder if it is even possible to have a rational discussion with the left today without name calling and misrepresentation?

Probably not.
 

DePalma said: "I wonder if it is even possible to have a rational discussion with the left today without name calling and misrepresentation?"

I say - HA! to that. I probably would feel less compelled to respond to this comment if I myself haven't been subjected to the most uncivil(ized), crude and tortuously moronic "conversations" just last week on a right-wing blog.

Just about every sentence in response to my comments contained the word "idiot", "socialist", "communist", not to mention calling the President "Obummer", "O'Bozo", and etc etc.

It was literally impossible to engage the morons on that blog to say ANYTHING that was even semi-grounded in reality, reason and facts.

So, pleeeeaaase, spare us all here with your "it's impossible" to have a civil conversation with the left. Just try visiting a few right-wing blogs and conduct the following experiment: pretend to be a liberal, and make comments from the left. They will come after you with pitchforks.
 

RL:

Fair enough. There are also yahoos on the right.

Why do you feel the need to emulate them?
 

But our SALADISTA has demonstrated at this Blog since the beginning of the Bush/Cheney Administration that he is a yahoo on the right. Just check the archives at this Blog. Now, having abandoned Bush/Cheney and it seems the Tea Party, our SALADISTA attempts to reinvent himself once again. Our SALADISTA is incapable of a rational discussion with his "OB(ama)SESSION" going back to the beginning of Obama's first term. Just check the archives of this Blog beginning January 20, 2009 and work forward. Imagine if the votes were there for a single-payer healthcare system when Congress was considering ACA. Our SALADISTA would have been apoplective, claiming it was a way around a socialized medicine single-payer system. So our SALADISTA once again reinvents himself, being in favor of a single-payer system. How rational is that?
 

DP:

I am perfectly glad to have a rational discussion with anyone on the left or right. So long as it's grounded in reality, facts and reasoned arguments and analysis.

But when the premise of every discussion is that Obama is a socialist, or turning the country into socialism, as if it's possible for one man or even one party, to just press a button and do that... then I quickly get impatient and hit back fast and hard.

I find that hardened right-wingers sometimes only understand that kind of language and tactic, since they are only too quick to use such tactics themselves.

So, DP, if you want to have such a reasoned discussion, I welcome it. But you'd have to dial back your 3rd grade notions and understandings of socialism and etc., and recalibrate your political compass to reality.
 

What matters politically is not how Obamacare polls now, but how it will be perceived in January after it really comes into operation. The rollout of the national website was a disaster - because of overload, not boycott. There's no sign at all of the young uninsured staying away, as Republicans hope.

In January, Americans will be living under the ACA, not a distorted fantasy of it. They will find it's OK. For most people, with employer group coverage, very little will change.

The Tea Party will continue to hate Obamacare because the "care" part is irrelevant. But the wider, inchoate fear of the new will fade rapidly with experience. Cruz will try to rerun his defunding campaign but I predict he won't find the troops.
 

"What matters politically is not how Obamacare polls now, but how it will be perceived in January"

This is what I said some 10 posts ago. Moreover, even if not enough people will sign up for it, especially young people, the sky won't fall, the country will not turn into Communism and everyone will still get up in the morning, brush their teeth and go to work.

This meme going around right now about Obamacare glitch is just about the silliest and most childish campaign I have ever observed in American politics. Do the teabaggers really believe that they can hinge their entire hatred of ACA on a computer overload? This is ridiculous, to say the least.

As Chris Matthews noted, when Apple runs out of iphones, the day after their fancy worldly presentation, it's considered a success. But when millions of people overload the system to sign up to the new law, Republicans call it a failure. It's just absurd. Childish kind of absurd.

And of course, once even half the people sign up, most people won't even remember the fight over it and the life will just go on.

The tea party faction, if it doesn't come to its senses quickly, will just continue to destroy the larger party of which it is part - the Republican party. Already they are driving many moderates out. Soon, there won't be many left, and of those left, they will start caucusing and voting with the Dems. Great news for us liberals! This is colloquially referred to as - overreach.
 

"In January, Americans will be living under the ACA"

They are, let us note, living under it now -- the legislation has various moving parts, some which have been in place for some time, more that will be applied in the future. I constantly hear about ACA not being in place or something when what is at issue is some component of it.

I realize the writer is aware of this, but I think many are not.
 

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Joe's point (as usual) is well taken. Yes, the ACA, aka Obamacare, is "living healthcare" (a nice phrase, if I do say so) and over time will be implemented and improved. Long live the "living Constitution!" And let's give a nod to FDR and his proposed "New Bill of Rights" (that included healthcare) following his election to a fourth term; sadly, FDR died shortly afterwards. The wealthy FDR had the advantage of the best medical care following polio for many, many years and he recognized that wealth alone should not be required for good healthcare.
 

Shag's "living" metaphor brings to mind Linda Greenhouse's most recent column in honor of "Persons Day," including the 'living tree' citation in the ruling honored.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/opinion/greenhouse-a-tree-grows-in-canada.html

Happy Persons Day!
 

Thanks for the link, Joe, it's a great column.

Gerard had a post at Concurring Opinions recently on the Privy Council and I put up a smarmy comment, as I do on occasion w hen my "funny bone" is struck. But a loud HUZZAH for England's Privy Council in helping to bring about "Persons Day" in Canada.

In Justice Scalia's next interview, he might suggest in retaliation a "Persons Day" for America to honor Citizens United and encouraging incorporating.
 

I would like to thank Prof. Tushnet for opening his post to comments, as it was most timely. He made the point that his proposal in the post was not serious but opened a dialog during a crucial time in governing in America. (I am not urging him to open future posts for comments, as I respect him and other posters at this Blog whether or not they permit comments.)

Part of the timeliness of Prof. Tushnet's post relates to Guest Blogging here by Ilya Somin on his book "Democracy and Political Ignorance." Prof. Somin's severals posts received many comments. But I want to focus on his "Signing Off" post on 10/8/13, which concludes with this:

"One that may be of special interest to Balkinization readers is a conference entitled "Is Democracy Desirable?" which will be held at the University of Texas Law School on January 31, 2014. The conference was organized by longtime Balkinization regular Sanford Levinson, and Balkinization's own Jack Balkin and Heather Gerken will be commenting on my work at the panel about Democracy and Political Ignorance. The conference will also feature panels on important recent books on democracy and political knowledge by Hélène Landemore and Jamie Terence Kelly. Landemore's book is far more optimistic about the public's knowledge and judgment than mine, while Kelly's is probably somewhere in between."

There were only 7 comments to that post, mostly by me. I focused in my comments on the upcoming Conference arranged by Sandy. I would hope that the panelists on the book panels Prof. Somin noted will be discussing the efforts that shut down the government and attempted to use the debt ceiling as leverage for a whole host of reasons, all by a minority of the House in thrall to the Tea Party. As I noted in one of my comments, some have ignorance of politics because they don't participate for various reasons (including spending their time on survival), while some are active politically but have ignorance in their politics. I haven't read Prof. Somin's book, but it was written before the the efforts of the past several weeks. Perhaps the panelists will address political ignorance with the example of the past few weeks. The can has been kicked down the road in a time frame that may coincide with the Conference. I trust Sandy will keep us informed.

Once again, my thanks to Prof. Tushnet.
 

RL: Do the teabaggers really believe that they can hinge their entire hatred of ACA on a computer overload?

The fundamental design flaws (not glitches or overload) in the government exchange portal are hardly the only or most important Obamacare train wreck.

1) Coverage mandates are making all but union cadillac insurance plans more expensive, eliminating less expensive alternatives in the individual market. In the group market, this higher labor cost is compelling businesses to drop coverage, defer hiring workers, reduce hours for current workers, fire workers or go entirely out of business.

2) The combination of high Obamacare directed insurance costs, a comparatively low fine and the ability to sign up for insurance with a preexisting condition destroys the insurance model and makes it economically rational for the young and healthy to blow off getting insurance until they need it. The young and low skilled are also the ones being priced out of a job by Obamacare and a myriad of other regulatory costs and mandates on business, and thus cannot afford expensive Obamacare insurance even if they wanted it.

Whether you like the term or not, Obamacare is indeed German Zwangswritschaft socialism. The two times the Germans tried Zwangswirtschaft, their economy imploded from all the arbitrary distortions imposed by the government bureaucracy. The same thing is happening to our health insurance system under Obamacare.

Show me where I am wrong. If you cannot defend this mass of train wrecks, why are you supporting this program and why aren't you calling for its repeal like those of us in the Tea Party?
 

Our SALADISTA's:

'Whether you like the term or not, Obamacare is indeed German Zwangswritschaft socialism. The two times the Germans tried Zwangswirtschaft, their economy imploded from all the arbitrary distortions imposed by the government bureaucracy. The same thing is happening to our health insurance system under Obamacare."

fails to include dates, facts, etc, in his CONCLUSION/OPINION of failures by Germany. That's typical of our SALADISTA who most likely will in response refer us to his work of Friction for support. And our SALADISTA's first sentence is an OPINION stated as a FACT. And the third sentence is a prophecy by our SALADISTA who has demonstrated frequently in the past that his crystal ball looks to the past; actually, this is wishful thinking by our SALADISTA.

 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag:

Yes, you will have to read my book Never Allow A Crisis To Go To Waste and its end noted sources for the failed history of Zwangswirtschaft and its later adoption in the 1960s and 1970s by American socialists, many of whom led the community organizing groups like ACORN and were advisors to Barrack Obama. It took a great deal of digging to find these materials. You do not get them for free.

As for the multiple Obamacare train wrecks I briefly summarized in my last post, try going somewhere else but the Boston Globe, MSNBC and law reviews to get your information. Unless they have no other choice, the Democrat media generally avoids running stories about the failures of Obamacare. Local papers and the conservative alternative media are filled with them.

In a very remarkable exception to the rule, Huff Post has been doing some damn good work running dozens of stories on the various Obamacare failures. The difference between you and I is that I consume both conservative and progressive news sources.


 

Our SALADISTA's:

"You do not get them for free."

is evidence that his comments at this Blog are teases geared to promoting his work of Friction. DUI business must have dried up as a result of the CO floods. So our SALADISTA is a free-rider at this Blog that obviously taints his comments. Our SALADISTA is trying to make a buck. Like a moocher disdained by the Tea Party. Such obvious desperateness. Why it's too bad food stamp cutbacks by the House in its Farm Bill may not provide our SALADISTA with a safety net. And our SALADISTA Huffs and Puffs with the Huffington Post in support of his claims, which unlike Huffington Post, are not free.

So if they're not free, how much is it worth? It's clear that our SALADISTA is a desperate Seller but there do not seem to be any willing Buyers. It's tough putting a price on what nobody wants, especially by means of desperate promotional mooching.
 

DP:

1. "Coverage mandates are making all but union cadillac insurance plans more expensive"

More expensive than what? The mandate is directed towards people who didn't have coverage before. So it cannot be "more" expensive than something they didn't have before.

"this higher labor cost is compelling businesses to drop coverage, defer hiring workers, reduce hours for current workers, fire workers or go entirely out of business."

That's true. But this affects a very small fraction of the labor force. It's also more likely than not that the very few people who work for low wages, whose hours will now either be reduced or eliminated, were working those jobs on a short-term, transitory basis. If they get laid off as a result of ACA, it should actually incentivize them to look for a better job, retrain, get an education, etc.
Either way, the argument that a law is a train wreck just because it hurts select few is not a particularly compelling one. All laws are tradeoffs, and ACA is no exception.

2. That's just your speculation, derived from your politics, not evidence. The fine will actually continue to increase, and in combination with the availability of healthcare coverage whose cost would now be lower as a result of ACA would provide an incentive for young and healthy to get coverage. This law is supposed to fix our healthcare system and the way it's distributed, and reduce artificially high costs of certain products and services on a long-term basis, not tomorrow.

3. I won't address the German socialism garbage out of principle.


 

BD: 1. "Coverage mandates are making all but union cadillac insurance plans more expensive"

RL: More expensive than what? The mandate is directed towards people who didn't have coverage before. So it cannot be "more" expensive than something they didn't have before.


Coverage mandates are not the individual mandate. These are the myriad of mandates outlawing insurance with lifetime limits, limits against preexisting conditions, deductibles beyond a certain level and different group risk categories as well as requiring comprehensive coverage for everything from the pill to adult children. All of this makes insurance up to 260% more expensive that individual policies available on this year's private market.

See for example: http://obamacrisis.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/kos-kid-shocked-to-find-obamcare-doubled-his-insurance-premiums/

BD: "this higher labor cost is compelling businesses to drop coverage, defer hiring workers, reduce hours for current workers, fire workers or go entirely out of business."

That's true. But this affects a very small fraction of the labor force... If they get laid off as a result of ACA, it should actually incentivize them to look for a better job, retrain, get an education, etc.


OMG. Tradeoffs! Are you kidding me?

Currently, only 62% of Millennials (18-30) can find work and only half of those have full time work. We have college graduates living in their parents' basement and working in part time McJobs because Obamacare and the avalanche of other regulations have made hiring the young and low skilled cost prohibitive and turning this into a lost generation.

I won't address the German socialism garbage out of principle.

It is better to be ignorant and stay silent than to type a post and to remove all doubt. Good principle to live by.
 

DP:
1. Firstly, it's never a good idea to use a blog, especially where your stupid book is advertised, as your source to make an argument, or provide a fact. As someone with a JD degree, you should know that.

2. I don't get what part of "Obamacare is not the cause in fact of bad economy" don't you get?? Is is the 'cause in fact' part, 'economy' or 'Obamacare' you are struggling with?
How could a law that has only begun to get implemented recently, have caused something that has been going on since about 5 years ago? I thought this was logic 101, but apparently not.

Ignorant of your stupid opinions - comparing essentially Nazi Germany to Obamacare, without of course using the word Nazi? Yes, I am ignorant of that garbage and proud of it!

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, you are a disgrace for an attorney. And it's unfortunate that ANY publisher would accept such a scandalous manuscript as yours. You are, in that sense, no different from Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity and the rest of the TV-radio-book shocks. And it doesn't escape on me that having said that, I probably gave you a compliment. Enjoy that company.
 

Our SALADISTA with this:

"The difference between you and I is that I consume both conservative and progressive news sources."

exposes not only his grammatical dysfunction but ignorance of what I do and do not consume by way news sources. For example, I have not given an interview such as did Justice "Scowlia" that he does not read the Washington Post or the NYTimes because they are too liberal, so that he reads the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. I do read, online, the Post and NYTimes. But I don't watch Fox or MSNBC because I've got a life. I do watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report via next day Internet replays. I go through a whole host of Blogs.

So our SALADISTA's criticism of me perhaps puts me in the same boat with Justice "Scowlia" by his standards.

But it seems our SALADISTA has an APP that provides him with things said by presumably liberals that can be used against Obama and his Administration.. I can't imagine that such a busy DUI legal specialist in the Mile Mile High State )of mind) would have the time to read broadly Why his economics is based on Hayek and Ayn Rand.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], based on past statements by our SALADISTA concerning his work of Friction, it is "self-published" because no publisher - even right wing - would handle it, a form of publishing masturbation on demand. Alas, there is no demand for our SALADISTA' welled-up supply of diatribe.
 

RL: Firstly, it's never a good idea to use a blog, especially where your stupid book is advertised, as your source to make an argument, or provide a fact.

I operate two blogs and address the various socialist policies of this administration on the book blog.

Rather than repeating myself on multiple blogs on issues I have already addressed on one, I simply link back to my previous post on the subject.

The post to which I linked itself has links to the primary materials. Use them before commenting.

How could a law that has only begun to get implemented recently, have caused something that has been going on since about 5 years ago?

Obamacare has been in effect since 2010 and businesses were planning their responses back in 2009 when the first bills were disclosed. Several companies performed cost benefit analyses on terminating insurance for their entire work forces and dumping them on Obamacare before the bill was even rammed through.

You admitted in your previous post that Obamacare increases labor costs and will unemploy the young and the unskilled. It is too late to unring that bell.

Ignorant of your stupid opinions - comparing essentially Nazi Germany to Obamacare, without of course using the word Nazi?

You violated your principle of declining to post on topics about which you know nothing and thus confirming your ignorance.

The Nazis did not have a particular economic philosophy beyond Hitler ruling by decree and did not invent or first implement Zwangswirtschaft.

Zwangswirtscahft was the brain child of a Jewish industrialist named Walther Rathenau at the beginning of he 20th Century. Rathenau was seeking an alternative way of socializing Germany rather than the communism being peddled Marx. Under a British blockade during WWI, the German military was desperate and placed Rathenau in charge of the German economy to implement his theories.

Ironically, the Nazis murdered Rathenau in the 1920s and then Albert Speer reinstated Zwangswirtscahft to shift the German economy to total war footing.

You might want to educate yourself on this topic before making accusations you cannot support.
 

Our SALADISTA's qualifications as a historian emulate his qualifications as an economist.

Our SALADISTA started his vile diatribe on Pres. Obama, America's first African American President, on day one, using socialism - and later caesarism - as his focul point.

Our SALADISTA's work of Friction can't even make it as a Tea Cart book.

In some of our SALADISTA's comments over the past couple of weeks as the Tea Party flamed out, he has made an effort to present himself as objective. But he always ends up objectionable.

One wonders if his legal clients are aware of his two blogs and the time our SALADISTA spends on his OB(ama)SESSION rather than on their DUI plea bargains (rather than actual trials).
 

To DP:

1. "The post to which I linked itself has links to the primary materials"

You are a JOKE. Your so-called primary materials are not worth anything.
You are just another citizen with an opinion. And a very uninformed citizen, I might add. You are in no position to be educating me or anyone else on this blog with your snippets of information, whether on your blog or on this one.
I wouldn't look at the stuff you post if my life depended on it.

2. "You admitted in your previous post that Obamacare increases labor costs and will unemploy the young and the unskilled."

Yes, I admitted that it will affect SOME people and SOME companies, but only a relatively tiny fraction. And I also said it was a tradeoff - and obviously in my view an excellent one, and one long overdue. But the latter part is what you left out.

No law, policy or set of policies can ever benefit everyone and hurt no one, in a developed and mature capitalistic and democratic society. There are too many interests, some entrenched. Any law enacted will always affect some adversely and benefit others. And this is no exception.

It is a good tradeoff, because it will now induce the irresponsible people to pay for their own healthcare, rather than showing up the ER and having the gov't pick up the tab. And after almost 100 comments here, you still have no solution to this problem. At Brett provided one - he said we are mortal and therefore there is no solution. Pathetic response, but at least an honest one.
But you got way too comfortable sitting here and unfairly criticizing ACA, while providing NO realistic alternative.

3. Germany/Hitler:
Your ignorance of the Nazi regime and the Weimar period preceding it is absolutely incredible. This idea of explaining history through exclusively agency-based view is so ridiculous it cannot be intelligibly addressed.
Like a typical right-winger, you just picked up a few buzzwords and snippets here and there about a topic, and then think you can just put it all together in a blog and make sense out of it. It's absurd.

I would caution you, that before you say ANYTHING about a topic you know nothing about, think first...
 

RL:

1) The Kos diarist is reporting his personal experiences with Obamacare doubling the costs of his insurance, not an opinion.

3) You are free to educate us all on how Nazi economic policy worked. I can hardly wait.
 

DP:

1. "The Kos diarist is reporting his personal experiences with Obamacare"

And? What does that prove?
I conceded from the beginning, that of course some people will be disadvantaged by the law, and others will benefit... It's like you are either not reading that part, or willfully ignoring it, so that you can confirm your grand, pre-conceived narrative.

That's roughly what happens in a country of 300 million, with many divergent and entrenched interests. This is a major social/economic reform, so you cannot expect it to be neat and clean, and keep everyone perfectly happy. There is no free lunch.

But those are all just facts, and many more facts will emerge over the coming months and years. The issue is: do the benefits to everyone as a whole outweigh the costs? And IMO - YES. This reform was long overdue, and just because it's not perfect is not an argument to do nothing. Under the previous system, 1/6 of the country wasn't insured and they were partly responsible for free riding on the system. And this reform changes that, among many other things.

2. "You are free to educate us all on how Nazi economic policy worked."

Since 1945, there have been volumes upon volumes of immense scholarship written in scholarly and popular literature about WW II, the Nazi regime, the Holocaust, the nazi policies and the Weimar period. I have some of those volumes on my shelf. And it's because my knowledge is, seemingly, more nuanced than yours about this topic, that I will respectfully decline your offer to "educate us all".
If to you history is fusing together a few buzzwords and themes, and then making a quickie comparison to contemporary times, including ACA, then there is not much for me to say on the matter. Except perhaps this: anyone who thinks s/he can distill such an immense topic into 3 sentences in a blog comments section, in order to drive a particular contemporary narrative, is a FOOL.
 

I guess "rational leftist" is kind of like "people's republic"; If you are one, you won't bother calling yourself one.
 

Presumably that's also why you don't use "Racist POS" as your profile name?
 

In the past week of post-failed government shutdown and debt ceiling crises brought about by the Tea Party, the GOP brand has become the butt of "poll-ish jokes." Reading between the lines [Boy Scout pledge style] is not needed. The GOP theme is a variation on Guy Mitchell's "One of a Rov[e]ing Kind."
 

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