Republicans: Dumber Than Dogshit

You would think that people would view the birther movement as obvious bullshit, but this poll appears to suggest otherwise.  The fact that a majority (58%) of Republicans either believe Obama was born outside the U.S. (28%) or aren’t sure (30%) should be the source of shame, but coming from a group of people who still believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, it should not be surprising.

The Republican leadership needs to accept the responsibility for this madness and end it.  At some point they won’t be able to control the crazy masses they created.

Obama’s Poor Negotiation

Single payer should have been on the table from the start.   This seems to be the unfortunate lesson President Obama and his administration should be learning now.  By opting to promote a public option solution (rather than a single payer solution) from the start, the Democrats lost bargaining position with Republicans, who would have railed against any initial proposal.  A public option shouldn’t have been the proposed solution, but with some forethought, seen as the potential compromise.  Now, even that appears in doubt.

Obama has repeatedly mentioned that if he was starting from scratch he would opt for single payer.  Unfortunately, the  unlikelihood of  single payer passing Congress remains and in this sense Obama was correct in questioning its political viability.  However, this did not necessitate discarding single payer as part of the initial discussion and given its widespread adoption throughout the world successfully, it should have served as both an educational standpoint and more importantly, a negotiation tool.

There remains a false promise of bipartisanship, but any suggestion Republicans will participate in doing anything other than obstruction of health care reform should be seen as theatrics.  The downside of pushing a robust public option as part of the initial proposal for health care reform is that following negotiations, the public option plan will be watered down and become either eliminated or renderered impotent .  Again, the compromise between a good proposal and one with Republican support is a bad proposal.  So, in this case Obama should have opted for a great proposal:  single payer.

Dick Cheney — First Class Asshole

Time revisits the last days of the Bush/Cheney administration in a recent article.  As if there wasn’t reason enough to despise Cheney, he adds more:

The Libby pardon, aides reported, had become something of a crusade for Cheney, who seemed prepared to push his nine-year-old relationship with Bush to the breaking point — and perhaps past it — over the fate of his former aide. “We don’t want to leave anyone on the battlefield,” Cheney argued.

Now, Dick, it seems there should be a common sense understanding that dictates  men with authority (or in your case pseudo-authority) to place others on an actual battlefield, particularly when that authority  results in something as egregiously stupid as the war in Iraq, should avoid using war terminology when speaking about political operatives covering your ass in matters unrelated to war.

But you’re at least consistent — this just continues your chickenshit life.  When faced with service in Vietnam you had “other priorities“, but never hesitated later to put others lives in the line of fire while you stayed in your armchair or your undisclosed location or your lair or wherever the fuck soulless, gutless motherfuckers like you dwell.

Dick, if you had any honor you would not have pushed for the pardon for Scooter Libby, you would have taken the responsibility yourself in the first place.  Being outraged that your fall guy only gets his sentenced commuted, but isn’t pardoned is just plain pathetic, Dick, but par for the course for you.

Only you, Dick, can make George W. Bush look better — unfortunately, his standing up to you was  seven years and 364 days too late.

Compromising With Republicans

Much commentary recently has focused on the need for bipartisanship and there seems to be the perceived belief that health care reform must include some Republican support.  But, while it would be preferable for Republicans to support meaningful legislative action, there’s no evidence of that likelihood.

Quite honestly, Republicans want Obama to fail, just like they wanted Clinton to fail.  The evidence for this is overwhelming and should be accepted by now.   During Clinton’s 1993 deficit reduction plan budget he received no Republican support — not a single vote — with Republicans claiming the budget would destroy the economy.

Republicans, again playing the role of opposition party first, America second, opposed the Obama Stimulus plan with near unanimity.  There seems to be some suggestion that winning the sole Republican votes for the stimulus plan (Collins, Specter, and Snowe) came at the price of a watered down plan.   Paul Krugman seems to have been quite prophetic in this regard:

I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we’re talking about now, is crafted to win those extra GOP votes. The plan limits the rise in unemployment, but things are still pretty bad, with the rate peaking at something like 9 percent and coming down only slowly. And then Mitch McConnell says “See, government spending doesn’t work.”

It should be obvious: Obama will not receive Republican support for health care reform.  Despite all their theatrics and posturing, Republicans seem content to oppose the plan and hope the failure to pass health care reform weakens Obama and signals their return to power in 2010 and 2012, at which time they can fail to introduce meaningful health care reform again.

Unfortunately, the compromise between a good proposal and a proposal that can get Republican support (or Blue Dog Dem support) is a bad proposal.

Fineman nails it

Despite my misgivings of him at times, Howard Fineman nails it:

The Republicans claim they have a plan:  they don’t.  They claim they’re going to have a plan:  they won’t.  Their whole strategy … is to stand on the sidelines with their arms folded …

The Audacity of Dopes

So, Bobby Jindal, after licking his wounds following his Kenneth the Page performance earlier this year, has re-entered the fray with a Wall Street Journal op-ed discussing health care.

First he fears for the private insurers in the face of the scary public option:

If a so-called public option is part of health-care reform, the Lewin Group study estimates over 100 million Americans may leave private plans for government-run health care. Any government plan will benefit from taxpayer subsidies and be able to operate at a financial loss—competing unfairly in the marketplace until private plans are driven out of business.

I’m sure some people are losing sleep over the unlikelihood of private plans driven out of business, but I can’t say I’m one of them (or even want to know one of them).  I’ll wait for the telethon:  for only $50,000 a day, you too can sponsor a displaced health insurance executive…

The next paragraph is where Bobby really hits his stride:

the Democrats disingenuously argue their reforms will not diminish the quality of our health care even as government involvement in the delivery of that health care increases massively. For all of us who have seen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to hurricanes, this contention is laughable on its face.

Laughable on its face indeed.  Here Bobby makes the compelling argument:  the Democrats are lying — government doesn’t work — for reference see FEMA’s response to hurricanes.  Bobby, Bobby, Bobby.  As you well know, during Hurricane Katrina there was a fellow named George W. Bush in the White House.  His administration included Michael Chertoff (Department of Homeland Security) and Michael “Heckuva job Brownie” Brown (FEMA), who were responsible for dealing with crises of this nature.   It isn’t entirely clear, because it was such an epic clusterfuck, but it seemed their strategy to the devastation was to wait for it to dry before taking action.    So, Bobby, try again.

This seems to be a theme with Republicans.  First, talk about how ineffective and incompetent government is.  Then, somehow, overcome your intense hatred of government and campaign for election to a government office.  Finally, if elected do your damnest to govern poorly, thereby providing yourself (or at least fellow Republicans) examples of government incompetence.  Lather.  Rinse. Repeat.

Heckuva job Bobby.  Heckuva job.  We’re still waiting for more details on your health care proposal.  Perhaps it will recommend a healthy diet, replete with fruits and vegetables and, of course, a rigorous exorcism routine.

Republican Health Care Plan

Some have suggested the following represents the Republican proposal to reform health care:

Unfortunately, their health care reform plan is to keep health care exactly as it is now.

So let’s recap:

Republican economic plan in face of worst economic crisis since Great Depression:  do nothing.

Republican health care plan : do nothing.

Quite patriotic.