Bipartisanship Is Dead ~ nannymm



Bipartisanship sounded like a great idea back during the campaign, an idea we all supported and applauded Obama for striving for. Now, it’s become a dirty word to me and many other liberals. I’ve been trying to put my thoughts about it into words but Bob Cesca just did a far better job than I ever could. So here is a link to his take on the state of bipartisanship in today’s political climate.

Bipartisanship Porn

I’m not so thrilled to announce that there’s a new kind of "porn" in town. What we’ve been witnessing during this health care reform process can easily be defined as "bipartisanship porn." It’s a display of bipartisanship so obscene and excessive that it borders on perverse. But unlike most of the other forms of porn, it’s not even fun to look at chiefly because it involves the shriveled mugs of Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus.



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44 responses to “Bipartisanship Is Dead ~ nannymm

  1. dog's eye view


    As in this paragraph from Cesca:

    “It’s within the same week when both Grasshole and Jon Kyl made it perfectly clear that the Republicans will not vote for any health care reform bill short of something that abolishes Medicaid, privatizes Social Security and replaces Secretary Sebelius with Carrie Prejean.” (A little hyperbole there, Bob?)

    I wonder if that word’s going to stay in long.

    It’s so perfect, though. I may never think of the senator by his formal name again.

  2. dog's eye view

    Interesting: Ted Kennedy has written Governor Deval Patrick suggesting that his Senatorial replacement be appointed quickly by the governor (whenever that the time comes); preferably someone who pledges not to run for the seat. Massachusetts law requires an open election 5 months after a Senate vacancy; too long a window when healthcare and other important legislation may come down to a vote or two.

    Important point, because the meat of Cesca’s article was that the White House may be promoting “bipartisanship” (knowing full well the GOP is not its ally) to give cover to a GOP senator or two who might cross the aisle — twice — to get past a filibuster.

    And Cesca raised the delicate issue of whether Kennedy and Byrd would be available for crucial votes. (Of course, no one can count on all the Democrats either. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln are not sure bets, among others.)

    But a very tricky scenario however it plays out.

    NY Times had some excellent letters to the editor on healthcare today, on doing a run around the GOP, if necessary.

  3. dnd

    When ruling on some porn case, Justice Potter Stewart said he couldn’t define it, “But I know it when I see it.”

    Same could be said for bipartisanship.

  4. nannymm

    Well, dnd, let me know when you find some because all I see is what the cartoon above depicts. Obama keeps begging and the repugs keep kicking him. It’s become painful to watch and downright infuriating. Enough is enough; it’s time to tell the repugs to go fuck themselves and get this done with dem support only.

  5. Good morning peeps, nanny such language, I’m shocked!

  6. nannymm

    Yeah, right!

  7. dnd

    Here’s the problem: there’s no compromise anymore.
    “Bipartisanship” now is defined as having the opposition cave. It’s my way or the highway.

    I think this is in line with eprof2’s theory that the Democratic party may fracture. The progressives need to realize that the moderate Democrats are what’s put them in the majority. If the Republicans refuse to compromise with the Democrats, fine. What’s left of them are what Cesca calls the “wingnut-industrial complex.” But if the progressives and moderates can’t get along, they ain’t gonna get nothing.

  8. D part of the part here though is that blue dogs are the ones not willing to compromise. You have remember that for the we of the left the “public option” is the compromise.

  9. FYI peeps, I’ll be head a delegation of HRC members today meeting with Charlie Rangel’s chief of staff.

  10. nannymm

    Exactly, Brian. We on the left wing have compromised enough. It is time for the blue dogs to fish or cut bait. It is absurd that the majority is held hostage to a few.

  11. nannymm

    Good luck today, Brian. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Is this the topic of tomorrow’s thread?

  12. More than likely, unfortunately I don’t think the congressman is going to be there.

  13. dnd

    How is the “public option” a compromise? Against what? A socialized health care program? That has never been on the table in Congress.

  14. Well yes dnd, we want single player.

  15. dnd

    Here’s what Obama should do: get Elizabeth Edwards to get out and a be a spokeswoman for health insurance reform. Who doesn’t love Elizabeth Edwards? And anybody who picks on her, a woman with terminal cancer with a cheating husband, would be viewed as the bully they are. She’s political gold.

  16. dnd

    Single payer has never been on the table in Congress either. Had they started from that position, the public option could have been viewed as a compromise.

  17. No sweeping social change has ever come from the middle and likely never will. And all too often the only thing that seems to matter with the blue dogs is the bottom line, not doing what is the morally right thing to do. Frankly it disgusts me than a little that people are dieing and going bankrupt that thing that seems to matter most to the blue dog is crowd is deficits.

  18. dnd

    Precisely Brian. If you want to appeal to the blue dogs and moderate Republicans, you need to work the numbers. Lower costs, work out the waste, inefficiencies and duplication. Save their constituents money!

    Have you wondered why PhRMA is supporting reform? With more insured, they’ll sell more drugs! It’s a win-win!

  19. d I don’t have an issue with people’s concern about the dollar and cents but far too often it seems to be the primary concern of the blue dogs.

  20. dnd

    I found some! The Wyden-Bennett bill:

    Here’s a critique. Good points and bad:

  21. nannymm

    I’d like to know where the fiscal conservatives and blue dogs are whenever the repugs are in power. I never heard a peep out of them regarding the costs of Bush’s wars. It seems to me that they are only concerned about money being spent to help the American people; money to destroy and then rebuild other countries is perfectly OK with them. It’s all rather perverse in my opinion.

  22. nannymm

    From that critique you posted, dnd:

    “This analysis examines the Wyden-Bennett plan in depth as a way to focus on some of the key questions that such an approach raises and that will have to be addressed successfully for such a plan to attain its laudable goals. Such questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

    * Would the new system of state-based purchasing pools sufficiently reduce the risk of “adverse selection” — that is, the separation of healthier and less healthy people into different insurance plans — that otherwise could make coverage increasingly unaffordable over time for people in poorer health?
    * Would access to needed health care for low-income Medicaid and SCHIP beneficiaries — particularly those with disabilities and special health care needs — be protected adequately if these public programs are converted into supplemental programs that “wrap around” the new private insurance plans?
    * Would the subsidies provided under the plan be sufficient to make the private health insurance coverage provided through the new purchasing pools reasonably affordable for the many low- and moderate-income families who are currently uninsured?

    The Wyden-Bennett plan does not provide all of the detail necessary to be able to answer these questions conclusively. It appears, however, that the plan would fall short in a number of these areas, thus highlighting the challenges that this approach to achieving universal coverage presents.”

    This critique highlights why I don’t support Wyden-Bennet. There is too much left out, not enough assurance that it can and will actually achieve universal care, and is not the most efficient way to achieve universal coverage. Medicare from cradle to grave would be a far better plan.

  23. dnd

    Ron Paul (R-TX) voted against the Iraq War Resolution.
    So did blue dog Kent Conrad (D-ND)

    How did your liberal Senators vote?

  24. “How did your liberal Senators vote?”

    the ones running for president or not?


    touche d, I’m sad to say! Ok I gotta get ready to schlep to Charlie’s office.

  25. dog's eye view

    I found this blogpost, commenter Jennifer at Balloon Juice last night, to be comforting re what we are seeing.

    Jennifer: “I think the “mixed messages” are part of the plan.

    Gibbs goes out and insists that “nothing has changed” w/r/t public option or with bipartisan efforts. That’s his job – to put the spin on things that most helps the president. Meanwhile, Rahm’s been out there saying, “these guys aren’t interested in working on anything.”

    Look what floating that “the public option’s not that important” accomplished: within 24 hours it had generated progressive support efforts and at the same time, flushed the Republicans out from behind their masks to reveal them as simply purely obstructionist, as they all rushed to attack the notion of co-ops.

    The theme that is being repeated here over and over again is: we’ve done everything we can to work with these dickheads, and we’re still open to working with any of them who are interested in working to fix healthcare, but we can’t work with them because they don’t believe that health care needs any reform at all. That’s why they have offered no alternative approaches or any plan of their own – because they think it needs to stay the way it is now.

    The final line in this story will be: we were elected to address this problem so we’ll have to move forward with fixing it without their support, despite making every effort to work with them in a bipartisan way.”

    [comment 39]

  26. dnd

    I agree with you that the Wyden-Bennett bill needs to be fixed, but as it stands it is by far the best bill being floated.

    Cradle to grave Medicare has three problems:
    1. Funding. Currently Medicare is funded by payroll taxes. You pay in while you work, you get the benefits when you retire/qualify.

    2. There are big problems with Medicare. Not just both the waste and fraud, but with their inability to negotiate drug costs (part D).

    3. There’s no way it could be passed.

    1. and 2. could be fixed. 3. is a show-stopper.

  27. dog's eye view

    I agree that single-payer would be the very best solution.

    But not one that we are likely to see, or that Obama ever thought he could actually wring from Congress and [maybe] the public, HERE AND NOW.

    I agree that single-payer should have been the opening gambit and a public option/co-ops, whatever — aside private plans — as the compromise.

    There’s still plenty of time and options for getting a good, workable reform in place.

    The public is on Obama’s side on most of this issue, which is why the demagoguing is so necessary.

  28. nannymm

    dnd, yes, my liberal senators voted for the Iraq was resolution. But there was NO outcry from anyone about the cost. Look at the screamin about costs and deficits now; back then, repugs were spouting Cheney’s line that “deficits don’t matter.” My point is that they (Repugs and Blue Dogs) are hipocrits on this issue. They only care about deficits when the funds are for Dem sponsored initiatives. When they are in power, they don’t gave a damn about putting our children and grandchildren into debt to fund their war mongering and tax cuts for the rich.

  29. nannymm

    How about this idea, dnd: Let’s let people buy into Medicare if they choose. Let that be the “public option.” The program is in place so there would be no start-up costs; increasing the pool of insureds would increase the money going into the system and spread the risk among a larger and potentially healthier pool.

  30. dnd

    Kent Conrad on the Iraq War Resolution:
    “And sixth, while the financial costs of this effort should not drive this debate, we cannot ignore them. The Congressional Budget Office has just estimated that an invasion of Iraq could cost this nation $6 billion to $9 billion a month. That is a significant financial toll at any time, but particularly when we are still engaged in a conflict in Afghanistan. The economic downturn makes this expense even harder to bear.”

    Ron Paul uttered similar sentiments.

    As for the Cheney statement that “deficits don’t matter” I’m surprised the left leaning pundits don’t have a video of him saying that queued up. They seem to have forgotten it.

  31. dog's eye view

    Organizing for America videoteleconference up now. Obama to speak at 2:45.

  32. eProf2

    Great post this morning, Nanny. I really liked the cartoon and the link.

    I’ll be so glad when the August recess is over so we can all stop speculating and actually get down to the details of these various bills and positions from the WH.

    dnd, the public option was a compromise from a perceived position on Medicare for All of Single Payer. I’m only sorry the administration didn’t start with a complete plan and then let the Congress chew on it rather than the other way round. Also, had the administration started with Medicare for All the public would have understood it.

    On the subject of paying for a medicare for all medicare recipients pay nearly $130 a month for parts A, B, and D. A plan that would have required employer participation at current rates would have meant that employers would have contributed to the government run program almost $1,000 per month, which is what they pay now to private insurers. If you add up all the contributions to all insurance and deduct actual administration costs (about 3% government to about 20% private), yes, the cost will not be a wash or neutral. However, with less than the cost of one of these two wars annually, the American people, all of the American people, will have access to health insurance.

    Medicare for All!! Now and in the future!!

  33. nannymm

    Thanks, eprof. Once again, you and I are on the same page.
    dnd, you keep mentioning the same two who expressed concern about the cost of the Iraq adventure. What about the rest? And by you’re own admission, Conrad listed cost SIXTH! Let’s get serious here. There was NO real opposition to the war based on cost; there still isn’t any from the right or from the blue dogs. And there was no concern about how cutting taxes on the rich would effect the economy or the deficits; there still isn’t. In fact, the so-called fiscal conservatives still advocate tax cutting as the solution to every problem.

  34. dnd

    “Conrad listed cost SIXTH!”
    I’m not sure that was a canonical, prioritized list. Seemed to me to be more of an enumerated list of points. But even if it was prioritized, so what, Conrad still said that the cost was prohibitive.

    I’m not saying your argument about the blue dogs is invalid. I’m saying it’s weak, because your own lefty Senators voted FOR the Iraq War Resolution.

  35. dnd

    “In fact, the so-called fiscal conservatives still advocate tax cutting as the solution to every problem.”

    Not all of them. Uber-rightist economist Arthur Laffer, of the Laffer-curve fame notes that if you have a tax rate of zero, your revenue will be zero. And even he concedes that’s a bad thing.

    Fiscal conservatives desire spending restraint, particularly on waste and unnecessary programs.

  36. nannymm

    dnd, you can keep finding the little exception to the rule but it doesn’t change the fact that so-called fiscal conservatives and blue dogs didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Bush deficit’s. Bush and the repugs created deficits larger than all previous 42 presidents combined and left NOTHING of worth for the American people. No universal healthcare. No rebuilding of the Gulf coast. No increase in the standard of living (unless you’re filthy rich.) No real improvement in education or reduction in college costs. No energy policy. No reduction in our reliance on oil. Crumbling roads and bridges. Sky high prices on essentials. A crumbling economy. A healthcare system that ranks at the bottom among industrial nations. But, what the fuck! NOW you all care about deficits because a democratic president is trying to do something FOR the American people instead of pissing on them like the repugs did??? This is simply beyond the pale!

  37. dnd

    “But, what the fuck! NOW you all care about deficits because a democratic president is trying to do something FOR the American people instead of pissing on them like the repugs did???”

    When did I say that? I have no problem with deficit spending during recessionary periods. I’m a Keynesian.

  38. nannymm

    I didn’t mean you personally, dnd. You aren’t a repug or a blue dog, are you? I’m talking about the repugs and blue dogs who are crying about the deficits and how healthcare reform is too costly. They are all a bunch of lying hypocrites who only care about deficits when Democrats are trying to do something for the American people. Trying to defend them is pointless.

  39. dnd

    I’m a Johnny Cash fan 😉

  40. nannymm

    That’s cute, dnd. 🙂

  41. eProf2

    In an interesting civics lesson on, Alex Koppelman writes that leading Republicans now say bipartisan means “something between 75 and 80 votes.” (Orin Hatch) And Grassley told the Washington Post, “We ought to be focused on getting 80 votes.” They go on to say that if a bill can’t get that kind of “bipartisanship,” the law isn’t really valid or credible.

    Give me a break!

    In another lying twist perpetrated against health care reform by these same paragons of honesty and bipartisanship, is that if health care reform passes the government will be able to access your bank account to pay for it without your consent.

    As someone said to McCarthy, “sir, have you no sense of decency.” Who knows what they’ll come up with next to send a shiver of fear to an otherwise unsuspecting public.

  42. nannymm

    I hope more dems take a page from Barney Frank’s book and start calling a spade a spade. We need to put a stop to all this crap now.
    As for whether or not these repugs have a sense of decency, the answer is NO!
    Just look at what Tom Ridge is saying in his new book about the political nature of the terrorist threat alerts. For most of the repugs, it’s all about power and politics. Decency and integrity have no meaning for them. What a bunch of pigs they are!

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