Monday, January 18, 2016

That's what Republicans do

Image by Dorsey Shaw/Buzzfeed.
So elements of the rightwing noise machine are working on the interesting project of attacking Hillary Clinton as a tool of rapacious capital, as in Karl Rove's hilariously inept-looking ad (h/t Marie3)—

—like Rove and his masters think getting bought by Wall Street would be a bad thing ("$20 million, same as in town").

And here's Jonah, right on cue, to castigate her for pretending she's on Obama's side:
The thinking is pretty obvious. Obama is personally popular among core Democratic constituencies, particularly African-American voters in South Carolina and other states that come after New Hampshire and Iowa. That’s why she’s casting Sanders’ “Medicare for All” program as an attack on Barack Obama’s “legacy.”
Pandering to those Negroes and their childishly personalized politics, wouldn't you know it. Speaking of childishly personalized politics, the reason Jonah knows Hillary really hates Barack is classic middle school:
The notion that Clinton is more pro-Obama than Sanders would come as a shock to pretty much anyone who remembers the 2008 campaign, or read her emails, or has good cognitive functions. The idea that her chief goal is to protect Obama’s legacy is also pretty hilarious, given that her first priority in 2008 was  to bequeath unto him a legacy of failure.
The notion that Clinton is more pro-Obama than Sanders should be obviously true on its face to anyone whose understanding of Democratic party politics goes beyond having read a Maureen Dowd column. There's more to it than who said what ("Oh no she dit unt!") to whom in the girls' room.

Obama and Clinton have always been in agreement in principle in most policy areas, especially in foreign policy where people with strong memories will possibly recall that she was his secretary of state and MADE the policy for four years, so she can hardly denounce it, and the Affordable Care Act is more her 2008 campaign proposal, with the individual mandate, than his. Sanders has declared opposition to the Affordable Care Act, taking the Green Lantern view that Obama's failure to create the National Health Service is reprehensible cowardice or worse, and he is still convinced that Obama could have jailed the 2008 banksters and unpealed (propealed?) Glass-Steagall, and forced the Supreme Court to change its mind about Citizens United if he'd really tried.

Sanders on Obama, May 26 2012:
BLITZER: Last time we spoke, your endorsement of the president is lukewarm. How are you doing about that right now?

SANDERS: Well, I think you have in a candidate like Romney, somebody who is George Bush reincarnated....

So I think Obama is by far the preferable candidate. Is Obama doing everything I want, absolutely not, and among other things he has not been as strong as he should standing up to Wall Street.
Can't remember Hillary ever putting it quite like that.

If you're interested in what that is about the emails, I think it's a reference to Sidney Blumenthal writing to Clinton in October 2010 with some mean comments about David Axelrod, reported by ol' Assrocket. How Blumenthal's mocking Axe proves that Clinton hates Obama is unclear to me, but then I don't come from the Versailles court in 1690 or Old Mr. Buckley's dining room.

"Bequeath unto him a legacy of failure" is a remarkable expression, if you speak English. What does it mean? "I have this lovely antique failure, Barack, and I want you to have it when I'm dead." Clinton's priority in the 2008 primary campaign was for herself, not for Obama: she wanted to win. She said some nasty things in the course of it, and her husband did worse, using language I'm sure he regrets. The English for that is "politics", and it's not always pretty.

That she should want to build on the accomplishments of the Obama administration, on the other hand, is not surprising; it's exactly the kind of work she's always hoped to do. It's not like George H.W. Bush putting the Reagan legacy in formaldehyde in the 1988 campaign, though he knew perfectly well, as he had said, that the economics was voodoo. That's what Republicans do, if you know what I mean.

I'm going on like this because I found myself gratified and even somewhat moved by the way she came out last night for Obamacare, right from the outset, when she was the only one of the three candidates to answer the "what will you do in your first 100 days" question by naming a couple of things she might do in her first 100 days (Sanders thought he would bring America together and end the decline of the middle class; O'Malley thought he would lay out an agenda, failing to remember that he probably would already have done that):
I would work quickly to present to the Congress my plans for creating more good jobs in manufacturing, infrastructure, clean and renewable energy, raising the minimum wage, and guaranteeing, finally, equal pay for women’s work.
I would also... be presenting my plans to build on the Affordable Care Act and to improve it by decreasing the out-of-pocket costs by putting a cap on prescription drug costs; by looking for ways that we can put the prescription drug business and the health insurance company business on a more stable platform that doesn’t take too much money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans.
And again when she doubled down on the critique of Sanders's alternative Medicare for All proposal, for which she's taken some heat recently:
We finally have a path to universal health care. We have accomplished so much already. I do not to want see the Republicans repeal it, and I don’t to want see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.
And it occurred to me that she's actually right.

Because of course there is no way, in the first place, that any Congress in session between now and 2020 will simply sit down and pass a Sanders proposal, even in the miraculous event of a Democratic majority in the House and supermajority in the Senate, because the private health and medical insurance industry in the US is a $748-billion industry employing 530,000 people, and perhaps more to the point contributing millions to the political campaign system (it's impossible to get a decent number for the industry as a whole, but the biggest contributors in 2015 were Blue Cross/Blue Shield for $9,025,753 and America's Health Insurance Policies for $7,630,000). One thing all the Sanders proposals do is put this industry out of existence (and, not incidentally, half a million people out of work), and even if it really is desirable it's not going to happen.

What is likely to happen, instead, is a "contentious debate" with no real resolution, a discouraged group of Sanders supporters staying home in the 2018 elections, and an increased constituency for repeal (i.e., deregulating the health insurance industry).

Jonah goes on to concern-troll Sanders directly:
I think there’s an easy way for Sanders to push back against Clinton on this healthcare business. She wants to extend the status quo and protect the hard-won victories of Obamacare and Obama’s legacy. Well, Sanders should twist that around. Sanders could explain that Obama — the real Obama — always preferred a single payer healthcare plan. There’s even video of him saying it (which would make for a great Sanders ad).
Twisting being of course Jonah's favorite style of locomotion (for a big man, he's very slithery). The fact that Obama would have preferred, in an ideal situation, to move to a National Health Service proves that he must be against his own real-world bill. The Real Obama is totally opposed to Obamacare, and Jonah has video to prove it. If you love Obama, you'll do everything you can to get rid of the ACA, won't you, kids?

Yes, Jonah. That's probably why, after the Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell last June, Obama showed up in the Rose Garden to say,
This is reality.  We can see how it is working.  This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to.  In many ways, this law is working better than we expected it to.  For all the misinformation campaigns, all the doomsday predictions, all the talk of death panels and job destruction, for all the repeal attempts -- this law is now helping tens of millions of Americans. 
And they’ve told me that it has changed their lives for the better.  I’ve had moms come up and say, my son was able to see a doctor and get diagnosed, and catch a tumor early, and he’s alive today because of this law.  This law is working.  And it’s going to keep doing just that. 
There's probably video for that too. 

No comments:

Post a Comment