SEIU's Auguries of Failure

|

Along with the indefatigable Dan Hayes of Reason.tv, I attended today's MoveOn.org-AFL-CIO protest on Capitol Hill (video forthcoming). "President Obama is holding a virtual health care forum live from the DNC building," says the MoveOn press release, "and right-wing groups are mobilizing to protest." We met a lone libertarian (who seemed to have happened on the event), but no right-wing, let-them-eat-cake, Obama-ist-der-Fuehrer protesters. Most of those we spoke with fretted about the future of the public option, which all admitted was necessary as a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, thinks that if Obama continues to falter on the health care issue, the GOP is in a perfect position to retake Congress:

A top Obama ally predicted Wednesday in an interview with ABC News that Democrats will lose their congressional majority in next year's midterm elections if they fail to put a health-care reform bill on President Obama's desk.

"I think we're talking losing control of Congress," said Andy Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union. "[The failure of health-care reform] would totally empower Republicans to kill all change."

"It's hard to imagine the Democrats convincing the public that Republicans are to blame for health-care reform going down when the Democrats have such large majorities," he added. "After last year's promise of change, voters will start feeling buyer's remorse.

Stern is right, though his dark auguries are just a veiled threat to the administration. But it is true that the Democrats have gift-wrapped this issue for the feckless, leaderless, gormless Republican Party. As Obama's poll numbers plummet, just imagine the political hay the GOP could make of Obama's cack-handed "reform" efforts if it had someone sensible, someone coherent, to push back. Instead, Sarah Palin sucks up all the media oxygen with her rambling discursions on "death panels."

NEXT: "The Public Option as a Kind of Stealth Single-Payer"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Too bad Sanford couldn’t keep his dick in his pants…

    And I give you and Dan Hayes all kinds of credit Michael. I’d be getting drunk right now if I had to put up with all those idiots.

  2. 2010 will go to the GOP regardless of how crappy its leaders are. Because they aren’t the Democrats. Mirror-image of the reason the Democrats won in 2006 and 2008.

    If a strong GOP leader or leaders pop up between now and the elections, then the GOP will win both houses back big. Otherwise, it’ll be less dramatic. What will be interesting is how they behave as a party in opposition to the president (as a party in control of Congress, that is).

  3. rambling discursions on “death panels”

    Yeah, it’s not like it’s the government’s plan to centrally manage medicine in order to restrict treatments in order to cut costs, which could never additionally abused for political means.

    When they nationalize the railroads, they’ll see how much they lied about being bankrupt.

  4. Yeah, it’s not like it’s the government’s plan to centrally manage medicine in order to restrict treatments in order to cut costs

    As opposed to insurance companies’ incentive not to do so now?

    …which could never [be] additionally abused for political means.

    That’s pretty paranoid. Potentially realistic, too. R’s in power; D’s watch your back. D’s in power; R’s watch your back.

  5. That’s a pretty big “if”…or so it would seem at the moment. GOP appears quite fragmented

    “If a strong GOP leader or leaders pop up between now and the elections, then the GOP will win both houses back big. Otherwise, it’ll be less dramatic. What will be interesting is how they behave as a party in opposition to the president (as a party in control of Congress, that is).”

  6. As opposed to insurance companies’ incentive not to do so now?

    Insurance companies don’t have the last word. Furthermore, if government regulations disappeared, it would be quite a bit easier to change insurance companies and to understand their contracts. But yeah, evil corporations are oppressing us and murdering us, and we need the federal government to save us from their greed.

    R’s in power; D’s watch your back. D’s in power; R’s watch your back.

    That’s an unhelpful simplification. I don’t give a damn about party-vs-party politics when some retard DMV-reject is making financial decisions about my body.

  7. Jesus Fucking Tapdancing Christ, those of you who can’t seem to let “death panels” go, stop fucking defending the use of the term. It’s idiotically hyperbolic no matter how you spin it and it just makes you look relentlessly stupid. It’s just another moronic hill that the GOP-sympathetic dig themselves into to die on, like defending Sarah Palin.

  8. Another brilliant post. The problem isn’t Palin so much as her “feckless, leaderless, gormless Republican” detractors.

    What Palin needs is basically the same thing Bachmann needs: an editor. That is, someone who could say, “that’s a good idea, but you should say it this way instead”.

    What her “feckless, leaderless, gormless Republican” detractors need are brains and balls, and you can’t buy those in a store.

    Here’s more on the incompetent opposition to Obama.

  9. If Obama falters? WTF? The general voting public doesn’t want his plan, so the more he refuses to budge the more of a drubbing he’s going to take in 2010. If he pins all his legacies on this one thing, he’s going to go down in smoke.

  10. CHRIS KELLY!!!!!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

  11. Oh, mighty REASON gods, I call upon you to allow me the use of the “blinky” tag. That I may smite with extreme snark, the fool known as LoneWacko. Grant me this boon and I shall sacrifice Tony upon a stone altar for your glory.

  12. Insurance companies don’t have the last word.

    That would be your state’s department of insurance. (Unless if it’s a self-funded plan, where your appeal would be to the the [federal] Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.)

  13. just imagine the political hay the GOP could make of Obama’s cack-handed “reform” efforts if it had someone sensible, someone coherent, to push back.

    Umm, I’m thinking the answer to that would be “none.” They have sensible and coherent people, like Paul Ryan. Sensible and coherent people get ignored, both by voters and the media. Rambling, inflammatory comments on your Facebook page is totally the way to actually get noticed.

  14. That would be your state’s department of insurance. (Unless if it’s a self-funded plan, where your appeal would be to the the [federal] Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.)

    the point is price rationing can be overcome, rationing by fiat in a single payer system can not be overcome except on the black market (w/out travel)…

  15. Death Panels are pass?. Now we speak of Dearth Panels, where government officials will allocate and distribute dearth.

  16. Because there’s going to be plenty of dearth once we have socialized medicine, and only government-appointed Dearth Panelists can be trusted to fairly apportion it among Americans.

  17. ransom147, he argument is that insurance companies manipulate the prices because of their capital and market power, which puts their customers at a disadvantage. He advocates socialism, just like most of our current government does, to fix it. What they’re all lying about is the facts that government created the problem in the first place and feeds the corporate oligarchy power.

    So, to be fair, they’re reactionary against fascism and trying to pass communism before anybody notices that they created the situation and would control it either way. It’s not simply politics or a perfect storm, it’s orchestrated central planning.

    It’s Chinatown Chicago.

  18. feckless, leaderless, gormless Republican Party

    Whatever feck and gorm are, I hope I have some.

  19. As Obama’s poll numbers plummet, just imagine the political hay the GOP could make of Obama’s cack-handed “reform” efforts if it had someone sensible, someone coherent, to push back. Instead, Sarah Palin sucks up all the media oxygen with her rambling discursions on “death panels.”

    As much as I hate to say it, had the libertarian case against Obamacare been all that opposed it, it would have passed in July. We need to lose the illusion that people would buy what we’re selling if only we got the opportunity to sell it.

    For the time being, we need the crazies on both sides of the spectrum to obstruct the “sensible” folks towards the center from achieving their goals. Not the best situation to be in, but you have to deal with the bodypolitic you have, not the one you wish you had.

  20. Anon:

    the old government sticks its wrench in the spokes of the free market, then rushes in to save the day when capitalism has failed us again ploy… almost like we’ve seen it over and over again. but all the bots still buy it.

    i get being fair, but it’s staggering how many are falling for it. as was mentioned on another thread, allot of it is just team ball, no?

  21. Pro Libertate | August 20, 2009, 7:31pm | #

    Death Panels are pass?. Now we speak of Dearth Panels

    How about Darth panels? Vader was somewhat sinister.

  22. We need to lose the illusion that people would buy what we’re selling if only we got the opportunity to sell it.

    are you saying the libt brand couldn’t move condoms in a whorehouse? if so, thanks for being so uplifting!

    it seems some of the smartest people in the world are libt (i’m not one of them, i’m a hanger on). it must be that all the marketing geniuses are too busy making money in the current system…

  23. Too bad Sanford couldn’t keep his dick in his pants…

    Or, ya know, on the same continent, for a start…

    If I understand the Unionist’s overlord correctly: because Party D won’t fight to the last to support an idea his small constituency loves and a large majority hates, that said majority will now rise up and vote them out because they… stopped pushing the thing the majority hates?? (!)

    Forget Party R getting it together for 2010 — how about some Ron Paul Democrats trying an insurgency in the primaries? Are there vunereble left-wingers in swing districts?

    Thank Gawd that Clinton, Bush2, and Obama are genetically programmed to idiotically overshoot the politically possible, because a quarter-clueful hack who could read polls and make compromises could accomplish an awful lot in the mushy middle of American politics.

    And I’m thankful, because Gridlock is the only party that has ever represented me well in Washington.

  24. Nice racism there, Moynihan.

  25. ChrisH, how about some Ron Paul Democrats trying an insurgency in the primaries?

    “Ron Paul Democrats” makes me think of someone like a Vermont Maple Syrup seller on Etsy or a Seattle Barista who really likes the way Paul rages against the Fed, but still thinks government’s responsibility is to maintain a minimum standard of living.

  26. “Instead, Sarah Palin sucks up all the media oxygen with her rambling discursions on “death panels.”

    Christ, can you please quit bringing up the Sarah Palin “death panel” bullshit? When you have people connected to this administration writing articles detailing how many 65 year olds it takes to equal a 25 year old and you have a president reinstituting programs at the VA prodding doctors to discuss potenial “end of life solutions” with those in poor health and a president who tells old people that they should take painkillers instead of getting pacemakers the notion that talk about a “death panel” is just short of treason is outrage so faux and put-on that it makes me want to get the people who claim to be so uncontrollably enraged about it an application for the fucking Studio Actors Guild.

    Seriously, quit peddling the bullshit notion that a main reason this bill is dying is because a woman that most of America doesn’t like and ignores said something about a death panel, which anyone who wasn’t busy tripping over their own righteous indignation would know was an obvious reference to the panels Obama wants to set up to determine what kind of medical care old people (and everyone else) nearing the end of their life should receive. Anyone denying that this administration has stated it would set up panels to determine the cost-effectiveness of end-of-life care and would encourage “other” options is a fucking liar, period. The quote above is the kind of nonsensical bullshit I would expect to find on Daily Kos.

  27. And for the people that keep making such a big fucking deal, ad nauseam, over the “leaderless” GOP, I am curious, prior to the nomination of Barack Obama for president, who and the fuck was the leader of the Democratic Party? The whole “leaderless” nonsense is as much a bunch of put-on bullshit as the whole fake outrage over a slightly hyperbolic statement about death panels from a politician the majority of Americans don’t give a shit about. And hey, you know she is full of shit, because no country on Earth with a socialized medical system pushes euthanasia, do they? Of course, that statement is only true if you exclude Scandinavia from the planet.

    And for a party that is so hapless, their strategy for letting the Democrats absolutely destroy themselves with Cap and Tax, the Stimulus and now SocialismCare seems to be working pretty fucking well. But hey, it’s easier to repeat the same fucking memes over and over than it is to actually do some meaningful fucking analysis.

  28. Damnd straight B. Death Panels is exactly what Obama wants. But since Sarah Palin said it, the nitwits at Reason have to put it down. It must be crazy. If they would stop obsessing about her and pay attention, they would be a lot better of. But you have to understand for Reason, they have to show they are cool. Everything else is subservient to that. Even if that means ignoring the obvious and ignoring one of the best arguments against socialized medicine. God, I wish anyone but Palin had said death panels. If they had, Reason would be pushing it every day.

  29. Palin ain’t the only one pushing the “Death Panel” thing.

    Nat who? (kidding)

  30. There will be viable GOP options. Many will be catering to the little “l” to counter Obama and the Pat Robertson crew is going to lose control over the GOP vote.

    Then they will turn around and Bush us as soon as they are in power.

    The congressional election are going to be bloody.

  31. The Dems are in bigger trouble if this passes. They will be seen by the majority of voters who now oppose it as being belligerent and deaf to the public’s wishes. Most voters will be wanting to throw out as many congressman as possible. I don’t recall the congress pushing through anything so unpopular. After it passes, the fear of it’s effects will continue. The opposition will still be angry and the Dems will have lost all motivation to fight. They will be pummeled, especially for rushing it. People will see their employers prepare to drop their insurance, while no benefits will be realized because it will not take effect yet. Dems will be much better off if it fails. Then the anger will dissipate…some.

    Either way Repubs are gonna have a field day. As a conservative, I find no leader preferable giving no one target to vilify. Palin is being attacked because they need to attack somebody. Attacking voters has been a stupid move. The Dems are now in the position of fighting the public not the Repubs. Republican leadership only wishes it could be as effective as the Dems claim it is. This is real grass roots, making Alinsky rule #12 (Dem rule#1)useless. I talk to lots of people protesting. They are almost entirely mostly self-motivated. This is real.

  32. But since Sarah Palin said it, the nitwits at Reason have to put it down. It must be crazy.

    Not crazy. Dumb. There’s a difference.

  33. That Sarah Palin crack is why Reason isn’t regularly on my list of sites to visit even though I am a libertarian. Palin could say the sky is blue and everyone would snicker at how stupid she is for not realizing that the sky is black all night, every night.

    Palin is of course right that when we ration care we will have a bunch of bureaucrats deciding what treatments are worthwhile to give to certain groups. Any real libertarian would know this. Heck, anyone with a lick of common sense would know this. The American people certainly understand what she said but somehow it goes over the heads of the pundits here.

    It is difficult for me to see what Palin’s sin is that she warrants all of this abuse. She has lived as clean a life as is possible for a politician. She has cleaned up corruption in her own party and has kept the finances of her state in order. Each of these things is beyond conception for the current occupant of the White House. If she is not perfect she is certainly infinitely better than the Chauncey Gardener we just elected.

    Libertarians do not help their cause when they gratuitously and without reason attack those who support their positions. Moynihan would do well to think things through more thoroughly before he writes such obvious drivel. If I want the MSM talking points regurgitated to me I can watch MSNBC.

  34. Ben Franklin, I wish you would visit more often, because that was well said.

  35. There will be viable GOP options. Many will be catering to the little “l” to counter Obama and the Pat Robertson crew is going to lose control over the GOP vote.

    Not that McCain was part of “the Pat Robertson crew” anyway. Not really close. Libertarian dislike for McCain always seemed a bit out of proportion to his votes, though some have been terrible.

    Well, I hope you’re right. Or else the weird combined libertarian/fundamentalist disdain for McCain may be one factor leading to, shudder, a Huckabee nomination, as the party tries something completely different.

  36. Libertarian dislike for McCain always seemed a bit out of proportion to his votes

    I know plenty of big-R Republicans who feel the same way because of McCain-Feingold. The more I think about it, the more he was the obvious choice, early on, to lose to Hillary to give time to change gears. Dunno what happened there.

  37. Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, thinks that if Obama continues to falter on the health care issue, the GOP is in a perfect position to retake Congress:

    The Dems have their ass in a crack now. If they fail to pass anything, their base will be pissed and might stay home. If they ram through any kind of strong health care reform without bipartisan cover, its tea parties and town halls all the way to November.

    Somehow, they have to craft a “reform bill” that satisfies their base without enraging the opposition. Good luck with that.

    Although, absent a foreign policy failure or another economic collapse, I still think they hold Congress in 2010 (because of the gerrymandering), albeit with smaller majorities.

    For the time being, we need the crazies on both sides of the spectrum to obstruct the “sensible” folks towards the center from achieving their goals.

    Very true. There is real value in tribalistic partisanship. It means both sides will always have intractable opposition, and will never muster a permanent majority or more than a transient supermajority.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.