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The Power Of Obtuse

I’m watching one tea party nutbag after another, kick the GOPs asses in primary races across the country, and I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with my progressive brethren? How is it possible that the most obtuse members of our society are having an impact on our elections, when no one else is?

It’s true that these teabag candidates are very likely to get crushed in the general elections, but they’re moving the republican party to dizzying heights of nutbaggery in the process. They’re forcing republican candidates to traverse into a landscape of crazy that they would never otherwise foray into. Look at what John McCain turned into as a result of having to run against JD Hayworth. He went from co-sponsoring a fairly rational immigration reform bill, to “build the dang fence”! The teabaggers are fracturing republicans, but moving them crazy right in the process.

Teabaggers have probably broken the republican party irrepably. Democrats will likely take every seat in which they’re running against a teabagger. But is that any reason to rejoice? YAY, we’re getting another worthless corporatist democrat instead of a batchit crazy teabagger that wants to change the fourteenth amendment! Bust out the champagne!

Why isn’t there a progressive movement fracturing the democratic party? Is it that progressives don’t think that the democratic party needs fracturing? That can’t be the case. If it were, there would be more voter enthusiasm by registered democrats this year.

No, we’re not happy with the party. We’re not happy with the anemic health insurance reform, the anemic financial reform, and the never ending Afghanistan situation so we’re just not bothering to show up to vote. But it didn’t have to be this way.

If only we would take a page from the teabagger’s book, we’d have some candidates on the ballot to get excited about. Sure, we came close to primarying out Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, but we failed. And, that was the only one! Where is the widespread movement? Where is the Dennis Kucinich faction of the democratic party? Why aren’t we pushing democrats back to the left, or even left of center?

Why is it that progressives can’t accomplish what the abject morons in the tea party are accomplishing? Let’s be honest here – we’ve all seen the signs and the videos from tea party rallies. These people are fucking idiots! They don’t know shit about shit. If you put a gun to any of their heads, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many articles there are in the constitution. I’m certain of this, because they seem to be under the impression that the constitution is a document that empowers the people. It’s not. There are seven articles in the constitution, and each article enumerates powers for different factions of the government. The peoples’ rights aren’t addressed until the amendments. There are twenty-seven of those, in case you were wondering teabaggers! They are the most obtuse among us and yet, I have to give them some props for getting shit done.

I will admit that mocking the “youth in Asia will kill your grandmother” and “don’t take my rights, I’m still useing them” signs is all sorts of fun. It’s fun until you realize that the embarrassment doesn’t lie with the dumbfuck holding the sign, it lies with us. That dumbfuck is doing more to shape politics in America than the rest of us are (well, not me – I’m trying to shame you into action with this blog!), and that should embarrass you. It embarrasses me.

We need to stop underestimating the power that a group of the most obtuse Americans have garnered, and learn from them. Yes, you read that right. I said learn from the dumbfucks.

Don’t write off the obtuse. They’re proving to be a powerful force in America.

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We Are Not A Divided Nation

Anyone that tells you that we are, probably has an agenda that ultimately isn’t going to serve you well.

Indiana University just completed a survey on health reform and came up with results that some may find surprising. You can see the study here.

Most democrats are going cite this study to point out that republican representatives are liars because republican representatives are going to point to one finding that, when taken out of context means exactly the opposite of what it actually means.

Let me break it down to show you what I read into the results.

Let’s start with the broad question of, “Do you support efforts to repeal the health reform legislation that was passed?” Here’s a graph that maps out the responses:



This graph tells me one very important thing; democrats are just as emotionally invested in the bullshit that their party feeds them as republicans are. This is a broad question that allows the subject to give an ideologically based response. In my opinion, the independents have it right. This bill is a mixed bag. On one hand, it does absolutely nothing to control the cost of purchasing insurance. On the other hand, it does eliminate waste in the medicare system and incentivizes more people to get insurance.

Something interesting happens when subjects were asked if they wanted congress to stay focused on health reform.



Virtually everybody agrees, regardless of party affiliation. This tells me that republicans don’t really want a repeal since they want to keep working on it, and that democrats aren’t as happy with the bill as they appeared to be in the first question. This is where Bitchy’s sunny optimism starts to come out. We AGREE!

Something even more interesting happens when respondents are asked, “ how important they thought it was for Congress to work on “establishment of a public option that would give individuals a choice between government provided health insurance or private health insurance?”. 67% of respondents rated this an important topic to address. 59% of those that favor repeal feel that this is an important topic to pursue. The majority of Americans want repeal because this bill doesn’t go far enough.



Once again, we basically agree regardless of party affiliation. When it comes down to it, Americans know what’s not working for them and they know how they want to fix the problem.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if republicans had joined in on the fight for a public option? I don’t know if it would have changed anything, given the fact that our representatives are clearly all serving their corporate masters first and foremost . But damned it, I wish we could have found out.

And while I’m on the topic of putting self interest ahead of ideology, let me make a point to democrats. You’re going down the same slippery slope of accepting any crap that your party puts in front of you. This is how things went horribly wrong for republicans. If you keep going down this road, your party will start to serve up nothing but crap. Republicans have been happy to accept the village idiot (Dan Quayle, George W Bush, and Sarah Palin) for three elections in a row now, happy to accept the idea that this is the best that republicans have to offer. How much kool aid drinking do you think you have to do before this guy becomes your democratic nominee for president?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg[/youtube]


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Bitchy’s Strategy For The GOP

Not surprisingly, my advice centers around health reform. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this strategy of promising to repeal is going to be a disaster for republicans.

Let me first qualify what I mean by “disaster”. Historically speaking, the party that wins the white house loses 27.8 seats in congress in the following midterm election. Republicans could pick up as many as 50 seats this time around. I believe that they’re going to pick up around 20 seats. While that’s enough seats to declare “victory” and claim a “mandate”, it would in actuality be a disaster because it keeps them well in the minority.

Republicans are fighting a losing battle if their strategy is to run on repealing health reform during this election cycle. During the course of the next seven months, everything that is good about this bill will have kicked in. Closing the medicare prescription donut hole ensures that republicans will have lost the senior vote, which is their largest voting block. Allowing parents to keep their college students on their insurance plans wipes out that voting block. Losing those two demographics leaves the republican party crippled.

There’s not much they can do about the 2010 elections, but they can salvage 2012. By 2012, some of the ugly realities of this “reform” will have surfaced.  Republicans should instead change their tone to promise to fix the problems with the bill, while predicting massive premium increases. We are definitely going to see massive premium increases over the next four years. In the past week, both the CEOs of Aetna and Cigna have already promised that they’re coming. This bill does absolutely nothing to keep premiums down. My guess, based on my experience with corporate premium increases, is that 2012 premiums are going to be 40% – 60% higher than they are today. I’m not trying to be doom and gloom Bitchy, but that’s what I believe is going to happen. If republicans focus in on the problems with the bill, they can clean up in the elections after those problems materialize.

I want to say up front that I don’t believe there’s a snow balls chance in hell that republicans are actually going to fix the cost control problems with this bill. The only means of controlling cost is to force the insurance companies to compete with medicare. Nothing short of that will do anything to chip away at exorbitant premiums. If democrats ran away from a public option with 68% of democrats and 54% of republicans supporting it, there’s zero chance that republicans will make it happen. There is absolutely NO way to bring down costs while still maintaining a for-profit health insurance system. Trust me I’ve looked closely at health insurance systems all around the world. It can’t be done.

I have no idea what republicans can do, within the constraints of what they have become, to fix the problem. But actual solutions are meaningless in terms of winning elections. Republicans haven’t actually solved any problems for our country in decades. This is a fact that inexplicably hasn’t stopped republicans from controlling our government for the majority of the past 100 years.

Getting elected in this country isn’t about what you’ve done. It’s about what you say you’re going to do.  If republicans say they’re going to repeal health reform, they’re done. If they point out real problems with this health reform bill, they have a good shot at gaining power again.

On the other side, democrats have until 2012 to get a public option through. They definitely won’t touch the issue before November. I’m not very optimistic that they’re going to move in the direction of a public option at all, but if they do, it won’t be before the midterm election. They backed themselves into a corner with this bill. While they significantly strengthened their position for the midterm election, they insured that 2012 is going to be an unmitigated disaster unless they can fix this bill.

In the meantime, we need to keep the pressure up to get a public option through. Not because I give a damned if democrats keep control of congress, but because we desperately need meaningful health insurance reform. We haven’t gotten it yet. We need to keep the pressure on democrats because we have no chance of getting it under republican control. Trust me, if I though there was a chance of getting something that would help the average American out of the republican party, I’d be out there campaigning for them day and night. Our only hope is to come out en masse to let the democrats know that they’re in big trouble unless they fix the bill. And because democrats are historically obtuse, we need to spell out what those fixes need to be for them.

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Pro Lemming?

I have been seeing a lot of talk in left wing media suggesting that we should band together to go after every democrat that ever votes with republicans on anything. Really?

Isn’t the problem with the republican party that they vote in lockstep? Can you be angry at them for doing so while demanding that democrats do the same? Do you not see the hypocrisy here?

I have several issues with this stance beyond the obvious hypocrisy.

Let’s start with the inexplicable blind faith that you would have to have in the democratic party for this ideology to work for you. You would have to believe that democrats are a sage and wise group that never make mistakes in judgment. You would also have to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that democratic representatives are always working to represent your best interest. If you really believe those things, I suggest that you take a hard look at how NAFTA has affected America’s financial interests in the world. Nobody is right all the time, and anyone that believes otherwise is a lemming.

Our founding fathers were quite brilliant when they wrote the constitution. Article one enumerates the powers of congress, which means that they intended for a body of representatives to have more of the power. Article two enumerates the powers of the president. They clearly intended to create a government in which a chorus of opinions come together so that they are forced to form a consensus. When was the last time you wrote out a to-do list and put the most important thing second on that list? They weren’t interested in having one voice rule. They fled from a king, and were obviously determined to prevent that from happening here.

I like the idea of having 535 people with different points of view debating issues and fighting for their position. I inherently believe that the best chance we have of getting a good result is to have a system where the best argument rises to the top. It would be fantastic if these opinions weren’t corporate owned, but that’s a topic for a whole other post. If I had it my way, John Cornyn and Russ Feingold would be in a boxing ring shouting at each other until they reach a compromise on every issue. I believe that the right answer is usually in the middle.

Please liberals, don’t fall into the pro lemming position that you despise. Promoting a sophomoric group think mentality is not the answer here, it’s the problem.

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