web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

Nine Most Terrifying Words

I’ve always been perplexed with politically active people that don’t believe that good government is possible. If you don’t believe that government is good, why bother to get involved?

I completely get the motivations of politicians that hate government. They want the power that comes with being in the government. It’s a great way to get really fucking rich without creating anything, or employing anyone. But the people that believe them? I find them inexplicable.

Who the fuck hears a candidate say, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help'”, and thinks “that’s who I’m voting for!“? How does that make any fucking sense? He just told you that he’s not going to help you if you elect him!

What kind of person perpetually votes for a party whose mantra is the promise of shrinking the government, despite the fact that no president in the history of that party, has ever made the government even a little bit smaller? Are these people fucking idiots?

The short answer is, yes. The longer answer lies in the inherent pessimism that fuels the belief that government’s only purpose is to fuck you.

See, republicans generally come into power and make things worse than they were before they got in. And once they’ve made things worse, they take the opportunity to leverage that crisis to make themselves (i.e the government) bigger and more powerful.

Bush ignored mounds of evidence (not to mention the emphatic warnings from his predecessor) , outlining the threat that Bin Laden poses to America. The US gets attacked, and the administration used that crisis to pursue the neocon agenda of world domination through invasion and occupation.

Ronald Reagan revived fears of a Soviet takeover of the world, at a time when no one was thinking about the Soviet Union. Iran was holding fifty-two Americans hostage, and we had an oil shortage that created long gas lines. The last thing on any American’s mind was the cold war. But Reagan gave those old fears some CPR and brought them back to life. He then leveraged the fear he resurrected, to get the American people to go along with his wild defense spending that blew up our deficit. He massively cut taxes for top income earners when he first came into office, and then had to raise taxes eleven times to offset the the shortfall that he created. In classic republican tradition, those tax hikes shifted the tax burden on the middle class.

Scott Walker turned a surplus into a deficit ten minutes after being sworn in, by cutting taxes at the top and doling out government contracts to his cronies. A minute after that, he leveraged the budget “crisis” he created to decimate collective bargaining rights for public employees.

I can give dozens of examples, but you get the idea. This is an age old tactic of the republican party. Why does it work on some people? Because if you are pessimistic enough to believe that government can never work for you, fucked up government validates your world view. It makes you right! Never mind the fact that you voted for the government. You were right, and that’s all that matters. Buying into the “nine most terrifying words” theory is purely emotional.

No rational, thinking, logical person would ever accept the idea that a human (any human) will ever relinquish power that they’ve obtained. That’s never happened in recorded history. So buying into the bullshit narrative that someone is trying to get into government so that they can turn around and give up the power that comes with the office. That’s just batshit crazy. So if you’re buying into this bullshit, you’re not doing it with your mind. You’re doing it emotionally.

That goes for you too, democrats. If you believe that a democrat will give up power that his/her predecessor secured for that office, you’re not being rational. I never, not for one second, thought that Obama was going to give up any of the expanded powers that Bush snatched up. To do so would be crazy and stupid, and I was definitely not voting for someone I thought was crazy and stupid. That’s just not how I roll. I will admit that I never saw the Bradley  Manning abuse coming under this president’s watch. I knew that Obama wasn’t going to give up the power to do anything, I just didn’t think that he would use this particular power. Don’t kid yourselves, Obama is completely aware of what’s happening with Manning. In my defense, I’m no less disgusted with Obama when he does it, than I was with Bush when he did it.

Die hards on both sides vote irrationally, but the whole foundation of republicanism is based on irrational voting and perpetuating a pessimistic world view.

We have a republican congress now, whose sole mission is to make things shittier so that they can point to Obama and tell you that government sucks. And Obama is playing into their hands by not standing up to make sure that shitty things don’t get passed.

It’s a vicious cycle, and to some degree, we’re all playing our part.

Share

BondageGate

Did you really think I wasn’t going to talk about it? This story is just too much fun not to comment on! My first thought when I heard about the head of the RNC expensing a large tab at a West Hollywood bondage club was, "Is Ken Mehlman back?" Then I realized it was a straight club, so Ken is definitely NOT back. My next thought was, there’s a straight bondage club in West Hollywood? And then my mind had to explore the horror that is wondering what Michael Steele’s safe word is. Is it Reagan? Tax cuts? WMD? After I got my mind out of the gutter (it took a while), I had to wonder what kind of moron would expense something like this? Don’t you know that the FEC looks at this stuff? And then I realized that we’re talking about republicans here. They’re self entitled and hypocritical so it would naturally make sense to engage in this sort of behavior on someone else’s dime while preaching family values to the donors that made it possible. The next thing that occurred to me is that they took what could have been a brilliant and lucrative idea and turned it into a minor scandal. Instead of spending their donors’ money on watching fake bondage, they should have given perspective donors the opportunity to make big contributions in exchange for the opportunity to flog some of their members. Think about the untapped revenue potential! I would pay untold sums of money to put a ball gag on John Boehner and then go to town on his ass with a wooden paddle. I would! And I wouldn’t care that the money will ultimately go to fund Michelle Bachman’s campaign. Four more years of Michelle Bachman, just to be able to shove a butt plug right into John Cornyn? YES, YES, it’s worth it! YES WE CAN! SIGN ME UP! You think I’m kidding, but I’m NOT. The very idea makes me happier than I’ve been in months. Screw long term thinking! I want instant gratification! And I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only one. There must be millions of people out there that would never donate to the RNC under any other circumstances, who would gladly open their wallets for this type of opportunity. They could even do an auction to ensure that they got the maximum contributions from people. And if the bids aren’t high enough, they could sweeten the pot. Think about it, how much MORE would you pay to spank a ball gagged Mitch McConnell if you had the ADDED option of nipple clamps? Don’t pretend like you’re above it all. You know you want to as bad as I do.

Share

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.

Share

Tilting At Windmills

I don’t know why I’m shocked by this, but the GOP is inexplicably trying to double down on health insurance reform by promising to repeal it. They have become Don Quixote.

There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that they’re going to be able to touch this bill for a myriad of different reasons.

First off, they’re going to get hammered if they try to run against this in November. By then, all of those elderly, overweight protesters that demanded that the government “keeps their hands off my medicare” will have evaporated. Why? Because all of those people will have avoided the medicare prescription donut hole that they’ve been grappling with for several years now. Every senior in America will be opposed to any candidate that runs on repealing this bill. Parents of college students are also off the table since their kids will have been on their insurance plan for several months by the time November comes around. If losing all of those votes isn’t bad enough, republicans are going to have some issues with their pharmaceutical and insurance company contributors. Those industries will never allow the huge gift that is this bill to disappear. If you think that United Health Care is going to walk away from 32 million new customers, you’re out of your fucking mind. They’re really going to have to make some appalling deals with these companies that will undoubtedly screw Americans more than the current bill does.

Republicans will be getting it from all sides if they keep going down this road. They lost and they have nothing to gain by revisiting this loss in perpetuity over the next seven months.

And then there’s the ridiculous state attorneys general that are trying to sue, claiming this bill is unconstitutional. They may not be aware of this, but our current president is a former constitutional law professor. I can understand how they may have gotten used to having a dumb president that doesn’t know anything, but that’s not what they’re dealing with anymore. Thirteen states have already filed suits claiming this bill is unconstitutional. See the story here. Let’s examine this list closely.

Florida   $1.02
South Carolina   $1.38
Nebraska   $1.07
Utah   $1.14
Louisiana   $1.45
Alabama   $1.71
Pennsylvania   $1.06
Idaho   $1.28
South Dakota   $1.49
Colorado   $0.79
Michigan   $0.85
Texas   $0.94
Washington   $0.88

Those numbers I have next to each state represents how much money those states get back from the federal government for every dollar they contribute. Only four out of the thirteen are known as “donor states”, meaning that they pay more in federal taxes than they receive. The other nine states receive more federal funding than they contribute. Not coincidentally, the states that receive more federal dollars than they contribute are very poor states that will benefit most from the medicaid expansion in this bill. These attorneys general are willing to screw their own constituents for what they perceive to be political gain. These guys are going to get SLAUGHTERED in the next election if their democratic opponent spells out what they’re doing.

This strategy is a total disaster for the GOP. More importantly, it’s a disaster for the American people since republicans are obviously going to continue to play politics rather than to govern.

PLEASE, GOP stop tilting at windmills and start getting involved in the legislative process! America can’t be ruled by one party!

Share

Got Hope?

No, I’m not referring to the health insurance reform bill that passed last night. I do have to say, as an aside, that I didn’t appreciate being put in the uncomfortable position of being glued to C-SPAN for 10 hours, rooting for a shitty bill to pass because the alternative is much shittier.

I’m hopeful because of this.

I’m hopeful because David Frum and I don’t have much in common and yet, I find myself agreeing with everything that he said. Not most of what he said, but ALL of what he said. He’s exactly right. Republicans should have participated in the crafting of this legislation. Health insurance reform was a forgone conclusion, given the huge majority that democrats have in the house and senate. In the seven months between now and the midterm elections, republicans will have lost the vote of every senior that WON’T hit the prescription donut hole this year (that would be all of them). They will have lost the vote of every parent of a college student who, thanks to this legislation, will now have that child on their insurance plan. That’s a lot of votes to walk away from.

The republicans lost far more than they gained last night. They cemented the batshit crazy base that weren’t big enough to stop landslide victories for democrats in the last 2 elections. Good for you, Boehner! Your crazy base can now guzzle down the lithium they so badly need without fear of hitting the donut hole, so that they can live to fight another day to keep you in the minority.

Let me take a moment to go off on Boehner. Did you see him last night? He came off as the raving lunatic that he is. He was drunk, angry, and almost incoherent. America doesn’t relate to angry white (okay, burnt sienna) middle aged men anymore. He fundamentally believes that democrats have NO right to be involved in the legislative process. His disdain for democrats is irrational and impossible for most people to relate to. He and Mitch McConnell are both arrogant pieces of shit that have displayed nothing short of contempt for Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for democrats. When they talk about what the American people want, they’re forgetting the fact that they represent the MINORITY of Americans that voted for them. Hey Boehner, there’s a reminder right there in your title; house MINORITY leader! You bow down to Nancy Pelosi because WE THE PEOPLE say that you do. You would do well to remember that.

But getting back to Frum’s point, I wish that republicans had actively participated in the crafting of this bill. Look, if I had my way, we would have a system that allows every American to buy into medicare. Don’t go ape shit republicans, I said BUY IN meaning that I pay for my share of the premium cost of participating in medicare. I’m not so big on welfare programs that aren’t necessary. And as hard as I work to craft opinions that result from careful analysis of the facts, I’m acutely aware that as a human being, I am susceptible to ideologically driven tunnel vision. That’s why I need a rational opposition party to come at me from a different ideological perspective.

What we got last night wasn’t a liberal bill. It was an ideologically devoid bow to corporate America. This was SUCH a cave in to the insurance companies, that it makes a single payer system within the next 15 – 20 years a forgone conclusion. Health care costs will reach 19% – 20% of our GDP before these exchanges kick in four years from now because the insurance companies have four more virtually unregulated years to go to town on your premiums.

The biggest problem that we face in American politics today is that every single politician, regardless of party affiliation is working not for their constituents, but for the corporate interests that finance their campaigns. That being said, we were never going to get a good reform bill. But I would like to have seen republicans participate in the crafting of the final legislation.

We’re basically fucked until we start fighting for publicly funded campaigns. We’re doubly fucked in the interim, with one party completely removing itself from the legislative process. As it stands now, republicans are hoping to get elected by decimating the political process so that democrats seem less appealing than republicans do. I want a party that actively works at being a better choice. Don’t you?

I’m hopeful because one republican is starting to get it. I know that one isn’t much, but I’m a sunny optimist. I hope that one will turn into 20 million.

Share