Is that a promise, Sen. DeMint?

My attention was drawn to this SCBiz headline:

DeMint says public option would destroy nation’s health care system

… to which I automatically responded, “Is that a promise? Are you sure? You’re not just teasing? All right! When do we get started?

We’ve heard a lot of silly back-and-forth about health care in recent weeks, but this is the first time I’ve heard anyone suggest the one thing that makes the most sense to me: Blow up what we’ve got entirely and start over.

As my long-time readers will know, even back when I HAD good conventional health care coverage, I was agitating for this. Why? Because as I documented in this column and this one and elsewhere on the old blog, most folks who discuss the health care problem in this country focus on the wrong thing. They focus on the people like me who no longer have private employer-provided health care (although for a limited time I have access to the same care via COBRA thank God, at just under $600 a month — to go up over $1,500 after December, if I’m lucky).

But the real problem is that (note the numbers in my parenthetical above), medical coverage has gotten way too expensive even for the lucky ones who have it — and certainly far too expensive for the businesses that try to provide it.

My problem with Obamacare all along has been that the president is too timid on this subject, and this is not a situation for tiptoeing. This nation desperately needs a do-over on the way it pays for health care, because we are paying too much for results that just aren’t good enough for an advanced nation.

So thank you, Sen. DeMint, for getting the conversation started in a more productive direction. Even if you didn’t mean to…

40 thoughts on “Is that a promise, Sen. DeMint?

  1. Randy E

    DeMint has no credibility. His focus on Obama’s “Waterloo” is evidence enough. Include his idiotic “plan” to take all the stimulus money and use it to pay for insurance coverage makes him a self-parody.

    Given his stance against a public “OPTION” because it COULD lead to government intrusion, it would follow that he wants to end Medicare, Medicade, and Social Security. These ARE government run programs, which he abhors.

    Reagan ranted against Medicare and Medicade in the 60s stating that the government would control where doctors were allowed to practice. This sad prediction didn’t even come close to fruition and even the town hall demonstraters adamantly defend Medicare (e.g. the guy in SC who demanded that “government keep its hands off my medicare!”).

    Obama has been relatively timid, but the dems are about push aside the GOP now that it’s obvious they could care less about reform even after repeated efforts at bipartisanship by Obama on the issue. Medicare was created despite the GOP and reform will be enacted in similar fashion.

  2. doug_ross

    The problems with the healthcare system and the insurance industry shouldn’t require a 1000 page bill to resolve. The devil IS in the details.

    Trying to get the government to determine who gets treated, how they get treated, who gets paid, and where the money comes from almost certainly guarantees the process will be screwed up enough that nothing will happen. Throw in all the lobbyist money going in all directions leading to Washington and you can also guarantee that what’s best for the American people is not even on the radar screen of politicians.

    Plus, you won’t see Obama-care proponents touching any topics like making everyone responsible for paying for their healthcare (even poor people), tort reform (too many lawyers in Congress and lobbying firms), or dealing with the issue of illegal immigrants receiving free care.

    The lead story in the Las Vegas Sun on Tuesday was about how dialysis treatments for 80 illegal immigrants account for $24 million dollars of a small hospital’s deficit. That’s $24 million dollars of care that could have been provided to poor Americans.

    The CEO of Whole Foods grocery stores, John Mackey, presented an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that seemed to take a very reasonable approach to how to deal with the problems in the system.

    It starts with a great quote from Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out
    of other people’s money.”

    The response from the Obama-care nuts has been to call for a boycott of the stores rather than address the specific proposals.

    I’d encourage the “I want free healthcare for everyone paid for by some” crowd to read his proposals and actually think about how much simpler they would be to implement.

    Brad – if you achieve your dream healthcare scenario and Blue Cross shuts down in Columbia, do you think that will be good for the local economy? How will THOSE people pay for food?

  3. doug_ross

    And this may get some people worked up, but if you pay for a cellphone, cable television, lottery tickets, alcohol, or cigarettes and claim you can’t pay for your healthcare, I’m less inclined to believe the whole “health insurance is critical” story.

  4. doug_ross

    In his op-ed Sunday for the New York Times President Obama said, “We’ll cut hundreds of billions in waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”

    So let me get this straight – he knows where all the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste are right now but he’s not going to do anything about it unless he can get the healthcare bill he wants?

    Or should we just be a little concerned that he wants to increase the role of government in the healthcare process even though it wastes hundreds of billions of dollars in its current form?

    Obama – making the case against healthcare reform every day.

  5. kbfenner

    Go Brad!

    We’ll have you singing The Internationale yet. Welcome, comrade!

    A Fellow Traveler

  6. Randy E

    Doug, Mackey quote Investor’s Business Daily for some of his statistics. That’s the company that fought the “government take over” conspiracy by citing Stephen Hawking and how he’d never would have made it in the British National Healthcare System. Given that Hawking is British, this is a dubious source and immediately gives me doubts about Mackey’s piece.

    Repealing government mandates is deregulation. We’ve seen what happens when the inmates run the asylum. Currently, autism is NOT covered by nationally regulated insurance. In CT, if not for the government, our state regulated insurance would discriminate against kids with autism.

    He cites numbers about the problems with these universal systems. We have problems here. People are dropped from coverage after getting sick. Care is NOW being rationed by Big Insurance. “Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007…”

    Obama is attempting to use reform measures to cut costs. There can be professional advisory boards who provide guidance on what tests are necessary or unnecessary for certain treatments. This provides cover for doctors so they don’t have to practice defensive medicine in fear of litigation.

    Speaking of which, Senator McCaskill asked her agry mob at a town hall meeting the following: “Missouri has had aggressive tort reform these past few years. How many of you saw your insurance rates go down?” NO hands were raised.

  7. doug_ross


    Rather than cherry pick, how about some simple answers:

    1) Free healthcare for illegal immigrants? Yes or no.

    2) Should Obama wait to implement the hundreds of billions of savings that he claims are available in Medicare?

    3) If Obama admits Medicare is inefficient and wasteful, what evidence is there that the government can do better with a larger pool of people?

  8. Mike Toreno

    What I want to know is, why are we even having to listen to what DeMint says about anything? DeMint is one of a small minority of Senators representing a tiny minority of Americans. The 40 Republican Senators don’t represent anywhere near 40% of Americans. I can’t say it any better than Amanda Marcotte said it yesterday:

    “To suggest that the opinions of screaming racists must be changed before we can take action is to concede the McCain/Palin argument that crazy racist white people are the only Real Americans®. No other group gets the privilege of being flattered that our opinion matters no matter what. Liberals get shut out all the time. Let’s get past the idea that the most important Americans are the paranoid right wingers. The sooner we get to marginalizing them, the better off we’ll be.”

    That’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re doing to have to go forward with what’s right for America, not flatter and placate a strident minority. The American health insurance industry collects 35% of all health care dollars and provides no services. They don’t do anything but delay and deny care, presenting themselves as an obstacle between patients and healthcare providers. And private healthcare insurance will inevitably be motivated to act this way. They collect the premiums up front. Every dollar they can avoid paying out is a dollar of profit. The only way to make sure people get the services they pay for is to offer a public plan where administrators are paid to make sure care gets delivered, not denied. Such a plan will inevitably lead to the death of the health insurance industry, because an industry that sees its role as denying services people have paid for will not be able to compete with an entity that sees its role as delivering service.

    But perhaps even more important than getting a decent healthcare system is getting away from the idea that we have to constantly compromise in order to satisfy conservatives. Let conservatives point to some place where conservative ideas have succeeded; until they do that, I don’t want to hear from them.

  9. Birch Barlow

    With nearly every other good or service we use we pay for directly. And it works. With health care we insist that we pay for it indirectly through an insurance company, an employer or the government. And it doesn’t work. What a surprise!

  10. Mike Toreno

    Birch, insurance coverage delivered through the government works fine. Medicare works fine, the VA works fine, the Canadian system works fine, the British NHS works fine, it’s only the US private insurance industry that doesn’t work. That’s because buying health care is different from buying a piano. Health care for a major illness is so expensive you can’t pay for it all at once, so you have to accumulate the money over the course of your life. You can’t predict when you might need it, so you have to pool with other people so you don’t get hit will a huge expense before you have accumulated the money to pay for it. So you pay in advance for something that in all likelihood will be delivered later.

    Now, with a piano, you go into a piano store, you give them money, they give you a piano. You use it every day (or you should). You pay money to a health insurance company for health care, you don’t walk out with health care. Instead, when you have a need for health care, you tell the insurance company, I gave you all this money, give me some health care. What the insurance company does is, first take out 35% of the money you paid them and keep it. Then they do everything they can to avoid paying out any of the other 65%. They construct a lot of artificial obstacles, until you go bankrupt, in which case the government steps in to furnish healthcare the insurance company should have furnished, or die.

    The problem isn’t that healthcare payment is different from piano payment; it has to be because of the nature of the services and the cost of the services, and the frequency with which the services are used. The problem is, as always, with conservative solutions to the problem. The conservative solution is the “free market” solution which we have. The liberal solution is a government run system like they have in every other industrialized country in the world, which costs less, which delivers better care, and which doesn’t present everybody who gets sick with the prospect of financial ruin.

  11. doug_ross


    The VA “works fine”?

    Does that include the $24 million ripped off by the previous head during 2007-2008?

    Today’s news:

    We always here moaning and groaning about “obscene profits” and “high paid insurance CEOS”… yet nobody seems to care when the President says there’s a couple hundred BILLION in waste and inefficiency in Medicare RIGHT NOW.

    Why can’t Obama take an incremental approach instead of trying to blow up 1/6 of the economy? Start with the easy stuff:

    1. Prevent insurance companies from dropping anyone or denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions
    2. Eliminate any barriers to competition across state lines
    3. Require insurance companies to post all information related to negotiated rates
    4. Rescind the rule that forces hospitals to treat illegal immigrants on the taxpayers dime

    Then when you get the simple stuff done, spend the time necessary to come up with a workable solution on how to provide insurance to the truly needy.

    The reason we see 1000 page bills is because so much of it cannot stand on its own merit, the Democrats have to throw it all into one pile and force a vote on the whole package.

  12. Randy E

    Doug, talk about cherry picking! You cite problems in a system and generalize that the system is broken. The VA and Medi systems have problems but the majority of people using these systems aren’t clamoring for them to be dismantled. William Cristol, no fan of government, gives high marks to the VA system.

    The current system is based on a market system based on private competition. The problem, as Toreno addresses, is that people don’t get to pick and choose when to use the system. I can choose to not buy a new TV. I can choose to buy a used car and not bother with the dealers. I cannot choose to skip the doctor if I break my arm.

    Health care for immigrants? They get this NOW. If an illegal goes to the ER, he gets care. You are attempting to frame an issue in utterly simplistic fashion. What’s the alternative? If an illegal has the N1H1 virus, we tell him to take a hike? Maybe he’ll go to the supermarket where your family shops and he’ll sneeze on the shopping cart you use.

    Regarding the health care reforms, give some specifics. What can he do that he says he won’t if reform is not passed? Offer some SPECIFICS.

    Evidence of better results with a larger pool of people? Mutual Funds, SAM’S Club, insurance plans for larger companies – each of these allows a pooled group of people to get better rates.

  13. doug_ross


    I already gave a specific example of a hospital in Las Vegas that as spent $24 million on dialysis treatment for illegals. One hospital. One procedure. Do the math. It’s billions of dollars on non-critical care. Money that could go to other programs.

    As usual (like Sanford’s terrorist attach while AWOL), you jump to a scare tactic example of Swine Flu treatment to validate the billions spent on non-critical treatment.

    The public is not at risk from a dialysis patient but the public does suffer when taxpayer dollars are spent on non-citizens.

    I’ve offered specifics over and over. What more specifics do you need? Obama and the Congress could do simple things RIGHT NOW that would alter the insurance business and make it more accessible and more fair. They won’t because they need to throw in the kitchen sink to make sure all the lobbyists get what they need in the bill.

    The healthcare system is not a “market system” in the U.S. Medicare doesn’t pay market rates – they pay less than any other insurer which forces up costs on other people. The VA doesn’t pay market rates.

    The government institutes all sorts of regulations that add costs (you think doctors want to fill out the HPAA forms all the time — what exactly did that buy us?). The drug companies have patents that guarantee monopoly-style prices. The government MANDATES Medicare at age 65. How in the world is that a “market based” system?

    Watch what happens if we get a public option healthcare “solution”. You think it will open the doors to everyone when what will actually happen is that the best medical providers will opt out (unless the government forces them to participate which will have its own consequences) and create a two-tier system of haves and have-nots, just like we have now. I have a surgeon friend who says he will quit if the government forces him to take Medicare patients because he loses money on every patient. That’s what your public option will get you. The best and the brightest will find other fields to work in where they can be paid what they believe they are worth.

  14. Lee Muller

    You deadbeats want to destroy the private insurance which most Americans like, in order to force them into a pool with you, where they will subsidize your medical treatment.

    That is so irresponsible!

    It is also unAmerican, and unConstitutional.

    You and your elected henchmen have no legal authority to destroy an industry for your own personal profit.

  15. Mike Toreno

    Lee, again (quoting Amanda Marcotte):

    “To suggest that the opinions of screaming racists must be changed before we can take action is to concede the McCain/Palin argument that crazy racist white people are the only Real Americans®. No other group gets the privilege of being flattered that our opinion matters no matter what. Liberals get shut out all the time. Let’s get past the idea that the most important Americans are the paranoid right wingers. The sooner we get to marginalizing them, the better off we’ll be.”

    We’re not trying to get you to change your opinion. We’re telling you we don’t care about your opinion.

  16. doug_ross


    Why don’t you and everyone who thinks like you create an insurance company that covers all the people you want to cover and pay doctors what you want to pay them?

    Why can’t those of us who are happy with our coverage (that’s millions of Americans) be left to battle with the nasty insurance companies? You know, like United Healthcare, which I’ve been a customer of for 15 years and never had a problem with.

  17. Mike Toreno

    Doug, we’re doing it; we’ve gotten a bill out of two House committees already. If United Healthcare wants to provide services, they’ll be OK. If they get driven out of business, we’ll try to survive. I think we’ll be able to survive pretty well, actually – all of the money United Healthcare is currently taking in can be directed to, you know, healthcare, including the 35% they’re currently skimming off.

    We pay twice as much of our GDP toward healthcare as other industrialized countries. If we wiped out the private insurance industry, we could, at a stroke, reduce that excess to just 130% of what other countries pay. And the only thing we would have to give up would be an infrastructure dedicated to denying care.

  18. Randy E

    Doug, I asked for specifics about the savings and not the illegals. You began this with the assertion that Obama identified savings but isn’t enacting this savings. GIVE SPECIFICS for this. Addressing illegals is NOT addressing this.

    Regarding illegals, I used N1H1 is an example for communicable diseases in general. You can’t be serious in suggesting that not treating illegals with communicable diseases would not be a problem.

    Medicare? Good lord Doug, we were talking about reform for UNDER 65 year olds. The GOP is having a collective cow about a public option running private insurance out of business because it would be unfail COMPETITION! Yes, health care is modeled off of a market approach according to your boys on the right.

    Your surgeon buddy sounds like Reagan who stated that doctors would be told where to practice – Chicken Little.

  19. Randy E

    And Doug, in the reform bill it specifically states that you can stay with your current plan.

  20. Bart

    Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

    A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

    And, there it is, the mind of Amanda Mardotte.

    Way to go Toreno. Way to add to the discussion by quoting someone who is so far left, she makes Ann Coulter look like a wild-eyed liberal by comparison.

  21. Lee Muller

    “Mike Toreno”,

    We know you don’t care about our opinions, because you are not a liberal. You are an authoritarian socialist, who despises majority rule and the rights of the individual.

    The legislation says you can stick with your current plan – you just can’t buy a new one if you change jobs or move to another state. That is how the socialists plan to weed out private insurance, just as Obama described it during the campaign.

    Some Democrats have openly said they want to get rid of private disability insurance next. Goodbye, Colonial Life.

  22. Mike Toreno

    Bart, I certainly understand that you might feel that Amanda’s argument that crazy white racists should should be marginalized hits close to home, feeling the way you do about how “drunks” and “drug addicts” are unworthy to vote (and knowing exactly what “drunks” and “drug addicts” is code for), but you don’t say anything to refute her argument, do you? Tell us what’s faulty about her argument. I’m not citing her as an authority, I’m quoting her argument because I think she forcefully articulates an important and well-supported point. DeMint represents a miniscule number of people. Why do we care what he thinks? Why do we listen to him, and why should we elevate his viewpoint over those who represent the vast majority of Americans?

    You are pointing to something Amanda said that you don’t like because you want to deny her the right to speak. Rather than refute her argument, you want to rule everything she says out of bounds.

    But Amanda’s arguments stand or fall on their content and value, not on anything to do with her.

  23. Randy E

    Bart, I suggest you use quotation marks when quoting something that foul.

    I do have to side with you on the problems with citing Marcotte. Her rant against racists is hypocritical given her racially tinged literature. Her sick demagoguery of Catholicism seems to reflect a problem with anger more so than an attempt to make a valid point.

    But Toreno makes a very valid point. The GOP has been much more aggressive at mischaracterizing and attacking views from the left. When W and Cheney were playing politics with the terrorism alerts in 04, anyone on the left who questioned the alerts was called out as un-American.

  24. Mike Toreno

    Lee, the fact that I don’t believe crazy white racists should control national policy and have their views exalted over the views of the vast majority of Americans doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the rights of the individual. It’s because I believe in majority rule that I think your views should be ignored. The fact that you hold your views fervently doesn’t lend them additional weight. More important in evaluating your views is the fact that whenever and wherever the policies you advocate have prevailed, the result has been ignorance, degradation, dependency, and squalor.

  25. doug_ross


    It was Obama who said there were hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and inefficiency in Medicare. In an op-ed in the New York Times last week. Maybe you should ask HIM to provide specifics.

    Here’s your man telling us HE knows that Medicare has wastes more than all the salaries of all the CEO’s of all the insurance companies combined:

    “We’ll cut hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies that do nothing to improve care and everything to improve their profits.”

    So why doesn’t Obama do the right thing and start cutting the waste FIRST before trying to sell the American public on implementing another inefficient government run program?

    Here’s another recent example of Medicare “working”… $3 BILLION of fraud in Miami alone… do the math:

    “Using about a dozen agents in targeted cities, including Miami, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, has recovered $371 million in false Medicare claims and charged 145 people across the country in just two months.

    Federal authorities say those businesses were giving patients “arthritis kits,” which were nothing more than expensive orthotics that included knee and shoulder braces. Patients told authorities they were unnecessary and many never used them. But health care clinic owners billed between $3,000 to $4,000 for each kit…

    The first task force started in 2007 in Miami, a city authorities say alone is responsible for more than $3 billion a year in Medicare fraud. Clinic owners there would bill Medicare dozens of times for the same wheelchair, while never giving the medical equipment to patients. ”

    When you have a government run agency with no incentive to do anything but give away other people’s money, fraud will run rampant. I’ll take an insurance company motivated by profit over a government entity with no incentive to do a good job any day.

    And, Randy, I came up with a great solution to getting us closer to the healthcare nirvana you seek: how about letting anyone who wants to buy into the state run insurance programs you have had the opportunity to participate in? What would be the harm in allowing any resident of South Carolina to pay the same rates for the same insurance as teachers and government workers? How would that not help?

  26. Lee Muller

    I don’t know your race, but you spout a lot of racist accusations and excuses, rather than address the fact that socialist medicine would either bankrupt America, seriously degrade medical care, or both.

  27. Bart

    Randy, I apologize to you and anyone else I may have offended by presenting the comment by Amanda Mardotte in an incorrect manner. You are right, it should have had been in quotation marks.

    It may surprise you but I agree with you about those on the right calling “anyone” who disagreed with Bush, un-American or unpatriotic. It was disgusting to me personally because I do believe in freedom of speech and expression of ideas. I believe in dissent because without it, this country might not exist. I also believe BOTH sides have the right to dissent, not just one.

  28. Lee Muller

    A lot of those harshest critics of Bush and Cheney on the war issue actually were just partisans, who had supported the war when Democrats started it by dropping 80,000 tons of bombs on Iraq in 1998.

    Some of the critics actually are unAmerican, like Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and the socialists in Northern California, and the college campuses of Boston and New York City.

  29. doug_ross

    Another easy improvement Obama could implement probably with an executive order in a matter of days:

    Redo COBRA. If you are laid off, you and your employer can continue paying exactly what you paid for insurance for up to three years. And then you can continue paying the full amount equal to what your employer paid for as long as you need to.

  30. Randy E

    Doug, what a wonderfully liberal idea of letting others buy into the state health plans. I am game!

    I agree about people being careless with other people’s money. The question is it worse that way or when you have private business people ripping off others or being negligent in safety to cut costs (see peanut butter scare).

    There is a provision to allow people who are laid off to continue with previous coverage. I honestly have not focused on those details. You make another great point, I believe.

    Is bud posting under Doug’s name?!?!?

  31. Bart

    I make it a point to read Marcotte on occasion just to find out what the quitter is up to. Her conspiracy theories are astounding. She obviously dislikes older white people and anyone who dares protest the health care bill is obviously a racist and part of a vast conspiracy that started back in the 50s. What she wants, in her own words is, “The sooner we get to marginalizing them, the better off we’ll be.” Definition of marginalizing: “to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group.”

    So, in Marcotte’s world, “those people” should be relegated to the rear of the bus, silenced, and eventually left to die out, making the world a better place for liberals. Better yet, kicked off the bus. Now, do I have it right Mike?

    She obviously dislikes anyone from the South, anyone white over 50 from a rural state who does not live near a power center, anyone who protests against the health care plan, considers anyone who does protest a racist, and so on.

    I guess the best way to sum it all up is to repeat her own words.
    “The nutty white people grasp that non-white Americans are more likely to be uninsured than white Americans. Put this information into a paranoid brain that believes in a zero sum game and what you get is this conclusion: In order to pay for more non-white people to get health care, some white people are going to have to die to save money. And that’s why they’re scared. But if they weren’t so f*****g racist, they wouldn’t be scared.”

    And you seriously expect anyone capable cogent thought to give this person any credibility at all? Now I know where you get your inspiration when you accuse me of racism.

  32. Mike Toreno


    “She obviously dislikes anyone from the South, anyone white over 50 from a rural state who does not live near a power center, anyone who protests against the health care plan, considers anyone who does protest a racist, and so on.”

    Show me where she says this. Did you know she lives in Texas?

    Here’s what she says after the passage you quoted:

    “And this, to him, means that we need to set out to persuade these idiots, and to stop calling them stupid racists, even though that’s exactly what they are. Do you see the problem here? The reason the rural states, etc. are easy to whip up into a paranoid, often racist frenzy is because they are faced daily with the choice of abandoning their racism and their paranoia or abandoning the ego service their racism gives them. The notion that we can tackle this problem and beat it during the health care reform debate is laughable. People have been trying to roll back racist paranoia for more than a century now. What we’ve found is that you’re not going to get these ******** to give an inch unless they have to.

    The only thing to do when faced with paranoid racists is to get in power and do what has to be done over their squawking. And trust that they’ll get over it. At least, they will eventually, and those who don’t will die off and their kids will be a little less racist, or in many cases, they may even turn into people who abhor racism. If liberals had decided that consensus was important on other racially charged issues before we move—issues like, oh, desegregation—we’d still be waiting. They aren’t going to change their minds. Their fear is entrenched. The only thing that will change their minds is immersion therapy, putting them in a situation where they have to face their fears and realize that it wasn’t at all what they thought it would be like.”

    Show me where her analysis fails. She doesn’t say that everybody against health care reform is racist, but it’s clear that racism is one of the primary motivators for a lot of the more crazed opponents. What do you think motivates people to carry guns to town halls? What do you think motivates people to scream and yell at town halls, not to express their own views, but to keep other people from expressing theirs? What do you think motivates the people who send death threats to Congressmen? What do you think motivated the crazy lady that said she’s losing the America she grew up in? Making sure everybody has health care is losing America? Really?

    No, Amanda’s argument is that a small minority, no matter how small or vehement their feelings, shouldn’t be allowed to stand in the way of what the vast majority of Americans voted for. She’s arguing with Gene Lyons, whose point is that these people are reacting out of genuine fear, and they should be reasoned with and persuaded; her point is, you aren’t going to persuade them, you just do what needs to be done and they’ll get used to it.

    Why shouldn’t people who go around spouting lies be marginalized? Why is Betsey McCaughey all over the TV? Why isn’t lying over and over enough to get people off the TV?

    And Bart, I know you’re a racist not because of anything Amanda Marcotte says, but because you’ve unmistakeably shown the kind of person you are. I don’t need Amanda Marcotte to show me water is wet.

    But I nevertheless don’t refuse to engage your argument. You are just trying to make it all about Amanda because you’re unable to engage her argument.

  33. Randy E

    Toreno, Marcotte the person and her opinions are interwoven. My opinions reveal who I am – and I agree mostly agree WITH you.

    The problem with Marcotte and therefore the credibility of her positions is that she is hyperbolic. Her anti-Catholicism reflects profound ignorance and vitriol. The quote you offered is similar.

    While there is certainly a racial element to the “Real America” mantra, much of the opposition to healthcare is pure greed and ignorance. I don’t think Big Insurance, the impetus behind the town hall angry mobs, is making decisions based on race but on maintaining their stranglehold on health care dollars. Many in these angry mobs are yammering against socialism and defending their medicare! The are parroting Big Insurance script.

    Personally, I am so incensed (as a Catholic) by Marcotte that I pay little attention to her points.

  34. Bart

    This is really too much fun to stop. You and Randy are so predictable and tweaking your noses is easy.

    I don’t have to engage her argument because she makes no credible link between the protesters and racism as she stated, time and time again.

    Toreno, I have no problem saying it, you are “totally dishonest”. You continue to use your own code words to misrepresent my comments about drunks and drug addicts. You continued to skirt around using the word “racist” until now because you know I never made reference to anyone of color when I referenced drunks and drug addicts. My comments were about picking up drunks, “under the influence of alcohol”, and drug addicts, “under the influence of drugs”, taking them to register and then going to vote when they had no idea of what they were doing at the time. This did happen and both white and black were in the group. If not mistaken, there were actually more whites than blacks in the video. I am looking to find it again but it seems to be missing from YouTube. It is an affront to EVERY American who treasures and values their right to cast a vote because of a few who bastardize the process and cheapen it by engaging in such disgusting actions. So, I will repeat it again. I would not allow drunks and drug addicts under the influence to register and vote – period. You were the one who chose to make it into a racist comment, not me. What does that say about you and your own particular brand of racism? “We all know what that means, don’t we?”

  35. Randy E

    “Bastardizing” the system…you mean like the repeated GOP efforts to curtail voting in poor (largely minority) districts?

    There are code words people use when referring to minorities.

    Reagan kicked off his general election campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi citing “states rights” just a few miles from where the civil rights workers were killed. He described Orange County (white population 80% – a large drop in recent years) as the place “good Republicans go to die.” He proved to be a better actor in office than in those B movies.

    At least the National Review and Bill Buckley were explicit. As they were kicking off the conservative movement in the 50s, they opined that it was valid and even necessary for the educated populace to maintain control over the uneducated minorities.

  36. Mike Toreno

    Randy, the fact that the freakshow isn’t being orchestrated out of racial motives doesn’t mean that many of the people who are buying into it aren’t motivated by racism. What do you think the people who say things like “I want my country back” mean? They mean things should go like they want, even though they didn’t get the most votes, even though they got blown out in a landslide. What kind of person sees the fact that they lost an election as a sign that America is collapsing? Someone who thinks they are more worthy voters than those who voted the other way.

    The whack jobs showing up at the town halls are like the poor whites during the civil war. Slavery was in part a mechanism for wage suppression. By providing a large population of captive labor, it provided an unfair competition with unenslaved working people, taking economic power away from white people who were not large landowners and concentrating it among those who were. Racism nevertheless motivated poor whites to fight vigorously for the preservation of an system that led to their economic oppression, and it continued after the war too. Oppression of black people didn’t merely oppress black people, it oppressed everyone who sold his labor in competition with the oppressed black people and redounded to the benefit of purchasers of labor. The less well off white people who were kept less well off by the effects of racism nevertheless fully subscribed to and supported the racism that helped oppress them.

  37. Lee Muller

    Real Americans want their country back from the socialists and others who are enriching themselves by abuse of power.

    It has nothing to do with race, of course, because the subversives come from all sorts of racial backgrounds.

    When Michael Moore and the socialists said they “wanted their country back”, were they racists? No, but what country is their country? Soviet Russia?

  38. Mike Toreno

    Randy, you can see what the Mayor says above. The vast majority of the country aren’t “real Americans,” the only “real Americans” are crazy racist freeloaders.

    And here’s what Bill Cassidy from Louisiana says:

    ” Democrats are choosing to “go it alone” without the country if they opt to pass healthcare reform on a party-lines basis, one Republican congressman accused Thursday.

    “If they go it alone without the Republicans, it also sounds like they want to go it alone without the American people,” Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told a conservative news radio program in an interview.”

    According to Cassidy and the Mayor, winning the election in a blowout doesn’t mean that you have the support of the American people.” So what does that tell you about who they think is American and who isn’t?

  39. Lee Muller

    The 30,000,000 illegal aliens lining for free healthcare and amnesty are not real Americans. That’s a fact.

    Real Americans don’t cheer for the Taliban and Al Qaeda, like we see the kook Democrats doing.

    Real Americans think about how to work harder and earn money, not how to get more handouts from the taxpayers.

    Obama only got 52% of the vote. That is a slim majority. He would not come close to winning if the election were held today.

  40. Lee Muller

    And Toreno, I am not trying to change your mind or reform you.

    You socialists are drunk with power, and like any drunk, your inhibitions are lowered, revealing the real you.

    Keep on calling everyone who opposes your antiquated, barbarian ideology “a racist”, and a “brownshirt”, or a “redneck”. Keep showing all the independent voters the contempt you have for them, for their rights, and for our Constitution.

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