Buffalo News’ Glibertorial Can F Off

20 Nov
Presidential Arrival
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

The Buffalo News’ weekly Saturday editorial glibfest:

IT’S THE PRODUCT: Perhaps the most ludicrous argument being advanced by the president and Democrats is that the country’s rejection of policies like Obamacare is due to his failure to properly describe the programs and their benefits. Well . . . no.

If ever there was a failed concept to try to sell to the American people, this was it. Obama is as skilled a communicator as any president we’ve had. His presentations, in content and delivery, are unsurpassed. The truth is that the policies themselves have backfired. It isn’t how he said it; it’s what he did.

First of all, if it is the product, that must explain the ongoing, precipitous decline of the daily broadsheet in a one-paper town.

Secondly, what policies have “backfired”, precisely? “Policies like Obamacare” is what’s cited, but there’s no specificity here. Are we suggesting that the stimulus didn’t work? Perhaps it wasn’t as effective as sold, but there’s no doubt that governmental pump-priming of the economy helped bring about the last several quarters’ worth of economic growth, thus de jure ending the recession, if not in spirit.

The stimulus which, among other things, subsidized COBRA so that the unemployed could at least make an attempt at affording to keep their health care coverage? The extension of unemployment benefits so that people looking for work can continue to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families in a jobless recovery? And what of this jobless recovery, eh? By Republican arguments, it ought not exist, since the rich have their much-beloved Bush tax cuts. And as we all know, a reduction in the highest marginal tax rate from 39% to 35% is the difference between socialism and capitalism; it is the difference between Stalin and Reagan; it is the very mechanism by which all jobs are created by the superwealthy. Odd that this hasn’t materialized.

And “Obamacare” – perhaps the Buffalo News is so flush with cash that the medical insurance-middleman status quo was working alright for them, but the system is unnecessarily expensive, comparatively inefficient, produces poor statistical results, and involves the enrichment of completely unnecessary middlemen who add nothing to the health care equation whatsoever. So, what President Obama implemented didn’t go as far as Hillarycare would have in the 90s, instead opting for what is, in essence, a Republican plan initiated in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney.

But because it was Obama pushing it, the Republicans derided everything as a communard takeover of the entire healthcare industry by the federal government – a damned and contemptible lie. They blocked it every step of the way in keeping with their “we hope Obama fails, and our singular purpose is to make it so” obstructionism.

In the meantime, rescission is illegal, lifetime maximums are abolished, copays for well visits will be nil, and mechanisms will be put in place to make health insurance more affordable.

Unfortunately for everyone, the United States remains alone in the industrialized world by not guaranteeing health care as a right for all its citizens. Every other country had this civic discussion, and formulated a wide variety of solutions to make sure that health care is provided well and affordably. They all do it better and more effectively than we. The product? The product is that we picked a half-assed semi-solution to the health care issue, avoiding bringing about real change. This is thanks to the reactionary right wing of the Republican Party, which more or less opted out of governmental participating altogether over the past couple of years and is quite satisfied with the status quo.

To me, national Republicans are embodied in, and reflected by, incoming Congressman Andy Harris from Maryland – a physician who ran on a “repeal Obamacare” platform.

He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

Exactly. Have a great weekend.

19 Responses to “Buffalo News’ Glibertorial Can F Off”

  1. Max November 20, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    I guess The News editorial board doesn’t know anyone – or more likely, were too lazy to go out and find them – who was denied coverage for a pre-exisiting condition or a catastrophic illness. The redeeming thing is that nobody’s reading it anyway. I can’t remember the last time I was asked, “Did you see The News’ editorial this morning?”

  2. Chris Smith November 20, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    The 1994 Bob Dole healthcare bill that was proposed by Comrade Muslim President and passed by Ol’ Nazi Pelosi and Dirty Harry Reid? The individual provisions of the bill poll very well with voters.

    When voters are asked if they support “President Obama’s Healthcare bill”, they overwhelmingly reject it.

    That very fact demonstrates that the problem was a marketing issue and that GOP efforts to label “Obamacare” as a socialist enterprise which intends to kill your Grandma and take away your doctor were quite successful, thank you very much. There is also the issue that many provisions of the bill are on such a slow rollout, that the issue will remain an abstract partisan wedge issue until most of the provisions kick in around 2014.

    We also have a group of aging voters who came out in overwhelming numbers in 2010 to essentially vote against candidates who support giving anyone but them the social benefits they hold dear.

    It is incumbent upon Democrats to get their message and narrative unified and fight back, else we’re looking at President Romney and Vice President Rubio in 2012.

  3. Matt Bova November 20, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I’d rather be looking at President Smith and Vice President Bedenko.

  4. Matt Bova November 20, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Actually, you two should at least run in the NY Presidential Primary.

  5. Brian November 20, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    If a Republican near you catches on fire and you have a glass of water, drink it. If you need to urinate, go to a tavern. Have a bourbon for me.

  6. BobbyCat November 20, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    The NEWS is flat wrong. The voters didn’t reject the Health Care Bill. How could they? Hardly anybody knows what’s in it. Most people have accepted the GOP spin of of death panels, of “government-run healthy care ” and other scare tactics. The Republican party with the help of evil geniuses Frank Luntz and Karl Rove are feeding urban myths into the GOP propaganda machine, Fox News, and are succeeding at controlling the national narrative.

    It’s all bullshit, all the time. The mere label “Obamacare” is a stroke of genius worthy of a Carl Rove. Has anybody noticed that most tea party freshmen congressmen are a band of morons armed only with right wing platitudes?

    Don’t tell me that most Americans understood the Health Care Bill andy more then they understand the “START” Treaty. They didn’t and don’t. But they believed the negative hype. The President and the Dems are not geared-up to battle an entire “news” network -Fox- devoted entirely to propaganda. Fox News is to the GOP as Pravda was to the KGB. They are very good at spreading propaganda and outright lies to a gullible, non-reading, low information American electorate.

    Luntz, Rove,Mitch McConnell, Roger Ailes and Murdock are utilizing 2 old axioms to control the American news cycle.

    1) Americans are more apt to believe mythology than scientific facts, and

    2) Mark Twain’s observation that “a lie will get halfway around the world before the truth pulls its boots-on”. Thus, they throw enough shit against the wall to see how much will stick and Americans are bombarded with lies and half truths. And unlike years past, they now buttress their BS with an entire “news” organization which gives the lies the patina of credibility.

    The White House is not getting their message out. They should admit that Fox News is not a news organization but rather the propaganda arm of the GOP and should withdraw their White House press credentials.

    Has Obama been too timid? Yes. So was Harry Reid. The President needs to punch somebody in the teeth to regain his street cred. He should start with Fox News.

    If the BufNews thinks that Americans understood the Health Care Bill they should pass the bong.

  7. Mike in WNY November 20, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    If the news editorial is “wrong”, then this blog post is an outright lie filled with factual distortions and assumptions that are unproven. The healthcare system was broke, Obamacare makes it more broke.

  8. Murray Light November 20, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Why not President Bedenko and Vice President Smith?

    • Christopher Smith November 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

      @Murray – Because I have an ego the size of Ohio, I could never be the second seat on the ticket. Alan, however, is a more reasonable and balanced guy. Odd, since my attack dog style would be better suited to the #2 seat. Something to think about…

  9. Ward November 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    It’s encouraging to see that the lefties took no message whatever from this election. That will make the next one even nicer.

    Wonder what Chicago hack jobs Barry and Michelle will be taking in January 2013, now that their law licenses have been “voluntarily surrendered”.

    • Christopher Smith November 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

      @Ward – What lessons did the Republicans take from the absolute asskickings they took in 2006 and 2008? They motivated their base, moved away from the center and went on the offensive.

  10. Hapklein November 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    The Obama Health Care Reform is policy? Now I knwo the wahckos control the new and the News. It is legislation and is the Law.
    I think the News and some of these commentators are still in the cave of misinformation created by Fox News, et al.
    These jerks have been repeating their inane view of the problems, that the possible genuine health care reform is supposedly DOA.
    Its far from that and when that amateur reform group takes control in Washington they are going to discover that they threaten a lot of sacred cows when they take their bats to rescinding legal laws of the land.
    We are headed for two years of chaos and they deserve it.
    I posted elsewhere. the question. Is the Buffalo News suffering from dementia? Sadly the victims of the conditions are the last to know of it and the community of people they affect have the most suffering to endure. Lets hope for a quick advance of the failure and an early death.

  11. Starbuck November 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    They motivated their base, moved away from the center

    With an electorate that describes itself to Gallup as around 2:1 conservative to liberal, “moving away from the center” toward the left would be an interesting strategy.

  12. Jon Splett November 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Yes, moving towards the left would be an interesting strategy seeing how the democrats constantly pander to swing voters while ignoring the youth vote. They then blame the youth vote for being lazy when they sit home on election day despite the fact the party does things like ban what we drink, try to criminalize the music we download and ignore the anal rape we’ve been taking from both colleges constantly raising tuition and student loan companies putting us in debt slavery. Why would anyone under 30 come out to the polls when we’ve been ignored and marginalized by both sides?

    If the democrats marketed themselves better and put a full out blitz into getting the youth vote, they wouldn’t need to do back flips to appease fickle swing voters every election cycle and they’d build a new base that could carry them through the next few decades. Instead they’ll probably push further to the center and we’ll all remain jaded and sit home because no matter who we vote for, nothing is going to change for us and no one is going to do a fucking thing for us in office.

  13. BobbyCat November 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    The Dems need to stick to the KISS principle. Eg: the health care delay & debacle could have been avoided if the Dems kept it simple. They should have called it “Medicare For All”, or perhaps lengthen it to “Medical Care for All”. Any question what that means? No.

    The battle of the hearts and minds of Americans is being waged between the two 40 yard lines. Therin lies the vast under-educated, low information, too busy to read, many can’t read sector of ignorant America. They don’t know what the fuck is going on in Washington or the world. They distrust anything they don’t understand and much of today’s world is too complex for them so they tune out. Their response is anger. They believe the great American mythologies, urban or country. Speak to them in simple language and tell them where you want to go. They will listen. And hopefully follow.

  14. Brian November 21, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    I know I’ll be dead before the excrement totally encounters the whirling blades, but I’m sure gonna laugh and sneer at the younger American electorate over the next few years. Since they believe anyone with an education is an “elite” and therefore unqualified for leadership, they’ll get, as always, the leadership they deserve, as they have now.

  15. Mike In WNY November 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    The center is a no-win position. It is already comprised of Democrats and Republicans. Any move to a position that involves compromise is a waste of time. The only correct direction, which will facilitate an improved economic state for all, is decentralization combined with localization. The larded bureaucracy is killing us.

  16. Ward November 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Poor centrist Dems–they were told that they would be betraying their president if they did not buy into things they did not believe in, such as Obamacare and trillion dollar boondoggle deficit spending to buy public union votes. So they threw themselves under the bus for him, and took a “shellacking”.

    Now the lefties tell them their only mistake was the agenda they bought into was not sufficiently “ambitious”: the stimulus was to little; Obamacare should have been “single payer” (nationalized healthcare). The only thing the left has proved is that, despite insurmountable majorities in Congress, it was unable to maintain itself in power for longer than about seven months.

    Bill Clinton came a cropper in 1994 due to a health-care debacle. Luckily for him, that one never even made it to a floor vote in Congress. Barry Soetoro Obama is not so lucky–nor is he as smart as Slick Willie, who subsequently triangulated himself into survival. Barry has no centrist backgroung, nor does he even know what the center thinks. 2012 will make the “message” clear enough that even this blog may hear it. Wonder what the spin will be then. “American Voters can F Off”?

  17. Hank November 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I know how much Alan likes foreign cars. Suppose we passed a law to help out all US Automakers by saying: EVERYONE MUST OWN A USA MADE CAR. IF YOU DO NOT BUY ONE, WE WILL TAKE THE PRICE OF ONE, WE WILL TAKE IT OUT OF YOUR TAXES.

    That’s what the individual mandate is. NEVER in this country has the government FORCED you to buy something. The very notion is anti liberty, anti free choice, and patently idiotic. But, you MUST VOTE FOR THE BILL SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT’S INSIDE. AND YOU CALL REPUBLICANS IDIOTS?

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