Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

19 Sep

I’m sort of sick of talking about Mitt Romney because, you know, Buffalo. But the Presidential campaign has become that car wreck you rubberneck on the 33. The three swing states Mitt has to win to have a chance of winning this thing are Ohio, Virginia and Florida, right? Well, a WaPo poll has Mitt trailing Obama -8 in Virginia.  Not only that, but Mitt’s entire campaign has boiled down to – hey, disillusioned Obama ’08 voters, not so excited anymore? Vote for Mitt!  That WaPo poll in Virginia reveals that 61% of likely Obama voters are “very enthusiastic” about the incumbent; only 45% of Romney voters are “very enthusiastic” .  It gets better, because the conservative commentariat’s hand-wringing has become so vigorous and anxious that they are warning that Romney isn’t just losing  a sure thing, but he’s taking the entire conservative movement down with him.  And his campaign is currently $11 million in debt

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court remanded a case involving that state’s proposed voter ID/disenfranchisement law. A lower court had upheld the statute, but the state’s highest court demanded that the lower court 

… block the law unless Pennsylvania can prove it is currently providing “liberal access” to photo identification cards and that there “will be no voter disenfranchisement” on Election Day. The two dissenters opposed the voter ID law and wanted the Supreme Court to issue an injunction itself.

The ruling said there was a “disconnect” between what the law prescribes and how it was actually being implemented. It said an “ambitious effort” to implement identification procedures in a short timeframe “has by no means been seamless in light of the serious operational constraints faced by the executive branch.”

Voter ID is an answer to a question no one asked – actual cases of voter fraud are almost non-existent, and the actual effect of these statutes is to disenfranchise the poor and elderly – the 47% about whom Mr. Romney so famously spoke at a $50,000/plate fundraiser in Boca Raton in May. 

Incidentally, click here (part 1) and here (part 2) if you’d like to see the complete, uncensored Romney remarks – where he promises to take advantage of things like the storming of the Benghazi consulate, and that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is so intractable that, why bother? Just kick the can down the road. (That’s “leadership”, folks.) 

Romney went on Fox News yesterday and accused Obama of having a hidden video problem, trotting out a video of then-State Senator Obama in 1998 explaining that he likes the fact that America’s taxation policies are redistributive. McCain did it in 2008, and it went nowhere. Taxes are by their very nature redistributive – they take money through taxes to pay for other things, sometimes social welfare safety net programs. Society has deemed it more desirable to, e.g., provide food stamps rather than revert to a Dickensian nightmare of poor kids stealing pocketwatches for Mr. Fagin. 

No one knows why Romney wants to run against 1998 Obama instead of 2012 Obama, except that it allows him to paint Obama as a socialist. Because even though Obama’s policies are fundamentally centrist and comport with mainstream Democratic policy, because of his name and race, it’s quite easy to paint him as a foreign “other”. Honestly? It’s racist, and we shouldn’t pussyfoot around that fact. 

But if Mitt Romney really wants to compare and contrast videos 1990s videos with Barack Obama, then that’d be fun

Finally, part of the problem in the 27th Congressional District race is that Chris Collins is trying to hop on the Romney bandwagon, unaware of just how much he resembles the out-of-touch, unlikeable Presidential candidate. He has repeatedly stated that he supported the Ryan budget that would have turned Medicare into a complicated voucher program, costing seniors more, and that the Ryan budget in fact, “didn’t go far enough”. So, it must come as a worry to seniors because Collins says his first order of business would be to repeal Obamacare. But Obamacare is in the process of eliminating the Medicare “donut hole”. which saddles many seniors with huge bills for medication

Seniors whose annual drug costs surpassed $2,830 found themselves paying the rest of their bills in total until they hit an out-of-pocket limit of $4,550. At that point “catastrophic coverage” kicks in, and the government pays 95 percent of the costs.

Someday, we’ll reset the public debate over health insurance and come to the realization that expansion of Medicare to all Americans, with an efficient single-payer program so that people don’t ever see a bill for anything ever, so that their Medicare is paid for through payroll taxes (and is therefore not something for nothing),  and that the very rich retain their opportunity to seek cancer treatments in Switzerland (a country with a universal insurance mandate) complete with LearJet transportation. Someday we’ll reset the debate to question why we agonize over coverage gaps, why our employers spend so much money and effort choosing between crappy insurance plans that cost a fortune. Someday we’ll reset the debate to compare the actual cost of what we pay for costly, inefficient, bureaucrat-heavy private insurance versus the actual cost of what we’d all pay to expand Medicare to everybody. 
 
You know, the debate we’ve been having essentially since the end of World War II, and which every other industrialized, free market capitalist, pluralist nation-state has figured out generations ago. 

 

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7 Responses to “Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory”

  1. Brian Buckley September 19, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Alan, your last paragraph might be one of the best and most succinct arguments for single payer universal healthcare I’ve seen.  I just don’t understand why everyone that is against it thinks that it would be free.  I just want my taxes to pay for my medical care…

  2. MaxPlanck September 19, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was in town presumably to stump for Romney but only mentioned him 3 times in his remarks. He, like Governor Christie, knows the GOP’s real shot at The White House won’t be until 2016.
    http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2012/09/on_the_stump_in_richmond_heigh.html 

  3. Jesse Griffis September 19, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    This is a useful election. Get rid of Romney so he’ll just go away, already, and hopefully destroy the “Waaa! We’re angry!” with no substance conservative retards. One can dream anyway.

    Speaking of dreaming, I offer “with an efficient single-payer program”…

  4. Jesse Griffis September 19, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    But what you should REALLY be worried about Alan, is why Obama is not wiping the floor with Romney’s corpse at this point.

    How is it that nationwide they’re anywhere near equal? Gonna dismiss it as just racism?

    • Alan Bedenko September 19, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Not _just_ racism. But a LOT of racism, xenophobia, and the result of a concerted disinformation campaign. This is, frankly, one of the most substantive elections in recent memory. You have a distinct choice between a craven “every man for himself” Randian versus building upon and improving the civil society we’ve created over the past 90 years.

      • Jesse Griffis September 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

        So yes. You do think it’s just a bunch of stupid white hicks and evil Rove-ites. Got it.

        If you actually believe Romney is close to Rand or is in any substantive way going to dismantle the crony capitalist state we have now, you’re delusional. And in every election cycle one side believes it’s “the most important in history” so that’s no winning argument.
        It’s very hard to believe you think Obama’s all roses and unicorn farts and it’s just stupidity+evil that’s keeping him from achieving apotheosis.

      • Alan Bedenko September 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

        Those opposed to Obama have spent the last 5 years relentlessly building the case that he’s a socialist, Kenyan, etc., etc., ad infinitum. That’s all shorthand for “black guy with a funny name”. If you don’t see that for what it very clearly is, then I don’t really need to address what you do and don’t find hard to believe.

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