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Mass. Revolt and Obama's Agenda
Supporters of Massachusetts Republican State Sen. Scott Brown react to his U.S. Senate special-election victory in Boston on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010. (AP)

Supporters of Massachusetts Republican State Sen. Scott Brown react to his U.S. Senate special-election victory in Boston on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010. (AP)

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Republican thunder out of Massachusetts today — on the first anniversary of Barack Obama’s inauguration as president.

The U.S. Senate seat of liberal lion Ted Kennedy has gone to Republican challenger Scott Brown. With it has gone the Democrats’ filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate — and maybe President Obama’s hopes for health care reform, his top priority.

One year in, the Obama agenda is in trouble. The president’s leadership is facing a whole new count on Capitol Hill.

This hour, On Point: the first year of the Obama presidency closes with a stunning Republican win.

Guests:

Joining us in our studio is Monica Brady-Myerov, reporter for WBUR Boston. She’s been covering the Senate race closely. See WBUR’s complete coverage.

Joining us from Washington is Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR. Her latest story looks at how a Republican win in Massachusetts could derail the Democrats’ health care reform bill.

Also from Washington, we’re joined by Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner, and contributor to its Beltway Confidential blog. His latest piece asks, “With new GOP strength in Senate, will Obamacare die in House?”

In our studio, we’re also joined by Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, distinguished senior fellow at the think tank Demos, and author of “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency.”  In a recent column, “Wake Up Call,” he argues that Obama’s handling of health care has done “incalculable political damage” to the president’s agenda.

And from Stanford, Calif., we’re joined by David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian at Stanford University and author of many books, including “Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.”

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  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    John Stewart nailed the entire situation yesterday, before the results.

    http://www.indecisionforever.com/2010/01/19/jon-stewart-on-the-massachusetts-senate-election/

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Huffington nails it today:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/arianna-massachusetts-los_b_429126.html

    If Obama and Democrats in congress don’t course correct they will deserve to be slaughtered in the next election.

    Fire Summers and Geithner, empower Elizabeth Warren and her consumer protection agency, and show some leadership.

    I’m a lifelong Democrat about to become an independent.

  • http://wbur.org Kathyah

    For me, this is a referendum on republicans and democrats. I’m beyond tired of career politicians out to serve themselves at our expense. I voted for Kennedy. I’m hoping that the media can look past this election as a referendum on democrats toward a referendum on politicians.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Kathyah: There’s a sign down the road from us: “Replace Congress.” Seemed rather extreme a year ago (it’s been up for years) but it’s looking better and better each day I drive by it.

  • Janet

    Now can we put Ted Kennedy to bed?

  • Ed

    It’s just wonderful that on the anniversary of his taking office President Obama is given correction about his health care plans: we need health care reform, but it has to not pay for abortions and has to have conscience protections, just for starters. January 22 in Washington will be a party at the March.

  • Glenn

    Finally we’ve got what this country needs–more Republicans in congress. What could go wrong?

    But it really doesn’t matter who’s elected. As long as the issues are more complicated that the voters, we’re in trouble.

  • Louise

    Thank you Massachusetts.

  • Brian

    I am not sure what made any of us think MA was tea-bagger proof. We have just as many angry yahoos here as any other red state. Central MA doesn’t look much different than Alabama for god’s sake.

    Sorry Ted, you deserved better.

  • cory

    My fellow lefties,

    This is exactly what we need. Voters gave democrats the executive and legislative branches with a super majority in the senate. Democrats gave us a futile attempt at bipartisanship and a half-assed health care bill that is a giveaway to insurance companies.

    Now we need republicans to do what they do best. Widen the gap between rich and poor, continue aggression around the world, and drive tens of thousands of sick Americans into personal bankruptcy due to medical bills. When they have made things even worse than they are now, we’ll try it again and see if democrats squander their opportunity.

    Sometimes things have to get worse (or much worse) in order to get better.

  • Brett

    Cory,
    I totally agree. Two things came to mind when I heard the news last night: 1) Maybe one good thing to come out of this is that Democrats might just shake themselves out of their complacency, and 2) The Jeff McQueen types (Tea Partiers) won’t have to resort to the bullet box…not this time, anyway…”hopefully”! :-)

  • cory

    Scott Brown is the perfect conservative/tea bagger icon. Arrogant (see acceptance speech), Good looking, patronizing (see pickup truck), amoral (see nude/beefcake photos from past), shallow, and short lived (gone in two years, teabaggers).

    I’d be mad about losing the super majority if the democrats had done anything with it in the first place.

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    Fire Summers and Geithner, empower Elizabeth Warren and her consumer protection agency, and show some leadership.

    You think that was what yesterday was about?

  • Louise

    Cory, for once I agree with you. Under Obama’s “leadership”, I only expect things to get worse, much worse.

  • jw

    Cory and Brian,
    I think you both are missing the point. It seems like you both are looking at teh results of the special election as evidence that the idealogical diffences between liberals and conservatives nees to be widened; it seems to me that candidate Obama ran on a completely different platform. I’m a republican and I voted for him because he wanted to establish a third way of compromise and identification with the worthwhile values that underlie the politics of those we dont agree with. Being more “liberal” is no more of a solution than the movement towards greater conservatism seen in the tea party movement. Lanny Davis in todays Wall Street Journal captured my thoughts perfectly:

    “…Then, in 2008, Barack Obama added something extra (to Democratic political thought): a commitment to a “new politics” that transcended the “red” versus “blue” partisan divide. He explained this concept clearly in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote speech and during his 2008 presidential campaign. It meant compromise, consensus and bipartisanship, even if that meant only incremental change. The purists on the left of the Democratic Party who demanded the “public option” or no bill at all apparently forgot that candidate Obama’s health-care proposal did not include a public option; nor did it include a government mandate for everyone to either purchase insurance or pay a significant tax approximating the cost of that insurance—the “pay or play provision” in both the Senate and House bills.

    Bottom line: We liberals need to reclaim the Democratic Party with the New Democrat positions of Bill Clinton and the New Politics/bipartisan aspirations of Barack Obama—a party that is willing to meet half-way with conservatives and Republicans even if that means only step-by-step reforms on health care and other issues that do not necessarily involve big-government solutions.”

    Amen. ALL Americans of good-will with a commitment to promoting “the general welfare” of our fellow citizens and guests need to reject zero-sum thinking and embrace the spirit of candidate Obama, so that we all get to a better place. Lets BE the change we want to see in others!

  • John

    I am a liberal Democrat who voted for Martha Coakley. She lost because she was a horrible candidate, Scott Brown ran a great campaign, and because Obama and Harry Reid have made a mess out of the health care bill. Obama tried to avoid Hillary Clinton’s micromanagement but instead ended up standing for nothing and thus unable to advocate for a bill the still has too many unsettled provisions. He may have passed a record number of bills but they are so compromised and watered down that they are less effective than they should have been (too small to be effective stimulus). Harry Reid can’t lead and let the so-called centrists use the bill to get pork for their states. I don’t understand how anger at Wall Street turns into populist votes for Republicans, but apparently it does (despite most bankers being Republicans). Scott Brown ably distorted his conservative voting record into making people think that he is a moderate and Coakley was ineffective at defining him otherwise. I don’t think that Scott Brown is likely to be an independent voice in the Senate when he wasn’t in the Mass Senate where he was more outnumbered by Democrats than he will be nationally. Coakley wasn’t really tested in the primary as the only other credible candidate was faced with two spoilers. The candidates were not tough in going after her so as not to be branded as anti woman as Rick Lazio was when he went after Hillary. Scott Brown found a way to attack the cold candidate as being part of the machine. The Democrats need to stand for something, so as not to lose their base, and achieve things in order to get the independents. I hope Timid Obama wakes up.

  • http://profitandentropy.com richard goldwater

    The two political parties in America are the Reptiles and the Cowards.
    This is all Obama’s fault.
    Obama and Clinton share a character flaw. They seek to please and to compromise, I think because neither had a good father to fear and to love. Obama has failed to stick to the progressive values that elected him, and thus has disheartened his base – including me. Obama does not proclaim his values — he seeks to be bipartisan with snakes. He compromises like Clinton, which is why Clinton lost Congress in 1994. If Democrats are weak-livered, then let’s elect real jerks!

  • Jerry O’Sullivan

    All politics is local. This was a local election.
    People vote against Sal Dimasi, Tommy Finneran, Charlie Flaherty, Diane Wilsonson, Gallucio, Theresa Murrey, and Bobby Deleo. They are discusted with the corrupt politics in Massachusetts. For her part Martha Coakley was M.I.A. in the political corruption debate in Massachusetts.

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    Now we need republicans to do what they do best. Widen the gap between rich and poor, continue aggression around the world, and drive tens of thousands of sick Americans into personal bankruptcy due to medical bills. When they have made things even worse than they are now, we’ll try it again and see if democrats squander their opportunity.

    Think back to 2004. On this very forum I was debating people on the Bush-Kerry election. I predicted Kerry would lose because liberals were clueless (then as now!) about how conservative the US really is. When Bush won, somebody made comments similar to yours, above, trying to find a silver lining. And guess what? Since that time we’ve seen massive increases in uninsured, huge increases in unemployment, debt, costs of healthcare, and budget deficits, and more US jobs gone overseas. We’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and his gang are still at large and gunning for us. Yet right now the Republicans are in the resurgence. The fact that healthcare got this far is simply a quirk of the GOP being thrown off balance after the last election. They’re back on their feet now.

    So I don’t think you can cite any empirical evidence for the notion that if things just get a worse Americans will start looking for solutions on the left. More likely they’ll look for scapegoats on the left. Things can get a LOT worse and Americans will still be conservative for the same reason that, in times of personal crisis, religious people don’t lose their faith, they pray harder!!

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    The Demise of the American People will start in Massachusetts.
    The equal rights for every gay, pro-choice and especially women’s rights are in jeopardy.

    The rights of affordable Health Insurance is again battered by ridicule and doubts. I had my last laugh but that laugh turned into tears of pain
    for every Poor American who don’t have insurance will die in the ghettos of American cities. Minorities are again the victim of the rich Republican pride and self proclaimed
    profit for the HMOs. The Democrats tried to give majority of poor Americans a healthcare plan and that can save 30 million jobless Americans and to create more jobs.

    The dream of Senator Kennedy for the poor Americans are on hold but for now and the poor have to suffer again for the Republicans victory is more important than us.

    Where is the pity of the middle class when they destroyed the majority of poor Americans like me.

    Shame on you my fellow Americans shame on you for I will struggle again and the majority poor Americans.

    Where is your heart and your soul? How can you do this to poor American who can barely pay their medical bills and eat 3 times a day.

  • Brian

    JW, excellent summary. GOP strategy of lowest common denominator/party of no/obstructionism invites those who do NOT have “general welfare” in mind. GOP and its supporters live zero-sum lives, their trick is convincing the losers of that zero-sum life to vote for them.

    Brown owns 5 homes, we get why he is GOP. Some of the towns that voted 70% plus for him are not rich areas.

    http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2010/senate/top_bottom_towns.html

  • jeffe

    The bottom is our government is dysfunctional.
    Nothing gets done, witness the health care bill which could have been done in small steps, some tarp reform, regulating preexisting conditions, and so on. Instead we get this monster. One that people on the left and the right don’t like.

    Brown won because Coakley let him define the issues and he tapped into the collective anger. What most people don’t realize is he will toe the line and do what he’s told by the republican leadership.

    If people think for one minute by voting republicans back into power that suddenly they’ll be this huge change they have very short memories. Nothing will change, nothing.

  • jeffe

    Peter hit the nail on the head and the subtext of his 9:07 am comment is the dysfunctional of the system. It’s broken. Voting the republicans back in will do nothing to make a difference except make people who support the ideology feel good, for a few months.

  • George Potts

    This is a repudiation of the “agenda of the left”.

    In the blue state of Massachusetts, the people have let Washington know that the Democrats need to move to the middle or else they are out.

  • Michael

    The democrats will probably read into this the wrong way by trying to stay center, instead of pushing more progressive/liberal policies. Since a Few Blue dogs have comprised these views over and over again and the republicans have decided that inaction is going to be the way they try and swipe power things are going to stay crappy. Brown will go to the senate do nothing there spew republican talking points get beat than probably run for governor if Governor Patrick Wins Mass or run for President and Pull a Romney. Blue Dogs will most likely Loss some seats for staying center and comprising, to rino Republicans and Rino Republicans will Lose there seats for being just that.

    The few supposed center Senators will Keep putting out crappy legislation and the balance between both parties will keep flip flopping.

    As for the teabaggers there nothing more then far-right republicans who are to scared to claim republican. Remember the liberty candidate ran as well that had all the characteristics they claim they wanted yet all these folks Back Brown in a heartbeat. Sadly my Girlfriend voted for Brown cause she couldn’t stand the ads on T.V.

  • Jared

    Peter,

    I agree that the country as a whole is probably center right (it’s basically been following a right wing agenda since Reagan – and look at what’s done for us) but here in MA I think there a strong element of just general unhappiness and Brown tapped into that and let’s face it, Coakley was an awful candidate. It looks like the Dem turnout was good but not great and the independents, who were largely unhappy and wanted any reason to vent, were the ones who turned out and gave Brown the victory. But as a nation I would agree with you, which is sad…

  • peter nelson

    All politics is local. This was a local election.

    I’m sorry, but you have NO evidence for this! Did you listen to interviews with voters at polling stations? This was a referendum on Obama and healthcare.

    The implications of this are HUGE. Politicians who have been sticking their necks out for Obama all over the US will rethink their strategy. Obama has lost his magic fairy dust and all the voters and politicians can see this now.

    And speaking of local, this is HUGE for Massachusetts, too. Conservatives here have been AWOL for years – not even contesting many races and keeping a low, ineffective profile. Not anymore – this election will energize them – expect big new efforts to turn back gay marriage, Massachusetts healthcare, and our recent tax increases.

    The Dem’s better have a good “D” because they just turned the ball over at midfield and the GOP moving the chains!

  • jeffe

    For those who don’t want health care reform, ( I’m not talking about the bill about to be passed, it will be, just wait and see. The game is just beginning, Brown wont be seated until after February 20.) I hope you’re wealthy enough to afford higher premiums and deductibles every year, rising out of control costs for everything, this crisis will not go away. The market will not solve it, it’s the problem, not the solution. This bill will not solve it, which is why so many Americans are against it.
    They put in to much BS and it neutralizes or voids the good things in the bill.

  • ned studholme

    As usual, votes say more about the voters than they do about the leaders elected.

    The American voter has emerged from a terrible nine year trial, with the last vestiges of pragmatism stripped away by fear, and now scurries left and right at the whim of blind idealism fueled by rumor and innuendo. This poisonous brew, once afflicting only the banks of the river, now roils down the center, aimed only at confrontation and destruction.

  • Michael

    “This is a repudiation of the “agenda of the left”.”

    How so? if you been following anything, most of the things Obama and the left have been doing have been center left at best, comprising with republicans on bills only for them not to vote for or endorse.

    Nothing Far Left has been pushed or done by using such statement shows how simpleminded so people truly are. If Obama stuck to a more progressives track and the party knocked some heads(Lieberman) many more people would have faith instead again decides to comprise with a group that holds only disdain for the president resulting in there input but not backing.

  • George Potts

    The health care bill was NOT going to reduce costs. It was a boondoggle for hospitals and drug companies.

    Costs would have gone up faster under obamacare.

  • Chris

    I disagree with the premise that Martha Coakley was a terrible candidate. The MA & Fed DNC do not support their female candidates. She made them aware that her coffers were almost empty after the primary and they left her high & dry. How can you compete for air time when you do not have the funds to do so? They took this seat as a given, held back the funds and lost it. Serves them right.

  • Kaylee

    My husband & I each work more than 50 hours per week, have 2 young children and the only healthcare plan we can afford has an extremely high deductible. I pray for ‘anything’ to happen to change the healthcare system before one of us gets sick or injured. I don’t want to lose our house and ability to feed our children each day (nutritiously) because we spend such a high percentage of our income on our insurance and health care. The potential now for healthcare change to happen later rather than sooner is at the least disheartening.

  • John

    She was a horrible candidate. The Democrats not backing her because she is a woman is a silly excuse. If she didn’t get enough money, it was because no one expected her to blow a 30 point lead. Brown worked harder at meeting the voters. That’s free.

  • http://http//www.pnart.com peter nelson

    The democrats will probably read into this the wrong way by trying to stay center, instead of pushing more progressive/liberal policies.

    Could you explain this more? I say the US is center-right, i.e., the peak of the statistical bell curve is the right and it’s roughly a Gaussian distribtion on either side. So if the Dem’s move left, as you suggest, they lose even more votes, don’t they?

    Do you expect them to pick up progressive support by moving left? I’m probably a good S.D. or so to the left of center on most issues, so the Dem’s would have to move WAY left to get any support from me except for my vote, which, as I’ve said before has no statistical significance. To actually pick up contributions, volunteer work, etc from most progressives they’d have to move suicidally left.

  • George Potts

    Chris,

    Are you kidding me? Saved costs?

    Well, I guess the tax payers paid for Obama to fly here on Air Force 1.

    Just like the Democrats to stick the tax payers with their extravagance.

  • Tom N.

    This is directly related to President Obama’s approach this past year, resulting in a perception that President Obama is perpetuating the status quo, by choosing to be surrounded in terms of some individuals and policy with hypocrisy.
    Thus he lost the “independents”, as they saw in his approach a lack of leadership, lack of clarity on the issues and lack of clear course of action, so they and others wanted to send him a message…

  • Fred from Newton MA

    I worked as a volunteer this fall on the mayoral election in Newton, MA.
    At a fundraiser a couple weeks back (at which Martha made an appearance),
    one of the full-time volunteers, a former journalist and experienced
    campaigner, told us that she tried to work for the Coakley campaign, but she
    felt insulted by their office management (“it was being run by kids”). We
    have since heard, 2nd hand, other such stories. In addition, friends and
    co-workers (Democrats!) reported feeling angry, not at Obama, but at Coakley
    and her campaign tactics – to the point of not voting.
    In short – anger was there, uncertainty about the economy was there, but
    30-50% of the loss is directly attributable to the lack of engagement by
    Coakley and the mismanagement of her campaign. People vote for candidates they like (Reagan, Bush II). It was more Coakley’s loss than a referendum on the national Democratic party. Remember, since 1950, the Massachusetts Governor’s office has been held by _eight_ Republicans vs
    seven Democrats – no way a one-party state for the executive branch!

  • http://wbur.org Kathyah

    PW & Brian – I agree with you. Jeffe – I liked you til you agreed with Peter.

    Richard Goldwater – no extreme can have their way – left or right. We need to come to consensus & compromise to live in community.

  • John

    Peter, I think most people identify as center right but actually like government programs after they are established. One of the most popular arguments against the health care plan is that people think it will hurt medicare which is obviosuly a government program. Privitizing social security was another unpopular plan. Of course these are plans that FDR and LBJ pushed through and actually accomplished something. Obama and his inclination to compromise everything into an unworkable mess doesn’t produce tangible results. I think most voters in the middle prefer results rather politicians pandering to where they speculate the middle is.

  • Michael

    “This is directly related to President Obama’s approach this past year, resulting in a perception that President Obama is perpetuating the status quo, by choosing to be surrounded in terms of some individuals and policy with hypocrisy.
    Thus he lost the “independents”, as they saw in his approach a lack of leadership, lack of clarity on the issues and lack of clear course of action, so they and others wanted to send him a message…”

    So was the opposite True than in the NYC 23rd since it was in Republican hands in the civil war????? or a local thing like Peter Said? So is it all that needed is a Republican or Democrat to win a seat to be all in or all against Obama?

    The independent pool is much larger than before the 2008 election but one must remember many of the added numbers to it were and are republicans so it’s hardly surprising that independents would now tilt right.

  • Karen Worthington

    Health Insurance premiums in MA are now the highest in the country. The so called universal coverage turned out to be a gift to the insurance companies and a shaft to consumers. We need some brave Senate Democrats to push real healthcare reform in the US Senate. At various times, polls have shown that over 80 percent of Americans would support a single payer system. Senators should use the budget reconciliation bill or whatever measures are available to pass the public option so that Americans can move towards real universal and single payer coverage.

  • Rick Shea

    Good looking congenial basketball playing candidate with pretty professional wife and two pretty daughters defeats smart tough establishment woman. Woman runs on the issues, guy runs on his personal story and connects with the voters. Brown vs. Coakley? Or Obama vs. Hillary? It’s another case of the voters, including women, being more comfortable with the guy.

  • Dee

    The headlines proclaiming “Republican wins Kennedy’s seat” have it all wrong. The Independents won that seat. The new reality is that you can’t get nominated without your base and you can’t get elected with it. The Great Rout of 2010 is on!

  • Nathan

    Kerry is next, and then Markey.
    Happy Day!

  • Alex

    “I predicted Kerry would lose because liberals were clueless (then as now!) about how conservative the US really is. When Bush won, somebody made comments similar to yours, above, trying to find a silver lining.”

    Peter – I really think you are overstating the political conservatism of this electorate. The country has been voting almost 50/50 for a decade now. In this environment the voter turnout on any given election day plays a huge role. It is about how energized or excited a particular voting base is at any given time. A year ago the country was celebrating Obama. However, he has gravitated towards the center and is getting the results. His base simply decided to stay home for now.

    On a related note, I think this loss is a good thing. It is a soft wake up call. A “soft” one because Dems still have sizable majorities everywhere and can learn something in the safety of still controlling things. Brown is serving till 2012. We’ll see what the Dems have learned by then.

  • James

    Democrats ran a very poor, entitled campaign that was incredibly negative. Voters also had a chance to repudiate Obama and Clinton for their continued overreaching and deception.

    This is our best hope for change!

  • http://www.pnart.com Peter Nelson

    I disagree with the premise that Martha Coakley was a terrible candidate. The MA & Fed DNC do not support their female candidates. She made them aware that her coffers were almost empty after the primary and they left her high & dry. How can you compete for air time when you do not have the funds to do so? They took this seat as a given, held back the funds and lost it. Serves them right.

    Good grief! Do you have the slightest shred of evidence that this affected the outcome?

    This was the highest-profile Senate race in years! Even people living in a cave could heat their cave toasty-warm with all the campaign mailings. This race was extensively covered in all the national media and even the international media! The British and French press have been covering it for weeks – it’s on the front page in today’s Le Figaro!! In the last few weeks no voter in Massachusetts could open a car door without knocking over someone with a Coakely or Brown sign! With all the attention this race was attracting in the local, regional, national, and international media an extra few million dollars would never have been noticed.

    Everybody in Massachusetts knew exactly what was at stake in this election. Turnout was heavy and the Dem’s and the left need to stop being naive about the message here.

  • John

    The headlines proclaiming “Republican wins Kennedy’s seat” have it all wrong. The Independents won that seat. The new reality is that you can’t get nominated without your base and you can’t get elected with it. The Great Rout of 2010 is on! Posted by Dee,

    – Dee, do you really expect he will vote as an independent? He was a party line Republican for time in the MA legislature. He isn’t a Bloomberg who needed a party base. He won the independent vote. Three years is a long time to send a message.

  • http://www.signifydesign.com Nicky McCatty

    More than all of the other strategic changes you will discuss, the Dems must *immediately* GET RID OF THE FILIBUSTER. It is patently aburd that with such a majority, it is possible for the Publicans [sic] to thwart every motion. This country is supposed to be ruled by the majority, not the minority.

    (I am aware of the founder’s concerns about majority tyrrany toward smaller factions, but now we are being ruled by those who were just repudiated.)

  • Jeff W.

    Momentum is building for a new path. Get rid of the dead wood. 2010 will be big. 2012 will be bigger!

  • Elizabeth

    I totally agree that Martha Coakley ran an absolutely terrible campaign – and Scott Brown ran a brilliant one – patronizing throughout – but successful! But my real question is, how were the Republicans able to pass legislation without the super majority?? Why can’t the Democrats figure out how to operate effectively?? And why is it acceptable to so many Americans that we are the only industrialized nation that can’t provide its citizens with accessible, affordable healthcare?

    Congress needs to wake up and remember that its serves the people – not the special interests!

  • Kathleen Beaulieu

    Long-time listener…love the show! I found it interesting that in his victory speech last night, Scott Brown didn’t identify himself as a Republican! Amazing that in political campaigns, you can create yourself in whatever image you want just by saying it.

    It’s great to see the people’s will at the polls. I just wish I had more confidence that 1. they knew what they were really voting for and 2. those in power read the right messages into this outcome.

  • Ben

    He may be pro-choice, but Scott Brown is no friend to civil liberties or the Constitution:
    http://www.goldmassgroup.com/diary/17/scott-brown-is-no-weld-republican

  • http://www.moosehilljournal.blogspot.com/ Al Mollitor

    I cried with hope and joy when Obama was inaugurated. Now, I’m deeply saddened that things are still the same. I naively imagined we would soon be out of Iraq, Wall Street fat cats would be in jail and we would be hearing the truth about the future of our economy, our energy and our world. All we have is more troops around the world, bigger banker bonuses, a health care bill loaded with special interests, and empty talk about returning to a mindless consumer lifestyle that has no future.

  • Alex

    “More than all of the other strategic changes you will discuss, the Dems must *immediately* GET RID OF THE FILIBUSTER. It is patently aburd that with such a majority, it is possible for the Publicans [sic] to thwart every motion. This country is supposed to be ruled by the majority, not the minority.”

    That’s what Republicans were saying just a few years ago. Remember Frist on TV: “We need an up or down vote… blah, blah, blah.” No. Let them filibuster. I would like to see a showdown for once. As it is Dems come across as cowards. Control everything and can get nothing done.

  • Joy

    How much did the two candidates spend on advertising? How much did the donations from out of state Tea Party add up to?

    Isn’t Brown a Tea Party populist and not a Republican really? Shouldn’t we have a more formal introducction to a third party in America?

  • jeffe

    Momentum is building for a new path. Get rid of the dead wood. 2010 will be big. 2012 will be bigger!

    No it wont, it will republican’s all over again. No change there.

  • http://www.pnart.com Peter Nelson

    Peter – I really think you are overstating the political conservatism of this electorate. The country has been voting almost 50/50 for a decade now.

    No kidding, but it’s 50/50 around a center-right axis!

    I know I’m pissing people off here by repeating myself, but OnPoint participants desperately need to get some perspective – please get your political heads outside the US! Travel, read the foreign press, something! Check out Germany’s CDU, or (UK Tory leader) David Cameron’s platform. By world standards those are conservatives but they would be to the left of US Democrats.

  • Frank Rock

    The dems and libs have already blamed Coakley and her poor campaign. The attacks on Brown will continue. You should never underestimate the competition. The attacks from Jack, Tom, and the Onpoint radio show “experts” against Scott will continue. They will also continue to attack and make fun of the tea party movement. I want the derision to continue. I want Obama, Jack, Tom, and the producers of Onpoint to continue to attack us. If you thought that Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts sent a message, wait until November 2010. We will not be quiet. We will not be silenced. We will not be polite. DON’T TREAD ON ME! The Gadsden Flag flies high and proud. A new broom sweeps clean. Change will come from the people. A free, independent, and liberty loving people. Socialism does not work. Where are the jobs? Where are the shovel ready projects? Where is the stimulus money? Where is the jump start to the economy? No more lies. No more back room deals. No more Ben Nelsons. No more Louisiana purchases. No more Blanche Lincolns. No more state controlled media. You must build wealth. That is the way that you help people. Look at Haiti. Billions of dollars contributed and nothing but poverty. Entitlement programs bred laziness.

    The dems campaigns are being run by children who do not have a clue. They are arrogant and elitists.

  • Susan Els

    Could you please characterize “Americans do not approve of the health care plan”? This statement sounds unilateral. I have the feeling that Americans are all over the map on what healthcare should be. I do not think Republicans or the Tea Party have better answers.

  • jw

    Hey Brian,

    “GOP strategy of lowest common denominator/party of no/obstructionism invites those who do NOT have “general welfare” in mind. GOP and its supporters live zero-sum lives, their trick is convincing the losers of that zero-sum life to vote for them.”

    No doubt you’re right regarding certain aspects of GOP. But that can’t be universally true – I find myself leaning conservative at times and I hope that doesnt describe my thinking and worldview. I still hope for the president’s success (just as I hoped for the success of president Bush).

    It seems to me the best outcome here is not to send the message to Republicans that “the people are on their side” as Byron York just said. We are on “our” side as a people. Our leaders can suceed if they believe that we as constituents are interested in solutions and not just “winning”.

  • Madison

    My mom has been a Democratic machine operative in Boston since the 70′s. She knows about Massachusetts politics, and she knows about this election. Here’s what she says happened:
    • First of all, this is not a referendum on Obama or Washington.

    This is about local infighting in the Massachusetts Democratic Party, plain and simple.
    In this particular race, there has been a great deal of conflict between the Democratic insiders in Western Mass and the Democratic insiders in Boston.
    During the primary, Western Mass backed Martha Coakley (who is from Western Mass) because her primary opponent, Mike Capuano, a current U.S. House Rep from Somerville, was from Somerville not Western Mass.
    According to my mom, the Western Mass Democrats got a lot more momentum in the primary because no one in Boston believed that Capuano could lose. Western Mass turned out, Boston and vicinity did not.
    Mom says Capuano would probably have won easily had he not lost the primary (he never has a serious challenge when he runs for his House seat).
    Coakley, on the other hand, not only dropped the ball as everyone knows, but no politicians in Boston wanted their names associated with her after she won the primary. My mom isn’t high enough up the chain to know why this is (or maybe she is holding out on me because she doesn’t want anyone to read this and recognize her dishing the inside scoop – she is old school and thinks she shouldn’t be talking publicly about this).
    As the race went on, she (mom) asked around as to why she hadn’t been called out to phone bank, check lists of registered voters, etc, for the campaign as usual. She was told “we’re not backing anyone” by “someone on the committee” (she is not telling me what committee because this blogging thing is making her uneasy).
    Menino never backed her publicly (“Don’t name names!” says mom. “Everyone knows he’s the mayor!” I say). He never backed her secretly either, the machine was not turned out for Coakley.
    “Nobody likes her” says mom. What she means is, Coakley had no friends in politics. The Democrats in Massachusetts let this happen because – “I don’t know” says mom.
    Maybe they weren’t about to let Western Mass manipulate them. Maybe it all comes down to nothing more than who is friends with whom.
    All Scott Brown did was see an opportunity and turn it to his advantage.
    There is no deeper national implication. This is not a death knell for the Democratic party or Obama. This is a story of a domestic spat between “parochial divisions” in Massachsetts.

    The proverbial house divided among itself, fell.

  • Frank Rock

    If you want to live under social democracy, please move to Europe. We are not Europe. Conservatism works. Look at the AP poll from yesterday. 58% of the public in the USA want smaller government. Get government out of the way of small businessmen and the economy will take off.

    Obama is tied to Wall Street. He has not helped small businesses. He has not gotten the governemnt out of the way of business people. The economy is a wreck. Mortgages are being foreclosed at a record rate.

    Wake up people. Wake up. The Republicans will also not be elected unless they adopt conservative principles. We are coming. The tea party movement is coming Keep laughing Keep making fun of us. We thrive on the derision.

  • Daniel

    What exactly does it mean to be an “independent” candidate right now? It seems like an underlying promise of a pain-free magic-bullet-fix to the nation’s problems, without the responsiblity to produce any ideas, or the accountability for failure. I have heard no good ideas or interesting strategies from independants. It is a movement of “I don’t know what I want, but I don’t want that.”

    These are complicated problems facing the country, and they won’t be solved by having our leaders and policy makers taking themselves out of the equation in order to pander to an over-simplified populist movement.

  • David

    It’s a pretty strong rejection of socalism and obama.

  • Lee

    If it were not for the Civil War or the Great Depression, Lincoln and FDR would not have taken their extrordinary actions- that is what made them great.
    Obama not having these extreme events is what is making him more indecisive or consensus-minded, however you want to look at it.
    The Civil War and Depression were catalysts

  • Natalie

    MA is tired of the same old people and ideas. Democrats have proven the stereotypes are true; it’s a party of taxes and handouts. We are headed in the right direction now and we know the rest of the nation is paying attention.

    I am once again proud to be an American!

  • Kyerion Printup

    True we can choose to not buy health care, but then you run the risk of bankruptcy due to an illness. What a terrible tradeoff, and one that’s not so apparent to a young, seemingly healthy individual.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I was following the election returns on the web last night, updated every 60 seconds, and city by city, showing the turnout per city/town. What I noticed is that most locations were about 60/40 one way or the other, but a fair number were 70/30 mostly for Brown. The cities that came in about 53/46, which was the size of the split state-wide all evening, more or less, were very few.
    What does that mean? An active radio host in this city, not that? A newspaper or popular local blog?

  • Martin Scoll

    Madison, thanks for the inside political party dope. Also thank your Mom.

    Regardless of the whys and wherefores, we all thank Massachusetts and its voters.

    You cannot ignore the electorate. That is what Republicans and Democrats traditionally do. They get into power and they ignore us. We will not be ignored any longer. the tea party movement is real and alive. We have the power. We will use it.

  • Michele

    Tom, Massachusetts has a health care plan already. So why should the citizens in that state care??? Thanks to one vote, middle-class citizens will be struggling for a long time now. BTW – Scott Brown voted for the Massachusetts health care bill!!!

  • Alex

    “Obama not having these extreme events is what is making him more indecisive or consensus-minded, however you want to look at it. The Civil War and Depression were catalysts.”

    Really? It looked pretty dire to me just a year ago. Remember? The entire financial system of the country was about to collapse? Entire countries were about to fold? I think he wasted a perfectly good crisis.

  • R. Sokol

    Please, what’s the actual basis for a comparison of Obama’s presidency with Lincoln’s? Travel happened powered by horseback then, and there was no Fox News network washing over the country 24/7.

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    Congress needs to wake up and remember that its serves the people – not the special interests!

    Why do you say that? Do you have any evidence for this claim?

    Do you also believe in Santa Claus and do you think he’s the jolly elf who filled Scott Brown and Martha Coakely’s (and Obama’s and McCain’s and etc) stockings with millions of dollars? And that all he expects in return are a few cookies and some carrots for his reindeer?

    Campaign contributors are THE best predictors of a politician’s voting record. Follow the money:
    http://www.followthemoney.org

  • Brian

    JW, I agree with you that it should be about solving problems not winning. But being a partner in any venture assumes agreement on facts, good faith, compromise, etc.

    Not sure the right-wingers are with us. Look at healthcare, per this graphic from Nat’l Geographic, we spend 40% more than any other country but our life expectancy is below average.
    http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi

    We need a fix so let’s agree on the problem and go fix it.

    No more scare tactics and death panel garbage, get to work on solving it.

  • Willie Amaker

    Newly-elected Sen. Brown said that he is going to stop the health care reform. What does he have to offer as an alternative? For the many who do not have insurance, what will they get?

  • Daniel

    So what? What is the way to solve these problems? Ignore them for another 8 years? We are reaping the benefits of deregulation and ignorance right now, and we want to blame the few who are trying to fix our country.

  • Arnold

    Let’s face it. Brown ran on one issue and one issue only, and that was Obama’s healthcare plan. We in Massachusetts know better than anyone else what unintended consequences can result from politicians mucking about in things they don’t fully understand.

    Hopefully Washington gets it.

  • Jennifer

    I live in Waterntown,Massachusetts and voted for Martha Coakley. I am not at all surprised at her loss. Scott Brown simply pulled a “Sarah Palin” with an “us vs. them” pick-up truck populism which harnesses sincere, widespread confusion and mistrust at slow solutions to complex problems. Republicans have taken advantage of our collective amnesia regarding the fact that Obama inherited two wars, an immigration crisis, a healthcare crisis, an economic crisis, and international condemnation from an administration whose main contribution was to cut taxes and expand executive powers via the Patriot Act and the doctrine of preventive war all hatched “behind closed doors”. The democrats have done a poor job of building populist passion for their movements to address these issues. Where is our anger? Where is our hate? Oh yeah. Hope was the mantra. And hope fuels long, arduous consensus.

  • nick

    Of all the examples that there is essentially no real difference between the Dems and Repubs, healthcare is perhaps the clearest and—in the current context—most relevant.

    The current federal bills (Health Insurer Enrichment Acts) cobbled together by the Democrats are substantially the same as the Massachusetts law which began under Romney.

    At the core of both of these corporate handouts (fascist isn’t too strong a word), government holds a gun to people’s heads and forces them—under penalty of law—to purchase (crappy) health insurance products while doing essentially nothing to control costs. Net result: more profit for insurance companies, higher costs for us peons, marginal gains in health outcomes.

    Brown supported the Massachusetts legislation, now he opposes essentially the same legislation at the national level.

    The national legislation has been stripped of any possibility of a meaningful public option, as Obummer and the Corporate DNC Democrats snuggled up with the insurance companies.

    All of this when polls last year indicated that nearly three quarters of all Americans would support something like an expanded Medicare (yep, single payer) system. The Corporate Dems took this option “off the table” from the beginning, and even the ever weaker public options were abandoned by both Congress and Obummer.

    This is where “compromise” has gotten us.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The health care Massachusetts has is costly to the state, who underwrites those under a certain income, and exceedingly costly to anyone OVER that income who goes to the Connector or otherwise accepts their fate. It seems to this citizen — like the woman above who said we lose our house due to the high deductible if anyone in this family gets sick — that getting sick will sink me, and this is AFTER shelling out strangling amounts of monthly premiums since I had cancer in 1992.
    Why can’t there be a bill passed that says insurers have to insure, plain and simple, cover the SICK, not the well. And THEN start from square one. The Massachusetts plan was designed to be bipartisan, so I am not surprised Brown voted for it.
    I don’t think any of us are sorry that 96 percent are covered, though emergency rooms still overflow, that I notice, and that I hear reported. But that 96% doesn’t mean much if you happen to get sick. Maybe if you’re on MassHealth you’re okay, on the plan for the poor, but otherwise not.

  • Lee

    Amen to caller Tom from FLA! Immigration is it! let’s talk about reform, LET US DEFINE the issues for a change

  • Bob

    Thank you Massachusetts! You can’t believe how happy you have made us all!!

  • lynn

    I live in Ma. ,We have a public option. I am a single payer, not covered by an employer. It’s not easy but I’ve got my state govt.working on my behalf .I cannot for the life of me understand what Ma. voters were thinking, they are covered either under their employer or a public option, including their medicare coverage. Does this sound like clear thinking? What are they objecting to? How is this hurting you individually? Do you not see these efforts as improvements on your behalf?
    Also Ma. voters, do you realise you just cast your vote for big Pharma and Big business? I hope you now realise you will not have an effective collective body working on behalf of regulating your prescriptions, and healthcare costs. The state of Ma. needed the rest of the country to get on board. We need the bargaining power with Big Pharma and Big Insurance and all medical lobbying nationwide. I guess your like paying big healthcare costs and get ready for big premium increases because” they can”.
    I am thankful tha Ma. still regulates alot of industries such as insurance, of course until we get a “independent”(aka rupublican) govenor.

  • John

    Look at Haiti. Billions of dollars contributed and nothing but poverty. Entitlement programs bred laziness. – Posted by Frank Rock,

    – No regulations = poor construction. No effective government = no resources when there is a disaster.

  • George

    Regarding changing the Senate rules regarding filibuster … so typical of the Dems. The Mass legislature changed the rules a few years ago to prevent the Republican Governor from possibly appointing a replacement for Kerry, then last year they changed the rules again to that Kirk could be seated after Ted Kennedy died. Now that they no longer have the super-majority they want to end filibusters? No, not really, just for a year or two until the Republicans have a simple majority, then the filibuster can be reinstated.
    Grow up!

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    If you want to live under social democracy, please move to Europe. We are not Europe. Conservatism works.

    Sure, it works great. That’s why under Bush we got a giant budget deficit, a collapse of the financial system, most of the US car industry going out of business, millions of uninsured people and 16% of GDP spent on health care.

    Under Clinton we got a balanced budget, low unemployment, and “only” 12% of GDP spent on health care.

    Show us the empirical evidence that conservatism works so well. Point us to even ONE current major industrial democracy operating under your conservative principles so we can see the data.

  • Cindy Barnard

    What a mess. Bits and pieces of so many comments submitted here I could agree with, from left and right.

    I agree with the views of Martha Coakley, I liked her “even temper” during the debates, but obviously in politics, you’ve got to think on your feet and show the passion when necessary to keep the unenlightened sound bites from capturing the attention and imagination of people needing further information.

    I didn’t realize what a bad candidate Coakley was… and it was just for that reason she lost, really no other. But what an event to boost the Republicans, what a shame Kennedy’s legacy will be filled by someone who could stop what he worked so hard to try to obtain for the people, health care.

    It isn’t health care people are afraid of, it is the lack of understanding of what it means to them. No one wants wall-street or greedy shareholders to decide their fate with pre-existing conditions and with the ability to rely on application errors to keep insurance from paying for life-saving procedures.

    Where is the “ON-POINT” message from our Democratic Leadership?

  • Virginia Savova

    1) Why can’t the democrats change the filibuster rule?
    2) Why can’t the democrats actually challenge the Republicans to filibuster – see how long they can actually pull it off for?

  • Dierdra D.

    In my community a lot of people saw this as an opportunity to show Obama our displeasure with his delayed response to the tragedy in Haiti. There is a sizeable Haitian population in the US and we don’t understand why it took him so long to address the dire humanitarian situation there.

  • Daniel Ithaca , NY

    I hear that we don’t need to pass a health insurance bill since “85% of people are happy with the one they have”. I have no idea where that number came from AND WHAT ABOUT the MILLIONS, like me, THAT DO NOT HAVE ANY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE!>?

  • Daniel Ithaca , NY

    I hear that we don’t need to pass a health insurance bill since “85% of people are happy with the one they have”. I have no idea where that number came from AND WHAT ABOUT the MILLIONS, like me, THAT DO NOT HAVE ANY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE!>?

  • Rudi Aldridge

    The fact 41 Republican Senators can stop the progressive agenda completely is proof of the Democrats complicity in the Bush administrations deficits, unnecessary war, and illegal actions. He could have done nothing without them. So if you are a Democrat please notice the blood on your hands.

  • Tom N.

    Michael, you said in reply to my comment “The independent pool is much larger than before the 2008 election but one must remember many of the added numbers to it were and are republicans so it’s hardly surprising that independents would now tilt right”

    What you say regarding the independents makes sense, however and whatever, the independents are made of, or whichever way they tilt or move, the point is: President Obama did not lead this past year…

    Again: “President Obama did not lead”, he was hostage to some advisors of questionable allegiance to the average citizen’s wellbeing, he did not seem caring enough about the people, President Obama was distracted and seemed to enjoy the White house parties with the likes of the Prime Minister of India! Instead of leading… he was mostly catering and listening to the advisors with certain financial interests first…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Lynn, if you mean the Mass. public option is MassHealth, right. But you get to the point where the government’s henchmen are calling and saying if you could just earn $5,000 less per year, we could help you.
    This is not pro-growth. It is not going to help me grow and stabilize my business. I heard on NPR this morning that a lot of people starting their own businesses, paying the 15.3% off-the-top social security (FICA) taxes should be thrown a rescue rope. Indeed.
    I keep getting calls about how the federal government wants to help me expand my business. The kind of business I have works best as a one-person deal. I might teach how to do it. But the profession doesn’t want my new “departure,” so they know not what they suggest.
    The problem of getting a new sort of workforce off their behinds and into a better space calls for careful listening.

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    What does he have to offer as an alternative? For the many who do not have insurance, what will they get?

    Why does he have to offer an alternative? His supporters don’t need healthcare. Conservative Republicans are either rich, so they pay out-of-pocket for health care, or they are poor or working class religious fundamentalists who can get all the healthcare they need by praying.

    Uninsured people who get sick must be liberals, so they deserve to die or go bankrupt.

  • Sandy

    The Democrats refuse to learn. During Reagan, during Bush, they marveled that the rabble were too benighted to understand what’s good for them. Now, with a democratic Congress rushing to spend countless dollars to engineer a more equitable society, as they imagine it, sending Brown to the Senate to slow the juggernaut down is perceived, no surprise, as poor benighted yahoos unable to know what’s good for them.

  • Stanley Daner

    Unable to get though on telephone.

    My comments

    1. Caokly great, but not charismatic candidate in race where substance is subsidiary to personality.

    2. Republican protest that Health Bill too expensive as proposed is correct, but they are very much the cause. From the outset, heir well publicized determination to obstruct all of Obama’s proposals reuquired expensive compromises, earmarks, and concessions to self interested lobbies. Imagine what would have been accomplished if they channeled that energy constructively and joined the majority party in crafting a plan the would benefit the public!

  • peter nelson

    Why can’t there be a bill passed that says insurers have to insure, plain and simple, cover the SICK, not the well

    That would raise premiums for everybody because if we covered people with pre-existing conditions – cancer, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, spousal abuse, etc it would increase the risk pool It’s cheaper just to kick people like that off.

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    What will the Democrats do with this information will they change the focus perhaps Obama will become actively involved in his own agenda. what would happen if the first priority was action rather than rhetoric

  • Hillarion

    Essentially, I agree with Cory (8:34 AM).

    The Republicans were once a decent party; I remember Pres. Eisenhower, for instance. In more recent decades (especially since W’s inauguration) they have become social saboteurs, infected with an epidemic of seriously-retarded emotional development. Nevertheless, they have become master propagandists, almost capable of convincing people, if it should suit their interests, that the Sun rises in the West. As well, they are masterful at distracting people from what really counts.

    Most Democrats have lost their souls (as well), being bought out by campaign funding taking control of their agendas (the same goes for the Republicans). I rather like the Spanish term “sin cojones” when applied to the Democrats — no courage, except that the term is figurative.

    I used to wonder what color Sarah Palin’s follower cadre would have for their shirts (red is Communist), but, then, I realized that if she were elected President, she’d resign within two weeks.

    As to the medical-care bill*, It was a sellout to insurance companies, Big Pharma, and the kinds of medical blatant-profit organizations Dr. Atul Gawande warned us about.
    *”health” is an euphemism, as verbally accurate as going to the red-light-district and “buying love”

  • Erica Blair

    Hi Brian,

    As a born and bred resident of Central MA I just wanted to thank you for the compliment comparing our region to Alabama. The people of Alabama are kind and generous, brave and honest, Christ-loving and loyal. I thank God that you didn’t compare our region to nasty, overpriced and overcrowded Metro Boston…

    Erica

  • Ellen Dibble

    Exactly, Peter. Then we get to the real issue, which is triage, limiting, all of which will be fought over by the drug companies wanting their costly developments to be offered — yea, advertised. And by the hospitals and medical schools and researchers, on and on and on.
    I see no alternative. There has to be some baseline of coverage that can be agreed upon and offered reasonably, and people accepting just accept they might die or suffer where those with Cadillac or Rolls Royce plans do not.
    I’d call that a public option, open to all, as a checkmark on a taxform, all participants shelling out say $8,000. That being meant to pay for itself. If you’re not paying your share, you’re on the MassHealth, where maybe they cover more, fair or unfair.
    But the idea that we as a nation can afford as much as medicine now offers is patently untrue.

  • Brian

    Sandy, the GOP voters refuse to learn.

    On the matter of deficits Reagan nearly tripled the gap between the amount of money the federal government took in and the amount it spent. He did this by cutting tax rates by an average 25 percent while aggressively increasing defense spending.
    Source:http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-06-09/business/17430568_1_deficits-billion-defense-spending

    Bush Jr cut taxes while waging an unnecessary war that will cost us trillions of dollars. All the while wasting a budget surplus thanks to Clinton. Remember the ‘lockbox’ from Bush-Gore debates?

    So yes, that is yahoo logic to think the mighty GOP with all it’s tax cutting conservative ways have put us in this current mess.

  • Robert B. Pierce

    Scott Brown’s victory is an inspiring example of how an informed citizenry can bring about change for the better. Thank God for the fair and balanced news coverage provided by the Fox Broadcasting Company and the nuanced, insightful commentary of Limbaugh, Beck, and the other patriots of the Ministry of Truth.

  • Carter

    “The new reality is that you can’t get nominated without your base and you can’t get elected with it.” — Dee

    Exactly. Brown won from a coalition of two groups of voters: those who are angry that Obama’s policies are too Left wing and too aggressive and those who are angry that he isn’t Left wing or aggressive enough.

    This election doesn’t demonstrate that there is something wrong with Obama or the democrats, but rather with a segment of the American voting population . . . in particular with the radical Left. That they would actually vote for a Sarah Palin-style republican in order to try to make things better shows how pathological the far Left has become.

    In general, over the years people on the radical Left have come to believe they can bully people into thinking the way they do. They think the goal is to shove policies down people’s throats for their own good, and when Obama failed to do so they think they can bully Obama into their way of thinking by electing a republican and in effect threatening to bring down the president and his agenda.

    The problem is that that way of thinking, “its our way or the highway” — that attitude of “we are the deciders” and if you don’t like it . . . tough! — that way of thinking is fundamentally contrary to the essence and spirit of liberalism, which is fundamentally about pluralism and being able to hold and consider multiple points of views, cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles without the need to force everyone into conformity.

    In other words, the radical Left in America is broken, pathological, and not living up to the highest standards of what it means to be a liberal. They hold liberal beliefs, but they hold them the way a neocon holds his/her conservative beliefs . . . dogmatically. And dogma is fundamentally non-liberal.

    The reason liberals were so excited about Obama in the first place was because they detected the true liberal spirit in him of being pluralistic and non-dogmatic, of being able to carry in his mind multiple truths and not the attitude of “you are either with me or against me”. Obama is, plainly put, quintessentially liberal in his consciousness, and everyone recognized this.

    But then the radical Left became confused as to why a man who so seems liberal in his demeanor and consciousness is not shoving Left wing policies down people’s throats. And the fact that they would even become confused by this demonstrates the fact that the radical Left liberalism in American society needs healing. The problem is not that the radical Left is too liberal, it is that they aren’t liberal enough. They hold liberal values, but they possess the consciousness of a conservative.

    This election demonstrates not that Obama needs to get his act together, nor the democrats, but rather that ordinary Americans who fall into the far Left category need to seriously get their act together. We simply cannot move the society in a more progressive direction while a huge percentage of our liberals think what being liberal is about is saving the environment George Bush style.

  • justanother

    jw,

    The idea of compromising all sounded very nice. I’m among the people who don’t mind paying tax if the policy for good cause of societal stability, fairness & harmony. But I found such an imbalance of fairness when special group of people got tax exemptions through bargaining. It’s a shame.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Erica

    I lived in Boston Back Bay. I HATED MY RICH NEIGHBORS. When something IS broken in the laundry room they blame ME and the other Asian tenant who lived in the Building. We were the only Colored people in that building. I hate people in Boston especially in Back Back and Beacon hill people!!!!!. Snotty,racist,pure arrogant,pure hypocrite and selfish. They even hated my jewish friend who lived in the same building.

    Coakley LOST Because she was a WOMAN FROM WESTERN MASS.

  • Todd

    “I’m a lifelong Democrat about to become an independent.”
    Posted by Richard

    @ Richard:
    Welcome aboard!

  • Ellen Dibble

    If you want to see conservatism as conserving accumulated wealth, the legacies of past economic surges and successes, then it’s very odd indeed that the conservatives claim the grass roots. I think it’s because the liberals are also in the pockets of the elites and have their policies dictated by moneyed interests. All of which is very confusing. Democratic policies of warring on poverty when they seem to be exploiting those less fortunate, when they seem to be holding people down or manipulating them this way and that — there is a reason. The liberals are not representing the grass roots. They are representing the forces conserving the vestiges of past successes.
    And guess what? We need huge change. Ergo, therefore, the cards need to be reshuffled. Anyone except the hated nothing-to-losers (like those that Cheney felt he couldn’t persuade — bribe? — in Iraq) — anyone with a dog in this fight is going to get ready for battle. Change anyone?
    Can someone like Scott Brown get that message across? Can he persuade the Senate to let go, strike out anew, sans lobbyist support? Maybe not. But maybe someone like him will dare to try later this year.

  • Jim in Omaha

    If elections were a referendum on issues just who would vote for this platform:
    1. If you obtain or provide an abortion you are guilty of murder, a crime for which one normally goes to prison.
    2. Maintain a military costing more than that spent by the rest of the world, deploy it in numerous locations and pay for none of it as you do so. In fact, cut taxes, disproportionately on the richest citizens, as you greatly expand such military spending.
    3. Tax people making $15/hour at a higher rate than those making millions in investment income.
    4. Protect the monied interests of the financial sector even as it completely fails in its task of allocating risk and hugely rewards its most dishonest and harmful members.
    5. Fail to provide for any meaningful way for most of its citizens to obtain affordable medical care while spending substantially more than any other developed country does on such care, while achieving worse health outcomes than those countries.
    If this is a winning platform then I agree we are a “conservative” country as these are the policies of the Republican party and its “conservative” independent supporters.

  • Jack

    Style over substance, sounds like the last presidential election and look what all that style is doing for us now. Proves it takes nothing to get elected and everything to govern.

  • Alex

    “Brown won from a coalition of two groups of voters: those who are angry that Obama’s policies are too Left wing and too aggressive and those who are angry that he isn’t Left wing or aggressive enough.”

    I partially disagree. Those who are angry that Obama isn’t Left wing enough did not vote for Brown. They simply stayed home. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a voting coalition with Republicans. However, a silent message to the Democrats to not take their base for granted is another thing. Dems still control everything and have a chance to draw the right conclusions. Besides, Brown will be in office for the remainder of the Kennedy’s term, until 2012. We’ll see if he stays there afterwards.

  • Gary

    For me, Obama was the lesser of two evils as he appeared to grasp the issues issues at play, and campaigned on more than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Yet, in the last year I’ve come to see this as a rehash of Bush, running counter to Americans: Major bank bailouts without any real overhaul of a broken system… Expanded losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with a CIA drone war in Pakistan… A Goldman Sachs pushed carbon trading scheme that would do do little to counter global warming… “Health Care Reform” that creates health insurance subsidies without addressing the skyrocketing cost and poor quality.

    Let me be clear; Obama is not to blame for this train wreck that is a result of past mistakes that have included lack of effective leadership, no campaign finance reform letting undue influence by special interests, lack of effective regulation of the finance sector, no energy policy, a failing education system, and few nuclear power electrical power plants with too much reliance on oil and gas. We’ve wasted our servicemen and money on military misadventures and in supporting some one thousand military bases throughout the world.

    Voting for the current bunch of Republicans is no way out of this vice but instead a wakeup call that we need to break from a system that is destroying us. Obama has failed to deliver real change but neither will someone claiming that our system needs some tweaks. We are in trouble…

  • Natalie S

    If having their patron saints (Clinton and Obama) of liberalism wasn’t enough to get them out and if they did the political calculation that they’d have a better chance getting their agenda through if a Dem were in that seat vs. a Repub and still stayed home, then it’s true what they say about liberals. No convictions, no courage and no brains!

  • Alex

    “If having their patron saints (Clinton and Obama) of liberalism wasn’t enough to get them out and if they did the political calculation that they’d have a better chance getting their agenda through if a Dem were in that seat vs. a Repub and still stayed home, then it’s true what they say about liberals. No convictions, no courage and no brains!”

    “The political calculation” is exactly what keeps sinking Democrats and their agenda. Remember 2002 and how they caved on Iraq? It is time they stopped calculating and start thinking about the larger good. Like I said, Brown will be in office till 2012.

    Plus, we have seen similar sentiments on right just a year ago. Remember when Limbaugh and the right were wishing McCain lost because they did not like him so in the next elections the base could regroup, get excited and win?

  • peter nelson

    “Brown won from a coalition of two groups of voters: those who are angry that Obama’s policies are too Left wing and too aggressive and those who are angry that he isn’t Left wing or aggressive enough.”

    I partially disagree. Those who are angry that Obama isn’t Left wing enough did not vote for Brown. They simply stayed home.

    Do you have any evidence for this? I hang with a pretty lefty crowd and ALL of us voted yesterday!

    I think we need to face the reality of what I’ve been saying – the above issues mentioned (1-5) really DO reflect the views of many people, even in Massachusetts.

    World’s most expensive military (by far!) is FINE with lots of people – even a source of pride for many.

    No way for the poor and sick to pay for their healthcare, may be seen as “unfortunate” in some abstract sense to most Americans, but it’s not seen as a big problem that demands major change, nor does the fact that we spend 50% more per person to achieve this lesser coverage than other major industrial countries.

    The dominant US value system is different from most other countries and progressives need to wake up and smell the (organic, shade-grown, Fair Trade) coffee!

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    What message did the “people” send yesterday? I’m not sure.

    In our dysfunctional political system it’s never clear. We fool ourselves into believing we can read the tea leaves by concentrating on the percentage of the voters who went this way or that… and if you look at most news coverage that’s the way the election is being reported… 47% Coakley, 52% Brown.

    We need some perspective. While I’m still working on the exact numbers, it seems the majority of people that COULD have voted in yesterday’s election did NOT vote. It’s a curious feature of US politics and journalism that these citizens are ignored. After all, THEY tend to be the majority. The so-called Reagan landside in 1981 represented the approval of about 26% of the voting age population (VAP) and the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 represented only about 17% approval of the VAP. Some revolution. Here are some numbers from past elections to consider:
    http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-if-there-was-election-and-nobody.html

    I contend that our system is so dysfunctional that most people tend to NOT vote. I suspect most Americans are stuck between the Jeffersonian ideal of self-government they learned in grade school, some need to put the Framers on a pedestal… and the reality of how poorly our system actually allows self-government. What’s the point in having an election if one can’t vote their conscience and get some representation? What’s the point of voting when districts are Gerrymandered and 51% of a state’s vote can get a party 70% of the seats? What’s the point of voting when a candidate rejected by the voters can still be imposed on the nation as president? Without either major party or the press discussing real reforms and given the reform-proof nature of our federal system, citizen apathy is a pretty reasonable response.

    So it comes as no surprise that the best VAP participation is the 55% range. They are usually presidential races. But voting participation in the US is generally abysmal compared to other democracies.

    So what about yesterday? 2,249,026 voted of 4,220,488 registered voters (2008). That’s about 53% of all registered voters. Brown was approved by about 27.7% of registered voters. Put another way 27.7% gave Brown their consent to govern. Not much of a mandate.

    But that’s not the entire picture. I don’t have current over-18 citizen numbers yet, only some rough estimates. There are about 5.7 million over 18 people living in Massachusetts in 2007. No doubt many are not citizens. Some Census numbers from 04 show that about 5% of the population may not be citizens. That would mean about 300,000. So the VAP would be about 5.4 million. This means only about 41% of the VAP actually voted yesterday and Brown received only about 22% of the VAP gave him their consent to govern.

    Put in that light… I’m not sure what the “People” were saying when Brown FAILED to get the approval 88% of the VAP.

  • Liz

    For everyone who can’t stop pointing fingers, plenty of mistakes have been made by both major parties.

    It may be that Mass. voters dislike being forced to purchase health “insurance” (i.e. being forced to enter into a private contract with state-approved corporations), under penalty of law.

    Perhaps this was actually a referendum on Massachusetts health reform?

  • justanother

    U.S. should’ve invested our money to our neighboring countries, to build economical & political stability in neighboring nations, instead we export goods and exploitation causing more turmoils in other neighboring nations. It proves once more – what comes around, goes around.

  • Alex

    “They simply stayed home.

    Do you have any evidence for this? I hang with a pretty lefty crowd and ALL of us voted yesterday!”

    That’s what I did. Stayed home. As far as clear and convincing evidence, no I don’t have it. But look at ulTrax’s post above: “So what about yesterday? 2,249,026 voted of 4,220,488 registered voters (2008). That’s about 53% of all registered voters. Brown was approved by about 27.7% of registered voters. Put another way 27.7% gave Brown their consent to govern. Not much of a mandate.” Looks like people stayed home.

  • http://www.pnart.com peter nelson

    If having their patron saints (Clinton and Obama) of liberalism wasn’t enough to get them out and if they did the political calculation that they’d have a better chance getting their agenda through if a Dem were in that seat vs. a Repub and still stayed home, then it’s true what they say about liberals. No convictions, no courage and no brains!

    Yesterday’s margin was huge, and I hang with a lefty crowd and everybody I know voted. So I think you would be very hard pressed to come up with evidence that the “stay home” numbers account the result.

    I know I’m repeating myself but I think what’s going on here is that liberals and progressives are desperately scratching and clawing for anything that will help them avoid facing the TRUTH: America, including Massachusetts, is more conservative than they want to admit, it doesn’t really CARE that much about healthcare for the poor and sick, our huge military, gay rights, environmental issues, and other topics progressives car about.

    If we can convince ourselves that it was Coakely’s disaffected campaign style, money, alienated lefties staying home, or “local politics”, then we can go back to our little Eugene Debs fantasy that America is just waiting for a liberal savior to show us the way. Sweet dreams!

  • Anthony R.

    I believe what I just heard was the nation moving to the right. Dem politicians across the country will be getting in touch with their inner conservative.

    Sure Repubs will take seats in November, but the great shift has already begun. Nice work Mass.!

  • Craig Reisser

    Unable to get through on the telephone – was next in line when the listener calls were cut off.

    I am a progressive Democrat from Omaha — the 2nd congressional district where Obama won & thus received one electoral vote. I am also a NATO veteran and fluent German speaker who (after military service as a Russian linguist) was a Fulbright scholar in Germany and worked as an academic translator in Vienna, Austria.

    Regarding health care: I support a health care bill with a public option but am disappointed that the Obama team did not take on big Pharma, as that is where much of the problem in America’s broken, too expensive health care system is centered. One of Tom’s guests mentioned that Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party platform had a health care plank. Some of inspiration came from the German Krankenkassen (health and sickness funds) that Otto von Bismarck instituted in the 1870′s and 1880′s. These are the basis of the health insurance industry in Germany today — government regulated non-profit corporations that cover all the citizens and legal immigrants in the country at moderate cost. They also give German industry a competitive advantage, as their companies (think Bayer, BASF, BMW, Siemens, Volkswagen and many smaller ones) pay much less to cover their employees than American companies. As to the Scott Brown backer who called in and said that he was satified with his health care coverage, my wife and I have been among the uninsured since I lost a well paying job when PayPal axed its International Division. My 18 year old stepson is covered through his father’s health insurance, but I will have to wait two years when I will be eligible for Medicare at age 65. I have two part-time jobs (44 hours per week) plus free-lance language translation work, but there is no health insurance with these.

    Energy policy – I think that Obama has made a mistake by not putting his emphasis on energy policy, but rather letting the Republicans framing this as a negative tax issue (“the carbon tax = cap and trade & we don’t believe there is any climate change). Even George W. Bush admitted “We’re adicted to oil.” Fact: these United States hit peak petroleum production 40 years ago in 1970 and the world is now at peak petroleum production. When prosperity returns, the prices will increase. Developing new resources: whether in ocean depths, in the Arctic or from oil shale or tar sands will be expensive and come with environmental consequenses that need to be managed and mitigated – more expense. My brother is a veteran petroleum geologist with a couple of discoveries under his belt, so I am well informed on this issue. “Drill, baby drill” might have been a great slogan for the last GOP convention, but it is naive to think that it is a path for future prosperity. I want to see the Obama administration frame the debate in terms of conservation and savings (short and long-term) that will make sense for us as a nation and as individuals. We can learn from our European friends and allies: high-speed electric rail to link our cities that will reduce congestion at airports and on Interstates, tax incentives for solar and wind power as well as for retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient — and perhaps even French-style nuclear power generation. Add to this a greater West European style emphasis on recycling and tapping waste for energy. BMW’s manufacturing complex in Spartenburg SC draws the majority of its energy needs by harvesting methane from nearby landfills. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (a Christian Democrat conservative married to a physics professor) came to Washington a few months ago and addressed our US Congress on climate change and energy issues. Can Obama provide the leadership to break cultural conceptions that petroleum will always be cheap, so that we as a nation can be competitive in the coming decades? As a nation, we are still children of the gigantic Spindletop (Texas) stike of 1901 that shifted petroleum from kerosene lamp fuel and axle grease from Western Pennsylvania to motor fuel from the Gulf coast and southern plains. As a consequence of the bail-out and restructing of the auto industry, we will see more energy efficient cars built in North America — Opel designs as Chevies and Buicks, German Fords made in the USA, Canada & Mexico, and Fiats by Chrysler. But will Americans buy them, or insist on driving their oversized SUVs and pickups into oblivion? Rather than expound on human impact on climate change — a point that many of the Republican persuasion would dispute, I would rather recommend a classic by an American ambassador to Piedmont and then United Italy: George Perkins Marsh’s Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, as well a biography of this amazing American overseas: Professor David Lowenthal: George Perkins Marsh: Versatile Vermonter (Columbia University Press).

    In closing, I would like to see President Obama bring a tempered measure of West German style “Social Democracy” to these United States. I see no future for a government hamstrung by a party of nostalgia that is being pushed ever further to the libertarian right & towards isolationism by talk radio hosts (some of whom are right out of the John Birch Society) and Fox News. I am pleased that Scott Brown lauded the late Senator Kennedy in his acceptance speach. But will he be a GOP moderate in the mold of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Richard Lugar — or will he be a Senator for “NO WE CAN’T!”

  • peter nelson

    But look at ulTrax’s post above: “So what about yesterday? 2,249,026 voted of 4,220,488 registered voters (2008). That’s about 53% of all registered voters. Brown was approved by about 27.7% of registered voters. Put another way 27.7% gave Brown their consent to govern. Not much of a mandate.”

    But that’s how all US elections are! And this is especially true in off-year and special elections. By the standards of such elections yesterday’s turnout was above average. In US elections NOBODY gets a majority of registered voters.

    This doesn’t provide even the slightest evidence that lefties stayed home any more than in the past. For all you know the righties stayed home too, and that’s why the results were so “close”.

  • mary elizabeth

    That we, in the 21st century cannot decide as a nation about health care is a source of shame. Health care is among the top sources of stress at every level of society except the very wealthy. Single payer is a no-brainer. The accompanying peace of mind that it would provide is worth some extra dollars and may even allow increased wages to make up for it.

    For those who cling to some Founding Fathers ideology, let them consider that the vast amount of health care is provided by Medicare. It is the elderly that populate the hospitals and MD offices.
    The Republicans who obstructed the very sane and reasonable public option should have their taxpayer funded health care revoked today.

  • Ruth Baker

    Many interesting and informative comments, including the alleged fact the Scott Brown owns five homes (Yup, just heard that confirmation on the radio!!): I wouldn’t be surprised. Someone else mentioned, previously, that he attends bike meets with an ever increasingly expensive bike, ever year. So much for being the regular guy. . . (And, yes, many communities in MA. are like those in Alabama, and just as uninformed. He is no tax cutter.)
    Now the really terrible thing that we, as taxpayers have to look forward to is yet another “republican”, who ran on the usual, esp. republican, campaign schlock, that he represents the “average guys”, while wasting taxpayer $$.
    That is, I predict, his real aim in life is to use his Senate seat to obtain access to the “revolving door” of big bucks contracts, esp., military contractors, and contracts.
    He will obtain the usual gov’t contractors for his future campaign contributors, and from there, build deeper relations with them, through his Senate connections. I suspect those deeper connections to access to big bucks that he’s aiming for are his deep vision and focus for himself and his family, and he actually cares for not much else.
    BTW: Who is that third, young girl, who has been showing up lately, in photos with his family? She doesn’t look like the rest of the family, and, she has been showing up with the family only lately. Hmm. . .
    I hope he gets into an “involvement”, in a bathroom stall in Logan.

    (Dems have to go the the left, back to their roots.)

  • peter nelson

    In closing, I would like to see President Obama bring a tempered measure of West German style “Social Democracy” to these United States.

    I already responded to this above when I pointed out that even the CDU is farther to the left than the US Democrats.

    Earlier in this thread I complained that Americans are ignorant of politics outside the US. But your comment shows European ignorance of US politics. There’s less of an excuse for that because the European media do a better job of covering US politics than vice-versa.

  • Ruth Baker

    Sorry, everyone: After rereading the above, I realize I wrote the above poorly, and with mistakes. . .

  • Alex

    “But that’s how all US elections are! And this is especially true in off-year and special elections.”

    Precisely. It’s all about who can get their base out on any given day. Wasn’t it the reason behind Karl Rove’s successes? Energize your base by injecting a referendum on some isolated issue that voters feel especially strongly about and get them out to vote. The outcome of this election does not prove there are more conservatives in MA than liberals or independents. It just proves that Democrats were not in good shape yesterday.

  • peter nelson

    Precisely. It’s all about who can get their base out on any given day. Wasn’t it the reason behind Karl Rove’s successes? Energize your base by injecting a referendum on some isolated issue that voters feel especially strongly about and get them out to vote. The outcome of this election does not prove there are more conservatives in MA than liberals or independents.

    But even the Democrat-voting turnout was higher yesterday than in a typical off-year or special election. So I don’t think your claim is supported by the numbers.

    I think the Dem’s DID mobilize their base (whover that is), but that conservatives in the US are alarmed and angry at the Dem’s attempts to take them farther left than they are comfortable going.

    I think yours is just another attempt to rationize away just how conservative the US really is. But we’re about to put your theory to the test: The Dem’s are on notice now – I guarantee they won’t take ANY upcoming elections for granted! But I still predict huge conservative victories in upcoming elections.

  • Louise

    “Obamacare / Pelosicare” R.I.P.

  • Alex

    “But I still predict huge conservative victories in upcoming elections.”

    So it goes…

  • Nathan

    Here’s a story for you: relatively unknown State Senator rises to the Senate after unique circumstances impact the incumbent and frontrunner. Remarkably, talk begins almost immediately about a presidential run. State Senator to President in just a few short years. It could happen; heck, it did a couple years ago!

  • Craig Reisser

    QUOTE: If you want to live under social democracy, please move to Europe. We are not Europe. Conservatism works.

    Sure, it works great. That’s why under Bush we got a giant budget deficit, a collapse of the financial system, most of the US car industry going out of business, millions of uninsured people and 16% of GDP spent on health care.

    Under Clinton we got a balanced budget, low unemployment, and “only” 12% of GDP spent on health care.

    Show us the empirical evidence that conservatism works so well. Point us to even ONE current major industrial democracy operating under your conservative principles so we can see the data.

    To move to Europe and prosper, you need either (a) deep pockets ie be independently wealthy, (b) an employer who will declare that he needs to hire you rather than a European, or (c) have citizenship in an EU country. Being well educated in the USA and being fluent in one or more of the major languages (German, French, Italian) by itself won’t cut it.

    Our founding fathers (Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, etc) were worldly wise for their time. Several of them (Jefferson, Franklin for instance) were multi-lingual. Contrast them with the conservative & libertarian talk radio hosts and FOX news commentators. Rush flunked out of SE Missouri State as he never attended classes, to take one example.

    At the birth of our nation, these United States were a pre-industrial society – sailing ships, riverboats on the water and overland horse power was just that. The Western Europeans ahead of us when it comes to energy and transportation. Just take their automobile companies – Renault owes Nissan, Fiat is taking over Chrysler – or contrast the history of the defunt but technologically progressive Hudson Motor Car Company with BMW – Bavarian Motor Works. Social Democracy works. Conservatism in the US sense is nostalgia. We lost much of our industrial capacity during the Reagan years.

  • Ellen Dibble

    http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2010/senate/results.html

    Whoever was asking about turnout and who stayed home, if you look at Boston.com with “COMPLETE RESULTS” you get the breakdown, city by city, town by town, as to the exact turnout. I think Concord had 72%. Many had about 50 percent. Many had more like 60 percent.
    Maybe some felt like me, I’ll vote Coakley because the Republicans are (a) wrong and (b) block any progress. On the other hand, I think, way to go, Massachusetts; tell the nation and the Democrats to shake things up. (And then the nonvoters go further and say, what sort of vote is that; talk about hypocrisy; more fool I to go out in this wintery mix.)
    And I heard the victory speech, in which Brown said he’s going to be playing basketball with Obama. Maybe Obama will teach him a thing or two, and vice versa.

  • Natalie

    I think he’s already schooled Obama quite nicely. More to come, I’m sure.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If you look at low turnouts in large population places that voted for Coakley — like Boston (43% turnout), Fall River (38% turnout), Lynn 38% turnout, you’d think there wasn’t enough worry whether the Democrat would be winning. People thought the shoo-in was going to happen, maybe.
    Boston, 43% turnout — 46,468 for Brown; 105,289 for C
    Lawrence, 28% turnout – 6449 for Brown, 3331 for C
    New Bedford, 35% turnout – 7828 for Brown, 11759 for C
    Scanning along, big cities, low turnout, big win for Coakley. I could certainly be wrong but that’s my impression.

  • jeffe

    Madison your comments speak to a fundamental problem with the democratic machine in this state. They need to clean up their act. I liked Mike Capuano, I watched him on some of the the banking hearings and he was great, he is a real working class guy, unlike that fake Brown. I think Mike Capuano would have won, he would not have taken Brown for granted and would have been standing out in freezing weather campaigning as Brown did. That said as good as Mike Capuano is he is still part of this machine here in Massachusetts and I can see this being a liability in the near future. Kerry should start thinking seriously about ways to keep his seat.

    As far as people thinking the republicans are not corrupt, do a little research on the Texas republican party and Tom Delay. Those people make the Mass Dems look like school kids when it comes to corruption and fixing elections.

    Frank Rock you sound a lot like Stacked. OK here’s a question for you, if you want less or no government, just a free market approach, what happens when you have huge disasters such a Katrina, or a huge earth quake like the one in Haiti? Or The Flood of 2008?

    If you want to see what this country would be like with little or no government agencies to deal with these kinds of natural disasters just read up on the Johnstown flood of 1889 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire which prompted the first real federal involvement with developing and funding an agency to deal with natural disasters. Do people really want to go back to a time when government was like this, as in the period of William McKinley?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Excuse me to Lawrence, the 6649 is for Coakley (to further my theory), and the 3331 is for Brown.

  • Brett

    Only in part perhaps might this election in MA. be a “referendum against Obama.” If it is any kind of referendum, or direct message from voters, it is more likely a referendum against the health care bills. The Right don’t want health care reform at all and the Left don’t like the particulars of the bills. I haven’t seen the final tally or the break down from yesterday’s election; maybe that will reveal something, maybe not.

    Unfortunately, generally in US political history, people seem to vote AGAINST something as much as they vote for something, with many elections being a backlash, pendulum swing reaction in the way people vote to what they are fed up with or with what they perceive as being the thrust of a previous candidate/elected official/administration, etc.

    I don’t see any compromise or any shift more to the left by the Right, or any move right by the Left, on the horizon; but, I do see the current activity in politics galvanizing people to stay entrenched in their respective corners.
    In the process, people who are on the right will move more right, and people on the left will move more left, among the citizenry.

    In my state of Virginia, among members of my own intimate community of musicians, artists, mental health professionals, and sustainable gardeners, we are decidedly liberal but not necessarily Democrats (and within my town proper), but this is not mainstream. Among the general population, at least within the larger community in Southern Virginia, they are slightly right of center. Northern Virginia has many more liberals, but it breaks down city by city, county by county. I get a sense in traveling around the state that most of the citizenry is slightly right of center, but this really does not account for the phenomenon in elections where, if there is a high voter turn out, the Democrats win.

    Most politicians will continue to be either centrist, just slightly left of center, or just slightly right of center (most have been just slightly right of center and center in this age and consistently since Reagan).

    I feel a big issue in politics is when most politicians run for office, they try too much to gage what will elect them, irrespective of whether they truly are left, far left, right, far right, or in the center. I have to say, I find the current trend of Republican candidates sounding moderate but being conservative, and moderate Democrats trying to sound liberal, to be most problematic, particularly when they pull off the masks once in office. The more extremes of each side who aren’t quick to underplay who they really are and rarely get elected, don’t really speak for a majority anyway, so it is false courage in many respects.

    Brown ran his campaign very effectively to make himself look more moderate than he is (in addition to being a deft fundraiser); likewise, in Virginia, McDonnell’s run for governor was a “smart” campaign that steered clear of any talk of ideological and social views, effectively keeping his conservative leanings under wraps. He appeared more like a moderate than a strong conservative. That in conjunction with Deeds running a poor campaign (predicated on a negative approach) , talking too much about ideology rather then pragmatic concerns like jobs, as well as being a little complacent, pushed McDonnell over the top.

  • Alex

    “The Right don’t want health care reform at all and the Left don’t like the particulars of the bills.”

    I think this statement about sums it up.

  • twenty-niner

    “That’s why under Bush we got a giant budget deficit, a collapse of the financial system, most of the US car industry going out of business, millions of uninsured people and 16% of GDP spent on health care.”

    “Under Clinton we got a balanced budget, low unemployment, and “only” 12% of GDP spent on health care.”

    This is by coincidence not by causation. Clinton benefitted from a nexus of technologies coming together to give birth to the biggest development in the last 30 years, namely the internet. You can trace all of the great economic expansions in the history of Western civilization to sundry enabling technologies coming together to fundamentally change how we live. Usually, there’s a huge advance in material science coupled with a series of inventions.

    Railroads – Iron founding, steam power.
    Point to point communication – Wire, telegraph, telephone.
    Electric lighting – Dynamo, electrical grid, light bulb
    Sky scrapers – Bessemer process, I-beams.

    Internet – Fiber optics, routers, PCs, web browser

    Most of these inventions, by the way, were brought to fruition by private parties and investment. Yes, the internet grew out of a small Darpa project, and the web browser started off as Mosaic, a UIUC Center for Supercomputing project; but as soon as it was clear that there was going to be a huge market for this technology, private investment and research took over in a big way.

    Many predict that the next great economic expansion will come in the form of a “green-energy revolution”, which is certainly possible. And I imagine, when it happens, the sitting administration will take credit for it. It is, however, important that the government not try to pick winners here, as it doesn’t have the best track record. Just look back at all of the money the government wasted on the “Spruce Goose”, and before that, Langley’s ill-conceived flying machine. While Langley was busy pulling flotsam out of the Potomac, the Wright brothers, on their own nickel, were making history.

  • Brett

    “…Let them filibuster. I would like to see a showdown for once.” -Alex

    I agree. Keep the filibuster, don’t go for reconciliation. Show obstructionism for what it really is. Reconciliation would only further degenerate the spine of the Democrats.

  • Brett

    jw,
    In a perfect world I would agree with your comment from 9:01am. In fact, during the presidential election, I bought into the idea emanating from many of Obama’s speeches that in order for there to be real change, the political landscape needs to shift to a post-partisan era. I have been profoundly disappointed in the obstructionist efforts from Republican leadership, the ineffectual mixture of complacency, back room politics–and pandering to corporate lobbies–and acquiescent concession toward working with Republican opposition from the Democrats, rather than a true spirit of compromise.

    Early on in 2009, even before the presidential inauguration, conservative thinkers (the David Frums, Karl Roves and Bill Kristols) were advocating the GOP move more to the Right and dig in their heels with an obstructionist approach. Then the lower hanging conservative commentators (the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Ingrams) stepped up those ideas and reduced them to a more neo-con populist view, and so on. The Republican leadership in Congress have shown no intent to “compromise.”

    As to what the election of Brown means, I don’t see Brown ameliorating any of the problems with partisanship in Congress, I just see more obstructionism. I have been disappointed in how the proposed health care bills have turned out (from both the House and Senate sides), but I am not convinced it is purely a result of lack of compromise or a lack of each side listening intently to the other. I also have not heard any substantive ideas from Republicans on health care reform. I don’t consider cutting taxes, encouraging people to have health savings accounts (and deferring taxes on those), allowing people to cross state lines to purchase insurance, etc., as being anything more than rhetoric designed for populism.

  • Bob

    Only a week ago, On Point had a show on the Tea Party protests, and a lot of comments dismissed the whole movement as a bunch of racist homophobic hicks. Well, that may be true for some supporters of the Tea Party ideals, but the larger issue that caused these protests has to do with overspending in the federal government, bailouts, support for unfunded massive federal initiatives (like the current health care debacle), etc.

    Scott Brown may not represent the Tea Party in an official capacity, but he does represent a lot of the same ideals. And the fact that he could win in Massachusetts should be a wake-up call to liberals. If they keep claiming that everyone who doesn’t want to go along with the current Washington agenda is a “racist homophobic hick,” soon they will no longer be the majority. Dismissing your opponents as bigots rarely works, and it just incenses them if they aren’t all bigots. The Dems need to learn this, before we see a repeat of 1994.

  • jeffe

    I have a question for those who health care is fine as it is and point to some European countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, Britain to name a few) as a bad model how do you account for the above mentioned countries all spending less and getting more? Not one of the countries I listed spends anything near what we spend. By the way Germany, France, and the Netherlands all have private insurance companies but the cost is regulated. They also subsidize education which means going to medical school is practically free or very reasonable. Malpractice is not a big issue. The only country that has a real NH system in this list is Britain and there doctors are employed by the government.

    Now none of the countries I mentioned have perfect systems. What they do have is more breathing room to control cost, more centralized control and so on.
    Of course this is something Americans are extremely paranoid about. The bottom line is they spend less than we do in GDP by almost half and cover about 95 to 99% of their populations. So here’s the question; if you do not want to have reform how do you fix this mess we have in delivering health care to the population?

    If you say the market, well lets get real here. The market is not working now is it. Let’s at least acknowledge that this market based model with big pharma and the insurance companies is just a huge failure.

    What do the republicans propose to fix this mess?

  • jeffe

    This is hilarious, Glenn Beck taking aim at Scott Brown for saying on national TV that his daughters were available. Did anyone watch Brown’s daughter sing?
    Woa, first off, what was with the fake Southern accent and then talk about murdering a Motown tune.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/glenn-beck-slams-scott-br_n_429939.html

  • Brett

    ulTRAX,
    Thanks for the data in your 11:53am post.

  • Carter

    “I partially disagree. Those who are angry that Obama isn’t Left wing enough did not vote for Brown. They simply stayed home. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a voting coalition with Republicans. However, a silent message to the Democrats to not take their base for granted is another thing.”

    It is the whole Bush vs Gore fiasco all over again. It has nothing to do with the country supposedly being “center-right” . . . even if the country is so, which I doubt, we are talking about Mass. here for crying out loud! What is happening, I think, is that

    1) “radical” Lefties — whether they be Libertarian types or Nader types or just your typical Democracy Now! listener . . . all mostly independents — have turned dramatically against Obama because they realize he is not one of them, and then they actually voted for Brown just to piss everyone off in hope that the country will go down in flames so there can be the radical revolution they ultimately desire.

    2) Then you had Republicans energized by the latest polls and because they hate themselves, getting out in large numbers. And,

    3)”moderate” Lefties, being too burnt out and apathetic after Lieberman and all the concessions — from health care to Afghanistan — and facing a candidate who reminded them too much of Hillary were simply too uninspired to sufficiently get out the vote to counter the radical left/right wing coalition.

    It is Bush v Gore all over again.

    But none of this would happen, not Bush, not Brown, if the radical Left weren’t such a bunch of hillbillies, imho.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Ted Kennedy’s speech in 1978 when the rest of the nation was hungry for OIL. Senator Kennedy was hungry for Health Care Reform

    The passion of his life is to HELP THE POOR.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhYtMmw9OVk

  • jeffe

    With all due respect akilez, Ted Kennedy is no longer the senator or with us. Part of the reason for this special election is due to Ted’s insistence of change the law letting the governor appoint a replacement for the remainder of a senator’s term. The irony here is to much if you ask me.

  • Nicholas Whitman

    I don’t recall seeing a single black in the room at Brown’s acceptance rally.

    The scene on the Mall in DC a year ago was an inspiration to many – my self included – but I believe it scared the hell out of many. This election is a reaction to our black president. It is so obvious and yet it goes unmentioned.

  • twenty-niner

    “Ted Kennedy’s speech in 1978 when the rest of the nation was hungry for OIL. Senator Kennedy was hungry for Health Care Reform”

    “The passion of his life is to HELP THE POOR.”

    Unfortunately, most of these over-privileged liberals like to help the poor, but with other people’s money. In the 70′s when he was running for president he released his tax returns, which showed that he barely gave 1 percent of his income to charity. And I wonder how many of the poor got to enjoy a lunch on the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod.?

    Of course, his father Joe helped the poor when he created to the Libby-Owens-Ford stock pool in the 1920s to drive up the value of his holdings, which he somehow managed to liquidate just in time in 1929. When most of the common people lost everything in the crash, Kennedy managed to increase his fortune from 4 million to 135 million.

    http://tsfiles.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/charity-donations-and-liberal-hypocricy/

  • Yolanda

    Nicholas–

    I agree with you, completely! The commentators last night who thought the election in Massachusetts was about health care or the economy or even the Red Sox had it dead wrong. This election was about racism and sexism, pure and simple.

    I’m disgusted that a majority of the electorate in the (formerly) great Commonwealth of Massachusetts succumbed to these prejudices, but it’s clear that they did. My one comforting thought is that I’m sure they will not support Fraulein Palin in 2012.

    Keep the faith! This is perhaps our test, to see if our country deserves our President. If we falter in our diligence, my fear is that President Obama will determine that his service is no longer valued, and he will not run for office in 2012 or beyond. Do not let these results get us down. It is time to fight harder, to support our President, against these reactionaries!

  • Alex

    “Unfortunately, most of these over-privileged liberals like to help the poor, but with other people’s money.”

    I keep hearing about this “other people’s money” argument. The Constitution gives Congress the power to tax and spend to provide for the general welfare, among other things. Both parties play with other people’s money only for different priorities. In my opinion, the national health care fits perfectly under the definition of the “General Welfare.” On the other hand, I keep paying taxes to finance or subsidize various things I don’t like. Maybe we should just take that power away from Congress? Perhaps the appeal of being elected will quickly disappear if there is no money to spend and all that’s left is to enact laws?

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    People get the government they deserve. Nowhere on Earth is this more true than here in America.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Peter wrote: “But that’s how all US elections are! And this is especially true in off-year and special elections. By the standards of such elections yesterday’s turnout was above average. In US elections NOBODY gets a majority of registered voters.”

    I’m well aware of the pathetic citizen participation in our election system. I’ve written here about it quite often here and at my blog. I’m was simply putting some perspective on the political spin I see in the media… and from you.

    Since you have no real numbers or operative definitions of what a Progressive or Conservative is, your contention that the US is more conservative that your mythical Liberals or Progressives believe seems all based on election turnout or the friends you hang out with. Think Conservatives who hang together also have the same distorted view in reverse?

    You’re trying to read the tea leaves from too narrow a sampling: the Coakley vs Brown percentages. Yet you’re ignoring that whopping 59% of the voting age population here in Mass that did NOT vote. I have no idea what they believe and I’m not pretending to be a mind reader.

    Those off year congressional elections are probably the best indicator of who gives a damn enough to vote… and that averages about 37% of the VAP. That means there could be a HUGE 63% reserve of potential voters that could be tapped. How much of that voter reserve can be tapped depends on the type of campaign a candidate runs, party get out the vote campaigns, weather, money for ads, boots on the ground, national issues, etc.

    And THIS is why I don’t agree when you make a statement as you did in the other forum last night: “ – it is we progressives who are the fringe, at least in the US. Blaming Coakely is delusional – Massachusetts voters knew exactly what was at stake and had a crystal-clear choice.”

    I’m not saying the US doesn’t have a strong conservative streak… only that public opinion polls are probably a better gage of the TRUE political leanings of ALL the public than any given election… especially one where, and you can deny all you want… COAKLEY DID RUN A TERRIBLE CAMPAIGN!!!!

  • Harold

    To those people who used to vote for Ted Kennedy and who now voted for Scott Brown : why? Did Ted Kennedy’s policies mean nothing to you when you voted for him? Did you only vote for him because of his personality or his family name? Did you just kinda… change your mind?? Maybe increasing the gridlock in Washington will be a good way to “get things done?” Maybe this will shake up the state government even though the Senate seat has nothing to do with state government? Maybe the fact that Obama hasn’t utterly fix eight years of idiocy in nine months with a wave of his wand in the blink of a tweet makes him a villain? Maybe sending someone from the party who got us into this recession to Washington will help fix the recession better than sending a woman who actually tried to sue the filthy rich bankers and hold them to account?

  • ulTRAX

    akilez wrote: “Ted Kennedy’s speech in 1978 when the rest of the nation was hungry for OIL. Senator Kennedy was hungry for Health Care Reform”

    Not sure what planet you’re from. On mine, the oil shock from the Iranian Revolotion was in 1979 not 1978.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/25opec/sld001.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_world_oil_market_chronology

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    Unfortunately, Twenty-Niner seems to have a thinking problem. I wonder if he or she understands at all how public education works, just as an example. The reason people like Twenty-Niner (a Millennial, obviously) are forced to pay education taxes (which benefit others) is because someone was obliged to pay taxes for HIS (or her) education. It’s a “pass it on” proposition that all civilized societies subscribe to.

    They (Twenty-Niner et. al.) need to get it through their thick skulls that most of life operates in this way … I’ll take care of you while I’m strong and able-bodied, if you’ll do the same for me when I become old and feeble. Of course, Twenty-Niner is a Millennial and will never become old and feeble–that much he (or she) is absolutely certain of.

    Instead of complaining, why don’t some of you folks just resign and go live in the woods? And good luck with the bears, by the way.

  • twenty-niner

    “Both parties play with other people’s money only for different priorities.”

    Agreed, both parties are profligate spenders, and both are being enabled by the Fed and by the dollar still clinging to reserve status, which allows the US to borrow beyond its means and export inflation. In 2009, however, this practice took a very dangerous turn with the Fed’s foray into quantitative easing, which is essentially buying US debt with printed money.

    This is no secret to investors around the world, so every time they get a dollar in their hands, they try to convert it to something tangible such as a commodity, bond, or stock. 2009 has seen copper up 133% close to its June 08 peak, gold up 35%, and oil doubling in price. Of course, the Fed continues to use the bogus advertised core inflation rate as cover, and there is little hope that Congress will show any fiscal constraint as we wage wars we can’t afford and expand the welfare state.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/ultimate-shell-game-federal-reserve-funds-us-deficit

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/34848783

  • Yolanda

    F. William Bracy–

    I would like to amend your statement somewhat. Many countries get the leadership they deserve, perhaps, but this country–it’s innocent children and oppressed minorities–did NOT deserve the unmitigated horrors of the Bush administration.

    What’s more, we are also clearly not deserving of Obama’s inspired leadership. I cannot see how any country or people could be. All we can do is our best to show to him that we are at least trying. Electing Scott Brown was NOT the way to do that.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Twenty-Nine wrote about the Clinton surplus… “This is by coincidence not by causation. Clinton benefitted from a nexus of technologies coming together to give birth to the biggest development in the last 30 years, namely the internet.”

    You suffer from the same myopia that holds there was some winning run in a baseball game and ignoring all the runs before it.

    It’s was Reagan’s irresponsible ERTA tax cuts in 1981 that created a black hole for government finances. Ever since then there were attempts to fill that hole. There were two massive tax HIKES under Reagan in 92 and 83. There were the Bush1 tax hikes. Then there was Clinton’s plan in 93 to raise taxes and cut spending. Surely you remember that every GOP Senator voted against it and it only passed with Gore’s tie vote. And yes there was an economic expansion and a stock market bubble in the 90′s. Revenues poured in… at those higher tax rates. That you claim there was only ONE reason why there was a surplus is nonsense and is typical of the Right’s attempts to deny him any credit. The more pathological Orwellian Right have claimed the Clinton economy was due to Reagan’s tax cuts! They are the same ones who pretend revenues poured in after these tax cuts and the Democrats spent it all. They ignore the 4-5 years of none growth in revenue just to get back to 1980 levels… and dishonestly include revenue from Reagan’s own tax HIKES as proof tax cuts create revenue booms. But I digress.

    The Clinton surplus was fragile. On the “on-budget” side… the only one that really counts since a unified surplus alone still contains borrowing from trust funds to meet on-budget expenses… there was only a 90 billion surplus before the economic slowdown of 2000.

    And so we got to a budget surplus! But all that did was slow the growth of the debt… and stop it for a short time. Deficits blind us to the debt. How many trillions had been run up in debt since 1981? Some $4.6 trillion? And all we managed to “pay down” was about 90 billion? Yet the FIRST thing the Tax Cut Psychos in the GOP rushed to cut taxes again.

    Since 1981 the Right has given up debating the desirability of popular Democratic programs. They knew they’d lose that debate. So they cynically began a new strategy of sabotaging the finances of government hoping that would put pressure on these programs. What did they care if We The People would end up pissing away $451 BILLION just on interest in FY08. At least it wasn’t going to buy anything worthwhile for the American People.

    Give this context… that We The People have used up some $11.5 TRILLION in services we have not paid for… the Right’s claims that taxes are still too high are irresponsible in the extreme.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    So true, Twenty-Niner, so true. It’s that ol’ “welfare state” that’s gonna getcha if you don’t watch out. Hey, it’s not just you. What addicted investor isn’t scared silly over the idea of a welfare state? What kid didn’t kick and scream thinking he was gonna get an ice cream scoop smaller than his brother’s?

    Why can’t you get over it? Isn’t there enough money in the world for you? Maybe your investments aren’t going so well. What’s happened? Has GE tanked in your face? Okay, why worry? You’ll never need help. After all, if Wall Street doesn’t pan out, there’s always Las Vegas.

  • ulTRAX

    Twenty-Niner wrote: “Just look back at all of the money the government wasted on the “Spruce Goose”, and before that, Langley’s ill-conceived flying machine. While Langley was busy pulling flotsam out of the Potomac, the Wright brothers, on their own nickel, were making history.”

    You have an obvious blind spot to the interplay between government research setting the stage for private profit.

    Research on the H-4 Hercules, aka the Spruce Goose, was first funded in 1942 for some legitimate wartime reasons. You might want to read up on things before you pass them off as mere government boondoggles.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce_Goose

    And BTW, it’s not if the private sector has a perfect track record. Remember the Iridium satellite system? It cost $6 billion and when the company went broke, the whole system was about to be smashed into the earth’s atmosphere to burn up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_Satellite_LLC

    Call it ideological blinders or simple myopia. In the eyes of the Right, private sector failures are dismissed as the magic of the market, but government failures live on forever.

  • twenty-niner

    “Unfortunately, Twenty-Niner seems to have a thinking problem. I wonder if he or she understands at all how public education works”

    I understand well how public education works. I put myself through a very good engineering school at a public university. And I also understand that it’s necessary to serve one’s country, which is why I served five years in the Navy. I also understand that the Soviet Union wasn’t defeated on the battle field; it simply went bankrupt, because trying to run the world (or at least half of it) can get very expensive. I also understand how to read a balance sheet, and looking at the US balance sheet, I see a lot of red ink:

    US National debt: 12.3 Trillion
    US Private debt: 16.7 Trillion
    Mortgage debt: 14.3 Trillion
    Consumer debt: 2.4 Trillion

    Social security liability: 14.1 Trillion
    Prescription drug liability: 18.7 Trillion
    Medicare liability: 74.3 Trillion
    Total unfunded liability: 107.1 Trillion

    The total unfunded liability per person translates to roughly $350,000. Assuming that a third of the population actually pays taxes, that translate to over a million dollars per tax payer in liability.

    Either way, there’s no easy out. There’s no way we can grow out way out of this debt burden nor is there a way to tax our way out. That leaves printing our way out (ala Weimar Germany) and default as the only realistic options, and I can’t imagine that either would be to easy on the neediest amongst us.

    And to your last point, I’m pretty handy with a firearm as well, so I’ll have no problem living in the woods when the time comes.

  • gina

    Although it is of course true that Ted Kennedy is no longer the senator or even with us any longer, I am grateful to akilez for the link. Watching the Lion of the Senate deliver some of his trademark fiery oratory, I was surprised (and slightly embarrassed) to find myself tearing up.

    Where will the next voice like that come from? Of course, that’s a question only an unrepentant liberal would ask.

    I’ll repost the link (of him proposing the radical notion that healthcare is a right, and not a privilege that only wealthy families like his own could afford):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhYtMmw9OVk

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    Well, Yolanda ~ let me say this about that. (You said innocent children and oppressed minorities did NOT deserve the unmitigated horrors of the Bush administration.)

    The reason why Americans, more than those of any other country, get the governments they deserve is because greedy Americans don’t care about children (who represent some way off future generation and therefore don’t count) nor do they care about minorities because “those folks” are nothing like them and of course don’t have the same needs, wishes or desires.

    It’s all about me in America–aren’t you aware? Look at the comments on this page. All you’ll ever need to know about what’s wrong with this country you will see right here in this forum.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    And as for you, Twenty-Niner, you were subsidized at that “public” university whether or not you’re aware. If you’d have had to put yourself through a finished education, you’d still be working at it based on the true cost of a quality education in America today. And guess what? I probably contributed to it. Aren’t you even going to thank me? That’s how much you really know about public education in the country.

  • jeffe

    In less than 24 hours since Brown winning the election Obama is already trying to appease the republicans.
    Will he ever learn?

    Obama Weighs Shift in Health Plan, Seeking G.O.P. Backing

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/health/policy/21health.html?hp

  • twenty-niner

    “And BTW, it’s not if the private sector has a perfect track record. Remember the Iridium satellite system? It cost $6 billion and when the company went broke, the whole system was about to be smashed into the earth’s atmosphere to burn up.”

    Hey genius, that’s how capitalism works: good ideas prosper and bad ideas fail. And when you don’t let malfunctioning institutions fail such as AIG, Citi, Fannie, Freddie, the list goes on; you don’t let the bad ideas and those behind them go away. This is why the financial bailout initiated by Bush and continued by Obama was such a bad idea. Capitalism requires failure.

    Of course, when the government fails, there are no real consequences. A few politicians may get voted out of office, but the overall government machine continues to metastasize.

  • twenty-niner

    “And guess what? I probably contributed to it. Aren’t you even going to thank me? That’s how much you really know about public education in the country.”

    Thank you personally? Are you mental? Why don’t you go back to hobbling the guy you have tied to your bed.

  • david

    The common wealth of Massachusetts showed us they do have common sense. The progressive agenda is finally being seen as to far to the left for the country.

  • told ya

    Tom and staff: Thanks for another great show…is this a record for comments? Thanks for the open comment access. I love reading them.

  • Ishmael

    The frontispiece photo for this particular On Point program segment is particularly nauseating, given that in eight years the only thing the Republicans managed to deliver was an incompetent helmsperson who openly despised the citizens of the US. Oops, they also managed to be in charge during the largest terrorist attack in the US in its history, and the greatest financial debacle since the 1930′s.

    It is unlcear why the intimate relationship between health care and the economy was almost completely ignored: health care expenses are a major source of bankruptcies for US citizens. People seem to have the view that the economy is first priority, and everything else is gravy. What misperception!

    Other than being attractive to the misinformed, what virtues does Scott Brown bring to the Congressional discussion?

  • peter nelson

    This election is a reaction to our black president. It is so obvious and yet it goes unmentioned.

    What would you cite as evidence for this?

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org steve Banicki

    The democrats are intoxicated with power and they need to sober up; not give up. We need health reform. We need bank reform and we need to protect our free markets from oligopolies who are buying the votes of our politicians.

    Obama needs to stand in front of the nation and say that his party and he has made mistakes in reading what the citizens are looking for. He must acknowledge that he cannot ignore republicans and more importantly the citizens. He must reach across the aisle and ask republicans to assist with the health care bill. Further, he must lead the charge to fight the large corporations from turning our free markets into markets controlled by oligopolies. He must use anti-trust laws to break up these oligopolies and reform our campaign contribution laws.

    If he does this, he will still be president in 2013. If not; hello Hillary.

    http://xrl.us/BailOutRepublicans

  • peter nelson

    Unfortunately, most of these over-privileged liberals like to help the poor, but with other people’s money.

    The conservatives are big supporters of the farm bill, which is one of the biggest welfare programs in the US – but most of it goes to big corporations! Isn’t that also “other people’s money”?

    And what do YOU think is the correct solution to affordable health care?

    When Bubba Redneck loses his job at the mill, along with his health insurance, and then rolls his pickup truck and sustains $400K in ICU, reconstructive surgery and physical therapy expenses, spell out for us exactly how that SHOULD get paid for.

    I don’t mind my tax dollars paying for Bubba’s insurance. But what exactly does Scott Brown suggest?

  • RJ

    Several suggestions:
    • Yes, Massachusetts was a shock. But it was 1 seat in 1 state. There’s 49 other states.
    o Brown won by invoking the Kennedys—and even perpetuated that canard on election night. What does that say about what the voters of Massachusetts want?
    o Brown also won by pretending to be a working class guy, when that’s also false.
    • 51 is a majority. In this country, majorities make the decisions. Particularly when the minority will not compromise.
    • Most important: When will the Democrats do the organizing and communicating that redefines the public debate—rather than allowing shout-and-bawl Republicans to do it?

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    Are you mental? Why don’t you go back to hobbling the guy you have tied to your bed.
    Posted by twenty-niner, on January 20th, 2010 at 7:37 pm EST

    Millennial.

  • peter nelson

    Since you have no real numbers or operative definitions of what a Progressive or Conservative is, your contention that the US is more conservative that your mythical Liberals or Progressives believe seems all based on election turnout or the friends you hang out with..

    Nonsense – I’ve spelled out EXACTLY what I mean – I said, compare the platforms of the CDU or the Tories to the US Democratic party.

    Our farthest left major party is to the RIGHT of major European conservative parties!

  • peter nelson

    Twenty-Nine wrote about the Clinton surplus… “This is by coincidence not by causation. Clinton benefitted from a nexus of technologies coming together to give birth to the biggest development in the last 30 years, namely the internet.”

    That’s speculation – the bottom line is thatr we had a WAY better economy then than we did under Bush.

    Also, note my other challenge in that post – If GOP-style conservatism “works” so well (the original poster’s assertion) the show us a CURRENT real world example of system based on those conservative principles so we can examine its performance.

    I don’t think GOP-style conservatism works in the 21st century, but I’m happy to be shown a nation that proves me wrong.

  • http://Mylettertoafriendofferrngmesupportandthankingmeformyletterpreviously Mary

    “Thanks, Ann, my husband didn’t want to get out of bed this morning and he asked me to turn off the radio. Of course I couldn’t let him see the morning
    paper which said “Big win for Brown”.

    I felt the same way when Bush stole the first election and didn’t watch the TV
    for years and only started to read the newspaper out of fear for whom he would
    bomb next or what civil liberties he and Cheney were proposing on taking away- so we could fight them both. (It was always both there, you know.)

    Now it all sounds so familiar again as my husband talks about moving to Canada.
    Yet, the saving grace there for me is knowing 80,000 fewer voters in Boston
    alone didn’t vote yesterday compared with the 2008 campaign that voted for Obama .

    Yes, that is shameful , still it gives me hope Kennedy’s seat could be recaptured
    in 2012 when Brown has to rerun to maintain it. Mary

    P.S. Although I must admit I admire Martha Coakley for her fighting spirit all these years for the underdog–I realized in the last debate she came across
    a bit strong and it’s too bad some voters couldn’t accept that from her (how immature ) as I feel they would have accepted this from a man.

    Still, it doesn’t soothe my husband now who complains Americans don’t deserve
    a smart president like Obama in the Whitehouse as Brown “Is going to f– up his
    agenda, now! ” ( My husband isn’t a swearing man except during periods of utter and holy frustration.)

    My letter to the media below….

    My family and I are devastated by the loss of Ted kennedy’s seat in the Senate and what it represents to us as democrats from Massachusetts and its implication for the people of the United States.

    Republicans often like to portray themselves as being the party of the peoples’ when in essences their leaders often seem more eager to serve the interests of Wall Street than Main Street.

    Their tax give aways to corporate America and unnecessary wars during the last 8 yrs have significantly widen the gap between the rich and poor and have raise the national debt exponentially from 6 trillion to 12 trillion dollars.

    Now they have the audacity to complain about Obama’s Health Care Reform and stimulus to boost economic growth as being too costly and fiscally irresponsible. My, what hypocrisy, and I can’t recall any of them talking about fiscal respon-
    sibility or indeed passing the debt onto future generations.

    Today, my concern is with the millions of Americans out of work and out of their homes because of their reckless disregard for government controls in the market place and their desire to return to business as usual -and for the people of New Orleans who found the only thing that trickled down to them from the Republican Party was water from levelies unable to withstand the pressure and neglect of the last decade. So most definitely this fight must go on… Mary, Massachusetts

  • Louise

    The fine people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said no thanks to “Mussolini care”.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    The fine people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said no thanks to “Mussolini care”.
    Posted by Louise.

    Lady, if the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are like you, there’s nothing “fine” about any of them, and I wouldn’t be bragging, believe me.

  • peter nelson

    Obama needs to stand in front of the nation and say that his party and he has made mistakes in reading what the citizens are looking for. He must acknowledge that he cannot ignore republicans and more importantly the citizens. He must reach across the aisle and ask republicans to assist with the health care bill.

    The problem with this premise is that the Republicans have not shown a SHRED of evidence that they think that access to affordable health care is an issue that needs to be addressed by government.

    The Republican attitude is basically, “tsk – it’s unfortunate that the poor and unemployed can’t afford healthcare but I’ve got mine, Jack, f— you”.

    It’s not as though the GOP has proposed a comprehensive program of their own, and that all Obama has to do is reach some sort of compromise with it.

    The GOP still thinks that we have “the best healthcare system in the world” despite the fact that we not only have a shorter lifespan and higher infant mortality rate than many other countries, and despite the fact that polls show that Americans are LESS satisfied with access and quality than people in many other advanced nations, and despite the fact that we pay 50% more per capita to achieve those poorer results.

    There’s nothing to reach across the aisle to!

  • Brett

    “Other than being attractive to the misinformed, what virtues does Scott Brown bring to the Congressional discussion?” -Ishmael

    Exactly! When the “analysis” is all said and done, didn’t MA just elect another “politician” who brings nothing to the table?

    Also, I had to nod a bit at your comment about the photo for this program…AND, it looks like that Jeffery McQueen (Tea Partier) guy sold a few of his “revolution2″ flags. I wonder…do any conservatives seriously think this represents some kind of influence toward change?

  • Brett

    “It’s not as though the GOP has proposed a comprehensive program of their own, and that all Obama has to do is reach some sort of compromise with it.” -Peter Nelson

    Exactly! That is why the calls from the GOP for “compromise” and “open debate” fall flat.

  • ulTRAX

    Twenty-Nine wrote: “Hey genius, that’s how capitalism works: good ideas prosper and bad ideas fail.”

    That’s a euphemistic way of saying the market is dynamic but inefficient. And at times these private sector approaches to bringing products to market are SO inefficient it borders on criminal. Free market fanatics can’t see sector-wide inefficiencies because they’re blinded by price competition and their chief yardstick. I’d prefer more standardization but to get into that is to stray further from the topic.

    “Of course, when the government fails, there are no real consequences.”

    Of COURSE there are consequences. But unlike a private company, the government can’t go out of business… unless far Right fanatics succeed in finally sabotaging it.

    Unlike you I see value in both the public and private sectors… and I don’t underestimate the value of taxpayer funded research being handed over to the private sector. Your downplaying of the internet’s origins was amusing. All the basic TCP/IP protocols and routing technology were developed by the government… and GEE! It WORKS! And neither HTML, the language of the WWW, or the Mosaic browser were privately developed. More freebees to the private sector. Same with GPS, weather data from NOAA and NWS which the private sector profits from. I could go on though I’ll refrain from mention Teflon LOL. Would the private sector have developed ANY of these on their own?

    Anyway, thanks again for an example of what I wrote about earlier: “Call it ideological blinders or simple myopia. In the eyes of the Right, private sector failures are dismissed as the magic of the market, but government failures live on forever.”

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    There’s nothing to reach across the aisle to!
    Posted by peter nelson

    Precisely, Peter ~ I wrote many years ago my own personal salute to the GOP:

    It isn’t Grand, it isn’t Old, and as far as Parties go, count on them to serve Ripple when they could easily afford champagne.

  • Brett

    “…my fear is that President Obama will determine that his service is no longer valued, and he will not run for office in 2012 or beyond.” ["'or beyond'"??]

    “What’s more, we are also clearly not deserving of Obama’s inspired leadership. I cannot see how any country or people could be. All we can do is our best to show to him that we are at least trying.” -Yolanda

    Maybe just a tad too much of a blind, messianic zeal, there?! …Maybe just a little bit, there?…Just a little bit? …A little bit…jus’ sayin’

    “‘run for office…beyond [2012]‘” So, you want to repeal the 22nd Amendment so Obama can possibly serve past 2016???

  • Yolanda

    As for the rest of you who actually have decent, progressive values–we need to look beyond this election, but also beyond 2010 and even 2012. Academic circles have been discussing the problem of undereducated voters and nihilistic individuals who have no sense of communitarian values having disproportionate power in elections, and what can be done about it.

    If we want sustained change in this country, we need significant institutional reform. This means eliminating our electoral arrangements, which currently treat the voices of all individuals, no matter their knowledge or communitarian impulses, equally. This is clearly a travesty. It got us Bush, and it got us Brown. If we’re not careful, it will get us Fraulein Palin.

    Elections are about making informed decisions, and about the public good. I hope you will all join us in reforming our electoral process to reward those among us who are knowledgeable and fair-minded, and seize power from those who are not.

  • ulTRAX

    Peter wrote: “Nonsense – I’ve spelled out EXACTLY what I mean – I said, compare the platforms of the CDU or the Tories to the US Democratic party. Our farthest left major party is to the RIGHT of major European conservative parties!”

    Sure. I don’t totally agree… but with few exceptions like social conservatives, other aspects of what we call conservatism are in flux. Same with liberalism. The parties reflect the current constituent coalitions. Right wing wackos who want to sabotage the finances of government have replaced the old fiscal conservatives. The Democrats as we saw with Clinton were forced to clean up the mess. Clinton tried to triangulate and steal welfare reform and law & order from the GOP. The GOP under Bush2 tried to steal entitlements for seniors from the Dems. DLC Dems move towards corporate America.

    And that’s what I mean when say that it’s easy to claim labels, but I’m not sure what they mean in the US context. I believe I have a right to own a gun… and I do, but believe that right is protected by the Ninth Amendment, not a bastardization of the Second. Am I a conservative? I oppose NAFTA and GATT pushed through by Clinton. Am I a conservative? I’m a fiscal conservative in favor of a strongly progressive tax system. What the hell does THAT make me???

    What you have NOT demonstrated is that we more conservative parties because the nation is more conservative or that there is no thriving liberal sentiment out there which the Democratic Party just refuses to reflect.

    I’ve outline in the other forum
    http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/01/week-in-the-news-108
    any number of ways in which our dysfunctional un-/anti-democratic political and election systems work to amplify the power of the Right. We also have a system that punishes citizens for voting their conscience because of the spoiler effect. It’s the basis for our two party system and some actually believe this is desirable because it has a moderating effect. I think this is a euphemism for having a braindead system in which certain viewpoints are excluded from the political debate. And I believe this plays a role in suppressing the liberal voice just as the Right’s big advantage in the media. The DLC Democrats have certainly moved the Party to the Right. But have the people followed or are they growing disenchanted with Democrats who act like Republican-lite? I’ve seen too many polls that show there’s still a strong liberal streak in the US despite these obstacles which is why I question your premise.

  • Brett

    “This means eliminating our electoral arrangements…” -Yolanda

    And which “electoral arrangements” specifically would you be referring to that need to be eliminated? The 22nd Amendment? What possible reforms in voting regulations can you think of that would ensure only progressives get elected? And, if, in some parallel universe, the 22nd Amendment would get repealed, what would you do if somehow in this alternative universe a conservative candidate repeatedly got elected? Would you then advocate legislation to prevent anyone but progressives getting elected?

  • ulTRAX

    Louise wrote… expecting to be taken seriously… “The fine people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said no thanks to “Mussolini care”.

    That’s a curious statement given that the Senate bill is very close to OUR Massachusetts model which Scott Brown voted for.

    And no… the fine people of Mass did NO such thing. Brown’s vistory represents only about 22% of the voting age public in Mass.

  • twenty-niner

    “Of COURSE there are consequences. But unlike a private company, the government can’t go out of business”

    It can’t? Tell that to California or 140 million Russians.

    But I agree that we absolutely need government. I’m not an anarchist. I absolutely support government-funded research, public education, a strong safety net, and the mitlitary. And because we can’t afford having our government going out of business, we need to fix its balance sheet, which is completely out of whack. All I’m saying we can debate how to slice the pie, just so long as we can afford the pie.

    By the way, BBN invented the packet-switched network, under DARPA funding.

    Bolt Beranek and Newman

  • Brett

    “…aspects of what we call conservatism are in flux. Same with liberalism.-ulTRAX

    This is so true. And, especially trying to attempt defining these terms within the context of US politics by putting them in a broader context of European politics doesn’t quite work. They are relative to the system being discussed.

  • Yolanda

    Brett–

    Progressive academics of a certain stripe have long advocated for some kind of basic test to qualify individuals for voting. This wouldn’t be done to ensure that progressives win, but I would argue that, since we’d only have educated people voting, progressives would clearly win.

    As for eliminating the 22nd Amendment–Yes, that will be our political project. It is undemocratic; if President Obama is willing to stay past January 20, 2017, there should be nothing preventing him from doing so.

  • jeffe

    I hate to say this, but here it goes, the USA is a conservative country. Most people hate to pay taxes, and the republicans play on our collective greed to win elections.

    It seems to me that some people on the right like to just make comments that are through away ad hominem attacks which are baseless. Statements such as “Mussolini care” are juvenile and speak to a one dimensional frame of mind. How boring.

  • jeffe

    Yolanda you’re kidding right? eliminating the 22nd Amendment, sorry but you’re wrong.

    If anyone has anything critical to say about Obama you go off on them. This kind of “worship” thing is not healthy.

    You sound like the people on the right that you are attacking.

  • Yolanda

    jeffe–

    I’m sorry, but I do not “worship.” The hordes who went out to buy Fraulein Palin’s book worship her, and the worship in their Houses of Hate every week. Admiration and thankfulness are different than worship.

    And I believe the onus should be on you to tell me why the 22nd Amendment is not, in fact, undemocratic! I shudder to think that, come January 21st, 2017, our country could be left without a great leader, even if the will of the people clearly wants otherwise.

  • jeffe

    How is term limits for a president not constitutional?

    I shudder to think that, come January 21st, 2017, our country could be left without a great leader, even if the will of the people clearly wants otherwise.

    So you were saying that you’re not worshiping Obama?
    Are you serious? What do call this statement?

    Obama is a brilliant man, a great leader, well time and history will tell. To call him that after one year, and a year in which he basically sold out to the special interest and caved to the opposition is hardly what I would great leading. LBJ was a good forceful president who knew how to work the system, his legacy is proof of that, imperfect as it is.

    Obama in my view has not shown any real leadership.
    Witness Joe Lieberman, LBJ would have had his head and Lieberman would have towed the line and made some very nice speeches about “his change of heart”.

    Great leaders are only defined by history and events, not by grading themselves.

  • peter nelson

    And, especially trying to attempt defining these terms within the context of US politics by putting them in a broader context of European politics doesn’t quite work. They are relative to the system being discussed.

    That would be true if we were only talking about issues that were unique to the US. For example, creationism -vs- evolutionary theory is a problem that is mainly confined to the US among major industrial democracies (the UK has seen some isolated instances of that debate but nothing like here). So I agree that for issues that are unique to the US we can’t really compare ourselves to other countries. Gun ownership is another issue that we seem unusually exercised about among major industrial democracies, and FWIW, I’m also a gun owner.

    However once we start talking about issues that are shared among all major industrial democracies, like health insurance, retirement/pension policy, environmental policy, corporate wage differentials, right-to-unionize, gay rights, and lots of other things, then trans-national comparisons are perfectly legitimate. And I claim that in those areas the US is unusually conservative, and that if more progressives spent more time either IN other countries, or at least following their politics, they would realize just how unique the US is.

  • jeffe

    2017? My, are we being optimistic. I’m not sure who I am voting for in the presidential election in 2012, but it seems to me that there is a pretty good chance that Obama might be a one term president if he keeps on the track he is now.

  • Brett

    “…once we start talking about issues that are shared among all major industrial democracies, like health insurance, retirement/pension policy, environmental policy, corporate wage differentials, right-to-unionize, gay rights, and lots of other things, then trans-national comparisons are perfectly legitimate. And I claim that in those areas the US is unusually conservative…” -Peter Nelson

    If there is a comparison of US politics to, say, European politics, I would agree that they are decidedly more to the left then we, and this is true across the board of issues. I also would agree that comparisons are legitimate, particularly with regard to issues affected by global economics.

    Within the context of a discussion of US politics, e.g., someone terms Brown as an ultra-conservative Republican posing as a moderate, or that Obama is only slightly left of center leading as a centrist, etc., these terms are relative to our politics and would be defined differently in a broader context.

  • peter nelson

    Progressive academics of a certain stripe have long advocated for some kind of basic test to qualify individuals for voting.

    I wouldn’t generalize about that. A very few have taken that position.

    Basically, voters are being asked to vote on issues that ideally require some actual knowledge of policy, history, science, economics, geography, budgets and so forth.

    But many Americans are totally clueless about these things. One recent professional poll found that 1 person in a THOUSAND could name all five rights protected under the 1st Amendment but about 1/4 of respondents could name the 5 main Simpson characters. Since that time I’ve asked many people the First Amendment question and got the essentially the same results as the poll – almost no one seems to know what’s in the 1st Amendment.

    But the problem is twofold -

    1. there is no Constitutional basis to deny people their right to vote and attempts to use tests have invariably been abused to discriminate against people.

    2. Philosophically, even stupid, ignorant or cruel people have a right to be represented, and have their (stupid, ignorant, cruel) views on the table. Even though I’m a policy wonk and would love it if only educated, well-informed opinions were part of the debate, I recognize that this would be undemocratic – if stupid ignorant, cruel policies are preferred by the majority then stupid, ignorant, cruel policies should be the law of the land.

  • ulTRAX

    Twenty-Niner wrote: “By the way, BBN invented the packet-switched network, under DARPA funding.”

    I really don’t see much of a distinction between X that’s entirely government developed and X that was developed with government funding. The Lunar Excursion Module of Apollo Program fame was clearly government funded but built by Grumman. So would Grumman have built it on its own? Hardly. There was no way the private sector could muster the resources to go to the moon. There was simply no profit in it. Neither would BBN have developed packet switching on its own.

    So we’re back to government playing a critical role in the nation’s technological development… that is if such research funding isn’t threatened by irresponsible tax cuts and wild spending designed to sabotage the finances of government. Gee… who would do that? LOL

  • James

    Four years of control of Congress and over a year of control of two branches of government and absolutely nothing accomplished. MA rejected Obama and the whole pack of liars in Washington..

  • peter nelson

    So we’re back to government playing a critical role in the nation’s technological development…

    Ssshhhhh! – Don’t tell the conservatives that; it might upset them.

    Packet switching / Internet Protocol, spread spectrum, radar, integrated circuits and other technology were developed under government contracts. But we all know the government can’t do anything right or pick winners, so it must not be true.

    And we know how much the conservatives hate “social engineering”, so surely the biggest social engineering project in US history – the Interstate Highway System – which created vast new industries and totally changed the way Americans live – couldn’t possibly have been done by the government.

    I’m still waiting for that poster who claimed that GOP style conservatism works better than any alternatives to respond to my challenge to cite an actual 21st-century nation which illustrates his claim.

  • jeffe

    For those that need to refresh their memory of the 1st amendment:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Most people only know the Second.

  • Brett

    Peter,
    It is my belief, based on many different comments by Yolanda over time here in this forum, that she isn’t really talking about people who are educated at all; she’s talking about only “educated” people who are oriented toward her so-called progressive views. If anyone shows even the most remote criticism of any of Obama’s actions, she considers them “retrogressive” and racist. If someone were devoted to absolute admiration toward Obama, for example, she wouldn’t care if he/she was illiterate. To me that is quite different than your advocacy that people become versed in various subjects to become informed voters/citizens.

    I’m a liberal, and I would never want to deny someone the right to be represented in our government who have different views than I. I also know a lot of very well-educated people who have very different ideological views than I, as most of us do; ostensibly, Yolanda thinks the educations of these people aren’t valid (because they haven’t drawn the same conclusions as she), as reflected in her comments from the past six months or so. There is a genuine danger in that sort of thinking.

  • jeffe

    There is a genuine danger in that sort of thinking.
    I’ll say, it’s as intolerant of anyone on the right using the same kind of mentality. Such as the people who call Obama a fascist, or socialist or whatever ism that they are using that month. It seems to change like the weather and sometimes both are used.

    To suggest that the 22 Amendment should be abolished to give Obama more power is kind of absurd.

  • Michael

    Simpsons ‘trump’ First Amendment

    Only one in four could name more than one of the five freedoms it upholds but more than half could name at least two members of the cartoon family.

    About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4761294.stm

  • jeffe

    About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms. Wow. I bet most people could not find Yemen on a map. Hint, it’s near Saudi Arabia.

  • Joan

    Peter Nelson I believe you have just described the Republicans’ attitude and problem with Health Reform
    to a T.

    “The problem with this premise is that the Republicans have not shown a SHRED of evidence that they think that access to affordable health care is an issue that needs to be addressed by government.

    The Republican attitude is basically, “tsk – it’s unfortunate that the poor and unemployed can’t afford healthcare but I’ve got mine, Jack, f— you”.

    It’s not as though the GOP has proposed a comprehensive program of their own, and that all Obama has to do is reach some sort of compromise with it.

    The GOP still thinks that we have “the best healthcare system in the world” despite the fact that we not only have a shorter lifespan and higher infant mortality rate than many other countries, and despite the fact that polls show that Americans are LESS satisfied with access and quality than people in many other advanced nations, and despite the fact that we pay 50% more per capita to achieve those poorer results.

    There’s nothing to reach across the aisle to!”

    Yes, there is no one on the other side of the aisle
    today as they are all have agreed to gang up on Obama like schoolyard bul;lies to derail Health Care Reform.

    And I believe your description above also sums up the conservative Republicans attitude in Massachusetts and
    the so called Independent voters who joined them to jack up the odds against Coakley and voted Brown in.

    (Some independent choice they made with Brown showing
    a voting record of 96%percent with his Republican base)

    Yet the reality there if Bostonians voted as they
    did in 2008 for Obama with 80,000 more voters cast-
    ing their ballots on this special election day and
    a few of the suburban towns came in with a similiar democratic turnout Brown would never have made it.

    Thus his rerun in 2012 to maintain that seat should be
    a shoe in if the Democracts keep their base solid in those areas and pick up some independent voters in the surrounding towns.

    In addition, I agree Obama should stay on track as
    polls show Massachusetts democrats want the health
    reform he seeks.

    Lastly, what hypocrisy from Mitch Mc Connel today who
    advised Obama to listen to the Massachusetts voters
    and keeps his negotiations transparent.

    I can recall the majority leader rubber stamping every bill and legistlation Bush and Cheney sent his way and I can only imagine the sweetheart deals he made with his fellow Republicans who seemed eager to sign on the dotted line also. Joan

  • joshua

    This is nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!! How convenient! To end health-care MOnica says. HOw could a neocon for big corporations, a man that demands sick people die (eugenic-like) win in a place where progressives reign 3-1? I smell sth fishy. if you listen to thie Monica–she sounds fake–like Fox news.

    It’s strange how such tragedy always befalls the Kennedy’s. Hmmm. A brain tumor? Hmmm. How convenient.

    Why oh why oh why do people swallow this nonsense hook line and sinker? Why oh why do people protest health? Oh no not in my country—survival of the fittest—die die. Im sorry, you’re not filthy rich–you have to die! A little racism here maybe–considering how many African-Americans and Hispanics and immigrants have no health-care.

    I think it’s very convenint that they were somehow able to get a corporate-shill in office when democracy once again is on the table! how convenient that kennedy passes with a brain tumor–hmm. Did he?

    NPR–where’s your health care debate–an honest rational debate–without the corporate shills and malicious ignoramuses?

  • Louise

    Mr. Obama, let’s make a deal, don’t tax my health care benefits and you can keep the “change”.

  • joshua

    “Do more for ordinary people first!” What do you think health care is? So this guy thinks poor people and middle calss people are not ‘ordianry’? Your true allegiance is clear.

    Nonsense. Ordinary people, everybody needs helath care reform! Obama has actuually done alot–he has made some mistakes but its his first year for goodness sake! We need to stop giving voice to Fox country.

  • joshua

    Louise–you have no health care benefits. Wake up.

  • joshua

    Why dont we put health-care to a public vote–not congress, not the senate, not corporations–but every American indivual gets a vote on the bill–open source–let the people draw u the bill online–contribute–and see what happens–i guarantee we wil have national healthcare for all when all are allowed to vote. We eed to stop serving the 1% elite–this is fascism.

  • joshua

    the elitists are the arrogant swagering blackwater loving cowboys with greasy smirks and big oil and the bankers who cal us dead peasents–not obama, not progressives. the problem is so many ignorant people see wisdom nd knowledge as arrogance because they feel small when they don’t understand something–so out of touch—ignorance leads to fear and hatred and stubborn pig-headed refuasl to listen to reason. Im so sick of replithugs calling the left elitist–its the other way around–as everythign that comes out of thier political mouths on the right–war is freedom, health care is holocaust, reson is elitism–doublespeak nonsense. So many brainwashed people in America–thank the corporate media for that. Look where the money goes in this country–thats all you have to do to see how our so-called democracy works–if its reasonable or elitist–money flows into the rich,,,, it doesnt trickle down–it goes to war, insurance, wallstreet while main street crumbles, education crumbles and is crushed, bridges collapse–pleaase! Eltisim–those people you call eltisits are trying to fix this country and wrestle out of the hands of evil-doers with arrogant self-righteous elitist cowboy ways.

  • Stacked

    This is only the beginning. Obama and the Dems. have really…really, underestimated the silent majority. The Sleeping Giant is waking. Buh-Bye! :)

  • Alex

    “Four years of control of Congress and over a year of control of two branches of government and absolutely nothing accomplished. MA rejected Obama and the whole pack of liars in Washington”

    I would not say absolutely nothing. We have a market that’s been up for a year after everybody was running like mad scared that everything was collapsing. Plus, to be exact, it is not four years of control of Congress. It is more like three. But your larger point is still valid, i guess.

  • Yolanda

    Wow–it’s turning into a regular Glenn Beck fan club on this message board!

    Every time I come here to defend my progressive (or should I say, common-sense and compassionate) politics here and stand up against clear racists who are assassinating the good name of our country’s leader, I am attacked and harassed, the likes of which you would never see happen to, say, a white man.

    If you are truly “liberal” or “progressive”–and I can’t see how you could be, if you’re not standing up to defend the policies and very good name of our progressive (and, need I say, PERSON OF COLOR) president–then you will direct your attacks where they belong–at the hate mongers like Herr Brown and the retrogressive voters of Massachusetts.

    Finally, I am not equating education with progressive politics. However, I challenge you to find me one truly intelligent person who actually believes in Death Panels, and “higher powers,” and the social value of capitalism. Your view of education is too narrow-minded, in that it hews too closely to what our capitalist-elite establishment says “education” is. Education is lived experience. It’s raising three children as a single, illiterate African-American woman in the inner city. It’s being homeless because a heartless corporation fired you after you took off from work an hour early because you’d received word that your young daughter had been raped and murdered. These people are the truly educated ones. That we let white, suburban males take away their voice is an ongoing travesty.

  • Stacked

    Nobody owes you anything Yolonda. You got three kids you can’t afford? You should have been more responsible. Nobody owes you a job. Nobody owes you an education. Capitalism helped build this nation. I think you’d be happier in North Korea. They’ve got everything provided for you there. Enjoy. And as far as playing the race card Yolonda, I don’t know if you noticed, but that trick is played-out. Nobody’s listening to it anymore. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, they way the rest of us have to do everyday regardless of “color” and stop feeling sorry for yourself. The pickings are slim now days, and there is no more room to carry dead-weight. Pony-up, or throw a fit, but this march won’t be stopping to help. It’s every man and woman for themselves now, and the strong will band together. The nonsense of the past can’t be afforded anymore. Welcome to the new, harder, colder, reality. Good Luck, and leave that chip on your shoulder at the door, because nobody cares about it but you!

  • Alex

    “In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that as an exercise of free speech, corporations, labor unions and other groups can directly spend on political campaigns.”

    How do you like them apples?

  • Stacked

    @Alex: LOL, yeah, the Tea Party is scaring the crap out of them since it’s not a Republican or Democratic force. It’s a grass-roots force, and mostly Independent. It won’t do them any good however, as the entire Tea Party was not put together via media, but spontaneous combustion. The truck-load of new dollars the old powers will now have available won’t do them much good because Tea Party members have already pretty much turned off their TV’s, and disconnected mentally from the old mass manipulation streams. Regardless of whether this allows the Political Parties and their Corporate Masters to quell the neigh Public Riot on their hands remains to be seen, but the only shot they will have at doing anything, regardless of cash warchests, will be to “give the people what they want” at least for awhile. Either way, problem solved for the rank & file. They elite can push no further, and the “Soma” doesn’t work anymore on the “Savages” so who really cares if they just opened up a whole new case of the stuff. It’s now too out of control to contain that way anyway.

  • Jack

    I’m sorry but I have lost all confidence in Obama.

    There are some aspects of healthcare reform that cannot be watered down. 1) Everybody gets covered somehow (employer, Medicare, etc) with Medicaid as backstop. 2) Coverage is mandatory. The only way to ensure the risk pool is not full of the riskiest is to mandate everyone in. This is the only way you can control costs. 3) Everyone pays something. This will aid cost control as well.

    He is too quick to cave on the most critical aspects of reform.

  • peter nelson

    “In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that as an exercise of free speech, corporations, labor unions and other groups can directly spend on political campaigns.”

    It’s only an issue if American voters CHOOSE to respond to ads.

    Everything you need to select which candidate to vote for is readily, easily, and freely available from other sources, especially the web. Anyone who relies on ad content to choose a candidate deserves what they get. I don’t care how much the Almagamated Fraternity of Organized U.S. Labor Federations spend or how much Intercontinental Gigundotronic Supersystems Corp. spends on ads, they can’t make me or you or anyone pay 1 second of attention to whatever fertilizer they’re trying to dump on us.

    85% of all Senate campaign money goes to TV ads (source: CSPAN). No one has to watch TV at all, but even if they do they can turn off the ads. I’m an NFL fan, so football games are 100% of my annual TV viewing (my TV is off from the end of the Superbowl until August preseason games, and then it’s only on during games) and it’s easy to hit the mute button when the ads come on. So even though there were more Coakley and Brown ads during the Jets/Chargers game Sunday than scoring drives, I was blissfully shielded from their drivel, and I was able to enjoy what turned out to be the only really exciting game of the weekend.

    Only a moron would choose a beer, car, insurance company. or medicine based on an a TV ad, so why would they choose the person who will make the laws they will live under that way?

    I do think massive ad spending DOES serve a useful political purpose. Campaign donations are, by far, the best predictor of a candidate’s legislative behavior – far better than his platform or speeches. So if you’re not sure who to vote for, all you have to do is look at who their donors are, and who’s paying for ads on their behalf, and you have the clearest crystal ball in politics!

  • Stacked

    The “forcing US citizens to do business with private enterprise under penalty of economic penalty and/or prison” is the thing that really sunk the Dems. That’s the very definition of FACISM, and Americans don’t take too kindly to that, considering we fought and whooped the Nazi’s over that very thing! Also, all Obama’s talk of “permanent this” and “permanent that” did him no favors. What? Does he think we’ve all got dogs under these chairs? The only thing “permanent” in the US is the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Anything passed by the Dems can easily be repealed, and thrown in the garbage if the American People decide to do so. The fact that he speaks the way he does shows that the Harvard Education didn’t taught him less than one learns in High School.

    And that’s another thing…how did his white, farmer, Grandparents afford Harvard, or have the Political Connections to get him in on even a scholarship? They were from Kansas for crying out loud! They were “hillbillies,” not that I don’t love hillbillies mind you, but they don’t generally have the means to send their children or grandchildren to Harvard! Yet another hole in his background that nobody probes.

  • Stacked

    A Kansas farm girl goes to Hawaii to study Russian during the height of the cold war in the early 60′s and meets a black, Kenyan, Mau-Mau Rebellion guy in Russian class, and they marry, have a baby, the Kenyan abandons them in shame, then the hillbilly girl’s farmer parents foot the bill for her gallanting all around the world “jet-set” style, while they take the mulatto bastard-child and send him to the finest, mostly white, private schools, then get him into Harvard, and the boy becomes President of the United States, but will only post a copy of his Birth Certificate online, and we all know how hard it is to fake documents using Photoshop! LMAO! What a great book. I’d love to read it someday! It sounds like the story of a Russian Sleeper Cell Family that makes good!

  • Michael

    “A Kansas farm girl goes to Hawaii to study Russian during the height of the cold war in the early 60’s and meets a black, Kenyan, Mau-Mau Rebellion guy in Russian class, and they marry, have a baby, the Kenyan abandons them in shame, then the hillbilly girl’s farmer parents foot the bill for her gallanting all around the world “jet-set” style, while they take the mulatto bastard-child and send him to the finest, mostly white, private schools, then get him into Harvard, and the boy becomes President of the United States, but will only post a copy of his Birth Certificate online, and we all know how hard it is to fake documents using Photoshop! LMAO! What a great book. I’d love to read it someday! It sounds like the story of a Russian Sleeper Cell Family that makes good!”

    dont forget the russian code word to set obama on his path to socalist and dictatorship is ……. Teabag…

    haha your about as logical as Loiuse, Did you also know you can see Putin from alaska? What a troll:)

  • Yolanda

    I hope the moderators delete your hateful comments, Stacked.

    As for the Supreme Court’s decision today–It truly, truly saddens me. “Free speech” in this country is nothing more than a rhetorical fig leaf to protect rich, fat, white plutocrats’ abilities to fund the likes of Fraulein Palin and Herr Brown, and let them spread their hateful messages to the detriment of civil discussion in this country.

    We’ve seen what these hateful thugs–Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and now even Paul Krugman–have been saying about our president. Thinly veiled racism should NOT receive this kind of forum.

  • Michael

    But there is more,obama is working undercover with Dick A. , Dick C. and the tea party folks to take over the democracy and turn it into the a repressive state control by the one true reglion, as obamas mom went to Hawaii so did Pat Roberson, Rev Hagee, Ronald Reagan, and many of the conservative right, they developed a micro chip so small they can put in there children so when the time comes and the use of tea party and grassroots in the same sentence. This people’s programming would kick in. the key word for this is” African American in the Whitehouse” There goal was to destroy everything great about america so its gets so bad people will believe anything.

  • Stacked

    Spoken like a true Commie Yolanda! Free Speech! (except when it’s speech I don’t agree with) Also, have you ever heard of “Godwin’s Law” Yolanda. Get some “education” right there. It will help you out. No charge! ;)

  • twenty-niner

    “I hope the moderators delete your hateful comments, Stacked.”

    I agree. I think Stacked should be arrested and charged as a thought criminal. I can only imagine the subversive ruminations stewing around his head. As we all come together and rally around our “Great Leader”, the last thing we need is a dissenting voice. In fact, I move that we replace the term “president” in our discourse with the term, “Great Leader”.

  • Brett

    “Anyone who relies on ad content to choose a candidate deserves what they get.” -peter nelson

    This is so fundamentally true, Peter, and it is at the foundation of so many of your comments. As consumers, we are all intimately familiar with advertising and its manipulations, yet when it comes to political ads many people have a tendency toward suspending disbelief, to borrow a Samuel Coleridge Taylor phrase. It takes a conscious effort to not get swayed by those ads, but we owe it to ourselves and our society to make a little effort.

  • Brett

    “I am not equating education with progressive politics.” -Yolanda

    Exactly! You’re equating progressive politics with supremacy!

    Also, you project in your Jan. 21st, 10:11am comment images intended to elicit sympathy for downtrodden people (which, they would from anyone). Yet, you put those images in a context that attempts to paint–with a brush so broad it obscures any reasonable and nuanced point–those who have any concern about the current administration’s effectiveness as being “racist,” “retrogressive,” heartless and oblivious to the needs of people who suffer from any of society’s ills. This is a very tawdry tactic, and it undermines the very thing you hope to champion. Shame on you for eliminating any kind of a dialogue to a race-baiting, stereotyping, lowest-common-denominator scheme. The only difference between you and Stacked is, ideologically, you are diametric opposites.

  • Brett

    “It’s raising three children as a single, illiterate African-American woman in the inner city. It’s being homeless because a heartless corporation fired you after you took off from work an hour early because you’d received word that your young daughter had been raped and murdered.” -Yolanda

    Yeah…it’s difficult to determine who Yolanda really is. It looks as if she has constructed a kind of composite character here. She has previously identified herself as White…so, who knows?

    Here’s an excerpt from one of her comments from last year:

    “…As for President Obama’s use of the adjective “black”–clearly there are some descriptors that people of color can use, but which are inappropriate for others. As a white person, I understand that there are words I should never use, but which my multicultural brothers and sisters can use to make political points…” -Yolanda, from her comment on Sept. 28th, 2009, at 2:43pm.

  • Stacked

    Thanks for “dividing and conquering” up in here Officer Brett. LOL!

  • jeffe

    The only difference between you and Stacked is, ideologically, you are diametric opposites.

    I could not have said it better and agree.

    Yolanda I’m not sure why you have this huge chip on your shoulder, but it seems to weigh you down some. You need to understand that we are allowed to be critical of the president. It’s not about race, it’s about the job the mans doing, period. Now go find Yemen on the map.

    Stacked, well I’ve already been down that ally.

    Stacked is pretty smart, he knows how to take it just to the edge of extremism and pulls it back just enough to keep the comments from being removed. It is interesting and pretty clever. I don’t like it, but he’s entitled to his opinion, even though it’s as warped and twisted as a 2 x 4 that’s been sitting in the elements to long

  • Stacked

    Jeffe, you’re becoming a bore. Where’s the old Jeffe, that would lash out, and foam at the mouth at me? LOL!

  • jeffe

    What! She’s white! OK, Yolanda are you for real?
    Man you and Stacked have a lot more in common than I thought. Fictional online persona’s.

    “It’s raising three children as a single, illiterate African-American woman in the inner city. It’s being homeless because a heartless corporation fired you after you took off from work an hour early because you’d received word that your young daughter had been raped and murdered.” -Yolanda

    Well this is a little dramatic. Yolanda I bet you’re quite the drama queen.

  • jeffe

    At least you have a sense of humor.
    I’m a pretty average person. I admit it, I’m no Jack Bauer.

  • Brett

    Michael,
    Again, enjoyed your comment from 1:21pm…but Sshhh! ixnay on the icro-chipmay! People are listening and will find out about all of the connections, as well as Obama’s alien overlords!

  • Brett

    “Thanks for “dividing and conquering” up in here Officer Brett. LOL!”

    Glad to see you’re maintaining an equilibrium between the two phases; are you achieving this through natural or clinically approved means? :-)

  • Stacked

    I alternate between praying to our father “Ford” and massive doses of “Soma” Alpha +! I love your Brave New World Brett. :)

  • Ishmael

    Getting back to the picture/photo at the top of this discussion, and as Brett made an observation about the flags in response to an earlier comment of mine, clearly those supporters of the new senator are NOT bearing the flag of the United States. Thier version is a distortion, a mutated form of the real thing.

    That certainly says something about them.

  • david

    Obama is now blaming the Coakley’s lose on Bush. States the people are angry about the last 1 to 2 years and the last 8 years, referring to Bush. Funny, if they hated Bush, why did they vote in Brown. Maybe it is the progressives they do not like?

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Jeffe wrote: “About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms.”

    Actually it is. Madison feared enumerating SOME rights in a formal bill of rights would put those unremunerated at risk. He believed that the very nature of a government with limited powers was sufficient to protect all rights. But the states forced a bill of rights as a condition of ratifying the Constitution… and the Ninth and Tenth amendments were to be that overarching safeguard. It’s the Rosetta Stone for decoding the Framer’s intent. The Ninth reads “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    But both political parties have no use for the Ninth. And while the crazies bastardize the Second, the Ninth languishes.

    Right has long wanted to abolish the right to choose and other privacy rights because they claim there are no such rights in the Constitution. In hearings to ratify judicial nominees Democrats foolishly work within this flawed legal framework and instead demand to know whether nominees will respect stare decicis… past legal rulings. This is such a flawed strategy and to be laughable. What we should insist that if the Right wants to abolish these rights then let THEM repeal the Ninth.

    Some quotes from Madison here:
    http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2006/01/democrats-undermine-their-own-position.html

  • peter nelson

    Jeffe wrote: “About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms.”

    Actually it is.

    Actually, it isn’t. We were talking about the rights delineated in the First Amendment, and how a remarkable large number of Americans have no clue

  • gina

    “Fraulein Palin and Herr Brown” – so apparently Yolanda feels that conflating Germans with Nazis IS acceptable stereotyping?

    (Leaving aside any discussion of the already-mentioned Godwin’s Law for another time …)

  • peter nelson

    Jeffe wrote: “About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms.”

    Actually it is.

    Actually, it isn’t. We were talking about the rights delineated in the First Amendment, and how a remarkably (or maybe not so remarkably depending on one’s opinion of Americans) large number of Americans have no clue what’s in it.

  • ulTRAX

    Oops… I only read Jeffe’s comments. I didn’t know it was strictly a discussion about the First.

  • ulTRAX

    Peter wrote: “Only a moron would choose a beer, car, insurance company. or medicine based on an a TV ad, so why would they choose the person who will make the laws they will live under that way?”

    I still consider myself a fan of Nat Brandon, one of Ayn Rand’s acolytes. Yes, self-aware people are capable of free choice. These people can self-correct when they come to wrong conclusions. But all too often people go through life on auto-pilot. Their internal value system is not self-correcting but self-verifying and therefore self-justifying. These people leave themselves open to manipulation to well crafted and seductive messages. designed to push the right buttons to get a desired effect.

    The problem with Peter’s let the money flow view is that in a world with not enough time… even the self-aware are stressed to fact check every damn misleading claim about either a product, politician, proposed legislation, a pharmaceutical, whatever. And even if someone could… at some point the time pissed away on this just deteriorates the quality of life because in our society lies work… and therefore are told over and over.

    The of course there’s the greater danger from the unaware who aren’t going to bother fact checking any message that they already agree with. And isn’t that the intellectual level all too many operate on? How many people in this last election were swayed by the blatant LIES being broadcast from I believe it was Mass Citizens For Life. They claimed the health reform bill would “mandate abortions” and seniors would be denied care.

    But not all messages are such blatant lies. If corporations had their way we’d all be automatons there to feed the needs of the corporations. They rarely respect us as consumers… even if free market types claim it. They would much rather sneak their messages in beneath our conscious awareness. The sell the sizzle not the steak approach is an old variant. The PR firms that craft these messages now have the advantage of the latest research into the way the brain works. They will always be ahead of the vast majority of both consumers and citizens because they have the time and resources to specialize in this. Even with some consumer protection groups they will always be drowned out.
    I heard Newt Gingrich today saying pretty much what Peter is. That everyone should be free to spend what they want as long as it’s disclosed daily. Newt is a cynical politician out only to promote the far Right’s agenda. If he’s for this USSC decision… I know it doesn’t do ANYTHING for democracy as he claims. After all, the Right has no love of democracy. All it can do is threaten wealth and power… therefore it must be subverted.

    As we’ve seen with previous attempts like McCain Feingold, there will always be loopholes. There is NO protection against corporate money buying even more politicians than they already do except to drive a stake into the heart of the problem: abolish corporate personhood.

  • ulTRAX

    David wrote: “Funny, if they hated Bush, why did they vote in Brown. Maybe it is the progressives they do not like?”
    In our system the biggest majority in any election are those citizens who COULD vote and don’t. But we don’t look at the entire voting age population (VAP) only those who vote.

    What this reserve of potential voters means is someone like Brown can craft a strategy to tap some of these people. If that combines with Democrats having a terrible candidate and being disenchanted with the way Obama and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate have governed, they might stay home.

    In the end Brown was only “approved” by about 22% of those who could have voted. Not much of a “revolution” is it?

  • Yolanda

    Why are so many people here surprised that I’m white?! Can’t a white woman show solidarity with my strong, African-American sisters?! Can’t a white woman be ashamed about the oppression her light-skinned brothers have inflicted upon so many innocents?!

    jeffe–The “chip” on my shoulder is millennia of oppression by fat, rich, white men.

    Stacked–I’m not sure why I should think “Communist” is some kind of epithet. In my (enlightened) circles, it’s considered a badge of intellectualism and compassion.

    Please, many of you need to calm and educate yourselves. Tear yourselves away from “Going Rogue” and read “The Audacity of Hope.” I read a passage every morning before I even get out of bed, and it both relaxes me and focuses me for the work at hand.

  • peter nelson

    The of course there’s the greater danger from the unaware who aren’t going to bother fact checking any message that they already agree with. And isn’t that the intellectual level all too many operate on?

    There is a distinct notion on both the left and the right that the average person is a “sheople” – some sort of easily programmed automoton and that we need to put limits of free expression to protect them from brainwashing. The left blames campaign ad money and right wing talk radio; the right blames some vast liberal media conspiracy.

    Invariably the people who take that position, both on the left and the right, exclude themselves from this programmability, as though they have a metal plate in their heads to ward off the “thought-control beams” or something.

    I think that’s hypocritical. I’m always pointing out here that I don’t watch ads (or practically any TV at all), that I read the international press, that I track budget and voting and funding data, etc. I do all this by choice. I’m also a serious football fan; I don’t think the effort involved is following policy is any greater than the effort of following sports statistics or knowing a team’s defensive formations or an opposing quarterback’s tendencies. The rules of football are MUCH more complicated than the US Constitution!

    So if I’m going to take credit for MY choices, why shouldn’t I extend the same courtesy to my fellow Americans? I think it’s elitist for some of us to claim that we’ve achieved self-awareness while all those around us are at some lower stage of evolution or development.

  • ulTRAX

    Peter wrote: “There is a distinct notion on both the left and the right that the average person is a “sheople” – some sort of easily programmed automoton and that we need to put limits of free expression to protect them from brainwashing. The left blames campaign ad money and right wing talk radio; the right blames some vast liberal media conspiracy.”

    Yes, everyone, self-aware or not, tends to believe in the correctness of their own beliefs. But that’s not the issue. But while we both agree people have the capacity to be self-aware and self-correcting, we it should be obvious most are not. We know from these forums that some have somehow inoculated themselves from some basic facts.

    The ability to breakout of one’s one social programming… to recognize and respond to objective reality is not as easy as it sounds especially in a society where self-correction is not a cherished value… belief in often irrational traditions trumps that every time. Worst, few politicians, corporations, or religious institutions have a vested interest in MAINTAINING the irrationality of the public.

    I’ve always been fascinated about how intellectually dysfunctional humans stay in that state http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2006/05/road-hell-is-paved-with-true-believers.html
    I believe it’s really a self-sabotaging of the intellect. Anyway, there’s now a better forum for this topic.

  • ulTRAX

    Oops… I’m such a careless self-editor:

    I wrote: “Worst, few politicians, corporations, or religious institutions have a vested interest in MAINTAINING the irrationality of the public.”

    It should have read

    Worst, MOST politicians, corporations, and religious institutions have a vested interest in MAINTAINING the irrationality of the public.

    One last thought about something Peter wrote: “I think it’s elitist for some of us to claim that we’ve achieved self-awareness while all those around us are at some lower stage of evolution or development.”

    My use of the term self-aware is not to suggest anyone is NOT self-aware. Everyone is conscious of themselves as an independent entity. I mean the term to apply to being able to monitor one’s own thought processes. There’s a great book written about 20 years ago on this called Mindfulness.

    We all know people who are capable of cognitive dissonance… or that Orwellian capacity to believe Black is White, and who seem inoculated against all inconvenient facts. Yes, any given point a person is essentially making a decision NOT to give something more thought… to NOT self-correct. There are simply other considerations that are more highly valued than reality.

    The fact that this capacity exists does NOT excuse it. As I said on some level I believe as you in absolute free will. But Peter, it’s really naive to believe there’s NO human capacity to go through life and to make decisions essentially on auto-pilot.

  • twenty-niner

    “Stacked–I’m not sure why I should think “Communist” is some kind of epithet. In my (enlightened) circles, it’s considered a badge of intellectualism and compassion.”

    Hats off to you Yolanda for admitting that you’re a communist. So many liberals are afraid of being upfront and saying what they really want. If you want the government to seize all private property and control the means of production, don’t be afraid to say it out loud! I wish more liberals would come out of the closet.

  • a democrat

    The Real Mass Revolt will be against Brown in the days and weeks and months
    ahead as he tries to oppose Obama’s agenda with the Republicans and won’t Martha Coakley be vindicated then? This man is clueless and I am willing to
    bet he doesn’t even know what he is opposing in the health bill as he mouths
    off his Party line….

    No new taxes, no controls (which means back to business as usual ). more gov-
    ernment terrorism against the people of Afghanistan (which will keep Cheney’s
    friends and CEOs reaping US tax payers dollars) and global warming isn’t real
    and there is no need to impose costly emission standards on businesses as it
    will cut into their bonuses and profits…

    Now even my 10yr old could manage to get through this in a school debate.

    (My, oh my what kind of a revolt is that? It sound like more of the GOP and its
    destructive ways and business as usual…..) A democrat

  • XXXX

    It seems like politics today are Revolt vs. Counter-Revolt. When does the “GOVERNING” start to happen in between all these “revolts?” I love bananas, just keep them out of my Republics thank you very much.

  • Bush’s fault

    265 comments that don’t matter…Brown won; get over it

  • http://themanwithanswers.wordpress.com Rick

    As of 2010, the American Public has little or no resilience. They wildly switch back and forth during tough times. One moment they enthusiastically support one party and a short time later they like the other. They have become like the mob of ancient Rome: scared, fearful, impatient, spoiled by the “games” …or, in our case, the media, which bombard us with entertainment, and solves everything in sound bites or half-hour sitcoms. We are into how people look, smokes and mirrors, glitz, and symbolism whether it is reality or not. Many of us put blinders on …..we would rather have reassuring lies than inconvenient truths (and I am NOT referring to the movie). Our uncontrolled consumerism has substituted needs with wants. We want everything – NOW. Service, frugality, sacrifice and just for short periods of time and not something we have as an integral part of our lifestyle. In-your-face partisanship is has taken the place of intelligent discourse. Victory, and not the more difficult search for the truth, is name of the game today. One-liner put-downs and name-calling are everywhere and seem to be the only thing many people are able to do. Much of the public can’t deal with, and refuse to take the time to learn about, complex issues such as health care, education, climate change, energy policy, etc…..or even how our democracy works. Unfortunately, many of our congressional and judicial leaders are just a reflection of us. Look at the way the Senate is dysfunctional….nothing can get done with the games they play there! If anything, we need a new “leadership” of inner resilience that starts with us….WE THE PEOPLE. Then, and only then, will our leaders who we elect reflect this.
    See my website: themanwithanswers.wordpress.com. I am just starting and would welcome input. Resilience, in all its many forms, is what I would like to focus on.

  • jeffe

    Gee Yolanda next thing you’ll be saying is I’ll be getting a visit from the “Satsi”.

    You’re a Communist, how retro. Talk about failed ideologies. That also explains the desire to control what people say and to have them removed from the forum.

    So even after the complete failure of the Soviet Union the Eastern block coupled with the fact that Stalin was the worse mass murder in modern history you still believe in this?

    As far as your fake “sista” routine well that’s just wrong. It’s one thing to be supportive of people of different backgrounds it’s another to give the impression that you’re part of a minority.

  • ulTRAX

    Peter wrote: “Nonsense – I’ve spelled out EXACTLY what I mean – I said, compare the platforms of the CDU or the Tories to the US Democratic party. Our farthest left major party is to the RIGHT of major European conservative parties!”

    Peter, I DO tend to agree with you on this… to a point.

    What I objected to was your claim that Brown’s win was proof of your thesis when his actual approval was only about 22% of the voting age population in Mass.

    I draw the line between Liberals (typically Democrats) and Progressives (who might vote for Nader or be in the Green Party). Liberals in the US tend to operate within the existing order. They may want to tweak the existing dysfunctional political and corporate systems while Progressives question their base assumptions. In that sense Progressives are far Left in the spectrum of US politics but pretty mainstream in the sane industrial democracies of the world.

    My other issue with your approach is that there are other forces at work. I believe there’s a disconnect between some pretty strong liberal-progressive views of the public, and actual party platforms. I’ve written elsewhere that our system political amplifies the voice of the Right. All the while Democrats have these past 30 years been undercutting their own base with policies like NAFTA and GATT. As they undercut unions, they have strayed Right looking for corporate money. They are fools. When no one is making the case for Liberal or Progressive policies… there’s little chance to build a constituency for such policies. DLC Dems are fools.

    I also have a problem with the arbitrary assemblage of issue each party tries to own. In the US system, in large part because having only two parties, issues tend to sort themselves out in odd ways… and every now and then parties try to steal issues from the other side. Who stole welfare reform, law & order, and fiscal responsibility from the GOP? Bill Clinton. Bush tried to steal FDR seniors by offering Medicare Part D. Only he didn’t want to pay for it.

    One might also believe Libertarians would object to corporations profiting by polluting or skimping on worker safety… thus harming innocent people. Yet they don’t. One might think the “right to choose” or what one does in the privacy of their bedroom would be sacred to a party of “small government”… but it’s not. And are guns as much as an issue elsewhere as here? Hardly. Gun nuts are just another single-issue constituency like flag wavers, and anti-abortionists, the GOP has cultivated.

    Without a multiparty system with clearer ideological divides, party positions here in the US don’t really reveal as much about the US psyche as they might in vibrant multi-party democracies. I suspect what’s more revealing about the US psyche is what both parties consider so outside acceptable thought they don’t even talk about.

  • jeffe

    ulTRAX, excellent points and very well written I might add.

    This is why people are so foolish about going against health care reform. Our system really hurts almost the entire population. Only they don’t know this until they get very ill or have a serious accident.
    Of course there are people in the military, and those with Medicaid and Medicare, but the 85% who have private health insurance are deluding themselves if they think the system will work for them. It’s designed to be adversarial.

  • ulTRAX

    Mark wrote: “How can Obama be both a socialist and a fascist?”

    Political partisans are always out to promote their side and damage the other. Regardless of all claims to noble motives, this is usually not intellectually honest exercise. For example, Limbaugh is clearly out to demonize Obama. It doesn’t matter what Obama does. Limbaugh will always some compelling argument to turn even the most positive actions into a negative. We saw that with his bashing Obama’s quick response to the earthquake in Haiti.

    Some here, too, feel the need to demonize Obama. But they are not as skilled as Limbaugh and, incapable of producing a coherent critique, they resort to name calling.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

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Apr 22, 2014
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As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
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We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

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