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Author Topic: "Obamacare"
Glenn Arnold
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This quote came from a different thread, but I didn't want to derail.

quote:
"Celebrate the best ideas, no matter where there come from" -- Including ideas from conservatives?
Reminds me of "Obamacare."

1 Obama promises to lead a bipartisan effort for health care reform. Gets elected.

2 Asks congress to work together to prepare a bipartisan bill. Conservatives accuse him of "failing to lead."

3 Hosts a gathering with Republican leaders to get ideas for reform bill. Gets accused of wasting the taxpayers money on expensive party.

4 Puts ideas gathered at said gathering along with some Democratic ideas (and no doubt some of his own) and presents it to Congress. Is accused of "ramming a socialist takeover of the health care system down our throats," "death panels" (which was a Republican suggestion) etc.

5. Democratic portions of the bill are systematically eliminated, leaving a predominantly Republican bill. Democrats let this happen despite a filibuster proof majority (at first, at least). Republicans still try to kill it, because its passage represents "Success" for Obama.

6. It passes anyway. Conservative media labels it "Obamacare" and Republicans vow to repeal it when they get control of both houses.

Did I miss something? Or is this really how this played out?

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PSI Teleport
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Minor quibble: Weren't people calling it Obamacare before that?
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Dan_Frank
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I... are you being totally sincere? Do you truly believe that is precisely how it played out?
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Kwea
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pretty close, actually. This was a watered dpwn version of healthcare reform, and the Dem's allowed it to be watered down because they wanted a bi-partisan bill.

This bill is worse than any of the original suggestions,", yet they are now trying to claim it was a Dem's bill.

I never hear Dems say they have a clear mandated based on a 2% win, but I heard it plenty of times over the years by the R's. In fact, neither side has a clear mandate, not when large chunks of the population disagree with them. It simply isn't a clear cut issue.

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Juxtapose
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Yes, that outline more or less matches my recollection. I don't specifically recall conservatives accusing Obama of "failing to lead," but it wouldn't surprise me.

quote:
3 Hosts a gathering with Republican leaders to get ideas for reform bill. Gets accused of wasting the taxpayers money on expensive party.
He didn't even spring the ambush. [Frown]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
I never hear Dems say they have a clear mandated based on a 2% win, but I heard it plenty of times over the years by the R's. In fact, neither side has a clear mandate, not when large chunks of the population disagree with them. It simply isn't a clear cut issue.

The democrats now have a 'majority' by common caucus alongside a minority party that is more obstructionist than any in our entire history by at least a factor of two! Quick, stymie all legislation and stick the blame for dysfunction on them.

(spoiler: this works)

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Samprimary
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http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/revealed-republican-senator-railed-healthcare-earmarks-960000-healthcare-earmark/
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St. Yogi
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Ezra Klein recently wrote a post that makes a point I think is important to understand.

quote:
Why Bipartisan health-care reform has proven impossible

"Every time we moved toward them, they would move away." -- Hillary Clinton, 1995.

As an addendum to the previous post, it's worth thinking about partisanship and health-care reform not in terms of President Obama, but in terms of presidential efforts over the last century or so. And that story has gone something like this: Democrats moved right every time they failed. And Republicans moved further right every time Democrats tried.

The original idea, of course, was a national health service run by the government. Harry Truman proposed it and fell short. Lyndon Johnson got it for seniors and some groups of the very poor. But Republicans said that was too much government, and it was unacceptable for the whole country. They proposed, through President Richard Nixon, an employer-based, pay-or-play system in which the government would set rules and private insurers would compete for business.

That didn't go anywhere, because Democrats, led by Sen. Ted Kennedy, weren't ready to give up on a national health service. By the 1990s, they were. President Bill Clinton proposed an employer-based, pay-or-play system in which the government would set rules and private insurers would compete for business. Republicans killed it. Government shouldn't be telling businesses what to do, they said, and it shouldn't be restructuring the whole health-care market. Better to center policy around personal responsibility and use an individual mandate combined with subsidies and rules making sure insurers couldn't turn people away. That way, the parts of the system that were working would remain intact, and the government would only really involve itself in the parts that weren't working.

That was what Sen. John Chafee -- and Bob Bennett, Kit Bond, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar -- proposed in 1994. It's what Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts. And so it was what Democrats proposed in 2010. The Republican answer? "Hell no, you can't!"

By this point, there were no more universal health-care approaches for Republicans to hold out as alternatives. So they just turned against the idea entirely. Cato's Michael Cannon organized "the anti-universal coverage club." John Boehner released a bill that the CBO said would cover 8 percent as many people as the Democrats' plan.

So over the last 80 years or so, Democrats have responded to Republican opposition by moving to the right, and Republicans have responded by moving even further to the right. In other words, Democrats have been willing to adopt Republican ideas if doing so meant covering everybody (or nearly everybody), while Republicans were willing to abandon Republican ideas if sticking by them meant compromising with the Democrats. But because Democrats were insistent on getting something that would help the uninsured, they've ended up looking like the partisans, as they keep pushing bills Republicans refuse to sign onto.



[ November 16, 2010, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: St. Yogi ]

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Tresopax
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quote:
I... are you being totally sincere? Do you truly believe that is precisely how it played out?
That description does seem to be pretty much how it played out. Obama seemed to go out of his way to make it bipartisan, while House Democrats seemed to be fighting to make it the change more radical. The end result is about a bill that seems about as Republican as a universal health care bill can get.
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Mucus
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Not even that, considering that the health care bill wasn't universal
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Minor quibble: Weren't people calling it Obamacare before that?
Yeah, I guess that actually occurred during the "Democratic portions of the bill are systematically eliminated" part. But after the bill was passed, "Obamacare" stopped being a concept and became the name of the law.

quote:
I don't specifically recall conservatives accusing Obama of "failing to lead," but it wouldn't surprise me.
"Failing to lead" was what they called it when they said that he should present them with a bill that they could vote on, rather than just asking Congress to put together a bill. IIRC, Obama said he didn't want to present them with a bill precisely because to do so could be seen as "ramming it down their throat." But they used the "failure to lead" argument to make it seem like legislation was somehow the responsibility of the Executive branch. Hmmm, we don't want to do our jobs, you do it for us, and then we can blame you for it.

quote:
Do you truly believe that is precisely how it played out?
Precisely? No. As noted, the term "Obamacare came somewhat earlier. And after all, I did ask:
quote:
Did I miss something? Or is this really how this played out?
Feel free to add any details I missed.

But from now on, I think I'll call it "Republicare."

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Samprimary
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Why? It's still something that the republicans desperately loathe, and one which, for all of its having been watered down, will still improve our health care mess to a significant extent.
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Tresopax
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It still deserves to be called "Obamacare" - his push for health care reform and his desire for bipartisanship are what led to it becoming what it became. He deserves a good portion of the credit or blame, depending on how you view it.
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Darth_Mauve
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"Obamacare" is the "WMD" of 2010.

Remember in 2002 everyone assumed, knew, or confirmed there were WMD in Iraq. The press didn't question it. The Left didn't question it. Nobody questioned it except the troops who couldn't find them.

And then by 2004 we all looked back and said, "How could people have been so stupid as to believe there were WMD in Iraq without the slightest proof they existed.

Now, in 2010 President Obama gets a victory and the Republicans decide they have to deny him that victory. They do so by repeating over and over again, as loud as they can, that Healthcare Reform is the greatest socialist anti-American, anti-Human thing ever created. It will kill businesses, the economy, medical care everywhere in the country, and your grandmother.

And people all over the country believe them.

And three years from now we'll look back and say, "What was so bad about Obama's Health Care Plan again? How could people be so blind as to want it destroyed?"

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SoaPiNuReYe
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Well there's lots bad with 'Obama's Health Care Plan', but the biggest complaint is that it isn't really his to begin with. People will continue to complain about it for years to come, and he will continue to take the blame for it even though the entire thing was pretty much out of his hands, and it definitely isn't the plan he had in mind when he got into office. He may have had good intentions, and he definitely was willing to compromise, but it's a bit naive to think that something as ambitious as that would get passed through Congress. Republicans stonewalled him from day one for no good reason other than that he wasn't McCain, and its not like the Dems helped him out either.
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MrSquicky
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President Obama had an extremely motivated, receptive audience that were ready and willing to get behind any ideas that he put out there. He also had an issue with health care reform that had enormous upsides. I think him barely even trying to get the American public behind it may be something that can be laid at his door.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
I think him barely even trying to get the American public behind it may be something that can be laid at his door.
I do agree with this. I read a commentary a while ago about how Bush spent a lot of time convincing people of the need for the Iraq War, and managed to do a good job selling it. There wasn't nearly enough pre-emptive rhetoric for health care.
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Samprimary
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'barely even trying' is a weird conceptualization of what happened. He stumped long and hard for it; is that voided because he was attempting to manage something that had a chance of clearing the hurdle of tactical republican obstructionism?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
"Obamacare" is the "WMD" of 2010.

Remember in 2002 everyone assumed, knew, or confirmed there were WMD in Iraq. The press didn't question it. The Left didn't question it. Nobody questioned it except the troops who couldn't find them.

And then by 2004 we all looked back and said, "How could people have been so stupid as to believe there were WMD in Iraq without the slightest proof they existed.


You weren't listening far enough Left. Folks around here were* saying that there was no proof of WMD in 2002 - certainly not enough to jusitfy invasion. And in 2004, we were saying, "We told you so". No one listens to that either.

* "Around here" meaning people I associate with in RL, not people at Hatrack particularly. I wasn't on HR in 2002.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Remember in 2002 everyone assumed, knew, or confirmed there were WMD in Iraq. The press didn't question it. The Left didn't question it. Nobody questioned it except the troops who couldn't find them.
That's not entirely true. I questioned it here in 2002 multiple times (and was told I was being ridiculous), and so did a few others on this forum, and so did various other countries and international organizations. The "everybody believed it, so its not our fault" excuse should not be allowed to fly. It was forseeable that they weren't adhering to a strong standard of proof before going to war.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
'barely even trying' is a weird conceptualization of what happened. He stumped long and hard for it; is that voided because he was attempting to manage something that had a chance of clearing the hurdle of tactical republican obstructionism?

I was going to say this. The only reason it was able to pass in its current form was because of some creative legislative back flips. With all the misinformation the Republican party was successfully pushing, as well as consolidating an impressive level of party discipline, any sort of moderate and well crafted plan would never have passed, so they took what they could get, which was a heck of a lot more than Clinton got.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
He stumped long and hard for it; is that voided because he was attempting to manage something that had a chance of clearing the hurdle of tactical republican obstructionism?
I'm not sure how Republican obstructionism comes into what I'm talking about. President Obama failed to get the public behind the health care reform. The initial failure wasn't a legislative one. It was the inability to get the public to overwhelmingly support "Obamacare", which he seemed extremely well positioned to do. Handled properly, this could have been the issue to put a final nail in the Republican's coffin, instead of a major component in the Republican landslide.

President Obama failed to deliver a coherent or persuasive argument for his vision of health care reform, as well as failing to deliver his vision of health care reform.

And, again, he was very popular President with his party having massive majorities in both houses of Congress, an electrified and motivated base eager for change, and an issue with major upsides, several of the biggest of which neither he nor the Democrats have yet to try to use. Maybe he did all he could with all of these enormous advantages and none of any of this can be said to be his fault. In which case, shouldn't we all just give up to the powerful dark magics that the Republicans apparently possess that the oh so much smarter and better Democrats are helpless against?

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kmbboots
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I've been hearing a lot of interviews with this guy recently. He has a new book. He is one of the guys who designed the "misinformation" and he tells us how. I think it is really worth reading what he has to say about the shortcomings and the good things about the bill.

http://wendellpotter.com/

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
'barely even trying' is a weird conceptualization of what happened. He stumped long and hard for it; is that voided because he was attempting to manage something that had a chance of clearing the hurdle of tactical republican obstructionism?

I was going to say this. The only reason it was able to pass in its current form was because of some creative legislative back flips. With all the misinformation the Republican party was successfully pushing, as well as consolidating an impressive level of party discipline, any sort of moderate and well crafted plan would never have passed, so they took what they could get, which was a heck of a lot more than Clinton got.
I'll point out again, I'm not talking about the legislative failure, but rather the failure in selling health care reform to the public.
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Samprimary
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Yeah, an 'electrified and motivated base eager for change' means nothing in the face of a republican minority that knows that their only tactically viable option for not dying out as a party is to block the bill at all costs if they can.

Also, none of that explains 'barely even trying,' so .. ?

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Chris Bridges
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It's not that Republicans are smarter or better. It's that they have a better machine for getting their word out and they have better funding:

New Report Reveals Health Insurance Industry Pumped $86 Million Into The U.S. Chamber To Kill Reform

I don't think it was a failure to sell the bill as much as a failure to avoid being put on the defensive from day one and trying to play catch up after that. Add straight-out lies like "death panels" and you have a propaganda war.

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Samprimary
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Yes. I mean, considering this is an age in which perilously close to 1 in 5 americans think Obama is a muslim and/or was born in kenya, you can fail to 'sell the bill' in the sense that even being arsed to try to tell the truth already puts you into an uphill battle with about half of polled americans.

The GOP's choice wording these days, via Boenher, are to say that reform is risking the destruction of 'the best healthcare system in the world.' It's bull, and he knows it is bull, but that's the lie you have to sell.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
'barely even trying' is a weird conceptualization of what happened. He stumped long and hard for it; is that voided because he was attempting to manage something that had a chance of clearing the hurdle of tactical republican obstructionism?

I was going to say this. The only reason it was able to pass in its current form was because of some creative legislative back flips. With all the misinformation the Republican party was successfully pushing, as well as consolidating an impressive level of party discipline, any sort of moderate and well crafted plan would never have passed, so they took what they could get, which was a heck of a lot more than Clinton got.
I'll point out again, I'm not talking about the legislative failure, but rather the failure in selling health care reform to the public.
I suppose a better man could have found a strategy for winning the propaganda war, but to be honest, I heard his presentation of the plan, and was easily informed as to what was at stake. When he and other Democrats stumped for it across the nation they kept getting questions like, "Hitler wanted universal healthcare." and "This is America and we don't believe in socialism." Seniors believed Medicare was going to be gutted and that death panels were going to be setup because they were hearing those statements from the Republican Party leadership.

Sure the truth always prevails, but by the time that happens the public discourse has moved on. Its precisely what happened with Clinton's plan. I suppose you could argue that perhaps letting the Republicans slay the idea, and then letting Americans languish in this miserable health care system a few more years might have produced a better plan down the road, but I think the current plan will still provide a significant improvement over the previous one, and when that happens, it can be revised and reviewed so as to make it even better.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
It's not that Republicans are smarter or better. It's that they have a better machine for getting their word out and they have better funding:

New Report Reveals Health Insurance Industry Pumped $86 Million Into The U.S. Chamber To Kill Reform

Err...President Obama had the biggest bully pulpit in the world. He didn't use it effectively.

The best I think you could say about his efforts were that they were aloof and not particularly coherent. Not giving him the benefit of the doubt, I'd say that they came across as pro forma and condescending, almost to the point of being contemptuous.

Right now, the average American doesn't really understand what is entailed in the health care reform, doesn't really know why health care reform is vital, and doesn't know how it is going to effect them (although they fear it will be negatively). That is the root cause of the failure in health care reform. If the public were strongly behind it, as I think would have well been achievable, the Republican obstructionism and other bits of legislative buggery would have seriously hurt them.

---

Again, think about what you are saying. If it is true that even with enormous advantages, the Democrats just can't stand up to the Republicans even though the Democrats aren't messing up at all, why would I ever want to put my faith in them, even if I thought they were trying to do the right thing?

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MrSquicky
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So, basically, it's not the Democrats fault at all. It's that the American people too stupid that there's no way to even reach them?
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kmbboots
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Fear and anger are considerably easier messages to sell. This is especially true during a time when people are already angry and afraid - war, economy, general fearfulness of "other" heightened by a scary elite muslim black man in the White House.

So,yeah, the President and the Democratic leadership failed, but they had a much harder task.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Again, think about what you are saying. If it is true that even with enormous advantages, the Democrats just can't stand up to the Republicans even though the Democrats aren't messing up at all, why would I ever want to put my faith in them, even if I thought they were trying to do the right thing?
Let us say that I tell a blatant lie about you, and I use a lot of resources to make this lie sound plausible. You fight back against it, but due to the internal mechanisms of manipulation that populations have that I've utilized (FUD, for instance) about half of all people now think the lie is true. Do I get to use this wanton spreading of misinformation as an excuse to say 'why would anyone want to put their faith in you?' just because it has succeeded with about half of the receiving population? Is it irrelevant that this number of misinformed will dwindle significantly over time?
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MrSquicky
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I have an alternative suggestion.

The way to sell health care reform is to develop a relatively simple narrative with an eye towards two clear goals. People should know why reform was necessary and what the effects were going to be for them (and generally, those effects should be beneficial).

You need to really focus on that why. The way the Democrats went about it played right into the narrative that the Republicans have built up around them. That is, they want government control over as much as they can get control over so that they can use it to redistribute wealth and because they think that people are too stupid to make their own decisions. Also, they are against any sort of private business on basic principle.

And the benefits that they tout have fallen into the same areas as well. Largely they come down to "Such and such people who didn't have insurance before have it now. Isn't that great?" Not surprisingly, the people who feel that they now have to pick up the bill for these people getting insurance don't really see it as all that great.


They should have challenged that (heck, they should constantly be challenging that, instead of lying there and taking like they do). There are two big why's that, if you get them established, a lot of the rest sort of writes itself. They are: inflation in health care and the insurance death spiral.

Middle class Americans are seeing less and less of their paychecks as time goes on. A lot of them, wrongly, attribute this to the government taking more of their money. What's really happening is the costs of health care insurance are growing way out of proportion to pretty much anything else. This is a vital thing to establish for the narrative. This fundamental misunderstanding is probably one of the biggest things allowing the Tea Party's massive opposition to health care reform. Very important statement: "If you want to know where your money is going, it is going to inflation in health care and health insurance."

We've talked about the death spiral here enough, I don't think I need to elaborate. But you know who doesn't really know about the death spiral? A large section of the American public. The system we had was set on a self-destruct course. Again, this is very important to get out there. Besides impressing on people the urgency of reform and the brokenness of our private business system, it gives you a potent weapon against the do nothing Republican obstructionism.

If you establish those two, relatively simple whys, as I said, a lot of the follow up just about writes itself. How are you going to be affected? Well, the first thing we're trying to address is the inflation of health care, so your costs are going to go down or at least not shoot up so fast.

How, exactly, is this going to happen? Well, it's complicated, but let's look into the causes of this inflation (which you already accept is happening) to address that. Also, let's look at alternative ways of doing this.

That's when you can get into the complicated details.

And the important part is you do this before you start the legislative action, especially before you start wooing health insurance companies, unions, hold out Senators, etc. with hypocritical sweetheart deals to get their support. The need for and benefits of health care reform fit into a simple, coherent narrative. The hard core Fox News crowd is always going to be against you, but, if it had been treated this way and maybe without so much of the Democrats traditional air of elitist condescension, I think you could have gotten most of the rest of the country behind it.

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kmbboots
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I agree with you and know what you are talking about and that was too long and complicated to get in a single reading. "Government bad" is so much pithier.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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I don't really think its fair to compare WMDs to Obamacare. Bush had both CNN and Fox News stumping hard for him from day one. Obama didn't have that luxury; he had to win over CNN and he had Fox gunning for him from the very start. Also, it's very well known that a President's approval rating, and therefore the leverage he has, increases during wartime. Fox and CNN were basically propaganda machines during the months that led up to the war, and Fox continued this trend throughout its remainder.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I agree with you and know what you are talking about and that was too long and complicated to get in a single reading. "Government bad" is so much pithier.

Not to mention, you can take all of that and watch it ricochet off of the average american's head in favor of appeals to fear. The MrSquicky conversation would be as plaintively ignored and cast as 'not even trying' as what we actually did get.

quote:
If, this fall, proponents of health-care reform conduct a postmortem on how President Obama's signature issue went down to defeat—I'm not saying it will, but stick with me here—they will not be far off if they trace it to this summer's "great phrase face-off." From Obama, we got "bending the cost curve," his hope of slowing the rise in health-care spending. From Sarah Palin: "death panels." From Obama: "the status quo on health care...is threatening the financial stability of families, of businesses, and of government." From GOP strategist Frank Luntz and his clients: some bureaucrat will put himself "between you and your doctor, denying you exactly what you need." From Obama: "If you like your health-care plan, you can keep" it. From GOP Sen. Jon Kyl: "Imagine needing a new hip that will make it easier to get around, but just because you're over 75, the government denies you that surgery." Not to mention Republican Rep. Lamar Smith's assertion that the Democrats' bill "contains gaping loopholes that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits." And then there was that sign greeting President Obama outside an August town-hall meeting in New Hampshire: Obama lies, grandma dies.
Which phrases inspire you to grab a pitchfork, or at least e-mail your congressman: bending the cost curve, or stopping the government from condemning Grandma to death because treating her cancer is too expensive? Exactly.
Anyone who believed that the battle over health-care reform would be waged on facts, logic, reason, and concern for the less fortunate—46 million uninsured—probably also scoffed at Lyndon Johnson's daisy ad. As politicians and strategists (at least the successful ones) have finally learned, appeals to emotion leave appeals to logic in the dust. And no emotion moves people more powerfully than fear.

http://www.newsweek.com/2009/08/14/attack.html

Sorry, it's just how it works.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Again, think about what you are saying. If it is true that even with enormous advantages, the Democrats just can't stand up to the Republicans even though the Democrats aren't messing up at all, why would I ever want to put my faith in them, even if I thought they were trying to do the right thing?
Let us say that I tell a blatant lie about you, and I use a lot of resources to make this lie sound plausible. You fight back against it, but due to the internal mechanisms of manipulation that populations have that I've utilized (FUD, for instance) about half of all people now think the lie is true. Do I get to use this wanton spreading of misinformation as an excuse to say 'why would anyone want to put their faith in you?' just because it has succeeded with about half of the receiving population? Is it irrelevant that this number of misinformed will dwindle significantly over time?
Missing from this is, I believe, something I tried to bring up with the voting for the lesser of two evils thing. That is, the Democrats are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the good guys. The Democrats inability to beat Republicans doesn't come about because the Republicans are this unstoppable force. A lot of it comes about because the Democrats are pretty terrible as well.

And, they are definitely the lesser of the two evils. Much of their responses to Republican tactics are feeble.

But, I think even worse, they have participated right alongside the Republicans in the corruption of the political process and marketplace of ideas. Having an infrastructure of responsible politics and citizenship in this country would greatly reduce the power of the blatant dishonesty of the Republicans. That we don't have this infrastructure and even an expectation of it is the responsibility of so many different groups and I'd say especially collectively of American people as a whole, but it's pretty apparent that the fostering of this is not something that the Democratic party has ever really cared about.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I agree with you and know what you are talking about and that was too long and complicated to get in a single reading. "Government bad" is so much pithier.

Right. As I know quite a bit about effective mass communication, I never suggested trying to put it into a single reading. Rather, I'd establish those two items as points of emotional resonance and repetition, hammering them in wherever there was a chance. I would try as much as possible to get people to give them back to me, asking at appearances something like "Why did we say we are doing this?" and using those points as the center points for anyone who was going to criticize the plans.

You have to keep people hearing this and keep them saying it for it to be successful. Except in extraordinary circumstances, narratives are not constructed in a single instance.

Also, I'll ask. Does what I said strike you as a more effective strategy than what was done?

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kmbboots
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I don't know without knowing how you would put it.
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MrSquicky
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Fine. Let's say I'm not one reasonably smart guy who knows a fair bit about this stuff, but rather a massive team of well funded experts working on the most vital piece of the President's domestic agenda. Does the framework I laid out seem like it would have a better chance of working than the one that they went with, that seems like it was an absolute failure?

---

I wanted to add, with what I said with challenging the narrative, I'd be using the "Government is bad!" line for myself. "Yeah, I agree in a lot of cases government is bad. I'm on your side on that. Here's a bunch of examples that I think government is sucking at right now. But here, we already agreed that something is needed, right? Government needs to do something and here's why I think this is the right thing in this case." You don't fight the idea. You envelop it.

edit: Were I the head of the DNC, we'd be running on "The government sucks!" in 2012.

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kmbboots
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I would be that last person to suggest that you aren't smart or that you don't know what you are talking about.
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BlackBlade
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How would you combat the criticism that the bank bailouts were an example of wasteful government spending, that tax increases on the middle class and the wealthy are job killers, and now with such a big deficit you are trying to spend us further into the ground by taking over health care and making a mess of it, as we all know the government can't do anything right?
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MrSquicky
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That's not what I'm saying. I wasn't getting pissy nor saying you were in any way insulting me. I was making the point that I'm just one person who is by no means an expert at this and yet I'm able to come up with what seems is possibly a much better framework for selling health care reform than what was done.

I'm saying that to evaluate this, it doesn't come down to what I as an individual would say, but rather what a team of people at least as smart as me and much better funded and educated would say and do within the framework I'm talking about.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
How would you combat the criticism that the bank bailouts were an example of wasteful government spending, that tax increases on the middle class and the wealthy are job killers, and now with such a big deficit you are trying to spend us further into the ground by taking over health care and making a mess of it, as we all know the government can't do anything right?

In which case, while selling health care reform or the 2012 campaign (which I'd be starting today, really)?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
How would you combat the criticism that the bank bailouts were an example of wasteful government spending, that tax increases on the middle class and the wealthy are job killers, and now with such a big deficit you are trying to spend us further into the ground by taking over health care and making a mess of it, as we all know the government can't do anything right?

In which case, while selling health care reform or the 2012 campaign (which I'd be starting today, really)?
I'm not quite parsing your meaning.
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kmbboots
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Okay. I don't know how effectively a well-funded, smart team could frame that message until I hear some possibilities. It could be that they could distill it down to a really simple catchphrase that CNN would parrot, but I don't know what it would be.
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MrSquicky
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BB,
I meant, in which context am I combating the criticism? Am I the President's team trying to sell health care reform or am I the head of the DNC trying to put together a campaign for 2012?

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MrSquicky
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boots,
I think we might be misunderstanding each other somewhere. I'm not talking about a single shot message, but rather a months long framework to fit the discussion into. The individual messages would be crafted by the super-team and, I asking that it be granted that they are pretty darn good.

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BlackBlade
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You are the President trying to sell Healthcare reform in the environment President Obama was in.
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kmbboots
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Okay. Then, yes. If the team came up with short, easy to understand messaging that appealed to people's anger and fear and distrust of government then it would probably be effective.
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