Feb 24 2010

When Obamacare Fails Again …

Published by at 8:00 am under All General Discussions,Obamacare

Young and inexperienced. Naive and unprepared.

These were legitimate concerns expressed about our young president as he marched across the country campaigning for his current job. He was promising a fantasy world of transparency, of government listening to the people,of government working for the people and rejecting power players in DC, of progress and hope. President Obama road a wave of rejection for the then entrenched power groups who looked more and more removed from America. He was going to change all that.

Unless of course you noticed his slogan was to ‘change America’ versus McCain’s promise to ‘change Washington’. It was a subtle but powerful distinction. One man was going to disrupt the special interests in DC and make them sweat, the other was going to disrupt the fabric of American life.

The liberals in DC (one side of the hyper partisan entrenched special interests in DC) do a lot of whining these days about a so called obstructionist GOP. But the fact is all year they have had more than enough votes to pass whatever they want – all they had to do was not repulse too many of their own party.

But these rabid, far-left zealots (who have been waiting for their turn at power for decades) instead embarked on a hyper-partisan path. One where the GOP found nearly infinite sound and reasonable reasons to reject the Democrat policy proposals, and the moderate wing of the Democrat party was pushed to the point of leaving the party fold. This is not GOP obstructionism failing America. It is liberal delusion creating a political backlash.

It is becoming more and more apparent the latest round of fixation on liberal health care madness is going nowhere fast. Instead of focusing on the economy and jobs, as promised in his State of the Union, President Obama has migrated back to his big personal distraction – his failure on government take over of this nation’s health care. It was his signature plan to ‘change America’ – and disrupt the health care infrastructure and policies of all of us reasonably happy with our current situation. Instead of helping those in need, he and the liberals have proposed creating nightmares for the rest of us not experiencing any health care issues.

It has come to the point even the White House is test raising the white flag of defeat a day before the big PR stunt of a summit:

Hmm. At the press briefing just now, Robert Gibbs made the White House’s most expansive comments yet about the push for a reconciliation vote on the public option — and, to put it mildly, supporters won’t find them encouraging.

Gibbs said flatly that the White House doesn’t believe there’s enough support in Congress to get it passed.

Asked directly whether the President’s failure to include the public option in his proposal means he views the public option as dead, Gibbs didn’t exactly dispute this interpretation.

“There are some that are supportive of this,” Gibbs said. But he added: “There isn’t enough political support in the majority to get this through.”

Which tells me government take over of insurance premium prices is not going to fly either.

I think many of us have realized this gang in DC will never wise up, they are hopelessly trapped in a mirage of self grandeur, drunk with mythical powers. They have not even realized they ran out of time and support on their health care delusions months ago. They are fated to giving more and more people sufficient reason to pummel the Democrat Party this fall and put a lot of new blood into DC. Ironically, the group who campaigned to change America never realized that they were going to change DC, by failing so miserably.

People want jobs and they want the lousy, failed government bureaucracy out of their lives. They have come to realize this naturally, organically and collectively. The technically challenged have yet to understand the power of the modern networked human experience – where human minds interact electronically and randomly over social networks, forums and blogs.

A new collective has sprung out of Department of Defense communications technology – a.k.a. the Internet. Being involved with this new technological wave since its inception I have wondered in awe at where it has taken humanity.

It is not a collective of masses slaved to message masters or spin doctors, that much is now clear. It is the collective of individuals free to explore ideas, analyze proposals and come to ‘consensus’ determinations so rapidly and autonomously no one group can control or lead it for long, if at all. In this collective the individuals join up to causes, they are not coerced or mind controlled as robotic followers. But moreover, the individual (for now) has the freedom of speech with an avenue to the planet. No more gate keepers, censors, biased filters.

This country is fed up with outside control on their lives and barriers to their pursuit of happiness. The libertarian drive is ramping up, fed on frustration over decades of failed promises by those who used to control opinion and priorities.

Along with this there is also a growing realization we are all equals and deserve respect. It is incumbent on ‘we’ the individuals to embody the tolerance and responsibilities that reflect this great nation and its heros past. We, with this new found power of expression. now must use it wisely and properly.

We need to junk derogatory and snooty terms like ‘RINO’ and ‘DINO’ and realize the highest group label we share is ‘Americans’. You can be of the highest passion while being dead wrong. Good intentions do not offset errors in constructing opinions or views. Good leaders are humble enough to listen to all sides and refine and correct views, while being strong enough to fight for progress. Anyone can sit on the sideline and moan – it is not a gift or a talent. Refining and correcting and achieving results – now that is praise worthy.

We The People are learning we can make a difference – hence the Tea Party movement. But Tea Party movements cannot become hostage to hyper partisans on the right, or target as enemies good people on the center left or center right. Right now, at this moment in time, the folks leading us down the wrong path are the far left. But there have been and will be again times when the far right or center takes us down a wrong path. We need to make course corrections, and do it as responsible adults.

Being wrong is human – it happens to all of us more than we care to admit. But denying when you are wrong, and then damaging the lives of others as a result, is when normal human behavior transforms into unethical and sometimes illegal behavior. We have a serious problem in DC with people power drunk and not listening. We can fix this without tearing apart this great nation.

I have no idea where this year will take us, but I am smart enough to watch the random and independent dynamic of the collective human experience playing out on the internet. Watching the clowns in DC or the entrenched talking heads is a fool’s errand if you want to understand what is happening.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “When Obamacare Fails Again …”

  1. OBloodyhell says:

    Sorry, RINOs are still the enemy — center-left people who claim to be GOP — they are the ones who pushed for and passed the excess budgets of the Bush era, and allowed this Health Care abortion to get out of the House in the first place (it passed the House solely because of GOP members who voted for it, despite the fact that no actual fiscal conservative had any business supporting it at all).

    The fact that we don’t have ObamaCare is luck by the skin of our teeth, that the liberal idiots in Congress overreached so far so fast that even their own moderates in the Senate would not support them.

    We cannot right the fiscal mess this nation is in with RINOs in the GOP, and they are far more powerful than is generally realized. They might not be large in number, but many are at the reins of the party. I count Michael Steele as one of them.

    There was a recent effort to push the GOP to endorse a “test of fiscal conservativism” for the candidates they backed, and this was rejected by the leadership.

    And sorry, you can argue about how much the GOP wants to get behind some of the hot-button issues, such as Gay Marriage and Abortion Rights, but if you aren’t a “fiscal conservative” you flat-out don’t belong in the GOP.

  2. hekktor says:

    1. “It is the collective of individuals free to explore ideas, analyze proposals and come to ‘consensus’ determinations so rapidly and autonomously no one group can control or lead it for long, if at all. In this collective the individuals join up to causes, they are not coerced or mind controlled as robotic followers. But moreover, the individual (for now) has the freedom of speech with an avenue to the planet. No more gate keepers, censors, biased filters.”

    Dead on true.

    2. “We, with this new found power of expression. now must use it wisely and properly.”


    3. “But Tea Party movements cannot become hostage to hyper partisans on the right, or target as enemies good people on the center left or center right. Right now, at this moment in time, the folks leading us down the wrong path are the far left. But there have been and will be again times when the far right or center takes us down a wrong path. We need to make course corrections, and do it as responsible adults.”

    This is very true, but we do not need to treat the internet as something that has never existed before. It changes the mode of communication to a group, but it is still group communication.

    My late grandmother was a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and taught parliamentary procedure all over the country for several decades.

    When I was reviewing her personal effects after her death, she had a magazine clipping about the history of Robert’s Rules of Order. It tells the story of Maj. Gen. Roberts insipiration in 1876. Robertsrules.com tells the story this way in two paragraphs:

    “Henry Martyn Robert was an engineering officer in the regular Army. Without warning he was asked to preside over a public meeting being held in a church in his community and realized that he did not know how. He tried anyway and his embarrassment was supreme. This event, which may seem familiar to many readers, left him determined never to attend another meeting until he knew something of parliamentary law.

    “Ultimately, he discovered and studied the few books then available on the subject. From time to time, due to his military duties, he was transferred to various parts of the United States where he found virtual parliamentary anarchy since each member from a different part of the country had differing ideas of correct procedure. To bring order out of chaos he decided to write Robert’s Rules of Order as it came to be called (See chart of editions below).”

    The problem that the internet faces is we all know Emily Post, Roberts Rules, and Miss Manners, but we presume that those rules do not apply to the internet.

    Notice the similarity between Maj. Gen. Roberts inspiration and the internet’s current environment.

    I would propose that websites start adopting Robert’s Rules of Order for Committees where free form discussion is encouraged but name calling is strict verboten (i.e., forbidden) and directing communication to the chairman is strictly enforced. In Robert’s Rules violators are given a strict and quick call to order and enforcement. A member of the body calls the chair’s attention to points of order or the chair takes its own initiative. The Chair requests that the rule violator cease and desist immediately. If the request is ignored, Chair asks the sergeant at arms to remove the violator. If the violator returns, the Chair can permanently ban the violator’s return.

    Notice there are four steps. The body members are expected to call the Chair’s attention publicly to the problem and then be quiet except to define the problem. The Chair then is in charge.

    I would be in favor of a Robert’s Rules of Order for the internet being widely accepted without legislative imposition. Robert’s Rules is voluntary for associations or companies to adopt, yet they do every day. Why? It is well known. It is easy to learn the basics. It deals with a myriad of issues that you may never imagine you will face.

    There are some difficulties applying it without amendment to the internet. I would love to see websites start adopting them and amending the rules to fit their needs.

    Then as the publisher of Rules sees the attempted amendments, they can pull those attempts together to create a Best Practices.

    Then we can see that name calling would be frowned upon. RINO or DINO is treated with as much rightful derision as racial slurs are today. Violators of the Rules or the L’esprit des lois (to paraphrase the Spirit of the Rules) are shunned objectively and quietly.

    This is in comparison to current practice where a violator screams “RINO!” and the other members of the community respond, “Nuh-uh!”

    The side benefit is there is a bias toward proposing action and requesting meaningful comment. Imagine the consequence for the GOP accused as the Party of No. They put forth their proposal, or in parliamentary practice their proposed resolution. The comments propose amendments. Good comments get seconded and debated on their own merits.

    Imagine how Wikipedia’s editing would be less tumultuous.

    One new problem that the internet causes that Robert’s Rules never had to consider is anonymity. Wikipedia’s biggest problem is not edits but ghost edits where the contributor cannot be assessed for independence of knowledge or bias. At least in a room of people where a movant has to go to a microphone, the person may be unknown, but the face can start an investigation of the who’s and why’s of the motion and its proponent.

    I don’t have an answer for this problem. I do believe in an Edmund Burke type thought process where we should start from an existing institution and seek to improve it for more modern needs than assume that we need to start from scratch.

    Let’s quit begging for civility and start expecting from our communities of friends. Let’s use some standard practices. Then we can challenge our political rivals in ways that can’t begin to imagine.

  3. Whomever says:

    hekktor – just a note to thank you for your detailed post. i support your dream of civility in public discussion.
    while rules would not themselves produce intelligence, they would encourage the display of intelligence. unfortunately, no “bot” could stop a bull headed “ad hominenist”: they sim ply do things like split ting words to avoid cen sure.
    may the invocation of the memory of your grandmother sprinkle high standards on us right here in StrataSphere. In a Burke ian way, perhaps we can lead by ex ample =)

  4. WWS says:

    AJ, you’re right. I’m now convinced that Reconciliation will fail. (now whether a stripped down bill could pass is a whole different ball game, but we’re not there yet)

    What finally convinced me was this article in Politico.


    last line – Nancy Pelosi is quoted saying “I’m not into procedure right now. I’m into substance.”

    That’s a surefire sign that she knows the battle is already lost. When you start talking about Reconciliation, *Procedure* is by far the most important factor, far more important than the substance. This is why – if you don’t get the incredibly complex procedure worked out in detail, the substance doesn’t matter because you never even get to talk about it.

    What Pelosi just said is like someone saying “I want to establish a colony on Mars in 10 years.” And when you ask “how?” they say “I’m not into procedure right now. I’m into substance.”

    RRiiiiighttt…. I’m sure that’ll work out just great for ya.

    Best quote from that article: “When reminded that House Democrats don’t want to do health care in that order, Conrad said bluntly: “Fine, then it’s dead.”

  5. hekktor says:


    The point is not to make rules.

    I often deal with the nature of rules and their consequences with clients. The client wants to negotiate an ironclad agreement with strict rules. I tell them that the key to a successful contract is the negotiation. This is the phase where two people of hopeful visions for the future try to build their castle in the clouds. Good negotiators build a castle more like a fortress against the deal failing. “I will provide you all the widgets you need, but you have to hire an expert widget forecaster because I don’t want to get screwed by you telling me today you need two this week and then tomorrow you need 40,000.” Good negotiators fight up front. Then when things get tough, you have worked through obvious problems.

    If you have to enforce the rules you have already lost. It’s going to get ugly. You are going to spend money. The contract just tells you whether the expenditure will be larger or smaller.

    The same is true in agreeing to the rules in backyard football. If you agree the goal line runs between the front edge of the two pine trees, the debate is going to focus on whether the player got the ball past the imaginary line or not. The debate will not be over whether the imaginary line between the front edge or the back edge.

    Agreeing to rules up front does not avoid debate. It makes the debate more precise. The more precise, the greater chance of making a decision on go-or-no-go. The length of the debate is shorter. The passions may be as high, but there is less to say:
    “He got the ball across the line!” “No, he didn’t!” Now what do you say? You count hands: 6-4, you win. Play ball! You may not like that guy on your team that voted against you named John McCain, but you move on to the next debate.

    Rules don’t end debate. They change the nature of the debate. Well made, they shorten debate.

    The next risk is something I started studying informally in law school and considered writing about for my law review note: hyperlexis. This is a made-up Latin word for “too much law.”

    The notion of hyperlexis is that you start with a rule. When people learn to work around it or even avoid breaking the rule without invoking its penalty, you try to make the rule better by making it more detailed and precise. The process continues over and over. The simple rule of two sentences grows to be 10 pages long. It makes me feel like I am reading a shampoo bottle in Hell: “Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. . . . .”

    It is the fundamental error of the good intention dictator. He believes the world would be perfect if the world would just learn to follow the dictator’s perfect rules.

    A good legislator knows that he must be humble. He must write simple rules. He must be willing to predict that people will find ways around the rule if the rule violates basic laws of human nature. For example, we might as well have freedom of speech, because people will find a way to talk, no matter the rules or threats. Instead of prohibiting speech, let’s prohibit yelling “Fire!” in a crowded room.

    Rules are important for what they cause people to do. They are important for the rule enforcers to have a clear conscience and the beneficiaries of the enforcement to find the process credible.

    The persons suffering the enforcement always feel wronged. Human nature. The rules will be broken. Human nature.

    Do the rules encourage amicable, spirited, and insightful debate? Ah, now we are on to something.

  6. Redteam says:

    We need to junk derogatory and snooty terms like ‘RINO’ and ‘DINO

    Sounds good… how about terms such as ‘centrist’, ‘far right’, etc?

  7. AJStrata says:

    Centrist is fine, and we need something to discuss the far left and far right. Why not stop acting as if it applies to you personally? And if it does, learn to deal with criticism.

  8. hekktor says:

    Ever since Josef Stalin accused Hitler as being too far to the right, the left has educated our public that to be a supporter of the American Founding Fathers’ efforts is to be close to Hitler’s point of view.

    The problem is that for Stalin, Hitler gave too much control to company owners. For him, that made Hitler too far to the right.

    The problem there was that spectrum of political debate was within the socialist-communist debate. Few Enlightenment philosophers enter that spectrum, except Jean Jacques Rousseau.

    This corruption of language was destroyed in Jonah Goldberg’s recount of the development of modern socialism and liberalism in Liberal Fascism.

    What does it mean to be of the far right if we refuse to accept Stalin’s premise that Hitler was of the far right?

    Should Pat Robertson be considered of the Far Right?

    I propose a reassessment of this use of language because it has become meaningless. If I recall my French Revolutionary history correctly, the Assemblee Nationale was seated with the revolutionaries on the left and the royalists on the right, hence our current nomenclature.

    The problem is that the revolutionaries on the left espoused many theories that are consistent with the American Declaration of Independence. If you have read La Declaration des droits de l’homme and du citoyen, many of the same principles that Jefferson discussed are there. This same bunch led by Robespierre devolved into the bloodbath that Edmund Burke despised so much. (At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum, there is a suggestion that the ancien regime sat on the right because they were the aristocracy and sat on the favored side: at the right hand. Which then left the left hand for the less favored revolutionaries.)

    Burke suggested that liberty is good but should not be pursued in such a bloodbath. He is the father of the notion of Conservatism.

    So does that mean that the modern Right is royalist? Hardly, since they are the most loyal to the Constitution with its original meaning. We can debate the efficacy of that notion, but it is a principle of the modern Right.

    How does the French Revolutionary term apply to people fond of Burke and his progeny? Not well, I am afraid. As the Wikipedia entry points out, there have been many attempts to rationalize the left-right terminology. The harder they have tried, it seems the squishier the terminology gets.

    There lies our problem. We of the Right have many different ideas. I am of the Far Right, yet I

    1. am rabidly anti-royal,
    2. do not wish to be Catholic for similar reasons,
    3. respect a moral case for discouraging abortion,
    4. hate Roe v. Wade as bad judicial practice,
    5. have little use for oligarchic control whether it be Government Motors now, UAW’s monolithic 1980’s negotiation position against the then-Big 3 but the illegality of the Big 3 responding in concert, or the current attempt at Obamacare,
    6. like the results of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act yet don’t like many Department of Justice uses of it as self-aggrandizing attempt to beat up big business,
    7. like the abolition of Glass-Stegall but don’t like Citigroup that arose from it,
    8. like the concept of Fannie Mae in packaging mortgages to encourage more private investment but hate the hijacking of it for mandated low-income mortgage policy,
    9. have no use for Pat Robertson’s predilection to assume he knows God’s mind and indirectly claim that he is God’s spokesman,
    10. seek free capital markets,
    11. favor a heavy division of responsibility as checks and balances in financial companies between bookkeepers holding Other People’s Money from those officers responsible for the daily administration of the business.

    Most people would put me in with Pat Robertson after the recital of just a few of those points. Yet I find him one of the most irksome people on the planet. He wants to dictate in a way similar to John Calvin’s habits. Obama wants to dictate in a John Calvin manner but with Obama substituted for God. (Sounds like Caesar worship to me.)

    I accept that I am now considered of the Right, but I find that the discussion ends there when it should just be beginning.