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Capitol Idea: Mr. Obama And His Mojo

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In this space last week, I doubted that an address trying to sell policy prescriptions for high insurance premiums and pre-existing conditions could really be the catalyst that fundamentally reconnects Obama with the American people — particularly following the bitter town hall protests of the last month.

I think President Obama's Wednesday night health care speech proves me wrong. But in the end, last night's televised appeal probably will be remembered as the moment Obama reclaimed his presidency. That's because while the substance of his remarks dealt with health care reform, the president used his oratory to transcend that single issue. The speech was really about how Obama will relate to loud, angry, and even misleading opposition whether the issue is health care today, or climate change or immigration reform tomorrow.

In short, Obama once again took charge, and in doing so reminded all who watched why we elected him in the first place. It was a welcome departure from his much more tepid performances in his own town hall meetings the last few weeks, in which he seemed captive to all of the minutiae of reform and ceding all of the passion to his opponents.

Last night, though, Obama showed that he gets it.  He even began the speech by not even talking about health care. He started by talking about the ongoing recession and high unemployment. That's a tacit acknowledgement that the anger and anxiety that animated all of August's outraged health care reform protests don't really come from the health care issue, per se.

Rather, it comes from a widespread, free-floating angst as people worry the economy isn't improving. Health care reform opponents were simply clever in tapping into that worry and aiming it at health care reform as a target.  Last night, though, Obama took on trying to calm that apprehension right at the outset by acknowledging things aren't all better but also reassuring us his eye is still very much on that ball.

Obama, too, demonstrated with some fervor and passion of his own that while he prefers conciliation and negotiation in good faith, he will not be held hostage to those who would rather play political games, saying, "I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. … Not this time. Not now."  One can only hope and assume that warning will also apply when it comes time for Congress to pass his future reforms on other matters.

The same could be said of Obama's admonishment that lying about his proposals will not be tolerated; that he will "call out" those who do, now and later as well. Speaking of lying calls to mind Rep. Joe Wilson, the crude Republican who shouted "You lie!" at Obama in the midst of the president's speech.  Wilson's outburst is just the latest in what really has been a long line of boorish, crass and really lowbred things reform opponents have done in the name of their cause: including hanging a congressman in effigy and bringing guns outside of Obama's events.  As all of this loutishness has unfolded, I've often wondered just how much has to occur before a tipping point occurs. That is to say, how much bad behavior most Americans are willing to accept before they begin to see these opponents not as principled activists, but as unruly hyperpartisans.  Hopefully, if we hadn't gotten there before, Wilson's tantrum has laid this bare.

The coming weeks will determine just how successful in finally bringing to fruition real health care reform Obama was last night.  But win or lose on health care,  Wednesday's speech showed our president is still very much in the game.

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About Scott Nance

  • Wilson’s outburst was just one in a long line of crass reactions — I agree. And I felt invigorated by the speech… HOPE is my four letter word too.

  • Are you sure we shouldn’t wait another week to see if you change your mind? But kudos for admitting a mistake.

    “Wilson’s outburst is just the latest in what really has been a long line of boorish, crass and really lowbred things”

    I notice you didn’t write that he was wrong. Have you seen legislation that deals with enforcement to keep illegal aliens from partaking because I have heard there isn’t any? If there is, please link to it.

  • Here is a quote from today’s WaPo: “Despite many claims to the contrary by opponents of the universal health care proposals, fact-checkers have repeatedly established that the bills’ universal coverage provisions would not extend to illegal immigrants. In Section 246 on page 143, the House’s bill states that “undocumented aliens” will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance — and these credits are the provision that lies at the heart of expanding coverage to the uninsured. And Medicaid already is limited to those who can prove legal residency. For that matter, even the universal health care program in Massachusetts — one of the most liberal states in the country — does not cover illegal immigrants.”

    Link is here.

  • Yes, but that doesn’t deal with enforcement. Let’s be honest, some people will try and cheat the system, find loopholes and what not. Is there a section of the bill, and I know there are a few, that deals with oversight? If not, then it’s like having a stop sign at a corner, but the police never ticket anyone who run it. We need more than the honor system.

    And Obama is talking about his plan, which is slightly misleading. He’s not a legislator. So many people are going to have their hands on the bill as it passes through multiple committees, he might not even recognize it when it’s done.

  • Just what kind of enforcement would you propose? It is illegal for emergency facilities across the country to refuse emergency care to anyone.

    How is a medical facility to know who is or is not an illegal alien? Would you recommend national ID cards? Hmmm. That’s something that right wingers don’t exactly cotton to, or did I miss something? Oh hey, how about a number tatooed on the arm?

    You know, there are cheaters at about everything. Why do you suppose our economy went into the shit heap last year? Where was the “enforcement” on Wall Street?

    So what if some illegals manage to get a flu shot, or an infant gets some medicine for the croup? Would you rather they didn’t? Are you afraid that if an expectant mother, an illegal, obtained some prenatal care on the sly, that you might have to opt for the 48″ flat screen TV rather than the 54″? That would suck, wouldn’t it?

    A very good argument can be made in favor of illegals being able to obtain health care under the reform bill. All things considered it could actually be cheaper to provide them care than not. Never mind humanitarian considerations. But, of course, there are just too many people who hate all immigrants out there for that to fly. Gotta cut those wet backs off at the knees, by god! After all, they’re taking away all the shit jobs no citizens of this country will do. Can’t have that. I’d love to see Eric Cantor and John Boehner on a ladder picking apples. God, they might wind up with a hair out of place. The horror!

    The right has trademarked “Stupid.” All those Republicans in Congress last nite, sitting on their hands, texting on their cell phones, waving signs, yelling “you lie,” and walking out in mid-speech are ideologically bankrupt, boorish and, yes, stupid. Knuckle dragging stupid. They have cornered the market. They staunchly support a world order which is dissolving before their eyes, unaware that a new paradigm is in the offing – one that no longer features bullying, boorishness and stupidity. Hie thee gone all you anal retentive Reps. Your time is quickly passing. You are disappearing as I write. (Blue dog Dems should also wake up, as they, too, could find themselves a dwindling commodity.) This has nothing to do with totalitarianism. It’s simply the shifting of the voting public. Stupid is out. Smart is in.


  • jacksmith

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith — Working Class

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option:

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.


    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers!

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.


    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.


    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith — Working Class

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare

  • Okay,I hear you man! (As I slowly, almost imperceptibly back toward the door.)


  • Arch Conservative

    You moonbats have been laying on the administration’s lies and propaganda hot and heavy for the last six weeks to no avail.

    Now your messiah gives another rehashed, teleprompted speech on prime time TV, invoking Senator Swimmer and somehow this changes the dynamic of the debate? Get real.

    Due to their overeaching the Dems are already on their way to paying a hefty price next November and now that people are onto Acorn’s penchant for voter fraud it’s going to be even more difficult for the Peoples Party of Amerika to subvert the democratic process.

    Save your breath Jackoff. Real Americans aren’t going to let you and your unhinged leftist whackdoo buddies have your way with this nation. It just aint happening.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Arch, do you have any original thoughts or are they all far-right talking points peppered with requisite “vitriol?”

  • Arch Conservative

    How’s that hope and change working out for ya Jordan?

  • Jordan Richardson

    You could have just said “no, I don’t have any original thoughts” and saved the trouble of asking a completely irrelevant question. Either way.

  • “Real Americans” are a bunch of idiot loons who are in fact loosing the battle. I suppose it’s just a matter of time until armed bands of those loons start roaming the country side on search and destroy missions against evil liberals. Arch, no doubt will be leading the vanguard. Go get em Arch!


  • Now your messiah gives another rehashed, teleprompted speech on prime time TV, invoking Senator Swimmer and somehow this changes the dynamic of the debate? Get real.

    Real? You know what’s real? The Ultra Right is dying and I for one want to hasten their demise. Arch, you are a classic example of what is wrong with this country. You would rather polarize than compromise. You’re so blinded by ideology and anger which as far as I can estimate is rooted in a deep hatred for anyone who is not Caucasian or Christian. Say what you will but the bottom line to me is that if you can’t find your way to compromise then you are, in fact, one of those that goes against the very fundamentals of His teachings. So, when you say “moonbat” remember that you get 300 extra days in Purgatory.

    I hope that the President sticks to his guns and calls every ultra right wing liar out on every opportunity. I know that I am completely committed to doing the same. This is war, Arch, and I play to win not be stifled by the likes of you and your merry band of dogma driven insanity.

  • You’re right, Silas. It does indeed begin to look like a war. And in this, ideological war, here are the rules of engagement: Take no prisoners!

  • That’s right, Roger. Because those on the Far Right would love the “bondage” aspect of being prisoners.

  • Tell that to Archie. I’ll bet you one thing, though. Once you convince him that bondage is the right idea – that he’s a masochist at heart – you’ll have won him over.

    So perhaps you’re on the wrong tack.

  • Baronius

    Jordan, you could always step up and provide some substance yourself (unless you think that you’re one comment away from turning Arch around).

  • Joe Wilson has received over $200,000 in political contributions since he acted out during the President’s speech. Several things come to mind. First, I want to see the donor list. I’ll guarantee that 75% of those donors are racist pigs who should have their butts placed under Attorney General Holder’s microscope. Second, if any money came from corporate PACs or executives from high profile corporations they should be called out.

    Forgive me, South Carolina, but this war began when SC Republicans went after John McCain in 2000 in favor of the worst President to ever sit in the Oval Office. Joe Wilson is a disgrace to his faith, his constituents, his state, the House and to this country. He’s no hero. He’s a cowardly maniac who puts his own agenda above what’s best for the nation. For every dollar he raises we must identify the money source and we must make those donors accountable.

    To those Republicans who remain uneasy about President Obama and the Far Right control of the party should take heart. Barring the unknown, I see Barack Obama as a one term President. The GOP has an opportunity to make gains next year and has an even greater opportunity to take back the White House. The only way this will happen, however, is if the moderate and liberal wings of the GOP join forces to destroy the ultra right. There are members of the GOP today who would make great Presidential candidates and NONE of them are on the far right. People like Pawlenty, Palin and Jindall are not the future of the Party. They are cancerous sores on the body politic. Strong words? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Every far right closet residing skeleton is going to be exposed. And when it’s over it will make Larry Craig’s foray into an airport men’s room an insignificant footnote in the new Republican Manifesto.

  • Turning Archie around only Jesus Christ can do. As to Jordan’s argument, I find it neither substantively nor morally defective. The trouble is, it falls deaf on some ears.

  • Roger, Jesus called last night. He said that since Teddy moved into Heaven there’s no room at the inn for conservatives. They’re being diverted to the Hades Ramada Inn.

  • Great article, Scott, and wonderful comments, Baritone. I was heartened, moved, and taught a valuable lesson by the president’s speech Wednesday night. It’s totally beyond me that anyone could hear anything in what he said but genuine concern for people, clear understanding of the economics of the issue, and a dedicated willingness to discuss disparate views and reach a final compromise plan. I do wish he’d said “forget about that 1,000 page mess of a bill; we’re going to clean it up and streamline it so that everybody’s clear about what this plan is and isn’t,” because the Republicans are clinging to that verbose, poorly-written bill rather than discussing the basics of reform. And while Joe Wilson was rude and stupid, the media gets an F-minus for spending more time on his remark than the president’s hour-long message of straight talk about health care AND who and what we are and want to be as a nation – our character. For weeks, I’ve wanted Obama to play Liberal hardball, tell the Republicans to fuck off and tell the Democrats to shape up and get in line. Fortunately for the nation, I’m not the president, and the man who is has a natural gift for combining eloquence, simplicity, entreaty for compromise, and asserting his authority in a polite way. He reminded me why I voted for him, and why I still have hope that common sense and common decency will prevail.

  • I think it’s amazing that people – even those who voted for him – have become so quickly convinced that Obama will be gone in 2012. I don’t discount the possibility, but a lot of water is yet to go under the bridge and over the dam. (to grandmother’s house we go.)

    Consider the state of this country that Obama has inherited last January. I’m not sure any president in recent memory walked into such a fucked up mess. That things aren’t all hunky-dory now is hardly unexpected.

    I understand that the voting public is nothing if not fickle. The right has made a lot of noise during the past month which leads some to believe that Obama is on the skids. Certainly his poll numbers have taken a hit recently. But look at what happened to W. Immediately after 9/11 his approval numbers hit above 80% – virtually unprecedented. Then, look at his numbers when he left office – well under 30%. By November of last year, Bush couldn’t have been elected dog catcher in Podunk.

    I’m aware that it has been a rough ride so far for Obama. He and his people have made some mistakes. What administration hasn’t? Health care reform is probably the thorniest issue he will face whether he serves 1 or 2 terms. It has gotten the best of every president at least since Truman.

    But, if a reasonably decent health care bill does emerge from Congress and Obama signs it into law, unless it’s so watered down as to be insignificant (always a danger,) it will be a triumph for him.

    Despite all the crap coming from the right, the economy IS showing signs of recovery. No one who understood how fucked up things were would believe that a turn around could happen any faster than it is.

    This is frustrating and hardly provides any solace to the unemployed or grossly under-employed, but most economists will say that jobs are most often the last thing that makes a comeback.

    Our involvement in Iraq is slowly winding down. Afghanistan is certainly more problematic, and may prove to be Obama’s undoing, even if the economy recovers and a decent health care bill passes. I personally wish we’d just walk away, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    I feel sooooooooo bad for all those right wingers who claim to be “sick and tired” of being bullied by “Adolf/Joseph” Obama. Just how has Obama bullied anyone? How has anyone’s life been changed for good or ill by anything Obama or his administration has said or done? All of these supposed evils coming out of the Obama administration are ghosts, phantoms, purpetrated by the right wing nut jobs and picked up by Congressional Reps in the (hopefully vain) hope that they will help catapult them into another term. All these poor beleagured people have been forced to suffer – well, what exactly? Nothing. It’s all hot air.

    This country was forced to suffer the inane and inneffective GWB for eight (count em – 8!) bloody years – and I do mean bloody. Yet the loyal opposition has been supposedly put upon now for about 7 months. Talk about a bunch of whiners. You just still can’t believe that the lord let all you god fearin’ patriots down. Well, suck it up. It’s gonna be awhile before another Rep sits his butt down in the Oval Office.


  • …and asserting his authority in a polite way. He reminded me why I voted for him, and why I still have hope that common sense and common decency will prevail.

    Jeanne, I’m with you. Unfortunately Joe Wilson’s campaign coffers are swelling with racist, bigoted, zealot money. I’ve just read his campaign finance disclosures and as of today I am boycotting Kentucky Fried Chicken, United Parcel Service and Verizon.

    I called my local KFC and found out where their district office was located. I then called the district office and l;et them know that I will no longer partake of the Colonel’s recipe and why. I’m also in contact with neighborhood activists in Dorchester near the JFK Library to let them know that they need to get the word out that KFC franchise owners are contributing to Wilson. I then canceled my Verizon phone service and am switching to another provider. I will no longer use UPS as my shipper of choice. As inconvenient as it may be, I will use the US Postal Service.

    It’s time for Americans to fight back. It’s time to look at where the money is coming from and go after those corporations. What we fail to realize is that the terrorists knew that crashing into the World Trade Center would cripple our economy. Bush and his merry band of douche bags told us to go shopping 8 years ago today. They knew what the ramification were. They knew the motivations behind the attacks and they have insulted the American people. It took time but the terrorists did initially win. They did, in fact, cripple our economy by proxy. So it’s time for us, the American people, to cripple the financial mechanization of our political system.

  • Silas — You’re correct, and you’re very funny! (“Merry band of douche bags”: perfect!) I congratulate you on your sift boycott action. I had previously dumped Verizon and was never much of a KFC-er; now I’ll shun them entirely. And while I can’t help that many of my parcels arrive via UPS, I sure won’t use them outgoing. BTW, I’ve heard that Wilson’s Democratic opponent raised a half-million overnight; all is not lost.

  • ActBlue announced they’ve raised over $750,000 for Joe Wilson’s opponent! Yes, there is a Jesus! Hal-lay-loo-yer! Citizens of South Carolina Congressional District 2, NOW is the time to see those dollars put into action in your community!

    In these last few weeks I’ve come to a lot of conclusions. And the one that seems to be most clear is that there is an issue no one is talking about which must be addressed — campaign finance reform & lobbying.

  • I like that, Silas. But I think that Alan Bates’ Motel would be a more fitting place. I wouldn’t let Archie in among the saints before he does some penance. Heavy bondage.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jordan, you could always step up and provide some substance yourself (unless you think that you’re one comment away from turning Arch around).

    Baronius, just to confirm: are you suggesting that my comments lack substance?

  • Arch Conservative

    9/12/09 and while Silas, Jordan and the other whackadoos have been running their moths we still have no cap and trade, no Obamacare, glenn beck is still on the air, Acorn members in Florida and other states are being for voter fraud, Van Jones is still not int he white house, the GOP is ahead in both the NJ and VA gubenetorial races……..

    I just gotta know you’re secret guys………

    What is it that insulates you so well from reality that allows you to be so ignorant and insulting toward those who are merely pointing out the truth?

  • The problem with you Arch is that you always manage to take a snapshot, aimed just so to include the images you want, ignoring the rest of the panorama, and use it as proof of your idiot notions.

    I know Obama has made mistakes – some rather painful ones – and things aren’t going so great for him right now, but to change metaphors, the fat lady ain’t sung yet.

    You were one of the buttheads who started throwing barbs at Obama before the sun had set on January 20, shouting out how “hope and change” hadn’t been achieved. But, hey, you were, and presumabaly are, having a great old time of it. You seem to revel in your hatred. You wallow in it like a pig in slop.


  • ARch, I thoroughly enjoy this diatribe because you’ve proven my case that there is an immediate need for education reform in this country. And, for the record, any school district that denied children access to Obama’s speech should be stripped of federal education funding. Believe what you will, spout the venom you desire. The truth, with all due respect, is that you are one of many white supremacist zealots. You are the one that needs to open your eyes and as long as you close your heart, eyes and ears you cannot be saved by Jesus or your fellow patriots.

  • B-man,

    I sure would like to be at the end of your scatological tirade. This was a masterpiece.

  • wouldn’t …

  • Wasn’t that great, Silas? But what Archie appears to be missing from all this, we actually do love him – such as he is.

  • Indeed, Roger. Jesus teaches that the greatest love of all is that which is loving the least amongst us.

  • Actually, I meant besides that for all his speech, he comes across as a likable person. Anyways, that’s how I always envisage him and respond accordingly. And I think most of us do.

    I just wish that Archie himself would see that.

  • Arch Conservative

    Silas I will give you 5000 dollars if you can find even one single post in my history on BC where I have expressed fundamentalist Christian ideas. If you cannot find it you must give me 5000 dollars and shut the fuck up about me being some type of bible packing fundy……

    Is it a deal?

    I guess you’d keep on calling everyone who doesn’t drink the Obama koolaid a racist though.

    As for you btone….I take snapshots and leave the important stuff out? Obama has had three major policy intiatives since he took office………..the stimulus….Cap and Trade and Socialized medicine……..by all acounts I’d say the stimulus shows no signs of working and unemployemnt is at a 30 year high……..cap and trade is dead and he’s not doing so well with Obamacare at the moment…….What else has there been that I’ve missed during this presidency that’s been so damn important?

  • When the hell will you people STOP referring to it as OBAMACARE? My God, you’ll stop at nothing to neutralize this guy. Give him a chance. Eight years ago today this entire nation came together behind George W. Bush. People who questioned what was happening at that time lost livelihoods, community standing and much more (Bill Maher a classic example). To question George W. Bush was tantamount to treason back then. When all is said and done, our blind faith in that man led to our downfall, period. We placed all our trust in him, rallied to his cause and marched our troops into theaters of war where they never should have gone. We’ve spent billions in a far away land that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about America or our ideals (if we have any that remain). Osama bin Laden’s goal on September 11, 2001 was to cripple the United States economy. Guess what, he succeeded. We may have rallied behind Mr. Bush and wished him success but the bottom line is that George W. Bush failed. Osama bin Laden – 1 George W. Bush – 0

    Arch, I’ll discontinue characterizing you amongst the religious zealots. But, with all due respect, I find your hatred for all things Obama to be suspect. Is it racist? Perhaps in your mind it is not but you have yet to demonstrate any civility toward the President where I would think that your slams are anything but thinly veiled racism.

  • Once again, it’s simply a snapshot, a moment.

    Nevertheless, the jury is still very much out on the stimulus. As I noted earlier, the economy is in fact showing signs of recovery and the continued rise in unemployment was expected – no one except perhaps you, expected otherwise.

    Cap and Trade a lost cause? Perhaps You know, the fat lady and all that…

    Health Care Reform is still very much alive. More has been accomplished toward significant reform at this point than at any other time in history. Your characterization of it as “socialized medicine” is essentially bullshit. But, frankly, I would love to see our health care system totally socialized.

    You idiots are sucking the health insurance companies’ testicals. You actually think they give a flying rats ass about your or anyone’s health. ALL they care about is the bottom line. So, if you find yourself denied payment for some procedure or therapy, or if they drop you as a bad risk, just remember how much you love them. It is apparently in your opinion preferable that people should fucking die rather than hurt the bottom line of some blood sucking insurance provider. You’re an idiot.

    Roger, It wasn’t exactly a scatological reference. Slop is what pigs eat. But admittedly, the mental image is not much better than, uh, scat. 🙂


  • It’s become a buzzword, Silas, so don’t blame Archie for that. Other people have coined it.

  • I tell you what, B-man and Silas. I blame some of our congresspeople more for spreading lies and seeding discontent than people like Archie. They’re the ones who ought to be more responsible with their words and acts, for they set the tone for a great many Americans who otherwise might have given to more reflection and thinking.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well Silas if you had been around in 2004 you would have seen I had a healthy dose of hatred for all things Kerry and you wouldn’t have had the rascist canard to hang your hat on.

    It’s not about racist. It could be about Obama spending more in 6 months than any other administration in the history of the country. it could be about Obama’s penchant for publically chastising anyone who doesn’t agree with him as “watching the wrong TV shows”..it could be about the blatant lie that we’re going to have a public option, insure millions of more people and not raise taxes or add to the deficit, it could be about a whacked out energy policy called cap and trade that would crush industry in this country………..it could be about a number of things Silas but the one thing it’s not about nor has it ever been is race.

  • I’ll say one thing. I may have seen traces of it in H&C and perhaps some in Barger, but not in Archie.

  • zingzing

    yeah, silas, i’ve never heard archie whisper anything racist against blacks. (illegal immigrants, however, he likes to call “wetbacks,” as if that’s ok.)

  • zing, you’ve been in NY. We’d call ’em spicks, waps, gooks, chinks, whatever. That’s how things were those days. And I’d do those things, too, because I didn’t know any better. Until I outgrew it.

  • zingzing

    well, archie clearly isn’t there yet.

  • Not quite like your nemesis, thank God.

  • zingzing

    who’s my nemesis?

  • You shouldn’t have to ask. Jack Ruby?

  • Clavos

    I’d rather be called wetback than Gringo…

  • zingzing

    whatever, gringo. it’s not up to you.

  • Clavos may be right, though. Gringo is a definite term of derision. A wetback speaks of white trash.

    Name your poison.

  • Clavos

    Nothing is “up to me,” zing, and I like it that way — totally absolves me of all responsibility for anything. But I’m proud of being a wetback.

  • It looks like you’re stuck with the nomenclature, Clavos, whether you like it or not.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “But I’m proud of being a wetback.”

    well, if given the choice, that’s fine, i guess… it’s not fine when someone else puts it on a person whether they like it or not. it’s degrading and cruel.

  • Clavos

    “Gringo is a definite term of derision.”

    Hasn’t been for years. It’s the preferred term in my homeland for all Americans, with no pejorative meaning whatever.

  • Well, that’s news to me.

    I was thinking of Gregory Peck’s last film, after Carlos Fuentes’ novel.

  • Clavos

    ” it’s degrading and cruel.” I have yet to meet a Mexican who takes it that way, even when we actually are mojados (see, we even call ourselves the same thing).

  • maybe it’s a reflection of the speaker’s intent more than the particular name?

  • Clavos

    Bingo, Cindy

  • And they shouldn’t if they have an iota of pride – which no doubt they do.

  • It goes back, Cindy, to the idea of the
    “Contact Zone.” The “oppressed” may be oppressed, but their image of themselves doesn’t correspond to that of “the oppressors.”

  • Well, Arch, I stand corrected. In your case, it is not racially motivated. You just hate all things liberal.

  • zingzing

    “I have yet to meet a Mexican who takes it that way.”

    well… i doubt you’d wander up to a random stranger who is mexican and call him “wetback” without thinking about it. and it’s got nothing to do with the particular term… just the arrogance, ignorance and plain old meanness it takes to use a racial epithet to someone’s face. unless it’s to a honky. fuck whitey.

  • “…it could be about the blatant lie that we’re going to have a public option, insure millions of more people and not raise taxes or add to the deficit…”

    Well, you see there’s the difference. You say it’s a lie with absolutely no foundation whatsoever. You apparently believe that Obama is an evil person who lies for nefarious reasons.

    I do not. I don’t believe he’s lying. You simply hate everyone to the left of Adolf regardless of who they are. That is unenlightened, dogmatic, tight assed, old world thinking. If you harken back to some other era – some so called “good old days,” be mindful that there was no such thing. This country was never any better than it is today.


  • I happen to agree, zing. Clavos is whitewashing. There hasn’t been any love lost between the two cultures … and why? So who gives a shit about “gringo” no longer being a term of derision. They still despise all Anglos and for good reasons. Unless you want to believe in fairy tales.

  • Yes it was, B-man. When we were still “innocent.”

  • Clavos

    Neither of you knows jack shit about Mexicans or how we think, so I’ll give your pontifications the disdain they deserve.

  • Don’t tell me now your culture wasn’t subject to the same forces of colonialism as any other. And you trying to deny that just rings false.

    No disrespect intended.

  • zingzing

    jesus, clavos, angst much?

    all i said was that archie has no right to call mexicans wetbacks. it’s racist. it’s cruel. it’s not a term of endearment coming from him. you can say mexicans would easily brush it off, but to have “disdain” when someone says people shouldn’t go around throwing racial epithets in peoples’ faces is pretty fucking weird.

  • zingzing

    why you’d take time to defend archie’s rather obviously disdain for your culture, i don’t know, and i don’t know why you’d get all dismissive of others just saying it ain’t right is totally beyond me.

  • Clavos

    “hasn’t been any love lost between the two cultures … and why?”

    Oh, I dunno…might have something to do with stolen territory?

  • How should I argue this point, Clavos. Whatever the reason, it’s there. But perhaps, just perhaps, at times you fail to identify with the hoi poloi.

    Have a good night.

  • zingzing

    looks like clavos took his ball and left.

  • Clav,

    Are we talking about Texas? Hey, you can have it back, my friend. Shit, you can have Oklahoma and New Mexico, too. 🙂

  • Roger,

    Were you being ironic? We were never “innocent.”

    Innocense pretty much left the building about the first time one cave man stole another cave man’s fire.


  • Of course I was being ironic. But still, B-man, we never suspected sixty years ago that there was trouble in paradise.

  • Oh, I don’t know Roger, 60 years ago we had just emerged from WWII. We were beginning our entanglement in Korea, and were embroyled in the early years of the Cold War and the atomic age – not exactly paradise.

    Certainly, as a kid I was totally unaware of all that or what it could have meant. But, I was also blithely unaware of how unstable my existence in middle-class, middle American suburbia was owing to my dad having started his own business, the early years of which were very iffy. I had no sense of that, nor did my older brother.

    Hell, in school doing “duck and cover” drills was a hoot – just a welcome time away from routine. We had little understanding that we were making, what in the end would have been useless, attempts to keep from being incinerated by a nuclear blast.

    Presumably though, most adults and, I suppose, older adolescents had some notion of just how precarious our existence was at that time.

    Just as there is no such thing as “the good old days,” there really was no period of “innocence.”

  • B-man,

    What I mean that the world, if it wasn’t, at least it seemed simple – only the Soviets were “the enemy,” jobs were plentiful, etc. Just look at the fifties’ movies, Doris Day, the drive-ins, soda-pop culture, and “Rebel Without a Cause,” e.g. (Not to say everyone shared this “happy life”), but this was the mood of the times.

  • Actually, “Rebel Without a Cause” was an early clue along with films like “Blackboard Jungle” that things weren’t all that great on the home front, despite the gawdy, garish lunacy.


  • Quite correct, B-man. I suppose my subconscious made me do it (not as a trick question, but simply because you’re not without a point). But I hope you see mine, too, however obscurely expressed.

    Good exchange.


  • Oh, I think we are both right. The fifties and early 60s did have an air of innocence regardless of the Ruskies and A-Bombs. Of course our “innocence” was badly compromized by the JFK assassination and completely deflowered in 1968 with the intensified Vietnam War, the MLK and RFK assassinations and the DNC riots in Chicago. After that, it was an entirely new paradigm which is still playing itself out. The wide divide between the left and right pretty much began with the new liberal left co-opting the Democratic party along with the civil rights and anti-war movements, they all served to polarize the country in a manner not seen before. That polarization is still broadening and could end badly. This nation may be tested in a way it hasn’t been since before the Civil War.


  • Enough of the bible talk.. This is the 21. century! Baritone, Everybody knows that Obama is on a very diffecult task. But I hope for him that he can last longer than 2012. The states needs him.