Fool me once, won’t get fooled again

David “Spoony” Atkins:

No one is going to save you fools, again

Here we go again.

We now know that the Obama Administration traded away the public option in order to gain support from the hospital industry for the Affordable Care Act. And we know that it traded away, among other things, the importation of cheaper drugs to PhRMA in order to secure their support for the bill.

Some of these details were known long ago, of course. Good policy was scuttled in order to secure industry support. The question is why it was done, and whether it could have been done any other way.


The Affordable Care Act barely squeaked through with a minimum number of votes as it was. Had either PhRMA or the hospital industry come out against the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in ads against those who considered voting for it, it would never have had a prayer of passing. The blessing of PhRMA and the hospitals was a necessary condition for the passage of any bill, which is part of why single-payer was never on the table in the first place.

Replacing Barack Obama with a “stronger progressive” won’t solve this problem, because the problem lies with the system, not with the person in the Oval Office.

The power to defeat PhRMA and the hospitals won’t come from the top down. It will come in two ways: 1) from the bottom up via progressives rolling them over state by state; and more importantly 2) through campaign finance reform that prevents them from threatening the careers of every politician in Washington if they don’t get their way.


What we do about that is up to us. It’s not entirely clear what the strategies for success will be, but the strategies for failure are obvious: waiting for a progressive savior who will never come because the structures of politics no longer allow it, and assuming that decentralized and disorganized angry people power will magically bring about change.

It’s going to be a long, hard slog. And it’s going to take organizing on a variety of fronts, chief among them campaign finance reform, that don’t seem to immediately impact the problem. But if one wants to cure a disease, it’s important to treat the underlying problems, not just the symptoms. But no one is going to save us from this morass but ourselves.

Been there, done that, Dave.

We organized. We saw the value of the internet and formed online communities. We blogged, we donated, some of us went to Yearly Kos/Netroots. Then one day a small clique of online activists decided they were smarter than everyone else and that democracy was too inefficient to accomplish their goals. They decided that Obama was The One, and that those evil Clintons and their low-information supporters needed to be purged from the Democratic party.

You were one of those online activists, Dave. So was your blog-mate Digby. We were the people you screwed over.

So fuck off, Dave.


The Klown

p.s. You guys sold us out during the heath care reform debate too – you decided that single payer wasn’t doable so you put all your effort into the public option – just like Obama told you to do. He fucked you over the same way you fucked us over.

With a track record like yours, I’d be too embarrassed to be giving anyone advice. Especially to the people who were right all along.

This entry was posted in Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Disingenuous Democrats, Obamacare, Zombies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Fool me once, won’t get fooled again

  1. WMCB says:

    With a track record like yours, I’d be too embarrassed to be giving anyone advice. Especially to the people who were right all along.

    This. Funny how people who have been wrong about EVERYTHING are always the ones saying, “Listen up! Let me tell you how it’s gonna be…”

    I second the Fuck Off.

    • leslie says:

      What WMCB said.

    • What’s funny is I remember these same folks writing blog post after blog post about how could we possibly trust David Brooks, etc after they had been wrong on so much. And now we find ourselves here, in the same place for the same reason…idiots protecting an authoritarian, calling him a savior.

  2. DeniseVB says:

    Interesting tidbit on the Mass Dems convention….they picked Warren so she doesn’t have to face a primary.

    • elliesmom says:

      Best of the comments there: “It wasn’t very democratic, but it was Democratic.”

      • DeniseVB says:

        Ya think ? 😉

        They told the over 10,000 people who signed DeFranco’s nominating petition that they don’t get to vote in the primary election, and they deprived hundreds of thousands of other voters of a choice.

      • catarina says:

        How many times can one be totally fucked over by these assholes? They just suck.

        People in my neck of MA really thought Warren wasn’t part of that.
        Well, goddammit, she IS.

        This is why I’ll vote for ANY Republican that isn’t spewing pro-life stuff. The f*cking Dems must be stopped-they’re the Massachusetts Mafia.

        Hard to type with all the overhead helicopter noise..

    • WMCB says:

      The D party has morphed into authoritarian power freaks. Shut up and doo as we say, you pesky voters.

      • DandyTiger says:

        The new Dem party sucks so bad it’s truly astonishing. What remains of that party now have their dream president and they suck in every way possible. I don’t see them coming out of their walled garden insanity for a long time either.

  3. WMCB says:

    I was reading the comments section on that devastating Dowd article. Its sad.

    There are some Obots who are coming around, saying they won’t vote foor him again – will go third party or whatever.

    Many are FURIOUS at Clinton, and Rendell, and Booker, etc. Evidently any Dem with a lick of financial and economic sense is now a “tool of Wall Street”

    There is a lot of “You people are not good enough for Obama. How can you abandon him when he needs you? Traitors!” One guy opined that Obama would be a great president of “a culturally refined, educated country like, say, Scandinavia” but is wasted on this wasteland of ignorant rubes called America. Glad to know what the creative class thinks of us.

    Most are agreeing with the article, and many seem bewildered at “what happened to the Obama of 2008?” Poor dears haven’t gotten it yet that he never existed anywhere but inside their own heads, and in the mirror and light show of David Axelrod.

    • WMCB says:

      Oh, and the guy who longs to be Scandinavian with Obama should move there – right after he shoves his cultural refinement right up his ass.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Scandinavia isn’t a country.

    • DeniseVB says:

      What happened to the Obama of 2008? LOL, he’s still here, only a lot of us weren’t wearing those kool-aid goggles in ’08.

    • cj says:

      “….because he’s black”

      Saw the zombie attacks on the “white racists” Greenwald and Scahill on Twitter yesterday. Scary because the ignoranti actually believe the sh*t they’re spewing.

      And then there’s Maureen Dowd’s gem….

      because he was abandoned as a child.

      • Lulu says:

        If the farking press had vetted him everyone would have known not to elect a messed up guy with attachment disorder. Sheesh. Why aren’t these fools blaming the Democratic machine that steamrolled this loon into office. He is not normal within any standards that are acceptable. The rest of the country gets it but the enablers are too invested in the entire scam to back out now without loosing face.

        • WMCB says:

          The funniest thing to me about some of these articles, including the Dowd one, is their solemn nodding and pontificating over how they, the smart ones, have observed Obama over 4 years and come to the stellar conclusion that he has some self-identity and parent issues. Because, like, they are so very educated that they have been able to discern and ferret out this little nugget of truth, and are presenting it to the ignorant masses as a troubling and unexpeccted revelation.


          It’s just hilarious to watch them be so serious about what is dawning on them, and attribute this realization to their superior intellect and insight.

          ROTFLMAO! You are late to the party, morons. Many of us had him acccurately pegged from 2007 or earlier.

        • elliesmom says:

          At this point I don’t care if they’re late to the party as long as they show up. We can beat them up after it’s over.

  4. DandyTiger says:

    I watched the Chris Hayes show this morning (so you don’t have to). Funniest show ever. They had this whole panel discussing how evil and partisan Republican’s are and how Obama couldn’t get anything done. And they discussed why Clinton could get so much done and Obama couldn’t (even when Obama had a supermajority), and their conclusion, wait for it, racism. It was great comedy. The obvious in their face difference between Obama and Clinton, that Obama is an incompetent nothing, was something none of them could ever fathom to even conceive. Brilliant.

    • It does get tiresome to see the psychology of the left writ large on so much of their cultural production. Reading the headlines these days feels like so much déjà vu.

      • cj says:

        “Reading the headlines these days feels like so much déjà vu.”

        Wish I had said that. Perfect description of the left’s sudden awakening.

    • WMCB says:

      Bill’s strength was that he was never a strait-jacketed ideologue. He was practical. Whatever is best for the people and works. If it was “ideologically correct” but demonstrably wasn’t working, Bill had no problem changing course or trying something different, even if it was a *gasp* Republican idea. That mindset allowed him to use good stuff from both sides of the aisle. It was about results.

      Obama, for all his “sellout to R ideas”, has no clue how to do that. He picks some random R idea to implement for the sake of being seen as bipartisan, not because it’s a good idea. In fact, he picks the crappy R ideas to implement, not the good ones (and yes, there are some good ones.) Since everything he does is “how-does-this-look” motivated, rather than results motivated, he cannot do the Clinton triangulation thing even when he tries. Clinton knew how to choose his compromises to benefit the country. Obama is utterly lost.

      The progressives have a different problem from Obama, though. Their prroblem is that they are focused like a laser on partisan ideology, and really do not care what works, so long as it’s ideologically pure. ANY compromise or adoption of ANY R idea is ipso facto bad – regardless of the likely results of said idea. They are lockstep tribal, comparing this or that policy to the ideal fantasy in their heads of what “progress” is supposed to look like, with little to no regard whether it works in the real world. The fact that the intent of a given policy is laudable is the only real measure – whether the effects are laudable is not their problem.

      That Practicality Measure is the one that Bill got, and neither Obama or the progs do. Obama because he is motivated by self-interest, and the Progs because they are motivated by fucking fairytales, and tribal hate.

      • myiq2xu says:

        One of Obama’s problems is he steals GOP ideas and tries to make them his own, expecting them to sign on. That makes the GOPers angry so they oppose him anyway. If he wants to seem bipartisan he needs to leave them room to claim some credit.

        That’s not ideology, that’s political strategy. If you’re gonna wheel and deal you have to let the other side participate in the negotiations. You don’t just announce this wonderful deal you’re giving them.

      • yttik says:

        Bill was a policy wonk, probably greatly influenced by Hillary. He understood how politics trickle down to impact real people on the ground.

        Obama is all idealism with no wisdom, a really scary combination. (Well, when he isn’t completely obsessed with himself, that is) He’s kind of like an Occupier, all this idealism and no flippin clue about the impact or consequences of what they are suggesting. Like, “down with capitalism,” but giving no thought to what will replace it.

  5. jeffhas says:

    It takes a COURAGE…. Courage is not hiding behind a keyboard spouting prophetic tropes, marketing to the Twinkie crowd… Everyday courage is all around you with people who take risks and work their a**es off to make their families lives better, fighting through a system that allows success, but can never guarantee it – you can exist in fear or live with courage.

    To get BIG THINGS done you need a leader with COURAGE – and they exist today. Specifically because in order to run for the highest office in the land – having been ‘forged’ through fires of earlier battles of experience, you gain Courage to go into battle again and again.

    We’ve only had 44 Presidents in our country’s entire history. Out of hundreds of millions of people – we should only be voting for people with courage to take on these battles.

    You chose a candidate Dave, with no such experience demonstrating anything close to Courage.

    You have no one to blame but yourself – but the rest of us can blame you.

  6. DandyTiger says:

    So the authoritarian Dems have figured out a way to counter how the anti Obama crowd has been beating them at twitter. And it fits perfectly with their zombie authoritarian sensibilities. They have a system called thunderclap that you sign up for, and it effectively takes over your twitter account and can send tweets from all the accounts at once.

    Yep, in order to battle zillions of individuals who have been stomping them in the ground on twitter, they will give up their accounts and let the borg speak as one for them.

  7. HELENK says:

    before the summer is over backtrack is going to want to have a 2000 boat flotilla on the Potomic because he is just so special

  8. yttik says:

    This makes me so angry! The time was right for healthcare reform, people were all on the same page. The Clintons, especially Hillary, had put a great deal of work into it and paved the way. Even Republicans were into it, Bush was trying his prescription drug plan and Romney was working on his state plan. A few states actually had plans, like Wa’s Basic Health which provided sliding fee insurance. The whole fricken country was aware of the problem, the time was perfect for some leadership to bring all the ideas together.

    We could have had it all, but Obama and his supporters blew it. They bullied, harassed, and shoved a crappy bill down everybody’s throats. They set healthcare reform back decades.

    • jeffhas says:

      They set the entire Democratic brand back decades.

      They had a choice between a candidate who had been battle tested, and one that had only read about battles in a book.

      They f*cked up. Big Time…. and they know it… everything else now is just so much window-dressing & deflection (dreaming that Hillary would’ve done exactly the same – only she was a ball-busting fighter – how could she possibly do the same?)…

      BUT, now when they go to sleep at night, with their head on their pillow in the dark and no one else around – left alone to their own thoughts, they have to live with the knowledge that they were responsible for the last four years – and that SO MUCH has been lost. It must be exactly how W supporters felt at the end of his administration – knowing you had some culpability in Iraq-woes and Katrina. Who would’ve thought that you could single handedly resurrect the Republican Brand at the same time you set liberal ideals back to the ice age?

      If you planned it down on paper, it couldn’t have gone better.

      It must suck to realize you were conned so historically.

      • indigogrrl1 says:

        ummm – methinks they DID plan it this way.

        • yttik says:

          I’m not sure. To have actually planned out such an elaborate conspiracy would require quite a bit of intelligence. I haven’t seen any evidence of that kind of smarts.

          I’m always having an ongoing debate, is our government cleverly evil or just stupid? Neither possibility is pleasant to confront, but I still lean towards bungling, arrogant, and stupid, mostly based on my experiences working with large groups of people. Man, if you want to really foul up some good ideas, just form a committee.

    • r u reddy says:

      They diddit on purpose. That was their mission. To make “health care reform” so toxic that no one will try to circle back and do it right for several more decades. Decades of Forced Mandate revenue streams from all the Premium Slaves on the Big Insura Plantation.

      • r u reddy says:

        And while I no longer dare to predict that the Roberts Court will rule in favor of Forced Mandate . . . because of Obama’s hectoring insults and lectures; I still dare to suspect that the Roberts Court really really WANTS to uphold the Forced Mandate if they don’t feel too personally embittered and humiliated.

  9. WMCB says:

    Completely OT, but curious. The press and the Dems are hammering hard on Romney’s “weird” religion, and one thing I keep seeing as “OMG creeepy” is the early Mormon belief that Native Americans were lost Jews.

    Turns out that was not a weird bizarre belief for the time at all. Prominent Jewish scholars and people like Wllm Penn of PA thought so too. It was a very common theory:

    • jeffhas says:

      Well, going ‘Bain’ didn’t work… and going ‘Massachussetts’ didn’t work… I mean what’s left? – they’ll go after ‘Creepy Mormonism’ now… but it won’t work either – and with any luck it will just piss off Mormons – who actually have a little $$$ floating around.

      Yeah, go ahead, kick the beehive….

      • WMCB says:

        I think it was WaPo that had yet another Mormonism article this week. By my count there have been at least 5 major articles and 3 TV “explorations of” so far. Maybe more, since I’m not tracking them all.

        • myiq2xu says:

          A lot of people think Scientology is weird, but they still go to Tom Cruise movies.

        • catarina says:

          I will not be going to see T-Cru in his mid life crisis rock star flick.
          if anyone has the stomach for it please report back.

        • catarina says:

          Have you seen the creepy promo for a cable reality show called “Sister Wives?”
          Serious ICK and perfectly timed.

          And, yes, Jhaus, what you said about the beehive. This could get all sorts of ugly.

        • This is Sister Wives third season. It’s part of TLC partial focus on freakish family constructs and sexual taboos. Shows like SW, (Jon &) Kate plus 8, Strange Sex, Little People, and of course, 19 & Counting as examples of this focus.

      • angienc says:

        I don’t think the Mormon thing is going to work either. This country was founded on the idea that people should be free to worship however they want. It is part of our collective consciousness. I honestly believe that most people regardless of their own beliefs (not the progs, obviously, who need the govt to tell them what size soda to drink, but the rest of us normal folks) view another person’s religion as “None of my business” (unless it involves human sacrifice, exploitation of children, or some such harm to 3rd parties).
        After Romney acted like an adult and said “none of my business” about Obama’s church (re: the fake controversy on the alleged Rev. Wright superpac ad), attacking Romney’s church will just piss people off.

      • HELENK says:

        near where I live is one of the biggest scientology centers in the country. It looks like a big prison. the windows look like the kind in castle that are there for defense. Never see any people.
        It is just weird

  10. HELENK says:

    when the re election of backtrack becomes more important than national security you know you have a big problem

  11. HELENK says:

    new book coming out next week about backtrack and the white house. It does not seem to be all wine and roses there

  12. HELENK says:

    doing the happy dance, will do the strut later

  13. HELENK says:

    got this from a commenter at No Quarter

    of all the many things that backtrack and bunch have done to disrespect our military, this is one should never be forgotten or forgiven

  14. catarina says:

    good spoony-spank. he needs therapy.

  15. annabellep says:

    WordPress comments have gone wonky again…

    This will likely be the top story at Memeorandum within a few hours.

    Classic yellow journalism.

  16. Lola-at-Large says:

    Damn, sorry for the spam. My comments were not showing up earlier.

    • myiq2xu says:

      If you hit post and a comment vanishes, it is probably trapped in the spam filter. Reposting it again and again just convinces Spammy that you’re a real spammer.

  17. Oswald says:

    So fuck off, Dave.


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