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This creek smells funny. How did we get here?

Imagine you were rowing your boat gently down the stream and one of the oars got caught in the hatch. What would happen? Logic suggests that the current would slowly move you downstream as you spun the boat in circles.

O.K. Rowboats don’t have hatches, but Orrin Hatch is a creature and a feature of the ship of state and it is people of his intellectual and moral quality who are spinning the boat in circles when it’s clearly in need of proper direction. In fact, abandoning the first metaphor, they’ve piloted the US up the creek to where it is today. When you’re up this creek, you need a paddle, not an Orrin.

In response to Charles Schumer’s statement, that the Democrats can pass healthcare reform without Republican support:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who joined Schumer on the show, said Democrats should not try to use reconciliation to force through a bill which could not overcome a filibuster in the Senate.

“If they use that, that would be an abuse of the process,” Hatch said. He also said creating a government health plan open to all would be a grave mistake. “If we do that, we’ll bankrupt the country.”

Earth to Orrin. What do you think you’ve been actively working at for the last 8 years? What do you think lying to the public to make a war in Iraq, and loosely regulating the financial community, have to do with the current economic situation?

The Republican Party set the stage for bankrupting the nation by adopting neo-conservatism as its political philosophy. Neo-conservatism, which is conservatism without moral and intellectual grounding, is bankrupt at the conceptual level, so it’s hardly surprising that Bush’s application of its principles gutted the economy of the nation. It’s also why so many Republicans continue working to bankrupt the nation by applying the principles they say prevent bankruptcy.

Ideologues whose brains can’t get beyond binaries are incapable of accepting the empirical world when it conflicts with their beliefs. One such belief is that public healthcare would bankrupt the economy, when every study ever published in The New England Journal of Medicine on the topic shows that public healthcare is more efficient and cost effective than private healthcare.

With people like Orrin at the helm, there is no reason to wonder why the country is up the creek. I can think of at least two good uses for a paddle.

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62 Responses

  1. Oh look…and they even sell paddles! It would be extremely humorous if it weren’t so true…we are up a creek without a paddle.

  2. I’ve been up that creek a few times, sometimes without a paddle, but once or twice without a canoe.

  3. myiq,

    Cramer wore a wet suit, but he’s a fictional being.


  4. “Earth to Orrin. What do you think you’ve been actively working at for the last 8 years? What do you think lying to the public to make a war in Iraq, and loosely regulating the financial community, have to do with the current economic situation?”

    I would be willing to bet that probably Orrin knows that, he just thinks it is improper for you to be aware of that, and down right criminal to bring it up.

    • I always thought the Republicans were trying to bankrupt the federal government so they could get rid of it … wasn’t that the plan?

      • D,

        Such thoughts anticipate my next post on the culture of cannibalism

        The outcome you note is entirely consistent with their world view. Given the Republican’s pragmatic stance on the corruptibility of human beings, it follows that one form of corrupted republican would be the legislator who undermines the government because governance by the corrupted is perceived to be a greater evil than breaking the oath to the people.



  5. One of the inconvenvient consequences of democracy is hoi polloi get uppity.

  6. If we’d finish Dubya and pals’ work of evolving our unnatural government system into the F word, some of that potentially bellicose police force he set up to wait for any trubs and probs, could effectively be used to show them where they belong when they say criminal things…

  7. My apologies if this has been posted.

    Obama’s Health care mistake?
    Aug. 19, 2009

    >>>>But once it became clear by mid-July that the Senate Finance Committee’s group of six included people acting in bad faith, just trying to delay and dilute the process, he should have switched course. He should have crystallized a clear message and basic points of a plan that his supporters could mobilize around, and that the general public could understand.


    • That is based on the false premise that Obama actually wants to reform health care.

    • jj,

      I wonder about the notion of bad faith as it is presented in this case.

      If their actions are consistent with their beliefs, then they are not acting in bad faith.

      Marcus Aurelius recognized that it was his fault, if he appointed people to positions that they were likely to abuse and they abused those positions. The scenario is analogous to inviting the rattlesnake to live in your home, a la “Natural Born Killers.”

      It is silly to blame Republicans for acting, and being, Republicans. It is sensible to plan for this outcome so as to avoid its’ pitfalls.


      • Are the Dems acting like Dems?Congress was in their control the last 2 years . Seems to me they’ve continued the same arrogant spending–on steriods. And what about the many Bush policies the BO adminstration has continue?

        Corporate interests have taken over both parties. Any moral high ground the dems had over the repubs, as far as I’m concerned, they lost last year.

  8. McCain was also whining about how they have to be “bipartisan.” Funny, I don’t recall any of these guys having a problem with partisanship when it was their party at the helm.

    As a matter of fact I recall them making the Dems use the friggin’ basement to hold hearings.

    I suggest Orrin and McCain go ahead and gussy up that basement and hold their own discussions on why they are so integral to health care and the meaning of the term “what comes around, goes around.”

    • Yup.

    • I agree that the Republicans did it too. But I disagree that this makes it okay for the Democrats to do it. Why? Because I yelled and screamed when the R’s used reconciliation to shove through agendas, because I thought it was wrong, and an abuse of the majority status. So I have to yell now if the Dems do it, and I will.

      Fecking consistency of conscience. Sometimes it’s a real pain in the ass for me. Much as I’d like to see Hatch relegated to the basement, it’s still wrong.

      • w,

        Compromise is predicated upon its material possibility and the willingness of the parties to do so.

        I think I spoke hastily elsewhere on the question of bad faith. Honorable people can disagree on principle and not be able to compromise, but how should one deal with those who knowingly propagate lies and curry fear?


        • Oh, I do think the Dems should stand up and pass UHC if they can, and screw “bi-partisan”. The Dems should craft a good bill themselves, sell it to the public, and go VOTE for it – and if it garners not a single R vote, too bad.

          I just don’t think tricks like reconciliation and turning off mikes and refusing debate and sticking people in the basement are the way our govt should function, not matter WHO is in the majority.

          If Orin Hatch, loathsome as I personally find him, is an accurate reflection of the views of his constituents, then he should be allowed to speak, to debate, to vote according to the normal rules of the constitution (not arcane senate “rules”). That’s our system of representative govt. And I believe in the principle of representative govt much more than I believe in any particular policy or ideology.

          No, I don’t believe anyone in this country should be shut up. Not even liars. Not even those of “bad faith”. Because once you decide that the majority gets to decide who’s a liar, you are FUCKED if a majority comes to power that decides that YOU are the liar who is dealing in bad faith.

          • w,

            I’m in favor of exposing BS.

            In terms of bad faith dealing, I suppose one is stuck with the sentencing conundrum, how do we balance rehabilitation and retribution?


          • I’m in favor of exposing it as well. Rail away, and call them bloody liars. But don’t shut them up by force. I’m very libertarian in that regard.

            And I don’t think the retribution/rehabilitation analogy applies, since saying batshit crazy things, or holding repulsive political views is not a crime to be either punished or “rehabilitated.” Not something I want my govt doing, thanks, in any way shape or form.

            Again, I’m not talking about getting cozy and “bi-partisan” with them, or compromising with them on legislation, or asking for their input to guide you. If you have a majority, then go for it and enact your agenda with VOTES, if you have them. But you have no right to shut down all debate, or turn off mikes, or refuse chambers to meet in, or twist the rules to silence them.

          • w,

            My point on r and r is not intended to involve “the law.” Rather, it is a statement that once one violates good faith, it has to be earned to be returned.


          • s,

            My original response was to the idea that they should be relegated to the basement, as the R’s did to the D’s (among other loathsome abuses of majority power). I don’t think we are in major disagreement, here. I was quibbling questionable methods of shutting them up entirely, not whether they ought to be trusted. 🙂 I agree that Hatch is not one to trust. Trust is earned.


          • Emphasis on “crafted a good bill,” They need to start over. What happen to the HC debate being shown on C-span?

  9. Message from my AZ Democratic congresswoman Representative Giffords…..regarding Obama’s “Health
    Insurance Reform”


    TUCSON – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today announced that three town halls on health insurance reform will mark the end of a busy district work period

    Apparently the Obama Administration is admitting their capitulation to the health care industry by calling his health care plan “Health Insurance Reform”.

  10. The last 8 1/2 years have been an education for me. My generation was taught to love the county and that no matter which party was in power the government would do the best they could to help the country.
    That changed in 2000.
    Pallets of money unaccounted for in Iraq.
    Money going out of the USA at record rates
    A let them eat cake mentality
    Now under backtrack
    Billions for Wall st
    Job and home losses at highest rate in years
    A phony health care program that only helps insurance companies
    Government run auto industry
    Spend like tax payer money drunken sailors

    I used to read about a group that decided when countries would rise in world power and then fall at the groups whim.
    Now I wonder if those stories were based on truth.
    I feel like I am in England after the 1st world war. The country losing status as a great power
    My government is causing this to happen.



    • hk,

      I wrote that Bush would be following Pyrrheus, if he took the US into Iraq. At the time, I also wrote that being right would be no consolatiion because of how bad the outcome would be. I was right about that as well.

    • “My generation was taught to love the country and that no matter which party was in power the government would do the best they could to help the country.”

      You know Helen, prior to 2000 I was always amazed by how Americans seemed to back up the newly elected president, even if they just the day before opposed him at the polls. It was admirable and I fully understand how sad it must be to lose that faith.

  11. Three uses, if you count actually paddling.

  12. Orrin Hatch is just being Orrin Hatch–I expect him not to play ball and to spew forth conceptually bankrupt bullshit such as “public health care will bankrupt the economy.” To paraphrase the old joke, “Sire, Sire, the Republicans are revolting!”

    The problem is that “our” side, the one with a mandate from the voters, has a Spokesmodel in Chief who, by design, is incapable of articulating the argument against neoliberalism or presenting a national health care plan that might in any way depress the profits of the parasitic industries that cause this country to have the most expensive health care system in the world even while tens of millions are denied health care access/coverage and Americans’ life expectancy falls behind that of the people of Cuba.

    And of course the other problem is that “our” side has also spent so much money bailing out AIG, the too-big-to-fail banks, and Wall Street that Republican chatter about our ballooning deficit is NOT falling on deaf ears.

    We can and should stick it to the Republicans for lying to the public to make a war in Iraq and loosely regulating the financial community, but the sad fact of the matter is that it’s not just the GOP who is to blame for our miserable regulatory environment or our involvement in treasury-and-life-draining unwinnable wars abroad. Never forget that there were 92 Senators who voted to repeal the Glass-Stiegal Act, or we now have the Democrats to thank for expanding the war in Af-Pak.

    That’s why we are up this smelly creek–I always knew that the Republican oar was useless; it took me longer to realize that the other oar doesn’t work any better.

  13. “Ideologues whose brains can’t get beyond binaries……every study ever published in The New England Journal of Medicine on the topic shows that public healthcare is more efficient and cost effective than private healthcare.”

    The ideologues go both ways. This is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. One side pretends government always delivers us ponies and rainbows, the other side pretends Gov is always incompetent and evil.

    Let’s go with the myth about ponies and rainbows. The examples of government greed and failure to deliver down to the people are numerous.

    VA workers given millions in bonuses as vets await checks


    We need to be honest about government greed and incompetence and address people’s concerns about handing health care off to them. If we would just acknowledge the truth and explain the system of checks and balances the Gov will institute to protect people, we’d have a chance of passing a genuine health care plan.

    As it stands, what we are doing now is worse than doing nothing.

    • Excellent comment, yttik! I get really tired of either hearing “govt can and should do everything” or “govt should do nothing”.

      No, federal govt should do what we the people ASK them to do, then STOP THERE. No more, no less. And it is not unreasonable to ask for guarantees of limits of how intrusive they will be in an area like healthcare.

      Poor analogy, but it reminds me of taking my pre-teenage daughter clothes shopping. Yes, she came to me and said she needed clothes. Yes, she requested that I take her shopping and buy them. However, if I get in the store and start picking them out for her, telling her what colors she can wear, and otherwise hovering and being intrusive, she’s may just tell me to eff off and leave with nothing. Not because she didn’t have a genuine need, and want me to fill it, but because I could not keep my grubby little intrusive micro-managing paws off the whole shebang.

  14. WMCB around? If so, you were asking about this the other day. Headline from Drudge, when I find the full story, I’ll post it:

    LEAN TEAM: Fewer than half of Obama top appointees in place… Developing…

  15. y,

    My use of the binaries covers ideologues in general.

    I agree with the pragmatic perspective you outline here.


  16. You know, I’m at the point where I simply don’t give a shit. We took care of the banks , and they, in turn, did not take care of themselves, leaving us still in bank hell. They went to war and refuse to get out of it. The economy is in shambles. And, our representatives say the country might go under with health care. I’d rather go under trying to do something right than sustaining all of their bullshit.

  17. Oh, and one more for ya Steven the sweet …

  18. I was just listening to this in my car. Walela is beautiful.

  19. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/90227fdc-900d-11de-bc59-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

    The creek is getting crowded



  20. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

    – Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

    • “It will be said that great societies cannot exist without government.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XI, 1782. ME 2:129

      “Every society has a right to fix the fundamental principles of its association, and to say to all individuals, that if they contemplate pursuits beyond the limits of these principles and involving dangers which the society chooses to avoid, they must go somewhere else for their exercise; that we want no citizens, and still less ephemeral and pseudo-citizens, on such terms. We may exclude them from our territory, as we do persons infected with disease.” –Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, 1816. ME 15:28

  21. “I can think of at least two good uses for a paddle”

    Steverino, if you’re a good-looking studly kinda guy, the average GOP politico would probably PAY you to paddle him. 😉

    You know the GOP… :mrgreen:

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