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Res ipsa loquitor

The above video was recorded at the 9/12 Tea Party in DeeCee.


If you are confused as to why the tea baggers are so hostile to a “Public Option” in health care insurance, think of it using this preexisting analogy:

Imagine if any time you needed to send a package or letter you were free to choose between using Federal Express or United Parcel Service. Then one day the government announced that it was starting a non-profit agency called the United States Post Office that you had to consider as an alternative.

Who wouldn’t be furious at the thought of socialized mail service competing with red-blooded free enterprise?

113 Responses

  1. I guess I should point out that I I was thinking of a true public option, not some obamafied clusterf*ck version.

  2. What a brave man. Have I not read even on this site that the “public option” has been gutted of anything that benefits anyone but the health care industry?

    Haven’t I read that Obama made deals with the insurance industry that tied the hands of any ‘public” program as regards to negotiating costs? Likewise the big pharma?

    And now all the “public option” really represents is people being forced to buy insurance from an industry which we have no power to influence? And even the right to appeal insurance companies decisions regarding our health care is to be taken from us with your public option.

    • A true public option would be a significant improvement over the current situation. The obamafied version not so much.

      The tea baggers seem to be objecting to any kind of public option.

      • Thanks for posting this. Public Option Man is my hero. I live in DC and actually met a few of the teabaggers (before the protest started). They struck me as normal people with wrongheaded, Republican ideas. But, again, these were only about 5 people and before the teaparty actually started.

        As a law student, I also appreciate your reference to res ipsa even though the context is different from what I’m used to hearing it in!

      • myiq,

        How should we be governed?

        If it is by an equal franchise vote, then leaders are determined by a public option.

        In the private option, leaders determine who will lead.


        • Back when leaders were chosen by God the trick was making sure God chose the right person.

        • Then by your definition, leaders, or maybe I should say owners, are determining who leads (using the term loosely.) Which seems accurate in the USA today.

          • E,

            Lots depends on how you use the term leader. I suppose governors would have been a better term.


            The point is that democracy is a public option.


    • how in heaven’s name could the public option be about forcing us to buy private insurance? This is not even remotely logical given the meaning of the english words you have typed here.
      Where do you get your information?

      • Because that has been the content of some actual proposals. Calling something the public option has become PR, not actually public. For example, the Senate HELP bill requires that the “public” option be set up and run by private insurers.

        Simple enough when you realize that “public option” is an absolutely meaningless phrase in this context. Next question?

  3. I can’t get it to play, what is it?

    • It’s a man carrying a sign that says “Public Option Now” through the 9/12 Tea Party crowd.

      He is escorted by 5 cops and the crowd is yelling and booing.

      • Not to put too fine a point on it, but those people are NUTS. Seriously, one old guy with a sign causes that? Why can’t O-thugs and right thugs just drop the pretense, admit they play for the same team and go off into the sunset being scary and trying to stamp out all signs of dissent?

      • That man is MDFriendofHillary from the 2008 campaign.

      • Great post, myiq!

        I wonder what they would have done if he had carried a sign that said “Medicare for all — including politicians.”


  4. And even the right to appeal insurance companies decisions regarding our health care is to be taken from us with your public option.

    Well… I know that on my mother’s explanations she gets from the medicare processors there’s always a blurb that reads something about having the right to appeal a decision.

    If it’s allowed in medicare (which is certainly public) I don’t see why it would not be allowed under a public option.

    From whom or where did you see this, read this or hear this?

    • Hi, I’m Robert Reich. I knew Obama was as phony as a 3 dollar bill and his health care plan sucked, but I never got over Hillary dumping me. Now when it’s too late to do anything and this deliberately orchestrated cluster—- has destroyed any possibility of healthcare reform for 5,000 years, I care. Oh, well, I’m rich so I’ll be fine anyway, SUCKAS.

      Yeah, still bitter. 🙂

  5. Oh my…diff. Betty never did answer that question, did she?

    • She did not. It seems likely, though, that in addition to there being an appeals process with a public option, you could also call your Congressperson. Congresspeople would probably all have fulltime staff assigned just to deal with constituents’ medical appeals in that case.

      • I’m amazed at the number of people around here lately that base their opinions on right-wing sources of information.

        FOX News is like a police informant – inherently unreliable, usually dishonest and even when they tell the truth they have ulterior motives.

        • CBS, NBC and the NYT are equally biased IMHO. I have taken to reading tons of sources and then sorting it out.

        • OK, amazed. Betty’s opinion about the lack of appeal likely came from the fact that none of the current proposals have a “local appeal” process, like the one Medicare has, built in. Thus an appeal would have to go up the chain of command. Still might win an appeal but it could take years while with Medicare you can get a local decision. Sounds like private insurance to me instead of Medicare. Still amazed?

  6. Funny seeing teabaggers on Medicare and Social Security screaming “GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY LIFE!”
    I would love to. Give these teabaggers the opportunity to opt out of Medicare and Social Security. It would save taxpayers a lot of money.

    • yeah and in the meantime keep them off public roads, make sure the police and fire company do not respond to their emergencies, keep them out of museums, schools and public libraries.

      I am so sick of stupid people to the left and to the right. These jack asses all remind me of the gang who stopped the vote counting in Florida in 2000… their life is run by what rush and beck tell them.

  7. Teabaggers are upset about a lot of things. This health insurance fiasco is the tipping point.

    • Teabaggers live in a state of perpetual outrage.

      • myiq, you’ve demonstrated this point well in this and in other posts. I like the article written in WAPO about the basis for this rage not being simply r@cism.
        “But sexism and racism aren’t the only pretexts; recall the swift-boating of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 campaign and the unending conservative rage against former president Bill Clinton. Republican House leader John A. Boehner got close to the truth when he told ABC News last spring that people he met at “taxpayer protests” are “scared to death . . . about the future . . . and the facts that the American dream may not be alive for their kids and grandkids.”


        A declining super power and the subsequent effect on its finger waving “we’re number one” populace isn’t pretty.

        • Limbaugh was ranting to his Dittoheads about liberals when Poppy Bush was President, and he hasn’t stopped since, not even when the GOP controlled all three branches of government.

      • So does Jane @ Firedoglake.

        I see much more true venom spewed at her site towards Obama than some wingnut sites.

        Jane must be a racist, right?

        • Well, she is white.

          • That she is.

            But my point was , that the progressive blogs–including here—are very negative about Obama nowadays, and spew lots of venom (me, too) about his broken promises.

            The media that claims any criticism is racist , while selectively pointing to “wingnuts” only, are full of shit.

          • The people in the video aren’t pissed about his broken promises.

        • I was at FDL during the primaries as Hillary Supporter. It was ugly ugly ugly. I emailed Jane asking her to tell the most egregious of them to knock it off. It turned into a koolaid site. It amazes me to see the same folks over there now complaining about Obama when they shoulda woulda coulda when it counted

    • This is very true. It has been a sequence of events leading to this from the dehumanizing tactics used in the past by the Republicans and picked up with zeal by the Democrats, to the infuriating bailouts in which the public outrage was swept under the rug, and now dicking people around and holding desperately needed help just out of their reach and jerking it away. By concentrating on the loonies and wailing about how dangerous they are, the issues of the right AND left can be ignored and anyone disagreeing with anything that does not directly benefit Democratic contributors can be silenced. I do not agree with these sad misinformed people, but I am through with the name calling and giving them more attention that they deserve so the WH can ignore me.

  8. My approach is to just ignore all of this whackadoodlery.

  9. UPS and FedEx get the most profitable type of business, USPS gets the stuff nobody else wants to do (like 6 days a week home delivery and RFD) and you can still send a letter across the country in 3-5 days for less than $.50 without leaving your front porch.

    Obamacare’s “public option” will get stuck with the patients the other companies won’t cover (the old and sick) which means the premiums will be higher. The other companies will keep the young and healthy with no preexisting conditions. That will allow them to charge slightly less than the P.O. rates and still rake in huge profits.

  10. You will NEVER convince them.

  11. The public option should be a non-profit business.

    • All health care should be non-profit. It sickens me that money is made when people are sick and when they are denied insurance benefits because of the multimillion-dollar salaries of health insurance industry CEOs.

    • Amen, lyn5.

  12. Thank god he wasn’t promoting single payer, probably wouldn’t have made it through. What a brave man indeed.

    The only thing that crowd was missing were the pitchforks.

    And of course the obvious irony is that Obama and the DNC are on the side of the crowd.

  13. Good question, not that it matters now:

    What IS “The Public Option”?

    Hasn’t anyone noticed that not one single person has been able to verbalize exactly what it is?

    Who would be eligible for it?
    How much would it cost?
    How would the costs be decided? What criteria?
    Would there be age discrimination? Discrimination for pre-existing conditions?
    What would be covered?
    If you think it’s a better deal can you dump your private insurance and join?
    What are the restrictions?
    And add about another hundred or so pertinent questions regarding “The Public Option”.

    I think it’s completely ridiculous that we’re discussing something that will most likely never exist and NONE of us even know WTF it is!!!!

    (h/t Vastleft)

    • Good question. To me it’s a big compromise from the better choice of single payer and should be as close to that as possible. So it would be medicare for all with no restrictions. No restrictions on age, preexisting, etc. And yes, anyone could join even if covered by something else. Cost, now there’s the big question.

      • But it doesn’t matter what it is to you or to me. What matters is what it IS in the proposed legislation.

  14. What’s really ironic is that after the way the Failbots warned us how bad things would be if McCain won the election we have Obama pushing the Baucus plan which is basically what McCain was proposing.

    • Actually, it is worse than McCain was proposing. McCain offered a tax break and no 3800 dollar fine.

      As to people being against the public option, that is not because they are stupid or evil, it’s because the president has failed to communicate and to properly define “public option.” Nobody knows what the heck that is, it’s just words. You yourself had to clarify you meant a “true” public option, not a clusterf*ck.

      If the president can’t even stand up and tell us a public option is a necessary and good thing, we can’t really criticize people who are opposed to it. Well I mean we can, but it’s a bit like demanding every citizen be smarter than the president.

      • Your typical teabagger isn’t a moderate independent, he/she is a conservative GOPer.

        They are dittoheads and Beck fans who think “liberal” is a dirty word and foam at the mouth when they hear the word “socialism”

        They are fringe, not mainstream.

        The problem isn’t that they don’t know what public option is, the problem is that they think they know what it means but they are wrong. Nothing we say matters because they believe in the Gospel of Rush.

        • I disagree myiq. Let me tell you, after the primaries and some of the characters and philosophies we’ve met, their particular versions of “liberal” and “socialism” really are dirty words.

          A few million people gathering in DC and around the country are not “fringe.” Like it or not, these are Americans, the same Americans who put Reagan into power. Dismissing them as not credible or as dittoheads, doesn’t make them go away.

          If you want to take the wind out of their sails, you handle them gracefully like Bill Clinton did. You address their concerns, you speak to them as if they have a right to be heard.

        • Bullshit.

  15. Instead of chanting “no pulic option”, they should just go ahead and chant “I want to pay more for my health care.” Seems to me that’s what they are saying.

    • next time they have a rally let’s go and bring our own signs.
      I think mine will say ” Keep insurance companies in charge of Death panels.”

  16. I have some sympathy for the teabaggers because I think they have this deep distrust of government and authority, and ffs, who can blame them these days?

    • I have sympathy for their distrust in government, but I just wish the message had been a bit more consumer friendly.

      • Teabaggers didn’t distrust government when Bush expanded government to three times its size. They only oppose Democratic government, shoring up of the safety net, programs that actually help people.

  17. I really can spell PUBLIC!

    • LOL, at least you didn’t type, “pubic option.” I saw that on another blog and spit coffee all over my screen

  18. Non-profit HMO’s ended up with the label of “Not For Patient” and are now almost non-existent.

    Nick Skala: Single Payer v Public Option:

    “The public option preserves all the systemic deficiencies that we see in the current system,” Skala said. “It maintains a finance system that is based on private insurance and private insurers and their drive to fight claims, issue denials, screen out the sick and make a big profit generate tremendous administrative waste — 400 billion dollars a year.”


  19. Whatever you think about these people, this is a real movement. When it started back on April 15, all the democrats could do is ridule them. (And I see we are still using the horrendous name “teabagger” although no one seems to be giggling about the conotations.) Meanwhile at least some republications said (and I am paraphrasing here) “Those are my people and I must get ahead of them — for I am their leader.” I don’t know if the republications will be able to coopt them, if they will eventually dissapate, or if they will turn into a viable third party. Points in favor of a new (popular) third party include massive distaste for both the democrats and republicans and the fact that they are starting this almost 3 1/2 years before the next presidential election (not just after the primaries are done like so many independent runs). These people have legitimate concerns even if you don’t agree with their solutions. Calling them racists, and then stating that maybe they are just bitter, bigoted, ignorant, old white trash that just don’t know any better and are being manipulated by others is not going to stop them. Does that last statement sound familiar PUMAs? Did it do anything to convince you that you must have been wrong? The difference is that unlike PUMAs that have said that demonstrating is so old school and that the new and better way is to blog and piss and moan about what is wrong, these people are getting together, demonstrating, and their numbers are increasing. Ignore them at your peril, because, for better or worse, I don’t think they are going away.

    • The TEA Party movement was officially launched in February. It was in the planning stages since last year. It is not a spontaneous uprising, no matter how many press releases and messengers FreedomWorks dispatches to the contrary. FreedomWorks’ Brendan Steinhauser, the guy behind it and the fake angryrenter.com anti-bailout AstroTurf, provides enough half-truths in this video to give you an idea of what really has been going on.

      • I don’t doubt a swift boat like operation is involved….but they are smart enough to use the real anger out there. And really they could just be a means of syphoning off the anger rather than gather it up for some purpose beyond keeping Obama in line.

    • I don’t care why folks are protesting , I’m just glad someone is. The anger is real and growing ….it’s a thunder bolt coming this way. Right now the far out elements are being highlighted on TV as a means to keep a lid on it…but that won’t work forever.

      • If you don’t care why people are protesting, what are you celebrating? Anger? Protesting for the hell of it? And, the point is, the “far out elements,” as you call them, started it. It’s their movement, no matter who climbs aboard.

        • opps! I didn’t see this post before I posted at 12:19 pm . I don’t believe the” far out element ” will contain the anger if things keeps going as they are, but I’m also tired of the roaring crickets on my side as Bush 3.5 rolls along, blowing by one outrage after another…and I think the town halls are about making Obama look like a Dem while keeping him steering right ward…. so it’s a mix…but there ‘s no celebration in it

        • Ironically, the “far out elements” used to be Left who gathered in large numbers to protest the status quo.

          Like it or not, dissent is always patriotic, no matter what party is in charge. People have a right to protest, a right to ensure their voices are heard.

  20. I think you are right. And given that the GOP is on the outs with the lobbyists at the moment, they are sure to adopt them.
    If they represent the populist right, I actually wish them luck. I hope they can consolidate around a leadership that will focus on battling corruption and enforcing regulation.

  21. Remembering my anger and pain at being labeled a bitter old woman of a certain age who was so low-knowlege that she just didn’t realize how wonderful Obama is and that I should just shut up and die, it hurts me to see people who I admired doing the same thing to the people who attend the Tea Parties. You put them down with evidence that has been carefully chosen and editted by the same main stream media that did such a even handed (snark) job of covering the last election. Have you made any effort to actually talk to any of these people before you condemn them? I haven’t, but I imagine that a lot of them are like my husbands family that live in a part of the state that has seen jobs move away. When I first met my husbands family, his parents lived on a hobby farm and raised their own beef, pork, chickens, and went hunting for rabbits and squirrel and deer in season. My mother-in-law, and one of her sons live in from late spring to early fall in a fishing campground where they fish nearly every day — not just for pleasure, but for food to eat. These are good people even if they do not have educations from elite east coast colleges — but then again, neither do I (I only have an associate of arts from a technical college) and my husband repairs diesel trucks — but there is no excuse for the tone and language that has been put forth about the tea partiers and others who don’t agree with Obama. And, as far as I am concerned, they can take their better-than-thou attitude and put it where the sun don’t shine.

    • Lahana, I completely agree with you.

    • It’s not about the people who attend the TEA Parties.

      It’s about the people who organize and fund them.

      And, why.

      Nothing justifies exploiting them for your own ends, imo.

      Especially when those ends are counter to the exploited people’s values and beliefs.

      • well said . We are all closer on this than it seems ….imo differences in what one highlights about a certain topic , doesn’t always constitute vast differences. We are here because we care about the adverage person in our way. We want them heard , but not misslead.

      • I’m glad you clarified that, but I’ve seen a lot of posts & comments that paint all the protesters as loonies.

      • Completely agree. Most of these people have no idea what they’re actually a part of … they don’t understand the issues, the source of the funding, or the consequences. They’re just mad and looking for a place to vent. What they are doing is empowering the wrong people, yet again.

    • I didn’t get my evidence from the mainstream media. I got it from the tea partiers themselves.

      Take a couple laps through the right blogosphere. The people who organize and attend those events are over there posting unfiltered.

    • Nobody is saying they should shut up and die, but where do you draw the line? After 8 years of Bush, obama’s voters had plenty of legitimate grievances, too. They justified all of their tactics on grounds that they’re the good people fighting the good fight. Nobody disputes that there are nice, well meaning people at these things, or that they don’t have a right to gather, but there are less than nice people pulling the strings, some of the nice people are getting sucked in and acting not-so-nice, and there are a lot of mixed messages here, some of which are very bad as well.

  22. I’m sorry Cinie, I read you every day and like most of what I read, but your comment here is the same “they are just too stupid to see that they are being used” comment that seems to always to be used again the lower working class. Do the republicans want to take over this movement and use it — almost definitely. Have they been able to do so — I don’t think so from many of the comments I have on other blogs. We don’t even really know what they want because we never talk to them, instead we hear what the media distills down and feeds to us. What I do know is that if we spend all our time ridiculing them, we will push them right into the arms of the republicans. But then again, democrats have a lot of practice doing that, don’t they.

    • Republicans didn’t take it over, Lahana, they started it. You may not want to believe that, and there’s nothing short of posting evidence I can do to change your mind. But, it’s a right wing conservative movement that for many reasons, I guess, appeals to many current and former Democrats.

    • Didja even watch the video?

      It shows a guy walking through a tea party crowd carrying a sign that says “single payer now!” That’s all he is doing.

      The crowd is hostile and booing. You can see some of their signs too.

  23. And so, from seeing a group of what — 50 to 100 people, we can make a judgement about the several hundred thousand people (while I don’t believe there were a million people there, I also don’t believe it was only 70 thousand) and decide that they are all right wing wackos. Perhaps they have all moved over to the republican point of view. If they have, at least part of the blame has to go to those who had no use for them except to deride them. When I turned away from the democrats and voted for McCain (I firmly believed and still believe that this country needed someone with experience and ability to accomplish something, even if he was a republican), I had hopes that they would see the huge opportunity available to them to temper their platform and bring in large numbers of women, but that was not to happen. Now I am left without a party, both parties bow down to the same powers that be and simply use different catch phrases to gin up the enthusiam in their followers. I don’t know what I am going to do in the next presidential election. There is no way I can vote for Obama, yet so far none of the early republican contenders are anywhere near acceptable except perhaps Sarah Palin, and that may only be because no one is really sure what she would do in office.

  24. And I am sure that your insulting them will have the desired effect of causing them to say: You’re right, I was completely wrong in my views. After all, it worked so well when Obama’s supporters did it to us.

  25. It looks like the wingnuts are gearing up to go after the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which has been a right-wing boogeyman longer than ACORN.

    • we don’t need no freaking NEA… if these artists were any good they would be on TV and stuff.

      • When television is good, nothing—not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers—nothing is better.
        But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit and loss sheet or rating book to distract you—and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland. – Newton S. Minow

        (Didja know they named the S.S. Minnow after him?)

    • Yep, here it is on Breitbart’s site:


    • If you’ve followed the Shepard Fairey (creator of Obama’s HOPE poster used in primary) association with Yosi Sergant who was appointed Dir. of Comm. for NEA Feb.’09, you possibly would find Obama’s February hubris brought Sergant’s reassignment on himself by walking right into Glenn Beck and his Obama expose agenda.

      Obama, the most intelligent one, so I’ve been told by ‘bots, and his agenda are being shredded by the right-wing nuts.

      • Yeah, I’m going to have to agree on that one. Granted I don’t know much about the sources, but there’s knowledge that the rightwing hates the NEA, a perception that Obama is all about patronage and self promotion, and now allegations that the promoter of O’s campaign poster, who not only has a conflict of interest there but a further conflict in promoting O to sell more items (assuming he gets a cut as well as Shep), has a job at the agency and may not just be favoring certain artists who support O but may actually be asking them to design works to Specifically support O’s agenda?

        Yeah, I’d say they walked into that one all right.

          • I really hate that poster. It is so Orwellian the first time I saw it I thought it was an anti-Obama ad.

          • I like some of his images, but he’s so hypocritical. It’s all anti capitalist stuff (that he makes zillions slapping on every surface available from gum to tees and selling), then he endorses Obama? No sale. It’s all these pseudo radical hipsters–if you’re really radical and anti-capitalist, you have a problem with all Dems, not just the uncute and uncharismatic.

          • There’s actually an exhibit of his in Boston right now (free on Thurs night, ICA) and it’s hilarious, he has image after image condemning Dems for this and that sellout. Get a checklist, check off all the things he’s supposedly supports that Obama is up to his neck in, then visit the Obama poster!

        • Not “may” be asking them to design works go support O’s agenda. Breitbart actually has them on tape in a conference call doing that. The issue is several million dollars the government is paying them to do it.

          Supposedly, they’ve got it all on tape and, unless we really do live in a banana republic now, that’s against Federal law.

          • Yeah, that’s what I meant, I’m not sure about whether the tape has been independently verified. I certainly wouldn’t put it past this crew, but then I wouldn’t put it past the other crew to fabricate a tape, either. If it is true, like artemis said–hubris. Rightwingers are all over the NEA for approving grants they disagree with, but gosh, we won’t hear a peep from them if his campaign poster promoter is out actively soliciting friendly artists to execute certain projects on themes he’s suggesting, no siree!

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