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How to Fight Like a Republican and Win like a Progressive

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Obama Is Indecisive and Unsure

Even when Obama was running, I had the disquieting feeling that his desire for a rational, honest debate of the issues, was not going to be met by the other side. They simply don't think that way - it's not just that they disagree, it's that they just don't process facts the same way, their brains work differently, whether through training or genetics, it doesn't matter. Jonathan Hari, writing in the Huffington Post yesterday, made the point it may start with religion, leading to a faith-based everything view of the world. I wouldn't disagree with that, though some of my best friends are religionists.

Obama STILL thinks he can reconcile with the opposition if they'd only see the logic of arguments. He's got to stop believing this, and soon, or he will go down as a failed president, maybe equal to Bush, who didn't even get what he wanted. Obama has to fight down and dirty, like LBJ getting Medicare and the Great Society programs through by arm-twisting, shouting, making back-room deals while keeping the principles intact, like FDR threatening to pack the Supreme Court with sympathetic justices (there is no constitutional limit to the number of justices on the court.) if he didn't get his way.

In the modern age, he's got to name names, go public with them and accuse them of conspiring to kill 18,000 people a year by maintaining a system of health non-care that kills that many a year. Go to the edge of the lie. Put the Republicans on the defensive - for a change - reframe the debate. At the same time, draw a line in the sand with what he will accept and what he will VETO. Blame the Republicans and the DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) if no bill is passed. Take the damn gloves off, Mr. President, or you will find yourself without a base, out there on your own.

Here are some examples of this fight-back philosophy for the Health Care debate:

1. The opposition has no plan so they must support the status-quo.

a. The status-quo kills 18,000 people a year who can't afford health care. Republicans are for that.

b. The status quo means 7 million people will lose coverage between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2010. Half of these will be children (is it less than that? Does it matter in this liar's debate?). Some will get sick and die.

c. The opposition is anti-competitive and anti-business. By continuing to tie health care to employment, they encourage job lock and the failure of small businesses who can't afford to insure their workers. They insure that our companies can't compete against companies that are in countries where health care is covered, like G.M. which would not have had to seek bankruptcy if it didn't have some of the highest health care costs in the world (don't believe that? Prove it).

The opposition will say they support the Free Market for health insurance. Really? Ok, ask them:

Are you willing to deny care to someone who can't afford it?

If not, how can you claim it's a free market? If I fail to buy a car, and then I need to drive somewhere, no one is going to loan me a car for free if I can't afford one. No one will even loan me bus fare, unless a friend or family. Why should it be different for health care if you really believe in the Free Market? Oh, and yes, our parents should use up their life savings paying for Junior because he was too irresponsible to buy health insurance before he got hit by a bus. That's rugged individualism, you see.

We buy all kinds of insurance because we know no one will cover our costs if we don't - that's the moral hazard. Sink or swim. That's the Free Market, baby. Wait until a few people die on the sidewalks of a few hospitals because they couldn't pay to get care inside. THAT'LL teach people they'd better carry insurance! Otherwise, where are the teeth in the Free Market insurance?

What's that? You would never kick sick people to the curb? Then, you must think health care is some sort of Right. In that case, why not cover it like we cover legal rights? You're entitled to a lawyer, but not a doctor? What's the difference? Surely, you're not going to say one's in the Constitution and the other isn't. Shortly after the Constitution was written, George Washington died of leech's blood-letting. Who would have wanted to guarantee the right to that kind of treatment; we've come a long way since then.

Another point: the people voting against health care today voted against S-CHIP coverage for children, against Medicare balancing, against increase in care for Veteran's health under the V.A. (are you listening John McCain? Even if they didn't vote that way, they won't dare say that, lest they be called to explain why they supported all those things while not supporting expansion of Medicare for all now).

Lines in the Sand: Violate these and the President will veto the bill:

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Scott Baker is a Senior Editor/Economics Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post.
Scott Baker is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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Dems don't even need to fight like the Republicans... by Don Smith on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 4:32:45 PM
Only Rachel Maddow had the intestinal fortitude to... by Jason Paz on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 8:17:42 PM