Until Midterm Elections...

Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Friday, October 16, 2009

President Obama and the Vanquished Vision

This post may come as a surprise to many readers, but I think it is time for someone on the Left to admit it. The enormous political capital that President Obama came to D.C. with in January has evaporated in nine short months. He has shortchanged the reason many people voted for him in the first place.

My main reason for voting for President Obama was his dedication to true health insurance reform. Senator McCain’ plan just didn’t pass the muster for me because it seemed to much of the status quo and run by the health insurance companies.

As I have mentioned in previous entries, this is more than just reform for me. This is a moral issue. The wealthy get to live long lives while the poor must suffer with inadequate service that is passed on to everyone else anyway.

Scott and I have both posted about various reform measures and have, in many cases, found common ground in breaking the monopoly of health insurance (they do have special anti-trust exemptions), increasing competitiveness in the health services, lowered premiums, improved choices and universal affordability through tax credits.

As I posted before, this could be achieved at the cost of $100 billion per year (depending on the income threshold for which he $2,500 tax credit would be eliminated), which would reduce the Federal deficit and the deficits of the various States by eliminating the costs of Medicare and Medicaid (currently costing the Federal Government and the various States close to $500 billion).

However, President Obama and his Congressional counterparts have developed a bill that would cost over $2 trillion dollars over ten years and add to the deficit by $700 billion over that ten years. This is according to Senator Majority Leader Reid on the Senate floor two days ago (uspoliticsonline.com).

Now, if it was just health care reform costs that we were talking about, then maybe we could work out the numbers. After all, this was President Obama’s main campaign promise to the American people.

However, President Obama has pulled a President Clinton on us. If you remember, President Clinton came to office in 1993 with a promise to reform health care. However, he wasted the opportunity with several blunders early in his term, which among them was the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” compromise over the presence of homosexuals in the armed forces.

The promise of health care reform vanished with the stupid stimulus program (I would remind regular readers that I never have been record as a supporter of the stimulus program). President Obama’s first action was not on health care.

HIS FIRST PLAN OF ACTION WAS TO SPEND $800 BILLION ON A STIMULUS PACKAGE AND ANOTHER $400 BILLION IN BUSH’S FLAWED TARP LEGISLATION.

President Obama spent $1.2 trillion in his first 100 days in office. He bailed out the auto industry, continued Bush’s ill-advised bailing out of Wall Street, and now comes to the table asking for more.

I don’t blame conservatives, liberals, progressives, libertarians, communists, socialists, capitalists, fascists, anarchists, and etc if they are upset here.

My priority was and is health care. President Obama’s promise to the American people during the election was that health care reform was his top priority. He said health care reform was the key to economic recovery. He said health care was the most important issue the American people will have to deal with during the next 25 years.

However, he no longer has the political capital to fight for the reform I voted for in the first place. Despite 68% of Americans favoring a public option in health insurance (Gallup), President Obama can’t keep his party in line on the public option.

Say what you want about George W. Bush, he was able to keep his party together on the big issues - stimulus checks in 2001, tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug coverage. President Obama, I hope that this short letter gets to your attention somehow, someway.



Dear Mr. President:

This is not the change I imagined. You and your Congressional Democrats have floundered the greatest opportunity we will ever have. You came to office with a clear mandate on one issue – health care reform. The differences between you and Senator McCain were marginal on most of the issues, but health care was not one of those.

You come to office and immediately spend $1.2 trillion. You inherit a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion (that was a big argument against the Republicans and President Bush in the election) and immediately add $600 billion in bailouts and stimulus.

You had to use a lot of political muscle to get the stimulus and auto industry bailouts approved.

You have none left.

Mr. President, count me among those disappointed.

We had a vision of addressing one of the great injustices in the American Dream. We had a vision of living up to the Declaration of Independence’s great truths. We had a vision that one day people of all incomes could get quality health care to enhance the quality of their lives.

Mr. President, I fear the vision is vaquished.

When you look for reasons why you were unable to live up to the great promise we had hoped for on our path to health care for all, the mirror is all you need. You spent too much political capital - as well as money - too fast and not on the priorities you promised in the primaries and the general election.

If you can pull this off and surprise me, it would be a truly miraculous event. However, I’ve been around the block too much to realize that miracle is pure fantasy. The Republicans have too much momentum right now.

I remember the Clintons in 1993. Another vision that was vanquished.

Sincerely,
Scott J.

P.S. I was hoping for a longer honeymoon.

17 comments:

  1. I kind of feel like George Will writing about President Bush (43). Of course, not as eloquently.

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  2. Nice work SJ. While I don't fully agree with all of your conclusions or interpretations, I agree that (hopefully) the political capital is spent. Certainly in any case, the bloom is off the Obama rose.

    I dispute that he came into power with any clear mandate to achieve anything in particular. If you recall, the main thrust of his campaign in the last couple of months was tax cuts for 95% of Americans, Hope, Change, get out of Iraq, close Gitmo.

    While he did talk quite a bit about instituting nationalized health care during 2007 and 2008, it was not clear that the majority of his voters even knew what his platform was. He gave great sounding, magnanimous speeches (I admit, even I got goosebumps listening a couple of times because he sounded so good).

    The problem was, and is, Obama stopped at his rhetoric. He had little substance during the campaign. His voting base was (and I'm not being racist by saying this...it is simply true) largely influenced by his race, whether it be african americans seeing a chance to finally get one of their own in the White House (a grand achievement, regardless of politics), or white liberals trying to absolve themselves of their irrational guilt over slavery. It became the "hip" thing to support Obama, even if you could not say one agenda item of his that you supported.

    This is not to discredit anything you said or any reason you had for voting. YOU sir, are a well informed voter. My contention is that most of his base is not.

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  3. I contend that the main reason for Obama's rapid fall from grace is that even his voters (yourself included) have seen behind the curtain. Obama has revealed himself for what he is...an angry, racist individual who despises America as it was constituted. He sees the rich as America's main enemies. Look no further than his "Pay Czar" who is currently engaged in a bit of arm-twisting over at AIG to stop bonuses being paid to so-called "non essential" employees. We're not talking about millionaires. We're talking about kitchen managers, mail clerks, people earning bonuses fromo $700-$7,000. These are the "little people" that Democrats supposedly want to support, yet Obama's pay Czar is attacking their meager bonuses.

    We saw who Obama was when he said the Cambridge police officer (a white cop) acted stupidly when he arrested Robert Gates, a black Harvard professor and friend of Obama, even after admitting that he knew none of the details. His gut reaction was, "Damn racist cop!" (Not actually quoting him there, that's my interpretation of his thought)

    We saw who Obama was when after his poll numbers began to slip during August and his signature issue, "Health Insurance Reform" became overwhelmingly unpopular with the American people, all of a sudden all the opposition was based purely on Obama's race.

    We see who Obama is every time we get a speech about the economy and he blames Bush yet again for the crappy state of it. Even though, as you point out, it was Obama who spent 1.2 TRILLION in 100 days on top of a deficit of something pushing a trillion already.

    People are waking up. They see the 9.8% unemployment. They see the dollar falling rapidly against other world currencies. They see the international embarrassment of the failed Olympic bid. The Great "Magic Negro" is failing and even his most sycophantic voters are waking up. That is why his honeymoon is over. He has ended it.

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  4. I think we should still give President Obama some time before everyone starts bashing him about the horrible job he supposedly is doing. We should never expect a president to jump into office and start fixing everything because it has never happened before so why should it start now. I think Obama is trying his best to make this world a better place but the way society is going right now I don’t think we will ever get there. Presidents promise a lot and weather they carry out those promises or not is their choice but we as a country voted for Obama and we will have to deal with it for the next year or so. If Obama doesn’t show us that he is trying to make the world a better place than don’t vote for him next election. No one sees how much work the president has to do so that’s why I think we still need to give him a chance to prove himself to us. I mean he has to be doing something right because he just received the purple heart pin or something like that from Congress and only the best of the best can receive that award. I like president Obama and I think in the end things will work out for the best for the world.

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  5. Scott L, I do disagree about your contention about that President Obama did not have a mandate for health reform.

    If you look at his core support, the mandate was clear. Among minorities - mainly African-American and Hispanic - where he received over 90% of the constituency as well as organized labor, health care reform was by far the number one concern.

    Of course, he didn't have a mandate from conservatives, but neither did Bush on his faith-based initiatives from liberals.

    With this clear mandate from his core supporters (no matter the reason for voting for him), President Obama was given the proverbial politial football.

    He managed to lose this mandate, which also was the reason for the large Democratic victories in the House and the Senate, by using his momentum on things other than the number one concern among his supporters.

    Scott, while you don't see the madate (undertandable because you probably didn't follow the ListServ internal email updates of the Democratic Party during the primaries and the general election), the mandate was clear among Democrats.

    In the primaries, the differences between Senators Obama and Clinton were insignificant, but when he received the nomination, the party platform clearly indicated health care as the top priority if the Democrats won the White House and kept Congress.

    President Obama failed this mission on health care. With it, he is failing his core supporters.

    While conservatives might celebrate this failure, I am not. We, the Democrats, had another opportunity to address this moral failing of America. President Obama was our man.

    I never thought I'd say this. I think we nominated the wrong person.

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  6. Shortshyt

    I don't doubt President Obama's efforts. However, I am not just "jumping ship." The dominant campaign promise was health care and President Obama sold it down the river in exchange for a short-sighted stimulus bill and bailout of the auto industry.

    I know, you say it is easy to jump ship, but I wrote a little piece for my AP American Government students in January. Here are the highlights of what I would've done (remember this was written in January right before Barack Obama became Presidet. I will get you the Microsoft Word document with the last update tag if you wish).

    1) Return the TARP money to Congress. It was a bailout program of the previous administration and heavily criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. It was time to start new. A new presidency and a new Congress.

    2) If Congress demanded a bailout bill, then I would promise the American people that I would only sign a bill that had a 75% passage rate in BOTH houses. It was a bipartisan effort to send the economy into shambles...It should be a bipartisan effort to help fix it.

    3) The American people were demanding some type of government stimulus. Fine. I would promise the American people I would sign an economic stimulus plan only if 75% of both Houses passed a such a plan. It was a bipartisan effort to send the economy into shambles...It should be a bipartisan effort to help fix it.

    After creating goodwill on both sides of the aisle and forcing both parties in Congress to work together, I would then start with my campaign centerpiece - health care reform.

    5)Introduce my health care plan to the American people and Congress. Insisting on breaking the monopoly of health insurance rates held by the insurance company be the main goal of any legislation. While I would expect a fight on some proposals, just the Republicans could expect a fight from me on some proposals, the spirit of working together that I spend the first 6-8 months of my Presidency should pay off here. I woould've promised the American people that I would veto any legislation that kept a monopoly of health insurance providers and didn't have 75% support from BOTH houses of Congress.

    By the way, for the regular readers of the blog, Scott (the conservative) and I (the liberal) hammered out a compromise that kept costs under control, improved freedom of choice in plans and guaranteed universal coverage. See my main post for a litle more specifics to the plan. I have spread the idea around to many people and have had universal agreement to the sound principles of the plan.

    DONE!!!

    Within eight months I would've brought a new spirit to Washington in real and tangible ways as well as making progress on the real problems facing the nation.

    Too bad Mr. Obama didn't see it my way.

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  7. sycophantic - nice word Scott. I had to look that one up.

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  8. Expanding vocabularies one word at a time... :)

    SJ, your "what I would do" hypothetical sounds great, I'm just a little concerned you might be inhabiting an idealized world that will never exist.

    There are only very special circumstances under which you can get 75% approval from both houses:

    1) Be voting on something totally non-controversial like a resolution to wish America a Happy Chrismahanukwanzukah or something like that.

    2) Have 75% of one party in both houses.

    Honestly, when both parties in Congress are united on something, I tend to get VERY worried. Especially if we're talking about something Domestic. If its a declaration of war or something like that, I would hope for more unity. But when we're talking the kind of major "reforms" that Democrats have been salivating over in our healthcare system for decades (Teddy Roosevelt was, I believe, the first to push for something like nationalized health care), I would hope for exactly the kind of vigorous debate we are attempting to now have.

    It is my general belief that Americans are better off when Congress is on vacation.

    Now, you and I did hammer out a pretty solid foundation for what I believe to be the sort of health insurance reform that would actually work...but do you realize that our idea is very much a conservative idea? The HSA and health-insurance credits for the poor was something Reagan proposed. It is an idea that puts the consumer of care in power and removes the leverage over individuals that the Democrats in Congress wish to wield over us.

    Something I wish you and other liberals would realize is that once the Government is responsible for paying for all of our healthcare, they then can claim the right to regulate EVERY aspect of our lives, from what we eat and drink to our life style choices, et al.

    Anyhow, we've had that debate. I am just pointing out that I fear your idealized version of events would not be possible in this country.

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  9. Scott

    So you believe in dystopia and I believe that a utopia is possible. So much for you believing that it is hard to prove a negative.

    Your post is exactly what is wrong with our system. Compromise is seen as weak. Yeah, the HSA and high deductible was your idea, but I pushed you toward a way to guarantee universal coverage through your plan. I truly believe that the plan could have bipartisan support on the Hill.

    I don't think my plan is unworkable. Put the onus on Congress to work out a bipartisan bill. If the Republicans hold out on compromise, then the public blames them. If the Democrats hold out on compromise, then the public blames them. With midterms so key, then neither party will be willing to be seen as the roadblock party.

    I don't think it is a bad idea for major change to have bipartisan support. Your comment almost made bipartisanship sound bad. I know many conservatives see compromise as weak (something that makes me cringe when I hear a conservative say it), but our nation has thrived on it.

    Our system demands it. Besides, my 75% threshold is much higher than the 60% it takes to get a major bill passed through the Senate.

    Imagine the scenario...The President uses the bully pulpit to issue a charge to Congress to pass health care reform that guarantees universal coverage, lowers costs and guarantees improved care. He tells the Congress, do it in a bipartisan way (the 75%). The pressre in on Congress. The debate is vigorous and the changes discussed, but the Congress knows it must act or be in trouble come midterms.

    I know you said you don't trust when anything is passed by such a margin. I would think that if a major reform was passed by such a margin, the American people could be confident of its value.

    As it stands now, when the Republicans hammered something through Congress, the Democrats charged the bill was poisonous. The Republicans currently are doing it.

    I know you say this is bad, but I think you are really proving the negative and supporting the decisiveness.

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  10. I think you mean "divisiveness". And that's not it at all.

    I am being a realist. And yes, you could say that I do not support absolute bipartisanship in all cases.

    Here's why:

    Bipartisanship as defined in the utopian vision you present means both parties come together and hammer out an idea that they can both stand proudly behind. I believe that with respect to our idea on healthcare reform, we have done that, at least, on some major principles.

    However, in the real world of today's politics, bipartisanship has been defined as Republicans caving on their principles and "reaching out" to Democrats across the aisle to agree with their proposals. Ever heard of John McCain and McCain-Feingold? Not a very good example of conservative principles, is it? But McCain wanted to be "bipartisan" so he tossed out conservatism.

    How about "No Child Left Behind"? Again, Bush wanted to be seen as this uniter and he allowed Ted Kennedy to author that debacle under the guise of "bipartisanship".

    Hell, we can go back to the era of Reagan. He wanted his tax cuts and the Dems wanted tons of entitlements, so we got both and did take on a lot more debt. (Our current debt dwarfs the debt of that era, but nevertheless, the high debt is constantly thrown out as a mark against Reaganomics, but you see, even Ronaldus Magnus had to go the "bipartisan" way now and again).

    Its this sort of "compromise" that has led our nation to the brink of financial ruin, led to near 10% unemployment, led to the dollar being so devalued that the Chinese won't buy any more of our debt, on and on. And it has been the fault of both parties. On that front, we have truly had to endure "Bipartisanship".

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  11. The difference between your respectful, albeit in my opinion, naive, view of bipartisanship and the stark, shadowy way in which I have couched the term is the following:

    The combination of Power and Profit. Lobbyists on all sides that spend billions to elect our Congress and President expect their kickbacks. They come on all sides, you have the Energy sector, you have Wall Street (which is largely a liberal haven...just look at Goldman Sachs), you have the pharmaceutical industry, you have the tobacco industry, you have the Race Industry (La Raza, NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et al), you have the Gay Lobby, you have the Wacko Feminists (Rush calls em Feminazis, and while a insensitive term...it hits a little too close to home for comfort), you have the Wacko Environmentalists...the list goes on and on and on.

    Each of these disparate groups fund our Congress's re-election campaigns. They are funded very, VERY different views on how to best run this country.

    For example, where is the compromise between Free Market Capitalism as defined by your Adam Smiths of the world and Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Statism as currently being pushed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Soros etc?

    Where is the compromise between a destructive Cap and Trade (Cap and Tax) energy policy and freedom?

    How can we compromise a goal of Nationalized Health Care and a free market system that has a few safety blankets to catch the truly poor and destitute?

    How do you define compromise between blanket amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal immigrants currently in our country and building a fence to keep them out?

    How do you define compromise between maintaining a strong national defense and foreign policy and placating terrorist and enemy demands?

    I contend that you do not compromise on these issues because there can be none. There is no compromise between right and wrong or good and evil. That right there is the crux of the problem with "Bipartisanship". Each side views their side as THE WAY forward for America for whatever reasons they have. The goal is to achieve your side's desired policies. That is the whole point of debate - to convince the other side that our own beliefs are correct. Where we can agree is great, but some of these core issues are just not something that can be compromised.

    I'm not saying that there are not areas of policy that ARE very much open for compromise and bipartisanship, however, they are truly more rare than not.

    It may be a sad state of affairs, but in my view, it represents the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.

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  12. Wow - you do see the world in a black or white way. Unfortunately, I see lots of gray in these issues.

    "How do you define compromise between blanket amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal immigrants currently in our country and building a fence to keep them out?"

    Amnesty for those here and the fence to stop new illegal immigration (btw, with the current economy, the estimated number of illegal immigrants has dropped to around 5 million - politico.com)

    "For example, where is the compromise between Free Market Capitalism as defined by your Adam Smiths of the world and Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Statism as currently being pushed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Soros etc?"

    I will quote Rush Limbaugh here. "We all want our form of big government. When we want big government, and Republocans want it to on their issues, then we destroy liberty and freedom. Republican conservatives, don't think you're free from desiring liberty smashing policies." (June 27, 2008)

    "How can we compromise a goal of Nationalized Health Care and a free market system that has a few safety blankets to catch the truly poor and destitute?"

    We've already done that here.

    "How do you define compromise between maintaining a strong national defense and foreign policy and placating terrorist and enemy demands?"

    This isn't so much of a compromise as it is understandig that every situation needs to be treated uniquely. I don't trust anyone that wants to go to war to solve all problems just as I don't think diplomacy can solve all problems. I really hate it when people turn foreign policy into black and white extremes. The best foreign policy truly finds the gray area and works from there. Scott, you said that you hope that the diplomacy works with Iran because you don't want war to be the first solution.

    Scott, you have hit on what drives me absolutely insance about conservatives. The attempt to the see the world with such simplistic views as good versus evil. Sometimes our good people have some evil in them and the evil people have some good in them. Nothing is ever that simplistic. And you call me naive.

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  13. You ignored the end of my post where I explained WHY I have a problem with this so-called bipartisan compromise.

    I know the world isn't split into ALL GOOD people and ALL BAD people, but you are guilty of oversimplifying conservatism with that statement.

    I explained how I think we've done the hard part of solving some of the core issues surrounding healthcare. But Scott, the elected Democrats in the Congress and Obama want Nationalized Single Payer Healthcare. That is the goal. They do not want "what is best for America", they have their template and are unwilling to compromise.

    Just last week, Harry Reid was belittling the idea of tort reform, much like they have in Texas. He admitted that it could save up to $56 billion each year in medical costs, but his argument against implementing tort reform is that "well the costs of the plan we're proposing is $2 trillion (blown that CBO estimate all to hell, as I knew), whats $56 billion?" Its a rounding error.

    The real reason he doesnt' want to touch tort reform with a 20 foot pole is that the trial lawyers are one of the Dems' largest contributors.

    I don't have much more time tonight to detail all of this, but what I'm trying to say is that I don't believe liberals are as "shades of gray" when it comes to their agenda as they'd have you believe.

    Foreign policy may be an exemption, but I will always favor the free market to government control. Capitalism over communism. Is there a role for government? Yes, of course, but its a minor role as arbiter, not Overlord.

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  14. I think the problem with Mr. Obama tackling and making the right decisions is not because of his inability, but on how much of a mess this country was in when he was elected. Obama has many hard and vital decisions to make that can't be made over night and he has to deal with the opposing force of everything he tries to do. Give him a chance, but don't expect him to fix this country’s entire problem. I don't think that is what the president is supposed to do because if it was then he would be perfect and there would be no need for re-elections or elections for that matter. I feel the President's job is to keep this country in some type of order on every subject matter that is at hand. He is not the one who screwed up this country, nor is the last President responsible for all this mess, but the blame is from the beginning of time when Presidency in the United States first started. See from President to President each one has brought some good to the table with some bad. No one President is to blame nor should one President of African descent be expected to achieve more than the usual because the country has set his expectations higher as to say he needs to prove himself as being capable of being the President. You don't have to agree with what Obama is doing or with what any other President has done, but if you are going to complain then find ways to assist in the matters at hand to open up more options for our country as a whole.

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  15. @Goofie,

    Every time you post, you essentially say that we can't yet critique Mr. Obama's actions or lack thereof because he has not had enough time and the country was in the crapper when he took over.

    Erego, I ask you to please be specific.

    Can you please identify the specific problems with the country that Obama inherited from Bush? After that, please identify the specific actions that Obama has taken in order to correct the problems manifested upon this nation by his predecessor.

    Then, for bonus, use your critical thinking skills and evaluate whether those actions have been successful or not in addressing these most grievous problems.

    Finally, could you please tell me after how many months we can finally pass judgment on whether Obama's actions or lack thereof are or are not beneficial to this country?

    In response to your last sentence, I have been offering my solutions for the problems I'm sure you will be listing for the past several months. I can't help it if you either don't read my ideas or choose to ignore them.

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  16. @SJ,

    I don't think that Limbaugh comment makes sense given the context of my statement. I am asking for the "middle ground" between Totalitarianism and Freedom. Conservatives (I will not speak for all of them, but for myself and for those who choose to accept my premise) believe in allowing people the freedom to live the way they want to live, within a moral code that is established as a way of protecting the prosperity and future of the nation.

    Yes, I want government to lay down some rules for behavior, but only inasmuch as those behaviors affect other people. But the true meaning of my statement was in the context of entrepreneurship and business.

    On Saturday, Obama spent his whole weekend Youtube address attacking "the insurance companies". He lumped them all into one, and he did so because they had the gall to publish a statistical report that analyzed the Baucus plan and found that under his plan, the average American family will pay about $4,000 MORE per year in insurance premiums and other taxes.

    He did not show how this report was wrong, he merely said that they are lying. No proof, just His Word. He is out attacking yet another American business industry for the purpose of taking it over. Just as he has the car industry, the home loan industry, much of the banking industry, the student loan industry.

    I also asked how can we compromise between common sense treatment of the environment and the radical eco-leftists who are purporting junk science as a means to achieve even more totalitarian control over our freedom and individual lives. I don't want to meet them halfway because it is ALL BAD (One of those rare cases).

    With illegal immigrants, you say amnesty for those here, fence for those yet to come, but you fail to see that the point of amnesty is creating a huge permament Democrat voting block. Not to mention, the unbelievable insult you would be issuing to the millions of permanent residents and others pursuring citizenship the legal way.

    Besides, SJ, Reagan (one of his few major problem areas) passed amnesty in the 80s under the premise of enforcement of the laws. We can see how well that worked out (In Reagan's defense, Ted Kennedy was "the liberal lion" on this particular issue and the Congress was run by liberals). My point is again, you are asking for me to compromise with something that is completely bad for the country. I cannot do that. Why can't we see some compromise from the Liberals? Why not try Rush Limbaugh's true bipartisan stimulus plan? Why is it always Conservatives who must "reach across the aisle" to compromise with Liberals?

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  17. Scott,

    I don't really think those compromises were just liberal ideas that were forcing conservatives to compromise and not liberals. From my point of view, they are solutions that require movement from both sides of the aisle.

    As for your contention that is only conservatives that are exptected to reach across the aisle. I don't believe that was true from 2002-2006.

    Democrats who did not support EVERY policy of President Bush after Sepember 11, 2001 were called unpatriotic and had to grab their ankles and vote for the policy (see Homeland Security, waterboarding and the eavesdropping policies of the NSA). Liberal Democrats were forced to go along. In other words, the had to reach across the aisle and compromise,while the Republicans did not.

    The result was the midterm elections of 2006. The people voted for an end to the Republican stranglehold on policy. 2010 will be much the same way.

    I think a bipartisan government (i.e. one party in the White House and the other controlling Congress). Look at the poll here, while it is too small of a smaple to generalize from, those on this blog support this view as well.

    When such a government exists, all of the policies need to be bipartisan (say what you want about TARP, it was bipartisan, albeit after the strong Democratic showing in November).

    For the most part, when policies have been bipartisan, they have tended to work out well for the country. The debate is good. The debate is important. However, the solution is crtical and neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party have a monopoly on the solution.

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