Wednesday, January 05, 2011

On Monday, Keith Olbermann had Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) on his show and among other things they discussed the Republicans stated goal to repeal health care reform. Here's a bit of their exchange:
WEINER: [I]f they want to vote their very first vote to take away prescription drug money from senior citizens, to take away coverage for young Americans 21 through 26, to take away coverage for people who have pre-existing conditions—this is the first thing they want to do. If they want that fight, bring it on, chicky. I think that that‘s exactly the kind of debate that we want to have.
OLBERMANN: The things that were just signed into law yesterday that the president made a note of seem to be really popular.

WEINER: Exactly.
Weiner believes because many things within the health care reform law do indeed poll very well with the public, it would seemingly be political suicide for the Republicans to try for a repeal. However, I believe Weiner (and Olbermann?) need to wake up on this matter.

Yes, on the surface one can assume Republicans would pay dearly for such an overreach to get rid of something so popular. However, what Weiner (and Olbermann?) fail to consider is that the Republicans and many special interest groups have done yeoman's work at thoroughly confusing the public about health care reform, in many instances convincing them that it will actually cost too much, deliver very little, will hamper job growth and is even likely unconstitutional -- all not true. But the fact remains that despite when asked the public does favor individual items of reform within the law, when asked about health care reform in general, support becomes less uniform and more tepid, thanks in large part to the opposing side's propaganda machine and massive effort to circulate misinformation.

The point being the Republicans and their allies have succeeded in doing what they've done for climate change: hoist enough non-facts and distortions into the discourse in an effort to create mass confusion about what should be fairly clear. By doing so allows them to take advantage of needless uncertainty and unwarranted fear -- in this case, affording the political cover to torpedo a law that in reality would be a huge benefit to the country.

Again, Weiner assumes that if a debate were to occur on this matter that the public would fully understand and appreciate what is at stake, what they stand to lose, and it would hurt the Republicans. Not necessarily true for the reasons I just discussed. The Republicans did what they do (distort and fabricate to achieve their goal(s)) and the Dems did what they do (lack the ability to effectively communicate to the public what they've done on their behalf). Advantage GOP.

Another huge fact the Republicans are well aware of: they must at all costs stop this law from being enacted because once implemented and the public began to actually experience the many benefits it stands to provide, and realize all of what they feared and were confused about were just lies and scare tactics, then the Republicans would never be able to repeal it. To try and do so then would clearly be political suicide, much as is the case today with Medicare and Social Security. Those of the public who criticize big government and excessive spending are most often enthusiastic supporters of both programs.

Republicans know they need to steer this train off the rails before it makes it to its destination. Weiner (and Keith) should've realized all of this and stated such. I think it's why in part the Dems always seem to remain a step or two behind the craftier Republicans.


Flipz01 said...

Their point was that, several very popular parts of the HCR have already been started and are know. Republican BS can't change opinions where people KNOW they are lying. That makes it harder for the Fox propaganda channel to bend reality.

Peerless Cynic said...

I think you are right. The GOP propaganda is so complete, people will simply not acknowledge any good that might come out of the health reform bill even if they themselves experience it. There is obviously a reason why Republicans continue to enjoy electoral success. Frankly, I’m concerned the next several years will not go very well.

Ralph said...




Anonymous said...

I hear the sound of a cuckoo clock all of a sudden...

Batocchio said...

Yes, there was and continues to be a massive conservative propaganda campaign against health care reform – and really almost every other issue under the sun. However, "Weiner assumes that if a debate were to occur on this matter that the public would fully understand and appreciate what is at stake" is inaccurate. Weiner discussed that in the same segment, and the same dynamics on other issues such as Social Security - what the public gets, what it doesn't, and how Democrats need to make the case much better. Many Dems are horrible on the communication front, but Weiner typically is pretty good, and you seem to be agreeing with him here, rather than pointing out something he's missing. (I also think you mean "fully implemented" since the law was in fact enacted last year, and some of its provisions have been implemented – and part of Weiner's argument is that those provisions are popular.) No disagreement, though, that the Republicans will lie like crazy about it all, though, and as it stands they're scheduled a repeal vote (even though they can't possibly get that past both the Senate and Obama's veto power).

Grey Matter said...

Debate away all u want on floor of House or senate, and see how much public picks up and appreciates.... Debate itself won't do it Mr. Weiner.... someway, somehow the Dems need to figure out how top one-up the Repub disinformation noise machine and cut through the crap so the public understands truth... no evidence they've figured out how to do meantime, my main point stands that Repubs first / foremost know they have to kill this thing before it's implemented.... (fully)

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the Democrats since 2003 did nothing for the MIDDLE CLASS for prescription drug coverage. The new DCCC chairman Steve Israel voted for that junk Medicare Part D whihc introduced an extra set of monthly medicare premiums and an extra yearly deductible.

The Democrats did not fix this in 2010 by putting the drug benefit in Medicare Part B so middle class retired and disabled people could get doctors coverage and prescription drug benefit in one medicare program.

The Democrats acted as corporatist as the Republicans did.

Oh the so called discount only applies to patented drugs. For generic drugs the discount appears a measly 7 percent, besides the real issue appears having to pay 2 sets of hefty medicare premiums a month and a second hefty yearly deductible. The drug companies will double the drug prices to wipe out the 50 percent discount.

Way to go Democrats, the party I joined in 1971.

Here's how you can demand a fix for the prescription drug benefit.

I want to invite everyone to read and sign my petition at to obtain needed progressive legislation and I need your help in spreading the word far and wide. Thank you.

Then Join the the facebook page at

Then you can click on a link called suggest to friends. Select every friend you have and yes it will send it to every one of your friends you select to invite to the group which will tell them to go to this petition and sign it.

Anonymous said...

You watch Keith Obamamann?

Congratulations on being one of the "special seven".