Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The President Spoke

I just hope the people listened
And got past the constant din of lies told by Insurance Company lackeys, in Congress and out.

He laid out as clearly as he could what he wants and made it clear that he will not accept a plan the doesn't include some form of competition in the insurance market.

And he made it clear that he will call a lie a lie

It won't stop the lies, some Republican's can't seem to control themselves, but it will put clearly for those who will listen the truth about what is being proposed.

I loved it.


Matty said...

I haven't had a chance to look into the specifics of the President's speech but I take umbrage at the suggestion that it's unseemly when people who are opposed to the currently constituted plan (apparently this amounts to more than half the country) express this to their representatives. I would contend that this represents representative democracy in action.

The Dems have majorities but the bill won't be passed, not because of some kind of underhanded conspiracy, but because many of those congressmen/women know they can't survive re-election if they support it.

Uncle Walt said...

I have no objection to real discussions. Our debates should convince you of that.

I take umbrage at people who don't seem to have real reasons to oppose the President's plan so they make up lies. I don't think that lying about what you oppose constitutes representative democracy. It represents fraud.

If it was a simple case of needing a majority in each house, the debate would be over, but its not. Republicans in the Senate have made it clear that they will continue to use fillibusters to oppose anything and everything they don't like. Will every Democrat vote for a Health Care Reform bill?? Nope. You can't get every democrat to agree on what day it is.
But we could easily get 53 or 54
But thats not enough
We need 60 votes because the Republican's have decided that opposing health care reform is better for them politically than actually trying to fix something.

And to oppose the President's plan they insist on lying about almost every aspect of the plan.

Its almost like the don't care about the truth, only about winning.

I do not think its unseemly to oppose what I support.

Just stop telling lies and have an honest debate.

Matty said...

Is this the honest debate on health care reform to which you were referring?

Uncle Walt said...

I am not going to argue how much of the opposition to President Obama is racist in origin. Except for a small minority of avowed racists, most of who wouldn't like a Democratic President of any color, peoples motivations are complex, seldom just one factor drives them.
That being said, do I believe that there is an undercurrent of racism in some of the opposition to his policies, yes.
President Carter isn't wrong, but he may well have overstated the impact of race.
I think that you are aware enough of the racism that still exists in this country to know that there is some truth in what President Carter said.
And whatever their motivation, much of the loudest and most vocifereous opposition to the President's proposal have come from people who were saying things that are simply lies.
Sarah Palin talking about Death Panels is a lie.
Provides subsudies to illegal immigrants is a lie.
Gonna force cuts in Medicare is a lie.
Obama was born in Kenya is a lie
Obama is a secret Muslim is a lie

Whether the people telling these lies are motivated by race or ignorance or political calculation doesn't change the fact that they are lies.
Exaggerated, perhaps, but what President Carter said wasn't a lie.
What many of opponents of health care say is almost all lies.
I personally would welcome honest debate.

Matty said...

Well, you've drawn the lines. If a person disagrees with the President's policies there is likely an undercurrent of racism. There's no way to definitively prove to you that I have only pure and honest disagreement so there's a good chance that I might fall into the other category. It's sad that we're down to that.

I'll answer some points nonetheless.

You seem to have ignored the fact that most of the country has an ideological aversion to socialized medicine, full stop. If the GOP tried it they would get much the same reaction. The latest poll I've seen shows 42% to 52% approval to disapproval numbers.

Here's a bit of shocker... I agree with you some of those 'lies'.

The death panels thing was silly political hyperbole.

The 'birth certificate' people and the 'secret Muslim' folks are pretty well retarded and do my side of the argument no favors.

To be honest I liked that Obama said that the cuts in Medicare/caid would come from "reducing waste and inefficiency" (direct quote from his speech) - though I don't know why that can't be handled without an overhaul of the whole medical system.

I see no lie in people being uneasy with the level to which the program protected against illegal immigrants receiving benefits. That was why there was an amendment proposed. Isn't that the definition of honest debate in the legislative process? I thought it was a pretty common sense proposal so I'm a little unclear as to why that amendment was slapped down.

Oh, and agreeing with Carter on nearly anything is a sad state of affairs as I wouldn't trust him to bus tables.

Uncle Walt said...

How did you get from me saying this "That being said, do I believe that there is an undercurrent of racism in some of the opposition to his policies, yes."

to this?

"If a person disagrees with the President's policies there is likely an undercurrent of racism."

You're actually smart enough to understand this "there is an undercurrent of racism in some of the opposition". And I suspect your aware enough to see the truth in this.

President Obama is a Black Man. There are still people in this country who don't like him and won't trust him simply because he is a black man.

Some of the opposition to the President's policies is at least partially racial. To me that is so obvious as to be unremarkable.

Just because your motivations are pure, doesn't mean that everyone on your side of the debate is equally pure.

Or is nuance completely lost here?

I know lots of people who disagree with our President. Few of them are racists. Most of them continue to come up with the same idiocies and half truths that have dominated this debate.

"I see no lie in people being uneasy with the level to which the program protected against illegal immigrants receiving benefits."


Whether the bill in front of Congress has adequate enforcement measures or not, IT DOES EXPLICITLY FORBID THOSE HERE ILLEGALLY FROM OBTAINING ANY SUBSUDIES UNDER THE PLAN.

I think we might improve the bill by adding some enforcement to that part of the bill, but that doesn't change the simple fact that the language of the bill is clear.

Yet you don't see the lie?

Be uncomfortable with the way its enforced, or not. But that doesn't make what the President said was a lie.

We can argue polls about how popular health care reform is. It had very very broad support (about 70% before the opponents starting telling every lie they could think of) and the poll numbers have been going back up now that the President is out talking about the issues.

But lets have a real debate, not lies and shouting

Matty said...

It's not that I don't understand what you said. I correctly read that you "believe that there is an undercurrent of racism in some of the opposition to his policies."

The question becomes, if this is what you think is derailing (as Carter does) the President's agenda then how do you determine those whose opposition is derived from hidden racism. I can't prove to anyone conclusively that I have ideological and not melanin-ical (I realize that is butchery of the language) disagreements with the President.

Even the fact I didn't like the idea of socialized medicine when it was promoted by a rich white woman doesn't conclusively exculpate me, does it?

I may not have expressed my point as clearly as I might have. I was only depressed to see that so early in the term of our first "post-racial" President it has already descended to the point were success is expected and failure is racism.

About illegal immigrant benefits. As response I will give you this example, also involving illegal immigrants... Does the law explicitly state that it is illegal to bypass the immigration laws in coming to this country? And yet we have tens of millions of people who live in the open, get driver licenses and bank loans and register to vote - and dozens of city authorities are complicit in this. On this issue enforcement is EVERYTHING. If enforcement is not specifically spelled out then there are loopholes.

Obama said that illegals would not receive benefits which is different than saying that the bill does not allow for it. This is not debating semantics but a very real distinction between what is supposed to happen and what actually happens.

That's why the amendment was proposed and that's why is a fair complaint with the currently proposed legislation.

Uncle Walt said...

I guess I didn't make my point clearly enough.

Given the the history of race relations in this country, there can be no doubt that some people are overtly motivated by race and for others race is a factor. I don't see that as suprising. As the President himself pointed out, some people opposed him because of his race and other supported him because of his race.

There isn't even a debate about that.

That doesn't mean that everyone who opposes the President or his policies is racist or that everyone who supports him is racist. It only means that racism still exists.

And in the end, despite whatever President Carter said, a persons motivations are not really all that imporatant. If someone opposes the public option because President Obama is black or because the believe its unfair for the government to compete with private enterprise or because of 3 or 4 reasons all jumbled together isn't really important. Their opposition is important, their motivation is not that important.

The President has avoided making race an issue, most of his supporters have avoided making it an issue.

As long as a someone isn't lying about the proposals congress is debating, I don't care what their motivation is.

And if they are lying, then calling them a liar makes no reference to whether they are racist or not.

I am not sure where you got the idea that President Obama was our first post racial President. He didn't say that. I sure didn't. I don't know of anyone who believes that the election of President Obama marked the end of racism in America. Barak Obama is an incredibly talented black man who got elected President of the United States of America. That is a marker of incredible progress in our country. That is not proof of the end of racism.

And I don't know anyone who has claimed it was.

Matty said...

Yes, racism exists - going many directions - and I am certainly disturbed by the whiffs of it that have been around policy debate in the past 6 months or so.

Obama has no need to make race an issue because - and I believe he's smart and aware enough to know this - other people can always be counted on to do it for him. Whether he wants it or not there will always be a contingent to cry racism long before it would be advantageous for him to do it himself. This isn't his fault but it is a political reality.

As to being a post-racial President, Google the term and you'll see the big hitters (CNN, NPR, LAT) who suggested it - particularly around inauguration.

Obviously it doesn't mean the end of racism but I had hoped it might signal a calming of the knee-jerk claims like Carter spouted.

Uncle Walt said...

Well we agree that President Obama has no reason to make race an issue, and he didn't. He never has. Others make it an issue and he responds by saying racism exists, and that it cuts both for and against him and its not a major factor in the debate.
And then you jump on someone else talking about racism as if it was the President who was making it an issue.
So I will get back to my original point.
The opponents of health care reform don't seem to really want to debate the issue. You certainly haven't. You seem quite content to drive the discussion in a direction where you can then get pissed because you think someone is calling you a racist.
Nobody, not even President Carter, called you a racist. But you wanted to be pissed so you were.
All of which avoids talking about the real issues in play here.
As an aside, when Glenn Beck called the President of the United States a "Racist" and opined that the President had "a deep-seated hatred of White people", I didn't see you or other prominent conservative or republican rise up in protest or make statements to distance themselves from Beck's idiocy.
When President Carter states the truth, that some people who oppose the President's proposal are at least partially racially motivated, many leading Democrats, including the President himself distanced themselves from President Carter's statement.
Yet you seem to want to believe that its Democrats who are injecting race into this debate.
Funny that.
And still a distraction from talking about the real issues.
Wanna talk issues?

Matty said...

We can talk issues but your post was dealing with the tone of the debate so that is what I responded to.

I don't distance myself from anyone really or I'd spend a lot of time explaining what I don't believe which isn't very efficient. I stopped listening to anything Beck said quite a while ago (as in very soon after I tried out his radio show). I would make the point that while he has influence as an ax thrower, he isn't really that mainstream.

Even if he was in the middle of mainstream I think it's a bit unbalanced to compare a 2nd rate pundit to a former President.

For the record, I didn't get pissed about Carter's statements (I think he's one of the worst of our recent presidents so his opinion doesn't hold much water with me). My link was simply a response to a assertion that one side was debating the issues and the other was obfuscating. I figured I would add some evidence to that debate. I think the proverbial poopoo is being tossed all around.

As to the issues, you didn't respond to my contention that it wasn't a lie to point out that without ridged enforcement in the bill (which was rejected) there was a strong chance that illegals would indeed receive medical benefits as they currently do in other areas where enforcement is lax.

Don't you agree that this is a valid concern?

Uncle Walt said...

I have no philosophical aversion to some sort of enforcement mechanism to actively prevent illegal immigrants from recieving any of the subsudies we as a nation would provide to those who need help affording health insurance. That being said I don't know the details of the enforcement mechanisms proposed by Republicans so I don't know why they were rejected. But enforcing a restriction like the one in the bill is a good idea that I could support.

But the simple fact is, that enforcement mechanism or not, the bill does explicitly forbid illegal immigrants from recieving any subsudy. So claiming that the bill will give some subsudies to illegals is a in essence a lie. It is not debateable that some illegal immigrants will break the law and commit fraud to obtain subsudies. That will certainly happen. It is equally true that some native born American citizens will also break the law and commit fraud to obtain subsudies they are not entitled to.
But both of those are against the law.
I can easily support enforcement of the law, no matter who the lawbreaker is.

We could debate the Carter Presidency. I probably have a different opinion of that time than you do. Its funny that you are so willing to denigrate the Carter Presidency but said that you weren't around when Reagan was President so you couldn't address what I saw as the failures in the Reagan Administration.

Somehow I doubt that you are not really prepared for a debate on the Carter Presidency.

As for the tenor of the health care debate, President Carter spoke the truth. He may have overstated the impact of racism on the current debate, but I doubt that anyone can seriously deny that SOME of those who are opposing the President's policies are partially motivated by racism.
Which is what President Carter said.
He spoke the truth. While President Obama does not and did not what a discussion of race to be injected into this debate, it is not deniable that race is, FOR SOME, a factor here.

Which brings me back to my original point.

Many of those who agree with you are telling lies, mistruths, distortions, and deceptions in their opposition to Health Care reform.

And you object when President Carter tells the truth.

Where is your objection to the lies told by people you agree with???