The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

If Non Sanders Democratic Nominees Can’t Convince Voters To Vote For Them Isn’t That Bad?


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 In 2008 15% of Clinton primary voters for McCain. They united under the term PUMAs (Party Unity, My Ass.)

Because people seem to have no memory, the nastiness of the 2008 primary has been forgotten. At one point Clinton was pilloried for supposedly suggesting that Obama should be assassinated, for example. (No, she didn’t say anything close to that.)

Anyway, in 2016, 12% of Sanders primary voters voted for Trump, which is, well, less than the 15% of PUMAs voting for McCain.

Now there’s a poll showing that 26% of voters considering Bernie might not vote Democrat if Bernie isn’t the nominee.

This is apparently a bad thing, according to the screeching.

Except, of course, it isn’t.

What it indicates is that Sanders is able to motivate people who wouldn’t necessarily vote Democrat otherwise. In the 2016 primaries the pattern was that, in fact, Sanders tended to win Independents, and Clinton won Democrats.

And all polling showed that Sanders, had he been the nominee, would outperform Clinton against Trump.

Makes sense, doesn’t it, if he’s able to convince non Democrats to vote for him?

On an ethical level, no one owes the Democrats or Republicans or any candidate their vote automatically.

Represent their interests, convince them you do so.

EARN their vote. If non-Bernie candidates can’t do that, perhaps they shouldn’t be the nominee?

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The Most Fundamental Test of Intellectual And Ethical Integrity


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 20, 2019


  1. Contrary to most popular thought, thinking requires effort. (Get that? Thinking that thinking doesn’t require effort? Democrat.) Political parties exist to relieve voters from that effort. The Democratic party believes that if they put a dead dog on the ballot under the Democratic label, all Democrats should vote for it.

    They also believe that there are no independents. Independents are Democrats who are hiding so as to lull the Republicans into a false sense of security. Wait. Who had the false sense of security in 2016? Remember what I said about thinking requiring effort?

  2. bruce wilder

    There is something going on in the Democratic Party: call it a split or a realignment, but the details matter.

    At the top, among politicians and operatives, it is simply the resistance of a business model against displacement or discredit: big donors are solicited in exchange for policy inaction or bipartisan accomodation, the money is spent with operatives on media to manipulate voters, the idiot voters are manipulated with focus-grouped rhetoric and stupid arguments and narratives, all legitimated by media pundits mouthing talking points, rinse and repeat.

    Only very narrowly in the transaction between politicians and the donor class, mediated by lobbyists, is their any responsibility for policy consequences. At the interface with the voters, policy and its consequences (and especially policy motivations) are obscured. The voters are encouraged and trained to be idiots, to vote at random in tribal reaction, to not vote at all, to believe wildly implausible narratives about who the politicians are and what they are about.

    I watched Sanders on his Fox town hall and i thought he was pretty good at parrying some of the stupid arguments thrust his way to confuse idiot voters. Things like (despite the quotes i am paraphrasing from memory) “hey, you are a millionaire, if you favor higher tax rates on rich folks like yourself, shouldn’t you voluntarily pay those rates yourself now”. He did his best on the consequences of Medicare-for-All.

    But, i am not optimistic. The system he is up against is nothing if not robust. It put over the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative for over two years. And, for all of the talk of Sanders building a political machine based on small donor contributions and able to mobilize voters i do not see much. He is old and he is alone. He is still defensively saying things like that he expects the DNC to be fair that show he is not unconstrained in his messaging. He did not acknowledge that Clintonistas opposed to him and his policy agenda dominate the Party and the elected ranks.

    The complicity of voters in American idiocracy is an obstacle, but that complicity just reflects the absence of genuine bottom-up political organization alongside the surfeit of corporate media and their corrupt or moronic talking heads, gaslighting for a living.

  3. someofparts

    Well, I do worry about Bernie’s chances because, hells bells, not only will Republicans not vote for him, neither will Democrats if the media are to believed. Of course the media absolutely cannot be believed, so I suppose it is anybody’s guess.

    I don’t think Bernie can win. If he does win I think it will be as hard for him to govern as it was for Carter.

    That said, I’m volunteering for him anyway. Even if it is a losing fight, I believe down to my bones that it has to be fought. The time has to come when we stop mincing about fretting for our own comfort and throw everything we’ve got into saving this world for our kids.

  4. S Brennan

    While noting that Bernie folded like a cheap suit in 2016 and as a result, he has no credibility in 2020 with me. Additionally, my experience in life, watching free-riders convince otherwise good people to do likewise has convinced me that nothing of value should be free. Medicare buy-in at 50*-yo fine, lower cost education, yeah sure, the prices are ridiculously high, lower rates on student loans, fair enough…but free no… A restaurant who leaves free mints out will always attract the fat a-hole who will pocket a couple dozen and think themselves clever.

    Anyhow, I am one of those who voted Trump…who would have voted for Bernie over Trump…alongside dozens of people I know.

    Why? Again, as told all the Democratic apparatchiks I know, run that [obscenity deleted] war criminal and I will vote for whomever is most likely to defeat her. Hence my vote for Trump…which was really a vote against Hillary, an action that describes nearly all the Trump voters I know.

    Not Russians, not racism, not misogyny…just a determination not to have the DNC shove another pile of $#!t down my throat! And if the DNCer’s insist on running a Hillary acolyte, like Kamala, I’ll do it again. And again and again…until it’s clear, the [D]’s either return to FDRism or they can go eff themselves. I vote strategically, I long ago abandoned the “lessor of two evils” that has result in an endless line of crap sandwiches to choose from. I am tired of From’s single entree menu of neoliberal/neocolonial candidates.

    *That’s when Health Insurance skyrockets hyperbolically

  5. Z

    Sanders biggest hurdle will be getting through the gauntlet of the democratic primary. I expect that the big dem donors are going to continue financing candidates that have no chance to win the primary just to dilute the amount of delegates Sanders will get. That’s why they wanted Beto to run, though he is clearly way out of his league, so that he can get delegates in Texas that Sanders might have gotten. If they can prevent Sanders from getting the necessary amount of delegates, then they will point to their “concerns” about Sanders’ electability and use the super delegates to pick who has the “best chance” of beating the abominable Trump. They don’t care if Trump wins, as long as Sanders doesn’t. Sanders is much more a threat to them than Trump.

    If Sanders gets the nomination, I can’t imagine him not beating Trump.


  6. someofparts

    S Brennan – Looking at the evidence I would say your strategic voting is working. When I think of the rut we would be in if Hillary had won, it looks like giving the status quo a good hard kick in the pants has worked. Not that we know yet how this will all pan out, but there is more ideological fresh air blowing through the halls of power than I have seen in decades.

  7. Bill Hicks

    What really decides general elections is which party gets its potential voters to the polls in the greatest numbers. Killary lost not just because Sanders voters didn’t vote for, but also because a lot of black and union voters didn’t either. Moreover, Sanders voters tend to be young adults, who typically don’t vote in high percentages but presumably will if he is the nominee.

    Not that it matters. On foreign policy, little distinguishes Sanders from most of the others (save Tulsi Gabbard), and if the next president continues to give The Pentagon an the IC everything they want to destabilize and destroy the rest of the world, the backlash will destroy us anyway.

  8. S Brennan

    SOP; “Not that we know yet how this will all pan out” agree…so far no new wars but, we are not out of the woods.

    The Democrats blood lust knows no bounds, Trump may foolishly be convinced to attempt sating the baying werewolves of DC with another senseless war.

    I never really feared Trump, his instincts are not as demonic as his enemies pretend. Indeed, many of Trumps views, prior to his being gas-lit by the deep state, were, mainstream just 25 years ago.

    Indeed, the hierarchy of the Democratic party has worked hand in glove with the Koch Bros to ensure that Trump ONLY gets advice from the worst aspects of the deep state. Thanks to the [D]’s banshee-screams that “Trump is the root of all evil” we now have a Pence Presidency with his own cabinet of Pompeo, Bolton and the she-devil herself, Gina Haspel. Democrats efforts in elevating evil have been herculean. Thanks to [D]’s tireless efforts and in spite of “Che’s” tireless special pleadings to the contrary, Trump is only the titular head of state, only fools and con men say otherwise.

    Democrats fell all over themselves to help the deep state in blinding Trump by removing his one eye, Gen. Michael Flynn…a man who opposed/exposed Obama/Brennan’s arming of ISIS and other US sponsored terrorist groups in Syria/ME. Democrats were wetting their pants when Gen. Michael Flynn was replaced with Pompeo…lest the [D]’s efforts to one-up the war crimes of Bush be undone.

  9. someofparts

    S Brennan- Here’s a something I spotted and saved this morning that I think you will appreciate

    Interesting that Trump, supposedly The Worst Human Ever, is calling Jimmy Carter for advice.

  10. nihil obstet

    On Sanders’ reliability: if he were a hard-line, never-fold, never-compromise democratic socialist, he would simply have been an isolated crank throughout his political life in the Reagan years. Instead, he fought in the system, developing as a politician who could make alliances and motivate allies. This is an interesting description from 2005.

    As I interpret what has happened, he made a deal with the Democratic Party (a private organization which should not, but does, have ballot control) to run on the Democratic Party ticket. The DNC saw it as sheepdogging the left back into the fold. Sanders saw it as an opportunity to move the platform somewhat to the left and giving public voice to policies that had been suppressed. The “centrist” Democrats were horrified when his campaign resonated. He kept his bargain to support the eventual nominee. It’s a matter of interpretation whether this was honorable or opportunistic.

    This time he’s not bound by a promise and is fighting for the actual nomination. I don’t think the “centrist” Democratic leaders will allow him to get it. I would guess that the party will split. The dream scenario is that he will win. I think he can actually accomplish a fair amount, despite our concern with the “deep state”. Most federal employees want to do a good job and would welcome a chance to do it — the demonization of government workers is a neoliberal propaganda point. When there appears a viable opponent to a corrupt, moribund organization, idealists flock to be a part (1932, the 60s).

  11. Willy

    Carter assumes that Trump and his Republican minions would’ve put all the saved war cash towards infrastructure. Trump does all kinds of populist theater. But has he ever called out neoliberalism by name as a failed economic strategy for working people, let alone made obvious moves towards its reversal?

  12. Hugh

    If you want to know how out of touch the Democratic leadership is, you should listen to Nancy Pelosi’s recent dissing of AOC on 60 Minutes. It is reminiscent of what she had to say about anti-Iraq War protesters back in 2007: “They are advocates. We are leaders.” That was 12 years ago and she hasn’t learned a damn thing in the interim. Rather than embrace a new generation of Democrats, she is fighting a rearguard action against them. In the interview, this involved a weirdly inverted argument. She, Nancy Pelosi, wanted to feed undernourished children in the US, and these New Democrats needed to get onboard with her so she could do this. Of course, Pelosi has no legislation on the table on this subject, and these New Democrats would precisely be the ones interested in this issue, while Pelosi would only be interested in helping these children if they also happened to be Wall Street brokers.

    Members of our Establishment, like Pelosi, are feeling pretty good at the moment. They figure there is no alternative to them, that anybody but Trump is enough to run on. What they conveniently forget is that they are why so many people voted for Trump. Or that this is Trump’s only real chance of getting re-elected. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they still can not conceive that progressives like Sanders can reach groups that won’t vote for them among independents, millennials, and Trump voters.

    So far, the only two candidates I might vote for are Sanders and Warren.

  13. S Brennan

    Thanks SoP…with Pence, Pompeo, Bolton and Haspel in the picture, I’d say that any advice Fmr. President Carter might give Trump does not have a snowballs chance in hell…

  14. StewartM


    Of course, Pelosi has no legislation on the table on this subject, and these New Democrats would precisely be the ones interested in this issue, while Pelosi would only be interested in helping these children if they also happened to be Wall Street brokers.

    Now Hugh, that’s not quite fair. I’m sure Pelosi would be happy to help those children, doubtless with a program for them to get government-guaranteed *loans* from Chase Morgan for food.

    (Seriously, a la Thomas Frank, HRC did once attend a Wall Street-funded seminar on poverty in the US, where the ‘solution’ to poverty being proposed was just that!)

  15. Z

    I think the dems know why Trump won: he got working class votes that they lost due to their pro-corporate/pro-Wall Street trade, economic, and health care policies. They can’t be that stupid to not understand that. I’d imagine they all can read, write, and reason. They also know Sanders “can reach groups that won’t vote for them among independents, millennials, and Trump voters”.

    They just want to prevent a Sanders’ presidency from happening. The reasons they give are lies, but that’s their number one goal. Number two would be preventing a Warren presidency, but that is a distant second, they’re not afraid of her yet. The horrors of all horrors for them is a Sanders-Warren democratic nomination that wins the presidency. Fears of another Trump term are far below that because then they would still have the controlling power within the party.


  16. Z

    The NY Times is still all in. Their Editorial Board Op-Ed today is titled “The Great Russian Heist of 2016”.


  17. someofparts

    Spotted a treasure of a comment at the NYT last night.

    This is the referenced article –

    Many of the comments were great, but this was the pick of the litter –

    I’m not a U.S. citizen so my opinion is voteless at least. I’m also not a socialist and I don’t support the party here in Canada that is more-or-less socialist in nature. Bernie Sanders, however, is not just the right person to be President for the people of the U.S., he is the right person for all of humaniity. The U.S. is the leading country in the world, but its leadership is taking the world (even under Obama) to a potential disaster as it repeatedly tries to impose its will on everybody else. Trump simply exagerates this aspect of U.S. foreign policy, but the problem is much bigger than him. Bernie may do things domestically that the “free enterprisers” don’t like, but I do believe he is the one person who can put the U.S. on a better path in its relations with the rest of the world and restore/establish a positive leadership role for the U.S. Imagine if Hilary Clinton had become president. Undoubtedly you would be bombing a number of countries right now producing even more Libya’s.

    Also, for extra credit I guess, here is a critique of the NYT piece from Jacobin –

  18. NR

    S Brennan:

    “Medicare buy-in at 50*-yo fine,”

    If you must do a buy-in rather than just letting everyone have the health care they need, the way to do it would be to start with the youngest ages, say 18-30, so that there would be continuing support for raising the age limit until everyone could buy in. The last thing America needs is an even bigger cohort of “I’ve got mine, fuck you” oldsters.

  19. Z:

    I think the dems know why Trump won: he got working class votes that they lost due to their pro-corporate/pro-Wall Street trade, economic, and health care policies. They can’t be that stupid to not understand that. I’d imagine they all can read, write, and reason. They also know Sanders “can reach groups that won’t vote for them among independents, millennials, and Trump voters”.

    For better or for worse, I think a lot of them genuinely do think that it has nothing to do with their policies. See the whole Peter Daou/Verrit brouhaha.

  20. Z


    “Additionally, my experience in life, watching free-riders convince otherwise good people to do likewise has convinced me that nothing of value should be free.”

    How much do you think the average adult should pay for oxygen?

    “Medicare buy-in at 50*-yo fine, lower cost education, yeah sure, the prices are ridiculously high, lower rates on student loans, fair enough…but free no… A restaurant who leaves free mints out will always attract the fat a-hole who will pocket a couple dozen and think themselves clever.”

    Do you truly believe comparing some “fat a-hole” swiping a couple dozen extra mints at a restaurant is a reasonable comparison with someone utilizing affordable, accessible health care? For example, do you think that anyone is apt to demand a couple dozen extra x-rays of their chest for kicks if healthcare was “free”?


  21. Z

    Latest probing NY Times headline: Should a White Man Be the Face of the Democratic Party? Underneath a large photo of Sanders during a campaign speech with his head down and an all white audience cheering him in the background.


  22. Z

    Actually, there is a black woman in the photo out of the 40 or so recognizable faces in the background.


  23. Steve Ruis

    I have said it before and I will say it again: the votes cast for Bernie and Trump were votes against the status quo that Hillary represented. If the Dems trot out some old warhorse like Joe Biden or any other representative of the status quo that has driven the middle class into the ground, don’t be surprised if Trump doesn’t win again.

    If we had been given the choice of either Trump or Bernie to represent our dislike of the political status quo, Bernie would have won handily … but we didn’t.

  24. Willy

    An inability to pay for employee health care is pushing employers towards outsourcing, low cost immigrant labor, and black market business dealings (zero tax revenue). The only way to get health care to be “free”, which would give small businesses more of a chance to compete, is to bust up the big pharma medical insurance lobby cabals, and to make the rich pay for it.

    But the powerful rich enjoy being powerful rich, hating taxation regulation as much as they do the competition from nimble little upstart companies.

    According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, the average CEO pay is 271 times that of the average worker. Has anybody ever had an actual sit down with one of their kind – mano-a-mano – to find out for themselves what their real worth really is?

  25. Charles Misfeldt

    The democratic party has been infiltrated by conservatives, these folks run as centrist\’s or left of center to get elected but their allegiance is to the donors who own them and their ideology is conservative predation. These conservative democrats do not support traditional liberal policies like labor, socialized health care, peace, non aggression, due process of law, citizens rights. As long as we have 100 percent radical conservatives controlling the republicans and at least 50 percent undercover radical conservatives controlling the democrats and neither part representing the majority of Americans we are not participating in democracy or doing the best for our country.

  26. Hugh

    Medicare for All is not free. Instead of premiums, copays, and deductibles, costs are switched to being paid for through taxes.

    The same is true of education. K-12 is paid for through taxes. So why not undergrad and beyond? Education is essential to having a well informed citizenry, sustaining our society, and improving our quality of life.

    Z, the NYT never misses an opportunity to stick a shiv into Bernie Sanders.

  27. different clue

    The Catfood Democrat Party has tilted the nomination convention process this way: if any one single candidate gets more than 50% of the elected delegates’ votes on the single, sole and only Very First Ballot, that candidate is considered the nominee. The Catfood Democrat leadership is flooding the caucus-zone and the primary-zone with huge numbers of candidates in hopes that they will all get some delegates and no single candidate will get over 50% of the delegates’ votes on the Very First Ballot.

    That way, starting with the Very Second Ballot and Every Ballot after that, the Superdelegates can vote for their Catfood Choice of Catfood Democrat nomination-seekers. If they “never” can steer enough votes to any particular Catfood Nominee, they hope to “broker” the convention to assign the nomination to the Catfood Insiders choice of Catfood Democrat.

    My question is . . . and this really is a question to which I do NOT know the answer . . . how many of the nominee-wannabes have to refuse to accept giving up on the convention electing a nominee before the convention can be prevented from ending the balloting and going to a brokered convention? Is one nominee-wannabe enough? Are two enough? Are three enough?

    Because if any one nominee-wannabe or combination of two or more nominee-wannabes can actually prevent a brokered convention by NEVER EVER agreeing to stop holding ballots, then that
    gives Sanders, Warren, Gabbard and maybe even Gravel ( if he arrives with any delegates) the power to force the convention to hold a hundred votes, or a thousand votes, or ten thousand votes, or however many votes the convention has to be forced to hold in order to torture the Catfood Delegates into switching their votes to either Sanders, Warren, Gabbard or Gravel just to make the pain stop.

    I can think of another way to frustrate the Catfood Democrat Leadership’s tilted convention plan to stop any not-Catfood-enough Democrat from getting nominated. What if . . . all the millions of voters who plan to vote for Sanders or Gabbard or Warren or Gravel all freely and unanimously decided that all their elected delegates to the convention would all quietly add up their separate numberloads of delegates to see if their aggregate number of elected delegates adds up to just over 50%? And if the aggregate number of delegates for the Decent Three plus Gravel added up to over 50%, then they could all act on a unanimous pre-agreement previously arrived at . . . to see WHICH ONE of the Decent Three plus Gravel had individually the highest number of delegates? And if all the delegates for the Runner Up and the Third Place candidate from among the Decent Three were to switch their votes to the nominee-wannabe who had the most delegates going into the convention?

    That way one of the Decent Three would get over 50% of the delegates and one of the Decent Three would be the DemParty nominee, and the convention would be over.

  28. S Brennan

    NR, to your:

    “If you must do a buy-in rather than just letting everyone have the health care they need, the way to do it would be to start with the youngest ages, say 18-30, so that there would be continuing support for raising the age limit until everyone could buy in. The last thing America needs is an even bigger cohort of “I’ve got mine, fuck you” oldsters.”

    I am arguing for dropping the age to 50 because:

    1] As you will learn one day, you have to pay ~$900-$1200/month [Obamacare tax valuations] post 50yo, as opposed to, ~$175-250/mo [Obamacare tax valuations]. That is quite a difference and for the bottom 4 quintiles wage after fifty has been declining most of this millennium.

    2] “Less than half of all eligible employees under age 26 enrolled in an employer-provided health plan in 2015” because…wait for it, their invincible; they can ride on their parent’s insurance; they have better things to do?

    3] Allowing the over 50 cohort to buy into Medicare is smaller pill to swallow. If your favored cohort won’t buy into their employers insurance what makes you think they flock to purchase Medicare?

    Reality is, most what you ask for is already in place, most of the 18-30 cohort do not want/need what you propose. And actually, if you are not making money, Obamacare’s Medicaid option is available. Medicaid is much, Much, MUCH better coverage than the overpriced catastrophic insurance I have. Much Better. In fact, depending on how I structure my income I may qualify for Medicaid and I’d take it in a heartbeat like millions upon millions of young “I’ve got mine, [obscenity deleted]” Americans do now.

    Finally, I am well past fifty and I am arguing for expanding coverage for people I do not even know…so your insipid “hate everyone over 30” divide & conquer rhetoric is bs…just as it was when I listened to it as a child coming from wealthy “hippies” back in 1968.

  29. Some Guy

    Ian, this is a bit off topic (for the post at hand, I agree, as I nearly always do), but just wanted to say thank you for being a voice of sanity, a voice of the underdog, a voice for what is right all these years (15+?) that you have been writing and I have been reading. The world seems to get more absurd and more cruel and more corrupt with each passing one, but it is helpful to know there is someone out there who sees things the way I do (i.e. correctly) and is willing to put themselves out there day in day out in an effort to make things better.

    In a just world, you would be recognized for your efforts, but in a just world you would be superfluous, so I guess there is some compensation for everything, even in this dying civilization.

    All the best.

  30. S Brennan

    Z to;

    “nothing of value should be free…How much do you think the average adult should pay for oxygen?”

    That would depend, the 20.95% in the atmosphere or the stuff that get’s delivered to the door in a bottle? The former is already free and has been before the time of humans, somebody would have to privatize [steal it] to sell it.

    And Z to;

    “Do you truly believe comparing some “fat a-hole” swiping a couple dozen extra mints at a restaurant is a reasonable comparison with someone utilizing affordable, accessible health care?”

    That would depend, a more reasonable comparison would be frat boys drinking their way through college on their parents family connections and largess.

    Now, if you haven’t seen people abusing the medical system the way frat boy abuse college you live in a bubble…Medicaid fraud/abuse has a long history, I am not advocating eliminating it but I am saying your idea that it hasn’t been abused by a-holes is wishful/lazy thinking.

  31. someofparts

    what Some Guy said
    thanks for your humanity and this oasis

  32. Tom

    Just when we think we know all the horrors from this pseudo-death camp, more crop up.

    And we wonder why the US is hated.

  33. paintedjaguar

    @S Brennan – “if you are not making money, Obamacare’s Medicaid option is available”.

    No it damn well isn’t in the armpit state where I reside, and that is still true in a full third of the states. Further, there is a pretty successful campaign being waged to privatize and degrade Medicaid even where it is available. By the way, despite the casual mendacity of careless commenters, the current MediCARE system does not provide universal coverage either even for seniors and it is very far from being an actual single-payer scheme. It appalls me that you are praising such unnecessary and counterproductive complications.

    Nostrums about medical “free riders” are ridiculous. Countries with free-at-point-of-service models like Britain and Canada have their problems, but “free riding” is a BS talking point. Very few people go to doctors for amusement and the Medicare/Medicaid abuse you refer to, while real enough, is mostly integral to the profit driven components of the system, implying the very opposite of such”skin in the game” nonsense. What you are pushing is just the same old toxic right-wing sludge.

    I roomed with a German collegiate exchange student a few years back. Her expenses were funded by the state, but it wasn’t unconditional. For instance, she was required to maintain a GPA and there were limits on changing majors. Relying on money/markets to decide and implement all policy has been the fashionable stupidity in the US since the 1980’s. Fortunately people seem to be waking up a bit lately.

    On the subject of what really constitutes “strategic voting” however, I think we are of one mind. I’d be happy never to hear that mindless excuse for lesser evilism again.

  34. John

    Bernie at one end of the age spectrum, AOC at the other. That’s what’s called a deep bench. And as for those who don’t get the natural monopoly aspect of medical care and are terrified that somebody might get something for free or even worse “undeserving”….well, to paraphrase Max Planck, progress is made one funeral at a time.

  35. S Brennan

    There is a a cost to others, often to those in greatest need and possessing the least resources when an a-hole abuses a “free service”. Just because you feel shitty doesn’t mean you need the services of a doctor.

    “ERs record more than 140 million visits a year, but only 40 million are for an injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Just 16.2 million visits result in hospital admission. That’s an astonishing 40 ER visits per 100 U.S. residents. Texas tops the nation with 49 per 100 people a year. The national average in 1992 was 35 visits when serious injuries were much more common.”

  36. bruce wilder

    I agree with S Brennan on the impractibility of the “free at point of service” vision of Medicare-for-All. As a slogan it maybe works. But, as policy design, it does not. Denying that problem with a patient demand model is what too many on the left routinely do and that leaves the door wide open to subversive means-testing by centrists. I understand the need for rhetorical simplicity in the interest of clarity; but a literally free service will be flooded. In something as complicated as health care, there are services where free is a solution and not a problem — distributing vaccines, for example, should not only be free, but put on push model, not a demand model. Push would work better than patient demand for a number of public health measures. But, push is not as politically popular as demand-driven service models.

  37. nihil obstet

    @S Brennan — Just because you feel shitty doesn’t mean you need the services of a doctor.

    I guess you need diagnostic knowledge that doctors claim they learned in medical school. When I was a child, you could call the doctor if you were worried. My parents called my pediatrician on Saturday night, he told them to bring me to his office, and from there I was taken to the hospital and operated on for appendicitis that evening. These days, if you call the doctor’s office, the answering machine tells you to hang up and call 911 if it’s an emergency. But that Saturday night, I just felt shitty. My parents did not have to wait till Monday morning to find out if there was a problem that needed attention, by which time I would have had a burst appendix according to the doctor.

    Since then I’ve taken two people to hospital emergency rooms. It wasn’t fun. Long wait, nothing wrong that couldn’t wait until the physician’s office reopened. But we went the to emergency room because we didn’t know whether it was serious or not. Hell, I’d call the vet for my dog if I was as worried as I was both those times.

    And then there was the friend’s father who fell at home on a Friday night. They knew his doctor well enough to call him at his home. He instructed them to call an ambulance and go to the emergency room. At the hospital, they waited for six hours and at two a.m. were told that only crises would be seen later that night. They instructed my friend to have the ambulance take her father back home and bring him back to the emergency room Saturday morning at eight.

    I don’t understand the way the health care system is supposed to work. I avoid contact with medical businesses as much as possible, but sometimes you feel so shitty that I guess you just get scared. The plan to charge lots of money in fines if you guess wrong just adds another level of misery to what is already a miserable system.

    If illness would just manifest in physicians’ office hours at a time when they aren’t overbooked and do so in a way that allows you to judge how serious it is, things would be fine. It has not been my experience that it does so. Therefore, health care delivery should be organized to provide health care, not to engage in predation.

  38. Hugh

    Somehow the rest of the industrialized world is able to run some kind of a universal single payer or highly controlled payer system with universal access and better health outcomes than in the US. The people in all those countries are pretty satisfied with those systems and none of them would trade their system for what we have in the US. So the idea that it just can’t be done in the US or that our system can only be tweaked because otherwise it will crash or be overrun by mobs of hypochondriacs is simply untrue in light of what has been done in the rest of the industrialized world.

  39. bruce wilder

    nihil obstet

    I belong to a well-run HMO that has a system for 24 hr urgent and emergency care. None of it is entirely free at the point of service. They do not charge much, though i know the amounts would be problematic for some people. Charging even a nominal amount solves a problem and creates a problem. Stubbornly denying that there could be problem is an ideological marker.

  40. nihil obstet

    I don’t mind carrying an ideological marker, and I certainly hope I’m stubborn in demanding that we should stop 45,000 or thereabouts Americans dying every year from lack of access to health care. That’s before we deal with longer range poor health from stress and lack of non-acute care.

    Right now I’d address the major issue — the drain on our health and lives from the health care system. “Gee, let’s see how we can make sure everybody has ‘skin in the game'” is how we got Obamacare, which I do not consider a success, even though it helped some people. I’m more into, “Gee, let’s see how we can make sure everybody can get the health care they need most simply first, and then address any problems that come along with that, later.”

    And like Hugh, I think looking at successful programs elsewhere is likely to produce better results than trying to address in advance any problem that might come up.

  41. S Brennan

    “make sure everybody has ‘skin in the game” is how we got Obamacare” ha..ha..ha..

    What a silly lie, we got Obamacare because his big donors wanted to preserve the system and Obama supporters [then & now] were/are infatuated with the image he projected.

    “make sure everybody has ‘skin in the game” is how we got Obamacare” is one of the silliest lies ever told on this board.

  42. nihil obstet

    Yeah, well, I’m not out here alone with the silly lie.

  43. ponderer

    2016 all over again. If the Dems allow Sanders to run, he will win. If they don’t the party will lose while the leadership and big donors will win. The progressives need to make life uncomfortable for the DNC or nothing will change. They should be working against the deep state, there will never be a better time. We have proof that the UK interfered in the 2016 election and the DNC helped finance it. It wasn’t just sanders that was sabotaged. If they don’t start refuting russiagate they are going to go down with the ship though.

  44. different clue

    I remember Obama using the phrase “skin in the game” quite a lot during the Obamacare Conspiracy. It was a psycho-moral extortion phrase on his part. Hie real goals of course were to craft a running bailout for Big Insura, and to poison the well against even discussing Healthcare for decades to come. His real motive was to collect endless millions of dollars after leaving office as a reward for a job well done while President.

  45. different clue


    I agree with your assessment and I share your hope. I think the chances are slim that any progressive will support the pursuit of the Deep Cabal behind RussiagateGate. The last few decades of mass brain-soakage/ marination in the poisoned pot of Social Justice Warrior ethno-gender-racial Identy Group Victimism have left the progressives unable to break free from their COW ( Coalition Of Wokeness) programming.

    Some few are trying. There have long been Russiagate-skeptical reality-check posts and comments over at Naked Capitalism. And of course Sic Semper Tyrannis has been running such posts and comments for a while now.

    If a Mainstream Catfood Democrat truly wins the nomination in a totally fair and square manner, then those people who would have preferred one of the Decent Three + Gravel will have to ruminate over their disappointment and loss . . . and decide what to do. If any one of the Decent Three or Gravel are obviously cheated/swindled/ muscled out of the DemParty nomination, then some number of millions of “Decent Three + Gravel” supporters will be very bitter. We may well get PUMA on the Catfood Democrats’ ass.

  46. nihil obstet

    Sorry, just realized that the link on “silly lie” above didn’t work. Here it is:

  47. S Brennan


    Thanks for that. If nihil obstet is being genuine, he is not an evil person…just somebody with enough self-confidence to be used as a tool by people he claims to despise.

  48. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    My default-experience here is that most-all of us commenters are genuine. I would have to see several-times repeated examples of ungenuosity before I decide someone is ungenuine.

    President Bronco Bama ( see little video embed in this thread . . . )
    lectured us about skin in the game so loud, long and often that millions of people could be forgiven for thinking that this was a moral crusade on his part.

    It is hard for any of us to not be somebody’s tool sometime. We have all spent decades soaking in a vat of 24/7 all-channels-at-ll sensurround mindwash brainfield. It is hard to resist the Dummgas and the Bernays Rays.

  49. S Brennan

    DC, I agree with your point, I used to say the same thing to Mark of Ireland when he use to comment here:

    Stunned customer; PROPAGANDA!

    Madge You’re soaking in it it

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