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2010 Preview: The Democrats Are In Deep Trouble

It may become the understatement of the decade (and the next one) to say that President Obama and the Democratic Congress overreached in their legislative agenda this year. The Stimulus Bill, which was made available at 3:00 AM the day of the final vote, has now been famously exposed as not at all stimulating to the economy and, according to Vice President Biden, a misfire. ObamaCare is finished, its most damaging component, the public option, killed by House Democrats and the CBO. Cap and Trade, the massively regressive energy tax bill, will be similarly killed by Senate Democrats after having sucked the political life out of numerous House Democrats.

In terms of political drama this track record should draw comparisons to A Bridge Too Far, the epic WWII book and film that has become synonymous with overarching ambition among those flush with victory. To use an analogy of another battle, never has so much political capital been so poorly spent by so few. If Pelosi and Reid were scored for effectiveness and management, their caucus would fire them (and they may). The first six months of the Obama Presidency have been, purely from a legislative standpoint, an utter disaster.

While these legislative failures have been widely covered, lost among the noise has been a Democratic corruption meme largely ignored. It was revealed yesterday that Democratic Senators Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd knew all along they were getting preferential treatment from the insolvent mortgage lender Countrywide. Regardless of how salacious the details of an Ensign or a Sanford affair may be, financial corruption on a federal level that is connected directly to the cause of a financial crisis make for much better political fodder at the local level.

And then there is the economy. For those that have been encouraged by the happy talk of late about a recovering economy it bears reminding that there is really only one economic metric that voters will focus on in 2010: unemployment.


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Comments (83)

Is this why just 20% of vot... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Is this why just 20% of voters identify with the Republican party? That nut in charge of the RNC is a huge liability. Other Repubicans are turning against the fringe.

Obama care's failure will be blamed on Republicans, as well it should. They have lied through their teeth on this one. They will not give the voters what they want on this issue.

The whole "birther" movement will only make the fringe look stupid to the remainder of the voters. They confirmed yesterday that Obama was, in fact, born in the U.S.A.

The majority of voters want a comprehensive energy bill, and the Republicans have helped (with corrupt Democratics) killed any chance of real reform.

I always love predictions about votes. Midterm elections can be a surprise, but there are enough Republicans in trouble as to make your predictions premature. They are probably going to lose Ohio when Voinovich retires, and now the moron from Kentucky is also retiring, and his seat is in doubt. As fivethirtyeight.com says: " If each side won one-half of the other's competitive seats [in the House], the Democrats would lose a net of 9 seats, and their majority would be reduced from 78 seats to 60." That doesn't hurt too much. Lots of doubt right now, and I'd be wary of making broad claims of trouble for the Democratic Party.

Hugh, I wouldn't count Barr... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hugh, I wouldn't count Barry out yet on health care or Crap and Tax. Remember, he's from Chicago. The deals will now get dirtier. Nancy got the necessary Crap and Tax votes with dollars. Barry probably gave her an 'unlimited' taxpayer checkbook for more vote buying on health care. If these proposals do die, you can expect Nancy and Harry to be out next Congress. But then, that presupposes that the Democrats will be in the majority come the 2010 elections. The true arbiter of their fate will be the state of the economy. And despite all the MSM proclamations of "Happy Days Are Here Again".......don't count on it. Oh, and I wouldn't worry about any of those "ethics problems" being aired out any time soon. Who do you think those people are, Republicans?

Don't forget about the Won'... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Don't forget about the Won's failures in foreign affairs. He has gone after our allies and kissed up to our enemies. He turned his back on Iranians who wanted to protest against their government, and is punishing Honduras for trying to prevent a would-be dictator from taking over their country.

What will Democrats run on in 2010? More of the same? Not going far enough? Will people vote for a Dem who has pledged to support Obama's massive schemes to tax the nation's producers and turn us all into a nation of beggars?

"Obama care's failure will ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Obama care's failure will be blamed on Republicans, as well it should. They have lied through their teeth on this one. They will not give the voters what they want on this issue."

Rob, you are so full of shit, it's pathetic. The DEMOCRATS OWN THE HOUSE AND SENATE! They can pass anything they want RIGHT NOW! Hell, they don't even need to have the bill on the table. They won't read it first anyway.

Unfortunately, Rob, even th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Unfortunately, Rob, even the wingnutroots are jumping off the sinking birther barge. A link to the right of this text box suggests that Mary Katharine Ham, Glenn Reynolds, and even the editors of the National Review have realized that sometimes there is such thing as too batshit crazy.

Nevertheless, there is nothing in any poll I've seen that suggests that the continued distaste for the Democratic Congress--not to mention the decline that Obama himself is experiencing in terms of job performance--will translate to gains for the party that thinks John Boehner is the sort of person that ought to be trotted out in front of a bunch of reporters.

Nancy Pelosi - "I have the ... (Below threshold)
sam:

Nancy Pelosi - "I have the votes." What happened?

Here's Obama's scorecard:


On the economy -

$800 bn stimulus package - bust
Foreclosure Prevention Bill - bust
Crap and Tax bill - bust
Healthcare "reform" - bust
Unemployment rate - 9.5% and rising
# of lost jobs since stimulus bill - 3m + and counting

Hell, the only achievement Barack can point to is that he forced GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.

On foreign affairs / terrorism-

Just added another $105m to continue wars
Iraq war - still on
Afghanistan war - escalated, highest # of US casualties this July
Gitmo - still open
warrantless surveillance - expanded

As someone said, Barack's foreign policy is "If you are our enemy, we're sorry; if you are our friend, you're sorry."

But hey, Hope and Change!

RobThe "birther" m... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Rob

The "birther" movement?

What does that have to do with Pelosi and Reid's failure to move a legislative agenda through Congress?

Reports of the demise of th... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Reports of the demise of the Democrat Party are premature.

They control the White House, Senate, and House.

They control the Federal Reserve printing press. They can bribe or they can threaten to withhold.

The Democrat News Media still controls the information flow to most of the electorate.

The fat lady ain't even warming up yet.

Sam:"Hell, the onl... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Sam:

"Hell, the only achievement Barack can point to is that he forced GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy."

Actually, that's where they were headed anyway. Barry stepped in first and managed to give a piece of both companies to the unions ahead of those who, under current bankruptcy laws, would have first call on assets. Illegal as hell, but he got the local courts to back him.

"Nevertheless, there is not... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Nevertheless, there is nothing in any poll I've seen that suggests that the continued distaste for the Democratic Congress--not to mention the decline that Obama himself is experiencing in terms of job performance--will translate to gains for the party...."

If you're into polls, check the ones marked "which party do you trust most in each of the following areas". Last I saw, the Dem's only came in first in one or two. And that was last week. They've been losing ground in all areas since January.

As I said earlier, the economy will be the final arbiter come 2010 elections. People have a tendency to vote their wallets.

HughS -"What do... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

HughS -

"What does that have to do with Pelosi and Reid's failure to move a legislative agenda through Congress?"

Look over there! Something shiny! Let's all go gather around IT instead of this festering pile of Democratic crap we really, really, REALLY don't want to discuss!

It may become the unders... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

It may become the understatement of the decade (and the next one) to say that President Obama and the Democratic Congress overreached in their legislative agenda this year.

Then again, it may not.

One should never underestimate the stupidity and short memory of the American electorate. They did, after all, elect Prince Barry Lackwit in the first place.

Rob 9:49Your flops... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

Rob 9:49

Your flopsweat is evident. Don't slip on it
in your frantic ardor to make the case for
your liberal "heroes". Your broken ankle
may not be covered under Gov't-care, depending
on your age, of course.

I agree with #10 Garand. I... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

I agree with #10 Garand. I think Obama has been hurt worse than the Democrats in the house and senate. Much of Obama's aura has been lost and seeing as how he is mostly aura to begin with...

Reps and Senators mainly have to keep their name disassociated from any real stinker bills. Oddly enough, they have ways of doing that, even on bills they voted for (house bills vs. senate versions get brokered to make a bill that fits all and cleanses all sins).

Back to agreeing with Garand, it will depend on the direction of the economy in early November 2010. It can be bad, but if viewed as "turning around" then the Democrats keep control.

Health Care Deform is not d... (Below threshold)

Health Care Deform is not dead, it's just resting it's eyes.

Continued vigilance is needed to keep this abomination 'resting' until (hopefully) the cavalry can show up in 2010.

I just saw "Vince", back-to... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

I just saw "Vince", back-to-back on TV, pitching Shamwows and food choppers. He makes
a better sales pitch than Obama does for
his "products"....looks a lot more authentic
and believable, too. I must be a racist.
But I'll put Obama's academic record ahead of
Vince's ANYTIME.....if Obama's courses and
grades are ever made public.

"...if Obama's courses and ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...if Obama's courses and grades are ever made public."

Hahahahahaha. Nah, Havard would never snitch on it's most famous Constitutional Scholar. Would be quite embarrassing to find out he did nothing while he was there other than to vote "Present!" and collect a paycheck.

We have a friend for 2010..... (Below threshold)
914:

We have a friend for 2010..

"Never fear.....Shame Ducky is near"

Just because the Democratic... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Just because the Democratic Party is not achieving its goals as of yet has little bearing on whether the Republicans can capitalized on this. The Republican party is in such disarray with no agenda whatsoever except to oppose Democratic Party initiatives, there is little hope they will be able to regroup in time for the elections. They have no leadership, and the mouthpieces are absolutely full of shit.

Rob, when I disregard your ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Rob, when I disregard your personal opinions (Reps in disarray, no agenda except..., little hope... to regroup, mouthpieces full of shit) from your statement (#19) I see nothing dissimilar from the Dems of 2006 and 2008.

In light of that, what's your point? Just posting because you're awake?

Republicans have to do noth... (Below threshold)
sam:

Republicans have to do nothing but be "NOT DEMOCRATS" in 2009 and 2010.

"Backlash: Democratic dangers mount (CHARLES MAHTESIAN & JOSH KRAUSHAAR, 7/29/09, Politico)

Democrats giddy with possibilities only six months ago now confront a perilous 2010 landscape signaled by troublesome signs of President Barack Obama's political mortality, the plunging popularity of many governors and rising disquiet among many vulnerable House Democrats.

The issue advantage has shifted as well, with Democrats facing the brunt of criticism about the pace of stimulus package spending, anxiety over rising unemployment rates and widespread uneasiness over the twin pillars of Obama's legislative agenda: his cap-and-trade approach to climate change and the emerging health care bill.
[...]

The polls tell only part of the story. National Republicans have recently met with success in persuading a number of top recruits to commit to 2010 races that not so long ago looked considerably less attractive -- the surest signal that potential GOP candidates view the playing field as less tilted against them than just a few months earlier."

Obama and the Dems screwed the pooch. Here's Obama's scorecard:

On the economy -

$800 bn stimulus package - bust
Foreclosure Prevention Bill - bust
Crap and Tax bill - bust
Healthcare "reform" - bust
Unemployment rate - 9.5% and rising
# of lost jobs since stimulus bill - 3m + and counting

Hell, the only achievement Barack can point to is that he forced GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.

On foreign affairs / terrorism-

Just added another $105m to continue wars
Iraq war - still on
Afghanistan war - escalated, highest # of US casualties this July
Gitmo - still open
warrantless surveillance - expanded

As someone said, Barack's foreign policy is "If you are our enemy, we're sorry; if you are our friend, you're sorry."

My prediction: Republican gain 50+ seats in the House, 5-8 seats in the Senate, and 13+ governorships in the 2009-10 cycle.

Democrats have lost advantage on every issue, most Dem governors are increasingly unpopular, and all sitting Dems are going to be defending 10%+ unemployment, rising deficits, and failed Obamanomics.

Facts never seem to get in ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Facts never seem to get in the way of some conservative's prejudices.

GrandFan: Harvard would never snitch on it's most famous Constitutional Scholar. Would be quite embarrassing to find out he did nothing while he was there other than to vote "Present!" and collect a paycheck..

As nearly everyone knows, Obama became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated from Harvard, magna cum laude, (honours with distinction) from the Law School in 1991. See 'Obama Left Mark on HLS', by the Harvard Crimson, the student paper.

That was Obama as a law student. As a lecturer for ten years, at the University Of Chicago Law School, rated sixth in the country, even with a full-time day job, Obama's ratings by fellow professors and students were tremendous.

Compare this academic background to Wizbang intellectual favourite for the Oval Office, Sarah, "actual responsibilties", Palin who has never completed anything she started, except I beieve she got a General B.A after going to and dropping out/ transfering to five colleges- Hawaii Pacific University, North Idaho College, the University of Idaho, Matanuska-Susitna College and then University of Idaho again.

Upset Old Guy -Awa... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Upset Old Guy -

Awake, and fearful, UOG. I think he's waking up to the fact he doesn't know half as much as he thinks he does and he's being played for a fool by the Dems, so he's trying hard to build his self-confidence by ridiculing the folks he's MOST afraid of. He ought to be pissed at the folks who've gleefully screwed the country over for their political gain, but he's not at that point yet.

He'll get there, though - or go nuts trying to deny anything's wrong at all.

Even with the current Republican leadership - ineffective as they are - the Democrats have lost significant ground, and trust.

Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere

Support for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates changed little this week in the latest edition of the Generic Ballot.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 39% would opt for their Democratic opponent.
But wait - there's a sign of hope!
Support for Democratic candidates is up one point from last week, while Republican support remains unchanged.
I think Rob knows the Dems are cutting their own throats. They tried to grab too much, too fast - and the pushback is just getting started.

Poor guy. I think he's going to be in for even more disappointment in the near future...

Steve -Going by th... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve -

Going by the proctological examination of Bush in 2000 and 2004, I'm sure you'd have no objections to publishing Obama's full transcripts of those times, and a listing of all opinions and articles he wrote during that time - so we can see what he was thinking.

It was done for Sotomayor - why not Obama?

I can tell the Obamabots ar... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I can tell the Obamabots are in a tizzy. Throwing out all their invective. Even the old favorite of the left, Palin, who according to the left, should not speak or breathe.

Obama is good at reading speeches. Wow! That is serving? While he had a day job? Come on. You must be joking.

You guys are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Your boat is sinking dude. Face it. You lost the independents. There is rebellion in the air. The recess will be hell for the representatives.

And of course, the left is very knowedgeable about the republican message. I like that one the most. Damn, you really don't know what your message is except for hope and change or change to hope,etc. ww

No problem JLawson,I believ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

No problem JLawson,I believe some of this has been published but university regulations partly prohibit.. Sure, Obama did not publish very much...A weakness of Obama- he has always been ambitious.. and very careful of what he did write-didn't want to leave a paper trail I presume.

This may help...I think wit... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

This may help...I think with Obama you are getting what you expect- a very, very careful, liberal conciliatory moderate- a natural politician-unwilling to go too far or given vent to his convictions, even from his college days. He is not the bogey man, stealth socialist, you guys consistently paint him or the saint for change the radical left hoped for either.

Steve -Yet Bush wa... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve -

Yet Bush was hounded until he authorized releasing his ANG records - which are for official use only, and should be considerably more restricted and private than anything produced as classwork or coursework in a public, unclassified setting in a university.

Funny how the standards differ according to political party, isn't it?

You said... "Sure, Obama did not publish very much...A weakness of Obama- he has always been ambitious.. and very careful of what he did write-didn't want to leave a paper trail I presume."

And you've got no misgivings about someone who left a minimal paper trail and conceals what he DID do?

My disappointment will be t... (Below threshold)
Rob:

My disappointment will be to have TWO Senators that are Democratic (I live in Ohio). Just a few years ago, both were Republicans, as was the governor, who is now a Democrat. The times are continuing to change for the better, and the election of 2010 is a long, long way off.

NYTimes? A puff piece in t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

NYTimes? A puff piece in their political section?

THAT'S what you consider a valid source, from a paper (and people) trying hard to GET Obama elected?

Oh, Steve... you're so much better than that.

JLawson.. Generally I have ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

JLawson.. Generally I have misgivings, yes but specifically not so much about Obama,(I suppose I trust him more than you, not to do something completely reprenhsisible) though in his two autobiographical books, Obama admits to changing dates, names (facts perhaps) to suit a narratative thread. Obama said he didn't consider studying for a MA or PHD because Americans don't like eggheads in politics and since Robert Bork was eviscerated for his eloquent and clearly stated writngs (I'm not saying I agree with him) many judges, right and left would appear to write or(think ahead) as little as possible.

Obama is proving daily that... (Below threshold)
sam:

Obama is proving daily that he has no clue what is happening. It was all so easy when he was a mere race hustler.

Listening to Republicans pr... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

Listening to Republicans predict the political future is a riot.

You folks are so out of tune with this country I wouldn't trust your prediction on tomorrow's sunrise.

I certianly would like to s... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

I certianly would like to see everyone of them booted out of office including CHAPAQUEDIC TED

Listening to Republicans... (Below threshold)
Speller:

Listening to Republicans predict the political future is a riot.
~The Obvious One

The near future is going to be a lot more and bigger TeaParties.
But they won't be riots.

Just wait until all of those people on paid vactions come back to find they've been laid off.
They will have plenty of time for demonstrating.

The leadership will come later.
There is nothing any politician likes more than to run to the head of a parade and pretend he is leading it.

Liberals and Statists of al... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Liberals and Statists of all stripes always have this problem when they gain power. Liberals believe in government solutions to all problems and, unfortunately, most of the time there are not solutions - only trade offs.

More government money will not make public schools better - the Kansas City School Experiment is a good example of this: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html

Government can not make health care better (see examples in Canadian and UK health systems), it cannot make the economy function better (see eurosclerosis).

When the liberals hold all the reins of power and can not show improvement, they decline in popularity. They can only succeed if they have someone else to blame - i.e., "its the Republican's fault" (even if the Repubs have NO power).

Unfortunately, our group of politicians (both parties) believe that they need to show that they "did something" even if "something" is useless or counterproductive. I would bet that most conservatives are not especially enamored with their elected officials, even if they are Republicans.

Most conservatives believe in freedom for themselves and others and do not look to people in government to "help" them. I propose a little test. If you grew up in a house with a politician's picture on the wall, you are a liberal (Kennedy, FDR for your grandparents, etc.). On the other hand, if you think that it is ridiculous to have a politician's picture on the wall, you are a conservative.

"Statists", SER? Like... th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

"Statists", SER? Like... the Bush Administration? Dick Cheney nearly convinced GWB to use the military on domestic soil to arrest terrorism suspects! I mean, holy statism, Batman!

Either you're not sure what that word means, or you're cheering for the wrong team, friendo. (If you really do have a problem with "statism", then you should probably find a third party to vote for.)

As for government not making healthcare better, why is it that every single healthcare system in the world that produces better outcomes than that of the United States has a public option or is totally controlled by the government? I guess when your understanding of healthcare policy is based on what you read on blogs or what you hear on talk radio, and not policy journals or other legitimate sources of information, you're bound to get an awfully skewed perception of the facts.

Government solutions to pro... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Government solutions to problems? You mean like invading Iraq to fight the "War on Terror?" Now there is a damn good solution to a problem. Hold it up for all to see.

So you'll trust the governm... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

So you'll trust the government for a 'war on health care', Rob?

Shit, man, you really CAN'T think beyond reflexive bumper sticker slogans, can you?

Tell ya what - why don't you go argue with Megan McCardle on this.

A Long, Long Post About My Reasons For Opposing National Health Care - Megan McArdle

Basically, for me, it all boils down to public choice theory. Once we've got a comprehensive national health care plan, what are the government's incentives? I think they're bad, for the same reason the TSA is bad. I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it.

That's not just verbal theatrics. Agencies like Britain's NICE are a case in point. As long as people don't know that there are cancer treatments they're not getting, they're happy. Once they find out, satisfaction plunges. But the reason that people in Britain know about things like herceptin for early stage breast cancer is a robust private market in the US that experiments with this sort of thing.

So in the absence of a robust private US market, my assumption is that the government will focus on the apparent at the expense of the hard-to-measure. Innovation benefits future constituents who aren't voting now. Producing it is very expensive. On the other hand, cutting costs pleases voters this instant. This is, fundamentally, what cries to "use the government's negotiating power" with drug companies is about. Advocates of such a policy spend a lot of time arguing about whether pharmaceutical companies do, or do not, spend too much on marketing. This is besides the point. The government is not going to price to some unknowable socially optimal amount of pharma market power. It is going to price to what the voters want, which is to spend as little as possible right now.

It's not that I think that private companies wouldn't like to cut innovation. But in the presence of even rudimentary competition, they can't. Monopolies are not innovative, whether they are public or private.
But wait - there's a bit more...
At this juncture in the conversation, someone almost always breaks in and says, "Why don't you tell that to an uninsured person?" I have. Specifically, I told it to me. I was uninsured for more than two years after grad school, with an autoimmune disease and asthma. I was, if anything, even more militant than I am now about government takeover of insurance.

But you can also turn this around: why don't you tell some person who has a terminal condition that sorry, we can't afford to find a cure for their disease? There are no particularly happy choices here. The way I look at it, one hundred percent of the population is going to die of something that we can't currently cure, but might in the future . . . plus the population of the rest of the world, plus every future generation. If you worry about global warming, you should worry at least as hard about medical innovation.

The other major reason that I am against national health care is the increasing license it gives elites to wrap their claws around every aspect of everyone's life. Look at the uptick in stories on obesity in the context of health care reform. Fat people are a problem! They're killing themselves, and our budget! We must stop them! And what if people won't do it voluntarily? Because let's face it, so far, they won't. Making information, or fresh vegetables, available, hasn't worked--every intervention you can imagine on the voluntary front, and several involuntary ones, has already been tried either in supermarkets or public schools. Americans are getting fat because they're eating fattening foods, and not exercising. How far are we willing to go beyond calorie labelling on menus to get people to slim down?
Not quite something you can slap onto a bumper sticker or chant as a slogan, is it?

The issue is damn complex - but slapping together a bunch of half-assed amendments and 'good ideas' and shoving it through without examination is a recipe for a REAL disaster down the line.

Hyperbolist,I do n... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Hyperbolist,

I do not agree with Statist of either party. GW Bush should not have passed "no child left behind," the medicare prescription drug plan, billions for Katrina, etc. I do believe that I know what the word means, but if it not the antithesis of free market capitalism where the individual exists to serve the state, let me know. I pay between 25% and 33% of my income in federal income taxes plus FICA, etc., so I believe that I partially exist to serve the state, now.

As to your "health care" point, are you playing semantics with "every single healthcare system in the world that produces better outcomes than that of the United States?" If the US produces better outcomes, do you exclude those instances?
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=91106

I guess that I don't read policy journals, so you may be right about that one. Are the policy journals written by academics who have no idea what the "real world" is about? Does the link I provided on the "Kansas City Experiment" qualify as a policy journal? If not, why not?

If it helps, I am a CPA and am reasonably familiar with tax law and so I can guess where we are headed with government "provided" health care.

Rob,

I don't really think you get the point. Government does not really provide solutions to problems. "We the People" can try to manage the "trade-offs" between different unpalatable choices, but there are no government "solutions." The Iraq War you cite was such a "trade-off." President Obama's War in Afghanistan is such a "trade off." If you would like, I can "hold it up there for all to see."

Iraq War was a bad option, but the other option was worse. It was not a solution.

Is that good for you?


"why is it that every si... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"why is it that every single healthcare system in the world that produces better outcomes than that of the United States"

Name one.

"The Iraq War you cite was ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

"The Iraq War you cite was such a 'trade-off.'" Between what and what? Between not losing thousands of soldiers and losing thousands of soldiers.

"President Obama's War in Afghanistan?" He started this? That's like calling Viet Nam "Nixon's War."

P. BUNYAN: Canada

We spend almost twice as much per person, and 15% versus 10% of GDP. Life expectancy is higher in Canada, infant mortality is lower. The WHO ranking of overall health put Canadians 35/191 and Americans 72/191. A detailed analysis of a number of comparison studies showed that health outcomes are "superior in patients cared for in Canada versus the United States." Even if the outcomes were equal, how do they manage such results on half the money?

Rob,The choices we... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Rob,

The choices were unpalatable, as I mentioned. Before I continue, I'd like to point out that I am concerned about the well being of our soldiers. I am the son of a retired Lt. Colonel, the husband of a retired Lt. Colonel, and soon to be the father of a newly minted 2nd LT.

I usually have the "Why did we invade Iraq" question from someone who doesn't really care about the answer, but I'll give it a try, anyway. If you are a student of history, you noticed that England was not invaded from 1066 to this day? Why is that? Because England's strategic aim was to frustrate any attempt at a unified Continental power. Hitler was able to create such a unified power and England would not have been able to resist it without the assistance of the U.S.

When we look at the U.S., it is in our country's strategic interest to prevent a unified Eur-Asian power. Although you may consider Osama Bin Laden crazy (and you may be right), his goal was a unified Caliphate. The Caliphate would have been in opposition to the security goals of the U.S. Our action in Iraq and Afghanistan, while imperfect at best, did prevent the establishment of a unified Caliphate. For a better explanation of this, I would recommend George Friedman's "The Next 100 Years." It is a book, not a policy journal, so my friend Hyperbolist will not recommend it.

As far a Mr. Bunyan's question and your response, I would suggest this reference:
http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2009/07/21/most-cancer-survival-rates-in-usa-better-than-europe-and-canada/

It reports that the five year cancer survival rate is higher in the US than in Canada. When it comes to your own life, it's not about the money.

P.S. John Kerry has it seared, seared in his mind that Vietnam was Nixon's war. Kidding aside, I am old enough to remember it being referred to as "Nixon's War."

RE# 42, Well that must be ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

RE# 42, Well that must be why so many Americans run to Canada for treatment when they are seriously ill.

That must be why American women who are having muliple birth have to go to Canada to find hospitals that can accomodate them.

Oh wait, that doesn't happen now does it. In fact the opposite happens.

"Life expectancy is higher in Canada"

Which has nothing to do with the quality of their healthcare system.

"infant mortality is lower"

Yes, when you teminate pregnancies that could be a problem the mortality rate will naturally be lower. In the US there is the greatest likelyhood of being born alive of anywhere in the world, even if the child is unhealthy, so naturally the mortality rate will be higher.

"The WHO ranking of overall health put Canadians 35/191 and Americans 72/191"

Again irrelevant to guage the quality of the healthcare system.

If you really honestly, and intelligently want to rate quality of any healthcare system it can be measured by the likleyhood of being cured of a disease and the timeliness of treatement. If you use these relevant metrics the US beats all.

And then there's innovations and development of new treatments and drugs, where again the US beats the rest of the world.

When you have to use irrelevant statistics to make your point, your point is irrelevant.

Now you also mention cost, well that is the only realy problem with our healthcare system and the Democrats are not even capable considering fixing the true causes of that problem. They are the causes of that problem. (Trail lawyers & excessive government regulation--the definition of the Democrat party).
Once again, it's not that our Marxist friends are ignorant, it's just that most of what they know is untrue or irrelevant.

Plus, if Obamacare becomes ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Plus, if Obamacare becomes a reality, God forbid, those other countries will loose the ability to mooch off the US's free market system and their numbers will decline substancially, as will ours.

P. Bunyan: Japan would be a... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

P. Bunyan: Japan would be an indisputable example, as would Sweden and France. There are other disputable ones, but you can ponder those for the time being.

How does that feel as a blue-blooded American, knowing that your health care system is indisputably worse than that of France? And that's taking into account the 49 weeks per year of vacation that French nurses and doctors receive!

SER: interesting point about cancer survival rates. Consider also that infants are more likely to die in the United States than in Canada. So when it comes to an infant's life, it's not about the money, or the infant: it's about being a principled anti-government quasi-libertarian. Or do I misunderstand what you've logically committed yourself to?

As for policy journals, we should accept anything that uses quantifiable data as legitimate sources of information. So, someone mentioning their friend's brother's dog's kennel cleaner having to fly from Winnipeg to Fargo for surgery would not be very helpful when comparing the overall efficacy and efficiency of two systems on the whole. Citing WHO statistics, on the other hand, is very helpful when making a case that System X is better than System Y. And, WHO statistics tend not to favour the American private system compared to others.

Cue somebody blaming illegal immigrants, the disproportionate number of fat people, and lazy welfare cheats for the poor performance of your system in 3, 2, 1...

Canadians go to the United ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Canadians go to the United States for medical procedures far less frequently than Americans go to Mexico, Thailand, etc.

So what's your point? Is Mexico's health care system better than America's because more Americans pay for procedures in Mexico, than Mexicans pay for in America? Surely you can do better than that, P.

Hyperbolist,Since ... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Hyperbolist,

Since I am a pro-life Catholic, I am definitely concerned with the lives of children (born and unborn). I try not to put labels on people, but rather argue based on ideas. I do not believe that there is something inherent with government health care that reduces infant mortality. Are you saying that someone who does not seek pre-natal care in the US would seek it in Canada? If a child is born after only 30 weeks of gestation but survives a few weeks due to our health care system, is this an incidence of infant mortality? Would that child be counted in infant mortality if he was stillborn in another country? I don't know.

I believe, as Thomas Paine did, that "The government is best that governs least." If that makes me "anti-government quasi-libertarian," I plead guilty. I believe that puts me with most of the conservatives on this board and with the founding fathers of the United States. Not bad company, either way.

By the way, what pejorative terms do you use to describe your political philosophies?

Your facts are only "indisp... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Your facts are only "indisputable" in your narrow Marxist mind, Hyper. If you pick and chose irrelevant statics you can "prove" anything.

I wouldn't trade my healthcare system for any in the world, although there are things that could be fixed. Of course, as I already stated, the people who currently control the government in this county are incapable of fixing the real problems.

"Is Mexico's health care... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Is Mexico's health care system better than America's because more Americans pay for procedures in Mexico, than Mexicans pay for in America?"

Because of the Democrats in this country, our health care is very expensive-- I don't dispute that-- and so yes, people do go to Mexico and other countries for non life threating issues. They don't go there because they can't get treatment, or timely treatment, in their home country (like the Canadians and other foriengers who come to the US), they go there because it's cheaper.

Again irrelevant to the quality of the US healthcare system.

P. Bunyan,Please p... (Below threshold)
Rob:

P. Bunyan,

Please provide relevant data that disease cures are best in the United States. Better than France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Sweden, etc.? Come one, give me the data.

Here are some numbers, as follows: deaths per 100,000, US/Canada

circulatory diseases

265/219

digestive diseases

20.5/17.4

respiratory disease (children)

40/0.6

heart disease

107/95

HIV

48/47

Rob,First, there h... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Rob,

First, there have already been links posted by others in this thread that support my point and second your figures can be explained by Hyper's stat's also posted earlier in this thread: "The WHO ranking of overall health put Canadians 35/191 and Americans 72/191""

If Americans are less healthy of course more of them will die from disease. Duh. THAT is irrelevant. That's what I've been saying all along. How many times do I have to repeat it.

Lemme try to spell it out for you slowly. You can't always compare apples to oranges. Being the most prosperous nation in the history of the human race does not translate in to the society with the healthiest lifestyles. Quite the opposite actually. The fact that our life expectancy is as high as it is a testiment to the best healthcare system in the world, not a condemnation of that system because people with entirely diffent lifestyles happen to live a couple years longer on average. Hell, a large percentage of the poor and needy in our society are obese. The middle class in Europe are skinny and have to ride bikes everywhere. No forkin doubt they're gonna live longer.

America was founded on the principal that we are free to choose whether or not to be skinny and ride bikes. I'd like to keep it that way. I don't appreciate the fundemental tranformation Obama is trying to accomplish.

But I bet you still don't get it.

Rob,Please prove the... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Rob,
Please prove the converse, that cures (not incidence) is better in the countries you mention. With the exception of children's respiratory diseases, which has a huge environmental component, everything you mention is massively influenced by lifestyle choices.
HIV, for instance...
In 1812, there was not a single death from HIV recorded in Boston. Therefore, 1812 Boston must have better care than 2009 New York!

Still, given the terrible choices American's make in diet and exercise, why do they lead Canada by such small numbers, if Canada's healthcare is so wonderful? Given better lifestyle choices and better healthcare, they should be waaaayyyyy out in front. Like Hyper's lead in smug.

The United States LEADS THE... (Below threshold)
Rob:

The United States LEADS THE WORLD in funding for health care. Why are we not the healthiest people on the planet?

We're eighth in the world in cancer deaths. Canada doesn't even make the top 16.

We have twice as many people per capita living with AIDS than Canada. Health care prevention, we rock.

Yes, once again, in terms of life expectancy (#28), we compare with Cuba, Cyprus, and Uruguay, whereas Italy, Spain, Sweden, France and Canada are in the top 10.

We freakin' rock in obesity, WE'RE #1! We beat Mexico and Greece. Italy and France have one third the rate we do.

We do have more physicians per capita than Canada, but we're 52nd in the world, after Cuba, Russia, Lithuania, Armenia, and other first world countries.

Source? http://www.nationmaster.com/index.php

By what measure are we the ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

By what measure are we the most prosperous nation? I find us ranked fourth: http://www.prosperity.com/ranking.aspx; below Australia, Finland and Germany.

"The United States LEADS... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"The United States LEADS THE WORLD in funding for health care. Why are we not the healthiest people on the planet?"

Because we can.

I was right: "But I bet you still don't get it."

But you just keep rootin for that fundamental transformation comrade. And remember, be careful what you wish for.

Overall health is irrelevan... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Overall health is irrelevant. We spend a lot of money so you can choose to eat three Big Macs for dinner. It that what I'm supposed to get. Fuck, why spend the money. Why isn't our health care cheaper if no one gives a shit about their health?

P. Bunyan,What you... (Below threshold)
Rob:

P. Bunyan,

What you clearly don't get is that WE CAN'T. We cannot continue to afford a health care system where so many people lack affordable, basic health care. You can't, I can't, the United States can't.

We can no longer afford our own health care system. My organization's health care costs go up 20%/year, every year. We hold them down by making choices; choosing to participate in a cooperative effort to become more healthy.

Can you afford private health insurance? What do you think it costs?

"Australia, Finland and ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Australia, Finland and Germany"

And Austria & Singapore according to whoever carefully selected the critera necessary to produce that chart. LOL

You're right. I forget back when that superpower Singapore landed the first man on the moon.

And who can forget when that superpower Austria rallied it's resources and spirit to beat back the Axis forces simultaneously in Europe and the Pacific.

Oh then the time when that other superpower Finland singlehandedly invaded and removed the military & government in Iraq in a couple weeks.

(Yes, I know we didn't do it singlehandedly, but people like Rob claim we did and I was already being sarcastic anyway.)

Yupper's. You see Rob, people like me have a different opinion of what prosperity is than that of you supporters of Marxists like Obama and Pelosi. We have a different opinion of what the value and qualities of life are.

"What you clearly don't ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"What you clearly don't get is that WE CAN'T. We cannot continue to afford a health care system where so many people lack affordable, basic health care. You can't, I can't, the United States can't."

That's as close to the truth as anything I've ever seen you post, even thouth is 50% false. Very few would dispute that so many lack affordable health care. It's a lie to say that anyone in this country lacks access to "basic" healthcare.

But practically NOTHING the Democrats are even capable of contemplating will make healthcare more affordable except rationing and euthanasia. As I said above: "[those on the right] have a different opinion of what the value and qualities of life are [than those of you on the left]." So their plan is unacceptable. And based on polls I've seen the majority of Americans agree with me.

"Why isn't our health care cheaper if no one gives a shit about their health?"

Mostly because of our government and legal system. The only solution to those problems the Democrats can even conceive is near total government control and making it even easier for John Edwards to support his families.

Were it not for our current government interference and legal system people who chose to be healthier could get cheap healthcare and those who don't would pay more. That happens a little bit now, but your leftist comrades seem to like things to be equal you know, so that historically has always meant worse; and that whole choice and responsibility thing seems to rub you wrong so you want to fundamentally transform that out of the system.

"Can you afford private ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Can you afford private health insurance? What do you think it costs?"

Yes I have insurance. It ain't cheap. There are ways to fix that. What the Democrats are doing will result in lower quality, rationed health care that's still more expensive that what it currently costs. Why should I support that? I'd rather continue to have the best health care in the world but at a cheaper price.

The Republicans have a lot of great ideas that would fix the problem you and Obama mendaciously claim you want to fix--affordability. They tried to pass a lot of them back when they had the Presidency and majorities in Congress, but the Marxists have enough power to block them.

Damn, are American voters stupid.

All of this to prove Rob is... (Below threshold)
914:

All of this to prove Rob is a dumbass??

We already knew that!

You guys crack me up. One o... (Below threshold)
Rob:

You guys crack me up. One of you says the US is the most prosperous nation in the world to prove your point, but the fact is that the US is NOT the most prosperous nation, but somehow because won a war eighty years ago proves differently. Another says that cancer deaths are way higher in Canada in order to prove the US healthcare system is better, but the fact is this is untrue. No matter how many untrue statistics you pull out of your asses as the basis of your arguments, when they're proven untrue, you refuse to accept facts. LOL

Please explain the relevance of landing a man on the moon 40 years ago to the fact that Singapore is currently rated as more prosperous than the US. We are talking about health care issues that effect us TODAY.

P. Bunyan writes: "whoever carefully selected the critera necessary to produce that chart." Uh, that would be prosperity.com, a website devoted to measuring prosperity. It is widely cited as be authoritative, but to you guys, it is biased because it does not agree with your preconceived notions.

P. Bunyan also writes: "America was founded on the principal that we are free to choose whether or not to be skinny and ride bikes." That may be one rather bizarre interpretation of our Constitution, but every time some moron crashes his motorcycle without a helmet and squashes his melon on the concrete, you and I pay for his negligence. But in the name of "freedom," many states have no helmet laws. Same with fat people. My health care premiums go up because other people choose to eat McShit everyday.

And finally, P. Bunyan, if we CAN afford to spend the most money per capita on health care while settling for a system that is NOT the best, then we can also demand that we actually get the best health care system for those same dollars. Allowing private companies to control our system is NOT the answer. They do not and never will have your or my interests as a priority. They are set up to make profits for their shareholders.

We allow our governments to set up socialized welfare systems that work extremely well, but when it comes to health care, somehow our government is incompetent. We have great roads, police protection (most places), fire protection, the best armed forces, the best higher education system, the best biomedical research institutions, ALL of which are funded centrally (i.e., they are SOCIALIZED). Why not health care?

Can I afford private health... (Below threshold)
Texan99:

Can I afford private health insurance? Do I know what it costs? Sure I can, and do. A simple high-deductible policy, combined with savings to cover the ordinary medical costs I can expect to come up every year (which are NOT the kind of thing I should be "insuring" against) costs a few hundred bucks a month for the two of us in our 50s. I don't depend on my employer for it, so we don't lose it if I change jobs. It's not that hard. It just requires budgeting for health care before we budget for a bunch of other stuff we can live without. "Act your wage," is our motto.

Listen Rob, people like you... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Listen Rob, people like you who are for the first time in your adult lives, proud of America simply because about 20% of the population was ignorant and uninformed enough to elect an evil, lying, Marxist bastard will never be able to accept the simple truth that America is the greatest most prosperous nation in the history of the human race. If the America voters don't wise up and start paying attention that will no longer be the case of course.

For those of us who were always proud of America, even if we're a little ashamed of some of the things this country has done in the past and very, very ashamed of our current president, don't need to use Google to accept and appreciate that simple truth.

And since it's so difficult for you to understand the beliefs and opinions of those of us who have always been proud of America I'll try to explain a couple other things you misunderstood.

When I said, "Because we can." I did not mean we pay so much for our healthcare because we can. I meant not all of us choose the healthiest lifestyles because we can. America was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty and those principles give us the freedom to choose whatever lifestyle we wish, even if it's self destructive. You Marxists may think thats a bad thing, but I think it's a good thing.

My statement that "America was founded on the principal that we are free to choose whether or not to be skinny and ride bikes" was not an interpretation of the Constitution at all, even though I understand you Marxists believe that any interpretation of the Constitution that implies that it grants freedom and liberty to the people and limits the power of goverment is "bizarre". Thank you for acknowledging that though, and affirming what I thought about you.

No, rather than "interpreting the Constitution", I was again referring the the founding principles of freedom, liberty, and choice which are such anathema to you leftists.

America is the greatest ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

America is the greatest most prosperous naton in the history of the human race.

Nice thought, Sean Hannity. Nationalism is actually contrary to genuine patriotism: patriots actually give a shit about making their nation better for themselves and all who dwell in it, whereas nationalists wear rose coloured glasses and cover their ears when someone explains to them why their nation is deeply imperfect.

You're proud that Americans are free to be fat. Really? And what, Italians and French aren't? I think what Rob is saying is that a country that educates its people on the virtues of healthy living--and even discourages unhealthy living--is a better country than one that features embarrassing rates of obesity and diabetes. Europeans drink and smoke so much more than Americans that it's really mind-boggling how unhealthy your population has become. And it's mind-boggling that you think it's simply an indicator of having more freedom.

Anyway, being lectured by Americans on health care is like having a Ukrainian explain to me what good pop music is all about. Keep telling yourself it's all about 'freedom' if that's what makes you feel good about your country.

P. Bunyan,Thank yo... (Below threshold)
Rob:

P. Bunyan,

Thank you for confirming that you are incapable of having a civil discussion without resorting to name-calling or questioning my patriotism. Ad hominem attacks are used by people who are intellectually insecure and who are arguing from a weak or untenable position.

By the way, anyone who pays... (Below threshold)
Rob:

By the way, anyone who pays an exorbitant price for a substandard product simply because they have the money lacks common sense.

You can buy a gold-plated toilet seat if you have the money.

Or like being lectured by C... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Or like being lectured by Canadians on free speech or national defense.

However, being lectured to ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

However, being lectured to by Republicans on Obama being a bad president is fine. Republicans know more about shitty presidents, presidential candidates, and especially vice presidential candidates that anyone else.

Rob: "By the way, anyone... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Rob: "By the way, anyone who pays an exorbitant price for a substandard product simply because they have the money lacks common sense."

How can I explain this so you'll understand? I agree that we pay too much for our health care. That is not the argument here. What Obama wants to do will increase the cost at least a trillion dollars, and more likely tens of trillions as is always the case when the government starts a program like this. If you want cheaper health care than you should not support Obama or the Dems.

And I'm sorry if you consider me correctly and honestly pointing out your policial ideology is an ad-hoiminem attack. Really if you called me a neo-con, or a right wingger, or a Libertarian, I would not consider it to be an ad-hominem attack. Then again, I'm not ashamed of what I believe in. And I am trying to be civil.

You constanly bringing irrelevant statistics, using straw man arguments, and denying simple truths is pretty uncivil in my humble opinion.

And Hyper,

I don't know what to tell you. If you think I don't care about making my country better you are so very wrong. I do understand how you don't think freedom and liberty are important, though so I forgive you for wasting my time with your drivel.

Rob at 1 pm: "Ad homine... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Rob at 1 pm: "Ad hominem attacks are used by people who are intellectually insecure and who are arguing from a weak or untenable position."

Rob at 3:03 pm: "Republicans know more about shitty presidents, presidential candidates, and especially vice presidential candidates that anyone else"


Thanks Rob for proving that you're intellectually insecure and arguing from a weak and untenable position.

No, P., I value freedom and... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No, P., I value freedom and liberty. I fail to see what embarrassingly high rates of obesity and diabetes have to do with freedom, though. I don't see why living in a robust democracy that values human rights entails a population that is unhealthy, uninformed, and addicted to mindless entertainment.

Do you really think that people who live in Amsterdam are less "free" than people in the United States simply because the rich ones pay more income tax?

If your definition of "best country" is "country with most freedom", then sorry, it's not America.

Technically speaking, it might be Somalia.

My point is, you genuinely do not seem to understand what it is you portend to care about most deeply.

Valid point Hyper. Total f... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Valid point Hyper. Total freedom would mean lawlessness and that's obviously not good. So to live in a society we must accept some limits to our freedom. I believe those limits should be strictly limited to not causing tangible harm to others, btw.

You're starting to twist and conflate my points into a strawman again, though. Our high rates of obesity and diabetes are due to our prosperity, not our freedom. Well not directly anyway. Our freedom did cause our prosperity, which in turn led to our poor health.

Now you may believe that is the duty of government to fix our poor health, but could you please point out exacty where in this document our government (not your's or Amesterdam's) has the authourity to do that?

Perhaps if the US did not h... (Below threshold)
just bob:

Perhaps if the US did not have agencies that permit freeloading junkies to procreate like rabbits our infant mortality rate would be different. Perhaps if we did not reward parasites to live their unhealthy lifestyles the incidents of certain diseases would be lower. And to further the argument for lifestyle choices lets add in the number of people killed by gangbangers.. All of thes illistrations have one thing in common; they were brought to you by Democrats trying to fix society.

So you have no problem with... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

So you have no problem with the legalization of all narcotics (which I support); the legalization of gay marriage (without forcing churches to sanction them); and all other hotbed socially conservative sticking points that conflict with laissez faire libertarianism?

Well, then you and I have a lot more in common than I thought.

No doubt America's freedom drove America's prosperity, but keep in mind that the rest of the free world--Europe--was obliterated during two wars that were not waged on any American soil other than Pearl Harbor. That's a pretty distinct economic advantage, and in conjunction with the isoloationist policies leading up to WW I and the glut of natural resources to be had on your own continent, probably has more to do with America's prosperity vs., say, England, than lower tax rates or less intrusive nanny statism.

just bob: narcotics are more illegal in the United States than in other countries (harsher penalties), and yet seem to be a bigger problem for your population than in places like the Netherlands and Sweden and Canada--liberal places, all. Is that the fault of Democrats? I would argue that that is a problem that extends well beyond political partisanship.

The very fact that wwi & ii... (Below threshold)
just bob:

The very fact that wwi & ii were not fought on American soil was a huge advantage. While we were ramping up a manufacturing base the rest of the worlds factories were bombed all to hell and back. With little to no competition US manufacturers got fat and lazy (along with the workforce)and that fact is hurting us now.Creating busy work jobs or government jobs does little to support an economy.You must manufacture a product and sell it at a profit before any real money is made.

As for drugs if people want to do them I do not care,if you break into my house to support a habbit you will no longer be doing drugs,the only other ptoblem I have is people putting my life at risk on the highways being stoned out of there minds.

There needs to be a provision for civil unions to protrct property rights etc without involving the church. I want them to have the same headaches (divorce etc)as the rest of us.

Hyper, I gave you a "+" for... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Hyper, I gave you a "+" for 76.

To answer your question: yes, except abortion.

And I acknowledge your points in the third paragraph except the last one. And it does seem that you, and even Rob, have to admit--even if you can't acknowledge that the US is the most prosperous nation in history-- that this country has been pretty damn prosperous. Even by leftist criteria we rank 6th currently according to Rob's link.

But hey, there are advantages to living in a slightly less prosperous country. For instance, it's a lot harder to get lost when there's only one road. ;)

Hyper"just bob: na... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

"just bob: narcotics are more illegal in the United States than in other countries (harsher penalties), "

You do realize that some countries have the death penalty for drugs and often mandatory sentences of like 25 years right?

Yes, RM, but I should hope ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yes, RM, but I should hope that these are countries that you wouldn't want to compare to the United States: Iran, Viet Nam, Thailand etc.. When we consider only developed democracies, a.k.a. the 'First World', the United States does stand out among the more draconian in terms of punishment for the possession and sale of narcotics--and I'm not attempting to make an argument for reduced penalties for all purveyors of narcotics. That point would be moot if all narcotics were decriminalized and sold by the government to adults, as alcohol is here in Ontario. Tax the sh*t out of heroin, provide clean needles, and watch 1) tax revenues increase only at the expense of drug users; 2) violent crime related to the trade of heroin drop off dramatically; and 3) AIDS/HIV rates decline. Not that that's likely to happen, of course, as no politician (except maybe Biden) would ever say, "Hey, you know what? We should decriminalize heroin."

P.B.: nice to conclude this discussion on a friendly note. I have respect for most among the pro-life movement though I disagree with the thrust of the movement as a whole.

Unfortunately that South Park link didn't work (can't stream American TV shows in Canada on American websites if they're carried by Canadian networks--boooo), but if it's anything Terrence/Philip-related, then I give it two thumbs way up. :)

Actually Hyper, it was the ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Actually Hyper, it was the episode where they spoofed the Wizard of Oz. The boys crash landed in a small town in Canada and need to get to Ottawa to see the new Prime Minister. They ask the locals how to get there and the locals say, "to get anywhere in Canada, you just follow the only road" and as they leave town Canadians (in place of the munchkins) sing "follow the only road" to the tune of "Follow the yellow brick road."

There are a few things that... (Below threshold)
Bev:

There are a few things that the Democrats always do to destroy themselves that can always be counted on....
1. They really think they are right about everything and everyone else is wrong.
2. They disregard ordinary people and when the issues are big...Americans don't like being dissed.
3. They get greedy and start fighting amongst themselves.
4. They are so arrogant they think they are invincible.
5. Traditionally, people are wary of government no matter who is in power.

If the Democrats ram healthcare through regardless of the outrage...it will be their to their demise. Voters will reject socialism and vote them out unaminously.

People are realizing they bought a lemon last November. The promises were lies. Obama was put on a pedestal so high he can't possible live up to the expectations and will fall like a lead rock. I have NEVER in my 46-years seen the American people so angry over this healthcare issue. The Democrats are too naive to believe it's real. This issue alone in my opinion could derail Democrats from staying in the majority past 2010.

The last time I saw anger f... (Below threshold)
miko:

The last time I saw anger from all my neighbors and friends was back in 1993-1994. This next election cycle should be quite an eye-opener. I want to know how the republicans can be blamed for the health care mess. The Democrats have enough votes to pass anything with a filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans have zero power. Only the left-wing anti-american commies are going to believe that and they wouldn't vote for a republican anyways.




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