Someone recently asked me, “Why do you have such a visceral response toward people who simply have a different view than yours?” I responded, “Visceral response?” and then proceeded to throw up on her shoes. It’s not the views, it’s not even the disturbingly low levels of consciousness involved, it’s how fear and propaganda are being used in a coordinated way to warp reality itself. There’s no better example than the Affordable Care Act, which is known to conservatives as Obama’s End of Freedom Initiative.
I admit I initially had my own concerns about another large beauoracracy as well as the constitutionality of the individual mandate. In a new spirit of bi-partisanship Waldman has a novel solution:
“What if Republicans agree to pass a technical fix to address what it essentially a typo in the ACA, one that threatens to take insurance from millions of middle-class Americans, and in exchange, Democrats agree to repeal the ACA’s employer mandate? Everybody would win.”
So the Dems get forgiveness on an obvious typo within the law itself and republicans would remove their most hated feature. They really hate the individual mandate. Personal responsibility is suddenly very unpopular with the personal responsibility party. Makes sense. Pokey McDooris and I both had reservations since the beginning about this part of the gig, but how much lost revenue are we talking about if we ax the mandate? Waldman says it varies widely from $46 billion over ten years (The Urban Institute) to $149 billion (The Rand Corporation).
I don’t think we need to worry too much about how to keep the ACA viable minus the mandate, after all, this is fantasy. Republicans aren’t going to compromise, lest we forget they’re batshit. They want to rip the Affordable Care Act up by its roots, even though it’s working fine and people generally approve of all of its individual components.
Republicans are all-or-none thinkers, minus any actual thinking. For them, Obamacare remains the end of freedom because Fox said so. Congress has always had the chance to fix the law and they have been encouraged to do so, but this is no longer a functional party—a point I may have mentioned before.
Meanwhile, the law is exceeding expectations on every indicator. The Urban Institute just found how the number of uninsured have dropped by an astounding 30 percent. The law has lowered the overall cost of healthcare significantly, here, and hospital errors are way down, here.
“Obamacare is based on an old Republican plan, developed by the Heritage Foundation and first tried by Mitt Romney, whose central feature was market competition. This dynamic has worked better than expected.”
Who knew the Heritage Foundation could be right about something? All four of these indicators as well as the quote were snagged from a Chait article over at The Daily Intelligencer, here. All of this good news is prompting some to ask, Obamacare: great law or greatest law?
It’s worth noting how astoundingly wrong republicans were on this topic. Okay, no it’s isn’t (See: any issue in the 21st century). So the “deeply flawed” Affordable Care Act is exceeding all expectations in all areas. Amidst the botched rollout of 2013, the law’s darkest hour, here’s a certain spoof news guy’s take:
“My reasons for going out on a limb again (predicting the ACA will eventually work):
1. The GOP thinks Obamacare is doomed, but their uncanny ability to always get things wrong should not be underestimated.
2. None of these larger social programs were ever rolled out smoothly, but they tend to get fixed, at least historically speaking.
3. Frankly, it has to work. There’s too much riding on it. I would not use the word frankly otherwise. Frankly, I hate that word.”
Pokey McDooris recently admonished me for giving Obama a free a pass, especially on Obama’s “you can keep your plan” comment, but this is what I said at the time:
“When Obama said people could keep their existing policies…umm, there’s no defense for that statement. He lied. I can’t defend the indefensible. That’s a Foxeteer’s job.”
—Mick Zano, Obama defender
And this was one of my jokes about the botched rollout:
|Is Rocky the Rollout Rodent Helping or Hurting Obamacare?
|Will a congressional hearing determine the whereabouts of Glitchy the Death Panel Pigeon?
This somehow equates to a free pass. But despite the ACA’s long list of successes, why do so many people still despise the thing? It’s bullshit, stupid. A Stanford Study suggests those who understand the law better like it better. Imagine that. Knowing stuff apparently matters.
“Democrats understood the most and liked the law the most, independents less, and Republicans understood still less and liked the law the least. However, attitudes were not just tribal. Within each party, the more accurate your knowledge of the law, the more you liked it.”
—A bunch of Stanford people
On a related note: the more you know, the less likely you’re a republican. Let’s face it, republicans don’t know dick.
[Cheney joke omitted by the editor]
In a recent breakdown of the truthiness in the media, Fox News rated the worst, here, with an astounding 50% of their comments rating as false or mostly false. This same author commented on a Fairleigh Dickenson survey that suggests Fox News viewers have less knowledge of this planet than people living in caves:
“How do Fox News viewers know less than people who literally don’t know anything about current events? If you would allow me to hazard a guess, it could be because unlike people who didn’t bother to watch any news programs, Fox viewers thought they were watching informational content – instead they were being lied to under a carefully constructed veneer of responsible journalism.”
I call bullshit! “A carefully constructed veneer of responsible journalism?” Have you watched Fox News, sir? Yes, a number of studies are suggesting Fox will shave off IQ points, but that’s not news…in fact, neither are they. Yet the Fox Effect has convinced a ton of people—many who actually like the ACA—that they really don’t. This is how each individual component of the ACA polls very highly and yet half the country still rails against the overall law. Strong work.
The problem is not just that conservatives watch opinion-based programming in the guise of news, it’s that they are always on the wrong side of any given issue. It’s uncanny. Is anyone counting how many things they get wrong? Oh, right, I am.
1. Invading Iraq was a good idea. No it wasn’t.
2. We don’t torture. Yes we do.
3. The stimulus didn’t work. Yes it did.
4. Trickledown economics works. Actually, nowhere on Earth (throughout history).
5. Obamacare will end the world. No, and it’s exceeding all expectations.
6. Climate change isn’t happening. Yes, it is, and man is influencing it (or 0 for 2).
7. Obama botched Syria. All WMDs handed over by Assad (no deaths)
8. Putin’s Crimean move was a good one. No it wasn’t (see: Russian collapse of 2015).
9. Obama has a series of major scandals. Zero, actually.
10. Obama is the worst president in history. Uh, you’re thinking of Bush.
11. Sanjaya won American Idol in 2007. No he didn’t.
Okay, to be fair, I got one of these wrong, but I STILL BELIEVE SANJAYA!
I predicted everything on that list (screw the linking today). Most of these are closed cases, yet Republicans will still argue many of these points. Someone once said, “What does it say about a movement whose brightest ‘stars’ are the dimmest bulbs?” This is key. Your important movement just can’t seem to find the right person to articulate your views, huh? Republicana is just lacking that champion who can turn every issue over to the win column, eh? What exactly is in your win column anyway? When I ask this question I never seem to get an actual answer. This list of atrocities doesn’t start here, it starts with republicans being against the revolution and their keen insights continue when they voted against Medicare, Social Security, women’s suffrage, civil rights, abolition, etc, etc and so forth. It’s an astounding record, one worth breaking over one’s knee.
With the economy finally firing on all cylinders and the ACA kicking some ass and then healing said ass, it’s no wonder so many Dems are now jobless. Makes sense…well, if you are forced to live in this alternate universe with the rest of the Foxlodytes.