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They’re mad as hell, etc.

So Nick the Firstborn was visiting over the Labor Day weekend, and when we talked briefly about that widely-circulated clip of Al Franken dealing calmly with the crazy, Nick suggested that Senator Franken conceded too much to the loons, rhetorically.  “I didn’t see it that way,” I replied.  “I just kept imagining Norm Coleman in his place, smiling and reaffirming his opposition to B. Hussein al-Obama’s secret Muslim deaf panels.” We agreed, however, that there are two important moments in this scene of public persuasion, two moments of communicative reason FAIL.  Take that, Habermas!

Nick pointed to the moment at which Franken says, by way of establishing (what he surely thought was) an elementary basic and not at all controversial point, “by paying for preventive care, we will save money, there’s a return on investment on preventive care—that’s been shown.” In response, at the 3:50 mark, Sunglasses-Wearing Pasty Teabagging Guy responds, “no it hasn’t.” He goes on to explain that preventive care doesn’t save money because “if everybody has preventive care, we don’t have enough doctors to give everybody health care.” “That’s correct,” sagely nods Pasty Blond Tea-Party-T-Shirt-Wearing Teabagging Woman.

Yes, that’s pretty bad, I acknowledged.  And it suggests that, indeed, supporters of health care reform are right to be cynical about the motives of some of their opponents: not only in the bowels of the insurance industry but also in the minds of ordinary teabagging folk, the problem is that health care reform might provide health care to Other People.  (Later, at 7:15 SWPTG will ask whether immigrants are responsible for the high cost of health care in McAllen, Texas, but not at all in a racist or non sequitur kind of way.)

But for sheer WTFness, I said to Nick, the moment you want to look at comes a bit earlier, at 2:04, when Franken says, by way of establishing (what he surely thought was) an elementary basic and not at all controversial point, “people tell me, ‘I’m scared to death that one of my kids will get sick,’ or they would tell me, ‘one of my kids does have a pre-existing condition, and I can’t leave my job, because if I leave my job and start the small business that I want to start, I’ll never get health insurance because I have a child with a pre-existing condition.’ So we want to get rid of that, and I think almost everyone is on board with this...” at which point SWPTG and PBTPTSWTW adamantly shake their heads.  Well, I guess that’s why Franken had to say “almost everyone.”

But I have to think this marks a watershed for American conservatism.  Remember, last year J. T. Plumber, Esq., became famous for a similar exchange in which he asked B. Hussein al-Obama about the punitive taxes he would face as a fabulously successful plumber owning his own small business and clearing over $250,000 a year (net).  The reason for Mr. Plumber’s spectacular rise to fame, of course, is that his question revealed how Marxist-Leninists like Obama are thwarting the hopes and aspirations of fabulously-successful-small-businessmen-to-be with their confiscatory “progressive” taxes that “spread the wealth around.” Now, however, the problem seems to me that ordinary liberal non-Marxist-Leninist Democrats like Franken want to make it possible for people to start their own businesses and purchase health care for their families.

Teabaggers are against that. 

And remember, these are the people driving the “debate.” Well, Hussein al-Obama better be humble when he comes to the Hill tonight.  As for the rest of us, I do believe we have been well and truly teabagged.

Update:  And here’s the antidote, for those of you who still believe in things like communicative reason.

Posted by on 09/09 at 08:01 AM
  1. Yeah, this is one where I want the long arc of history that will surely expose this fatuousness for what it is to hurry up and get here already. At some level (reinforced by the “humility threat"*) I want Obama to give a pointed, “That does it! Everyone out of the bipartisan pool” speech, and which he ends by saying, “I won’t sully this institution like our previous war-profiteering VP did by uttering the words, but the sentiment holds. Goodnight, gentlemen.”

    *Or what? We’ll act like total uncooperative assholes?

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  10:32 AM
  2. *Or what? We’ll act like total uncooperative assholes?

    Seething total uncooperative assholes.  ‘Cause when Saxby was growing up, he didn’t have to sit and listen to an uppity Negro lecture him.  So this dusky usurper better show the proper respect for his betters, or their followers will start bringing whips and firehoses along with their assault rifles.

    Whoops, sorry, racism is dead.  Occasionally I forget, especially when my father informs me that all Judeo-Christian content is being purged from the nation’s textbooks and replaced with Shari’a by that Kenyan blackamoor.*

    *Yeah, I actually hadn’t heard that one yet, so it’s probably a Hal Lindsay special.  Also a possible inoculation move against the latest Texas gambit to debase national textbook content yet again by elevating twentieth-century giant Phyllis Schlafly above such trivial nonpersons as Thurgood Marshall.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  11:33 AM
  3. It is about time for the nuclear option on the filibuster rule in the Senate. Non-profit coops. Give me a break. I’m sure that none of them will be run by people with any connection whatsoever with for profit medicine. Or how about this? Yes by all means let’s go with non-profite cooperatives as the ONLY healthcare options available.

    I just posted the Reich video on my facebook page (which of course Michael couldn’t possibly know about since he has not decided to join/not join facebook)


    Posted by  on  09/09  at  11:33 AM
  4. A theory of mind is required here, even if we decide to boot some individuals out of the discourse. Why do the Pasty Whites purse their lips and shake their heads at the notion of getting rid of pre-existing conditions?

    I do not think they believe pre-existing conditions are good for people who get screwed by insurance. I think they have dismissed Al’s entire discourse as a smokescreen.

    They have pierced the veil, seen the truth, and they will not be fooled by the reasonable-sounding deceptions of this crypto-whatever-ist. The Bad Guys (whatever you call them, the are Anti-Us) are in disguise, and they, like Satan, disguise their agenda in pretty words.

    So, when you hear something reasonable, that’s a sure sign the speaker is a terrorist fascist communist atheist.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  11:56 AM
  5. I am intrigued by rm’s theory of mind and wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

    Posted by Michael  on  09/09  at  12:05 PM
  6. are in disguise, and they, like Satan, disguise their agenda in pretty words.

    And remember, it’s AntiAntichrist Day.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  12:39 PM
  7. In the little less than 9 months we’ve seen the teabagger types trembling in fear of:

    --FEMA camps
    --Birther conspiracies
    --Death Panels that kill grandmothers
    --Obama’s plan to indoctrinate the youth

    I’m relatively certain that this type of thinking earns a diagnosis under the DSM IV, yet, as you point out, these are the folks driving the debate. It seems natural to ask whether there is a threshold of absurdity they can cross which will destroy their credibility once and for all. But, of course, that question begs a “simple answers to simple questions” reply.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  12:50 PM
  8. Um.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  12:50 PM
  9. ”...but also in the minds of ordinary teabagging folk, the problem is that health care reform might provide health care to Other People. “


    Posted by Bulworth  on  09/09  at  02:28 PM
  10. Yeah, those were the two moments that especially got to me, too.  Especially the “there aren’t enough doctors for *everyone*” claim, which I’ve heard elsewhere.  I guess if the Market Is All, then its just assumed that all resources are limited, by definition.

    Posted by bitchphd  on  09/09  at  03:50 PM
  11. "Especially the “there aren’t enough doctors for *everyone*” claim, which I’ve heard elsewhere. “

    What rat hole did this BS climbed out of?

    Posted by Bulworth  on  09/09  at  04:36 PM
  12. And if indeed there were such a shortage of primary physicians, why, pray tell, would it affect preventive care?  As if it’s more efficient, in market terms, to let people’s chronic conditions fester so that they can be treated in the ER, where there’s never any wait time because of the relative surplus of available doctors?

    I have to think this meme, whichever wingnut fever swamp it came from, really means “let the unwashed and the swarthy go to the ER where they belong.”

    Posted by Michael  on  09/09  at  04:40 PM
  13. "so they can be treated in the ER” and then not pay their bills because they are uninsured and out of work. This forces the hospitals to raise their rates to all the paying customers to cover their losses.

    captcha “actually” as in yes this is actually what happens

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  05:05 PM
  14. And remember, these are the people driving the “debate.”

    This is the key point that must be reversed. Not going to “convert” a one of them, and don’t care about that. Al did a good at showing his ability to get them muttering on the edges of the debate rather than front and center.

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  06:27 PM
  15. Actually, there IS a “shortage” of primary care physicians, which is created by bizarre compensation formulas that make it much more lucrative to be, say, a dermatologist than a pediatrician, combined with the high debt burden of graduating physicians that pushes them into higher-paying specialties. But you can’t fix the compensation formulas without cutting the highest paid specialties, and their lobbyists have managed to prevent that from happening. 
    see, eg, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/health/policy/27care.html

    One solution to the problem would be to increase compensation to primary care physicians and to train a large number of nurse practitioners (including nurse-midwives) to serve as the first-line care-givers for most routine care, so that we wouldn’t need as many primary care physicians.  You’d think the docs would like that, because then they could do more interesting work than prescribing amoxicillin for ear infections all day long. And nurse practitioners are perfect for preventive care. But doctors view nurse practioners as competition and try to limit their roles or force them out of practice.

    Oh, and rm - this was in Minnesota!  Imagine what you’d get at the Texas state fair!

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  06:57 PM
  16. not only in the bowels of the insurance industry but also in the minds of ordinary teabagging folk, the problem is that health care reform might provide health care to Other People.
    This may have been the cynical view (or ‘dark’ as the captcha suggests), but i feel more and more confident in suggesting that the teabagging puppet masters (corporate and fascist --Dobbs, Buchanan, Beck, etc.) are absolutely advocating that health care (and all other similar general welfare for the People) NOT be accessible to anybody other than them nice conservative white folk (like in da South).

    And when scientists looks at the mess, they see incentivization as the issue

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  08:53 PM
  17. Joint Session Tea Party! (with videos)

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  10:31 PM
  18. Spyder, you lie!

    Posted by Michael  on  09/09  at  10:56 PM
  19. Maybe the press is right about the Republicans being the “adults”. When they were in charge there were never any outbursts like that from the minority party. Dems in the majority = chaos, need I say more?

    Posted by  on  09/09  at  11:05 PM
  20. To be honest, I can’t get worked about this. The overbearing “civility” especially of the Senate has long gone on my nerves. Let’s have some more shouting and name-calling in congress. Let’s dispense with the whole “respect for the office” crap that is really just theater anyway.

    Posted by  on  09/10  at  11:01 AM
  21. You were thinking maybe one thread up, Christian?

    Posted by Michael  on  09/10  at  03:40 PM
  22. Sorry. At the moment I’m too busy to keep up with the high posting rate of your blog, Michael.

    Posted by  on  09/10  at  07:47 PM
  23. Spyder, you lie!

    Especially about my anti-racial calming rhetoric.

    Posted by  on  09/10  at  09:24 PM
  24. Wilson is not a racist just a white supremacist!

    Posted by  on  09/10  at  11:32 PM
  25. The doctors believe that a single-payer system is the best route to universal health care and that it would allow their profession to focus more on patients instead of the varying claim requirements of 1,300 health insurance companies in the nation…


    Posted by  on  09/19  at  01:34 PM
  26. yes I,m also agreed that single-payer system is the best.

    Posted by health insurance tx  on  09/25  at  02:52 AM





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