Takeaways From the GOP’s Big Win

gillespie warnerBy Peter Galuszka

The night of Tuesday, Nov. 4 was an ugly one for the Democrats and a big win for Republicans. Here are my takeaways from it:

  • U.S. Sen.Mark Warner clings to a tiny lead that seems to grow slightly, still making it uncertain if opponent Ed Gillespie will ask for a recount. The surprisingly tight race is an embarrassment for Warner. It likely takes him out of consideration to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016 although Democrats Tim Kaine and Jim Webb are still possibilities.
  • Ed Gillespie ran a smart campaign and came off as a solid candidate. Of course, we are comparing him against Kenneth Cuccinelli and that’s a very low bar but Gillespie’s projection of being relaxed and confident helped him. Gillespie did very well despite being dissed by the national Republican money machine. Look for him in the gubernatorial race of 2017.
  • Barack Obama takes his lumps — again. The country’s on the mend and things are going fairly well (despite what you may watch on Fox), but Obama is incapable of cashing in on that. His cool, detached style is a big minus and makes him seem careless and incompetent, especially when crisis like ebola come up that are not of his making.
  • The Republican wins on Capitol Hill are more significant than the Tea Party inspired once during the 2010 midterms.But the earlier races brought in a kind of mindless negativity and gridlock by both parties that truly hurt the country. Will that happen again? Or will older, wise heads prevail?
  • Increase in coverage my Obamacare The New York Times

    Increase in coverage by Obamacare
    The New York Times

    You might get some bipartisan action on taxes and the budget, but deadlock remains for Affordable Care and immigration. The fact is that Obamacare is too far along to change much and people actually like it, despite what you hear in the right-wing echo chamber. This chart from the New York Times shows that the ACA has boosted health coverage in some of the poorest parts of the country, such as the Appalachian coal country, the African-American belts of the Deep South; and poor parts of the Southwest like New Mexico and parts of Arizona. This alone is a big success.

  • Immigration. Look for Obama to use executive authority to come up with an immigration plan. It is an emotional, hot button issue that reveals lots of ugly attitudes. But something needs to be done fast. The GOP has no plan, except for George W. Bush who actually pushed a workable solution that was compassionate. That got soaked by the Tea Party, but then Republican Mitt Romney came up with a health care plan for Massachusetts that looks remarkable like Obamacare and was a precursor. If the GOP can get back to those helpful ideals, there may be hope.
  • Warner lots big swaths of voters who had been with him, like Loudoun County and parts of rural Virginia. This is alarming for the Dems and shows they need to project their messages a lot better. Warner’s poor performance in debates didn’t help either.

It is a big win for the GOP, but somehow I don’t feel as bitter as I was in 2010.

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53 responses to “Takeaways From the GOP’s Big Win

  1. Peter, what you and Larry don’t get is that most people, be they Republicans, Democrats and Independents, evaluate policy decisions based largely on what happens to them, their families and friends. Did Obamacare, mainly the expansion of Medicaid, give more people coverage? Yes, and the folks who got something for free or darn near free, are likely happy. But the same programs have had negative effects on others. Many people lost their policies; have suffered much higher premiums and deductibles; or have been thrust into another network of providers. Many of these people are unhappy, especially since the President of the United States and his minions, including our own Mark Warner, told them over and over and over again “That if you like your existing insurance, you can keep it.” Then there are the young invincibles, who don’t want to pay a lot of money for care they probably aren’t going to use to subsidize others. They aren’t happy either.

    People have a right to be unhappy. They are not obligated to suck it up for the good of those liberals believe must be benefited. Obamacare created too many losers. That’s Obama’s problem. That is the problems of many Democrats who voted for Obamacare. The Great One lacked the political savvy to craft a plan to expand coverage and cut costs without pissing off a large number of people.

    Mark Warner’s problem is that he campaigned as an independent voice, who meekly voted with Obama on darn near everything. He didn’t walk his talk or talk his walk. Everything that Mark Warner was able to do as Governor was tossed by the wayside when he entered the Senate. He did participate in some minor deals, but, on the hole, he was Barack’s soldier when he told voters he would not play that role.

    • Interesting comments, especially about the ACA. If TooManyTaxes is correct, I must be the only person in the country whose health care policy has been cancelled that past 20 or so years, or whose premiums went up. Since Health Care accounted for 9% of the economy in 1994 and 17% of the economy in 2009, I must be an extremely wealthy person. Why, I must own about half the country!

      In other words the statements about anyone being hurt by the ACA are pure bunk! The Kochs together with the Republicans tried to give us a few examples, and every single one was a hoax.

      Give it up!

      • What the GOP has relied upon in their opposition to the ACA – is the abject ignorance of most people with regard to not only employer-provided insurance but basic insurance as a concept.

        I call them the sound-bite crowd.

        They complain about no one reading the ACA legislation but almost none of them has read their own health insurance policy. They have no clue what the limitations are – they are DEPENDING ON THE GOVT – to make sure that the insurance company is providing them with good insurance.

        It’s that way with all insurance. In every case, the government regulates insurance to keep the scam artists out of it and people depend on the govt doing that – even as they sign on with the GOP’s mindless anti-regulation idiocy.

        People go crying to the govt, in fact, when their insurance does not pay.

        After a hurricane – people complained en masse to the govt that their insurance did not cover damage – even though in their policies – those limitations were laid out.

        people are stupid. I’m sorry but people rely on the same govt they say they oppose. It’s just mindless at times. Hardly a day goes by when someone is launching a campaign to have the govt force the insurance companies to cover some disease… at the same time they oppose insurance for others.

        • I am still amused (?) by:

          1. Keep the government off my MediCare;

          2. All the military types who love their TriCare (heavily subsidized ‘socialized’ medicine) complaining about ‘entitlements;

          3. Everyone on an employer subsidized health plan complaining about others getting freebies (I am one of course – my employer picks up, tax exempt, 85% of the premium and my share is paid tax exempt). Talk about subsidies and freebies. BTW – I was self-employed but became ‘uninsurable’ due to a heart incident 6 years ago so I became an employee, and I take the comments on health care very, very personally;

          4. Everyone enjoying the mortgage deduction complaining about freeloaders (I don’t want to give mine up BTW).

          And let’s not talk about farm subsidies.

          • People do not understand the CONCEPT of insurance!

            The geezers who get welfare (Medicare) and because their health care out-of-pocket costs are minimal can afford beach homes – where once again – they can afford them because the govt provides them with subsidized flood insurance.

            These same geezers are opposed to “freeloaders” getting ObamaCare.

            It’s the same with many who get employer-provided who if they were trying to buy insurance on the open market – would be denied but because the govt requires employer-provided to insure – they are “protected”.

            these same folks who get insurance – because of the govt – oppose it for others.

            How can anyone with employer-provided, Medicare, Tricare, in good conscience – deny – that they have access to insurance because of the government and that without the govt – they’d be in the same boat as those who do not have employer-provided?

            How can we – as a country – of supposedly fair-minded people – just turn such a blind eye to the basic facts?

  2. Oh TMT – I DO get it. People who get full coverage health insurance for 100.00 a month resent others getting a similar deal. People who get thousands of dollars of guaranteed tax-free insurance – worth thousands of extra dollars of income don’t want others to get a similar deal.

    And both of the niggardly groups don’t seem to care who pays for the ER rooms… they believe that people who don’t have insurance, don’t get care, much less that it’s paid for by others.

    I call it ignorance on steroids.

    If we truly want govt out of healthcare – let’s do it and stop being mindless hypocrites who can’t handle reality.

    I have a different take.

    People blame Obama for not working with the GOP to get things done. He’s the POTUS and he’s been playing the same “it’s my way or the road” game that the GOP has played. Keep in mind the approval rating of Congress.

    The problem is that Obama “gets it”. He’s not “one of them” and they, in turn have made it clear to him that he’s not one of them so they have agreed to hate each other.

    The country won’t accept that – and they should not but if they think the GOP who can’t agree among themselves how to do health care or immigration are going to do anything, … well, we’ll see. Remember, it was Boehmer who refused to let immigration come to a vote in the HOuse … remember that.

    and it was Boehmer who allowed 40 votes to repeal Obamacare without once moving an alternative to the Senate to consider.

    And TMT – you SHOULD GO LOOK at Gillespie’s “plan” if you don”t like ObamaCAre. I invite you to go look and tell me what you think.

    http://edforsenate.com/about/issues/

    now tell me what you think… seriously.. give me a real alternative…that does not involve heavy involvement of the govt… just like it does right now with your own health insurance.

    Here’s what Obama should do. He should say that he’s going to act on immigration by some date certain if he does not have on his desk – the Republican version by that date.

    Then if they fail.. and he acts, and they impeach – then 2016 will tell the tale.

    • Larry, you ought to get on one of the cable company’s PEG channel and lecture the public. Just shame them until they believe like you. Tell those people who haven’t had a raise in four years that they need to pay more because they have an unfair advantage over someone who did dope the last 20 years. Tell a business operator who revenues are down, they have a duty to pay more so Obama gets on Mount Rushmore.

      How dare people vote against Obama’s policies unless they have ones that meet your standards! Flash – in this country we are allowed to oppose legislation without writing a replacement bill.

      And your ER argument fails still. If ER care is more expensive that expanding Medicaid, shift all public money paid to ERs to reimburse them to expand Medicaid with savings going to the state treasury and to insurance premium payment makers. I’ve pressed several Democrats in the GA on this and they all run away from my question. What would that tell you? It tells me either there are NO savings (and the Democrats’ argument is a lie) or they worked out a deal to transfer more money to the health care industry — or both.

  3. “Larry, you ought to get on one of the cable company’s PEG channel and lecture the public. Just shame them until they believe like you. Tell those people who haven’t had a raise in four years that they need to pay more because they have an unfair advantage over someone who did dope the last 20 years. Tell a business operator who revenues are down, they have a duty to pay more so Obama gets on Mount Rushmore.”

    people who don’t have employer-provided health insurance are dope users?

    the hell you say… do you know there are more deaths from prescription drugs that those dopers?

    I’m not interested in shamming people but I AM interested in them dealing with realities … and stop pretending something different.

    “How dare people vote against Obama’s policies unless they have ones that meet your standards! Flash – in this country we are allowed to oppose legislation without writing a replacement bill.”

    you cannot oppose something in good conscience if you are not willing yourself to say what it should be instead. When you defend the status quo – and it’s untenable – you’re not “opposing” – you’re part of the problem.

    “And your ER argument fails still. If ER care is more expensive that expanding Medicaid, shift all public money paid to ERs to reimburse them to expand Medicaid with savings going to the state treasury and to insurance premium payment makers.”

    TMT – that’s what ObamaCare does guy… did you miss it?

    ” I’ve pressed several Democrats in the GA on this and they all run away from my question. What would that tell you? It tells me either there are NO savings (and the Democrats’ argument is a lie) or they worked out a deal to transfer more money to the health care industry — or both.”

    In a country that pays twice as much for health care as any other country and still has millions not covered and lower life expectancy – you can argue against doing a specific thing – but to argue to do nothing is ignorant.

    If you don’t like the current approach – find one you do like.

    it’s the same deal with immigration.

    we cannot have a nation of people who veto every single thing they don’t like and in turn end up vetoing anything and by default do nothing.

    Tell me the Republican plan you like instead of ObamaCare.

    I just love the geezers who are getting Medicare for 100.00 a month – total government welfare – complaining about ObamaCare…

    Tell me again why someone who has had their entire life to save up for health care expenses should get govt welfare for their health insurance.

    tell me why ONLY those who are lucky enough in the 21st century to still have access to employer-provided health insurance should get it tax-free while those “dopers” you talk about working 40hrs a week can’t even get access to health insurance at all much less have the govt help pay for it like they do for you?

    If the govt got out of the employer-provided health insurance game – would you be guaranteed access to health insurance? You basically depend on the govt to make the insurance companies insure you and you oppose the govt doing that for others.. Is that fair? What did you do to deserve the govt protecting you from insurance companies?

    • Larry, all you really want to do is lecture and shame people into believing as you do. You don’t offer a plan that addresses the things people don’t like about Obamacare. How, for example, do you answer the objections of young people who don’t want to pay for services they don’t believe they will need and most likely won’t need? How do you explain to a 50-year old woman why she needs to pay for maternity coverage? The election put the burden on those whose status quo plan was rejected. Your side lost this election.

      • “Larry, all you really want to do is lecture and shame people into believing as you do.”

        Nope. If they are going to go into complains and opposition – they need to also acknowledge the benefits they have been given by the govt.

        “You don’t offer a plan that addresses the things people don’t like about Obamacare. ”

        you mean since you who oppose will not, those that find ObamaCare acceptable have to then fix what folks don’t like?

        “How, for example, do you answer the objections of young people who don’t want to pay for services they don’t believe they will need and most likely won’t need?”

        the very same way we handle auto and homeowner insurance and the very same way you handle employer-provided. You can’t get employer-provided unless you pay into it even if you don’t use it.

        ” How do you explain to a 50-year old woman why she needs to pay for maternity coverage? The election put the burden on those whose status quo plan was rejected. Your side lost this election.”

        the same way that 50-year old has to pay for a 65 year old getting insurance for 100.00 a month or she has to pay for Viagara for a geezer.

        are you opposed to the CONCEPT of insurance?

        that’s what I get out of these complaints. That you should not have to pay for insurance until you need it – and you consider that a defect of ObamaCare.

        how would you deal with pre-existing conditions guy? do you think when you pay for insurance – you should have to pay for those who have pre-existing conditions?

        What I get out of the complaints and opposition is that people don’t understand insurance. Those same folks would not buy homeowners insurance if the mortgage company did not require it and they’d not buy auto insurance unless the state required it.

        and .. of course, they’d not buy health insurance that required them to pay for others with pre-existing conditions if they could choose not to.

        in other words, they want all the benefits but they don’t want to pay for others.

        but that’s what insurance is… it’s a pool of people paying for others.

        do you think you should pay for someone getting elective surgery?

      • ” Larry, all you really want to do is lecture and shame people into believing as you do.”

        TMT – I think someone who is getting major benefits from the govt who opposes others getting similar – pretending that they themselves do not get such benefits are hypocrites and fundamentally unfair to others.

        A principled person would admit that they get benefits from the govt and would be honest enough to say that even though they do get those benefits, they oppose them from others.

        that would be a honest position if morally repugnant.

        what’s not honest in my view is to oppose benefits for others as if you are not getting them…

        do you understand? Am I “lecturing” by pointing this out?

  4. in terms of alternatives – how can you do this – when the other side – the opposition refuses to deal with the realities?

    For instance, I could advocate that the State set up an insurance pool for all people who don’t have access to employer-provided insurance.

    It would function exactly like employer-provided. The insurance would allow anyone to buy it it could not deny pre-existing conditions and the people who bought it would get a tax credit to compensate them for the Federal, State and FICA taxes.

    I could come up with a dozen different variations that would provide to people the equivalent of employer-provided but for the folks who are willfully ignorant of the fact that it is the govt that allows them to get employer-provided – they would oppose the govt providing the same thing to others because they would consider it a “benefit” that others don’t deserve – even though they themselves are getting that benefit – undeserved – also.

    how do you fix that?

  5. On a different vein, why will the Republicans starting next year be effective? As I recall, the House Republicans have not even bothered to vote, these past 2-4 years, on legislation the Senate Republicans passed. I don’t mean that they rejected it, I mean that they have refused to even hold a vote!

    For that matter, how many more times must the House Republicans reject the proposals by the House Republican leadership? They have spent more time arguing between themselves than against us non-Republicans.

    So, why exactly will they become effective starting next year?

    • Shall I conclude that noone expects the Republicans to be effective?

      😉

      • yes. It is said that the POTUS needs to learn to work with Congress critters… and there is some truth to that – he does not even “connect” well with many Dems…

        but the GOP is being drawn into a political black hole that has nothing to do with this POTUS other than he is a very handy whipping “boy”.

        Even Conservative commentators have said that the GOP has to produce now and if they do not – they’ll face 2016 as unable to govern.. just vandals of governance.

        I would love to be surprised and see the GOP move things forward but we have so many whaco-birds now that I’m not sure the GOP itself – has a true effective minority. I think once you subtract out the wacko-birds they do not and will need Dems.

        The wacko-birds say that compromise is violating principles.

        how do you go forward from that?

        • larryg, you are not whom I was actually addressing. It was more to JAB or TooManyTaxes or any of those who claim that we’re about to see governance from the Republicans.

          My education has been in science: talk all you want, but it is your actions that prove anything. So, why will the Republicans be able to govern anything?

          • sorry NOVaS –

            re GOP governance – I think there are those in the party that are able to govern but in order to do that – they will have to deal with the other folks in their party who really are not interested in governing but rather imposing.. “principles”.

            These folks are not unique – they are found around the world – they want the country run according to their beliefs… and everyone else is a heathen, liberal, progressive, etc…

            they do not compromise.

  6. I’ve always thought this chart showed the real political divide -http://bit.ly/1tEwyxU

    Despite all the rhetoric the US has a lower pre-tax Gini coefficient than many other countries (such as Ireland). Our supposedly corrupt form of capitalism actually distributes income more evenly than the economy of the United Kingdom. Finland is higher than the US and The Netherlands is the same.

    It’s the after tax Gini coefficient that liberals want to cite. In other words, our government just doesn’t take enough of the money for redistribution. At the end of the day that’s the liberals’ core belief. Conservatives, of course, disagree citing property rights and liberty. Independents are more open minded. Many (myself included) could agree with a higher European – style tax regime (which liberals should actually try to understand before they cheer too much). However, many independents, myself included, simply find our government to be hopeless corrupt. Our government is proficient at taking money but not so effective at using it wisely. The fact that inflation-adjusted per-pupil education spending in K-12 has skyrocketed while quality has plummeted is an indicator.

    This last election was a rejection style philosophy more than of Obama himself. Hell, even Maryland now has a Republican governor. Maryland!

    • I guess you have to define more specifically what income re-distribution is or is not.

      I would assert that people who get employer-provided health insurance, as well as Tricare for the Military and Medicare for geezers is all income re-distribution.

      how well off do we think the retired would be if they had to buy insurance on the open market? that’s major income redistribution.

      I think income tax deductions for home mortgages but not rent – is income re-distribution.

      I think subsidies for Flood Insurance is income -redistribution.

      income tax deductions for 401(k) is income redistribution.

      entitlement are also.

      • I would mostly agree. All graduated income tax schemes are examples of income redistribution. People who make more have a higher percentage of their earnings taken away. All tax breaks are a form of income redistribution. Tax breaks should be seen as another way of graduating the tax system based on something other than income per se.

        I don’t have any problem with some level of income redistribution. However, I’d much rather see a tax code with three tax brackets and no deductions than the tax code we have now.

        Union dues and union initiation fees are deductible to the extent they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Why?

        Banning all tax deductions through a constitutional amendment (for both businesses and individuals) would be a very good idea in my opinion. At the least, it would give the crooks in government one less lever to pull in favor of the special interests which fund them.

        • Why are private foundations tax exempt? We worry about people with a family income of $400 K, when the Ford Foundation’s earnings regularly exceed $100 M. Does that make any sense?

          If we want to tax estates (big ones), why do we not cap the non-taxable status of transfers to private foundations? If we are going to step on toes, let’s step on toes.

          • the tax code is a mess..everyone agrees .. but like our health care that favors some and penalizes others – the “haves” don’t want to give up theirs ..and at the same time resent others getting them.

            this is our politics these days and it pretty much is reflected in the folks we elect.

            they promise changes.. , not just Obama, but change is near impossible and when you do manage it – there is a backlash.

    • My, God! A Republican governor elected in Maryland! That hasn’t happened since all the waaaaaaaaayyyy baaaaaaack in 2003. Boom! Philosophy rejected!

      ” independents, myself included”

      Principled independents like yourself who would gladly vote for Republican Bob McDonnell again as long as he wasn’t indicted and as long as he’s said he’s super, duper sorry for his tremendous ethics violations; who was against raising the minimum wage because it would devastate the good people of Lee County before being for the raising of the minimum wage because it could score the Republicans political points; who uses this language when describing “liberals'” core beliefs: “government just doesn’t take enough of the money for redistribution” meanwhile “conservatives” are concerned with “property rights and liberty.” So independent.

      • Typical lib. In the last 55 years there have been two Republican governors of Maryland.They governed for a grand total of 7 of those 55 years. Your attempt to argue that Maryland is anything but a Democratic stronghold is a testament to your ignorance. You are reduced to venting your anger at losing the recent elections by making patently absurd arguments.

        Your spittle spewing rant about Bob McDonnell is impossible to fathom. If there is a point it is so buried in an adolescent temper tantrum that it can’t be seen.

        Perhaps you could ask one of the local crust punks to run out and get you a nice glass of wheatgrass juice to help calm you down.

        • I’m not sure if you knew this, but I wasn’t running for elected office anywhere this year, so I didn’t lose anything. Also, there’s been two Republicans elected in the last three elections for Maryland governor so *gasp* maybe a new trend is emerging!

          There was no spittle in my rant, merely a breakdown of facts…typical conservative, doesn’t know what facts are.

          Not a huge fan of wheatgrass juice, my preference is for carrot juice. Hey, you can add that to your stalker compendium of posts and facts about me you want to get IBM to analyze!

          • You are the only person in the United States who thinks Maryland is turning Republican.

            Gallup sees Maryland as the second most Democratic state in the United States. More Democratic than Massachusetts, New York or California. The only state that is yet more heavily tilted toward toward the Democratic Party is Hawaii – and then just barely.

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/160175/blue-states-outnumber-red-states.aspx

            If you think Maryland is trending Republican then that’s your opinion I guess. Maybe you are one of those rare luminaries who spots trends well before us mere mortals see the light. I certainly have a lot of friends in Maryland who hope you are right.

            My personal belief is that America is rejecting extremism on both sides of the aisle. By all logic Cuccinelli should have defeated McAuliffe. However, Cuccinelli was seen as too extreme and was defeated by a man who had never held elected office. Anthony Brown is a smart man with undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. He’s a military veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star in Iraq. He was a Democrat running in a heavily Democratic state. He lost because he was seen as too extreme and too tied to the extremist regime of Martin O’Malley.

            Erlich (the last Republican governor) served one term and was defeated for re-election. He ran again and was defeated again. The last Republican governor before Erlich was Spiro Agnew.

            Will Larry Hogan win a second term? I doubt it. Maryland will revert to form after four years of a Republican governor.

            I’ll tell my conservative friends in Maryland about your “Maryland is turning red” theory. They will be very happy to hear it. They won’t believe it but they will be very happy to hear it.

            As far as I know anybody can run data through the analytic engines offered by various tech companies. Feel free to run my postings through one of the engines. If it turns up Pabst Blue Ribbon as my favorite drink you should then ask it what stocks to buy because it’s got real predictive power.

          • Not too sure of DonR’s view of Maryland. We’ll see ….

            The funny thing about Virginia south of Fairfax is that it is pretty RED but many if not most are commuters to GOvt jobs or contractor jobs to the govt.

            It’s sort of like how people see a political party versus their own elected. They’ll rate the party at 20% but their own elected at 70%.

            So you have govt workers – people whose jobs are government jobs – blaming the govt for waste and abuse but their particular job is needed.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            Point on the doll where I said Maryland was turning Republican. You do realize there are more trends than just “State is turning blue” and “State is turning red”, right?

            I have no desire to run anything you write through an analytic engine, mostly because I don’t want to stalk strangers on the Internet. To each their own, though.

  7. Awwww, look at you guys, pretending the Republicans have any interest in actually governing. Y’all are too adorable.

    • Remember Newt and the Contract on America?

      No one could accuse them of not having a “plan”..

      😉

      Of course they threw in the impeachment as a freebie…

      Now.. we have the GOP threatening to impeach if the POTUS does something – they won’t do!

    • Larry, did you see the poll that 75% of the voters opposed executive amnesty? And why didn’t Obama and the Democratic Congress pass immigration reform in 2009 or 2010? The Senate had 60 Ds until Ted Kennedy passed on. From what I’ve observed, the Democrats wanted a wedge issue with Hispanic voters.

      And, as you know, I have posted my support for a variety of changes in the immigration law.

      • I’ve seen the polls. I don’t see any support for a specific alternative.

        what we have is people who oppose but they have no solutions either.

        it’s mindless. They vent their spleens over what they don’t like but they never agree on what they do want.

        you keep looking back at what Dems should have done but every time the Dems do something like that – you then claim they should not have without agreement from opponents. When the ball goes into the opponents court – they cannot even agree among themselves on what to do.

        this is idiocy.

  8. Also, LOLOLOLOL at “this means something” just like it meant something when it happened to Reagan to Clinton and to Bush.

    • The only person who has flown into a blood eyed rage over these elections is you. If these elections don’t mean anything perhaps you should stop smashing your fingers into the keys on your keyboard before you blow out one of the blood vessels in your neck. Obamacare isn’t going to reduce health care costs if people like you give yourselves a stroke every time the mid-term elections come around.

  9. Of course the biggest, most inscrutable question not yet answered is what exactly the voters wanted the GOP to do – after they got voted into office.

    I’m clueless.. I’m not sure the folks that voted for them know what they want.

    TMT says that people can be opposed without having a plan for what they want instead.

    He’s starting to convince me.

    • Correct. Voters do not usually have a plan.

      However those who are elected will pursue a plan. If, however, they did not tell the voters what their plan is, as has just happened, those who were elected cannot claim a mandate, or even right, to do anything. It may sound as a quandary but:

      1. The ACA (ObamaCare) – Republicans ran on a platform of keeping the parts the voters like. That means they must find a way to pay for them.

      2. Reproduction, etc. – The voters keep approving referenda and at the same time electing Republicans who oppose them.

      3. Gun legislation – The voters keep electing Republicans who oppose the very referenda the voters pass.

      4. Economy – Voters are upset that the condition of the middle class is deteriorating; but they also keep electing the very Republicans who insist on the legislation, and lack of regulation, that is benefiting the corporations and damaging the middle class.

      In other words, any action I expect the Republicans to pursue (admitedly they may surprise me) will demonstrably contradict what the voters actually want. It is as the old saying goes – May you live in interesting times.

      • I think that is pretty much correct. The GOP pretty much runs on a false agenda for the middle class. They fundamentally believe the monied folks control the economy and create the jobs and those that don’t are beneficiaries if they have jobs and “takers” if they don’t.

        But the way they pull the middle class in is by demonizing things that do affect the middle class. It’s the Reagan Southern Blue collar strategy expanded out to include those who have been affected for automation and computerization.

        The GOP is caught on a solution to immigration because their business constituencies like the cheap labor and really do not want that cheap labor to go away but at the same time they demonize that labor as a threat to people’s jobs.

        how do you come up with a real solution when you’re playing both sides of this?

        it’s the same deal with health care People who enjoy employer-provided health care do so because of the government being directly involved in it – not only by making the insurance tax free (including FICA) but by rules that say if an insurance company cannot provide employer-provided and deny pre-existing conditions. They have to take everyone in the pool. the tax break for health insurance if taken away and taxed like other income would balance the budget.

        Medicare is similar. 3/4 of Medicare, by law, is paid for by the government/taxpayers – so that people who earn up to 85K in retirement income – pay $105 for insurance, which by the way pays for elective surgery and Viagara and all kinds of things that people complain about ObamaCare requiring coverage for.

        Tricare for civilian dependents of the Military works the same way.

        But the GOP has totally demonized providing similar benefits to those who do not have these benefits.

        The idea that the government would form a pool of insurance companies to provide insurance with tax credits (like those with employer-provided get) to others is – very effectively demonized by the GOP.

        and when you ask them for their solutions to pre-existing conditions and tax credits they act like those benefits are not already being provided to others.

        If they had real principles – they’d admit the existing subsidies that some people enjoy – and either advocate equal opportunity for all citizens or get the government out of health care all together — for real – and stop pretending the govt is not already heavily involved in health care for the “winners” and no such consideration for the losers.

        People are influenced by sound bites. People on Medicare do not realize that there are two parts – A and B and part A they paid into and Part B is heavily subsidized so they think they “earned” their insurance when, in fact, they did not.

        these are fundamental issues involving realities that the GOP has managed – successfully to mislead voters on – and it remains to be seen if they are really going to do anything serious on immigration and health care or just continue to refuse to pass alternatives to then sit on the POTUS Desk.

        What is far more likely is that they will refuse to pass immigration but threaten the POTUS if he acts and they will continue to pass “Repeal” but not provide a REPLACE and again claim the POTUS is blocking reforms.

        I do not see the GOP as a force for effective change any more. They were, under Reagan, inclined to take a hard line but then compromise. The current crop of GOP is basically playing the long shot – that they will – some day – end up with both houses – with veto-proof majorities or with a GOP POTUS and then they will do what they really want to do – and then promptly get thrown out at the next election.

        I could be wrong – but what I predict is more of the same and instead of blaming Harry Reid – they will now blame the POTUS directly.

        • Larry, Americans don’t want to pay more or give up more to expand health care coverage any more than they want to give up retirement benefits to expand retirement income for others. And they don’t feel guilty about it at all. Look at Organized Labor, a strong proponent of the ACA, has fought the law’s requirements to tax “overly generous” health insurance coverage. They want to protect what they have and don’t appear willing to sacrifice their good, tax-free insurance any more than they would want to give up their agreed-to wages or seniority system.

          During World War 2, Americans generally supported rationing even though they didn’t like it. They felt that, to win the war, sacrifice was warranted. This is not WW2. The winners are not willing to give up what they have to expand health insurance. At best, they are willing to allow someone else give up something to expand insurance coverage.

          Obama’s big mistake was not understanding this. All the polls showed most people who had insurance were relatively happy with it. Obama told them “If you like what you have, you can keep it.” The bill passed a Democratic Congress on that assumption. Then people began finding out this was a big lie. Their existing plans didn’t provide enough subsidy to cover those without coverage. So they lost their coverage, saw premiums and deductible jump. And they didn’t like it. It’s not WW2. They are not willing to give up anything significant to expand coverage.

          You may say this is evil or inconsistent, but I submit with all due respect it is reality. Obama’s plan created too many losers in an environment where those people were not and are not willing to lose.

          • “Larry, Americans don’t want to pay more or give up more to expand health care coverage any more than they want to give up retirement benefits to expand retirement income for others. And they don’t feel guilty about it at all.”

            in large part because they do not recognize that they themselves are getting govt help for their health care. Tell me what they give up for others to get the same benefits they have?

            ” Look at Organized Labor, a strong proponent of the ACA, has fought the law’s requirements to tax “overly generous” health insurance coverage. They want to protect what they have and don’t appear willing to sacrifice their good, tax-free insurance any more than they would want to give up their agreed-to wages or seniority system.”

            they do indeed and they are no different than the others who get tax-free health insurance but don’t what others to get the same benefits as they have.

            “During World War 2, Americans generally supported rationing even though they didn’t like it. They felt that, to win the war, sacrifice was warranted. This is not WW2. The winners are not willing to give up what they have to expand health insurance. At best, they are willing to allow someone else give up something to expand insurance coverage.”

            I hate to break it to you – but it’s not WWII anymore but again why did the govt have to give something to people in order for companies to offer health insurance ? they could have done that without the govt. You’re pretending that the govt did not do anything to cause it to happen but the govt did. They gave a huge tax benefit to people who were lucky enough to work for companies that offered the plan and the govt also required the insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.

            It is now the 21st century and fewer and fewer companies offer employer-provided in the 21st century economy and more and more workers do not enjoy that benefit.

            Why can’t the govt do the same for those workers that it does for other workers? How does that hurt anyone to provide the same benefit to everyone?

            “Obama’s big mistake was not understanding this. All the polls showed most people who had insurance were relatively happy with it. Obama told them “If you like what you have, you can keep it.” ”

            He did – and it was dumb and he paid the price – but NO insurance do you get to “keep”. Every year – it changes whether you like it or not – including the premiums and the co-pays and deductibles.. every year – you get a new declaration.

            “The bill passed a Democratic Congress on that assumption.”

            not unless people were stupid enough to believe the insurance they had would not change including throwing them off of it if they got a bad disease.
            why do you ignore this reality that happened to millions of others who DID lose their insurance BEFORE Obamacare. That’s a lie also TMT.

            “Then people began finding out this was a big lie. Their existing plans didn’t provide enough subsidy to cover those without coverage.”

            how much coverage would you have if the govt did not give you a subsidy for your employer-provided and restricted them from dumping you?

            ” So they lost their coverage, saw premiums and deductible jump. And they didn’t like it. It’s not WW2. They are not willing to give up anything significant to expand coverage.”

            the market insurance for many was a scam. It did not cover like employer-provided covers.. and they could and did dump people whenever..or double, triple their premiums.. how come you pretend that no one lost their coverage before ObamaCare?

            “You may say this is evil or inconsistent, but I submit with all due respect it is reality. Obama’s plan created too many losers in an environment where those people were not and are not willing to lose.”

            no. Obama’s plan was to provide to people who did not ave employer-provided an equivalent insurance with tax credits equivalent to what you get with your employer-provided.

            anyone who gets subsidies and benefits themselves but opposes them from others … is what?

            at the very least – you should support the same equivalent benefits for other people – which is not to be denied pre-existing conditions, not to be charged more than others in the same pool, and tax credits.

            why don’t the people who oppose Obamacare have a reasonable and fair alternative – for other people?

            it’s morally repugnant to have govt-provided health care benefits you did nothing to deserve – and at the same time oppose something similar for others.

            If you did not have the govt imposing rules on your health insurance- you too may not have it. You could be denied coverage or charged much higher rates and have to pay with taxed money. why do you deserve govt protection for your health care and not others the same?

      • I think you have to put the issues in priority order (in the minds of the voters). A woman named Kathleen Murphy recently ran for VA House of Delegates against Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia. She made a big deal about her desire to see stronger gun control laws passed in Virginia. She cited surveys that showed people in her district agreed with her. They probably did. However, on a list of the 10 most pressing problems gun control didn’t make the list. Fairfax County has a very low rate of violent crime. Gun control as a priority might bring out the base but nothing more. Beyond that, few believed she’d ever be successful in getting the General Assembly to listen to her on gun control. So, she lost the election.

        What are the most important issues to the voters, in priority order. Then, focus on the top 3.

        • It is not a matter of priorities. If I tell you ‘VOTE FOR ME!’ but don’t tell you what I plan to do, then when I win I cannot claim that I am doing what you voted for, can I? In other words, my election is an ego trip, and your vote is irrelevant.

          • I agree with that. Too many candidates get elected without providing any specifics as to what they will do once they are elected. Why do voters allow that to happen?

            I think the incumbents have such a lock on re-election that they don’t get forced to define their policy programs.

            Look at Virginia (at the state level)

            1. Off year elections guarantee low voter turnout. Incumbents who “fly under the radar” until election time don’t bring out enough opposition to lose.

            2. Lots of gerrymandering makes for an incumbent protection program. VA is rated the 5th most gerrymandered state in one survey I saw.

            3. Candidates selected by convention rather than primary. How many ties have you asked, “Are these two the best we can do?”

            4. Hardest state to get on the ballot as an independent. The major parties maintain a duopoly on Virginia politics.

            5. Closed committee meeting where bills are killed without a public vote. Politicians can hide from their actions.

            6. Unlimited campaign contributions. Once elected a politician can start doing favors for the special interest lobby and bankroll a campaign that is hard for a challenger to beat.

            7. No term limits for the legislature. The state with the most restrictive term limit for the governor has no term limits for legislators. They can, and often do, legislate for life.

            8. No citizen initiated referenda. If the incumbents don’t want to address a serious issue (like ethics) there is nothing the electorate can do to force the matter onto a ballot.

            Virginia’s system is built for the corporate aristocracy to use their minions in the General Assembly to get and do whatever they want without the troubling interference caused by competitive legislative elections.

            Virginia needs a new constitution.

      • It’s almost like there’s something going on with white voters where there’s something more important to them than their economic and and personal well being when it comes time to elect the people representing them.

        I wonder what it could be…

        • I call it ” he’s not one of us” quandary

          for those used to older white guys running the country, the transition to other “kinds” is a bridge too far.

          It don’t help that the POTUS feels this and in turn sees no reason to work with them either… bottom line – it ain’t going to work – at least in this point of time.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            I found this quote from The Hill (God help me) to be rather illuminating:

            “Ironically, Obama is polling below what would be expected from the objective situation in the United States. The economy is growing briskly, unemployment is at a seven-year low, gas prices are below $3.00 per gallon for the first time in recent memory. There have been no terrorist attacks on the United States under Obama’s watch. The Ebola virus is no serious threat to the American people”

        • So how come white voters in South Carolina, the first slave state to secede from the Union in 1860 and the home of the Dixiecrat Party in 1948 voted for a black United States Senator? How come a very white Mormon Utah district (a religion that effectively barred blacks from membership not so long ago) voted to elect a black female member of Congress? The bottom line is a large number of voters think Obama is doing a terrible job as president. That’s what the votes showed. That’s what the polls reported.

          And many white voters will vote for a non-white person when they agree with that candidate’s positions. I voted for Maurice Dawkins in 1988 because I didn’t like Chuck Robb’s congressional voting record.

          The charge of racism is but one more attempt by the left to protect Obama from criticism.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            First, a handful of outliers does nothing to disprove a larger trend. Hey, some people recover from cancer without chemotherapy, maybe we should stop using it!

            Second, no one cares about the voting choices of a single person.

            Third, I have no interest in protecting Obama from criticism. The fact remains that white voters tend to vote Republican even when the Republican party stands in opposition to policies they claim they want.

            But I want to visit Utah real quick and do a quick point of comparison. The Congressional district Mia Love won has a CPVI score of R+14, meanwhile the district David Brat won has a CPVI score of R+10 – basically Brat’s district should have been more competitive than Love’s.

            Brat won his district 61 to 37. By comparison, Love won her district 50 to 46. But again, I’m just howling at the moon.

            “The bottom line is a large number of voters think Obama is doing a terrible job as president.”

            What you really mean here is white voters, because every poll I’ve seen shows his approval with non-Whites is north of 65 percent.

          • LOTFL – I don’t disagree. Lots of non-whites like Obama’s policies. But quite a few like him because of his race. There are some studies showing that African Americans have generally faltered economically under Obama, but many would probably vote for him in 2016 if they could. It’s no different that Catholics voting for Al Smith in 1928 or JFK in 1960. Or Mondale’s selection of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.

            But I still think the left is using the racism charge to protect Obama from criticism. If we need to agree to disagree, that’s fine with me.

          • TMT – are you essentially arguing that because there are some examples of blacks being voted that there is not racism going on rigt now?

            Should I, once again, show you the images on signs carried at tea party events?

            or how about I point you to some blogs ..

            when you have actual members of Congress openly questioning his place of birth and calling him a Muslim from Kenya – do you think these folks accept him as the POTUS?

            It’s not open overt racism – it’s more along the lines of ” he’s just not like we are”. People do not identify with his color nor his demeanor which they consider arrogant for is “kind”.

            He’s got his own problems also – he IS arrogant and he does not even relate well to many rank & file members (though he seems to be fine with Reid and Pelosi). This is one reason why the rank and file ran away from him at the elections. They just don’t feel the love and ObamaCare has been demonized from it’s inception.

            The funny thing is that people in Kentucky – LOVE ObamaCare including the MedicAid Expansion because in Kentucky – it’s called Kentucky Connect! When Polls are taken and they ask if the provisions of ObamaCare should be provided – without associated them with ObamaCare – like no denial of coverage – people vote in the majority. In other words, they FAVOR the govt being involved in healthcare and making rules like not allowing insurance to deny on pre-conditions.

            The GOP – COULD have taken advantage of this – and come up with their own alternative that does the thing the people do want that is shown in the Polls – and call it Patient-Centered Market-based health insurance or some other nifty sounding name where it does all the things that people want – indicated by the polls – and gets rid of the things they don’t want.

            So what has the GOP actually done to respond to what people want?

            nothing.

            it’s a war against ObamaCare and they have zero intent on actually providing an alternative that meets the needs and desires of the American people.

            Everyone wants the govt-required provisions found in employer-provided health insurance. To not be denied. To allow their family on it. To not be charged any more than others in the pool. etc.

            If the govt can put that requirement on employer-provided insurance, why can’t they put that same requirement on non-employer-provided insurance? What makes it right and fair for the govt to protect folks like you from adverse actions of the insurance company and not others? Why do you deserve this special protection but not others – and why would you oppose it for others?

            We have ignorance on steroids when people say the government should not be involved in health care and not requiring insurance to do some things – .. when those very same people who say they oppose the govt being involved in health – those people would not have insurance – without the govt protecting them – either.

            how many people who have employer-provided could KEEP their insurance if the govt removed the rules for employer-provided and allowed companies to deny you coverage, raise rates just for you or even throw you off ? You enjoy these protections – at the same time you essentially opposed those same protections for others.

            that’s why you are opposing when you oppose ObamaCare and do say at the same time – it should be replaced with something that offers the same protections for insurance for people who don’t have access to employer-provided.

            We should change the name of Employer-provided insurance — to Government Protected Insurance because that is what it is. It’s NOT market-place insurance that the GOP says should replace ObamaCare.

            We should stop being willfully ignorant about these facts and we should think hard about whether we are hypocrites if we favor special protections for some of us but not all of us… when it comes to insurance.

            Your insurance is only there for you – BECAUSE of the government.

            Admit it TMT!

  10. “Point on the doll where I said Maryland was turning Republican”

    “Also, there’s been two Republicans elected in the last three elections for Maryland governor so *gasp* maybe a new trend is emerging!”

    • You’re so predictable I already dismantled this argument in the sentence immediately after the first one you quote. Here it is again, though:

      “You do realize there are more trends than just ‘State is turning blue’ and ‘State is turning red’, right?”

      Spin again, playboy.

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