Virginia Dems Sense Blood In The Water

Virginia Republicans are bumping into a new reality of unelected institutions fighting them every inch of the way.

by Shaun Kenney

Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn is much less of a household name if he ever was one to begin with — author of the oft-quoted and barely read “Gulag Archipelago.”

Upon his arrival to the United States after fleeing the Soviet Union, his first remarks upon coming to the West were not ones of relief but utter horror.

Instead of a repressive police state, Solzhenitsyn discovered a tabloid media on the verge of becoming the 24/7/365 monstrosity we see today. Solzhenitsyn’s efforts to avoid the public eye were fruitless, and within a matter of days he was quick to observe:

“You are worse than the KGB!”

By 1978, Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard commencement speech was more indictment than anti-communism, because he saw the same disease in the capitalist-driven West that he observed at work in the communist-driven East:

Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?

By 1983, such pessimism had crystalized into the one line that perhaps makes him the most famous amongst conservative academia today:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Men have indeed forgotten God.

Or to return to Solzhenitsyn’s theme in his 1978 Harvard address:

A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have a beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relations, there is an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man’s noblest impulses. And it will be simply impossible to stand through the trials of this threatening century with only the support of a legalistic structure.

In today’s Western society the inequality has been revealed [in] freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly. There are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him; parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that each single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually, an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself. From the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus, mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy. (emphasis added)

If one had to put their finger on the problem — and it is a criticism — with the nascent Youngkin administration, one will have to start here.

Concerns bordering on obsession with Youngkin’s favorability ratings notwithstanding — 41% according to CNU; 51% according to a poll taken by the Virginia health care industry — it is becoming more and more clear that there is more of a priority of being liked than there is on conquering hills.

Youngkin is no DeSantis to be sure.

Yet therein lies the problem. One could stab their finger at this condition all day long and even go so far as to offer solutions. In the present environment this will be treated as disloyalty. Moving cautiously and timidly, ensuring that each step is flawless and well-founded, only invites Virginia Democrats to use a well-worn playbook forcing their opposition into this pattern of mediocrity and watching poll numbers. If they can keep Youngkin’s handlers there, then so long as Virginia Republicans do not strike at the taproot, Virginia Democrats can wait us out for a better political environment in Washington and another election cycle in 2025. Great for careers; not so great for Virginia.

Is anyone ringing this bell?

Part of what makes one particularly reluctant to even share constructive opinions on this matter is that the coalition is so fragile that Virginia Democrats are doing everything in their power to shatter it. Moreover, the resiliency of a good number of people renders such commentary as more than useless sometimes. Those of us who get it already get it; those who are paid not to get it never will.

Which means that the more difficult task of evicting this moral mediocrity simply is not present in what we are doing here.

Mediocrity being the disease of the postmodern age — everyone an individual just like everyone else — most of us are satisfied with just being satisfied. We win elections and then wonder aloud why the politicians aren’t doing their job. In our intransigence, we keep swapping out leadership expecting different results, but the institutions creating the conditions remain untouched.

Which quite frankly is what people admire in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, precisely because he does take on the institutions and doesn’t give a damn about the poll numbers.

Men Don’t Follow Titles; They Follow Courage

DeSantis doesn’t exactly have an overwhelmingly Republican state. In fact, Florida Republicans had to rescue their state over the course of time. Yet in just 20 years, through a combination of wise policies and intestinal fortitude, Florida Republicans have turned a reliable Democratic state into a Republican bulwark.

Yet there’s a nervous tick in what DeSantis and even Trump have accomplished that should bother most observers. Rather than a true repudiation of the moral mediocrity we have seen a sort of generational intransigence caused not so much by a moral renewal but by the myopia of the political left moving too far and too fast.

With Obama and Clinton, it was a path of good ol’ fashioned Schumpeterian creative destruction where a bunch of cubicle-dwelling elites were telling blue collar workers that the America they had built and bled for was obsolete. Under McAuliffe and Northam, the same cubicle-dwelling elites were scolding suburban Virginians that their ideal of a color-blind society and certain ontological criteria concerning gender and sexuality were in fact openly racist and bigoted.

The reaction thus far has been purely that — a reaction against the left. Saying no and winning feels good for a moment, but the institutions grind ever forward, which is perhaps what the lake Whittaker Chambers realized when he said he had left the winning side for the losing side. Early euphoria in the late 1980s as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 that maybe Chambers was wrong has yielded to a far more grave realization that Chambers was more far-sighted than we had realized, and that Solzhenitsyn accurately perceived the same moral degeneracy. Winning elections or racking up RINOs doesn’t change the unelected institutions hammering your children and grandchildren to openly hate your values and pursue pleasure over a more enduring idea of happiness.

After all, why save when you can spend?

Whitaker Chambers understood the problem better than most as he remained gobsmacked at the lack of motivation among his peers in resisting the political machinations of the left:

I no longer believe that political solutions are possible for us. I am baffled by the way people still speak of the West as if it were at least a cultural unity against Communism though it is divided not only by a political, but by an invisible cleavage. On one side are the voiceless masses with their own subdivisions and fractures. On the other side is the enlightened, articulate elite which, to one degree or the other, has rejected the religious roots of civilization — the roots without which it is no longer Western civilization, but a new order of beliefs, attitudes and mandates.

When Chambers wrote this to his friend the late William F. Buckley Jr., the United States was in the throes of the Cold War and a receding tide of anti-Communism.

Yet what preoccupied Chambers at the time was how this spirit of materialism which presented itself in the form of Soviet Communism and gripped Russia was not a Russian idea but a Western idea, one that had infiltrated the institutions of the West and was being imposed from within. Secular and rationalistic to the point of hostility to the sacred, the Soviets merely added a Russian flavor of horrors consisting of gulags, purges, and the security state. Western flavors involve cancel culture, lawfare, and the security state (which coincidentally is why SB741 ought to be vetoed, Governor). When Chambers remarked that socialism was communism with the claws retracted, he wasn’t terribly far off the mark.

So what of the present day resistance? One suspects that what is lacking in the MAGA Movement — or at least, what has yet to crystalize — is the spiritual and intellectual revolution in thought that precedes the social revolution in ideas. In short, we are saying what we are against but can’t articulate beyond talking points what we are actually for much less why we are for the thing.

Again, from Chambers in Cold Friday:

When the gap grows too clear between the faith and forms of a civilization and the realities of everyday life, masses of men are paralyzed by the discrepancy so that before the old faith they first grow numb, then apathetic, then questioning if not disdainful. They simply by-pass in one degree or another, what no longer corresponds to their reality. It has lost its power to inspire lives. This happens even if they continue outwardly to conform to the old ways. This is the real crisis of the West and the point at which, across a No Man’s Land of apathy, it confronts itself.

I would submit that the present era of reaction is purely that — reaction for its own sake rather than the social revolution seeking to reclaim the institutions from the authoritarian grip of the political left. We move cautiously and timidly to the tune of opinion polling. Meanwhile, our children and grandchildren are taught to hold the values that made America great in open contempt, while those who claim to adhere to these values in the public square couldn’t articulate them if they tried. If they did, they would be digitally stoned — cancelled, ruined financially, branded as racist — in such a way that no one would seek to imitate their example.

Mediocrity triumphs.

All because men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.

We Were Promised Student Vouchers; Start With Public Education

To bend all of this back to Virginia politics and our as-yet unfinished General Assembly session, the institutions are licking their chops at yet another anodyne budget that will continue to fuel our slow-cycle demise.

Even on the very minor reforms reflected on Youngkin’s education agenda, the unelected institutions are wholesale and with near unanimity at sixes-and-sevens with Governor Youngkin on even the low-level common-sense changes such as tip-lines (perfectly fine for Northam; not so good for Youngkin), removing CRT and getting rid of gender ideology in the classroom.

To wit? Superintendents who quibble with the circular letter criticizing Youngkin’s education agenda didn’t even have the moral courage to put their names in print, as if Chambers and Solzhenitsyn didn’t see that one coming.

Is it becoming more clear now?

Of the seven institutions, the political left owns five (media, bureaucracy, academia, entertainment, education) while conservatives have one (military + first responders) and are struggling to keep the other (churches). All the political left has to do is make the steal more expensive than it is worth and run out the clock, knowing that they aren’t facing a revolution in thought but a mere reaction they can wait out like any high tide.

One can see the play as Virginia’s unelected bureaucrats revert to the familiar playbook of Massive Resistance when it comes to improving and restoring public education to the actual role of leading forth rather than babysitting. Virginia’s media outlets are in near unanimity, pouring on the disdain and contempt for even attempting to touch the third rail in any meaningful form. Academia is wary if allergic to any changes. Yet Republicans who were in overdrive in November are finding the will to fight a bit elusive as the Democrats are coming to realize something very important.

They own the institutions in Virginia. They know that if they can keep their fingernails clawed into their overreach that time will normalize the absurd. After all, as the late Hunter S. Thompson said:

[W]e’re living in chaotic times. What can I say, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

They know precisely where to attack too. Not on conviction or gravitas. Not against a similarly galvanized movement or idea.

But polling numbers. Popularity. Are you liked?

Virginia Democrats are starting to call our bluff realizing no one is going to martyr themselves in the public square for a fraction of what we claim to believe. Some might try to build a name temporarily screaming into the void, but no one is going to risk their careers much less their future political prospects in the face of a repressive media and the blue checkmarks on Twitter.

In short, Virginia Democrats are measuring our resolve and finding it wanting — and they are calling us out on it. Pace Burke, all that is required for mediocrity to triumph is for good men to desire being liked.

Are they right?

One instinctively doubts this, though Chambers and Solzhenitsyn both believed that the idea of the West would never be revived until there was a spiritual regeneration in the things good, beautiful and true — things the late philosopher Roger Scruton hammered home and was promptly cancelled in doing so. Which means Scruton offers insights so worth exploring, the left wants to make sure you never read much less act upon sentiments such as these:

The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay. They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.

In short, the West would have to find something to fight and bleed for that wasn’t just crass consumerism and polling numbers.

Maybe DeSantis is showing us the way.

Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia. This column has been republished with permission from The Republican Standard.

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40 responses to “Virginia Dems Sense Blood In The Water”

  1. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Caramba!! Deep state Dems burrowed into the political politicosystem of the Commonwealth. Anti-wokeists unite!! John Henry Cardinal Newman could hardly have authored such an apologia as this. Gobsmacking.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    “the left wants to make sure you never read much less act upon sentiments such as these:

    The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay. They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.”

    If this is the way that Conservatives “think”, God help us!

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Uh, “guns and Bibles” for short.

  3. VaNavVet Avatar

    Kenney piles hyperbole on top of hyperbole in an attempt to advance his narrative. Politicians are always motivated by polls because they are most concerned about their own re-election or political future. It is extremely doubtful that Gov Youngkin or any other Republicans in the Commonwealth would choose to die on the hill of Kenney’s creating.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    It’s not “blood in the water”. It’s water in the blood. It’s always been a bloodbath. It’s the weakness of Republicans that they have none.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    Something along the lines of ” we are right and righteous , to hell with democracy and stupid polls that reflect how the governed voters feel”

    old school! VERY! sorta like Russian old school! Give me a fake god-fearing autocrat not a feckless poll-watching politician!

  6. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Gee, Youngkin has been in office barely two months and already Shaun is lamenting his weakness and “mediocrity”! As for those “unelected” institutions standing in the way of Republicans and God, the biggest obstacle has been the Virginia Senate, which is certainly elected. Then there are those pesky elected boards of supervisors, city councils, and school boards.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      “Parents” can and do elect school boards as well as BOS. Conservatives have pretty much always said that the govt that is closest to the people is the best – except when it comes to the GOP winning the Govenorship by 2% or some guy named DeSantis acting like an autocrat comes along.

      This really does give insight into how Conservatives would LIKE to govern given free rein. Mr. Kenney very much reveals than tendency. He seems disappointed that Youngkin is not like DeSantis. I’d point out that DeSantis did not start out this way and Youngkin has time to evolve especially if the Va GOP can win the Senate.

  7. Lefty665 Avatar

    Sometimes the way to resolve issues is revealed by looking at them through a different frame.

    More than 3/4 of the country is made up of working class and poor people. The Dems rejected that majority as its base in the early ‘70s in favor of the elites who have been running both the Dem and Repub parties pretty much since then.

    An embrace of populism is what enabled Trump’s victory over Hillary.
    Anti-populism in the form of identity politics and woke racism fueled an even narrower victory of Biden over Trump. There is a populist opportunity to defeat the elites, but it will require a politician with less personal baggage than Trump.

    Populism in this country goes back a long way, all the way back to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. More recently the election of 1896 illustrates the issues.

    Prairie Populism as embodied by William Jennings Bryan was ascendant. The elites of the time, the robber barons, the Carnegies, the Mellons, the Rockefellers were able to defeat populism by driving a wedge between the black and white farmers at the heart of the populist movement.

    The next populist campaign was more successful. It was FDRs victory in ‘32. He beat the anti-populist elites by forging a coalition of working class and poor people that ran the country for around 40 years.

    We can see the anti-populist tactic at work in 2020 with the elites deployment of identity politics, woke racism, BLM, et al. Divide and conquer, and they did. They were helped by Trump who actively ran voters off. Barr’s comments the other day that he warned Trump he was going to lose because of his repeated uncontrolled outbursts that antagonized voters were right.

    Identity politics is at best a path to a profoundly narrow victory. It took a Supreme Court decision to put Duhbya in office in ‘00. Hillary narrowly lost in ‘16 and Biden even more narrowly won in ‘20. The path to substantial majorities is populism, and FDR is the model.

    There are indications that populist resistance to elitism is gaining ground today. It was embodied in Younkin’s victory over McAuliffe against the background of elitist dysfunction both in the White House and Congress.

    It seems likely that Youngkin’s path to continuing success in Virginia is to stay committed to his embrace of populism, as illustrated by his advocacy of parents over educational bureaucracies. That will not be easy, but maintaining a widespread base opposed to institutionalized elites could provide him a mandate to govern successfully.

    A similar approach could prevail nationally by attracting ¾ or more of the country. As odd a couple as Repubs and populists are, the Dems abandonment of their populist base has created an opportunity.

    The question is do the Repubs want to embrace it? To do that they need to get shed of Trump, he is so profoundly personally flawed that he will lose, presuming that the Dems run a candidate even marginally better than Hillary, a soft in the head geezer or a brain dead virtue signal.

    The old Chinese curse is may you live in interesting times. I believe we are.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Do you think when the Dem passed the ACA and Medicaid Expansion, it was for the “elites”?’

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith


        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          really? working people Walter. Got affordable health insurance. elites?

          and add:

          the child tax credit
          credit for dependent care
          credit for low income
          credit for education tuition
          credit for retirement savings
          social security and Medicare

          working folks…

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – what has happened to the price of medical care and the price of education ever since the government “helped?” I am sorry to ask you an open-minded question that requires thought.
            Hey, remember if you like your plan you can keep your plan? Remember bending the cost curve?
            Hmmmm what happened?
            Now who has benefitted from that?
            Have you seen Anthem stock price? United’s?
            And private practices got gobbled up to go into medical systems and then the medical systems dictate treatment protocols, and patients suffer from doctors not being allowed to practice medicine.
            And if you dare save lives contrary to orthodoxy, the government powers try to take away your license.
            What is the real price of any medical treatment? Was the removal of a brain tumor $18,000, but only $7,000 because I had Anthem?
            “Affordable” health insurance isn’t, and it is all because of government “help.”
            You know we ended up with employer paid healthcare and payroll withholding?

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Getting medical treatment as opposed to not and not going bankrupt from health care costs is a plus no matter how you cut it.

            people live longer because they have health care.

            even your employer-provided ia a govt benefit but now even folks who don’t have employer-provided can get insured.

            Helping people care for their kids. Public education. Child care credits. College loans and education credits.

            All of these help the working class. No two ways about it.

            Not exactly the ‘elite” foolishness that is cited.

            people KNOW which party really helps the working class and middle class.

            The GOP opposed Medicare originally but now they’re too cowardly to do it because they know they’d get booted if they did. Not exactly “elite”.

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Yeah…that inflation sure is helping the poor people…
            And so are 2 million new illegals to lower real wages. Way to go Team Larry! Woohoo! Maybe we can start a World War now and hope all you rubes will forget about defund the police, masking kids, gov’t overreach….
            Larry – how did people survive before our all benevolent government started to help?
            How did your ancestors live?

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            there you go conflating the heck out of everything… again…

            walter, life expectancy in 1930 was 58 for men and 62 for women. 20% had a high school education and less than 5% had a college education.

            Govt efforts at public education and health care got us to where we are today.

            Other countries have done even better – because of govt-supported education and health care.

            plenty of 3rd world countries still have life expectancy and educational attainment that we had in the 1930s.

            Name a country that has had that success without the govt involvement.

            there are none.

          5. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – I’m glad for you that government is your god. Our country would be far better, medical care better, education cheaper and better without so much government “help.”
            Our illustrious government is even screwing up the military now. De Tocqueville found Americans quite enlightened without the help of the government. The federalization of everything is the problem. Smaller would be better. Except for you and your government-loving friends – more opportunity for graft and sucking on the federal teat (even though the “help” harms). But you say you care about the poor!

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            Name a country that has done better on these issues without the govt.

            Name a country that has done better for the poor without govt involvement.

          7. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – government is a necessary evil. We would be doing better without so much government “help” currently. Is it possible in all your love of the government and belief in its great benevolence, that maybe it has caused market disruptions? Maybe it would be better to get rid of the one size fits all mentality and allow more freedom? Is it just a coincidence that education and medical costs have risen at 4X inflation? Lemme see if I can name a government help that hasn’t been screwed up…
            Social Security? How’s that one doing? Yeah, real good pension managers there.
            War on poverty? We’ve spent how many trillions and… Unless you count increasing the illegitimacy rates for blacks AND whites as a good thing… But that leads to more crime, so then you Libs complain about incarcerating black teens, but it was your policy of subsidizing illegitimacy that made it worse.
            Is a UVA degree worth what it once was? Besides getting a crappier, Marxist education in Womyns’ Studies or Queer Theory, you also pay far, far more in real terms to not get a job. Good job libs! But your academic smart people, who voted 94% for SlowJoe, get paid a helluva lot, while advocating for raising the minimum wage, but not lowering theirs. (And they love to virtue signal with all the endowment money they control…) The people who love Marxism so much don’t actually practice it…looking at Fauxcahontas and Bernie!

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            so you did not name a single country that is better off… and virtually ALL developed countries have some version of social security.

            Before Social Security- 37% of American seniors lived in poverty.

            If voters agreed with you, we’d get rid of these programs, right? Obviously you’re not in the majority on this. People LIKE their social security.

          9. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Yes, clearly insurance companies benefited from the ACA – a gift to Conservative Blue Dog Democrats – you remember those guys, right…?. Should have gone with the public option…!!

          10. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Yeah…only Blue Dog corruptocrats benefited…
            It was designed to fail to lead to the public option. That’s the Dem playbook. Identify a “problem.” Magnify and make it worse and scare people and institute a solution that makes it worse so that more “reform” is necessary to fix the problem you created…repeat until fully under Commie control.

          11. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            You, of course, wanted to do nothing… I would have been (and still am) fine with a single payer… but the Conservatives wanted to protect the insurance companies at all cost!!

          12. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            As usual, you don’t know what you are talking about. I want the government to get out of the way and a free market to increase transparency, increase competition, lower costs and improve services. Have you looked at the grocery store competition in Richmond? Pretty amazing. Let’s start MediFood and screw it all up.

          13. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            The “free market” was bankrupting 500,000 Americans each year just because they got sick…. Conservatives were given multiple opportunities to address the issue. They chose not to and it was only getting worse. Conservatives demanded protections for the insurance companies and killed the public option. I wish we could have joined the rest of the developed world… but alas… Conservatives had other ideas…

          14. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            We didn’t then, and even more don’t now, have anywhere near a market in medical care. This is the Dem process – create fear of a problem, enact/mandate a solution, make it worse, do more Marxist stuff, repeat until destroyed.
            Life is hard. Some people go bankrupt from really bad things happening. Some screw up. Charity would be better than screwing up the whole system.

          15. The “free market” in healthcare didn’t bankrupt anyone… because there is no free market in health care. Healthcare is the most heavily regulated sector of the economy outside of education. Healthcare is a classic case of failed government policy.

          16. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “Free Market” does no mean no regulations. There were regulation prior to ACA but nowhere near after. Nonetheless, 500,000 people a year were driven into bankruptcy because of medical illness and associated bills and that is not true now. Conservatives had their chances and offered no solutions even after ACA was passed and they regained control of all three bodies. Really, you all have no authority at all on this topic. You failed our entire country and Dems provided a solution (albeit imperfect).

          17. Let’s see what the U.S. healthcare system looks like after the federal government slides into insolvency.

          18. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Again, if Conservatives think that our federal government is headed that way because of our healthcare system, you would think they would have more to offer than “free market”…. still not offering any alternative… alas…

          19. LarrytheG Avatar

            Conservatives basically have no real answers (like pointing to some other countries). They basically say that the current existing systems are’failures” (just like they also do with public education).

            There are no countries in the world that have true free-market systems except for 3rd world.

            Govt-sponsored healthcare is the hallmark of developed countries – just as Public Education is.

          20. LarrytheG Avatar

            that’s a really lame come-back JAB. That’s your stock answer! How do other countries – developed countries do “health care” . They going broke also?

          21. LarrytheG Avatar

            Consider all the other developed countries in the world. Would you consider their healthcare systems as “failed” when they cost less than ours AND they have longer life expectancies!

            Name a country that has better health care without the govt ……than the ones that have healthcare by the govt.

            You boys JAB , ya’ll live in LA LA Land on this issue.

            The only countries that have “true” free market health care are 3rd world.

      2. Lefty665 Avatar

        The ACA does do something for people, but they’re fourth in line as vehicles for the elites profits. Plus people get to pay for the profits.

        Here’s how it went down:

        February ’09 Obama cut a deal with PHRMA to deal home to the pharmaceutical industry and protect it from competitive bidding and reimportation.

        March ’09 Obama cut a deal with providers to protect them from price controls and to protect their profits.

        April ’09 Obama cut a deal with insurers that guaranteed them the profits from managing the care of more than 30 million new insureds.

        Obama and the Dems then spent the next year beating back public options and Medicare for all proposals. Then Obama added insult to injury by pushing back implementation for years.

        So yeah, ACA did do some good for some people, but mostly as vehicles for the elites to profit from.

        Remember that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were programs of the old New Deal populist Dems before they were kicked to the curb.

        The new Dems will throw bones to the masses every now and then to curry their votes, but the big money and lust goes to the elites, and has for nearly 50 years. Some folks are just a little slow to catch on.

        Real average income in the US has not increased since the late ’70s, shortly after the Dems abandoned their New Deal populist base. Coincidence or causality? Doesn’t much matter, either way it sucks and the people lost their advocates. Most of the country for 3 generations has been screwed, and the future is not looking any better.

        We will see if the Repubs can pick up the populist pieces, or if they manage to boot the opportunity.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          How about the Medicaid Expansion? for the elites?

          And if you talk to folks who have the ACA, they get quality insurance for very reasonable premiums. These are folks who could not get insurance at all or just crap insurance.

          This is not the only thing that Dems have done for the working class and working poor.

          The Dems have protected Social Security and Medicare from Conservatives who wanted to privatize both.

          The Dems voted to provide child tax credits, credits for child care so they could work, credits for college tuition as well as Pell Grants and more.

          In fact, Conservatives claim that the Dems provide “goodies” so folks will vote for them.

          That’s pretty counter-intuitive to catering to”elites” IMHO.

          The people who benefit from these know they did not come from Conservatives or GOP.

          1. Lefty665 Avatar

            Medicaid is a New Deal populist program authorized under title XIX of the Social Security Act at the same time as Medicare in 1965.

            Joe Biden as VP, at Obama’s direction, tried to gut Social Security. We were only saved because the Repubs would not take “yes” for an answer. You are on very thin ice claiming the Dems have “protected” SS.

            All politicians spread goodies around to cozen voters and to pay off the elites who they work for. The $1.5T Dem sponsored bill only last week provided billions in pork and is the most recent example. Schumer alone took home 142 earmarks worth over $100M. Altogether there were over 4,000 earmarks.

            You will get no argument from me that the ACA has benefited people otherwise without health insurance. My point was that individual benefits were almost incidental to further fattening the fat cat elites at PHRMA, providers and insurers. Obama took care of them before lifting a finger for individuals who he actively prevented from getting either a public option or Medicare for all.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Medicaid Expansion. where did that come from? And you’ll have to convince me with some valid llinks about your claim about Biden trying to gut SS. The Dems created SS and have fought off repeated attempts by the GOP over the years to kill it. The ACA included both the markeplace and the Medicaid Expansion that virtually all GOP opposed and one vote from one of them saved it. The bigger point here is that before the ACA, millions of people who worked full time but had no insurance because their employers did not offer it. That’s not exactly the “elite’constituency that has been claimed here, clearly not true! BTW, it took way more than “Obama” to get the ACA approved and in place and the opponents to it are well known and it was not Dems.

          3. Lefty665 Avatar

            Why does it not surprise me that you’ve not been paying attention? Remember “Chained CPI”? That was Obama’s attempt to gut SS cost of living increases, and it was Biden’s job to execute it with the Repubs. Fortunately he failed at that just like so many other things. It was Richmond’s own Eric Cantor who would not take “yes” for an answer. That was one of the few things we could thank him for too.

            We turned Virginia “Blue” in ’08 and in addition provided Obama with a filibuster proof majority in the Senate with the election of Jim Webb over “Macaccaaaa” George Allen, as well as elected a large majority in the House. Obama did not do squat with either. His stimulus was about 1/3 the size it needed to be to benefit people, but it did great for the stock market. He stalled for well over a year to pass ACA because congress critters kept introducing public option and Medicare for All amendments that he had to beat down to protect the elites he had cut deals with.

            The Dems undoubtedly have done some good things for people in the last 50 years, but that pales in comparison with what they have done for the elites they have sold out to. Think Hillary’s 3/4 of a million dollars for 3 speeches to Goldman Sachs. You are in fantasy land if you believe the Dems have been dedicated to helping people in recent decades.

            For the 3rd time, my point is that the Dems long ago abandoned their New Deal populist base. The question is whether the Repubs will figure out how to embrace it or whether both parties will remain in thrall to the elites..

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            No it wasn’t. It was a valid approach to looking at how much COLA to pay. And it certainly did not “GUT” SS by any way, shape or from. To claim that is just plain dishonest.

            For the third time, you evade the fact that Dems have provided benefits for the working man to include both ACA insurance and the Medicaid Expansion and more.

            No “elite”. That too is misrepresenting the facts but it’s par for the course with some folks these days. Just keep saying things that are not true – to further false narratives.

  8. Virginia Dems Sense Blood In The Water

    Then again, maybe it’s chum…

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