Monday, September 10, 2012

Reflections upon the DNC 2012

Clinton speaks at Convention

It was a great convention. I was convinced. Of course I've been convinced all along. I like Anne Ricard's Daughter, Cecile. She tried to re create the folksy touch of her mother back there in the 80s when she stunned the convention with her use of Texanisms. She said "that dog wont hunt" and the convention went wild. Cecile's contribution, "if Romney helps me any more I'll have to take in ironing." Good solid Texanism but greeted with mild laughter. The governor of Montana used "that dog wont hunt" (stealing our folksy sayings) and used it as a call and response kind of thing got the coward worked up, all together now "that dog wont hunt." Clinton's speech was brilliant and wonderful. "People are always asking me what magic I used to get down the deficient I tell them one word, arithmetic." Michelle's speech was brilliant and moving. There was a fine film of Edward Kennedy and a couple of Kennedys on hand (Caroline and Robert's grand son Joe III).

One of the most striking and ruder realities was the reaction of the press trying to spin the convention away from the bounce. Every single commentator I heard after Clinton's speech said "no speaker at the convention directly faced the question 'are you better off now than you were four years ago.'" That is ludicrous and it is a lie. Every single speaking, every one said clearly and directly "hell yes we are better off now than we were four years ago." They did say it too because I noticed it and I kept tack. One major difference Romney used the version that says "are YOU better off." The dems used the version "are WE better off?" they answered decisively "yes." Here the press lies about it. Biden's answer was "Ben Ladin is dead and GM is alive." Biden's speech was rousing and moving too. He does repeat himself too much. The speakers of those four days brought out a vast of array of things Obama has done that make us better off than we would have been. No it's not perfect and if allowed to continue Obama is not finished. He laid out a plan for major continued work to bring jobs, create economic growth and save failing programs like medicare. Now that he knows the pitfalls of trying to something he can better deal with it. The Republican strategy is hasten the failure of social programs and then make the rich richer.

No one was better and bring out the triumphs of Obama's record than former President Bill Clinton. As he put it "here's the Republican argument in a nut shell: we gave him a huge mess to clean up, he didn't clean it up fast enough, so put us back in." Of course the elephant (pun intended) in the room is the employment mess. This elephant was talked about. The stimulus program did have one major draw back, because they didn't foresee the fact that would want to destroy it. States like Texas put the money into programs that already existed, and so didn't create many jobs. The next phase will be administrated better. Yet the stimulus package did have an effect. It did not produced he major solution and create full employment, it did create two million jobs and without unemployment would be nearing 10% now. The day after convention it was seen that unemployment has come down from 8.3% before the convention to 8.1%. Of course that's the lag time in reporting not that they did than in four days. Without the program we would be a lot worse off. But the big benefit it was supposed to bring was watered down by ineffective state administration and big increase in unemployment that was already the result of ripple effects from the Bush era.

Obama was given the bank bail out as a continuation of a Bush policy. A lot of pundits and talking heads have said we shouldn't have done the bail out. The republican trickle down spinners have said "O those were failing companies, the banks, just let them fail." That's ok for the 1% and their servants to say that. How many average people were willing to wake up a couple of days latter and find none of their money was any good? The major banks would have filed immediately as soon as they knew there was no relief. The small local banks and credit unions would have started closing like dominoes. I was the first to say Obama should have nationalized the banks. That's easy to say but it probalby would have gotten him shot. If the Republicans say he was is a communist or trying Bob Dole's medical care program can you imagine what they would say if he nationalized banks? He had to do the bail out and it took guts. It put a floor under the fall and saved the economic system.

He also saved the auto industry. That would have been another two million jobs down the drain in addition to the two million that would have been created with no stimulus package. We are clearly better off as a nation with him in. One of the first things he did that never get's talked about is pass the Lilly Ledbetter act

111th Congress, 2009–2010

A bill to amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and to modify the operation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under such Acts occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, and for other purposes.

Jan 08, 2009
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]

for 50 years people talked about equal pay for equal work and Obama made it a reality. Ledbetter spoke at the convention. She's practically force of nature.

The health care issue is extremely important. Doubed "Obama care" as a mark of derision but anyone who has any kind of medical issue can tell you we need something. The voucher system* Romney supports is designed to limit care for the elderly and to kill off medicare. Then rhetoric about getting rich and the sanctity of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. The "Obama care" is also called "take over" which is extremely silly since it's handing the insurance companies the uninsured on a silver platter. What is it taking over? It's making sure the private companies that dominate health care now, and that run the cost up seven times the rate of other prices, will continue to dominate even more. How is that a government take over? Taking away medicare and putting in a lame voucher system to limit care for the elderly is not taking over?

Now of course that was rhetoric at a convention so we can expect it to be somewhat flawed. says it's muddy but essentially Sebeilius is both half right and half wrong. The figure she tags for Romney plan costing the elderly $6,400 is based upon an old plan. She's right there could be a shortfall for those under 55 who have the "preium support" ("voucher") between the premium and the cost of care.

Sebelius recycled an old number about an outdated Republican plan when she said, "Republicans would give seniors a voucher that limits what's covered, costing seniors as much as $6,400 more a year."

She’s right that a shift to paying a defined amount for seniors to buy their own insurance essentially offers them a voucher. But the Republicans’ Medicare exchange with market-based premium support payments would offer more protection than a pure voucher. And we simply don’t have enough details about that new plan to know how much extra money seniors might have to pay for traditional Medicare. We rate her full statement Half True.
Ok so they have more protection than a voucher but still not enough. Not as much as they get with the health care reforms. We need all we can get. They are testing it agaisnt a hypothetical voucher system when all we have to do is look at the reality of health care to know any short fall in aid limits care. The Republican rhetoic that Obama "stole" from medicare for "Obama care" and that he took money out of the system was effectively disproved by Clinton.

There's a good discuss about that on NPR

HORSLEY: The president's health care law does reduce Medicare spending by more than $700 billion over the next decade. But that savings is supposed to come from insurance companies, hospitals, drug makers and the like, not from cutting basic services to the 48 million Americans who are on Medicare.

HORSLEY: Romney has promised to undo the president's health care law, and put that $700 billion-plus back into Medicare....

But doing away with Obamacare would also mean getting rid of some special help for seniors, says Medicare expert Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

TRICIA NEUMAN: The other thing that was in the health reform law were provisions that actually improved coverage by expanding the prescription drug benefit in the Donut Hole.

HORSLEY: Mr. Obama told supporters in Iowa this week that measure is already saving money for millions of seniors who take pricey prescription drugs. The president's also sparring with Republicans over how to handle future Medicare for people retiring at least a decade from now.

The real sense that I came away with is the striking difference that the Republicans are about individual's getting richer and leaving behind anyone can't claw his way to the top. The Democrats are about working together to pull everyone up. Tirckle down vs rising tide lifts all boats.

*is it fair to call it "voucher?" That's the term the Democrats give it to mock it, the Republicans call it "Premium support" to dignify it. Several fact checker pages say "voucher system" does describe it.

No comments:

Post a Comment