LBJ Medicare meme still applicable today

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    • #342692
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 14,744

      Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '"I'll spend the goddamn money. I may cut back some tanks. But not health." -President Lyndon B. Johnson 55 years ago, LBJ signed Medicare into law. Let's carry on that legacy by improving Medicare and expandingit to cover everyone.'

      How far the Democratic Party has sunk.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #342717
      lownslow
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      • Total Posts: 475

      I was not aware of this quote. Good find ohio

    • #342957
      Jim Lane
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      • Total Posts: 456

      @ohiobarbarian

      He had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, but he didn’t even bring Medicare for All to a vote.

      I thought that having helped millions of people was trifling in the face of the damning criticism that he didn’t demand everything immediately, and didn’t even bring hopeless bills to a vote.

    • #343008
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 14,744

      @jimlane In 2009, I really do think a public option could have been signed into law. All Obama had to do was to get all of your precious Democrats on board, and if not, then Obama could have led a charge to primary them. LBJ, if memory serves, was still able to get some liberal Republican votes because such interesting political creatures still existed, and the Dixiecrats were just a couple of years away from becoming rightwing Republicans.

      I know for a fact that LBJ thought he would be able to get Medicare-for-All through in his second term, but he fucked that up with his Vietnam policy. He knew it, too.

      The main difference, however, is that LBJ actually wanted Medicare to pass, while Obama never wanted a public option in the first place. His campaign promises were mostly lies from the very beginning, and his efforts to make a grand bargain with the Republicans to gut Social Security for his bankster sponsors show that he, and Joe Biden, are absolutely contemptible when compared to Lyndon Johnson from any kind of leftist perspective.

      And that is the point.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #343257
      Jim Lane
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      • Total Posts: 456

      @ohiobarbarian

      Why didn’t any of the Democrats think of that? Oh, wait – they did. Lieberman was up for re-election in 2006. He faced a challenger from the left, Ned Lamont, who attacked him on issues like his support for the Iraq War and for privatizing Social Security. Lamont defeated Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Lamont became the Democratic Party nominee in the general election.

      Unfortunately, Connecticut didn’t have the “sore loser” law that, in many states, would have barred Lieberman from taking a second bite at the apple. Lieberman created the Connecticut for Lieberman Party and was on the ballot on its line in November. Even people like Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Harry Reid endorsed Lamont, the Democratic candidate, but Lieberman won anyway.

      In 2008, Lieberman not only endorsed John McCain, but gave a speech on McCain’s behalf at the Republican National Convention.

      You write that, in the health care struggle of 2010, “All Obama had to do was to get all of your precious Democrats on board….” Obama couldn’t even get Lieberman on board in the presidential election. What magic wand do you suggest he could have used on health care? A primary, you say? That was tried in 2006. In 2012, the next opportunity, it was a dead-level certainty that Lieberman would again be primaried; seeing the writing on the wall, he announced his (long-overdue) retirement.

      Incidentally, Lieberman was not one of my “precious Democrats”. I was living in NYC in 2006, and I went to Connecticut to leaflet for the actual Democrat, Ned Lamont. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.

    • #343310
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 14,744

      @jimlane You know as well as I do what the answer is. You keep saying I equate D’s and R’s. At the fundamental level, I stand by that because both parties believe in capitalism being the dominant economic system while I do not. They are different on a few social issues and on which ones throw more crumbs to which peasants, but that’s not enough to get me to vote for the D’s.

      And, once again, you ignore the main point of my reply, which is that Obama never wanted a public option in the first place. He was opposed to it from the beginning. He’s the one who took it off the table before the first committee hearing. Then the Democrats and Independent I most respected, including Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders, broke their word to the voters by voting for the ACA when they had promised to vote against anything that didn’t have a public option.

      Sherrod Brown was one of those Democrats. I still remember him tearfully explaining his Yes vote, justifying it with Medicaid expansion. Bernie and Dennis did much the same, though without the tears. In short, they lied. I think they should have stuck to their guns and voted it down, for that showed that when push came to shove they would bend the knee. You obviously don’t and will use a don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good argument.

      In any case, it’s too late now. There could easily be 40 million Americans made homeless in the next couple of months. When enough people think that the system, and the republic, have completely failed them, there’s going to be a real revolution, whether you or I want one or not. Stay safe.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #343533
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 456

      @ohiobarbarian

      If people like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown had voted against the ACA, do you think we’d have Medicare for All now?  No, we would not.  We’d have a lot of fucking personal bankruptcies and a lot of fucking corpses, that’s what we’d have — bankruptcies and corpses that the ACA (the imperfect, not M4A ACA) prevented.

      You write, “And, once again, you ignore the main point of my reply, which is that Obama never wanted a public option in the first place.”

      I didn’t ignore it. I answered it. You just don’t like my answer.

      To spell it out, here’s one view of the facts: Obama wanted a public option. He and Harry Reid could count votes, however. They knew they couldn’t get a bill through without Lieberman’s support. Lieberman, in the pocket of the big insurance companies who were a major presence in Hartford, didn’t want a public option. He said so. He meant it. Therefore, Obama and Reid decided to take what they could get, and they managed to enact a bill that benefited millions of people. Oh, and they enacted it over the unanimous opposition of the Republicans in the House and the Republicans in the Senate.

      Your view, as I understand it, is far more complicated. Obama, having called for a public option, secretly opposed it. There was a secret arrangement with Lieberman whereby he would position himself as the stumbling block.

      I said that my version was the one favored by Occam’s Razor. I also pointed out that your approach is immune to refutation. Regardless of what the Democrats say or do, you can concoct some theory about behind-the-scenes conniving, and there’s no set of facts that can’t be explained away. I might as well try to convince some people that the moon landing really happened.

      You are, of course, correct that neither major party favors a wholesale dismantling of capitalism and its replacement with full-on socialism. The Democrats do favor some socialism, having enacted Medicare over Republican opposition, and even the Republicans don’t dare call openly for its repeal or for abolishing public schools.  Nevertheless, it’s correct to say that neither party is a socialist party. On that basis, you say that they can be equated at a fundamental level. Well, those two parties plus the Greens and the Socialists and the Libertarians and whatever other fringe groups you care to mention all oppose the imposition of Sharia law by federal decree. I guess some Islamic fundamentalists would say that therefore all those parties can be equated.

      As I said, we’ve been here before. Are the two major parties significantly alike in some ways, or are they significantly different in some ways? It’s not inconsistent to answer “Yes” to both those alternatives. You can certainly point out the parties’ similarities. That’s no reason for wilfully ignoring their differences on subjects like the ACA and the Trump tax cut.

    • #343619
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 14,744

      @jimlane I do not believe that Obama ever wanted a public option. I believe he lied from the very beginning, and he continues to lie to this day. Did you hear Michelle’s first podcast? Both of them saying that millennials are not engaged in politics because government has “no marketing arm,” because millennials know more about their breakfast cereals than what government does because government “doesn’t have a jingle.”

      And they wonder why they are despised. Despised enough that millennials didn’t turn out to vote for their legacy candidate, Hillary Clinton, and despised by older generations to the point that they elected Donald Trump. Barack Obama is the one person most responsible for Donald Trump. Trump is Obama’s legacy, much as the Civil War is James Buchanan’s.

      Barack Obama was a failed president whose policies led directly to the failed state that we are living in now. He has plenty of presidential, congressional, and judicial company, and there is plenty of blame to go round, but he failed both the American people and what was left of the American Republic. The same applies to his political party. We can debate over how much worse Republicans are, but that no longer matters now, in a time of political failure, economic collapse, and sharp imperial decline.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

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