October 31, 2013

Are Republicans following a "don't be mean" strategy, and — if so — is a good strategy?

Yesterday Rush Limbaugh was complaining about the Republicans in Congress not going after Kathleen Sebelius.
She was sent out there today to absorb every bit of damage... but I don't know that the Republicans did much damage.

It's like they're afraid to. It's like there's still a fear of going after Obama, or going after Sebelius, just from the consultant level of the party or whoever's running the Republican Party. There seems to be some instruction that's gone out from on high to back off. "Don't even get close to making it look like it's personal! Don't be mean!... don't be critical, 'cause this thing's imploding itself, and it'll go down"...
But isn't that a good strategy for the GOP? Stand back and let Obamacare topple on its own. Don't give the Democrats the opportunity to blame Republicans or to distract people with their old go-to strategy: Portraying Republicans as mean.

Rush would prefer Republicans getting aggressive. Sebelius is "clearly the punching bag." "She's a sponge. She's supposed to soak it up and smile and take it." Riiight. Punching the 65-year-old lady is the way to go. Seems to me that if they sent her out there to be a "punching bag" (or sponge!) they were hoping Republicans would take hard enough shots to make her sympathetic. Which she so far is not.

Obviously, though, avoiding anything that anyone can ever call mean is a hopelessly ineffectual approach to a competition. Interestingly enough, it's something that has traditionally impeded females. And it's not even a good way to avoid meanness, this fear of being perceived as mean.

Years ago, my sons and I overheard a young girl yelling — over and over to someone who must have called her mean — "I don't want to be mean!" For years, in our house, we'd use that line "I don't want to be mean!" for various humorous purposes. Why are some people so shaken up, so manipulated by the horrible possibility that they might be mean?

So what should the congressional Republicans be doing? How to be effectual without fueling the other side's "Republicans are mean" game?

69 comments:

Julius Reincarnate said...

This is a symptom of the underlying disease: Republicans have no fundamental beliefs on which to base a strategy.

Do they want big government or small government? Do they stand for fiscal responsibility? Transparency? They're all over the map! These are the guys that voted for massive military adventures and carte-blanche domestic spying. They supported the expansion of entitlement programs. They want to cut taxes and still keep the spending up, and let the next generation foot the bill.

Say what you will about Team Obama, at least they have a consistent belief system that underlies their strategy...

Bob Ellison said...

But isn't that a good strategy for the GOP? Stand back and let Obamacare topple on its own.

I keep hearing this refrain. It'll die because it's unfunded, or because it's hypocritical, or because it's badly managed, or because people will grow to dislike it.

No, these things will not kill Obamacare. It's a government program. It will live on, like SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, and so many other underfunded and unproven disasters. Obamacare will live on until we kill it with fire.

Ralph Hyatt said...

Fire alone will not kill the ACA.

Stake it through the heart, cut off the head, stuff the mouth with garlic, and bury it at a crossroads and it MIGHT die, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Curious George said...

"Punching the 65-year-old lady is the way to go."

That **** is no lady. She is just horrible, horrid, person.

And the Democrats didn't "send her out there"...she was called on by Congress.

Larry J said...

Ralph Hyatt said...
Fire alone will not kill the ACA.

Stake it through the heart, cut off the head, stuff the mouth with garlic, and bury it at a crossroads and it MIGHT die, but I wouldn't bet on it.


Correct. When was the last time a major (and this is as major as it gets) government program was killed simply because it didn't work? I'm having a hard time thinking of one. Rather than admit failure, they'll spend whatever amount of money to kludge the system enough to make it appear to be working. However, the website is just the public user interface to the kludged up mess behind the scenes. How do I know it's a kludge? Simple. It was created from requirements derived from a 2000+ page of craptastic legislation and reportedly 8 times as many pages of implementation regulations. It absolutely is a kludge and no amount of sugar coating will make this crap sandwich taste sweet.

Jason said...

Napoleon said 'never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.'

Paco Wové said...

Comment seen at McArdle's:

"progressives are always breaking eggs, but no one ever gets the omelet"

...just had to pass that along, sorry.

Larry J said...

Liberals believe their ideas are go wonderful that they must be compulsory.

Marshal said...

So what should the congressional Republicans be doing?

They should be putting people on screen every day explaining how this is effecting them. And the end of every clip should be the Republican saying we told you Democrats neither knew how to deliver what they were promising nor thought it was important that they know.

Bob Ellison said...

Marshal, you're right.

Here's my story: I've been with Blue Cross for ten years, on the same plan for about the last seven. I've a wife and four sons. Blue Cross sent me a letter saying my policy will end on 12/31/13.

Blue Cross sent me a letter saying my policy will end on 12/31/13.

My youngest son, who has Down Syndrome, is covered under my existing plan. Blue Cross says they cannot offer me a plan that will cover him forward, because he might be eligible for Medicaid.

Blue Cross is swamped with calls, and I don't blame them for that. But their nearest offer to the plan I used to have will cost about 20% more in premiums and raise my co-pay from zero to $30/$70 (primary/specialist). My deductible apparently goes down from $5k to $2k. Yay. The spreadsheet says I still pay much, much more.

And they kicked my son off the plan! They kicked my son off the plan! They kicked my son off the plan! That's by law!

Balfegor said...

Re: Bob Ellison:

No, these things will not kill Obamacare. It's a government program. It will live on, like SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, and so many other underfunded and unproven disasters..

How?

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid all actually worked for decades (well, kind of in the case of Medicaid). They're running out of time now, but there's no reason they couldn't continue on for a good long while with some restructuring (which, yes, Democrats fervently oppose at the moment, but eventually the moderate Democrats will retake power from the loonies in control at the moment.)

In contrast, Obamacare fell flat on its face right out of the gate. And it's a huge struggle for it to get up at all. I look back at what I wrote in April, and if anything, the Administration has proven even more incompetent than I had expected. I thought it wouldn't start falling apart until next year.

rehajm said...

Why are some people so shaken up, so manipulated by the horrible possibility that they might be mean?


Because being seen as mean costs them the election.

Bob Ellison said...

Balfegor, perhaps you haven't noticed that incompetence and underfunding are not fatal to government programs, especially welfare programs.

rhhardin said...

The sponge's ignoble labor enfranchises it.

Bob Ellison said...

And Balfegor, they never worked. They were always underfunded. In private finance, these things would have been declared corrupt and unfounded long ago.

Oso Negro said...

"Punching the 65-year-old lady is the way to go."

Fuck that. She is no 65-year-old lady. She is the head of a government agency in the middle of taking over 16% of the American economy.

Oso Negro said...

And here is another thing. If the compassionate are so deeply concerned about healthcare for the unfortunate, why didn't they simply build charity hospitals, hire people to run them, and leave the rest of us the fuck alone? Or just find an unfortunate sick person and buy them a goddamn doctor visit? It can never be more cheaply done with the government in charge.

rehajm said...

Balfegor, perhaps you haven't noticed that incompetence and underfunding are not fatal to government programs, especially welfare programs.

I'd have to side with Balfegor here- Obamacare isn't like SS or Medicare where the fatal flaw is actuarial math catching up to it on some future date, and it isn't like Rural Electrification or NASA redefining the mission lets it live on. It's hurting people now, will hurt many more in the near future, and the incentives it creates will make it collapse sooner rather than later.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ellison:

Medicare and Social Security ran huge surpluses for many, many years. Sure if you accounted for them under GAAP, they might have been "underfunded," but if you accounted for the government under GAAP, you'd have to assign a valuation to the government's single most valuable asset -- coercive taxation - and how do you do that?

In terms of underfunding, the problems with Obamacare at this point have nothing to do with funding. Their immediate problem is that operationally, an actual thing (the Exchanges) required for the operation of the law does not work. This isn't a funding problem, it's that the law requires people to do a thing that has been rendered practically impossible due to the Administration's incompetence.

They're running up against the hard rocks of reality here -- this isn't something that can be obscured with creative accounting because this isn't a money problem at all.

It might turn into a funding problem next year (or the year after next) when subsidies become an issue for FY 2014, but they haven't even got to that hurdle. People can't get subsidies in large numbers yet because they can't even get on the exchanges.

Martinkh said...

Is this why Obama tends too prefer putting female henchmen into these positions, so that when they are at risk of being exposed as the incompetent, dishonest political hacks that they are, everyone has to bend over backwards to let them off the hook or else be seen as "mean to women"? Feminism at its finest.

Martinkh said...

Is this why Obama tends too prefer putting female henchmen into these positions, so that when they are at risk of being exposed as the incompetent, dishonest political hacks that they are, everyone has to bend over backwards to let them off the hook or else be seen as "mean to women"? Feminism at its finest.

Broomhandle said...

"That **** is no lady. She is just horrible, horrid, person"

This. She's a willing stooge in harming huge numbers of innocent people. First against the wall when the revolution comes.

frang 8c said...

if shoe was on other foot and we had gop cabinet member being grilled by dems in House, would they be nice?I thought so...next ?

BobDD said...

I also think they should work in almost every sound bite the irregular partisan vote and the Nebraska 'Purchase' (exemption).

Broomhandle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...

just did a quick scan through the comments and didnt' see any "spongeworthy" jokes.

Why is everyone so serious?

rhhardin said...

Rush has become unlistenable in parts.

Stuff about his book, stuff about the founding of the nation, and most callers.

That's what the mute button is for.

I turn it back on when I remember to.

Larry J said...

Josey Wales: Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is.

Sorun said...

The inability to criticize (or ridicule) women and minorities in top level positions makes the government even less accountable than it already was.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Say what you will about Team Obama, at least they have a consistent belief system that underlies their strategy..."

Yeah. A consistent belief system called Totalitarianism.


PB Reader said...

I don't think performing your oversight responsibility and asking the head of HHS to defend herself and her organization to be bullying or inappropriate.

They did a lot of things wrong, and it would be malfeasance to let them try and fix things on their own without coming clean and stating exactly what they're changing, and being more transparent.

it is not sufficient to let them stand on their "commitment" to divulge enrollment numbers in mid November. Given the crisis nature of the problem and the ease with which these numbers are able to be obtained, it is reasonable to expect these numbers by the end of the week and to get weekly updates.

Also, she should be pressed for exact goals and objectives by which the progress of the effort can be judged. Drifting along with subjective measures is not appropriate.

cubanbob said...

Balfegor they will with heroic efforts get the exchanges to 'work' so to speak. When they do it will simply accelerate the numbers of people doing the math and realizing paying the tax penalty is cheaper than pay the premium tax and quicken the number of people who are medicaid qualified to sign up for it. Fixing the glitches hastens the demise. Talk about a Catch-22 for the Democrats. The only way to get people to pay the premium tax is to raise the penalty high enough to merit paying the tax. Raising taxes on 93 million people by a substantial amount on each affected individual would put elected Democrats on a suicide watch which the nice, kindly heated Republicans can ameliorate by offering everyone affected a tax credit equal to the premium-tax. In the meantime the Republican's should start a class-war initiative by insisting that all those who are currently getting exceptions and waivers be put on an equal footing with everyone else.

Ann there is a simple lesson to learn from you wow observation: all Democrats great and small support the ACA be they city council men,mayors. state legislators, governors, members of congress and president. They are monolithic on this. To cure them of this the only way to drive home the point is hold your nose and vote against every Democrat no matter what the office is in the next two election cycles. If enough people do that they will learn the lesson they need to learn and if they don't they don't deserve to be elected and the Republican's no matter how much bravado will also learn from the example.

MikeDC said...

To flip the question, what would be the strategic benefit of "being mean"?

I don't see any.

I think if I were running the show, I'd sympathetically dismiss her from testimony since she's obviously impotent and inconsequential.

Andy Freeman said...

> Punching the 65-year-old lady is the way to go.

All confirmation hearings should start with "if we call you to testify, will you ever complain that we shouldn't ask tough questions of {categories}".

Of course, they'll get huffy and say that they can do the job just like those evil white men who don't get to whine when someone is "mean".

Then every time they testify, you have them start by reading that their statement into the record.

Big Mike said...

When was the last time a major (and this is as major as it gets) government program was killed simply because it didn't work?

Go look up Prohibition. And the next time one of your liberal friends whines that Obamacare is the law, ask them whether they don't drink but do own slaves.

rhhardin said...

Also Rush is a moron on finance and the economy, and apparently can't learn.

Everything he explains in the field increases the confusion.

I regard decreasing confusion as the way to go.

rhhardin said...

More media montages. Less crap.

Crunchy Frog said...

If you are going to be seen as mean regardless, might as well make it stick. Romney and McCain before him both went out of their way to be nice while getting savaged by the media lapdogs. Look what it's gotten us.

"Let's give 'em something to talk about" - Bonnie Raitt

damikesc said...

In contrast, Obamacare fell flat on its face right out of the gate.

Good luck finding many Dems who will admit that. They keep saying it is working great...just the website is a problem.

As long as there are politicians around to deny reality, then the voters will follow.

If Republicans didn't turn on Nixon, we'd have never had Pres. Ford.

if shoe was on other foot and we had gop cabinet member being grilled by dems in House, would they be nice?I thought so...next ?

Irrelevant. Democrats aren't asked to condemn Bob Filner very often, and he was a sleazebag. But if a conservative ANYWHERE has a scandal, all Republicans must answer for it.

The press really is completely against conservatives.

Deirdre Mundy said...

The Republicans didn't need to make a fool of her--she did it herself, so why get involved...

Let it be clear that the whole Obamacare mess is something that the Dems did TO THEMSELVES.

Big Mike said...

In my opinion the Republicans should all have turned over their time slots to Renee Ellmers and let her have at it.

"To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever given birth to a baby?"

Devastating summary of why the new plans will cost more for large segments of the population (not that Democrats care about young, single men).

As a woman, Ellmers can be as mean as she likes to another woman. And she, unlike Sebelius, at least has a grasp of the legislation.

Balfegor said...

Re: cubanbob:

Balfegor they will with heroic efforts get the exchanges to 'work' so to speak. When they do it will simply accelerate the numbers of people doing the math and realizing paying the tax penalty is cheaper than pay the premium tax and quicken the number of people who are medicaid qualified to sign up for it. Fixing the glitches hastens the demise. Talk about a Catch-22 for the Democrats. The only way to get people to pay the premium tax is to raise the penalty high enough to merit paying the tax. Raising taxes on 93 million people by a substantial amount on each affected individual would put elected Democrats on a suicide watch which the nice, kindly heated Republicans can ameliorate by offering everyone affected a tax credit equal to the premium-tax.

Or rather, Step 1 is repeal the individual mandate. Once you repeal the individual mandate, the market for Obamacare plans will inevitably collapse because of adverse selection. And once the individual mandate is repealed, normal insurance policies will become viable again (I don't think they've been banned per se), and people will buy them, just like they used to.

Step 1 is the only step.

Of course, the status quo ante wasn't great, just better than Obamacare. And this won't even get us back to the status quo ante, because all those hundreds of thousands (tens of millions?) who have lost coverage because of Obamacare will still be without coverage.

Something ought to be done to help those who have been hurt by this mad law. So Republicans need to come up with some other steps.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Also Bob Ellison--- the whole POINT of Obamacare seems to be to shove more people who were willing to pay for decent insurance onto Medicaid. Which we all know sucks and results in crummy or non-existent care.

I found an out for my family through the Christian Medical Sharing Ministry loophole. (No way I'm putting my kids on Medicaid-- they make it ILLEGAL for you to pay for faster or better care. How is that compassionate????)

Maybe it would work for your son?

Larry J said...

Balfegor said...

Medicare and Social Security ran huge surpluses for many, many years


This happened for 2 reasons:

1. The Baby Boom was still working and contributing. Now that the leading edge of the Boomers are of retirement age, that changes things.

2. They overtaxed people during those years. This generated surpluses that Congress directed go into Treasury securities and allowed them to spend the surpluses.

As for bullying Sebelius, either she's a delicate little lady who never should've been in charge of a major government agency because she can't be held accountable, or she's a tough, capable woman who can be held responsible for a major screwup.

n.n said...

Even the old lady who breaks the law is arrested. Whether old or young, male or female, they should receive treatment commensurate to their behavior. The Republicans need a set of principles they can believe and defend.

That said, no right to life implies no right to health care. They are getting exactly what they voted for. There was no deception. Their lives, not merely their labor, are commodities, from planning to death panel.

Sam L. said...

Don't have to be mean. Just pointing out the lies and what they are doing to Americans should be sufficient. Holding them up for ridicule, too.

grackle said...

But isn't that a good strategy for the GOP? Stand back and let Obamacare topple on its own.

I'm trying to picture Obamacare toppling "on its own." And it's not scanning. Problem is … bad laws don't "topple." Unless they are repealed they live on and sow destruction and corruption. I see very little chance that Obamacare will be repealed.

Obviously, though, avoiding anything that anyone can ever call mean is a hopelessly ineffectual approach to a competition.

Yet it's the only approach allowed to conservatives and libertarians. Liberals, of course, are allowed to do anything they want and it'll be glossed over, excused or more simply – not reported in the first place.

So what should the congressional Republicans be doing? How to be effectual without fueling the other side's "Republicans are mean" game?

Realize that the MSM is yearning for any way to discredit Obamacare opponents. Keep the debate simple and consistent. No name-calling, even though the other side does it with impunity. Stick to the issues.

Fight Obamacare every step of the way in any way possible and never, ever criticize others who are doing the same no matter how you might disagree with them on tactics.

Try to force votes on repealing Obamacare in the Senate. Even if such a bill would be defeated in the Senate, red state voters need to know exactly where their so-called "conservative Democrat" Senators stand on this issue. Force McCaskill, Harkin, Baucus, Johnson, Manchin, Udall, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Landrieu, Tester, Begich and Pryor to vote on Obamacare in order to reveal their true colors to their red state constituents.

Be resigned to the fact that in the foreseeable future the MSM will never be fair or truthful on any issue. Generations would have to go by for any improvement in that area. With the MSM it's all weighted toward ensuring Progressivism prevails, which is watered-down, third generation pseudo-Marxism, which the Progressives want with every fiber of their being.

paul a'barge said...

um, for years you made fun of a young girl and now you want to tell the rest of us how (not) to be (mean)?

Srsly?

Biff said...

Democrat operatives and media people are routinely aggressive and "mean" - to the point of cliché.

If "meanness" and "aggression" are so ineffective, why are Democrats so successful at winning the female vote?

Harold said...

NY senate race.

Lazio vs. Clinton

In the news for weeks- "He dared to approach her! He was meam! He confrontd her!

As to why are Republicans wary of being critical of females in public, there's your answer.

cubanbob said...

Balfegor said...
Re: cubanbob:

Balfegor they will with heroic efforts get the exchanges to 'work' so to speak. When they do it will simply accelerate the numbers of people doing the math and realizing paying the tax penalty is cheaper than pay the premium tax and quicken the number of people who are medicaid qualified to sign up for it. Fixing the glitches hastens the demise. Talk about a Catch-22 for the Democrats. The only way to get people to pay the premium tax is to raise the penalty high enough to merit paying the tax. Raising taxes on 93 million people by a substantial amount on each affected individual would put elected Democrats on a suicide watch which the nice, kindly heated Republicans can ameliorate by offering everyone affected a tax credit equal to the premium-tax.

Or rather, Step 1 is repeal the individual mandate. Once you repeal the individual mandate, the market for Obamacare plans will inevitably collapse because of adverse selection. And once the individual mandate is repealed, normal insurance policies will become viable again (I don't think they've been banned per se), and people will buy them, just like they used to. "

Unless the Republicans and I mean TEA Party Republicans sweep the Congress and get a veto proof majority better a tax credit to ameliorate the damage than floundering about as they are now. Now in the meantime where are the bright smart lawyers on the right-the ACLU equivalents because now is the time to be filing lawsuits like crazy to challenge a number of sections of the ACA on tax and regulatory and federalism issues. I haven't seen them. Have you?

Michael K said...

"Or rather, Step 1 is repeal the individual mandate. Once you repeal the individual mandate, the market for Obamacare plans will inevitably collapse because of adverse selection. And once the individual mandate is repealed, normal insurance policies will become viable again (I don't think they've been banned per se), and people will buy them, just like they used to. "

I don't think this works. Insurance companies did not like individual policies. They like self funded employer plans because all the insurance company was administer it and send a monthly bill to the employer to pay claims.

What may come back are high deductible catastrophic plans, which are real insurance. That plus medical IRAs will take care of 90% of the individual market.

Medicaid will take care of the poor, although the states (governors)that were dumb enough to sign up for Obamacare will go broke.

The GOP needs to come up with a program of risk pools for the uninsurable. That's about 2% of the population outside of Medicaid.

I would leave it alone until it really collapse, about next November 1. Then propose a rescue just before the election.

CWJ said...

I haven't read the comments in detail yet, but I think the not mean strategy is a good one.

At this point the opposition is running up against reality rather than the Republican party.

Let reality do the job. If they come after you, the R's, hit back and hit hard. But don't distract them from self-destruction.

This is the opposite of the NFL where the team that throws the second punch gets the penalty. At this point in Obamacare's problems, a cogent response to any Democrat deflection will get a more sympathetic hearing than any attacks. Remember, the left lives to play the victim in situations like this.

Tom said...

The reason more people don't vote Republican is because they're perceived as mean bigots. It doesn't matter there promoting pro-growth, limited government, lower taxes, and lower spending policies. People vote for those they perceive believe what they believe. It was stupid for the GOP to shut the government down over Obamacare and it's stupidi for them to "go after" Selibus now. All they need to do is continually and politely point out issue after issue and allow the American people to absorb the extent of the multitude of disasters. And, while this is happening, the GOP needs to present a comprehensive plan that gets us back to basics. The bright new day never arrived. Also, the GOP needs to never again speak about female body parts, aboetion, gay marriage (unless I'm support), or any other social issue. They are worse than out of touch on these issues and will lose wherever they raise these issues.

Bob Ellison said...

Balfegor, please, let us be plain. There is no free lunch. Obamacare pretends that there is a free lunch. Barack Obama himself has spoken at length about that free lunch. It's a delicious lunch.

It is difficult to realize how malevolent and how stupid the opposite side can be. They really can be that bad. Challenge yourself to realize it.

tim in vermont said...

I think we are at the point where we probably should do what all of the other western nations with 'universal' health insurance schemes do, that is, implement a huge money producing regressive tax like a VAT and just subsidize everybody's insurance.

tim in vermont said...

A free lunch usually amounts to a shit sandwich.

Ann Althouse said...

"um, for years you made fun of a young girl and now you want to tell the rest of us how (not) to be (mean)?"

We adopted the fascinating assertion "I don't want to be mean" as something that needed to be examined and risen above. That a young person said it means something about the culture that produced that young person, a culture that we belong to as well. We had many permutations on the concept.

But here you are, basically calling ME mean.

I call bullshit on what you are saying.

I suspect you of liking the world in which females are trapped in a crippling fear of being perceived as mean.

I want to throw a spotlight on that and help the people who are getting stuck inside that dynamic.

Bob Ellison said...

I call bullshit on the box in which I am trapped. I see only beige sides to the walls. Beige walls!

Archie said...

Another reason we can no longer as a nation accept women in public life.

William said...

When a balding, jowly man comes down hard on a woman, the optics just don't look right. Ponder how that newsman looked when he questioned Palin on the Bush doctrine. Fortunately, the Republicans have their own Katie Couric. Marcia Blackburn is quite pleasant and charming. She should be the one in charge of dumping on Sibelius.

wildswan said...

Grackle is right on what Republicans should do. Because, remember, the loud ugly people in the media like Rachel Maddow don't speak for most people. There's always a lot of people "standing around" silently watching and making up their minds. So appeal to them by being reasonable but not intimidated.
They say no government program ever gets repealed but remember the Soviet Union imploded. How did it all begin? Citizens in Moscow refused to vote which meant that the mayor could not be elected. The East German regime fell - how did that begin? People sat on the Wall. So there are ways around the media suffocation. And that's something that Republicans and rowdy little girls and prolifers need to keep in mind.

When we see the Dems being so incompetent with health care we have to realise that they are doing harm to people. No one harmed by the loss of insurance will ever forgive the Democrats. But for that reason the Republicans have to have a plan which I think must be a system restore followed by a series of small workable bills. The big centralising stuff can't be done anymore, I think, - the system is too big and too varied. (And this is what the Republicans were saying when they tried to close the government rather than let this virus get into the health care computers. Healthcare.gov is a self inflicted Stuxnet.)

elkh1 said...

How to be effectual without fueling the other side's "Republicans are mean" game?

Present a more palatable insurance plan. Contrast it with Obamacare.

elkh1 said...

Sebelius is a tool, a scapegoat to take flaks for Obama and Congressional Democrats. She is implementing a horrendous law.

Republicans cannot criticize her for being incompetent since they are much worse.

Criticize the law, not the person.

Billiam said...

What are the Republicans worried about? They'll be called names and blamed no matter what the truth is. Why worry? Be bold! Grow a pair! Nah. That might take some effort and passion. Two things sorely lacking in that party. That's why it's a dying party. No moral conviction, nor the willingness to fight to the death for Liberty and Freedom. How pathetic that party has become. One thing about Progressives. They'll finish off the US with a bullet to the back of it's head, but they'll believe they're doing the right thing and not waver.

gadfly said...

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

Rahm Emanuel

Rusty said...

grackle said...@ 3:02

Because it isn't about healthcare at all.
The Ingas of this country don't give a shit if you have healthcare or not.
Even this chaos is a feature to the left not a bug.
the uncertainty plays into their scheme.
The whole idea is about controlling the behavior of the majority of Americans. Once you can be forced into complying with the requirements for healtcare all of your future behavior will be viewed through that lens.
Global warming. Gun control.What ever the darling issue of the left is that day.
The Democrat Party will finally own the rule of law and the constitution will no longer matter.
Our esteemed hostess will spend her time fine tuning the penumbras and nuances of a "living" constitution.
All you need to do is obey.

Elise Ronan said...

There are ways to get your point across without being an asshat. Sebellius destroyed herself in that hearing. There was no reason for the GOP to go mean ogre on her. Asking her simple pointed, questions was enough to destroy her credibility.

mrs. e said...

“But here you are, basically calling ME mean.”

Well, yes. With the phrase (and not much else to go on) “For years, in our house, we'd use that line "I don't want to be mean!" for various humorous purposes. Why are some people so shaken up, so manipulated by the horrible possibility that they might be mean?” - some of us went to your snark place.