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Old 02-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #136
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I'm not sure we can hope that for this group of Republicans. I wasn't old enough to follow the Clinton years, but they can't have been as batshit insane as the Republicans today.


it's hard to say ... i was in high school when it happened, and they seemed crazy to me. it was the same platform -- "i should be applauded for my guns and for my religion and i want to get the guv'ment off our backs and lower taxes because that fixes everything."

i think 9-11 did radicalize everything, to a degree. but someone older than i might be able to put it into better context.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:38 PM   #137
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I'm not sure we can hope that for this group of Republicans. I wasn't old enough to follow the Clinton years, but they can't have been as batshit insane as the Republicans today.

I appreciate you were not there

but take it from someone that was there

they were even worse, I expected this,

that is why during the Dem primaries, I believed Hillary was the better choice for the Dems, she was battle tested big time, I believe she would have had more successes than Obama.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:08 PM   #138
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I was having some serious doubts about Obama, but that conference with the GOP really restored a lot of my faith in him.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:16 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
I appreciate you were not there

but take it from someone that was there

they were even worse, I expected this,

that is why during the Dem primaries, I believed Hillary was the better choice for the Dems, she was battle tested big time, I believe she would have had more successes than Obama.
But would she make better policies?
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:36 PM   #140
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YouTube - Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:38 PM   #141
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The trick for any Administration is getting stuff done.

Obama has got very little done.

The Bush Administration in 2000 was more effective.

And keep in mind, Bush had no mandate, loss the popular vote and it took the Supreme court to get him into office.

Bush did not have 60 GOP Senators, but he was able to get a huge tax cut through by June of 2000. He never got the 60 votes that Obama has been trying to get for Health Care.

He did it with reconciliation
one bill passed in the House, one bill in the Senate
he never brought it back for a final vote.

Obama should have had Health Care completed by July or August at the latest.

He might have been able to put more efforts into the Israel / Palestinian problem that is at the crux of some many of our Foreign policy concerns.

Obama has tried to follow a more moderate road then he campaigned on, similar to what Hillary was presenting in the primaries.
I believe her policies would have been similar to what Obama has proposed, the main difference is that she would have been more successful in getting them passed.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:40 PM   #142
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I thought Obama campaigned as more of a moderate and that's part of the problem, that he's not governing as one or not perceived to be
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #143
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But would she make better policies?


i think HRC would have been more successful at getting Health Care through, maybe.

however, i don't think she would have tackled health care because of what happened in 1993/4.

and i think that GOP opposition to her would be equally as fierce as to Obama, if not worse.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #144
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they were even worse, I expected this,
Absolutely agree. They were far worse in the Clinton years, manufacturing a controversy every other day.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post

Obama himself remains in solid shape, politically. the silver lining in this, as i see it, and despite my dashed dreams of substantive change that would actually reduce suffering, more divided government might eventually lead to better governance like we saw in the middle Clinton years (1995-1998).
Like U2MDFan and Deep, I would say the Republicans were far worse in the Clinton years. Dan Burton was in his heyday, you had Whitewater, millions spent, no illegality found, you had Vince Foster, millions spent, no illegality found, you had a batshit impeachment process for nothing and millions spent on Ken Starr in the entire process. Imagine if the Democrats had appointed a special prosecutor to go after Bush when he was in Office? They would have had ads on every channel comparing them to Osama.

You are right, 1995-1998 had its successes, but it seems it was mostly due to Clinton's political skills/personal popularity and the good economy, not really due to a spirit of cooperation among Republicans.

1995: The Republicans shut down the government 2 times to try and intimidate Clinton into gutting Medicare and Medicaid and pass massive, budget busting tax cuts. This was a divisive time, but Clinton won out when he told the Republicans flat out that they "would have to get someone else to sit in this chair to pass that budget."

This started a trend. The Republicans would never get their budget work done on time, and they more or less had to accept Clinton priority filled budgets. This was fine by them, they calculated, as the economy was good, the country was happy and they would not have to govern. They began to run out the clock on Clinton, try and deny him any credit for the strong economy and went to work on conspiracy theories to distract everyone. The Republicans never got a budget even remotely reflecting their desire to cut taxes deeply across the board, eliminate the estate and capital gains tax and cut education, raid the SS trust fund, etc.

Some good things happened, but mostly a function of the fact that it is easier for reasonable people in both parties to work together, from a political liability standpoint, when times are good.

Welfare Reform: The Democrats propose the Work and Responsibility Act of 1994, introduced in both Houses, requiring work and time limits but providing job training, health care and child care funding so states can actually move recipients into jobs. The Republicans gut the jobs training, health care and child care provisions and say that Clinton is anti work and anti family for vetoing the legislation that had turned into nothing more than an unfunded mandate. The Republicans finally realized in 1996 that they would have to accept Clinton's principles for welfare reform or else face re election having not got anything done here. Clinton had been for "ending welfare as we know it" since 1980, but Gingrich tried to take credit.

Health Care reform: Kassebaum-Kennedy- you had a moderate Republican, Nancy Kassebaum and Ted Kennedy working across party lines. A similar situation with the creation of S-Chip in 1997. This was only possible because the economy was good and the Republicans could spend some money on domestic affairs without their base having a fit. Kennedy and Kassebaum are gone now.

The 1997 Taxpayer relief act: Got alot of Clinton priorities passed, and got alot of Democratic and Republican tax priorities passed. Again, it is easy to cut taxes and expand college education funding dramatically when the economy and therefore revenues are strong. Alot of the moderates who worked on this, like Pete Domenici and John Breaux, are gone.

In one way the Republicans were better: you had your nuts like Burton, Gingrich and Livingston hiring Ken Starr, etc, but you had many more in the mold of Pete Domenici, John Warner, Nancy Kassebaum, etc back then. The Republican party in the 1990s had alot more Olympia Snowes and Susan Collins. Obama's transportation Secretary Ray Lahood was in Congress, as was a guy who spoke at the DNC in 2008, Jim Leach.

Today's Republicans are not quite as conspiracy theorist crazy, nor are they as militant on things like abortion, but the difference is there are much fewer reasonable ones to balance the crazier ones out. Since I don't care one bit about abortion stances either way, I would eliminate that as a factor and say in conclusion, that they are not as bad today, but they certainly have the potential. If Obama gets re elected or even before 2012 things get better in any way, the personal attacks will intensify and be worse on the "non real American" Obama than they were on a certain white guy from Arkansas.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:48 PM   #146
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I thought Obama campaigned as more of a moderate and that's part of the problem, that he's not governing as one or not perceived to be
Yes, he did campaign as more of a moderate when it was down to him and HRC.

The 2 discernible differences were on trade and health care.

Where HRC was calling for a "trade timeout" and Obama was taking a "lets go ahead with free and fair trade, we know what we have gotten wrong in the past, lets just fix it and skip the study."

Health Care, Obama campaigned against the individual mandate that HRC was making a centerpiece of universal coverage, and instead stressed affordability as the key. While affordability is a big part of the bill in Congress now, he did wind up picking up the individual mandate from HRC after he was elected.

So basically, they were very similar except HRC tacked a little to the economic populist side. Undoubtedly, because 2 of the big head to head primaries were Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:59 PM   #147
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i think HRC would have been more successful at getting Health Care through, maybe.

however, i don't think she would have tackled health care because of what happened in 1993/4.

and i think that GOP opposition to her would be equally as fierce as to Obama, if not worse.
This is true.

I still think Obama was the better person to have as President, on health care and on other issues, if only because the Congress would not have trusted Hillary given her shutting them out in 1993/4.

As for the GOP opposition, it would have been exactly like you say. People think its bad with Obama- they gave him a month long honeymoon. Hillary would have probably already killed 10 of Vince Foster's kids by month #1 and had 3 special prosecutors working full time to dig up dirt on her.

However, I think if Obama had talked to Hillary or Emmanuel or someone else who was there in 1994, he would have gotten some valuable advice on how to proceed with the bill. I don't know obviously, but I have a sneaking suspicion he did not consult the "Clinton people" extensively.

If he did, he would have known how fierce the opposition was going to be, they would have told him that putting this out there and not defending it was a HUGE mistake and would play right into the GOP's hands, etc. I think it was Carville and Begala who first introduced the principle "never let your opponent define you before you define yourself."

The Clinton people are also big on "it's the economy, stupid" and they are big on how things are perceived. The health care bill is of course one of the best things we can do for our budget and our economy, but I think given the recession, they would have advised Obama to do this:

-Pass the non controversial regulatory reforms on health insurance companies, like pre existing conditions, etc in 2009.
-Pass some affordability incentives in 2009. This is widely supported across party lines.
-Pass some kind of tort reform(not the caps that Republicans want) but real tort reform in 2009.

All of this is in the bill right now, sitting there dormant.

-Since the subsidies do not take effect until 2014 anyway, HRC would have probably advised against trying to put these and the taxes to pay for them through in 2009. She would have argued that it is far more important to pivot right from the non controversial health care items right to a "laser beam" focus on the economy. Maybe get the jobs bill and small business program passed in late 2009 instead of the buying of Nebraska.
-No one would get their health care coverage delayed anyway by this move, and Obama, a big believer in the "urgency of now" could have still got all elements of a health care bill through in his 1st term if he had waited until 2011 when the economy will be better.

I think it would have looked alot more like I described had Hillary won or had Obama consulted her and her circle as opposed to what he seemingly went on- his instincts and his own Washington inexperienced circle.

I frankly wish Obama had taken this incremental approach as he would have already had the confidence of the American people on the Health Care issue by the time he went to expand coverage and explain that the "cadillac tax" was not going to kill anyone.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:41 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
The trick for any Administration is getting stuff done.

Obama has got very little done.

The Bush Administration in 2000 was more effective.

And keep in mind, Bush had no mandate, loss the popular vote and it took the Supreme court to get him into office.

Bush did not have 60 GOP Senators, but he was able to get a huge tax cut through by June of 2000. He never got the 60 votes that Obama has been trying to get for Health Care.

He did it with reconciliation
one bill passed in the House, one bill in the Senate
he never brought it back for a final vote.

Obama should have had Health Care completed by July or August at the latest.

He might have been able to put more efforts into the Israel / Palestinian problem that is at the crux of some many of our Foreign policy concerns.

Obama has tried to follow a more moderate road then he campaigned on, similar to what Hillary was presenting in the primaries.
I believe her policies would have been similar to what Obama has proposed, the main difference is that she would have been more successful in getting them passed.
Bush came in at a very easy time compared to Obama...
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #149
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Bush came in at a very easy time compared to Obama...
It was also 2001, not 2000.

Bush could not get 60 votes for his tax cuts, but Obama was able to get 61 or 62 for the stimulus(Collins, Specter, Snowe(?))

And the reconciliation that worked for the tax cuts can not be used to pass meaningful health care reform as regulatory matters can not go through under the rules of reconciliation.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:06 PM   #150
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Bush did not have 60 GOP Senators, but he was able to get a huge tax cut through by June of 2000. He never got the 60 votes that Obama has been trying to get for Health Care.

He did it with reconciliation
one bill passed in the House, one bill in the Senate
he never brought it back for a final vote.

Obama should have had Health Care completed by July or August at the latest.
Do you think reconciliation should have been used to pass the Democrats' health care bill?
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