Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, July 23, 2018 7:31 pm

For the 4,683rd time: No, the two parties are NOT both equally bad


I see some version every day, usually multiple times a day, of this argument: “Both parties are to blame for our problems. They’re both equally bad.”

I’m not sure why today’s iteration, a point made in passing by someone I don’t know in the comments of a friend’s Facebook post, triggered me when all the others didn’t. There was nothing unique about his argument, and it wasn’t even his main point.

But he said it, and I reacted viscerally. After taking some time to boil down my thinking, here’s where I am.

Whoa, sorry, ” … the two parties … simply will not compromise for any reason whatsoever”?? No, sir. WRONG. ONE party will not compromise for any reason whatsoever, as a result of which actual Holocaust survivors are warning us that we’re heading down the same road Germany followed in the 1930s.

I’ll give you just one example, albeit a hugely important one. Obama was elected in 2008 with a clear mandate to do something about health care. Rejecting the pleas of his own base for single-payer, something many other Western industrialized democracies are quite happy with, he instead offered what became the ACA, which originated in the 1990s as the Republican/Heritage Foundation alternative to Hillarycare. Democrats accepted more than 130 Republican-sponsored amendments to the original bill. And still, it passed without one single Republican vote. I could cite many more examples.

Please stop repeating false storylines. Both parties are not equally bad. One and only one party has rejected science and truth. One and only one party has made itself an agent of a hostile foreign power and a perpetrator of treason — yes, treason; I’m well aware of the legal definition. One and only one party is pushing economic and tax policies that transfer vast quantities of wealth upward from the poor and middle class into the hands of a hyperwealthy few. One and only one party is campaigning on undisguised appeals to racism and other forms of bigotry. One and only one party is breaking down our democratic norms and our constitutional system of checks and balances. And it’s the party to which I belonged for 38 years: the GOP.

I think the reason why so many people adhere to this view is that no one ever challenges them on it, despite the abundance of grounds on which to do so. Another reason is that some people on cable TV say it, and they don’t get challenged either.

Well, we all know it’s bullshit. So it’s time to call it bullshit, out loud and without apology. If the Democratic Party were flawless I’d join it, and I haven’t done that for a reason. But the Republican Party has gone so far off the edge in so many policy and procedural areas that there isn’t any comparison, and anyone telling you otherwise is lying.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Healthcare was a very complicated issue. Many small business owners and those scraping by who were younger, active and healthy had opted for catastrophic coverage. This basically meant a high 5,000 dollar Hospital deductible and no annual check ups or even having to have a doctor at all. This reduced their premiums by a very significant amount. I can’t say exactly how much, but we’re talking 33% to 66% lower premiums.
    The argument was made that catastrophic coverage was allowing a person’s health to deteriorate and therefore resulting in no real preventative maintenance to prevent the catastrophe from occurring. This method was deemed as a way for people to take advantage of the system.
    However, for the tens of millions who were purchasing catastrophic coverage this was saving them hundreds upon hundreds of dollars a month in insurance premiums. The catastrophic option was taken away and this incensed.enough people to give the Republicans a plank to fight against ObamaCare. Just explaining what happened.

    Comment by Alessandro Machi — Wednesday, July 25, 2018 2:59 pm @ 2:59 pm

    • Yeah, I know; I was there at the time. This seems rather far afield of my main point, however.

      Comment by Lex — Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:54 pm @ 6:54 pm

  2. Part 2. Obama Administration could have helped millions of homeowners with HELOC’s from 2004 to 2006 that began to “reset” after 10 years, aka 2014 to 2016. When combined with Obama’s pre 2008 comment about the middle of the country being bitter, gun loving, bible thumpers afraid of change, it has created a standoff in which Obama and Democrats absolutely refuse to believe Obama did anything wrong, while constantly griping that Trump does everything wrong. The Trump supporters find this narrative hostile and anti American. Just explaining what is going on below the surface.

    Comment by Alessandro Machi — Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:02 pm @ 3:02 pm

    • Should add, Obama did NOT help those homeowners with resetting HELOC’s.

      Comment by Alessandro Machi — Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:03 pm @ 3:03 pm

    • I don’t speak for the Democrats, not being one. In my observation, however, they do NOT believe Obama did nothing wrong. Many of them are still furious for not punishing George W. Bush and his senior administrators for ordering torture. Many of them are still furious at him for not prosecuting the banksters who caused the 2008 crash. Many of them actually wanted him impeached for the extrajudicial assassination of a U.S.citizen, and I could go on and on. So I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make here.

      Comment by Lex — Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:57 pm @ 6:57 pm


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