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17 July 2017



You'll probably need to bring in 104 people, allowing each Senator to invite his/her staff member that actually knows something about health policy. Quite a few congressmen appear to be simpletons, so maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Personally, I think you'd get the best results by taking the world as it is, and passing a series of adjustments over time. I'm not sure that anyone is smart enough to design national health law in one go.

The problem, of course, is that you immediately find out the power of small but highly focused groups. Any adjustment to patent law to improve the free market behavior of the drug business would be counteracted by very smart, very persuasive lobbyists from big pharma. Want to curtail the power of medical professional cartels? Boom, the AMA is at your door. Try to encourage the poor to actually value the cost of free or highly subsidized healthcare? Appropriate lobbyists backed by rude people with signs will be your reward. It's a free-for-all where the minority rules.

Steve Frisch

"If the opportunity to govern serves only to reveal seminal schisms that constructively paralyze them while in power, then they should partition themselves into more cohesive ideological cohorts and as such represent themselves honestly to the electorate."

Ah, there is the rub George, the Republicans are not 'one party' they are two or perhaps three.

The case I would make is that the Republican party, by demanding rigid adherence to a set of principles too far out of the mainstream of American political ideology, has created the conditions where the overlap has narrowed to the point that, even securing a majority, Republicans cannot govern.

The reason for this is not the diversity of thought within the Republican party, it is the consequence of the politics of retribution, where if one does not stay true to the rigid adherence while maintaining their narrow majority in their home base in all things, they will be challenged from their left or right, thus narrowing their ability to move.

Not being able to move within their own party, the ability to reach across the aisle to pick up 'conservative' democrats is blocked as well [example is you characterizing John Kasich as a RINO last week.] This is in effect leading to the gradual radicalization of our political parties on both the right and the left, and is the single greatest threat to governance in our generation.

The two or three factions I see are the ideologically conservative, characterized by people like Hatch, Thune, Rubio, Blunt and Cornyn; a vestigial 'moderate' minority like Collins, Heller, Murkowski and Portman; and an almost libertarian wing with Paul, Lee and at times Cruz.

As a messenger of the Great Divide, a critic of compromise, a proselytizer of the that rigidity, your political philosophy is most responsible for the inability to govern. I cannot help but think that in the long run your real goal is to tear down liberal democracy on the theory that something more to your liking will take its place.



'Political parties are supposed to be composed of people with sufficiently overlapping ideologies that make them politically functional in the public forum"

My own thinking is that ideologies are highly plastic and can change in very little time. While it's sort of funny to read about Mr Frisch's views on Republicans as being made up of different parties while the opposing party is a canonical example of a coalition, I'd say that any majority party in the US will be made up groups of people who can cut a deal.

It seems to me that more time should be spent to see what actually binds a party. I honestly don't think that it's policy but something deeper and more primal.

Todd Juvinall

I have been tweeting them constantly with my ideas but of course, they probably go into the round file automatically. Anyway, I told them to REPEAL now and if there is a desire to fix or replace than take their time. In the meantime, use Medicaid for thos they claim will be affected.


ToddJ: " In the meantime, use Medicaid for those they claim will be affected."

As usual, the thing you run into is that not all problems are solved with a single solution, and no solution is allowed unless it solves all problems

Old school Medicaid/MediCal never dealt well with people with pre-existing conditions with any means at all or even pre-65 folks without pre-existing conditions who couldn't afford $1000+/month/person.

Heck, I'd like to see a single idea that actually drove down cost.

Todd Juvinall

The latest Reuters poll under reports the Republicans by 12 points so there you go. We have known this all along and the real polls on election day prove we are right, not the pollsters. Dems atr 35% and R's at 23. A bit rigged I'd say.

Paul Emery

Todd, you live in a fantasy world. The most republican leaning poll is Rasmussen. That was the one T/rump bragged about a month r so ago. that poll has totally collapsed around him as well. Here's some details

"Donald Trump’s approval rating is even collapsing in the one disreputable poll he likes to brag about

"Back in April, Trump bragged on Twitter that Rasmussen had his approval rating at fifty percent. Of course he failed to mention that the average of polls had his approval rating just above forty percent at the time. Then in late May, Trump dropped to forty-eight percent in the Rasmussen poll, and he bragged about that as well – seemingly unaware that anything under fifty percent is considered a bad number. But now, as Trump’s overall average has continued to creep downward into the high thirties, even Rasmussen has him at just forty-three percent.

We don’t think he’ll be tweeting about this one. What stands out here is that even Rasmussen, which has consistently and shamelessly handed Republicans whatever poll numbers they dreamed of, is no longer willing to pretend that Donald Trump’s approval rating is anywhere but in the gutter. That means Trump has become so vastly unpopular that Rasmussen is afraid of stretching the limits of credulity even with its own Republican base."

George Boardman

One of the reason Republicans can't unite behind a health care bill is the lack of leadership from the White House.

Aside from the fact that Trump has no interest in the nitty-gritty details of legislation, his lack of popularity makes it difficult for him to lead. A popular president can provide air cover for members of Congress on unpopular measures, and can persuade fence sitters to jump to his side when rounding up support for an issue.

His supporters may not want to believe Trump's poll numbers, but members of Congress pay attention to them. As we saw in the first failed House attempt to pass a health care bill, Trump couldn't bully the members of the Freedom Caucus because his poll numbers didn't scare them.

I've never seen such a disconnect between a president and Congress of the same party. Ryan and McConnell are clearlyy going their own way, just giving lip service to Trump.

It's hard for a party to accomplish anything when the supposed leader is missing in action.

Todd Juvinall

Paul Emery | 17 July 2017 at 11:05 AM

No I live in realville. You are the fantasy man. I am talking about the breakdown of the people polled which is a fact jack. You are simply spewing propaganda.

Todd Juvinall

GB at 1138

I think you must be thinking of someone else not Trump. He has been cheerleading this from way back. And McConnell is the one in charge of the Senate. Seems Trump and the HOOUSE have already done their jobs. So to say Trump is not leading is pure BS.


GeorgeBoardman sonorously utters: "One of the reason Republicans can't unite behind a health care bill is the lack of leadership from the White House."

Just how do you know this?

Honestly, I can't say that I know anyone who is involved in those discussions.

Is this just some guess garnered from watching TV news and browsing the internet?


After "O" got elected, how long did it take for the Progressives to deem and pass (and "F" up healthcare but good) Obummercare? Now the finger pointing that the Repubs "can't pass their own bill". Almost 2 years to gum up the works, yet somehow the Repubs are supposed to unravel the ganglion cyst in mere months. The Progs built Obummercare in ways so it would be REALLY hard if not impossible to get rid of.
There are still plenty of RINOS giving reacharounds to the LIBS. They want their politics as usual to live forever.(deep state) They don't care for the Tea Party elected one bit either. The RINO days are numbered as well.
I myself knew this was going to be an uphill fight, and not just against the Progs.
ALL who had and have "power" won't give it up without a battle, They will fight tooth and nail to retain it, and use any dirty trick to do so.


Since Paul is still on his "poll" bender,,
"According to a new poll by The Washington Post and ABC, over half of Americans believe the current Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything besides resisting President Trump.

The poll asked 1,001 Americans, “Do you think the Democratic Party currently stands for something, or just stands against Trump?”

Only 37 percent of respondents believed that the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52 percent of respondents said the party “just stands against Trump.” "

Robert Cross

A parliamentary system might be one possible solution. They can accommodate multiple political parties, lead to coalition building if one party doesn't have a majority which makes for more compromises rather than the extremes we now see, and the public doesn't have to wait every two or four years for an election. If things are not going well, call a vote, toss the majority out and start a new coalition.

As for the "just stand against trump" article. What in the world do people think was the mantra for the last eight years under Obama when congress passed next to nothing and Republicans garnered the moniker "the party of no?" What goes around comes around. A parliament might fix that attitude of 'my way or not at all.'

Steve Frisch

"While it's sort of funny to read about Mr Frisch's views on Republicans as being made up of different parties while the opposing party is a canonical example of a coalition,...."

I have been quite outspoken about the fact that the Democratic Party is two parties and that I am firmly in the moderate camp.


"I have been quite outspoken about the fact that the Democratic Party is two parties and that I am firmly in the moderate camp."

To me, it looks like a lot more than two, you could probably break off the ethnic sub-parties as their own organizations for one thing.

Just to throw out a guess, and I don't have any way to prove this, what you are referring to is a schism in the white professional class (and proto-professional class in the form of students) part of the Democratic party.

My main point is that any party in a two party system is likely to be a coalition, and shouldn't be put down for that.


"A parliamentary system might be one possible solution. "

If you can accept my point that the two dominant US parties are themselves coalitions, it would seem to me that it's really not too different than a parliamentary system.

The primary difference is that the winner-take-all notion of an imperial executive branch is itself an elected office rather than deriving directly from party leadership in the legislative branch. So, rather than a Prime Minister who runs in lockstep with his underlings in Congress, you get a President who potentially never built up a leadership role. In fact, it's quite uncommon to see an LBJ.

One advantage I can see to a Presidential system is that things can change in a hurry. It's a sort of referendum on the Congress.

Robert Cross

"it would seem to me that it's really not too different than a parliamentary system."

The difference is that people mostly only get to vote for one of two choices for both President and the other federal offices. Third parties, not to mention fourth or fifth, have no input into the President's race and very little input in all the other races save perhaps some local ones. This gives voters ho-hum choices. The only viable choices Rep or Dem) are likely to echo the party line to which a voter may agree with some but not all, while they might agree wholeheartedly with an "other" party candidate. Under the two party system voters are forced to take the bad with the good and so have very little input into party planks and positions which is most often left to party bigwigs beholden to special interests. In a parliament the positions of the outliers could moderate the extremes exhibited in the two party system. This is because I seriously don't think, given all of the political diversity in both our current political parties, that any one faction, in and of itself, could muster a majority on very many issues. This is obvious with the GOP health insurance debacle and even more obvious when the Democrats installed Clinton instead of Sanders. So if there were more parties we would get more diverse opinions on issues and kind of like brainstorming, the more ideas you have to work with when you start, the better the ultimate solution will be. It would free politicians from the "get along/go along" syndrome they most often suffer from.

Paul Emery


Are you saying every poll is wrong abut Trump even Rasmussen that you were bragging about last month as being the only true poll because it showed Trump at 50%. He's now -14 in that poll. Check this out Todd. This is a compilation of all major polls all of which show trump down by double digits.


re: Robert Cross@7:08

"Third parties, not to mention fourth or fifth, have no input into the President's race and very little input in all the other races save perhaps some local ones."

What I'm getting at is that the differences in that sense are less than they might appear. Those third, fourth, and fifth parties are already absorbed into the first and second and very much have a say on the produced Presidential candidates. The Democratic leadership has accommodated block voters like US blacks, and the Republicans their own variants like Pentecostals.

Of course, another side effect of parliaments is that the ruling coalition is guaranteed to run both branches of government and to fill out the third if applied here. The coalition with 51% of the vote can do anything it likes.

OTOH, it may be that the system has little to do with the outcome, and the underlying culture and people has everything.

Scott Obermuller

"OTOH, it may be that the system has little to do with the outcome, and the underlying culture and people has everything."
It's typical of the left thinking we could all get along and agree to march forward arm-in-arm if only we had the 'right system'.
George has tried on more than one occasion to have a discussion of first principles and the left always goes silent or simply regurgitates nice sounding slogans.
Mr Cross and the others here on the left do have basic ideas of governance and societal ordering. And we conservatives have ours. There are obvious differences within each camp, of course, but some very sharp dividing lines exist that have nothing to do with any political party, govt system, or outside evil influence.
Just to give one very basic example - Human Rights.
Our founding fathers already enumerated them.
The left believes differently. Their list of human rights is endless with more on the way.
I get it. I understand their position. How in the world the left thinks we can move forward together while each side holds to their view of human rights is beyond me.
And the only answer we get from the left is that we need a new system.
Good luck.

Mary Wanna

Covfefe! Chalk up another failure for #45. One of the dangers of having a big mouth is that flies, hats and shoes can get stuck in there.
I got a slogan for ya ,,,MAGA!
And watch out for those 60lb bags of dope being tossed over the border wall!

Todd Juvinall

Looks like they cannot get off of the pot.

Todd Juvinall

So let it fail and move on to other things. If they can even do that.

Scott Obermuller

TJ at 10:14 - Oh, if they can even do that! It is actually the Obama lovers' worst nightmare. Just leave it alone and let it twist in the wind. Constantly remind everyone that the Rs have failed and Obama-care is still the law of the land. It is already crashing in several states and will ultimately fail as it was originally intended to do.
Only after there is a mutual cry from the people to "DO SOMETHING"! will there be a proper opportunity to throw it out and install some proper cost cutting rules for health care.
The original plan assumed the Dems would be in charge by the time the public had enough of O-care and they would institute the left's beloved 'free health care for the entire world'.
Too bad Putin tricked us by installing Hillary as the Dem's choice for POTUS.

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