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Boardman writes: "Elections have consequences, as the cliché goes, and those consequences are unpredictable, perhaps never more unpredictable than when no one wins the election - but someone takes office anyway. When that happens, the country is largely defenseless, as we learned so disastrously in 2000."

The Statue of Liberty crying. (illustration: The Greanville Post)
The Statue of Liberty crying. (illustration: The Greanville Post)


So This Is What a National Nervous Breakdown Looks Like?

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

11 December 16

 

Nobody Won the 2016 Election

lections have consequences, as the cliché goes, and those consequences are unpredictable, perhaps never more unpredictable than when no one wins the election — but someone takes office anyway. When that happens, the country is largely defenseless, as we learned so disastrously in 2000.

That was when we had five unprincipled Supreme Court justices to thank for promoting an actual (but uncounted) loser to the presidency. George W. Bush proceeded to reward the country’s wary trust by blithely ignoring warnings of a terrorist attack, then using 9/11 to jingo up the fear-laden public mood and urge us to go shopping while he (and a complicit Democratic Congress) started wars that have yet to end. (For reasons having nothing to do with decency or justice, Nancy Pelosi led the opposition to impeaching this war-criminal president.) For extra credit, Bush presided over a bipartisan wave of unchecked criminal capitalism that brought the economy to its knees and Democrats to the White House.

That didn’t help. Barack Obama used his “mandate” for hope and change to bail out the criminal capitalists and protect them from prosecution. With Nancy Pelosi’s collusion, he squandered whatever opportunity there was for an effective, single-payer health system, preferring to build a Rube Goldberg construct that coddles insurance companies without even insuring everyone. Obama provided little hope or change to Guantanamo inmates or drone victims, but he left war criminals and torturers unpunished (including himself, of course), while expanding Bush-era wars to other countries.

Now we have a wartime president-elect who didn’t win, and who goes unchallenged by the popular-vote leader who also lost. Roughly half the country is freaking out at the prospect of a future that seems as inherently dangerous and unfair as it is inevitable. Now those freaking out over a Trump presidency have some idea how some Republicans felt six months ago at the prospect of a Trump nomination (although #NeverTrump is as dead as the idea of acting on principle).

Since November 8, much of the country seems to have spiraled into a slough of despond, feeling helpless, directionless, uncomprehending and hopeless. Even the apparent winners seem joyless in their success, their triumph marked less by celebration than by anger, epithets, Nazi graffiti, shootings, and mad tweets. It’s as if everyone knows that there’s no one prepared or qualified to take power, but they’re going to take it anyway, and take it no one knows where.

Whatever we do, we’re along for the ride

There is, as yet, no organized resistance, although there seems to be a widespread, disorganized desire to resist. None of the establishment authorities, for all that some bewail the triumph of Trump, are actually, actively resisting him on principle (except where their own sacred cows might be led to the slaughter). The president is a joke (more on that in a moment). The Democrats in Congress put multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi back in power, and in the Senate they elevated the endlessly compromising and compromised Chuck Schumer. Democrats do not choose leaders who would provide bold, principled leadership. Republicans in 2008, faced with Obama, had the courage of their convictions (never mind what those convictions were), circling their wagons in open and constant defiance of the electoral majority. Democrats, lacking either courage or convictions, are behaving now like a species that doesn’t know it’s endangered and hunted. In general, Democrats have become an obstacle to achieving the common good, more than content to enjoy the perks of office while making occasional token efforts to achieve some minimal gain.

Failure, decades of their own failure, somehow seems irrelevant to Democrats institutionally. Hillary Clinton’s post-election behavior should be enlightening, even if it’s not surprising. How might a real leader have behaved on election night and after? Would she have bailed on her supporters and nursed her personal hurt? Or might she have swallowed hard, publicly acknowledged that this election was more about the country than her identity politics, and gone on to rally her followers to stand for the principles that matter to her, to them, and to the nation? She might have done the latter, but that would have required her to have principles, to embrace real change, to have a vision of something better than an elitist police state with fewer and fewer benefits for more and more people.

Another way to put it is that Hillary Clinton might have distinguished herself from the parody of a progressive presidency presented by Obama’s eight mostly feckless years in office. She chose, instead, to run on Obama’s “legacy.”

Whatever Donald Trump’s reality, he won the election by appearing to be a candidate who would bring real change to a people longing for it (enough previous Obama voters voted for Trump to determine the outcome). Yes, Clinton won the popular vote, an irrelevant fact that allows Democrats to remain in denial about their failures not only to serve the American people well, but to deny their failure to serve even their presumed base constituencies well. (Clinton’s dissing Black Lives Matter was as much a dog whistle to racists as anything Trump did or said; why was it so hard to take a principled stand against armed law officers killing unarmed black people for no apparent reason?) Remember when the Democratic Party was the party of working people? There is no such party any more.

Minority government is what we’ve had and what we’re going to get

Minority government has long existed in the US, because low voter turnout means that no presidency gets votes from much more than a quarter of the country’s eligible voters. Minority government has come to mean more and more, at least since Ronald Reagan, a government dedicated to serving a smaller and smaller minority of the population who are given more and more opportunities to loot public funds. The Pentagon’s unaudited, self-reported waste of $125 billion a year is only one of the more recent, grosser examples that can be found pretty much across the government from giveaway oil and mining leases to private prisons to immigration processing to charter schools to privatization in sectors across the board where the enrichment of a few dwarfs the false stereotype of the welfare cheat.

Responding to the Trump triumph with insult and denigration, no matter how valid, is worse than a waste of time. It is an exercise in denial. The Democrats lost this election in just about every substantial and meaningful way, not only by running a corrupt primary process, not only by expecting fealty to a hollow candidate, but by decades of withdrawal from meaningful engagement with too many deserving Americans. Any idiot knew, in 2008, that the country was in ferment and that that ferment needed to be addressed honestly and substantively. The scale of Democrats’ failure to do that is measured by the rise of the Tea Party in 2010. The country has been hurting for a long, long time, like the tail gunner in Catch-22, and Democrats have treated only scratches when the body politic has its guts spilling out.

You can see this in official responses to fracking and oil pipelines with little regard for the future of the planet, or official responses to hunger and homelessness with little regard for the future of fellow citizens, or official responses to drugs and prisons with little regard for science or justice.

Perhaps the most glaring, obvious, cruel official response of this sort was to the governmental poisoning of the population (about 100,000) of Flint, Michigan. Why was this not a national emergency? When a state government accomplishes what amounts to a terrorist attack, why is it not worth the immediate, intense attention of the media, the environmental agencies, or the president? What kind of country settles for half-measures and leaves people still fending for themselves while being charged for a poisoned water supply?

That’s pretty much why no one won this election. There was no one to vote for. We’ve been in the wilderness much longer than we generally acknowledge. Bigots didn’t put us there. Misogynists didn’t put us there. White nationalists didn’t put us there. They all may contribute to keeping us there, but capitalists puts us there, and capitalists will keep us there until we develop more effective wilderness survival skills.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+112 # Radscal 2016-12-11 16:22
Thank you, Mr. Boardman and RSN for a sane, realistic examination of the situation in which we find ourselves, and how we got here.

I quote Senator Sanders from his first-ever speech to a DNC meeting in Summer, 2015:

"My friends, the Republican Party did NOT win the midterm election in November. We LOST that election. They didn’t win, we lost because voter turnout was abysmally, embarrassingly low. And millions of working people, young people and people of color gave up on politics as usual… and they stayed home. {silence} That’s a fact.

"And let me be as clear as I can be. In my view, Democrats will not retain the WhiteHouse, will not regain the Senate or the US House, will not be successful in dozens of Governors’ races across this country unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout. {huge applause and cheers}

"With all due respect - and I do not mean to insult anyone here - that turnout, that enthusiasm will not happen with politics as usual. {moderate applause and a few cheers}

"The same old, same old will not work. The people of our country understand that given the collapse of the American Middle Class and given the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing, we do not need more Establishment Politics or Establishment Economics. {more applause and cheers}
 
 
+92 # Radscal 2016-12-11 16:23
"What we need is a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class, create a government which works for ALL of us, and not just corporate America, and a handful of the wealthiest people in this country. {huge and long applause and cheers. Chant “BERNIE! BERNIE! BERNIE! breaks out}

"In other words, we need a movement which takes on the Economic and Political Establishment - not one which is PART OF that establishment. {the Political Establishment in attendance actually applauded more than one might have expected to that}"


"...Let me conclude by saying this: We will win in 2016, not just the White House, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, but Statehouses all across the country because we are going to create an unprecedented grassroots movement which taps into the American people’s desire for real change in this country."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPJiPEzdF4c


This is the speech that won me over to Bernie. Yes, he only mentioned two foreign policy issues (the disastrous war in Iraq and avoiding war with Iran), but both were important to me. This was when I realized that he was the best good the Democratic Party could possibly nominate. This was what the DNC denied us.
 
 
+56 # grandlakeguy 2016-12-12 01:40
Radscal reading Bernie's speech brings tears to my eyes.
He was the exciting agent of progressive change that we so desperately needed to put this country back on track.
Sadly the corrupt DNC and their blindly self entitled "nominee" have instead driven us into a ditch.
 
 
+4 # economagic 2016-12-12 22:23
Yes, I was just about to ask Marc why few if any articles addressing these issues without insisting that "progressives" must AND CAN "take back" the Democratic Party (which was never theirs, a phrase with creepy similarity to "Make America great -- AGAIN") are appearing on RSN.
 
 
+63 # DongiC 2016-12-11 19:27
What a marvellous speech. Cuts right to the quick, Seems like the Progressives have to worry about two opponents: the Republicans and the hard core Democratic Party which through its super delegates can unfairly tip the nomination to one of its own. But, Bernie made a special run and came quite close to Clin ton. Given the wild state America will be in when Trump and his cabinet get done, the Progressives are by no means finished. There will be opportunities for programs that help the working classes, keep the safety net for the old and sick, and restore the environment. Republican greed must be challenged if America is going to meet its destiny.
 
 
+43 # dbrize 2016-12-11 20:03
More Boardman! Less, much less Reich!

Not because Boardman is always right (I know you may dispute this William), but he is always interesting, iconoclastic and does his homework.
 
 
+41 # savagem13 2016-12-11 20:29
I agree. Wonderful piece, Mr. Boardman.
 
 
+22 # Helga Fellay 2016-12-11 22:45
Yes, Please, pleeze, more Boardman, and less, much, much less, Reich. He should join Hillary and go on a vacation, a long vacation.
 
 
+1 # madame de farge 2016-12-14 12:46
Reich wrote a CLASSIC about the Reagan Mythology and good old Billy Clinton read it and RAN ON IT..... Reich is a great man, just too bad he is hooked at the hip with the Clinton Mafia...
 
 
+2 # grandlakeguy 2016-12-12 01:32
Yes this was a great article.
As far as much less Reich...how about no more Reich!
 
 
+22 # harleysch 2016-12-12 04:45
I agree -- finally an article on RSN which doesn't whine about the outcome, or divert away from the failures of Clinton and Obama, by blaming Putin, etc.
 
 
+4 # Pikewich 2016-12-12 19:08
I agree too. Reich is too much the apologist for democrats.
 
 
+31 # dotlady 2016-12-11 23:58
Good piece, thanks. So when do we create the third party and attend it?
 
 
+16 # grandlakeguy 2016-12-12 01:43
The sooner the better.
 
 
+11 # Buddha 2016-12-12 10:50
Now? The self-denial and re-installation of non-progressive fossils like Pelosi and Schumer says all that needs to be said about the DNC and how it is going to operate going forward. Progressivism is not welcome in the Democratic Party. Time to form our own workers party.
 
 
-18 # Kropotkinesque 2016-12-12 01:23
Look. I know. Trump is no Gandhi, or even a very nice man.

But really: How is Trump likely to be worse than what Clinton would have been?

If Trump honors half of his decent promises, we will have some progressive, or humane, inroads, like auditing of the Fed, a cut of U.S. aggression and regime-change attempts, a U.S./Russia detente, no TPP or TTIP, renegotiation of NAFTA, White House tries of preventing major corporations’ outsourcing of jobs.......

The "nervous breakdown" seems to be instead a schizophrenia of the rabid among liberals and progressives.

Trump's environmental policy seems disastrous. But Clinton's would have been equally bad, or worse. Witness Secretary Clinton's treatment of the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.

And do not assert that Hillary is not a racist. You will shame yourself.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-12-12 13:17
The HRC/DNC campaign and her PR army in the corporate media spent the past year scaring the hell out of people about Trump, so it's only natural that those who got caught up in the emotion-manipul ation are freaking out.

I felt better about foreign policy under Trump than I would have with HRC, but he's been surrounding himself with some pretty militant advisors. Still, he's continuing to point towards ending our regime change policies, and that's a BIG issue - blowback from which causes many problems.

My main concern remains the Republican Establishment that rode in on his coat tails. The continued cutting of the "social safety net," his "law and order" stance and the marginalization of numerous minorities (and some who are actually in the majority) are cause for concern and calls for action.

But settling for DNC "politics as usual" will only weaken us and set us back.
 
 
+7 # Kropotkinesque 2016-12-12 20:44
I neglected to add that Trump promised to bring back Glass-Steagall and give it greater, wider force.
 
 
+6 # GreenBee 2016-12-13 06:22
I'll believe this when I see it. Trump has promised many things even things that are in direct contradiction to each other.
 
 
+24 # John Puma 2016-12-12 03:49
Excellent article.

The only shortcoming was the absence of an enumeration of the record of the Clinton (dual) presidency that exquisitely informed realistic expectations for what would have been the second Clinton dual presidency. It would not have been hollow so much as a pernicious bait-and-switch , like that now in progress by Herr Hair:

1) Defense of Marriage Act – later found unconstitutiona l
2) DADT – dumped as "major achievement" of the next "progressive" president
3) Religious Freedom Restoration Act (aka The Theocracy Enabling Act)
4) Telecom Deregulation Act (aka Hate Media Enabling Act)
5) “End of welfare as we know it” to further hobble the black community he/she so smarmily insist they represent
6) NAFTA, GATT-WTO
7) repeal of Glass-Steagall Act (the Too-Big-to-Fail Enabling act)
8) Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000: with #6,7 the impetus for Great Depression 2.0 and ??? 9) Continually kissing the collective ass of, and thereby "emboldening," the, then, only incipient GOP domestic terrorists.
10) Presiding over Bush I’s war crime of Desert Storm “economic sanctions" whose 1 million (half children) deaths were deemed "worth it"
11) Destruction of Yugoslavia. A model for later, similar atrocities in Iraq, Libya & ...
12) Crime Act and its black, teen male "super predators" meme with “unexpected” result of more black males in jail than in college and cold-blooded murder in the streets.
 
 
+2 # madame de farge 2016-12-14 12:49
You forgot to mention that Bill Clinton did not follow up on the Savings and Loan crisis...IN FACT HE ENABLED THE 2008 MESS...by letting the criminals rewrite the laws...
 
 
+20 # lorenbliss 2016-12-12 05:48
Thus far, the only comment on this thread with which I disagree is DongiC's notion "America is going to meet it's destiny."

First of all, "America" is not just the United States, and to imply otherwise is to insult Canadians, Mexicans, and everybody who lives south of Mexico's southern border.

That's why I coined "USian" -- a person of the United States -- specifically to distinguish between those of us who are subjects of the Fourth Reich and those who are not but nevertheless live in the Americas.

But what really troubles me is the notion implicit in DongiC's remark that the USian Empire has yet to meet its destiny.

That's because I believe the US has indeed met its destiny. Its capitalism, like all capitalism, has morphed into zero-tolerance capitalist governance -- absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassals; total subjugation for all the rest of us -- i.e, fascism, or more properly a uniquely USian variant of Nazism ("USA! USA! USA!").

And it was in defiant recognition of this Nazism our overlords forced us to choose between a new Holocaust (Trump) or thermonuclear apocalypse (Hillary).

Sorry, DongiC -- especially since I agree with you more often than not. But this time you're dead wrong: whether Trump or Hillary ends up on the imperial throne, whether we the people are ruled by Holocaust or Apocalypse, the U.S. has in fact met its destiny. And so it will forever be defined in whatever human time remains.
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2016-12-12 19:19
No question that the ruling class in the United States has increased its power in the most recent election cycle. But, we are not a fascistic state nor a Nazi one. "USA! USA! USA!" chants are not proof that we are going the route of Adolph Hitler. For one thing, I wouldn't be writing this if the Nazis were in control. Nor would you be reading it. And, where are the prisons that popped up all over Germany after 1933? We aren't there yet.

I don't know if Trump is going to usher in a holocaust. He may fight the Chinese but I doubt that he will battle the Russians. There is just too much money in hydrocarbons underneath the Arctic Ocean. Exxon has rights on certain fields worth over 500 billion dollars. Amazingly, the CEO of this company is our new Sec, of State.

Finally, I don't think the election of HRC would have brought a thermonuclear apocalypse. Her no fly zones in Syria were most incautious, her personality clashes with Putin very unfortunate and her foreign policy, imperialistic. Yet, these are a long way from firing the nukes. We are no where close today to where we were in October 1962,

I believe that we still have a grand destiny. Perhaps, it will be in saving the planet from overheating. No question the protest at Standing Rock demonstrates that not everybody pursues money first and foremost, Maybe, the Native Americans will lead the way to a peaceful and productive future,
 
 
+3 # economagic 2016-12-12 22:27
The repetition of history seldom looks like its predecessor.
 
 
+2 # GreenBee 2016-12-13 06:32
Well, Trump is a very prideful person who needs to respond to every slight or insult with whatever one-upmanship he can muster. So war is certainly a possibility, but not with Russia since it is obvious he is allied in some ways,in some depth with Putin. But we could very well have war with Iran. Just by allying with Putin and aiding his agenda to stop the proposed pipelines through Syria, Trump may anger the Saudis and their partners and they may to cut off the oil. Add that scenario to the possibility of China calling in some of our debt and there will be a whole lot more economic distress here. And how do the oligarchs often redirect populist anger? By villianizing foriegn countries and making "patriotic wars." So perhaps not thermo-nuclear war, but a lot more war.
 
 
+1 # madame de farge 2016-12-14 12:51
Trump KNOWS that the collective wealth in this country is 90 TRILLION dollars or 300,000 for every man woman and child... and as he indicated years ago, a wealth tax could be used to eliminate the national debt.... REALLY...
 
 
-2 # Philothustra 2016-12-12 06:14
Given the global consequences of whatever political and economic convulsions are brought on by the new regime, it matters little that Canada and Mexico are across a border. The notion that electing much-hated Hillary ensured a "thermonuclear apocalypse" is completely absurd. Anyone who uses the threat of a nuke out-- ("We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," said Bush)-- is simply an extortionist.
But we can expect Netanyahu to launch on Iran, and Putin to push hard against the Baltics, with Trump complacently occupying the White House.
 
 
+8 # tedrey 2016-12-12 07:47
I can see a cartoon of a sweating Putin "pushing hard against the Baltics" while the huge NATO/US steamroller pushes harder against Russia.
 
 
+21 # Anonymot 2016-12-12 07:10
A brilliant resume ofAmerica's foibles and troubles. It proves that there are still minds that work. What is not demonstrated is how and why that level of intelligence is missing from the governments we have been presented for many years and why the choices we were given this year was an abomination of such grotesque profundity.

No one of national political importance talks about the ownership of the Democrat Party by Deep State and the CIA, not even its detractors. No one knows if Senator Sanders understands that and that his efforts to clean house will not break that ownership. It's not even certain that if he were to form an independent third party that it would not be infiltrated by one of our "intelligence" agencies. Yet it seems to me, as a student of these matters on an international level, that the only hope of getting the US out of terminal danger is to open a third party in which progressives of the Sanders, Stein, Boardman, Parry, Talbot, Gabbard, etc. kind of people play a preponderant role. There are plenty of them who are alive, well, and would be willing.

It would require a think-tank-like organization to prepare it. But it is doable. Nothing less is going to stir the non-voters to get out and vote.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2016-12-12 13:34
Any such movement WILL be infiltrated. They always are.

If they survive and thrive anyway, then attempts will be made to crush them. And they usually are.

But knowing these things should not prevent us from trying.

As Chris Hedges says, "I fight the fascists not because I will win. I fight the fascists because they are fascists."

And with the knowledge that we are right, and that we want the best for the 99% of the world, and that willingness to fail rather than submit, I do believe that one day we will succeed.
 
 
+13 # tedrey 2016-12-12 08:01
The other, concurrent hope is that the world community may take the opportunity to find ways to partially defang the rogue danger that the US has become. . . to demand an end of the veto power in the Security Council, to rein in the destructive arms trade, to sanction the US when it breaks international standards . . .

I know that to even suggest that the US try the path of internationalis m rather than interventionism or isolationism is widely considered highest treason, but I think it actually is the fullest patriotism.

But we need the help of the other decent citizens of the rest of the world to get out of this morass. Otherwise we're a basket case--an ailing and stumbling dinosaur on spindly legs and a badly managed diet.

I'd like to see more thoughts on all this.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-12-12 13:50
YES! It's always been true, but with "globalization" there can be no denying that we must see the 99% of the entire world as our kindred and potential allies.

The 0.01% goal is to bring living standards in the West down to "3rd World" levels, or close to them. And as long as we see the exploited working classes of China or Guatemala as our competition, the 0.01% win.

Now, it is also true that the finite earth cannot bear to bring all 7.5 billion of us to the levels of consumption of wasteful products created in unsustainable ways we Westerners "enjoy."

So, one important thing we must do is choose, as individuals to cease purchasing those things that harm the earth and our fellow humans.

It may be too difficult for almost all of us to cease feeding the beast completely. But if we have this ethos in mind whenever we have the need or urge to buy something, and so give conscious consideration to each purchase, we can, in sum improve the lives of others and help the earth to heal.

And as markets change, so will production change to fill those new, ethically-consc ious markets.
 
 
+9 # Skeeziks 2016-12-12 08:14
Trump so far, has followed protocol of an incoming president, but he has so far chosen people who will do their very best for Trumpism.

The rich will indeed be richer, the Middle Class will shrink more and the poor will grow, be ill and die off in record numbers.
 
 
+8 # Anonymot 2016-12-12 09:44
You can't expect Trump to name Bernie to a cabinet post. You & I, We will have to do our best for 4 Trump years and meanwhile, try to build something new.
 
 
-16 # revhen 2016-12-12 09:13
Bordman, why do I even listen to stupid putzes like you? Politics is the art of the possible. Unfortunately ideologues like you and the almost as bad tea partyers want absolute agreement with every point of view they hold. I agree that including the evil, greedy insurance companies in the Affordable Care Act is highly unfortunate. But even more unfortunately ACA would not have happened if the true believing capitalists even in the Democratic party were not mollified. If that "compromise" were not made, some 30 million people would not be covered. We would have zero increase in health care coverage. Of course, I too would prefer a Medicare-type coverage. But the Repubs never liked Social Security because it took a pittance of money away from the very rich and large corporations and a move is afoot in Congress to destroy it. Same for Medicare. "The horror, the horror."
 
 
+9 # Anonymot 2016-12-12 09:35
As an anti-idealogue I fear you're a fail. As a putz you're a winner.
 
 
-4 # revhen 2016-12-12 09:53
Quoting Anonymot:
As an anti-idealogue I fear you're a fail. As a putz you're a winner.


Welcome to the club!

Now, I apologize for my name calling. I sometimes get carried away. At least I explained why I considered Mr. Broadman a little off base. Take the ACA. It was fundamentally an idea propose by a right-wing group, the Heritage Foundation, and implemented by a Republican governor, Mitt Romney. When it came to the proposal by that black man in the white house (latent racism surged to the fore), not one Republican voted for it and every single Democratic vote was needed, especially in the Senate. I remember one western senator who balked at signing on unless certain changes were made that favored the insurance companies. And I am certain that some wealthy Democratic senators wanted to protect their investments and sources of future income. Thus the "cumbersome" (as Paul Ryan puts it) ACA. I'm certain that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid would prefer an extension of Medicare but had to achieve any extension of health care coverage to those of more modest income.

Now, I see a larger picture in all this. With the tremendous and continuing transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the very wealthy we may be doomed to become a country with an oligarchic plutocratic authoritarian real government (controlled by a small group of the very wealthy) and the rest of us as disposable serfs who will need no health care or retirement.
 
 
+14 # Radscal 2016-12-12 14:06
So, you acknowledge that ACA was precisely what the Right Wing wanted, and yet you still want to claim it as a Democratic Party success?

Yes, there were elected Democrats who strongly opposed the Universal Single Payer healthcare that 2/3 of USians wanted in the summer of 2009. And since, as you note, ACA passed without a single Republican vote, it was those Democrats who prevented us from getting something that the overwhelming majority wanted.

So, the 0.01% got exactly what it wanted, and yet "liberals" defend it since it was presented to us as "the art of the possible" pragmatism.

ACA is one of the best examples of how the partisan charade prevents real progress.
 
 
+16 # WBoardman 2016-12-12 15:16
revhen misapprehends my point, which is that
you never get what you don't ask for.

Obama & co didn't even try for single payer,
much less propose it and publicly hold the feet
of Dem opponents to the fire.

You never know what the art of the possible will achieve
if you're not willing to try for the best
regardless of how possible it may seem
before you make any effort.

What the Dems do is a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

Nothing artful, or admirable, in it.
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2016-12-12 18:20
Obama made a deal with insurance and drug companies before it even got to Congress. It didn't try for more because he had already promised not to.
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2016-12-12 13:57
If you're going to play the half-loaf game, then at least count the slices accurately.

The ACA added some 10 million new customers to the health insurance rolls. Some 30 million remain uninsured today. And that was exactly the goal: to provide insurance for about 1/3 of the 45 million who had no coverage in 2009.
 
 
+12 # mashiguo 2016-12-12 10:11
So this is what a cogent analysis of our current situation looks like.
Thank you for tearing back the veil and looking at root causes rather than superficial symptoms.

US cannot right itself until it deals with some fundamental issues left over from its creation.
If just governments derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed, then US has NEVER had a just government. Slaves never consented to their governance. Never in my lifetime has a majority elected a president. etc.
If this issue is not settled peaceably, how will it be settled?
 
 
0 # ericlipps 2016-12-14 06:14
"No one won this election," but it's Donald Trump who's going to the White House, not Hillary Clinton--and certainly not Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein. Will "progressives" cheer this result just because "at least he's not Hillary"?

The sad thing is that some probably will.
 

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