Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


It's On! Recap and Commentary on the First Republican Debate (2012)

I don’t know whether many people (especially on the left) had the stomach to watch this 90 minute exercise in silliness and futility, but I personally am a bit of a masochist. I sat through the full thing, knowing all the while that it was over an hour of my life I could never get back. For the most part, little of interest was said, though I must confess to a few points of agreement on my part with a couple of the candidates (95% disagreement of course). There were even some laughs scattered throughout, so I can hardly call it a complete waste, can I?

Let’s have a look at what was on the table tonight.

Health Care Reform the Obama Way – The Real ObamaCare

The dog days of August have long been known as “the silly season” in the media. Most people are busy enjoying the summer and the media has to stretch to find stories of interest. This is the time for “man bites dog” stories. It has been this way in this country for a long time.

Tonight, the silly season officially came to an end.

Anyone who is not blinded by hatred or ideology will admit that Barack Obama is one of the most skilled political orators to ever hold the office of President of the United States. He reaffirmed that status in a speech tonight to the joint houses of Congress.

The timing of the speech couldn’t have been better. During August, the health care debate seemed to be reaching an impasse. Opponents were twisting reasonable proposals into “death panels” and “government takeovers”. Supporters were complaining about lack of leadership, focus, and messaging. It was time to get the reform effort back on track.

President Obama addressed both sides tonight, as well as the huge number of people who were on neither side so far.

The Liberals Want To Kill Grandma and Other Lies

Rush told me this so it must be true. Sarah Palin said the same thing. She also said they want to kill her baby. We must stop them before it is too late.

Does anyone truly believe these claims?

According to conservative web sites and pundits the health care reform sponsored by Democrats will lead to “death panels” that will decide who lives and who dies. If you listen to talk radio you are told that the “evil libruls” want to kill off all of the old people in order to save money on health care. They never explain how this matches with their claims that liberals are all about tax and spend. That liberals never met an expensive program they didn’t like. According to them, it’s not liberals that want to save money, it is conservatives that are supposed to be all about cutting spending.

The conflict between their claims that ‘evil libruls’ want to go to extreme lengths to save money and at the same time are spendthrifts who only want to get as much of your tax dollars as possible isn’t the only paradox in their arguments. They also need to explain how the party that has always been for the weak and defenseless is all of a sudden going to turn on the very types of people they have always defended. On the other hand, when have conservatives ever shown the least bit of concern for the elderly or the disabled?

I could write far more about these nonsensical claims, but they don’t deserve the amount of attention I’ve already given them. They are fabricated out of thin air in an attempt to scare people.

Why Health Care Reform? A primer

This evening, I was talking about health care reform with a family member and she said something that threw me off-balance for a bit. She said that it was about people with their hands out wanting something for free. As far as she was concerned, no one gave her health care and she doesn’t see why anyone else shouldn’t have to go out and get their own. I was totally unprepared to hear this coming from someone in my family, so I didn’t respond right away. It was also late and I knew there wasn’t really time to go into everything involved right then. Since I really didn’t want to let it die there I wrote the information below and emailed it to her. I decided that if someone close to me could misunderstand the need for reform that it would probably be a good idea to put this on the Moose for everyone to read.

The email was titled, “A little primer I wrote for you on the health care debate – it isn’t all about the uninsured”

The cost for health care in the United States currently consumes 17% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in this country. The U.S. spends, on average, 50% more per person than any other developed country. Unfortunately, the extra money we spend doesn’t buy us better health care.

An excerpt from a speech by Kathleen Sebelius the Secretary of Health and Human Services: (my emphasis)

Police Arrest 15 Iraq Veterans Against the War at Hofstra Outside Presidential Debate

On Wednesday, October 15th 2008, a peaceful protest outside the third Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on Long Island was met with violence and misconduct by police.

Iraq Veterans Against the War had a clear mission that night: to ensure that the issues most important to Veterans would be at the forefront of the debate. With over 4,183 service members having been killed in Iraq (at the time of the protest), it’s unforgivable that the candidates have been allowing the Occupation of Iraq and it’s casualties to fall into avoidable talking points instead of focused attention.

A few post-debate thoughts and poll analysis – mostly good news [UPDATED 9/28]

There seems to be a disconnect between the way the pundits and the politically active class saw the debate and the way the average viewer saw it.

Since I’m in the politically active class, I definitely had a different take on it than the other people who were watching it with me. McCain exceeded my expectations, given his actions of late on the campaign trail. Obama, on the other hand, came across as the man I’ve come to respect and admire over the long course of this election cycle. I fell into a trap, because of those views.

Because Obama came across the way I expected, he gained no points from me for performance, while McCain did better than expected. This boosted McCain in my view. Uncommitted voters saw it differently.

Parsing the CBS post-debate poll (pdf) of uncommitted voters shows some interesting findings.

Pre-(?)Debate Open Thread

Happy Friday, Folks!

It is less than nine hours to the first Presidential Debate as I write this, an event that will (or won’t) be watched by what has been forecast to be 100M people and will (or won’t) be the first chance for Americans and the world to hear how the two (or one) Presidential candidates handle direct questions together (or alone).  3,000 journalists are gathered in Mississippi wondering what they will reporting on.


The “Bailout” deal is (or isn’t) coming together, House Republicans are (or are not) planning their own Palace Coup and banks are (are) still going under.

Prepare to speak liberally.

VP Debates: McCain Campaign Pre-emptively Admits Defeat

With the intellectual equivalent of  surrendering before the battle has actually started, the McCain campaign today stated that they would appreciate it if their VP candidate could do her first debate without any actual, you know, “debating” involved.

Patrick Healy at the New York times has this:

At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

No kidding.