Dependable Erection

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paging Heath Shuler

Western North Carolina's conservative Democratic representative is trying to make a name for himself by attacking the liberal House leadership of his party.

Dude, here's a much better target for you. Do something with it if you really care about your constituents and your party.
Harris spent months condemning the idea of Americans being entitled to taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage. Now that the election's over, Harris suddenly feels entitled to taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage -- and wants it immediately. (For the record, Harris and his family will probably rely on COBRA to stay insured until his coverage kicks in. COBRA, of course, is another government program that the right opposed.)

That Harris apparently sought a public option for him and his family just makes the whole story that much more hilarious.

Just to clarify, I don't actually blame the far-right congressman-elect. He wants coverage for him and his family, and doesn't want to have to worry about a 28-day gap in which he, his wife, and his kids would have no protections if they get sick.

I do, however, blame the far-right congressman-elect for failing to realize that millions of American families want the same peace of mind he's seeking.

Harris wants to know "what he would do without 28 days of health care"? I don't know, Andy, what have tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children, done without access to quality health care for years? Why are you entitled to government-subsidized health care, but they're not? What will those families do after you repeal the Affordable Care Act? Wait for tort reform to magically cover everyone?

What an embarrassment.

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  • Shuler voted against health care reform, too. His Blue Dogs lost half of their seats. The Progressive Caucus lost 5% of their seats. Therefore, the House leadership ought to move to the right. Right.

    As for Andy Harris, I doubt an anesthesiologist needs to worry about a 28-day gap. He doesn't even need COBRA. As long as you avoid greater than a 63-day gap, you don't lose coverage for pre-existing conditions. It's shocking to me how anyone can get elected to the House of Representatives without understanding these basics.

    By Blogger toastie, at 10:30 PM  

  • Apples and oranges. Harris' attempt to get coverage from his employer [who happens to be the US Government] is different than nationalized government provided health care whether you want it or not.

    And most people wouldn't look good if their questions and negotiations with a new employer were aired in national newscasts either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 PM  

  • People who acquire their employment by means of the will of a public campaign should have every expectation that their questions and negotiations with their new employers will be aired in national newscasts.

    Since you and i are his employers, i expect nothing less.

    As to the rest of your comment, no.

    It's exactly the same. The health care debate is largely about what happens to people who don't have employer provided insurance. That we ended up with a plan that still doesn't address that issue is largely the fault of people in Harris' party who prevented any debate about a public option health insurance program being made available to citizens regardless of their employment status.

    I'd think someone as smart as you would be able to see that.

    By Blogger Barry, at 8:08 AM  

  • Shuler's not attacking Pelosi. I've yet to see him say a single thing against her other than, "I might run against her," in which case EVERYONE, clearly including Shuler from his comments, knows he won't win. The point is to give the Blue Dogs a chance to say they supported a different minority leader, and in that way, he's little more than a stooge.

    For my money, Shuler has three excellent qualities: 1) He's not Charles Taylor, 2) He's not Charles Taylor, and 3) He's not Charles Taylor. Hell yeah, I wish Patsy Keever, Maggie Lauterer, or Sam Neal had been the ones to knock Taylor out of the box. Whether it was the only way to win, the fact remains that Taylor has run and won three times now as an enthusiastic Blue Dog, and his win in 2006 was the first time a Democrat had beat Charles Taylor in 18 years in a district the Democrats had twice tried to gerrymander specifically to beat him. So I give Heath Shuler a couple of booklets full of free passes. They're not infinite, but he hasn't used them up.

    As for Harris, whatever. Yes, he looks and sounds like an idiot. This is news?

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 2:49 PM  

  • Michael - i could have used any of the several dozen remaining block headed Blue Dog Democrats. I used Shuler because 1) he's from NC, and 2) he's been in the headlines himself for challenging Pelosi for the leadership.

    The point is precisely that an ass-clown like Harris got himself elected to the House, said something incredibly stupid, and it's not news.

    But it should be. Democrats lost control of the news cycle during the Town Hall meetings in August 2009, and have not regained it. The past 16 months have been a complete teabagger narrative of America in our media. We've seen the result of allowing that to happen.

    Geez, today some moron made headlines by claiming that Obama is "feminizing" the medal of honor by giving it to a soldier who didn't kill enough Taliban! WTF? Soldiers get the MoH for throwing themselves on grenades and saving their platoons, but believe you me this narrative is going to stick.

    Unless we start taking advantage of the other side's mistakes, and start rewriting the story in our favor, my golden years are going to be pretty sucky. And i ain't too happy about that.

    By Blogger Barry, at 6:52 PM  

  • Forgive me, but I'm less than convinced that "messaging" and pointing out relatively minor nonsense like this helps Democrats at all.

    "winning news cycles" only helps if you can fit it into a narrative that a) some important number of voters will buy, b) is something people actually care about, and c) doesn't turn around and bite you in the ass.

    "Their representatives are hypocritical, self-interested idiots" is not something one can conceivably convince the country is true of Republican reps but not Democratic ones. (See e.g. Edwards, John; Rangel, Charlie; and Jefferson, William.) Hence, this is fine material for Stewart and Letterman, but aside from that, yawn.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 2:44 PM  

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