Patterico's Pontifications

9/20/2008

Obama Takes His Habit For Voting “Present” On The Campaign Trail With Him

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 11:26 am



[Posted by WLS]

A nice little nugget from Jonathan Martin’s Blog over at Politico on the subject of Obama’s position re the AIG bailout:

Obama, on the trail in New Mexico, had this to say of McCain:

“And today he accused me of not supporting what the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank did with AIG despite no evidence whatsoever that that’s what I had said.”

To recap, when I wrote earlier today that Obama supported the bailout, I quickly was instructed by his staff that this was not the case. He just didn’t oppose it, I was told.

Now he’s so adamant about not opposing the Fed’s move that he’s complaining about McCain’s portrayal.

Where, I wonder, is the line between not opposing and, ya know, supporting.

Just so we’re clear:

1. Obama didn’t support the Fed/Treasury bailout of AIG

2. Obama didn’t oppose the Fed/Treasury bailout of AIG.

“Hit the pound key on your touch-tone phone to vote ‘Present’.”

— WLS

46 Responses to “Obama Takes His Habit For Voting “Present” On The Campaign Trail With Him”

  1. On McCain’s support for the deregulation that led to the whole mess in the first place.

    Whether or not you agree on the bailout or not.. the important part is what led us to the problem in the first place. And that would be GOP policy led by Bush and McCain and Gramm.

    “My opponent(McCain) actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine — the current issue — quote — ‘Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.’

    jharp (f4bed7)

  2. Silence implys consent. Consent and consensus are cognate. Therefore Obama’s silence implys his consent to the response of Congress.

    Obama can tap dance and double talk around the issue if he dares, or parse the position till his chickens come home to roost, but he’s given his implied consent for others to face up to a tough job he helped create. He took big bucks from Fannie and Freddy to prevent the very oversight which would have exposed the corruption, and his part in it.

    Obama’s just another cheap race hustler on the make, who got lucky and won the Dem nomination. Now he’s going to lead the Democrat Party into disaster in November.

    Ropelight (b9f273)

  3. jharp, you’ve got your head so far up a warm dark place, you couldn’t see daylight at noon.

    Ropelight (b9f273)

  4. The LA Times today has an Obama-talking-points story about how Palin didn’t take a position on the AIG bailout. Maybe the Democrats should put her at the top of their ticket. I can’t see where Obama has anything on her on issues.


    How about pressing the governor when (like Obama) she ducked a straightforward question about whether insurance giant AIG should receive a government bailout?

    Where was Hannity’s incredulity when Palin lapsed into amnesia, again, when asked about her initial support of the “bridge to nowhere”?

    Actually, that last one qualifies as a dead horse, no matter what Bradley Fikes thinks.

    Another Obamabot is on TV yammering about Obama’s economic theories. Time to go to Blog Expo.

    Mike K (b74f82)

  5. Both McCain and Bush are on record in the NYT trying to get something sane done about Freddie and Fanny. Blocked by Democrats and squishy Republicans.

    Al (b624ac)

  6. Re McCains support for deregulation:

    From Campaign spot and the Washington Post:

    The Washington Post Hits Obama For ‘Misleading Spin’
    The editors of the Washington Post, this morning:
    One element of the Obama campaign’s brief against Mr. McCain is that he supported repeal of the law separating commercial banks from investment banks. “He’s spent decades in Washington supporting financial institutions instead of their customers,” Mr. Obama said yesterday. “Phil Gramm, one of the architects of the deregulation in Washington that led directly to this mess on Wall Street, is also the architect of John McCain’s economic plan.” Would it be churlish to point out that another author of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law is former congressman Jim Leach, a founder of Republicans for Obama? Or that Obama advisers Lawrence H. Summers and Robert E. Rubin supported the repeal — which was signed by President Bill Clinton?
    By the way, the Post actually takes it easy on Obama, since another senator who voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley was… Joe Biden. A couple of Democratic bloggers have tried to muddy the waters by pointing to his vote against the initial version. But he voted for the conference version – what was worked out by House and Senate negotiators — that ultimately became law.
    If Gramm-Leach-Bliley was so obviously misguided that we’re supposed to be horrified that McCain had Phil Gramm as an advisor, shouldn’t we be even more horrified that Obama would put Biden a heartbeat away from the presidency?

    ROA (bea1d3)

  7. Obama shows a clear pattern of fence sitting, he did before he didn’t, in voting “Present” 130 times while in the Illinois Senate. Voting “Present” shows that he is wishy-washy about taking a stand one way or the other on issues.

    Obama also criticized Hillary in the primaries for suggesting a national gas tax suspension, while failing to acknowledge that he supported a state gas tax suspension bill in Illinois, before he later voted against it.

    cheryl (4770e6)

  8. Obama shows a clear pattern of fence sitting, he did before he didn’t, in voting “Present” 130 times while in the Illinois Senate. Voting “Present” shows that he is wishy-washy about taking a stand one way or the other on issues.

    Obama also criticized Hillary in the primaries for suggesting a national gas tax suspension, while failing to acknowledge that he supported a state gas tax suspension bill in Illinois, before he later voted against it.

    cheryl (4770e6)

  9. Gramm-Leach-Bliley passed the Senate by a vote of 90-8. jharp keeps trying to make that legislation the root cause of the current financial meltdown but can’t point to any commercial bank felled by it. Usually people who can’t make their points or back them up in any way stop raising them.

    Not our harpster!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  10. How typical that jharp, emulating his hero, can’t even address the issue AT ALL . . . that issue being, what OBAMA said and did (or in this case, did not say and did not do).

    Icy Truth (ab2f41)

  11. 1. Obama didn’t support the Fed/Treasury bailout of AIG

    2. Obama didn’t oppose the Fed/Treasury bailout of AIG.

    Icy,

    I thought the post made it pretty clear.

    And might I ask, who cares?

    I know it might strike the wingnuts as something new but Senator Obama might be actually taking the time to think something through instead of shooting first and asking questions later.

    You like the George “shoot from the hip” Bush approach?

    It’s worked so well, hasn’t it?

    List again for me George Bush’s greatest accomplishments.

    And thank God, it seems like some folks are finally waking up to the disasterous Palin as VP pick.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  12. And for the record here is a perfect example of not thinking through things carefully.

    John McCain: “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

    What a dope.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  13. Chauncey the Gardener’s got nothing on The Messiah – the man says nothing but platitudes, and his supporters see great wisdom and pontification. But as for those pesky details regarding actually taking a stand on anything? Eh, not so much.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  14. Demonstration of projective humor from the unaware and overly self-impressed:

    “…What a dope…”

    Example number 238.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  15. What a dope.

    Instead then, jharp, I suppose we should have a choice-less health insurance program, just like they do in Canada and Great Britain.

    JVW (6c4300)

  16. Instead then, jharp, I suppose we should have a choice-less health insurance program, just like they do in Canada and Great Britain.

    Comment by JVW — 9/20/2008 @ 2:17 pm

    JVW,

    You didn’t read McCain’s quote very carefully.

    “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

    Since it worked so well with the banks, McCain wants to approach it like they did banking.

    Take the time to look at Obama’s proposal. You obviously haven’t a clue as to what it is about.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  17. No jharp, it is you who can’t see the forest from the trees. In your criticism of McCain, it follows logically that you don’t want to see competition and choice in health care. That, for all anyone can tell, is your criticism of the banking legislation (which, by the way, started in the Clinton Administration). It logically follows, therefore, that you think a very heavily regulated and structured health care system is the way to go, and I am pointing out that other nations are not necessarily finding that to be the case.

    JVW (6c4300)

  18. “I am pointing out that other nations are not necessarily finding that to be the case.”

    Where did you come up with this?

    Yeah, right. The rest of the industrial world pays 1/3 to 1/2 what the United States pays and covers everyone. They are really clamoring to copy our system. Our health care system is by far the most expensive, leaves millions without coverage, and provides the same level of care.

    Even McCain openly admits it sucks. Just so happens his proposal will make it worse.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  19. They are really clamoring to copy our system. Our health care system is by far the most expensive, leaves millions without coverage, and provides the same level of care.

    Tony Blair had to run on a promise to reform the National Health Service. His inability to do so is a major failure.

    Canada now has months-long waiting lists for patients needing heart surgery and other important procedures. In several provinces, expectant mothers don’t get to see an obstetrician until their third trimester.

    You can go on and on about how much better other countries allegedly have it and how it provides “the same level of care,” but you would be wrong. Nations with socialized health insurance are rationing care, and these countries are starting to understand the need to reform their systems.

    Do you really think Michael Moore will hie for Cuba when he has his heart attack?

    JVW (6c4300)

  20. Interesting, didn’t Jesse Jackson provide part of the rational for deregulation of the banking industry by arguing it would help minority (read Black) businesses and home owners get loans? Now the Obambots claim the impetus for deregulation was to allow Wall Street fat cats get fatter.
    Why I’m an Independent: as a liberal person I am repulsed by the insane rationalization, lies, shady associates and thuggery coming out of the Obama campaign. It should not be a “do anything to win” strategy which is what it has become.

    george (41c756)

  21. George (#20), it is similar to the problems caused by the Savings & Loan industry in the late 80s. They had been chartered in the late 70s as a way to encourage loans to small businesspeople and (especially) minorities who couldn’t get credit from the big banks. Unfortunately, the risky decisions made by the industry leaders doomed the whole industry. Same thing with all these bad home loans: no one was complaining five years ago when first-time homeownership, especially among minority groups, was at an all-time high. Now that it has all come tumbling down, everyone wants to pretend that the results can somehow be judged irrespective of the intentions and processes.

    JVW (6c4300)

  22. “Canada now has months-long waiting lists for patients needing heart surgery and other important procedures.”

    Link? You are wrong.

    And please, the United States has the poorest health care system in the world followed by Canada and the U.K. For your sake and mine, and for the rest of our country, please turn off Rush Limbaugh and do a little reading.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  23. Anecdotal evidence isn’t on your side, jharp.

    DRJ (0754ed)

  24. Anecdotal evidence, indeed.

    Every Canadian I know, as well as every citizen of England that I have spoken with regarding this issue has had one variation or another of the same sentence:

    “The health care is great if you don’t mind waiting.”

    I was at a dinner with some very left friends of mine who were extolling the virtues of Socialized medicine, when one of the British guests piped up – “be careful of what you wish for…”

    Apogee (366e8b)

  25. Comment by JVW — 9/20/2008 @ 3:32 pm

    If you think the S&L’s only date from the 70’s, you obviously have never seen the film
    “It’s A Wonderful Life”?

    Another Drew (0d32b9)

  26. Anecdotal evidence isn’t on your side, jharp.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/20/2008 @ 3:59 pm

    Please DRJ.

    Get real. Seven people sampled?

    You’re joking. Right?

    jharp (f4bed7)

  27. Every Canadian and Brit I have spoken with love their system.

    For elective events there is sometimes a wait. Just like the U.S.

    And no paperwork, insurance hassles, or denial of payments.

    And get this. The doctors and health care professionals make the medical decisions. Not the insurer who stands to profit by denying claims.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  28. I was in England this past May. At least once per day, I heard a native complaining about the British heath care system.

    One odd consequence is that ladders are now banned in England. If you want to do any outside work, you must install scaffolding, as ladders are deemed to be too dangerous. Evidently, the nationalize health care system is powerful enough to remove items from the home they believe cause injuries.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  29. jharp, see my original comment for a link to some problems with the health care system. DRJ provided another. The stories are out there, but your side continually chooses to ignore them. Type “Canadian health care” into YouTube and see some videos of people sharing their experiences (some good, but plenty bad) with the system. Beyond that, I am not your research service (especially since you tend to pooh-pooh or avoid anything that contradicts your vision of the Canadian/Euro perfect system).

    And this claim that “the doctors and health care professionals make the decisions” is patently absurd. Government bureaucrats in Canada and England make the decisions; this is why so many Canadians come across the border to pay for our “screwed up” method of health care.

    JVW (6c4300)

  30. If you think the S&L’s only date from the 70’s, you obviously have never seen the film
    “It’s A Wonderful Life”?

    OK, it’s true that they do go back farther than my comment would lead one to believe, but wasn’t it only in the 70s that Congress and the Carter Administration exempted S&Ls from the most stringent FDIC rules?

    JVW (6c4300)

  31. Comment by JVW,

    The Canadian system is the second worst. And the U.K third.

    Take a look at the other 27 industrialized countries.

    All pay about half of what we pay. For the same level of care. And everyone is covered.

    And I have spent over a year of my life in Hong Kong. Excellent system complimented with private insurance. And everyone loves it.

    Goddam dumb American’s haven’t a clue about being taken to the cleaners by the insurers.

    We pay double or more than double. And the wingnuts cheer.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  32. Wait a minute, jharp, in comment 27 you assured us that everyone you knew in Canada and Britain “loves their system.” Now suddenly they’re the second and third worst in the world? Way to move those goalposts, pal.

    I am pretty confident that we have more people coming to America from those nations for complicated health care procedures than we have Americans going over there for them. If you are basing your preferences on how great your experience in Hong Kong was, all I can say is that I have received excellent care at a reasonable cost here in the U.S., so I’ll be dammed if I am going to stand by and watch us slide towards socialized mediocrity.

    JVW (6c4300)

  33. All pay about half of what we pay. For the same level of care. And everyone is covered.

    Not the same level of care.

    “access to medical technology in Canada is well below average.”

    “Equally disconcerting is that Canada’s total healthcare expenditures are among the highest in the developed world and yet the limited inventory of advanced medical equipment found in our health care system is often old and outdated.”

    Apogee (366e8b)

  34. Wait a minute, jharp, in comment 27 you assured us that everyone you knew in Canada and Britain “loves their system.”

    Yes. And I stand by my words.

    “Now suddenly they’re the second and third worst in the world?”

    Yes, and I stand by my words. They mostly use the U.S. system as a benchmark. And when you compare the second and third worst to the worst… viola the second and third worst look pretty good.

    “Way to move those goalposts, pal.”

    I’m not moving any goalposts. Our system sucks.

    “so I’ll be dammed if I am going to stand by and watch us slide towards socialized mediocrity.”

    No one. No one is proposing socialized medicine and if you think someone is it shows your ignorance of the issue.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  35. Infant mortality rates world wide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

    The United States most expensive health care system in the world ranks behind…

    infant mortality
    163 United States 6.3 7.8
    164 New Caledonia 6.1 8.7
    165 Cyprus 5.9 6.9
    166 Brunei 5.5 6.7
    167 Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) 5.2 6.2
    168 Cuba 5.1 6.5
    169 New Zealand 5.0 6.4
    170 Portugal 5.0 6.6
    171 Italy 5.0 6.1
    172 Ireland 4.9 6.2
    173 Canada 4.8 5.9
    174 United Kingdom 4.8 6.0
    175 Slovenia 4.8 6.4
    176 Israel 4.7 5.7
    177 Netherlands 4.7 5.9
    178 Luxembourg 4.5 6.6
    179 Australia 4.4 5.6
    180 Austria 4.4 5.4
    181 Denmark 4.4 5.8
    182 Germany 4.3 5.4
    183 Spain 4.2 5.3
    184 France 4.2 5.2
    185 Belgium 4.2 5.3
    186 Korea, South 4.1 4.8
    187 Switzerland 4.1 5.1
    188 Czech Republic 3.8 4.8
    189 Finland 3.7 4.7
    190 Hong Kong 3.7 4.7
    191 Norway 3.3 4.4
    192 Sweden 3.2 4.0
    193 Japan 3.2 4.2
    194 Singapore 3.0 4.1
    195 Iceland 2.9 3.9

    jharp (f4bed7)

  36. jharp, infant mortality rates are not a valid way to judge health care systems.

    Just as an example, there is a large difference in infant mortality between the black and hispanic populations in the US, even after correction for economic circumstances. That shows that the problem has a large cultural component, not an access component.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. #35 Wait a second, jharp. You just told everyone: I have spent over a year of my life in Hong Kong. Excellent system complimented with private insurance. And everyone loves it.

    But they’re #190 in infant mortality. So the US at #163 is that much better?

    You contradict yourself.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  38. I am SHOCKED that there is a contradiction in jharp’s comments!

    Bigots!

    Another Drew (0d32b9)

  39. “All pay about half of what we pay. For the same level of care.”

    jharp – link?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  40. daleyrocks, there was an interesting study in the British Medical Journal a couple of years ago that compared Kaiser Permanente in California to the British National Health Service. It concluded that Kaiser cost about the same as NHS and provided better care.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. jharp’s not taking the bait. The ranking is reversed, lower numbers are worse. There’s a problem with this, however.

    If you compare, say Jordan’s infant mortality rate of 19.4 to the US at 6.3, by jharp’s reasoning the US kicks it’s ass. However, life expectancy in Jordan (78.55) is nearly equal to the US (78.06). Number one life expectancy? Andorra, population 71,000. Yeah, I know, we’d all move there if it was possible to fit 300 million people into a country that measures something like 181 square miles.

    Please tell us again how these statistics prove any point at all?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  42. Those damn insurers! Regarding medical malpractice litigation:

    In Canada, one claim is filed annually for every 50 doctors in practice, or currently about 1400 claims nationwide. This rate has been increasing at 10% per year over the last decade, but remains about a fifth the rate of claims per physician in the United States.

    A useful rule of thumb for filed claims is that two-thirds will be abandoned, over a quarter will be settled, 6% will go to trial and of these two-thirds will be found in favour of the defence (various 1990s figures from the Canadian Medical Protective Association).

    Source

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  43. “Please tell us again how these statistics prove any point at all?”

    Just shows that we suck in infant mortality rankings.

    And life expectancy ain’t a whole lot better.

    Gotta run. And you GOPers keep right on fighting against a better cheaper model used by every other country in the world.

    If Rush Limbaugh says our system is great then it must be true.

    In my travels, very clearly, Americans are the least educated narrow minded population I’ve ever encountered.

    Wall Street, Health Insurers, Oil Companies steal them blind and they only want more.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  44. jharp, the BMJ says you are wrong about the NHS being cheaper.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. “If Rush Limbaugh says our system is great then it must be true.”

    jharp – Is that what he is saying?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  46. jharp – Just shows that we suck in infant mortality rankings.

    And life expectancy ain’t a whole lot better.

    Gotta run.

    Translation: I’ll throw out some useless anti-American firebombs, then run.

    In my travels, very clearly, Americans are the least educated narrow minded population I’ve ever encountered.

    There’s that phony intellectual superiority again. So you’re of superior intellect, you travel around the world, and then pick the place that ‘sucks’? You question your own ‘superior intelligence’ with that statement.

    Apogee (366e8b)


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