Trying to change the subject from Obamacare, President Obama opted to give another speech, this time on the economy. Of course, his main interest is raising the minimum wage, something that has considerable support (until the cause-effect scenario plays out - but more on that later). So, in his speech, Obama said the following:
A broad majority of Americans agree we should raise the minimum wage. That's why, last month, voters in New Jersey decided to become the 20th state to raise theirs even higher. That's why, yesterday, the D.C. Council voted to do it, too. I agree with those voters. I agree with those voters, and I'm going to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hard-working Americans across the entire country. It will be good for our economy. It will be good for our families.
You see, Americans agree that the minimum wage should be increased therefore we should pass it. Obama made a similar argument last week when Senate Democrats eliminated the filibuster rule in unprecedented fashion. If a majority of people want to vote on something, they should be able to. So my suggestion is this: Republicans offer a grand bargain. A grand bargain that give voters two things they want. After all, what voters want is what is most important.
1) Voters want a minimum wage increase. Fine. Done!
but only if....
2) Voters get the other thing they want: Obamacare repealed. They hate it. They think it is a disaster. They want it gone. As President Obama noted, 20 states have voted for a minimum wage increase above the national average. That's important as it apparently means the rate must be raised nationwide. Well even more states oppose Obamacare and have either passed laws against the law or refused to expand certain portions of the law.
Republicans should introduce the "Give the People What They Want Act of 2014" that both raises the minimum wage and repeals Obamacare. Would Democrats dare hold the pay of Americans hostage to the law that only Obama wants? Would Obama deny pay to millions of Americans while also forcing on them a law they don't want?
Is this a serious proposal? It won't happen, but I'd love to see it. Ahead of the 2014 elections, what would be better than to watch red-state Democrats squirm once more as they both refuse to raise the minimum wage in order to continue to support Obamacare, and reaffirm to their voters their support for the law. As far as politics goes: It. Would. Be. Delicious.
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Sure, "fascism" gets thrown about often, but usually just as an insult against conservatives. Never-mind that fascism has very little in common with right-wing ideologies and plenty in common with left-wing ones.
But there is rarely ever any real conversation about what fascism (as an economic system) is and where it applies in American society. It would seem that Obamacare is the perfect example of a fascist policy. Look at the capitalist, Socialist, and Fascist approaches to healthcare:
Capitalist Free Market Health Industry - This is what conservatives want. A system of choices and options that limits the heavy (and costly) hand of government and gives consumers choices and buying power. The pre-Obamacare health industry was not a good example of this given the already anti-market regulations of the government.
Socialist Health Industry - Ultimately this is what liberals seek. As President Obama has noted, single-payer is the goal and Obamacare is just the first step towards that goal. This is undoubtedly a socialist goal. But this is not what Obamacare currently is, given that private insurers and private health professionals are still in existence.
Fascist Health Industry - What is economic fascism? A deeper definition is here, but it is essentially where the industry is privately-owned but controlled in nearly every facet by a centralized authoritarian government. What better defines Obamacare? There are private insurers, but they are being told what plans they can offer, who they can offer them to, and what specific items people must buy or must be covered for. Individuals are forced to participate in the national program that is dictated by the federal government and somewhat "owned" by private individuals. And like with economic fascism, those who will do best in the private industry are likely those that decide to play along with the totalitarian regime... err, federal government. Pharmaceutical companies have been mostly silent. Want to guess why?
The term fascist is rarely discussed in a serious manner. It's usually just something not ironically screamed at right-wingers. (Not ironic because it's a favorite term of occupiers and rioters, but the act of occupying and rioting for social reasons is a key tenet of fascism, too.) But what other law more fits the category than Obamacare?
In Florida, Republicans have a near veto-proof majority. That isn't likely to change soon, yet former Governor and humiliated 2010 US Senate candidate Charlie Crist wants back in the Governor's mansion anyway.
Crist obviously isn't interested in the Governor's job. I mean he wants it, but only as a means to a bigger end. If he really wanted to be Governor, he would be finishing his second term next year, rather than running for a second term. Crist fancies himself as either a 2016 vice-presidential pick for Hillary or the successor to US Senator Bill Nelson in 2018. The Governor's mansion is but a means to an end.
When Crist chose this path, Republican Governor Rick Scott seemed like an easy target, and hypothetical polling gave Crist huge leads. But just as Crist announced his run for Governor, everything started to change. Scott's approval numbers started to bounce back and polls had a potential race in the low single digits.
And this is before a potentially bruising primary for Crist and a general election that will see tens of millions of dollars playing Crists own words against him. And how will he explain it all? We aren't talking one or two issues Crist changed, we are talking dozens. And big ones, too.
Republicans have a shot to narrow the Democrats' 10 seat edge in the US Senate in 2014. With a favorable landscape, Republicans have little room for mistakes and must avoid the unforced errors that ended the chance to win seats in Missouri and Indiana in 2012.
On paper, the Republicans should walk away 51-53 seats after November of next year. If all the toss-ups went their way along with the handful of seats that are just slightly leaning Democratic, the GOP could hold as many as 57 seats. No, that is not a prediction I am making. I am well aware of the ability of Republicans to trip over their own feet, get up, and then trip again.
With a year to go, anything can happen. Some of the Democrats in toss-up seats may not get a great challenger. A Republican can say something harmless that will be turned into a national scandal. And if the Obamacare mess clears itself up by next November... wait, who am I kidding? Okay, "if" that were to happen, maybe some of these toss-ups become leans Democrat, and some of the leans Democrat become safe Democrat. And maybe having the name "Nunn" is good enough to get elected in Georgia. For now, these are the projections:Read: 2014 US Senate Race Ratings - GOP Has No Room For Error in Takeover Bid
A New Washington Post/ABC News poll has plenty of brutal news for President Obama and Democrats as they head into the midterm elections next year. But one clear head-scratcher is that 74% of liberal Democrats (and 71% of Democrats in general) believe that Obama's implementation of Obamacare is going well.
I know that the man can do no wrong in the eyes of some, but the last 2 months have been nothing short of a disaster for those who favor the law. Vulnerable Democrats are running as fast as they can to change parts of the law, moderate their positions, and claim they didn't vote for or against things they clearly did.
Can't blame Democrats for wanting to run from this train wreck, either:
Only 21% of voters say they are more likely to vote for a politician who supported Obamacare, while 39% say they are more likely to vote against an Obamacare supporter. Among just Independent voters, the numbers are 18% support, and 35% oppose.
It's amazing that just a month ago, the media and Democrats were gleefully predicting doom for the GOP in 2014 over the government shutdown. The GOP has enjoyed a double-digit-reversal on the generic congressional ballot, where they now lead by 1 point according to a Rasmussen poll and 3 points by a Fox News poll.
First, there was this video where Crist reintroduces himself. Whew, now that that's over...
Forget the vagueness of his positions (this will be entertaining to watch in 2014) and forget his attempted nuanced approach on the pro-life issue. What I am talking about her is: YOU THE PEOPLE.
This will probably be a little Florida-centric here, so let me explain. After 2010, Crist returned to the law profession where he teamed up with his buddies at an ambulance-chasing trial lawyer law firm. This unnamed law firm - and if you live in Florida you know what I am talking about - has a campaign theme. To some, it may be considered catchy. To others, it's highly annoying. That theme is: FOR THE PEOPLE. If you see ten billboards in Florida, for of them are FOR THE PEOPLE. If you listen to radio, 20% of the ads are FOR THE PEOPLE. If you watch TV, well you get the point. And if you don't, my point is: the slogan is very annoying. And it follows you. Everywhere. Sometimes I have a dream where an alien is chasing me, then he catches up and whispers eerily in my ear: "FOR THE PEOPLE."
Given the amount of ads for this firm - and I'm sure there is someone with a paid FOR THE PEOPLE tattooed to their forehead - I'm guessing it has done them well. And since Charlie Crist couldn't be so blatant as to run for Governor FOR THE PEOPLE he instead is going to run for YOU THE PEOPLE.In the ad, we get...
"Every day YOU, THE PEOPLE, were in charge."
"Only YOU THE PEOPLE can end this nonsense and get us back to common sense."
"Government on the fringes, donors and politics above YOU, THE PEOPLE."
"I work for YOU, THE PEOPLE. Always have and always will."That was four references to, you know, YOU THE PEOPLE, in one paragraph. And the campaign ads haven't even started yet. I can see it already: Radio spots about YOU THE PEOPLE in between spots about FOR THE PEOPLE. If only they believed in a document that started WE THE PEOPLE. But, alas....
Recommended Reading: Why Charlie Crist is the Best Example of the Worst of Politics