Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Papers (or the Web)

I hope one of the things the OWSers have learned is that what gets reported or rumored or even becomes common knowledge is not necessarily what actually happened. Always — consider the source. Consider who benefits by manipulating public view. And most of all, don’t believe everything you hear, or read, because you want to believe it, or just because lots of people you know believe it. Lots of people are often wrong.

That said — Jonathan Bernstein, “Obama never secretly killed the public option. It’s a myth.” and “The NY Times Should Be Ashamed of Itself (Again).” See also Matt Glassman. Apparently all the hysteria about Obama killing the public option was along the same lines as much of what we saw in the New York Post about OWS.

Update: See also John Cole, “We’re Hopeless.” While the Left certainly is sometimes guilty of generating rumors and misinformation, that’s all the Right ever does.

Update: See the Booman.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Papers (or the Web)

  1. Bernstein’s article should be called “You can’t quite prove that Obama killed the Public Option even though it sure as hell seems like it.”

    Claiming to prove that Obama didn’t kill the PO is, well, false. Bernstein never advances anything like an argument for it not happening, all he can do is try to attack the evidence that it did, and apparently hope people like you confuse the two.

    • Tlaloc — been reading Big Tent Democrat, have you?

      I think Booman answers this quite well notice last sentence, boldfaced —

      Jonathan Bernstein is right that the president never made a secret deal to scrap the public option. But he doesn’t a very good job of explaining what actually happened. The administration realized very early on that they didn’t have the votes to get a public option. And even the support they thought they had for it started to drift away over the summer of 2009. It wasn’t too hard to predict that a public option would not be in the bill, and the administration made that point in negotiations with some stakeholders.

      It wasn’t something that was traded away, but its likely absence from the bill was part of the conversation. I’m sure the administration sought to exact some advantage from the situation by noting, for example, that they weren’t going to get everything they wanted and were going to make concessions. In the meantime, the administration did nothing to discourage its allies from pushing for a public option. Four of the five congressional committees that worked on the Affordable Care Act passed some version of a public option (the exception was Sen. Max Baucus’s Finance Committee). Ultimately, Harry Reid introduced the bill with a public option.

      The problem was that we never had 60 votes in favor of a public option. That was true in January 2009 and it was still true in March 2010

      The “Obama killed the public option” hysteria has always been absurd in the face of the simple fact that the public option was not going to pass in the Senate. If the votes had been there, and then the President deleted it, you’d have an argument. But there weren’t, so you don’t.

  2. He didn’t sell the public option out. He just assumed that requiring everyone to buy insurance from the same people who have been ripping us off for the last 20 years would fix the problem. I have my doubts

    • He just assumed that requiring everyone to buy insurance from the same people who have been ripping us off for the last 20 years would fix the problem. I have my doubts

      No, he understood that if the insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing condition, then there has to be some way to be sure people don’t wait to get sick to buy insurance, because of only sick people took health insurance the cost of premiums would be much, much higher than they are already. Here’s a publication from the Center for American Progress that explains this.

      I realize that probably flew over your head, but I decided to get on the record.

  3. “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers (or the web.)”

    Uhm, just a guess kids, but when she’d pointing this out, I don’t think maha meant HER!!! 🙂

  4. It’s impossible to prove something didn’t happen, which is why by law the State must prove something did happen – like the accused on the stand committed the murder. It is never the case that the accused must prove that he didn’t do it.

    I once knew an elderly Russian gentleman who swore that the moon-landing never happened – according to him the whole event was staged in Hollywood. Just try to prove that it happened (as reported and photographed.) I couldn’t, nor could he prove it didn’t happen, of course.

  5. IMHO, the Public Option was created to stop any talk of single payer. It was supposedly based on Jacob Hacker’s proposal, which was an attempt to thread the needle between private interests and public interests given the system in place in the US. I tend to think that Hacker’s proposal could potentially work, but relies on too many critical details that would never make it through the legislative process intact. So, just as pie-in-the-sky as single payer and maybe more.

    At any rate, it’s all about setting our own expectations. We know by now that The Obama will never attempt to gather support for anything for which the predicted outcome is the least bit dicey(“…corporate tax cut deal struck allows Republicans to kick Obama in the balls…”, ozone standards). He will throw in the towel at the first sign of controversy, real or imagined (close Guantanamo, Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, Xmas tree tax!!?). And as in ACA, he will compromise (the interests of the activist base) in advance to put himself on the winning side of the predicted outcome. We need to accept the Obama we have.

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