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Barbara Streisand on Health Care and Republicans

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I found this somewhat typical left wing argument by Barbara Streisand on the issue of health care and the republicans. I think it's interesting, because it gives you the mindset that is possible to someone who is immersed in the same country and surrounded by the same facts. Here she is in the same country we're in, yet her conclusions about what is happening are completely different than ours.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbra-strei...html?alacarte=1

I didn't see a copyright, so I'll just post the whole thing here. It's pretty short.

Last week, the Republicans took a big gamble and lost by lining up on the wrong side of history with their battle against health care reform. After the bill passed in Congress, all we heard from Republicans on the 24 hour news channels was, how can Congress pass a bill without even one Republican vote? The answer is...the same way President Clinton passed his Budget Reconciliation Act in 1993. He had to rely solely on Democrats to win passage after not one Republican voted for either his stimulus plan or his budget. Clinton's economic initiatives ultimately brought us the greatest period of prosperity for our country in modern times by creating 23 million new jobs and projecting a federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969.

So, I'm thinking, on what basis does she say the republicans were on "the wrong side of history"? I think she believes this to be the case. Is it because the bill was passed? Is her criterion for being on the wrong side that a piece of legislation passes or not?

The next point is interesting, because she is attributing the economic success in the 1990s to Bill Clinton. This is an often heard theme, but didn't the economy start to nose dive right at the end of Clinton's second term, after the dot com bubble?

Conversely, during the time when Republicans held control of the House, Senate and Presidency, they used their power to pass economic policies that led to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. Despite this fact, Republicans continue to revise history, accuse Democrats of fiscal irresponsibility and vote in lockstep against President Obama's most important policy initiatives, in their effort to have him fail.

Okay, this is really strange. George Bush did create problems, by engaging in what I would call left wing economic policies, and things got bad, but then Obama, in one year, has really pushed us to the edge of destruction with his policies. Hasn't she noticed things are MUCH worse now than they were 15 months ago?

Just this last week, the Senate Banking Committee moved to approve financial reform legislation. Not surprisingly, the panel passed the overhaul bill on a 13-10 vote, without support from one member of the Republican Party. Given that the world economy nearly caved to its knees under Republican stewardship and millions of Americans are still suffering, one would think that at least on this issue, partisanship would not trump good policy.

We're in dire straights now thanks to democrats and what particular reforms is she referring to? She seems to be waxing over any details, as if they don't matter. It's just "good policy". No explanation is given as to why this is so.

Health care reform, financial regulation, the economic stimulus, energy policy....the GOP has continually stonewalled legislation to move our country forward. The only victory the GOP can claim after the successful passage of health care legislation is that they stuck together in solidarity to do nothing. The GOP's obsession with seeing the President fail and their refusal to work with the Democrats to better the lives of the American people will come back to haunt them.

I think here she shows an unwillingness to fairly deal with counter arguments. Somehow magically the democrats have ideas that will work, and we're supposed to take that at face value. Blank out any counter argument or counter facts which show this to be wrong. She has this premise in her thinking that things will get better if democrats are in charge, and look around you at what is happening when democrats are in charge. We're on the Titanic.

The American people are starting to resent the "politics of no" and the Republicans are quickly devolving into the "party of no tolerance."

The party of "Hell No", from what I've been hearing and that is very inspiring to lots of people. Funny how she isn't aware of that. And we have a "tolerationist", too. If you have ever seen Keith Olbermann attacking guys like Rush Limbaugh you find a high level of viciousness from the left. She doesn't seem to realize how intolerant that is. I've noticed that lots of wacked out leftists like Olbermann.

Recently, leading intellectual and former Bush White House aide, David Frum, was fired from his fellowship at the conservative-leaning think tank, American Enterprise Institute, after he was critical of the Republican strategy against President Obama's health-care overhaul. Bruce Bartlett, who was also fired by a right wing think tank in 2005 for writing a book critical of George W. Bush's policies, commented that "rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent is allowed."

This comes across as very superficial. I don't know how to evaluate whether this is good or bad, because I don't know the exact context, but I think Barbara Streisand's thinking is at that level. She heard that argument, and it sounded good to her, so she's throwing it in here.

Republicans need to understand that elections matter -- even when they don't win them. America voted overwhelming for Barack Obama because they wanted big change, and now they are getting it. The President deserves a chance to realize his agenda, and I hope that by the November mid-term election, Americans will see that Democrats are the only ones working to put forth policy initiatives to move our country forward.

And Americans are discovering how much they don't like what they are getting. Obama's popularity isn't what it was during the election. This tells me either she is not getting the facts about what is happening in America, or she is trying to rationalize her position.

Sometimes I think it's helpful to submerge yourself in the perspective of your ideological enemies, to see how their minds operate. It's interesting to see how they are able to maintain a fiction so strongly in face of the evidence arrayed against them.

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I always find it amusing when Democrats consider a bubble to be an example of great prosperity. It's a shame the last one was encouraged along by Republicans (although the seeds were sown by the Democrats in the 60s).

It comes from Keynes, who argued the best state for the economy was one of perpetual quasi-boom. The problem is that a bubble is a terribly inefficient way of allocating assets.

The collateral damage of the 90s bubble, aside from the obvious (remember traders jumping off buildings?), was a great withdrawal of both talent and capital from more classical industrial-type businesses. This drought finished well for some; indeed, investors using value strategies, or at least those with the guts to follow their convictions, made an absolute fortune in the early 2000s by purchasing these undervalued classical businesses, as everybody else was in pain (see Seth Klarman's late 90s/early 2000s letters to Baupost Group investors, if you can procure them).

Anyway, as Betsy has argued elsewhere on the Forum, here we refer to Smith's Division of Labour. Some people sing, some people think.

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Republicans need to understand that elections matter -- even when they don't win them. America voted overwhelming for Barack Obama because they wanted big change, and now they are getting it. The President deserves a chance to realize his agenda, and I hope that by the November mid-term election, Americans will see that Democrats are the only ones working to put forth policy initiatives to move our country forward.

I find that bit very interesting. Because the Republican members who are voting no on the legislation, I thought that they did win the election in their districts. :D

So in other words, she is essentially saying "Even if you win your election, give up your own judgement, ignore whatever the people who voted you in tell you to do and sacrifice the interests of your region that you are representing, to just obey whatever the members of other regions tell you to do, if the representatives of the other regions belong to a group bigger than yours." Basically she is encouraging conformity and group think. It is also very dictatorial.

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--------------
-------- The answer is...the same way President Clinton passed his Budget Reconciliation Act in 1993. He had to rely solely on Democrats to win passage after not one Republican voted for either his stimulus plan or his budget. ----------

---------------

And what, dear Barbara, happened as a result of Clinton's stubbornness? Why, the Republicans captured the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years or so and kept it till they became leftists too. So what, Dear Barbara, do you think will happen in the 2010 elections? Why, the Republicans have a chance of recapturing at least the House and significant gains in the Senate.

Please, Barbara, go back to your Hollywood burbs and shut the door so we can't hear your nonsense.

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Barbra Streisand has said such crazy moon-bat stuff in the past, that I think the answer to all the "Why is she saying that?" questions is that she feels that way and she wants it to be true.

What surprised me, having read and heard several of her previous rants on politics, was how literate the HuffPo piece was. It even used big words like "stewardship." Because of that, I suspect it was ghost-written.

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She should really stick to singing.

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Barbra Streisand has said such crazy moon-bat stuff in the past, that I think the answer to all the "Why is she saying that?" questions is that she feels that way and she wants it to be true.

What surprised me, having read and heard several of her previous rants on politics, was how literate the HuffPo piece was. It even used big words like "stewardship." Because of that, I suspect it was ghost-written.

:D

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What surprised me, having read and heard several of her previous rants on politics, was how literate the HuffPo piece was. It even used big words like "stewardship." Because of that, I suspect it was ghost-written.

Heh. She shoots, she scores. :D

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