It’s Official: 2012 is On!

President Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy for the 2012 elections today, Monday, April 4th. Polls show Obama is leading every potential Republican contender. It remains to be seen just how many Republicans will actually enter the race.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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53 Responses to It’s Official: 2012 is On!

  1. Mule Rider says:

    If the voters sense that Obama is going into full campaign mode too soon and his focus/priority is getting re-elected rather than leading on important issues, he will lose.

  2. filistro says:

    Actually, he is launching his re-election campaign just one month earlier than W. , who announced in mid-May.

    It’s not so much that Obama is earlier, as that all the Republicans are so late. Last cycle, 17 R’s had already announced formal runs by this time.

    It must be KILLING Mitt Romney that Obama is already out there raising money while Romney is missing this golden opportunity to start gathering funds. This delay is a bad strategic error.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    Romney is no dummy. I still think he might wait until 2016 when Obama can’t be in the equation. The Republicans have a weak infield. Anyone going up against Obama is a sacrificial lamb.

  4. mclever says:

    How many Democrats had announced by this point during Bush’s term?

  5. dcpetterson says:

    Mule Rider,

    I think you make a good point. But Obama isn’t going to be campaigning for a while. His committee will begin raising money right away, but Obama isn’t going to do much other than Presidential duties for several months yet. There’s hardly any need; no strong Republican candidate has emerged, and, as you correctly point out, there’s a lot to keep him busy in the Oval Office. Fortunately, he’s able to walk and chew gum at the same time — and fight a couple wars, and work on the economy. So even once he does swing into campaign mode, the actual job of being President isn’t going to suffer. But you’re right, perception is important.

  6. filistro says:

    @mac… How many Democrats had announced by this point during Bush’s term?

    It’s hard to recall those awful years. At this point in Bush’s first term we were in the middle of “Shock and Awe”, weren’t we?

    I do recall reading somewhere that by June of 2003, Howard Dean was “leading the entire pack” of Dem hopefuls.. which would indicate there must have been an entire pack 🙂

  7. dcpetterson says:

    By April, 2003, there was a movement to draft Wesley Clark.

    Here’s a pretty good timeline of the 2004 campaign. There was quite a bt of activity by April of 2003, including:

    January 2003

    * January 2 – U.S. Sen. John R. Edwards of North Carolina announces formation of an exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination.
    * January 4 – U.S. Rep. Richard A. “Dick” Gephardt of Missouri, who was Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until late 2002 when he stepped down largely in anticipation for a bid for the presidency, announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    * January 5 – Reverend Al Sharpton of New York announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    * January 7 – Tom Daschle, the United States Senate Minority Leader, announces that he will not run for President in 2004. Daschle had been widely expected to run.
    * January 13 – Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    * January 17 – Libertarian Gary Nolan, former syndicated talk radio host, files papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run and announces his candidacy.
    * January 22 – A campaign to draft Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs is launched at The site was announced on Slashdot, overloading the server within ten minutes. Before the owners of the site could bring the site back up, Jobs declines interest in running.

    February 2003

    * February 18 – Carol Moseley Braun, former Senator from Illinois, announces her intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    * February 19 – Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio, files papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
    * February 27 – Senator Bob Graham of Florida announced his candidacy.

  8. dcpetterson says:

    One of my favorite comments in the 2004 timeline I linked above is

    April 2: Speaking before an audience in Peterborough, New Hampshire, John Kerry says “We need a regime change not just in Iraq. We need a regime change here in the United States.” Republicans criticize Kerry for speaking out against a wartime president.

    It’s funny how Republicans don’t seem to have a problem with criticism when the wartime President is a Democrat. Kind of makes you wonder if the criticism is meant to be taken seriously.

  9. mclever says:


    Thanks for the Wiki link. I did my own research at and found that as of 2/27/2003, all but one of the eventual Democratic candidates had either formed an “exploratory committee” or officially declared their candidacy. Only Wesley Clark, the 9th candidate, hadn’t made it official yet.

    – Howard Dean was the first, filing his paperwork all they way back on 5/30/2002. (You read that right: 2002.)

    Those who hadn’t *declared* by 2/27/2003 included:
    – Kerry filed his “exploratory committee” paperwork on 12/1/2002, but didn’t officially declare his candidacy until 9/2/2003. After Dean, he was the next candidate to file with the FEC.
    – Edwards filed his “exploratory committee” paperwork on 1/2/2003, but didn’t officially declare his candidacy until 9/16/2003. He was the third candidate to file with the FEC.
    – The “Draft Clark” committee formed in April 2003, but Wesley Clark didn’t declare until 9/17/2003. He was the last and final candidate.

    – Gephardt, Lieberman, Sharpton, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Graham all formed their committees and made formal declarations of candidacy during January and February of 2003.

  10. mclever says:

    What’s my point about the Dems in 03/04?

    First, the notion that this is “too early” for 2012 is complete balderdash. Regardless of perceptions of Obama’s re-electability, I’m frankly stunned that we don’t have a half-dozen serious contenders declared for the Republicans right now.

    Second, note that the three candidates who went the farthest are the three who got started the soonest. Correlation? Causation? I wouldn’t want to put too much credence in a sample-set this small, but getting a head start in any race usually gives you a better chance of finishing first…

  11. TMS says:

    Going in earliest matters more if you don’t have the name recognition and a brand to go with it. Someone like Sarah Palin, who has plenty of name recognition and a very clear brand, hardly needs to formally announce.

    The same can probably be said for Romney. Probably Gingrich, too, though he’s been out of the spotlight so long that he needs some reintroduction to make up for lost time. It’s people like Pawlenty (Tim who?) who really need the exposure this early.

  12. mclever says:


    If by “going in” you mean officially declaring, then I agree. People with better name recognition can stall on the formal announcement and wait for the “optically” best time. That’s probably why Edwards and Kerry both waited until September to make their formal announcements of candidacy.

    But if by “going in” you mean the formation of the exploratory committee and the filing with the FEC to start raising funds, then the earlier the better. That’s why Kerry and Edwards were also the first two candidates to file with the FEC (excepting Dean who was exceptionally early). The other candidates (aside from Kerry and Edwards) all formed their exploratory committees and formally declared within a month, some on the same day. Many of them had high name recognition from previous Presidential campaigns, yet they’d all filed and declared by 2/27/2003, except for Clark who was “drafted.”

  13. filistro says:

    Establishment Republicans are getting visibly worried about the dearth of declared candidates. They chew it over every day at The Corner. K-Lo calls the situation “urgent,” and frets… “folks who would tend to vote for the opposition to the current president simply expect a whole new field of candidates to somehow crop up before the primaries…”

    One of them… (I forget who, stuff runs through that site so quickly, but I think it was Ross Douthat) worries they will wind up with “another Bob Dole candidate” and the party will “take years to recover.”

    Obviously, in spite of their incessant carping, they all see Obama as virtually invincible.

    What I’m starting to wonder… if Obama really is that formidable, he should be able to transfer coattails to the candidates in 2016. So… will he go with Biden again as VP, giving Joe the best shot at the presidency? Or will he anoint someone else as his VP and thus his successor?

    I just LOVE the Veepstakes. I always think they’re one of the most exciting and suspenseful parts of a presidential campaign. 🙂

  14. mclever says:


    Good question about the Veepstakes. I don’t know if Joe Biden will want to run for President in 2016. Won’t he be something like 74 years old by then? That’s 4 years older than Reagan was. Considering his age, Joe might be ready to fade into “Distinguished Diplomat” status. Then again, I know better than to underestimate the ego of a national politician…

    If Joe is leaning towards retirement rather than running, then it might behoove Obama to name a different VP for his (presumed) second term. You are absolutely right that this person would obviously be seen as an anointed successor for 2016. Very interesting.

    Hmm. Perhaps any such moves will depend on how the Republican opposition shapes up. If it looks like a “sacrificial lamb” or “fringe” candidate, then Obama may feel freer to rock the boat with an alternate VP nominee. If Joe is gung-ho for 2016 and/or the Republican candidate looks to put up a decent fight, then maybe Obama sits pat through the election and postpones any VP resignation/re-appointment until after he (hopefully) wins his second term.

  15. dcpetterson says:

    It is interesting to see the Republicans so hesitant to declare. This is especially so after the rumors that some on the right tried to start, about Obama being so vulnerable that Hillary was going to offer a primary challenge, or that the Republican retirement announcements in the last few months have been because it’s going to be so easy to defeat Obama that damn near anyone can run. In point of fact, it’s beginning to seem as if Obama may be unopposed.

    Well, except for Pawlenty and Bachmann. Trust Minnesota to put forth the wackos. Allow me to fantasize for a while about them being the only Republicans in the primaries … mmmmm ….

    Of course, there could be a right wing spin that the Republicans are all too busy trying to run the country to do something as mundane as campaigning (except this goes against the “limited government” meme — since gubmint is sposed to be limited, what are they doing that takes up so much of their time?) Or the right wing pundits could be claiming that Obama is so vulnerable that no one will actually feel a need even to start raising money until, oh, maybe September of 2012, so why bother declaring this early?

    But we’re not seeing any of that. Indeed, the conservative media seems just as mystified as anyone else. I really don’t think this bodes well for the 2012 Republican ticket. All their messaging is turning sour — they aren’t producing the jobs, and as the economy improves, Obama is getting the credit.

    The attempt at union-busting is being seen as a cynical attack on the middle class; the excuse about reining in deficits has been revealed for the scam it is. And no one is buying the idea that the newly-elected Teapers in the House are actually trying to do something about the deficit, since the $60 billion they’ve proposed in cuts are about nothing more than their extremist social agenda (and $60 billion is like 4% of the Federal deficit – that’s a serious cut? Really?) Which also means the Teapers have been revealed to be a manifestation of the religious right, not actually the sane “fiscally responsible” voice they pretended to be.

    I think the Republicans are going to have a real uphill battle in 2012. I’ve been wrong before; but I’m not seeing an upside for them. If the economy gets better, Obama and the Democrats get the credit, since all the Republicans have done is try to close Federal parks and kill Big Bird and take away teachers’ pensions; if the economy stays the same, or worsens, Republicans get the blame, since they ran in 2010 on the promise to improve things, and then crowed so loud about the “massive victory” they won. Come 2012, the budget still won’t be balanced, and not even the Teaper voters are going to be happy.

    Really, how do the Republicans win anything in that environment?

  16. GROG says:

    I love how even a topic about Obama announcing his candidacy immediately turns into a Republican bashing thread. Nothing about how Obama will get re-elected because he and the Dems have done a terrific job at X, Y, and Z. There are only comments about how Obama will get re-elected because Republicans are a bunch of horrible wackos. (See DC’s comments above.)

    At some point the electorate will need to hear about what Obama has done and done well, not only about what Republicans haven’t done or have done poorly.

  17. dcpetterson says:

    Hiya Grog!

    I don’t think the current crop of Republican candidates are “horrible” wackos. I think they’re pretty entertaining!

    As for what Obama has done right — for most of 2009, the conservatives on the old FiveThirtyEight went on and on about how he hasn’t done anything yet — and us progressives kept putting up an ever-expanding list of the really impressive things he did do. Speaking for myself, I got kind of tired of trotting out the ever-lengthening list every time a conservative would repeat the same talking point — especially since it was usually the same two or three people who’d repeat it, and those two or three people never actually acknowledged that they’d been responded to.

    But I’ll see if I can dig up that list. It’ll be a good place to start the long long long recounting of Obama’s accomplishments already.

    But I do think it’s valid to point out what the opposition has (or hasn’t) done, and even the color of the clown car that the Republican candidates are driving. After all, they’re not likely to run on their own accomplishments, but mostly instead on Obama-bashing. So fair is fair, no?

  18. filistro says:

    GROG… like it or not, politics is most analagous to either a war or a sporting event… and in either one, participants always concentrate more on tearing down the opposition than building up themselves.

    I spend a lot of time at right-wing sites and even at the intelligent ones like NRO, I seldom see them talking about how great the GOP is doing. It’s wall to wall Obama- bashing and Democrat-mocking, all the time.

    Politics ain’t beanbag… 😉

  19. TMS says:

    That’s just it. The Obama victory was as much an anti-Bush sentiment as it was a pro-Obama sentiment. And the reality of Obama is little like the fantasy that people were so ga-ga over.

    Sure, Obama the guy who hasn’t yet been elected would probably beat any of the Republicans out there today. But he can’t go back to being the fantasy candidate. He has to run on his record now. The Obama who has been in office for four years doesn’t look so hot in comparison.

  20. WA7th says:

    Here’s a little concern trolling.

    Is Scott Walker alone scary enough to make Statler’N Waldorf venture out to cast a vote for the home team rather than sitting on his hands?

    My gut feeling is that, if the election was held today, hand-sitters wouldn’t matter. The Statlers ‘n Waldorfs don’t have any power at the moment because the moderates and independents would break towards Obama anyway. Right now, there are at least as many hand-sitters on the opposing sideline waiting for someone who’s not Obama but actually sane. Or, another way of putting it, I’m guessing there are more Christopher Buckleys for Obama than there are Statlers for Staying Home, at least today, and we have Scott Walker primarily to thank for that.

    However, assuming Walker can eventually learn to shut his mouth and stop being a liability to his own party, I wish for Obama a decent primary opponent to help him emerge in better shape for the general election.

  21. TMS says:

    The list includes plenty of things that aren’t important when unemployment is still well above 8%. Gays in the military? Really, who cares about that when you can’t pay your mortgage because you’re unemployed? And how about that Obamacare insurance mandate, which has never had anything close to majority support? Or the takeover of GM, in violation of bankruptcy law? Or the plan to cover people with mortgages that they can’t afford…which almost nobody qualified for?

    Is that the list you’re talking about?

  22. shortchain says:

    OK, so, when was the last time any sitting president was re-elected on the basis of his accomplishments in his first term?

    The entire Bush administration was a catastrophe, from beginning to end, yet he was re-elected in 2004. Clinton? Ha! Reagan? Double Ha!

  23. TMS says:

    Are you kidding? Clinton and Reagan were both reelected based on their performance in the first term. Clinton winning the shutdown battle against Gingrich, plus his “era of big government is over”, plus an exceptionally healthy economy did it for him. Reagan’s “morning in America” economy, which looked tons better than anything from the previous three presidents, made his reelection a nobrainer.

  24. shortchain says:


    Except Clinton’s winning the showdown against Gingrich was, plain and simply, an example of how the incompetence of the opposition can make your position safe — it wasn’t that Clinton won — it was that Gingrich and his GOP lost.

    And Reagan’s “morning in America” economy was the result of long-term policies by the Fed starting in the Carter administration. Again, not an example of Reagan’s success, but utter inability of the Democrats to run a decent campaign.

  25. TMS says:

    Seriously? You’re giving the credit for that economic boom to Carter? Oh, do tell us all how Carter did that.

    And, yes, Gingrich didn’t help the Republican cause in 1996, but what polls can you point to that suggest people voted against Dole more than they voted for Clinton?

  26. dcpetterson says:

    The list includes plenty of things that aren’t important when unemployment is still well above 8%.

    You seem to be implying that people are going to vote only out of very narrow and immediate self-interest, and ignore anything either long-term or important to someone that is not-me. But if more than 8% are unemployed that means almost 92% do have jobs, and if they’re voting narrow self-interest they certainly can be concerned about something in addition to the jobs number. So yeah, even things that don’t have to do with employment are going to matter. Besides, the Republican record on this really sucks — they created the financial meltdown, and have done nothing to create jobs since their massive victory in 2010. Winner for Obama.

    Gays in the military? Really, who cares about that when you can’t pay your mortgage because you’re unemployed?

    Lots of people do. When this was an issue in the lame duck session, what was it, 70% wanted DADT to be repealed. I know the Republicans like to push the greed-is-good, don’t-look-beyond-your-own-nose meme. But America has always been about civil rights, and I think it matters to more people than you seem to think. So yeah, Obama campaigns on this.

    And how about that Obamacare insurance mandate, which has never had anything close to majority support?

    Without the mandate (a Republican idea) the rest of the PPACA falls apart. And everything else in the bill is immensely popular, and growing more popular by the day. And the mandate itself doesn’t kick in for another 3 or 4 years, so if your people-vote-on-narrow-immediate-self-interest argument is right, who cares about the mandate now?. And the Republican stance (Repeal it all!) has a majority opposed. So if the Republicans campaign on opposition to the PPACA, it’s a big loser for them. If Obama campaigns on achieving the biggest victory for the American people since Social Security, he wins in a landslide.

    Or the takeover of GM, in violation of bankruptcy law?

    You can’t complain about both high unemployment and the “takeover of GM” in the same post. Sorry, that violates the natural laws of self-negation, like a snake eating its own tail. Besides, opposition to Obama saving the economy by rescuing companies like GM is just going to remind voters how much they hate Republican Scott Walker and his attempts to destroy the middle class. Anyone who is employed by GM, has a relative or friend employed by GM, or has ever owned a GM car — or a car built by any other American auto manufacturer — votes for Obama enthusiastically over this.

    Or the plan to cover people with mortgages that they can’t afford…which almost nobody qualified for?

    So the people who did qualify for it shouldn’t have gotten it? You are aware, aren’t you, that the biggest problem with this program was the banks? So what you’re arguing here is that we need stronger financial regulation. Which party will support that idea? Obama pushes for more banking reform. He wins.

    Is that the list you’re talking about?

    You bet your butt it is.

  27. shortchain says:


    Let’s try and keep this factual. The claim is that Obama won’t be able to run on his record of accomplishments, unlike, it is claimed, Reagan or Clinton, for example. So tell us the wonderful accomplishments of Clinton’s and Reagan’s first term.

    You claim that it was Reagan’s economic policies that created the recovery from the recession of the late 70’s. Even if that is true, then, since the economy is recovering now, that means that the current recovery should be credited to Obama, right? So — chalk up a big “accomplishment” for Obama.

    So what other first-term accomplishments are you claiming for either Clinton or Reagan?

  28. TMS says:

    dcpetterson, it’s less that people vote in narrow self-interest than it is that the incumbent tends to win when the overall mood of the country is positive and tends to lose when the overall mood of the country is negative. An improving economy is different from a healthy one. It’s still too early to tell if the economy is going to be healthy enough in another 18 months to help Obama.

    But if the economy is humming along by then, I doubt anyone will be able to beat him.

    As for gays in the military, I don’t doubt that a majority of Americans to allow them to serve openly. I just doubt that many of them care enough to base their choice of presidential candidate on that issue. In other words, they care, but not all that much, when compared to their ability to pay the bills.

    As for Obamacare, a majority don’t want it repealed, but still a majority are opposed to it having passed in the first place. And whether or not they are required to buy insurance immediately, the knowledge that they are being forced to buy something whether they want it or not.

    And, yes, I can complain about unemployment and the takeover of GM. Supporting improving employment by violating the law is saying that the end justifies the means. Why not require every employer in the nation to increase their number of employees by 10%? Unemployment would disappear within a month. It’s because the means matters, too. If GM cannot be profitable selling cars, then GM needs to stop being in business.

    No, I don’t think that there should have been a program to bail out people who got mortgages that they couldn’t afford. But, worse yet, the program didn’t even do what it was supposed to do. So the idea was wrong, and the implementation was a failure. A mess all around.

    As for you, shortchain, the big accomplishment of both Reagan and Clinton was a healthy economy. That’s the “record” that matters to enough voters to make the difference. A president can get away with a lot if the economy is good, and won’t get credit for much if the economy is bad. So, as I said above, if the economy is going well in 18 months, it’s Obama’s to lose.

  29. GROG says:

    @TMS and DC,

    An addition to high umemployment and slow economic recovery, don’t forget high gas prices, increasing energy prices, increasing food prices, increasing health care costs, the ever increasing national debt, and the entry into another war.

    TMS is right. These are going to be the issues of the 2012 election. In the next 18 months, Americans are going to be more concerned about those issues than DADT, collective bargaining, and Big Bird.

    By the way, why should tax payer money subsidize Sesame Street which is a million dollar brand? Sesame Street does just fine on it’s own. They don’t need the money of hard working, middle class taxpayers who are having trouble putting food on their table. The American people are smart enough to see through the “Republicans are killing Big Bird” talking point.

  30. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG, TMS, dc and sc,

    If all y’all are so positive as to what the issues will be in November 2012, would all y’all please share with me where the S&P will be in October 2012 will be? Or maybe who will win the World Series that year?

    Or if 19 months is REALLY too far out, I’ll settle for the Super Bowl winner in 2012.

    Thanks all.

  31. GROG says:

    I don’t know about the S&P, Super Bowl, or World Series, but add plummeting home values and the collapse of blue collar manufacturing jobs to the list of issues that will more important than Big Bird in 2012.

  32. shortchain says:


    I just love it. All the “accomplishments” mentioned above, by you, are now just one: a good economy.

    Except that, in 1984, there was no “good economy”. It was still recovering at that stage — but the important thing is that it was seen as recovering. Others have analyzed the political winds of those times and pointed out that, even when the economy is bad, if the public sees it as improving, they tend to re-elect. We’re told on a regular basis how the economy is improving, and, other than for older workers, it is.

    We haven’t seen, yet, the results of the public’s waking up to the fact that they elected Republicans because they were told that the Democrats wanted to take away their Medicare — and now the Republicans are going to do their damnedest to completely eliminate Medicare.

    If Obama can’t get re-elected with the kind of opposition he faces from this GOP, he deserves to lose.

  33. dcpetterson says:

    TMS is right. These are going to be the issues of the 2012 election. In the next 18 months, Americans are going to be more concerned about those issues than DADT, collective bargaining, and Big Bird.

    Which means that since Republicans have been concentrating on trying to kill Big Bird instead of doing something to build jobs, we’re likely to have a Democratic landslide. And yes, Public Television does need subsidy to maintain the quality it has today.

    And you’re right about the poor state of the economy. Returning to the policies that caused the collapse isn’t a good answer. That’s why it’s useful for you to keep reminding us how badly the Republicans screwed things up.

    TMS, I reject your premise that anything about the GM loan and rescue was in any way “illegal.” Nor do I think the public cares as much about this faux argument as they do about tens of thousands of jobs having been saved. I don’t see anyone’s vote being changed by this argument. The people who were going to vote against Obama will anyway; the people who are going to vote for him will see through the nonsense.

    No, I don’t think that there should have been a program to bail out people who got mortgages that they couldn’t afford.

    I agree. There should have been better financial regulation, and the predatory practices that led to the banks giving those loans should have put hundreds of bank officers in jail. Same with the shameless way the banks have abused the program designed to help people. But we are where we are: the loans were issued, and there really are no good alternatives. Helping people stay in their homes is the least-bad option.

    As far as “being forced to buy insurance” — I’ve got insurance through my employer. So I won’t be forced to buy anything. The same is true for most other people. So this talking point is pretty unimportant to the vast majority of Americans. Fewer people will be affected by it than by the death of public television. More people probably care about the repeal of DADT. Once the provision is in effect, it’ll be a total non-issue.

  34. shortchain says:


    There’s no point in predicting the World Series or Superbowl at this point. That’s pointless. And anyway, they won’t have much of an effect on the presidential race.

    But it’s beyond obvious that the economy is going to be a major factor in the political battle. Not the deficit. If people are succeeding in getting jobs, they’re going to re-elect Obama — especially against the GOP of today.

    You can take that to the bank.

  35. TMS says:

    shortchain, I never suggested that there was a list of accomplishments. For that, you need to look at dcpetterson. If you doubt me, just look above. It’s not difficult research.

    You’re right about one thing: it’s the perception about the economy that matters. People vote based on their perceptions. The reality is all but irrelevant.

    Republicans want to eliminate Medicare because it’s one of the biggest nondiscretionary budget items. Something significant needs to be cut. Stuff like CPB isn’t big enough to matter.

  36. Whatevs says:


    The money the government provides for PBS, NPR doesn’t defund Big Bird per se. It’s used to subsidize stations that carry PBS in rural areas so cutting that funding would cause some stations to go out of business and deny residents in those areas access to Big Bird. Translation: job loss and denial of access to public programming.

  37. TMS says:

    You can reject my premise about GM all you want, but bankruptcy law dictates that the assets belong to the creditors first, not the employees. Putting the employees ahead of the creditors is therefore a violation of bankruptcy law, pure and simple. Ultimately, with the assistance of Obama & co., the employees stole from the creditors.

    It seems as if we’re in agreement that the loans should never have been issued in the first place. But once they were, the debtors were still on the hook for the loans. And if there’s going to be a program to bail those people out, then it should actually bail them out. So it’s a badly implemented program whose stated goal was something that shouldn’t be a goal, addressing an issue that should never have been allowed to happen. A whole lot of failure piled upon failure.

    The issue with being forced to buy insurance is similar to the economy. It’s about people’s perception of the issue, not the issue itself. People don’t like being told by the government what personal choices they are allowed to make. Much like the opposition to restrictions on birth control, for example.

  38. shortchain says:


    So you are repudiating your comment above, where you said, and I quote:

    Clinton and Reagan were both reelected based on their performance in the first term. Clinton winning the shutdown battle against Gingrich, plus his “era of big government is over”, plus an exceptionally healthy economy did it for him. Reagan’s “morning in America” economy, which looked tons better than anything from the previous three presidents, made his reelection a nobrainer.

    Actually, Republicans want to cut Medicare because it benefits the middle class and below — and they want instead to continue to cut taxes for the wealthy instead, as part of their long-term plan to implement corporate feudalism instead of democracy.

  39. TMS says:

    shortchain, do you have trouble reading? I said they were reelected based on their performance, which is reflected in the electorate’s perception of the economy. No repudiation necessary.

  40. dcpetterson says:


    You’re right, its the perception that matters. And no one except the people who don’t like Obama anyway have a problem with the GM bailout.

    By the way, since there is considered to be a contract between the employer and the employee, that means the employees are also creditors.

    As I said, I agree that the program to refinance mortgage loans should have actually refinanced more loans. We need to throw some of those bankers in jail. Maybe that will encourage others to follow the law.

    And again, on the matter of being “forced” to buy insurance — since this will apply to almost nobody, and since it is the perception that matters, it will rapidly fade as even a non-issue unto utter oblivion. No one has been so “forced” yet, and the number of people who will be so “forced” will always be vanishingly small — and they will very soon be viewed as no better than deadbeats and welfare cheats. Since perception is all, this isn’t something the Republicans will be able to make much headway on.

  41. TMS says:

    dcpetterson, the creditor status of employees would extend to any owed wages, but not to any job preservation. That’s how bankruptcy law is written. And that’s what makes the deal illegal.

    As for the insurance, it’s the perception that matters. People believe that they have lost some freedom, even if practically speaking they haven’t. Otherwise, why is it polling so badly?

  42. dcpetterson says:

    It’s polling badly because people wanted universal single-payer. Americans generally prefer Democratic policies over Republican ones, and this is no exception.

  43. dcpetterson says:

    Well then Grog, also from the article you linked,

    “For example, 68 percent in the September poll said they favored a plan to require all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can’t afford it. “

    This is exactly what’s in PPACA. So I guess TMS is wrong, too. The mandate is popular with 68% of the American people, right?

  44. filistro says:

    More 2012 news… Tim Kaine has just announced he will run for Jim Webb’s seat.. against George Allen.

  45. TakingAmes says:

    Can someone please explain to me how in the eff George Allen thinks he can win his Senate seat back after the fool he made of himself four years ago?

  46. TMS says:

    dcpetterson, that poll was in September, 2009. People’s opinions have changed since then, and the mandate has become more unpopular over time. So the mandate WAS popular. The mandate IS NOT popular anymore.

  47. dcpetterson says:

    TMS, have you a recent poll?

    If opinions have changed, to what do you attribute the shift? It’s not due to direct experience, since no one has yet been “required” to buy insurance. So it must be due to some kind of apprehensive anticipation. Might it be due to fear mongering by some blathering talking heads?

    In any case, I don’t like the mandate either, so I won’t defend it. I’d be much happier with a single-payer system. I hope that, over then next couple of decades, PPACA morphs into a single-payer system.

    Am I willing to repeal all of PPACA because it has the mandate idea? Certainly not. And recent polls seem to indicate a strong plurality, possibly a solid majority, agree with that sentiment. Running a campaign based solely on opposition to the mandate portion of the PPACA — especially without providing an alternative — would be, I think, both dishonest and counterproductive, as well as ineffective.

  48. TMS says:

    Recent poll, from Kaiser Family Foundation:

    Click to access 8166-T.pdf

    Question 8b: “The law will require nearly all Americans to have health
    insurance or else pay a fine”
    A consistent two-thirds of respondents want that portion repealed.

  49. dcpetterson says:


    Have you got a way to repeal the mandate and still pay for PPACA? Or to insure the 30 million people who currently don’t have insurance that the mandate will cover? We’re open to suggestions. I’m certain there’s a better way. I favor eliminating insurance companies, and putting the whole nation under Medicare. What’s your suggestion?

  50. Armchair Warlord says:


    Single-payer works pretty well for Canada. 😉

  51. dcpetterson says:

    If the Republicans are going to complain that there is something wrong with the PPACA’s mandate to buy insurance, they have to answer for their current proposal to privatize Medicare “… by eventually requiring seniors to buy private insurance through what critics call a voucher program.”

    So, is the whole point of the modern Republican party simply to see how much hypocrisy and dishonesty they can cram into a single political season?

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW is correct.

    See how many Canadians will trade for what we have here!

    I talk to LOTS of winter Texans, AW, and NONE have told me they’d swap.

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