Republicans' Vicious and Immoral Health Care Bill Is Just Part of a Sinister Long Game

While Democrats are jubilant that the GOP passed a terrible healthcare/tax-cut bill through the House, which they think will cause voters to reject the GOP in 2018, it's a very, very premature celebration.

The Republicans are playing a longer game here, one based on a time-tested strategy first explicated by Machiavelli and fully put into place by Goebbels in the early 1930s, then fine-tuned by Reagan through the 1980s.

Sound like hyperbole (or a violation of Godwin's Law)? Check out this short clip of FDR's famous "Fala" speech in September of 1944:

The opposition in this year has already imported into this campaign a very interesting thing, because it is foreign. They have imported the propaganda technique invented by the dictators abroad. Remember, a number of years ago, there was a book, Mein Kampf, written by Hitler himself. The technique was all set out in Hitler's book - and it was copied by the aggressors of Italy and Japan. According to that technique, you should never use a small falsehood; always a big one, for its very fantastic nature would make it more credible - if only you keep repeating it over and over and over again...

That strategy is not only one the GOP has successfully used many times in the more recent past, from Nixon's "secret plan to end the Vietnam war" to Reagan's "reforms" of tax law, but one that they're clearly betting will continue to work for them (particularly with the help of Fox and right-wing hate radio).

Read more here.


stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 46 weeks ago

I have argued here in the past that liberals have a major disadvantage in messaging because, and this itself could be a bumper sticker: THE TRUTH DOESN'T FIT ON A BUMPER STICKER. But having said that, here is another bumper sticker idea: FOX news IS GUARDING THE HENHOUSE.

Outback 5 years 46 weeks ago

Holy fracking shit! I had no idea Goebbels was still alive! So let me get this straight: We (The Great Unwashed) are about to roll over for the argument that the retention of any of the GOOD aspects of the ACA are a Republican idea? Sorry. No sale. Not even for this imbicile. (And hey, look, at one point I was a reasonably intelligent guy until, having inadvertently tuned across a Fox news channel when setting up a new TV, was partially lobotomized before I could finger the channel changer button, or whatever thay call that thayng....)

RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 5 years 46 weeks ago

Seems ultimately to be a Voter Purge bill, and will succeed in eliminating part of the 47% who are regarded by the GOP as nothing but Takers, a drain on the 1%'s profit making systems.

Either get used to this, get your affairs in order, or wise up and vote out the members of the Congressional Death Panel.

The clear choice will be yours in 2018: Death for many "Takers", or 3% more taxes on the 1%.

commchf 5 years 46 weeks ago

Hi Thom,

4 years ago I first heard your challenge to get off my butt and get involved.

2 years ago I joined the local Democratic Party group. $15

I started attending the monthly meeting and met a lot of fellow travelers. Your show is known to several of the members. I met people who have been progressives for as long as I've been alive so it's hard to see where to make progress except for continued financial and time support.

So a year ago I became a "Precinct Leader" in the local D group.


I put door hangers on ~330 houses. Those houses have ~1100 registered voters and ~760 voted on 11/8. (or by mail earlier)

Those door hanger featured the name of the Dem politician challenging the incumbent GOP State Assembly Person Marie Waldron. Tragically Ms. Waldron won the election, but San Diego County website data shows I flipped a deep red Precinct deep blue.

Here's the Math:

The county website has granular precinct level data for only State Assembly candidates. The GOP candidate consistently wins this precinct with large margins. For the last ten years the worst performance for the GOP candidate was 52%.

Then I hung those door hangers. That guy got 63% of the precinct on 11/8.

I flipped a precinct.

Now this story gets serious. I'm going to the State Democratic Committee Convention in a couple of weeks as a voting member. The elected person (from those local group meetings I started going to) has to miss it because of personal reasons and I now have his proxy.

I'll be one a couple hundred people working out what the power center of Democratic Party power in this country is deciding.

Thanks for the challenge Thom!


Outback 5 years 46 weeks ago

Rich, here's a little math for you: Republicans are to Democrats as Red is to Pink. You're still about two sigma to the right of center, buddy. Capish?

meemee 5 years 46 weeks ago

REPEAL AND REPLACE EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 217 Benedict Arnolds -- & put them out to sea, never to touch this Land as long as they live! Betrayers of the Lives & Limbs of their FELLOW AMERICAN HUMANS is Evidence that they are UNWORTHY of the Honorable PUBLIC SERVICE position they were entrusted with. REPEAL THEM. REPLACE THEM. DISAVOW THEM. FAILURES, FAILURES, FAILURES, as Humans and as Americans, EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 46 weeks ago

List of Obamacare Taxes Repealed

"The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) passed by the House today reduces taxes on the American people by over $1 trillion. The bill abolishes the following taxes imposed by Obama and the Democrat party in 2010 as part of Obamacare:
-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. Together with repeal of the Individual Mandate Tax repeal this is a $270 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.
As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama had promised repeatedly that he would not raise any tax on any American earning less than $250,000 per year. He broke the promise when he signed Obamacare. With the passage of the House GOP bill, tens of millions of middle income Americans will get tax relief from Obamacare's long list of tax hikes."

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 46 weeks ago

First of all, Diane, what is your source material? Some of those numbers seem rather high, unless that's because they are stretched out over several years, maybe even up to a decade, which is a fairly common way to score the overall impact of a bill. Secondly, what is the actual ratio of the tax breaks for the top percentiles compared to middle income brackets? Furthermore, pray tell, how would the AHCA be funded (with other types of taxes on the middle class and with much higher private premiums for individuals and employers???), and how might those numbers offset the repealed ACA taxes on your list? Another huge consequence you failed to mention: How will this bill affect the deficit?

It gets even more complicated: What will be the reaction to this Republican abortion (rammed through right before the recess without being scored and without most of the "yeas" even reading it) by big corporate employers, small-business employers, independent contractors, low-income advocacy groups, union and non-union work forces, daily part-time workers, seasonal part-time workers, the disabled with ongoing medical conditions who can only work part-time, single-parents who must only work part-time to be home for the kids, the temporarily unemployed, medical professionals, hospitals, insurance companies, big pharma, medical equipment suppliers, etc., etc.? Last but not least: How many thousands, if not millions, of children will be adversely affected?

("Who knew healthcare could be so complicated?" --DJT)

* Revealingly, why did the hypocritical Republican Representatives who hurriedly slapped this mess together exempt fellow congressional members and their families from the negative impacts of their own AHCA and retain the goodies from the Democrat's ACA? (Yes, that's been widely reported.)

* Most importantly, how many people will be priced out of insurance coverage, and what percent of those will die each year as a result? You did not even allude to that at all. I wonder why not.

Perhaps, before either freaking out or lavishing praise on Republican efforts to repeal and replace people's healthcare coverage -- potentially, condemning to death millions of defenseless sick people in the upcoming decades -- everyone should probably wait for the CBO to score this latest House version of the AHCA and see what the Senate comes up with, which will also be scored. If the Senate bill passes, then a compromise bill would need to be worked out in a congressional joint committee, scored again, and voted on again by both the House and the Senate.

Plus, expect Democratic Senators to filibuster, if the Republicans' final product ends up being, in effect, just another big fat tax break for the ulta-rich that they don't need, while tens of thousands of less-fortunate fellow citizens die each year as a result, as they did before the ACA. (Just think how Generalissimo Trumpnino and his Republican, war-mongering enablers would react if Muslim terrorists murdered that many of us on our own soil every year!)

Needless to say, also expect massive protests across the country and raucous crowds at town halls, which will undoubtedly temper politicians going forward. (After all, we are still supposed to be a representative democracy, even if in name only.)

Finally, does not all this unnecessary complication, stress, and heartache for all concerned really speak to adopting a much simpler, much fairer, and very much less expensive Medicare-for-all system, with workable price controls and negotiated unit drug discounts thrown in to reduce sky-rocketing medical costs, which are far outpacing average inflation and which are, in fact, responsible for pushing inflation by leaps and bounds? The low-overhead, streamlined mechanics of one of the best, most-loved healthcare systems in the world -- Medicare -- are already up and running and doing a phenomenal job.

Screw the greedy billionaires who profit on sickness and death, and screw their bloated, top-heavy, overly-bureaucratic, insurance company cash cows with their blizzards of mindless, endless paperwork, designed to confuse and to discourage any contestation or appeal! Medicare-for-all is a no-brainer; but then again, we are dealing with Republicans, who now own the healthcare issue lock, stock, and barrel. Why does that not inspire confidence?

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 46 weeks ago

1. It is a ten year projection with hundreds of links available to verify these projections. Stop complaining and DuckDuckGo.

2. The bill as it stands is meaningless until it gets through the Senate so calm down and douse the flames in your mane.

3. Don't believe all the bobbleheads. They have to keep the panic going. Their jobs depend in it.


atheist1a's picture
atheist1a 5 years 46 weeks ago

Just left comment on Trump's tweet that job report reflected Obama admin doings and that he Trump is a vindicfive sadist.

Eric Stone

Outback 5 years 46 weeks ago

Dianereynolds: deepspace is exactly on target, especially with his comment regarding Medicare for all. The fundamental question is whether healthcare should be provided all citizens, or only those fortunate enough to be able to afford the cost of the huge "for profit" superstructure that currently exisits. Medicare runs 5% or less overhead (as opposed to 20% and more when insurance companies get involved) and would avoid the large hit to our GDP caused when the uninsured are forced to rely on emergency room service, often too late. Your point that your claims are supported by "hundred of links" rings hollow. From the tone of your last post my guess is that you get your information from Fox News and its ilk. I also suspect that you are relatively affluent, have no particular concerns about meeting your personal healthcare premiums and have zero empathy for those less fortunate. If I'm wrong on this last point, I'm forced to question your intelligence.

Radical's picture
Radical 5 years 46 weeks ago

Tom Thank You for your Blog it was absolutely true. One fact that you should have maentioned that very early in his career Joseph Goebbels very honestly admitted that he got his propoganda ideas from Edward Bernays Frueds nephew and from the United States Propoganda campaign around world war one to try and destroy all opponents of World War one. Which immediatly after the war turned into a anti-red campaidn which lasted well into the 90s with the exception of World War 2.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 46 weeks ago


No problem, just tell me how you are going to finance the program. I am on board if you can convince me the existing jobs in the insurance world, the hospitals, doctors, those idiots in congress, and the American public will all be content with your suggestion.

Real numbers not wild guesses based on the babbling of leftie/socialist radio bobbleheads qho make their living keeping you ginned up.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 46 weeks ago

With single-payer eliminating the middleman like the rest of the world has already done in one form or another, we would save 600 billion on current care. This is a 2015 stat. Refer to ...."Go to Decision" "How much universal healthcare would cost in the US" .......detailed data at this site.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 46 weeks ago

I'm shocked that Democratic public servants are not screaming single-payer at the top of their lungs right now....never will be a better time to get voters attention and informed about the economic truth regarding health insurance.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 46 weeks ago

The biggest lie ever told and repeated over and over is the Reagan trickle down economic lie. If we give a greedy tiny minority virtually all the money and power it will create a fair and balanced free market economy, one in which we will all thrive.....LMAO. Paul Ryan and his Teapublic Party owe their jobs to maintaining this lie for the Fascists.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 5 years 46 weeks ago

Obamacare is on its' death bed, and Trumpcare is in the wings. And neither plan addresses the real problems with American healthcare:

1. The high fees charged by doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, nursing homes, and ambulance services.

2. The high costs of medical and nursing schools.

3. The high cost of malpractice insurance.

4. The outrageous awards in medical malpractice cases.

5. The shortage of doctors and nurses in this country.

American healthcare is headed down the toilet.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 46 weeks ago

Stecoop01, You and I probably agree on nothing EXCEPT your well written, accurate assessment of the US healthcare situation. An excellent post.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 46 weeks ago

Romneycare is on its death bed because it's a right-wing for profit insurance scheme. Marco boy helped the death along too.

Trumpcare just takes us back to extreme right-wing/conservative pre-Romneycare. We've already suffered with that crap.....when will the greed end?

If anyone is still willing to vote Teapublican after the House Trumpcare vote, they're a god damn idiot.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 46 weeks ago

Murderer and liar, Idaho Teapublican Rep. Raul Labrador, at a town hall may 5th, the very next day after voting for tax cuts for the rich thinly disguised as a healthcare bill for the suckers, er, people: "Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care."

This is your brain on Republicanism. Too bad it's also your healthcare on Republicanism.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 46 weeks ago

All is read from most posters here is bitching, not a list of how to go about solving the problem that will address the issue and satisfy most of the individuals involved, which just reinforces the point that not all leftie/socialists are ignorant, it's the ignorant ones are so very, very loud.

Legend 5 years 46 weeks ago

A pessimist is an optomist, with experience.

growin's picture
growin 5 years 46 weeks ago

From this article:

While Lakoff is an unabashed Berkeley progressive, he said Democrats are decades behind in understanding how to frame issues in a way that can reach swing voters.

“Protection is part of the progressive moral system, but it has not been celebrated enough,” Lakoff writes in Don’t Think of an Elephant. For example, progressives should start calling federal regulations “protections.” If they start re-framing Trump’s promise as “getting rid of two-thirds of federal protections — and spell out what some of those environmental and health and water quality “protections” are — there might be less support for repealing federal regulations, Lakoff said.

“Every progressive knows that regulations are protections, but they don’t say it,” he added. Similarly, “taxes” are actually “investments in public resources.” Government investment pays for the infrastructure on which private industry and everything else is built, Lakoff said. “Roads, bridges, public education, national banks, the patent office, the judicial system, interstate commerce, basic science for drug development — all of that is financed by government investments.” Yet Democrats allow Republicans to frame the debate in terms of tax “relief,” he said.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

...leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists...


Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 45 weeks ago


Had to move/modify this because the jackass is so steamed up his coat needs a brushdown and he is getting his rants out of order. Apparently this leftie/socialist can't respond with an intelligent response but;

Brilliant answers to my question Mr. Ed. Lack of any solution? Who cares? Just bitch away and shout Medicare for all and wait for your stall to get mucked.

You are are the classic leftie/socialist alligator, all mouth and no ears.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

...leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists...


deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago


Chronic projection, a (superlative) case in point:

"So very, very loud," Diane is so eminently qualified to expound upon what so constitutes ignorance, having been so hopelessly out-Foxed by the so very, very loud Republican newspeak and the so scholarly pontifications of that so lofty intellectual for whom she so voted, His Greatness the Oracle of Mar-a-Lago ..."You know, I'm, like, a smart person."

At the so very, very top of "a list of how to go about solving the problem that will address the issue and satisfy most of the individuals involved" are the blood-thirsty pariahs who propose needless tax cuts for billionaire donors by taking away healthcare for the middle class and the poor -- a so very, very long, long list of radical Republican terrorists and ignoramuses to tar and feather and run out of Washington DC, state legislatures, governorships, mayorships, and city councils in 2018 and 2020.

After taking out all that so stinking, stinking garbage, the only items left on the healthcare problem-solving list are Medicare-for-all, Medicare-for-all, and Medicare-for-all. "Leftie/socialists; leftie/socialists; leftie/socialists!"

And who cares about satisfying the so debauched predilections of the so-so pussy grabbers and grabbies?

So very, very entertaining! Keep those so very, very loud, hypocritical hits right on a-comin'...

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

"There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience." --Archibald Macleish, American poet

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 45 weeks ago

"I guess you can beat a dead horse". Diane Reynolds

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

"It's not Trump and the Republicans who are the problem as much as it is the flying monkeys who voted for them." -- the sentiment of the majority

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 45 weeks ago

Nice work posting your solutions to the obamacare created healthcare debacle in the US. It is clear none of you leftie/socialists above care about anything but whining and bitching. You must be fun to live with.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 45 weeks ago

You have no case.

Having stubbornly refused to address the pertinent questions and legitimate concerns brought up in post #8, as well as many others, you have chosen instead to dismiss and deflect by arrogantly and hypocritically demanding that your phony non-question in post #21 be taken seriously and answered forthright ...because, first and foremost, only Diane's framing should be considered important, and only Diane's "whining and bitching" should not be considered as such.

It is completely ridiculous to seriously expect anyone in a blog comment section to provide "...a list of how to go about solving the problem that will address the issue and satisfy most of the individuals involved..." -- as if in one fell swoop a simple post could possibly solve a political impasse that's been brewing since the Truman presidency, a morass primarily fueled by Republican ideological intransigence and allegiance to their wealthy class of donors, who, in the end, just don't like paying their fair share of taxes. This is the wrong venue for such a comprehensive explication.

But why do you need that explained? You don't; that's not your point. In reality, your "question" is nothing but a pathetic, insincere, and transparent attempt to set up "failure" so that you can shift back to your own narrow, Republican talking points. Apparently, no one else is interested in playing such childish games.

Besides, you have already been provided -- repeatedly -- the simplest and most effective solution, which is universal single-payer that excludes the for-profit insurance industry from the primary healthcare market, while reining in exorbitant profit-taking by providers and hospitals. Since you have -- repeatedly -- made it abundantly clear that you strongly disagree, why would you expect anyone here to follow you down your particular, right-wing, dead-end rabbit hole? It would be a waste of time and an exercise in futility.

If you are sincere (which, as a troll, you obviously are not) then you would make the effort to educate yourself. There is an abundance of viable sources at your fingertips to "satisfy most of the individuals involved," including Bernie's website, as well as many other progressive sources that provide rich detail and further links to whatever aspects of the American healthcare problem you may wish to peruse. Never mind that most other developed nations have already figured out the best solution long ago, with their own versions of a workable, universal, single-payer system. Americans, such as you, are way behind the curve.

Solve your own problems before lashing out at others for your failure to do so.

Oh, and here, I'll save you your usual empty, repetitive, "whining and bitching" response:

"leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists leftie/socialists" --Diane, the troll

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 5 years 45 weeks ago

Long game strategies aside, you Thom have good reason to say that it is still very, very early for the Demorats to celebrate. The citizens of this country are a bunch of couch potato knuckleheads who aren't even watching as our country collapses around them; too busy watching sports on the TV and guzzling down beers to be bothered. Come 2018, if they even bother to register or get up off the couch and go vote, will blindly pull the lever for the same old inumbent Neo Liberals they have voted for in the past not understanding one candidate from another. For some unfathomable reason, Americans either can't or won't make the connection between the people they have put into office (time and again) and the 10G negative nose dive this country is taking on every front from health care/insurance to education to joblessness, to rapacious pricing of consumer goods (I mean, $200.00 for a shirt? Come ON!) I'll say it again, it won't be until this country wakes up and gets involved enough to truly understand what has been and is going on here (the banksters, the government, the Vatican, London City... the whole rotten mess) and collectively decide to do something about it, will things change. It is appalling to me that a situation like the water in Flint, is being allowed to go on without anyone demanding the government to something constructive about it. Did you know that NASA developed a "water cube" that can take moisture out of a desert that only has 20% moisture in it; take the water right out of the air, and convert it to potable water? After this water cube was fully developed, at the expense of We, the People, the feds then turned around and gave it to private industry for their exclusive right to make money with it. A boat load of these cubes should be sent to Flint to allieviate the lead water problem. But no, the whole country sits on their hands and acts like mindless sheep while things get worse and we go down the drain. Really frustrating. How did America get to be so (blanking) stupid?

LindaVZ's picture
LindaVZ 5 years 45 weeks ago

I remember watching Congress debating the Affordable Care Act and how it was the Republicans who held the bill hostage unless and until insurance companies were included. In other words, the provision that all Americans had to buy insurance was a Republican requirement. And now they're blaming Obama for it.

I'm all for getting insurance companies out of the system altogether and having true single-payer health care.

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