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The Velveteen Ocelot

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Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Sun Oct 26, 2003, 11:54 PM
Number of posts: 89,711

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If Bernie is the nominee, this is what I'll do.

I don't like Bernie. I like him less and less every day, and his latest tweet about fighting the "Democratic establishment" (you know, the people who gave him the chance to run for President and who will be supporting him if he gets the nomination) was the final straw. Nevertheless, if - God help us - he is the nominee, I will fight like a rabid wolverine to get him elected, because Trump.

But the attitude I will have is of a lawyer representing a client, and most definitely not that of a fanatically-devoted Bernie cultist. I practiced law for almost 20 years before going into a different line of work, and during that time I learned how to argue on behalf of clients I didn't like and whose behavior I disapproved of. I usually didn't have the luxury of picking and choosing my clients, so from time to time I represented insurance companies, sexual harassers, age discriminators, drunk drivers, embezzlers and drug dealers. I didn't like them or what they did but I was obligated by the rules of my profession to present the strongest argument possible on their behalf within the limits of the law and legal ethics. I couldn't lie - but I could spin. I learned how to slant the facts without misrepresenting them, and how to argue the law to the client's best advantage.

That's pretty much what I'll have to do with Bernie, because I don't like him, I don't like his attitude, I don't like the people who work for him, and I fear that he'll cost us the election. But as a lawyer I learned how to pull all manner of disingenuous and just barely truthful nonsense out of my own butt and I'll do it again. I'll pretend to believe that Bernie will give us all free health care and free college the minute he walks into the Oval Office and I'll spin it hard enough to generate enough electricity to power all of Vermont.

I will be like the lawyer who defends a convicted murderer on Death Row - not because she thinks the client is innocent but because she fervently opposes the death penalty. The re-election of Trump is the death penalty. Therefore I will defend Bernie with all the zeal I can muster to try to prevent the death penalty from being imposed on the Democratic Party and the American people, even though I know I will probably fail. (Angry Sandernistas: I'm not equating Bernie with a convicted murderer; I am merely equating his candidacy with that level of desperation).

But I hope I can campaign as an ordinary citizen for a candidate I believe in instead of as a cynical defense lawyer for one I don't.

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sat Feb 22, 2020, 11:45 AM (166 replies)

One issue with M4A that I don't think I've seen addressed,

is that its proponents often compare it to the health care arrangements in the Nordic countries - that their systems are the ideal, or close to it, and that we should adopt their kind of system. Ideally, maybe we should. But here's the catch: Those countries have never had for-profit, privately-owned primary health care. In Norway, for example, the oldest hospital still in existence was built in 1277 and was operated by the church; later on, other charities ran the hospitals. After WWII the government took over the entire health care system, with the actual provision of services being managed by local governments. https://www.lifeinnorway.net/healthcare/ In contrast, the United States has never had government-provided health care, with the exception of the VA. Even Medicare isn't really government health care because it is provided by privately-owned and in many cases for-profit providers, and we and our employers, not the government, paid for it (and you still pay premiums). So the transition to a government-managed single-payer system would require massive restructuring of almost everything, that would take years to implement. Candidates flogging M4A aren't being honest if they're trying to convince voters that it's going to happen like flipping a switch as soon as there's a new administration.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Fri Feb 14, 2020, 07:35 PM (0 replies)
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