The Political Power of Networking Sites

Thank you, Facebook!

Thank you, Twitter!

Forget Palin-for-President.  She’s making a lot of money (more than she would as President) and is having a ball being an unelected American endorsing candidates with her own new form of power, much of which has been propelled by Facebook and Twitter.

Rand Paul won in a landslide after her endorsement.

Susana Martinez won after her endorsement.

And the few who have lost were in heavy blue states (or tainted with RINOs) and still lost only by a couple of numbers.

Obama’s endorsements on the other hand = a guaranteed loss.  In fact, if conservatives wanted to be unfair to their opponents this year, they could all pay Obama to campaign and endorse them.

Palin is still growing a massive following and people just love her for the reactions she gets out of liberals. 

There is much to be said for Facebook and Twitter with regard to fueling her messages which immediately get reprinted on every major news outlet across this great land.

Palin was right.  With networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, conservatives are getting their messages out.  Even within my circle of personal friends on Facebook, the ones who never cared about politics before are swinging closer and closer to the right and inheriting wisdom by fact-checking one of my rants. 

Even some of my Facebooking left-wingers are vowing to never vote for liberals again.

Because of Facebook, we are able to hold constant conversations and continue to inform folks — even if they don’t sign on looking for it.

As such, I firmly believe that Facebook and Twitter used by powerful people like Sarah Palin are proving to surpass the power of the major media outlets. 

Take the Helen Thomas scandal for example.  Days ago, Mel here at gayconservative was the first to my world to write on Helen Thomas’s boneheaded remarks in which she suggested Jews go back “home” to Poland or Germany (where they were gassed in masses years ago).  Of course, there was no significant coverage of this — at least not to the point where anything was done about it –particularly since these comments were blatant leaving absolutely no room for excuses or characterizations of misspoken words and botched sentences.

This morning, after Palin’s Twitter, and after the MSM’s reporting of Palin’s Twitter, Nine Speakers, Inc. has fired Helen Thomas from the list of speakers.  As such, an upcoming speech of hers was cancelled. 

Amazing!  The first phase of holding the media responsible and sending a message to all journalists: if you want to keep your jobs, quit being biased idiots!

And if that isn’t proof enough, have a look at the liberals’ comments on a liberal website.  They really make it all worth it:

We all hate Sarah Palin sooo much! The other day she said she liked strawberry ice cream…I mean, it HAD been my favorite flavor but now I’ll never eat it again…becuz Palin’s political ideas are….slutty stewardess ideas, yeah that’s it. It’s so cool to hate her along with you guys, hating her is what makes me (and us) so EXTRA cool!

Read More (Profanity-warning)

If you aren’t on Facebook or Twitter and are one of the many articulate visitors of this blog, what the hell are you waiting for?

Slight of Hand

It was big news when, out of nowhere, Democrats announced they were tacking a provision to repeal DADT to a defense spending bill. The announcement just a month ago was that Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, openly opposed allowing DADT to continue and supported repeal. Democrats agreed with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that they would wait to repeal the bill until a report on the impact of a repeal on the capability to recruit and readiness of the military could be completed. A date of December 1 was set.

Then, this week, they announced a sudden change in plans. They couldn’t have had better timing: as Steve pointed out in his post a couple of days ago, the Obama administration has been under fire for the past couple of weeks for their lack of response to the massive pipeline rupture spewing thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Obama has managed to assign all the blame for the disaster, including the lack of attention to containing the oil that is now washing ashore in Louisiana (or even attempting to begin cleanup efforts, for that matter), to BP. Not only was Katrina Bush’s fault, this disaster is apparently his fault too, according to Madame Speaker Pelosi.

Worse yet, at least for Obama’s legal issues, is the revelation that the White House is tangled up in offering Joe Sestak a job if he would agree to drop out of the primary race for turncoat Arlen Specter’s senate seat. Back in February, Sestak let slip that he’d been offered a high-level job within the Obama administration to drop out of the race and said that he’d adamantly refused to accept the offer, but also refused to give any solid details. The press jumped on the allegation, immediately asking the Big O’s personal talking head Robert Gibbs to explain the claim but everyone had suddenly clammed up.

You see, it is a felony to attempt to bribe a candidate to drop out of a political race, just as it is a felony to bribe a politician to vote a certain way. As soon as the questions surfaced the administration went into lockdown. Nobody said a word. When anybody did speak, the only thing they were allowed to say was, “nothing improper took place.” They were willing to say that nobody did anything wrong, but at the same time they wouldn’t tell us what DID happen. They kept saying that a report was in the works. Odd behavior for a group of extremely powerful people who didn’t do anything illegal, wouldn’t you say?

So, on May 21, the announcement came: in one week a vote would take place on a defense spending bill. Included in the bill was now the language to repeal DADT.

See where I’m going with this yet?

There had previously been absolutely no plan to do anything about DADT until the end of the year. That report was what everything was to be based on, and both SecDef Gates and Admiral Mullen had specifically asked Congress not to revisit the issue until the report was completed. Congress agreed. The only reason they went back on their word was because they needed to do something to drum up some positive press with at least part of their constituency, and the best way to do it was to keep a promise they’d made to the gay community. Repealing DADT will be a historic measure, one guaranteed to win Obama some favor.

The Democrats had to do something to save face. This was the best way to do it. Obama did nothing proactive after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform; he could have gotten the jump on a cleanup effort. He could have saved the coast from the ecological disaster that has already begun, but we’re more than a month out and Obama STILL hasn’t done anything. If you think Katrina was bad, wait to see what happens now.

The report on the Sestak affair wasn’t released until this past Thursday. In it officials claimed that it was Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel who asked former president Bill Clinton to offer Sestak the job. I’m curious…if Sestak was being offered a job in Obama’s cabinet, then why didn’t Obama make the offer? Why did a second party need to enlist the aid of a third party, one who is no longer personally in the government, to make the offer? The whole thing reeks of plausible deniability. Everyone involved, from Sestak to Obama, knew perfectly well they were doing something illegal. I have to ask again, also – if nobody did anything wrong, then why couldn’t they have come out the day that Sestak let the cat out of the bag and told us what happened? If that report is the truth, it should have come out three months ago.

I want DADT to be repealed, but this is dishonest and I am no closer to giving Obama or any of the Democrats any kudos than I was before. This was carefully-orchestrated liberal slight of hand. Watch closely, and you might just figure out where the deception is.

Target #1: Chet Edwards (D-TX)

My series on Dem targets for 2010 won’t come with any preordained regularity due to the ebb and flow of events that determine the status of a campaign.  A lot of things can happen between now and November.  Many states have not even held their primaries to determine the GOP challengers for particular races. 

My home state of Texas is not one of those states.  Our primaries were held in March, and our run-offs finished earlier this month.  And there is one race in Texas that appears well in hand for the GOP (barring any unforeseen events prior to November).

Rep. Chet Edwards is now an endangered species in Congress.  He represents a district just south of Dallas-Fort Worth that gave John McCain 67% of their vote.  The district includes Baylor University (the nation’s largest Southern Baptist University) and Crawford (the location of George W’s ranch). Edwards is an incumbent with 10 terms up his sleeve.  His death-kiss came during the last election when Nancy Pelosi encouraged Obama to consider him for the VP slot.  Ooops.  Chet won his last re-election with 53% of the vote against an underfunded GOP opponent. 

This time he is opposed by Bill Flores, a businessman from Bryan/College Station (Gig ‘Em Aggies).  He is a solid conservative with a great message.  He believes in limited government, is pro-life, affirms the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, believes in securing our borders, supports our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and opposes Obama’s spending and socialist agenda.  I have no qualms with Flores and have chosen to adopt him for the 2010 election.

Edwards, a supposed “moderate,” has a Dem party-line support rating of 97%.  True – he voted against Obamacare after Pelosi had it all wrapped up with her 218 votes.  According to Dick Morris, however, “he voted for the stimulus package, for raising the debt limit, and for the Death Tax; he even voted against banning partial-birth abortions.”  I’m just beside myself that this liberal could represent such a solidly conservative district.  This is a mismatch from Hell.  You can see Edwards’ voting record here.

I don’t have any dirt on Chet.  I’m not concerned with that.  For all I know, he is a perfectly sweet guy – personally.  But what I do know about Edwards is that he is a phoney and a foot-soldier for Nancy Pelosi.  He pretends to be moderate or conservative when he comes home to Texas, but that flight back to DC must mess with his head.  When he gets there, he mysteriously becomes a yes-man for Nancy Pelosi, voting with her 97% of the time.  Chet has outstayed his welcome in DC representing this conservative district.  I will boldly make my first prediction – Chet Edwards is toast.

Not On Oprah’s Reading List

This one is sure to NOT be a part of Oprah’s Book Club.  It’s called “2010: Take America Back” by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann.

As a graduate student at Ohio University’s School of Interpersonal Communication in 1998, I wrote a Master’s Thesis entitled “Saying Much While Saying Nothing: Bill Clinton’s Use of Ambiguity As A Rhetorical Strategy.”  Little did I know at the time, Dick Morris was the driving force behind the triangulation and ambiguity that President Clinton utilized to make himself the “Teflon President.”  I’ve watched Morris’ metamorphisis over the years from a disgruntled detractor to a cheerleader for Republicans and conservatives.  Many, such as Rush Limbaugh, still seem to hold a grudge and distrust him.  But others (Sean Hannity) have embraced him as a strategist with much to offer the GOP.

“2010: Take America Back” is a gutsy book that Morris wrote with his wife, Eileen McGann.  The book has four parts.  The first lays out the case against Obama and Congressional Democrats.  The second part indentifies specific Democrat senators and representatives ripe for the picking in the 2010 congressional elections.  The third part (speaking mainly to candidates and campaign staff) discusses how to frame the debate for the 2010 elections.  The fourth part tells me, an individual, exactly what I can do to effect the 2010 elections in favor of the GOP.  Part #2 was, naturally, right up my alley.  Part #4 was so exciting that I posted this and decided to embark on a new project via this blog.

Skipping ahead to Part 4, Morris and McGann note:

“Too many of us still labor under the illusion that politics is a top-down game, driven by the manager and candidate whose intiatives filter down to the lowly campaign workers – the foot soldiers on the ground.  We wait for our phones to ring or emails to arrive telling us what to do to help win the election.

But in today’s politics, those intitatives have to come from us, not from on high……

It is now clear, however, that the Internet is becoming the most powerful forum for political campaiging.  And we all have equal access to the Web.

The means one thing:  You are the campaign!  You can be your own campaign media guru, strategist and manager.  You don’t need money.  You don’t need fame.  You just need to be able to produce cogent and effective campaign messages to send to your friends and associates by email and to the world at large on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and whatever else is invented between now and when you read these words…..

In this new era, we – the party’s and candidates’ supporters – must do the heavy lifting.  We, not the candidate or his staff, must get the messages out.  The campaigns themselves – with their budgets and exposure – become ammunition factories producing shells for us to fire.  Why?  Because we have credibility they do not…”

Steve has done all of us who believe in the Conservative Cause a great favor by establishing a credible blog site at GayConservative where our posts and comments are not in vain.  We aren’t exactly the Huffington Post or Michelle Malkin, but there is a readership there.  Based on the emails we receive privately and the comments in response to our posts, I can deduce that our voices are being heard.  There are web searches and our presence on other blog rolls that send folks our way.  That translates into word-of-mouth that carries our message onto the streets.  That gives hope to me that everything we do can help translate to victory in 2010.

I’m a laid-back guy (non-medicinal) and not prone to theatrics, but I am genuinely frightened.  The direction of our nation is all wrong.  Under Obama, we acquiesce to thugs and terrorists, build up our national debt and budget deficits at an alarming pace, nationalize our private industries and run our nation into ruin.  After eight years of Bush, we had a $500 billion deficit.  Less than 2 years into Obama’s reign, we have put that deficit to nearly $1.5 trillion (give or take). Banks and automotive companies are slowly but surely being put under government control.  Taxes are on the rise (on the middle class too – don’t kid yourselves).  Health care is going to be administered by a government who bankrupted social security and can’t run the postal service.

We can’t do anything about Obama or the Marxists who occupy the White House until 2012.  But we can render them impotent by electing Republicans (especially Conservative ones ) in 2010.  Obama’s feeding frenzy will come to a halt in 2010 if we all get the message out.  The mood is ripe for a repeat x 2 of 1994.  Morris believes we can win both the Senate and House.  I personally believe that we will retake the House and bring the Senate with 2 or 3.  Winning both gives us our best chance at halting the socialist tide.

My new project here is based on part 2 of Morris and McGann’s book.  They go into detail about congressmen and women who are vulnerable in 2010.  You need to read the book to realize how corrupt and disingenuous some of these people can be.  The GOP had ethical issues that put us in this mess in 2006 and 2008.  Most of those losers have been weeded out.  Now it is time to weed out “moderate Democrats” who vote with Pelosi and Reid 85-98% of the time.  Yeah – that’s right.  There are Dems from GOP or swing districts proclaiming themselves to be “moderate” and still vote the Dem party line 85-98% of the time.  Read the book.

Over the next few months, I will take on some of these targets and expose them for the frauds that they are.  I will profile them individually and make the case for their defeat.  I have, in the past, pledged my meager financial support as well as my moral support to Republicans in other states and districts.  I will continue to do so and encourage all of you to do the same.  Adopt a Republican.  Do what you can.  We better start now before it’s too late.

Go Sit in the Corner!

Many lawmakers have given us multiple reasons to shake our heads and say, “how did you get elected, you idiot?” Here’s Maxine Waters’ exchange with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jORdN7v0ej0]

What she never seems to get, even at the end, is the big difference between the discount rate and the federal fund rate (the discount rate being the rate banks borrow from the government, the fed fund rate being the rate at which banks borrow from each other). No, nitwit, mortgages aren’t going to rise because the discount rate is going up ever so slightly. One would think you’d have learned a thing or two from your involvement with OneUnited. But, then again, you have hidden your involvement in that cover-up well and have been given a free pass for championing their cause by securing $12M in TARP money for which they didn’t qualify while you shrieked at big bank CEO’s about things you knew little about and were not willing to allow the CEO’s to explain. Don’t forget, though, Tea Party protesters are outrageous because they “shout.”

Waters has been outdone, though. Hank Lewis tossed a nice little gem out for us yesterday. While hearing testimony from Admiral Robert Willard, the Democrat from Georgia said one of the most unbelievable things I have ever heard (aside from Waters threatening the CEO of Shell with a nationalization of the oil industry). I kept waiting for the “April fools!” but none came:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs23CjIWMgA]

He then went on to talk about global warming.

Words escape me.

I had to post this, too, brought to us by Tammy Bruce:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtxqtBq0uVw&feature=player_embedded]

I couldn’t resist…I was laughing so hard I nearly wet my pants.

The Stupak Betrayal

Watching the “Health Care Reform” debate on CSPAN yesterday was agonizing.  As Mel noted, it made my head want to explode.  But what made it even more unbearable for me personally was the concession made that allowed the Dems to garner the votes necessary to pass the legislation.  The GOP’s hopes of defeating this abomination hinged on the opposition of the Democrats’ pro-life dozen including their leader, Rep. Bart Stupak (MI).  As Newsmax.com states, it was an easy fix for Pelosi….

Until Sunday, the Michigan Democrat had insisted that he wouldn’t support healthcare reform until Congress voted to rescind language widely interpreted as allowing the expenditure of public funds to pay for the abortions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew that changing the language would cost the support of other Democrats, however. So she kicked the controversy back down Pennsylvania Avenue to the president, who issued an executive order declaring that public funds would not be spent for abortions.

That last-minute move apparently gave Stupak the cover he needed to support the bill.  Even Stupak knows that Obama’s executive order was meaningless.

Nationally, pro-life advocates and even some Democrats objected that the president’s executive order would be virtually meaningless. It can be rescinded at any time by another presidential order, either by Obama or his successor. Also, by law, a presidential executive order cannot countermand congressional legislation. That means the provisions passed by the House will be the law of the land.

I can take a traitor, but a traitor who poses as a person of principle on an issue that I hold dearly is beyond my ability to forgive and forget.  And I’m not alone.

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group was revoking its “Defender of Life” award to Stupak, which was to be awarded at its Wednesday night gala.

“We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so,” Dannenfelser said. “Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.'” 

Bart Stupak is a fraud and a liar.  He doesn’t care one iota about the sanctity of life.  He is one of the lowest forms of human life.  At least you know what you are getting with Pelosi and those on the left who advocate for abortion rights.  But Stupak was a pretender.  His resolve on behalf of the unborn was either a farce or it was not strong enough to withstand pressure.  So he is either a liar or he is a weak-spined individual with no sense of principle.  In either case, Stupak must be defeated.  I would revel in his defeat more than I would in the defeat of Nancy Pelosi herself.

Stupak’s most formidable GOP challenger is Dr. Ben Benishek (although the primary has not been decided yet).  Stupak’s performance on Sunday did not go unnoticed by voters and others who revere life .

Benishek, an Obamacare opponent and political novice running in Michigan’s first congressional district GOP primary, says his phone started ringing before Stupak even completed his remarks.

“Before he was even done talking, people started calling me. They didn’t even want to talk to me much. They just wanted to confirm that I was the guy running against Stupak, and how could they send me money. I just couldn’t believe it,” Benishek tells Newsmax.

Messages of support suddenly flashed onto Stupak’s Facebook page.

“I’m not in Michigan, but even those of us in New York realize YOU have to beat Stupak in NOV!!!!” one visitor wrote.

“I live in Hawaii but I’m sending you my check today,” another stated. “Stupak must go. Please help us take back our beloved country.”

The Benishek for Congress Facebook page, which had gone largely unnoticed, added over 13,000 new members overnight. That compares to Stupak’s Facebook page, which boasts 2,056 fans.

Benishek, a pro-life conservative, says Stupak “obviously caved in” to political pressure, said that within three hours of Stupak’s announcement he had received 2,000 e-mails from newfound supporters. His Web site, benishekforcongress.net, got so many hits that he says it crashed.

Once the primary is decided in that district, I will be donating money to his opponent.  I have a feeling that Stupak really put this race into play by embracing a fix that even he acknowledges is meaningless. 

This is just one more example of what is wrong with Washington.  I hate to sound like a cliche, but it really pains me and angers me.  I think it’s naive to believe that we will ever eliminate the backroom deals and bargaining that seem to be inherent in politics.  But when the bargaining chip involves potentially thousands or millions of unborn babies, things have gone too far.  Stupak will have to live with that fact.  It might bother him one day if he ever really cared.

***  Beneshik has a link on his facebook page where you can donate.  Or you can mail a check.

Binge and Purge

Well…sort of.

President Obama spent money like it was going out of style during his first year in office. His first budget bill included budget issues from Bush and increased non-security federal spending by 8%. In December, just one month ago, he increased non-security spending by another 12%. The federal government is currently operating on a $1.35T deficit, the largest in US history. Today, Obama has suddenly switched horses in the middle of the stream. He’s called for a “partial freeze” of all non-security spending.

That partial freeze doesn’t stop the spending he signed for last month. The projection is that the first year they’ll save $15B. That’s just a drop in the bucket, though, considering our deficit. And the “freeze”, as I mentioned, doesn’t stop the spending he’s already signed off on, so it’s not really a true freeze.

Obama proposing a spending freeze is about like Mel Gibson swearing to check into rehab after he goes on one last bender.

The Congressional Budget office (or CBO) projected that, if the freeze holds, the deficit may fall to $480 billion. But Urkel is expected to propose a jobs bill that will cost as-yet-unannounced millions this year. According to the CBO, if the current spending level keeps up, even with this so-called freeze, the deficit could end up at $15T by 2020.

Let’s see…he expanded TARP…signed the $787B stimulus, which is still shoveling money into a neverending pit…he’s proposed raising taxes on the wealthy and big corporations, driving them to move their money elsewhere…most recently he shot our economy in the foot by lambasting the banks for turning an honest profit and promising to dissolve them, destroying thousands more jobs as he goes…this guy has managed to effectively murder the American economy, and his toothless, zombified followers just keep on following him, blandly chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!” as they go.

Add on top of that he wants a trillion-dollar-plus healthcare reform bill signed into law, and our deficit is going to end up swallowing us whole.

He still hasn’t proposed what to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who haven’t recovered and are still hemorrhaging money. He tossed a few billion at GM/Chrysler to make the government a partial owner of the companies, but they haven’t recovered, either (Ford was the only company that didn’t take a bailout and they’re growing by leaps and bounds now). Bush tried to point out in 2003 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nearing the brink of dragging everyone else to hell but nobody listened. Democrats took the reins in both the House and Senate in 2004 and did BUBKIS.

So please, someone tell me, whose fault is this? There are plenty of Republicans at fault, but most of them were out of line with the rest of the party. Now we’ve got McCain going along with Democrats in a bid to dissolve the biggest banks, essentially turning them into credit unions and not allowing them to turn much profit. How is this going to work?

Binge and purge is extremely dangerous when done by those who are bulimic. The practice can sap the body of nutrients, break down muscle tissue, damage the stomach and esophogal lining, make teeth rot, and eventually kill the person doing it. This economic binge and purge is no better and will be far worse if we don’t kick these socialist cads out of office THIS YEAR.

Most “OPEN” My Texan…

Senate majority leader Harry Reid – most recently putting his foot in his mouth for likening Republicans speaking out against socialized healthcare to the backwards slave owners fighting against freeing said slaves – has just managed to get his foot stuffed halfway down his digestive tract. I thought that was anatomically impossible, but he’s just proven me wrong.

He referred to Obama as a “light-skinned” black man with “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

At this point, after all his grandstanding on the healthcare overhaul and the multiple name-calling sessions he’s held to bash Senate Republicans (and Steve will forgive my Japanese here), I’m waiting for the announcement from his doctor that he needs medical leave after he shits his shiny shoe.

This is what’s pointed out in an as-yet-unreleased book called “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, who documented the 2008 campaign trails and all the gossip that went on. Included are revelations that Bill Clinton is having another affair, Hillary’s staffers were waiting for her to blow up, and Elizabeth Edwards and all of her hubby’s staff knew about his affair LONG before the National Enquirer caught on.

Meanwhile, back on the farm…

Harry Reid has deflected real questions about the healthcare debacle by taking aim at Republicans who refuse to support the legislation, calling them racists in more ways than one (the “slavery” remark was only one that was made). Finally, after the House managed to pass a bill, the two bills – the one passed by the Senate differs greatly from the one passed by the House of Representatives – now need to be patched together and both Senate and House need to vote again. Normally, this goes through committee processes before being whittled down to a final product.

Democrats have circumvented this process and taken the two bills into a backroom hashing session to avoid public scrutiny. In response to questions from the press about Obama’s promises to lead the “most open and transparent administration in history,” Nancy Pelosi laughed, shrugged it off and said…that it was as open as it could be.

I beg your pardon?

I don’t like this legislation to begin with. Not a single conservative in America does. Now, however, we’ve got the President who promised transparency and openness and all of his minions refusing to allow the voters to know what’s going on. When they’re called on it, they’re brushing it aside and telling us that it’s as “open as it can be.” Translation: we promised this reform, but we want to get our foot in the socialist door, so we’re going to do what we can and we expect our liberal shills to support us as loudly as they can.

Most “open and transparent” my Texan ass. Those of you who bagged on Bush for tearing down our rights, look at what’s going on right now and tell me that our guy really attacked our rights. Look at the body scanners being put up in our airports, our senators and representatives forcing bills down our throats that they don’t want us to read until it’s too late, and the accusations that are tossed about by liberals who don’t want conservatives to have a voice. Here at gayconservative.org, we’ve been called racists, bigots, even anti-gay (that one was a hoot), all of it in an effort to shut us up.

In the meantime, the Democrats are driving us right over the socialist cliff.

Making Noise

Since we’re on the subject of healthcare reform, I’d like to talk about one of the issues that affects healthcare the most: lawsuits.

Back in June, Obama delivered a speech before the American Medical Association. They cheered some of the things he said at first, but he actually said, “don’t get too excited, just hold your horses, guys…” before then announcing that he would never support tort reform.

He was instantly booed by the entire gathering.

One of the things no Democrat wants to admit is just how much medical malpractice lawsuits contribute to the exorbitant costs of healthcare in America, largely because trial lawyers give so damn much money to the Democratic party. That’s completely aside from the fact that both our current President and First Lady as well as the last Democrat pair are ALL lawyers (well…Slick Willie was disbarred, to be fair). The Democrats have all salivated over passing landmark healthcare legislation before the 2010 elections, and while they’ve all whined and moaned about how many people are uninsured because it’s so expensive, all but one of them have refused to admit the glaring truth, something that made John Edwards richer than God: trial lawyers make a killing off of medical malpractice lawsuits (no pun intended), and they are completely out of control.

Who’s the one to admit it? Barack Obama himself. He called it a ticking time bomb. Yet as he did so before the AMA he immediately turned around and said he’d never support reform.

While there are genuine malpractice issues that require regulations and the right of a patient to have recourse if negligence is truly to blame for severe injury, if you look at it honestly, these lawsuits cost far more than they’re worth. Some of the suits that end up in court are legitimate. Unfortunately, many aren’t–they’re simply the result of a patient or their family wanting to blame somebody for the abrupt change in their lives. I have seen very talented doctors do all they can to save patients they knew would not survive because of the severe trauma find themselves in court over their patient’s death because the family just wanted someone to pay. When I work as an EMT, we have to document every single thing right down to the miniscule things that were said because we might be sued, too.

Thanks to lawsuits, we have defensive medicine. Doctors will order the most expensive tests for things they can often eliminate as possible diagnoses simply to cover themselves on the off chance that something goes wrong and they end up getting sued. When a $250 x-ray can suffice for a complaint of back pain, doctors sometimes order $1500 MRI’s just to cover their backsides. Numerous blood tests will be performed when, in fact, a doctor can usually tell by symptoms what the issue is and confirm it with one or two tests. That sort of practice in medicine costs a hell of a lot annually, driving up insurance costs.

Doctors, hospitals and city EMS agencies will often try to settle out-of-court because the cost of going through trial is greater than just quietly settling, which is another massive problem. It tempts those who know they don’t have a strong case to sue anyway in the hopes of getting anything they can. Whether the plaintiffs and defendants settle or go to trial, these suits cost the entire country a lot of money in a lot of different ways. It also costs the court system precious time, thousands of hours that could be better spent on, say, our flailing and foundering criminal “justice” system. (I know, common sense is annoying–but why ignore it if it’ll work?)

One of the biggest solutions is staring us right in the face and we’re completely ignoring it. I still have not heard one person, one single expert, give solid, factual evidence that insurance companies are the problem. I have to wonder, though, as should we all–why would the Democrats ever be willing to even consider tort reform when they’ve got a near-endless supply of campaign funding from trial lawyers?

Reform belongs in the areas where the problem is, and right now the Democrats are doing little more than making noise.