Video: Krauthammer says Dean “speaks the truth”

posted at 11:36 am on August 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

How foolish was Howard Dean’s admission that the Democrats lack the testicular fortitude to offer tort reform as part of ObamaCare? Every opponent of ObamaCare now has a handy sound bite to press the demand for tort reform as a show-stopper — and clearly paint the Democratic Party as a mouthpiece for trial lawyers. Charles Krauthammer used the clip to damn Dean and the Democrats with the faint praise of Dean’s “truth”, as Townhall’s Greg Hengler catches:

Krauthammer’s right about the trial lawyers owning the Democrats, but not so much on Dean. Dean did speak honestly about not wanting to make enemies of the trial lawyers, but not completely honestly.  ObamaCare didn’t avoid tort reform out of concern of making too many enemies; it avoided tort reform because Democrats oppose tort reform altogether, and not just in the context of health-care reform.   Trial lawyers indeed own the Democratic Party, which is why we’re not seeing tort reform now, and why we won’t see it in the future as long as Democrats control Congress.

Dean spoke in half truths in this clip.  That still puts him ahead of most of his Democratic colleagues pushing this bill.


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I think the Court system is just so jammed up that a change in making the loser pay would really unclog the system.

AnninCA on August 28, 2009 at 1:14 PM

That Sarah Palin should “shut up”, Pinnochio says, she doesn’t “quite get it, is not ready yet”, Krauthammer, should stay bare foot in the kitchen and have “an abortion to establish her political creds”, any number of Liberal opponents,

But by God when she puts out a message on Facebook the whole wide world decides its’ Tort Reform that needs to be taked about!

Right after she crucified the False Jesus from the same forum a week ago.

Go Sarah Go
Palin/Cheney(LIZ) 2012 To see liberal heads explode!

dhunter on August 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

None of the MSM tools ever admit they were wrong. Their dubious track record is never questioned. And yet they feel empowered to prognosticate each and every day with more erroneous analysis. I don’t trust any of the entrenched spokes holes in the media including CK.

Geochelone on August 28, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I think the Court system is just so jammed up that a change in making the loser pay would really unclog the system.

AnninCA on August 28, 2009 at 1:14 PM

How about more courts to adequately handle the load and unclog the system?

Ira on August 28, 2009 at 1:18 PM

I think the Court system is just so jammed up that a change in making the loser pay would really unclog the system.

AnninCA on August 28, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Well Ann, you and I finally have something to agree on. I believe in loser pays as well. As it is, there’s very little to lose in bringing a frivolous lawsuit. Loser pay would change all that. Costs would come down in nearly every industry and prices would not be far behind. Since judges can’t be counted on to toss these cases out, we need a way to force the issue.

Kafir on August 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM

A better solution would be honest judges who throw out frivolous lawsuits and spare the nation the shakedown circus.

Unfortunately that age seems to have passed. Replaced by an era where judges realize that they have to keep the gravy train running should they want a cushy retirement job with one of the ambulance chaser firms they’ve enriched.

Courts have returned to an pre-Constitutional time where the self-proclaimed patricians in robes viewed the peons as entertainments to bleed and poke or hang for whatever life and gold they can leech out of them.

viking01 on August 28, 2009 at 1:31 PM

She now has her lips so firmly attached to Barry’s a$$, she’s reminding me more and more like Bob Beckel in a dress. What is Fox thinking by putting her on the “panel”?

Knucklehead on August 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Although she has a creepy smile, she’s pretty attractive when she wears her serious face. I think Fox is taking the “spoonful of sugar helps the [poison] go down approach.” If I keep my eyes on the pouty lips with the layers of lip gloss, I’m almost able to tune out what she’s saying. Alas, I invariably focus only to be reminded of what a nitwit she is.

Looks aside, her opinions are only mildly better than Beckel, but at least she doesn’t throw tantrums. Seriously, I don’t think Fox lets Beckel anywhere new the Special Report panels because he’s just too immature. Hell, the K-man, paralyzed though he is, would have Beckel spinning on a spit over a fire on the table with an apple in his mouth upon returning from the first commercial break. Fox wisely limits Beckel’s panel appearances to Hannity’s foodfights.

BuckeyeSam on August 28, 2009 at 1:36 PM

How about more courts to adequately handle the load and unclog the system?

Ira on August 28, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Great. More mediocre judges from the bottom of the classes of mediocre law school all dispensing more jackpot justice.

What could go wrong?

Let’s go the other way. Access to specialized malpractice courts, bench trials only (no jury trials), no caps, and the British system.

So you don’t whine about people losing their day in court, maybe there should be a lower level of specialized malpractice courts: bench trials, limited discovery, severe caps, and the American system.

I’m open to solutions that don’t run good docs out of practice.

BuckeyeSam on August 28, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I’d like to see a law similar to what England has, in which the loser pays the bill.

AnninCA on August 28, 2009 at 12:36 PM

The problem then the poor will only get a lawsuit started if it is absolutely 100% sure of winning, and very few lawsuits are a 100% sure thing, those are settled out of court. If your attorney makes one error and you lose, you are wiped out, with no recourse.
Our system is really best for the poor, the least among us, it just needs to be tweaked and managed a little.

right2bright on August 28, 2009 at 1:56 PM

BuckeyeSam on August 28, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I like Bench Trials but I oppose caps. I think good bench trials should be sufficient.

Squid Shark on August 28, 2009 at 1:59 PM

It’s not the Democratic party. It’s the Democrat party. There is nothing at all Democratic about the Democrat party.

JellyToast on August 28, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Trial lawyers are one of the biggest contributors to the decline of “normal” life in the U.S.
See any swings, teeter totters, merry-go-rounds, in any Calif. city parks lately?
right2bright on August 28, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Funny you should mention CA. That state has had tort reform since 1975. They already have a $250,000 cap on med mal verdicts that are more draconian than TX. Rebuplicans do not use it as part of their argument even though we have a significant history to evaluate it’s impact, because it has failed to reduce premiums.

tommylotto on August 28, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Krauthammer’s best line last night was about the CIA witch hunt and new interrogation rules:

If they find Osama Bin Laden, the only question they’ll be asking him is, “How do you like your lamb?”.

Buy Danish on August 28, 2009 at 2:31 PM

The Labor Unions are going to be pissed when they find out the Trial Lawyers own the Democratic Party and not them…..

WyoMike on August 28, 2009 at 2:34 PM

You people are so confusing. Is it Soros, the unions, or trial lawyers that “own” the democrats?

hottieinthehouse on August 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM

All of the above. For a vivid illustration of how this works, I recommend watching “The Producers“.

VekTor on August 28, 2009 at 2:40 PM

That Sarah Palin should “shut up”, Pinnochio says, she doesn’t “quite get it, is not ready yet”, Krauthammer, should stay bare foot in the kitchen and have “an abortion to establish her political creds”, any number of Liberal opponents,

But by God when she puts out a message on Facebook the whole wide world decides its’ Tort Reform that needs to be taked about!

Right after she crucified the False Jesus from the same forum a week ago.

Go Sarah Go
Palin/Cheney(LIZ) 2012 To see liberal heads explode!

dhunter on August 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

>

And now Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post and NRO:
http://tinyurl.com/mcbhdw

He argues for an Obama exit strategy that would get Republican support…a single payer health care utility.
” Jettison any reference to end-of-life counseling. People see (correctly) such Medicare-paid advice as subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment. People don’t want government involvement in a process they consider the private province of patient, family, and doctor. The Senate is already dropping it. The House must follow.
and,
Soft-pedal the idea of government committees determining “best practices.” President Obama’s Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was sold as simply government helping doctors choose the best treatments. But there are dozens of medical journal review articles that do just that. The real purpose of the FCCCER is ultimately to establish official criteria for denying reimbursement to less favored (because presumably less effective) treatments — precisely the triage done by the NICE committee in Britain, the Orwellian body that once blocked access to a certain expensive anti-blindness drug until you went blind in one eye.”

In other words, drop the Death Panels. I believe we all know someone who said the exact thing about a week ago. Someone named Sarah. But she’s just too dumb and off putting, says Charles. So now this great conservative Capitalist wants to forcibly turn all health insurance companies into public utilities. Surely that will increase competition and lower costs. Heck, I have at least a dozen choices from whom to buy my electricity and gas, don’t you?

But wait, is he just joking? The second to last ending paragraph says this:
“Isn’t there a catch? Of course, there is. This scheme is the ultimate bait-and-switch. The pleasure comes now, the pain later. Government-subsidized universal and virtually unlimited coverage will vastly compound already out-of-control government spending on health care. The financial and budgetary consequences will be catastrophic.”

He puts forth a “solution” that everyone can agree with that he then states will be financially catastrophic.

I agree with a previous poster. It is Mr Krauthammer that should be asked to leave the room. We need to free up a chair for Sarah Palin.

cdor on August 28, 2009 at 3:46 PM

For the lawyers here arguing against tort reform, how do class action suits that pay plaintiffs pennies and lawyers millions fit in your universe? Why is it that in most cases the extent of the liability is determined by the deepest pocket that can be found? How much does it help the aggrieved person without legs to have won 10 times more, by jury judgement, than could be spent by that person with all the needed caregivers and without buying yachts or mansions on the Riviera. I don’t think any reasonable person believes people harmed shouldn’t be compensated. Punitive compensation concerns me. If a crime was committed someone should go to jail, but punitive compensation actually only punishes the rest of the non-guilty society in the long term.

cdor on August 28, 2009 at 4:05 PM

“Loser pays” has another unintended cosequence besides the practical effect of denying some people their day in court. If a judgment-proof plainitff sues a small business, the small business may have to pay MORE in settlement b/c if it loses, it will have to pay the plaintiff’s atty; on the other hand, if the plaintiff loses, good luck getting blood from a turnip.

Lou Budvis on August 28, 2009 at 4:26 PM

gaffe: n, Joe Biden speaking the truth.

njcommuter on August 29, 2009 at 2:51 AM

how do class action suits that pay plaintiffs pennies and lawyers millions fit in your universe?

There ARE bad actors in the corporate world. You must admit that. There is false advertising, tainted children’s milk, unsafe pharmaceuticals, lead paint on children’s toys, and unfair billing practices by cell phone companies — just to name a few. These unfair business practices may hurt each customer to the tune of only a few dollars each, but may effect millions in this manner. It does not make economic sense for any one of the injured consumers to bring a lawsuit against a rich corporation for just a few dollars. However, if all similarly situated customers that suffered a similar injury can be group in a class — then the amount in dispute would be millions and would make economic sense for a lawyer to take the case. Then the lawyer may spend 1000′s of man hours on the case over years and advance hundreds of thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs on experts, consultants, etc. to build up the case. At the end of the day, the case may settle with each injured class member getting their few dollars back and the attorney getting paid a large fee award. The fee award is only made after application to the court and with the approval of the judge. Any class member can go to court and object to the amount of the fee. However, they like you, know nothing of what it takes to serve the important societal purpose of a class action lawyer protecting consumers from corporate bad actors. Thankfully, judges know better. BTW we have already had class action reform — nearly all nationwide cases have been forced into Federal court. This was pushed through Congress when the Republicans controlled Congress.

tommylotto on August 29, 2009 at 10:05 AM

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