Shortly after midnight Dimocrats in the Senate will build a mausoleum commemorating their stupidity – to house the suicided corpse that once was the great Democratic Party. There will be a vote to end the debate and pass a Senate version of Obama’s health care scam and it will likely pass.
Long ago we stated that we did not know what was worse for Dimocrats – to pass the health scam they call “reform” or to fail to pass the health scam. We believe that failure to pass will be worse because it will effectively end the present administration Dimocrats are heavily invested in.
These same Dimocrats decided last year to destroy a great woman from becoming president in 2008 because she knew what to do and she would lead the nation, not them. These same Dimocrats decided to inject Chicago corruption into the national bloodstream because they would then be in charge, not the neophyte, unqualified, inexperience flim-flam man from Chicago.
There are voices who disagree with us that stopping the health scam is worse for Dimocrats than passage. Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for George W. Bush is one such voice. Ordinarily, such a voice is suspect, but Dowd makes a strong case. Dowd argues:
Unlike many other pundits and political experts in both parties, I think that passage of a bill by the Democrats at this point will be politically damaging to both the president and congressional Democrats. Conversely, defeat of the legislation is much more likely to hurt Republicans in Congress.
Dowd’s discusses the drop in support for Obama among independent and swing voters who oppose the legislation.
As Wednesday’s Post-ABC poll shows, a majority of Americans believe that if this bill passes, their health-care costs will rise, the federal deficit will increase, the costs of the overall health-care system will climb, and their own care would be better if the system stays as is.
Dowd’s main point is this:
If this legislation passes, Democrats will be held accountable for any failures or problems in the system. So if Americans’ insurance premiums rise, they will blame the Democrats. If patients have to wait in line at emergency rooms, it will be seen as the Democrats’ fault. If health-care costs don’t drop, the Democrats will face the wrath of the electorate.
The other side of the coin according to Dowd is this:
If the legislation fails, Democrats can blame Republicans by saying reform was in sight and the GOP blocked it without offering a real alternative to decrease costs and increase access.
Dowd, recalling George W. Bush’s Pyrrhic victory in the Iraq War bestows this curse for the future:
Democrats pushing so hard for success on health care could find themselves in a situation resembling President Bush’s situation on Iraq. They could topple the statue and win the day, but lose politically over the coming months and years.
Dowd does mention Bill Clinton’s second statement in support of the legislation,
Democrats (including former president Bill Clinton) claim that they need this bill to pass for political reasons. But let’s examine that. At present, a majority of Americans are against the effort, the legislation lacks bipartisan support, the costs of the reforms are upfront, and the benefits won’t kick in until after the 2012 elections. When has that ever been a formula for political success?
On Bill Clinton, we believe that “the medium is the message”. Bill Clinton has spoken in private, behind closed doors, to Senate Dimocrats (the same ones who stood by while Obama supporters called Bill a “racist”) and also issued a statement. Bill Clinton has not been campaigning or touring and giving public speeches at rallies to support the legislation. This pro forma, almost ministerial, verbiage is interpreted by the desperate as a full-throated battle cry. It isn’t. When Bill fully supports a cause, it’s full throttle, not half measure, or half statement, as in this case.
Bill does understand that failure to pass the Obamination will be Obama’s Waterloo. But the question remains, is Obama’s Waterloo preferable for Democratic interests to passing the Obaminable legislation? A conservative Republican is sure passage will be a Pyrrhic victory. Bill Kristol:
When a fellow conservative tried to cheer me up this morning by assuring me that the Senate Democrats’ victory on health care was going to be a Pyrrhic one, I realized I didn’t remember much about Pyrrhus.
I went of course to Wikipedia. That fine reference work defines a Pyrrhic victory as “a victory with devastating cost to the victor.” It also provides this quotation from Plutarch’s Life of Pyrrhus, describing the aftermath of the battle of Asculum in 279 BCE:
“The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.“
So: Pyrrhus’s victory became Pyrrhic because the victorious party lost many of its supporters–but also because the opposition didn’t abate in courage, was able to gain new recruits, and had the force and resolution to go on.
Kristol cites facts to affirm that Obama has lost supporters already. Kristol then makes these shrewd suggestions:
1. Keep fighting on health care. Fight for the next few days in the Senate. Fight the conference report in January in the Senate and the House. Start trying to repeal the worst parts of the bill the moment it passes, if it does. [snip]
Making the 2010 elections a referendum on health care should work–if Republicans don’t let up in the debate over the next year.
2. But don’t fight only on health care. Republicans need to expand the battlefield. The rest of the past week’s news–some Gitmo prisoners being released back to the battlefield, while others are to be brought to the U.S.; the Copenhagen farce and the EPA CO2 regulation; an Obama-appointed “safe schools czar” who’s more interested in safe sex than safe schools–reminds us that there are many fronts for conservatives and Republicans to fight on, ranging from economic policy to social issues to national security. The criticism of the Obama administration needs to be broad-based, because you never know just what issue is going to take off, and because the opposition needs to knit together all those who object to the Europeanization of America.
3. And broaden the base for the fight. Many Republicans–especially Republican elected officials–fret that the Republican party remains unpopular. Don’t worry about that. It will take a while longer to repair the damage that’s been done in recent years. So what if the GOP has a favorable/unfavorable rating in this week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of 28-43 percent? The good news is that, for the first time in more than two years, the Democratic party has a negative favorable/unfavorable rating, of 35 to 45 percent. The Democrats’ decline is evening up the playing field between the two parties.
The most striking result in the NBC/Journal poll is that the Tea Party movement has a net-positive 41 percent to 23 percent score. The American public is in a populist/conservative/libertarian mood. Republicans need to adopt that mood, channel it into sound policies, and learn to trust the people, without worrying that they haven’t all yet signed up to GOP orthodoxy.
So: Fight on with respect to health care. Fight on other fronts. And recruit new fighters. In a word: Fight.
We use the word “resist” because we’re Democrats. “Fight” will do just as well.
Some Dimocrat “intellectuals and writers” argue that repeal will never happen. That’s because these Dimocrats don’t understand the concept of “fight”. Steve Benen has made the “repeal will never happen” argument:
For one thing, if anyone thinks the year-long effort to pass reform was difficult, just imagine trying to un-pass it. Are Republicans going to craft a new health care plan that can pass the House, get 60 votes in the Senate, and gain approval from some other, future president? They shouldn’t count on it.
For another, any Republican “replacement” health care plan would invariably want to curtail efforts to cover the uninsured — which is exactly why it’s a political impossibility. There will be precious few politicians willing to proudly proclaim to tens of millions of Americans in 2012, “Know that health coverage you’re about to get for you and your family? I’m about to take it away.”
It’s why conservatives have spent the year fighting, lying, and screaming — they know how limited their options will be going forward. Republicans might be able to gut a public option, undermine consumer protections, or make it harder on middle-class families to afford coverage, but those efforts would be difficult, and bring their own political penalties.
Once this bill is done, changes will be incremental and a major overhaul will be all but impossible anytime soon.
A commenter on that site make the logical and obvious counter-argument, which we agree with:
Repeal is NOT difficult. It takes a majority in both houses. You think Republicanms would not go to a nuclear option if they wanted to repeal. You’re in LaLa land. Republicans may be insane and not know how to govern, but they do have guts that Democrats lack.
It’s sad but true. Dimocrats have not guts, just weakness to offer. We also have no doubt that after the 2010 election losses Obama will fold like a cheap whore, a broken tent, a bad gambler. We’ve seen Obama “fight” when he has overwhelming majorities. Imagine the weakness we will see when the majorities are removed.
Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics thinks the Obamination health scam is political suicide too:
If Democrats need to appeal to Independents and moderates to hold their majorities, then passing this bill is a terrible idea. The most recent polling shows that 81% of Republicans and 69% of Independents oppose the healthcare plan (with 74% of Republicans and 57% of Independents strongly opposing it). With majorities of Independents strongly opposed to the bill, it’s really hard to imagine any boost in Democratic turnout from passing the plan being enough to surpass the ensuing backlash from Republicans and Independents.
It isn’t even clear that there will be a boost in Democratic turnout. The latest version of the Senate bill holds little appeal for progressives. As I noted on the blog, without a public option, this bill becomes a wet, sloppy kiss to the insurance industry. It doesn’t even represent a substantial triumph for liberalism by significantly expanding government through taxing the wealthy; there are large new subsidies, but for the most part the subsidies are paid for by gouging Medicare and taxing union health benefits. It really reads like a bill a moderate Republican would propose; it is a slightly stronger version of RomneyCare at this point. In other words, the only remaining group that might have even arguably been excited to vote for Democrats on this bill is now at best lukewarm on it.
This bill may encourage a few Democratic policy wonks to run to the polls, but this trickle will be nothing compared to the flood of angry Republicans and Independents. And this is all analysis conducted before election ads begin to run telling voters about how the Democrats will jail them if they don’t buy health insurance. To which the Democrats will respond “no, you see, it’s only a big fine.”
I suspect that most of the left intuits this. That’s why the other argument you’ll see – and this is especially true of the Administration and the leadership – is that the Democrats should pass this bill because they have a chance to make history: Do something the Democrats have wanted since the Truman Administration. [snip]
They’ll even let the press start describing them, with reason, as allies of Big Pharma to achieve the win. The train is simply running out of control at this point, and all Pelosi can do is stand at the front and repeat increasingly out-of-touch talking points about the American people wanting them to enact this bill and standing up to the insurance industry.
I don’t think they’re close to finding their Grail. I think the better analogy is probably that they’re close to their Moby Dick. And we all know what happens to Captain Ahab once he finally harpoons his white whale.
In defense of the Obamination, Jacob Hacker, the “thinker” most associated with the public option is back urging passage. Hacker deludes, or is deluded, when he states the bill must be fixed then passed. Then, the defender of this legislation writes this, which to us hardly sounds like a positive for the scam:
The federal government is the only entity big enough and powerful enough to ensure a highly consolidated private insurance industry follows the law. It can and must demand transparency and obedience to the new rules. Insurers must open their books, and subject their rates, administrative costs, and profits to federal review. These new rules must apply to all plans, not just those within the exchange. And states should have authority not only to enforce these rules, but to innovate beyond them as well.
These are not politically unrealistic goals. Most are already embodied in the House bill. In bridging the differences between the two bills, Democratic leaders and the President must insist on a final bill that delivers on these fundamentals.
If it does not deliver–if the new options offered through the exchange do not attract broad enrollment, if insurers continue to undermine health security with impunity–then the worst fears of progressives will come true. Coverage will be too expensive because only those with the highest health costs will sign up. Fewer Americans will obtain insurance than expected. Small employers won’t want to take advantage of their ability to buy insurance through the exchange. And Americans will become increasingly disillusioned with the promise of reform. [snip]
So a bill must pass. Yet it must be a better bill that passes.
That is hardly a rousing, or inspiring, battle cry for passage.
Jay Cost writes the rousing, inspirational battle cry – for the Republicans:
Then, in an instant, simply to win the vote of Joe Lieberman, the Senate leadership drops the public option element. There was no talk about whether what was left was perverse, whether this is a compromise in the worst sense of the word. And now, there is a push to get the bill passed before Christmas, not because that’s best for the country – but because the startlingly irresponsible 44th President correctly intuits that health care is pushing his numbers down, and he wants to move on to talk about jobs.
Amazingly, this bill has produced the broadest political coalition I have seen in my lifetime. Peruse the liberal blogs and you’ll discover widespread disgust at this corporate boon. Cruise over to the conservative sites, and you’ll encounter much the same thing. Then, check out the opinion polls and you’ll find a mass public that is staunchly opposed to this bill.
And yet Democrats in the Senate have decided that all of us – left, right, and center – are wrong. We need this bill.
Cost summarizes the Obamination:
This has to be one of the biggest giveaways to corporate interests in the nation’s history.
Andrew Jackson must be spinning in his grave this evening. The Democratic Party was founded in opposition to “corrupt bargains” among entrenched interests that Democrats believed were undermining the will of the people. Today, such interests are called “stakeholders.” They are to be wooed, bought off, and neutralized. Can’t afford a K Street lobbyist? Sorry, you’re not a stakeholder. Don’t like this bill? Eh…you don’t know what’s good for you. You’re either a tea-bagging moron or a gutless liberal who will fold sooner or later.
Like I said, Jackson must be spinning.
Cost does not understand that the Democratic Party committed suicide in Denver in 2008. What we have now is the Obamination Party, the Dimocrats. The winning FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition is despised by the new Obama situation comedy coalition.
I wonder what FDR and LBJ would think of this, too. As we all know, the Democrats plan to cut nearly $500 billion from Medicare to fund this monstrosity. Medicare is a single-payer system for seniors. It’s the ultimate “public option,” a product of Johnson expanding Roosevelt’s social insurance concept to medical care for the elderly. Today’s Democrats plan to reduce its revenues by $500 billion to pay for subsidies that will ultimately find their way over to…private insurance companies.
Again, the Pyrrhic victory is sounded by Cost:
Many Democrats on Capitol Hill have talked themselves into the absurd notion that this is better than doing nothing. That kind of myopia is a typical symptom of the Swamp Fever, so I’m not surprised. Still, they had better look out. Above all, they are grossly underestimating the wisdom of the American people, and they are ignoring the power that the Constitution grants them. This is a grave error. When the people catch wind of the full scope of this bill, and they will, there will be hell to pay. The public has been known to vote against big business and big government. Somehow, this compromised bill manages to deliver both – big government and big business, joined together, with the little guy forced to participate.
Here is what will happen if the Obamination passes:
If the Democrats pass this bill, the Republicans will pound them relentlessly and mercilessly in next year’s midterm campaign. All across the country right now, would-be Republican candidates can sense that this is their chance finally to get into Congress. They’re already starting to toss their hats into the ring. Many more will follow because they know what the public thinks of this. They know that they’ll find plenty of donors to bankroll those ads talking about the individual mandate, the insurance company giveaways funded by Medicare cuts, the victory for special interests, and how it all happened behind closed doors. And they know what kind of effect these ads are going to have.
Democrats were bound to lose seats next year because it is a midterm and they’re in charge. They were bound to lose extra seats because it’s a recession. But if they pass this bill, God help them. The people sure as hell won’t.
To borrow from Obama’s mentor, Jeremiah Wright, “God Damn This Obamination”.
Even the “creative class” dunces at Nothing Left write: “…every outcome to the health care fight will have severely negative political consequences for the Democratic Party. There is no happy political ending at this point; it is a matter of picking your poison.”
The battle against the Obamination health scam will continue. It is not yet over. Even congressional leaders know the battle is not over by a long shot:
Congressman Bruce Braley expressed doubts today about the chances the Senate health care compromise bill, as it now stands, could pass the House. [snip]
Braley said he respects what Harkin, a fellow Democrat, is trying to do to get the bill passed. But, he said, “I can tell you I think the bill the Senate is talking about passing is not very likely to pass in the House, at a conference committee, if that’s the final product.” [snip]
“But I think the real test is going to be at the conference committee and if it doesn’t improve significantly, I think health care reform is very remote based on what I’m hearing in the House.” [snip]
He also said they need more leadership from President Obama and the White House: “I think there’s been great frustration about when the White House and the president are going to set their clear expectations about what it is going to take for them to have a health care bill that meets their criteria for meaningful and comprehensive reform.”
Braley belongs to the majority party. Howie Dean, in the Washington Post simply says “kill the bill”, and this time he does not mean Bill Clinton:
Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium dollars and spend it on CEO salaries — in the range of $20 million a year — and on return on equity for the company’s shareholders. Few Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG.
Dimocrats will continue to build their mausoleum tonight. But tomorrow, as Scarlet O’Hara said, “is another day.”