Skip to comments.Democrats May Regret 'Pass Anything' Strategy
Posted on 11/13/2009 4:05:35 AM PST by Kaslin
Former President Bill Clinton visited Capitol Hill recently to deliver a pep talk to Senate Democrats. "It's not important to be perfect here. It's important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling," he reportedly told senators. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sounded a similar theme in an interview with the New York Times. "I'm sure there are a lot of people sitting in the shade at the Aspen Institute ... who will tell you what the ideal plan is. Great, fascinating. You have the art of the possible measured against the ideal."
So the strategy on crafting sweeping legislation that will profoundly alter one-sixth of the U.S. economy in the midst of the worst recession in 20 years is: Don't stress about the fine print. Just pass something!
This is the momentum theory of government. Governing is like campaigning: Keep the bandwagon rolling along and the voters will follow in the slipstream. Fail to do this, Bill Clinton warned, and Democrats may suffer the same fate in the 2010 elections that they did in 1994, after HillaryCare went down to defeat.
The former president is an acclaimed tactician and he may be right. But so many of his assumptions -- and those of the Obama administration for whom he was speaking -- are dubious.
In the first place, it isn't at all clear that Democrats lost in 1994 because they failed to pass health reform. A better explanation of the 1994 result was that voters were spooked by the attempted federalization of health care and expressed their displeasure by voting Republican. Certainly the subsequent retooling by the Clinton administration -- agreeing that the "era of big government (was) over" and focusing on small matters like curfews and school uniforms -- suggests that Clinton himself believed the health care reform was an overreach.
The Democrats also seem confident that -- no matter how sloppy or unseemly the process of getting to passage may be -- voters will be pleased with health care reform after it becomes law.
This, too, is a leap of faith. It requires a stubborn indifference to the steadily accumulating polling data showing that voters -- particularly the all-important independents -- are souring on health reform and are worried about overspending in Washington. An Ipsos/McClatchey poll in early November found that 49 percent of respondents oppose the health care reforms being considered in Congress while only 39 percent approve. In October, the numbers were 42 disapprove, 40 approve. Among independents, the number disapproving of health reform jumped from 38 percent to 53 percent. An October CNN poll found the approve/disapprove at 49/49. In November, disapproval took the lead with 53/45.
In the immediate afterglow of President Obama's inauguration, a bare majority (51 percent) of Americans believed that "government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people." That seems to have been the high water mark. By late October, only 46 percent agreed. More ominously for Democrats, the liberal Brookings Institution published a survey showing that 53 percent of Americans worry that if government gets more involved in health care delivery, it will make matters worse. A Bloomberg poll found that fully 62 percent would be willing to risk lengthening the recession rather than to further increase the national deficit.
As for whether the voters will thank the Democrats if they succeed in ramming through a bill (Harry Reid is reportedly considering the reconciliation strategy in the Senate that would require only 51 votes), recent history should give them pause.
In 1988, with the support of the AARP, the House passed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act by a vote of 328 to 72. A year later, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had to literally flee an angry crowd of unhappy constituents wielding placards bearing slogans like "Don't Tax the Seniors." The law was repealed 16 months after passage by a vote of 360 to 66.
The House-approved bill contains, among other things, $170 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage; $56.7 billion in cuts to home health care aids; $42.3 billion in cuts to the prescription drug program; and $5.3 billion in cuts to rehabilitation facilities. If these remain in the final bill, only two outcomes are possible. Either the cuts will not materialize, in which case Democrats will have to explain why they irresponsibly deepened an already punishing debt; or the cuts will bite, in which case the anger of older voters will make Rostenkowski's experience seem like a ticker tape parade.
Once they have bankrupted our economy and enslaved the middle class to the Federal government, made it beholden to bureaucrats for medical care and fully invaded any vestige of privacy, the dems will clean up the details.
“It’s not important to be perfect here. It’s important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling,”
Okay Bill, you self-absorbed jerk. What if, as a physician, I walked in your room and said “We’re not sure what you have, but we know you’re sick and we need to act, and act now! Even though they might not be the perfect, or ‘right’ ones, we’re going to start you on some medications, just to get the ball rolling.”
One of the panelists on FOX last night said the health care bill was already dead and wouldn’t pass. I don’t know what he was basing that on but it’s not the first time I’ve heard it.
Actually, they won’t. If they manage to push this into law, it will be an entitlement that will do all they want—turning this nation into the world’s biggest welfare state, and the demonization of those who wish to live their lives free of totalitarianism.
“Democrats May Regret ‘Pass Anything’ Strategy”
Correction: “Democrat Scu&bags May Regret ‘Pass Anything’
IOW, Democrats still think they can convince Americans that they’re picking up the clean end of the turd.
That would be the catalyst that pushes the non shooting civil war that is being waged for the soul of the country into a full fledged 2nd American Revolution; guns and all.
If it doesn’t matter what they pass leave me out of it.
From the story:
In the first place, it isn’t at all clear that Democrats lost in 1994 because they failed to pass health reform.
The same thing they are doing now.Only even Hillary’s bill wasn’t this bad.
Dems in congress suffered two humiliating health-care routs in 1989. They also were foreced by an angry public to repeal another of Rostenkowski's pet projects, the infamous "Section 89", which tried to use the tax code to force employers to expand health insurance coverage for more lower-waqe workers. This was repealed by an even greater margin than the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act: 390-36.
As Grampadave posted, the pols are lusting after for "healthcare reform" b/c the pols have a huge financial interest "healthcare reform."
This is a huge slush fund for Democrats and their allies like SOROS, SEIU and ACORN. Clinton's got a piece of the action. All of them have LLC's----hidden equity interests in companies involved in "healthcare reform."
WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sounded like Clinton in an interview with the New York Times. Remember that The Emanuels--Rahm and his brother Dr Zeke--have dominion over the healthcare trillions......these two alone will reap billions from ObamaCare.
On the plus side, Dr Zeke was spit-shining his penny loafers when the subject of "death panels" surfaced (/sarc).
Wonder did they send him with a Bible to appear like he was preaching that social gospel of ‘universal’ death-care.
Excellent analogy! You should get this to Rush, Hannity, & Beck. They might even take it further, "we're not sure which organs are affected but we'll start by removing your prostate, we need to move on this now!"
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.