Skip to comments.For Dems, it's do or die: GOP opposition irrelevant Only Dems can prevent health reform from passing
Posted on 03/05/2010 6:11:07 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
The Republicans were appalled, outraged, aghastand running out of means to describe their horror, indignation, and righteous anger. It seems the president, after a year of trying to induce the Party of No to say yes to something, finally called for an up or down vote on health care. Majority rule in a democracyoh the shame of it! Although, come to think of it, the 2000 election showed the GOP is only too happy to dispose of the concept when politically convenient.
The Republican opposition to reconciliationpassing the health bill without facing a filibusteris transparently cynical for a party that has used the process, from Reagan to Bush II, to reshape the tax code and redefine the role of the federal government, which, unlike health care, constitutes not one-sixth but close to one-quarter of the entire economy.
But the truth is that in the health debate, the Republicans are now irrelevant. They constitute a solid wall of opposition, impervious to fact or argument. But they are also a static Maginot Line, and Democrats have enough votes to get around the GOPs servitude to ideology and the insurance industry. All they have to do is call the roll and cast the votes.
Nancy Pelosi, whos been a brilliantly effective House speaker, regularly producing majorities for far-reaching measures on issues from financial reform to climate change, now has to persuade her caucus to set aside its injured sense of prerogative and pass the Senate health bill. Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate, where most of the Houses progress has so far gone to die, is now freed of the search for 60 votes and the extortionate tactics of senators 58, 59, and 60. To pass amendments to the Senate bill through reconciliation, he only needs 50 votes plus Vice President Biden. And he can probably count on the suddenly primaried Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who cant afford to alienate her base by acting like a pseudo-Republican.
So the only thing that stands in the way of health reform is the Democrats themselves.
Theres the parochial temptation, irresistible to many members of Congress, regardless of ideology, to attempt their own version of Sen. Ben Nelsons despised and discarded Cornhusker Kickback, which nearly sank health care under the weight of a special deal for Nebraska. New York Democrats are now demanding special breaks for their state. If they and others with an instinct for the capillary let their particular notion of the perfect become the enemy of the universal good, they dont deserve to be called progressivesand they wont deserve to be re-elected.
The same goes for those who favor or oppose abortion rights. The presidents compromise doesnt give either side all it wants. But in the end, it's not pro-life or pro-choice to deny more than 30 million Americans the chance for potentially lifesaving health coverage. And there likely wont be a public option now, even if 50 or 51 senators come to favor it; its absence may be critical to rounding up enough Blue Dog Democrats in the House. A last stand on the public option barricades could bring the most illiberal result of allfailure once again on the great unfinished business of social justice in our society. That battle can be fought another day, in another Congress.
Then theres the uncertain and often miscomputed political calculation, which tempts electorally threatened politicians to break with their own president and party. That wont work this year, just as it didnt work for scores of moderate Democrats who openly scorned Hillarycare in 1994; voters angry about the economy and congressional dysfunction that year chose the Republicans and tossed incumbents out. This year, as then, Democrats will have to run alongside health reform even if they run away from it. They will have to run with the phantom or the reality of the bill. Pass itand voters will see that there are no death panels, just as there is no rationing and no loss of the right to pick your own doctor. Instead, Americans will soon discover that they can no longer be denied coverage because a child has a pre-existing condition like asthma and that their insurance cant be canceled when they get sick, with a bean-counter cutting off their chemotherapy because theyve reached their annual limit. Better to campaign on that than on the defensive claim that a defeated bill wasnt your fault, wasnt your idea, and somehow wasnt your failurein short, re-elect me for doing nothing.
It's time for Democrats to prove that theyre a governing partyor in Congress next year, they wont be governing at all.
I just keep reminding my congresscoward that Obozo plans on backing over him with the bus when he’s done with him.
I know the Republicans aren’t up to it, but it would be nice if they PROMISE to repeal health care on a 51 vote majority, the next time they get that chance...it would demonstrate just how sick this has become.
0bama, Reid, Pelosi and the loony left in America are really something else. Their solution to having a hole in a fast sinking boat, is to carve another hole in the boat, and make the boat sink even faster.
Words fail me . . . I guess I just didn't realize how marvelous her leadership is to be able to produce majorities WITH ONLY A FORTY SEAT MAJORITY. Talk about unappreciated brilliance. /sar
Bob Shrum is a dick head.
Republicans have already sworn to repeal this abominable 0bamacare if they are voted into power.
That can’t happen. It’s just pablum for the masses.
Meanwhile, on planet Earth.......
“Republicans have already sworn to repeal this abominable 0bamacare if they are voted into power.”
....just how would they do this against veto power?
Shrum is a regular pundit. How is this different than it was a year ago?
Nancy Pelosi, whos been a brilliantly effective House speaker, regularly producing majorities for far-reaching measures on issues from financial reform to climate change, now has to persuade her caucus to set aside its injured sense of prerogative and pass the Senate health bill.
I couldn't finish the article. I recently ate dinner. Did Shrum say why Pelosi didn't finish this job last year?
By we voting 0bama out of power in 2012. 0bamacare doesn't come into effect till 2014. We are going to kill this bill one way or the other.
Its completely unconstitutional to begin with and will be shredded
I made the mistake of reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time last month.
Now every single thing I hear from a progressive/socialist sounds like Wesley Mouch.
These people have no idea how evil their words truly do sound. It’s like reading daily accounts of how great Stalin and Hitler’s plans will be for the everyman.
This is great. LA legislature writes bill to block Obama Care while Mary Landrieu is a yes vote.
I’d compare Bob Shrum to bodily waste, but that would be an insult to bodily waste.
Disgusting bilge...Nancy Pelosi great??? Pleeeaasse...The little swamp monster is anything but...Just a knee capper...That’s all. Hopefully gone with the swamp water.