Republicans have begun running on a "repeal it" platform, and the Democrats have their predictable response ready. Prior to passage, they argued that "the individual parts of the bill are very popular, even if people say they oppose the bill as a whole."
Now, they ask, "Are you going to repeal insurance for poor children with pre-existing conditions? Is that what you're going to do? Okay, you go right ahead and attack the children."
Nobody bought their argument before the vote, and nobody should by it now. Nevertheless, in interviews today, both John Cornyn and Michael Steele have stumbled in response to this taunt.
It isn't that complicated. Think of it this way: Have you ever received a fruitcake at Christmas? Did you ever actually eat it? Why not? Don't you like like raisins?
Nobody picks the raisins out of the fruitcake. You re-gift it, or throw it out, then you thank Aunt Edna for her kind thoughtfulness. If you want something better, you have to start over.
I have followed politics since I was a boy. I have cheered at times and I have booed at times. I have participated in public debate, worked on campaigns and voted regularly. I watch political events and speeches like many folks watch sporting events.
But never, before Obama, have a I viewed political developments with dread. And over the these last few months of the health care "reform" process, that dread has been joined by a boiling, bottled up rage that i have never before felt against my own government.
Obama promised to "fundamentally transform" our country, and this would certainly do that - and not in a good way. In fact, the government is already transformed. I am not big on polls, but when, for over a year now, every single poll tells us that the people of this country do not want Obamacare by very large margins; when those people take to the streets in the thousands, month after month; when virtually every election of national interest results in a rout for the party of Obama; when the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy is won by a Republican who explicitly promises to be the 41st vote to stop Obama care; when, after all of this and more, they drive relentlessly and increasingly lawlessly on to pass this monstrosity, I truly don't know what country this is any more.
We have become a banana republic.
And as if that weren't enough, Democrats have driven us so far into a completely unsustainable fiscal mess that the only way out will be bankruptcy, hyperinflation, or worse. Our annual deficits are now measured in trillions, yet here is Congress, poised to commit trillions more.
They are like the gambler who has lost his life savings at the tables who turns to the loan shark to stake him for one more shot. Only for us, there is no pot to be won - only legs to be broken when the loan comes due. Yes, our legs - the taxpayers.
And for what? What do we get in exchange for mortgaging our liberty, our health and our entire financial future?
The only answer Democrats can seem to muster is: Obama.
In December of last year, the Congress passed a new law providing for fines of airlines that delay passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours. Like so many pieces of legislation, it was a reactionary law, written by people who have no business regulating any industry to such a minute level.
Predictably, airlines have plans in place to avoid these fines, which, on an MD-80, could amount to more than $4 million on a single delayed flight. Their interpretation of these new regulations is simple: better never than late.
At least two airlines have already said they will now cancel flights rather than delay them and face the fines. Somebody will need to explain to me again how this law benefits air travelers, or why anybody ever thought that it would.
You see, that's why it's called the law of unintended consequences, not the theory of unintended consequences.
Much has been made of Rep. Stupak and his 12 fellow pro-life Democrats who have indicated they will nto vote in favor of the Senate version of Obamacare without protections against funding of abortions.
Because it seems likely that an "abortion fix" could be attached via reconciliation, Steny Hoyer has proposed separate piece of "abortion fix" legislation. NRO's Marc Thiessen calls it "the Hoyer gambit." Many commneters seem to think this move is a desperate one, and signals the impossibility of getting the pro-lifers on board.
I’m afraid I don’t quite share that confidence that this maneuver can’t work. I can imagine two scenarios in which it would.
First, separate, pro-life legislation pertaining to funding of abortions might be crafted in such a way as to apply to any future bills, and passed in advance of a House vote on the current Senate bill. Such legislation could pass both houses with strong Republican support, as did the original Stupak amendment. With pro-life protections in place, the “Stupak 12” could then vote in good conscience for the Senate bill.
Second, Republicans could vote against this new bill. (Recall that at the time of the Stupak Amendment, some were condemning Republicans who voted in favor, since this amendment got the whole monstrous bill over the top for passage.) This time, if pro-life Republicans of principle vote against a pro-life bill as a purely cynical tactic to stop Obamacare, there is a risk of the “pro-life Democrats” voting for the Senate bill as a backlash against “Republican hypocrisy.” In exchange, they would likely get some sort of promise to re-introduce the pro-life bill after Obamacare is law – a fig leaf to show they stood up for their own principles. They would have their pro-life cover, the Republicans would be portrayed as obstructionists with no principles, and Obamacare would become the law of the land.