Friday, March 26, 2010

Political Process and Consequence

Political maneuvering often alienates the average constituent, leaving him discouraged or disgusted after witnessing a round of deal-making, concessions, and debate.

The latest strategy employed by Democrats to pass health-care legislation most likely left at least one-half of the political spectrum….bummed.  According to recent polls by Rasmussen and Gallup, 45% strongly oppose the health-care bill and 26 strongly favor it.  In all, 54% of likely voters oppose the legislation and 41% are in favor.
Mid-term elections loom in November and Republican’s made Democrats pay dearly for the House Democrat’s use of ‘reconciliation’ to pass their health-care legislation.  Kimberley A. Strassel's article in the Friday, March 26 WSJ explains the 'reconciliation method.'

...reconciliation allowed Republicans to bring up unlimited amendments.  Because Majority Leader Harry Reid could not allow the reconciliation bill to be changed in any way--which would send it back to the House--his party was obliged to vote down every one of those amendments.  And every one had been designed to make even hardened pols whimper.
Democrats voted 'No' when asked to include the following the health-care bill.
1) Government will not subsidize erectile dysfunction drugs for pedophiles and rapists.
2) Wounded soldiers shouldn't be subject to the new tax on medical devices (like wheelchairs).
3) Critical access rural hospitals should not have their funding cut.

Strassel explains:
And so on it went...All Democrats in favor of taxing pacemakers? Aye!  All Democrats in favor of keeping those seedy vote buyoffs? Aye!  All Democrats in favor of raising taxes on middle-income families? Aye!  All Democrats in favor of exempting themselves from elements of ObamaCare? Aye!  The record now shows that Arkansas's Blanche Lincoln in on board with higher premiums, that Colorado's Michael Bennet is good to go with gutting Medicare Advantage, that Nevada's Harry Reid is just fine with rationing, that New York's Kirsten Gillibrand is cool with taxes on investment income, that California's Barbara Boxer is right-p with employer mandates.

In November, the Republicans will have a huge stockpile of controversial topics that they will use to back Democrats into corners.  They will ask, "How could you support giving Viagra to child molester," or "Why would you oppose allowing veterans to get a tax break when they have to buy a wheelchair after losing their legs in the war in Iraq?"  Reconciliation got health-care passed.  But it could destroy the Democrat majority this November.


Tony said...

I don't agree with the Republicans completely, but I have to say that they certainly busted out the political judo on the Democrats. That was brilliant, brilliant, foresight and maneuvering on the part of the Republicans even if it was a bit gimmicky. When November comes around and these very tough accusations get thrown at the Democrats, it will be very hard for them to defend themselves, because they always had the option of seriously considering these amendments but were far too determined to ram the bill through to concern themselves with thinking about their political futures. Forget cash for clunkers and home loans for hobos, they are going to have to deal with pills for pedophiles. They were like raccoons (weasels?) who got stuck in a trap because they just wouldn't let go for a moment to figure out a more intelligent way to get what they wanted. I can imagine they are already squirming at the thought of November. It would be epic if their bill were thrown out AND they lost the house and the senate. In light of this possibility (however slim), their incompetence and myopic tactics may be a great blessing in disguise for freedom us lovers.

Tony said...

*we freedom lovers. Sorry