Health Care – The Meltdown On The Left
You have to admit, if nothing else it has been entertaining watching all the factions among Democrats go to war over this health care fiasco. You have the Liberal caucus in the House saying no vote without a public option. Then there are the Blue Dogs saying no vote with a public option. You have pro-life Dems refusing to support the bill without language like the Stupak amendment and the pro-abortion crew saying they won’t support it without abortion provisions. In the Senate, no one but Harry Reid has seen the newest super secret version of the bill he’s going to try to force them to vote on before Christmas, yet Sen. Ben Nelson is a definite “no” on it as it stands now. Howard Dean says “kill the bill”. Bill Clinton and Paul Krugman are saying “pass the bill”. Michael Moore is boycotting Connecticut, Keith Olberman is saying he’ll go to jail before he’ll give into the insurance mandate and Ed Schultz has discovered the White House is acting like a bunch of thugs on the subject. The latest polls show 61% of Americans oppose the legislation.
And the powerless Republicans who couldnt stop a single piece of legislation with a bloc vote of “no”? They’re left on the sidelines watching this all with bemusement.
What a circus. And of course, there is this:
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, began the day by calling in to MSNBC to urge the party to hold together, warning of a “tragic outcome” if Democrats failed to pass a bill that the White House says would expand health coverage while reining in costs.
If ever Hillary Clinton’s words warning about “suspending disbelief” could be applied this is it – Axelrod makes the claim that simply defies rationality: “…expand health coverage while reigning in costs“. Really? How so? How does one expand coverage and cut costs except by sharply cutting services or rationing? Especially with the insurance mandates the fed and states like to heap on any coverage they permit?
Two realizations are setting in for the public – first that this isn’t really an attempt at “reform” anything but instead a naked power grab by the federal government. And two, the federal government is trying to base the necessity of that power grab on an irrational argument – you can expand coverage and cut costs.
Of course that really has little to do with the war on the left. For some, the bill isn’t progressive enough, meaning its not a single payer – that’s why Howard Dean wants to kill it. For others, like the Blue Dogs, it is too much. And as party leaders are finding, trying to reach consensus in one chamber of Congress, much less between the House and Senate, is an extremely difficult job – thank goodness. And, as the House Whip, James Clyburn said, the House will not rubber stamp the Senate version, whatever that may turn out to be.
Some on the left are trying, now, to make this cat fight among lefties into a “good thing”. It’s healthy to have this debate, they claim. Uh, yeah – overwhelming majorities in Congress and they own the White House and suddenly they’re having “healthy debates” over their signature agenda items.
Got it. Healthy.
Well, I for one hope they keep up this “healthy debate” for months to come and then, for different reasons than those of Howard Dean, but in complete agreement with him, they “kill the bill”.