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Republican SOS
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Various readers and libertarians have occassionally been skeptical of my interest in seeing Democrats win some elections so they can challenge Republican dominance. This is why I think that's important...
House and Senate GOP negotiators, meeting behind closed doors last month to complete a major budget-cutting bill, agreed on a change to Senate-passed Medicare legislation that would save the health insurance industry $22 billion over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
[...]
...after lobbying by the health insurance industry, the final version made a critical change that had the effect of eliminating all but $4 billion of the projected savings, according to CBO and other health policy experts.
Additional facts of interest from the article:
  • "House and Senate Democrats were excluded from the meeting."

  • "More than ever, Republican congressional lawmakers and leaders are making vital decisions, involving far-reaching policies and billions of dollars, without the public — or even congressional Democrats — present."

  • "By 2012, the government will be paying the HMOs $100 million more than now scheduled, and $900 million more by 2014."

In light of that, let's recall the ongoing Republican campaign for House Majority Leader, and some facts about the three candidates...

  • Rep. Roy Blunt: "[Blunt] played key roles pushing the Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003" and turned his "Congressional office into a "war room" for lobbyists from Pharma and other companies to lobby for passage of the Medicare bill".


  • Rep. John Boehner: Voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill. Told bloggers he would still "would cast the vote the same way". Also claimed that "the estimates of its cost are now below what they were the night that we voted on the final bill." Try to square that with today's news that behind the scenes Republican modifications will result in the government paying "$100 million more" by 2012, and $900 million more" by 2014 than was previously scheduled.


  • Rep. John Shadegg: Voted against the Medicare President Drugs Bill; in conference call, said Drug Bill "clearly expanded the government beyond its ability to pay" and said the "correct answer" to the problem would be "to suspend the application of the law" and to at least means-test any such bill.

The contrast is rather clear to me.

The race for House Majority Leader represents an SOS call for the Republican Party. How the Republican Party will choose to respond to that SOS remains to be seen, though. They can choose John Shadegg ("Save Our Ship"), or they can choose Roy Blunt ("Same Old Sh**").
 
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Watch what you say, Jon, they long knives are out for you guys. From Roll Call:
“Dale Franks should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multiple sites. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers — just like bloggers.” — Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger, 1/24/06
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I have no love for either party or the games they all play, but isn’t it reasonable to expect that either party can have closed door meetings with whomever they want and draft whatever legislation they want? The legislation still has to have two votes and the opposition can oppose it and fillibuster it, right? What am I missing?
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Besides, you know the Democrats only objection would have been that it didn’t spend enough money.

Of course I support Shadegg, but voting Dems in won’t really help anything—and you think they’re medicine, consider overdoses to be fatal.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Vigorous competition makes for a stronger market and a better final product. The principal is just as true in politics as it is in economics.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I know that they can be hard to get through, but would it not be preferable to get new Republicans in through primaries? A serious threat from within might give the rest of them the kick in the butt that they need.
 
Written By: CR UVa
URL: http://TheRedStater.blogspot.com/
Rosensteel wrote:

"Vigorous competition makes for a stronger market and a better final product. The principal is just as true in politics as it is in economics."

And, if government was a free market, what you said wouldn’t be vapid blather.

The Democrats are solely and for 70 years about fulfilling De Tocqueville observation about republics and the public purse, and they have nothing else to offer the public which any broad chunk of the public wants.

What CR UVa said is far more true than Rosensteel’s post immediately above.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Are you sure those HMO numbers are $100 and $900 million, not billion? I didn’t know anybody in DC cared any more about amounts less than a billion. (Paging Wilbur Mills...)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Jon,

I agree.

Mk,

I am sure QandO are quaking in their boots. However, considering the way the Democrats ran our assemblies prior to 1994 I can say this only proves Republicans are not much better than Democrats with this kind of stuff. I suggest your party adopt the slogan "See, we weren’t really all that bad!" As for myself I’ll hope Shadegg pulls an upset.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Besides, you know the Democrats only objection would have been that it didn’t spend enough money.
The Democrats have a great many objections to the MPDB, but that is not one of them. Their own plan may involve more money being spent, and that may be objectionable as well, but — again — it is not their objection to the current bill.
I know that they can be hard to get through, but would it not be preferable to get new Republicans in through primaries? A serious threat from within might give the rest of them the kick in the butt that they need.
If this were a purely static series of binary choices — e.g., flipping a coin — then choosing the lesser of two evils would be the optimal strategy. In politics, however, parties adjust to defeat by changing the strategy of the party, and the nature of the future coin flips from which we can choose is changed.

What’s more, there’s an inherent problem with one-party domination. There’s the tendency to try to propogate itself by using the tools at its disposal (e.g., federal spending); there’s the tendency to sink into corruption and illegality, since no effective opposition can be mounted; then there’s just pure laziness.

A lot of people treat politics like a binary coin toss and miss the opportunity to vote by letting the party know of their dissatisfaction.
Are you sure those HMO numbers are $100 and $900 million, not billion?
That’s what the WaPo had. It’s a sad day when we’re pleasantly suprised to see that politicians are screwing us for less than an additional billion dollars.
I can say this only proves Republicans are not much better than Democrats with this kind of stuff. I suggest your party adopt the slogan "See, we weren’t really all that bad!"
I suggest: "Democrats: it’s our turn!"
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
The phrase is "would have been" Mr. Henke. My point stands.
"What’s more, there’s an inherent problem with one-party domination. There’s the tendency to try to propogate itself by using the tools at its disposal (e.g., federal spending); there’s the tendency to sink into corruption and illegality, since no effective opposition can be mounted; then there’s just pure laziness."
If a single party state were a natural, stable condition for our body politic, there would be examples of it in our history. Instead, we have example of serial single party domination evenly split with divided governemnt, interspersed with the break-up or complete reformation of a major party as constituencies become mutually incompatible. This is why the Democrats should be driven into the grave now, so then we have a better chance of getting something out of a fracturing Republican party.

Ask yourself if any conceivable evolution of the Democratic Party will do away with the entitlements programs which are going to destroy the economy of this country? Tell me again why we want to string them along a few more decades?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The problem is two three fold.

A rabid media which has attacked republicans at every turn often crying wolf and sometimes not. But obviously with political motive behind all their attacks. This has made republican and republican-ish people numb to the media. The media could have shed light on this situation. But instead they’ve alienated the only people they could have reached to affect the republican politicians.

The other is Democrats who have become obstructionists first above all. Instead of picking and choosing their fights, Democrats fight everything republican. They too have ended up crying wolf, so their opposition means nothing to the public.

The final reason is that they are politicians and all politicians suck.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
This is why the Democrats should be driven into the grave now, so then we have a better chance of getting something out of a fracturing Republican party.
What makes you think that what we got out of it would be particularly different than the situation we have now? The fact of the matter is that both parties, to varying degree, represent the opinions of a great deal of voters. Big government idealogy isnt simply going to poof out of existance with the fall of the Democratic party. If recent events have shown us anything, it is that a great many Republican voters are perfectly happy with government largesse. Libertarian minded individuals are, unfortunately, a relative minority among both parties.. and simply destroying one of the two parties isnt going to change that simple fact.
"Vigorous competition makes for a stronger market and a better final product. The principal is just as true in politics as it is in economics."

And, if government was a free market, what you said wouldn’t be vapid blather.
As much as liberals may attempt to do so, the pure forces of the market can never be truly silenced, only redirected and distorted. In the economy we vote with our wallets, and in politics we vote with, well, our votes. Politicians may do their worst to attempt to distort the market in their favor, but the market always prevails.

The political market responded to declining confidence in the Democratic party and increased favor of the Republican party by giving us a relative centrist from the Democratic party, Bill Clinton. He certainly isnt the most popular or well liked politician around here, but it is pretty hard to argue that Clinton wasnt more moderate and to the right of the rest of his party, and responded perfectly to the demands of political consumers.

We are seeing the same thing now. The populace is responding to various aspects of the current Republican controlled government that they disapprove with, and polls are showing that Democratic opposition is growing in strength. The Republican party has a choice: They can respond to the changes in the political market and reform, or they can concede defeat to the Democratic party.

Competition, competition, competition.

Monopolies in politics ultimately end the same way as corporate monopolies. Paranoid, corrupt, inefficient, and slow to respond to market demands.

Competition is as essential to the healty function of Democracy as it is to the healthy function of an economy.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Good reading for many of the commenters here, who think that their maunderings about monopolies and gridlock disguise their thirst for Bush blood. Great stuff for raising money from the Democrat base. Good for attracting the absolutely vital swing vote? Not so much. Rove is right again. I hope the Democratic leadership doesn’t fall for it, but it looks like they might.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://

 
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