Should this happen on a party-line vote?
Complaints by Democrats about the GOP offering nothing but obstruction miss the target for several reasons and mask a fundamentally important question about what Democrats are now trying to do in Congress.
The first problem with a charge of GOP obstructionsim is that it’s numerically impossible: The Democrats have such a large majority in both houses of Congress that Republicans are literally incapable of obstructing the Democrats if the Democrats are united…as the Senate Democrats just proved with their vote on health care “reform".
Also, is it really the responsibility of the GOP – aside from the question of whether it’s good politics – to present one alternative plan after another while knowing that not only won’t these alternatives come up for a vote, but they also won’t be relayed to the public by the liberal-leaning media. I, for one, am satisfied with the GOP being the “Party of ‘NO!’” at this moment in time.
The issue which I think is particularly interesting and important regarding the state of the health care “reform” process is how these vote results, getting one RINO (Republican In Name Only) vote in the House (and only after the Democrats had enough votes to pass the bill) and zero GOP votes in the Senate, begs the question: Is it is OK for legislation as important as a massive government intervention into (some would argue takeover of) the nation’s health care system – and not just for the elderly or poor – to be passed along party lines?
Democrats like to argue that that’s par for the course, in terms of this nation’s history with entitlement legislation. However, that is just another Democrat lie…easy to lose among the dozens of others.
Let’s look at a little history:
The 1935 Social Security Act passed the House with 81 out of 102 Republicans voting for it. In the Senate, it got 16 “Yes” votes from Republicans versus 5 no votes (and 4 not voting.)
The 1956 Social Security Amendments which created Social Security’s disability program received 169 ‘Yes” votes from House Republicans versus 23 “No” votes, with a Senate GOP tally of 44-0 in favor.
The 1965 Medicare Act (officially the Social Security Amendments of 1965) received 13 Republican votes in the Senate (out of a possible 32) and 70 Republican votes in the House (out of a possible 140).
Bill Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act, officially the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, while not nearly as significant as these other entitlement creations and which cut back an entitlement rather than creating one, garnered 30 Democratic votes in the House and, more significantly, 23 Democratic votes in the Senate.
On the one hand, “politics ain’t beanbag". Democrats have an unbeatable margin if they can remain united. The majority of House and Senate Democrats don’t understand just how bad this bill is, and the majority of those who do understand don’t care. They are afraid to oppose Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, afraid to lose plum committee assignments, afraid they might attract a primary challenge funded by a leftist union. So most of them will remain united on this out of politics and/or ignorance. (Colorado’s junior senator, Michael Bennet, is the poster boy for both.)
But at some point, isn’t there even ONE Democrat who recognizes there is good reason that legislation nearly of this scale, creating a multi-hundred-billion dollar entitlement, has never been passed along party line votes – never even close, really – and never against the obvious desire of the American public (in this case the desire to focus on policies which are likely to reduce health care costs.) Nobody who has actually studied the likely effect of current Democratic “reform” proposals believes they will do anything other than substantially increase the cost of health insurance and the rate of health care inflation in America.
Isn’t there ONE Democrat who thinks that passing a bill which would be the single most intrusive, single most expensive piece of legislation in American history along party lines and against the wishes of the public would not be a legacy he or she would like to be part of, even if Harry Reid wants each and every Democrat to sell his soul?
|Print article||This entry was posted by Rossputin on 11/25/09 at 03:38:21 am . Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.|