As an observer of politics for most of my 40+ years, I’ve seen some weird things. Watching John Dean testify during the Watergate hearings was pretty strange, as was the testimony of a pilot who flew guns to the Contras during the Iran-Contra affair 13 years later. And don’t get me started about Clinton’s interview under oath when he argued the meaning of the word “is.” But in those decades I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as downright bizarre as the past weeks’ ramming through of health care legislation.
I’m not alone. Here’s what one friend said:
I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in our government than right now. If you need a new car you don’t buy a car that you know has a ton of problems (under the guise of fixing those problems later), and that’s what I feel we did with this reform… Its sad that our politicians are so blinded by their own ego and sense of accomplishment that they don’t see that most of us don’t want this reform. Fix the economy, get people employed, go after Wall St. robber barons…don’t make back room deals with big pharma and celebrate blindly.
There are just too many fundamental flaws in our legislative process for a reform bill like this to ever really make much of a difference (other than cost us more money).
We have witnessed the President, aided by the House and Senate majority leaders, push through a broad set of far-reaching laws in complete disregard of public opinion. When he lacked the 60 votes in the Senate, Obama threatened to use reconciliation to get what he wanted. When reconciliation looked problematic, the idea of “Deem and Pass” was floated to make reconciliation look more palatable. Obama made any deal he needed to push through his health care plan – promising anything to anyone in order to secure its passage.
Had the “pro-life” Democrats not sold their votes for 40 pieces of silver, would he have used Deem and Pass? Given the so-called (and aptly named) “Slaughter Solution” I believe he would have. If Deem and Pass had been blocked, I’m sure he, Pelosi, and Reid would have found some other way to push the measure through. At this point I can’t imagine anything stopping Obama. Given his Chicago pals I’m sure there were already plans made that were illegal or, using the PC euphemism, “extra-legal.” Luckily for the Republic those plans weren’t necessary; nuking the law into being with reconciliation was enough.
So here we are, a new day with a new health care plan in place. The liberal media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and NPR have been singing hosannas since yesterday morning. There are few references to the cost of the plan, and fewer to the public outcry. Republican opposition is mentioned in passing when it’s mentioned at all. Fox News stands alone for pointing out the blatant lies underlying the budget gimmickry that makes the plan appear to cut the deficit when in actuality it will add to it.
The fact that not a single Republican voted for the plan is truly noteworthy. Nancy Pelosi said that the people who opposed Obamacare today were the same people that opposed Medicare 40 years ago, yet back then 13 Republican senators out of 32, and 70 out of 140 Republican congressmen voted for the plan. Even the Iraq War was supported by 29 out of 50 Democratic senators, and 82 out of 209 Democratic congressmen. If there has been a more partisan vote on an important piece of legislation in the history of the House or Senate, I can’t think of it.
The ramifications of this vote are going to be felt for the next year, not just by the people – both of my friends mentioned above are independents and one voted for Obama – and not just by the Republicans. Don’t forget that 34 Democrats in the House voted “No.” The only way I see these guys surviving is with the help of the Tea Party or the Republican party boss’s in their districts keeping their hot-headed unknowns from running.
Playing hard ball politics is one thing, but what has happened over the past two months goes beyond sports analogies. Obama declared war on the majority of Americans who opposed this bill and on the laws put into place to keep the majority party from abusing its power. As someone who opposed the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and who doesn’t take the threat lightly, I believe that what President Obama has done may not be an impeachable offense, it sure does raise the specter of the subject. Obama has pushed the limits of his power beyond what Nixon did (it wasn’t the crime that got Nixon it was the cover-up afterward); one would have to go back to Franklin D. Roosevelt to find a president who pushed the constitutional boundaries of the Oval Office as far as our current commander in chief. Since Obama sees himself in the as FDR reincarnated I don’t believe the similarities are unintentional. Who knows? If the Supreme Court strikes down the health care plan, unlikely as that may happen, would Obama attempt to pack the court or perhaps find cause to remove one of the conservative members from the bench? The fact that Clarence Thomas’s wife has appeared in the news recently for launching a Tea Party may be the beginning of something much bigger and even uglier than what we have seen so far this year.
It wouldn’t be so bad if Obama and his Chicago thugs were as vicious in foreign policy as they are when it comes to domestic politics. Unfortunately Obama and his crew are as supine and weak when it comes to American enemies abroad as they are ruthless and tough domestically. Iran continues developing nuclear weapons, and America does nothing. The thugocracy continues running its own little drug export-funded jail in Burma, and the American administration is silent. North Korea bleats and gets a cookie. China and Russia continue funding human rights abusing regimes from Cuba to the Sudan, and we apologize for inconveniencing them and press plastic reset buttons. The only time the administration shows its teeth abroad is to our friends like the UK, Honduras, Colombia and most recently Israel. Obama would rather have a photo-op with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez than the elected prime minister of America’s best and some say only ally in the Middle East.
Imagine the fury unleashed over the past two weeks over the health care plan being aimed at Iran over its nuclear weapons program, or China for its protection of Sudan, Burma and North Korea, or the Palestinians for their continued anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda. Instead we get apologies and Hillary Clinton going door to door begging for UN sanctions “that bite” or “don’t bite” or what-have-you. Those apologies will come in handy after a few hundred thousand Jews are vaporized in Israel by nuclear tipped missiles launched from Iran made in North Korea using Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons know how.