Disagreeing with Jim Geraghty: Senate Democrats do want their jobs

August 18, 2014
"Waiting for Caesar"

“Waiting for Caesar”

Just not the jobs we all think they’re supposed to be doing.

Last week Jim pointed to an article in Politico about the Democrats’ immigration conundrum and their wish for President Obama to do their work for them. He wrote:

If indeed, as Politico reports, Senate Democrats want President Obama to “make immigration changes through executive action” — changes that they themselves are not willing to vote for in legislative form… why do they want to be Senators?

But it’s not that they don’t want to be senators, per se. They like the nice offices and all the perks: fawning staff; people who need favors from them, chauffeured cars; face time on TV; junkets overseas paid for by taxpayers — it’s a pretty sweet racket. Who wouldn’t want that?

Trouble is, the job of a United States senator includes this little duty in their job description, found in Article 1, section 1 of a musty old document called the Constitution:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

“Legislative power,” of course, is the power to set national policy via enacting laws. The president doesn’t have that authority –pace Obama– only the House and Senate do. That means that, to achieve goals the Democratic senators want, such as amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of people here illegally, they have to make a public decision. Vote. Go on record. Pass a law.

And, God forbid, as Jim and the Politico piece point out, that’s the last thing these clowns want to do; they can see the polls are going against them on the issue. Voting for comprehensive immigration reform now might well cost several of these senators those nice offices and perks, and no one would any longer treat them as if they’re important.

Can’t have that, so they want Obama to do their jobs for them, and constitutionality be damned.

And here’s where I disagree with Jim: it’s not that they don’t want to be senators, they just don’t to be United States senators. What they really want to be are senators of the Roman Empire, with a nice place to meet and servants to tend their needs and deals to be made to make them wealthy, but no real work. Just show up every so often to hear the words of the Emperor and then applaud on cue. Let him make all the decisions. That’s the job the Democrat senators really want.

Can’t wait until one slips and calls the president “Caesar Obama” on TV.


#KYsen: Allison Grimes, national security sooper-genius

July 30, 2014
Perfect against tunneling jihadis!

Perfect against tunneling jihadis!

Federal senators deal with issues of national and international importance, including matters of war and peace, and overall national security. You would think, then, that someone wishing to ascend to the Senate would at least know the basics about a game-changing weapon wielded by one of our key allies, who happens to be in a shooting war.

That is, until you meet Kentucky Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes:

As foreign policy inches its way into a debate that has largely focused on the economy, Grimes was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome.

“Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.

Iron Dome — as normal, intelligent folks such as you, Dear Readers, can probably tell without needing the above highlighting — is a missile-defense system. It is designed to shoot down things flying through the air: incoming tactical rockets with only minutes or seconds to spare, and it does an amazingly good job at it. One thing it does not do is stop things tunneling under the ground, jihadis or even gophers.

Someone should explain these tricky technical details to Ms. Grimes.

Grimes is hoping to defeat Mitch McConnell and capture his seat for the Democrats, and it’s a tight race. While McConnell hasn’t been one of my favorite senators, he also doesn’t give me the gas that he gives many of my fellow Righties. Regardless of one’s opinion of him, though, I think we can agree that it’s important that his seat be kept in Republican hands, for the Republic.

Even against a defense wiz like Allison Lundergan Grimes.

via Jim Geraghty

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#MTsen: Who does John Walsh think he is? Joe Biden?

July 23, 2014
Cheater?

Cheater?

Well, this is embarrassing. The Democratic nominee for the seat once held by Max Baucus (D – Train Wreck), who is now Ambassador to China, has been called out by no less than that arch-conservative rag The New York Times for plagiarizing his Army War College master’s thesis:

Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.

On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.

But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.

Read the rest; it’s pretty damning stuff, as in wholesale cutting-and-pasting from publicly available think-tank reports. For example:

Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”

The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it.

As we used to say in school, “bus-TED!”

Naturally, the Democrats will immediately call on Senator Walsh to withdraw from the race, if not resign, so… Wait. I’m sorry, I’m mixing that up with what the Democrats would do if a Republican were the miscreant. In Walsh’s case, he fits right in with the party’s leaders.

Walsh is fighting to keep this seat for the Democrats against Republican challenger Rep. Steve Daines. Daines has been doing well in the polls, and this scandal isn’t likely to help Senator Walsh, but this is no time to get comfortable. You’ll find Steve Daines’ web site here. If you can, send him some money.

Because every seat counts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Really? Lois Lerner thought of investigating Senator Grassley (R-IA)??

June 25, 2014
No way!!

No way!!

Real smart. Let a United States Senator find out you were planning a fishing expedition into his finances? Try it, and just see how fast the hammer gets dropped on you once he’s in the majority, again:

New emails reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in the IRS targeting investigation revealed something that might knock the probe up another notch: IRS manager Lois Lerner allegedly sought to have the circumstances surrounding a speaking invitation to Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, referred for IRS examination.

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) in a written press release.

According to the Ways and Means Committee, and the email chain released today, Lerner and Sen. Grassley were invited to speak at the same event in Dec. of 2012, but their invitations got mixed up. When Lerner received Grassley’s invitation, she suggested to others in her office that the invitation should be referred for examination.

“Looks like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife,” Lerner said. “Perhaps we should refer to Exam?”

Lerner’s idea was dropped after another employee politely said (I’m paraphrasing) “Are you nuts??” Still this is another example of the arrogance that infects the bureaucracy, much of which seems to have forgotten who employs whom around here.

BTW, Grassley sits on the Finance, Budget, and Joint Taxation committees, all of which have jurisdiction over the IRS. He had no comment about this story, but I’m sure he will have plenty to say in early 2015.

RELATED: My blog-buddy is already on the case.


Today’s progressive hypocrisy: Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) war on women

April 8, 2014
Dick Durbin

Hypocrite

Continuing their quest to find something, anything at all, to distract people from the failures of Obamacare and to rally their increasingly dispirited base, Democrats and the MSM have turned to harping on “pay equality,” the idea that women are paid less than men for comparable work. A recent news article propaganda piece in The Huffington Post reported that a study showed women earning 77 cents for every dollar a man earned. Even though this study has been shown to be shoddy and tendentious, and even though the White House admitted the 77-cent figure is wrong, loyal troops such as Dick Durbin have gone onto the Senate floor to loudly proclaim the need for a “Paycheck Fairness Act” to address this horrific discrimination.

Maybe Senator Durbin should start with his own staff:

Durbin took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to preach on the importance of passing legislation aimed at solving the gender pay gap.

“How serious is equal pay for equal work to working people across America?” said Durbin, “I think it’s critical.”

The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin’s office, according to an analysis of Senate salary data from fiscal year 2013 that showed that more than two-thirds of Democratic Senate offices pay men more than women.

Four of the five highest paid staffers on Durbin’s staff are men, according to the analysis.

Of course, it’s hard to gain access to that pay, when women don’t have access to the higher-paying  jobs, themselves. As the Free Beacon points out, none of the Senate Democratic leadership has a female chief of staff.

Why do Dick Durbin and Harry Reid hate women?

PS: To be clear, Durbin and his colleagues couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about “paycheck equality” or any of the other “Look! It’s Elvis!!” issues they’ve been throwing against the wall. But they’ve seen the electoral train wreck headed their way, thanks to Obamacare, and they’re looking for anything that might soften the blow. Hence, too, Harry Reid’s “Koch conspiracy” insanity. It’s pathetic, really.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Senator Rubio makes a fool out Senator Harkin over Cuba

February 25, 2014

This is truly a popcorn-worthy use of your time, my friends.

Background: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of the leading progressives in the Senate, took a trip to Cuba recently. Perfectly legal, members of Congress can go on such fact-finding missions when they wish. The senator must have visited an alternate-Earth Cuba, however, because, when he came back, he had nothing but praise for the Communist dictatorship:

It makes sense that as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Tom Harkin would want to check out how other countries are doing when it comes to public health. So he spent last week in Cuba, where he saw all sorts of things that made quite the impression on him.

Cuba is a “poor country, but they have a lower child mortality rate than ours,” the Iowa Democrat said to reporters Wednesday. “Their life expectancy is now greater than ours. It’s interesting—their public health system is quite remarkable.”

This was all a bit much for Marco Rubio (R-FL), himself the son of Cuban refugees who had to flee the island to escape that wonderful health system, and so much else. (1) So, in a speech before the Senate, he proceeded to mop the floor with Harkin’s useful idiocy. From the Miami Herald:

This wasn’t some Cold War-era fulmination about Castro’s regime.

Rubio’s speech was about current events: the protests in Venezuela, the Maduro government and the ties it has with the Castros, who repress their own people and helped inspire the suppression in Caracas.

Venezuela is becoming the new Cuba.

For 14 minutes and 16 seconds, Rubio gave the best oration of his political career, speaking largely off the top of his head and with only the barest of notes. Rubio sometimes dripped with sarcasm or simmered with indignation as he made the case to Congress that the United States needs to continue Cuba sanctions and punish Venezuela.

Enjoy:

My only question is at what point did Harkin sneak out in embarrassment?

I know Rubio has lost his luster with conservatives because of his support for the Senate immigration bill last year. Indeed, he’s fallen well-off my own short list, as I came to question his judgment. But, in this speech on Cuba and Venezuela, on the fecklessness of the Obama administration’s policy in the region, and the fatuousness of Castro apologists such as Tom Harkin, all I can say is “Viva, Marco!”

RELATED: More at Hot Air.

Footnote:
(1) If you want to read one of the best books about what life under the Castro brothers has really been like, I recommend Armando Valladares’ memoir, “Against All Hope.” I’m tempted to send Tom Harkin a copy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In praise of Boehner and McConnell?

February 16, 2014
Not RINOs?

Not RINOs?

It’s been common among my colleagues on the Right to deride House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “RINOs,”  or “Republicans In Name Only.’ Weak, cowardly leaders who are practically supine before the Democrats, even after taking back the House in the Tea party wave of 2010. And the complaints are understandable: conservatives won a big election then and, since the House represents the people directly, arguably represent a majority of the nation. So why is the debt still going up, why is spending still increasing, and why (among other things) are we still stuck with the albatross of Obamacare? When are we ever going to fight? Throwing up our hands in the air in exasperation, we decide it’s the Washington Republican Establishment that doesn’t want really want reform and we focus our ire on Boehner and McConnell, even hitting the latter with a primary challenger.

“Not so hasty!”, as Tolkien’s Treebeard might say.

At National Review, Charles Cooke (no squish, himself) argues that tactics matter, that passing the continuing resolution last fall and the recent debt-ceiling increase were both wise, and that Boehner and McConnell are playing  a smart long game:

“I’d be willing to risk losing the Senate if we could keep America,” Mitch McConnell’s primary challenger, Matt Bevin, told Glenn Beck this morning. What an astonishingly incoherent and misguided sentence that is. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” asks the King James Bible. A fair question, yes, but politics is a different game altogether, and, in this case, the alternative isn’t an otherworldly victory or spiritual advancement but simply more loss. The question for Bevin must be “for what shall it profit a man if he shall lose another debt-ceiling fight and lose his party’s shot at the Senate as well?” And the answer is “not at all.” If this is what we are to expect from the revolution — a host of nihilistic, suicidal, performance artists who would rather be outside of the control room screaming than inside and in charge — then give me the cynical calculations of a Mitch McConnell any day of the week.

“Any time, you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders,” Ronald Reagan complained in 1964, “we’re denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we’re always ‘against,’ never ‘for’ anything.” Could this sentiment not be applied currently to some slices of the Right? After all, pretty much every single Republican agrees on the question of Obamacare. Pretty much every single Republican agrees on taxes and spending and the size of government. Pretty much every single Republican agrees on the debt. They disagree, however, on tactics. And tactics matter. Make no mistake: For all the bluster, the Democratic party and the wider progressive movement is absolutely terrified of Obamacare, which has been a liability for almost five years now, and which is not going away. As I noted yesterday, the majority of the elections this year are going to yield fights between a candidate who wants to repeal the law completely and a candidate who is critical of it in at least one way. There is nothing that the president would like more at this moment than to play last October over again — to paint the GOP as an extreme, risk-taking, rump party holding the country hostage. McConnell and Boehner were right to recognize that handing him that opportunity this year would have been a disaster.

I largely agree, though I believe the “Establishment” could have been more aggressive in the recent debt-ceiling argument by, for example, demanding that insurance companies not get a guaranteed bailout in the event they lose money over Obamacare. That would at least have forced the Democrats to go on record as being in favor of giving public money to one of the most hated industries in the nation.

But, overall, I think Cooke is right. It’s not a cop-out to say we only control one-half of one branch of the government; it’s simply an acknowledgement of reality and that, therefore, our options are limited. While it’s satisfying to give in to the urge to fight-fight-fight at every instance, it profits neither conservatism, the Republican Party, or the nation –to which our ultimate responsibility lies– to fight battles we’re sure to lose, such as the “defund Obamacare” effort of last fall. The will to fight is important, but knowing when to strike is equally so, if the goal is to win.

Politics is an art that requires patience, a willingness to move in increments, rather than having it all now. It’s an art the Left practiced to take over the Democratic Party after the 1960s, and it’s served them well. Populist, Tea Party conservatives have done less well at it, perhaps because of a powerful “Jacksonian” strain in our political DNA — we’re “hasty,” in other words, and we mustn’t in our impatience let the Democrats off the hook they’ve caught themselves on before November’s elections.

If so, then perhaps Cooke is right, and we should praise McConnell and Boehner, rather than throw rotten tomatoes at them.

You may call me RINO, now.

Addendum: To answer the almost-inevitable “Well, Fahrquar, when are we gonna fight? It’ll be more of the same shite after we take over the Senate!”, well, that’s nihilism and I’m not a nihilist. Yes, it’s possible the Beltway Establishment would rather accommodate itself to the expanded progressive “new normal,” but, for now, I’m willing to give them some leash and work like the dickens to give the Republicans the Senate — while electing the most conservative candidates possible, at the same time. Then we test them. With both chambers, they’ll have no excuse for not passing reform budgets, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and fixing entitlements. Place the onus on Obama, let him threaten vetoes: momentum will be on our side and, in the required compromises, we’ll have a much better chance of winning the incremental game.

And if the leadership balks, then we break out the pitchforks and torches.


Harry Reid goes nuclear: get ready for “Court Packing Scheme II.” Updated

November 21, 2013
"Senate Grinch"

“Bitter clinger to power”

This morning the petty little tyrant also known as Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) did what he has longed to do and finally changed the rules of the Senate to weaken filibusters, the so-called “nuclear option:”

In a move that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called “the most important and most dangerous restructuring of Senate rules since Thomas Jefferson wrote them,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pushed the button on the long-threatened “nuclear option” today to require a simple majority to move forward President Obama’s judicial nominees.

There were three Democratic defectors — Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — on the rules change, which came to the floor over the block of three judges intended for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The rule change only affects court appointments below the level of the Supreme Court and also doesn’t limit filibusters against legislation. Yet. Obama hinted at attacking the legislative filibuster, and you can bet the filibuster against Supreme Court nominees will be similarly brushed aside, should an opening arise between now and the next Inauguration Day.

Many senators and outside observers (including yours truly) commented this morning that this could well come back to bite the Democrats in the behind, once the Republicans take control of the Senate, which could come as early as next year, given their crumbling political position thanks to Obamacare. It seems at first and even second glance to be a shortsighted move, an act of petulance done in spite against one’s own interests.

I think, however, there is a deeper motive.

Reid, for all his faults, is not a stupid man. Or, at least, he’s a skilled politician who can see which way the electoral winds are blowing. He remembers 2010, when anger over the passage of Obamacare cost the Democrats the House and almost lost them the Senate.

But now people are even angrier, now that Obamacare has kicked in.  And it’s only going to get worse for the Democrats, as the web site doesn’t get fixed, the “access shock” kicks in, rates go up even further, and millions who thought their employer-based coverage was safe find out otherwise starting in fall, 2014, just before the elections… See where this is going?

Harry Reid knows the Senate is lost. He’s read the entrails for his party’s fortunes and seen in the not too distant future a Republican House, Senate, and (quite possibly) White House. With the loss of legislative power this entails, Reid has laid the groundwork to do the one thing he can do to protect the progressive agenda in 2017 and beyond: pack the courts with progressive judges.

Court packing was the scheme through which FDR hoped to load up a conservative Supreme Court that had been blocking key New Deal measures with liberal justices who would swing decisions his way. While the plan per se failed, it had the intended effect: the Court was intimidated and, through retirement and changed minds, started to vote FDR’s way.

Reid has the same thing in mind. I would not be surprised at all to see Obama appoint a bunch of appellate and district judges, in order to have them place when Republican measures undoing Obamacare and other progressive legislation are challenged in court. Long after Reid and his majority are gone, these progressive judges would be in place to rule with “empathy” and “fairness” and find new rights in the Constitution that no one else has ever seen there.

But what about the Supreme Court? Wouldn’t they smack down errant lower courts?

You’d better hope Scalia, Thomas, and the other Center-Right justices stay healthy, otherwise this same maneuver will be used to give us, for example, Cass Sunstein, who is a fan of FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights,” or California Justice Goodwin Liu (Be afraid, be very afraid).

Court Packing II, coming your way in 2014.

RELATED: At Twitchy, a video festival of Democrats claiming that limiting the filibuster would be a disaster — back when George W. Bush was president. How times change.

UPDATE: At NRO’s Bench Memos, Curt Levey sees some real bad news in this development –

The immediate impact will be to turn the D.C. Circuit — often the only check on a president’s executive power — into a rubber stamp for Obama’s unilateral rewriting of statutes, his questionable executive orders, his overreaching agency regulations, and his other Nixonian abuses of executive authority.

Over a somewhat longer term, my concern is that the moderating force that was exerted on Obama’s judicial nominations by the filibuster threat is gone. As a result, expect to see more nominations of radicals like Goodwin Liu and a faster remaking of the entire federal judiciary.

Read the rest for some hopeful news.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Justice Dept.: #Obamacare will cost 80 million the coverage they like

November 18, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

This isn’t exactly new news; when Forbes reported it back in October, their estimate was 93 million. But, the difference aside, this counts as an official admission that tens of millions will lose their employer-based coverage:

“It is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on,” DOJ lawyers wrote in response to court challenge to the law’s requirement that insurance plans provide coverage of contraception. “Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end 2013.”

The DOJ cites the June 17, 2010, edition of the Federal Register, which acknowledges that within the first year of Obamacare’s employer mandate, the insurance plans offered by many employers will be canceled because their policies will not be grandfathered under the administration’s regulations. ”The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small-employer plans and 45 percent of large-employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” the Register says. “The low-end estimates are for 49 percent and 34 percent of small and large-employer plans, respectively, to have relinquished grandfather status, and the high-end estimates are 80 percent and 64 percent, respectively.”

Note the date: June 17th, 2010. The government knew over three years ago that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” was a lie.

Period.

And it’s not just Obama and his Unicorn team who were lying weasels about the gutting of the private insurance market: via Byron York, here’s a list from Senator McConnell’s office of 27 Democratic senators making the same false promise. Per Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), “We all knew.”

I’ll bet she’s popular in the Democratic caucus room right about now.

Think for a moment about the furor we’re currently experiencing over 4-5 million plans being canceled: sticker shock, anxiety over disrupted coverage, reduced provider networks, the loss of critically-needed treatment. Now multiply that 16-fold to deal with the 80 million likely to lose their group health plans.

And we’ll be ready to remind these people just who it was who threw multiple monkey wrenches into their lives.

Because we’re helpful that way.

via Bryan Preston

RELATED: Will Democrats soon begin calling for repeal? And here’s a great article by Andrew McCarthy on “Obama’s 5% Con Job.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, to be a fly on the wall at this meeting…

November 7, 2013
"Time to panic"

“Time to panic”

Or maybe just an NSA bug. Either way, I imagine the language was… “colorful:”

President Obama in a private meeting at the White House Wednesday was on the receiving end of complaints from Democrats frustrated with the botched rollout of Obamacare’s public exchanges.

Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2014 grilled the president as problems persist with healthcare.gov and the administration remains on the defensive for claims that all Americans could keep their health plans under Obamacare.

“It is simply unacceptable for Alaskans to bear the brunt of the administration’s mismanagement of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and that is the message U.S. Senator Mark Begich delivered to President Obama today,” the Democrat’s office said in a statement sent to reporters.

Maybe Senator Begich should have thought of that before he voted to pass a bill no one had bothered to read and before he voted to uphold a rule that made danged sure Alaskans couldn’t keep their insurance coverage under Obamacare.

Then, maybe (not really), I’d have some sympathy for his faked concern for his constituents.

Take a look at the article. The list of attendees looks like the passenger list of the Titanic — doomed: Franken, Hagan, Landrieu, Merkely, Pryor, Shaheen, Udall (CO) and Udall (NM), &c. To one degree or another, these people are facing tough reelection fights thanks to the Obamacare screw-ups, and some of them are little better than walking dead, politically. Obama was probably handing them all sedatives to stop their sobbing.

Then there’s Durbin of Illinois (D – Combine). He won’t lose reelection, of course, but he does have hopes of succeeding Reid as Majority Leader. Of course, that requires actually having a majority to lead…

And Bennet of Colorado? Not only is he up for reelection in a state increasingly disillusioned with the Denver elite (and where 250,000 Coloradans are losing their insurance), but he’s also head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tasked with getting these same people reelected as well as electing new (Social) Democratic senators. He must have some seriously bad karma (1) to have drawn this hand.

Like I said, it must have been an interesting meeting. Oh, sure, Obama probably agreed to it in part to let these senators, saps all who trusted Obama and their leadership on this issue, play the “tough representative” for the folks back home. A bit of theater to damp down the fires of rebellion.

But it isn’t going to work. Lots of angry people are going to demand answers, votes are on record, and we will be all too happy to direct these miffed voters to said information. And recommend other people to vote for who might actually fix the problem.

I’m hope Obama has plenty more of those sedatives on hand.

Footnote:
(1) I from California. That’s how we talk, man.

UPDATE: Apparently it was all for show

In the report below, Major Garrett spills the beans: “Top officials here (at the White House) told us, President Obama summoned those angry Democrats so they could vent, and then tell their voters back home they gave the president a piece of their mind. One official described it as opening a serious of political pressure valves, and letting out some steam.”

Enjoy that ride on the Titanic, folks! And isn’t that a pretty iceberg headed your way?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare: Democrats voted for the rule canceling your insurance

November 1, 2013
"2014 voters"

“2014 voters”

That’s the revelation in a CNN article that’s been making the rounds this morning: every single Democratic senator –and not a single Republican, I’ll add– voted three years ago for the “grandfathering” rule that’s now costing millions the insurance they like.

They knew this would happen:

In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time.

“The administration’s own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House’s own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said.

On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.

I wrote about the problems facing employer-based insurance Senator Grassley referred to yesterday. You think what’s happening now is bad? Just wait a year.

The CNN writer is being gentle when he writes that this “could come back to haunt” Democrats facing reelection. If there is any justice, this boneheaded, arrogant move that’s upending the lives of millions will come back at them like the Terminator going after Sarah Connor.

Democrats, especially those senators facing difficult reelections –Hi, Mary Landrieu!– are desperately trying to shift blame for this onto the insurance companies, but it’s not going to work. The people experiencing this pain are going to look for someone to blame and, when even CNN won’t cover for the Democrats, they’ll find them.

They own this fiasco lock, stock, and barrel, no matter how fast they spin or how many lies Jay Carney tells.

Come November, 2014, it’s pitchforks and torches time.

via:

RELATED: A small business owner near San Diego meets the reality of Obamacare rate-shock.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare: Bet on it – the Individual Mandate will be delayed. Updated: I was right. Update 2: Not yet?

October 23, 2013
"Time to panic"

“Time to panic”

Because Democrat senators up for reelection in 2014 are now in full-blown panic mode. Earlier today, CNN’s Dana Bash tweeted the following:

Then, at Breitbart:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who is up for re-election in 2014, wrote to Obama on Tuesday and asked him to delay the enrollment deadline for the individual mandate. “Given the existing problems with the website, I urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014,” Shaheen wrote to the president. “Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), who is facing a tough challenge in his 2014 re-election against Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), came out in support of Shaheen’s call for a delay of the individual mandate’s enrollment deadline. Pryor had previously been on record as supportive of the mandate as is.

Now, according to CNN’s Bash, the Democratic Party is coordinating an effort to support a delay in the individual mandate.

These people are not dummies: they can see the building fiasco. A law that was never popular, that was passed by anti-constitutional means against the will of the majority, that has never, ever claimed majority approval… That law is now doing real harm. People are losing the insurance and doctors they’ve been told they can keep; they’re seeing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles skyrocket, and their hours at work are being cut, if they don’t lose their jobs altogether. And the vast majority of these people are voters. Voters who are getting angry and who are going to get angrier. And angry voters tend to vent their rage at the ballot box.

Republicans have nothing to worry about; they can honestly tell voters that not a single one of them voted for this fiasco. Democratic senators, on the other hand (as well as most of the remaining Democrat caucus in the House), mostly if not wholly voted for Obamacare. And soon they will have to go before the electorate and explain how they not only voted for this monster in the first place, but let something so bad get passed that they now have to beg for it not to be enforced.

And the Republicans can stand there and honestly say “We’ve been trying to tell you. Now vote for us, please, so we can make it all go away.”

The political implications of this are wild. For starters, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and all the rest of the (Social) Democrats will have to explain why they so bitterly opposed a delay in the mandate originally proposed by the Republicans that they allowed the government to be shut down and the credit rating of the United States to be threatened… Only to have to ask for a delay of their own, three weeks later. For Obama in particular, well, this program has his name on it. Will he be willing to eat the humiliation to save his Senate majority? Or will he resist any delay and potentially sacrifice vulnerable Democrats on the altar of his own ego? We know he’s a narcissist, but how big a one is he?

But then there are implications for Obamacare, itself. The individual mandate is absolutely essential, if this program is to have any chance at all of being viable. They need young, healthy people to pay more than they should for insurance in order to pay for the care of the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Hence the legal mandate to purchase insurance or pay a penalty, tax, whatever Justice Roberts calls it this week. Absent that mandate, with ongoing failure of the online exchanges, and given that Obamacare guarantees coverage, the economics of the Affordable Care Act turn toxic.

The administration estimates that it needs 2.7 million young healthy people on the exchange, out of the 7 million total expected to apply in the first year. If the pool is too skewed — if it’s mostly old and sick people on the exchanges — then insurers will lose money, and next year, they’ll sharply increase premiums. The healthiest people will drop out, because insurance is no longer such a good deal for them. Rinse and repeat and you have effectively destroyed the market for individual insurance policies. It’s called the “death spiral,” and the exchanges, like the mandate, were designed to keep it from happening.

Without the exchanges, the death spiral seems almost assured. The amount of work required to find a policy, figure out your subsidy, buy coverage and file the paperwork will be very high. And it’s unlikely that folks who can’t even be bothered to go to ehealthinsurance.com right now will do it. The Affordable Care Act made the task of signing up young healthy people on the exchanges even harder with its much-loved requirement that companies allow kids to stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26, which took millions of potential buyers out of the pool. The ones who are left are going to be disproportionately poorer and less well educated than the middle-class offspring who can get cheap insurance through mom and dad. There’s a reason that virtually every person you’ve seen written up in an article as they tried to get insurance at a community center or clinic is some combination of over 55, retired or afflicted with a serious chronic condition.

And without the exchanges and the individual mandate, we go from “almost assured” to a guaranteed death spiral. Companies will leave the health insurance market altogether to escape the guaranteed coverage clauses, leaving million without the insurance they used to like… and wondering whom to blame. (1)

Now you see why Senator Shaheen and company are hitting that panic button. But for her and them, I have no sympathy.

Footnote:
(1) I used to think that this was all part of a plan to get people to beg for a “better solution,” which would turn out to be the Left’s dream: state-run single-payer health insurance. And maybe the hard left still thinks it will work out that way. But now I’m not so sure about the rest: no one could design a system so self-evidently bad, so harmful to the nation and to their own political futures that they could expect to profit from it. Could they?

LINKS: My blog-buddy ST beat me to the news and calls for popcorn.

UPDATE: And just like that, I’m proven right.

UPDATE 2: On the other hand, maybe not just yet.


In which Ted Cruz grinds Dick Durbin under his heel

September 27, 2013

I’ve been critical of the Cruz-Lee strategy to defeat Obamacare, but there’s no denying that Senator Cruz’s 21-hour speech in opposition was, quite simply, marvelous. A tour de force of constitutionalism, wit, grace, and stamina. Like Rand Paul, Cruz is someone I can disagree with, while still greatly admiring him.

But somehow I missed what would have been my favorite part, in which Ted Cruz made the loathsome Dick Durbin look like the fool he is:

In the last hour, even as he said he grew “weary” as his time arguing against ObamaCare was coming to a close, he found himself in a debate with the able and smart Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on the Congress’s generous health-care plan.

Durbin complained that Cruz wanted to deny health care to the uninsured; did he not, Durbin asked, enjoy the benefits of the generous congressional health-care package himself?

Cruz said he wouldn’t answer Durbin until Durbin first replied to three questions Cruz had posed. Durbin, with an “a-ha” gesture, responded by saying it was clear Cruz was simply refusing to answer his embarrassing question.

He’d walked into Cruz’s trap. For then Cruz said, no, Senator, I’m eligible for the congressional plan — but I’m not enrolled in it.

Durbin thought he had Cruz cornered by bringing up his reliance on the absurdly generous health package for Congress. But since Cruz doesn’t rely on it, Durbin humiliated himself in what was supposed to be his gotcha moment.

Despite his marathon of speaking and standing and arguing, after nearly a day on his feet, Cruz — there is no other term for it — squashed Durbin like a bug.

In the last hour of this marathon, Ted Cruz was still sharp enough to set a trap for Durbin and snap it shut.

Well played, Senator. Well played. smiley cheering

via The Morning Jolt

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Senator Newt Gingrich (R-VA)? Update: Newt says no.

September 19, 2013

Saw this item in this morning’s Washington Free Beacon. It made me smile:

A new political action committee is hoping to convince former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to run for the U.S. Senate in Virginia next year.

Draft Newt PAC insists Gingrich, now a host of CNN’s Crossfire, is Republicans’ best hope for retaking the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), who is vying for his second term.

“We want a credible challenger to Mark Warner, and no one could do what Newt could do to fight—and win,” said Andrew Hemingway, a former staffer on Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign who is leading the Draft Newt group, in a press release announcing the effort.

“U.S. Senator Newt Gingrich would be an immediate game changer, giving conservatives another voice that would take the fight to the Obama administration,” added Hemingway, who ran fundraising for the 2012 presidential bid.

Gingrich represented Georgia’s sixth congressional district in the U.S. House, but has lived in McLean, Va., since 2009. Efforts to reach him or a member of his staff were unsuccessful.

And you know what a “Senator Gingrich” would mean, my friends? Moon bases! (1)

Seriously. there’s not much chance of unseating Mark Warner, who’s doing well in the polls, but, if you’re going to run someone, why not a guy who even some foes describe as brilliant, who’s a first class debater, who’s a walking idea factory, and who eviscerates people who ask stupid questions?

Sure, he’s got his personal baggage (see the above clip, inter alia), and yes he’s arrogant and undisciplined, but, if you’re going to put some sacrificial lamb up against a popular incumbent, why not a lion in lamb’s clothing? Why not a guy who will at least make the race interesting and entertaining? And, if he should win, the number of progressive heads exploding around America would be epic.

I know it would mean giving up your cushy pundit job for a while, but, come on, Newt. Give in to the Dark Side — run! Run for Virginia. Run for America. Run… for the children! Run so Newt Judges You will have more material.

Run, Newt. Run.

Footnote:
(1) You think I’m joking, but I love the idea. I’ve been a space program geek since childhood.

UPDATE: I weep.

via FatDaddyBulldog


Democrats may well curse Harry Reid’s name in future years

July 15, 2013
"Senate Grinch"

“Ready to shoot his own foot off?”

For reasons that that amount to pique and pettiness (both qualities the Senate Majority Leader possesses in abundance), Harry Reid has decided that this upcoming week would be a good time to gut the filibuster, the procedure that allows a determined minority to block legislation or a nominee it doesn’t like by threatening to keep talking and prevent a vote. (In  modern times, the threat is all that’s really been needed, Rand Paul’s filibuster aside. Real talk-until-you-drop filibusters have become quite rare.) To move to a vote, the majority has needed at least 60 votes to tell the other side to, well, shut up and vote. Republicans, having the temerity to act like an opposition party and often filibuster the administration’s agenda and appointees (both of which actions I heartily approve), have incurred Darth Reid’s wrath. And so, he wants to break the filibuster:

On Monday, Reid informed President Barack Obama about his intention to use the nuclear option if no deal is struck, sources said, and Obama signaled he would support the effort.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is trying to head off the high-stakes fight, privately reached out to Vice President Joe Biden, but it’s expected that Biden would vote with Democrats in case there’s a 50-50 tie.

The crisis could still be averted. Reid signaled that he would drop the threat of the nuclear option if Republicans ended their filibusters on pending Obama nominees.

But senators in both parties agreed Thursday that if Reid moves to change the rules by 51 votes, it would be used by the majority in the future to further weaken the filibuster, potentially eliminating the potent procedural weapon altogether one day. While Democrats said they were willing to roll the dice on the nuclear option, believing the GOP would go that route anyway when they get back in the majority, Republicans said Reid’s move all but assured a continued weakening — and eventual demolition — of the filibuster.

While Reid claims he was “Mr. Bipartisan Comity” back when the filibuster was a serious issue in 2005 over Bush judicial nominees (Harry put it much more colorfully in the article), the truth is far different.

Why Reid needs to fear having his name cursed for all time by future Democratic caucuses is something pointed out by Democrats and Republican senators quoted in the Politico piece: if Reid make the Democrats do away with the filibuster for Cabinet and other Executive Branch appointees, there’s nothing to stop a future Republican majority from eliminating it for judicial appointments and legislation. Think not only of Supreme Court appointees; the Republicans have a whole laundry list full of items they’d love to ram through with only 51 votes:

[Senator Lamar] Alexander, a longtime institutionalist, agrees, saying now it would be far harder to tell future Republican majority leaders to forgo eliminating the filibuster if Reid acts next week. Alexander claimed it would allow future Republican-led Senates to easily approve a laundry list of GOP dreams: national right-to-work laws, finishing the Keystone XL pipeline, repealing Obamacare and altering Dodd-Frank financial rules.

“We’ll take our case to the people, we’ll argue for a new majority and then Republicans will be in a position to do whatever Republicans with 51 votes want to do,” Alexander said. “The more we think about it, the more attractive it becomes.”

And when that happens –and it will– current and future Democrat senators will rue the day ol’ Pinky Reid came out of Searchlight, Nevada.

On my own part, I oppose eliminating the filibuster. While nowhere a part of the Constitution, it evolved as a natural and fitting part of our Madisonian system of government, which is designed to make the passage of major legislation difficult and slow. The filibuster assures that the minority’s concerns are taken into account and major legislation is passed with something approaching a consensus. (Remember the ire generated by the tricks used to ram Obamacare through?) And if concerns aren’t addressed and consensus isn’t reached, then the bill is blocked, as it should be.

Do away with that, effectively turning the Senate into a smaller version of the House, and you’ll wind up with something akin to the British parliamentary system, where the majority in Commons has, in essence, a legislative dictatorship.

But, if Harry wants to torpedo his own future minority caucus, far be it from me to stop him. We, after all, have a list.

RELATED: Conservative analyst Avik Roy argues that Republicans should support reform of the filibuster, for many of the reasons Sen. Alexander mentioned. I don’t agree with him, but it’s an argument worth considering.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Immigration, the latest legislative farce

June 27, 2013

I’ve been taking a break, catching up on my reading, and a recent column by Andrew McCarthy reminded me of the disgust I felt at the shameful process by which Obamacare was passed, a feeling I’m experiencing again as the Senate moves closer to the passage of the 1,000+ pages-long immigration bill. So, I thought I’d share an excerpt from it that sums up my feelings quite nicely:

But there is a larger point: no “important legislation” should be 100 pages long, much less 1,200 (or the even more mind-boggling girth of monstrosities like Obamacare). The United States Constitution is about 4,500 words long — outfits like Cato and Heritage publish it in small pamphlets that can be read in a few minutes. Nowadays, not only are the bills so gargantuan that no one could conceivably master them and predict their consequences; each page produces even more pages of regulations. They can’t even be lifted, much less digested.

You cannot have a functioning democratic republic when the laws are so voluminous no one can know what the law is. And that is especially the case when (a) the rationale for passing new laws — according to “reform” proponents like Senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan — is that we don’t enforce the laws currently on the books; (b) key parts of legislation consist of commitments to do what previously enacted law already commands; and (c) the president, notwithstanding his oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, claims the power to refrain from enforcing whatever laws he disapproves of. Washington has made a farce of the legislative process and of the once proud boast that we are ”a nation of laws not men.”

Yep. My only quibble would be to add “Once again,…” to the start of the last sentence.

Then again, what’s the point of making it even just one page, when many don’t feel a need to even read the bills they’re voting on?

Shameful and disgraceful.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Ted Cruz: You get a tax break for hiring a legalized illegal under Obamacare

June 25, 2013

The Senate voted yesterday to accept the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the immigration bill (really, the amendment is a replacement bill), so, naturally, senators hit the airwaves to explain their positions. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was interviewed on Sean Hannity’s show. It’s starts off as one of Hannity’s usual talking-points interviews, but then Senator Cruz makes a point I’d never heard before about the status of the would-be legalized under Obamcare. Watch the whole thing, it’s relatively short, and see if you don’t find yourself doing the same double-take I did, starting at about the 4:30 mark:

In other words, if the Senator is right, the “bipartisan” immigration bill creates a $5,000 incentive per employee for businesses to hire workers legalized under the immigration bill, in preference to citizens or legal immigrants.

The is one big example of why I dislike gargantuan “comprehensive” bills: there is always at least one bomb buried in some subsection, just waiting to go off. God alone knows why someone thought this would be a good idea, but it isn’t. If Cruz is correct, this stinks. It directly harms current Americans and legal immigrants in two ways: by not exempting them from that monstrosity, Obamacare, and by hamstringing them in the race for a job. The whole thing should be scrapped and each aspect dealt with as separate, easily read and comprehended bills, and only voted on after sufficient time for public comment and debate.

And then they should rename this crap sandwich the Senate is feeding us the “Congratulations On Avoiding La Migra Affirmative Action” bill.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby…

June 23, 2013

Tell me Senator Menendez, did the married woman you were having an affair with know you were also hiring (and not paying) underage Dominican call girls?

Sen. Robert Menendez wooed a married newspaper publisher, taking the attractive brunette on a romantic getaway to the Caribbean, a tipster alleges.

The New Jersey Dem and Cecilia Reynolds jetted to Puerto Rico, where they stayed at the isolated beach retreat of the island’s then-governor, Anibal Acevedo Vila.

In a photo provided by the anonymous informant, Reynolds is sitting naked on a beach and suggestively smiling at the camera. In another set of pictures, they take turns posing against the same sunset backdrop.

The happy couple, dressed in shorts, also appeared to tour a national park and pose for a photo at a waterfall, Menendez wrapping his arm around Reynolds’ waist.

Of course, she was separated at the time (so she and her husband claim), so it isn’t as scandalous as it might be, except for:

The trip came at a time when the senator was trying to thwart the appointment of Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez as the US attorney for Puerto Rico. He placed a “senatorial hold,” or block, on the appointment, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Rodriguez-Velez was the interim US attorney, and her office had turned its sights on Menendez’s pal, the former Puerto Rico governor, investigating him for alleged campaign-finance violations and other wrongdoing. She was later confirmed despite the senator’s interference, and Acevedo Vila was indicted in 2008 on 19 criminal counts. He was found not guilty.

So, at the time Bob “Pass me another Viagra” Menendez was trying to scotch the appointment of a US attorney who was after the island’s governor, he just happened to also get to use the governor’s beach house as a love-shack.

Surely a coincidence.

By the way, Senator Menendez (D – Cialis), just how were those romantic getaways paid for? Might be interesting to see if these were listed as “official travel” and charged to the taxpayers.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Kickbacks and carve-outs: this is how the immigration bill will pass the Senate

June 23, 2013

satire Money suitcase bribe corruption

Remember the deals bribes various senators were offered for favorable consideration to buy their vote for Obamacare? There were Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase,” Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback,” Chris Dodd’s “U-Con,” Bill Nelson’s “Gator-Aid” for Florida, and others. In each case, a senator sold their vote in favor of an unpopular, badly written bill few had read in return for a legislative 30 pieces of silver.

Now there comes the immigration reform bill: an increasingly unpopular, badly written bill that few have read in full and is being rushed to passage before many can.

And it’s happening again:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) have inserted a provision that amounts to little more than a handout to Las Vegas casinos into the repackaged immigration reform bill, Breitbart News has learned. This provision, a brazen example of crony capitalism, was inserted into the immigration law enforcement section of the bill despite the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with “immigration” or “law enforcement.”

On page 66 of the repackaged bill, the following provision appears:
“CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION.—Sec- 9(d)(2)(B) of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (22 U.S.C. 2131(d)(2)(B)) is amended by striking ‘‘For each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015,’’ and inserting ‘‘For each fiscal year after 2012.”

The Travel Promotion Act (TPA) of 2009 allows the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to spend up to $100 million on promoting travel to specific areas of the country. If the provision Reid and Heller inserted into the proposed immigration reform legislation becomes law, the benefits of the TPA would be extended indefinitely.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Jena McNeill wrote in June 2009, the Travel Promotion Act creates “a government-run public relations campaign funded by a tax on international visitors.” After the law was passed, the PR campaign touting Las Vegas casinos and other tourist destinations in the U.S. using that tax was rolled into a government-run corporation called “Brand USA.” In October 2012, Jim DeMint and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report that “reveals a history of waste, abuse, patronage, and lax oversight” with the Brand USA program and the Department of Commerce that oversees it.

Why any state needs a federally funded campaign to attract tourists is beyond me; they all have tourism boards of their own, after all. And, if the big casinos want to boost Vegas, somehow something tells me they make enough money to fund a campaign themselves.

But, the question of where the federal government gets its authority to promote tourism aside, here’s the kicker and the kickback: per the Breitbart article, Senator Dean Heller (R) was not a sponsor of the original immigration bill. Now, with the amendment, something he can brag about in his next campaign, he suddenly is. You can just hear the clink of the silver in his palm.

So, what should we call this one? How about the “Silver State Sellout?”

via Jay Cost

UPDATE: Ooh! And here’s another, this time for Alaska! Clink, clink, clink.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Democrats decide on electoral strategy in 2014: suicide

June 4, 2013

Because taking pride of ownership in Obamacare worked so well for them in 2010:

Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

Yeah, because the problem from their point of view is always the messaging: “if only we explained ourselves better, then the rubes public would support our glorious ideas. Their lives are better, it’s just that they don’t know it. So we just have to fine tune our message and we’re back in business!” It’s never that their ideas stink like a fish left out in the sun, or that the public resents to the point of rage the way Obamacare was passed, as Moe Lane explains:

…the Democrats apparently have never really understood that the way that Obamacare was passed features prominently in the reason why it’s so unpopular among the rest of us.  Politico’s vaguely revisionist history aside, the Democrats certainly attempted to tout Obamacare as being a net positive in the 2010 elections; what they failed to realize then – and, apparently, now – is that when you shove something down my throat, I don’t particularly care whether you think that it tastes great or not.  What I care about is your callous indifference and unwarranted arrogance; and so it was with Obamacare.  The Democrats ignored the opposition, ignored the populace, and even ignored the established rules to pass their walking monstrosity of a health care rationing system; and it is a measure of precisely how tone-deaf they were about the procedure that one of their leaders actually thought that it was smart to tell people that we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

And he’s right. Aside from the abomination of Obamacare itself, the way it was passed, not just unconstitutional but anti-constitutional (No time to read the bill, drafting sessions from which the opposition was excluded, insulting the public, deem and pass, reconciliation…), is offensive, infuriating, enraging, and a good part of the reason for the electoral bug-squashing the Democrats suffered in 2010. I can just see the Republicans dusting off the Pelosi videos now.

In spite of that, the Democrats think the strategy of defending Obamacare, tuning their message, and promising to fix the broken parts while keeping the parts people like will work. Politico, again:

“In 2010, the benefits of ACA were theoretical and Democratic candidates ran away from it. If you were in a tough race and asked about health care,” a senior Democratic official told POLITICO, “you changed the topic. In 2014, Democrats can talk about the positives, position themselves as consumer advocates to make it work and go on offense against Republicans for wanting to take the benefits away.”

A problem with this is that those portions people like, including things I find distasteful such as keeping “children” on the parents’ insurance until they’re 26, can be fixed to be more market-oriented and part of a repeal-and-replace bill that still guts the core of the PPACA, which progressives adore and the majority loathes:  the hated mandate, the requirements to buy coverage you don’t need or want, and the new taxes.

Ah, yes. The new taxes and the increased premiums. Jim Geraghty tells us why that light the Democrats see at the end of the tunnel may instead be an oncoming train:

So . . . in 2014, just as premiums begin to reflect the changes of Obamacare, and in the year where the uninsured must start paying the government $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is higher) . . . Democrats have decided they’ll embrace Obamacare and make it a centerpiece of their reelection message.

(…)

The point is, starting in 2014, a lot of people who don’t have insurance and find the process of getting insurance immensely confusing and frustrating will suddenly be told they must pay the government for their failure to get insurance. And at that precise moment, Democrats will ask for their vote as an expression of gratitude.

That penalty will be enforced, collected by, and paid to the IRS, which has just been exposed as being quite willing to harass and punish law-abiding Americans for their political beliefs. And yet the Democrats want to remind voters of Obamacare and help the Republicans connect the two?

Genius. Brer Rabbit couldn’t have found a more attractive briar patch.

PS: For those under the impression that Pelosi and company might still have hit on a winning strategy, let’s take a walk down memory lane to see what happened the last time they told us how wonderful Obamacare would be. Have a look at the results for the House races, the Senate contests, and the state-level elections in 2010. To quote the Politico article again, “Bring it on.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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