Saturday, March 20, 2010

I have a feeling that health care reform will fail tomorrow.

Suppose that you are an undecided House Democrat going into tomorrow's big health care reform votes. If you vote "yes", you're going to have Tea Party protesters hunting for your seat in November. If you vote "no", you're going to have liberal democrats from the President to the grassroots flipping you the middle finger for the rest of your political career.

No matter what you do, your re-election chances are highly damaged. So let's look long term. A House Democrat who votes "yes" is essentially betting his future reputation that a crap bill, a crap process, and all of the bribes, kickbacks, payoffs, and b***s*** is going to turn up smelling like roses someday. What are the odds of that happening?

On the other hand, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid are desperate to pass some kind of bill. If the current health care bill fails, they're almost certainly going to offer a scaled back "Plan B" to Congress before November. Imagine voting "no" on the health care bill from hell and then voting "yes" on a later, more modest "Plan B" bill for political cover. To me, that sounds like a pretty good deal for an undecided Democrat.

Of course, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid know this, which is why they've been making the "unholy doughnut" argument all year: "You're already going to hell. You might as well take the last bite of the unholy doughnut before you burn."

A horse! A horse! My presidency for a horse!

As of this writing, there is a slight glimmer of hope in the Congressional health care war. The House Democrats have been forced to reject the so-called "Slaughter Solution", which means that the house simply has no way to avoid a straight, up-or-down vote on the Senate health care bill in order to move health care reform forward. Given that the Senate health care bill is glowing green from radioactivity in the House, it might fail to pass.

In a bid to win pro-life Democratic support for the Senate bill, President Obama is reportedly considering an executive order to pacify their concerns over public funding of abortion.

To buy into this, a pro-life House Democrat would have to make some hard choices. First, this is still a dramatic weakening of the status quo on abortion. A vote for the Senate health care bill is a vote for public financing of abortions. Period. An executive order from the president might assuage a guilty conscience, but it sure as hell won't stop that rolling barrage of pro-life attack ads that will be crushing pro-life Democrats for the next 8 months.

Second, it would mean trusting the single most arrogant, incompetent, and desperate President in American history. This is a President who has repeatedly betrayed every promise he has ever made to the American people and who has endorsed every bribe, gimmick, threat or pay-off required to pass health care without scruple or qualification. This is a President who would be plunging a wooden stake into the heart of his presidency by honoring this agreement. To trust this president on this agreement would be sheer lunacy.

Finally, the logic of the pro-choice liberals will force them to oppose this executive order. The reasoning is simple:
  • Under single payer health care, all health care dollars are Federal dollars

  • Under the Stupak and Hyde amendments, no Federal dollars can be used to fund abortion

  • Ergo, no health care dollars can be used to fund abortion, which is a de facto abortion ban.

So the Left will be forced to wage war on this executive order, whether the pro-life Democrats like it or not.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Harold Ford, Jr. sells out.

Harold Ford, Jr. recognizes that New Yorkers desperately want change in the Democratic party that governs them:
There are compelling reasons for me to run [against Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand]. I believe New Yorkers are hungry for a new direction in government. Our elected officials have spent too much time this past year supporting a national partisan political agenda — and not enough time looking out for their own constituents.
which is why Harold Ford, Jr. strongly endorses the Democratic Party status quo candidate for Senate:
I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weakened and the Republican strengthened.

I refuse to do anything that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the Republicans.

I realize this announcement will surprise many people who assumed I was running. I reached this decision only in the last few days — as I considered what a primary campaign, even with the victory I saw as fully achievable, would have done to the Democratic Party.
Harold Ford, Jr. talks tough, but he basically just admitted that he's as much of a bungler as any other Democrat.