04/09/2010 (4:52 pm)
Moving on from yesterday’s excursion into the frank and deliberate dishonesty of the media in support of the Democratic party’s habitual character assassination, today we get to see why the Republican party continues to shrink.
W. James Antle III at the American Spectator censured Sen. John Cornyn (R, TX), the leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for backing down from “Repeal and Replace” with respect to the Democrats’ shove-it-down-our-throats crap sandwich called, misleadingly, “health care reform.” Granted, his basis for doing this was yet another dishonestly-written AP article, this one by Charles Babington and Philip Elliott, attempting to cow Republicans into going along with their fellows who are backing down from “Repeal and Replace” on the advice of — wait for it — Democratic party strategists.
Still, it appears that Cornyn has backed off his staunch repeal platform, opting instead for one that focuses on the immediate economic impact of the bill to which several corporations have attested. This may be a tactical shift rather than a strategic retreat. As the AP article finally notes starting in paragraph 20:
Republican strategist Kevin Madden said the repeal message is “a call to action” that excites many conservative voters, who will be important in November. But the risk of talking only about repeal, he said, “is you only define your position by what you’re against.”
Madden said GOP candidates should advocate “repeal and reform,” which will let them discuss alternative ways to control health care expenses, quality and access. Because an actual repeal is unlikely, he said, candidates should not get bogged down in the mechanics of how it might work, and focus instead on issues such as costs.
“The legislative track is largely finished,” Madden said.
The point about stating an alternative strategy — the “reform” part of “repeal and reform” — is well taken, but let’s hope that’s all he means. Even if there are portions of the bill that make sense, the Republican party needs to repeal the entire bill, then go back and pass the parts they want as individual measures. They don’t know all that the Democratic party intends with this Everest of paper with its Machiavellian flood of subterfuge, and I doubt their ability to figure it all out.
In particular, the Democrats are attempting to talk Republicans into claiming that they’ll keep the measure that forbids insurance companies from refusing customers with pre-existing conditions; if that measure remains in force, health insurance is dead as an industry, as the right to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions constitutes the very heart of insurance underwriting.
This seems to be the Democratic party strategy: make the Republican candidate commit to repealing the bill, which they believe will eventually be more popular than it is now.
Menendez said Democrats in many states will ask their GOP opponents why they want to restore insurance companies’ ability to deny coverage to people with medical problems and to young adults who otherwise can stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.
Candidates seeking the GOP nominations in many states, Menendez said, “are facing tremendous pressure from the tea party, from the party base” to embrace a position that could hurt them when more independent and moderate voters go to the polls in the general election.
Republicans who listen to this deceptive pap will pay for it. Recall Gingrich’s speech that I posted a few days ago. He observed correctly that the 2006 and 2008 elections were a referendum on Republican governance, and resulted in a profound vote of no confidence. If the Republicans back off from repealing the health care tyranny, that result will be repeated. Conservative voters will not settle for tyranny on the installment plan, nor will they accept Republican candidates who lack the spine to stand up to tyrants. If civil war is going to be avoided, it must be by decisive action to roll back unacceptable measures using traditional means.
The Tea Party as a group is popular with a much larger number of Americans than is the Republican party. The recent revelation of misspending among high-ranking offices in the Republican National Committee was damaging enough, but if the party consents to the new health care regime with only an attempt to adjust a few items, we’ll probably see the Republican party representing fewer than 20% of the voters within the next year or two. While most of us have spent a lifetime believing that a third party was not a real possibility in American politics, we may actually be watching a major shift in party loyalty, such that the Republican party will disappear and be replaced by a party representing the traditional Constitutional view of American politics
25 Comments »
Comment by Dale
It makes me cringe when I see the Republican party already starting to back down on repealing the Health Care bill.
Comment by suek
You may be right. But I’d be leery of expecting those results between now and the 2012 elections. I think the best we could hope for would be joint endorsement by the Tea Party and the GOP, and then see how things work out by the time 2016 rolls around. I think expecting to separate at this time and operate as a third party would be a mistake. But being very vocal in endorsing and withholding endorsement…now that seems like a good plan.
In California, we have the Howard Jarvis group. They’re pretty neutral on social issues – but Howard Jarvis came to prominence on the Prop 13 issue – which limited the annual increase on property taxes to a maximum of some small percentage unless the home was resold. Since Jarvis’ death, the group he founded have specialized in financial issues, and give recommendations when something of that nature comes up in an election.
I think that if the Tea Party “specialized” in endorsing those they considered “Constitutional Conservatives”, they might do us all a real service. Whether they became a replacement party for the GOP or not….
Comment by Pilgrim
Anyone who thinks healthcare deform will ever be repealed probably imagines that Social Security will be “reformed” also. Seriously. It’s here to stay, live with it. It would be like “repealing” the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Just ain’t gonna happen.
It’s just another brick in the wall…
Comment by Phil
Live with it? Wait till 2016?
Folks, this is not just another brick in the wall, it’s the whole damned wall. If we get used to “health care reform,” we’re the Soviet Union, and we should get used to joining the Democratic party if we want a job.
Do not get used to tyranny. Repeal it, or secede, or revolt.
Comment by Phil
PS: If you don’t think Social Security (and Medicare and Medicaid) can ever be reformed, you need to teach your kids and grandkids how to eat from garbage cans and roast rats over a wood fire, ’cause that’s all that’s going to be left for them when they grow up.
Comment by suek
I didn’t exactly say “wait till 2016″…what I said (or what I intended to convey) was that the idea of actually forming an actual third party prior to that date is one that is likely to bring about the victory of Democrats. I don’t want that. There are GOP leaders who are likely to be acceptable to Constitutional Conservatives – and there are those who definitely are not. I’m in favor of the TP trying – as an independent organization, but not as a political party – to identify those who are in agreement with their ideals and pushing for those individuals to be first, selected by the GOP, and second, voted into office. Will it be possible to reform the GOP by 2016? I don’t know. But I _do_ know that if the TP actually forms a political party, they’re likely to split the vote in such a way as to ensure Democrat victory – and I _do_ oppose that.
I guess – in other words – I agree with your basic position…but maybe we disagree on just how to get there. I think this November election will tell us a lot about how we must proceed. I _really_ don’t want a violent insurgency – but I also don’t see your idea of secession as likely to be successful either. We need to reform, repeal, and redo. On that we agree. If revolt is necessary, as much as I _don’t_ want it, it is preferable to tyranny.
Even if it has to be repeated every 250 years or so.
Comment by suek
Has anyone heard anything about the probable time frame of the lawsuits being brought by the various states??
Comment by John Cooper
SueK – The lawsuits will be heard just before the November elections, I’m betting.
Oxymoron of the day: “Republican Strategist”
Comment by RM
(1) I’m not a politician, but I’ve been in business a while and have been in a few or so negotiations over the years. The results have varied, but I’ve never included as a strategy taking my chips off the table unilaterally before the negotiations really began, nor can I think of too many instances where this would be a productive tool. This goes for the Republicans pulling back on their original goal on Obamacare, as well as for the Lightworker telling our enemies we will, for sure, only fight back with one hand tied behind out backs if they slip a briefcase of anthrax across the border and kill legions of our citizens.
(2) I was wrong, Phil, when I predicted just after the election that Obama would govern from the left center, and you were right. I may be wrong now, but I just don’t see the anger over Obamacare festering and staying as a motivating force for huge numbers of our people over months and months of time.
It seems the Republicans have already calibrated this into their strategy – I guess they feel repeal would be tilting at windmills. I already “sense” people taking a deep breath after months of anger and frustration. Will people refuel their anger ovr what is happening into working positively to change it, or even to take the time to speak out forcefully against it? The squishy center is already probably more than ready to just move on.
(3) Say what you want to say about the Democrats, but they stuck to their guns on this, went for broke, and rolled us good. Close vote, sure, but as Al Davis said, “Just win, baby.”
And before the dust from the fight – a fight that two thirds or so of the American people wanted them to win – has really settled, the Republicans are already trimming sails. The Democrats were in a far more desperate situation, and they didn’t back off an inch. Why are our fearless leaders, who fought a pretty good fight against tough odds, already backing off when they should be be hanging tough with a ton of moral authority behind them?
Comment by suek
>>a fight that two thirds or so of the American people wanted them to win>>
That’s really debatable. If it’s true, then the law should stand, the GOP would be wrong to attempt to repeal it, and the support for the GOP will in fact fade, since it is so small.
Personally, I think it’s _not_ true, and that support will only grow as people find out what the long term results are going to be.
November will tell the tale, I think.
Comment by RM
I think we got our signs crossed. I meant that 2/3 of the people were pulling or would have voted (if they had the chance)for the legislation NOT to be passed.
If 2/3 of the people were really for Obamacare, yes, the Republicans should let it ride. I think we’re saying the same thing, sort of.
Where we may part company is that I have very little faith in the capacity of Republicans to fight aggressively to roll back this entitlement program, and that I question whether over time people will stay motivated enough to continue to oppose Obamacare with the same vehemence they did a few weeks ago. I hope I am wrong, truthfully.
Comment by Gordon
“If 2/3 of the people were really for Obamacare, yes, the Republicans should let it ride.”
RM, this is absolutely untrue, and smacks of Bill Clinton putting his finger to the winds every time he wanted to make a decision. This is NOT a democracy (as we’ve heard here before).
The Republicans should do exactly what they believe is right for the country, no matter what te prevailing opinion is. The Dems had the testacles to come out and say, “We should pass this, even if it costs us our jobs.”
The Republicans should be of the very same mind.
Comment by suek
Re: third parties. You might find this interesting.
I agree that they should do what they think is best. Nevertheless, if in fact 2/3 of the people actually understand what the healthcare bill will mean to them in the future and still want it passed, then the handwriting is on the wall for the GOP. Even if they won the battle, they would lose the war.
It’s always a question, though – should an elected official follow the preferences of those who elect them as their representative, or do what s/he thinks is the right action to take. If the representative has been open and honest about what s/he represents during their election, it’s hard to understand why there would be a conflict – though admittedly, things change. If the representative has _not_ been open and honest, then it seems more likely that the people might have a conflicting opinion. Does the representative have the right to superimpose his/her own views?
There’s also the fact that as a representative, a person has access to info that the people may not have access to. Separate issue, but an issue nevertheless.
Comment by John Cooper
“I’ve never seen a bill pass the House of Representatives that the American people knew about, that the American people had discussed, debated, and had decided ‘no,’” Boehner said. “This is why the anger that’s out there, frustration that’s out there, and frankly, I think, a lot of this is now turning to resolve — resolving that the American people are going to do something about this.”
Comment by Gordon
Hi SueK, good to meet you,
“Does the representative have the right to superimpose his/her own views?”
Yes, the representative can do exactly what he wants there, nothing written in law constrains his actions to what the majority of people in his district, or those who voted for him, want.
Of course, that may limit his terms in office, but I’ve always believed you elect someone with a view for his very high character first, and whether he mirror-images your views second.
Comment by RM
Not sure whether this is going too far off topic or not, but Gordon, I will agree that if you honestly represent who you are when you campaign, you absolutely should vote your conscience.
2/3 of the people did NOT want Obamacare and the Democrats rolled us anyway. That is a battle that should be joined and could be the proverbial hill to die on if you are a conservative.
But let’s (hypothetically) say that 2/3 of the people had wanted Obamacare and it passed without the reconciliation charade – through normal channels. 2/3 of the American people wanted it done, they had an elected majority party, and the legislation they wanted was duly passed. How far do you push at that point as a Republican? Do you work against it as best you can through normal channels, or do you still actively work to repeal?
Understand, I’m not defending Obamacare in any way shape or form; I loathe it and what it means and stands for. But at some point on most issues if you do not have the public with you, I think you have to say that the people have spoken.
Suppose in a few years we have a majority and do (pipe dream) get it repealed, and 2/3 of the American people have realized what it is all about and are glad we did have it repealed. But the minority party ignores that “will of the people” and continues to fight viciously through all means fair or foul to undo the repeal. Isn’t that where you start to run into tyranny of the minority?
Do you ever vote for it or support it? Absolutely not. But at some point you do need to start factoring in the voices of your constituents to some degree.
Comment by philwynk
I’ve never included as a strategy taking my chips off the table unilaterally before the negotiations really began, nor can I think of too many instances where this would be a productive tool.
I’m really shocked, RM. The FIRST rule of negotiating is that you never, EVER, engage in it unless you’re willing to pick up your chips and leave the table. EVER. If you can’t walk away from a negotiation, you’re simply discussing the terms of your surrender.
I’ll bet you’ve used that as a tool, too. Come on now, you’ve never stood up from the table and said, “Well, then, I guess I need to take my business elsewhere?”
You’re never refused to negotiate because you consider the other guy a scumbag with whom you simply refuse to do business?
Rethink this one.
Comment by suek
>>Does the representative have the right…
Yes, the representative can do exactly what he wants there, nothing written in law constrains his actions…
Of course, that may limit his terms in office>>
Exactly. When I say “does he have the right”, what I mean is really “what is his duty”. If the issue was discussed during an election and the representative is open and honest about his position, then there really shouldn’t be a problem. The problem comes when 1) the issue has no background that the voting public is aware of during the election or 2) the representative decides that there are personal benefits to changing his stated position.
I think Stupak got into that situation. I’ll be very disappointed – but not terribly surprised – to find out that he’s offered some very lucrative position come next spring. He’s anticipating “the axe”, but he knew that, and I’ll bet Obama promised that there would be recompense.
I’d rather be wrong.
Comment by suek
>>The FIRST rule of negotiating is that you never, EVER, engage in it unless you’re willing to pick up your chips and leave the table. EVER.>>
I hear you. I really agree with you. But…
What about situations where you _can’t_ leave the table? Somehow you _must_ reach a conclusion? In this case, the only other options are – as you suggest – secession, or another military action such as the civil war. Those are the only ways to get those chips off the table this time, and either is a terrible price to pay.
That doesn’t negate your statement, I realize, but it sure gives pause to a point that reaches that point.
Comment by Gordon
“2/3 of the people did NOT want Obamacare and the Democrats rolled us anyway. That is a battle that should be joined and could be the proverbial hill to die on if you are a conservative.”
While I don’t remotely believe the 2/3 figure. It is a whipped-up number to get the slightly less than 50% madder. And that is fine…that is politics.
However, I don’t think percentages matter in a Republic. I should think conservatives should be willing to die on the hill where we believe the country is going off a cliff if it goes further.
Suek, I DON’T believe a representative has a duty to poll his constituents contantly to see what they want. He is there, was put there by them to do what he thinks is best. If 90% of the people wanted to put the means of production into the hands of the government, a true Conservative would cease to be a conservative if he compromised on that just for the sake of a future election.
Comment by RM
Sure. There are people/groups that I do not or would not do business with. There have been a number of situations where I’ve simply walked away from the table so to speak.
But in this case, the Republicans have no choice but to deal with the Democrats and with the fait accompli of the existing legislation. They are the parties to the negotiation if that is what we want to call it.
One of the strongest “chips” so to speak, in our favor is that in this case, as of right now, the Republicans have the American people in their corner. I question whether it will last, but right now, there is a lot of righteous anger among Republicans and even among the constituents of the Democrat legislators who rammed this debacle through. In spite of being in the minority as a party, this gives the Republicans some leeway, at least some strength to work with.
To me, you start with your strongest position and put it out there: “You guys rammed this through against the will of the American people, using treachery and dishonest tactics, and we’re calling you out on it. All our efforts are going into dragging this monstrosity, and how you have corrupted the legislative process, into the light of day for as long as it takes to make sure everyone understands every horrendous implication of what you have dumped in this bill. Once we have exposed you for the rats you are, we are going for complete repeal of what you have done. You are all going to pay the price for doing what even you, in your heart of hearts, know was wrong. And we have the voters behind us to ensure you will pay the price.”
To me, you start out somewhere along those lines, rather than staking out an initial position by stating in public that what really needs to be done is to work with the good parts of the bill that have been put in place, and tinker with the fringes.
These are obviously exaggerations of both positions, but hopefully this illustrates the point I was trying to make. You lead with what strengths you have and go from there. I understand you cannot ultimately let the perfect be the enemy of the good. But you don’t start off by playing from weakness – at least in this case, IMO.
As for dealing with scumbags, I really don’t see how we avoid it here. Our side HAS to deal with the Democrats. If we walk away from the table, we either get nowhere, or we go where suek is talking about, which is a very dark place indeed. We may get there, but at this point we have to play the hand we were dealt. There certainly may come a time when we or our representatives have to walk away because there is nowhere else to go, but I am not quite there yet.
Comment by Gordon
Here’s a question of interest – did the Democrats break any rules, procedural or constitutional, in what they did? I have yet to see anything that would convince me that this is so. I also have yet to be convinced that the “majority” of the American people were staunchly opposed to the Health Care Reform.
And I disagree with you: Many Dems believed they were doing EXACTLY the right thing in passing this bill. And I will tip my hat to those who did, and who are not Scumbags (there are quite a few).
However – just as the Dems used the anger at GWB to ride a wave to power, and get this thing passed, the GOP must take similar advantage of the current situation, especially if the economy continues to falter. Get in there and fix the problems with this thing – do NOT repeal it, though, without replacing it with something smarter. That we in the GOP did precisely nothing productive about health care in the several terms we were in power, even though we could see the Status Quo was going to overwhelm the country, is a spot on our record. It’s time to look progressive – in the RIGHT meaning of the word : )
Comment by RM
“Here’s a question of interest – did the Democrats break any rules, procedural or constitutional, in what they did?”
I don’t know. My guess is that their legal bases are probably covered. But I also would have guessed that they would have been smart enough not to potentially jeopordize their own coverage through poor drafting. Whoulda thunk? I guess the legal eagles are sorting some of that out even as we speak.
“I also have yet to be convinced that the “majority” of the American people were staunchly opposed to the Health Care Reform.”
I’m not going to do a link search or try to send you on one. But every poll I read over the last month or so of this indicted clearly to me that a majority in the two thirds range either wanted no parts of the legislation, or wanted it amended/started over/given more thought, etc. I think it is likely many if not most favored some sort of health care reform, but not Obamacare as per the recent legislation.
“And I disagree with you: Many Dems believed they were doing EXACTLY the right thing in passing this bill.”
Many may have truly believed they were doing the right thing by America in passing the bill. But from my point of view, most could not have been proud about how this wormed its way through the system.
Obama’s going on the record pre-election about how you cannot govern at 51% when it comes to sweeping legislation, then undercutting his own statement by pushing this through knowing it would squeak by at best, then callously saying he really didn’t much care about the procedural nuts and bolts. Jamming sweeping legislation of this nature through with the reconciliation process, even as they admitted they did not know what was really in the bill. Obama’s cynical failure to give more than lip service to any Republican ideas (tort reform, portability), labeling them the “Party of No”, and then adding insult to injury by maintaining that if any Republicans had any input, he was all ears. Manipulation of CBO numbers. Can anyone maintain that the average American citizen has much idea of what is even in this bill, let alone what some of the implications are down the road? It goes on and on.
I can’t dissect the legal arguments, but I do know when something stinks, and this does by any measure. And I think, deep down, where they live, if they have any soul, many Democrats know this was a travesty that would not have made our founding fathers proud of how we are governing.
Comment by suek
>>I think, deep down, where they live, if they have any soul, many Democrats know this was a travesty that would not have made our founding fathers proud of how we are governing.>>
I think you’re wrong. As teens (and young adults) often regard their parents as being “old fashioned” and of the opinion that “old fashioned” means that they are ignorant because they obtained their wisdom in a different period, I think the Dems consider the Founding Fathers and the Constitution irrelevant…pretty smart for people who lived in practically prehistoric times (especially since they rewrite history all the time). I think they’re very pleased with themselves because they _WON_!!! and as far as they’re concerned, that’s all that counts.
Comment by Dr.D
Whether we get it repealed or not, the ball is not entirely in our court. The rest of the world is watching, and they are looking with alarm at our disintegrating American economy. In particular, they are looking at the declining American dollar and our soaring national debt. The cost of ObamaCare may drive us into national default sooner than will happen otherwise. So do we repeal it and last a few years longer, or do we keep it and go over the edge that much sooner? The whole world goes with us when we go.