Media amnesia: Bill Clinton persuaded Senate Dems to pass Obamacare in 2009
The former president used the same ‘fix it later’ argument in November of 2009 to persuade reluctant faux Blue Dog Democrats to pass Obamacare after Majority Leader Harry Reid had twice failed to ram President Obama’s signature legislation through the U.S. Senate.
Despite the past five years-and-counting of President Barack Hussein Obama’s serial prevarications including who drew red lines in Syria and how a quickly-passed stimulus bill would keep unemployment under 8% and create millions of shovel-ready jobs; Bill Clinton remains the most accomplished liar in the Democratic firmament:
Obama dubbed Clinton the “secretary of explaining stuff” a year ago after the former Democratic president gave a rousing prime time defense of Obama’s economic policies at the Democratic National Convention. Debate over Obamacare is still raging a month before new health insurance exchanges go live. The White House enlisted Clinton to try to turn the page on the rancor over Obama’s signature law, and kick off the push to get uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage.
“There are always drafting errors, unintended consequences, unanticipated issues,” Clinton said in a speech from his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas. ”We’re going to do better working together and learning together than we will trying over and over again to repeal the law, or rooting for reform to fail, and refusing to fix relatively simple matters,” he said.
Upon hearing yesterday’s ‘fix-it’ argument we thought it sounded familiar, yet neither the Huffington Post above nor other mainstream media stories touting Clinton’s rather tepid defense of Obamacare bothered to remind that the former president had to be enlisted to get the Orwellian-titled “Affordable Care Act” passed in the first place:
Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill, urging Senate Democrats to learn from his mistakes and pass healthcare reform. Emerging from the meeting, Clinton told reporters he urged Democrats to compromise when necessary, but to move a bill quickly.
“My argument was: This is an economic issue,” Clinton said. “The second thing is that on the policy, there is no perfect bill because there’s always going to be consequences. So there will be amendments to this effort, whatever they pass ….It’s not important to be perfect, but it’s important to move, to get the ball rolling.”
In essence, Clinton’s political message to Senate Democrats was: Failing to pass healthcare reform will endanger Democratic majorities in Congress.
“The worst thing we can do is nothing,” Clinton said on Tuesday.
Those were famous last words for the 60 House Democrats and 6 Democrat senators who lost their seats in the tea partier-driven GOP landslide in the mid-term Election of 2010. Sadly, too many Americans violated the Barney Fife Rule in 2012 and allowed themselves to be fooled twice by Barack Obama, thanks in part to Bill Clinton’s convention speech.
But even more sadly, the post-2010 Republican House has refused to fix the health care and insurance industries by using their constitutional power of the purse to de-fund a law that majorities of Americans have opposed since its initial passage. Many ruling class members are still persuaded by the myth that President Clinton had cleaned Speaker Newt Gingrich’s clock in government shutdown showdowns in the mid-to-late 90s, despite the fact that the GOP held both houses of Congress in every Clinton-Gore era election held after the supposed clock-cleaning.
In 2009-10, even with Democratic Party majorities in both houses including, significantly a 60-vote super-filibuster-proof number in the Senate, Obama still had to bribe two Democrats with the Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase and have Majority Leader Reid break the senate’s own rules to pass the bill after they lost the late-Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts’ senate seat in a special election. The bill became law with zero Republican votes.
The bill couldn’t be fixed in 2009 and can’t be fixed now, except by radical repeal and/or de-funding. Too many Republicans fear the price they may have to pay for taking such drastic action with Speaker Boehner’s defined, mere 1/2 of 1/3 of the government. Meanwhile the price being paid by Americans losing their full-time jobs or being cut to part-time and having the private health insurance premiums skyrocket goes ever higher as full-implementation proceeds apace despite waivers and delays.
But doesn’t Bill Clinton speak well.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson