EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for December 4, 2009
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Instead of using every trick in the book to defeat Sen. Harry Reid’s government-run health plan, Senate GOP leadership is idly sitting by while Democrats tweak the bill to buy off votes. Instead of doing everything in its power to block a bill that is solidly opposed by more voters than not, Senate GOP leadership is allowing Sen. Reid to process amendments and move the trains as if this bill, the largest government takeover of the private sector in American history, represented nothing out of the ordinary. With each passing amendment, Democrats become closer and closer to buying off the all-important 60th vote.
To fully grasp the near-criminal ineffectiveness of the party’s current strategy, just peruse the following news stories and ask yourself, “Do narratives like these increase or decrease the likelihood of Senate approval of government-run health care?”
- AP: “The 61-39 roll call Thursday by which the Senate adopted an amendment to safeguard coverage of mammograms and preventive screening tests for women under a revamped health care system.”
- Reuters: “U.S. Senate bolsters preventive care for women”
- Bloomberg: Senate Approves Plan to Boost U.S. Mammogram Testing
Top GOP leaders have mistakenly convinced themselves that the key to defeating the bill is to process a number of Republican “messaging” amendments while letting Democrats offer whatever amendments are necessary to buy 60 votes.
There are three fatal problems with this strategy: 1) leadership insists on pushing its own too-clever-by-half “message” instead of listening to the clear message faxed, e-mailed and phoned to every elected official in Washington (“KILL THE BILL!”), 2) as evidenced by the articles above, the current “messaging strategy” is an abysmal failure, and 3) by allowing amendments to be processed at no cost to the majority party, GOP leaders are merely greasing the skids for government-run health care.
In the movie “Braveheart,” William Wallace tells Robert the Bruce, a noble who had the desire but not the guts to do the right thing, “Men don’t follow titles; they follow courage.” It would be refreshing to see more of the latter from those with the former in the United States Senate.
Apparently, they held an anti-Stupak rally yesterday in D.C. in an effort to sway the Senate’s deliberations on Obamacare. You may not have heard about it because no almost no one came. In any event, at this rally, some sad excuse for an alleged Christian minister made the following statement . . .
When Republicans ran Washington, Democrats regularly complained that they were terrible managers. They argued that because of Republican incompetence, deficits were high, deadlines were missed, money was wasted, and rules were ignored. It called to mind PJ O’Rourke’s famous quote about Republicans: The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.
But if Republicans were inefficient when they had control of Congress and the White House, Democrats are worse. As we approach the end of the year, they seem to have accomplished almost none of the basic functions needed to keep the government running . . .
I believe, as does Der Spiegel, that Obama doesn’t really mean what he says about Afghanistan.
Though not a fan of Der Spiegel, I think they have this one right. In trying to find some modicum of “hope” in Obama’s campaign trail-like rhetoric, all I came up with was a terrible speech full of lies, half-truths, emptiness and half-heartedness. He really doesn’t want to deal with a war when there’s so much to be done, still, with his domestic agenda. For all the talk about security and a strong America, what Obama really wants (and has wanted all along) is to get OUT of the warfighting business all together and settle in to the Federal takeover of America’s private sector.
The United States Senate Judiciary Committee just voted along party lines, 12-7, to send the nomination of liberal activist Judge Louis B. Butler Jr. to the floor of the Senate. The Democrats did so, according to friends inside the room, in a disrespectful manner… talking over Republicans who wished to voice their disapproval and tried to – heaven forbid in the U.S. Senate – actually debate the nominee. I am told Schumer and Whitehouse were on their cell phones, and a number of Democrat Senators were talking loudly during the limited debate they even allowed.