"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Can the Health Care "Reform" Bill Survive the Senate?

So HR 3962 passed the House 220 - 215. Nearly 2000 pages of business micromanaging / regulation, legislated stagflation, penalties (including jail time) for noncompliance, and incentives to keep paid wages low and unemployment high. Brilliant. I don't think the Wall Street Journal was exaggerating when the paper declared HR 3962 to be "the worst bill ever."

While I am astonished that such a bill could exist, even in this political climate, it is not surprising to me that it passed. Obama, Pelosi, and the rest pushed hard on this, brought enough of the Blue Dogs to heal and have, for the past year, been busily ushering in a new era of divisiveness while hypocritically preaching bipartisanship. This polarizing, you're-either-with-us-or-against-us mentality bullies people to act and vote beyond reason and logic.

It is unreasonable to vote for $1 trillion dollars of non-essential spending amid a recession and a 10.2% unemployment rate, while two mostly ignored wars are being fought. It is unreasonable to believe that the U.S. government could do a better job of regulating the medical industry than it did regulating the housing market and manipulating interest rates. It is unreasonable to release a 2000 page bill on Oct. 30, force a vote on Nov. 7, and then claim due deliberation and transparency. It is unreasonable for a president to stand before Congress and the American people, declare that he will not sign a bill that increases the deficit by one dime or requires cuts in Medicare benefits, then essentially renege on that promise within two months, and believe that the American people will not notice.

Of course all this has nothing to do with reason and everything to do with agendas and the delivery of political promises to those deemed by the Washington elite as being of consequence-- to those who matter.

The Senate will need 60 votes to bypass a filibuster over the issue. There are essentially 60 Democrats (2 kinda/sorta independents-- Lieberman CT and Sanders VT) currently in the Senate. How will the chamber respond?

In the years past, I would've predicted the passage of a typical, slightly watered down bill. But the current political climate is not analogous to the climates of the recent past.

The House has shoved a massive bill down our throats with a stunning lack deliberation and a casual ignorance of the will of the majority of the American people. I firmly believe the response of the Senate will depend on the response of the American people to this bill's passage through the House. If we behave subdued, defeated, tamely distraught, then the bill will pass largely unchanged. If we stand idle and mutely confirm that we believe Washington knows what is best for our individual lives, then the bill will pass largely unchanged through the Senate. And if we show that we are not disinterested in the political process, despite our lives, families and careers, that we will hold those responsible accountable to their votes, then it will be unlikely to pass at all.

Obama and Pelosi have demonstrated nothing but arrogant disdain and contempt for those who oppose their wishes. Among her numerous slights, Pelosi has famously published an editorial in which she stated protesters to her agendas were "un-American." Just today Obama has characterized, not for the first time, those who stand against his policies and positions as extremists. From the New York Times (h/t Anne Leary @ Backyard Conservative): "According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, the president asked, 'Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit' Democratic voters 'and it will encourage the extremists.'"

We can allow ourselves to be discouraged by elected officials unresponsive to the concerns of their constituents. We can allow ourselves to be bullied into silence. We can allow ourselves to lapse into a listless malaise amid baseless accusations of racism and extremism, and disingenuous questioning of our patriotism. But it defies the basic precepts of representative democracy to do so.

Joseph de Maistre's assertion from Lettres et Opuscules Inédits, "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite" (Every country has the government it deserves), has been largely accepted as common wisdom in the United States. Americans are now being called upon to determine what kind of government they will earn.

If we believe federal bureaucrats should determine our health insurance coverage, then we should remain silent. If we believe health care should be rationed under the Left's concept of "social justice," then we should stay in our homes. If we believe that medical funding should be based on lobbying and the political stylishness of diseases, then we should simply shake our heads and go on with the business of our families and careers.

The answer to the question posed in this post's title, is yes. But only if we allow it to.



UPDATE: Check out Dr. Helen's piece on "Anger is an energy."

From the post: "[Johnny] Rotten's [of the Sex Pistols] line [anger is an energy] is a good one as a metaphor for the fight against a statist government that desires to take over our liberty, our economy, and even our very lives. Often, I hear Republicans and conservatives say that we are 'doomed.' This negative cognitive self-talk is pathetic. It is crippling. Don't engage in it.

"You are never doomed until you are dead. There is always something that can be done. The anger of the American public is only just beginning. It is an energy that will be needed in the coming days, weeks and months to protest, stand up, debate, argue and get in the face of every government official, public figure and others who support a bill that leads us down The Road to Serfdom.

"And even if the bill passes, we can continue the fight, for they have won only a cultural battle, not the culture war. Culture changes politics, not the other way around. I will be fighting back against a culture that leads to less individual autonomy in every way I know how. Will you?"

UPDATE 2: Here's a list of Blue Dog Democrats who voted in favor of the $1 trillion+ health care "reform:"

Congressman Arcuri - New York's 24th congressional district - R+2.

Congressman Baca - California's 43rd congressional district - D+13.

Congressman Berry - Arkansas 1st congressional district - R+8.

Congressman Bishop - Georgia's 2nd congressional district - D+1.

Congressman Boswell - Iowa's 3rd congressional district - D+1.

Congressman Cardoza - California's 18th congressional district - D+4.

Congressman Carney - Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district - R+8.

Congressman Cooper - Tennessee's 5th congressional district - D+3.

Congressman Costa - California's 20th congressional district - D+5.

Congressman Cuellar - Texas' 28th congressional district. - EVEN.

Congresswoman Dahlkemper - Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district - R+3.

Congressman Donnelly - Indiana's 2nd congressional district - R+2.

Congressman Ellsworth - Indiana's 8th congressional district - R+8.

Congresswoman Giffords - Arizona's 8th congressional district - R+4.

Congresswoman Harman - California's 36th congressional district - D+12.

Congressman Hill - Indiana's 9th congressional district - R+6.

Congressman Mechaud - Maine's 2nd congressional district - D+3.

Congressman Mitchell - Arizona's 5th congressional district - R+5.

Congressman Moore - Kansas 3rd congressional district - R+3.

Congressman Murphy - Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district - D+2.

Congressman Pomeroy - North Dakota's at-large congressional district - R+10.

Congressman Salazar - Colorado's 3rd congressional district - R+5.

Congresswoman Sanchez - California's 47th congressional district - D+4.

Congressman Schiff - California's 29th congressional district - D+14.

Congressman Scott - Georgia's 13th congressional district - D+15.

Congressman Space - Ohio's 18th congressional district - R+7.

Congressman Thompson - California's 1st congressional district - D+13.

Congressman Wilson - Ohio's 6th congressional district - R+2.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!

    My Congress critter, a "moderate," is on the Aye list, of course.

    Linked at Bread upon the Waters.