Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today's Must Reads/Prep for today's political theater

William A. Jacobson's article Now Is Not The Time for Weakness. Go read.

The Obama plan contains fiscal gimmicks and gamesmanship which will lead to crushing deficits and debt; sanctions government intrusion into our lives unlike anything we have seen before; will lead to the destruction of a private insurance system which, while not perfect, delivers coverage to the overwhelming majority of Americans in a satisfactory manner; will result in the demoralization of our most honored profession, reducing medical care to the lowest common denominator in the cause of a false sense of fairness; and reflects the ultimate hubris of ideological, power drunk people who have proven themselves unworthy of

Roger Kimbal on health care (who gets the hat tip for the previous quote):

Are you listening? Obama & Co. require, prohibit, mandate, ban. That’s what it’s about, folks. Government deciding for you how and how much to pay (you can be sure it will be lots), what doctors you see, indeed, what sorts of doctors there are for you to see. Lenin put it more briefly still: the fundamental question of politics, he said, is Who-whom? “Whom,” it pains me to report, is us, the American people.

Tomorrow, we can all watch the little circus Obama has crafted for the credulous: the “bipartisan” “debate” over health care in which Obama, as master of ceremonies, will invite his Republican colleagues to demonstrate their “bi-partisanship” by acquiescing to the Democratic plan. The show is guaranteed to be a travesty, though not, I think, in the entertaining, theatrical sense.

Monday, Obama released his (unscored by the CBO) proposal on Health Care and today we get the political theater at Blair House. What is going to happen?

Which brings us to the summit itself. The best way for the president to bring grumbling and nervous Democrats together is to unite them against a common enemy, and it looks like the president wants Republicans to play the role of Snidely Whiplash. The president will claim that he has adopted the Senate proposal’s structure, along with some of the bigger giveaways from the House approach, to show that he has split the differences between the two. Then he will turn his fire on the Republicans for being obstructionist and callous to the problems of health care in this country.

This "obstructionist" charge is nothing but a sound-bite answer designed to be easily digested by the leftard crowd. The White House puts it out, and it proliferates everywhere. Even here.

The response to this obstructionism, is "Reconciliation." Daniel Foster on Reconciliation and he's got that Naked Emperor vid that is oh so amusing.

So while reconciliation is not the "nuclear option," the abuse of it accomplishes the same goal — an end-around on the rule that makes the Senate the Senate. (Cue the cries of "the Republicans did it on tax cuts!", which are perfectly irrelevant to this discussion.) If the Democrats were so interested, they could pursue the end of the filibuster just as the Republicans did with a much smaller caucus in 2005. At least that would be intellectually honest. But Senate Democrats won't do that, because at the end of the day they like the 60-vote threshold every bit as much as Republicans do.

But, the big meeting today is supposed to be a bi-partisan effort, right? Victor Davis Hanson has something to say about that:

Obama also just invited the Republican opposition to a summit at the White House to iron out differences over his stalled health-care legislation. Such a “let bygones, be bygones” group discussion likewise sounds like a good idea — given the climbing cost of health insurance and the millions who cannot afford it.

But the problem again is that such outreach is too little and comes too late — more than a year after Obama began his unilateral effort to have the government assume much of the nation’s health-care system. A year ago — with a supermajority in the Senate and basking in the swell of the November 2008 election — Obama didn’t worry much over the lack of Republican input.

Yea, but that didn't work out so well, did it? Republican obstructionism aside, heh, the Democratic super-majority couldn't get it done. Well, see how bipartisan today's meeting turns out to be.