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View Full Version : U.S. Issues POLITICO: Avoiding Health Care 'I Told You So'


RINGLEADER
11-16-2009, 11:53 AM
In an interview shortly before his retirement in 2001, the late Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-N.Y.) issued a warning:

“Never pass major legislation that affects most Americans without real bipartisan support. It opens the door to all kinds of political trouble.”

He said not only will the party that didn’t vote for it feel free to take shots at the resulting program whenever things go wrong, but also a large segment of the public will never accept it unless it is an overwhelming success. Every glitch will be magnified by a loud chorus of partisan opponents saying, “I told you so,” Moynihan said.

So what are Democrats planning to do? Ignore Moynihan’s warning and ram through health care reform as a basically one-party bill, which, under Moynihan’s thesis, is a prescription for trouble — big trouble — even if Democrats get one or two moderate Senate Republicans to go along. A lone Republican, Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, who represents a heavily Democratic district in New Orleans, voted for the measure in the House. So on the outside, health care reform could conceivably pass Congress with as few as one Republican vote, maybe two if someone from the Senate gets on board.

President Barack Obama likes to refer to many things he is doing in his first year in office as “unprecedented.” And while legislation passed on a party-line vote is not unprecedented, one would be hard-pressed to cite one piece of major legislation affecting most Americans that passed that way over the past half-century. Except for one: Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan, approved in February.

• Civil Rights Bill (1964): With Democrats in control of Congress, and most Southern Democrats opposed, the bill would not have passed without a big chunk of Republican votes. In the House, 136 Republicans voted aye, 27 Republicans in the Senate.

• Medicare (1965): Again, with Democrats in control, 70 House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans voted for it.

• Welfare Reform (1996): With Republicans in charge of Congress — and a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, pushing for it — 98 House Democrats and 25 Senate Democrats voted in favor. (Moynihan voted against it.)

• No Child Left Behind (2001): While this was a major initiative of Republican President George W. Bush, 43 Senate Democrats and 198 House Democrats voted for it, including now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

• Tax cuts (2001): 12 Senate Democrats and 28 House Democrats voted for the primarily Republican plan.

• Iraq War Resolution (2002): 29 Senate Democrats and 81 House Democrats voted in favor.

• Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (2003): 11 Senate Democrats and 16 House Democrats voted for it. Without them, the measure would have failed.

Yet even these did not pass without partisan bickering afterward, much of which continues to this day. Imagine if they had been one-party bills.

One very recent measure that passed by a nearly party-line vote — the 2009 economic stimulus bill — received zero Republican votes in the House and squeaked through the Senate with just three GOP ayes. Republicans, with little stake in the measure’s success, have been shooting at it ever since, as Moynihan predicted.

“This bill is supposed to be about jobs, jobs, jobs, and it’s turned into nothing more than spend, spend, spend,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The sweeping health care reform bill as now drafted would, in practice, be an uncertainty at best, a debacle at worst. Democrats are trying to paint Republican refusal to get on board as obstructionism. Compromise, however, never appeared to be on the table. Therefore, success or failure, health care reform passed only by Democrats will forever be identified as a Democratic program, for better or for worse.

Given the political risks, it appears this is a gamble Democrats are willing to take. They see its success as cementing a Democratic majority of voters for decades to come. Failure could have the opposite effect. Republicans would be free to echo Moynihan and say, “We told you so.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29546.html

RINGLEADER
11-16-2009, 11:55 AM
An interesting political article though the conclusion that bi-partisan support innoculates you from criticism was pretty much refuted by both the 2001 tax cuts and NCLB Act as well as the 2002 Iraq War Resolution (among others).

mlyonsd
11-16-2009, 12:26 PM
....as well as the 2002 Iraq War Resolution (among others).

I always wondered how democrats got away with standing up and giving long, detailed speeches on how bad Saddam was in 2002 and then later turn right around and declare that supposedly the stupidest president to ever attempt walking and chewing gum had completely out smarted and tricked them into it.

HC_Chief
11-16-2009, 01:53 PM
I always wondered how democrats got away with standing up and giving long, detailed speeches on how bad Saddam was in 2002 and then later turn right around and declare that supposedly the stupidest president to ever attempt walking and chewing gum had completely out smarted and tricked them into it.

"Thay played on are feers!"[sic]

Funny, same thing that fat douche did with cherry-picked junk science in his abortion of a "documentary". Oh well, it won him the Nobel, didn't it? Oh wait, that's right, they hand those things out just pretty much anyone these days. Almost forgot.

BucEyedPea
11-16-2009, 02:02 PM
I always wondered how democrats got away with standing up and giving long, detailed speeches on how bad Saddam was in 2002 and then later turn right around and declare that supposedly the stupidest president to ever attempt walking and chewing gum had completely out smarted and tricked them into it.

Because it's about political party power. Anything to get power again is okay.