« SD State Legislature on Global Warming | Main | Democrats in Disarray »

Friday, February 26, 2010


Brian Rush

"The President's health care reform summit is over, and not a lot happened. That is a victory for Republicans, many of whom were terrified in advance, and a defeat for President Obama, who apparently thought he could accomplish something there."

He did accomplish something, and this is a victory for the presidet, not for Republicans. If you think he put on the summit for the reasons he said he did -- to encourage bipartisan cooperation and pass a truly consensus health care bill -- either you're hopelessly naive or you think he is. This was an opportunity for the president to air the fact that the Republicans don't want serious health care reform. They cooperated completely. Senator Alexander stated straight up that he doesn't believe the government can or should enact comprehensive reform of the system. The other Republicans said the same thing in different words.

What this will do is to deflect any criticism when the Democrats pass their version of health care reform without a single Republican vote. Since President Obama is NOT hopelessly naive, he always knew that it would come in the end to that. He set up the Republicans to help him show the country why.


If you have to pay bribes to get the votes you need, it can't be good legislation. The American people realize that and are overwhelmingly opposed to "comprehensive" reform as it's being presented in any of the Democrats plans.

"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood . . ."
- James Madison


Brian: Thanks for the comment. You accuse me of being naive because I believe the President wasn't lying when he said what the health care summit was all about. I assure you, and I am not naive about the President's honesty.

Your view of the outcome of the summit is contradicted by nearly every major news outlet. See John Dickerson's analysis at Slate.com. Dickerson thinks, rightly, that the President won and the Republicans won because both looked reasonable. That means that the Democrats lost.

William: I disagree that "If you have to pay bribes to get the votes you need, it can't be good legislation". If by "bribes" you mean trading benefits for votes, that's called logrolling, and it's how the Congress has always worked.

But I agree with the rest of your comment. The people know well enough what this legislation is about, and they're against it.



I understand logrolling but I do feel that in order to pass these particular bills the logs must have been cut from Sequoia trees and reached a level that may appropriately be described as bribes.


William: I don't think we disagree on anything important here. I would just emphasize that the fact that members of Congress are being offered something for their vote is not in itself suspect, so long as the offer is something that they can legitimately bargain for. The question here is whether the bargains were fair or not. The fact that the deal made with what's his name from Nebraska was withdrawn indicates otherwise.



Agreed, it certainly appears that some of the "logs" rolled in this case might not even pass Constitutional muster.

The comments to this entry are closed.