Monday, March 22, 2010

Frumpy puts hands on hips...

David Frum is a RINO in conservative garb. His response to the vote on health care reform was "na na, I told you so...." level. Let's start:

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

David, really, kinda hard to have a "crushing defeat" when you sit out the game on the bench. Did you notice the Dems had a majority in the House? Yea....see, when that happens, the majority can kinda get it's way no matter how hard you play. And in the Senate? Filibuster proof majority for 6 months...oppss. No GOP required for passage. Health Care Reform was a done deal on Jan 20, 2009.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

A basketball team spends 60 minutes shooting hoops with NO opponents and the score ends up 3-zip and it is a HUGE loss? Really? Ever see an empty net goal in hockey? Real skill necessary...

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

What is over optimistic? Getting control of the House back? That was a foregone conclusion 3 months ago. Even if the majority is by 1 vote....34 Dems voted AGAINST health care reform.

I doubt ANYONE that pays even the slightest attention thinks the GOP will take the Senate, it would have to be a perfect sweep. GOP is not perfect, by any stretch of the RINO's tail.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

Ah, here it comes. Once passed, legislation is forever. Like the Liberal lock on Congress for the next 8 years? Like the Conservatives lost in a wilderness for decades? The chance of it being repealed is good now, if Obama crams a few more items down the GOP throat over the next 4-6 months, it will be much better. If he backs off (why should he?) less so.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

So far, not really. Though there are a ton of Republicans that are whining that the damn conservatives staying home in Nov 08 and not voting for McCain caused this mess. Maybe you agree...?

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

Yep! But let's see if he really means, Conservatives....and just throws in Republicans for cover...

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Let's see. We have a fundamental objection to the premise that the Federal Government, 1) should be mandating individual purchases of mandated insurance coverage and 2) should be providing individual health care, but we should compromise, negotiate SOMETHING? Ok. How about allowing insurance purchases across state lines? Something SIMPLE. Yea, no. We should accept the premise that the ONLY possible path is the Federal Government destroying our health care insurance system and work from there.

The RINOs were considering it! Right up until Obama said, "I won" and so he gets what he wants. His ball, his rules. His marbles, his game.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

Yea. 53%, not 60%. So, because the Dem caucus is this big mighty machine, we should approach the Dias, hold out our hands and say, "Please sir?" We should get down on our knees and say thank you for the table scraps? You're not a RINO, your a GECKO (getting enthusiastic condescension, keep obeying).

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Still thinking like we are in this game. Useful spectators. After 14 months of inept leadership, screwed up planning, the only team on the court scored ONE basket and WE screwed up?

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

OH hell! RomneyCare has been such a STELLAR success! Here we get to see Obamacare in action and after 3 years we want to EXPAND it nationally? You've got to be kidding - or walking around with brown on your nose. Tell me which ideas were developed for a STATE program that are a foundation for a Federal Gov program?

I have gone in search of these elusive ideas at Heritage, email response pending, but let me consider the context: Republican ideas? You mean like Medicare Part D? Certainly not CONSERVATIVE ideas. Maybe a federal regulator for insurance sold across state lines? Certainly not a mandated level of coverage?

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

I agree. Obama wanted Republican cover. He clearly did not want Republican ideas. He hoped for RINO complicity in his attempt to socialize medicine - who knew the biggest obstacle to his goal was the Democratic caucus!? RINOs don't care about conservative points of view - that has been clearly articulated with regards to the reception of Sarah Palin. I for one am not willing to give Obama cover, nor to accept government interference in my liberties because POLITICALLY it was the RINO thing to do. We have as big a mess as we do in this country BECAUSE of that crap sandwich.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

Yea. Probably not repealed. I'll settle for gutting the thing, starving it and leaving it's rotting corpse on the President's front lawn. Rahm will get the visual. As for 'fixing' items, we can do that without forcing 80% of people to change their health care options. And we can do it for a hell of a lot less money. I think a life preserver for our current system is better than trying to build a new ship while the Titanic sinks. And sinking is what the current, and future version of government run health care is doing.

Really, you want to pander to a 25 year old living with his parents? OH. MY. GOD. Because of course the 25 year old is going to vote CONSERVATIVE....

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

The money quote. Radical = conservative. Abject defeat in a game we weren't even playing in and NEVER had a chance to even score in? Frumpy wanted to show we could be good little servants. Doing as we are told by our betters. Screw that. Obama and Congress are SERVANTS to us! And the Republicans either have learned that lesson or realized they better pretend to have learned that lesson because the Conservative beast is awake and pissed.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

Those leaders were/are cowards. Servants at their masters feet. Willing to accept scraps of power by furthering our descent into government control. This is not a movement led by Rush, or Hannity, or Beck. This is a movement led by citizens that have taken our rightful place as supervisors of the public servants. No longer willing to abdicate our responsibilities, we have dragged the establishment kicking and, that is not right, we have gone and they have raced to catch up.

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government.

Talk radio does no harm....except to the carefully crafted illusion that Republicans have got everything under control if the damn conservatives would just shut up and do as they are told. Hysterical accusations? Gee, sounds like a Huffer to me. Are you going to call us racists too?

Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail.

Ah, yea. If by Republicans you mean RINOs? As long as Republicans were going to buy into the Obama plans, then to that extent, we ALL want you and Obama to fail.

If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

Damn, Frumpy IS a Huffer. It is all about the crass profit motive! Rush just wants to sell ads! Frumpy thinks the tea parties are just useful idiots for the corporate interests. Hey Frumpy, the tea parties started WITHOUT Rush. They are growing with or without his help. But this is not about Rush, this is about conservatives, not Republicans. The power structure is collapsing around the Republican elite system of going along to get along so that when their turn comes they can have a few crumbs for their retirement and friends.

Business as usual is coming to an end Frumpy. No longer are citizens willing to listen to their elite 'betters' that know better. We have moved inexorably towards socialism whether it is a Democrat or Republican in the White House, whether it is a Democrat or Republican Congress.

Done. Finished. Right now, the entire edifice of political differences is crumbling. Citizens are realizing that it is not just Democrats, but Republicans also that seek power and control and are willing to sell us down the path of socialism for their own aggrandizement. Screw you Frumpy and the Republican mindset that you seek to reassert.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

Republican values? WHAT Republican values? How about Principles? What about limited government, not just slower growing government? What about free markets, not just broader government choices? Obamacare lite would not be a win for free-market economics or freedom, or liberty. It would a slightly slower erosion of them.

I hope this is a Waterloo for Republicans. The sooner they, and you Frumpy, learn that Republican better equal conservative rather than democrat-lite, the faster you both may have some relevance in OUR future.

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