Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Millions for Defense....not one penny for health care?

Its time to say what we ought all to be thinking. If we can't get the Stimulus passed, with bells and whistles, over Republican objections we are not.ever.getting.national.health.care. We might get something, but we won't get much. The optics? The strategy? the cleverness? the whatever? None of this matters. The Republicans are hell bent on destroying the Obama administration in its cradle. Better infanticide, as far as they are concerned, than letting it grow to maturity. And they are showing every sign that they are going to be able to do so. Gregg--the man who wanted to destroy the commerce department to run commerce? And with the agreement that his replacement will vote with the Republicans? Franken still sidelined an unable to vote? Kennedy too sick to vote? The debate on the Stimulus on the floor of the Senate led to a Democratic amendment to increase funding for infrastructure spending being voted down. Without Kennedy, Franken, etc... and with the defection of a few Dems (Nelson!) we couldn't even get our own amendment approved.

What is supposed to change with the appointment of a health care czar, Daschle or not Daschle? Obama and his team are going to have to grasp that there simply is going to be no bipartisanship. They've locked up the republican votes they can lock up with sweet reason--that is to say Snowe. They've neutered the votes they can--that is to say Gregg. Now they are going to have to play hardball--and I mean hard ball--with the rest. That means having constituents and Governors do the armtwisting. That means going to the money guys and telling them that if they want any legislation favors done for them in the next four years they have to withdraw all money from Republican Senators who don't vote the way Obama wants them to. That means running vicious, angry, bitter, ugly ads in every district where a Senator or a Congressman is up for re-election in 2010 as the DCCC is already doing. It means an end to Senatorial comity. It means calling up Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu and telling them you are going to pour money in to primaries from the left. Because if you can't get the stimulus passed as the country literally falls into the gutter you will never get health care passed. And at this point with people losing their jobs every day we are going to be looking at a massive health care crisis of both immiediate and long range impact. Every day that a person is out of work and out of health care means minor and major things ignored. In one, two, and three years an uninsured population is going to go from being a little bit sick to being permanently damaged. And, of course, all those people who fall out of the system over the next year or two are going to be, essentially, uninsurable as long as "pre-existing conditions" govern whether they can get insurance in the future. If we are ever to pull ourselves out of this self destructive spiral the Republican party and its leaders and its representatives are going to need to be defenestrated with extreme prejudice. There is simply no other way.