March 24, 2010

Republican temper tantrum

I have to say that the passage of this bill has caused more anger and freakout from the right than I expected. Yeah, I expect the crazies in the Tea Party to freak. They thought this was the beginnings of the death chambers, or something. But normal Republicans? Reading Facebook updates and just looking around, I hear Republicans pulling out their hair. This "bill will ruin America," and is "taking us on the road to socialism."

Personally, I was accused of not caring about women with breast cancer (because the public government care would stop covering them if it got too expensive), that this bill was an expression of selfishness, and that I supported it only because I don't have kids and therefore don't give a shit about the future costs.

And no, I am not making any of that up. Christians I used to hang out with are girding their loins (it's a thing) to continue the good fight against....yeah, gearing up for a fight to take away access to healthcare for people who don't have it.

One assured me the issue was just the cost. He couldn't see how we could afford it. I kind of understand that, but in reality really do not. With all due respect to LB and the other thoughtful conservatives who read here, the credibility of the conservative movement on fiscal issues is, well, lacking. Under Bush we put two wars and Medicare Part D on the nation's credit card. Didn't even try to pay for them. What is more, at the same time we cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans. You look at the underlying issues for our current deficit, and the big three are Bush era tax cuts (that appears to be the biggest), our two wars, and the economic downturn. So where were you guys when your party admitted that it was "standard practice not to pay for things".

I remember talking with SOF (as well as on this blog) that once Democrats retook power, conservatives would rediscover several "values" including fiscal conservatism and the right to criticize the President. Sure enough, and with a vengeance, as if the previous 8 years simply did not happen. George Voinovich (in the above piece) defends his Medicare vote because the "economy is in worse shape (now) and Americans are more anxious." Yeah, no connection between those earlier votes and the economic situation, right? And no connection between Republican irresponsibility and the American anxiety? No connection between egging on the crazies and American anxiety about this bill?
"And on Sunday, Rep. Steve King of Iowa went outside the Capitol with a bullhorn and told the protesters, 'Let’s beat that other side to a pulp! Let’s take them out! Let’s chase them down! There’s going to be a reckoning!' You probably didn't hear about that one, because reporters were more interested in the buffoonish birther congressman from Texas who shouted 'Baby-killer!' on the floor of the House. But it's gotten to the point where when one of the people who make our laws tells a group of already frenzied protesters that they should 'beat that other side to a pulp,' it's barely worthy of notice."
Add that to the people waving signs like "we came unarmed--this time," and you can see my point. Republicans encouraging this kind of behavior is truly unbelievable--and almost as egregious as their sudden short term amnesia. After all, they put two wars and prescription drugs on the credit card, cut taxes, and then Obama's healthcare bill (paid for, or at least honestly tried to be paid for) is fiscally irresponsible?

Add to that the blatant misrepresentations about what this bill does, or that supposedly 2/3 of the American people oppose this bill (also told to me yesterday several times even though the actual polling shows that a majority either likes the bill or thinks it didn't go far enough) and you start to get my frustration.

Then, we turn to the Man Who Would have Been President and Nominated a truly Dumb VP Candidate and hear that he is declaring that since the Democrats dared pass a bill with a majority, they can expect absolutely no cooperation for the rest of the year. I am wondering where the cooperation was to begin with, given the party-line "no" on anything Obama wanted. But my party responded:
"For its part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office noted in a statement, 'The bottom line is that as millions of Americans are learning about the immediate benefits of health reform, Republicans are throwing a temper tantrum and grinding important Senate business to a halt.'"
That is about right. The churlish and vindictive McCain has had his feelings hurt, and is, along with the rest of the GOP kindergarten class, decided to throw a fit.

Grownup Republicans? You want me to stop dogging your party? Then get in there and take back your party.


leighton said...

Some of my family members are going so far as to rewrite their own history and claim that they were the ones who constantly criticized Bush for fiscal irresponsibility and starting two unnecessary wars, because they've never trusted any member of government. It really makes me glad I live 1200 miles away from my nearest relative.

LB said...


Thanks for your kind words in this post.

Safe to say that I politely disagree with much of what you have said, though you're overall point that the Bush years were fiscally irresponsilbe is undeniable.

You argue that the Democrats at least tried to pay for this particular health care bill. I really think that's just factually wrong. Any semblance of fiscal balance in this bill is merely the result of accounting tricks/double counting. CBO numbers reflected what Congress said it would do in the bill, such as cut Medicare spending. However, this is simply not going to happen. The Republicans know it, the Democrats know it, Santa Clause knows it. I don't think any real efforts have been made to pay for this bill.

I would like to articulate my point better with some better specifics, but hopefully you will see my point without that as I really need to be focused on my comps prep right now.

steves said...

One unfortunate result of the childish tantrums is that it is drowning out any legitimate concerns and critiques. I have heard some small business owners saying that they are worried about the costs of premiums rising, despite some of the incentives built into the reforms. I don't know if this is a valid concern or not, but at least they aren't crying about Marxism.

It would be nice if Congress could work on tweaking the legislation and set up some kind of effective oversight.

Streak said...

LB, I am a bit confused. The CBO has been used to defend Republican actions before. It may not be perfect, but this seems problematic.

Let me say that I think there has been at least 10 times as much effort at paying for this bill as there has been for any of the Bush initiatives and wars. And to be honest, I would prefer that my own taxes were raised to pay for this. I think we all should. This is worth funding.

Leighton, I too have heard similar claims. The best I can figure is that my conservative friends and relatives were outraged at the fiscal irresponsibility, as well as the torture regime. They just kept it to themselves and continued to vote Republican.