Roll Call posted a fascinating article on Wednesday detailing the growing sense of concern (or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it PANIC!) that many Congressional Democrats—especially those in marginally safe to contested seats—are experiencing over the rolling catastrophe of Obamacare’s implementation. For those who opposed the passage of the law in the first place, it’s a somewhat satisfying scene, which Jonah Goldberg is correct to refer to as a sort of “Schadenfreudarama.” Now, granted: it’s not a completely satisfying sort of schadenfreude; it would be much more satisfying if the consequences of the massive failure only affected those who insisted on pushing the thing through in the first place, and didn’t involve millions of people losing health insurance plans that they liked, with millions more likely on the way—along with the hardships that fact will entail for so many people. But in these days of chaos and confusion, I suppose I’ll take comfort in what little scraps of enjoyment come from watching those who supported this massive act of legislative malpractice scramble to save themselves from the consequences of their actions (which, of course, they had repeatedly been warned about).
But back to that article, which provides details on a meeting that occurred Wednesday between House Democrats and White House officials in which members of Congress basically demanded that the Obama Administration FIX THIS MESS. Some of the quotes in the article seem to me quite revealing of the mentality that prevails on the left side of the aisle in Congress*. For instance:
“Why can’t we call people who know how to do these things, who do it for corporate America, and say, ‘We have a website, fix it?’” asked Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y. “Maybe I’m being simplistic, but can’t we call Bill Gates up and say, ‘Take care of this?’ Or go to a college dorm and say, ‘You guys, you invented Yahoo, can you take care of this?’”
Allahpundit is right: this is the perfect way for Nancy Pelosi to end her tenure as Speaker of the House. Paternalistic? Check. Arrogant? Check. Detached from reality? Checky-check-check-check.
And so our shameless, reckless, intrusive, imperious, and borderline-tyrannical 111th Congress slimes its way across the finish line without a hint of regret or introspection. Here’s hoping that there’s enough time to undo the damage they did before the country collapses under the weight of all the debt.
Naturally, the effort failed, as Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is not an adult, but rather a political point-scoring machine. Granted, a badly programmed and defective machine, but a machine nonetheless:
What we learn from this, once again, is that a) Democrats have no ability to look beyond the next election, and b) Paul Ryan is still Superman.
…and should be kept away from Congress like the rest of them all the same. Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello had this to say back in March:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned up here (in Washington) and I didn’t really need to come up here to learn it, is the only way to get Congress to balance the budget is to give them no choice, and the only way to keep them out of the cookie jar is to give them no choice, which is why – whether it’s balanced budget acts or pay as you go legislation or any of that – is the only thing. If you don’t tie our hands, we will keep stealing”
Here’s the video:
For once, I believe we have a case of a Congressman telling us the truth. I look forward to seeing this chump’s hand’s tied in November. Hopefully he’ll be sent safely away from the Capitol where he can’t do any more legislative damage.
“I hope by next year we’ll have abolished Fannie and Freddie,” he said. Remarkable. And he went on to say that “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.” He then added, “I had been too sanguine about Fannie and Freddie.”
If only we could get more leftists to realize that the policies they push in order to “help” the poor and underprivileged more often than not end up hurting everyone – especially the poor and underprivileged that the left claims to care about so much. In the meantime, let’s enjoy this moment of sunshine from one of the worst members of Congress who will no doubt try to walk this back at some point when it’s politically convenient.
No doubt you’ve heard the story by now of Alvin “No Comment” Greene, who won the South Carolina Democrat Party primary for US Senate. He’s the nominee, with 61 percent of the vote, to run against (and presumably be slaughtered by) incumbent Republican Senator Jim DeMint.
The odd thing about Greene is… well, everything about the guy is odd. For starters, he’s an unemployed veteran of the US Air Force (he was discharged honorably, but not voluntarily – he was pushed out, apparently). No one really knew who he was, he got his campaign started by dropping off a $10,000 check to SC Dem party headquarters, and then did pretty much nothing to campaign. He claims the money was his own personal cash, but there’s that whole “unemployed veteran” thing that makes it seem unlikely that he’d have ten grand just laying around somewhere to blow on a US Senate campaign that he’s almost guaranteed to lose.
And it only gets stranger. It turns out that Mr. Greene is facing felony obscenity charges for showing obscene images to a female college student and then suggesting that they go up to her room. This occurred, apparently, not in a big public computer lab on the college campus, but in the smaller, card-access-only lab in a dorm housing mostly female freshmen. When questioned on this issue by pretty much every media outlet that has managed to get in touch with him, his only response is some form of “no comment.”
One might wonder why no one bothered to bring this up before the primary election so that the voters could, you know, vote intelligently, but that’s water under the bridge at this point. Horrible South Carolina congressman and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn is alleging that this is all part of some conspiracy to plant candidates in SC Congressional races, and for once I’d be inclined to agree… and yet, I just can’t bring myself to do so because I can’t get around the question of why? I mean, I suppose that perhaps the Republicans could have thrown Greene into the mix somehow, but why should they? DeMint is almost as close as the GOP gets to a lock. Why bother with the skullduggery in a race you’re almost guaranteed to win? And lord knows the SC Republicans have been sort of busy making themselves look like complete morons via their conduct in their own gubernatorial primary, what with all the allegations of infidelity and the “sacred honor” and whatnot.
After privately meeting with mystery Senate candidate Alvin Greene at a Columbia television station this afternoon, South Carolina State Rep. Bakari Sellers came away believing that Greene is sincere but perhaps misguided in his much-scrutinized bid for Senate.
“I don’t believe he’s a plant,” Sellers told TPMmuckraker in an interview after his meeting with Greene. “I think he just kind of doesn’t know what he’s getting into.”
Sellers added: “I don’t think there’s anything nefarious going on. I think he actually did save his money,” a reference to the $10,440 candidatefiling fee the unemployed Greene paid in March…
…Todd Rutherford, another Democratic state representative who met with Greene today alongside Sellers, told TPMmuckraker, “Before I got to my third question, I could tell that something was awry,” adding, “I don’t know whether everything is OK.”
Rutherford, an attorney, said that if Greene were his client, he would move for a mental evaluation. “If there’s a joke he doesn’t get the joke. If someone paid him to do this, they certainly exploited someone who is vulnerable. It’s not even funny, it’s just sad.”
So perhaps Greene is, in his own special way, legit. South Carolina Democrats have been calling for him to drop out now that the felony charges have come to light, but again, I have to say why should he? He was on the ballot; he had an opponent; the opponent presumably could have dug into Greene’s record and brought this to light before the election. And of course Greene hasn’t been convicted of anything, and he meets the basic legal requirements to run, so… why shouldn’t he run? After all, as Ann Althouse notes, he won:
Now, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has called for an investigation. Intowhat? People had to vote for Alvin Greene, and he got 60% of the vote. It would be interesting to know why the people of South Carolina voted the way they did, but I don’t think you should sic the government on someone who wins against the odds.
The million dollar question is right there – why in heaven’s name did the people of SC vote for this guy? Are South Carolina Democrats really this careless? Are they stupid? Are they fed up with the state party enough to vote for this guy over the party’s choice? Even if Greene were a plant, he won 60% of the vote. Were the voters plants too? Did mass amounts of Republicans cross over to screw with the Ds? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps the fact that Greene was alphabetically first on the ballot… but that can’t be it, can it?
This might end up being the most interesting political sideshow in history.
UPDATE: It appears that Greene’s win is just a random occurrence, which can happen when both candidates are almost completely unknown.
Former Presidential Candidate and current Senatorial Embarrassment John Kerry opened his mouth today and a whole bunch of stupid stuff fell out of it. This condition, of course, is rampant among our congressional representatives these days; Kerry’s case is, I fear, terminal. From a U.S. News article entitled “John Kerry Says Voter Anger at Washington Is Hypocritical“:
Times are tough, especially among those still looking for good jobs, but Sen. John Kerry doesn’t think Washington’s to blame. In fact the former Democratic presidential candidate, concerned with the anger voters are aiming at Washington, says that his party and President Obama are doing a ship-shape job.
“We’ve come back,” he says of the nation, Wall Street, and the economy. “This is an amazing resurgence.”
…[Kerry] feels that Congress and the president aren’t getting the credit he thinks they deserve for pulling the country out of a second depression.
…he said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said.
Maybe, he concluded, the Democrats should change their communications strategy “to better sell what we’ve done.”
Where to begin with this nonsense? I guess we’ll tackle the stupid in the order it appeared. First of all: Obama and his party are doing a ship-shape job? Really? This would explain why Obama’s approval ratings are 16 points underwater as of today, and 3 out of 5 voters would prefer to just entirely replace Congress. There’s really no point in addressing this lunacy seeing as it’s so obviously untrue.
“We’ve come back; This is an amazing resurgence.” Again – so obviously false that it’s not even worth addressing. The guy deserves a punch in his cartoonishly huge adam’s apple.
“Pulling the economy out of a second depression”: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. A) The Great Depression consisted of a couple of phases; the first was the market crash, which we’ve had and are suffering the aftereffects of. Then came the sovereign debt phase, and… hey, what’s that happening in Europe? B) This moron should sit down with Amity Shlaes and find out just how much good all of FDR’s spending did for the US during the Great Depression. Short answer: he made the Depression worse. but don’t worry – I’m sure all the stimulus spending the feds are doing at the moment is actually helping… Oh.
“D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare…”: I suppose a lot of Americans feel this way as regards Social Security and Medicare, although 1) I’m not among them and 2) this still wouldn’t make them hypocrites, considering that they could still (and most actually do) oppose the recent insane spending bender that Congress has embarked upon. So John Kerry can still kiss my ass.
“…and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup”: Hey you stupid doink – THE OIL SPILL HAPPENED IN FEDERALLY CONTROLLED WATERS. Which means that, presumably, the Federal Government would, you know, actually do something in response to a crisis in an area pretty well designated by law as under the control of the Feds. Idiot.
But by all means, keep trying to “sell” what you’ve done. Keep reminding the voters of the debt you’ve run up in buying all this crap that no one wanted in the first place. You do that, John.
Alternate headline: THEY LIED. But we knew that before they passed this rancid loaf, didn’t we? And frankly, they’ve been confirming that ever since.
Regardless, here’s the news that anyone with any intelligence and honesty knew was coming:
Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday predict the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections.
The additional spending — if approved over the years by Congress — would bring the total estimated cost of the overhaul to over $1 trillion.
Republicans pounced on the news, which they called another sign that the Obama administration makes promises it cannot deliver…
…But a Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill said the Congress will have to stay within the budget.
“Just like other authorized programs, the discretionary programs in health reform will need to compete for funds within set budgetary limits,” the aide said. “Republicans fighting to repeal reform can say what they want, but the bottom line is that CBO says reform will reduce the deficit and slow the growth of health care costs — period.”
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection notes that the miserable politicians who voted for this monstrosity can now only claim to be disappointed in this news if they also acknowledge that they “…willingly ignored warnings that they were selling public policy based on phony numbers.” Which, of course, they won’t, because by and large they are the largest collection of unprincipled filth to ever collect on Capitol Hill.
Let me take a moment to address the pathetic argument of the idiotic Democratic leadership aide, who claims that “the bottom line is that CBO says reform will reduce the deficit and slow the growth of health care costs – period.” Hey, idiot: CBO estimates are only as good as the numbers your dirtbag lying bosses in the Democrat caucus feed into CBO. In other words, GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT. Basing your claim of cost savings on the CBO estimates that came from the goofy numbers that Pelosi and Reid cooked up is something akin to basing your claim to being the sexiest man alive on your mother’s opinion that you’re a very handsome lad. In all likelihood, the evidence has been shaded in your favor and your claim is going to be demolished upon first contact with reality.
And of course, reality hasn’t been kind to Obamacare supporters since they cast their votes. Recall that Henry Waxman and his stormtroopers already found this out when they had to cancel their assault on companies which reported – as required by law – that Obamacare was going to cause them to take massive financial losses. Again, no surprise to anyone who has,well, basic intelligence and observation skills.
Of course, none of this is really a surprise to the Dems. Waxman screwed up in that he didn’t forsee how one element of his massive regulatory state would interact with the new element. This was all expected; they rammed it through presuming that once Obamacare was in place, inertia would make it impossible to roll back and we’d all just accept that higher taxes and everything else were inevitable. They scheme, they lie, they crave power. We need to slap them down in November.
I don’t see how this is going to help, as psychologists can’t prescribe drugs and the Dems are clearly off their meds. But for what it’s worth:
…retiring Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan (N.D.) recently brought psychologist Drew Westen in to see the Democratic caucus, because Dorgan is convinced that the Democrats’ problem is one of messaging.
This always comes up, again and again, whenever the Dems run themselves onto the PR rocks. It’s never the ideas that are wrong; no, the ideas and the actions they take based on those ideas are good and right. The problem is always that the stupid voters out there have just missed the point. They just don’t understand that the Democrat party is made up of people who just want to help them and do good things for them. If only we understood the good intentions behind their actions, we’d all be rushing to the polls to pull the lever for Carl “Shitty” Levin and his ilk.
You guys keep on believing that it’s just messaging. Just keep telling yourselves that.
Dr. Westen told the Democrats that they need to strike a more populist chord, explaining that the best way to win over voters is to use simple language that engages the brain’s “frontal emotion circuits.” In other words, since reason can’t provide much help in defending the Democrat’s policies, perhaps emotion can. CQ reports that the Democrats gave Dr. Westen a round of applause and have started taking his advice.
Great. Now we can look forward to even more condescension from our Senatorial betters. I can’t wait to have Debbie Stabenow explain to me yet again that she understands my anger about government spending and that’s why she voted to spend all the money they can print on the ridiculous scheme that we’re not supposed to call Obamacare anymore. I’m sure if she just tweaks her message I’ll be sprinting to the front of her campaign volunteer line.
Taking the psychologist’s advice, perhaps the Democrats should say, “We know you’re angry that we passed Obamacare in direct defiance of your will. We know you’re angry that this Congress and this president have racked up more deficit spending in two years than President Bush and the previous four Congresses — hardly models of frugality in their own right — did in eight. We feel your pain. We understand your anger. So please vote for us.”