Saturday, February 27, 2010

Democrats Check In...but they can't check out

Now that the Health Care Summit is over it’s safe to say that Barack Obama, even if he serves but a single term, is one president who’ll not soon be forgotten.

Depending on which side you're on, either for or against Obama’s stated goals, it is clear that for years to come we’ll all be marveling over either the monumental smallness of this man’s accomplishments or the grandness of his missed opportunities. It is now apparent to anyone half-paying attention that Barack Obama and his entire administration are in way over their heads. They come across as callow opinionated student protesters who have barricaded themselves into the Dean’s office and shut down the campus…Now what?

There was a moment following the Scott Brown Senate victory back in January, that it looked like the President had gotten the message; he indicated he would go to work on the economy, on lowering unemployment, on getting business moving and keeping the country safe. This was a sad but entirely reasonable fall-back position; write off the first year of his administration as a wild goose chase and go to work on the problems that face the nation.

That new focus lasted about a day and a half…then, just like nothing ever happened, it was back to work trying to cram that over-stuffed the 2,400+page Senate Health Care Bill into law. Reports began to leak of Democratic strategy sessions, of possible legislative tricks and legal maneuvering. The Health Care Bill would be declared a piece of “financial” legislation so that Budget Reconciliation could be used to pass it with 50 votes plus the Vice President’s. Holy Criminetly! Now another six weeks has slipped by.

If there is a good side to this, and there’s only one that I can see, it is this: The whole dream of nationalized health care has turned into a giant Democratic Party “Roach Motel” -- you know, one of those household pest removers that advertise “bugs check in but they don’t check out”. The Health Care Bill is like that. In order to grease this abomination through all the committees and all the test votes Democratic Party leadership loaded the bill with goodies of every description; with ear marks, pork, kick-backs and pay-offs galore. The operative question in private discussions was not "how do we make this bill better for the American people", but “What do you need to get on board?”

Here's the situation for Democrats, and it is only going to get worse: As public resistance to the Health Care Bill grows, now at 60% and growing, Democrats are finding they can't back out of the deal. They are caught in a trap of their own devising. First, if they try to get out their own party base, the hard-core Left, would go berserk. Second, if the bill goes down in flames it will take all the "Gator Aid" and "Corn Husker Kick-Backs" with it. Those guys will not get a piece of the action if there is no action. Third, whether they pass it or don't pass it, they'll gain little political advantage with the voters. Large sections of the public have already written them off as dolts.

Well, by now it is dawning on them that they have checked into The Democratic Party Roach Motel. In fact, they booked themselves into the honeymoon suite. Somebody should send up a bottle of champagne.

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