By Selena Zito GETTYSBURG â He almost was not asked to speak. In October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln received the same plain envelope that...
They Dye Has Been Cast by Ira Schwartz
“It’s one of the great Bernie Madoff gimmicks that I’ve ever seen, that anybody’s ever seen.” said Senator John McCain on ABCâs âGood Morning Americaâ. He was referring to the way Democrats were able to pass the Healthcare Bill. McCain continued, “This was behind closed doors. The Republicans were never brought in to the negotiations and this is what you get — a split country — where the American people are opposed to what we’re doing and opposed to us.”
According to the latest Gallop Poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/124715/Majority-Americans-Not-Backing-Healthcare-Bill.aspx) 48% of Americans are against the present Healthcare reform legislation while 46% are for it. This clearly indicates how close the split in this country regarding this issue really is. However over 79% of us do agree that our legislature needs to be replaced. The congressional approval rating has dropped to a mere 21%. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/123491/Approval-Congress-Falls-21-Driven-Democrats.aspx)
When asked how he thinks the late Senator Ted Kennedy would have felt he replied, “I think that Senator Kennedy would appreciate the outcome. I don’t think he would appreciate it on a party-line vote. There has never been a major reform accomplished in the history of this country that wasn’t bipartisan. … He never engaged in this kind of unsavory process of offering people different deals, which in the end cost people from other states lots of money and puts burdens on them.”
As Iâm sure you all know by now the Senate voted to close debate on the bill by a 60-40 vote. The 60 votes consisted of 58 Democrats and two Independents. The Republicans stood firm with their 40 members against and most if not all were as disgusted as John McCain with the whole affair.
John Cornyn, Republican from Texas warned, “There will be a day of accounting. Perhaps the first day of accounting will be Election Day 2010.”
“This process is not legislation. This process is corruption,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma. “It is a shame that the only way we can pass this legislation is to buy votes.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called provisions inserted to change Nelson’s vote a “kind of smelly proposition.” “This is supposed to be all of our health care … not just for them,” he said at a Capitol Hill press conference.
The Democrats showed to the country and the world the worst part of American politics and the really sad part is they are happy with this display. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and conservative Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska should be the most embarrassed for allowing themselves to be swayed by this back door diplomacy. But itâs not just Nelsonâs and Lieberman that won concessions in closed-door negotiations, Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu managed to secure $300 million dollars in Medicaid funding for her state for her vote. This prompted Senator McCain to call Landrieuâs deal âThe Louisiana Purchaseâ. Vermont, Florida and Massachusetts will also benefit from special treatment in how the federal government subsidizes state Medicaid programs. However Nelson and Liebermanâs cross over to the âDark Sideâ were both very public ones and the fervor over it will not likely go away anytime soon. They have compromised their reputation and ideals and will likely pay the price in the next election.
Even though this proposed bill has passed the Senate it is still a long way from being ratified. The Senate bill and the House bill are two completely different animals. They will need to be merged into one bill that will satisfy both. That will not be an easy task as Republicans will continue to do whatever is necessary to slow the process down. Also the dissenting voices of the American people are getting louder and louder and that is making a lot of Democrats very nervous.
It appears the Democrats think they have everything under control and maybe they do but the American people are angry and the last thing you want to do is make the American people angry. The Republicans found that out in the last election as their majority was swept away. I guess in their haste to âchange the worldâ the Democrats have forgotten that. It appears they have also forgotten they all serve at the âpleasureâ of the American people. And quite frankly that âpleasureâ is just about all used up. Monday night âAmerican Movie Classicsâ ran one of my favorite all time movies, âMr. Smith Goes to Washington.â As I sat there and watched the movie for the umpteenth time I realized that politics really hasnât changed since the 30âs when this movie was made. Truth be told it probably hasnât changed since our âFoundersâ signed the Declaration of Independence. But that doesnât make it right, it just accentuates our, the voters, complacency with how things get done.
It appears our present administration has become very skilled at; âbuying votesâ. Something I am sure has brought a lot of smiles to the Karzai government in Afghanistan.
Â© 2009 by Ira Schwartz. Used with permission. All rights reserved.