Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Joke Of The Day: Obamacare Is A Bipartisan Effort

You just can't make this stuff up (emphasis mine):

President Obama today hailed passage of a Democrat-sponsored bill in the Senate HELP Committee as a positive development in his quest to impose government-run health care on America. He even had the gall to suggest it was a bipartisan bill — despite the fact not a single Republican voted for it.

It’s a plan that was debated for more than 50 hours and that, by the way, includes 160 Republican amendments — a hopeful sign of bipartisan support for the final product, if people are serious about bipartisanship.

Obama’s claim about the 160 mostly technical amendments is easily discredited. Amendments that fixed missing commas and misspelled words do not adequately reflect Republican ideas. But because Obama is so hell-bent on producing a bill before his own arbitrary August deadline, the White House has resorted to stretching the truth and manipulating the facts.

Obama conveniently forgot to mention that today’s 13-10 vote didn’t include a single Republican supporter. But in this White House, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is literally redefining the meaning of “bipartisanship” to suit Obama’s goal. Last time I checked the Merriam-Webster Dictionary or even Wikipedia, bipartisan meant something that reflected agreement from both political parities. Apparently for Emanuel, it’s something entirely different.

Emanuel, making a theoretical case for a party-line vote, offered a definition of bipartisanship based not on roll-call votes but on whether Democrats have accepted Republican ideas during the process of negotiations.

He said Democrats already have passed that test, pointing to Republican amendments that the Democratic-controlled Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has adopted.

“That’s a test of bipartisanship — whether you took ideas from both parties,” Emanuel said. “At the end of the day, the test isn’t whether they voted for it,” he said, referring to Republicans. “The test is whether the final product represented some of their ideas. And I think it will.”

Redefinition is one of the signature hallmarks of liberalism, and this is a perfect example. No one with a quarter of a working brain would think this is a bipartisan effort, but they're touting is as precisely that. Here's the rundown of the 'bipartisanship' displayed on this bill:

  • 13 days of markup.
  • 53 total roll call votes.
  • Of the 53 roll call votes, 45 were on Republican amendments.
  • 2 of the 45 roll call votes on Republican amendments were successful: 1) allowing biologic drugs derived from living cells, and 2) mandating members of Congress and congressional staff enroll in the government-run plan.
  • Total amendments filed: 788
  • Of those, 67 were Democrat amendments and 721 were Republican amendments.
  • Total amendments agreed to: 197
  • Of those, 36 were Democrat amendments and 161 were Republican amendments.
  • Of the 161 Republican amendments, 132 were technical.
  • Of the 36 Democrat amendments, 9 were technical.
  • Total amendments failed: 51
  • Of those, 2 were Democrat amendments and 49 were Republican amendments.
Why so many amendments from the Republicans? They never saw the nearly 700-page bill before it was introduced.
If this is bipartisanship, I'd hate to see partisanship! But, in the spirit of redefinition, remember:
- what it really means: of, consisting of, or supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties
- meaning as understood by liberals: everyone agrees with us
There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
Dems to pass socialized health care within weeks
Bipartisanship watch

No comments: