Harry Reid and the Democrats appear to be headed to a legislative victory, passing DemCare on Christmas Eve when very few Americans will be paying attention. One of the biggest problems with this whole thing is that this will be the first time in history that every American will be forced to purchase a good or service regardless of whether or not they want to (if they don't, they face fines and jail time). In short, it's pretty damned unconstitutional, and some conservatives are making a point of bringing that up. Not that it'll make much of a difference, of course - the Dems have been doing a fine job of ignoring the Constitution lately.
Now that the conclusion to this looks likely, RedState ponders the failed strategy employed by Mitch McConnell. It ain't pretty:
There will still be some fighting left as the Senate and the House have to battle over the final version, but I'm not counting on any pledges from so-called pro-life Democrats in the House to stand firm. Show me the last time any Dem held the line against the party on principle, and I'll consider a retraction...but I'm pretty sure no one will find one.
The Senate Republican Leadership under Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander told us to trust them.
They were going to offer a series of “messaging amendments” to point out all the flaws in the health care legislation. The rest of us said no — force a vote on the legislation while the Dems did not have 60 votes.
They ignored us.
Then we said drag out the legislation as long as possible. They ignored us until votes were scheduled, making the dragging out impossible. When the scheduled time for the votes came, it did not matter if the bill was being read, the votes would happen.
Along the way, McConnell and Alexander pooh-poohed anyone who suggested the messaging strategy was doomed to failure.
There were 501 amendments offered.
Mitch McConnell offered only one.
Lamar Alexander? He did not offer a single one.
So intent on avoiding being labeled by their friends in the press and on the aisle opposite as “the Party of No,” they rolled over and became the “Party of No Problem.”
The Senate GOP Leadership’s fall back claim is that they only had 40 seats. Well, Mitch McConnell started with 55. Had he done his job when Ted Stevens fell to scandal in 2007, we would probably have a Republican Senator from Alaska. Likewise, in offering up a host of Republicans with little to distinguish them from the Democrats, his ultimate strategy had to focus on keeping Olympia Snowe on board instead of picking off just one Democrat.
Remember how Barack Obama promised that he wouldn't allow federal funding of abortions? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently admitted that DemCare will require every American to pay for abortions:
What's that? Everyone will pay for abortions? Once again:
...everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate account that everyone in the exchange would pay.Ah, okay. Part of everyone's tax dollars would go into a fund which would be used to pay for abortions. So much for that promise, huh, Mr. President? And what do the American people think of this idea? A new Quinnipiac poll shows Americans oppose it by a ratio of 3 to 1. But hey, Obama clearly doesn't give a damn about what the American people think on anything, so it's no sweat.
While we're on the subject, Quinnipiac also finds that Indies oppose DemCare in general by almost 2 to 1.
Now, the next steps. There are some procedural hurdles to jump in the next two days, but the vote will probably take place on Christmas Eve. It's another sign of McConnell's failure. Case in point, via Michelle Malkin:
Hot Air seems to think McConnell got something out of this: debate on massive spending on January 20th, the day Obama gives his state of the union address.
I listened to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday.
He sounded tired and barely able to rally the troops against the Democrats’ government health care takeover.
He told Sean’s guest host at the end of an obligatory-sounding critique of Harry Reid that, and I quote, “We’re going to fight ‘em all the way to the finish line.”
That’s what he said:
“We’re going to fight ‘em all the way to the finish line.”
Before the cloture vote on sneaky Sunday, Sen. John McCain had sounded the same message with more energy, invoking John Paul Jones and vowing: “We have not yet begun to fight.”
Well, the fight’s been called off.
McConnell has thrown in the towel:
The Senate will hold a final vote on healthcare reform at 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve.Under Senate rules, the GOP could have insisted that the vote not occur until 7 p.m. but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to announce an agreement that allows senators to depart Washington sooner to begin the Christmas holiday.
Actually, the early vote will achieve something the late vote couldn’t: A full day of media devoted to a bill the public hates and which both left and right agree is garbage. Good luck getting people to watch the news after dark on Christmas Eve; now, thanks to the new arrangement, they’ll have almost 12 extra hours to stew about it before the holiday draws them away. McConnell knows what he’s doing here.Eh, I think I'm with Malkin and most of the others on the Right who think McConnell simply caved. If nothing else, the past few weeks have proven that Reid cannot be trusted to keep his word or play by the rules. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Reid just didn't follow through on the January debate, and then what will McConnell do about it? Zippo. Too bad, so sad, you got screwed again and should have seen it coming (we all did).
Here are a couple more of the more scathing comments.
Rather than forcing the Dems to the utter edge, for a nighttime vote on Christmas Eve, McConnell has agreed to let the vote go forward early that morning, in order to get everybody out of there before an ice storm.And every other Republican Senator along with him. I think I'll have some choice words for Kit Bond today.
This is pitiful, or rather Pitiful with a capitl "P." If it is so important to the Dems to get this done before Christmas, well, then, make them suffer for it. On the other hand, if the Dems want to get out of town before the ice storm, then make them do so without passing this Obamacare bill. Make it THEIR tough choice. Make THEM face the consequences of not being able to get out of town.
Well, yeah, the GOP says, but what about the poor Republican staffers? Shouldn't they get to go home?
In a word: NO. Not if it will mean the difference between the Senate passing this thing before going home to face their constituents, or not passing it before facing their constituents at Christmas. Sorry, Charlie. Some things require sacrifice. I was a staffer on the Hill for five years. I knew what I signed up for. Staffers are often unsung heroes, to be sure, and so many of them have done such yeoman's work on all this that they deserve our thanks. But thanks do not equal giving leave to abandon the fight at such a time. This is the domestic political fight of our very lifetimes. It should be taken to the mat, to the breaking point, or to whatever other cliche applies.
If the Senate gets caught in town for Christmas, that would be Reid's fault. He is the one, not the GOP, who insisted on passing this before Christmas, before adequate reflection, before facing costituents. For him to do so even if icy sleet is coming down and killing Christmas plans would be a powerful symbol to the public of how unreasonable Reid and the Dems are being. Or at least, that s how it should have been portrayed.
Instead, McConnell caved like an injured puppy trying to escape a grizzly bear. The vote will be early in the morning on the 24th. It will be a formality. No drama. No symbolism. Just capitulation.
So yes, that makes him a loser.
An ice storm is coming. Some of the Republicans don’t want to get stuck in D.C. for Christmas fighting for freedom.
So Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid have agreed not just to vote on the health care package on Thursday morning, but also to lift the debt ceiling.
Then they’ll fly home. All before the sun even makes it to its peak position in the Christmas Eve sky.
Yes, the GOP got the Democrats to go to Christmas Eve. But only for show and face saving.
The GOP will vote against the health care package having not run out the clock, and then they’ll help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling.
As Roll Call puts it, “Under the agreement between Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), votes on final passage of the health care bill and a two-month extension to the debt limit sometime before early afternoon on Christmas Eve.”
Two blows for freedom with Mitch McConnell’s cooperation.
We need a Churchill, not a molehill as the GOP leader.
Good thing George Washington wasn’t a wimp when it came to crossing the Delaware in an ice storm on Christmas night.
By the way, why stick around? We know the Democrats have the votes. Make them own it. If we’re going to throw in the towel early, the GOP should en masse pack up and go home. Leave the Dems alone by themselves to do in the Republic.
There's my two cents.
Serious racial discrimination in DemCare
The list of payoffs that got Reid his cloture vote
Conservative leaders against the unconstitutional individual mandate