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The GOP will embarrass itself

As Jonathan Capehart noted earlier today, Senate Republicans have been busying themselves (at the taxpayers’ expense) by coming up with amendments to the health-care reform reconciliation bill designed to embarrass the Democrats, who intend to vote no on all amendments lest the bill have to bounce back to the House. To say that some of these amendments fall short of serious legislation is to understate, as anyone who has come across Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn’s proposal to ban the coverage of Viagra for convicted child molesters can attest.

What’s not been sufficiently noted is that when the reconciliation bill itself finally comes to a vote, it’s the Republicans who’ll be embarrassed. Although the bill was crafted to remedy what Democrats saw as flaws in the Senate bill, it also alters a lot of the things in the legislation that Republicans have railed against. It creates more generous subsidies for low-and-middle-income Americans who will buy insurance on the newly-established exchanges. It raises the threshold on the insurance-policy excise tax, and delays the date of its implementation – and in so doing, it eliminates any special status for policies that resulted from union contracts. It eliminates the “Cornhusker kickback,” the provision that exempted Nebraska from having to cover the additional Medicaid expenses that the act incurs, and instead gives the federal government the responsibility for covering such expenses in every state.

And yet, every Republican is sure to vote against it, because they are bound hand and foot and pupik to oppose any health-care reform that the Democrats propose. So they’ll end up voting to tax more Americans for their health-insurance policies, to uphold the special deal with unions and to preserve the Cornhusker kickback.

By Harold Meyerson  | March 24, 2010; 6:51 PM ET
Categories:  Meyerson  | Tags:  Harold Meyerson  
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Exactly right Harold. The Republican Party strategy on this is puzzling, to say the least. What are they trying to prove? They're acting like little children who alternate between throwing tantrums and stopping to breathe until they turn blue in the face. Witness John McCain's statement that they won't work with the Democrats on ANYTHING until the end of the year.

All this because the Democrats passed healthcare reform without any Republican votes after the administration had tried desperately to work with them, and they went out an demagogued the bill and promoted vicious rumors and untruths about it all of last year?

Maybe all the Republican "leaders" in Congress should read David Frum's latest piece about what a lost opportunity thsi has been for the Republican Party (and the country):

Posted by: sambam | March 24, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Here is a idea. The government needs to take over the oil companies and give everyone 25 cent a gallon gas, after all, driving is a right, not a privilege; then nationalize all the McDonalds and give us 15 cent big macs and 10 cent fries after all eating is a right not a privilege; then as a final step take over the Washington Post, the New York times and all the major liberal newspaper and media-- but wait, by reading them they have already done that.

Posted by: tonyjm | March 24, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Pupik! Love it.

Posted by: patposton | March 24, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans may but they would have to go a long way to trump the democrats

Posted by: tglasgow | March 24, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has been "embarrassing" itself for the last decade, at least. And I was registered republican voter for 30 years, until I read Obama's second book, two years ago, and ran out of excuses for the inexcusable behavior of the GOP, in power, at about the same time.
A year before the denouement of the Bush administration, John King asked Dick Cheney whether the Administration was aware that almost 80% of all Americans disapproved of the Iraq war- Cheney's response was, "So?" Nonetheless, all I have heard from Boehner, McConnell, McCain, et al, is vilifying the Dems for ignoring the outcry of "the people", and imposing the party's will on us victims. Boehner screamed out that the Dems had locked out the GOP from the healthcare bill- Pelosi, by reply, noted in passing that the bill contains over 200 Republican amendments. Indeed, the "individual mandate" that a dozen or so AG's are claiming to be unconstitutional is what McCain was selling in 2004, and subsequently, in opposition to the public option.
To call the GOP's behavior "childish" is an unfair castigation of all children- none are so sociopathic as what I have seen from the GOP this past decade, and in the past week, they have been urinating over everything within reach, including themselves.
What the GOP has done with the healthcare proposal and concept over the past year, not to mention beforehand, is obscene, as the Supreme Court defines that term: a blatant appeal to the prurient interest of their constituents, wholly without any redeeming social or artistic redeeming value.
It is the GOP, at this point, that most deserves to be "repealed and replaced".

Posted by: bwintr | March 24, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean "Will" embarrass themselves. The Republicans have succeeded in that already and, I suppose, will continue it well into the future. As.a former Republican turned Independent, I do not see how they can even threaten to take back both houses with such behavior. To attract independents. like me, who voted for Obama for change, the party of "NO" sounds too close to "Know nothing" Allying itself with the nut bags from the tea party and dingbats from Glen Beck to Rush Limbaugh, I cannot ever deem to support such people. As a fiscal conservative I was pained to see the previous administration and congress throw all fiscal constraints and fiscal responsibility out the window in a mad rush to war with un-aimed and reckless tax cuts combined with unnecessary exceptional spending. These were Republicans, the "fiscally responsible party" who I closely identified with for most of my life.

Well no more.

I am proud to say I am an Independent. I do not embrace progressive values as espoused by the Democratic Party but I despised what has happened to the GOP and will continue to not vote for them in the next election. In fact after reviewing some Democratic policies and goals I feel that they have become a bit more responsible then the people who run the GOP now.

If the republicans expect to win against the democrats they will have to attract independents like me, but their behavior and policies of obstruction will make that unlikely.

Posted by: tcp4 | March 24, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP will embarrass itself"

No Kidding !!!! Scott Brown is running against a non-candidate ... Rachel Maddow!!!

Posted by: knjincvc | March 24, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr Meyerson, It is breathtaking how detached you are from the reality of the mistake liberals just (temporarily) passed into law.

Posted by: luvpool | March 24, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

This Dem Congress, the lowest rated Congress in US history, with the lowest rated Speaker and Senate Leader in US history, a Congress which has pi$$ed away $3.8 Trillion in deficits in only 3 years, a Congress which brought this miserable recession and unemployment.
Now, this irresponsible Congress has used threats, bribes, and corruption to create another bankrupting $6 Trillion entitlement, at a point when SocSec and Medicare/Medicade are insolvent.
Republican Congress average Deficit: $105 billion (1996-2007)
Democrat congress average Deficit: $1.305 TRILLION (2008-2010)

Those are the facts.

Posted by: Amerman | March 24, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Today's Republican party is run with the ruthless efficiency and brain-dead determination of the Communist party of the defunct USSR, which they seem to have deliberately tried to emulate. Their short term gains just ended with the passing of this bill. I honestly think the Republican party will not exist in ten years, replaced by a party that actually is interested in governing the country instead of representing the largest and most corrupt corporations and using the most obviously heinous political tactics that a functioning democracy has ever witnessed. Let me borrow a phrase from one of their apparent heros : "We will bury you."

Posted by: jonthes | March 25, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

GOP members of Congress are openly supporting violence and terrorism in their support of the Banking, Oil, Coal, medical Insurance and Tobacco Industries (yes, Tobacco is still heavily exporting death through cardiosavcular desease). Finally they have decided to show their true colors for potential political gain.

Posted by: liveride | March 25, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

In Virginia; I love Ken Cuccinelli. As a military veteran who’s has successfully fought against the forces of evil that threaten our country and freedom nothing gets my blood boiling like the homegrown evil racist, homophobic, rich man/insurance/oil/coal industry puppet that Ken Cuccinelli is. Ken is making a career of wasting taxpayer money in frivolous lawsuits while neglecting protecting the citizen taxpayers of Virginia from criminals, polluters, and corrupt banking practices. I love Cuccinelli because nothing brings out the heroes like the stark face of evil, corrupt racist fascism that is Ken Cuccinelli.

Posted by: liveride | March 25, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I am an independent voting veteran who has served my country with honor to protect our freedoms. I find newly elected VA attorney general Ken Cuccinelli's recent actions of filing lawsuits denying the science of climate change, seeking to bar people from receiving affordable health care, and limiting schools from adopting anti discrimination policies to be a total waste of taxpayer resources. In addition, his alliance and frequent advocacy for the Tea party movement, which has demonstrated widespread racism and verbal assaults against women, children and elected officials is a slap in the face of all veterans who serve our country.

The primary funding sources for the Tea Party are two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks which receive substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family Foundations. Koch industries are responsible for hundreds of Oil spills spread over multiple states.

Posted by: liveride | March 25, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

embarrassment- not likely. The extent to which repubs. have failed (and the resultant not too good feelings) even finds integrity in very short supply. Nothing is sacred, everything can be rationalized, we don't make mistakes (that we'll cop to) and our excuses are patented. The reaper creedo starts with:
"first, do no thing......."
That's it.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 25, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: daphne5 | March 25, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse


The health care bill contains a mandate to hire 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce compliance and fine you if you don't purchase their insurance. Why the need to coerce if it actually lowers costs and provides better service? Wouldn't people rush to join of their own free will? Do smell a lie?

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | March 25, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse


John McCain just sprung a leak in his Depends.

Posted by: HughBriss | March 25, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
25 March 2010

Desperate Republican efforts in the Senate to scuttle health-care reform could provoke a backlash among the millions of Americans who now know that they will benefit from reform.

There will be some 32 million of those Americans who, finally, will get health insurance coverage under the Obama health-care reform bill which the House passed 220-210 last Sunday and which President Obama has already signed into law.

Those Americans know who are for them--and who are not.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | March 25, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Amerman is EXACTLY RIGHT. BUSH ruined the economy. BUSH killed the Housing Market. Bush killed the Banking, and Lending Industries.
Do any of you androgynous little school boys even KNOW what the Constitution is?
The HOUSE and Senate are the ones who SPEND THE MONEY. THEY have the 'Power of the Purse'. ALL revenue bills start in the HOUSE. Then must be passed by the SENATE. THEN signed by the President. The CONGRESS is a CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOV'T.
Look it up. How was everything going BEFORE Pelosi and Reid took over the reigns? How was the ECONOMY? How many JOBS had been created? Where was everybodys' 401k?
This guy in the White House IS the Anti-Christ. He's the ANTI-AMERICAN. He is a BRINGER of DISASTER and DESPAIR.
"I swear to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America, from all enemies, both Foreign and DOMESTIC." Barak Obama IS that DOMESTIC ENEMY that everybodys' OATH is talking about. He HATES this Country. Always has. Just look at his LIFE LONG FRIENDS ARE.
"And I saw the BEAST rise from the SEA. And he was given a 'MOUTH' to speak Haughty and Blasphemous words. ("We are the ones we've been waiting for.") And he was allowed to exercise authority for forty two months." Revelations 13-5.
I guess we'll find out, come JUNE 2012.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | March 25, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

To Penniless: Don't forget about all the SHOTGUNS that the IRS purchased. It's such a 'GOOD DEAL', that they had to go out and buy SHOTGUNS.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | March 25, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Goomygommy posted:To Penniless: Don't forget about all the SHOTGUNS that the IRS purchased. It's such a 'GOOD DEAL', that they had to go out and buy SHOTGUNS.

Typical reactive Republican spin. The IRS put out an RFQ for 60 shotguns for its Criminal Investigation Division. You want their police unarmed?

Posted by: warren5 | March 25, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's the latest numbers from Positions on the Democrats retaining control of the Senate are on an upward arc and are selling at 75.1 while Republican futures have fallen from 30 within the last two weeks and are now at 12.0.

It's closer on futures for control of the House but Democrat positions are selling at 53.3 while the position on Republican control is at 43.4.

Remember that this prediction market was spot on with it's forecast of the 2008 elections.

And Republicans will need more then just control if they want to override President Obama's veto on their promissed repeal of the HCR legislation.

Posted by: dldbug | March 25, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

GoomyGoomy - have you looked in the mirror lately? The tin foil is slipping off your head.

Posted by: dldbug | March 25, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how you are going to get people to fall in love with this legislation.

You have record numbers of people unemployed and you spent all of your political capital telling them they have to get health insurance of face a fine. Great.

Posted by: sold2u | March 25, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Current interest on the US debt is gobbling up a large chunk of the US budget and is increasing exponentially. Another year went by where not only was this problem not addressed, but it was compounded by expanded entitlements. Democrats are lemmings running joyously towards the cliff.

Posted by: peterg73 | March 25, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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