The Republican Party took a deep breath of fresh air yesterday, getting their first break in a year from the Democrats’ headlong pursuit of their far-left legislative assault. The “comprehensive” approach to the government takeover of health care appears to be on the ropes with the addition of a 41st Republican vote in the Senate.
Proclamations by Chief of Staff David Axelrod coming out of the White House early Wednesday morning floated a full steam ahead on the Obama agenda trial balloon. It was quickly deflated.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hosted the GOP Senate leadership at a presser yesterday to take questions from a room packed to capacity with incredulous media.
I asked Sen. McConnell at the presser if he thought, despite Axelrod’s assertions, that the Massachusetts vote was a repudiation of Obama’s big government agenda.
“It sounded to me like a 100,000 vote majority — in one of the most liberal states in America — people said in a rather outspoken fashion, in a rather high, unusual turnout in a special election in January, for goodness sake, that they’d like for us to go in a different direction,” McConnell said. “I think that’s about as clear a message as I’ve ever seen delivered in a campaign, in an election.”
House Republican Caucus Chairman Mike Pence spoke of the Massachusetts voters’ repudiation of the out-of-control liberal policies in Washington.
“I don’t see what happened in Massachusetts or Virginia or New Jersey so much as a victory for the Republican Party; I think it was in each case a victory for the American people,” Pence told a cable news program. “Look, the American people are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, the takeovers that have been accelerated under now Democrat and previously under Republican administrations, and they’re tired of it. They want us to put our fiscal house in order in Washington, D.C.”
Inside the beltway, the Democratic Party is in chaos as its leaders grapple with the full ramifications of Republican Scott Brown’s election to the United States Senate from the liberal state of Massachusetts. Pandemonium reigns as the reactions swing from shell-shock to flat out denial.
In an interview with ABC News, President Obama blamed (you guessed it) President Bush.
“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” Obama said. “People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
That makes as much sense as saying Obama was swept into office one year ago on a wave of anti-Obama sentiment. But the President actually unintentionally nailed it later in the interview.
“We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost that sense of, you know, speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are,” Obama said.
And therein lays the fundamental problem. The President and his myrmidons don’t appear to know — or much care — what America’s core values are.
America is not a country that embraces the policies of the early 20th Century’s so-called “progressive” movement. We do not look forward to the day when the government makes all of our decisions for us, including dictating to our doctors whether or not we are allowed to have pacemaker surgery or just take the painkiller.
Americans don’t want to become a federal government budget item. We don’t want government control over our money, our families, our businesses or our liberty.
The current Democrat leadership in Washington — from the White House to the Congress — no longer understands or embraces those basic American values. It has become abundantly clear by their actions they seek to destroy those values in the name of personal political power.
There were a few Democrats who at least admit something changed with the Massachusetts vote Tuesday night.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has been in the trenches from the beginning, adamant in his demand for government-controlled, single-payer nationalized health care.
“Large numbers of independent voters saying they’re upset about health care, that’s not just their fault, that’s our fault too,” Weiner told CNN. “And we have to think about what we’re doing wrong here, and to have a conversation as if nothing happened, whether you’re in Massachusetts or not, is being tone deaf.”
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told Politico that he was “disappointed” with Tuesday’s election results, and that with Brown’s victory, “a reasonable compromise” between the House and Senate bills was no longer possible. He said that support from GOP senators was now required to move the legislation. … “But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.”
That’s somewhat of an improvement over House Democrat leadership’s reaction election night.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) told the Weekly Standard that at Tuesday night’s Democratic caucus meeting, it appeared the leadership was operating on the assumption that Scott Brown wasn’t a factor. After being filled in on the House negotiations with the Senate, Stupak said, “we’re looking at each other like, yeah, well that’s that’s good, but … even if you reach agreement, can you have it done by tomorrow? Because you’re not going to have 60 votes come tomorrow. They filled us in and it was almost like there wasn’t an election in Massachusetts.”
When asked about the likelihood of ramming through the Senate-passed health care bill unchanged, Stupak voiced doubt that it would happen.
“There is no plan B,” Stupak said. “There are so many problems with the Senate bill from the House view that they wouldn’t get 100 votes.”
Of course, there are the usual suspects who think the American people are just too stupid to understand what our great government benefactors are trying to do for us.
“I think we do go slower on health care,” Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) told ABC News. “People do not understand it. It is so big it is beyond their comprehension. And if you don’t understand it when somebody tells you it does this or it does that and it’s not true, you tend to believe it, even though it isn’t true. It’s hard to debunk all of the myths that are out there.”
We understand perfectly, Ms. Feinstein.