Here we are in March of 2010 with the Democrats are still talking health care (so unfortunately so am I).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) continued the campaign in appearances on the talking head circuit over the weekend in support of health care — ramming the leviathan government takeover of health care through Congress. Health care, health care, health care.
President Obama is slated to introduce yet another version of his health care compromise on Wednesday, or at least talk about a new non-compromise compromise. Really, if they just talk about it some more we’ll finally get it and love it. Honest.
The most compelling explanation of the Dems’ bizarre, unrelenting behavior was offered by Rush Limbaugh last week when he compared the passage of their irreconcilable bills through the House and the Senate to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”: Democrats have touched the third Ring of Power and the desire to posses it has driven them mad.
If the right deal can be cut, the right payoff made, the magic vote number reached, Democrats can pass their “comprehensive” health care bill that seeks to transfer power over the life and death decisions to government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
Utopia is just within reach.
In a CNN interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) airing Sunday, Pelosi was asked about CNN’s latest poll released last week showing nearly three-quarters of Americans favor dropping health care “reform” altogether and moving on or starting fresh with an incremental approach.
From the interview:
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: The point is, is that we have a responsibility here, and the Republicans have had a field day going out there and misrepresenting what is in the bill, but that’s what they do. That’s what…
HOST CANDY CROWLEY: So it has been messaging thing?
PELOSI: … they do. No…
CROWLEY: You think people don’t understand the bill?
PELOSI: No, I don’t think — there isn’t a bill. When we have a bill, which we will in a matter of days, then that is the bill that we can sell. Our bill, the House and the Senate bill, had some major differences which we’re hoping now to reconcile. And then when we have a bill — as I say, you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie, but you have to have a pie to sell. And when we do, we will take it out there.
Merging the House and the Senate measures will bake a pie that will sell? (See Gollum.)
And Republicans are misrepresenting what’s actually in the bill but there’s actually not a bill. Which is it?
Pelosi also said in the interview, “A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint.”
I’ll just leave that one laying out there on its own.
Back in the reality sector, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, made it clear on CBS that budget reconciliation gimmickry could not be used to pass the full pie Pelosi is baking.
“Reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform,” Conrad said. “The major package would not be done through reconciliation.”
When told he was contradicting White House claims made earlier in the day?
“I am the chairman of the committee in the Senate, and I think I understand how reconciliation works and can’t work,” Conrad said. “The only possible role I can see for reconciliation would be to make modest changes in the major package.”
The “major package” being the Senate-passed bill — that includes government funding of abortion and a $2.5 trillion price tag over 10 years when fully implemented.
Pelosi was also asked in her CNN interview about prospects for holding onto enough seats in the House come November to continue Democrat control.
“Let me just say it this way, the Democrats will retain the majority in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said. “We have a huge — we have, what, 54-, 55-vote majority. We had a swing in the last two elections of 110 seats. We will — I am not yielding one grain of sand. We are fighting for every seat.” (Actually, Democrats currently have a 77-seat majority in the House. Turning 40 seats from D to R would mercifully end the Pelosi speakership.)
“We are ready,” Pelosi said. “In the past when there have been these swings, it’s been when people have not been ready. … We’ve been working hard. Now we have to go out. We said we were going to do certain things, we did them, now we have to go talk about what we have done.”
It is precisely what the Democrats have done, and continue to do, that threatens their majorities in both the House and Senate. Borrowing, spending, bailouts, a cap and trade national energy tax, the government takeover of health care — the legislative agenda that has passed the House in the 111th Congress to date is not a winning argument for electoral successes with the majority of Americans come November. It might sail in San Francisco, but it won’t play in Peoria. Or Little Rock. Or Baton Rouge.
In yet another perplexing interview aired Sunday on ABC, Pelosi said that lawmakers should hurl themselves under the bus and pass the health care bill (the one that doesn’t yet exist) even if it costs them their jobs.
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” Pelosi said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”
And that’s the point, Madame Speaker. The American people have made it perfectly clear to their own representatives that they don’t want Washington running their health care. No amount of arm twisting is going to change that.