Who killed Heath Care Reform?

I’ve always believed that if there is something that needs to get done that is really important to you, you should put as much time and energy needed into making it happen.  Makes sense right?  I don’t want to speak for all of humanity, but I’d venture a guess that many people would agree with me.  If health-care reform was a major pillar of a national party’s election back in 08 (enter from stage-left the Democratic Party) than wouldn’t you pour as much energy into getting that done?  So now after months of work it looks like heath care reform (at least as we know it) is dead.  There are rumors that some-sort of insurance reform will be passed instead, but that does little to solve some of the greater problems.  So who is responsible for the death of health care reform?  Through the months of ups and downs, eight names have been mentioned non-stop.  Are all of them guilty of killing health care reform?  No.  But let’s take a look.

 Not Guilty:#2 Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI)

 

Rep. Stupak authored the amendment to the House bill that would have banned federal funding from going to abortions.  Without the amendment he, along with many other Blue Dogs, would not have supported the bill.  The amendment was extremely controversial and several liberal Democrats threatened to vote against the final bill if the amendment was still in-place.  The bill ended up passing with the Stupak amendment.  Even with these controversies Stupak didn’t play a role in killing the bill.  While his amendment is infuriating to liberal Democrats, it was necessary to secure the support of more moderate to conservative Democrats.  You need votes to pass a bill, and if the amendment brought more votes to the table than it drove away then it didn’t kill the bill.

#1 Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Love her or hate her, everyone knows who Nancy Pelosi is.  Regardless of what your opinion of her is, the fact is that she is the most powerful woman in American history.  As recently as a few months ago Time named her the most powerful Speaker of the House we’ve seen in the past 50 years.  She played a central role in working on health care and it is clear that she is not to blame for its demise.  When the Senate was just beginning to start on their bill, Pelosi had a bill passed in the House.  She had to balance the wishes from all wings of her party: the liberals, centrists, and even conservative Democrats all wanted a say in the bill. She masterfully crafted a bill that was able to gain support from both the most liberal Democrats and even some Blue Dogs.  If anyone deserves to be cleared from charges, it’s her.  She did everything possible to pass this bill.  When she says that the House doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate’s version of the bill, you better believe it.

 Guilty:

#6 Senator Scott Brown (R-MA)

You can’t really blame Scott Brown for doing what he was supposed to do.  He was supposed to be against the health care bill.  Rumors were that he was going in the senate election not to win, but to raise his profile across the state so he could run for Governor later.  Surprise! Guess who the newest senator from Massachusetts is!   While he has every right to be ecstatic now, he should be very cautious going forward.  He is up for reelection in 2012 and there is no doubt that the Democrats will have him targeted.    Unless he makes a huge about-face to the political-center it is unlikely that Massachusetts will re-elect him.  He seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place.  If he stays conservative he is likely to lose the general election, but if he moderates he is likely to lose the primary.  My advice to Scott Brown is to enjoy your victory while you have it.  As soon as the 2010 midterms are over your job is going to get a lot more difficult.

#5 Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Senator Snowe found herself in a difficult situation as the health care battle unfolded.  She, along with fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins, were well-known as being the only moderate Republicans left in the Senate.  It became clear early on that Senator Collins was unwilling to work with Democrats, but Senator Snowe always left that option open.  When negotiations over the public option began to break down, she quickly announced her opposition to it and refused to vote for any bill that contained a public option.  When the final senate bill was voted on, she joined her 39 colleagues in voting no.  She essentially voted against the type of bill she originally said she’d support.  With Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts she is assuring that a health care bill will not pass.  With polling data showing that she could be vulnerable to a primary challenge when her term is up in 2012, it is clear that she is in thin ice.  By voting against the bill she is making it more likely that she can defeat a conservative opponent in the 2012 primary, but will Maine voters re-elect her after voting no on the bill?  Only time will tell.

#4 Martha Coakley (D-MA)

It seems like it would be easy to say “Oh Martha Coakley, you tried…”  She tried?  Really?   I missed the part of the election when she took it seriously and made some sort of attempt to win.  She didn’t go out and shake hands with voters and decided the insulting the Boston Red Sox was a good plan.  Calling her campaign “poor” is a gross understatement.  She had every right to see herself as the clear favorite, but that is no excuse to take everything for granted.  With so much on the line you would think that she would make some sort of attempt to win.  She, without a doubt, deserves to be blamed.

#3 President Barack Obama

Yes, he did a good job in staying out of the dirty-work in negotiating a bill, but that is exactly why the President should be blamed.  This was his imitative, he did a good job in pressuring Congress to get a bill written, but he did little to outline what he wanted.  So much time could have been saved if he had clearly outlined what he wanted in a bill.  The last time he did that was in the campaign a year ago.  All Congress needed was a little direction and weeks of worthless debate and uncertainty could have been avoided.  And the question needs to be asked “Was this the right time to deal with this?”  Was the start of his presidency when the economy was the chief issue really the best time to take on the monumental task of health care reform?  Clearly he expected it to be a tough battle, but did he underestimate just how intense it would be?  I certainly don’t know.

#2 Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT)

When he ran for President in 2004 he campaigned for health care reform and a public option.  Regardless of your political affiliation you can understand why liberals hate Joe Lieberman.  It goes far beyond his vocal endorsement of John McCain in 2008, he is essentially back-stabbing his supporters.  It came as a complete shock when he came out and openly said that he would filibuster any bill containing a public option or Medicare expansion.  It was a complete 180 from what he campaigned on, and severely complicated the bill-writing process.   Senator Lieberman’s complete change opened the door for other conservative Democrats to openly oppose the bill.  I can’t even begin to figure out what it was that Joe was thinking.  He already was on shaky ground before he went turncoat on the bill, but his approval numbers have plummeted.  If Lieberman runs for re-election in 2012 it is bound to be a very bloody race.  The worst part is that it wouldn’t have to be that way.  If Joe had stuck to what he originally campaigned on he wouldn’t have to face these problems, and we’d likely have a health care bill.

#1 Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

I struggled with who deserves to get the most blame.  I really wanted to blame Joe Lieberman, but that was out of vengeance for his betrayal.  When it comes down to it the most blame lies with the Senate Majority Leader: Harry Reid.  He controlled the largest majority the Senate has seen in years and somehow that ended up not being enough for a bill.  It is true that the Democrats’ majority was a collation; the caucus was composed of liberal, moderate, and conservative members.  Balancing such a diverse group is challenging but it is clear that Harry Reid is not up to the task.  Mitch McConnell has been more successful in his goals with a 40 member caucus than Reid has been with a 60 member group.  When the House had their final vote, the Senate hadn’t even begun working on the bill.  Under Harry Reid’s leadership the Senate has turned into a giant quagmire.  Who would have guessed that 60 seats weren’t enough to pass bills?  The worst part about all of this is that I actually am hoping that Harry Reid loses in the midterms this November.  Yes it will put Democrats down a seat, but if the past two years in the Senate have taught us anything it is that being “filibuster-proof” doesn’t get you far.  The #2 and #3 Democrats (Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer) are already laying the groundwork for a campaign to become the next leader of the Democrats in the Senate.  Both Durbin and Schumer are known   as being hard-line and for not taking prisoners.  Democrats would lose a seat but gain a strong leader.  After the fiasco that has been health care reform, that’s a trade I’m willing to make.

Liberal Media Bias Ends as Palin Gets Foxy

Foxy Lady

Foxy Lady

On Jan. 11, Sarah Palin was hired by Fox News as a “contributor.” In the face of the obvious liberal media bias, Fox News has decided to be the maverick and single-handedly compensate for all the Bill Mahers and Jon Stewarts out there. In a press release, Rupert Murdoch stated, “This had nothing to do with the obvious fact that she is a very attractive woman. She is obviously a very intelligent, refined, and articulate person, and that is why she has been hired. Her vast experience in international matters will also be a great contribution. After all, how many people can say that they see the continent of Russia from their back porch?” Murdoch also stated that, “Sarah Palin will be there to balance out other hosts.” According to one executive at Fox News, “Glenn Beck never stops and Sarah Palin always quits, so it’s a perfect match.” When asked if the move will upset Fox’s reputation of fair and balanced reporting, Murdoch said, “No of course not. We will always treat the GOP position with fairness and balance.”

The move was resoundingly supported by the National Comedians Association, a group that represents America’s best in comedy. Patton Oswalt said, “Sarah Palin is totally a Democrat now because without her us poor comedians wouldn’t make any money.” Larry the Cable Guy, as one of the most prominent members of NCA, has created an exploratory committee to take over the governorship of Alaska as a move to support the Palin movement.

There was an equal amount of criticism by some organizations such as the National Wolf Council, due to Palin’s wolf hunting. Ruff Wolfe, president of the organization, stated that, “I always thought a Fox and wolf could get along. But times are changing.”

Shows that Palin will be periodically hosting, include “You Betcha!,” “Sass & Class,” “The Daily Wink,” and “Real American Stories.” “Real American Stories” is a program that will talk about the stories of people like Joe the Plumber, who are from the “pro-America areas of this great nation” such as all the states with secessionist movements like Texas and Alaska.

Along with this contract is a book deal, which Fox News is hoping will live up to her NY Times bestseller “Going Rogue: An American Life.” It will be called “Drill, Baby, Drill! (but only after you get married… unless you are my daughter)” which is to be released in 2011 concurrent with her prospective bid as a presidential candidate for the Bull Moose Party as well as the Republican Party.

Sarah Palin, in a statement released by her spokesperson, stated that she took the job because, “Yeh know, it’s all about job creation and shoring up the economy. After all, that’s why I left my governor’s position open.”

Talking about open positions, MSNBC has decided to hire Sasha Baron Cohen to write a documentary about the life of Todd Palin called “Nailin’ Palin: Behind Every Great Woman is a Great Man” as a counter to the potential loss of male viewers to Fox News.

Rush Limbaugh stated that, “The Republican Party has done some bad things in the past like excessive spending, instituting bad fiscal policy and ending slavery. Now, though, we have been redeemed because Sarah Palin has joined the media in an attempt to end its liberal dominance.”

Web Ed. Note: This article was co-written by Benjamin Bracher.

Rod Blagojevich Just Wants Back Into Our Hearts

Look at him.  Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks?  Courtesy of Google Images.

Look at him. Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks? Courtesy of Google Images.

After finding that his efforts to inspire the diminutive American populations of “Guys with Great Hair” and “Martyrs of Extortion and Black-Market Bystanders” were failing miserably, Blagojevich revised his game plan. After reading the timeless literary classics “Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency,” “Bill Clinton’s Little Black Book” and “My Life: Bill Clinton,” Blagojevich felt the sweet light of mercy fall upon him. He knew what he must do: He began a tireless crusade to prove his pale paunch to the African-American community.

Apparently, first up on his list of things to do was give an eloquent interview to Esquire magazine where he stated, “”What the [expletive]? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter…I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little Laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.”

Silly, President Obama! Learning to read? Not breaking the law? With all the media attention going to Obama’s presidential campaign, subsequent win and later Nobel Peace Prize foray, we Americans completely missed Blagojevich’s struggle from the streets – a riveting story of redemption.

The lesson here, kiddos, is that A) White people think the equation for “blackness” has something to do with shining shoes and owning a Laundromat, and B) Becoming a crooked politician is a worthy goal to be attained if you’re living in the hood.

Blagojevich later apologized, calling the comment “stupid, stupid, stupid” and noting that he MEANT to criticize Obama’s high-falutin’ focus on upper-class echelons and lack of concern for the streets. And with heart warmed by his good intentions, I will forgive dear Rod once again for his lack of foresight and quasi-racist-stereotypic-overtones. What can I say? He makes me laugh. And that’s important.