December 16, 2009

Time to call the Obamacrats' health care bluff

Democrats still have a lot of work to do to forge some sort of compromise bill on health care. Why is that? They own the White House right now, a massive majority in the Congress and are nearly filibuster-proof in the Senate.

So what gives? Why are they struggling to forge something they can get through, preferably quickly if (a) they have the votes (b) they have the public support and (c) they agree amongst themselves? Isn't the answer obvious?

They don't, on all three counts. They are playing with a weak hand - that's why they are rushing, struggling, arguing and fumbling. They are nowhere near ready, and yet they want something done by Christmas.

Is it time to call their bluff? Should the GOP agree to whatever procedural steps are necessary to get it to a floor vote? It's a risky strategy because it could result in passage of a bad bill. But it does have some merits.


-it neutralizes the GOP are obstructionist in the liberal media, that's good PR.
-it catches the Democrats off guard and forces them to vote on the current version of the bill, which will have as many moderate Democrats opposed/in favor as it does liberal Democrats in favor/opposed to it. In other words it doesn't pass the floor vote because in the end the disaffected side of the Democrats will vote with the GOP against the bill.
-it draws a line in the sand - while the Democrats dither like Obama did on Afghanistan, the GOP looks more decisive and action oriented. More good PR.
-it works very will with a commitment from the GOP to reverse the bill if elected.
-it may be making the most of a weak hand for the GOP. If there is no real way to stop this travesty at least it grabs the public's attention to tell them why you are doing it - you can control that message and for good measure one last time say why you think the bill is bad. In fact it may rouse the town hall/Tea Party protests into action again. They did make an impact.

Conversely it could blow up on the GOP. Most importantly it could turn off the base if either they don't understand it or if the ploy backfires and the bill passes. But when you are dealt a bad hand that you have to play out, you have to consider all options and calling the Democrats' bluff when they are in disarray themselves might not be a bad idea. Frankly, I'm not sold on the idea myself, but I'm not sure if it's even been considered by the GOP.

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