whiteHouse_missionAccomplished

(Fake photo credit:  Chris Jamison)

So the health care "reform" bill passed last night, complete with payoffs, abortion funding and fake projections of "savings" required to try to pass it via reconciliation.  And in an entirely "unipartisan" manner.  (Even the New Deal had bipartisan support.)

So what does this mean for American politics?  Glad you asked.

  • There is now a precedent for requiring Americans to buy something simply because they live here.  Automobile insurance is required in most states if you own a car.  Health insurance, however, is required, period.  Nice work if you can get it. 
  • The phrase "pro-life Democrat", at least (but not limited to) as it described Washington politicians, is now known to be an oxymoron.  The executive order Obama promised the Stupak group isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  (See here, here and here, please.)  An EO only applies to the executive branch, can be rescinded on a whim, and legislation always trumps it.  And in spite of whatever pro-life record they may have had in the past, the entire Stupak group sold its collective souls, principles and the lives of future generations for something they must know is less a fig leaf and more tissue paper.  (More on this from Betsy Newmark.  This is just unfathomable.)
  • Democrats can no longer legitimately complain about polarization or the lack of bipartisanship in Washington.  No doubt they will, mind you, but they’ve completely lost the moral authority on the issue.
  • Gaming the CBO system for political gain, though I’m sure it’s been done before, has, by virtue of this massive bill, been raised to a new level of legitimacy.  A former CBO head wrote on Saturday that the numbers were so manipulated that what is claimed will be a reduction in the deficit of $138 billion is really more like an increase in the neighborhood of $562 billion.  The foundation for using the reconciliation process to pass this bill was that it reduced the deficit.  So the method used to pass the bill was based on a lie.  And this is not even including a $371 billion dollar Medicare bill that’s coming down the pike. 

Everything about this legislation — above and beyond the usual sausage-making that is the political process — is absolutely awful, regardless of its actual contents.  And its actual contents, once we have it, no matter how awful it turns out to be, is now with us for good.  (Barring a repeal, which is very hard to get the political will to do in Washington.)  If it’s an abject failure, or even it if just keeps the status quo at the cost of billions every year to run in place, it will not go away.  We’re stuck with this ball and chain.

And a parting "shot", if you will, from Michael Ramirez.  (Click for a larger version.)

 

Bullet points

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