Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Failing Health Care Reform Bill IV - The Belligerent Left

The far left seemed to insist on strict conformity with their own agenda and regularly threatened to bolt if anything less was adopted. They ignored the fundamental fact that they can only pass what the sixtieth senator will support.

For instance Senator Baucus warned them early in the fall that the public option was dead. Yet the far left threatened to revolt, if it did not stay in. Keeping that issue alive prevented the Senate leadership from reaching the magic number of 60 before the Massachusetts election..

Obama also reneged on his promise that he would seek a bipartisan solution largely because the far left forced him into a more strident posture.. Both sides accuse the other of abandoning bipartisanship. I come down squarely on the side of the Republicans on this issue. Not because they were enthusiastic participants in a bipartisan strategy, but because the Democrats gave them no other viable alternative.

The Democrats have been in charge and must take the initiative. It appears to me that the Democratic idea of bipartisanship is to adopt their own plan and ask the Republican to rubber stamp it..

I do not believe that the Democrats ever really wanted to reach an accommodation with the Republican leadership. Instead they were simply trying to pick off a handful of backbenchers so that they would have a comfortable margin to pass the Democratic plan. That is not a bipartisan strategy in my book. Those tactics made the job of the Minority Whip to keep the Republicans in line very easy.

If the bill does not pass it will be the left who killed it.

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