cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
It has been likened to herding cats into a burlap sack; that is what confronts Nancy Pelosi as she works to get enough votes to pass the Obama-enhanced Senate bill that prescribes the overhaul of our health care in
The House Democrats got to a bare majority on their own version of health care reform before they began to see the writing on the many walls in our country. That writing is the threat, to many of those “yes” votes, coming in the fall elections. Politicians, as I’ve written before, are, above all else, intent on being re-elected; that becomes “job #1” upon taking the seat in Congress for the first time.
Pelosi now has the unenviable job of talking, twisting, cajoling, and buying sufficient votes to pass the Senate version of health care reform which doesn’t satisfy her House members. There were forty votes that swung based on abortion language. There are still “blue dog” Democrats that need the cover of “fiscal responsibility” that simply doesn’t exist in either version of this effort. There are those House members who are in very tough re-election campaigns that could well change their vote from “yes” to “no”.
In spite of Ms. Pelosi’s “whistling in the graveyard”, most members of Congress are very much aware that the majority in
There may have been, and probably was, some real human concern behind the push for health care reform in the beginning. That has disappeared now into the morass that is political survival. It has become a debate about who goes home and who stays in
The Health Care Summit proved to have been simply the stage that the President thought he needed to move the Democrats forward. He never intended to learn anything during those long hours; he only intended to help Democrats find their political backbones. He never intended for the Republicans to express their ideas for his internal reflection. He only wanted to provide the impetus to get this monster moving again after the
The President has put Ms. Pelosi in a box. He has effectively told her that she must re-convince a majority of her members to vote “yes” when they aren’t at all happy with the Senate’s version that is now “the plan”; and, when they plainly see the mood of the voters. The House members skew more liberal than the Senate members. The President chose the Senate version thus kicking sand in the face of the liberal House members. Senators have the luxury of six-year terms with only a third facing the voters every two years, and they know that voters tend to forget these things very quickly. All House members must face the voters every two years.
The real question isn’t so much the question of reconciliation being used in the Senate as it is the question of a simple majority in the House. Will
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled Beware of China Ties".