Monday, March 15, 2010

Damned If You Do...

With the health care reform bill back in Congress's hands, people are speculating whether it will pass or fail. At this point, it may not matter because it doesn't end well for the Left in either case.

If the reform bill passes... Democrats will own it, lock, stock, and barrel. Although this sounds like a good thing, it's actually not because the kind of health care "reform" being proposed has already been tried. And it's failed. For a President who needs a boost in the job performance area, Obama can't afford to fail, not even after winning an important vote on reform.

Furthermore, the length of time necessary to pass the health care reform bill has had a toll on the Left. Ideological rifts have been formed that have the potential of hamstringing President Obama's agenda worse than anything the Republicans could do, real or imagined. With enough progressive Representatives and Senators voting against a more moderate approach to any issue, the Republicans wouldn't need a majority to block the Obama agenda. That doesn't bode well for Obama or the Democrats in the short or the long term.

Also, an unintended consequence will occur: higher unemployment. How many doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals will be willing to stay in their practice if the reform bill passes? Some will quit or retire because they oppose the "reform," while others will be forced out of practice. In either case, there will be more unemployed Americans at a time when the economy is tanking. That, in turn, will drive Obama's numbers down further as more and more Americans see that he doesn't have any answers on how to fix the economy.

Finally, if the reform bill passes, insurance companies will be demonized for their efforts. Sure, they helped to write the current "reform" bill on the table, but the Left has no loyalty to anyone but the cause. Insurance companies will continue to be made villains by the Left, and their reward for helping pass the reform bill will be an enraged populous screaming for their heads.

If the reform bill doesn't pass... it will be a major blow to the Obama Administration and the Congressional Democrats. They've spent a lot of political capital on this agenda item, and failure will mean they lose all of it in the early part of an election year. And it wasn't like they couldn't have pushed this if they really wanted to, either. This was a collective failure of leadership on the part of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

A failure to pass the reform bill will also benefit Republicans and conservative Democrats because it becomes harder and harder for the Democrats to paint the GOP as the "Party of No" if members of their own party break ranks with Pelosi and Reid. Of course, this will also further widen the gap between the conservative Democrats and the Leftist Democrats, which also helps the Republicans. Strategically, Republicans and conservatives are in a very good position right now.

Insurance companies will still get blamed if the bill fails, but they might be tempted to look elsewhere for candidates to support. You know, candidates who don't get bought and then turn on you. That's going to leave the DNC a bit more strapped for cash during an election year, something that should be giving them nightmares.

Finally, if the current reform bill doesn't pass, maybe we can finally go back to the drawing board and fix what is really wrong with the American health care system instead of putting Band Aids on a broken leg. If you're going to reform health care, then do it, but don't jerk us around with pie-in-the-sky promises with no grounds in reality.

In other words, the Dems are damned if they do...and damned if they don't.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quick Hits

I know I haven't been doing my blogging duty lately, but here goes....

- Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel is temporarily stepping aside as chair while the House Ethics Committee looks into charges lodged against the 20-term Representative. First off, I'm going to wait for the investigation to complete before I start calling for his impeachment, mainly because his ilk rarely affords the same consideration to Republicans who get in trouble, legal or otherwise. When a Republican gets in trouble, the Left resorts to the "severity of the charges" line to try to shame the Republican into resigning. No such calls from me on this one. Let Rangel deal with the Ethics Committee. Second, Rangel is a 20-term Representative...and Harlem is still like Beirut with more McDonalds franchises? Folks, at some point, you're going to have to let him go because he's not doing anything for Harlem.

- Rangel isn't the only Democrat involved in a scandal, though. More and more Democrats are finding themselves in legal or moral trouble these days, and it reminds me of 2006 when Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts were talking about the Republican "culture of corruption." Well, that perfect scandal storm has swung its way back around and is hitting the party in power. That's the funny thing about politics. No matter what, the pendulum always swings back the other way and will probably whack somebody upside the head.

- With Sarah Palin talking to Mark Burnett about a reality show, I think it's safe to say she's officially jumped the shark.

- Mitt Romney is starting to fire up his Presidential aspirations by attacking the President. It's all well and good, except when you consider his health care reform proposal in Massachusetts isn't too far removed from Obamacare. To the Republicans reading this, are you sure this is a guy you want running the country?

- Speaking of Obamacare, have you noticed that most of the talk surrounding it has been focused on the Senate? Talk of the "nuclear option" and reconciliation has dominated the coverage with only an occasional story coming out of the House talking about how the House will pass health care reform. I'm of a different opinion. I think the reason there isn't much coverage about the impending House vote is because Obamacare isn't going to pass the House in its current form. There are too many differences between the House and Senate versions that will kill it in one house or the other, but I'm leaning towards it being the House that sends Odumbacare to pasture because of how close the first vote on it was. Three votes in the other direction and we wouldn't be having this conversation right now, and I don't think Pelosi or the Obama White House has the political capital left to ensure victory.

- President Obama has been talking up his stimulus package as a measure that saved us from the brink of economic ruin. Obama has set up the seemingly irrefutable argument since no one can say what would have happened if the stimulus package hadn't been passed. However, it's in that uncertainty that an argument can be made that the stimulus package had no impact on the economy. All it takes is someone smart enough to make that argument...oh wait. Someone smart enough just did.


- John McCain's campaign fired back at challenger J. D. Hayworth's latest ad with McCain in face paint. McCain's campaign manager demanded Hayworth apologize for possibly offending Native Americans because of the face paint. Of course, it might actually be a valid criticism...if it wasn't a play on the popular movie "Avatar." Even I knew that, and I've never seen "Avatar." Then again, when you're as out of touch as McCain is, it's not surprising that he'd pick staff equally as clueless.