Time to face the music?

Dick Armey predicts (via Memeorandum) that the current round of Democratic shenanigans will succeed at forcing Obamacare through.

"They'll probably force this through," he said. "But you can't discount the number of people who can be moved by a ruthless and powerful political leader or group of political leaders."

The FreedomWorks chairman also had harsh word for the rest of Congress - the "self-serving" people he suggests are equally to blame for the passage of health care legislation.

"The average member Congress - House and Senate - is first and foremost only a self-serving inconvenience-minimizer who doesn't have a lot of principle they stand on the first place," he said. "It doesn't take much to move a jellied spine, so they'll probably get their votes."


On the plus side, Armey thinks it will result in a Republican triumph in November, with the Tea Party movement playing a prominent role:

Asked if Democrats will get a bounce in poll numbers if they pass health care reform, Armey said Democrats "will get politically bounced" from office. Armey is confident that Harry Reid will lose his Senate seat in November and that Republicans will regain a majority in both houses of Congress either this election cycle or the next.

Armey attributed the rise of conservatism and the Republican Party to a "wave of grassroots activism" led by the Tea Party movement. He called the Tea Party the swing vote in the upcoming election, but he also made clear that the Tea Party is not a third political party.

"Right now they have a clear understanding of who they're swinging against," Armey said. "They're swinging against the Democrats because the Democrats are scaring them half to death."

Armey warned Republicans that the Tea Party activists won't go away if the Republicans regain the majority. They will keeping watching and will be just as quick to turn on Republicans if they start putting their own interests above America's interests.

"The Republican Party has got to find a way to convince [the Tea Party] that they're reliable adults - a rare thing indeed to be found holding public office," Armey said.

Reminds me of what I said about "courageous leadership" being a political oxymoron.

I don't know what is going to happen, and much as I hope Armey is wrong, what hurts the most right now is seeing Big Pharma in bed with the big government monster:

The drug industry, which has held off running ads until officials sign off on the final reconciliation bill, is growing more comfortable with the emerging legislation and is preparing a substantial pro-reform ad buy in 43 Democratic districts, according to a senior industry source. The amount and timing of the buy have not yet been set and hinge largely on action in the House. Still, the development is a substantial step forward from Monday morning, when industry officials, coming off a tough weekend of negotiating with Democratic staffers, said there were no ads in the works. The movement should also help appease the White House, which has been leaning on the industry to provide Democrats air cover, according to industry sources.
Sickening if true. Once again, when regulators are in bed with those they regulate, woe to the unregulated!

I would love to see all these predictions prove wrong and I hate to sound so glum, so I thought I would offer some spiritually uplifting music which is a remix of a lovely Soviet Era tune that's currently the rage on YouTube (the song couldn't be sung at the time, so they ditched the lyrics).

Nothing like something to comfort us in our time of need.

And the lyrics really make about as much sense as this:

"The preferred solution for Democrats would be for Obama to hold off signing anything until the sidecar health bill has cleared Congress -- something neither CBO nor the parliamentarian's office rules out. ... CBO has said nothing officially but it's clearly signaled that the most practical approach would be for the reconciliation bill to be written to directly reference the larger Senate bill. ... But for the parliamentarian, this is the hardest route to defend if Democrats truly want to avoid having an early bill signing. Frumin has privately argued that if reconciliation is to change law, what it changes must truly be law -- not simply a bill on its way to the president. He's pointed to alternative routes such as amending the underlying Social Security or Medicare statutes on which much of the Senate bill rests. But if the bill is written to specifically build on the Senate bill -- thereby helping with CBO scoring -- then Obama will have to sign it into law before Senate action. A compromise might yet be found, but after weeks of trying different drafting approaches, the House appears resigned to moving ahead with an approach that directly references the Senate-passed bill."
Can he sign a bill that was "passed" by people who never read what they didn't really vote for? (You know the answer to that.)

MORE: If you weren't disgusted enough, read "Sleazy backroom deals on Obamacare."

It's hard to believe we live in a country founded on the idea of government by the consent of the governed.

UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds, I see that Dan Riehl did not like Armey's prediction:

What Armey did stinks. And it stinks like inside the beltway political crap. I've no idea what an organization's agenda really is when it's running ads and promotions for a protest, collecting contact information for it, then going on record predicting defeat before said event has even taken place. It was pretty gotdamned insulting, especially considering so many people are out here everyday putting so much into this stuff - and without the presumably six figure pay-out Armey enjoys for apparently talking the talk but not walking the walk.

Freedom Works has a problem. I'm not going to go on about it. But they had better fix it, whatever it is. As things stand, I'm not real interested in pushing their crap going forward. What Armey did sucked, big time. It was a slap in the face of every genuine activist out here and it came at a critical time.

Well, considering the fact that the Obamacare horror has been direly predicted to be about to pass since at least Christmas (and now they're looking at ruining Easter), the Armey prediction did at least succeed in motivating me to write yet another post. (Which is saying something, as it's not easy after seven years of blogging and some rather difficult problems to motivate me to write yet another post repeating thoughts I have made clear so many times I could scream. No one could pay me to do this!!!!!)

I'm 55 years old, and one of the things I have seen many, many times is that political wars are won by attrition. There are many ways to wear people down and eventually wear them out. Make them stay up all night -- better yet on a Saturday night -- physically and mentally wear them out by forcing them to listen, schedule and reschedule endless committee meetings that last until two in the morning, and talk, talk, talk , debate, debate, debate, and above all harangue, harangue, harangue. In the normal course of events, this will ensure that the only people left standing are political ideologues. Ordinary people will have given up. I haven't given up, but that's only because I know their fucking game, and I can refuse to play it and therefore reuse to lose it.

What is different now is that ordinary people know what's going on. They know that the endless waits at the doctors office which would be a reality if this nightmare "passes" will make the delays now look like a walk in the park.

So I think they'll wear out the ideologues before they wear out the ordinary people.

Dick Armey is an ideologue (a guy the left accuses of being Mr. Tea Party Astroturf personified), and I think he is so used to playing that game that he might have thought that putting the fear of God into people would motivate them. But screw Armey. He is not in charge of the Tea Parties and I seriously doubt he will wear anyone out, (least of all a leaderless, spontaneous, self-starting juggernaut). He certainly didn't wear me out; as I said, he caused me to crank out another post about this despite the fact that I hate -- and I mean absolutely detest -- repeating myself.

I think that even if Armey somehow did cause the activists to stay home, the real people would still be pissed enough that they would not let up. And if the real people were to actually descend on Washington, that would scare the crap out of, out of them.

(Forgive me for repeating myself etc.)

posted by Eric on 03.16.10 at 12:04 PM


Well you consent once and then you are deemed to have consented forever. The Slaughter rule I think.

One man. One vote. Once.

M. Simon   ·  March 16, 2010 5:56 PM

"It's hard to believe we live in a country founded on the idea of government by the consent of the governed."

We don't, anymore.

What you point out about Big Pharma is equally true of private health insurance. It was NO coincidence that Anthem/Blue Cross in California announced a 39% premium increase on individual plans precisely at the wrong time.

We are going to end up with a partnership between the federal government and the insurance industry. The idiots on the right will call this socialism.
It's not. It fascism.
That's why Dennis Kucinich has been against it. He is a true socialist.

Everything about Obama screams fascist. From the Roman Columns at his party acceptance speech in Denver to his partnerships with banks, AIG, & General Motors. All the son of a bitch needs is a balcony at the White House.

Frank   ·  March 16, 2010 10:28 PM

If they push it through, the opposition has but one campaign promise that will fly: repeal.

I hope such blatant unconstitutionality will at least be considered by the courts. Not that I'm hopeful; these are the jurists who don't believe a voter has standing regarding illegalities in Presidential elections, when common sense dictates that every voter has such standing.

Brett   ·  March 17, 2010 8:38 AM

If the Democrats pass this using "Demon Pass" (deem and pass), the Republicans should immediately challenge the Constitutionality of the law.

If the courts refuse to hear the challenge (on separation of powers grounds) then in 2011 the Republicans can repeal the law by deeming repeal to have occured and also deeming in the vote that the President signed the bill into law.

The only way to overturn the new law -- which the President is "deemed" to have signed -- would be a court challenge, that, if the courts hear it would serve as a precedent to revisit the issue of whether the Demon Passed HCR law is actually law.

Mark L   ·  March 17, 2010 4:16 PM

I was wrong about Kucinich. He was promised something - perhaps a dead horse head on his pillow?
Reps. Costa & Cardoza from California's central valley were just given extra federal water deliveries for switching.
The thing WILL pass, and will not be revoked.

Frank   ·  March 17, 2010 7:27 PM

That video was like fingers on the blackboard. Probably matches my mood as Obamacare gets rammed through in maneuvers usually employed by proctologists.

Pat   ·  March 17, 2010 11:46 PM

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