weekly standard: Page 1
Could Obamacare end up being an electoral boon for the GOP? Let me explain in the context of the video below. The video - from Time Warner Cable News - shows a Job Creator complaining that he can't expand his business to two more locations: if he does he'll hit the 50 employer limit imposed by Obamacare and have to either pay a fine or provide healthcare to his employees.
Needless to say, there are far too many examples of the incompetence of rightwing bloggers than I could ever cover. However, to pick one out of the hat, take a look at the reaction to "The Puzzle of Black Republicans" by University of Pennsylvania professor Adolph L. Reed Jr (link).
Watch out world, because William Kristol is now a tea partier (link). After the memorable four words "my fellow Tea Partiers" he states that, in addition to the "the day-to-day work of a loyal opposition", he wants the Republican Party to:
be the party of the future as well as the present. It can be the party of fundamental reflection and radical choice as well as the party of day-to-day criticism and opposition. This isn’t easy. It can lead to mistakes and missteps, tensions and confusions. But it’s what the moment requires... So fear not the Tea Parties. Be open to fundamental reforms. Belt-tightening and program-trimming, more transparency and greater efficiency, are not enough. The danger for Republicans isn’t that they will address the current crisis too boldly. It’s that they won’t be bold enough.
The problem of course is that the tea parties - as outlined at the last link - have a vast array of fundamental issues. None that I've met are capable of governing much of anything. All they can come up with are childish and childlike ideas that don't acknowledge there are other people in the U.S. who might disagree. Of course, the tea partiers crank it up a notch, implying that those who disagree with them aren't real patriots when they aren't engaging in outright redbaiting. They're willing to be useful idiots for those who don't have their interests at heart, such as the Koch family and Dick Armey of FreedomWorks. Kristol references "a few eccentric proposals" at an event he attended, but Kristol isn't trying to show them how to do things in better ways; he's not pointing out that waving loopy signs, throwing tantrums at public meetings, and playing dress-up games aren't just stupid and childish, they also degrade the already-low level of debate in the U.S. He's not pointing out the negative impacts of the tea partiers' strong fiscal conservatism or that most Americans seem to appreciate a mixed economy rather than the "free" market that the partiers think they want.
And, it's telling that the partiers would invite Kristol to their event in Philadelphia as a featured guest rather than as someone who should be discredited for his links to the George W Bush administration, specifically their foreign policy.
The latest news on the Obama healthcare front is that the "death panels" part of the legislation - the part that doesn't exist even though it does exist - cannot be repealed per language inserted by Harry Reid (link). The subsection about the "Independent Medicare Advisory Board" says:
it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.
According to an update however, it could be effectively repealed by refusing to fund it.
In related news, Roland Burris inserted language in an amendment that could be used to fund ACORN, the National Council of La Raza, and a whole host of other groups (weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/12/exclusive_acorn_qualifies_for_1.asp). From the amendment:
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary, acting through the Deputy Assistant Secretary, shall award grants, contracts, enter into memoranda of understanding, cooperative, interagency, intra-agency and other agreements with public and nonprofit private entities, agencies, as well as Departmental and Cabinet agencies and organizations, and with organizations that are indigenous human resource providers in communities of color to assure improved health status of racial and ethnic minorities, and shall develop measures to evaluate the effectiveness of activities aimed at reducing health disparities and supporting the local community. Such measures shall evaluate community outreach activities, language services, workforce cultural competence, and other areas as determined by the Secretary.’’
If you don't like this turn of events, here's how to block or modify the healthcare reform bill.