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  • The Obstructionism of the Left

    Over the past few days, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pushed ahead on the most partisan piece of significant legislation in the Senate’s storied history, political leaders on the left have sought to blame Republicans for the failure to achieve passage sooner. President Obama’s political consultant in the West Wing, David Axelrod, said as much on Meet the Press. Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean echoed these statements on the same program. And now the line seems to be at the top of every liberal talking points memo in Washington.

    However, this line of political attack is patently false. First, there is the obvious fact that the media is choosing to ignore — the Democrats have overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, and control the White House. How can one party meaningfully obstruct from a position of 40 votes in the Senate? Since a vote will in fact occur on Christmas Eve, it has been proven that you simply cannot effectively obstruct from the ultra-minority position. But more importantly, this line of political attack overlooks the two greatest obstructionists operating today — President Obama and Harry Reid.

    The glaring follow-up question to that is: ‘how can a majority leader or president obstruct?’ It’s actually quite simple. By shutting conservatives out of the negotiations from the beginning to the end, the far-left leaders in the White House, House and Senate have ended up with a bill that is absent of compromise, reason, or the moderate undertones necessary to successfully transform one-sixth of our national economy. By obstructing any true debate, any real dialogue, or any honest negotiations in place of buyouts, bribes and kickbacks for the moderates on the left, Obama and Reid have caused the legislative process to move at a snail’s pace. Liberals and conservatives can see that the horrendous legislation isn’t getting any better, and therefore simply hold out for a $300 million payout so they can try and rescue their own careers back home.

    Liberals will bemoan that this is a sign of the times. Partisanship is simply the way of Washington these days and is mostly the fault of the right. But is it really? When President Bush passed his significant overhaul of federal education initiatives, No Child Left Behind, it passed in the House by a 384-45 margin and in the Senate by a 91-8 margin, championed by former Senator Ted Kennedy himself. That was in 2001, President Bush’s first year in office.  These pre-conference votes took place before the good-natured comity immediately following the attack on our nation in September. At this time, Republicans controlled the House, and Democrats controlled the Senate (after the defection of Vermont’s Jim Jeffords (I-VT) in May 2001). Bipartisanship is not a product of long-past eras like Ed Sullivan, black and white movies and the fashionable smoking of cigarettes. President Obama’s predecessor (as Obama likes to call him) was able to pass significant reforms, even if everyone didn’t see eye-to-eye simply by not closing down the process to the minority party.

    This week, Senator Harry Reid will prevent any amendments from being offered onto the health care legislation that was set in motion this morning at 1:18 AM. By “filling the amendment tree,” Reid eliminates any opportunity for Republicans to at least attempt to put their imprint on the legislation, and who knows, get one or two bipartisan supporters in the process. Republicans were similarly locked out of backroom negotiations after the Baucus version of the bill was unveiled in October with Fox News airing video of media members being pushed out of a room while White House advisors and liberal Senators negotiated the framework for what was voted on this morning.

    Since his term began, President Obama has held dozens of meetings and strategy sessions at the White House with Members of Congress, and Republicans haven’t been invited to a single one since April. They weren’t invited even after they wrote the President begging to find “common ground.” That’s hardly similar to President Bush and Ted Kennedy calling each other to hammer out education reform details, or their meeting on a host of other issues such as border security (in which President Bush also worked closely with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who could hardly be called a moderate). In fact, the story of Ted Kennedy and First Lady Laura Bush learning of the September 11 attacks together while working on education reform is part of the legend of Washington itself.

    And if obstructionism of the opposing party isn’t enough, the left has been adamantly committed to obstructing the American people from even knowing the details of the legislation. Americans were promised transparent negotiations on CSPAN, and several days to read and understand legislation. Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans opposed to what they do know about the legislation, yet Congress arrogantly moved forward without allowing any meaningful time to read and deliberate in order to meet arbitrary political benchmarks. This morning’s vote took place less than 48 hours after the legislation was significantly altered in the Reid Amendment. As fiercely independent and health care reform advocate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday: “…when I talk to Congressman and Senators and say ‘what’s in the bill’ none of them really know…I don’t know how you can intelligently decide whether to vote for it or not if you don’t know what it’s going to do.”

    So why is there this rush toward partisan obstructionism on the left? Is it merely for an historical achievement other than huge deficit spending bills for President Obama to hang his first-term hat on? And if so, isn’t a bipartisan compromise with actual reform measures worth more in political capital than a narrowly divided legislative package that serves nobody’s interests except those of the White House? President Bush, as a former governor, understood the desperate situation in many of America’s public school systems and urgently cared about reform. He knew that for it to succeed, Democrats would have to be on board from the beginning. If President Obama actually cares about health care reform, why has his leadership in this process been limited to Democrat-only closed-door caucus meetings and Organizing for America political rallies? Why have we not seen Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) or House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) be invited to one single meeting at the White House in the past eight months?

    The narrative that conservatives have obstructed and offered no alternatives is literally and factually debunked. It simply isn’t true nor does it make any sense. Ideas like selling insurance across state lines or allowing individuals to carry their insurance from job to job aren’t ideas of the past or “more of the same,” as the left likes to falsely describe conservative alternatives. They are meaningful conservative ideas that cost nothing and possibly would have broken the logjam we see in the Senate today. Real reform has been obstructed, and unfortunately the obstructionism has come from the very authors of the legislation that nobody in Congress or America can stand to see passed.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to The Obstructionism of the Left

    1. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      THEY cannot spin this one. THEY had 60 willing accomplices. The fact THEY had to buy off their own only displays the greed and lack of ethics that is rampant.

      ALL democrats do not like this bill. THEY just did not have the courage of their convictions.

      REFORM IS NECESSARY; NO ONE DISPUTES THIS.

      Transparency??? Yeah, right.

    2. Randy says:

      What was Joe Lieberman's price?

    3. David Drewelow, Ceda says:

      Can this be undone in future years? Or will that process be way too difficult? I pray that it can be and now we need to go to work to dramatically change the members of the liberal congress!

    4. SandiE, Phoenix says:

      Do these people EVER stop whining? They got their vote, albeit through bribery. It's time for them to sit down, shut up and take the fall-out coming their way. They can blame only themselves for what comes to them now.

    5. Sick of HC Reform, V says:

      "Change we can believe in", America. This is what happens when you have a Democrat President (running the country from the left) with a bunch of far left loons like Reid & Pelosi controlling the House and the Senate.

    6. Proud Democrat, AL says:

      This article is pathetic. I will admit that the bill is not perfect, but republicans have been in the discussion the entire year. They have been allowed to offer amendments the entire year. The democrats have compromised plenty of times. Taking out the public option was a big compromise in the senate. Republicans have only offered obstructionism by forcing democrats to bypass filibusters every step of the way. All they have done this year is say no.

    7. jim says:

      What have Republicans done for the American people when they were in power for two terms???? What? What did they do about health care? You had 8 years – the country came out worse. Just let us do what needs to be done. You think the American people are going to be thankful that you are responsible for blocking health care reform? Wow! I can imagine how thankful they'll be if you succeed. Thank God I'm on the right side of history.

    8. Kerry says:

      The Heritage Foundation assuredly will not be on the list of media on the receiving end of 'CFL' lightbulb assaults…dinosaurs are far more complicit targets.

    9. Jill Hetherington says:

      It's a pretty lousy bill when you have to pay some slug 100 million to vote for it. How in the hell can you say this is deficit neutral when the cost will be 2.5 trillion in the first ten years.

      And now all of a sudden my health care contribution will sky rocket because I am being forced to pay for someone's abortion.(It's in there, don't tell me it isn't) I am very angry. I can't imagine anyone wanting this bill to become law.

    10. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Hope and change, I think that is what obama said before his "rule" began, well we have the change and can only hope we will be able to change what he has screwed up so for. May the dems be voted out and the republicans remined who they work for. US!!!!!!

    11. Bill, Forney, TX says:

      Proud & Jim have overdosed on the cool-aid the media has been serving the last year. The Republicans have NOT been in the discussions for the past year. They have had to take their message to the streets but have NOT been involved in the process of actually crafting legislation. Bills brought forth by the Republicans in the summer were not even allowed to be introduced for review and the possibility of moving INTO a committee for discussion. The Democrats have held the Senate since 2002 and have stopped any meaningful legislation the Republicans offered in the following two years by being obstructionists themselves. The Democrats have held both houses for the past two years, so the 8-years of making the country worse is a lie repeated often enough that idiots now think it the truth. As for removing the public option, the Democrats did not compromise with the Republicans. They merely pulled it for the sake of their own skins as the people they represented said they'd be out of work at the next election otherwise. Oh yeah, Proud & Jim's taxes are about to go up next week as the Dems quietly let the Bush tax cuts for EVERYONE expire.

    12. Pingback: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Discusses the “Lunatic Fringe” | Step Down Obama

    13. Kent, Wyoming says:

      People we have got to make them pay for this…democrats are to blame no matter how they spin it! One thing that I think will be a problem for us is that we MUST not split the party and go to a Tea Party vote. I love the Tea Party people, but if they cause a split it will only serve the democrats and this Nation cannot take another 4 years of these numbskulls!!!

    14. Martin Grand junctio says:

      Proud American…they were saying "no" in the interest of the people. And listening to their constituents. If I'm not mistaken the taxes collected on this bill go into the general fund.

      Like social security and medicare it will be raided to pay for a pork road or bridge to nowhere. I like the fact that Dean and Axelrod keep saying the Repubs are obstructionists. It keeps the spotlight on how our Congress ignores the majority of public opinion.

    15. Lynda says:

      By the time those that hail this bill figure out what it's going to cost them it will be too late. Everyones taxes are going up (hidden or not) and our choices will be minimized. LegislAtion has already been submitted to extend term limits for this president. THAT'S a scary thought!!!

    16. Pingback: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Discusses the “Lunatic Fringe” | Fix Health Care Policy

    17. Randy,SA TX says:

      i still dont know y people are siding with republican for doing nothing.we need the goverment option.the reason why is becuz with private tyranny(big biz) no one is held accountable for denying someone with preexisting conditions,becuz tht means more porfit for big biz.if the goverment denied someone becuz of preexisting conditions then we can hold people accountable for their actions.

    18. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      We know some Democrats are not as bad as others in their leftwing statist party. But sadly, they’ll all be bullied into voting with their corrupt party leaders –Nasty Pelosi, Dingy Harry Reid, et al. If Republicans want to be like Democrats, it should be ONLY in this way: zero tolerance for those who cross the aisle and side with Democrats. Democrat leaders (like Pelosi) won’t tolerate members who cross the aisle and vote with us. And why do we tolerate RINOs? If there is such a thing as a DINO, I’m sure the Democrat Party would oust them. To save America, we need to be firm!! Say NO to the environmentalist wackos and Cap & Trade. Say NO to pork barrel and runaway profligate spending. Say NO to National Health Care. Say yes to free market health care reform. Say YES to fiscal responsibility, tax cuts and eliminating absurd regulation. Since the Democrats say NO to us, let’s always say NO to Pelosi, Reid, BHO and their corrupt leftwing party!!

    19. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      For Proud & Jim:

      Thomas Jefferson said sonething to the effect:

      When government gets big enough to provide you anything they are also strong enough to take away everything.

      Also:

      History demonstrates the bigger the government the less freedom for its citizens.

    20. Pingback: Another Senator Escaped from the Socialist Funny Farm! ROFL « VotingFemale Speaks!

    21. Pingback: Rep Griffith flips Obama & Pelosi ‘the bird’; will announce his switch from DEM to Republican today « VotingFemale Speaks!

    22. Jill Hetherington says:

      I hear what Kent is saying about the potential of a tea party but if you look at the numbers, they might stand a chance of a landslide. The rebublicans are still lower than democrats as far as a likely vote if there is a tea party to vote for. We need to be cautious. And we need to win.

    23. Randy,SA TX says:

      the constitution also was made for the "opulent minority".opulent meaning wealthy.pls read the constitution congress debates not the watered down federalist papers.pls remember tht when anyone say we need small goverment then that means less of we the people.becuz then big biz can wept all profits that we pay for.

    24. Pingback: Merry Christmas Obama; hope you like your new record low of MINUS 21 Approval Index, so says Rasmussen « VotingFemale Speaks!

    25. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Sean Hannity called it right several weeks ago. When independents and Republicans were hoping that "blue dog" Democrats would put a stop to the Senate's HC bill Hannity said "In the end, they will all turn out to be Democrats and vote for the bill."

      This is exactly what happened. All their posturing and phony concern to the contrary, after they got their payoffs, they were brought to heel, like the dogs they are.

      Judas only got thirty pieces of silver for selling out Jesus. The Senators from Nebraska and Louisiana got quite a bit more, but that's inflation for you. My fondest hope is that they come to the same end as their role model.

    26. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Sort of like reporting that "Custer is holding his own at Little Big Horn!" The Press may love sensationalism, but that does not make it the truth, no matter how large the headlines, or how close the close-ups.

    27. Louis L Cesar F Levy says:

      DEY are UNDER spell! Wake Up to this Deception and be Ready for Sport.

    28. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear Proud and Jim,

      I feel sorry for you both.

      If you believe that our representatives should NOT represent the majority of the people who are against this health care bill, than what will you say when more and more of your rights get stripped away?

      If you believe this outrageous political bribery is perfectly fine, than what good is the Constitution?

      There was no intent to REFORM. You must not have been paying attention or understood what The Chicago Machine really meant during their campaign.

      If you can answer what RE-INVENT AMERICA means – than maybe you will understand that this is the first tyrannical step.

    29. Drew Page, IL says:

      Mayor Bloomberg asks how Senators and Representatives in the House can intelligently vote for or against a bill if they don't know what's in it? If you concentrate on the adverb "intelligently" in the previous sentence, the answer is, they can't. Take out that word "intelligently" and the answer to the question is easily answered by a responding question, "What am I bid?".

      Hannity hit the nail on the head several weeks ago, when the popular hope was that 'blue dog' Democrats would gut the Senate's bill. Hannity predicted that when it came down to it, the 'dogs' would prove to be nothing more than Democrats. He was right.

      Both Webb and Landrieu each got more than 30 pieces of silver. I think Dingy Harry was more generous than necessary in buying off those two. I mean we all know what they are, now we're just talking price. But hey, it's only tax money.

    30. Randy,SA TX says:

      the constitution also was made for the “opulent minority”.opulent meaning wealthy.pls read the constitution congress debates not the watered down federalist papers.pls remember tht when anyone say we need smaller goverment then that means less of we the people.becuz then big biz can wept all profits that we pay for

    31. Conservatives United says:

      Proud Democrat, AL writes:

      You are so blinded by your extreme liberal bias, that you can't see the forrest for all the trees. As with most liberals, they can't see the truth when it stares them in the face. By the way I am an independent who feels strongly and is working to throw ALL (THAT INCLUDES THE ILLEGAL OCCUPANT OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND HIS BAND CHICAGO STYLE MAFIA THUGS)of them out of DC. (BOTH PARTIES).

    32. james vandrovec- Jam says:

      D. Axelrod has been living in a twilight zone, his conscience is not working or he just drank the too much of the KOOLAID> How can this guy tell meet the press about all of the savings the FEDS will pass off to FEDS and the insurance companies…To think he is just one of the many czars and zombies we see in Washington. God help us as always!

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