It was riveting theater, anyway. The Squire of the Stately Manor was glued to C-Span on the telly from 1:50 until about 11 p.m. watching The People's House debate ObamaCare on Sunday.
The debate was passionate -- the beautiful sound that democracy makes. The kind of thing The Capital Times used to criticize on the County Board (Oooh, too "divisive") until liberals retook control.
My wife asked where was Paul Ryan? They were saving him until the climactic moment, right before John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. Ryan didn't jib jab the numbers but went straight to the issue about what kind of government we are to have:
- An all-powerful redistributionist and leveling government as the ultimate giver and taker OR
- The Jeffersonian, limited-government model that pledged a nation's vitality on the faith that informed individuals will make rational decisions when allowed to reap the rewards of success and when forced to live with the consequences of their follies.
When the votes tallied on the television screen oh, so slowly, it seemed possible for a time that Democrats might be denied their 216 but in the end got over the finish line 219-212, with 34 Democrat(ic) defections. (Whither the 34 now?) I had no illusions that debate changed any minds. It almost never does, at any level of government.
The saying is, "the minority debates, the majority votes." But the congress persons were speaking to the nation, not each other.
Admired the managing of allotted time, the only way business can be conducted in a body of 435. If it can be said in 10 minutes, it can be said better in 5.
Republicans held firm, as they have (led by the House) since Day One of the Obama experiment. Now we'll see who history redeems. Liberals have their president, the first since the first two years of the Clinton administration. Will health care fade as an issue by November? After all, the supposed benefits do not kick in until 2014 -- well after the next Presidential election. Meanwhile, the costs kick in almost immediately.
Ah, but there is so much more Pelosi-Obama liberalism left in the tank. (Harry Reid is a goner after this November.)
A prediction: this one cleaves deep, almost as deep as Roe v. Wade in that there is no national consensus on the proper role of government in a free society. Not here, not yet.
When Republicans helped pass Civil Rights in 1957 and 1964, the nation was behind them. Where is the nation today on ObamaCare? It is in opposition, 48 to 40 percent, according to RealClearPolitics polling average.
Speaker after speaker on the majority side praised Social Security and Medicare. But those are two programs headed for a rude fiscal reckoning as that demographic bulge called the baby boomers gets ever more senescent. Some Dems even touted VA hospitals. VA hospitals!?
Now add to the deepest deficit and the fattest budget another trillion dollars of spending controlled by the heavy hand of government led by those 17,000 extra IRS agents to make sure we comply with the health insurance mandates. (Who says government can't create jobs?!)
The side of freedom feels aggrieved. Angry voters are determined voters.
- Does anyone believe the government-run health care will actually reduce the deficit?
- Does anyone actually believe government can make better decisions than empowered individuals who own their future?
- Does anyone actually believe competition should be constrained?
- Does anyone actually believe that abortion will not soon be fully covered? Or that political pressure groups won't be lining up for other mandates?
"The tipping point of dependency"
Paul Ryan's speech is the one that will survive Sunday's debate to resonate through the November elections.
"This is about what kind of country we are going to be. A choice on the future path of this country. ... Should we now subscribe to an ideology where government creates rights, is solely responsible for delivering these artificial rights, then systematically rations these rights?"
Bart, we hardly knew ye
CNN reports (03-22-2010) that after Bart Stupid announced his support for health care reform legislation, an organization opposing abortion rights withdrew an award it had planned to present ol' Bart. The Susan B. Anthony List had chosen Stupak to receive the "Defender of Life" award at the "Campaign for Life Gala" Wednesday in the nation's capital.
"By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List said.
Ah, but Bart has "assurances" from the most pro-abortion president in our history through an executive decree, which is so much paper when countered by contrary federal statute.
Does anyone get the image of another politician who won a piece of paper for his concessions?
What to make of the Wisconsin State Journal's endorsements for the County Board? (Read the damn Sunday paper.) They are all over the place.
Big Kurt Schlicht of Cross Plains was endorsed, as he should be, as "a fierce critic" of the 7.9% tax levy hike. So why endorse those who voted for the tax hike: Denise Duranczyk of Stoughton, Patrick Miles of McFarland, Robin Schmidt of Monona, David de Felice of southeast Madison, and board chairman Scott McDonell? (Except, the latter is running versus Dennis DeNure.)
The breakdown: the WSJ endorsed 11 conservatives running against liberals and 6 libs running against conservatives plus two libs in all-lib races and one conservative in the single all-conservative race (in Sun Prairie).
The State Journal endorses cop-hater Brett Hulsey for "courage in standing up to the deputies union." Huh? For all that courage, Hulsey, as chairman of the personnel and finance committee, is one of the principal architects of the 7.9 percent tax hike.
"Courage in standing up to the deputies" consists of threatening layoffs and furloughs?
As it is, the deputies agreed to a 3 percent wage reduction in 2010, a wage freeze for 2011, and a 3 percent increase in wages on the last day of the pay period in 2011.
"Members of the Association feel that this is a reasonable, responsible and fair settlement, given the tough economic times that everyone in our community and our country, are facing. However, this was not an easy road. As many of you are aware, this Association felt, and still feels, that Dane County government needs to walk down a path of budget priorities and fiscal responsibility."
For example, the deputies union asks why did Falk give $200,000 to the Mustard Museum while threatening to lay off 21 deputies?
These are the supervisors who voted YES to a 7.9% increase in county taxes: Bayrd, de Felice, DeSmidt, Duranczyk, Erickson, Hendrick, Hesselbein, Hulsey, Kostelic, Levin, Manning, Matano, Opitz, Rusk, Schmidt, Solberg, Stoebig, Stubbs, Vedder, Veldran, Wheeler, and McDonell.
Best sign of the day at the freedom rally Sunday in Washington -- under a picture of Nancy Pelosi: "Is Batshit Crazy a Pre-existing Condition?"