Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, November 25, 2003  

Some folks think the Medicare bill isn't so bad. Not to dispute with the estimable Drum and Newman, but it's not only bad--it's a nightmare.

Here's why. Sure, as legislation, there's something in there for the citizens. (It's a sad day when "something for the citizens" is regarded as not bad--but that compares, I guess, with "wholesale federal fund transfer to corporations.") But that's just the window dressing. This was never really about Medicare. It wasn't even, I suspect, particularly about kickbacks to the medical/insurance lobby (they're doing all right at the moment). It was about kicking the prone body of the Democrats in the head. Dems have been on the ground for awhile, but lately we've been showing signs of wanting to get up. Republicans wanted to put a quick end to that.

EJ Dionne hits it on the head this morning:

If anyone doubted the rules had changed, House Republican leaders ended all illusions in the early hours of Saturday morning by holding open a 15-minute roll call vote for an unprecedented two hours and 51 minutes. At the end of the normal time for voting, Republican leaders faced defeat on the drug bill by a two-vote margin. Eventually, two Republicans were hammered into switching their votes....

Kennedy said in an interview that he had no regrets about trying to get the earlier bill passed. But he acknowledged that Republicans had shown far more discipline than Democrats have ever mustered. Kennedy recalled a conversation he had with then-Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas in the early 1990s about the wall of Republican opposition to President Clinton's health care bill. Gramm, he said, explained that Republicans were determined not to let Clinton and a Democratic Congress prove they were capable of "performing."

Normally I don't want to look like an alarmist, but now it's time to be alarmed. The calculation has changed, folks. Darth is in power, and the Empire is marching (on those spindly walker-legs) right at the rebels. We've got two choices: pull ourselves together and fight ,or continue to screw around and be wiped out. Seriously.

How many times are we going to get kicked in the head before we get organized and start fighting back?

posted by Jeff | 12:41 PM |
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