December 14, 2009

News So Great, It Boggles the Mind (and Provokes Skepticism)

Hatched by Dafydd

If this news is true, then that's all she wrote.

In a flailing, last-ditch effort to save the Senate ObamaCare bill -- which is gonna be sinking soon, to draft Norah Jones into a role she would hate -- Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 75%) jettisoned the government option and replaced it with a government option. That is, he deep-sixed the direct underwriting of health-care insurance by the government, the program so hated by the American people, and replaced it in the bill with a surreal expansion of the Medicare boondoggle... which is already teetering on the brink of complete collapse (being unfunded to the tune of trillions of dollars), and is simultaneously being looted of an additional half a trillion in real money by various other parts of ObamaCare.

Elementary, my dear Reid.

As Paul Mirengoff at Power Line put it yesterday:

This is only the latest blow to "Reid-care." The Mayo Clinic has already denounced the expansion of Medicare and the American Medical Association also opposes this concept. These developments reinforce the sense that Reid threw his "compromise" proposal together in desperation and without much thought to its consequences.

In essence, Reid is treating the process as a game of "60 pick-up."

Meaning, of course, that Reid is simply throwing everything but the kitchen sink, plus the television, plus the "slavery" threat -- plus the kitchen sink after all -- at the wall, hoping something sticks. Sixty somethings, actually.

For that, Reid needs to keep each and every last Democrat (plus the two Independents) on the plantation (to continue his own metaphor), since all 40 Republicans have already voted against cloture even before debate began. And the Dear Leader's job just got infinitely tougher this evening, when a certain non-Democrat made a certain announcement:

In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.

The bill’s supporters had said earlier that they thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along with a compromise they worked out to overcome an impasse within the Democratic Party.

But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and abandon any new government insurance plan or lose his vote.

Exit Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT, 85% Democratic). Enter fat lady; warms up tonsils.

Even better, Reid is making no headway at all with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE, %) on the abortion issue:

On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, to vote for the bill. Mr. Nelson opposes abortion. Any provision that satisfies him risks alienating supporters of abortion rights.

In interviews on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Nelson said the bill did not have the 60 votes it would need in the Senate.

Nelson also expressed great misgivings about either version of the government option, worrying that it would lead to "the ultimate single-payer plan."

Meanwhile, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY, 80%) strikes what I think is exactly the right tack -- what should kill ObamaCare is not politics but policy failings:

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that passage of the bill was looking less and less inevitable. The Democrats "are in serious trouble on this," he said, "and the core problem is the American people do not want us to pass it."

Or to repeat the quote of the year about ObamaCare, from the assistant director of Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Peter Brown:

“It’s a good thing for those pushing the health care overhaul in Congress that the American people don’t get a vote."

I said before that this monstrosity was going to collapse under its own weight, and I see no reason to withdraw or change my prediction. In fact, I almost feel like quoting "Hannibal" Smith: "I love it when a plan comes together!"

Still, my inborn Skept-O-Meter warns me that we're not out of the woods until the last dog has sung its swan song.

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 14, 2009, at the time of 1:01 AM

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Tracked on December 14, 2009 12:47 AM


The following hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin

The folks at don't like the compromise at all. They are circulating a petition insisting on a strong public option:

I don't think they are ready to give up yet, maybe because they haven't figured out a way they can blame their own lack of effective leadership on the GOP.

The above hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 14, 2009 5:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: Chris Hunt

With or without any type of public option, this bill is still a pile of shite, and by focusing debate in that direction, the probability of passing something just for the sake of passing it grows unabated. There will be tremendous pressure to do something so the President can stick a feather in his cap when he gives his SOTU.

The above hissed in response by: Chris Hunt [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 15, 2009 7:34 AM

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