His Divisiveness


The divisiveness of the Obama health reform project is demonstrated by his meeting today with 60 members of Congress – a delegation made up of members of his own party, and those who caucus with them. The purpose? To force his reluctant partners to pass a government takeover of 17% of the U.S. economy.

Democrats from the White House to Capitol Hill are still holding out hopes of winning the support of Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) for their healthcare bill. But despite major concessions made to centrist Democrats, Snowe has not yet jumped aboard.

They would like to get Olympia to vote for the plan – that way, with one Republican vote, they could pretend to have bipartisan support for this un-American plan.

“Yes, I do have misgivings because I understand that there are a lot of unintended consequences,” Snowe said Tuesday. “We haven’t had this bill laid down in its entirety so it makes it difficult, I think, to make a decision on a bill in such a short timeframe.”

The fact that any more than one or two mentally deficient members of Congress are supportive of such an abhorrent measure indicates the degree to which politics rules our country today, without regard for good policy or constitutional principles.

Snowe spoke to President Barack Obama on Monday and met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his staff to go over the outlines of the latest compromise version of the healthcare bill. Reid has opted to forego several key liberal priorities, such as the creation of a government-run public option health insurance program, to secure the votes of centrists such as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

It’s nice that Joe Lieberman forced them to take out the Public Option. It’s nice that he refused to allow an expansion of the bankrupt Medicare program in conjunction with cutting $500 billion out of its budget. But why does Joe only apply his principles of fiscal responsibility to those pieces of the bill while endorsing a new social program that will cost trillions?

A potential added benefit of Reid moving the bill toward the center as means of pulling his 60-member caucus together could be Snowe’s vote and at least a hint of bipartisanship. Snowe also objected to the versions of the public option promoted by most Democrats. Snowe voted for the version of the bill approved by the Finance Committee in October; that bill did not include a public option.

It’s nice that Ben Nelson is fighting the Democrats on the expansion of government funding of abortions, but why is he otherwise willing to vote for a 2000 page extravaganza whose consequences can only be guessed at?

But as she has at various stages of the process, Snowe complained that Democrats were rushing the bill — a criticism she shared with Obama and Reid.

“Given the enormity and complexity, I don’t see anything magical about the Christmas deadline if this bill is going to become law in 2014,” Snowe said.

Even Roland Burris, the appointed fill-in for Obama’s former senate seat is getting into the act – holding out for a Public Option. Wonder what he wants in return for casting his vote with the President.

Snowe has far from ruled out joining with Democrats on the bill, of course. “I’m going to keep working. I’m going to meet again with them tomorrow,” she said. “You know, I’ve discussed this with the president, as well. I think they view the timetable differently.”

Twice in a week the President has had to meet with Democrats to convince them not to side with the roughly two thirds of the American people opposed to this measure.

Hope and Change – bringing political decisiveness to new levels.

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