The Death of Obamacare
January 29, 2010 by Chip Wood
Well, how about those voters in Massachusetts? They just elected a Republican as the new senator from the Bay State. Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley for the seat Ted Kennedy held for more than 40 years. Brown’s victory has the left stumbling like a punch-drunk fighter who’s taken one too many hits to the head.
There goes the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. There goes Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) ability to bribe and bluster his way to getting healthcare passed. There goes Barack Obama’s plan to socialize the rest of the United States economy that Uncle Sam doesn’t already control.
And in all probability, there goes Obamacare.
To all of my friends and colleagues on the right, go ahead and gloat a bit. You deserve it. And it’s been a long time since you could.
Massachusetts has long prided itself on being one of the bluest of the blue states. Barack Obama defeated John McCain there by a 26-point margin. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Bay State by almost three-to-one.
Ah, but independents in the Bay State are the ones who determine political victory. And like a majority of voters in the rest of the country, they are sick and tired of growing government, massive deficits, a sick economy and politicians who lie to them.
There has been a boatload of explanations offered for what happened and what it means. Some on the loony left even insist that Brown’s victory—and his campaign promise to help kill the healthcare bill—shouldn’t make any difference. They insist the Democrats still have enough votes to pass a healthcare bill on a “reconciliation” vote.
In case you’re not familiar with this parliamentary maneuver, essentially it’s a gimmick by which a simple majority in the House and Senate can approve the final version of two similar bills which were previously approved by both branches of Congress.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, has been quoted as saying, “Even before Massachusetts and that race was on the radar screen, we prepared for the process of using reconciliation.”
Frankly, I’d like to see them try. If you think there’s a lot of anger at Congress in the country now, just wait until you see what would happen if they forced Obamacare into law. The uproar would be so loud and long I doubt if many who voted “aye” would dare show their faces in public for months.
In the face of Scott Brown’s stunning victory, many Democrats are reconsidering their positions. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), an ultra-liberal congressman, says bluntly that Congress “will have to start over on healthcare.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who once claimed that everything was “on course” for a speedy passage, now says she doesn’t have the votes to get the Senate’s healthcare bill approved.
Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), whose anti-abortion plank was crucial to getting Obamacare passed in the House, showed he looks at his mail when he declared: “Sweetheart deals and backroom negotiations may have secured 60 votes in the Senate, but it has left the American public disillusioned.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) has warned his fellow democrats that ignoring the lessons from Massachusetts will “lead to even further catastrophes” for their party. “There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all of this,” Bayh said. Then he added, “If you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”
Speaking of denial, here’s the most incredible comment on the Massachusetts election I’ve heard yet: “Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept [Barack Obama] into office.”
If you find that almost laughably absurd, wait until I told you who said it. Here’s a hint: Instead of “[Barack Obama]” in the sentence above, substitute the word “me.” Yes, it was none other than our illustrious president, in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos.
As unbelievable as that statement was, listen to the excuse that followed: “We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us,” the president explained, “that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.”
The problem is that the president hasn’t communicated enough with the American people? Give me a break. The Obama Administration is the most media-obsessed group ever to occupy the White House. CBS News ran some statistics revealing just how much time our Teleprompter in Chief has spent in front of an audience since he took office:
- In his first 365 days in office, Obama made more than 400 public speeches. Some 52 of them were devoted to healthcare.
- Obama has held 42 press conferences, four of them in prime time and broadcast on national television. That’s twice as many press conferences as George W. Bush held in his first year.
- Thus far, Obama has given 158 exclusive interviews to various reporters, far more than any of his predecessors in the White House.
- Plus, the president has conducted an additional 23 town hall meetings around the country to drum up support for his programs.
As anyone who can count past three could easily tell, the problem isn’t that we’ve heard too little from the president. The problem is that he’s tried to do too much that most Americans don’t like.
We were promised “hope and change.” Instead, we got a bait and switch, with every single proposal coming out of the White House costing more money and building more government than Americans wanted.
Will the President now shift to the right? His State of the Union message will contain some clues. I have to submit this column before I’ll get to hear it, however. So look for an analysis in this space next week.
Five months ago, I wrote a Straight Talk column predicting that the public would get fed up with the President’s radical effort to push this country to the left. The title of that Sept. 4 article was “How Barack Obama Will Destroy Liberalism.” In it I said, “To put it as succinctly as possible, Barack Obama seems determined to preside over the most radical transformation of the Federal Government this country has ever seen. And the American people don’t want it.”
Then I added, “I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of liberal domination in Washington. I think Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Barack Obama have badly underestimated the American people. They lied about what they’d do and they badly misjudged how much we would endure. The counter-revolution has begun.”
And I concluded by saying, “Yes, the era of big government will soon be over. And we’ll have Barack Obama and all of his over-reaching cronies to thank for it.”,
Thanks to the people of Massachusetts for bringing that time one day closer.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.