Nice work validating yet another right-wing narrative, Max Baucus and Kent Conrad.
Health care negotiators in the Senate pressed for a way to ensure that illegal immigrants can't get access to government-funded insurance, a contentious issue now front and center after a Republican congressman's outburst during President Barack Obama's speech.Right-wing nutcase shouts stupidly at the president when the president states a fact: that illegal immigrants will not be covered under a proposed health plan. Right-wing noise machine rallies around right-wing nutcase despite, or maybe because of, the fact that he is wrong.
The issue is one of several thorny problems that came up as a small group of negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee met Friday morning. Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is aiming to finalize legislation on Obama's health overhaul by next week — though whether it's bipartisan or not remains to be seen.
Next obvious step: Democrats cave in to non-existent pressure to solve non-existent problem thereby validating right-wing nutcase and the noise machine that loves him.
Why do the Democrats have to keep learning over and over and over again that you gain nothing by caving in to right-wing nutcases? When has it ever worked?
Iraq - Democrats caved in to Bush on the grounds that if they didn't the Republicans would call them Soft on Terror. What happened after they caved? The Republicans called them Soft on Terror.
Torture - Democrats caved in to Bush on the grounds that if they did not, the Republicans would call them Soft on Terror. What happened after they caved? The Republicans called them Soft on Terror.
Warrantless Surveillance - Democrats caved in to Bush on the grounds that if they did not, the Republicans would call them Soft on Terror. What happened after they caved? The Republicans called them Soft on Terror.
And it's not only national security. The dynamic applies to domestic policy as well.
Taxes - Democrats caved into to Bush on tax cuts for the wealthy. It did not stop the Republicans from calling them Tax-and-Spend Liberals in the next election cycle.
Again and again and again, Democrats surrender to the Republicans in the hope that doing so will blunt the GOP's ability to hurl smears at them. Again and again and again the GOP pulls all the old smears out right on cue to predictable effect.
It was only after the absolute and undeniable failure of the Republican approach to governance that the Democrats took control of congress despite same old tactics of character assassination. The Democrats' inclination to surrender without a fight did nothing to prevent the attacks. After six years of conservative failure, voters just didn't buy it anymore. But by then, the damage - to our economy, our security, our national prestige - was done. Now, the Democratic president and the Democratic majority in congress are spending most of their time and energy trying to clean up the Republicans' mess.
Now, on health reform, we have weakness and capitulation making things even more difficult on the Democratic Party's signature issue. The only apparent reason for the surrender is to pre-empt Republican smears about publicly-funded health care for illegal immigrants. But we already know that nothing - nothing - will stop the Republicans from making those accusations. After all, H.R. 3200 specifically prohibits federal payments for undocumented aliens and that didn't stop a right-wing nutcase from calling the president a liar during a joint session congress.
How stupid can you be, Max Baucus?
Apparently, at least stupid enough to think that surrendering is a winning strategy.
Obviously we'll find out who wants to support the (bill) and who doesn't," Baucus said. "I'm hopeful that there will be bipartisan support. And I'll keep working on it frankly over the weekend, on the telephone talking to people, so on and so forth."Yeah, good luck with that.