Posted by: mutantpoodle | October 4, 2007

This will help Republicans how, exactly?

Los Angeles Times Front Page October 4, 2007

Los Angeles Times Front Page October 4, 2007

Sometimes, I look at my morning paper and scream.

In fairness, the two most recent examples had to do with the New York Mets donating the NL East title to the Phillies and the UCLA Bruins sending what appeared to be their practice squad to Salt Lake City to play Utah in football, but today, sadly, it was the headline above.

“Child Health Veto Risky to both Parties.”

Really.

I can see how it’s risky to Republicans, being that SCHIP is a hugely popular program with broad bipartisan support, and nearly 60% of Americans support expanding the program to cover more kids, even at the expense of those beleaguered insurance companies.

Here’s how the LA Times describes the risks to Democrats:

Having scaled back their ambitions during negotiations with leading GOP senators, they have pledged to make no further compromises. And they could get blamed for politicizing a well-established program that has been seen as a bipartisan success story.

Oh, just fucking kill me now. Has a dumber sentence ever been written in the august pages of the LA Times?

For the record, that’s a rhetorical question.

Here’s the deal: This legislation IS a bipartisan success story. When you’re veto-proof in the Senate and maybe a dozen votes shy of an override in the house, and Orrin Hatch – Orrin Hatch! – is suggesting that the folks at home “raise Cain,” it ain’t the Democrats who politicized theprogram.

It’s George W. Bush.

Listening to our suddenly fiscally responsible President on Morning Edition, it struck me that while his stubbornness will doubtless continue, his heart didn’t seem to be in it. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t get the sense he believed a word he was saying.

Probably because, on one claim, that the bill he vetoed would expand coverage to families making up to $83,000 a year, he was lying. And – you have to love this – NPR was able to quote a pissed-off Hatch calling him out on it!

[Bush defended the veto at a Town Hall meeting on Fiscal Responsibility. I assume he was the “before” exhibit.]

Really, Bush is upset that some people who have private insurance might be able to get in on the cheaper SCHIP program. Hey – they got $300 from him six years ago – that must be rattling around somewhere, if it hasn’t been spent already on gas. Why not send it to Aetna?

But back to the LA Times. Pay attention: this veto is a live hand grenade stuck in the hands of the GOP. It’s going to be an anvil around the neck of almost every Republican who sticks with Bush and with most of the GOP Presidential field, as well. This is a disaster for Republicans, on an issue on which they are already weak. And no matter what Tom Feeney (R-FL) says in the Washington Post, this won’t be the action that allows Republicans to “reclaim their brand.”

Unless, of course, it’s the “we don’t give a shit about anyone but the corporations to whom we’ve sworn a blood oath of loyalty” brand.

Could Democrats be blamed for politicizing SCHIP? Sure. In fact, I’d be shocked if dozens of right-wing minions aren’t breathlessly doing so right now.

That said, no responsible media outlet could possibly report such a charge uncontested, right? Right?

And that’s the final point. Every time the Democrats do something, from now until Larry Craig starts getting the hots for women, they’ll be blamed – usually by the entire GOP – for something: hyperpartisanship, fiscal irresponsibility, lack of patriotism, or wearing white after Labor Day.

They have to do what’s right anyway.

And yes, that applies to Iraq as well.

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