Even Moderates Turning Hard Right
Awhile back, the Republicans tossed around the repeal/lawsuit idea if health care reform passed. David Axelrod and Democratic Strategists smiled broadly and said "Bring it on!"-never thinking they'd take the bait. In fact, nobody took them too seriously and experts agreed:
-a repeal is nearly impossible. Most lawsuits would not have a chance.
-it would be an unwise campaign strategy to run on threatening to take away all the good things people would start to get (hey, grandma, give me that rebate check back for your donut hole coverage!) even in the first 6 months of the new law
-for lawsuits that would likely fail, it would take alot of money and lawyers during a time that is tight for state budgets. I thought the GOP hated lawyers. Now they are going to keep them busy 24/7? Is that what most taxpayers want governors to use their money on?
As expected, within minutes of passage, the Bachman's of the party were threatening repeal and lawsuits. But something unexpected happened. The entire Republican Party (not just the far-right wackos) decided to embrace this idea, even plan to run campaigns around it, despite the fact that it was unrealisitc and unwise. Various official Republican sites began to raise money off the idea of repeal (I hear they may be close to $1 million.) At least 13 Republican Governors ordered the Attorney Generals to sue. Tea Partiers are thrilled and think their money is actually going to repeal this thing. Wait until they realize they are being used (yet again) and nothing will come of this madness and desperation.
So what is happening to the elected "Moderates" of the party? Why aren't they standing up against this absurdity and listening to David Frum? Why aren't they trying to lead the party away from disaster? Even Senator Brown has turned hard-right and had to walk back some reasonable talk (we can't have a voice of reason!)
WASHINGTON — As his fellow Republicans girded to oppose health care legislation in the Senate this week and readied a nationwide repeal effort, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown said yesterday that he was not ready to join those efforts and was keeping his options open.
By last night, Brown had clarified his position, promising to vote against the Democrats’ health care reconciliation package and pledging to support GOP repeal efforts. He said his earlier remarks were mischaracterized.
“I’m going to repeal it because it’s bad for our state,’’ Brown declared last night in a phone interview.
It was a surprising stutter-step for the former state lawmaker, who vaulted into the US Senate and became a national GOP phenomenon precisely because of his strong attacks on President Obama’s health care proposals. Unwavering opposition to the legislation has been a centerpiece of his political repertoire.
So it appeared to be a softening after Brown, approached by reporters in Boston yesterday, punted when asked whether he planned to oppose the Democrats’ health care budget reconciliation bill in the Senate.
“I have to see what they are proposing. I’m heading back to get briefed. I think everyone is fighting fiercely, and I’m going to fight fiercely for jobs in Massachusetts,’’ Brown said.
Asked if that meant there was a possibility he would vote in favor of the reconciliation package, Brown replied: “I haven’t read it yet. I want to be able to read it first.’’
The reconciliation bill has been a target of Republican ire for weeks.
“In order to repeal it, you need to see what’s in fact going to be in place. I think that’s a little premature,’’ said Brown, who was questioned by several reporters outside a fishing-regulation meeting in Boston. “I want to see what’s going to be in play.’’
A political ally and mentor of Brown’s, Senator John McCain of Arizona, is among the leading advocate for repeals. Asked for clarification about his position later, a spokeswoman for Brown edged closer to the idea of repeal, while still leaving some wiggle room: “Brown believes that there should absolutely be an opportunity to repeal it.’’
Without mentioning specifics of reconciliation or repeal, Brown’s rhetoric was sharper during an appearance yesterday on WEEI-AM, when he encouraged listeners to call their senators to complain, predicted that attorneys general would challenge the constitutionality of the bill, and argued that it would hurt Massachusetts.
“This bill will clearly hurt our jobs,’’ Brown said on the radio. “And we will lose a lot of jobs here in Massachusetts. We will have lesser coverage, and longer lines. And I just don’t know how we’re going to pay for all this.’’
Wavering by Brown on health care would carry national significance and could hurt his standing among conservatives around the country.
Note: Did he say We will have lesser coverage? Is he taking grammar lessons from Palin?
Somebody must have "gotten to him" to keep him in line. How sad. The message seems to be: Come on Republican troops, keep up the anger, damn Pelosi to hell, pretend we are going to repeal this thing or sue until we can't capitalize on the Tea party stupidity any longer! This Rush-Limbaugh/Glenn Beck type mentality may help in the short term, may even help raise some money, but where exactly do they think this "movement" is going and how on earth can it help the Republican Party and our country? So much for country first.