Written by Richard Falknor
"Omaha, NE - A small group of pro-life supporters braved sub-freezing temperatures and knee-deep snow on New Year's Day to protest outside the Omaha residence of Sen. Ben Nelson. The group, which was joined by Operation Rescue's Truth Truck, voiced disapproval of Nelson's 'Cornhusker Kickback,' in which Nelson traded his vote in support of tax-funded abortion for special favors for Nebraska." - Operation Rescue
Last Wednesday on National Review on Line, Jeffrey Anderson declared "Its Not Inevitable" - -
"No, the air of inevitability that the pro-Obamacare press is presenting needs to waft away and be replaced with more realistic reports like the following:
Having passed separate versions of their highly unpopular health-care overhaul by the narrowest of margins (with a mere two votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate) - versions that were tailor-made for their respective chambers and designed to squeeze out the maximum number of votes in each -
Democrats are now seeking to somehow, someway gain as many votes for a compromise version as they were able to gain for the respective tailor-made versions. Meanwhile, members are home interacting with their constituents, the clear majority of whom oppose the bills,often vehemently.
And many readers have doubtless already seen Phyllis Schlafly's New Year's Day column declaring "New reasons emerge almost daily as to why Obamacare can and must be defeated."
Insist That the Senate Republican Leadership
Stay in (or Get in) the Fight
Last Monday, RedState's Erick Erickson once again pointed out the missteps of the Senate Republican leadership in his "Mitch McConnell Tries to Have It Both Ways" - -
"Then there is this rather indicting report from Congressional Quarterly. Unfortunately it is not online, but some choice highlights include:
McConnell and aides have denied Democrats' charges that the GOP's only plan is delay, disputing that a memorandum by Senate Budget ranking member Judd Gregg on procedural steps the minority can use to slow the bill amounts to 'an obstruction manual.'
Senate aides said McConnell appears to have his eye on the bill's political implications for the fractious Democratic majority.
Yet again, McConnell seemingly based his entire strategy on the idea that the Democrats, not the Republicans, would defeat the legislation. McConnell was so convinced that the Democrats would kill the bill themselves, he shut down Tom Coburn's attempts to have all 3000 pages of the legislation read in an effort to tie up the Senate for, potentially, more than a week.
Before Thanksgiving, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., backed off a threat to force a reading of the healthcare bill. But appearing miffed, he made clear he did so reluctantly at the request of leadership.
McConnell wants to have it both ways. He is now saying that the GOP used every procedural weapon available, but said repeatedly and backed up those words with actions to prove he was not actually working to delay the legislation."
Editor Erickson helpfully links to the Gregg memorandum, which we commend to readers as another useful guide to the traditional rights of the U. S. Senate minority:
"This came after someone leaked the Judd Gregg memorandum that outlined all the minority rights available in the Senate to obstruct the health care legislation."
RedState's Hogan gets to the root of the matter in his "40 Republicans May Be a Temporary Blessing"
"Anyone who has seen the belly of the Senate Republican beast on the inside knows all too well that they have been willing to cut a 'less bad' deal any day of the week, and Sunday too. And they have done it over, and over, and over again.
So, while yes Byron [York], you are absolutely correct that this version of Obamacare would not pass, they would have passed something - expanded S-CHIP, a variation of Wyden-Bennett, an expansion of Medicare or anything that they could reasonably suggest 'does something' (because Lord knows, Republicans must be FOR something - no matter what it is).
In so doing, Republicans would own - piece by piece, fully and without any ability to say otherwise - the continued nationalization of healthcare. And, therefore, the line in the sand would continue to be an indistinguishable blur - leaving voters without a clear sense of the difference between the parties."
As we wrote on Christmas Eve in our "OBAMACARE: No Conferees? No Decision Until February?" - -
"The House of Representatives is slated to return on January 12, 2010 and the U.S. Senate on January 19, 2010 Between [now] and these dates, Maryland and Virginia activists have a further opportunity to reach errant members of the Congress, temporarily unshielded by their Washington, D.C. bubbles, and to enlist like-minded state elected officials in the common fight to bury Obamacare."
Remember that the needed numbers for repeal of Obamacare, in whole or in part, against the presumed opposition of the current president, are two-thirds of each house of the Congress to overcome a presidential veto of any proposed repeal legislation. Even given a positive outcome in next November's Congressional elections, such repeal numbers are unlikely.
As seasoned observers Hogan and Erickson suggest, moreover, counting on the will and skill of this Senate Republican leadership to engage in effective hard bargaining with this White House to roll back even parts of nationalized health care would be a triumph of hope over experience.