The dream season that began in 2009 is ending on a sour note for the Democrats. Allah observes that some Democrats are beginning to distance themselves from the White House deadline imposed for passing ObamaCare.
So how long did Gibbs’s “March 18 or bust” ultimatum last? Four hours maybe?
Decide for yourselves what this means. Either Obama’s own caucus no longer takes him seriously or he’s so removed from the political realities of this vote in the House that he’s placing literally impossible demands on them. “Both” is an acceptable answer.
As any politician (or businessman) worth his salt knows, the enemy of any deal is inertia. If a deal is not moving forward it is always in imminent danger. Inertia in politics is a lot like stress because it’s a silent killer. And Nancy Pelosi is feeling the stress right now as she attempts to rebut the straightforward opposition of members of her caucus like Democratic Representative Bart Stupak (MI). Stupak specifically referenced the language in the Senate bill that concerns him about abortion:
Stupak also fired back at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disputing her claims at a news conference three hours earlier that the Senate health bill won’t allow federal funding for abortion.
“She’s incorrect,” he said. “I’d ask the speaker to direct her attention to page 2069 through page 2078. There are two ways in those pages where you pay for abortion. Number one, you get tax breaks that subsidize your insurance policy that will pay for abortion. Number two, when you read the legislation, one dollar per month for all enrollees, must go into this fund for ‘reproductive care,’ which includes abortion coverage.“
Here’s Pelosi’s brilliant retort:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi got exasperated when asked at her weekly news conference about the unwillingness of some Democrats – including Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) – to support the health bill because of abortion language.
“Let me say this: This is not about abortion! This is a bill about providing quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” she said, more eager than ever to stay on message as her legacy becomes increasingly tied to what happens in the next few weeks.
This is the language of a lost and confused politician who lacks the legislative and pursuasive skills necessary to lead a large caucus on a major legislative effort. (George Mithchell could have done it. So could Tip O’Neill, Lyndon Johnson or Sam Rayburn to name just a few Democrats, but not Nancy Pelosi) Maybe the Democrat’s new mantra should be “when in doubt just shout”. The same could be said about this White House. Both are in the throes of a slow political death that hasn’t been so publicly on display since Watergate.
Update: Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer (MD) says he may try to carve out a provision on abortion to placate the Stupak objections.
Unfortunately, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin already called BS on that maneuver:
But while Hoyer proposed that an additional bill could be a viable route forward, the feasibility of that option remains in serious question. As recently as Tuesday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that “there is no conversation” about a “clean-up” bill in the Senate to resolve Stupak’s qualms.
Asked whether abortion language is the major sticking point in moving forward to a final bill, Hoyer ducked the question.
The only question remaining now is at what point do we start to use the Generalissimo Fransisco Franco “still dead” parodies when discussing this legislation.
That didn’t take long.
WASHINGTON — Representative William Delahunt will not seek re-election to Congress, the seven-term Democrat will announce tomorrow, ending a nearly 40-year career in elected office and giving Republicans hope of capturing the seat, which stretches from Cape Cod to the South Shore.
“It’s got nothing to do with politics,” the Quincy Democrat said today. “Life is about change. I think it’s healthy. It’s time.“
That’s change you can believe in.