Well, two out of three isn’t bad. Obama got what he wanted – a phony dog and pony show displaying fake bi-partisanship. The GOP got what they needed – air time to articulate their positions to the American people. Unfortunately, it did not quite degenerate into the full on food fight I was hoping for – slightly diminishing the entertainment value for me.
The GOP was the winner of the debate by any measure.
First, the GOP side was infinitely more photogenic. I mean, you put Henry Waxman and John Dingell in the same room, and my mind instantly jumps to the Lord of the Rings cave scene – you know, the one where the good guys are desperately fighting the goblins and the giant troll. All together, the Democrat side looked every bit the decadent politburo of progressive elites they in fact are. The proof of this observation is their willingness to let an obvious tax cheat – Charlie Rangel – speak in favor of spending another trillion bucks of your money.
Second, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner completely out-classed Obama in the executive leadership department. Obama grandstanded and looked like he was making the process up on the fly. McConnell and Boehner were both efficient delegators calling on their designated experts at each turn. The measured speaking times are the proof of Obama’s grandstanding – the so-called moderator spoke for more minutes than either side in the alleged debate. (Obama 119 minutes, Democrats 114 minutes, GOP 110 minutes.) Obama also did himself a disfavor by putting himself in the chair of the impartial moderator, and acting every bit the arrogant partisan hack for the Democrat side.
Third, the GOP skewered the Democrats and Obama on the substance. The Democrats – as Lefties often do – told heart rending anecdotal stories that actually have no bearing on the macro-economic debate on the table. The GOP came armed with facts and printed legislative language. Each Democrat seemed to be speaking individually for his or her own electoral life. The GOP came to the table as a team with an effective game plan: old bulls take on Obama directly rhetorically, young Turks assigned to specific areas of detailed expertise. An added boon for the GOP: Obama was the only Democrat willing to debate details, often pitting him against the GOP’s much better prepared young Turks. It was like watching a modern multi-processor computer play chess against an old vacuum-tube uni-processor mainframe. No contest.
Fourth, all the laughable gaffes came from the Democrat side. Harry Reid stated as a “fact” that no one on the Democrat side was discussing the reconciliation procedure for passage – laughable on its face. Plus, he himself is on tape talking reconciliation on the Sunday talk shows. When it was time to wrap up with a phony show of bi-partisanship, Nanny Pelosi stated the bill being debated does not allow federal funding for abortions – a partisan hack thing to say. The only version of the bill that specifically denies federal funding for abortion is the one that has no chance of moving forward – H.R. 3962 with the Stupak Amendment. On the less substantial side, Joe Biden was overheard on an open mike saying he doesn’t do anything as VP. The blogosphere is having a lot of fun with this one right now. I’m also pretty sure I caught him taking a nap during the discussion (or maybe he was checking his watch for way too long). Last but not least, an elected donkey from Los Angeles gave us an awesome show of true stupidity - by going on for several minutes not getting Paul Ryan’s simple point that unrealistic assumptions yield bad estimates.
Legislatively - we now appear to be exactly where we were when I inaugurated this blog on December 30, 2009. The Democrats are pushing a completely partisan monstrosity the American people do not want. The Democrats seem willing to jam the monstrosity down the American peoples' throats. The smart money is on the monstrosity failing to gain the votes it needs for passage in the House – quite probably due to the defection of Blue Dogs in general, and the Stupak anti-abortion faction in particular. If Nanny Pelosi pulls a rabbit out of her hat and gets the monstrosity to the Senate, the Democrats will probably have the 51 votes they need to pass a fundamental change to 1/6 of our economy under the reconciliation procedure – which will be remembered as a monumental abuse of power. If it gets that far, Obama will undoubtedly sign it into law. Two things are then certain to occur. (1) The unconstitutional elements of the monstrosity, including the individual mandates, will be immediately challenged, tying the monstrosity up in court until November for sure. (2) The GOP is now an odds-on favorite to gain a majority in both the House and Senate in November – allowing them to withhold funding for the monstrosity until 2012.
The prospects for repeal before 2012 are unlikely – as that would require veto proof super-majorities in both houses of congress. Depending on the election results of 2012, the repeal process can then begin.
Welcome to the predictable outcome when Community Agitators (Organizers) are voted into the Oval Office.
It has come to my attention the amazingly stupid elected donkey from Los Angeles is now on YouTube laughing off the Pledge of Allegiance. You can view it here.
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