They just can't stop themselves. Sen. John Barrasso was the guest on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program over the weekend and he’s still out there trying to hawk the idea that there wasn’t any bipartisan cooperation when writing the health care bill. He pretends that if the numbers in the Senate get worse for Democrats that we’re going to see some cooperation from Republicans because the Democrats will have to quit putting forth bills that are “far to the left”.
When National Journal’s Terence Samuel asks him why the Democrats couldn’t get more things passed with their large majorities they had in both the House and the Senate instead of admitting that the Democrats got no or next to nothing in the way of cooperation from the Republicans along with dealing with their “centrist” or better put “corporate” Conserva-Dems, Barrasso claims the problem is that their positions were “extreme” and out of the “mainstream”. So in Barrasso’s world, Bob Dole’s health care plan or something resembling Romney-Care is “extreme”.
Barrasso then defends the Republicans use of the filibuster by using that good old tea party fallback—the “Founding Fathers” wanted the Senate to be a place to “let things cool down”. While that is true, I don’t think by “cool” they meant to put legislation into the deep freezer Senator.
Host Susan Swain asks Barrasso if he’d support some sort of filibuster reform, which of course he doesn’t because he knows the Republicans are doing just fine with their record levels of obstruction and preventing Democrats from getting even the mildest of any type of reforms through the Congress and then blaming the Democrats for not getting anything done. They’ve been relying on the fact that unfortunately most Americans don’t even know what a filibuster is or understand the arcane rules of the Senate. Barrasso thinks the rules “have worked well.” They’ve worked well alright, for his party to help keep running America into a ditch.
Carrie Budoff Brown asks him what he thinks about Republicans shutting down the government over the next two years and if he’d be willing to prevent the health care bill from being implemented. Barrasso would not directly advocate a shut down but instead cited the Republican lie that’s been told over and over again about how the IRS would be hiring up to 16,000 new agents to enforce the health care law, a myth with numbers that Republicans apparently pulled out of their arses as an example of what they'd do to combat the law being enforced. Nothing like making sure to get in a little fear-mongering with your empty promises there.
Barrasso also talked about them taking away funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that they can’t enforce provisions in the new law. What could possibly go wrong with that? As others noted that might end up backfiring on them since I don’t think it’s going to be too popular with the voters if the Republicans make sure they’re powerless if an insurance company doesn’t want to cover their children’s health care and there’s no one to turn to.
Barrasso also wants to overturn the provision in the bill which changes the way companies issue 1099 tax forms. I could see that repeal gaining some popularity, but if they think repealing some of the more popular parts of the law is going to be easy they’ve got another thing coming. I'm sure Barrasso is fully aware of that though which would explain why he says "I'd have to take a look at it" when asked if he'd sign the pledge at defundit.org to de-fund the health care law, as though he's not fully aware of what's there already.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, we got some weak tea passed with this health care bill and if the Republicans get a chance, they're not going to change it for the better. They're going to all they can to make it worse. It's just shameful.
And as always in the interest of remaining neutral, C-SPAN proves themselves to be as bad as Fox when it comes to being a fact-free spin zone, since not one of Barrasso’s lies were challenged during this interview. The entire half hour is available on their site here.