March 27, 2011

While discussing one year after the passage of The Affordable Care Act, whether most Americans support the law or not, Brit Hume throws this bit of nonsense out there:

HUME: What I would say about this is, think how different this would be now had the president and the Democrats in Congress been willing to incorporate some Republican ideas; a serious attempt at tort reform for example. He would have gotten I think not only much of what, he, the president wanted, Republicans would have gotten some of they wanted. A bunch of them would have voted for it. This notion that it's a partisan bill would be gone and the whole picture would look different right now from the way it does.

I actually in my life have never seen anything like this. I've never seen a bill with this much consequence rammed through by one party alone. And it raised questions about the legitimacy of the measure from the start and those questions persist today. And that is why, even with the polls that you and Juan cited and there are others that show something quite different, the thing remains up in the air and I think Bill is right in thinking that it will be a burden to this presidency.

What fantasy world is Hume living in? Does he really think we're supposed to believe that Republicans were ever going to vote for that bill, no matter how many of their ideas were incorporated into it? This is the party of Jim DeMint who said he wanted the stall the bill being passed for as long as possible because he wanted it to be Obama's "Waterloo" that John wrote about here -- SC's Jim DeMint would rather bring pain to President Obama than help the American people.

And would someone please explain to me what good it did to do all that wrangling and deal-making with Olympia Snowe that Susie wrote about here?

As Jon Perr pointed out in this post, bipartisanship is dead, "but it is the Republican Party which killed it." -- Bipartisanship's Willing Executioners:

Republicans win, even when they lose. That appears to be the conventional wisdom after the Democrats' crucial victory in the Senate health care vote this weekend. In its wake, media outlets gave credence to John McCain's assertion that thanks to President Obama, Washington is "more partisan" and "more bitterly divided than it's been." That followed the pronouncement of CNN's supposedly moderate Republican analyst David Gergen, who proclaimed the party line vote "a tragedy" since it did not garner a "super majority," a result for which "blame is pretty evenly divided."

To be sure, McCain and Gergen are right that bipartisanship is dead. But it is the Republican Party which killed it.

The numbers don't lie. For over a generation, Democrats have acquiesced in the GOP's budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while Republicans instead presented a unified rejectionist front on the economic programs of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Worse still, the Republicans' record-breaking use of the filibuster since being relegated to the minority in 2006 has made the 60 vote threshold a permanent fixture of the Senate. As for Gergen's nostalgia for the political parties that passed Social Security and Medicare with bipartisan majorities, they simply don't exist anymore. [...]

Sadly, President Obama's almost pathological obsession with bipartisan consensus only served to produce more political masochism when it came to this month's health care votes. In the House, exactly one Republican voted for a health care reform bill which passed by a 220-215 margin. Contrary to John McCain's mythology that in the Senate, there had been "no effort that I know of -- of serious across the table negotiations," Obama repeatedly reached out to GOP Senators like Olympia Snowe and left the writing of the Senate health bill to the bipartisan "Gang of Six." For that, President Obama only got what Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) called a "holy war" - and zero Republican votes.

And as Rachel Maddow pointed out last year, Republicans just loved the individual mandate, before they decided they were against it because a Democrat proposed it -- Republicans Frivolous Lawsuits: They Loved the Mandate Before Calling it Unconstitutional.

This is the Republicans idea of "bipartisanship" that Karoli reminded us of last December -- Mitch McConnell Will Work With President Obama to do Republican Things.

But Brit Hume expects us to believe that if they'd just gotten some of that tort reform Republicans wanted into the health care bill, they'd all have been voting for it in droves. Sure Brit, when pigs fly.

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