To be sure, it was enjoyable watching Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican of California, warn that by passing health reform, Democrats “will finally lay the cornerstone of their socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.” Gosh, that sounds uncomfortable. And it’s been a hoot watching Mitt Romney squirm as he tries to distance himself from a plan that, as he knows full well, is nearly identical to the reform he himself pushed through as governor of Massachusetts. His best shot was declaring that enacting reform was an “unconscionable abuse of power,” a “historic usurpation of the legislative process” — presumably because the legislative process isn’t supposed to include things like “votes” in which the majority prevails.
A side observation: one Republican talking point has been that Democrats had no right to pass a bill facing overwhelming public disapproval. As it happens, the Constitution says nothing about opinion polls trumping the right and duty of elected officials to make decisions based on what they perceive as the merits. But in any case, the message from the polls is much more ambiguous than opponents of reform claim: While many Americans disapprove of Obamacare, a significant number do so because they feel that it doesn’t go far enough. And a Gallup poll taken after health reform’s enactment showed the public, by a modest but significant margin, seeming pleased that it passed.
[Click to continue reading Paul Krugman – Going to Extreme – NYTimes.com]
I do hope nobody actually gets hurt in this days of pseudo-rage, and Rethuglican threats. Other than that, I’ve enjoyed the spectacle as well. Fun when the GOP doesn’t get its way, elections matter, remember?
From the Kansas City Star Editorial Board:
Even some elected officials have stepped over the line of reasonable debate. GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, of California, noted: “When you use totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy…I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.”
[Click to continue reading Tea party’s lunatic fringe is alarming | Midwest Voices]
Greg Sargent on Mitt Romney supporting what he now opposes:
Here’s the key exchange:
MODERATOR: “You seem to have backed away from mandates on a national basis.”
ROMNEY: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”
To be clear, the individual mandate wasn’t the lightening rod for the right back then that it is these days. Romney appears to have merely been trying to appear consistent on the issue. But now that Obamacare has elevated the issue into an important one on the right, Romney is depicting the Federal mandate as a frightening abuse of power.
All this said, in a way the details of Romney’s position, or positions, aren’t really the point. Rather, the real problem for Romney here is that every time he goes on TV to bash Obamacare, he’s going to be asked to explain why he’s slamming a provision he signed into law himself.
[Click to continue reading Did Romney Endorse Federal Mandate? | The Plum Line]
The Gallup poll mentioned:
Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress’ passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it “a good thing.” Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite reactions, with independents evenly split.
[Click to continue reading By Slim Margin, Americans Support Healthcare Bill’s Passage ]