Monday, January 17, 2011


The folks at Think Progress seem astonished:

After Promising To 'Repeal And Replace' Obama's Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement

...House Republicans are rushing headlong into inevitable defeat, insisting that their efforts aren't doomed, and promising to "replace" Obama's law with their own, better one. "Repeal and replace" has been a mantra for Republicans and their conservative allies since March of last year, though the repealers have been hazy on with what they would "replace" it with.

On Fox News Sunday today, conservative Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol could offer only the vaguest of promises about the replacement. When Fox News contributor Juan Williams challenged Kristol to explain "what are you going to replace it with?", Kristol told Williams not to worry, because there would be hearings in a few months and Republicans would probably come up with something by then.

... Just days away from the repeal vote, House leaders have no coherent plan to address health care if their repeal effort succeeds. The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein reports that "according to GOP House leaders, senior aides and conservative health policy specialists, Republicans have not distilled their ideas into a coherent plan"...

The 2010 election results must have seemed ideal to Republicans: they won one house of Congress, where they could strut and fret and unleash all the bombast they pleased, and even hold votes they could win, after which they could all meet up on Fox and have a happy, angry victory dance, waving big "#1" foam fingers and chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" And then the bills would die in the Senate, or on the president's desk, so they'd still get to have two more years of being America's backseat drivers, two more years in which no one could hold them responsible for anything. About the only thing they could actually do was gum up the works, blocking the Democratic agenda with House majorities and their Senate "superminority." Thus, they could continue to be the sullen, bratty adolescents of America's political culture, constantly insisting that they're ready for adult responsibilities but always avoiding actually taking any responsibility, even as they incessantly argue that the actual grown-ups in the system are lame, pathetic losers and idiots.

You start to wonder whether they'll actually want Sarah Palin to be their nominee in 2012, and actually want a slate of unelectable, O'Donnell-esque, DeMint-endorsed teabaggers to be their Senate candidates -- not because they think these people can win but because they hope they can't. I'm being facetious, but really, wouldn't it be much easier for them if they could continue as the out-but-almost-in party forever? They'd still be able to tell their contributors that they can throw sand in the gears, but they'd never have to be in charge, controlling those gears, and thus they could play the victim card forever in the eyes of their base voters (we've been deprived of our rightful place by elitists and Kenyans!). If I were a Republican, I'd want to work this scam forever. Really, what are they going to do when they actually have to run things? I suppose, for a while, they can blame everything that goes horribly wrong on some college professor or lefty movie actress with a blog, but how long can that work? They sure couldn't keep it up for eight years the last time they were in charge.

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