Wednesday, November 12, 2014


The myth, from National Journal's Josh Kraushaar:
... many pundits are mistakenly looking to the past to determine the future of the new Republican-controlled Congress. With Republicans determined to improve their image in the run-up to a presidential election, and a crop of new, more-pragmatic members heading to Washington, all the signs suggest that the GOP will be eager to unite and advance a legislative agenda.

This year's congressional majorities were built on the victories of center-right candidates, not the bomb-throwers who disrupted their party's leadership over the past two years. Of the 16 House Republicans who picked up seats for the party, 11 of them represent districts President Obama carried in 2012. And the freshman Senate class may be filled with conservatives, but ones who have expressed willingness to work across party lines.

... winning control of Congress presents Republicans with a golden governing opportunity --one that many leading members, including McConnell, have been preparing for for many months.
The reality, from The Washington Post's Robert Costa and Jose DelReal:
Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial comments made by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.

"We may want to have hearings on this," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. "We shouldn't be surprised they were misleading us."

The firestorm began when a video emerged showing Jonathan Gruber, a high-profile architect of the Affordable Care Act and one of its fiercest advocates, suggesting that the health reform law passed through Congress because of the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” over its funding mechanisms. The remarks were originally made in 2013 during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania but began heavy circulation on social media Monday.

"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes," Gruber said. "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the 'stupidity of the American voter' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass." ...
Gruber is a blowhard, but no one held a gun to Republicans' heads and forced them not to read the bill, or to contradict any statement from Democrats they considered misleading. No one in the public was prevented from reading the bill. The structure of the bill was much discussed; if you wanted to know what was in it, you had every opportunity to find out. This hearing, if it happens, is just one more GOP show trial, held only because there's an unpleasant Democrat to put in the dock, and meant, ironically, to make voters stupider, by persuading them that somehow a bill got passed the contents of which were unknowable.

So when do the governing and the bipartisanship start?

Oh, and do you really believe that Republicans aren't serious about repealing Obamacare, out of deference to Big Medicine? How can they continue to describe it as the worst thing that's ever happened in the history of the Republic, the fount from which all evil in the universe springs, and then not repeal it once they have the opportunity, which could be January 2017, or sooner if the Supreme Court guts it?


Yastreblyansky said...

It wasn't obvious when you dealt with him in July and it certainly wasn't clear to me but it's clear now that Gruber's really a bit of a fool who doesn't always know what he's saying. He literally didn't know what he was saying last time on the Halbig thing, as he ultimately admitted, and he doesn't know what he's saying now either, obviously, because there was never any reason for the CBO to score the mandate payments as a tax, it wasn't meant to raise revenue but to encourage people to buy insurance and not pay it. He's trying to sound savvy and cynical and he's babbling.

Victor said...

Maybe that's why conservatives and Republicans think they can make sense of what he said - babbling is very close to gibberish.

Unknown said...

Did Kraushaar watch a different election than I did?
Just because they concealed their fanaticism this time doesn't make them 'pragmatic'.
The NJ has lost all credibility anymore. What with their eliminating comments to protect Fournier, to barely acknowledging the outrageous lurch to the Right by the Republican Party, they have proven they can't be trusted.