Let us get this straight, Senator Nelson: You voted to impose heavy financial burdens on other states under the condition that our taxpayer dollars would ensure that your state doesn’t have to pay? Sounds bad. It is bad. Nelson may get this week’s “strange new respect” award from the media (then again, his deal was so blatantly corrupt that he might not). But elsewhere it’s going over like a lead balloon.
Nelson lamely says he struck the deal because Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman expressed concern that the massive health-care bill would impose an unfunded federal mandate that would “stress the state budget.” Governor Heineman responded to Nelson’s deal this way: “Nebraskans did not ask for a special deal, only a fair deal,” Heineman said in a statement Sunday.
This process was not democracy in action. It was profoundly depressing—the secrecy, the votes in the dark of night. Robert Samuelson, perhaps the country’s best economics columnist, says that ultimately, when we know how health-care “reform” affects our lives, it will not be the legacy the Democrats want. Scant comfort. By then, we’ll be paying huge freight (for our own states, plus the tab for Nebraska) for medical care that isn’t as efficient as what we now have. Instead of extending the benefits of an excellent medical system, we will have extended the long arm of the government.
The only comfort I got over the long weekend was from a piece by Bill Kristol, who went to Wikepedia for the definition of Pyrrhic victory, the term that is being applied to the Democrats’ big win. He concluded:
So: Pyrrhus’s victory became Pyrrhic because the victorious party lost many of its supporters–but also because the opposition didn’t abate in courage, was able to gain new recruits, and had the force and resolution to go on.
We must keep fighting.
Hubris of the Week Award: To end on a lighter note, I am giving my Hubris of the Week award to Victoria Kennedy, who “humbly” asked Congress to pass this monstrosity in memory of her late husband, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.