From the WSJ:
We have entered a political wonderland, where the rules are whatever Democrats say they are. Mrs. Pelosi and the White House are resorting to these abuses because their bill is so unpopular that a majority even of their own party doesn’t want to vote for it. Fence-sitting Members are being threatened with primary challengers, a withdrawal of union support and of course ostracism. Michigan’s Bart Stupak is being pounded nightly by MSNBC for the high crime of refusing to vote for a bill that he believes will subsidize insurance for abortions.
Democrats are, literally, consuming their own majority for the sake of imposing new taxes, regulations and entitlements that the public has roundly rejected but that they believe will be the crowning achievement of the welfare state. They are also leaving behind a procedural bloody trail that will fuel public fury and make such a vast change of law seem illegitimate to millions of Americans.
The concoction has become so toxic that even Mrs. Pelosi isn’t bothering to defend the merits anymore, saying instead last week that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
It’s mind-boggling that it has come to this: We are on the verge of seeing this incredibly far-reaching legislation, changing the landscape for one-sixth of the U.S. economy and extending ramifications far beyond that, being passed by one political party by means of sheer brute force, throwing precedent to the trash heap. And this by a party that quite likely will be back in the minority themselves again soon. Who will be to blame if this manner of “getting things done” in Washington now becomes the norm?
This bill will affect how everyone receives health care in the United States, and how everyone pays for it, compelling everyone’s participation by law. After well over a year of discussion and debate, in Congress but more so among the American people themselves, it’s clear that a majority of U.S. citizens oppose it. The election of Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) drove this point home far beyond the Gallup and Rasmussen polls. That was surely the political death of a bill that had already politically died several times before. Yet, it is back again, and, by most accounts, is but a few arm-twists and broken-kneecaps away from being forced into law. This defies all standard political analysis. There is no explanation but that this is a deeply ideological project, where the main players (Obama, Reid, and Pelosi) are unafraid of short-term political consequences for themselves and their party because they see this grab of federal power over the health care system as a game-changing move that will realign politics and government in this country forever. And, as a bonus, it furthers the cause of abortion (or “abortion rights”) which one commentator has described as “the holiest sacrament” of American liberalism. Certainly, the manner in which Bart Stupak and other pro-life Democrats are being bulldozed rather than brought on-board only provides further evidence of the bitter truth of that observation.
If ever there were a time to become involved, and to call one’s own congressional representative (even if he or she is already a certain “yes” or “no” vote) then this is surely it.
The proportion of Americans who can’t find work is likely to “remain elevated for an extended period,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a joint statement. The officials said unemployment may even rise “slightly” over the next few months as discouraged workers start job-hunting again.
“We do not expect further declines in unemployment this year,” the officials said in testimony prepared for the House Appropriations Committee.
The president continues to put ideology and his desire to be “transformational” above pragmatic measures to encourage the private sector to create jobs.