Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 2, 2010

MCCONNELL'S CONCERN TROLLING, WITH A TOUCH OF DESPERATION.... Because if there's one person Senate Democrats should listen to when it comes to campaign advice, it's the leader of the Senate Republican caucus.

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, warned Democrats on Tuesday that Republicans will use the issue of health care to bludgeon them in the November mid-term elections if Democrats succeed in passing a comprehensive overhaul.

"It will be the issue in every race in America," Mr. McConnell said at a news conference in the Capitol.... His comments reflected growing Republican concern over President Obama's resolve to secure passage of a comprehensive health care measure, which would be viewed as big Democratic achievement.

Not that it really matters, but I can't help but wonder if McConnell realizes how silly his warnings sound. Health care reform "will be the issue in every race in America"? Yep, probably. But (1) that's likely true whether Democrats succeed or fail, so they might as well try success; and (2) McConnell assumes voters won't like what's actually in the reform proposal, and there's ample evidence to the contrary.

In terms of campaign strategizing, does anyone seriously think Mitch McConnell has the Democrats' best interests at heart? Why on earth would Dems take electoral advice from the GOP leader who's intent on destroying them.

It's almost pathetic.

Indeed, in the bigger picture, I get the sense GOP leaders are actually getting a little panicky about this. After 100 years of talking about health care reform, Democrats may actually deliver. After seven presidents tried to get this done, President Obama may be the one to cross the finish line. For all the GOP bravado, some Republicans might actually realize that the reform bill, if given a fair hearing, is likely to be pretty popular with the public.

So, we're left with foolish threats like the ones we heard from McConnell this morning.

Steve Benen 3:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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Comments

Why Thankey Br'er Rabbit!

Posted by: Bathrobespierre on March 2, 2010 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

How dumb is MsConnell?

Dumber than Sarah Palin? Michael Steele?

If HCR becomes law the Republicants would do well to stay far away from the issue.

That's like campaigning on repealing anti-domestic abuse statutes.

"I warned those cotton-pickin' Demnocrats that if they made beating your wife against the law, they were gonna pay in November!"

"Big gubment should not be interferin in you slappin' yer wife around after a six-pack. It's a man's natural constitutional right!"

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 2, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the Republicans are in a panic. they promised their big insurance patrons that they would kill any health care reform legislation. If it passes, they'll have to explain why.

Posted by: SaintZak on March 2, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

He can make these threats and back them up as long as the Democrats continue to let the Republicans lie about what health care reform is and how it affects people.

If the Democrats would show some backbone and tell the public that reform is in their interest and why then the Republicans will lose in a bad way.

But that is a big IF. I am a life long Democrat but I am pretty disappointed at how the lies from the Right are not being countered.

If you're rich you don't need health care reform. If you are rich and own stock in insurance companies you don't want health care reform. If you aren't in either group you want health care reform. It is that simple.

Posted by: nerd on March 2, 2010 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot to turn on your Neo-confederate-scumbag To English translator.

"Republicans will use the issue of health care to bludgeon them in the November mid-term elections"

Becomes:

"Democrats will use the issue of health care to bludgeon Republicans in the November mid-term elections"

Gotta keep that translator plugged in, turned on, and charged up.

Posted by: Ethan on March 2, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

The bill may still be unpopular in 2010 as people would not be familiar with how is it going to work and scared of changes. It should become quite popular over time though. Similar to Medicare part D.

Posted by: LB on March 2, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Corporate whores versus the rest of us.

The whole debate over health care reform reveals corporate interests pitted against the rest of us.

The republicans are corporate interests.

By golly, it's time to be clear about this.

Democrats = for the people, by the people, etc.


Republicans = for the corporations and nothing but the corporate wealthy so help us god!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 2, 2010 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

From your keypad to God's ears.

Posted by: jharp on March 2, 2010 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a little more subtle than that. There is a substantial section of Americans that will be absolutely enraged with the passage of HCR, whether you call them tea-baggers or John Roger's 27% crazification factor.

So the consequences of a HCR win for the GOP could actually play out in terms of disruptive third-party candidates, crazy candidates who win primaries but lose elections, and of course, generally crazy talk that further alienates the apolitical majority of America. They are already having trouble raising money. Having people hooting and throwing poo about socialized medicine -- when the reality is so much less than that -- will further hurt their case.

Posted by: Rathskeller on March 2, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Reading a McConnell statement is a lot like reading a Peggy Noonan column, isn't it?

Posted by: howie on March 2, 2010 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

At least that New York Times blog post framed it appropriately:

His comments reflected growing Republican concern over President Obama’s resolve to secure passage of a comprehensive health care measure, which would be viewed as big Democratic achievement.

That's more insight than we've seen from just about any other major news source.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2010 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot imagine that there are not republican families who need health insurance, although most republicans I know are either rich, or they are too poor to know what is in their best interest because they only watch Fox.

Posted by: Joan on March 2, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I have it on the best of authority that McConnell is scared silly.

Be afraid, Mitch.

Be very afraid.

Posted by: S. Waybright on March 2, 2010 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"It will be the issue in every race in America," said Mitch McConnell.

BRING IT ON!!!!!!

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on March 2, 2010 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is it's easy to campaign against some unknown "healthcare reform". It's a lot harder when you have to campaign against an actual bill that's been passed and people can see what is actually in it.

Posted by: DR on March 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

They're just fishing right now.
I listen to Rush for a bit at lunch every day, until I can stomach it no longer.
He was going on about how Pelosi is telling House Dems to stick together and get this passed. In Rush's mind, this is Pelosi leading them off a political cliff, because we all know that everyone opposes this bill. :) I'm sure he's very concerned.
Also, he has done nothing but tell us all that Dems only care about power. Well, if that's true, why would they pass this if everyone hates it and they don't get re-elected.
Sigh. I love that guy.

Posted by: mikem on March 2, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

If the bill was really so bad for dems, why are the repiglicans filibustering every aspect of it and fighting it tooth and nail? Why obstruct something that is a guaranteed loser for the opposition? Anyone see a contradiction here? Anyone?

Is McConnell saying that if dems give up now (that is not a recommendation from me) repiglicans will refrain from calling them socialist, death panel loving, health care ruining, medicare cutting, anti-American, scum?

Posted by: beyond left on March 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Not that it really matters, but I can't help but wonder if McConnell realizes how silly his warnings sound.

I dunno. I think the Republicans will have little trouble making political hay if the Democrats are foolish enough to pass the horrible Senate bill.

The biggest healthcare issue is the denial of coverage because of a preexisting condition, and under the Senate bill, it would not take effect for four more years in 2014.

Without the competition from a public Option, the mandate to purchase healthcare and the accompanying penalties if you don’t are massively unpopular.

The list of negatives is a long one.

The Democrats will be on the defensive at best, and would more likely get slaughtered.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 2, 2010 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh noes, threats from Kentucky's ultimate "conservative" closet homo! Everybody act scared now.. Of course, some of the Democrats probably will be frightened. What's up with the Stupid amendment these days? Which snaky DINO misogynists are supporting that political fecal matter?

Posted by: Trollopy Gayness on March 2, 2010 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

If there's anything I can say definitively about the American public, it is that Americans love a winner. Once this bill passes, Obama will go down as the president who was able to solve a 50 (60? 70?) year problem. The benefits of the bill will be highlighted as people ask "what's in it for me?" The 28%ers will be enraged, but they are already perpetually enraged. The moneyed GOP interests will give lip service to repeal, but they will move on to the next shiny object of distraction. Pass.The.Damned.Bill.

Posted by: danimal on March 2, 2010 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

As a citizen of the state of KY., I want to apologize to everyone here for the pathetic excuses for human beings Bitch and Dumbing are. I really hope a democrat takes Dumbing's seat, and Bitch HAS to go when he's up for election.

These miscreants have represented KY for decades and our state still occupies the bottom of most categories such as poverty, education, etc. They have one absolutely nothing for this state other then help enrich themselves and their business partners.

Posted by: citizen_pain on March 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'd take the Chinless Wonder's warnings more seriously, if he managed to act gleeful at the prospect of bludgeoning Dems in November. Supposedly, that's the name of the game -- to win -- no?

Posted by: exlibra on March 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

It makes me wonder if McConnell actually believes his own crapola. He thinks Americans will be angry if the health care disaster is addressed.

Sad.

Posted by: cmac on March 2, 2010 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Friday,
That's not true. The ban on pre-existing conditions goes into effect immediately. It's the insurance exchanges that don't kick in for a few years. In fact, the whole reason for a mandate was the prevent the free rider problem that would arise if you ban pre-existing condition. A public option would obviously make this more palatable. But younger and healthier voters - most likely to be negatively affected by this - are not likely to punish the Democrats over this.

Posted by: Elrod on March 2, 2010 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Elrod.

That's not true. The ban on pre-existing conditions goes into effect immediately. It's the insurance exchanges that don't kick in for a few years.

That’s the House bill.

In the Senate bill the ban is delayed until 2014.


In fact, the whole reason for a mandate was the prevent the free rider problem that would arise if you ban pre-existing condition. A public option would obviously make this more palatable. But younger and healthier voters - most likely to be negatively affected by this - are not likely to punish the Democrats over this.

The mandate and penalties without the Public Option are MASSIVELY unpopular.

These are SUICIDE campaign platforms to run on in November.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 2, 2010 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

All the Republicans will have left after HCR will be nullification.

Posted by: bob h on March 3, 2010 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

I had the displeasure to meet Mitch McConnell some years ago. He courted federal contractors to donate to local races much less a federal one. He was and is a slime ball. I was not impressed with him at all.
You hear a lot about Tort reform and frivolous lawsuits, the only frivolous lawsuit is one you are not engaged in.
I live in a deep red state and most of the opposition to health care comes from those who need it the most. They will vote conservative on anything, because they are told big government is bad. They want police and fire protection, good roads, safe food, safe automobiles, etc. all of which receive federal grants, even here.
They elect people that vote against education, then complain that their education system is underfunded. A governor "turned down" stimulus funds and then finds federal stimulus money to allow a lesser reduction of education money.
McConnell is just another example of conservatives that vote against benefits and claim their support at home. The count now is over 95 republicans that claim stimulus money, but voted against it.
I love Americans, but we are a stupid people that want someone else to make our decisions. And that is no matter how much more stupid the decisions are.

Posted by: smokinq72 on March 4, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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