Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 24, 2010

ENTERING THE 'TAKING-CREDIT' PHASE.... Despite incessant whining about the successful economic recovery package, congressional Republicans quietly started taking credit for some of the very efforts they fought so hard against. I suppose it stands to reason, then, that we'll start seeing something similar on health care reform.

Take Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa, for example. Few, if any, policymakers played as absurd a role in the reform process than Grassley. From advancing demonstrably ridiculous claims to forcing needless to delays to brazen hypocrisy and contradictions, the Iowa Republican has been an obnoxious and regressive force. Given that he was the Senate Republicans' point-man on health care, this was a problem.

With this context in mind, I have to admit, I didn't see this one coming.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has long been a vocal critic of the Democrat's health reform efforts, but behind the scenes he's started taking credit for some provisions of the bill, and talking up his own role in crafting the legislation.

In a release sent out by his staff to reporters today, Grassley says the bill will "hold tax-exempt hospitals accountable for the federal tax benefits they receive" thanks to his work. [...]

"The health care legislation signed into law yesterday includes provisions Grassley co-authored to impose standards for the tax exemption of charitable hospitals for the first time," his staff writes in the memo.

The same memo emphasizes, "In 2009, [Grassley] drafted legislative reforms and succeeded in persuading the Democratic majority to include several of the reforms in the new health care law."

Remember, Chuck Grassley repeatedly tried to kill the proposal, fought to prevent the Senate from even voting on it, and repeatedly concluded that the law itself is unconstitutional.

But just in case any Americans end up liking what's in the new law, Grassley also wants folks to know some of the good stuff was his idea (even though he voted against it).

Shameless. Just shameless.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

it will be just like the stimulus. there were just too many good parts of both bills for repubs not to chummy up to them.

the question will be whether or not the MSM lets them get away with it.

i won't hold my breath.

Posted by: ahoy polloi on March 24, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

The Demmocrats need to put up commercials thanking Grassley et al for their help. This way the Repubs are co-opted.

Posted by: Kurt on March 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I have been waiting for this to happen. I am not surprised at all. It kind of makes sense that Grassley would be the first to start taking credit. Remember, at one point it seemed like he really did want to work to get healthcare reform passed. Then the leadership gave orders to slow walk Max Baucus into the August town hall meetings so they could try to derail everything.

As President Obama has said all along, there are ideas from the Republicans in the healthcare bill. What I am waiting for now is for Grassley to flip again and say that mandates aren't so bad after all. Let's see if he does it.

This just shows how much the Republican Party is in disarray. They are all over the place. There is no cohesive messaging now. They are just hysterical. I have never seen such a temper tantrum from elected officials. It's a total embarrassment.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on March 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

So then, Grassley voted for the bill when it was in the Senate? Or did he vote against his own brilliant idea.

Posted by: chrenson on March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure in the canyons of his own mind, Grassley truly believes he served this process well, and should be given credit where credit is due! Boy, to a T these Republicans are really doing the CRAZY! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose this really gets to the kernel of "success has many fathers". It's not that all those who fought for and voted for the bill are its fathers and, by my count, there were a few mothers as well. But that 20 years from today, many will remember the important role played by conservatives like Senator Grassely in sheparding this landmark legislation through Congress. Much like the heroic efforts of Republicans on Medicare, Medicaid and Civil Rights. Really, the "Great" part of the Great Society was wholly birthed by Republicans as I'm sure you all remember.

Posted by: hoi polloi on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Today's republicans are such losers on every level.

Posted by: Silver Owl on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

There is ample video footage of Grassley's remarks and negativism relating to his role including his votes of no, and his continued negativism on the most recent reconciliation aspect of the law.

The MSM will not paint him as a bozo. They'll give him ample air time to explain to the masses what an important figure he was and how important his ideas were in fashioning this bill. Count on it.

What the Dems should do is confront him right now and ask him if he 's so enamored with himself why did he continue to vote no. Ask hm if he's running for reelection on the "Repeal the Bill" Tea Partiers agenda. Ask him flat out if he'll vote for the reconciliation. Corner him immediately. Yeah, a guy can dream can't he?

Posted by: stevio on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

He's proud of taxing hospitals? The champion of less-until-gone taxes is proud of taxing a HOSPITAL??

Ho-leee shit.

Posted by: MsJoanne on March 24, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Few, if any, policymakers played as absurd a role in the reform process than Grassley."

The proper idiomatic structure is either:

"as absurd... as"

or

"more absurd... than"

Sorry, can't help myself; as a teacher, I find it very hard to turn it off. I know it's rude...

Posted by: smartalek on March 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Call his Washington office and tell him that despite his media spin, you know exactly how he tried to destroy it:

(202) 224-3744 (O)

Posted by: Varecia on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should pin him down on repeal

Posted by: JoeW on March 24, 2010 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Every Republican that crawls out of the woodwork to lay claim that some part of HCR was his idea, the Dems should embrace it and remind the MSM and American people that, "Yes, we worked with Republicans and embraced many of their ideas. Too bad they embraced none of ours."

Posted by: JohnTX on March 24, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Since when did politicians EVER have shame???

Posted by: jabby on March 24, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

No Steve, not 'shameless'...a lot of GOPpers DID write some of the bill. Where they need to be held up to ridicule is that they hid in their rabbit holes during the passage of it. Over and over again they need to be asked 'are you for this COUNTRY or the Republican Party?' and THEN nail their petty, black hearts to the wall...

Posted by: SYSPROG on March 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing wrong with Grassley not liking the whole bill, but still taking credit for good parts of it that he wrote.

Posted by: Alex on March 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shameless. Just shameless.

The modern Republican party, summed up in three words!

Posted by: electrolite on March 24, 2010 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose Windows 7 was also his idea?

Posted by: doubtful on March 24, 2010 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing wrong with Grassley not liking the whole bill, but still taking credit for good parts of it that he wrote.

whoa boy. if he had made such a nuanced argument, instead of talking about "killing grannie" (just about a direct quote), you'd have a point.

Posted by: mercurino on March 24, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Shame? What is Shame?"

Posted by: fry1laurie on March 24, 2010 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

The repeal trap works very, very nicely here. Grassley should be asked - do you, or do you not, support repeal? If so, you want your own language repealed. If not.....

Posted by: Luke Coley on March 24, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'd run an ad against him showing pictures of the signing ceremony - you know who's conspicuously absent? the entire GOP senate caucus. I think there is a whole boatload of video of Grassley making "kill the bill" statements, including at town halls last year.

And I agree with you Luke, get him on the record on repeal. That will piss just about everyone off.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on March 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Remember, Chuck Grassley repeatedly tried to kill the proposal, fought to prevent the Senate from even voting on it, and repeatedly concluded that the law itself is unconstitutional."

That's wordy. Try it this way:

"Remember, Chuck Grassley repeatedly begged not to be thrown in the briar patch."

There.

Posted by: Forrest on March 24, 2010 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

What normally happens when you take a car doing 90 mph (towards a cliff in this case) and throw it into reverse? If there was any justice, the GOP juggernaut would cough and sputter, then drop its transmission in the ditch while doing a triple backflip. Sadly, physical analogies quickly dissolve in the rarefied universe of D.C. politics.

Grassley wants to get out of the car, so he steps out while its still tumbling. No problemo.

Posted by: GP on March 25, 2010 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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