White House throws Kennedy under the bus?

posted at 3:15 pm on June 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This time, it’s Ted Kennedy’s turn to go under the Obama bus.  After the CBO reported that the health-care plan circulating in the Senate would cost at least $1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) over ten years, Jake Tapper reports that the White House has hit full retreat, complete with backup beepers.  Despite having President Obama on the road just yesterday in an effort to build support for the reform efforts wending their way through Congress, suddenly no one in the West Wing has ever heard of them:

“This is not the Administration’s bill,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement following the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s health care reform legislation, “and it’s not even the final Senate Committee bill.”

Both statements are true, though it’s not clear who, if anyone, had been saying that the legislation drafted by the powerful chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pension Committee constituted President Obama’s bill. Kennedy is but one of several legislators taking a crack and drafting legislation that will proceed through the legislative meat grinder and result in a bill that President Obama will sign. In reality, there is no actual “Administration” bill.

The CBO made that same point about the lack of finality.  That’s why the report only prices those elements within the incomplete draft, which did not initially include a “public plan”.  The cost for that — which the Obama administration demands as part of the final version — will likely push the final number much higher.

Gibbs’ response demonstrates that, yet again, the White House has deferred the entirety of policy creation to Congress.  Just as Obama did with his stimulus plan, the administration hasn’t offered any leadership on the issue.  Instead, Obama makes himself into the Campaigner in Chief on policy speeches supporting legislation to which he remains oblivious until the CBO puts a pricetag on it.  Don’t get me wrong: that’s great work if you can find it, traveling on Air Force One in the middle of a severe recession explaining how the President plans to spend ever-increasing shares of money none of us have.  And it does fit nicely into his previous work experience, none of which required him to show any leadership or do any actual work outside stump speeches.

Apparently responding to the CBO’s numbers and the ensuing criticism of the Kennedy bill, Gibbs continued, saying “what is clear is what will happen if we let political posturing stand in the way of reform again: exploding deficits, lob loss, dwindling benefits, and millions more Americans joining the ranks of the uninsured. That’s unacceptable, and that’s why stakeholders from across the spectrum are joining with President Obama to enact health care reform that finally gets costs under control and expands coverage – without adding to our deficit.”

A plan that costs a trillion dollars won’t add to our deficit?  Really? And adding a public plan on top of that won’t create an entitlement commitment on top of the collapsing entitlements of Medicare and Social Security, either.  And the unicorns will run through the lollipop fields with the Easter Bunny to collect all of the lemonade raindrops for Peter Pan.  Don’t forget to clap for Tinkerbell!

Maybe someone should pull Ted out from under the bus, and ask him how it feels to get shafted by the administration for carrying its water on Capitol Hill.


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Comments

cackcon on June 16, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Fair enough. But if something doesn’t adhere to whatever guidance the President outlined (IOW, if it’s not something he’d claim even if he didn’t write it), then he should let us know as soon as it’s introduced, not just disclaim it when it’s badly scored by CBO.

I just don’t like to see anyone get to pick which side they’re on after the final score is in.

DrSteve on June 16, 2009 at 4:38 PM

What a friggin’ clown Obama is. If Bill Clinton, the congenital liar, had not blazed this trail already, people would be saying that this is the single most dishonest crook ever to occupy the White House.

No wonder he needed Hillary on board somewhere. Bill is the only thing keeping Obama from historic notoriety as a liar.

Jaibones on June 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Ed, If you think Teddy’s got it bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I just participated in a blogger conference call. Notes here. Here’s the stunning statistics that should finally sink ObamaCare:

The survival rate for breast cancer in the United States is 84%; in Britain, it’s 69%.

The survival rate for prostate cancer in the United States is 92%; it’s only 51% in Great Britain.

Let’s have a race to the bottom, shall we??? I think not.

LFRGary on June 16, 2009 at 4:51 PM

“Don’t get me wrong: that’s great work if you can find it, traveling on Air Force One in the middle of a severe recession explaining how the President plans to spend ever-increasing shares of money none of us have. And it does fit nicely into his previous work experience, none of which required him to show any leadership or do any actual work outside stump speeches.”

Pulitzer material. No one else dares speak so.

FireBlogger on June 16, 2009 at 4:52 PM

I’ve got an idea Obama… Why don’t you tell us what IS your bill? And please, for once, be specific.

Scrappy on June 16, 2009 at 3:24 PM

NetZero’s bill is the one that insulates Inspector Generals from being fired for doing their job. See the Byron York piece at the top of Hot Air.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Walprin firing turned out to be D’ohBummer’s Watergate? Now THAT would be SWEET!

Paging Joe Lieberman!

Sweet_Thang on June 16, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Cavuto is on and he is mad because Obama is going on Dora the Explorer, the Chill Channel, History Channel, Lifetime, Oxygen, some other cartoon show, and various other channels that I have never seen a President on. Obama is reported to be pushing his death care plan on all these channels.

The whole appearing on cartoons creeps me out, and makes me laugh at the same time. It causes flashbacks to the Obama-creepy-Kiddy singers combined with the fact that he really is rather cartoonish. Sort of like that ridiculous Sponge Bob Square Pants.

freeus on June 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM

On the firing of Walpin, from the Byron York piece:

In dismissing Walpin, the president seemed to trample on the law — a law he himself had co-sponsored as a senator — that protects inspectors general from political influence and retribution. In addition, it appears that at least part of the reason Walpin was fired was for the tenacity he showed in investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by a friend and supporter of the president, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. Walpin got the goods — evidence of Johnson’s serious misuse of federal dollars — and the inspector general ended up getting fired for his troubles.

Sweet_Thang on June 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM

“This is not the administration’s bill.”

Does the administration even have a bill? It seems Obama, as with the stimulus, is letting Congress write it. The administration hasn’t presented a detailed health care plan or bill — so none of them are “the administration’s bill.”

rockmycar on June 16, 2009 at 5:00 PM

The whole appearing on cartoons creeps me out, and makes me laugh at the same time.

freeus on June 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM

It makes me think of that Hamas kiddie propaganda show with the Mickey Mouse look-alike that taught Muslim kids to hate the Jews. Brainwash the little ones with cuddly non-threatening characters.

aero on June 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I was on the Tapper link, reading comments, and this gem was just screaming for a repost. Enjoy the madness:

It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.

STAND READY AMERICA TO SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Posted by: jacksmith | Jun 16, 2009 3:43:59 PM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail…

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Wow “O” is even mor teflon than Bill Clinton! Talk about keeping clean hands!

xler8bmw on June 16, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Obama comes to mind.

PappaMac on June 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I wonder who Teddy will send to repo Bo?

EconomicNeocon on June 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM

The last surviving Kennedy lady-killer–literally–has at last outlived his usefulness.

If he’s thrown under the bus at last, can this conservative get behind the wheel?

Liam on June 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM

The unicorns will run through the lollipop fields with the Easter Bunny to collect all of the lemonade raindrops for Peter Pan. Don’t forget to clap for Tinkerbell!
Ed Morrissey

.
LOL
.
I think this could apply to a majority issues since 1/20/09.

Americannodash on June 16, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Have you ever smelled the sounds of simmering chitterlins?

This is the distinct smell of Obamacare, complete with the burning brains of our e(steamed)politicians.

P.U. and while we’re at it Congress F.U.

You’ll never get this chit passed.

Key West Reader on June 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail…

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

I’d say JackOff. Or, his name could be Hubert Mittleschmertz, and he is from India.

Key West Reader on June 16, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail…

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Epidemon Pandimoron

oldernwiser on June 16, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail…

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM
.
Liar?

Americannodash on June 16, 2009 at 5:35 PM

It’s better to be under a bus than over a cliff. Just saying.

txag92 on June 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM

The last surviving Kennedy lady-killer–literally–has at last outlived his usefulness.

If he’s thrown under the bus at last, can this conservative get behind the wheel?

Liam on June 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Darn..I wanted….OK…I call shotgun!

Jeff from WI on June 16, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Have mercy, been waitin’ for the bus all day.
Have mercy, been waitin’ for the bus all day.
I got my brown paper bag and my take-home pay.

Have mercy, old bus be packed up tight.
Have mercy, old bus be packed up tight.
Well, Im glad just to get on and home tonight.

Right on, that bus done got me back.
Right on, that bus done got me back.
Well, I’ll be ridin’ on the bus till I Cadillac.

Jesus just left Chicago

pain train on June 16, 2009 at 6:26 PM

I see that you were correcting a previous entry, but be careful, or folks will think you are the reincarnation of getalife.

Vashta.Nerada on June 16, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Thanks! The kids are home from school and it is chaotic here.

Brat4life on June 16, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Serious, Kennedy should have seen this one coming. I mean his buddy John Kerry was the guy who gave Obama his national coming out party. When it was time to scratch John’s back after winning the presidency with that Secretary of State job he wanted so badly oh sorry John, you’re not useful anymore you chump so hit the bricks. That should have been enough of a lesson to Ted on what happens if you’re not useful to Barry anymore.

Dave_d on June 16, 2009 at 6:51 PM

at least there is no water nearby.

Hening on June 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Epidemon Pandimoron

oldernwiser on June 16, 2009 at 5:33 PM

winner.

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 7:59 PM

And the unicorns will run through the lollipop fields with the Easter Bunny to collect all of the lemonade raindrops for Peter Pan. Don’t forget to clap for Tinkerbell!

Hey hey HEY!!! … don’t be knockin’ on the Tink! It’s bad enough how Disney’s been pimping her out lately. Remember: Snark makes Tinkerbell’s wings shrivel!!!

Mr Michael on June 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM

I do hope the Teddy Kennedy bill has special provisions for drowning victims.

Dhuka on June 16, 2009 at 10:30 PM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail… Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Profit to Earnings ratio
like O’s stock market advice. A corporation’s profit is it’s earnings. Price to earnings ratio (P/E).
God have mercy on us.

atemely on June 16, 2009 at 10:50 PM

“White House throws Kennedy under the bus?”

I don’t know.

Ed’s questions are so easy to answer :).

Kevin M on June 16, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Kennedy only drown 1 person. Obama has a complete nation drowning in his budget. Get ready libs big taxes are a coming.

bluegrass on June 17, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Anyone want to help me come up with a name to call this guy? Ah, words fail…

Mommypundit on June 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Community agitator running a community of 250 million.

tessa on June 17, 2009 at 8:57 AM

I think that part of Dear Leader’s problem on this is that the pandemic designed to drive us all into his waiting ObamaCare arms never really grew legs. Once First Clown in Waiting, Biden saved us all by telling us to stay out of public places and off public transportation, it kinda fizzled. Now He (the messianic one) has to work on another plan since panic and fear have been the only successful tool he has used.

Every week it is a new issue that must be solved expensively today!!!. It just seems to be designed to wear us all out and once that is accomplished, watch out, the real excrement will hit.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on June 17, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Ted: “Aye Mateys”, “Tis been a terrible night on me ship, the USS Oldsmobile.” “I fear Davy Jones Locker is in store for this Government Motors craft”

Jeff from WI on June 17, 2009 at 4:25 PM