Via Breitbart and Slublog, a belated answer to a question I posed two days ago. Why, I wondered, hadn’t Blue Dogs like Bayh and Lincoln held out for the same Medicaid buyout for their states that Nelson got for Nebraska? Are they just suckers?
Reid’s take: Yes, they’re suckers.
“There are 100 senators here and I don’t know that there’s a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that isn’t important to them,” Reid said. “If they don’t have something in it important to them then it doesn’t speak well of them.”
This is a guy who’s getting beat up by his own base for pushing a bill they don’t want, now practically boasting of all the little political kickbacks he had to pay out to make it happen. No wonder his polls look worse than ObamaCare’s. And they’re only going to get worse: Like Jay Cost says, passing an unpopular statist bill in a tea-party climate is dangerous, but passing an unpopular statist bill that’s filthy with special interests in a tea-party climate is near-suicidal.
People in Congress and the lobbyists who court them have pretty good gigs. They have nice offices, make big salaries, and have lots of people hop to at their say so. Yet ultimately, all of their money, power, and prestige come from the people. The people are the sole source of sovereignty in our nation. Our Constitution opens, “We the people of the United States” – not “We the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of the United States” or “We the senior members of Congress with plum committee assignments.” Everything about our system is the way it is because the people allow it to be that way. This is why it’s best for the entrenched interests and the politicians to keep their under-handed means and particularistic ends from affecting the people. They can take it all away in a single instant – so the smart approach is not to give them a reason.
This Congress and this President seem hell-bent on ignoring that maxim. It started last year with TARP. It continued into this year with the pork-laden, wasteful stimulus bill. It moved to the auto bailouts, reckless deficit spending, and coziness with Wall Street. And now, it has moved to health care “reform.” The people are taking notice, they don’t like it, and they’re starting to blame the government for the weakened state of the union.
We might be on the verge of another Jacksonian moment: a time when the people awake from their slumber, angrily exercise their sovereign authority, and mercilessly fire the leaders who have for too long catered to the elites rather than average people.
Clearly Cost hasn’t thought through the master “blame Bush/tout ObamaCare” strategy that political genius Rahm Emanuel is banking on. Meanwhile, speaking of pigs at the trough, the AP finally figured out who was responsible for that mysterious $100 million appropriation for university hospitals tucked away in Reid’s bill. Guess.