Monday, December 21, 2009
Oh, Unholy Night
It is 4 am Sunday and the light atop the Capitol Building across the street is still burning, indicating the Senate is still up to no good. Three hours ago, the Democrats voted to stop debate on health care "reform" -- not that all that much debate was allowed. Through a series of "compromises" -- if by compromise, you mean arm-twisting, closed door deals, vote-buying and bribes -- they finally got the 60 votes they needed to rubber-stamp the legislation. The last holdout was that principled Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who announced Saturday that he had decided to support the bill in exchange for a variety of "concessions" -- if by concessions, you mean bribes. The pro-life Senator's objection to public financing of abortion suddenly evaporated when he was told Nebraska would be forever exempt from the cost of covering an expanded Medicaid population at what one Democratic official estimated at $45 million over a decade. Who picks up the tab? All the other states, of course. Nelson isn't up for reelection until 2012. Hope Nebraska can stay focused until then. Politicians go to prison for buying votes and accepting bribes from the public. So, why don't they go to prison for buying votes and accepting bribes from each other? The final vote to pass the Senate bill will take place probably on Christmas eve. Then the Senate breaks for the holidays, and won't be back in session until next year -- an election year. Politicians are notorious for not wanting to pass significant legislation during an election year. The Senate bill still has to be melded with the House bill before it comes up for a final vote and Obama's signature. Ah, but the fix could be in there too. Pelosi said last week that she is no longer going to stick her neck out and will let the Senate lead on controversial votes. We still have a long way to go before we see the end of this.