Megan McArdle really isn't all that smart

Once, back in the day, I had some respect for Megan McArdle. (I can't be bothered to hunt through my archives to find it. Trust me on this. It's not like I'm bragging.) I no longer recall why it is I thought she was smart. I actually think she's kind of an idiot now.

Hell, If I were Blanche Lincoln, anyone in the leadership who wanted to get me to the floor for a health care vote would have to pry me out of the darkened room where they'd find me huddled in the corner, rocking back and forth and crying. Maybe Cohn's right and the thing's too far gone to save, so you might as well vote for it anyway. But that's not exactly soothing, is it?

Oh, honey. Sweety-darling. You poor, addled thing.

Blanche Lincoln, along with the rest of her colleagues in the Senate Democratic caucus, has already voted on health care. That would be Jonathan Cohn's entire point.

Lincoln is already on the hook for her health care vote, pass or fail. It would be worse for the Democrats if they managed to get the bill through both the House and the Senate, with all the attendant costs, only to have it fail because Martha Coakley ran a laughably poor campaign for what should have been a safe seat. Since the strategy Cohn (and others) have laid out would be to have the House swallow hard and pass the Senate version, thus by-passing the need for another vote in the Senate, and pray that the unpalatable bits get ironed out in the reconciliation process, after which a simple majority could pass the final result. Yes, Lincoln would probably be expected to show up for that vote, but since she's already voted for the health care reform bill, it would be ridiculous for her to vote against it in the future.

One would have assumed that McArdle would make an effort to understand what she was commenting about before posting something. Pity that's apparently not the case.


  1. I think Ms. McArdle is pretty smart, if somewhat snarky. I understood her point to be that the Dems wouldn't be stupid enough to force one house of Congress to eat the crap sandwich of the other house in order to pass said crap sandwich. Assuming that is the case, Ms. Lincoln can still come to her senses and vote according to her constituents' wishes when the House-Senate double-crap sandwich comes back for a vote.

  2. Yeah, well, Lincoln has already voted for the Senate's sandwich, however one wishes to characterize its contents. That ship has sailed, so McArdle's analysis makes no sense. Her opponents will make hay with the vote she's already cast, so all that would be gained by health care reform's failure is a sense that the Democrats not only tried to get something passed, but were too inept to do it.

    Which isn't necessarily a meme I would try to contradict.

  3. you expect gadfly john to make a lick of sense? If the House passes the Senate bill, it won't come back for a vote. Don't you understand anything gj?
    If the House doesn't, if Obama doesn't come down hard on every house member, then screw it, Dems deserve to be beaten and the millions of Americans who don't have insurance or who have it denied or cancelled, well they should simply die so gadfly john need never spend a penny on anyone else but himself. At some point you have to wash your hands of it all, and retire to a beach in Mexico (which, ahem, is what I did 5 years ago, believe it or not IMSS is pretty good at providing basic care)


  4. charo, read my second sentence. I am well aware that the House can pass the Senate bill with no changes. But do you really think the House will play second fiddle to the Senate? Those pols are a vain, arrogant lot, and hate nothing worse than not getting their snouts in the public trough.