Does this count as "bickering"?

The front page of today's Kennebec Journal features an AP article about Susan Collins, and her prediction that Congress could pass a health care reform bill in six weeks if it could get beyond "partisan bickering." I may be paraphrasing a bit, since there appears to be no link to the article on the indescribably useless KJOnline site. For those of you who fear I may be misrepresenting Sen. Collins's sentiments, I invite you to head to the coffee shop downstairs where I got my muffin this morning and check for yourself.

Anyhow, that was the gist. Were it not for all that unpleasant, unhelpful, Bayh-vexing partisanship, Sen. Collins and company would sail health care reform through Congress like a knife through hot butter. While some may question her motives, I'll play along and take her at her word.

Does this mean she's going to head across Washington and kick Eric Cantor in the shins? [Confidential to SC: I will donate generously to your re-election campaign war chest if you head across Washington and kick Eric Cantor in the shins.] Via TPM:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) isn't exactly laying the foundation for the bipartisan part of next week's bipartisan health care summit at the White House.

At CPAC this morning, Cantor declared that "we will say no to this health care bill because no is what the American people want."


Cantor said Democratic health bills are predicated on "back-door dealing" and declared that "these bills are ultimately designed to lead this country to a single-payer system, something that the American people reject."

First of all, let's pause to note that Cantor is arguing against a provision that appears nowhere in either the House or Senate versions of the health care reform bills. There is nary a whisper about single-payer care, and in fact many people have criticized the bills as a boon for the insurance industry because they conspicuously include said companies in their approach to universal coverage. Cantor blathers about where the bills are "ultimately designed to lead" (always the sign of a weak argument) because otherwise his party's rank obstructionism is much harder to justify.

And on that note, can we just call this what it is? This is not "bickering." This is not a sign of mutual failure. This is one party deciding that it is in its best interests to fight tooth and nail against any attempts at health care reform, because it manifestly cares more about winning elections that delivering health care to people who need it. Despite the overtures toward them offered by the President in the upcoming health care summit, the GOP already has its mind made up and its strategy planned.

Sen. Collins's words are all very pretty, but let's see how hard she works to make the needed difference with her fellow Republicans. You'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath.


  1. Rank obstructionism is never hard to justify if the thing being opposed is a colossal boondoggle of political pork, lobbyist special cases, and just plain old fashioned stupidity. The American people, from whom the government derives its legitimacy, overwhelmingly disapprove of ObamaCare.

    Last time I looked, the USS Democrat was holed beneath the waterline. Lots of longterm pols have decided to spend more time with the family. Can y'all just not take a clue from the cluebag? How about concentrating on, gee, jobs for a change? Quite scaring the pants off business, quit spending our children's future, fix the damn economy, demonstrate competence by wringing the waste out of Medicare, and reform the parts of the system that people actually can agree on. Is this rocket science for President Scary-smart?

  2. Hold your breath for Collins & Snow to do something other than what their leadership directs, you will soon turn blue. Boehner, Cantor and 'McConnell call the shots, Snow and Collins give Mainers just enough BS feedback to keep them in office. Look at their records when it comes to bipartisan actions. The deeds to not match their rhetoric. Health care reform in my opinion is now a joke.

  3. wow, another unbelievably useless non rebuttal by commentator scary stupid gj. Yes, providing subsidies so that the poor uninsured can afford insurance, ending denial of service and rescission, providing much needed regulation are all things Americans roundly reject. They love that their health care premiums are going up by double digits each year, and they hunger for the Republican plan which is 99% useless or worse, counterproductive (like selling across state lines bypassing regulations, because we all know that the lowest common denominator will most protect Americans)
    Meanwhile, how about an honest discussion how Obamas plan of having insurance exchanges can free up Companies from acting like social service agencies, eating into productivity and wages while the Asians eat our lunch. Even the Chinese are moving towards health care reform because they know that is the best way to help stimulate a vigorous domestic economy (Chinese save far, far more take home pay out of insecurity related to health costs).

    gj, are you sure you are not a Manchurian commentator? You just love to see America fall apart. Go back to China, you Nazi (oh, wait, I am channeling a teabagger's illogic, sorry)


  4. charo, there are plenty of things I'd support in insurance reform, and healthcare reform, and Medicare reform. But I'm not going to support them when they are bundled with 10 years of taxes to pay for 6 years of coverage budget busting insanity squared stupidity put forward by Harry and Nancy. Look, if you mix an ounce of dog shit with a gallon of vanilla ice cream, it is a good bet that the result will taste more like the former than the latter.