Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown’
Candidate Obama campaigned as Mr. Everyman – the down-to-earth affable guy who could relate to real people.
President Obama is an arrogant elitist who believes – really believes – that he is a force of nature to which everyone must respond. Take his remarks regarding the Supreme Court’s oral arguments of the health care law.
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
Seriously? This from a man who was a constitutional law professor? There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of laws passed by Congress and state legislatures that have been overturned by the Supreme Court and even lower courts. This is a doctrine of legislative review established more than 200 years ago in a case called Marbury v. Madison.
Obama’s assertion that the law “was passed by a strong majority” is revisionist history. It ultimately passed the U.S. House on a 219-212 vote – in which all Republicans and 39 Democrats voted no.
Let’s review how it got to that point, because it’s a story that belies this notion that it was “passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
The first real floor action on health care reform happened in November of 2009 when the Democrats in the House passed their version that included a “public option” which was essentially a full government takeover of health care. That vote was 220-215 with one Republican (Joseph Cao of New Orleans, who won the seat of Democrat William Jefferson after Jefferson was caught stuffing his freezer with cash from bribes) voting yes and 39 Democrats voting no.
Because at least eight Senate Democrats were on record opposing a public option, the Senate drafted it’s own bill and used the Christmas holiday as the leverage point to get it passed.
It passed the Senate with the 60 votes (the minimum required to end debate on legislation) on Christmas Eve 2009 after some rather outrageous giveaways were promised to Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska – “Cornhusker Kickback” – and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to the Capitol – so to speak. Outrage at how the Senate had managed the passage of the health care bill manifested itself in the special election in Massachusetts to fill the Senate seat left vacant as a result of the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy. In what must be one of the most shocking political upsets of all time, Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley, thus becoming “41” – that is, the 41st Republican in the Senate, and breaking the 60-vote supermajority of the Democrats.
At that point, passage of Obama’s health care bill looked doomed. But then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided that they would force the House to vote on the Senate-passed bill by a legislative trick called “reconciliation.”
I won’t bore you with the reconciliation process, but suffice it to say, the House took what was essentially a draft bill (remember, the Senate pushed through their bill on Christmas Eve with deals being cut hours before, and what officially passed the Senate was language that included handwritten edits, notations and references) and passed it into law, because under reconciliation no language could be changed.
This is why Nancy Pelosi was being honest when she said, “We have to pass the bill so that we can find out what is in it.” The Senate version (which was never intended to become the final law) left huge swaths of decisions to the Secretary of Health and Human Services because they hadn’t come to agreement on most of the implementation points.
Most damaging in the long run to Obama’s law was that the Senate version did not include a “severability clause” which is routine in bigger pieces of legislation. Severability is normally included so that if some portion of a bill is found to be unconstitutional, it doesn’t take the entire bill down.
The severability issue brings us back to Obama’s claim that it would be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to overturn a law. If it had never been done, why would Congress ever put a severability clause into legislation?
I am astounded at the blatant disregard for the truth that the President of the United States employs. Does he really think that “warning” the Supreme Court is smart, let alone appropriate? For him to equate overturning this horrific law to “judicial activism” is to turn the world upside down. Striking down a law because it violates the constitution is not legislating from the bench.
Obviously, Obama is very worried about what might happen to his signature accomplishment. But his outrage is misguided and he isn’t handling this in a very Presidential way.
Scott Brown has made it official: He’s not a candidate for President in 2012.
Was anyone really seriously thinking he’d be a viable candidate having only a few years of state legislative experience and only a couple years as a U.S. Senator? Oh… yeah… I forgot about Barack Obama.
Well, I guess it could have been interesting. I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of Scott Brown.
As this Politico article points out, the health care issue mattered a lot in Scott Brown’s upset victory in the Massachusetts special election.
Scott Brown’s opposition to congressional health care legislation was the most important issue that fueled his U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, according to exit poll data collected following the Tuesday special election.
Fifty-two percent of Bay State voters who were surveyed as the polls closed said they opposed the federal health care reform measure and 42 percent said they cast their ballot to help stop President Obama from passing his chief domestic initiative.
“I’m not surprised it was the top issue, but I was surprised by how overwhelming an issue it was. It became a focal point for the frustration that has been brewing with voters, and it’s a very personal issue that affects everyone,” said Tony Fabrizio of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, a Republican firm that conducted the exit poll of 800 voters.
The “Scott” heard around the world. The Massachusetts Miracle. Call it what you want, the bottom line is that Brown’s win in Massachusetts is an earth-shattering development in American politics. As prognosticator extraordinaire Stu Rothenberg wrote earlier today, “A Brown win would be the biggest political upset of my adult life.”
Well, there you have it.
Now, I may end up being wrong. On Monday I predicted an eight point win by Brown. At the moment he is up seven, but there are still a lot of ballots to be counted, so it may be even closer than seven. But holy cow! A Republican wins in a state that went for Obama 15 months ago by 26 points!
That thunder you hear is Democrat Congressman running for the tall grass.
More analysis to come…
“I’ve been called a lot of things… but never, I mean never, could anyone make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could.” – Curt Schilling