Thursday, October 22, 2015

Heritage Action Lobbies ***Against*** ObamaCare-Gutting House Bill

by JASmius

Another Tea Party exercise in self-defeating "purity," making perfection the enemy of the good, and why the man pictured above would have been a terrible choice for an "outsider" Speaker:

[Heritage Action announced] Tuesday it will “key vote” a bill the House is poised to take up that ditches the law’s individual and employer mandates, a number of the law’s taxes and several other components, including an independent panel to cut Medicare costs. That’s because the bill doesn’t fully repeal the [Una]ffordable Care Act, including its major spending provisions — the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on the exchanges. By using the reconciliation process to get rid of the healthcare law they hate, Republicans only have to gain a simple majority of Senate votes. But under those rules, only provisions that are tied to spending can be included in the measure…Policy experts agree that using budget reconciliation rules to repeal ObamaCare is Republicans’ best chance to put a repeal bill on Barack Obama’s desk, even though the president is virtually guaranteed to veto it. The move by Heritage complicates the effort, as it puts pressure on conservatives to vote against a bill they had otherwise been enthusiastic about. And by punishing Republicans, Heritage may inadvertently praise Democrats, who plan to vote against reconciliation because they support the healthcare law. [A spokesman] wouldn’t tell the Washington Examiner whether Democrats will get a positive score from Heritage for opposing the bill. [emphases added]

Every aspect of what's wrong with the Tea Party is on dazzling display in that quote.  The reality is, and has been for the past five and a half years, that ObamaCare can and will never, EVER be repealed to the tinest degree while Barack Obama remains in power.  That is not the GOP "establishment's" fault and it is not Mitt Romney's fault, it is the fault of the sixty-two million knuckleheads who twice elected him.  Thus, the best thing that a Republican Congress can do is pass a bill getting rid of as much of it as possible via the reconciliation process to get around the inevitable Senate Democrat filibuster and force the POTUS those filibusters endlessly protect to give it the high-profile veto we need to elevate ObamaCare repeal as a 2016 campaign issue and prove that a GOP Congress kept in place into 2017 can and will repeat that process for an incoming Republican president to sign into law.  Does this bill repeal every last bit of O-Care?  No, it doesn't.  But that isn't the point, now is it?

And yet for the purity fetishists at Heritage Action, it's the only point.  Strategy doesn't matter to them, reality doesn't matter to them, actually accomplishing their avowed policy goals doesn't matter to them.  They futiley demand that the process be simple, that political opposition and constitutional constraints make way, and they get what they want by essentially the wave of a magic wand.  And any Republican who's not down with that, and is down with the aforementioned House bill, they will do their level best to destroy, even (or especially?) if it helps the Democrats.

Here's what passes for their "reasoning":

In the ObamaCare fight, reconciliation’s aim is to set a legislative precedent for a Republican president to follow. Forcing a presidential veto of a bill repealing ObamaCare will cause every presidential candidate to answer a simple question – what would you have done? Every serious Republican candidate will answer that they would repeal it in a heartbeat.

Is there any Republican presidential candidate in the past five and a half years who hasn't answered that question that way?  They're not the target audience of this House bill, and yet HA thinks they should be, as though the entire GOP outside the Tea Party bubble is the "enemy".  Which is precisely what they want to make into reality.

But if reconciliation is simply used to remove a few provisions, it does not provoke the conversation and force a Republican nominee to continue to support repealing ObamaCare in its entirety.

Bullshit.  A bill that has non-reconciliation items in it can't go through reconciliation, and will thus be filibustered and never reach Barack Obama's desk to be vetoed, which is the whole damn point of the bill.

I take back what I said above; this isn't making the perfect the enemy of the good; it's making fantasy the enemy of the good.

In addition to leaving one of Planned Parenthood’s main funding sources intact....

The repeal of Medicaid is a whole other fantasy, gents.  At least take them one at a time.

....the reconciliation tool is ineffective in defunding Planned Parenthood because it does not contain sufficient leverage to succeed.

Or public support, for that matter.

The reconciliation tool can only place a standalone bill on [Obama]’s desk, which would be promptly vetoed. But because of the recent Center for Medical Progress videos, there is sufficient political will to carry a defund effort past the finish line.

No, there's not.  Neither is there a real-life Green Lantern to force our powerful opposition to yield by the sheer force of our "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!" will.  This is why, as I have said before, that politics is not war by other means.  Politics is not about "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!", it is about persuasion, about taking multiple small (or as big as possible) bites at the apple, and about seeing our actions through the eyes of voters not resident within our ideological bubble.  The Democrat Left "fights" but they do it in such a way as to not look like that's what they're doing.  Or, in other words, they fight smart (the only context in which they do).  The Tea Party "fights" openly and in a way that makes the entire GOP easy pickings for the Democrat/Media Complex, which makes us less popular, costs our party otherwise winnable elections, and motivates the "establishment" away from the philosophical direction it needs to embrace.

Am I saying the Tea Party shouldn't "fight"?  Not at all.  I'm saying the Tea Party should "fight" smart.  Which means ceasing to fight its Republican allies, focus on fighting the Democrat/Left enemy, and drop stupid opposition to legislation that advances the cause for which it claims to be fighting.

Yeah, that'll be the day.

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