Posted by: Rick | Monday, December 28, 2009

Memo To Harry Reid: Keep The Wimps Off National Television!

Several Sundays ago I watched Senators John Thune and Mark Warner “debate” health care on CNN’s State Of The Union With John King.  (Here’s a transcript.)  As the old saying goes, if it was fight, they would have stopped it.

Somewhat fortunately, I was recovering from surgery at the time, and in my weakened condition, I was unable to hurl my defenseless cup of coffee at the television screen.  Thune, you see, was tossing grenades like this:

I think the problem is, John, it’s like closing the barn door after the horse is out. We have already borrowed $1 trillion to pay for a stimulus bill. We’ve got a $2.5 trillion expansion of health care that’s pending before the Senate right now, and as you mention, these appropriations bills that are coming in, year over year at 12 percent. The consumer price index this last year is a negative 0.2 percent. That’s what normally these things are pegged to. And so you are increasing spending at the federal level by 12 percent year over year, at a time when most Americans, as you mentioned, are having to tighten their belts. That is why we have been trying to stop this bill this weekend from being voted upon and send it back to the committee and come back with a reasonable proposal.

And Warner was countering with powder-puffs like this:

Neither side has clean hands.  I mean, I do think we have to recall what — actually, your previous guest said, Larry Summers, eight years ago, this country had a surplus.  We saw over the last eight years, a trillion dollars spent on the wars, off-balance sheet, not. . .

To his minimal credit, Warner is here at least trying to slam Republicans on their outrageous refusal to pay for their military debacles.  But please, Mark — could you spare us the sniveling “neither side has clean hands”  pre-emptive apology?  Nobody’s going to pat you on the back for your scrupulously wimpy sense of political fairness.

It gets worse:

What I see — I am a new guy in the Senate.  But it seems like everything kind of divides at the door in terms of Democrat/Republican.  If there is ever a time to kind of chuck your D hat and R hat, it ought to be now.  And on this kind of effort of getting our deficit under control, I think this would be the time for that kind of bipartisan approach.  [Emphasis added]

If Mark Warner thinks he needs to attach himself like a barnacle to the likes of John Thune to get re-elected in Virginia, then so be it.  But nationwide, the partisan war is just beginning.  Democrats are gong to have to sell the benefits of health care reform and contrast themselves with Republicans who are committed to repealing it.

So let’s keep the Warners of the world on local television where they can’t muddy up the national message.



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