House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue’s massive role in this election year.
Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program “This Week.”
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”
It took courage for Congress to pass Social Security and Medicare, which eventually became highly popular, she said, “and many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.”
It’s unclear whether Pelosi’s remarks will embolden or chill dozens of moderate House Democrats who face withering criticisms of the health care proposal in visits with constituents and in national polls. Republican lawmaker unanimously oppose the health care proposals, and many GOP strategists believe voters will turn against Democrats in the November elections.
Pelosi, from San Francisco, is more liberal than scores of her Democratic colleagues. But she generally walks a careful line between urging them to back left-of-center policies and giving them a green light to buck party leaders to improve their re-election hopes.
Newsflash, Nance: Most politicos – including you – vote in line a majority of the time the way their constituencies want them to, no matter whether they are considered “moderates” or diehard liberals or conservatives. And this year more than any in recent memory, politicos – moderate and liberal alike – in your party are paying the price for lining up against them and with the left on big ticket items like healthcare “reform” (see the respective elections of Senator Scott Brown, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and VA Gov. Bob McDonnell. Most polls are pointing to significant Republican gains in November for a reason: Just a little over a year into the HopeNChange administration, people aren’t liking what they’re seeing and are turning to the GOP for solutions.
Pelosi’s comments smack of desperation. Democrats are so hellbent on passing any healthcare “reform” bill that they’re begging their moderates to risk their jobs for it which, in effect, risks the left’s majority in the House? Is the Obama administration so desperate to pin an “accomplishment” on our celebrity President that they would endorse what the House Speaker is asking moderate Dems to do? Bring it on, PelosiCo. Keep putting your moderates between a rock and a hard place on healthcare “reform” and we’ll see what happens in November.
Oh, and BTW, Medicare is bankrupting this country faster than you can say “loser.” It’s a bloated, out of control bureaucratic nightmare that needs the type of reform that you and your party would never accept. Bad comparison.
B. Daniel Blatt adds:
Nancy knows her history about as well as she knows economics. It hardly took courage to pass those bills which were popular even before they passed. And today, there are concerns about the fiscal solvency of both programs.
Is Mrs. Pelosi thus suggesting that the Democrats’ proposed health care overhaul will soon also face financial problems?
Her arrogance–and that of the Democrats who continue to push this–is simply amazing. They claim they know better than the American people what’s good for them. They keep pressing forward on this–as if one more push will break the pattern of public opinion consistently moving against them since the debate began. And the tide will finally turn. Well, now she seems to have given up hope of catching a wave and is now saying that, well, public opinion doesn’t matter because we know what’s best.
Even if their knowledge comes from policies which have never worked in the real world and are similar to those which have not brought the desired results in jurisdictions which have tried them.
Andy McCarthy has a different take:
Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftitsts who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don’t think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that’s why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that’s the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership.
At the end of the summit debacle, President Obama put the best face on a bad day by indicating that he intended to push ahead with socialized medicine and face the electoral consequences (“that’s what elections are for,” he concluded). He’s right about that. For Republicans, it won’t be enough to fight this thing, then deride it if Democrats pull it off, and finally coast to a very likely electoral victory in November. The question is: What are you going to do to roll this back? What is your plan to undo this?
Food for thought.