Rep. Peter King was on Morning Joe explaining in abecedarian terms, de-shin-bone-be-connected-to-de-leg-bone terms, why you can't just "de-fund Obamacare."
This is why I committed the cardinal sin of making fun of the GOP continuing resolution without reading it. There is no way to carve what they call "Obamacare" out of a CR without causing really disruptive consequences, so I knew they did not mean what they were honking about.
Are you going to suddenly de-fund Medicaid? What about the states that enacted the Medicaid expansion 100% funded by the federal government in the first year? Various parts of the Public Health Service Act? Various parts of the Tax Code?
So there was King, who voted for that crap, with this panicked look in his eyes, trying to explain really complex budget stuff in a forum not suited to the task and not doing very well at it.
I almost felt sorry for him.
They've also taught the rubes to be horrified at the length of the bill. This after the Democrats allowed all manner of Republican amendments in exchange for support that evaporated anyway.
They've taught the rubes to be horrified that legislators voted on something they had not read. OK, I've only dealt with legislation on the federal level and in two states, but I don't see any way legislators could read everything they have to vote on and I have trouble working up a head of steam about the practicalities.
If you are not going to have floor amendments, then why have floor debates?
The fact of the matter is that if it's close enough your vote counts, then somebody has lobbied you and you have expressed your concerns. The amendments are either happening in your office or you know where they are happening. If you want to read the specific language or, more likely, send your staff to do it, you could.
If the vote isn't close...or if you are against it no matter what it says...or if you can't be bothered to express your concerns...then what in the world difference does it make whether you read the blooming thing? It makes for great propaganda, but on the ground it's kind of silly.
The 30 second spots about Obamacare are driven by simple declarative sentences, each either demonstrably false or not about values but rather sand-in-the-eyes.
Death panels---of course there will be death panels unless you believe in the unlimited health care fairy. The question is whether the death panels answer to democratic control or profit. Pick your death panel.
Job killing? Not yet, but it's possible. Involuntary part time work spiked in 2008 and we all know what happened in 2008...not Obamacare. It's been trending down since. If employers in fact start moving full time workers to part time to avoid having to provide health insurance, there are ways to deal with that short of repealing the law...if you think uninsured people need insurance.
Back to poor, stuttering Rep. King.
Dude, I know you didn't whip up the rubes, but you let Sen. Ted Cruz do it. You call him a fraud now, but you didn't call him out until his irresponsibility pushed you out on your current limb.
Now you get to live with the consequences, which probably means a government shut down, because the rubes have been primed to demand a result you not only can't deliver, you could not deliver it if you had the Senate and the White House.
It's mighty white of you to admit that now...but way late in terms of the public discussion.