Friday, November 28, 2014

Chuck It

Is there a politician who reminds me more of why I hate politicians than Chuck Schumer?  He never says anything except what will help him or his party, but pretends to be speaking hard truths.  (Okay, all politicians do that, but he does it the most egregiously.)

For instance, his latest statements on passing Obamacare.  The way it's been played you'd expect a mea culpa on the law, but it's the opposite, filled with Schumer-speak, guaranteeing not a speck of truth.

"After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform...

"...[Only 5% of voters lacked health insurance at the time, so to concentrate on the issue] made no political sense....

"...[If they'd dealt more with the economy first] the middle class would have been more receptive to the idea that President Obama wanted to help them...

"...When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, 'The Democrats aren't paying enough attention to me.'...

"...People thought—and I understand this—lots of people thought this was the only time to do this, it's very important to do. And we should have done it. We just shouldn't have done it first. We were in the middle of a recession. People were hurting and saying, 'What about me? I'm losing my job. It's not health care that bothers me. What about me?' … About 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, mainly because it was paid for by either the government or their employer, private sector. So they weren't clamoring. The average middle-class voter, they weren't opposed to doing health care when it started out, but it wasn't at the top of the agenda."

So here we've got the senior Senator from New York looking at the complete wreckage of his party--they went from a filibuster-proof majority to a minority in both houses in the past four years.  And here's his explanation: it's because the Democrats are so wonderful and great at solving all our problems.

First he claims the Stimulus worked.  If it did, the public sure didn't notice, according to polls (and according to actual numbers, I'd say).  So Schumer's excuse is Of course it worked, but the public was too dumb to get it, so we should have kept passing more and more laws until they got it, but we just didn't care to.  We counted too much on the public getting how much we were helping them as we moved on to health care, so they were much stupider than even we figured.

The most laughable part is not that the public was too dumb to get how the Dems saved the economy, but his belief that the Dem-controlled Congress could have helped the economy even more if they kept passing big government laws. They'd already passed some of the most expensive ever on the economy, so you'd think that'd be enough, but the idea that they were sitting there thinking "Well obviously we can help the economy even more but we have better things to do" is an insult to even the Americans so stupid that they didn't get how much the Dems were already helping.

Then he says the party had a mandate. I don't believe in mandates in general, unless you run on a very specific plan.  We've only got two parties and one always seems to be winning, and once elected they just try to pass whatever they can.  We were in the odd position of having (by hook and a fair amount of crook) far more Democrats in office than we wanted, so they had a golden opportunity to go to their wish list.  Number one was health care.  They didn't run on it, but nothing would have stopped them from doing it.  And even then, in a watered-down version, it was much more radical than the people wanted and the Dems had to pray when they shoved it down the public's throat that there'd be a good reaction. Didn't happen, but the idea that somehow they could have held back is absurd.

Also funny is the idea if they'd only helped the economy more then the public would have liked their health care law.  Even if they'd done a superb job on the economy everyone would have said "thanks for that, but why are you now wrecking our health care system?" But that can never be said--obviously everything they did was wonderful, especially Obamacare, so Schumer has to give a political reason for the negative reaction.

Which leads to the claim that the law has been a great success--and, once again, the people are too stupid to understand that.

So he manages to say--in a speech mistakenly seen as attacking Democrats--that the Democrats were right about everything, and did everything right, and have constantly helped the American public, and will continue to help the American public, and everyone knows this, and the only reason the party has fallen apart were a few minor political timing errors, done mostly because they care so much about helping people.

PS  Here's an old post from QueensGuy from 2010 about jamming through health care.  Note this semi-prescient line in the comments:

The funniest line in the article is this one: "a bill-signing ceremony in the Rose Garden would provide at least a short-term boost to a beleaguered president." It wouldn't even provide a short-term boost. His signature would be sealing the doom for his party, and perhaps his own presidency.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:22 PM, November 28, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Just what do you think a blog is?

10:05 PM, November 28, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Pretty prestigious blog we got, what with Howard Dean reading us.

5:48 AM, November 29, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sputter sputter splurt splurt ......BENGHAZI (oops no)

6:40 AM, November 29, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for engaging intellectually with a piece that goes against conventional wisdom.

9:42 AM, November 29, 2014  

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