ObamaCare: New Republic Editor Attacks Humble NewsBusters Correspondent
It seems that, in the wake of the liberal celebrations over the passage of the Senate ObamaCare bill, their former vociferous, opposition to it has been tossed down the memory hole. And woe betide anyone who points out how much they used to hate it. Such was the case of The New Republic senior editor Jonathan Chait who castigates your humble correspondent in this article for pointing out this inconvenient fact:
P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters accuses yours truly of hypocrisy:
Remember all that hype from the liberals until last night about how horrible the Senate ObamaCare was? Yes, they admitted it was a terrible piece of legislation but it was necessary for the House of Representatives to pass it in order for the Senate to somehow improve it via reconciliation. Well, toss that all out the window. Suddenly, sans any change in that formerly detested bill, it has suddenly become a "brilliant" piece of legislation as you can see in this gushing ode to the current unchanged ObamaCare bill by Jonathan Chait of the New Republic...
A "masterfully crafted piece of legislation?" If so, why even bother to try to improve this brilliance via reconciliation in the Senate? Of course, Chait's article makes absolutely no reference to reconciliation. That pretense seems to have been dropped. It will be interesting to see how many other liberals suddenly discover the "brilliance" of what was previously considered a lousy Senate ObamaCare bill and drop their former urgency over the necessity for improvement via reconciliation. For Jonathan Chait all that matters now is that the once hated Senate ObamaCare bill has passed despite the consequences to come.
And now Chait accuses me of a charge I didn't make in his case...hypocrisy:
Okay, so I "hated" the Senate bill before but now I love it. Hypocrisy! Except there are a couple problems with this accusation. The first is the the House last night passed both the Senate bill and a reconciliation bill that will change it. So it's not as if somebody who hates the pure Senate bill should have been upset by last night's proceedings. Perhaps Gladnick turned off his television set before the third vote.
Second, and more problematically for Gladnick, even if the House were voting to enact the unamended Senate bill, I do not hate the Senate bill and never have. Indeed, in December I wrote a three thousand word story arguing that the Senate bill would amount to "the most significant American legislative triumph in at least four decades." Moreover, I don't see how Gladnick could be confusing me with anybody else, because none of the other center-left wonk-pundits I know hate the Senate bill, either. At worst, they say the House bill is a little better overall, though all of them believe the Senate bill is better in at least some key regards, and all of them consider it an enormous improvement over the status quo. To the extent that I differ from them, it's that I'm more pro-Senate bill than they are. I know of nobody outside of the actual Senate itself who has championed the Senate bill more strongly than I have.
You are correct, Chait. You were a true believer in the hated Senate bill from the get-go, unlike most of your fellow liberals. So much so that your very words might be used to help prevent any reconciliation "fix" to the Senate bill which was once so widely hated. As to who hates (or at least used to hate) the Senate ObamaCare bill, how about Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos who hated it in this December 14 Tweet:
Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.
Is Howard Dean liberal enough for you Jonathan? This is what the former DNC Chairman said about the Senate ObamaCare bill in December:
This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.
Remember Representative Louise Slaughter of the infamous "Slaughter Solution?" Here is what she wrote at CNN about the Senate ObamaCare bill last December:
Senate bill isn't health reform
The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago.
Even though the House version is far from perfect, it at least represents a step toward our goal of giving 36 million Americans decent health coverage.
But under the Senate plan, millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance company plans, which will be subsidized by taxpayers. That alternative will do almost nothing to reform health care but will be a windfall for insurance companies. Is it any surprise that stock prices for some of those insurers are up recently?
...Supporters of the weak Senate bill say "just pass it -- any bill is better than no bill."
I strongly disagree -- a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills.
It's time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that.
Finally David Broder who had to hold his nose over the Senate ObamaCare bill:
The health-care reform bill coming out of the Senate presents a real dilemma for spectators: How do you applaud while holding your nose?
...The taint has rubbed off on the bill.
...Liberal Democrats do not like the independent commission in the Senate bill having power to enforce savings in Medicare and the private health system. And labor does not accept the Senate plan to tax high-end insurance plans.
All much less than ringing endorsements from liberals (or "progressives" as they now call themselves) of what Chait called a "masterfully crafted piece of legislation." So will Chait console them with his high opinion of the Senate ObamaCare bill if the reconciliation "fix" never happens?