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Landrieu elicits lucre as salve, ploy, or electoral gimmick?

So Sen. Mary Landrieu, stating she was “proud” to have wangled at least $100 million to give to the state in extra Medicaid reimburse for one year (2011) in the monstrous health care bill sponsored in the Senate, said she would vote to override any attempt to prevent brining up the bill for action. What does this mean?

By the Democrat voting for allowing the bill that would hike costs, add to the deficit, and probably reduce the quality of care to move forward, the process stays alive as a whole if all other non-Republican senators join her. Failure to do so would not definitively have killed the effort, but at the least would have presented a challenging obstacle for Democrats trying to ram it through as quickly as possible.

Every slowing of the bill, however, is akin to weakening its chances. Polls show a majority of Americans grasp the basic facts of Democrat bills to change health care in terms of impact on costs and care, and a smaller majority opposes it. Knowledge about them only will increase in time, and thereby the majority against it. As Congressional elections loom closer, the electorate will have a greater capacity to remember them and who supported them which some Democrats wish to avoid. While the Democrat leadership has taken on a scorched-earth approach to the matter – regardless of how many seats they lose in 2010 and beyond over their kind of reform, they’ll do it because it can more securely lock liberalism into public policy in the long run – some individual Democrats want to preserve their careers and enough of them will become discouraged at supporting these kinds of bills as time passes to prevent their success.

Landrieu’s choice decreases the potential unfavorable impact of the clock ticking on the chances of these damaging changes Democrats want to make passing. At the same time, it has to be remembered that there are many hurdles to overcome where Landrieu could help defeat version of this. Her most likely points of contention would be over whether public funding of abortion would occur and if Louisiana would be forced into letting a government-run “public option” health care plan operate.

But the fact is, even without these things, it would take a horrible bill and make it only a little less horrible. For Landrieu to support something like that would be a dereliction of duty to do what is best for Louisiana and America. All the set-aside money for the state cannot obliterate this truth, illuminating the craven aspect of Landrieu which should not salve her conscience, if she really does support a slightly less obnoxious version. Let us not hope that was her motivation in being coy about the vote to proceed.

Much better would be if Landrieu played hard-to-get because she really, in the end, wishes to vote against the bill, even with the bonus. Knowing she could draw out the process to help that, her (under this assumption) bluffing could make her look better (or perhaps to assist separately or as well the future political career of brother Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu) to the state’s voters, even if with defeat the state did not get the money this way. Then she could have it both ways: demonstrating she can funnel money to the state yet voting against a bill a solid majority of Louisianans do not like.

Unfortunately, chances are the deal she made to proceed happened because she is a shrewd true believer in the stupidity behind the bill, and she will remain bought throughout the process. Selling out somebody for pieces of lucre is not new in history; let’s only hope her conscience reminds her of such before she assists in inflicting degradation and suffering on the American people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe so, but your boy wonder now has a better shot at the White House. Jindal has been totally and completely irresponsible about dealing with the looming state budget shortfall. Now, he's been given another shot.