Lose Focus, Lose the Country

Learning from this weekend’s dark-of-night passage of health care reform in the House of Representatives

I thrive at midnight.

On some nights, I brew coffee at midnight, because midnight is when I begin studying. I do my best thinking at midnight. I do my best writing at midnight. The house is quiet, my wife and daughter are safe in bed, and I’ve had sufficient time to wind down after a full day of work and school. It’s perfect.

Midnight is a great time. Midnight may be my favorite time. But do you know what I don’t want to see happen at midnight?

Nancy Pelosi passing a damn bill.

When I woke up yesterday morning, it was going to be a good day. The weather was beautiful. A curiously sleepy little girl in the bedroom next door gave me a rare opportunity to sleep in. We had a birthday party to go to, and the rest of the day to finish off leftover Halloween candy and goof around.

It was going to be a good day yesterday — until I turned on the television looking for some sort of cartoon to keep my daughter occupied while I made breakfast and, before I could change the channel, I spied Nancy Pelosi standing in what appeared to be a body condom colored red with the blood of a freshly violated populace, gavel in hand, grinning the grinningest poop-eating grin her taut face would allow, reading off a pair of numbers:


Wait a second
, I thought. What the heck was that? What just happened?

The original Associated Press story about the vote was filed at 12:15 a.m., early Sunday morning. The official House roll call was time-stamped with 12:26 a.m. They passed this bill at midnight? They passed the single largest entitlement program in the history of the world, a piece of legislation directly affecting one-sixth of our nation’s economy, at midnight on a Saturday?

Whatever happened to the promise that the era of closed-door, weasel-heavy politics in Washington was over? Whatever happened to the promise that bills would be posted online for a full 72 hours before a vote? The clown on my television set, the one trying so desperately hard to smile, certainly wasn’t offering any answers.

Answers, however, will be offered all day today and perhaps all week, barring another–God forbid–terrorist attack by a radical Muslim which can be subsequently dismissed by the press as merely a stressed-out soldier who “snapped.” And what we’re going to hear today from the Monday-morning quarterbacks on the left is that health care reform is simply too important, to both the people it will undoubtedly forsake and the very economy it will inevitably destroy if ever signed into law, to allow for any sort of delay in the legislative process.

If that’s the case, if health care reform is so immediately needed by America, why won’t the plan laid out in H.R. 3962 officially be in effect for another four years, until after the 2012 presidential campaign? Why the need to pass the legislation in the wee hours of Saturday night, when the only folks awake in Washington are the barflies and the people charged with reminding President Barack Obama every few minutes that he’s the American president, and not a Central American dictator or African Colonial hell bent on destroying the Great Satan at whatever cost?

I’ll tell you why: for a fleeting moment, Nancy Pelosi had the votes she needed, and she did her best to catch lightning in a bottle. If she had delayed any longer, after all, perhaps the precious few congressmen with whom America hung in the balance would have gone home, slept on it, and remembered that they actually don’t want to saddle generations to come with crippling debt and a health care system devoid of the resources and ingenuity which once made it great.

Besides, in a stroke of strategic brilliance from an otherwise dim bulb, Pelosi played to the social conservatives and made fools of them using their own hottest-of-buttons issue–abortion–against them. As I wrote yesterday morning here at America’s Right, and as I guessed almost perfectly on October 30, Pelosi and the Democrats used their lack of respect for unborn life as a shell game of sorts.

Those who stood opposed to this bill got suckered, big time, by the woman in the blood-red body condom. She and her flunkies included, in the 2,000-plus pages of H.R. 3962, a provision which would have allowed the federal funding of abortion procedures, a provision which runs afoul of the Hyde Amendment, controlling law which prohibits just that. But the Republicans in particular took the bait, going so far as to propose an amendment striking the controversial provision from the legislation as a whole. And when the Democrats passed that amendment, giving those opposed to the bill to begin with a miniscule victory, it was enough to provide the false sense of security I wrote about a little more than a week ago and allow for the passage of the rest of the bill at large.

In other words, the Democrats included a patently illegal provision in the health care reform bill, those who opposed the legislation used it as a sticking point, and the Democrats did what they had planned all along — concede the unlawful provision and allow the detractors to win a minor fist-fight but subsequently lose the rest of the war.

All it would have taken were two Blue Dog Democrats who felt as though passage of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was enough to assuage a pro-life constituency and secure their re-election next year. Yet, should the bill pass the Senate as well, I can guarantee that the amendment will be stripped out in conference anyway.

This whole process was such a valuable lesson. And the only way I can rationalize what happened over the weekend as a blessing in disguise is if we can learn from it all.

First, and most obviously, it was a reminder that our lawmakers need to keep their eye on the ball. While the federal funding of abortion is abhorrent, it is also against the law as it stands and would inevitably have been successfully challenged in the courts as a violation of Hyde. The real issues here were cost and scope of government. The Democrats themselves estimated the cost of the bill to be $894 billion over ten years. The CBO scored it at $1.055 trillion, and then $1.2 trillion. And the New York Post, in reassessing CBO numbers, projected the ten-year cost to be $1.8 trillion. It was cost and government interference which has been resonating with an increasingly irate American people, not abortion. I’m pro-life, but it wasn’t the left’s stance on abortion which started the tea party movement and ignited the backlash we see now. People like Louisiana Republican Rep. Joseph Cao and the Blue Dogs who originally opposed the bill but caved in the end should have understood that their constituents are far more concerned with cost and government than abortion.

And second, it was a haunting dose of reality with regard to the consequences of social conservatism trumping fiscal conservatism to the detriment of the country as a whole in this era of Democratic Party governmental overreach. Going forward, the focus of the Republican Party and any politician or candidate who seeks re-election or election should be, plain and simple, the proper size, scope, reach and role of the American federal government.

That’s it. That’s all. We are at a time now where Alexander Hamilton’s pendulum of federalism is swinging more and more toward an all-powerful centralized government, and the American people are putting matters of party aside as they grow more and more concerned for their freedom. This isn’t traditional right versus left — this is right versus wrong, liberty versus tyranny, and while abortion and gay rights and everything else has a place in the platform of conservatives, right now the primary weakness of those in the far-left ruling class who seek to destroy this country is their penchant for nudging Washington, D.C. into every nook and cranny of American daily life.

That’s where we should be pushing. And if the focus had not been deterred by the abortion debate and assuaging social conservatives and instead had remained on cost and cost and cost and government interference in every aspect of life inside and out of the confines of medicine and health care, perhaps two more congressmen or congresswomen could have properly realized that striking an unlawful provision from a bill does not make a favorable vote safe.

Now that the 2009 elections are behind us, we must consider the victories for fiscal conservatism and manifested concern over expanding government in Virginia and New Jersey as we officially turn our attention to the mid-term elections of 2010. If played correctly, November of next year could be an absolute bloodbath for those who, time and again during the last two years, have voted in favor of the exponential expansion of government. While we must not abandon our traditional values, going forward we absolutely must remain focused on the primary weaknesses of Democrats and liberal Republicans alike — the proper role of government, an increased tax and regulatory burden on American individuals and businesses, and our increasingly shaky foreign policy and national security picture.

Let this weekend’s midnight vote serve as a lesson to all of us concerned about our nation’s future. We need a united voice and a focused message: Stop spending, keep us safe, and facilitate economic growth by getting out of our way. That’s all. We do that, and everything else will drop into place accordingly. We stray elsewhere, into issues that may be important but aren’t necessarily timely, and we could lose this country at least for another six years, if not eternally.

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Comments

  1. John Feeny says:

    I'll tell you what…everyone who is a regular reader of Jeff's blog should link to what I provide here….this is a national conservative movement that is being organized to take back the country. I've looked into this for some time now, and THIS IS REAL. The basic premise is to take back control of the Republican party through funding, and there are already millions of people across the country who have pledged to the cause.

    The entire movement is being organized by JB Williams, a nationally-syndicated conservative writer. He is trying desperately to get this article to go viral, so if it makes sense to you, link it to as many people as you can.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/16640

  2. Rix says:

    Why does she doe that, you ask? Because she can. She behaves exactly as a kid whose father left a plateful of candy on a table and promised a belting for eating it to be delivered in a year. Heck, no kid can resist THAT sort of a tease. They are smart, those kids. The father will not notice, or forget, or maybe he'll be too busy, or will just scream a bit instead, and anyway, who thinks a year ahead when candy is involved?

    The only thing that can deter this kind of candy legislation is an absolute, undeniable inevitability of IMMEDIATE belting. Not in the next cycle, not next year, NOW. Not protests. Not signatures. ACTION. But to act, one needs to be a father. That involves BALLS, something conservatives lost all the way in the 1870-ies.

  3. Anonymous says:

    John Feeney:

    I, too, have been following JB's articles, b/c it is exactly what I think has to happen.

    The jist of the articles is how to take back the RNC like the democratic socialist party did to the DNC….

    Everyone MUST go there and read the 4 part series.

    JB Williams ROCKS!

    Lisa in TX

  4. Ann says:

    Jeff I want to thank you for your thoughts. I have been reading your sight since it's inception. I have enjoyed and agreed with most of the content. I have marched in both the 9-12 and 11-5 marches in D.C. and was feeling down till I read this post this morning. You have a gift my friend and I'm very glad you are on our side. I am no longer down. I am more determined than ever to continue this fight and do everything I can to make the red condom and her ilk hear us AND UNDERSTAND that we will not go away or let them get away with any more of their crap. We are not playing their game anymore.

    Thank you again Ann

  5. Walt says:

    Nancy Pelosi is nothing but a whore. She sells herself to support her ego. It's time to stop this madness, my limited research show that we all with the exception of the illegals and those very poor will pay huge insurance increases associated with this bill. It's imperative that the senate derail this monster and we un-employ all those who supported this.

    The plan is forging forward rapidly to bankrupt the Baby-Boomers. I would suspect the following will occur:

    1. Government taking control of all 401 accounts and paying out a limited annuity after age 70.

    2. Government breaking up the auto insurance carriers and providing free coverage to the illegals and poor, while raising our fees.

    3. Changing social security rules and medicare to age 70 for any coverage if it's still funded.

  6. Lilly says:

    Jeff, you asked "If that's the case, if health care reform is so immediately needed by America, why won't the plan laid out in H.R. 3962 officially be in effect for another four years, until after the 2012 presidential campaign?"
    Well, according to Mark Kirk (now trying to be conservative but still calling himself moderate) at a townhall it's because of the CBO scoring. The CBO only scores the cost of a bill for 10 years. So, putting the official date out 4 yrs, they only have to score the cost for an actual 6 yrs. After the 7th year the cost goes immediately skyward. And remember, we start paying for it immediately.
    Off to look at John's link!

  7. PENNSYLVANIA AVE PIMP says:

    Walt, quit besmirching whores with that comparison.

  8. T.I.M. says:

    Why be surprised at the late night antics? Vampire bats can't stand the light of day — and putting the bill online would run the risk of actually seeing one's reflection in the glass. When one is sucking the life out of a body, the light of day is the last thing wanted.

  9. Gail B says:

    Your comment "I thrive at midnight" startled me. See, I was married to a night owl newsman.

    Many a time he disrupted my drift into the arms of Morpheus with, "Wake up! Write this down!" He had thought of a phrase or expression that he wanted to use later.

    Then I saw it! "…I spied Nancy Pelosi standing in what appeared to be a body condom colored red with the blood of a freshly violated populace, gavel in hand, grinning the grinningest poop-eating grin her taut face would allow…."

    Shades of Tim Dobbs! There are still those like him who walk among us!

    And to change the subject, from Media Research Center:

    Brokaw: Liberated East Germans 'Still Adjusting to Harsh Economic Realities' of Capitalism –
    Noting Monday's 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw claimed on Sunday's Today that East Germans were "still adjusting to the harsh economic realities" of life after communism. But a recent poll of former East bloc countries by the Pew Research Center actually discovered that the ex-East Germans are the region's biggest enthusiasts of capitalism, with 82 percent approving of the shift, higher than any other ex-communist country.

    This is what Rix has been trying to beat into our heads! Those who have been-there-done-that (Communism), as Rix has, are embracing capitalism.

  10. Gail B says:

    Received this valuable piece of information in an email this a.m. It's a link to a site that gives contact information for everybody in DC in every state:

    http://www.resistnet.com/forum/topics/everybody-needs-a-hit-list

  11. Gail B says:

    JB Williams just emailed his reply to my question of which email address to give people so they can be added to his distribution list to receive his articles.

    JBWilliams09@gmail.com

    (And, he thanked me.)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Noticed that all the so called "Blue Dogs" in my state of CA voted "yes" on the bill: Baca, Cardoza, Costa, Harman, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Thompson. How safe do they feel doing this? I hope the campaign to fire them is up and running- no matter how the Senate vote goes.

  13. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    I agree totally with Ann!

    John & Lisa – I joined JB's movement last week – exciting stuff – can't wait to get more details.

    Gail – He had to wake you up to write his thoughts down for him???
    Were you not so feisty back then?

    Just wondering…
    Susan

  14. Jan says:

    Jeff – You stated:
    "Going forward, the focus of the Republican Party and any politician or candidate who seeks re-election or election should be, plain and simple, the proper size, scope, reach and role of the American federal government."

    I would add that the next Presidential candidate should add the promise to repeal any and all legislation that goes against the size, scope, reach and role of the federal government.

    I have already contacted my reps here in my state and let them know that I will be out in full force working doubly hard to ensure they are not re-elected.

  15. sh says:

    Anonymous Walt said…

    Nancy Pelosi is nothing but a whore.

    I love the people who visit this blog…. Thanks Walt, I needed that!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Since no where in the Constitution does it say we must have health insurance, then i assume forcing, taxing and penalizing a person who does not have medical insurance would be unconstitutional.
    So my question to Lawyer Jeff, do you see the possibility of lawyers bringing future suits against the government regarding the unconstitutionality of this health care bill/ law?

  17. Dee says:

    I suggest that all tax paying, hard working citizens refuse to get healthcare, get arrested, go to jail, and then see who is still out there to pay for Pelosi's bill. All those who refuse to work or are too lazy will be without a benefactor. The truly indigent and those unable to work will be excused.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing something? Has there been some sort of amendment to the constitution that allows Nancy Pelosi to meet with the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, behind closed doors, on a Saturday night, to help draft legislation that is palatable to the catholic church regarding abortion? Or does that not bother conservatives because they liked the results? Is this something that is done so routinely, that we have adopted it as an acceptable practice? What's to stop her from meeting with Muslim Clerics to draft hate crime legislation palatable to them, that progressives can vote for in unison, while we sleep? The silence is deafening.

  19. Randy Wills says:

    To "Anonymous" @ 4:16 PM:

    I agree with you completely. The sanctity of life in not a denominational issue. In my opiinion, it's not even a religious issue, although abortion is particularly abhorent to Christians.

    What is there about the advantages of building a society based on the concept of "doing unto others (even the unborn)that which you would have done unto you" that people don't (want to) understand?

    Randy

  20. Anonymous says:

    Oops, did Pelosi forget about these statements?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w_ANNGhgfQ

    Sally

  21. goddessdivine says:

    I watched a clip over the weekend of Rep Waxman showering Pelosi with accolades….even claiming her to go down as the best Speaker of the House EVER. I almost puked.

  22. Rix says:

    Randy Wills:

    > What is there about the advantages of building a society based on the
    > concept of "doing unto others (even the unborn)that which you
    > would have done unto you"

    I kinda like the idea of doing unto certain Democrats what they want to do unto the unborn…

  23. TheModernRevolution says:

    John,

    I stopped reading your JB Williams link when after the first few sentences they were already begging for donations. I'm so tired of every "movement" littered with donation requests; instant loss of credibility for me.

    -DigitalMan

  24. HARNASS THAT HURL says:

    Goddessdivine, be sure when you puke to do it into a turbine and get some green energy out of the action.

    Rep. Waxman

  25. PHOTO FINISH says:

    Jeff,
    we who participated in your poll to the right on 3962 came so close to being correct. It is nauseating to see their glee on a win by so FEW votes.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of the late-night takeover of healthcare, Gov. Mike Huckabee calls it "Pelosi's Saturday Night Fever."

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