Oh here we go again. Sen. Barrasso repeats his claim that it should require a 70 or 80 vote super-majority to pass the health care bill. Never mind that the Republicans have never held themselves to that same standard. And he's got all the talking points down as usual. "Step-by-step", "the bill's too large", "the public doesn't want this". He did forget to mention the health savings accounts in this interview.
This whole thing is just tiresome at this point. The Democrats and Obama have messed around negotiating with these people who are acting in bad faith and who will gladly lie and pretend that so many of the ideas that they supported are not already in his health care bill. Why they played the bipartisanship game with no votes in return is beyond me since it's allowed this sort of nonsense to grow legs.
Sarah Palin proves she can master anything as she debuts her stand-up comedy routine on "The Tonight Show."
Megyn Kelly presents a balanced picture of the health care summit by randomly selecting four people who all think the bill is a terrible idea.
Mitt Romney apparently doesn't think anyone is responsible for their bill after they leave an emergency room. Here's his response after Mike Barnicle asks him if he believes in universal health care coverage on Morning Joe.
Romney: Oh, sure. Look, it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way.
Here's your CNN "centrist" folks. Someone repeating every Republican talking point in the book and saying it's unfair to say that the GOP has been obstructing for anything other than principled rather than political reasons. And of course money and the insurance industry never have anything to do with how someone votes in Gergen's world. It's a "side argument".
Gergen's been around advising several administrations and following politics for a lot longer than I have. He knows full well he's full of crap here but that doesn't stop him from towing the line for the health insurance industry and the GOP and pretending their profits are not THE issue with this debate. Just shameful.
COOPER: David, it is interesting, though. This is exactly what then-candidate Obama said he was best at, getting people from divergent points of view to agree on something and actually get things done. It hasn't worked out that way. I mean, what -- what did you think of what he said today? What do you think of his chances moving forward?
GERGEN: Anderson, he inherited a political dynamic in Washington. It was unhealthy. And then by contracting out the writing of the bill to the House and Senate Democrats, and the process that then followed, the Republicans felt very marginalized, not a -- didn't have a seat at the table, especially in the House.
And to come at this last minute with essentially a 2,000-page- plus bill and say, we would like to add a few amendments from Republicans, it's -- that is not going to fly. It is -- I think it helps him with his outreach to the country to show that he is being reasonable. I think it may help him with some moderate Democrats.
But it was -- it was just built in that he wasn't going to get Republicans. The Republicans believe that this is a fundamentally flawed plan. I think he mischaracterized the Republican opposition today. He said -- Basically, he said today, if you vote against my bill, that is because you are voting for the insurance companies.
This is not about insurance companies, from a Republican point of view. It is about -- you know, it is about government intervention, a large cost, and significant question marks about it.
GERGEN: Democrats believe that we have a moral responsibility to provide coverage. That is a legitimate argument. The insurance argument, I think, is a side argument.
Rachel Maddow again doing yeoman's work with reporting on the hypocrisy of the Republicans and their lies on the use of reconciliation to get the health care bill passed. If you haven't checked it out yet, Rachel has a new blog and here is more on this segment from her entry today -- Online items cited on The Rachel Maddow show 3/3:
Rachel Maddow (April 4, 2007) An Open Letter to Senator Hatch [Updated]
Sen. Sherrod Brown weighed in on why he thinks the Republicans are pushing so hard not to get anything passed and if he has any idea what they will do to keep the bill from passing. He said they're ready to keep them up all night if they try to add too many amendments. If that's true I say what took them so long? They should have been doing that before the tea baggers were taking over the town halls. I'm not wild about this bill but at this point I don't see how it is good for Democrats to not pass it. They get the worst of both worlds if it fails. They live with what the voters think of it after they see how it actually affects their own lives if they do. If they're not happy about it then it will be based on some facts and not Republican fear mongering and spin.
Alan Grayson and Michele Bachmann faced off on Larry King Live and no fireworks, but Alan Grayson did do a nice job of beating back Michele Bachmann's lies during the segment.
Laffy did a live blog which summed it up pretty well. Lie, wash, rinse, repeat, distract and we're going to see this bill pass. I think Bachmann kept herself in check more than she would have had Grayson not been there. She didn't come back at him other than on the accusation of trading judgeships for votes, which frankly I've not heard anything about until watching this interview. I would imagine we'll be hearing more on that before long if there's any truth to it. Coming from the likes of Bachmann I'll take it with a grain of salt for now.
Transcript via CNN.
KING: Joining us in Washington, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota. She is campaigning and championing what's billed as the Declaration of Health Care Independence.
And Representative Alan Grayson, Democrat of Florida. Last fall in a speech on the House floor he said that the Republican health care plan is don't get sick, but if you do, die quickly. All right, Congresswoman Bachmann, what's wrong -- since it's happened so many other times -- with an up and down -- up or down vote?
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN: An up or down vote is a good thing, Larry.
It's just how many votes will it take?
Will it take 60 votes or will it take 50 votes?
And that's what--
KING: But what's wrong with majority rules?
BACHMANN: Well, because that's not how the Senate works. The Senate works with 60 votes. And now, what the president is promoting is a nuclear option, which is 50 votes. So we should have an up or down vote--
KING: But it used--
BACHMANN: But it--
KING: It used that -- but it used a -- it used that majority rules on the Bush -- Bush tax cuts. It was 51 votes.
BACHMANN: Well, the House uses straight majority rule. The Senate doesn't.
So what this would mean, Larry, is that the Senate has to break their own rules in order to pass the bill.
KING: And that's wrong?
BACHMANN: Oh, I think so. Sure.
And Congressman Grayson, why do you think they should break this rule, which they have done in a few times in the past?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON: My esteemed colleague from Minnesota is entirely wrong. There's nothing in Senate rules that prevents reconciliation. It's been used 22 times overall and 14 times by Republicans. If it's good enough for tax cuts for the rich twice under Bush, it's good enough to provide health care for all Americans.