Congressman Raul Grijalva--co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus--
must be a great source for the liberal healthbloggers in the TPM
. He's now dramatically announced that he can't vote for the Senate's health care bill
--"It does not add up to an improvement in our health care system"--and proposed a complicated two-step alternative that would require the Senate to pass a bill he prefers via the "reconciliation" process, to be followed by a "handful of popular regulatory measures." Yet liberal health reform proponents--who routinely
the Senate bill is a huge improvement and b)
the reconciliation and piecemeal alternatives are unworkable--somehow seem to spare Grijalva the scorn he deserves.
Under the Ezra Klein Standard, shouldn't Grijalva be condemned for being "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people"? I think yes!
reeks of exactly the sort of posturing and ass-covering
you would expect to accompany an engineered train-wreck in which Congressmen decide they want health care reform to die while they pose as its ardent proponents
. Grijalva even highlights a poll-tested objection to "the last-minute deal-making with certain individual senators in exchange for their votes," as if a)
that isn't how almost all legislation, including "progressive" legislation, gets passed and b)
those deals couldn't be easily reversed--and, in the most obvious case (Ben Nelson's Nebraska Medicaid exception) haven't been voluntarily offered up for sacrifice by the now-chastened individual senator in question. ...
P.P.S.: I'm 2,500 miles away from the roiling pit of careerist fear in Washington, but I have to think there's still a decent chance (buck up, Josh! ) that House Democrats--maybe even those who are good sources--will get enough grief for having wasted 6 months of the nation's time (and maybe a Presidency) that they'll eventually be moved to face reality and accede to Plan B for Sudden Victory (ratification of Senate plan + some fixes). [ Update: Maybe less likely with consultants like Tad Devine, Doug Schoen and even ex-Howard Dean campaign manager and 'I-saw-nothing' Edwards aide Joe Trippi counselling retreat . (via Bevan )] What was that Sean Wilentz said about how "history will track you down and condemn you"? Mrs. Pelosi, maybe he was talking about you. Do you want to be remembered as the Ralph Branca of the Democratic Party? ...
Update/Correction: Pride of the Juiceboxers: Alert reader M.E. notes that if I'd scrolled down further in Matt Yglesias' column I'd have seen him denouncing Grijalva, complete with a photo, for "pernicious nonsense," on the grounds that "this is no time for ego trips." The headline even says he's "Flirting with History's Greatest Monster Status." It's a start!--though the "history's greatest monster" jibe turns out to be a self-undermining Simpsons reference . ... 2:39 A.M.
I just bought the latest edition of the Consumer Reports 2010 Buying Guide , and noticed that the Cadillac CTS --arguably General Motors' flagship vehicle, and the car most often cited as being in the same league with BMW, Audi, and Infiniti--has crappy reliability (in the form of a large black mark). It was crappy in 2008 and in 2009 it's still crappy, with big brake problems, plus problems with "Body Integrity" and "Power Equipment." ... How can holdover 'New GM' VP Bob Lutz blame GM's troubles on a "perception gap" if it can't even fix the CTS? ... P.S.: Cadillac apparently doesn't make a single model with even "average" reliability, though the latest SRX crossover is too new to rate. (The previous versions sucked, reliability-wise). ... 3:10 A.M.