March 24th, 2010
By Andrew Cline, The American Spectator
He says one thing and does another
As patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, bipartisanship is the last refuge of the partisan. For Sunday’s vote on the Senate health care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wore a light purple suit, literally wrapping herself in the color of bipartisanship. Rep. David Obey, who was presiding, wore a purple necktie, as President Obama did during his State of the Union address. Pelosi spoke of the 200 Republican amendments included in the bill that everyone knows doesn’t contain a single major Republican idea.
The health care reform bill was a partisan Democrat smorgasbord of taxes, regulations and entitlement. There was nothing bipartisan about it, but there the Democrats were, wearing their purple and attacking Republicans for uniformly opposing the bill that didn’t have any Republican votes because it didn’t earn any.
It was a sign of how surreal American politics has become. Stagecraft and spin trump facts; symbolism and rhetoric trump truth. Though 34 Democrats voted against the bill, making opposition to it the only bipartisan act of the day, anyone absorbing the theatrics might be misled, as intended, into thinking that the majority was acting out of a spirit of bipartisan unity while the minority was stewing, recalcitrant, in its own hate and bile.
Campaigning in New Hampshire in October of 2007, Sen. Obama said, “We’re not going to pass universal health care with a, with a 50-plus-one strategy.” Ah, the old, bipartisan Obama Americans thought they were electing. If only they’d gotten that guy as president instead of Mr. “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”