Washington Post liberal blogger Greg Sargent took notice Tuesday of “mild-mannered, well respected Beltway insider” Chuck Todd’s argument against those congressional Republicans currently doing everything in their power to kill ObamaCare. Todd’s argument is worthy of note, but for its open ObamaCare advocacy and faulty logic, not for the reasons Sargent points out.
Here is the full “First Read” piece, bylined by Todd, Mark Murray, and two others:
***Welcome to the perpetual campaign: Here’s a thought exercise on this summer morning: Imagine that after the controversial Medicare prescription-drug legislation was passed into law in 2003, Democrats did everything they could to thwart one of George W. Bush’s top domestic achievements. They launched Senate filibusters to block essential HHS appointees from administering the law; they warned the sports and entertainment industries from participating in any public service announcements to help seniors understand how the law works; and, after taking control of the House of Representatives in 2007, they used the power of the purse to prohibit any more federal funds from being used to implement the law. As it turns out, none of that happened. And despite Democratic warnings that the law would be a bust — we remember the 2004 Dem presidential candidates campaigning against it — the Medicare prescription-drug law has been, for the most part, a pretty big success. But that thought exercise has become a reality 10 years later as Republicans have worked to thwart/stymie/sabotage — pick your word — the implementation of President Obama’s health-care and financial-reform laws.
This is a ridiculous argument for two reasons. First off (though Todd and company don’t tell you this), the Medicare prescription-drug legislation not only passed with “yea” votes from 11 Democrat Senators, but Democrat Senator Max Baucus worked with Republicans to get the bill passed.
Yes, the bill faced some tough opposition from Democrats such as Ted Kennedy, but the fact that 11 Democrats voted for it makes the bill bipartisan. By contrast, ObamaCare was jammed through using all kinds of procedural tricks and without the vote of a single Republican. ObamaCare is a highly partisan and divisive piece of legislation, and one that a majority of the American people don’t like. This is not even close to the case with Todd’s example.
So on its face, Todd’s example is absurd. But it is also hypocritical.
Whether it is same-sex marriage, gun control, immigration, public union reform, or various environmental laws, President Obama and Democrats (with no small amount of help from left-wing judges and media types like Todd) have done everything in their power to, in Todd’s words: “thwart/stymie/sabotage” laws passed by federal and local legislatures. In other words, Democrats regularly do the exact same thing the GOP is currently trying to do with ObamaCare: kill/bypass/ignore laws they disagree with.
That is how democracy works, and how it has worked for over 200 years. So it is worthy of note that Todd and his First Read cohorts find themselves so uncomfortable with this specific piece of standard operating procedure within a representative democracy.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC