The unreality that imagines itself to be irresistible
last couple of weeks, I could have posted two or three items a day on the Democrats’ continuing unreal, off-the-planet, mutually contradictory statements about what are definitely doing, or have agreed to do, or are talking among themselves about doing, or think or hope they can do, on the health care bill. It all comes down to the fact that the Congressional leadership and the White House want something that they cannot have, something that not even enough Democrats support to enable them to have; but they refuse to accept the fact that they cannot have what they cannot have, so they keep trying out new tricks to make it seem that they can have it. The latest finesse is Obama’s plan to meet with Republicans on February 25 to discuss a “bipartisan” approach to health care legislation. But what “bipartisan” approach is possible, when Obama still unwaveringly demands what the Republicans unwaveringly reject—federal takeover of the nation’s health care system? See House Republican whip Eric Cantor of Virginia reply
to Greta van Susteran’s questions on this. The only bipartisan possibility, as Cantor and other Republicans keep saying, is to throw out Obamacare and start over from scratch on a bill that focuses on rising health care costs. But the White House and the Democratic leaders refuse to hear what the Republicans are saying; they keep imagining that there is some alternative universe in which the Republicans will sign on to Obamacare. The only remaining question at this point, then, is how long the Democrats will keep pushing against the immovable object of reality before they acknowledge that they themselves are not an irresistible force. Based on their “Undead” modus operandi so far, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the effort will continue right up until election day, or even up until January 1, 2011, when the House gavel is pried from Nancy Pelosi’s cold, dead fingers.
- end of initial entry -
Paul K. writes:
The latest finesse is Obama’s plan to meet with Republicans on February 25 to discuss a “bipartisan” approach to health care legislation.
I wonder if negotiations will pause for a moment’s silence on July 20, the anniversary of Obama’s lordly declaration, “The time for talk is through.”
When it comes to imperial pronouncements without follow-through, Obama is worse the Bush, and that’s saying something.
Robert Bove writes:
This behavior of the Democrats re Obamacare is fascinating. It’s all about process, about taking meetings over deals already done in other venues.
It’s also about feminized government. Don Perrin at the partisan Republican site Red State describes it well here:
The lack of enthusiasm, drive and willingness to do anything more on ObamaCare is the result of political malpractice on the part of the White House, the Speaker and Senator Reid.
Passive aggressive behavior is an age-old ploy—because it has worked. In personal relationships, that is. In small nation diplomacy, it might make sense. For us, for the United States, it is producing dysfunction on a scale that should make the world shudder.
For all their deal making and arm twisting, the public, the interest groups, the staff and Members of Congress are displaying passive-aggressive behavior towards health care reform.
It’s everywhere, but no one sees it. Especially the aforementioned delusionals who refuse to face reality—which is that everyone would rather do nothing at all.
The political liabilities and the policy liabilities for Democratic interest groups are devastating. For example, unions get their health plans taxes and abortion gets restricted, and there is no public option or Medicare buy-in for the progressives—not to mention the fact the public HATES ObamaCare.
Everyone knows the opponents are at NYET. So while the entire world inside the beltway responds with heel-digging-in and blown deadlines, endless and circular “strategy” sessions on ObamaCare, the delusionals see an opportunity to keep bringing it up, feeding the fires of the passive-aggressive behavior all around them.
This is interesting, but I don’t entirely understand. Could you define passive-aggressive as Perrin and you are using it here, and give an example?
Also, what does NYET mean?
Robert Bove replies:
Perrin links to the Wiki definition of passive-aggressive behavior:
Passive-aggressive behavior (negative personality trait) is passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following through with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations.
Re Perrin’s reference to NYET: Not an acronym, I assume, but all-caps version of the Russian “nyet.” (Can’t be New York Educational Television.)
It is a personality trait marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and passive, usually disavowed resistance in interpersonal or occupational situations.
It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. It is a defense mechanism, and usually only partly conscious.
This dictionary, clinical type definition is too general, covering too much ground to be useful. What I want to know is, what do you mean by the term, specifically? And how is that specific attitude shown in the negotiations on the health care bill as described by Perrin?
Robert Bove replies:
When Obama says the American people are soured on the process, he is not saying the process was wrong. Nor is he saying that taking America across the line to socialized medicine is wrong. He will not be denied what he wants. He will bring folks across the aisle in for another meeting. And another. And another ad infinitum. He will meet the opposition to death, if it takes those meetings.
If the opposition is 90 percent of the American people—and it might get to that percentage—he will bring us into national “meetings” until we cry uncle.
It’s difficult to get specific about an idea—I’m reminded of LBJ’s “let us reason together”—that runs the country. We’re being asked to run the engine of government on debt and platitudes. (This would not change with a Palin presidency.)
To get more specific, re my experience and observations growing up in a stable family in the 1950s: in a times when middle class women were in charge of the household budget and the pre-school education of her children, passive-aggressive behavior toward the breadwinner worked. Breadwinner came home from a masculine world of work to a nurturing environment. He was respected and the children were prepared to respect him. There was joy when Dad came home. And there was Mom, who knew what the household needed but also knew Dad couldn’t be approached on the same terms as the world from which he came. In other words, Mom had to get for the household—a very very different environment than the work place from which Dad just emerged. Mom had to understand both the household and the workplace. (In my Mother’s case, she had worked professionally before marrying and making a home.)
Time to throw a couple pot pies into the oven.
Robert Bove continues:
Now, a big chunk of an ever-increasing electorate has been indoctrinated by government that government is the breadwinner. That chunk is passive in the face of government demands and aggressive in its demands that government give it more.
Also, I would add this re my take on our government’s passive-aggressive behavior:
Dateline: December 7, 1941: FDR addresses Congress by phone:
The Japanese Empire has destroyed our Pacific fleet. Discuss.
Here’s another example of the kind of thing I mentioned at the beginning of this entry. Some top Democrat (or, in this case, Speaker Pelosi’s top health care aide) tells the media about some Democratic plan to ram through the health care bill. But nothing ever comes of these reports, and the insuperable obstacles to any such plan remain in place. You could have an entire blog devoted to nothing but the Democrats’ unceasing efforts to talk the comotose health care bill into waking life.
Pelosi Aide: Health Care Summit a Trick, Strategy on Pro-Abortion Bill Decided
by Steven Ertelt
February 10, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com)—President Barack Obama has proposed a bipartisan health care summit for later this month that Republican detractors bill as a publicity stunt designed to generate more support for the flailing pro-abortion health care bill. Now, an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi essentially admitted that’s the case.
In comments reported by Congress Daily, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top health care aide Wendell Primus admitted top Democrats have already decided on the strategy to pass the Senate’s pro-abortion, government-run health care bill.
Primus explained that the Senate will use the controversial reconciliation strategy that will have the House approve the Senate bill and both the House and Senate okaying changes to the bill that the Senate will sign off on by preventing Republicans from filibustering.
“The trick in all of this is that the president would have to sign the Senate bill first, then the reconciliation bill second, and the reconciliation bill would trump the Senate bill,” Primus said at the National Health Policy Conference hosted by Academy Health and Health Affairs.
“There’s a certain skill, there’s a trick, but I think we’ll get it done,” he said.
Conservative columnist Connie Hair noted Primus’ remarks and called the reconciliation strategy and the White House health care summit two big “rope-a-dope” plays that are “just another in a long charade of dog and pony shows.”
Hair says “the end game has already been decided behind closed doors by Democrats who have no intention of letting this opportunity for cradle to grave control over the American people slip away when it’s so close.”
“The Senate reconciliation bill trick that would ‘fix’ the Senate-passed health care bill would then have to pass the House. If the fix trick is passed, the plan is to then pass the Senate health care bill through the House and send it all to the President’s desk for signature,” she explains.
Hair says the trick may just work to get the pro-abortion health care bill to Obama’s desk, but it would cause an uproar so large that Democrats would likely pay with their political careers at the polls this November.
“The American people have made it perfectly clear they reject the Democrats’ plan for a government takeover of health care. Health care is a policy that impacts every single American that should not pass through questionable trickery and process gimmicks, especially given the substantial majorities enjoyed by Democrats in both chambers,” she writes.
She hopes Republicans won’t participate in the health care summit.
“Indeed it is madness to participate in a sham White House summit that merely provides high-profile, ‘bi-partisan’ political cover for Democrat plans that are already in motion to pass government-run health care through reconciliation,” Hair concludes.
Jeff W. writes:
Sometimes when you look at things through one lens, and the picture doesn’t make sense, you should pick up another lens and look at the scene again.
I look at Comprehensive Health Reform and Comprehensive Financial Reform as schemes to shake loose big campaign contributions from America’s wealthiest industries: pharmaceuticals, hospitals, health insurers, banks, insurance companies. I see these “reforms” primarily as grabs for campaign cash.
Looked at this way, one quickly sees that it is to the politicians’ advantage always to have Comprehensive Health Reform in the works, but never actually to pass Comprehensive Health Reform. Or if, for some odd reason, Congress did someday pass Comprehensive Health Reform, that event would immediately signal the need for Comprehensive Health Reform II.
As long as the campaign cash is flowing in, and the wealthy companies are coming across with all sorts of other sweet bribes, it means the politicians are winning. And as long as they are threatening to “comprehensively reform” everything, they will continue to win. Remember that Obama didn’t raise $1 billion in campaign graft in 2008 just on his good looks.
If this view is correct, this means that we now live in a world of endless comprehensive reform of all our largest industries.
We are so screwed.
What a horrifying thought. It’s a new theory of leftism, or at least of Obamism. And the past year provides a good deal of evidence for it.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 10, 2010 09:15 AM | Send