Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Hallmark of Our Times

Senator Blanche Lincoln was the 60th and final vote needed to get the health care bill into a position where it will pass. Lincoln played coy with Arkansas voters as to whether she would support the bill’s introduction on the Senate floor, but key Democrat leaders seemed to know even last week which way she was going to go. Senator Dick Durbin assured some press that Lincoln would vote the way President Obama wanted her to. This was while Lincoln told the folks back home that she was still thinking it over.

In the senate, it takes sixty votes to let a bill come to the floor for debate, and only 51 votes to pass it. Because of that the key vote is really the vote to start debate on a bill. Lincoln voted for debate, and in this case that it is the same as agreeing to the bill, no matter what she says. The reason is simple- the votes are already counted. The so-called “debate” is not going to change anyone's vote. The high-sounding rhetoric Lincoln will spew (about her only voting to let the "debate" go forward) is pure disinformation. A vote to debate this bill is a vote for the bill, because the "debate" part is a sham.

Political observers are predicting that Lincoln will vote against the final bill in an effort to have it both ways. That is, she will vote against it as long as there are 51 other votes for it. She wants to say “I only voted to let debate proceed, but I voted against the bill.”
She will count on voter ignorance to pull this off. The full truth is that she cast the key vote that allowed the thing to become law- the vote to bring the bill to the floor for debate.

Duplicity and dishonesty have certainly become the hallmark of our times. We see it in government with behavior like Senator Lincoln’s; we see it in business with ENRON and Bernie Madoff; we even see it in our pulpits with preachers who don’t have the courage to tell their congregations what the scriptures say about sensitive topics. That bleeds over into our lives. We don’t keep our promises to one another. It is getting to where no one can trust a word they hear.

My theory is that there is a pretty large group of people out there who want to be lied to. They find someone who is good at figuring out the lies they want to hear, (or avoiding the truths they don’t want to hear), then they elect those folks, or promote them, or get into a relationship with them. Liars would not lie so much if there were not a market for their product. In this instance, the lie that a lot of people want to hear is that the federal government can “provide quality health care for all”.

A lot less want to hear the truth: the federal government can’t afford the health care they are giving just seniors right now, much less pay for universal health care. The federal government is the most bankrupt entity in world history. I am better off than the federal government in that I am only flat broke while they owe trillions. The main difference is I don’t have a printing press, but while a printing press can make a bigger pile of dollars, it can’t add value to that pile. It can only reduce the value of each dollar in the pile as they print more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm pretty sure I remember you ranting about the need for an up or down vote on G.W. Bush's conservative court nominees. Does the same rationale not apply to health care? I have no problem with your blatant hypocrisy other than I would just like for you to admit it!

I will be awaiting your apology.


12:13 PM, December 01, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...


Always good to hear from you. Apology you referenced forthcoming on day meteorological conditions in the netherworld below 0 degrees centigrade.

The President is authorized by the Constitution to appoint those judges "with the advice and consent" of the Senate. They have a positive duty to consider court nominees. Not so with health care legislation, which has no Constitutional authorization whatsoever.

7:01 PM, December 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would be right in your contention that the Constitution doesn't have authorization for healthcare specifically. But you fail to mention that a 60 vote hurdle for the senate is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution either. If judicial nominees deserve an up or down vote (Which Obama's are not receiving) then healthcare deserves one too.


8:39 AM, December 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am better off than the federal government in that I am only flat broke while they owe trillions.

Since the government's main source of revenue is squeezing the financial essence out of you and me, it is we who owe the trillions: our families, children, and grandchildren are saddled with this debt by "elected" traitors whose names they may never know-- those few who are payed well for selling the rest of their countrymen and posterity into bondage.

6:17 PM, December 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...


I am glad you are here. Improves the site. My point here though is that the Senate has a constitutional obligation to give advice and consent on judicial nominees. There is no such constitutional duty to vote on a health care bill!

7:58 PM, December 04, 2009  

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