Bob Dole Put His Ambitions Above People’s Lives

Which proves that Bob Dole is now worth listening to. No, really.David Broder, ladies and lolcats:

When I did an interview with the two of them this week, Dole remarked
that “we started out working together, and then it fell apart” — the
victim of a massive lobbying campaign, a bunch of tactical errors by
the president and first lady, and Dole’s presidential ambitions, which
moved him into the camp of the Republican naysayers.

Now Daschle and Dole, along with another former Republican leader,
Howard Baker, have come together with a report outlining the provisions
of a possible bipartisan health bill and strong recommendations on how
to pass it. (The fourth original member of this Bipartisan Policy
Centerboard, former Senate Democratic leader George Mitchell, dropped out to become President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East.)

In a phone conversation the day before theirreport
was released, Daschle and Dole agreed that prospects for enactment of
major reform are far better now than in 1994 — and better than they
would have been even two years ago. “The situation is far more dire on
costs and quality and access to care,” Daschle said. Added Dole: “You
have business, labor and a whole cross section of people saying, ‘We
have to have reform.’ ”

So basically, Bob Dole could have helped stop the massive flood of stupid that drowned health care reform in 1994, which would have given us 15 years of decent care in this country and saved countless lives, but because he wanted to be preznit, he said fuck it and chose to yowl about Hillarycare on the Sunday shows. And to Broder, this is proof not that he should be put in the public stocks but that he should be courted once again, lest we miss out on giving Bob Dole the chance to fuck us over twice in two decades.


Acknowledging that there is little chance for bipartisanship in the
House, Dole urged Senate Republicans to give up any thought of
filibustering the health bill. “We need a group of Republicans who will
give an early demonstration that bipartisanship is possible,” he said.

Daschle, in turn, said he thinks the Democrats should not attempt to
ram a health bill through the Senate by using the budget reconciliation
device to pass it with 51 votes, rather than the 60 votes most
legislation requires.

Democrats should pledge to pass the bill with votes they don’t have, and Republicans should pledge not to filibuster it, which they wouldn’t need to do. Got that? Okay, just making sure.

It is significant that the Daschle-Dole plan sidesteps the raging
controversy over whether there should be a government-sponsored plan to
compete with private insurers.

It’s totally significant that their plan does nothing to actually change things, yes. How cool is that? It’s a plan we can all agree on, and that’s what’s really important! So more sick people will die, so what? The dinner party guest list can remain undisturbed!

This man is sick in the head.

It was damned hard for Dole and Daschle, neither of whom faces the voters or the lobbyists, to agree.


It was damned hard for me to eat this giant Snickers bar, given that it has no calories, chocolate magically doesn’t make me break out into teenage acne anymore, and it gives me all the nutrients I need for my daily life! It was damned hard to do that.

It will be much harder to extract a bipartisan bill from Congress.

Probably. But to extract a bill that reforms health care? Not that hard when you have the votes.


11 thoughts on “Bob Dole Put His Ambitions Above People’s Lives

  1. some days-and this isn’t a bad thing-it seems like they’ve just stopped trying

  2. Thank you, Jude, that was EXACTLY what I was thinking.
    And the answer is, since the non-filibuster-filibuster rule was put into effect. I believe that Harry Reid was responsible for that, or at least chose, over the last three years, not to disturb that.

  3. Jude, the senate rules require that all bills which are not “budget reconciliation” bills require 60 votes to pass. The Senate has an institutional fear of democracy. If the peons could be counted on to remain asleep that requirement would be 67 votes.
    I wish someone would tell Obama that the job of government is to govern, not to achieve bipartisanship. He and the Democrats will be judged only by what they accomplish, not by what percentage of the Repubs they can persuade to vote with them. I find it amazing that a man can be elected president without knowing this.
    It isn’t at all amazing that bipartisanship is only a virtue when the Democrats have the majority in Congress. With a Repub majority, zero Democratic votes is as good a result as anyone could ever wish for. This oddity results from the fact that the media are almost entirely conservative Repub owned. And, if by some miracle, a few Repubs actually vote with the Democrats, then bipartisanship will mean a need for at least as many Repub votes as Democratic votes for every bill.

  4. No. I know the Senate rules call for 60 votes (2/3 rule, or something, it was 35 years ago I had civics class last), but … this bipartisanship thing is like Rainbow Unicorn Magic.
    When did the people’s business become secondary to party BS?
    I blame Reagan.

  5. Here’s how health care plays out in Congress.
    Some of this stuff has already happened…
    1) Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, puts forward a plan that allows any healthcare reform to be scored over 10 years, not 5. President Obama talks about this all the time and in his AMA speech Obama said his administration already put forward something like 950 billiion of the trillion dollars that a full reform with a public plan would cost over 10 years.
    2) Conrad talks a big game about bipartisanship but he knows that reconciliation is NOT subject to a filibuster and that a Senate bill has to be reconciled with a House bill which will include both a public option and reconciliation provisions that would require the bill gets the straightupperdown vote that the GOP so loves (when it benefits them).
    Stuff that’s going to happen later this summer…
    3) The press loves the bipartisan shithole that is the US Senate. All the healthcare coverage is focused on the Senate. The truth is Obama is good cop to Nancy Pelosi’s bad cop and all of this bloviating about bipartisanship is going straight in the crapper when Pelosi AND Obama turn bad cop later this summer and tell the Senate conferees on health care that what’s left of their nuts will in a fucking jar if they stand in the way healthcare. All of this will go down behind closed doors in about a weekend.
    4) Historic healthcare vote that passes 57-43 or so. GOP mewls like the uberdouches they are but nobody hears them* over the sounds of 130 million people celebrating the fact that they’ll be able to sign up for a public option and not rely on their asshole employer for healthcare anymore. * – nobody but David Broder and Fox News
    Speaker Pelosi (and the voters that gave her a giant majority in the House) is going to be the hero that delivers very good reform with a public option. The Senate stuff is a sideshow. Obama is going to roll their asses when the two bills come together and it’s going to happen behind closed doors.
    Ever hear Obama talk about watching his mother try to handle insurance bills when she was dying of cancer? He’s not fucking around with this bill, however cool and detached he sometimes sounds.
    More from Ezra Klein on all this budget stuff below.

  6. Other Sarah and Jude,
    In one of the more arcane rules of the Senate (and boy are they arcane as arcance can be), you are absolutely right that a bill needs to pass by only a simple majority.
    However, to bring a bill to a vote requires that 60 Senators vote to bring it to a vote. (the cloture vote).

  7. Of course, I’ll remember the good old republican family values Dole as the one who forced open the door to give commercials on E.D.
    He was the one who opened the door to all sorts of ads on male enhancement.

  8. NYT: “Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the administration was prepared for the undulations of the legislative process. “There will be a lot of times when it appears that everything is falling apart,” she said. “Anytime specific legislative language is crafted, there’s something to hate about it.”
    But Ms. Sebelius said she had been impressed by the dedication of congressional leaders, and by Mr. Obama’s “absolute focus on the fact that this is a moment — we’re not going to lose this moment.”

    My main squee says chill the fuck out, they’re on it.

Comments are closed.