The loyal opposition
Just so you know: We’re against it.
We were against it before, and we’re still against it. We thought it was a terrible idea when President Obama proposed it, and we still think it’s a terrible idea.
It was terrible when it went through the House of Representatives. And it’s terrible now that it’s in the Senate. If it gets through the Senate, it will still be terrible. And it goes without saying that if the Senate version goes to a conference committee with the House version, the version that comes out of the conference committee will also be terrible.
And we’ll still be against it.
Now, we could go all Joe Lieberman on you, with that serious look on his face which means “I’m struggling with my conscience”—or maybe “I have acid indigestion”—but why bother? We don’t need the attention the way Joe does. Besides, there’s nothing they can put into the bill, or take out of the bill, that will change our position, so why try to sound like we’re on the fence? We’re not even in the fence’s neighborhood.
We’re against it.
We hate the public option, and we wouldn’t dream of voting for a bill with a public option. Now we hear they may be dumping the public option. Big deal. We wouldn’t dream of voting for a bill without a public option either.
Did we mention we’re against it?
Or we could go all Mary Landrieu on you, with that sweet Louisiana smile of hers which means she’s ready to deal, and if you throw a little more into the pot for the folks back home she’ll think real hard about voting for it. But that’s Mary—she’s looking for a way to be with Obama on this one.
That’s not what we’re looking for.
That’s why we were so riled up when Obama and his liberal Senate friends wanted to cut Medicare. Were we against that? You bet we were! How dare they cut a penny out of old reliable Medicare!
And that’s why we’re so riled up now that Obama and his liberal Senate friends suddenly want to expandMedicare. Are we against that? You bet we are! How dare they add a penny to old reliable Medicare!
It’s important to stay flexible.
Anyway, what’s the idea of them claiming that they might have come up with something they like even more than a public option? The whole point of having to give up on the public option was that they couldn’t get the votes for it. Was that they lost. Which means we won. (Not that we’d ever vote for it anyway, but a win is a win.)
But now some of them are out there saying this new thing they’ve come up with could turn out even better than the public option. They’re trying to pretend that they won. Which would mean that we lost. Which is completely ridiculous.
And which changes our bottom line not even a little.
It’s important to stay flexible. But our principles don’t flex, whether it’s health care or job creation, stimulating the economy or protecting the environment. Our fundamental principles are exactly what they’ve always been, or at least what they’ve always been since the 20th of January:
If he’s for it, we’re against it. If he wants it, we don’t like it. If he needs it, what’s the rush?
It’s good to have principles.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.