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Story Archives: Where is Landrieu the bipartisan?
|Where is Landrieu the bipartisan?|
Back in 2008 when Sen. Mary Landrieu was running for re-election she told the people repeatedly that she had a proven record of working with the opposing party in the Congress.
The opposing party, of course, would be the Republican Party.
Landrieu's bipartisan comments in '08 clearly were intended to counter claims made by her opponent, state Treasurer John Kennedy, that she was an out-of-touch career politician who was a lock to support her party's positions when it mattered most. Landrieu's tactic worked for one reason or another evidenced by the impressive support she enjoyed among business people, who are what we would consider Republican voters.
There wasn't much Kennedy could do. He had to roll with it while pointing out that Landrieu's voting record since she joined the Senate in January 1997 was far from what we would describe as moderate, or bipartisan, as she claimed. After all, Landrieu can be counted on to vote Democratic, or with the wishes of her party's leadership, when her vote is needed to pass or block legislation that's important to the liberal Democratic leadership in the Senate.
So much for traditional Louisiana values.
There's really no reason to rehash the '08 Senate campaign in Louisiana except to remind the people of what Landrieu said then versus her reaction, or lack thereof, to what transpired in the past couple of days concerning the movement to approve a so-called heath care reform bill before President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech in February.
According to published reports, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have decided to exclude Republicans from participating in talks to work out the differences between the health care bills the House and Senate passed prior to Christmas. Moreover, it appears Reid and Pelosi will take it a step further, meaning they apparently will forgo sending the health care bills to a conference committee comprised of members of both parties from the House and Senate. That's the norm when the House and Senate must hammer out differences in two pieces of legislation that pertain to the same issue.
Instead, Reid and Pelosi, in conjunction with the Obama administration, will craft a comprised health care bill behind closed doors for the House and Senate to vote on by the end of January or in early February. In other words, two of the most liberal members of the Congress will confer with officials who work for the most liberal administration in the history of the Republic to mold legislation that will affect roughly 300 million people residing in the United States.
It's a liberal's dream come true.
Before we exclaim "the woods are on fire," as the late great Earl Long would say, it's not set in stone that Reid, Pelosi and the Obama administration alone will ride roughshod over the health care bill. They simply floated the idea to the media obviously to gauge public reaction to it. Since The New York Times, which helped create Obama from nothing, appears to be in agreement with Reid's and Pelosi's and the Obama administration's plan, we should expect the health care bill to be finagled in private for the House and Senate to entertain.
Fortunately for those of us who will be called on to pay for the socialization of health care in America, any health care bill Reid, Pelosi and the Obama administration work out must pass muster with 60 members of the Senate. That means Sen. Bill Nelson of Nebraska and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut must be consulted in some fashion before Reid, Pelosi and the administration send a bill to members for consideration. Remember, Nelson and Lieberman represent two votes in the Senate that Democrats must have to pass a health care bill, assuming Republicans remain unified in their opposition to everything Obama favors.
Piecing together a compromised health care bill represents a tricky proposition for Reid and Pelosi. More specific, they must take into consideration the concerns of each faction in the House and Senate. That's an especially tricky proposition for Pelosi, who must appease many, very liberal members of the House who (one could argue) would be perfectly happy if we all made the same amount of money and we all dressed alike in the spirit of an "equal" society. They're Socialists, which, to some degree, is what the Democratic Party has evolved into over time.
Be that as it may, it's a bit odd that we haven't heard Landrieu express an opinion on Reid's and Pelosi's and the administration's plan to craft a "compromise" on health care reform in private without any input from Republican members of the House and Senate.
I suppose we now know the truth about all of that talk about bipartisanship.