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How Democrats Spent Repeal Day

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While Republicans busied themselves Wednesday with a largely symbolic vote to repeal health care reform, Democrats were out talking about jobs.
The political message is unmistakable: conservatives may be occupied trying to refight old battles for partisan purposes, but Democrats are focused on delivering on the top priority for Americans.

No one expects the House vote to repeal the health care law to go anywhere, certainly not while Democrats continue to control the Senate and President Obama holds his veto at the ready.

Although the repeal vote may be a sop to the conservative base, it’s not at all clear there’s any wider political benefit. Although it’s true many oppose the reform law, few want it fully repealed which is the effect of Wednesday’s vote. A decent percentage of those against the reform law actually oppose it because they want it to go even further; i.e. they want a Medicare-for-all universal-coverage approach.

Few Americans even count health care as their top issue; most want politicians to be busy fixing the economy and working on creating jobs.  So it’s no mistake that top Democrats were out Wednesday focused on just that.

Notably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi traveled to meet with the United Auto Workers union, where she talked mostly about — you guessed it — jobs and the economy.  “I come here today to tell the UAW that Democrats know our most important job is to fight for American jobs,” she declared.

Pelosi offered a lengthy discussion of the Democrats’ longstanding “Make It In America” agenda to revitalize U.S. manufacturing before even mentioning health care reform.  Pelosi also ran down a list of actions that Democrats have already taken to create and preserve U.S. jobs, including legislation which helped save the American auto industry which ultimately provided taxpayers with $13.5 billion in profit with the recent General Motors stock offering.  And when she did touch on health care reform,  she was quick to mention the improvements the law will bring to the American economy.  Of course, Speaker John Boehner contends that health reform is “job-killing,” but now we know that’s not even true.

Meanwhile, over on the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid was happy to throw the words of Republican leaders back at them, noting that they were ignoring their own advice by focusing on repealing health care benefits over job growth, which even Boehner described as “the number one issue on the minds of our fellow citizens.”  Reid also distributed an online news clip, which called manufacturing “the shining star of this recovery.”

Democrats seem content to let the Republicans have their day of repeal. They know what voters will remember is a much-trumpeted repeal vote that ultimately proved to be a waste of time, while Democrats were out working for them.

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About Scott Nance

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Scott –

    Great article – and as such is sure to be pooh-poohed and roundly ignored by the BC conservatives.

    BTW – have you heard about the ‘repeal’ half of the Republicans plan to ‘repeal and replace’? No? Neither have I….

  • Clavos

    Umm, Glenn:

    I think you meant to ask Scott, “Have you heard about the replace half of the Republicans’ plan…”

    Lucky for you, we conservatives are always alert and willing to save you from your own faux pas.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    *chuckle*

    Good catch, Clavos.

  • http://www.carminasaturaqueamericana.com Irvin F Cohen

    Yes, while the Republicans are fighting the good fight, the democrats are doing the bestest and their damnedest to destroy jobs in America.

    Just wondering comrade Scott, does the democrat spin machine send you your talking points on a daily basis, or do you actually have to look them up yourself?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yes, the Republicans were fighting SO hard for jobs in America! That’s why, when Obama proposed legislation to give tax breaks to companies that bring jobs back from overseas, the Republicans were all against it! And when he proposed that the stimulus be restricted to buying things made in America, the Republicans (backed by the (quite multinational) Chamber of Commerce) were all against that idea, too. And when Obama proposed to take away tax breaks from companies that were shipping our jobs overseas, the Republicans were against THAT, too!

    And how did American job growth pan out over the Bush years, six of which both houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans? THIS is how:

    The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush’s tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans’ incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush’s father.

    But silly me, these are FACTS – and since when little bothersome things like facts get in the way of a good Republican talking point, hm?

  • Clavos

    One more time, Glenn: the pols (on either side of the aisle) don’t spend the huge amounts of money it takes to get elected out of a spirit of patriotism and wanting to improve the world.

    They’re in it for power and money.

    That’s it.

    Bush and his guys were in it for the money; Obama and his peeps are in it for the power.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Remember my ‘amygdala’ article? I wrote that to show that yes, we DO think differently even on an emotional level. Try to bear that in mind.

    Power is indeed the most addictive drug…but it’s what is done with that power that determines the character of the man. Abraham Lincoln said it best: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    Is Obama simply trying to garner ever more power to himself, as you imply? Or did he do his level best to try to make life better for the regular American citizen? You know very well the crap sandwich he was handed on Inauguration Day…and now Big Business is back to making record profits. Check the Dow lately? It’s getting close to 12,000…and that’s over 5000 points higher than when he took over.

    But even more importantly, he pushed through Health Care Reform…and YES, it benefits nearly every single American citizen.

    He’s getting us out of Iraq, and he’s set a concrete timetable to get us out of Afghanistan.

    So WHAT did Obama do with the power? Bad things? Or GOOD things, Clavos? He’s not perfect by a long shot – we on the Left are truly ticked because he sucked up so much to the Right, and because he let the war criminals in the Bush administration get off scot-free – but what is Obama doing with the power, Clavos? I’ll tell you what he’s doing with it – he’s being a GOOD American president…and the history books will agree (except for the hard-right revisionist history books written by the school boards in Texas).

    But you know what? You’re likely going to ignore everything I just pointed out. Why? Because if you’re like most conservatives (and I see no reason to think otherwise), you’re going to believe that Obama is evil/naive/marxist/socialist/fascist/whatever, no matter what he does or how much America benefits during his presidency…because he’s simply too different, and represents too much change for most conservatives to accept no matter how beneficial that change is. He could personally cure cancer tomorrow and most conservatives would claim it’s either smoke-and-mirrors or another communist plot.

  • Baronius

    Both the D’s and R’s were engaged in political theater. Even Scott admits it when he says that the Dems were sending a message.

    During the campaign, it made sense for Republicans to promise to repeal and replace the health care bill. If some things had gone differently, this promised early vote against the health care bill could have had meaning. As it turns out, it didn’t, but they’d promised the vote, and they fulfilled their promise.

    As for the Democrats, they’re in a tough position. They had all the levers of power, so anything they think should be done, they should have done. At least that’s the problem they face as a group. As individuals, they can split off and tell different stories about why some things didn’t get done. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more sitting Democratic officials taking up the progressive line of blaming the Blue Dogs.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    They had all the levers of power, so anything they think should be done, they should have done.

    Yes, for two years, while facing a Republican minority in the Senate that used parliamentary rules, ‘secret holds’, and the filibuster to an extent never before seen in American history in order to block as much of Obama’s legislation as possible…including judicial appointees who were not at all controversial.

    Bush, OTOH, had six years of Republican control of both houses of Congress…and we see where that got us!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    “Yes, the Republicans were fighting SO hard for jobs in America!”

    Kinda unwarranted assumption, Glenn, don’t you think? If I were to support a ruling, capitalist class, I’d surely be for job creation – yes, even at home: not only in the interest of boosting the domestic consumption (some say the backbone of our economy) but also in order to quell public unrest.

    It seems as though you’re still beholden to that simplistic paradigm: Democrats good, Republicans bad, end of story.

  • Clavos

    Glenn, Glenn, Glenn:

    First, while it’s true that the Dow is up in recent weeks, it (the Dow) fluctuates constantly, and as any savvy investor will tell you, it is a barometer of the pulse of investors, not of the economy, and investors as a group are not necessarily all that intelligent, which is why contrarians (sound familiar?) often do better in the stock market than those who follow the more prevalent herd mentality.

    Health care reform. In my book, the jury’s still out on that one — both as to what form it will ultimately take, and how much good it will ultimately do, and especially, how much (NOT IF) it will add to the deficit.

    He’s getting us out of Iraq, and he’s set a concrete timetable to get us out of Afghanistan.

    Maybe. hasn’t happened yet.

    The government unquestionably has more power and control over the populace since the inception of the Obama reign, and much more government power and control is proposed and planned.

    That one issue is, for me, the crux of politics — how much should the government be able to tell me, or you, or anyone how they can and should live their lives.

    Obviously, I think it should be a lot less than you do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Kinda unwarranted assumption, Glenn, don’t you think

    Yeah, it’s too simplistic by half and your criticism of my view is quite valid and appreciated…but (you knew there’d be a ‘but’) what are the results of current conservative fiscal theory AKA “Reaganomics”? You call me beholden to “Dems good, Republicans bad”…but you yourself know – you’re too intelligent not to be able to see – that the conservatives are clinging to a strict adherence to economic dogma despite the wealth of evidence that Reaganomics…does…not…work.

    You yourself see the perpetual knee-jerk reaction by Republicans to almost ANY Democratic proposal, to almost ANY rubric that evinces obvious shortcomings in Republican fiscal theory. What is that knee-jerk reaction? It’s “We’re right and we’re the only ones who know what’s good for America, so whatever the Dems want MUST be bad, whatever poor economic results came during Republican administrations MUST NOT be our fault”.

    I refer you to what I said above: That’s why, when Obama proposed legislation to give tax breaks to companies that bring jobs back from overseas, the Republicans were all against it! And when he proposed that the stimulus be restricted to buying things made in America, the Republicans (backed by the (quite multinational) Chamber of Commerce) were all against that idea, too. And when Obama proposed to take away tax breaks from companies that were shipping our jobs overseas, the Republicans were against THAT, too!

    Does this or does this not prove my point that the Republicans oppose almost anything that the Dems support, regardless of how beneficial the Dems’ plans may be for the American people?

    One last thing – there was a time, Roger, that there was such a thing as bipartisanship. You know this. But that bipartisanship began to end in the beginning of the Clinton administration with the rise of right-wing radio pundits and Fox News…and the gulf between conservatives and liberals has now grown so wide that there’s little hope of rapprochement without a major catastrophe that would bring us together.

    It wasn’t always this way, Roger – but’s it’s this way NOW.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t commenting on the soundness of conservative economic policy, Glenn – that’s a subject for another time – only on your statement as to the intent – that they’re opposed to job creation.

    Two different things, I should think.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Sound economic policy and ‘job creation’ policy are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.