In an odd bit of political analysis featured on AOL, Russell Berman says Senate Republicans are taking political risks in preparing to fight the legislative fixes that House Democrats have demanded:
As the House moves toward passing sweeping health care reform, the threats from Senate Republicans keep coming. The latest is a promise to force a battle royal in the Senate over legislative fixes that House Democrats have demanded in exchange for their vote.
But what will be left for the GOP to fight? The brewing showdown could turn the political tables upside down, forcing Republicans to defend backroom deals and tax hikes they have spent weeks criticizing.
Um, Russell, hate to break it to you, the Republicans won’t be defending backroom deals and tax hikes, they’ll be fighting the backroom details and tax hikes contained in the House “fixes” Borrowing a Democratic National Committee talking point (I call it that because he’s just rephrasing what he quotes a DNC spokeswoman as saying (though without her language accusing the Republicans of doing exactly what her fellow partisans have been doing to get this passed), Berman says that “by preventing Democrats from changing the new law, Republicans could find themselves in the position of ensuring that the most disputed elements of health care reform remain intact.”
So, by Berman’s logic, Senate Republicans should support fixes cooked up in back rooms on the other side of the Hill?
Yeah, there are some good things in the House amendments (or whatever they’re calling them), like repealing the Cornhusker Kickback, but there’s lots that’s lousy. Look, the Senate bill is bad enough, but the House fixes, taken as a whole, don’t make it any better. Yeah, they’ve got a good provision or two, but, as a whole, it’s bad for our economy, bad for our health care system and bad for system of government.
For the Senate GOP, there are far fewer risks in fighting the House fixes than there are for the House members who vote to pass them. Just look at the polling data for key Democrats in the current debate.
And the Republicans who fight these unpopular fixes, should it come to that, well, they’ll find their poll numbers skyrocketing, nomatter how much the Democratic establishment and their media lackeys try to bring them down.