Opinion

Bruno Pelosi and Harry the Horrible

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Lenny McAllister
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      Lenny McAllister

      Currently, Lenny appears as a political commentator featured regularly on Fox Television in Charlotte, N.C. He is a syndicated writer nationally for online magazines including The Root, Rushmore Drive, and AOL. He was recently named a Visiting Fellow for the Center for New Politics and Policy at the University of Denver.

For a health care plan that the American people overwhelming want despite the “obstructionist” role of conservatives, it is amazing just how much work Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have to do in order to secure votes.

The first time around, it took backroom deals that will be noted history books decades down the road. Now, even that and a series full of arm-wrestling meetings might not be enough in this critical election year to secure the necessary votes.

The arm-twisting has certainly not been as effective as advertised, even among Pelosi and Reid. Whereas Pelosi—positioned in a safe electoral district—has been quoted as saying that health care is worth losing elections over, Reid—currently under heat in a highly competitive race in Nevada—has not been quite as vocal with that message.

Neither has been as loud as the American public on the matter, which is why Democrats are delaying a call to the mat for affirmative votes in favor of the plan.

Recent polls have indicated that everything the Democrats hoped to use to win over the American people—cost containment and an immediate response to current health care woes, for example—are playing against them. Overwhelming, Americans feel that the overall plan’s cost is being understated by the Democrats. More damaging to their health care cause and, moreso, to President Obama’s legacy, most Americans believe that the Obama campaign pledge to spare the middle class of a tax increase will follow the lifecycle of President Bush’s famous “Read My Lips” mantra of two decades ago.

Despite all of the “Party of No” labeling and Coffee Party appearances, the impact of the Tea Party and its fury toward continued runaway spending in Washington plays heavy on the minds of House of Representatives members whose lease on their congressional seats expires in November. The bill was controversial enough, even with the additions of the Stupak Amendment and other conditions to “sweeten the deal” for conservative Democrats and some potential Republicans. However, with the current political environment, the incentive to jam through a controversial bill may not outweigh the cost at the polls for many congressmen, considering the amount of political activism throughout the nation since the 2008 elections.

  • libertyatstake

    “For a health care plan that the American people overwhelming want…”

    Where is the evidentiary support for this whopper? Take a stroll around Capitol Hills today to disabuse yourself of this idiocy.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    [For a light hearted take our present peril]

    • 2old4this

      “For a health care plan that the American people overwhelming want…”

      I took this quoted statement as a slam against the Democrats by McAllister and not his personal position on what the people ‘want’. Further down he describes Reid’s quiet stance because of his Nevada election fears and Pelosi’s delay in calling for a vote right now. McAllister, like Reid and Pelosi, knows the majority of the people are against the bill as it now stands. Maybe I’m wrong on McAllister’s view – we will have to read more from him to know for sure . . .