It's one thing to be serene under fire, it's another to be delusional.
More than a few Democrats in Congress are perplexed and worried that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insisting on ramming through a 1,900-page health care bill on Saturday, just days after her party took heavy losses in Tuesday's elections. "It reminds me of Major Nicholson, the obsessed British major in the film 'Bridge on the River Kwai,'" one Democrat told me. "She is fixated on finishing her health care bridge even as she's lost sight of where it's going and what damage it could cause to her own troops."
Indeed, the Speaker's take on Tuesday's off-year elections struck some of her own members as delusive "happy talk." "From our perspective, we won last night," a cheerful Ms. Pelosi told reporters, citing her party's pick-up of a single House seat in a New York special election and retention of another strongly Democratic seat in California.
That's not how many of her own troops see it. Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama told Politico.com that members are "very, very sensitive" to the fact that the agenda being pushed by party leaders has "the potential to cost some of our front-line members their seats"
On health care, added New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell: "People who had weak knees before are going to have weaker knees now."
Ms. Pelosi, however, apparently thinks the moment is ripe to use sheer political muscle to pass legislation reordering one sixth of the economy, with zero Republican support. The right mixture of "incentives" and Rahm Emanuel-style pressure, she believes, will bring enough Democrats to heel to vote for the bill.
The obsession Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have with passing health care strikes some Democratic moderates as a completely misplaced priority. Polls show that fewer than a fifth of Americans rank health care reform as the most important issue. Their biggest concern right now is jobs. Only 29% of voters in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll believe the economy "has hit the bottom."
That's also the message from Moody's Mark Zandi, who has become the de facto chief outside economic adviser to the Democratic Congress in recent months and has been telling House Democrats to expect unemployment to be "sticky and stubborn," remaining near 10% a year from now. A similar warning comes from Christina Romer, chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, who predicts unemployment will be 9.5% when midterm elections occur a year from now.
These considerations spook not just the 49 House Democrats who sit in districts won by John McCain last year. Even liberals say lessons need to be taken from Tuesday's shellacking: "What the exit polls showed was real voter fatigue with how crowded the plate is," Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, chairman of his party's freshman class, told the New York Times. "We need to take a deep breath, step back and clean the plate before we add to it."
That the bill would be a job killer isn't the only concern. Democrats worry about a backlash from the one-fourth of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage -- a program that faces steep cuts in both the likely Senate and House bills.
But Speaker Pelosi isn't about to step back. In fact, she plans to force her troops to vote on health care just one day after Friday's jobless numbers are due, which are likely to show unemployment still growing. "When I take this bill to the floor, it will win," she proclaimed earlier this year.
One Democratic House moderate says the leadership has mislearned a lesson from the 1994 collapse of Hillary Clinton's health care bill. "They believe they lost the elections that year because they failed to pass anything," he says. "But they forget it might have been even worse if they'd passed the wrong bill."
The obsession with passing a clearly flawed and overly complex health care bill does indeed recall the classic movie in which Major Nicholson (played memorably by Alec Guinness) convinces his fellow British POWs in Thailand to build a railway bridge for their Japanese captors -- losing touch with the larger reality that the bridge would be used by the enemy against his own people.
John Feenery, who worked for then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel, sees many similarities with Congress's ill-fated rush to pass "catastrophic" health coverage for seniors in 1988. "Like the catastrophic bill, the Democrats' health care bill frontloads the pain and backloads the gain," he told CNN last month. Because Democrats wanted to avoid a negative deficit score from the Congressional Budget Office, taxes went up immediately while benefits were phased in. But seniors revolted. House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski was famously chased down a Chicago street by an angry mob. In November, 1989 -- almost exactly 20 years ago -- Congress took the extraordinary step of repealing the catastrophic health care law.
Should the far more complex health care bill now being debated pass, no one expects it could be fully repealed. But Democrats surely would pay a political price for passing a liberal bill with no bipartisan support. Like Major Nicholson on the River Kwai, they may wake up to find they built a monument to a set of presumptions that were really a form of madness.
BY JOHN FUND
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S POLITICAL DIARY ONLINE
THURSDAY, 05 NOVEMBER 09
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens
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