The real truth behind the August recess

AllahPundit explains what’s really and truly going on in Washington, D.C.:

Let me remind you again: They can pass any bill they want any time they want. Conservatives can scream their heads off at these things and there’s not an ounce of good it’ll do if Democrats are united. This whole partisan “war” Obama and Axelrod have concocted is kabuki theater against an enemy they’ve already (momentarily) defeated; it’s the Blue Dogs’ fear that they’ll be thrown out of office if they vote for this travesty that’s put the left in the predicament they’re in. The cowardice they’re showing in not wanting to face their constituents is actually obscuring the deeper cowardice of the the party stalling on a landmark bill they finally have the numbers to pass for no better reason than that doing so will jeopardize their hold on power next year. They want ObamaCare and they want their permanent majority, and if the only way they can get both is by calling conservatives Nazis then that’s what they’re a-gonna do.

As for me, I’m delighted that the Blue Dogs want to hang on to power long enough to derail this Health Care plan.  But to demonize the American people in order to justify cowardice is unconscionable for an elected official in a democratic republic.

Aside from covering cowardice, the demonization is also a useful tool to hide the fact that the Left is out of arguments.  James Taranto spells it out:

If the plan were good, you would expect its proponents to be staking their arguments on its merits. Instead, they are turning this into a debate about the plan’s opponents. A telling video clip of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) on MSNBC’s “Hardball” has been making the rounds:

So all of this is a diversion by the people who want to, frankly, hurt President Obama. You’ve heard the Republican senator Jim DeMint say it: Let’s make this “Obama’s Waterloo, let’s break him. That’s what this is about.

And by the way, I saw some of the clips of people storming these town hall meetings. The last time I saw well-dressed people doing this was when Al Gore asked me to go down to Florida when they were recounting the ballots, and I was confronted with the same type of people. They were there screaming and yelling, “Go back to California,” “Get out of here,” and all the rest of it–until I finally looked at them and I said, “You know what? Your hero Ronald Reagan is from California. You should show a little respect.” And then they quieted down.

So this is just all organized. Just go up on the Web site, Chris. You in the media have to take a look at what’s going on here. This is all planned. It’s to hurt our president, and it’s to change the Congress.

Most of the ensuing criticism has centered on Boxer’s weird fashion commentary. This may reflect no more than a regional difference: Californians tend to be more casual in their sartorial standards than regular people. Still, it’s a head-scratcher why Boxer would think it is to her opponents’ discredit that they are “well-dressed”–i.e., that they look respectable.

But what caught our attention was the plaint that ObamaCare opponents want “to hurt the president.” It reminds us of those hilarious “Leave Britney alone!” videos that were the rage on YouTube a couple of years back. How exactly does Boxer expect this to persuade anyone to support the legislation? Just imagine the thought process: I don’t want higher taxes and government rationing of medical care. But doggone it, I’m for it anyway, because I don’t want to hurt the president!

DeMint’s “Waterloo” quote was ill-considered because it suggested his concern was for partisanship and personality rather than policy. The president looked statesmanlike when he replied, “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics.” But pro-ObamaCare Democrats seem to have internalized DeMint’s mistake. They are making their case on personality and politics while ignoring substance–because, one assumes, their position on substance is so weak.

After giving more examples of Dems lashing out at voters without actually touching upon the merits of the plan itself, Taranto sums things up:

So, let’s review the arguments:

• Republicans are bad, they lost the last election, and they have partisan motives for wanting to stop ObamaCare.

• People who are angry about this are crackpots who display swastikas and other invidious symbols. Also, their anger is insincere, and they are shills of the RNC. They wear nice clothes, and this is not to their credit.

• Some of the arguments against ObamaCare are false, according to Obama.

• If ObamaCare is defeated, Obama would be hurt.

Is there any argument for ObamaCare? In all the material we reviewed for this item, only this, from the Obama email:

Every day we don’t act, Americans watch their premiums rise three times faster than wages, small businesses and families are pushed towards bankruptcy, and 14,000 people lose their coverage entirely. The cost of inaction is simply too much for the people of this nation to bear.

In other words, the “crisis” is so urgent that any thoughtful deliberation would entail intolerable delay. This is the same old argument that has already failed.

If this is the best the president can do, he deserves to lose resoundingly. If that hurts him, there’s always aspirin.

If these screaming ad hominem attacks seem like a familiar tactic, think Khrushchev.  After all, it was he who brought to an art form the old lawyer’s adage that “if you have the facts, argue the facts; if you have the law, argue the law; and if you have neither, pound the table.”