Thursday, October 29, 2009

Withering On The Vine

Any politically savvy reader will no doubt recall the instant notoriety bestowed upon Newt Gingrich for hoping that "Medicare would wither on the vine". Oh, how he hated old, sick people. The evil SOB. The problem is however, that it was all a cunning and effective lie propagated by Big Labor over a decade ago.

In 1995, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered a speech to Blue Cross regarding health care and the Clinton's designs on it. During the campaign for Bill Clinton's reelection, the AFL-CIO ran a television ad designed to help Clinton's campaign by demonizing the Republicans, and Gingrich was the poster boy for the union giant. In the fall of 1996, the AFL-CIO ran the ad which began with a voice-over compassionately droning, "When you're older, and you're sick, Medicare is more than health care, it's peace of mind."

The ad immediately cuts to the Blue Cross speech by Gingrich, with a partial excerpt. "Now we don't get rid of it in round one because we think that's politically smart and we don't think that's the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine." But Gingrich wasn't doing his best impersonation of the fabled greedy, mustachioed landlord, twisting his facial hair while giddily tossing mothers and hungry children out of their homes. Here's the full context of Newt's comment on Medicare:

"What do you think the health care financing administration is? It's a centralized command bureaucracy. It's everything we're telling Boris Yeltsin to get rid of. Now we don't get rid of it in round one because we don't think that's politically smart and we don't think that's the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine because we think people are going to voluntarily leave it. Voluntarily."
It was a very effective ploy, as I know people who still despise Gingrich to this day because of that misrepresentation. The DNC took the approach a step further during George W. Bush's administration with cartoon commercials showing the President pushing old people in wheelchairs down a flight of stairs. Charming.

Current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today peeled the wrapping off of 1,990 pages of the same poison pill that Gingrich warned us of, and House Minority Leader John Boehner promptly referred to it as "1,990 pages of bureaucracy". CNN interviewed Congressman Mike Pence for the Republican reaction, and he was equally dismayed. See the video below.



Perhaps the reason for the Democrats' unveiling of this monstrosity being closed to the public - on the West side of the Capitol which is traditionally open to the public - is the direct result of this past summer's town hall meetings, when it was mostly Democrats on the receiving end of constituents' blistering outrage.

The only good news is that there will a period of roughly a week for House members to peruse this massive tome before a vote moves to the floor. I hope the Republicans along with moderate Democrats use this time wisely and develope a serious insurgency to put a stop to its passage. If not, it won't be Medicare withering on the vine. It will be American liberty.

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3 comments:

Edisto Joe said...

Thousands march on Washington. Town hall meetings are ablaze and yet Pelosi and the Democrats carry on as if none of it means anything.
They produce a plan that is exactly what they had before the summer break. Americans should be outraged at the arrogance of this bunch. If they have their way the greatest tax burden ever seen will fall upon the general public. It's socialized health care plain and simple. Ronald Reagan said it years ago, "The quickest way to bring about socialism in America is through the health care system."

Woody said...

Damn straight, EJ.

Have you had any trouble trying to write lately? I know I have, and I feel like the mental war of attrition being waged by the socialists may be to blame. They bombard us with so much blatant ridiculousness so fast that our neurons become overloaded.

I am fighting to resist the urge to simply give up and watch cartoons. Or The View. Or anything on ABC...

Edisto Joe said...

Woody:
You bet I've had trouble writing.
Obama is creating a mess in Afghanisan,Kerry has jumped on the bandwagon and those of us who have family in the military could choke them both. This morning I hear the President wants alternate troop proposals. As if maybe McChrystal has it wrong. Pure politics and the lives of soldiers are in the balance! The best news I've had is Doug Hoffman is surging in the polls in the New York 23rd election. A win their could send a message to both parties. I posted an article yesterday evening on that. Best I could do for now.
Thanks for inquiring.

EJ