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HCR Countdown: Closing Arguments (UPDATED)

Obama vs. McConnell

1:27 PM, Mar 19, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Today President Obama traveled to George Mason University in northern Virginia for a pre-vote health care reform rally. You can read his remarks here. If you're too busy to click on the link, don't worry. You've heard them before.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, also made his closing argument today. His remarks, unlike the president's, are fresh and deserve close reading. They also mirror a point Bill Kristol just made on the website. Here's a portion of McConnell's remarks:

Anyone who was waiting to see what the final bill meant for government spending should vote no, because this bill spends even more.

Anyone waiting to see what the final bill meant for Medicare should vote no, because the Medicare cuts in this bill are even deeper than the Senate bill that Speaker Pelosi said Democrats didn’t want to vote on.

Anyone waiting to see what the final bill meant for taxes should vote no, because the tax increases in this bill are even higher than the Senate bill.

Anyone waiting to see what the final bill did to the cost curve should vote against this bill, because this bill is likely to bend the cost curve up even further than the Senate bill, not down.

If you were waiting for a bill without the CLASS Act in it — a provision that even top Democrats describe as a Ponzi scheme, then you’ll vote against this bill, because it’s still in there.

If you were waiting to see if they’d cut out the sweetheart deals that have outraged the nation and soured the public on the entire legislative process, then you have to vote against this bill, because there are even more of them in there now.

If you were waiting for a bill that costs less, then you’ll vote against this bill, because it costs even more than the last one.

It's an old conservative lesson: Whenever you think things can't worse, they do.

Parting shot from Jim Treacher: "It’s becoming more and more apparent that the strategy for ramming Obamacare through — in spite of widespread public disapproval of both the legislation and the various procedural tricks being used to get around opposition to it; in spite of the fact that a Republican just took over Ted Kennedy’s seat on the promise of voting against it; in spite of pretty much any fact that tries to penetrate Nancy Pelosi’s Botox-hardened head — is to make everybody so sick of the whole thing that they just say, “Whatever! Just shut up about it already."

Update, 2:29 p.m. A reader writes:

Just read your blog and immediately called my congressperson's office.  Same  office told me two hours ago that congressperson was undecided as she studied the new bill.  I then recited (in short form, and without attribution to anyone) McConnell's seven or eight points (that you just blogged) that make the bill WORSE than the Senate bill.  I think that succeeded in leaving the staffer largely speechless.  You might want to encourage others to call their congresspersons with the same message.

An excellent idea. Readers: Go forth and call! And be sure to mention the incredible House Democratic memo that MKH mentions above. It is, in a word, stunning.

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