GOP’s ‘Repeal the Bill’ Legislation an Exercise in Futility

Following his introduction of Barack Obama at Tuesday’s health care reform signing ceremony, Vice President Joe Biden informed the president that the legislative accomplishment was “a big f***ing deal!”  Biden’s word choice was, perhaps, indelicate, but his sentiment was appropriate.  Considering the over-the-top, often misleading,  attacks which have clouded the year-long debate over reform, opponents of the bill seem to agree.

Here’s what Sen. Jim “Waterloo” DeMint said in a statement related to his legislation tasked with repealing health care reform (via TPM):

In ramming through a bill that forces government into the most personal aspect of our lives, the President and his Democrat Party have revealed themselves as being radically to the left of the American people. They will lose this fight in the end; the American people cherish their freedom and will defend it this November.

These two sentences contain a number of errors.  The “ramming through” bit is only right if you view the health care debate as having taken place exclusively in the last few weeks, which it didn’t.  He repeats the GOP’s petty habit of misnaming their opposition as the “Democrat Party,” rather than “Democratic,”  which is hardly worth mentioning considering the ludicrousness of the rest of that sentence.

But it’s the last bit from DeMint, the suggestion that the Democrats “will lose this fight,” drawing the battle lines for the 2010 midterm elections.  A few months ago, this might have represented conventional thinking on the matter; but, that was before reform passed, and before anti-reform protesters made asses of themselves outside the Capitol building last weekend.

DeMint’s assertion is based on the tired GOP health care meme, that the reform legislation was and is “unpopular” among American voters. But just because Republicans say it, that doesn’t make it so.

As I’ve asserted previously, even if the polls indicate a measure of dissatisfaction with reform, it doesn’t mean that all those unhappy with it are dissatisfied for the same reason.  Matt Finkelstein explains it in his March 23 Media Matters Action post, calling out one of DeMint’s colleagues:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cited a recent CNN poll finding that a majority of American voters are against the bill. “The CNN latest poll that I saw said that 59 percent of the respondents disapproved of the bill, didn’t want it,” Cornyn said.

However, as Media Matters Action noted yesterday, the top line of the CNN poll only tells half the story.  When asked why they oppose the bill, 13 percent of the poll’s respondents said it is “not liberal enough.” In total, 52 percent of those surveyed approve of the bill or wish it was more liberal – which doesn’t exactly suit the GOP’s argument…

Finkelstein goes on to cite a highly publicized March 23 USA Today/Gallup poll which indicates that 49 per cent of Americans think that the passage of reform was “a good thing,” opposed to the 40 per cent who don’t.  Finkelstein rightly concludes, “As it becomes even clearer that the GOP’s anti-reform rhetoric was overblown, a bill that provides millions of Americans with safeguards they need should only become more popular.”

It’s worth noting that efforts to repeal the reform bill aren’t the only proposed threat from conservatives.  My Care2 colleague Jessica Pieklo addresses numerous — legally shaky to varying degrees — legal attacks by reform opponents in her latest post.  What sets DeMint’s legislation apart from the rest is that, if the attacks listed by Pieklo have little chance of success, repeal legislation has even less.

Nate Silver places the nearest “small window of opportunity” for repeal proponents in 2013, contingent upon a set of hurdles the GOP can’t hope to clear.  Between now and then, any such effort would certainly be vetoed by the president.  Silver links to Matthew Yglasias, explaining that it’s “literally impossible for Republicans to amass enough manpower in the Congress to override a veto from Obama.”

So, if a repeal bill has no chance of undoing the’ BFD’ Biden spoke of, what’s the point?

Personally, I suspect DeMint’s repeal effort — all around scary person, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), is leading another futile  “repeal the bill” endeavor in the House — is about money.  It’s the GOP clutching for campaign donations by way an empty gesture to the 40 per cent of Americans who think reform was a “bad idea.”

The GOP better get it while they can.  As it is, Republicans are playing directly into the Democrats’ ‘game plan,’ one they’ve been planning for months.  If the Democrats, by some miracle, actually have their act together on fighting back, that “bad idea” number is likely to come down along with the size of the GOP’s donor pool.

Overall, 2010 is shaping up poorly for the GOP, but there is a bright side:  they’ll always be able to count on the 24 per cent of Republicans who believe Obama to be the Anti-Christ (*sigh* – seriously, no joke, check it out ).

Rep. Bachmann 'Kill the Bill' Rally image via Flickr -- user: Fibonacci Blue -- by way of


Steve Gomer
Steve Gomer7 years ago

Ok , for those of you too stupid to see this from a clear perspective let me try something else. This is the situation. If someone from government came to you today and said, you have no choice but to buy this brand new pickup truck, and i don't care if you can afford the payments, your gonna buy it. would this be ok for you? if they then said you must buy the blue one with power windows ,even if you don't want power windows. would this also be ok for you? this is what our government is trying to do to us. and then they are also saying that it matters not if you can afford this medical coverage, your gonna be fined 750 the first offense, and more each time you violate this order. Now ,think about your grandmother, who lives on a set income and has no extra money, but is forced to buy insurance anyway, so she either must starve or lose her home because of it. is it ok to put your grand mother out on the street cause the insurance companies want to make billions more each year?
and don't think they intend to stop with this violation of your freedoms . they are already working on a bill to force you to put your hard earned retirement money into an annuity that will maybe pay out 2 to 3% a year when you can close your eyes and chose a stock that returns 3 times that choice here either, you will transfer your retirement money to this new plan.

Janice P.
Janice P7 years ago

There is little, if any, chance that the health care bill can be overturned. The basis for this is constitutional. First, the Commerce Clause overides any state provisions passed by any one or a number of states.

Second, the Constitution provides that the federal government may pass laws pertainng to the "general welfare". Courts have defined that provision very broadly, leaving a broad brush with which the federal government can paint.

Further, it is extremely difficult to overturn any federal law once it is passed. Recall the fight against prohibition in the 20's and how many lives were lost and how many gang-style crimes were commited, not to mention how long a period of time passed, before it actually was repealed.

By the way, Tim S. is correct about one thing: Dr. Blaylock does have very good information regarding homopathic medicines and supplements.

Timmi Straight
Past Member 7 years ago

Judith check out these web site. I like Dr Mercola and Dr Blaylock. I get their online newsletters. There are other godd doctors out there but I really like these guys.

Timmi Straight
Past Member 7 years ago

“Timmi S, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I've had that same experience and also one where a doctor wanted to put me on a lipid-lowering medication because, even though my cholesterol is normally far below 200, on one occasion my cholesterol was 201. Immediately, a prescription was written. Lipid-lowering medications can have some serious side-effects involving the liver.”

Judith I am not a doctor but here is my opinion. I think my cholesterol is maybe 220 or something hasn’t had it checked in a while. I am getting older and will not disclose me real age on here. I fear some of the left wing liberals and homosexuals that is another story. But I have read on line that some doctors not worry about cholesterol that is slightly above the 200’s as a matter of fact we need cholesterol for our brains and even our artery’s. If we get too low on cholesterol we risk getting a stroke. I also eat salt like crazy I crave salt. I have read some people who crave salt may have low adrenal function. IN the summer time you need salt when you are out in the heat or you can die. The main stream docs are full of C___P I hate to say. I also eat eggs and bacon almost every day. Some meat is not that bad and animal fat is not that bad. I was just reading fat from corn oil, safflower oil, Canola oil, etc in excess are very bad because they are high in Omega 6. We need some Omega 6 but not too much. Olive Oil has Omega 3 and it is about the best, so start us

Judith S.
Judith S7 years ago

Timmi S, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I've had that same experience and also one where a doctor wanted to put me on a lipid-lowering medication because, even though my cholesterol is normally far below 200, on one occasion my cholesterol was 201. Immediately, a prescription was written. Lipid-lowering medications can have some serious side-effects involving the liver.

People should be careful about letting doctors prescribe medications like they're candy because they often bring unwanted side-effects, sometimes irreversible.

In addition, many people with "dementia" are simply on so many medications that the doctors don't know which one is causing the memory problems and don't want to find out. They'd rather prescribe even more medications. It's a downward spiral.

Alas, unfortunately, some people do have hereditary conditions and all the good food and exercise in the world will not prevent them from having to go to the doctor. I have one of these conditions, and the doctors' eyes light up when they see me coming. They're always trying to push some new drug on me, but I just do my own research and if it isn't necessary or may be harmful, I just don't fill the prescription. However, I do believe that there are probably a lot of people (especially elderly) who don't know that you don't have to take a drug just because a doctor prescribed it. The old days when doctors were like God are over. Now they mostly want kickbacks and you can't trust them all.

Timmi Straight
Past Member 7 years ago

Adam we don't need a health bill we need anew medical system. It needs to be overhauled it is corrupt. It is all about money and drugs. I have had doctors try to put me in high blood pressure medicine when I was a little nervous plus just ate a big meal before seeing the doctor. When I got home my blood pressure was normal. I refused the pills and have done so on more than one occasion. I question everything it is my body. Most people will blinding do what the doctor says and that is BS. The doctor is working for you just as if you hired a carpenter or a plumber.

Timmi Straight
Past Member 7 years ago

"t's DISEASE-CARE. not HEALTH-CARE as they so put it. Do you see anyone that is healthy having healthcare, or needing it for that matter? With this new 'diseasecare' it will only spiral america's disease epidemic downward at an incredible pace.. DISEASE IS AVOIDABLE-ANY DISEASE, EVEN CANCER."

Now there is a woman that has some brains. Great post Clarrisa, I know exactly what you are talking about. Doctors practice medicine I don't want them practicing on me. Well I will go to a doctor on occasion to get a physical and if I have strep throat or pneumonia I would take a safe antibiotic such as Amoxicillin. But I do beleive you are right there are many natural cures for cancer etc. Main stream medicine does not want us to know that. It is all about money and greed! The drug company's want to put everyone on a pill. So it is a delima. Why don't the libs put their effort into something like this instead of this mandatory health bill that will force us to pay for it.

Adam H.
Adam Hart7 years ago

Clarissa C., and like-minded people, fail to see the reality's big picture. While no one can dispute her tips for staying or getting healthy, her search for a silver bullet solution to all ailments blinds her from acknowledging--or even seeing for that matter--the fact that there are myriad sicknesses with a wide array of causes. But, most significantly, people with the mindset needed to espouse such views seem to believe that everyone is just like them or that they should be. This is not only egotistical and condescending, but it's a failure of observation and perception. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born healthy. Not everyone has the same chemical make-up, genes, personality, socio-economic status, or access to healthy food or clean air and water. These are just a few factors that interact with pollutants and impurities in our environment. Arguments like Clarissa's are akin to those that posit that all social programs are unjust and unneeded, for there will always be a floating percentage of any given population that has needs unlike our own (whoever the individual is). She also must pride herself omniscient, because she says we don't need medical coverage. Just think for about that for a moment, because the entire idea of medical coverage is that it's there in our own individual time of need. She will need medical care at some point, unless she is immortal, in addition to being all-knowing.

Clarissa c.
Clarissa c.7 years ago

it's DISEASE-CARE. not HEALTH-CARE as they so put it. Do you see anyone that is healthy having healthcare, or needing it for that matter? With this new 'diseasecare' it will only spiral america's disease epidemic downward at an incredible pace.. DISEASE IS AVOIDABLE-ANY DISEASE, EVEN CANCER. All Disease has one sole cause - Toxemia - this build up of toxins due to enervation from lifestyle practices. BASICALLY, people are literally eating, drugging, and stressing themselves into a slow and painful death.. HEALTH IS GRANTED TO THOSE WHO WORK FOR IT. exercise vigorously daily, eat PLENTY of fresh fruit, connect with nature, get sunshine (but don't burn!), drink pure water, breathe pure air, surround yourself with nurturing relationships, find freedom from addictions and attain emotional balance and this list goes on. Live these aspects as your lifestyle, try it for a week, and you'll see your health INCREASE. There is an INCREDIBLE amount of misinformation skewed by the government.. I will not fall victim to their fallacies, I do not want to be spoon-fed by their money-sucking faces. I WILL be my own person, my own doctor, my own teacher, I will be FREE; our human birthright. You control your health, read about it. Search any of the following in google or YouTube: "t.c fry", "dr.Doug Graham", "rozalind gruben", "Herbert Shelton", "dr.Vivian Virginia vetrano", and you'll find others related. I've been making a change in my lifestyle, I see it firsthand, DISEASE HAS DISAPPEARED!

Dylan T.
Dylan Thomas7 years ago

charlene, first off, i havent read the health care bill. but have read through a few hundred pages. i don't claim to know it all, but i do know one thing, there is absolutely nothing in it that constitutes a total government takeover as you claim.
same with your claim that the government has taken over the banking and mortgage industry and auto industry.
you know absolutely nothing about bankruptcy procedures and the requirements a lending institution will make before lending money to a company in bankruptcy.
every institution that recieved bailout money from the government entered into agreements with the government that gave the government certian regulatory powers just like bankruptcy courts. the government hasn't taken over gm, the banks or anything. so again you just don't know what you are talking about.
as far as obama making this a godless communist nation, again you are talking nonsense, you have no idea what communism is.
my question to you is this, what part of this bill is unconstitutional? the supreme court has already upheld mandatory auto insurance laws
:These takeovers have been destroying America’s once
vibrant capitalistic system"
again you don't know what you are talking about. the bailout that you call a gov takover started under bush as TARP the purpose was save a capitalist system on the verge of collapse. brought on by their own excesses
you just don't have a clue, i'm sure you have no idea how foolish this makes you lo