Something tells me this is going to be a recurring theme throughout the Obama years. These Dems are drunk with power.
Roll Call, this morning:
June 11, 2009
By David M. Drucker, Anna Palmer and Kate Ackley
Roll Call Staff
Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called a last-minute, pre-emptive strike on Wednesday with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday.
Russell Sullivan, the top staffer on Finance, and Jon Selib, Baucus’ chief of staff, met with a bloc of more than 20 contract lobbyists, including several former Baucus aides.
“They said, ‘Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting.
“Going to the Republican meeting will say, ‘I’m interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform,’” the lobbyist added.
Republican leaders have been meeting with health care stakeholders for months, with those sessions occurring “more frequently than once a month,” according to a senior Senate GOP aide.
The stated purpose of Thursday’s meeting, organized by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), is to discuss proposals for how to pay for health care reform.
But the underlying motivation for the get-together is to encourage health care lobbyists and stakeholders concerned about the Democrats’ health care reform plans to speak out publicly.
“They need to speak up,” one Senate Republican leadership aide said. “They need to help us help them.”
Thune said Democrats are using threats and intimidation to keep unhappy stakeholders silent.
“If you don’t engage on this thing, this train’s leaving the station,” Thune said. “If you want [Republicans] to have more influence, you’ve got to engage.”
One longtime health care lobbyist agreed that the GOP frustration is spilling out of the Capitol and onto K Street.
“It is notable that Republicans are really finding their voice, and their level of frustration is building with the stakeholders’ inability or refusal to speak out,” this lobbyist said. “They’re getting frustrated. Republicans are doing it themselves.”
Yid With Lid makes the obvious point:
HOSTILE ACT? North Korea testing an nuclear bomb is a hostile act, Iran’s missile tests are hostile acts, Meeting with the minority party is an act of bi-partisanship. The threats of Chairman Baucus’ staff shows once again that the Democratic party promises of reaching out across the aisle to the Republicans are nothing but words.
Karl Rove has some ideas on how to keep “this train from leaving the station”:
It was a sobering breakfast with one of the smartest Republicans on Capitol Hill. We can fix a lot of bad stuff President Barack Obama might do, he told me. But if Mr. Obama signs into law a “public option,” government-run insurance program as part of health-care reform we won’t be able to undo the damage.
I’d go the Republican member of Congress one further: If Democrats enact a public-option health-insurance program, America is on the way to becoming a European-style welfare state. To prevent this from happening, there are five arguments Republicans must make.
Ed Morrissey notices the games the Dems are playing with the bill: Health care: Back to an incomplete?
Uh oh! what are the ObamaCare Focus group Obots going to say, now?:
My friend Francis W. Porretto stopped by, and as always, left a great comment that bares repeating:
Can we defeat this? Unclear. Obama’s legislative henchmen appear to be going for broke, in several senses of that phrase. They next face the voters in November 2010. Present trends continuing but current legal conditions holding steady, they might still be voted out of their seats…but one of the “side effects” of their machinations to date, and of their proposals on the table, is to make millions more Americans fully or partially dependent on Washington. That’s more likely to make a man pull the Democrat lever than any other “side effect” I know of.
Consider the Democrats’ utter disregard for fiscal reality. Consider their open embrace of “card check.” Consider their adoption of bullying tactics toward the corporations seduced into their bailout schemes. Consider the way they’ve tried to intimidate lobbyists who’d like to hear what the GOP caucus has to say.
To me, theirs looks like a “mainchance” play: A strategy to win forever or die, with nationalized health care as a key component.
He has more at his blog, Eternity Road.
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