So the Democrats have passed this wonderful child healthcare bill… again. Bush told them he was going to veto it. The Democrats knew he was going to say that ahead of time, so they have prepared a series of TV appearances, fresh and winning sounding statements, etc. to denounce the President in advance. They are clearly very worried about running against Bush in the 2008 Presidential campaign, and considering their track record against him in the last two elections and all the political battles-of-will they’ve lost while he’s been in office, they should be worried. The only problem being Bush’s ineligibility for the 2008 election and the Democrats are doing this out of a wasteful habit of attacking the President, come what may. This is a national distraction and a complete waste of time; moreover, the Democrats do not want to pass a child healthcare bill in the first place, it is, strictly speaking, a red herring.
Why would I say that and why would the President veto such a nice-sounding bill? He laid it all out for everyone to hear, but I don’t think it was very widely reported without add-on attacks that try to make him look bad. Two things bother him about the bill, and neither one have any direct relation to the bill at hand.
- He is opposed to nationalized health care for a variety of reasons. This bill not only sets a program in place to expand healthcare for children, it expands the legal infrastructure of nationalization of the industry.
- He is against raising taxes. This bill’s public focus is on child health care, but the add-on measures in the bill impose several tax increases, just for fun.
If the Democrats were interested only in expanding the existing child healthcare programs as they claim, then that is exactly what they would be doing. But they don’t seem to care much about children other than when saying “child” sounds much more warm-hearted than saying “anybody”. The intentional inclusion of Presidentially unacceptable measures to the end of this bill demonstrates their desire to not see it passed. Bush said himself that he is not against the basic idea of the bill, just the way it has been implemented within it and the add-on passages are simply unacceptable to him. They left the add-ons so that they would not get a 2/3 majority in Congress to override his veto. This is a carefully orchestrated, and horribly wasteful, attack on President Bush.
The best part about all of this is that it is a complete waste of national energy on every level. How many man-hours have been wasted on this bill when you consider how much media time, public attention, printing, me typing, and other forms of tail-chasing have gone into this single, ridiculous, red herring of an issue? This sort of thing happens all the time and it is modern Western politics at its best.