This was so good I wanted to publish it here. Thanks to TAO of "Radical Perspective" for permission to do so:
"Think about this:
"The majority party was pushing the largest entitlement expansion since the Great Society. The minority attempted byzantine legislative maneuvers to obstruct the vote. The majority never relented, even taking unprecedented action to ram the bill through Congress."
Bet you think that was a description of the current healthcare debate! If you listen to Fox News and or read a few of the numerous conservative blogs that go on and on about how this administration is cramming 'socialism' down our throats you could claim that it is an apt description of what the Democrats are attempting to do to this country with healthcare reform.
BUT YOU ARE WRONG!
You see, this is a description of 2003 when the Republicans controlled Congress and the White House and the situation being described was the passage of the Prescription Drug Program:
This was not 2009 but 2003. Republicans controlled the White House and Congress. And with that power they passed the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug bill. The 2003 Medicare bill was not simply any vote. It enlarged a signature program of active-state liberalism (a.k.a.- big government). On a major piece of legislation, GOP lawmakers had to choose between principle and party. And many of today's Republicans chose party.
Republicans were proud back then. That December, not long after George W. Bush signed the bill, then-Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist was on "Hardball." Chris Mathews asked, "What was your biggest achievement this year?"
Frist: "I would have to say Medicare. Eleven months ago, the odds of getting a Medicare prescription drug [bill] through were probably 400-to-one, 500-to-one. ... So that clearly is our biggest single accomplishment, if you look at the last 30 years in this country."
A $400 billion entitlement expansion as the "biggest single accomplishment" in three decades? Yes, that came from a Republican leader.
42 Republican Senators who voted AGAINST the current heatlhcare measure voted FOR the Medicare prescription drug bill!
Fiscal conservative hypocrisy is so rampant we take it for granted.
John Boehner voted FOR this bill and AGAINST healthcare reform. Eric Cantor did too! J.D. Hayworth, who is the conservative shining star that is running against John McCain for the Senate seat that McCain currently holds voted FOR the prescription drug bill while McCain voted AGAINST it! Yet, all the conservative commentators are out in force pimping for Hayworth!
The hypocrisy does not stop there. Republican leaders have hammered Democrats for attempting to "ram through" their health care bill, highlighting untoward bribes:
Flashback: It's 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 2003. The traditional 15-minute roll call vote is extended for two hours and 51 minutes. The Medicare bill was heading to a 218 to 216 defeat. Key arms were twisted. Promises of campaign money and support were made. It became a 220 to 215 victory.
Oh, and before anyone throws out there that George Bush was actually "a Liberal" lets not forget, Ronald Reagan never cut entitlements, even as the national debt nearly tripled on his watch.
Republicans account for over 53% of our current deficit but you won't hear that mentioned nowadays any where but here!
Oh, and conservatives want to comfort themselves by telling themselves that Republicans are the 'lessor of two evils...."