Tag Archives: Ben Nelson

You Know You’ve Got Trouble

"Don't blame me if you have crappy Senators"

When even the left-leaning Seattle Times questions the constitutionality of your legislation, you know you’ve got trouble.

SEN. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., exacted a special price for his vote on the Senate health-care bill. Opening up the Medicaid program to 15 million more Americans over the next decade will cost the states billions of dollars — but not Ben Nelson’s state. For Nebraska, the cost, estimated at $100 million through 2016, will be paid by the federal government.

The Republicans called this the “Cornhusker Kickback.” It is a cute way to label it corruption — which it is. It is the bending of a federal law in order to buy the vote of one legislator.

Federal law is supposed to be uniform. It’s a concept that shines through several places in the Constitution, which calls for a “uniform rule of Naturalization” and “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies.”

When they double down and call the deal corruption, it’s serious.

The Republicans called this the “Cornhusker Kickback.” It is a cute way to label it corruption — which it is. It is the bending of a federal law in order to buy the vote of one legislator.

For the record, I don’t hold Senator Nelson – or Senator Landrieu, who seems a bit confused as to why people don’t believe she “can’t be bought” (@ 0:45) – any more responsible for the passage of the Senate health care monstrosity than any of the other 59 rank and file Democrat Senators. I’m saving that “honor” for Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who apparently believes that every piece of legislation should be loaded up with pet projects…and if any states miss out, it’s just a poor reflection on their Senators.

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Beating the Blue Dog Horse

I'm a Blue Dog. I'm going to vote for Harry Reid's monstrosity before I vote against it!

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska provides one more example of why it’s important for the GOP to challenge Blue Dog Democrats in every district. (You know, aside from the fact that those are the districts where they’re more likely to win.)

Here’s what Senator Nelson had to say:

Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct. That’s what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about.

It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday.

It is only to begin debate and an opportunity to make improvements. If you don’t like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?

Reid’s bill is a behemoth; over 2,000 pages. Barring the unlikely eventuality that the Senate approves an amendment that replaces the entire text of the bill with something else, does Nelson really believe that a mish-mash of amendments will improve it?

I hope Ben Nelson doesn’t think he’s fooling anyone. (I hope even more fervently that he isn’t fooling anyone, but that’s another post entirely.) Senator Nelson knows that a vote for cloture is a vote for Harry Reid’s costly, freedom-killing legislation. He knows that once the bill reaches the floor of the Senate, it’s chances of being defeated are less than 3%. Senator Nelson is just covering his…butt. He keeps Harry Reid off his back and counts on his “no” vote on final passage to placate those pesky constituents back home in Nebraska.

Not convinced? Consider the case of Mary Landrieu. Senator Landrieu played hard to get and was rewarded for her trouble with a cool $100 million in Medicaid concessions for her home state of Louisiana. (Yes, Harry Reid is purchased a single vote for his health care bill with $100 million of taxpayer money! Seems rather like asking the condemned man to put the noose around his own neck, don’t you think?)

I apologize for continuing to flog this horse, but I fear it is not yet dead. John Dietrich, writing at American Thinker, understands how important it is to control the language surrounding the Blue Dogs. As long as a single person in the GOP establishment continues to believe that working with the Blue Dogs is a strategy for long-term success, as long as any Republican or independent believes that Blue Dogs are anything other than run-of-the-mill, liberal Democrats, as long as anyone, anywhere continues to believe that Blue Dogs represent any significant stumbling block to advancing the leftist agenda, I must keep my switch at the ready.

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