Dems Vote on Viagra for Pedophiles: YES!

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The Senate Reckoning

Senate Democrats get beat up by their own reconciliation rules.

  • By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

“And so when you walk into that ballot box, remember that it was my Democratic opponent who favored providing Viagra to pedophiles.”

That isn’t a campaign line any American has heard yet, but give it a few hours. The Senate this week took up its “reconciliation” bill, with its final changes to the law the president signed Tuesday. It wasn’t so much reconciliation as reckoning.

Democrats only got their ObamaCare victory by breaking every rule, and that was always going to come at a price. To lever the health bill through the House, Democrats used the arcane process of reconciliation. It got them a win, but it also meant Senate Democrats this week had to endure the political equivalent of water-boarding.

Here’s why: reconciliation allowed Republicans to bring up unlimited amendments. Because Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) could not allow the reconciliation bill to be changed in any way-which would send it back to the House-his party was obliged to vote down every one of those amendments. And every one had been designed to make even hardened pols whimper.

Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) offered language to bar the government from subsidizing erectile dysfunction drugs for convicted pedophiles and rapists. Democrats voted . . . No! Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) proposed exempting wounded soldiers from the new tax on medical devices. Democrats: No way! Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) wanted to exempt critical access rural hospitals from funding cuts. Senate Democrats: Forget it! This was Republicans’ opportunity to lay out every ugly provision and consequence of ObamaCare, and Democrats-because of the process they’d chosen-had to defend it all.

And so it went, into the wee Thursday hours. All Democrats in favor of taxing pacemakers? Aye! All Democrats in favor of keeping those seedy vote buyoffs? Aye! All Democrats in favor of raising taxes on middle-income families? Aye! All Democrats in favor of exempting themselves from elements of ObamaCare? Aye! All Democrats in favor of roasting small children in Aga ovens? (Okay, I made that one up, but you get the point.) Aye!

Aye-yi-yi.

These votes are “ridiculous” huffed Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd. Republicans are not being “serious” grumped Mr. Reid. Of course, “ridiculous” and “not serious” better apply to ObamaCare, which was in fact the substantive point of amendments like Mr. Coburn’s. A 2005 survey found that some 800 convicted sex offenders had-whoops-received Medicaid-funded impotence drugs. This is what happens when a big, inefficient government runs health care, and as Mr. Coburn noted, it is about to do it on a bigger, more inefficient scale than ever, thanks to ObamaCare.

Since the health bureaucracy can’t be trusted, the only way to guarantee a subsidy’s end is to ban them with legislation. And since Democrats didn’t allow Republicans to help craft the bill, this was Mr. Coburn’s best shot. And since the majority had by then boxed itself in, it is now on record as being OK with little blue pills for pedophiles. Unfortunate, really, since most members obviously are not. But hey, three cheers for reconciliation!

No more hiding, either, by Democrats who voted for ObamaCare even as they claimed to have reservations. Republicans flushed them out, making each individual Democrat stand up to defend each individual piece. The record now shows that Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln is on board with higher premiums, that Colorado’s Michael Bennet is good to go with gutting Medicare Advantage, that Nevada’s Harry Reid is just fine with rationing, that New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand is cool with taxes on investment income, that California’s Barbara Boxer is right-o with employer mandates, and that Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter is willing to strip his home state of the right to opt out of the health law.

Mr. Reid, of course, only needed 51 members to block amendments, so he could afford to cut some members loose on tough votes. And, oh, to have been a bug on the wall as frayed Democrats debated over who got the outs. Harry, if you think I’m voting against tightening restrictions on illegals getting health are, you are unhinged. Wanna trade your vote for taxing kids on their wheelchairs for my vote for overcharging kids on their college loans? Can I get back to you on supporting criminal penalties for people who fail to buy health care?

Politics being what it is-and the self-flagellation mechanism Democrats had created just too good to pass up-Republicans did throw in a few unrelated amendments. So the majority also got to vote against further marriage penalty tax relief, against certain gun rights for veterans, and against extending small-business tax credits. To add insult to injury, the Senate parliamentarian still found problems with the bill, and sent it back to the House anyway.

By that time, all the vote results had been recorded, collated and packaged in neat little folders for GOP candidates-who intend to use them to great effect this fall. Democrats this week said they’d be proud to campaign on ObamaCare. They’d better mean it, because reconciliation guaranteed there’s no running from it now.

About Alex Scipio

About Alex Scipio: Alex moved out of the People's Republic of California to the Free State of Arizona, finally tiring of the lack of the Bill of Rights, the overgrown idiocracy, and the catering to non-Americans & welfare recipients. He still wonders how America got from Truman, Eisenhower, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to the Liberal and Conservative extremes so badly managing America today. And, yes, islam DOES need to be annihilated. And doing what he can to get folks away from the extremes of political life.
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