Hey, don’t blame me for the tone of this post, they’re the ones who passed this cruel legislation on Christmas Eve day.
For whatever reason, Senate Democrats and Barack Obama have managed to alienate left, right and center with a bureaucratic boondoggle that will saddle our children and grandchildren with massive debt for decades to come. The ruling class has turned against Americans, simply because they can.
And no one person typifies the atmosphere in Washington today than phony “Senator” Paul Kirk, appointed for the sole purpose of carrying out partisan orders. In Kirk’s world, the US Senate is actually the House of Lords, but with a lot more power than the latter chamber maintains at this point in time.
For that, Kirk wins our Bay State Cockroach of the Year award, hands-down. No one else comes close, not even bra-stuffers, toothpaste users or drug dealers in Menino’s administration.
In the end, it will be Kirk and his cronies who will suffer the most, however. According to an Op-Ed by Michael Barone in today’s Washington Examiner, the last time Congress turned against the public to this extreme, the Democratic Party cracked in half, with the creation of the Republican Party as the result. The year was 1854:
That legislation was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Its lead sponsor was Stephen A. Douglas, at 41 in his eighth year as senator from Illinois, the most dynamic leader of a Democratic Party that had won the previous presidential election by 254 electoral votes to 42.
Douglas’ legislative prowess far exceeded that of current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. To hold together his 60 Senate Democrats, Reid simply dispensed favors — eternal Medicaid financing for Ben Nelson’s Nebraska, a hospital grant for Chris Dodd’s Connecticut, more rural health money for Byron Dorgan’s North Dakota and Montana’s Max Baucus.
Douglas did something far more difficult. He got the Senate to pass a bill some of whose provisions were supported by half of the Senate plus Douglas and some of which were supported by the other half plus Douglas. After passage, Douglas spent a day getting drunk — a consolation unavailable to the teetotaling Reid.
The issue that Douglas said the Kansas-Nebraska Act would settle forever was slavery in the territories. His bill repealed the 34-year-old Missouri Compromise prohibiting slavery in territories north of Arkansas and substituted popular sovereignty — territory residents could vote slavery up or down.
We cannot say with assurance that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was unpopular — Dr. Gallup didn’t start polling until 81 years later. But the results of the next election were pretty convincing. The Republican Party was suddenly created to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the 1854-55 elections transformed the Democrats’ 159-71 majority to a 108-83 Republican margin. Democrats didn’t win a majority of House seats for the next 20 years.
On the health care bill, there can be little doubt about public opinion. Quinnipiac, polling just after the Senate voted cloture, found Americans opposed by a 53 percent to 36 percent margin. Polls suggest that Democrats may suffer as much carnage in the 2010 elections as they did in 1854.
So when the Democrats are beaten back to a tiny minority party in November, be sure to raise a glass for the man whose vote made it possible: Paul Kirk.