Friday, March 26, 2010

Poor Posture

I sometimes think that the center-left editorial board of the Los Angeles Times writes its editorials only after it sees how the readers react to a particular news story. Today's edition is a good example of that process.

The subject is the Senate Republican's dog-and-pony show over the past week while the Senate dealt with the reconciliation bill for Health Care Reform. Nearly every nationally-read newspaper contained articles about the process, including the L.A. Times. Today, the editorial board decided that the Republicans didn't behave too well.

...they trotted out more than 40 proposals over the last two days, about half of them aimed at overturning or gutting the measure that President Obama signed into law Wednesday morning. These included amendments to repeal the long-term care provision, cancel the new federal panels that will review healthcare quality and efficiency, and protect the excessive subsidies paid for Medicare Advantage plans. Those proposals had no chance of passing, but at least they were substantive.

The rest were exercises in political posturing. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered amendments to protect the gun rights of mentally incapacitated or incompetent veterans and bar sex offenders from obtaining Viagra through federal health programs. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) proposed to let companies deny health benefits to new hires picked up from the unemployment lines. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) called for protecting jobs in the banking industry that would be lost by switching to a less costly federal student loan program. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wanted to waive a tax on exotic fuels for mobile mammography vans. And Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) proposed to block same-sex marriages in the District of Columbia until residents there could vote on the issue.

Not bad, not bad at all, I must admit. Unfortunately, true to its "center-left" stance, the board then found the bright side of the whole exercise in Republican obstructionism: it could have been worse. The Republicans could have introduced more amendments.

Oh, please.

If the editorial board really intended to show how badly the Republicans behaved (something David Frum lost his job for pointing out), it should have cut to the conclusion:

...Republicans are more interested in a law they can campaign against than one we all have a stake in.

I guess this is LAT's version of "fair and balanced."

Me, I think the Republican's aren't the only ones with poor posture.

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