Where were ‘commonsense proposals’ when we needed them?

While listening to President Obama’s speech on health care to Congress Wednesday night and reading reaction to it, I kept on going back to the past eight years of inactivity during the Bush II administration.

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, for instance, said this, according to National Review Online’s “The Corner” blog:

“When it comes to health care, Americans don’t want the government to tear down the system we have and build an even bigger, government-run system that adds massive spending and debt. They want us to repair it. Republicans have offered many specific plans to do just that—commonsense proposals that could attract strong bipartisan support in Congress and overwhelming support from the American people. It’s not too late for the White House to join us in using these ideas as the basis of reforms that Americans actually want.” (Ital mine.)

Well, fine and dandy, summer sandy, but why didn’t you do that eight years ago when you had control of Congress and the White House?!? Sure, Obama’s being as partisan as can be while claiming that he isn’t, but congressional Republicans coming up now with “many specific plans … commonsense proposals” just looks like what it is–reactionary. If Obama’s and the Democrats’ victories last fall hadn’t set up their control of the WH and Congress and opened the door for the Ted Kennedy-Mary Jo Kopechne Memorial Health Care Bill, then I doubt very much the Republicans would be doing anything with this.

Not that some of their proposals aren’t valuable; they are. But they’re late, and voters aren’t going to take them seriously.

And congressional Democrats sure aren’t going to take them seriously.

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