| So the spoiled little brats finally threw one temper tantrum too many and got smacked down hard.
Closed-door negotiations over health care reform between House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and conservative Blue Dog Democrats broke down Friday afternoon and appeared dead.
A visibly angry Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the Blue Dog health care task force chairman, said Waxman reneged on deals the two sides had previously agreed on: an independent Medicare commission and adopting Senate language on a public insurance option. He also said Waxman's threats to bring the bill straight to the floor -- and bypass a markup in Energy and Commerce -- were not helpful.
Well of course not - when hostages manage to escape from vicious kidnappers threatening to kill them, the kidnappers rarely find the escape "helpful."
"We are actually trying to save the bill and we are trying to save our party," Ross said after the meeting ended.
The bill they're trying to save is the Health Insurance Corporation Bailout and PorkFest, and the party they're trying to save is the GOP.
Perhaps the two sides can find some additional areas of agreement in their next meeting? That's unlikely -- Ross said today's discussion "will be the last meeting we have."
I should hope so. When you get a bunch of people together to try to solve a massive problem like the ginormous clusterfuck U.S. health care has become, one of the first things you need to do is send all the recalcitrant naysayers out for coffee - in another city.
House Democratic leaders certainly made an effort to work with the conservative Democrats on some kind of solution.
Which was their big mistake. The Blue Dogs don't want a solution and they never did. They want to stop President Obama and the Democratic Congressional leadership from achieving the greatest legislative success since the New Deal. Because such a success would eliminate all the Blue Dogs' power.
Blue Dogs, you see, are not Democrats. They are repugs, pretending to be dems in order to play little "centrist" games that so entertain the Beltway Villagers. Blue Dogs are diapered infants who have to be the center of attention. They don't care about party loyalty; they don't care about their constituents, they don't care about policy, they sure as hell don't care about deficits (every single one of them voted orgasmically for Smirky's trillion-dolllar tax cuts and trillion-dollar war "supplementals" that exploded the deficit.)
Blue Dogs are political sociopaths: utterly amoral users with no empathy, no conscience, no remorse.
Since their founding by Billy Tauzin in 1994, they have cut a broad swath of destruction through the American political landscape, partnering with their natural allies in the looniest wing of the repugs to undermine Clinton's presidency and legitimize the terrorist dictatorship of Smirky/Darth.
And after every betrayal of Democratic Party principles, every treasonous vote to wage illegal war and commit war crimes and destroy the military and eliminate the middle class and shred the Constitution and campaign for repug candidates, Democratic Party "leaders" always forgave them and rewarded them and welcomed the next shiv in the back.
But after many hours of talks, the Blue Dogs wanted to move the legislation even further to the right, and Waxman and Democratic leaders simply could go as far as the conservatives insisted. Blue Dogs, Waxman said, wanted to "eviscerate" the reform bill.
So, what happens next? At this point, it seems likely the leadership will simply bring the tri-committee bill to the floor, bypassing the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Blue Dog Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) of Louisiana, who was reportedly livid this afternoon, said 40 to 45 conservative Dems would oppose health care reform -- enough to defeat the bill -- and said Democratic leaders will "find out they have more problems with the Blue Dogs."
And you, Charlie, will find out that Henry Waxman hasn't spent four decades in the House playing Mah-Jongg.
Bring it on, fuckers. Bring. It. On.
Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.