The current health care debate has something in common with basketball. Let me explain.
You should know I like to watch basketball. No, not the NBA. I truly loathe watching the NBA. I prefer men’s NCAA basketball. It’s technical, fast-paced and those guys play for their schools, not their pockets, yet.
I was watching one of my favorite teams last week and one of their stars accidentally tipped a rebound into the other team’s basket. They were up by almost 20 points at the time so it was treated like no big deal. Even I said something like, “Oops! That’s not supposed to happen!” laughing as I wondered how I had escaped high school not doing something like that. (My coach called me “Butter fingers” by the way.)
The game goes on and the other team begins to catch up by playing solid defense and hitting 3s. Before you know it, they take the lead. As the final minutes begin to tick there are several lead changes. If you’ve ever watched a close game, you know how much can change in “a basketball minute.”
My team ended up losing by 2 points. 2 points! Yes, those pesky 2 points that were unearned when my guy, the center, tipped the ball into the other team’s basket. It was no sweat when they were up 20 points. But when they lose by 2 points you don’t think about points missed at the free throw line, off-balanced jump shots or lazy fouls. No, you think about those 2 points that were put in the other team’s net by your team’s big guy. He might as well handed over those 2 points on a silver platter.
The GOP is acting like the basketball center on this health care debate. Whether they play defense or offense, it doesn’t matter. The Democrats have a majority and can do whatever they want, as long as they stick together and find consensus. Does America like a one-party system? We’ll know for sure in 2010.
Until then, the GOP needs to make sure they don’t accidentally tip health care in the Democrat’s favor to take it over by passing amendments that make the bill more tolerable by the likes of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson (see Ed Morrissey’s article on HotAir). They already did this in the House with the amendment to keep abortion from being funded by federal dollars, forgetting the long range view that the amendment doesn’t have to be adopted during Conference and likely will not. The same goes for these Senate amendments. (Follow Erick Erickson as he monitors the GOP’s attempt to fix the bill on Red State.)
A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but they’ll spit that sugar out in conference and we’ll all be stuck with government-run health care, which is not really health care at all.
GOP, you need to focus, or you’ll end up looking like this:
P.S. Since I don’t like the NBA, I thought this was the perfect clip. Wish I could have found something of better quality but the replay is nice. There was no way I was going to show you a clip of my team’s center. I like him and don’t want to embarrass him. But take note. If you’re a Senator and you aren’t listening to the American people and you pass this behemoth of a take over health care bill, we will all know who you are. You will need to look for new work when your term is up for reelection, be it 2010, 2012 or 2014. We will not forget!