Kirk Regretting Health Bill Repeal Pledge

March 31st, 2010 at 12:00 pm | 18 Comments |

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In Illinois, a state where the president remains popular and in a race where his running as a moderate is important, Mark Kirk made a colossal gaffe when he came out in favor of “repealing” the healthcare bill. He handed the national news media, specifically Rachel Maddow, an easy talking point which Alexi Giannoulias promptly turned into his new “Really, Mark Kirk?” TV spot. Kirk has spent the ensuing days walking it back, and yesterday, he dodged questions from reporters regarding whether or not he was still planning to stand by the commitment he made when he signed onto the Club for Growth’s “repeal pledge”.  The statement reads:

I hereby pledge to the people of my state to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.

Yesterday, Plum Line asked the Club for Growth if it would hold Kirk to his pledge. Spokesman Mike Connolly responded that “He said that he’s going to do this. We expect him to live up to his pledge.” Connolly continued, explaining that “He’s made a promise to the people of Illinois” and that they would “have to see” whether the Club would oppose Kirk in the general election if he backed off his promise.

Kirk though should run from the pledge as fast as he can. By signing the pledge, Kirk opened himself to attacks from the left that he is an establishment Republican (he is not, which is why the Club for Growth is reluctant to fully throw their support behind him in the first place) and Kirk is right to back off as gingerly as possible. The Club for Growth’s suggestion that they might not back Kirk in the general election is laughably outrageous.  Would they rather have Alexi Giannoulias?

Mark Kirk should have known better than to sign that pledge.  Furthermore, the Club for Growth still hasn’t given Kirk a dime.  Now, they are hurting his candidacy by further shedding light on a decision that Kirk needs to move away from. If the Club really wants to achieve its goals, it can start by backing Mark Kirk. But if they insist on threatening to withdraw support they have never truly given him, in the end, Kirk is probably better off without them.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • chicago_guy

    Kirk is obviously studying the Mitt Romney playbook circa 2007. You gotta stand for something, MK; if you’re determined to look like one of those brain-dead hick Republicans that those of us in your state find so hilarious, then you should go for it, but I suspect you’ll find yourself on the losing side of the proposition come fall.

    If you wanna win this state, best to start by recognizing that, unlike the leadership of your party, your constituents like and support this President, precisely because he ISN’T a brain-dead hick like so many of those in Washington of both parties. Why not be man enough to embrace parts of Obama’s agenda that are popular at home and tell the whackjobs in your party to go ___ themselves?

  • ottovbvs

    ……Repeal is a poisoned chalice as the Republicans have now figured out…..pity there’s so much stuff on the record……ho ho ho

  • Independent

    While the FrumBots have spun “repeal” Obama sCare to mean the complete reversal of everything contained in the biggest extension of the Welfare State since Lynnie Johnson, the truth is that GOPers aren’t saying that at all –it’s a shorthand. We mean to disassemble the bloated, cumbersome, untoward monster and banish it like we intend to banish Obama Messiah in 2012.

    There are elements of Obama sCare that won’t be repealed even with super majorities of GOPers in the House, the Senate and when Obama loses in 2012.

    Access issues, portability issues, existing conditions, wellness and prevention issues –they’re staying. Other things that GOPers liked and were willilng to improve upon if only the Democrat partisans had been willing to negotiate even a wee bit on the bill, will stay as well.

    But that isn’t Obama sCare… Obama sCare is a whole lot more than those 3-4 issues. It’s the scope of the monster. It’s the abortion that ate the Democrats. It’s the wholesale takeover and new role of govt as enforcer of health care priorities that is going to be repealed.

    The new mandate and IRS tax enforcement provisions will be gone. Poof. So will the death squads and the 100s of new govt enterprises intended to extend the reach of govt into our lives.

    The rationing and selective reimbursement powers of the federal govt to tell Grandpa or Grandma that they need to clear out of the nursing home and struggle with the end of life issues at their grandkids home… will be gone.

    And the phrase “Obama Care” –definitely gone. To the scrapbooks of history.

    The GOP will enact real med mal reform. Real tort reform. Protect medical equipment producers from frivolous lawsuits. Hammer bigPhrama and address the monopolies of Democrat-friendly Blues and repeal the preferential treatment for union and labor groups. And we’ll make hospitals true non-profit centers instead of cushy resting spots for liberals and Democrats to milk as directors.

    And the best thing about all the changes in the shorthand known as repeal? We’ll put an end to the notion of universal health care mandated by Washington, devolve it back down to the states where it properly and constitutionally belongs.

    The shorthand may be the word “repeal” but what the GOP has in mind is sweeping revolution to correct the excessive over-reach of govt and liberals and Democrats.

  • Independent

    ottoBS brings up a good point –that chalice of poison that Obama and NancyBoTox made the Blue Dawgs and other vulnerable Democrats drink, will that go on display in the new Capitol Visitors Center once Obama sCare is repealed?

    I think I’d like to bring it on a tour. Maybe have the local FrumBots take a drink or two from the bitter drink in the chalice. It’d be fun to come face-2-face with all the evil that animates the farLeft… religious symbols would have to be modified to involve anti-religion bigots like TeaBagged and LeftistNYer and the like, tho. Hmmmm.

  • Rob_654

    Republicans are fleeing from the calls to “repeal” health care reform – and they will only be running faster when the Death Camps are nowhere to be seen, Grannie is still on life-support and some of the positive aspects of reform are in place.

    Only the Republicans from the most red areas will even utter the word “Repeal”.

    Typical Republicans won’t even stand up for what they say they believe in – just like they increase spending, go into debt, proclaim debt is not bad – and then find their Fiscal Jesus once they are in the minority…

  • sinz54

    chicago_guy: Why not be man enough to embrace parts of Obama’s agenda that are popular at home
    In case you have forgotten,
    Mark Kirk is not a Democrat.

    So if you’re looking for a Senator who will “embrace Obama’s agenda,” then you’re going to vote for Giannoulias, who has joined himself at the hip with Obama.

    Kirk’s hope is to appeal to those Independents in Illinois who still have their doubts about Giannoulias. (While writing off “yellow dog Dems” in Chicago like you.)

  • Gramps

    chicago_guy ; question is…will Don Boye Evans and “there’s Roma”, book, “their guy Kirk” for their morning show on WLSAM…to explain his dithering?

    May be…or may be not?

  • Gramps

    ” The shorthand may be the word “repeal” but what the GOP has in mind is sweeping revolution to correct the excessive over-reach of govt and liberals and Democrats.”

    Here we stand like “birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness, waiting to come in…!”
    Four for Bush 41, eight for Clinton 42 and eight excruciating more for Bush 43…all the while Republicans were in charge.

    Lord. Oh Lord, our time has come Lord…a hundred years, yet not too late.
    Thank you Lord….!

  • mlindroo

    The “repeal and reform” approach is totally unrealistic from a political point of view. The Democrats care far more about HCR and traditionally have more credibility with voters on this issue, yet they still needed 14 months and a filibuster proof supermajority in the Senate to implement … essentially, Mitt Romney’s and the Heritage Foundation’s old plan! So what is the likelihood that the GOP will be able to fully roll back this thing only 3-4 years from now before most of the reforms kick in? Essentially nil, I would say. Slightly less than 50% of voters still favor HCR and the entire Democratic Senate caucus voted for the current bill. Even if the Dems lose lots of seats in the 2010 and 2012 elections, they probably won’t have fewer than 40 votes in the Senate. So they will be able to block any repeal effort.

    Kirk and most top Republican officials know this. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is right: “While some discuss repeal, the U.S. Chamber believes a more effective approach is to work through all available and appropriate avenues — regulatory, legislative, legal and political — to fix the bill’s flaws and minimize its harmful impacts.”

    MARCU$

  • sdspringy

    For someone named Gramps, you would think he would have a better memory of previous events.
    First the Republicans never had 8 years under Bush. The Republicans only held the House for 6 years, and the Senate for 4 years.

    As for healthcare, it is a joke. No reduced cost, wasn’t that the reason for the whole show in the first place.
    The language to place children up to the age of 26 was missing from the bill, the language to cover children with pre-existing conditions is not going into effect till 2011.
    The so called doctor fix is in busting the budget on the whole mess. Healthcare reform will not be budget neutral, but who ever really thought it would be?
    The Stubak 11 only added another 4.7Billion to the deficit to pass the bill, and we don’t even yet know all the dirty under the table deals that were done by the most ethical Congress ever.
    Now we learn the tax break for companies to cover retirees for prescription drugs was eliminated.
    How bout that Gramps. What will be the blow back when all those seniors are placed on the more expensive Medicare Part B. Think they will be big Obama backers in Nov. Doubtful.

  • ottovbvs

    sdspringy // Apr 1, 2010 at 7:28 am

    ….by all means go for it….fight the November election on repeal of the bill and let us know what you’re going to replace it with……even Republican senators are recognizing repeal is fantasy land(where judging by your comments you’re a citizen) but unfortunately the base has been led into the canyon and when you try to get out you’re going to find the entrance blocked…..Kirk is a classic example of the phenomenon at work……the problem for Republicans is that there are racks of NO video recordings just as there are of obstruction of the jobs recovery bill and as evidence of recovery mounts (there’s going to be a positive jobs number on Friday to go along with the myriad other signs of economic improvement) so this material will be deployed to demonstrate conclusively how the Republicans are trying to damage American society for purely political gain.

  • sinz54

    sdspringy: As for healthcare, it is a joke. No reduced cost, wasn’t that the reason for the whole show in the first place.
    Not for the liberals!

    For liberals like Obama and Pelosi, the reason for the whole show was to insure the currently uninsured. For them, it was a moral imperative that no American should go without adequate health care, no matter how much that costs.

    The public talking-points about cost were just to sucker in the Independent voters who cared more about costs than extending coverage.

    If you had started from the axiom that controlling cost was more important than extending coverage, you would have ended up with a very different bill.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Apr 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

    sdspringy:

    “As for healthcare, it is a joke. No reduced cost, wasn’t that the reason for the whole show in the first place.”

    ……but according to the CBO there is….now I know the CBO is (choose one: staffed by drug addicts, in the pay of Obama, spends most its time in bondage clubs) but they are the guys that do the scoring…..not Springy….not Sinz….not me…..the official non partisan CBO….ok”

    ” it was a moral imperative that no American should go without adequate health care, no matter how much that costs”

    …..yep Sinz it was a moral imperative that people LIKE YOU with serious conditions should have adequate healthcare no matter what it costs…..it’s not the idea that’s shocking Sinz….it’s your hypocrisy

  • TraVotez

    [...] (53)  Kirk salud lamentando proyecto de ley derogar promesa [...]

  • Independent

    minidrewl tries to rewrite history with: “The “repeal and reform” approach is totally unrealistic from a political point of view. The Democrats care far more about HCR and traditionally have more credibility with voters on this issue”

    BZZZZT. Wrong on both points. “Repeal” has always been a shorthand for reforming the elements of Obama sCare that make limited sense and repealing the welfare state elements, higher taxes, and deficit busting elements. You argue –as many FrumBots here have tried– that repealing the bad, untoward elements of Obama sCare will be political suicide for the GOP?

    What a crock. The opposition to Obama sCare is a staggering 56.4% and climbing –despite the Obami’s cult like temple worship events before adoring fans — Americans opposed to Obama sCare has grown another 2.5% since passage! It’s a very unpopular proposal, it’s well understood by the voters, Democrats are worried about losing the House and maybe even the Senate… even the Messiah, Obama, is shifting fast into hyperdrive Right to move a little toward the Left-center or center of the political spectrum with his Drill-Baby-Drill impersonation of Sarah Palin.

    Obama impersonating Sarah Palin??? Wow, talk about changing political fortunes. And farLeft FrumBot democrat ditch diggers like you minnie-drewl continue to say “nothing here”. “move along”, “we won it all”, “landslide political moment”, “Big Mo’s got our back”, etc?

    Nawh. Promising the repeal of many of the onerous elements of Obama sCare will help the GOP, the US Chamber, the NFIB, the Manufacturers Assn, the NAHB, the banks, the brokers, the insurers and just about every middle class taxpayer in America –and when college age kids focus on the fact that they’re being taxed $875-950 per year for NOT having insurance… Democrats and Obama will lose that segment of the base, too.

    Repeal is shorthand for banishing the phrase “Obama Care” from our political lexicon. It’ll come with a huge cost: majorities in the House and Senate for the GOP and a 1-term mandate for the metrosexual from Chicago.

  • Independent

    By the way, minnie drewl, pollsters now tell us that on the issue of health care reform –the bellweather issue for Democrats for nearly 65 years– the majority of American voters now trust the GOP, not Democrats.

    It’s like the GOP losing the voters trust on 1) taxes or 2) natl defense or 3)natl security or 4) job creation or 5) the economy or 6) fighting terrorism or… well, you get the idea.

    Still think “health care” is the Democrats big issue? It’s a sink hole that’s going to take them under and they have NancyP, Harry gReid and Obama Messiah to thank for it.

  • mlindroo

    >> “The “repeal and reform” approach is totally unrealistic from a political point of view.
    >> The Democrats care far more about HCR and traditionally have more credibility with
    >> voters on this issue”

    > BZZZZT. Wrong on both points. “Repeal” has always been a shorthand for reforming
    > the elements of Obama sCare

    Typically Independent … all bluster and name-calling as usual, but read between the lines of his/her BS and you’ll notice even he/she doesn’t think ObamaCare will be repealed.

    For your information, according to the likes of Bill Kristol, “Iowahawk”, “Ace of Spades HQ”, Michelle Malkin, Erick Erickson and Jeffrey Anderson”repeal” is NOT just ‘shorthand for reforming the elements of Obama sCare that make limited sense.’ It’s about repealing the full bill signed into law by Obama, period.

    > The opposition to Obama sCare is a staggering 56.4% and climbing

    Like I said, there is currently a roughly 50-50 split on this issue. And the opposition has NOT been climbing this year — see http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/healthplan.php for a summary of all polls. If anything, the polls have been tightening a bit during the past two weeks since HCR became law.

    > pollsters now tell us that on the issue of health care reform –the bellweather issue for Democrats
    > for nearly 65 years– the majority of American voters now trust the GOP, not Democrats.

    The keywords here are *some* pollsters. For now the favor/oppose ratio isn’t growing worse. We’ll see how voters feel about this in November. But I will confidently predict that the country will not experience health care “armageddon” already within the next 6-8 months as Boehner & co. were predicting when they lost the House vote. That alone is going to help.

    > It’s like the GOP losing the voters trust on 1) taxes or 2) natl defense or 3)natl security or
    > 4) job creation or 5) the economy or 6) fighting terrorism or… well, you get the idea.

    Indeed, the continuing ineptness of the GOP is the other thing that helps. Obama has inherited quite a mess from his predecessor but he has managed to pass quite a few major reforms during the past year. I think a substantial part of the electorate will wait another 1-2 years to see what impact these reforms will have, before deciding whether they prefer a return to the Bush/Cheney era.

    After all, we already know what happened the last time there were majorities in the House and Senate for the GOP as well as a Republican president… Costly, poorly executed wars abroad (and no WMDs to show for it) after failing to prevent 9/11, anemic job creation or economic growth at home … about the only “accomplishment” on your list has to be the tax cut of 2001. And even that seems overrated now, since the GOP didn’t cut spending. Even worse, most of the fiascos of the Bush/Hastert/Frist era were self-inflicted ones.

    MARCU$

  • msmilack

    I wonder if someone could catch me up on conservative history. I want to understand the purpose of the Club for Growth; same question for its spinoff, Free Enterprise Fund. It’s clear they dictate policy for certain candidates (e.g. Kirk, has signed a pledge with the Club agreeing to repeal healhtcare; now that Kirk wishes to get out of it, he’s in a pickle: they threaten to withdraw their support. Do they have that much power? If so, who gave it to them? I’d appreciate any information or explanation to understand their role in the elections of the GOP. Thanks.