We have been following with less than our full attention the progress of the health care bill, but we surmise it has just made a great gain in the Senate — not because of anything the Democrats have said (who listens to them anymore?), but because we saw this at National Review:
“The story of the day is certainly Sen. Ben Nelson’s shameless perfidy — giving up his pro-life principles in return for swindling taxpayers in the other 49 states…”
Even in these hyperventilationist times, Democrats don’t rate that kind of rightblogger dudgeon unless they’ve pulled off something big.
To get the bill to this stage, Democrats had to make concessions to Congressional foot-draggers, which has annoyed some liberals who thought they were sacrificing too much to secure passage. RedState twirled this into a mendacious masterpiece of spin:” Conservatives hate this bill” and “Progressives and liberals hate it too.” Also, “The public is solidly against it” — an anti-Obamacare consensus!
And, RedState went on, the fact that Democrats are still pushing the bill — as opposed to just throwing it out and reverting to tax vouchers — means democracy is threatened:
“The question of whether we live in a country ruled by leaders who refuse to listen, but do what they believe is in their own interest, has been answered. The public is solidly against it… The implications of a country in open revolt against this bill and the elite in the Democratic party giving the public the finger are profound…
“The world will understand America has changed. Our country is now run by elites who are printing money… we have now crossed that line from what our country was into something else, and that something else has nothing whatsoever with the country being a Republic…”
The author, Dan Perrin, did not overtly call for his fellow citizens (you too, liberals!) to grab their muskets and storm the White House; perhaps that is being saved for when the bill is reconciled with the House version.
Others, as strongly in opposition, looked on the bright side: passing a health care bill will awaken the sheeple and destroy the Democrats. Byron York considered “why Democrats push health care, even if it kills them.” A sympathetic reader might think that Democrats push health care because they think it’s the right thing to do. York restated that in more sinister terms via quotes from an unnamed “Democratic strategist”: “Because they think they know what’s best for the public… And they are going to make the decision because Goddammit, it’s good for the public.”
The nerve of them! York added the strategist also “compared congressional Democrats with robbers who have passed the point of no return in deciding to hold up a bank. Whatever they do, they’re guilty of something.” Thus, elected representatives passing legislation are engaged in the equivalent of desperate criminal behavior, and in full view of the surveillance cameras of C-Span. You have to wonder why they don’t attend the Senate chamber with their hoodies pulled up, to escape detection.
When Obama said in a pro-bill speech to House Democrats that “each and every one of you will be able to look back and say, ‘This was my finest moment in politics,'” The Daily Signal characterized it as an “appeal to political vanity,” and called the impending passage of the bill “political suicide.” Later the Heritage author requested that the Democrats “slow down and consider the best interests of the country,” which is an odd appeal, given that the Democrats are allegedly engaged in suicide and presumably would be better advised to think of their families and whatever else they might have to live for.
Other rightbloggers focused on President Obama’s work in foreign policy, as revealed by analysis of his body language in photographs.
Ann Althouse found a picture in the White House Flickr stream of Obama in explanatory mode with Chinese Premier Wan Jiabao at Copenhagen. “This is a photo from Obama’s own Flickr site,” she said, “so it presents Obama as Obama’s people want him to be seen. Obsequious? Abasing? Or steady and serious in a difficult process of persuasion?”
Andrew Malcolm knew what he saw — bowing, the obnoxious habit of our royalist President. Though Obama is seated in the photo, Malcolm suggested the President was not inclined in emphasis, but in furtherance of another “wow bow.” “So if this photo of Obama leaning way over to stress his point isn’t technically a bow,” said Malcolm, “who do you think in this picture out of Copenhagen is doing the selling/pleading — China’s Wen Jiabao or America’s Democrat president?”
“Is Barack Obama bowing yet again to a despot?” asked Andrew Bolt. “You don’t have to stare at the photo very long to identify the alpha dog at this meeting,” said Red Girl in a Blue State. “How does it benefit America to have a President who travels the world as a groveling mendicant?”
Riehl World View offered a caption: “‘It’s claimed there are huge differences between black and Asian men. I’m here to demonstrate what a myth that actually is.’ Look at the image. You tell me who’s has the bigger stones. heh!”
While these observers attacked Obama for unmanly obsequiousness, others attacked him for his brutal temper. “Does it concern anyone else,” asked Foreign Object Damage, “that anger is the only emotion that President Obama has displayed in public over the last month?” What? Did he go Incredible Hulk at the Nobel Prize speech? Turns out Obama answered “yes” when someone asked if he was “angry” over the gatecrashers nontroversy, and a reporter said he was “visibly angry” at Copenhagen. “I never before thought of the implications of having an angry President,” said FOD. “Not comforting.”
“Our Angry President,” concurred Instapundit. “Obama Angry in Copenhagen,” said The Lonely Conservative, adding, “the good news is that Obama isn’t getting his way. No wonder he’s so mad.” “Our president is quite the angry man these days,” said William Hughes, stretching for a War on Christmas angle. “Perhaps his heart is two sizes too small, or maybe he just hates the residents of Who-ville… Perhaps being forced by public opinion to retain the ‘religious’ aspect of White House Christmas decorations has placed our man in Washington in a foul mood.”
No wonder American Thinker declared Obama “Our laughingstock President.” Why, even traditional allies of America like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro are mocking him! Also, “the Iranians have swatted away his outstretched hand by depicting him as no better than George Bush.” Wow, that is low.
In any event Obama’s obsequious/angry approach has yielded a non-binding agreement with the Chinese — or, as Eric Posner put it, a “Debacle,” as the goals for Copenhagen were far more grand. Just as well, said Roger L. Simon, as the Copehhagen conference “was only peripherally about ‘climate change’ and almost entirely about UN hegemony.”
At Race42012 (lately renamed from Race42008, for obvious reasons), Matthew E. Miller said, “It is almost impossible to miss how obviously this environmental movement resembles a religion… It’s a religion that doesn’t want to admit it’s a religion. And the proof, beyond their almost comical contortions to justify these doctrines, is in this: when was the last time you heard someone try to sell you some mystical pap about gravity?”
Miller was not talking about Copenhagen, but Avatar, the vaguely green new James Cameron movie and the new front in the climate wars. John Podhoretz panned it for its allegedly environmentalist and anti-military components: will all its “technical mastery,” he asked, “silence the discomfort coming from that significant segment of the American population that, we know from the box-office receipts for Iraq war movies this decade, doesn’t like it when an American soldier is the bad guy?” From Avatar‘s box-office receipts, it would seem, yes. Perhaps for this reason, rightblogger coverage is thus far light; we’ll probably have to wait till Obama goes to see it to hear much from them. And he better not lean forward in his seat!