Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hostage Taking Over Zika

John Sexton, writing at HotAir is unhappy:
Democrats seem to have resolved not to vote for the bill, in part, because Planned Parenthood told them not to do so. More generally, they are betting the GOP will ultimately be held to blame for the failed response.
Those crafty, malevolent Democrats--how could they? On a Democratic strategists' note that they won't just "say yes" [to anything], he finds it:
This is a pretty cynical approach to a disease which causes permanent brain damage among infants.
If you read the Sexton article--and nothing else--you might think that the Democrats just engineered a Zika disaster by knocking down the response knowing the media would blindly blame the Republicans. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those melding bloggers! Of course what Sexton knows, and is hoping his readers don't, is that the Republicans put some stuff into the bill that Democrats weren't going to vote for:
  • It cuts $540 million in Affordable Care Act funding.
  • It doesn't include money for Planned Parenthood or any other contraceptive providers. (This is a shortcoming because Zika can be transmitted sexually.)
  • It doesn't include a provision passed earlier in the House that would prohibit federal funds from being used to fly Confederate flags at veterans' cemeteries.
  • The Zika money it does include is $800 million less than what the Obama administration has asked for.
The Omnivore understands the ACA and PP stuff. He also underscores an $800 million deficit. Budget hawks gonna hawk. But the Confederate Flag? What's going on?

Apparently, during the Democratic sit-in, the GOP brought the bill to the floor without the Confederate-Flag provision. Sneaky. But the Dems were also, to be fair, sitting on the floor and stuff. Why would the media blame them?

Because the media is a buncha leftists?

The GOP And Hostage Taking

The Politico link in the HotAir story above notes that Democrats think the GOP will pay for its history of "legislative impasses." That's probably true. The problem with Sexton's position here is that in this case, it's also definitely true.

The idea that facing the requirement for a funding bill that will, as he notes cause birth defects in infants--which is, you may have heard, a major cause for abortion, is something both sides want and say they want badly. When you then add in provisions that are (a) unnecessary and (b) you know the other side doesn't want, you are, in effect, saying "I'm going to hold this common-good against [ my unnecessary agenda ]."

Now we can argue that PP was inevitable. That the ACA reduction is political hardball. We could say the shortfall is fiscally responsible.

But the Confederate Flag?

That's unnecessary. That's the smoking gun. That's how you know Sexton is bullshitting you.

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