Blame game gets underway

BLAME GAME GETS UNDERWAY…. Republican opponents of health care reform don’t mind killing the bill. They do mind getting blamed. If reform efforts fall apart because Democratic lawmakers couldn’t get their act together, it’s a win for the GOP. If the process unravels because Republicans are perceived as putting partisan considerations before the needs of the nation, it’s a loss.

And with the bipartisan approach to reform falling apart quickly, Republicans are scrambling to point the finger at Democrats. A spokesperson for the NRCC said this morning, “If bipartisanship is dead its [sic] because Rahm Emanuel led the charge to kill it.” Soon after, House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office issued a statement premised on the notion that we’re all suffering from short-term memory loss.

“It’s a shame that the White House and their liberal allies are now trying re-write history. From the beginning of this debate, Republicans have tried to work with the President and Democrats on real health care reform that reduces cost and expands access for the American people. Instead, Democrats played the old Washington game, bribing and log-rolling special interests to produce a plan that will cost at least a trillion dollars and just won’t work.”

The Senate’s #2 Republican said publicly yesterday that the GOP would oppose reform, no matter what concessions Democrats were willing to make. The top Republican negotiator on reform said he’ll likely oppose his own compromise. When talk of scrapping the public option emerged, Republicans said it wasn’t good enough. Even the long-awaited, official House Republican Reform Plan was never released, despite promises to the contrary.

Democratic policymakers seemed poised to move forward with a health care reform proposal with no public option, no end-of-life counseling reimbursements, no middle-class tax increases, and no increase to the deficit … and Republicans said they weren’t even open to the possibility. Whatever Dems were for, the GOP was against.

Rahm Emanuel “led the charge to kill” bipartisanship? Please.

Of course, reality hasn’t been especially significant lately, and it’s certainly possible GOP spin, no matter how ridiculous, may work. It’ll depend largely on how the media plays it. If talking heads start saying that Dems “chose partisanship over compromise,” the majority will get the blame, facts notwithstanding.