June 07, 2005
Looking over excerpts from some new Hillary-bashing book, Matt posts up a purported conversation between Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Moynihan where Hillary forgets to credit Moynihan on a bill and so the aged senator, acting like the dignified legislative leader he was, bowed out of the meeting under false pretenses and hid in an adjoining room until Hillary left the building. Matt rightly notes how bad this makes Moynihan look, but the truth is really worse. If you had to pick the Senator who did the most to kill Clinton's bill, it wasn't Dole, it was Moynihan.
During the Health Care fight, Moynihan played Lieberman on Social Security, but to a much greater degree. He called Clinton's numbers "fantasy numbers", he told the press that the Senate had no majority for reform, he opined that there "was no health care crisis". When, directly in the middle of the health care fight Whitewater began to pick up steam, Moynihan was the first Democrat to urge the appointment of special prosecutor, so he gets partial credit for giving the country Ken Starr. What lay at the heart of all this was that Moynihan didn't want to do health care reform, and given his own self regard, he figured he shouldn't have to. Moynihan instead wanted to do welfare reform first -- a judgment he was right about, but partially because his own intransigence rendered it correct.
His committee eventually produced a mockery of a health care bill that was neither universal nor concerned with cost controls and, when that proved itself clearly flawed, he fell back on his fetishization of bipartisanship and mused about a joint Dole-Moynihan bill. Of course, Dole was running for president, everyone knew the right had sworn to end his candidacy if health care reform passed, and no one was under any illusions that the majority leader was going to hand Clinton a legislative of victory right before he challenged him for the White House. But Moynihan held out some hope, didn't push hard for any other plans because of it, and was predictably disappointed when Dole ignored the whole thing so he could knife Clinton. Given all that, Hillary's offense was a piddling misstep, it was Moynihan who poisoned the well.
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You know, ever since Lyndon Johnson left the Democratic caucus in the US Senate has been pretty sad. Really, it's tragic. In the late 1970s the retirement of James Eastland and the assumption of Ted Kennedy to the chairmanship of the judiciary committee was supposed to be the end of the Southern bloc. Liberalism did better before, not after.
Posted by: Marshall | Jun 7, 2005 2:53:56 PM
Moynihan didn't write the Clinton's book on health care reform. Republicans just read from the Clinton "book" and took the House of Representatives.
John Kerry said, "I have an idea to reduce health care 10% or $1,000 a year." 10% off $10,000 is a goal of $9,000 a year per family. Today, HSA health insurance only costs $150 a month for a family of four in Des Moines (30 year old couple and 2 children). Who in there right mind would say that $9,000 is cheaper than $1,800 a year?
Who are Democrats going to run on Socialised Medicine, John Dingle (D-MI)? Maybe Howard Dean again? Who is the smartest Democrat on Health Care? Who has any ideas at all?
Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jun 7, 2005 3:58:33 PM
Ron: What are you talking about? Were Bush or Kerry mentioned here?
Please stay on topic in future threads, the comments section are not a place to prosecute your personal health care agenda. Particularly considering you wrote essentially the exact same comment in the post on vouchers yesterday. When we next argue about Kerry's plan from the last election, than you can go after it to your heart's content.
Posted by: Ezra | Jun 7, 2005 4:05:52 PM
I attended a hearing Moynihan ran on Medicare late in his career and was astonished by him. He didn't care about Medicare beneficiaries, he was the Senator for the academic health centers of NYC.
Posted by: SteveH | Jun 7, 2005 4:18:56 PM
Yeah, the degree to which he protected those was, as you say, astonishing. THeir preservation and continued health was much more important than the repair of health care in the country.
Posted by: Ezra | Jun 7, 2005 4:25:19 PM
I never mentioned Bush. I did mention Hillary's book on health care reform and Moynihan didn't write it. But that was the first time. You on the other hand suggest Socialised Medicine every chance you can.
I never mention your motives but you seem to think you have mine figured out, or so you think. Do you really want to control all thoughts on your blog?
What Democrat wants Socialised Medicine but you? I mean one that is running for political office.
Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jun 7, 2005 4:31:40 PM
I mention whatever I want, that's why I have a blog. If you'd like to start your own site against "socialized medicine" and for HSA's, it's your perogative and I wish you luck with it. If you want to enter threads where we're talking about the best way to reform health care and argue for HSA's, angain, go to it. But this was about Moynihan and his role in a legislative battle, it's not the place for a non sequitur attack on Kerry's health care plan, or Democratic health care plans generally.
Anyway, you're welcome to be here and welcome to comment, just stay on topic. Them's the rules.
Posted by: Ezra | Jun 7, 2005 4:34:43 PM
OK, and maybe you will defend your positions in the future.
Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jun 7, 2005 5:56:36 PM
Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 10:36:42 PM
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