Here is a list of the bribes that Harry Reid paid with our money to buy votes on this monstrosity. At least lobbyists use their own money. As Mark Steyn writes:
You can’t even dignify this squalid racket as bribery: If I try to buy a cop, I have to use my own money. But, when Harry Reid buys a senator, he uses my money, too. It doesn’t ‘border on immoral’: it drives straight through the frontier post and heads for the dark heartland of immoral.
And when you see things like this, the blood just boils:
Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.)
—Exemption from the non-profit excise tax for Michigan insurers. Michigan and Nebraska were the only two states so exempted.
Is such blatant favoritism to particular states even constitutional? Is there precedent for it? Don’t other states have a right to protest this inequality under the law?
[Update a few minutes later]
Five reasons it still may not pass. Let’s hope.
[Late morning update]
Why the Reid bill is unconstitutional. Even without the payoffs to Michigan and Nebraska.
If anything resembling this planned man-caused disaster passes, I expect to see lots of legal challenges, many of them successful.
[Early evening update]
The ostensible beneficiaries of Senator Nelson’s corruption don’t seem to be very happy about it, especially after he tried to deflect blame onto others:
Gov. Dave Heineman “contacted me and he said this is another unfunded federal mandate and it’s going to stress the state budget, and I agreed with him,” the Nebraska Democrat said. “I said to the leader and others that this is something that has to be fixed. I didn’t participate in the way it was fixed.”
But Heineman expressed anything but gratitude, saying he had nothing to do with the compromise and calling the overhaul bill “bad news for Nebraska and bad news for America.”
“Nebraskans did not ask for a special deal, only a fair deal,” Heineman said in a statement Sunday.
That criticism is only a taste of what Nelson has received since announcing Saturday that he would become the 60th vote needed to advance the landmark legislation.
I wonder if this could influence his vote in the final after reconciliation? Unfortunately, it will be hard to change without looking as craven as he undoubtedly is, unless what comes out of conference is different.
Oh, and here’s a perfect example of the false choice fallacy that I talked about last week:
The Nebraska Democratic Party chairman called Nelson’s decision “courageous” and dismissed Republican criticism of it.
“Whatever he did, they would be critical,” Vic Covalt said. “They have no program and they have nothing to offer us other than more of the same.”
Just as I said:
There is a variation on this fallacy, in fact. It goes: There is a crisis; something must be done! What we propose to do is something. Therefore, it must be done!
This invalid argument is otherwise known as false choice, of course, because the alternative to the particular something being proposed is not nothing (even if one accepts the initial premise that there is a crisis about which something must be done) — it is a variety of other somethings, some of which may be the something that is actually key to solving the problem, even if their own is not necessarily.
We saw this last January when many of the same people promoting AGW hysteria also used it to ram through the failed “stimulus” bill without reading it. It is now being used to justify taking over the sixth of the US economy represented by the health care industry. All the while, these people have been lambasting their political opponents who offer more sensible alternatives as proposing that we do “nothing.”