The New York Times reports that Republican Senator Chuck "U Got Nerve, Obama" Grassley said, "Let me say something that's very obvious...If Kennedy were here, it would make melding the Finance Committee bill and the HELP Committee bill much easier."
What Grassley is suggesting is that Kennedy would readily cave to the Right Wing's demands that health care reform be gutted of the public plan option and stripped down to a bill that functions like Medicare Part D to scam unsuspecting Americans.
No big surprise. Grassley has shown he's willing to sink to new lows to ram his partisan, special interest agenda down the throats of Americans.
Long blasted by the Right Wing as the totem of liberalism in the Senate, Kennedy is suddenly a dearly-missed beacon of conservatism in a sea of liberalism when caricatured by the Right. Nothing new. It's like President Bush invoking the victims of September 11th to launch a war in Iraq. It's like Republicans recalling Jack Kennedy as the last great Democrat now that it is well past 40 years after his death.
Far from supporting a watered-down version of health care reform, Kennedy is reported to have been roused to incredible heights of exuberance to learn that the Senate HELP committee, on which he is chair, had passed his vision of health care reform.
Where does Grassley get the *nerve* to exploit the weakened condition of a man who has served his country for over 50 years in the Senate as a tireless champion for health care reform? I understand that Grassley is willing to do anything to destroy health care for his campaign funders, but how can he justify taking advantage of a man with brain cancer to advance his political agenda?
Grassley wasn't alone. Centrist Democrat Patty Murray from Washington who joined all 40 Republicans in voting for Senate Amendment 873, the $440 billion tax transfer onto the Middle Class from the richest .25 of 1 percent of Americans, exploited Kennedy's name to justify her own centrist (read Republican/Corporate America friendly) leanings.
"Similarly," the Times reports, "members of the health committee, particularly Democrats, often speak in terms of 'What would Teddy do?' Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, said. 'We're all working to do what we think he'd want us to do.'"
Well, if you arrive at the conclusion, you false Democrat, that Kennedy would have you water down health care reform to satisfy the special interests, you are gravely mistaken, Murray.