The following famous exchange has been variously attributed to George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill — two opposite poles politically who had their rapier-like pens and tongues in common:
Churchill to socialite: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” [about $350 million today, give or take]:
Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…”
Churchill: “Now madam, would you sleep with me for five pounds?” [about $350 today]
Socialite: “Of course not, Mr. Churchill! What sort of a woman do you think I am?”
Churchill: “We have already established that, Madam. We are merely haggling about the price.”
I am neither surprised nor offended at Joe Lieberman supporting the bill — he’s a honest liberal who had principled objections to a “public option” and got the White House to blink first.
Ben Nelson, however, just surpassed Mary Landrieu as Political Prostitute of the Month in my book (or should there be a separate category “political rent-boy of the month”?). Instapundit snarks: “Also paid for: Bernie Sanders. Why not? It’s your money they’re buying votes with, not theirs.”
In fact, I think most actual prostitutes have higher moral standards than the typical hack politician.
In the above Instapundit post, he links one of two poster girls for “0bama voter buyer’s remorse”, Megan McArdle (a.k.a. “Jane Galt” of yore).
“No bill this large has ever before passed on a straight party-line vote, or even anything close to a straight party-line vote. No bill this unpopular has ever before passed on a straight party-line vote. We’re in a new political world. I’m not sure I understand it […] We’ve just increased substantially the supply of unrepealable, unsustainable entitlements. We’ve also, in my opinion, put ourselves on a road that leads eventually to less healthcare innovation, less healthcare improvement, and more dead people in the long run.”
Her eloquent criticism (and that of the other poster girl, Ann Althouse) are much appreciated. It is said in my religion that “the most righteous man stands in the shadow of a baal teshuvah (sincerely reformed sinner)”. But what were all these smart people thinking when they pulled the lever for this poseur?
Racial guilt-mongering, social pressure, New Class consciousness, you name it… The end result is the same: the USA is now hip-deep in doo-doo, and it will get worse before it will get better.
[The historian Robert Conquest got a lot of flack when he published his book on Stalin’s Great Purges, “The great terror”. After the fall of the Soviet Union, archives were opened, and his already high estimated death tolls were revealed to be too low, if anything. When the publisher asked him for a subtitle for a new edition of his book, he reportedly proposed: “I told you so, you f*cking fools!”]
A Hebrew proverb says that a smart man will get out of messes that a wise man would never have gotten into in the first place. Here’s hoping that some of these smart people have acquired wisdom from their mistake, and that the damage done is not irreparable.
UPDATE: Heh: in response to a post on the American Spectator that mentions further obstacles:
“Obstacles,” indeed. Ben Nelson could realize how badly he has dishonored himself and commit seppuku [a.k.a. harakiri — NCT]. Unlikely, of course, but theoretically possible […] Readers who think I’m actually advocating that Nelson engage in ritual disembowelment are mistaken. Seppuku is an expression of the shogun’s honorable acknowledgement of his own dishonor. Nelson obviously has no sense of honor.