Patterico's Pontifications


Exclusive Footage: The Last Meeting Between Spicer, Priebus, and the Mooch

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:21 pm

Must credit Patterico.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

The Cruz Solution to the Pre-Existing Condition Problem: Individual Responsibility

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 am

Everything about ObamaCare flows from one principle: that companies can’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. It’s an overwhelmingly popular concept. But is ObamaCare’s way of addressing the problem the best way? The answer is clearly no. There is a better way: one consistent with individual responsibility. I call it the Cruz solution.

Before we get to the Cruz solution, let’s talk about what we have instead: the ObamaCare solution. The ObamaCare solution is to tell insurers they must cover people with pre-existing conditions. Period. The message that the ordinary person hears is: “Go ahead and wait until you are sick to buy health insurance.”

This concept has been a disaster that has caused premiums to skyrocket, wreaking havoc all over the country. The media ignores the human cost of this ongoing disaster, of course . . . but you can read about it elsewhere.

For example, The Federalist recently had a piece that told the all-too-typical story of a man named Joe Cato, whose insurance won’t pay for back surgery, but will pay for opioids. Joe used to pay $36 a month to Aetna for insurance that “paid for CT scans, an MRI, nine spinal injections, visits to the emergency room, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage specialists.” But the costs resulting from ObamaCare drove Aetna out of the individual market, and Joe was left with one choice: a $120 per month Blue Cross plan that won’t pay for the surgery Joe was about to have with his Aetna plan. John Daniel Davidson, the author of the piece, explains that this is all a result of ObamaCare’s way of handling the pre-existing conditions problem:

Joe’s story illustrates in a microcosm what’s been happening all over the country. Obamacare sought to transform the individual health insurance market by making two major changes: 1) forcing everyone to purchase coverage—the individual mandate provision—and 2) forcing insurance companies to cover everyone, even those with preexisting conditions. The idea was that the young and healthy would sign up, and their premiums would pay for the cost of older and sicker people, whose premiums wouldn’t actually cover the cost of their care.

It hasn’t worked out that way. Young people didn’t sign up for coverage on the exchanges in sufficient numbers, opting instead to pay the penalty. Insurers were forced either to raise premiums, which have skyrocketed in recent years, or simply exit the market in the face of huge financial losses.

This year, insurers fleeing the market left 21 percent of all Obamacare exchange customers with only one insurer in their area—including Joe Cato in North Carolina. Next year it might be even worse, with as many as 1,200 counties projected to have only one insurer and 47 counties with no Obamacare insurers at all.

That matters because of people like Joe, who are left with no choices and inferior coverage that won’t pay for necessary procedures—but will pay for opioids. That’s especially callous, given the ongoing opioid crisis.

The ObamaCare solution is what caused Joe Cato’s premiums to skyrocket, while his options for care dwindled to nothing. It’s the solution that says: don’t worry. You’ll be covered whether you bother to buy health insurance or not. We may give you a little penalty. We’ll send our grinning fool of a President out on the talk show circuit to persuade you to buy health insurance. But in the end, thanks to him, you don’t really need it. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of, whether you act responsibly or not.

There is another solution, which I call the “Cruz solution”: lawmakers could craft proposals that ensure that people who are responsible and obtain insurance should not have it taken away because they develop a serious health condition. I call it the “Cruz solution” because Ted Cruz explained it in his March 2017 piece The Right Way to Repeal ObamaCare:

[W]e should protect continuous coverage. If you have coverage, and you get sick or injured, your health insurance company shouldn’t be able to cancel your policy or jack up your premiums. That’s the whole point of health insurance.

The Cruz solution is a logical approach. The Cruz solution says: if you want coverage when you get sick, you have to buy insurance when you’re not. That way, you have it when you need it — and we won’t let insurance companies play tricks on you and snatch it away from you even though you kept your end of the bargain. If you get hit hard by circumstances, we’ll work with you. There will always be charity care, mandatory treatment in an emergency, and Medicaid under current law. But this may not be ideal. If you want proper treatment, ultimately, it’s your responsibility. You need health insurance when you’re not sick — because we’re not going to suddenly let you buy it for the first time when you are.

In the end, we do have to have some solution to the pre-existing condition issue. Most people I know, including me and the members of my conservative family, agree that the state of affairs before ObamaCare was unacceptable. The individual market has been broken for as long as I can remember. And health insurance through one’s job carried the ever-present threat that you could lose your job — meaning you would lose your policy, and another insurer could come along and deny you health insurance if you had developed a health condition in the meantime.

But if you don’t want government completely running health care through single-payer — a totalitarian state of affairs that leads to Charlie Gard situations where the overwhelming power of the state trumps family when it comes to health care decisions — then the solution to this problem requires insurance companies to stay afloat. This means enough people must buy insurance for insurers to stay in business. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Insurers have to be paid or insurance will disappear.

The question is: will the solution to this problem be one tied to individual responsibility, or one that puts the responsibility on government?

The ObamaCare solution isn’t working. Just ask Joe Cato.

Why not give the Cruz solution a try?

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Kevin Williamson: Trump Is Blake from Glengarry Glen Ross

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:13 pm

Coffee is for closers!

Kevin D. Williamson has had some especially entertaining columns lately, but his comparison of Trump and his fans (especially the hyper attack dog Anthony Scaramucci) to Alec Baldwin’s character Blake from the film Glengarry Glen Ross is a keeper. (More accurately, it’s a comparison of Trump to sad-sack loser salesmen who want to be Blake.) First, let’s recall who the character is:

In the film, Blake sets things in motion by delivering a motivational speech and announcing a sales competition: “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize? A set of steak knives. Third prize is, you’re fired. Get the picture?” He berates the salesmen in terms both financial — “My watch cost more than your car!” — and sexual. Their problem, in Blake’s telling, isn’t that they’ve had a run of bad luck or bad sales leads — or that the real estate they’re trying to sell is crap — it is that they aren’t real men.

The leads are weak? You’re weak. . . . Your name is “you’re wanting,” and you can’t play in the man’s game. You can’t close them? Then tell your wife your troubles, because only one thing counts in this world: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me, you f***ing f*****s?

Here’s the scene, in case you never saw it or have forgotten it.

Whatever else you might thing of Alec Baldwin, he will always be a little bit OK in my book just because of the way he pulls this off. It’s chock-full of memorable lines and is a riot from start to finish. And the hyper-alpha-male bravado of the guy is indeed typical of an ideal to which many clueless males with no character aspire in the Trump era. You’ve seen the Web sites, which explain to socially inept doofuses that they can drive women wild by treating them badly (“negging” them) and so forth. Williamson says Trump is a perfect example of the sort of guy who sees laughable over-the-top displays of dominance as the pinnacle of masculinity:

Trump is the political version of a pickup artist, and Republicans — and America — went to bed with him convinced that he was something other than what he is. Trump inherited his fortune but describes himself as though he were a self-made man.

We did not elect Donald Trump; we elected the character he plays on television.

He has had a middling career in real estate and a poor one as a hotelier and casino operator but convinced people he is a titan of industry. He has never managed a large, complex corporate enterprise, but he did play an executive on a reality show. He presents himself as a confident ladies’ man but is so insecure that he invented an imaginary friend to lie to the New York press about his love life and is now married to a woman who is open and blasé about the fact that she married him for his money. He fixates on certain words (“negotiator”) and certain classes of words (mainly adjectives and adverbs, “bigly,” “major,” “world-class,” “top,” and superlatives), but he isn’t much of a negotiator, manager, or leader. He cannot negotiate a health-care deal among members of a party desperate for one, can’t manage his own factionalized and leak-ridden White House, and cannot lead a political movement that aspires to anything greater than the service of his own pathetic vanity.

He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.” Peggy Noonan, to whom we owe that observation, has his number: He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact. For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.” How many times do you imagine he has stood in front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin?

(As an aside: I had not realized Peggy Noonan had turned on Trump. I’ve always seen Noonan as something of a human weathervane. If she has gone anti-Trump, that may be the canary in the coal mine that shows the rest of the country willing to jettison the guy.)

Trump, the famous dealmaker who actually sucks at closing deals, has failed to close on ObamaCare repeal. He said it would be so easy. But he is failing. And so, it may be time for Trump to get the motivational speech the salesmen got in the film.

Listen up, Trump. Coffee is for closers. So go and do likewise. Close a repeal of ObamaCare. The votes are out there. You pick them up, they’re yours. You don’t — I got no sympathy for you.

“The Senators are weak,” you say. The Senators are weak? You’re weak. Always Be Closing! If not, you’re gonna be shinin’ my shoes.

I’d wish you good luck, Trump, but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Techdirt on My Legal Victory Against Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:52 pm

At TechDirt, Tim Cushing has this report regarding my recent court victory against convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin:

This should have been a simple anti-SLAPP case. Should have. Wasn’t. (Part of it is Maryland’s weak take on anti-SLAPP.) It took four years to resolve and tons of pro bono hours. Kimberlin claimed he had been defamed by Frey’s post, which was based on four news sources and covered his conviction for bombing and his rise to dubious fame as Dan Quayle’s pot dealer (back when Quayle was still VP/relevant).

Kimberlin has a long history of abusive, vexatious lawsuits — all of them filed with the intent of shutting down criticism. His defamation claim was just the tip of iceberg. In his legal threat (all the way back in 2010), Kimberlin claimed a variety of injuries from Frey’s post, accusing him of cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and “interference with business.”

He also said this:

I have filed over a hundred lawsuits and another one will be no sweat for me. On the other hand, it will cost you a lot of time and money and for what.

So… basically announcing up front he sued people to harass them into silence. There’s a long write-up from a couple of years back at The Daily Beast that delves into Kimberlin’s litigious (and criminal) history — one that includes filing a RICO suit against political commentators and his alleged involvement in the SWATting of defendant Patrick Frey.

It’s all over now but the appeals process. Free speech was ably defended by two great lawyers working for free. (You’ll probably recognize Ron Coleman as the counsel in the recent Supreme Court Tam decision, which declared the trademark’s board refusal to recognize “disparaging” marks was a violation of the First Amendment.)

More at the link, including links to other posts.

In the original version of the piece, Cushing had a lazy but all-too-common “both sides are at fault!” paragraph, but has since issued a clarification of sorts after being contacted by Aaron Walker. The clarification pretty much negates all of the criticism included in the original paragraph. Indeed, I have never publicly accused Brett Kimberlin of complicity in my SWATting. I set forth the facts regarding his years-long harassment of me and allowed people to draw their own conclusions.

I wonder if it has occurred to Kimberlin that the handful of posts I wrote about him in 2010 would have quickly become ancient and forgotten history had he not launched into a campaign of harassment against me and other critics of his. The “punch back twice as hard” style of combat is praised by many hard partisans, but it’s actually a foolish maneuver. Sure, Kimberlin has caused many people to take down their criticism of him. But, as Cushing notes, not all of the criticism of Brett Kimberlin has been scrubbed from the Internet, notwithstanding his best efforts to make that happen. My criticism remains. And many of the articles written by other bloggers that were pulled down as a concession to Kimberlin in a settlement agreement never would have been written to begin with, had he simply left me alone.

I doubt he has learned anything from this process.

In any event, I grew bored with Kimberlin years ago, but retain the right to say truthful things about him. I wouldn’t be writing about him today if he hadn’t sued me and lost.

Kimberlin’s first email to me said (among other things):

Let me assure you that you are not the first blog that has posted lies about me, yet each of them has removed the offending posts once I alerted them to the facts about Socrates and his spreading of lies.

I told the truth. Brett Kimberlin was convicted of setting off several bombs, one of which blew off a Vietnam veteran’s leg, contributing to the man’s suicide. His conviction has never been reversed and stands today. He was held liable for the man’s death in civil court — and has, as far as I know, not paid a penny of the over million-dollar judgment against him. Based on his record of violence and what is publicly known about him, I consider him to be evil.

I still retain the right to say all those things, which are true. I will not surrender that right, even if others have.

Thanks to Techdirt and Cushing for publicizing this result, when so many others have let it pass without mention.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Reince Priebus Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

And another one bites the dust. This time it’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he had resigned yesterday, and explained that the reason for his departuer was that President Trump was gong in a different direction. A direction that would not include Priebus. I guess Priebus wasn’t serving Trump honorably after all, eh?

“Look, the President wanted to go a different direction. I support him in that,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

“I’m doing great,” Priebus said. “I’ve been obviously talking to the President for a few days about this. … the President was great.”

When Blitzer asked Priebus specifically about why he resigned, Priebus said he didn’t want to go into that. He then went on to say that he is still on the Trump Train and supports the president in furthering his agenda. He also told Blitzer that his greatest accomplishment was “getting everyone in the West Wing moving together in the right direction”. Okay then.

The president announced on Twitter that Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly would be replacing the departing Priebus:



And then he remembered to say something nice about Priebus:


President Trump is now on his second chief of staff in 190 days. Say, remember when he mocked President Obama for going through three chiefs of staff in three years?


Hm, of course one is inclined to ask, what’s keeping this president from accomplishing his agenda??

After seeing how he backstabs employees, turns on a dime, publicly shames and humiliates them, I can’t understand why would anyone sign up for such abuse and chaos. But, be that as it may, I guess the next question is, who’s next to go? And perhaps more importantly, as we watch this unfolding drama, where does this leave Bannon, Scaramucchi, and Kushner? Speculate all you want.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Charlie Gard Passes Away

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:50 am

[guest post by Dana]

Charlie’s mother announces her little boy’s passing :

Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.

Charlie died at a hospice care center. The courts refused to let Charlie die at home as his parents had requested. Even in death, the powers that be determined how Charlie’s parents would say their final good-bye.

May Connie Yates and Chris Gard find great comfort and grace during this season of immense grief. And may a large portion of that comfort be found in knowing that their sweet Charlie has been welcomed home by the angels, and into the loving arms of God.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Quick Hits: Skinny Repeal Was Not Repeal; Scaramucci Is Insane

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

Do I blame John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins for killing ObamaCare repeal? Why, sure I do! But not for last night’s vote. Rather, for their disgraceful vote against the same repeal bill they voted for in 2015 (with the exception of Collins). Which means I also blame the other people responsible, whom I have already named: Lamar Alexander, Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, and Dean Heller.

I will never forgive them. They are dead to me. And I will work to defeat Heller, who is the next one up for re-election, in the primaries.

But skinny repeal was crap and deserved to go down. Last night’s vote was not the death knell. That already happened a couple of days ago. (And don’t talk to me about just sending a bill to conference. If they can’t agree amongst themselves, how is going to conference going to fix anything?)

Meanwhile, I see some people trying to blame Trump for this. Nah. I don’t see it. He would have signed anything. This is squarely on the shoulders of the turncoats who switched their votes.

Meanwhile, how about that batsh!t insane Scaramucci guy? Ryan Lizza has a piece in the New Yorker that Scaramucci has functionally admitted is accurate, by saying he made a mistake trusting a reporter. The piece makes for delightful reading from start to finish.

“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)

Scaramucci was particularly incensed by a Politico report about his financial-disclosure form, which he viewed as an illegal act of retaliation by Priebus. The reporter said Thursday morning that the document was publicly available and she had obtained it from the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci didn’t know this at the time, and he insisted to me that Priebus had leaked the document, and that the act was “a felony.”

“I’ve called the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice,” he told me.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“The swamp will not defeat him,” he said, breaking into the third person. “They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)

. . . .

Scaramucci said he had to get going. “Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy.”

LOL. The guy is entertaining, paranoid, not very bright, and completely insane. He reminds me of someone. It’s on the tip of my tongue.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Yesterday’s Historic ObamaCare Betrayal: These Senators Must Pay the Price

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

I guess congratulations are in order. Congratulations, Barack Obama. Your signature big-government achievement: ObamaCare — the biggest step towards socialized medicine in this country in over forty years — is now beyond challenge. We now know that it will never be repealed. And we have Republicans to thank for it.

And it’s being treated like just another news story. Well, it’s not. It’s the worst political betrayal in modern political history.

I’d like you to imagine something. Imagine you’re sitting at the breakfast table with your spouse, to whom you have been married for seven years. Your spouse says: “Honey, I have a couple of things to tell you. First, they ran out of milk at the store. Second, I slept with my co-worker last week. Now, about this milk situation…”

I think you might say something like this: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Forget the milk situation. What was that you said about breaking your most fundamental promise to me? The promise you have made to me for the last seven years? The one promise that was central to our life together?”

That’s not just another broken promise. For many people, that’s a dealbreaker.

If you open up your newspaper, or access your favorite blog or news site, you might not realize that we just experienced the worst political betrayal I can remember. Here’s a story about transgenders and the military. Oh, yeah, and also the Republicans voted not to repeal ObamaCare. Now, about those transgenders . . .

Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against repealing ObamaCare? They just broke their most fundamental promise to voters? A promise they made for seven years? The most central promise of the entire party?

And we’re supposed to just let this one go?

No way. We want a divorce.

There are seven Senators who voted against the relatively clean 2015 repeal bill yesterday. You might also choose to blame the party as a whole, or Mitch McConnell. That’s up to you. But these seven Senators should be the primary targets (see what I did there?) of your wrath.

I am going to be very plain. The following people must be drummed out of public life.

  • Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • Dean Heller (Nev.)
  • John McCain (Ariz.)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Rob Portman (Ohio)

(John McCain, huh? So that’s what that speech was all about: justifying a vote against repeal. I told you the speech was disgraceful.)

It is useful to keep in mind that, with the sole exception of Collins, these senators voted for repeal in 2015, when it didn’t matter. Six senators of these seven — Alexander, Capito, Heller, McCain, Murkowski, and Portman — are not just leftists on this issue. They are also giant hypocrites. These six people are the real turncoats. They lied to their voters. They pretended to be for repeal, but they weren’t. They voted for “repeal” in 2015 only because they knew Barack Obama would veto it. And veto it he did.

The only thing that has changed since 2015 is that we now have a President who would sign that repeal bill. The nice side effect of Trump’s lack of interest in policy is that, although his heart really isn’t behind the 2015 repeal, he would sign it anyway, because a) he doesn’t care about policy details, and b) he just wants something he can call a win. We could have had that win, but for yesterday’s despicable votes by these Senators.

Now: here is when these people are up for re-election:

  • Lamar Alexander: 2020
  • Shelley Moore Capito: 2020
  • Susan Collins: 2020
  • Dean Heller: 2018
  • John McCain: 2022
  • Lisa Murkowski: 2022
  • Rob Portman: 2022

As you can see, the GOP chose mostly people who aren’t up for re-election until 2020 or beyond. (There are surely more than these seven who would have voted against the bill, if their no vote were necessary to defeat it.) But one of the traitors is coming up for re-election next year: Dean Heller.

He has to go. He must be primaried.

I will make it one of my major political missions in life to make sure this man is politically punished for this incredible betrayal.

I’ll keep you up to date with the progress of this effort as time goes on. It’s an important one.

Dean Heller, we want a divorce.

Consider yourself served.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

UPDATE: Corrected the year McCain is up for re-election.


Boston Globe Breaks Story on Private Citizen Enjoying Recreation Time

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:05 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Today’s Boston Globe breaks the important story of an ex-politician who has never held federal office enjoying the summer with his family while all of Washington, DC obsesses over the future of ObamaCare:

Note the tweet ends with a question mark, as if to demand how any patriotic red-blooded ex-GOP Presidential nominee could relax and enjoy himself while the fate of the Affordable Care Act hung in the balance. The Globe was apparently unable to ascertain the whereabouts of Michael Dukakis over the past couple of days.

For what it’s worth, most comments on Twitter and the paper’s own website are ridiculing the Globe for even writing about this.

Cross-posted on The Jury Talks Back.


John McCain’s Sanctimonious and Disgraceful Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

I wanted to like John McCain’s speech. I really did.

No matter what you think of John McCain’s political positions (I despise many of them), most decent Americans are pulling for him to beat cancer. It was inspiring to see him return to the Senate to cast a critical vote to allow debate on ObamaCare repeal.

And then he gave the speech.

It started out with some high-flown phrases about the importance of the Senate as a deliberative body. Sure, it all sounded a little self-important, but there were some good sentiments in there. The first time I heard the speech, I was impressed with the first few minutes.

Then it got to the part where we have to do the right thing and cooperate with Democrats who never cooperated with us.

To paraphrase McCain: to hell with that.

The text of the speech can be read in its entirety here. Here’s the part that really bugged me:

The [Obama] administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours.

Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act? If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order.

Let the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from both sides. [Applause] Something that my dear friends on the other side of the aisle didn’t didn’t allow to happen nine years ago. Let’s see if we can pass something that will be imperfect, full of compromises, and not very pleasing to implacable partisans on either side, but that might provide workable solutions to problems Americans are struggling with today.

I realize this brands me as one of the “bombastic loudmouths” whom McCain decried in his remarks . . . but what sanctimonious garbage.

McCain starts off this passage correctly: “The Obama administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare.” Absolutely right. Well said, Senator.

So, as any idiot can see, the correct solution is to undo what the Democrats did. They never should have done it — but they did. So it must be undone.

Then, and only then, if you want to go through your “regular order” and your committees and all those procedures that you have fallen in love with over the last 30 years, go nuts.

But instead, McCain wants to have one set of rules for the left, and another for conservatives. He wants to let Democrats run roughshod over Republicans, and suffer nothing for it but a tsk-tsking — while Republicans, once in power, have to hold hands with the opposition and compromise, compromise, compromise.

There is nothing inherently immoral about passing legislation without votes from the opposition. You could say it shouldn’t happen that way. But it’s not immoral. So if the other side does that to you, and you can put things back to the status quo by doing the same thing back to them, you should do it.

Let’s take an analogy. Say Mitch and Nancy move into a furnished apartment where the couch is in the center of the room. Mitch wants the couch on the right side of the room. Nancy wants it on the left side. If Nancy simply moves the couch to the left without consulting Mitch, then as soon as Mitch is able, Mitch should move the couch back to at least the center of the room.

There’s nothing wrong with saying: look. I am moving everything back the way it was. Then, if you want to talk to me about it, we can talk.

If instead, Mitch praises the virtues of compromise and incrementalism, and talks about leaving the couch on the left side of the room but perhaps changing its position a little bit, then Mitch is a giant loser. Mitch, not to put too fine a point on it, is a word that rhymes with his name.

The analogy breaks down in a couple of places, of course. If the couch really does belong on the right side of the room, Mitch should simply move it there. To hell with compromise. Arranging furniture is a matter of taste, while using central planning to arrange huge swaths of the economy is known to be insane and disastrous.

The analogy also breaks down because in real life, Mitch isn’t the one to suffer. The people are. In my example, Mitch will get run over by Nancy his whole life — and if he allows it to happen, he deserves it. But the people of the United States don’t deserve to be stuck with socialized, government-controlled medicine, just because Republicans are a pack of lying hypocrites.

So, as much as I wanted to like McCain’s speech, I loathed it. I absolutely despised it. It is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with Washington.

I want both McCain’s brain tumor and his weak incrementalism to disappear, far, far away.

Senator McCain, please beat brain cancer. But as long as you’re serving in the Senate, you need to understand that compromise and collaboration, if not met halfway, are just surrender. Nothing more.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

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