Compassionate Conservativism or What?

Written by Robert Justin Lipkin on October 4th, 2007

The NY Times reports that Mr. Bush vetoed a relatively bipartisan bill to expand health insurance coverage for the nation’s children. Another fine example of Mr. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.” The Times states that “On Capitol Hill, Democrats and their Republican allies seemed in no mood to compromise; they vowed to overturn the veto before entertaining any deal. ‘We’ve got to do what we can to try to override,’ said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, who was the bill’s lead Republican sponsor and had personally appealed to the president not to veto the measure. There are enough votes to override the veto in the Senate, but not in the House. In a somewhat unusual move, House Democrats on Wednesday forced a vote to postpone the override attempt until Oct. 18, giving themselves two weeks to round up the roughly 20 votes they need. Mr. Grassley said he intended to personally appeal to House members who could provide the necessary votes to circumvent the president, and Democrats said they had already picked up a few. . . . Even Senator Hatch had difficulty understanding the President’s veto. If we’re truly compassionate, it seems to me, we’d want to endorse this program,’ Mr. Hatch said. ‘I don’t think the president is somebody who doesn’t want these kids to be covered. I think he’s been given some pretty bad advice by some who, though sincere, and sincerely wrong.'” No more hugs for Mr. Bush. Freep.com reports “Democrats unleashed a stream of harsh rhetoric, as they geared up for a battle to both improve their chances of winning a veto override and score political points against Republicans who oppose the expansion. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush’s action as a ‘heartless veto.’ Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people,’ Reid said in a statement. By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America.'”

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This must be what Mr. Bush thinks “compassionate conservatism” means. If the Democrats can’t (or won’t) override this veto, let’s start thinking about a new third-party.


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