Oh, weren’t these people smart? Oh my. The Heritage Foundation:
Morning Bell: Someone Needs to Tell the President His Health Care Plan is Dead
Posted February 26th, 2010
. . that reality is already spreading throughout Capitol Hill. Politico reports that while Democrats were hoping to pass Obamacare by Easter, “there were signs Thursday night that the schedule was slipping. One Democratic lawmaker involved in the negotiations, who asked not to be identified to speak candidly of the process, said the party would not, in fact, start down the path of reconciliation next week.”
And the Republican leaders:
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: “Democrats aren’t listening to the people. This bill is dead.”
There’s plenty of terrific gloating going on. And, with the pleasure of looking back and laughing, there comes a realization that some idiots seem to keep getting caught in the goat pen. Fred Barnes, for one. Fred Barnes particularly:
, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: You know, scaling back Obamacare is a non-starter. Look, it is dead. It is dead in the House. It is dead in the Senate. I’m not sure it would have passed even before Brown. Nancy Pelosi was down to 218 votes and some of the more moderate Democrats were queasy.
But the whole thing is dead. Republicans aren’t going to help out on this. The Republican position is get that off the table. We will start anew.
This hilariously, pathetically dead-skunk-wrong declaration by the Executive Editor of the oh-so-serious-and-ultra-important Conservative Institution got me to wondering: just how goddamned stupid is Fred Barnes? Turns out there’s an answer to that, and the answer is this: extremely.
To make the point for himself, looking back, Fred can start with the healthcare effort which he obviously knew nothing about. He compounded that documented prescience by writing a post detailing how the political world got forever upended by Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.
Barnes’ brilliant highlights of the New Political World, point by point:
The Health Care Bill Is Dead
BY Fred Barnes
The impact of Republican Scott Brown’s capture of the Massachusetts Senate seat held for decades by Teddy Kennedy will be both immediate and powerful. It’s safe to say no single Senate election in recent memory is as important as this one.
Here are a few of the repercussions:
1) President Obama is weakened . .
2) Independents are lost to Democrats . .
3) In the midterm election in November, Republicans are poised to win 25 or so House seats . .
4) Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is the new king of Capitol Hill . .
5) Oh, yes. The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Brown ran to be the 41st vote for filibuster and now he is just that. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. It’s one thing for ObamaCare to be rejected by the American public in poll after poll. But it becomes a matter of considerably greater political magnitude when ObamaCare causes the loss of a Senate race in the blue state of Massachusetts.
Someone should have run and told Mitch McConnell he was the ‘new king of Capitol Hill’, he could have killed the dreaded legislation with a wave of his scepter. Or of some fabulous crimson-red right-wing fiat.
But Barnes’ insight is hardly limited to the dramas of recent law-making. Back in 2008, as the presidential campaigns came down to the wire, his genius similarly couldn’t hide.
The Huffington Post took an informal survey of 27 big-time ‘pundits’ on the probable results of the election. Hey, Fred — you’re a political expert who follows these things on a moment to moment basis, right? Who’s going to win it?
Election Predictions: Pundits Weigh In
The Huffington Post 11- 2-08
Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard editor
Electoral College: Obama 252 McCain 286 . .
Final tally: Obama 365, McCain 173. Pundits who predicted the poll leader, Obama, would win: 26. Barnes was the only one who ended up stunned by the Democratic blow-out. Mysteries.
So, he doesn’t understand Capitol Hill or campaigns. What about his fellow man, you ask? Perhaps he is the sort of man that knows men. Sadly, Barnes, given a year to get a handle on the election, couldn’t do any better at guessing who George W. Bush was — even after five years of junior’s presidency. For Fred, it made him a perfect candidate to write a lengthy biography of his fellow moron: “Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush.”
So brimming with seductive intelligence and timeless enlightenment is it, it’s currently ranked #721,805 on Amazon.com. Go on, read it for yourself. Why not, when, if you’ve got a quarter in one of your pockets, you can pick up a couple dozen of Barnes’ hagiographies with the click of a button. And I mean brand spanking-new hardbacks, straight from Amazon:
A book by fey diet and exercise guru Richard Simmons, “Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story”, can be had for the same price, but only if it’s used. The new copies go for around $5. Richard is hanging in there at Amazon ranking #500,250, a couple hundred thousand slots higher than Fred.
Well, fine, Fred is no author either. He’s not exactly tapped into the culture, not keenly aware of what Americans are keen to devour.
Well, what does he know? Does he actually know anything at all? I have no idea what sort of actual intelligence Barnes has displayed, ever, anywhere, because I can’t find it. But I can tell you that he does seem to know how to be an obnoxious fucking prick.
For that assertion, I offer you his 2005 commentary on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. On a Fox News television set with fellow jerks Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer, Barnes made clear his disgust with the irresponsible and predictable responses of the victims of the disaster:
…But my problem with it is that, in some of these areas, like a below- sea-level city like New Orleans, they’re not — they want the rest of us to insure their risk. As people who live on the San Andreas Fault in California, where they know there are going to be earthquakes, people who live along the Mississippi River in these low farmland areas…
… near the river, the floodplains. They know they’re going to flood. And when these things happen, they want the taxpayers all over the country to pay, and they do.
Hey, Fred — don’t you have a house in Florida, or something? Yeah, I do, thanks for asking:
[Mort] KONDRACKE: Yes, well, the question is, where do you draw the line? And that’s the problem. Do you draw it at the Barrier Islands? Do you draw it at Vero Beach, you know, where Fred has a beach house?
HUME: How did your house, by the way, do over the weekend?
BARNES: Well, it did fine, because we were on the Atlantic coast and the hurricane went to the Gulf Coast. So it missed it entirely.
HUME: It got rained on, right?
BARNES: But last year, when there were two hurricanes, and I got a new roof, I paid my part. My private insurance company paid the other part. The federal government and taxpayers paid no part.
HUME: What about the cover on your swimming pool? Did the government…
BARNES: I paid all of that.
And now I will point out that Barnes’ Fox commentary was going on during the afternoon of August 29th, the same day that Katrina struck. So Fred was ripping the sure-to-be-greedy victims of the disaster while they were drowning by the dozens. The Superdome, where the nation’s live-feed lens witnessed the survivors’ mortal misery and desperation, the place that the Bush administration only bothered with days later, hadn’t even opened yet.
After the worst disaster in United States history, the terrible toll: 1,836 people dead, 705 missing, 90,000 square miles declared disaster areas, over $80 billion in losses, and Fred Barnes is a stupid asshole.
New Orleans, by contrast, continues to recover.