Roy Blunt, that twittering fool, just can’t resist spreading the talking points du jour via Twitter. Most recently, he has rushed to become one of the first Missouri Republicans to push the main two punch-lines from the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)’s comic effort to buy a hit job on the Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform bill:
Senate Finance Committee passes health care bill including higher taxes & higher premiums in an era of the highest unemployment in decades.
I know that Mr. Blunt subscribes to the Karl Rove school of political persuasion: reduce an argument to its simplest components, repeat ad nauseum and ignore inconvenient facts offered in rebuttal. The whole process is akin to putting one’s fingers in one’s ears while shouting nonsense syllables to drown out what your opponent is saying. However, in this case, even Blunt, who seems to be Mr. Chutzpah himself, should be embarrassed.
By now most of us realize that the conclusions of the AHIP report are misleading and their source highly suspect (see Factcheck.org or this statement by several leading health care experts which points out the flaws of the analysis). But there is another important problem for Mr. Blunt. Evidently, he is not sufficiently reflective to understand that the warning offered by an aide to Rep. Darrel Issa actually could apply to himself. The aide, Kurt Bardella, cautioned that while the AHIP report might provide Republicans with ammunition to use against the Finance Committee bill, they must
…”strike the right balance” between the report showing premiums would rise and “trying to avoid the perception they are doing the insurance industry’s bidding.”
“Any Republican that uses the report should double-check to see how much money they’ve received from the industry as that’ll be a very easy rebuttal for Dems to hit back,” …
Good advice. Almost any fool understands that if you don’t want folks to know you’ve been bought, you shouldn’t advertise the fact too obviously.
Any fool except Roy Blunt it seems. It turns out that, according to ConsumerWatchdog.org:
The health care industry and its lobbyists have hosted at least 130 fundraisers this year for members of Congress who sit on the five key committees responsible for crafting a health care overhaul, according to an analysis released today by the nonpartisan Consumer Watchdog. Health industry PACs and individuals donated $30.7 million to members of those committees over the same period of time.
Guess which member of one of the key committees was partying the hardest with lobbyists:
At least two members of the House Energy and Commerce committee – Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) – have fundraisers hosted by health industry lobbyists scheduled for Wednesday. Rep. Blunt scheduled nine industry-hosted fundraisers, more than any other committee member.
Nothing new here, of course. We already know that Blunt is good at “optimizing” his take from lobbyists. What I want to know is when will he pay the price for regurgitating expensive talking points purchased by his industry cronies and given to him because they go so well with big donations?