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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Much Smaller" ≠ "Much Smaller"

Yesterday it was reported that Nancy Pelosi signalled that the proposal to be unveiled tomorrow by Barack Obama would be "much smaller." That made news, because it suggested that Obama may be rolling out a "much smaller" plan than either the House or Senate bills, or the Obama proposal made last week.

But, "much smaller" apparently does not mean "much smaller":

White House and Democratic sources hasten to add late today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not mean to suggest the new plan would constitute a retreat from comprehensive health care reform.

Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said the speaker was trying to say the new Obama health care proposal would take its policy cues from the Senate health bill and the ideas Obama posted online a week ago.

Elshami did not deny Pelosi's comments about a "much smaller" bill could fairly be interpreted as suggesting a step back from the Senate bill. Instead, Pelosi has come to regard the Senate bill itself as "much smaller" than the House bill, Elshami said.

White House officials also said Obama's not dramatically scaling back his proposal. No one was prepared to discuss a price tag, but it appears the ballpark 10-year figure of $1 trillion remains.

I think what threw us off is that we took the word "smaller" to mean "not as big as," and the word "much" to mean "by a lot." Maybe the Democrats were right, and we are stupid.

Related Posts:
A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President
Pelosi Surrounds Herself With Herself
Whatever It Takes

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  1. There is certainly some confusing messaging going on here. When I first heard the Speaker talk about this "smaller" bill, I couldn't make sense of the idea they were planning to introduce a smaller reform package at the same time they were supposedly still whipping up support for the reconciliation try. Now, they're saying the "smaller" bill is really just the Senate bill with some GOP ideas tacked on. But those ideas -- reportedly, some interstate insurance and some tort reform -- would seem to make the package bigger, not smaller.

    I truly wonder if this is all a huge tap dance at this point, by which I mean: Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are all gamely going through the motions of doing reconciliation, knowing they can't actually pull it off, in order that each of them might avoid being scapegoated by the left as the reason the whole enterprise fell apart.

  2. To Progressives, Up is Down
    it is a constant, lol

  3. I'm getting afraid again that they're going to pull it off. I just read that there are 10 old "no's" that are now considering "yes" votes. I just get this feeling she is going to find enough votes and then we're all greatly worse off no matter what happens in November. Once people see free money and services coming their way, are they going to be convinced to give them up by some abstract idea of loss of freedom? When the Briton like horror stories start coming out several years after implementation are people going to be willing to give up their "free" healthcare or are they going to be convinced it just won't happen to them? Has their ever been a time when something this massive and damaging has been rolled back? I feel really pessimistic right now. Does anyone have reason to be optimistic other then being convinced they won't pass it?

  4. Leftists are supreme at re-defining terms. And, of course, we will always have the Bill Clinton classic quote, "It all depends on what the definition of is is."

    Now, since the Democrats don't play by the same rules as the rest of us, "much smaller" does not mean what you think it means. They must also have their own special dictionary. Did Saul Alinsky also write a "Dictionary for Radicals?"

  5. Maybe she meant it would make the President appear to be a much smaller man than we previously thought he was.

    Student grade paint is mostly filler, the pigment composes a tiny fragment of the tube. You have to use much, much more paint to get a very good piece of work, if you can even do that.

    So, by smaller, it will be gigantic in scope and expense to cover less and less people with real health care, exposing the President as student grade, not professional.

  6. Mike,

    At least one of those 10 have made clear that they will not change their vote.

    As for the rest of them, well the article simply says they're on the fence not that they are leaning towards it; and unless they truly are suicidal or Pelosi has something on them, I cannot see the benefit of switching to yes. Even the Dems. have admitted that no single No vote has suffered a backlash.

    Also, quite frankly, if they had the votes they would schedule this thing immediately. Just look at how quickly they pushed the original bills through the first time when they finally got enough votes.

  7. I think "much smaller" means "smaller type so there's less pages"

  8. I wondered about the disconnect between using reconciliation and the rumors about the new Obama plan that incorporated several of the GOP suggestions. With Conrad being very clear that reconciliation is not acceptable to be dealing with major legislation, the possibility of endless amendments, the huge risk of House members to believe that the Senate will actually bail them out, and this nonsense about a new plan it seems that the gang in Washington DC is running around in 3 different directions at once.

    Obama would be extremely smart to accept the GOP challenge to rewrite the bill in a bipartisan way. Perfect Clinton--build around the center and get re-elected. But so far Obama doesn't show the intelligence or courage to take that step.