60 Minutes on Sunday had an entertaining story about the Medicare drug bill’s passage in late 2003. Not exactly new news, but a fun retelling of how Tom Delay, and PhRMA rammed the bill through literally by holding the vote open for three hours and torturing the crap out of any Republican who was a fiscal conservative and likely to vote no.
What amazes me was that any Republicans at all felt squeamish about that. Hadn’t they seen how Delay operated? Hadn’t they met a PhRMA lobbyist in their time in DC? Hadn’t they noticed the Administration cow-towing to industry in every other sphere of government? Didn’t they know that every possible opposition group was bought off in the bill? Hadn’t they noticed the deficit going through the roof?
And what’s the relevance of telling the story again three and a half years later?
(CODA: Dan Burton, one of the Republicans interviewed, is actually somewhat interesting. For example he’s a long time drug war loon, but in 2002 he actually said some interesting things about the drug war almost hinting at the fact that he realizes what a waste of time and money it is. So maybe there is some hope…)