Billy Tauzin

No one here gets out alive

Five to one, baby...one in five....

No one here gets out alive...

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The late Jim Morrison wrote and sang this over 40 years ago, and it seems rather poignant now that we have passed the anniversary of the Woodstock Nation and consider the divisive national health care debate.

For one thing, it does point out the limitations of salesmanship. Medicine will never fully solve the fact life is a terminal condition. It may prolong life, and improve life, but mere mortals are not "partners with God"; and only He can grant life beyond the here and now.

And the term Five to One applies clearly to the imbalance in media spending between the unions and industries looking to pass the government health care takeover, and the relatively impoverished opposition.

The lyrics of "Five to One" depict rebellion against a distant establishment :"they got the guns, but we got the numbers" which sure seems like the attitude of angry citizens screaming at smug incumbent officeholders eager to label their own constituents a mob. 

One of the major problems I think that the Obama team and the Hill Democrats have is they fundamentally don't understand the mentality of most of the 1960's protesters, who are now today the 60-somethings opposing Obamacare with fervor reminscent of that era.

Passionate Crowd

Perhaps Bill Ayres wanted a "revolution"; but most Americans agreed with John Lennon that if you were carrying pictures of Chairman Mao you weren;t gonna make it.  The rebelliouness of the 1960's was largely spurred by opposition to a "mandatory government program"--to wit--the Draft. 

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Sure ,some people of that era wanted communes and socialism--but a huge number--especially bikers and druggies--wanted the government to "leave them alone".

Don't send then to Vietnam. Don't bust them for pot. Don't tell them how to live their lives.

So when the military draft ended in 1973  much of the fuel of the counterculture was taken away. Free from government coercion, young people were then accused of becoming part of  a "me decade"

True, there was a huge cadre of earnest lefties who entered government as a result of the "Watergate election". But the relentless expansion of government demanded by the likes of Chris Dodd. Henry Waxman, David Obey, and Tom Daschle  was dealt a huge setback by the decisive 1980 election.

Some observers have noted that while voters under 30 in 1972 were slightly inclined towards McGovern (as he lost nationally by 21 points)   the same age cohort of voters (i.e. voters DOB 1942-1954) were inclined towards McCain as he lost to Obama by 7 points.  Clearly in the interim these voters became less entralled with "change" candidates.

I would suspect a substantial part of this has to do with the fact these Americans rebelled against statism and much as they may support "their" entitlement programs, they will never sign on to new forms of big government without profound skepticism.  Remember, they saw with their own eyes the extravagant promises and expensive failure of the Great Society. Those eyes are jaundiced now.  

If the government told you 40 years ago you had to go fight in Vietnam, you might not be too keen on having your kid told by the government what kind of health insurance he is required to have. We are taking people open to the "leave us alone" coalition.

Remember, Dennis Hopper was the prototypical hippie in "Easy Rider". He is a Republican now.

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So, it appears the Obama team has started an era of divisive national unrest over a program which it cannot sell, promises to bankrupt the nation, and where there is no definition of victory. Sounds, hmmm like a quagmire.   

Back to "No one here gets out alive". I think this will end in one of only two ways. 

The Obamacare fiasco will collapse in a heap, and then next phase will be investigations into the sleazefest employed to try and sell the debacle, including a "pay to play'"scheme between Billy Drugbucks and David Axelrod.  and Axelrod's improper e-mail spamming. 

Note to Mr. Axelrod. Transactions your firm performed in northern Illinois are within this gentleman's legal jurisdiction.   Perhaps you ought to acquaint yourself with this law   .   or this law.  Some politicians around here  found out it's not good to mix business and politics. Don't worry. These laws run a lot less than a thousand pages to read. You'll have plenty of time to call white collar counsel.

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The alternative will be Obama and his allies win an absolutely  Pyyrhic victory  decimating the ranks of Democratic moderates in 2010 elections and creating a huge radicalized political movement even more and more ardent to fight the socialization of American culture. Perhaps the Greater Great Society is enacted; only to rip  to shreds the nation it was meant to heal. Or maybe we become France, except with more debt.. Which might be worse.

I've had my differences with Peggy Noonan, but now she's spot on.  A prudent leader would pull the plug   and stop sinking deeper into the health care quagmire

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But our President is insistent on making the worst mistakes of 1960's Democrats, accusing critics of merely being  irresolute . History lesson, folks.  No one there got out alive, either. 

Is Billy Tauzin the Fredo Corleone of health care reform?

In most endeavors, you find one guy willing to sell out his principles because he is so smart, and so shrewd that he and his allies will benefit at the expense of the folks he used to work alongside. One rather extreme example was the Godfather charater Fredo Corleone. Passed over for family leadership by little brother Michael, he decides to prove his worth by working alongside rival mob factions.

 

This year's version appears to be top PhRMA lobbyist Billy Tauzin 

Much as Fredo sold out his family, Tauzin is selling out free enterprise,

Tauzin was once a Democrat from the Louisiana bayou who saw the partisan light after the 1994 tsunami. Then he spent a decade as a Republican and failed to hand the seat off to his son when he retired. Following his departure from Congress, he settled in as top dog for Big PhRMA, an interest group of drug makers heterofore staunchly opposed to socialized medicine.

Well, now, not so much. Tauzin and the Obama camp have made a secret deal to make sure that the taxpayers guarantee the drug companies windfall profits in the health care "reform" bill. And Billy Drugbucks will pony up $150 M in corporate cash for a media blitzkrieg favoring health care "reform" to try and undo the damage ordinary folks have done speaking their mind at town halls.

Needless to say, very few people other than the co-conspiritors have much nice to say about this sleazy deal.

Here's what liberal  former Labor Secretary Robert Reich had to say.   

When the industry support comes with an industry-sponsored ad campaign in favor of that legislation, the threat to democracy is even greater. Citizens end up paying for advertisements designed to persuade them that the legislation is in their interest. In this case, those payments come in the form of drug prices that will be higher than otherwise, stretching years into the future 

On the other side of the ideological aisle, National Review, blasted Tauzin's deal as a scam. Now House Republican Leader John Boehner unloaded on Tauzin's scheme. A few highlights  Boehner accused Tauzin of caving to a bully ( I think he is being waay too charitable, but )

The “bully” in this case is Big Government.  At your behest, PhRMA has chosen to accommodate a Washington takeover of health care at the expense of the American people in hopes of securing favorable treatment and future profits.  It’s a short-sighted bargain that leaves your own customers and employees behind.  And it now has all the markings of a deal gone sour. 

The Wall Street Journal expressed similar sentiments

Yep, now the Democrats think they can get more concessions from PhRMA.  Sorta like if Eliot Spitzer expected a second night of services from the Emperor's Club for the price of one.

Getting back to the Fredo parallel,  all that guy got for buddying up to Hyman Roth and Moe Greene at the expense of the "folks who brought him" was the undying hatred of his brother, who now deemed him "dead to me now".

Conservatives now aren't going to buy the corporate lies about health care from K Street.  That bridge is now burned down. We think the principles of free enterprise are worth more than some secret government payoff.  PhRMA are now no better than any other group that sells out at the taxpayer's trough seeking corporate welfare. This group is "dead to me" now. 

I hope Billy Tauzin has a long healthy life. But after he finds he's spent over  $100 million of his client's money only to be left with no one in Washington who trusts him, or whom he can trust, I suspect his life as a lobbyist will be cut short.     

 

 

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