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Lindsey Graham Calls Health Care Deal "Seedy Chicago Politics"; Valerie Jarrett Disagrees

By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 29, 2009 3:20PM

Over the weekend South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, discussing the Christmas Eve health care reform deal, told CNN that President Obama's campaign slogan has become empty, replaced by the sleaze we locals call politics. “You know, change you can believe in,” Graham said on CNN's State of the Union, “after this health care bill debacle, [that] has now becoming an empty slogan. And it's really been replaced by seedy Chicago politics, when you think about it, backroom deals that amount to bribes.” It echoed accusations made by Sen. John McCain last week on the morning of the bill's passage, who called it "an exercise in sleazy Chicago-style sausage making."

Dismayed by the accusation, Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett pushed back at Graham's accusations. "It was definitely a cheap shot and completely unwarranted," Jarrett told The Hill. "I think what people ought to do is to focus on how they can be constructive in their discourse and present fresh ideas for the president's consideration, and not lose focus on why they were all elected. They were elected to serve the people."

Lindsey Graham clearly doesn't know anything about Chicago politics - and Jarrett isn't about to school him in how it's really done. If Barack Obama wanted to push health care reform Chicago-style, we think it would have gone more like this:

  • Obama announces that Americans have no other option but to embrace nationalized health care, as it's the only job-creating economic option available;
  • The media would run a series of articles repeating what he said, while asking rhetorically if it were, in fact, true. No actual research on the part of the media will take place;
  • A handful of so-called "independent" congressmen (who vote the way the president wants them to 95 percent of the time) would announce publicly that they were unsure about the logistics of the plan, and needed the White House to make some revisions to it;
  • The bill would pass, nearly intact, with two congressmen opposing it because it was politically advantageous to appear to be opposing the president;
  • Barack Obama would then lease the national health care system to a private bank for one sixth of the annual national budget, hailing his "innovative" genius for saving the nation from debt while reaping the benefits of private sector management;
  • Health care in the United States would then triple in retail price while covering less than half the people it did before it was leased. The media will run a series of hand-wringing articles wondering how such an undemocratic injustice could have been committed;
  • Many of the same congressmen that originally supported the legislation would call for hearings on how the lease could have been done better.
  • And, in the end Obama and all of the Congressmen would be re-elected because, well, there just wasn't a good alternative.