Earlier this week, former Bush speechwriter David Frum posted a note on his website warning Conservatives against trying to repeal health care reform legislation. “No illusions please. This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs?” Frum asked. “[T]oday’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished.”
Indeed, as the President prepared to sign the the most sweeping domestic legislation since Medicare, Fox News Channel ran numerous segments about the repeal effort, inviting the Texas Attorney General and the Governor of Idaho to plead their cases, without offering anti-repeal advocates the opportunity for rebuttal or seeking comment from any constitutional experts. While both Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Steven King (R-IA) appeared on the network to discuss the party’s efforts to introduce repeal legislation in Congress, only one a columnist for the Examiner appeared to question the validity of these efforts:
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Indeed, immediately after the President signed the Senate health care bill into law, “13 Republican state attorneys general filed a federal lawsuit against the overhaul” and Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “introduced legislation that would repeal the legislation.”
Despite Fox’s breathless coverage, however, neither effort has any serious chance of succeeding. Since the 1930’s, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can regulate almost any kind of economic activity, while the supremacy clause of the constitution says that federal laws are supreme to the laws of the states. The legislative effort is even more far-fetched. As King explained in the clip, opponents of reform would have to win over 218 votes to repeal the legislation and override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority. And that’s not something even Glenn Beck can achieve.