Bobby Schilling (R, IL-17) calls President's bluff.

Getting rid of Phil Hare in IL-17 last year was one of life’s little pleasures – originally because Phil Hare was an odious little apparatchik toady who inherited the seat and kept it from inertia, but later because I grew to like Bobby Schilling.  Small business guy, pretty friendly, enjoyed taking whacks at Hare at every opportunity: what wasn’t to like?


Turns out that Representative Schilling hasn’t lost his taste for afflicting the comfortable: he’s publicly taken up the President on Obama’s kind offer to talk to Republicans about fixing the health care bill.  Bobby’s got a bunch of things to discuss:

  • The individual mandate.  Which is on track to be thrown out as unconstitutional.  Oopsie!
  • The 1099 disaster.  Short version: Obamacare added legislation that would force small businesses to have to make truly insane amounts of disclosure on their transactions.  Obama opposed fixing this until after his party got shellacked in the midterms.
  • Schilling’s family’s Health Savings Account.  Which is on the chopping block once Obamacare is fully implemented, and so much for keeping your health plan if you wanted to keep it (Schilling chose not to use the Congressional health plan).
  • And, oh yes: the general lack of transparency in the Obamacare ratification process.  Although the election of Bobby may be taken as a sign that the first corrective measures along those lines have been taken.

Bottom-line time: by offering such an opening at this one the White House has demonstrated that it doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that times have changed.  This isn’t 2005-2006, where the Republicans could be safely ignored because we were all fighting each other over illegal immigration and Harriet Myers; or 2007-2008, where the Republicans could be leapfrogged because we had committed our resources to keeping the Democrats from losing the war; or 2009-2010, where the Republicans were dismissed because “I won.”  This is 2011, and Bobby Schilling is in office because he made it visibly clear last year that he is not scared of Barack Obama.  Doing things like this is why IL-17 sent him to Congress in the first place.  Him, and a whole bunch of his colleagues.  So the President needs to get with the program, and have his Chief of Staff clear some time on the President’s calendar.


Assuming, of course, that President Obama’s kind offer wasn’t actually a lie.

Moe Lane (crosspost)


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