One might think that voting for Democrat-drafted Obamacare legislation and opposing Republican Party leadership in the process would have given the leftist-Republican “Solutions Caucus” cause to prepare their defense ahead of the primary season. However, the frustration of Democrat-Republican swing voters in the Montana legislature is palpable as they are frantically scurrying to defend the most notable vote of the 2019 session.
The vote for Medicaid Expansion Renewal by a few errant Montana Republicans, just enough to help Democrats pass the legislation, was nothing short of a vote for what is better known as Obamacare. It is also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The renewal would allow Montana to conform to the standards set forth in Obama’s Affordable Care Act, first passed in the U.S. Congress in 2010.
A referendum ballot measure in 2018 was rejected by Montana voters, and overwhelmingly so in conservative or Republican districts. Still, the Solutions Caucus, led by Llew Jones (Conrad), made yet another devil’s bargain with Montana’s Democratic governor, something he has been doing to pass Democrat legislation since 2008. Working around the will of the people of Montana, that which was rejected by voters was taken to the Montana legislature, where it passed thanks to liberal Republicans like Llew Jones, Joel Krautter, Nancy Ballance, and Eric Moore.
The Montana Family Foundation even warned legislators the bill would continue to provide funding for abortion, something reiterated by the foundation only last week. Watchdog groups warned the leftist-Republicans that the legislation would break state budgets and was recklessly irresponsible.
Still, the Solutions Caucus members stuck to their liberal guns and passed the measure with a provision requiring recipients work if they were able. The measure, the Solutions Caucus told us, was at least some small concession that would make the legislation acceptably responsible. Then, that provision was overturned by a Washington D.C. court who ruled it unconstitutional. The one and only ‘conservative’ addition to the Democrats’ bill has been stricken from the legislation ex post facto, and now the Democrats have everything they asked for in the Obamacare bill. Montana voters are right to give the Solutions Caucus members a comeupance this primary season and vote them out of office for violating even the most basic principles of the Republican Party.
However, Solutions Caucus members are vigorously trying to defend their 2019 vote to bust budgets, expand government, and hand out government entitlements.
Rep. David Bedey (HD86) has written a several-part series on Facebook defending his vote with Democrats to pass Montana’s Obamacare. Entitled, A Conservative’s Case for Medicaid Reform, the title seems to lack obligatory ‘scare quotes’ around the word Conservative’s. Bedey might be one of the worst possible choices to defend the conservative position of anything, considering that he has an F-score on party loyalty from Legistats. In fact, Bedey’s score as a Republican is so bad that he ranks 41 in party loyalty and only the most liberal representatives – including Jones, Krautter, and Balance – receive a worse score. He crossed over to vote with Democrats that session 192 times.
In the ill-titled post series, Bedey seeks to do the impossible, and that is to get Republican primary voters to believe that voting for Obamacare was the “conservative” thing to do.
Bedey resorts to special pleading and emotionalism in his retorts, claiming that conservative Republicans are abusive toward those who sided with Democrats even though they are on the Republican rosters. Bedey writes, “But today, the [Solutions Caucus] continues to endure the vitriol of a vociferous few of the House Republicans who opposed Medicaid reform.”
Of course, the Republicans who sided with their party leadership were not few at all. And secondly, the Solutions Caucus did not vote for “Medicaid reform.” They voted for what is essentially Obamacare. It didn’t “reform” anything, but expanded it.
Bedey went on with his mischaracterizations, “These so-called ‘constitutional conservatives’ have taken to name-calling, referring to the [Solutions Caucus] members as traitors, socialists, Communists, and even abortionists. Notably, the slander is never accompanied by coherent policy proposals for maintaining Montana’s healthcare system. Instead, all that is offered, if anything, are empty ideological slogans sometimes accompanied by vulgar threats.”
Threats, of course, should be reported to the police. It’s presumed that Bedey speaks of hardy debate and is engaging in catastrophization, a component of leftist snowflake culture.
Bedey then launches into an invective that attempts to redefine the term “conservative” away from its common colloquial understanding. This is necessary for whatever Solutions Caucus member may retain a conscience and desires to advertise themselves as ‘conservative’ while consistently siding with the Democratic Party, and still want to sleep at night.
Bedey writes, “Conservatives—while skeptical of change—realize that it is inevitable and that statesmanship consists in finding prudent, real-world policies to adapt and protect our institutions.”
The problem, as Montana conservatives will tell you, is that the “real-world policies” and solutions found by the Solutions Caucus never compromise to the right, but always to the left.
He continued, “Conservatives reject as unrealistic the utopian projects of both the far Left and the far Right.”
In Bedey’s slight-of-hand, he systematically redefined ‘conservative’ to mean moderate. Voters should keep in mind the peculiar lexicon of Solutions Caucus members. When they say “extremist” they mean “conservatives.” When they say “conservatives” they mean “moderates.”
His first volley never attempted to explain why voting for Obamacare was conservative. It only redefined conservatism. Liberal Solutions Caucus members like Joel Krautter (Sidney) eagerly posted his claim that Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln would have voted for Obamacare (see below).
In Bedey’s second volley, he attempted to defend the Solutions Caucus in regard to their voting for what their constituents had already voted against. Such is a hard row to hoe indeed for incumbents coming back home to face their constituents (he did not mention the vast sums of money contributed to his campaign or to the other Solutions Caucus members by hospital lobbyists, insurance lobbyists, or other special interest groups).
Bedey’s amazingly tone-deaf defense of voting against their constituents is that “no one can know for sure” why voters voted against it.
He writes, “Why did voters in 2018 reject I-185? I don’t know the answer . . . and neither does anyone else.”
Of course, it should have been enough to know that the voters rejected expanding the size of government in capitulation to Obamacare’s mandates. But Bedey nonetheless rationalizes that the vote of the people on the ballot measure was moot because the ballot didn’t let them explain why they opposed it. Of course, that’s not how ballots work. The answer to the question, of course, is that unlike the Solutions Caucus, Montanans want smaller government instead of larger government.
The Solutions Caucus never has a solution that makes government smaller, that puts more money in the hands of voters, and less power in the hands of the government. They are scared to death that voters will find out that the Solutions Caucus is nothing short of a tool of the Montana Democratic Party.
It’s about time they find out.