Lars Larson: Wyden should not go back to the Senate

There’s something seriously wrong when a U.S. Senator changes course this way.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden should not go back to the U.S. Senate because he is a major league hypocrite. He opposed ObamaCare. For that, as a Democrat, I have to applaud him.
The problem is, when it came down to a vote, he caved in.
He was the deciding vote. The 60th vote to say yes to Obamacare.

It forces Americans to buy something that many of them did not want to buy. The Constitution does not give government the right to make you buy health care. You can choose not to buy health care even if it makes sense to others that you should.

Senator Wyden said yes to make that a law all over America. Then, for his own state, he is now asking for an exemption. He wants Oregon exempted from a law that he passed and imposed on the rest of America.

That kind of hypocrite does not belong in the United States Senate.

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Posted by at 07:26 | Posted in Measure 37 | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Wyden also blows his own horn about supposedly developing a new federal forest plan to yield more Oregon timber harvest. Yet we’ve seen this smoke screen before. During the Clinton administration a similar plan was worked out to assure a billion board feet of harvest. Yet no such harvest has been achieved since this plan’s “acceptance.” Courts and environmentalist continue to frustrate while Wyden plays like he is advancing the interests of Oregon’s timber economy. Don’t buy it. Wyden’s populist rhetoric sounds good to the ear but in an age of unavoidable global markets, it makes the U.S less competitive and adversely impacts the Oregon economy.

    Wyden should stop hid’n and debate Huffman at least twice in front of large Oregon audiences. Let’s get it on, Wyden of old New York.

    • valley p

      “During the Clinton administration a similar plan was worked out to assure a billion board feet of harvest. ”

      There is a difference between “assure” and “attempt.” No forest plan can ever assure anything. There are too many variables between policy hatched in DC and on the ground implementation 3000 miles tot he west. The Clinton Plan had an overly optimistic level of harvest given the level of conservation it included. But without the Clinton plan there would have been even less harvest because the courts had shut down Federal forestry in the northwest because the Bush 1 Administration failed to find any solution whatsoever. The Wyden plan may turn out the same way, or may turn out better than advertised. No one can know unless and until it is adopted and put to the test.

      But if you are going to assume it won’t work ahead of time, then base that on the merits of the plan, not on the merits of a previous plan done by others.

      Environmentalists have largely backed Wyden’s plan. They did not back Clinton’s plan and challenged its implementation. But your last point on global markets is the most important one. Pacific Northwest Forest, especially those east of the mountains, cannot compete globally. They can’t produce softwood timber as cheaply as can be done overseas. Wyden can’t do anything about that. Neither can his opponent.

      • Steve Plunk

        The Great Northwest Timber Compromise was sold to us as a lasting agreement between the timber industry and environmental groups. Those environmental groups had a place at the table but knew good and well they could get proxies to dispute any sale they chose. It was a ruse and proof positive you can never trust them.

        The plan never came close to delivering the promised harvests and no one ever held the environmental movement responsible for their contemptible behavior. Even today they hide behind excuses that the industry would have died regardless. They ignore the fact that profits could have enabled the industry to adapt and evolve.

        Wyden is a bumbling rube who is less of an Oregonian than a Washington insider. In reality doesn’t he live mostly in New York with his wife?

        The Hypocrisy of the exemption should make it clear to voters what he is, an opportunist who has few principles and is out of touch with Oregonians.

  • Ha!

    Funny how little Lars understands about this. He has no clue how this country and this state work. When something starts to suck in the Senate, Wyden inserts an exemption clause for states, votes for the bill and now legislators in Salem are working for a more cost-effective and inclusive program as an alternative to the individual mandate and the insurance exchange.

    If this takes the form of the single-payer bill, then we could actually get insurance away from employers, which will be the single biggest boost our small and mid-sized businesses can have.

    Go actually talk to someone other than your uber-rich, haven’t-worked-in-years buddies, Lars. You don’t know the first damn thing about business.

    • Steve Plunk

      I find it annoying that none of the politicians looked at how to control health care costs but instead concentrated on how to pay for those ever rising costs. That’s not the answer. There’s only so much money to pay for things unless we continue the Wyden/Obama plan and just borrow it. Our kids will be ever thankful for that.

      • valley p

        There was no “table” to have a place at Steve. The Northwest Forest Plan that was adopted was 1 of 9 options that were evaluated on their merits to conserve over 400 species of plants and wildlife dependent on old growth forests. Clinton selected an option that he felt optimized conservation and timber production. Neither environmentalists nor the timber industry were asked to agree, and both ended up suing. Over time, the federal agencies could not hit the timber estimates because there were too many plants and animals in the way.

        Environmentalists had little to do with the failure to meet the timber targets. The environment, and the laws that govern federal forest management, had everything to do with it. As proof, the Bush Administration, never a friend of the environment nor environmentalists, was unable to meet the timber harvest goals for its entire 8 years in office.

        Wyden lives “mostly” in Washington DC, like every other senator. You expect him to live in Oregon and commute 3000 miles?

        • Steve Plunk

          There actually was a table they all sat at. Sure it was a lot for show but your tut tut of that fact is telling. It’s all excuses now. Back then it was all about compromise and getting along but we found out soon enough that the promises of the lefty environmentalists were as worthless as the paper they were written on. The compromise was a stall tactic that stopped discussions of reforming the Endangered Species Act. It was a hot topic back then as jobs were being killed.

          Environmentalists and there brethren within the Forest Service and BLM all a great deal to do with those harvest levels not being met. A lawsuit here and some dubious science there (there’s no doubt the current crop of federal scientists are little more than left over flower children and tree huggers) resulted in timber sales not getting done or delayed to the point of making them economically unsound for the buyers. Even after a sale was approved the vandalism and protests could suck the profit out of the deal. The Bush administration recognized it could do nothing against these actions unless it had a larger conservative majority on congress.

          I don’t expect Wyden to commute. I expect him to realize he is no longer a true Oregonian and step down with some dignity.

          • valley p

            What you recall as a table was a televised forum where everyone had their one chance to say something for the cameras. The adopted plan had nothing to do with that forum. There was no attempt at a negotiated agreement. I know because I was there, working for the FS at the time.

            There was never any serious move to “reform” as you say, “gut” as Richard Pombo would have said, the ESA. Americans don’t want the bald eagle and Pacific salmon to be only a memory Steve.

            Your description of FS managers is hillarious, and so far off reality I can only shake my head. You need to get out more and meet the bureaucrats. You have such a twisted view of things. One wonders where you get your information from.

            Bush caved to a timber industry lawsuit and had the aging hippies at BLM re-write their management plan. This effort collapsed when a federal court found it quite illegal. We have laws to protect resources from people like Bush.

            You expect Wyden to step down? Apparently he did not get the memo.

    • Anonymous

      So let me get this straight: you are saying Wyden identifies a bill that sucks, and rather than fight the bill, he sticks in an exception for his state, votes for the bill, and makes 49 other states suffer?

      And you are defending this?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Wyden’s attempt to get Oregon exempted from the individual mandate is actually quite telling. Senator Wyden has been in congress for decades and frankly we all know that of all the states, Oregon should be among the safest for Democrats this November.

    When, at this late hour, Wyden pops up trying to exempt Oregon from the individual mandate it is not because he had nothing better to do that day. You don’t get to sit in congress since 1980 without being able to read the political tea leaves. When Obama care has problems in Oregon, as Wydens move to exempt the state from the essential portion of it shows, that speaks volumes.

    Of course we will hear the usual justification, that Wyden did it not because he fears the political repercussions of his vote for Obama care, but because he is taking a principled stand for single payer or some other such nonsense.

    In the end though, we all know that when a Democrat Senator in as safe harbor as Oregon should be, to back off from Obama care with this move tells us all we need to know about Wydens sense of the popularity of his vote.

    • valley p

      The exemption from the mandate is if the state can meet the coverage goals. The goal if the health care bill was not to have a mandate. That is a tool for achieving the goal of near universal coverage. So Wyden, to his credit focused on the goal, not the mandate. Given that you so called conservatives like the idea of state autonomy, why Wyden’s exemption clause would be a point of criticism is beyond me.

  • ROSIA

    CHK OUT WYDENS RECORD WITH ILLEGALS,HE HAS ALWAYS VOTED FOR THE ILLEGAL AGAINST AMERICAN WORKERS, OREGON WORKERS, GO TO http://www.NumbersUSA.COM HE HAS A ‘F’, YEARS AGO WE CALLED HIM ,”HIGHDEN WYDEN”, HE SHOWS UP ONCE A YEAR IN OUR TOWN FOR AN HOUR OR SO, AND THAN HE IS OFF, WE HAVE CALLED,FAXED, EMAILED AND WRITTEN TO HIM AND FINALLY GOT A FORM LETTER FROM HIM. BUT OF COURSE ITS ELECTION TIME AND WE TOLD HIM WE WERE VOTING FOR HUFFMAN..
    HE SAID HE KNEW THE OR. VOTERS WERE AGAINST OBAMACARE, BUT IT WAS HIS OPINION THAT HE WOULD VOTE FOR IT.. SO MUCH FOR STANDING UP FOR US……..THE TIMBER DEAL IS GREAT FOR TREE HUGGERS,OUR FOREST IN EASTERN OREGON IS ROTTING, TREES THAT NEED TO BE HARVESTED ARE OVERRIPE, ROTTING, FALLING OVER AND BECOMING FUEL FOR MORE FOREST FIRES. WHAT WASTE. PLEASE VOTERS EDUCATE YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU VOTE. VOTE FOR A MAN WHO VALUES THE CONSTITUTION AND IS A CONSERVATIVE…..

    • valley p

      You might want to de-activate your cap-lock and remove the tin foil cap.

  • mary silcox

    The only reason Wyden caved in to the Health Care vote, is that his own proposal was voted down. Gee, why was that? His proposal mimic the Federal Health Care bill, but didn’t have the total control over the people that the present Health care has.

    Also, Oregon’s health Care, which again mimics the Federal Health Care bill, isn’t doing so great. Why is that?

    Maybe it is because both systems, don’t really mean Health Care for all. Economically, they are programs that are not ‘sustainable’. Sustainable, a present day oxymoron word. And those who continously use the word, are morons.

    Keep marching to the tune of stupidity!

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