Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has made a lot of news lately. Apparently the White House has been trying to round up well-known Republicans to come out in favor of ObamaCare and Mr. Frist was one of the first to answer the call. He recently wrote a point/counterpoint in U.S. News with Dick Armey about how wonderful it is to require working people to buy health insurance, even before they feed their children. Since then he has been all over the place.
First he was interviewed by Karen Tumulty in Time Magazine, saying if he were still in the Senate, “I would end up voting for it. As leader, I would take heat for it. That’s what leadership is all about.” He went on to say he especially liked the mandate. I mean, telling other people what to do – that’s what leadership is all about, eh, Billy?
Naturally, the “Democrats (were) Thrilled by (Former) Majority Leader’s Comment,” according to the New York Times. The article says they, “spent the day e-mailing links to the Time interview with Mr. Frist, a heart surgeon who has published a new book about health care and who was Mr. McConnell’s predecessor as Senate Republican leader.” Yes, all of the sudden they are willing to overlook his relationship to Hospital Corporation of America, which is run by his family.
But then he started backtracking. U.S. News reported, “Voters will be angry and mount a backlash against in upcoming elections unless the five different healthcare reform bills working through Congress are redrawn to prevent higher taxes and , according to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.” It went on to say that, “he would not vote for any of the five bills without major changes.”
I guess that’s what leadership is all about, too. Say one thing in the morning and the opposite in the afternoon. No wonder the Congressional Republicans are held in such low esteem.