Friday, February 26, 2010


There is now yet another example of me simply being baffled by the thought processes and strategies of this administration. During the campaign, they came across as savvy and effective in their purposes. But, now I think they're being foolish. They're handing the majority of Congress over to the GOP in the November elections.

The example I'm referring to is their persistent and stubborn push to use reconciliation to pass Obamacare. That term is more appropriate now than ever now due to his official stamp being on it. I've heard and read this from many sources, but the first one that I'm looking at today is one from The Christian Science Monitor, of all places, referenced by Yahoo! News.

I can't see the upside for them in this. All the better for the country in the long run, I suppose, but in the short-term, they're not only messing themselves up but slowing the economic recovery as more uncertainty looms while the bill is passed, but with the promise to tinker with it.

Maybe cooler heads will prevail.
On Feb. 23, Sen. Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia, the leading in-house defender of the Senate traditions, urged his colleagues to allow filibusters to run their course and not change rules to block them.

“The Senate is the only place in government where the rights of a numerical minority are so protected. Majorities change with elections. A minority can be right, and minority views can certainly improve legislation,” he wrote in a letter to his Senate colleagues.

“Extended deliberation and debate – when employed judiciously – protect every senator, and the interests of their constituency, and are essential to the protection of the liberties of a free people,” he added.
It's heartening to hear of a democrat trying to truly protect the freedoms, powers, and protections granted to the minority party (who in reality represents half the country) in the true structure of the Senate. And for those whose reasons aren't as noble, I'm glad to see that there are moderate Democrats who understand the imprudence of going forward with jamming this legislation down the throats of 60% of the population who have been polled as saying they oppose the move to use reconciliation.
If Democrats opt to push healthcare reform through the Senate using reconciliation, “the opposition to it would be bipartisan,” said Senator McConnell after the summit.
It is certainly heartening to hear that there is bi-partisan opposition to the concept, but for no reason that I can perceive except perhaps for pure hubris and stubborness, they're planning on doing it anyways. Can't they see the looming disaster? "Pride cometh before the fall."

Even if somehow they could get 51 votes to pass the Senate Bill, as is (which is the only procedurally feasible way to proceed with reconcilation), they all agree that changes must be made afterward to "fix" the bill to measure up to the changes the House Dems demands. What happens if, after they get the Senate Bill through, not enough people are up for the "fix"? Are they left with a bill that everyone believes is flawed? What a mess.

I don't see the Democratic Caucus being reliably loyal to whatever vote they say they'll do. If Pelosi, Reid, or Obama want to strong arm people for their votes, they really have very little power b/c I think there are a handful of democrats who would rather retire than face an election with a "yes" vote on this unpopular bill.

It's not just Obama who is reliably two faced. Only yesterday, the Congress exposed themselves to the trend as well by overwhelmingly reinstating the Patriot Act.....but that's for another entry.

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