Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Since I wrote the previous post, Obama's double speak on the place of Reconciliation in the legislative process has received more attention. Ann Althouse has a good little piece on it.

Her blog reads:
"My understanding of the Senate is is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen..."
"... which means that Democrats and have to ask the question: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?"

That's Barack Obama in 2004.

And, here he is in 2006:
"Those big-ticket items, fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with, uhh, my fellow progressives and -- and some of these have -- have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion -- is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we -- we identify our core base, we throw 'em red meat, we get a 50-plus-one, uhhh, victory. See, Karl Rove doesn't need a broad consensus because he doesn't believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a -- a sizeable majority."

And 2007:
"[Health care reform] is an area where we're going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk that is not just a 50-plus-one majority...."

You gotta break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory with 50-plus-one but you can't govern. You know, you get Air Force One and a lot of nice perks as president but you can't -- you can't deliver on health -- we're not going to pass universal health care with a -- with a 50-plus-one strategy."
We're not? Or were you lying?

AND: In 2005:
"Under the rules, the reconciliation process does not permit that debate. Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes. In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning: A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked."
Yes, it has.

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