Reconciliation As Nuclear Option: Note To Democrats – Republicans Have THEIR ‘Nuclear Option,’ Too

So I drag a woman walking down the sidewalk into a dark ally and tell her I would very much like to have sex with her – and it has to be done now, without debate.  She refuses; no negotiation, no compromise.  And of course I rape her.  The question is, who is to blame for the rape?

According to the Democrats’ view, it is clearly the woman.

President Barack Obama now realizes he probably will have to pass health reform with Democratic votes alone, White House officials say…

“We were forced into this by Republicans,” one official said.

Headline: “I was forced to rape…,” claims rapist.

The Republicans are like the woman; they oppose a government takeover of health care the way the woman opposes having sex with a stranger.  But because they stand up for their principles and refuse to compromise their values, they get raped.

The Republicans can’t stop anything the Democrats do.  Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  Demagoguing Republicans for the Democrats’ failure to come together is both absurd and immoral.  It is transparently false.  The only real battle going on is between liberal and conservative Democrats.

So why blame Republicans?  Because Democrats are demagogues.

Today Obama said:

“I think early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory, maybe we can have a replay of 1993, ’94, when Clinton came in, he failed on health care and then we won in the mid-term elections and we got the majority. And I think there are some folks who are taking a page out that playbook,”

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Democrats haven’t offered Republicans ANYTHING they want, but only EVERYTHING they hate.  It’s not about the fact that not only were Republicans shut out of crafting health care legislation, but even Blue Dog DEMOCRATS were shut out of the process.

This is so like Obama: he depicts himself as standing loftily above everyone around him as the sole determiner of truth and justice – and then anyone who disagrees with him has the lowest politically partisan motives.  It’s really a remarkable trick for a man who was THE most liberal US Senator the year before he began his run for the presidency.

When Democrats talk about “going solo,” they aren’t just talking about using their overwhelming majority to impose ObamaCare – because they don’t have the Democrat votes for it.  Rather, they are talking about using a rare parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation”:

The debate over health care reform could be heading in a new direction. Democrats are considering going at it alone. That would mean trying to pass it without Republican support.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Democrats want to use a process called reconciliation. It would only require 51 votes in the Senate to get a health care bill passed. Normally, a bill would require 60 votes to be passed. Also, with the reconciliation process, only 20 hours of debate would be allowed, no filibuster would be allowed, stamping out opposition debate.

Reconciliation was created for budget items, because the federal government has a constitutional requirement to pass a budget.  The measure has never been used to advance legislation – although Bill Clinton threatened to use it to ram through his health care plan in 1993.  Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, who drafted the reconciliation process in 1974, was opposed to Clinton’s maneuver – just as he is opposed to Barack Obama’s doing it now.

Even Robert Byrd is adamant that reconciliation not be used to reform healthcare, as it leads down a slippery slope. Byrd is important here, because he developed the now-called Byrd Rule, that sets six conditions by which a provision can be excluded from reconciliation. This was intended to prevent abuse of the reconciliation tactic; otherwise, what stops anyone at anytime using this trick to avoid filibuster? The six conditions simply demand that if any provision of the bill is not about the budget, deficits, surpluses, or funding, then the whole package is thrown out.

This illegitimate abuse of the reconciliation as a “nuclear option” would poison any chance of bipartisanship for years – even decades – to come.

But it is well within the mindset of a president who falsely promised to be a “‘new politician’ who had risen above the partisan divide and didn’t have to lower himself into the gutter of the political past.”

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a different occasion.

Using reconciliation as a nuclear option wouldn’t be lowering oneself in a gutter; it would be growing gills and living in a sewer system filled with the very worst kind of toxic waste.

Republicans are finally starting to learn – about a decade late – that it’s time they started bringing guns to the fight with Democrats, too.

Don’t think the use of reconciliation won’t have massive consequences.

It should be known that Republicans have a nuclear option of their own:

[T]he Republicans can shut down the Senate for the next  year.  Those unfamiliar with the parliamentary procedure may not realize that a great many steps get skipped by unanimous consent.  Bill-reading is just one example.  One Senator can force each and every bill to be read aloud at every appearance it makes on the Senate floor, including when they are sent to committee.  For ObamaCare and cap-and-trade, one bill reading could take a week, keeping the Senate floor locked off from any other business.

All Republicans can do is stand up for their conservative values, and try to rally the American people to their cause.  They can’t stop the Democrats from passing a massive government takeover of health care along party lines.  They can’t even mount a filibuster without Democrats crossing over to join them.

All Democrat lies aside; this isn’t about a bill that Republicans won’t support.  It’s about a bill that can’t even sustain Democrat support.

If Democrats invoke the illegitimate process of a nuclear option to pass health care, they will start the nastiest war this country has seen since our Civil War in 1861.  It will lead to a political climate that will be uglier than any American has ever seen in his or her lifetime.

The conservative American Spectator writes:

While the White House has been floating the idea of using reconciliation to pass health care legislation with a simple majority of 51 votes, it should be seen as an empty threat. Let’s even set aside the fact that it would be a declaration of war that would shut down the Senate, that it would remove any pretense that Obama is a post-partisan president, and that ramming an unpopular bill down the throats of the public is not a politically astute move. Even if Democrats wanted to risk all of that for the greater goal of passing health care legislation, they couldn’t do it.

I hope they are right.  But I will not be the least bit surprised if it isn’t an empty threat at all.  Rather, what I regard as “empty” was the “post-partisan” promises (dare I say it again) of THE most liberal U.S. Senator the year before he ran for the presidency.

Be vigilant.  And be ready to go absolutely ballistic if this massive violation into our constitutional democracy is rammed down our throats.

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2 Responses to “Reconciliation As Nuclear Option: Note To Democrats – Republicans Have THEIR ‘Nuclear Option,’ Too”

  1. Deborah Says:

    If Obeyme and his thugs do push this through on reconciliation it might really be the best thing for Americans. The people will then vote against them in 2010/2012. We can then reverse any legislation they have pushed down our throats.
    This way the death of their DemocRATic majority will be sealed and we can get on with what we need to do in America.
    If anything, some good has come out of this. Americans are now taking a closer look at what their elected officials (employees) are doing and are no longer passive.
    My only fear is that if they do push this through, the protests that we now see will turn very ugly. The rest of the world will see America as weak and divided and could make us more vulnerable to those who want to hurt us.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Deborah,
    Your heart is in the right place. No question about that.

    I would agree with you if you were talking about cap-and-trade, because your political analysis in and of itself is correct. I draw the line at health care and the Fairness Doctrine. If we allow Democrats to impose their health care, America may well be done. Once the system is up and running, it will be virtually impossible to dismantle.

    Take Medicare as an example of what Obama wants to do with the entire health care system. On its face, Medicare/Medicaid is a colossal failure, having some $61.6 in total unfunded liability and going bankrupt by 2017 (if not sooner). But people need it; they count on it. You can’t just take it away from them. So it’s an unsustainable failure that we have to continue – and how do we fix such an incredibly broken system without letting people slip through the cracks and literally die?

    That’s the thing. We’re talking about life and death. Something like cap-and-trade we can dismantle; but we can’t take away health care benefits once we grant them. That’s my view, anyway.

    The “public option” (or the co-op) is the camel’s nose in the tent. Once it starts moving in, there won’t be anything to stop it. So we absolutely must stop it before it starts.

    But I’ll tell you what, Deborah (I love biblical names, by the way); call your Republican and tell him/her that if the Democrats use their nuclear option, Republicans had better use theirs. This is going to be a bare-knuckle brawl (created by the president who promised he could transcend such things), and we have to get mean.

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