March 23rd, 2010

Jeez. The Republican crybabies are out in full force. For the past year, Obama and the Democrats have given the GOP far, far, far more say in matter than the GOP ever gave Dems during the years Bush and the Republicans controlled Congress. But after using the filibuster as an ultimate cudgel an unprecedented number of times, after following a scorched-earth policy where they would rather destroy the legislative landscape rather than let it function well under Obama, after vehemently attacking Obama as a “socialist,” “communist,” “fascist,” and every other epithet imaginable… they say that after Health Care Reform passed, that NOW they are taking off the gloves.

These people are batshit insane.

John McCain:

“There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. “They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”

“No cooperation for the rest of the year”? As if they have been cooperating in any significant way up until now? Talk about your meaningless threats. Does this sound to anyone else like a five-year-old picking up the ball and taking it home so no one else can play? And they don’t even own the ball.

Mitt Romney:

America has just witnessed an unconscionable abuse of power. President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation — rather than bringing us together, ushering in a new kind of politics, and rising above raw partisanship, he has succumbed to the lowest denominator of incumbent power: justifying the means by extolling the ends. He promised better; we deserved better.

He calls his accomplishment “historic” — in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process — he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, “what starts twisted, ends twisted.”

Boy. The vast hypocrisy of that statement is breathtaking. Ignore for the moment that Obama has, relative to GOP actions under Bush, bent over backwards to accommodate Republicans in attempts to be bipartisan while the Republicans have been excessively vicious in their extreme partisan zeal. Let’s instead begin by examining what Romney (and many other right-wingers) have been calling “the nuclear option.” That term was first used by Republicans (Trent Lott coined it) to describe the plan to scrap the filibuster as a Senate procedure because Democrats were using it to block the most extreme of Bush’s far-right judicial nominees. But when public reaction showed that people thought the term “nuclear option” sounded unattractive, Republicans accused Democrats of creating the term (a lie), and insisted it be called the “constitutional option.” Their claim was that it was undemocratic and unconstitutional to not allow an up-or-down vote where a 50%+ majority could decide on a bill–something they have monolithically blocked since they lost the majority in the Senate.

Now, however, Republicans are saying that Democrats are exercising the “nuclear option” because they used reconciliation to pass health care reform. So, somehow the “nuclear option” is now reconciliation and not scrapping the filibuster. Never mind that Republicans used reconciliation 10 to 14 times (depending on who you listen to) over the past 30 years, including non-budget issues like student aid and welfare reform. Democrats used it also, including passage of the two most deficit-reducing acts over that period, while at least three Republican uses were for their massive tax cuts for the wealthy which included the biggest deficit increases in recent memory.

Republicans claim that this is different because it’s not fundamentally a budget issue, though as I mentioned above they have used it that way before as well, for significant social legislation. They say it’s different because it’s an end-run around a filibuster, but Republicans have used it for controversial bills which did not have a super-majority and might have been blocked had they tried it the usual route.

Top it all off with the fact that the Republicans, who called filibusters undemocratic and unconstitutional and threatened to kill it with the real “nuclear option,” have been using that same procedure constantly over the past 3 years, more than ever before in all of American history.

Just when you though that the sheer hypocrisy of Republicans could not be outdone, here they come and break all-new records.

  1. Troy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 | #1

    are exercising the “nuclear option” because they used reconciliation to pass health care reform

    actually, they mostly didn’t. The Senate passed their bill in December and the fight has been about procedure to work out the very major differences between the house and senate bills in committee (which is separate from reconciliation).

    This latest move was rather brilliant, instead of having to involve the Senate again (having lost that 60th vote) the House just decided to pass the Senate bill as-is and then add a shopping list of changes in a side-car bill. This bill will be “reconciliation” because it is dealing with budgetary matters of already-passed legislation.

  2. Tim Kane
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 | #2


    I think it helps any analysis of American politics, especially that involving the Republicans if you start off the discussion with RHOP.

    Republicans Hate Ordinary People.

    All subsequent analysis neatly rolls out out of that short statement.


    Think about it, if you must.

    They love the rich, but the rich are not ordinary people.

    They love the unborn, but the unborn are not ordinary people, they are people in the abstract.

    And so on…

    Best Regards,
    Tim Kane, RHOP.

  3. Luis
    March 24th, 2010 at 02:16 | #3

    Actually, I think I missed some details about HRC, in particular, in the absence of a public option, how will this be anything but a requirement to buy health insurance at any price the industry sets? And what do we do over the next four years while the health care industry jacks up prices like there’s no tomorrow? I imagine that was covered somehow, but I don’t recall hearing about it. Or are we OK with that now? I’m not trying to be snarky, I hope this has been covered, but I just didn’t catch it.

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