Death By Reconciliation

If you were leading a party that was suffering massive unpopularity, with influential incumbents dropping like flies, polling everywhere suggesting you face a catastrophic reverse in upcoming elections, and dealing with a major financial crisis featuring unemployment that is predicted to hover uncomfortably close to double digits for years to come, you might think that attempting to drive through a health-care proposal opposed by a solid plurality, if not majority, in virtually every poll conducted over the last six to eight months would rank low on your agenda.

Yet the latest scuttlebutt on the never-ending Obamacare debacle is that Democratic leaders are once again trying to ram this dog in through the back door of reconciliation, a manuever that, even if successful, will make the loss of Ted Kennedy’s sacrosanct Massachussets seat seem like the calm before the storm.  Can you even CONCEIVE of a scenario – can even the most loyal Democrat or most fire-breathing progressive even envision a set of circumstances – where this will not result in a storm of controversy so large it will engulf the remaining brief years of the Obama administration?

I have to think that the few Democratic incumbents who remain in safe districts are probably NOT suicidal and that this is just a last-ditch attempt to bail out the Titanic with a couple of buckets, but it appears that a real effort to move in this direction is afoot.  If the upcoming “summit” is truly responsive to Republican ideas, I support it – but if it’s mere political cover to say “we tried” then swiftly move to reconciliation…well, let’s just say Republicans participating in this exercise need to enter with their skepticism at a very high level, and watch for tell-tale signs of an already-made “consensus” that predates the talks..,

6 comments to Death By Reconciliation

  • Martha Coffey

    I’m thinking we have the most sneaky, crooked leaders ever in Washington right now.

  • Fargus

    You’re right, Mark. Majority rule is absolutely antithetical to democracy and must be stopped!

  • Reconciliation is an attempt to sneak by the filibuster. Like it or not, Fargus, that’s still the way of the Senate. Has it been used before? Yes. By Republicans? Yes. Should it be used in this case? Only if you want to hand Congress to Republicans on a silver platter…

  • Bob from Ohio

    They don’t have 175 votes, let alone a majority. If they had the votes, they would have started it already.

    It also not a one day thing either. A bill has to go through much of the same process and then pass under the reconciliation rules. Some parts won’t fit.

    Is the abortion issue resolved?

    Let them try if they want. Several more months of keeping it in the news and then a failure. Sounds like a plan!

  • Sean P

    The only way Reid even gets to reconciliation is if the House passes the Reid Senate healthcare plan, word for word, and I don’t see how that happens. The Pelos bill passed 220-215, two of the yes votes are no longer in the house (one retired, the other died), which leaves them to 218-215.

    Plus, the first hurdle they have to face is the Sestack amendment, which House Democrats from conservative districts fought so hard for, isn’t in the Senate bill, so the pro-life Dems will have to trust the Senate to put the Sestack language in the Senate bill via recocilliation. Oh, and one of the yes votes was Republican Joseph Cao who I serously doubt will go along with it, which brings the vote total down to 217-216, which means Pelosi can’t afford one single defection. I’m just not seeing it.

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