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..,