Abuse of Power

Abuse of Power
‘An undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role.’

A string of electoral defeats and the great unpopularity of ObamaCare can’t stop Democrats from their self appointed rendezvous with liberal destiny—ramming a bill through Congress on a narrow partisan vote. What we are about to witness is an extraordinary abuse of traditional Senate rules to pass a bill merely because they think it’s good for the rest of us, and because they fear their chance to build a European welfare state may never come again.
The vehicle is “reconciliation,” a parliamentary process that fast tracks budget measures and was created in 1974 as a deficit-reduction tool. Limited to 20 hours of debate, reconciliation bills need a mere 50 votes in the Senate, with the Vice President as tie-breaker, thus circumventing the filibuster. Both Democrats and Republicans have frequently used reconciliation on budget bills, so Democrats are now claiming that using it to pass Obama Care is no big deal.

Yet this shortcut has never been used for anything approaching the enormity of a national health-care entitlement. Democrats are only resorting to it now because their plan is in so much political trouble—within their own party, and even more among the general public—and because they’ve failed to make their case through persuasion.

“They know that this will take courage,” Nancy Pelosi said in an interview over the weekend, speaking of the Members she’ll try to strong arm. “It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare,” the Speaker continued. “But the American people need it,why are we here? We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress.”

Leave aside the irony of invoking “the American people” on behalf of a bill that consistently has been 10 to 15 points underwater in every poll since the fall, and is getting more unpopular by the day, particularly among independents. As Maine Republican Olympia Snowe pointed out in a speech last December, Social Security passed when Democrats controlled both Congress and the White House, yet 64% of Senate Republicans and 79% of the House GOP voted for it. More than half of the Senate Republican caucus voted for Medicare in 1965. Historically, major social legislation has always been bipartisan, because it reflects a durable political consensus.

amendment process: That is, reconciliation wouldn’t actually be used to pass ObamaCare per se. Instead, it would be used only to muscle through substantive changes to the bill that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve, without which 216 House Democrats won’t vote for it. So Democrats would be writing amendments to current law that isn’t in fact law at all—and can’t become law without those amendments.
President Clinton preferred to use reconciliation to pass HillaryCare in the 1990s, but he was dissuaded by West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who argued that it would be an abuse of the process. Mr. Byrd, author of a four-volume history of Senate rules and procedures, told the Washington Post last March that “The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation—a process intended for deficit reduction—to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role,” specifically citing health reform and cap and trade.

Regrets, they’ve got a few. Yet these Democratic Sinatras will still do it their way. President Obama is expected to endorse reconciliation in remarks this morning.
The goal is to permanently expand the American entitlement state with a vast apparatus of subsidies and regulations while the political window is still (barely) open, regardless of the consequences or the overwhelming popular condemnation. As Mr. Obama fatalistically said after his health summit, if voters don’t like it, “then that’s what elections are for.”In other words, he’s volunteering Democrats in Congress to march into the fixed bayonets so he can claim an LBJ-level legacy like the Great Society that will be nearly impossible to repeal. This would be an unprecedented act of partisan arrogance that would further mark Democrats as the party of liberal extremism. If they think political passions are bitter now, wait until they pass ObamaCare.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A16

Article at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704625004575089362731862750.html

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Abuse of Power”

  1. crosssection Says:

    Just the facts for Nancy Pelosi:

    http://crosssection.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/nancy-pelosi-it-will-take-courage-to-vote-for-the-health-care-bill/

  2. PATRIOT Says:

    Crossection that record is skipping! Play another neo-con racist tune!!

  3. CountDown Says:

    I have a progressive/communist/socialist racist tune for you Patsy:

    Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm, Barack Hussein Obama; Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm, Barack Hussein Obama….!

    Picture little indoctrinated childrens being MANDATED to sing this in public schools.

    Do you like this record better?

  4. PATRIOT Says:

    Only a fan of that racist imbecile, Rush Limbaugh, would repeat that dribble!!

  5. Wanderant Says:

    Only this one term intellectually and integrity-challenged administration would trigger such dribble from indoctrinated kids.

    First, they came for your car companies; then, they came for your banks and financial institutions; next they will come for your healthcare and finally, your kids….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: