Democratic Strategy Sets Republican Hair on Fire
Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 17, 2010
Last week, Republicans were crying “foul” over the Democrats plan to use Budget Reconciliation to finalize its health care reform bill. As of yesterday, all Republicans want for Christmas is an up or down vote. That’s because of rumors that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a parliamentary procedure known as “Deeming”.
Congress can vote on a Senate Sidecar resolution (in this case, a fix to the HCR bill that is acceptable to House Democrats) which would require an up or down vote, and in doing so, “deem” the first Senate bill to have “passed”, or already become law. Wikipedia defines it as:
A self-executing rule is a procedural measure used by the U. S. House of Representatives to consider or approve legislation. The procedure can be included in rules adopted by the House Rules Committee to proposed modifications or amendments to a specific bill. When the full House votes to approve a self-executing rule it also simultaneously agrees to dispose of a separate matter, which is specified in the rule itself. For example, modifications or amendments can be approved while underlying bill is approved at the same time.
In essence, it ends up being one vote for two issues, the original Senate version and then the fixed version at the same moment. Very confusing. Very “tricksy”. So tricksy, in fact, that Republican House Speakers Gingrich and Hastert used it 192 times between 1995 and 2007. And that makes Democrats’ use of it unfair and underhanded trickery. But that’s not what is most interesting about this whole thing.
Last week, Republicans were beside themselves over Democratic “trickery” in trying to pass the HCR bill using Reconciliation in the Senate. Boehner, McConnell, Cantor and others all demanded that the Senate needed to debate the issue and would require sixty votes to end debate and move toward a floor vote on the revised HCR Bill; that an up or down vote is not the way a democracy works. This week, all they can dream of is an up or down vote in the House. Hmmm.
Me thinks someone is playing around with Republican heads…and it’s working. It’s almost as if Democrats said, “If you thought Reconciliation in the Senate was bad, wait until you see how we use Deem and Pass in the House”. And Republicans have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.
At issue in the House is a Senate Bill full of special interest money, like the sickening “Cornhusker Kickback” that Ben Nelson of Nebraska negotiated. House Democrats are opposed to these deals, and many do not want to be associated with passing a bill that includes them. Thus, they arrived at Deeming the Senate Bill passed so they could do an up or down vote on the fix. Tricksy, indeed.
If I were in the White House, I would be claiming this idea as my own, just to take credit for sending Republicans once again into a state of rapturous frenzy. It’s absolute genius! Republicans actually said the words “we want an up or down vote on health care reform”, exactly the same words President Obama has been using for weeks. In one deft move, Republicans now agree with President Obama! You can’t write this stuff into a movie any better than it is playing out in Washington. Which more than likely means it was done by accident, because no one in Washington is smart enough to play the game this way, right? Or are they?
Is someone in the White House pulling Republican strings like a puppeteer? Is there an actual strategy to get the GOP to react in outrage at least once a week? Is this planned?
If I were President it would be. Anything that makes my generation’s Republicans whine like spoiled brats is definitely something that needs to be implemented. Consider the fact that since the beginning of 2010, Republicans have done nothing but retreat and react. Their only response to each day’s issue is outrage, and the more they are portrayed in this light, the weaker they seem to the American people. Fitting accommodations for a political party whose only objective between 2008 and 2010 was to win back the House and Senate, no matter the consequences to the American people.
I can’t state strongly enough how the Republicans are getting what they deserve. The Democrats have grown a pair of Republican balls, using every one of the parliamentary “tricks” that Republicans repeatedly used when they were in control of the House, and Republicans don’t like it one bit. Why should they? All they can do is whine about it, and watch as the bill passes, the American people become accustomed to it, and slowly, Republican plans for a takeover in 2010 disappear.
You see, there is justice in Washington after all. If your political party has decided that the only thing they will work for is to defeat their opponents at the polls, that the American people are secondary to Republican dominance of government, then, when you lose at your own game, all that is left to you is the whining.
My oh my, are we hearing the whining in Washington today?! Someone is doing something right; you know it because Republican hair is on fire, and any day we get to see that is a good day. Flame on, Republicans! Maybe next time you are in control of the House, you’ll actually do something, go to work, pass legislation that helps Americans instead of standing on your soap boxes lying about how Christian you are.