It’s not surprising that Republicans are this week whining about the impending attempt by the Democrats to use Senate reconciliation rules to pass Health Care Reform legislation. It’s the kind of thing that has become the norm in today’s fractured American political environment. But really, come on. Are we Americans not intelligent enough to see how silly this is? Let’s look at the big picture. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) goes on Fox News, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) writes an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, and the Republican propaganda machine goes into overdrive warning us that the big bad government is about to impose its will on us by a majority vote. Not only that, but the people doing the voting are the elected representatives of the people. Who knew that tyranny could look like democracy is sheep’s clothing?
To quote Senator Hatch:
“This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope. And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship.”
Here’s another view. The Democrats passed Health Care Reform legislation in both the House and Senate. Democrats are now threatening to use the Senate rule on reconciliation to overcome the threatened use by the Republicans to use the Senate filibuster rule to block final passage of Health Care Reform. Sounds like everyone is playing by the rules. So what are the Republicans afraid of? Are they perhaps concerned that once passed the new law will turn out to be popular? If they are correct in asserting that the proposed Health Care Reform legislation is against the will of the American people, they will get their chance to take back control of the Congress in November. Democrats will have to convince their constituents that this new law is good for the people. Isn’t this as it should be in a democracy?
As outlined in my blog entry last week, some very significant health care and other legislation has been passed and signed into law as a result of the use of Senate reconciliation rules. Let’s see if the Democrats have the courage to lead.