Are Democrats choosing to run off a cliff with ObamaCare?

posted at 9:55 am on February 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans have reacted with understandable glee to the Democratic insistence on extending the debate on ObamaCare.  After all, we are coming up on eight months since the Democrats first introduced this bill and attempted to rush it through Congress.  In that time, their polling has plunged, grassroots reaction has exploded, and a popular new President has seen his standing rapidly fall with voters.  The midterms look like a disaster already, and a last-ditch effort by Democrats to use parliamentary tricks to pass a broadly unpopular bill will only make that worse.

Are Democrats acting irrationally, refusing to see the cliff in front of them?  Andy McCarthy says no — and that Republicans need to understand that:

I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that “reconciliation,” if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That’s the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftitsts who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don’t think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that’s why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that’s the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership.

Andy has a point.  The American political system has remained stable mainly because its political parties have remained rational over our history.  That rationality has been mainly based on the accepted principle that there isn’t more to power in our system than winning elections, which can create short-sighted leadership at times, but also discourages sweeping  changes to the country by a party on a political suicide mission.  A party with a leadership of zealots, though, could choose to use a two-year session of Congress to fundamentally remake America if it accepted a humiliating loss of power as the necessary trade-off.

However, that would require all of the politicians of that party to follow suit, and that’s where the Democratic leadership has a big problem.  They didn’t gain the majority by elected over 300 cardboard cutouts of Nancy Pelosi as Representatives and Senators.  While Andy is spot-on about Pelosi and her clique being descendants of the New Left radicals of the 1960s (as is Barack Obama), that’s not true for a large portion of their caucus, especially those representing red districts and red states.  Not only is political suicide much more likely for them than it is for Pelosi, Anthony Weiner, Jarrold Nadler, et al, they’re temperamentally different from the leadership clique as well.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t get bulldozed into compliance, but it does make it a more difficult proposition for Pelosi to hold her caucus together.  We’re already seeing signs of it splintering, and as this effort gets closer to the midterm elections, that will increase proportionately.  Blue Dogs are already unhappy with the direction of ObamaCare — and so are progressives, but for diametrically opposed reasons.  The summit may have helped to pull recalcitrant moderates in line, but Democrats got punked at the televised spectacle and have no fig leaf to wear to support a radical mechanism in pushing through a radical bill.

Andy may be right that Democratic leadership has made the decision that political oblivion is an acceptable cost for a one-time remaking of America that Republicans will find difficult to reverse in the next session.  However, I suspect that this strategy doesn’t account for the fact that the people who will actually have to end their careers may not appreciate getting forced into marching off a cliff while the leadership stays safely in their rear-echelon bastions of San Francisco and New York City.

Update: Nick Jacob reminds me on Twitter of what my friend (and new Salem colleague) Dennis Prager told Republicans earlier this month:

Most people on the Left are True Believers. This is critical to understand. They are willing to lose Congress; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are prepared to lose both houses to get this through. Why? Because losing an election cycle means nothing compared to taking over more of the American economy.

I can give you an example from our side. There are many folks on our side who, if they could pass an amendment against abortion, would happily sacrifice both houses for a period of time. Understand that just as strongly as some are pro-life or religiously Christian or Jewish, that is how strongly many leftists believe in leftism. Leftism is a substitute religion. For the Left, the “health care” bill transcends politics. You are fighting people who will go down with the ship in order to transform this country to a leftist one. And an ever-expanding state is the Left’s central credo.

Prager is certainly correct about all of the points here, but the question will be whether most of their caucuses are willing to follow them — or more accurately, precede them — into political oblivion.


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… violate some rules. At which time – we can paint these fools not only as Socialists – but UN-Constitutional and power abusive ones at that.

HondaV65 on February 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

We’ve long passed that point, Honda.

But if we’re using lead paint, I’m in.

Maquis on February 27, 2010 at 2:06 PM

This “Pickett’s charge” argument works at the macro level “Democrats are (collectively) willing to give up both houses to pass Obamacare” but not so much at the micro level IMhO. Folks shouldn’t forget that there were 64 dems who voted for the Stupak amendment. That language is not included in the Senate bill and nobody is even talking about including it in a reconciled bill. In fact, the dem supporters of Stupak in the House would find it hard to believe that the Senate would adopt Stupak in a later reconciliation bill if they first passed the Senate bill as is. Problem is, in order to gain the large majority the dems have in the House they had to intentionally decide to run honest-to-goodness pro life candidates in close or republican leaning districts. There are more of these folks than just Stupak who would view rolling over on government funding of abortion as not just a career ending move, but as a vote against a firm belief of their conscience. So nevermind reconciliation in the Senate. Take out the Stupak amendment and tell me how you get to 217 in the House?

jdp629 on February 27, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Whoa folks. Here in the midwest we see the current POTUS as an arrogant putz. Don’t over think this. Concentrate on removing 100% of the house this November. http://www.goooh.com

psychocyber on February 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM

not just a career ending move, but as a vote against a firm belief of their conscience.

LOL! A Democratic politician with a conscience. That’s a good one! Thanks for the chuckle.

JDPerren on February 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM

We need to remind every squishy Blue Dog Democrat that Obama really only wants the Senate bill AS IT IS WRITTEN RIGHT NOW to stand. There is absolutely no guarantee that he will sign anything that comes out of reconciliation – but the reconciliation bill can’t even be brought to the House floor until AFTER the House passes the Senate bill as is and Obama has signed that bill into law.

Obama can simply tell Congress that a Healthcare Bill has been signed, and he can stall as long as he wants to, even after a reconciliation bill has gone through both chambers of Congress, a conference committee, another trip through Congress to a final vote, just to have it land on his desk and to have him pigeonhole it.

Blue Dogs NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WILL BE DOING, and they need to be reminded of the character (or lack thereof) of the person currently occupying the Oval Office.

TeresainFortWorth on February 27, 2010 at 2:15 PM

When are you conservatives going to wake up and realize that every single liberal out there hates you with the passion of a thousand suns.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Jimbo3: So,when does the WAR start!

canopfor on February 27, 2010 at 2:24 PM

JDPerren on February 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM

No offense intended, but everybody has a conscience. It’s the way God made us. And demonizing opponents via mean-spirited generalities is best left to the left, IMO. I will gladly come here and admit to being wrong if Bart Stupak votes for the Senate bill without his amendment in it.

jdp629 on February 27, 2010 at 2:26 PM

OH MY GAWD.

If the American people could say this to whats-its-name, WE WOULD! Oh my!

Key West Reader on February 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Key West Reader:Boy,that was a ream job and a half!

I also noticed,the world seems to be
getting alot tenser!!:)

canopfor on February 27, 2010 at 2:30 PM

txmomof6 on February 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Earlier this week. I found this link:
http://www.redstate.com/dan_perrin/2010/02/25/sen-conrad-the-house-goes-first-or-obamacare-dies-thank-you-senator-demint/

n0doz on February 27, 2010 at 2:32 PM

–That is total BS, Jaynie. What objective proof do you have to back up your statement.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM

In war, it’s PROBABLY not a good strategy to wait until every single person on the other side is as fervent as the leadership of the other side.

If a gang of people attacked you, but only one of them hated you with the passion of a thousand suns, while the rest hated you, but only with the passion of one sun or maybe they don’t hate you, but they still feel more affinity for the person leading the attack than they do for you, does that make the attack any less devastating?

No one makes the argument that every Italian, German and Japanese person hated the Allied powers with the power of a thousand suns, yet we still killed millions of them.

venividivici on February 27, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Part of Andy’s argument has to be bribery as well. Those sacrificing their elected “career” for Obama will be paid handsomely.

John Fund likened Pelosi’s attitude to Stalins during the purges. When someone said “we’re going to have few communists” he responded “we will have fewer, but better communists”

Convention TV Pundit analysis is not relevant in this situation

r keller on February 27, 2010 at 2:42 PM

venividivici on February 27, 2010 at 2:35 PM

There’s the “herd mentality” that comes into play. But, with the current administration, it is the “gang mentality”.
And the “bipartisanship” they are demonstrating is about as agreeable as Sharia Law.

Cybergeezer on February 27, 2010 at 2:47 PM

It will take someone with much better graphics skills than I could ever hope to possess, but we need to put together a YouTube video, TV commercial, and a print ad that shows people EXACTLY how much money will be taken out of their paycheck each week ON TOP OF what they are already paying in income taxes, SS, and Medicare taxes. The numbers are right there in the bills.

Then, do a “number crunch” that shows how much they will have paid into the system in the first 4 YEARS, and emphasize that then – and only then – will they start receiving “free” services. Only, the services WON’T be free, there are going to be co-pays for everything.

Put the hard facts in front of everyone, and they will be beating down their congresscritters’ doors telling them that they pass this bill over their dead bodies (and last time I checked, each congresscritter represents an average of 56,000 people, so we definitely outnumber them…..).

TeresainFortWorth on February 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Also, in one sense, I think this whole thing may be wired for the Dems.

They must have whip counts and many details worked out. I’m not sure that they would ratchet this up again with a summit to a highly visable poker match if they didn’t think they had it sowed up.

Several weeks ago Pelosi said she had her staff working hard to figure out the details of palimentary procedure.

They are pushing all the chips on the table. It may be a bluff, but with the Dem Machine, they can put teeth into the bluff.

If the house vote is extra close, who is the lone Dem to refuse to push it over????? That is where we will be. And if it comes to that, they person will have no future in politics, lobbying, or whatever.

r keller on February 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM

In war, it’s PROBABLY not a good strategy to wait until every single person on the other side is as fervent as the leadership of the other side.

If a gang of people attacked you, but only one of them hated you with the passion of a thousand suns, while the rest hated you, but only with the passion of one sun or maybe they don’t hate you, but they still feel more affinity for the person leading the attack than they do for you, does that make the attack any less devastating?

No one makes the argument that every Italian, German and Japanese person hated the Allied powers with the power of a thousand suns, yet we still killed millions of them.

venividivici on February 27, 2010 at 2:35 PM

–We generally don’t target civilians in wars, only soldiers. By your logic, every US soldier had the right to kill every German, Italian or Japanese person. Doesn’t something about your logic strike you as wrong?

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Obama said that he would rather have one really good term than two mediocre terms. Getting healthcare through by reconciliation, and maybe cap & trade or immigration also, (all before the midterm elections) would, in his mind, be a really excellent one term. Scary thought, but that is how he would think. He would have brought about a monumental shift in American politics. He would be quite satisfied with that.

mydh12 on February 27, 2010 at 3:01 PM

He would have brought about a monumental shift in American politics. He would be quite satisfied with that.

mydh12 on February 27, 2010 at 3:01 PM

He has been demonstrating that this is what he is all about. This is the legacy he wants to leave; a la Alinsky.

Cybergeezer on February 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM

We generally don’t target civilians in wars, only soldiers.

“generally”? Why that qualifier?

By your logic, every US soldier had the right to kill every German, Italian or Japanese person. Doesn’t something about your logic strike you as wrong?

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Do you even know what we did in WWII? No mercy. We often took no prisoners and we had no problem doing what was needed to be done to get information out of those we did have. We threatened the Japanese with total annihilation and started carrying it out. The nukes were only the tail end of the total destruction of Japan that we were well on our way with.

Our main defense strategy, to this very day, is the threat of killing every single man, woman, child and pet of any nation that would even think of launching nukes at us – whether they are successful or not.

But, given your insane view of things, I guess you wwould say that our strategic nuke arsenal is illegal and should be taken apart, as its only purpose is for the wholesale incineration of large swaths of population.

neurosculptor on February 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I feel sorry for whoever wins the presidency in 2012 and has to mop up this mess.

Has anyone else seen the movie “Idiocracy“. That looks a lot more like our future now than when I first saw it.

darwin-t on February 27, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Are Democrats choosing to run off a cliff with ObamaCare?

opleaseopleaseopleaseoplease………

Run like lemmings dimmings!!!!!!!

RealMc on February 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM

We generally don’t target civilians in wars, only soldiers.
“generally”? Why that qualifier?

By your logic, every US soldier had the right to kill every German, Italian or Japanese person. Doesn’t something about your logic strike you as wrong?

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 2:59 PM
Do you even know what we did in WWII? No mercy. We often took no prisoners and we had no problem doing what was needed to be done to get information out of those we did have. We threatened the Japanese with total annihilation and started carrying it out. The nukes were only the tail end of the total destruction of Japan that we were well on our way with.

Our main defense strategy, to this very day, is the threat of killing every single man, woman, child and pet of any nation that would even think of launching nukes at us – whether they are successful or not.

But, given your insane view of things, I guess you wwould say that our strategic nuke arsenal is illegal and should be taken apart, as its only purpose is for the wholesale incineration of large swaths of population.

neurosculptor on February 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM

–”Generally” because we did drop two nuclear bombs on cities. My understanding, though, is that we tried to avoid civilian areas, to the extent possible, in bombing runs during WWII.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

If Dems run off the cliff with Obamacare they’ll take us with them is the problem. If passed, what are the odds, truly, even if the GOP has a major take-over of Congress (both Houses) in 2010 and 2012 that Obamacare could be repealed?

Yakko77 on February 27, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Your assumptions would be correct in a normal year, but not here. There are only so many of these cushy jobs to go around. More importantly, they have to figure that after they lose, it will only be another 2 years before BO does as well, and then how will he help them? Not to mention that the Dem name will be absolute poison for the forseeable future. No, they will talk a good game for now and thump their chests, but in the end, a few of the Blue Dogs will abjure this process, and then it will become a wholesale route. Noone wants to be the last one to die for the indefensible.

pehrsson on February 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

I’m not saying this will pass, but if it does then what I said will be a big reason. It’s still far from certain that it will win but it’s already lived longer than it should have politically. I wouldn’t bet a dollar on either outcome right now. I keep telling myself that not every Dem is dumb enough or ideological enough to follow leadership off of a cliff but then the hydra keeps rearing up another head. Why won’t it die? Also, 2012 is a long time off in politics. If the Republicans take a chamber of Congress back or at least enough seats to drastically end Obama’s more radical ideas, then by 2012, enough people may have forgotten his worst mistakes and once again become enamored with the whole “first black president” meme to bring him back for another term. How many of us figured 1994 was Clinton’s death knell? Add in a third party stalking horse and the worst could happen.

jnelchef on February 27, 2010 at 3:28 PM

–We generally don’t target civilians in wars, only soldiers. By your logic, every US soldier had the right to kill every German, Italian or Japanese person. Doesn’t something about your logic strike you as wrong?

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Dude, point being that collateral damage in the pursuit of a war objective is not some sort of stain on the humanity of those inflicting the collateral damage, it’s a necessary evil due to circumstances. It’s not that war gives you the “right” to kill someone, it’s that it makes it unavoidable at times.

Those who oppose the Left don’t have the luxury of sitting around pondering philosophical niceties like whether or not each and every Leftist “hates” each and every non-Leftist or merely “dislikes” them or merely “might like them if they got to know them as people and not just as political opponents”. You want to navel-gaze? Fine, but to me it’s just another way of objectively siding with the Left, which makes you useless.

venividivici on February 27, 2010 at 3:30 PM

”Generally” because we did drop two nuclear bombs on cities.

I figured you would say this, which is why I tried to help you along by writing, “We threatened the Japanese with total annihilation and started carrying it out. The nukes were only the tail end of the total destruction of Japan that we were well on our way with.”

If you don’t know what I meant by that (which your response seems to indicate) then you need to study up on WWII a bit more.

My understanding, though, is that we tried to avoid civilian areas, to the extent possible, in bombing runs during WWII.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Why would you think that? War is hell. True hell. We did the right thing and we did it correctly, which is why we won WWII and turned our enemies into some of our most trustworthy and productive allies, to this very day, even (though Germany has started sinking back into the usual European idiocy as their feelings of humiliation have receded with time).

But, after the most successful war in all of history, we decided that it would be bright to declare illegal all of the tactics we had just used to secure that victory. That was the 4th Geneva Conventions and the moronic UN. Of course, we haven’t won a war since WWII – save the Cold War, which had with it the explicit threat of total annihilation, which you libs like to declare illegal and immoral in your twisted worlds – with the closest thing in a hot war being Iraq (which the libs tried to lose for us over and over and over, and will probably succeed in losing as they screw up the endgame).

neurosculptor on February 27, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Consider this horrendous scenario

1 Dems utilize nuclear option and pass Obamacare
2 An outraged public sweeps Reps into office in both houses.
3 Reps want to overturn Obamacare but lack votes either to overcome a filibuster or an Obama veto.
4 Obama blames lack of progress on Obamacare on the Reps and a fickle American public believes him.
5 As a result Obama wins a landslide re-election and Dems are solidly re-entrenched in both houses prepared to launch cap and trade.

Best way to halt all this to to tack amendment after amendment after amendment onto the current bill which would amount to a constructive filibuster.

MaiDee on February 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Are Democrats choosing to run off a cliff with ObamaCare?

Well, as long as they really do take Obamacare with them, I say go for it.

RINO in Name Only on February 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM

If you don’t know what I meant by that (which your response seems to indicate) then you need to study up on WWII a bit more.

My understanding, though, is that we tried to avoid civilian areas, to the extent possible, in bombing runs during WWII.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM
Why would you think that? War is hell. True hell. We did the right thing and we did it correctly, which is why we won WWII and turned our enemies into some of our most trustworthy and productive allies, to this very day, even (though Germany has started sinking back into the usual European idiocy as their feelings of humiliation have receded with time).

But, after the most successful war in all of history, we decided that it would be bright to declare illegal all of the tactics we had just used to secure that victory. That was the 4th Geneva Conventions and the moronic UN. Of course, we haven’t won a war since WWII – save the Cold War, which had with it the explicit threat of total annihilation, which you libs like to declare illegal and immoral in your twisted worlds – with the closest thing in a hot war being Iraq (which the libs tried to lose for us over and over and over, and will probably succeed in losing as they screw up the endgame).

neurosculptor on February 27, 2010 at 3:33 PM

–I went back and checked. The US had a policy on targeted bombing during WWII. The idea was to hit military and high-value economic complexes. We did use radar bombing in Europe, which increased the civilian casualties, but we did ttempt to minimuze civilian casualties. That stands in contrast to the policy adopted by Germany during the war of targeting civilian areas to try to crush morale.

And FDR (before we entered the war) asked for all the parties to target only military targets.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:54 PM

The great EU clip linked above, plus the UK teaparty, evidence an awakening similar to that of the US teaparty movement. Cumulatively they demonstrate a recognition that Western Civilization is under attack. Because of its virtues, Western Civilization is slow to react, but it will react to defend itself. The next decade may tell a great tale.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 27, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Reminds me of the dem donkeys all running off a cliff, follow the leader…may need to invest in one to commemorate the ‘fall’.

HornetSting on February 27, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Consider this horrendous scenario

1 Dems utilize nuclear option and pass Obamacare
2 An outraged public sweeps Reps into office in both houses.
3 Reps want to overturn Obamacare but lack votes either to overcome a filibuster or an Obama veto.

MaiDee on February 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Here’s the question. People talk about reconciliation and ending the filibuster for judges and call them “Nuclear Options”. But what about ending the filibuster entirely? Now that would be nuclear.

Would it be worth it for the Republicans to end the filibuster if that were the only way to destroy Obamacare? Because that might be the only way. Ending the filibuster could then open the door to all kinds of shenanigans should the Democrats regain power.

RINO in Name Only on February 27, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:54 PM

We firebombed wooden cities – and rightfully so. Forget the decriptions and think about what that means. In WWII we cared more about winning and saving OUR CITIZENS than about the enemies’ civilians, as was true for every war, save the post-WWII fantasy world. In WWII we demanded unconditional surrender and kept hitting them until we got it.

The people who won WWII and saved the world, literally, would be thrown in jail by the liberals of today, who are not even fit to lick the boots of heroes like Gen. Curtis LeMay.

neurosculptor on February 27, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Moderate Democrats CAN still save themselves.
It would be a drastic step, but if they’re interested in political survival, it would be their best bet… and that would be to walk away from the Democrat Party.

Go Independent; caucus with Republicans. In enough numbers, they could overthrow Pelosi NOW, instead of waiting for November.

This country is TIRED of partisanship. Stepping away from it could save these people’s political careers. They don’t HAVE to go down with Pelosi and Reid.
Abandon ship! Swim for your lives!

Murf76 on February 27, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I note the total absence of anyone yelling “Constitutional Crisis”.

Why is that ….

tarpon on February 27, 2010 at 4:06 PM

–”Generally” because we did drop two nuclear bombs on cities. My understanding, though, is that we tried to avoid civilian areas, to the extent possible, in bombing runs during WWII. Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Before Hiroshima and Nagasaki we dropped leaflets saying specifically that those cities were going to be bombed and that we wanted the civilians to leave. They chose to stay and it cost them their lives. Bill Whittle at PJTV did the best fact check on this I’ve ever seen.

Mojave Mark on February 27, 2010 at 4:09 PM

They must have whip counts and many details worked out. I’m not sure that they would ratchet this up again with a summit to a highly visable poker match if they didn’t think they had it sowed up.

Funny. That’s exactly what they said about Copenhagen (the Olympic bid) and Coakley and Copenhagen (the AGW thing)…

UnderstandingisPower on February 27, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Murf76 at 4:05
You are right. Such a group of dems could get together under a “save our culture” banner and refuse to go along with such a sweeping change with so warped a procedure.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 27, 2010 at 4:18 PM

The dems problem is that if they use reconciliation to push through a massive change in the country, and then hope that their losses aren’t so bad they can’t defend their gains while in a minority position, they can’t now use methods that weaken their future defense. So, if they use reconciliation to ram through an unpopular bill (which they plan to defend from a minority position after 2010) they have also empowered Republicans to use reconciliation to destroy their unpopular creation after November 2010.

Fred 2 on February 27, 2010 at 4:19 PM

RINO in name only—-If we had no filibuster we would already have Obamacare.

I believe that the Dem strategy is to attempt a nuclear option,taking a short term loss (both houses) for a long term gain (Obamacare which WILL BECOME AN ENTITLEMENT IF PASSED.) I’m not a parliamentarian, but I believe the Reps have the ability to stall until the next election on amendments alone-and, if they can do that, the Dems will have lost BOTH house and senate AND Obamacare.

MaiDee on February 27, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Fred: That is the reasoning that could lead to some dems just saying No.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 27, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Simply put, there is not enough money in the world for the US government to borrow to fund another entitlement. The Dems are operating under the assumption that there is. It’s simply factually incorrect. That means taxes are going to have to go sky-high, which will kill any recovery in its tracks.

This country CANNOT PAY FOR THIS BILL! The Dumocrats can use every accounting trick in the book. It will not change the fact this bill is an economic disaster.

THIS is the one thing that really gives me some hope if this monstrosity does pass, and no, it’s not assured right now, but that they left it too long, as Prince Harry said yesterday, they’ve been trying to ‘reform the health care system for 50 years’ and they’re going to do their damnedest to get it over the finish line.

But 50 years ago, or 70, the American public didn’t have the bill for the New Deal or Great Society coming due, and didn’t even have a clue how much it would cost. Most of the American people now know that we can’t afford not only this, but all the entitlements we already have on the books. And thus, before the ‘benefits’ begin, it can be dismantled. But it still won’t happen till 2013.

lizzie beth on February 27, 2010 at 4:22 PM

After reading the original article, I wrote as follows to Mr. McCarthy:
 

You wrote on The Corner:

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten
months, are going to be worse than we think.

 

Your view of what is underway is one I’ve had for some time; I’m encouraged to see more people beginning to share it: the goal is a one-way ratchet upward in the power of the state which will, in time, create its own dependent constituencies which will reliably vote for statists. Losses in one or two election cycles are a small price to pay for this long term secular change in the political landscape.

 

And then:

The question is: What are you going to do to roll
this back? What is your plan to undo this?

 

But isn’t that the question to ask after they enact this agenda, if they do? The question I ask today is more immediate in nature. Why does not the GOP, or even a single courageous GOP senator (perhaps looking to retire at the end of their current term) bring the Senate to a halt and stop this process until the next election by:

 
    * Requiring a quorum to transact any business.
    * Objecting to all unanimous consent motions and demanding the ayes and nays for all motions.
    * Refusing to waive all required readings of legislation.

 

and many more obvious ways to money-wrench the business of the Senate? Of course, those who did this would be subjected to vilification and condemnation by the media, and it would provide the Democrats grist for a run against the “party of no” and a “do-nothing Congress”, but given that approval of Congress is barely in double digits and disapproval of the policies it’s trying to enact is in the majority, those who said, “Wait; let the people speak in November before we take these profound steps”
might be viewed as heroes. Besides, it isn’t clear such parliamentary tactics are any more extreme than trying to enact socialized medicine through the reconciliation mechanism, and could be justified as a defense against abuse of the traditions and rules of the Senate.

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even tacitly take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.

                              — Mario Savio

 

Batter up, senators!

John Walker on February 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

RINO in name only—-If we had no filibuster we would already have Obamacare.

MaiDee on February 27, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I agree, and that is one of the reasons I would be reluctant to get rid of it. But the question is, if Obamacare passes, would it then be in our interests to get rid of the filibuster, just to destroy it?

I’m not too keen on the idea, actually, but was just throwing it out to see what people think.

RINO in Name Only on February 27, 2010 at 5:36 PM

I think (and hope) that this is just “ado about nothing”. I don’t believe that Nancy has the votes to pass anything of this magnitude. It only takes a few sensible dems to kill the whole thing and what are they risking? Nancy will not be speaker after the mid terms (and probably not even minority leader) so all the rebels have to do is tough it out.

duff65 on February 27, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Fact: If the Dims had the votes this would be done by now.

The way forward for those of us opposed to HealthScare is to NOT count on prinicipled Dems to do the right thing for fear of losing their seats or out of principle. Ben Nelson Traitor D. NE proved both these things to not matter when the payoff is big enough and the heat hot enough.

The key here is to turn up the heat such that these shameless panderers and crooks FEAR TO RETURN HOME.

Ben Has been run out of resturants in NE. These clowns must fear that and more. Fear of going home to tar and feathers is what is left. Man the phones and if your critter pokes his head above ground nail him good.

Also the Repubs had bettrer be fighting tooth and nail, not letting this get rammed to score political points.

They need to be airing Rush’s clips of Pinnochio, Dirty Harry, OBiden and every other major Dem threatening and wailing against the use of the filibuster on judges by Repubs.

This was hillarious and would be devasting to have them in their own words howling against the trick for such a minor thing as judges while advocating it for a takeover of 1/6th of the economy.

Its time to stop the Dems from getting away with that they accused the Repubs of WANTING to do.

ie. Cutting medicare and Medicaid cutting SSI, using the filibuster to ram through unpopular legislation against the will of the people with just a bare majority.

These clowns need to know we will rise up and not only vote them out but burn their playhouse down!

dhunter on February 27, 2010 at 6:19 PM

If the Senate Democrats pervert Sen. Byrd’s reconciliation rule then it is proper for the people to Storm the Bastille called the Capitol. It may be time to show our employees that we are the masters and they work for us in the People’s Capitol.

amr on February 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Dems are already thinking about the next moves they’ll make. CO2 looks like the next thing up…maybe a regualtion bill with carbon taxes. Of course CA bailout will be pretty soon. Card Check must be on the list somewhere.

Once there’s not filabuster, there is nothing holding them back.

And…it is the R’s fault for not going alont and Bush’s fault for starting the whole thing.

We’re in for some tough times.

r keller on February 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM

that would be filibuster…

r keller on February 27, 2010 at 7:02 PM

venividivici on February 27, 2010 at 3:30 PM

I think you are wasting your time.
The “soldiers” in our armies today, think that with “smart bombs”, “laser guided missiles”, and other technology that was named after some video game, that all they have to do is shoot in the general direction of the target, and they will hit a bulls eye.
“War”, in their urban dictionary, is a neighborhood skirmish for the local cheerleading squad.
I hope I die of old age before I have to say “I told you so”.

Cybergeezer on February 27, 2010 at 7:06 PM

We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite.

Just like the calculus was forever altered by the suicide bomber. The assumption had always been that the attacker wanted to survive.

smellthecoffee on February 27, 2010 at 7:21 PM

While Andy is spot-on about Pelosi and her clique being descendants of the New Left radicals of the 1960s (as is Barack Obama), that’s not true for a large portion of their caucus, especially those representing red districts and red states.

The Far-left National Socialist wing of the Democratic party is going to lead it off a cliff.Do you moderate Democrats realize that???

Chip on February 27, 2010 at 7:53 PM

If we had a president who was sane, he would veer off and focus on the economy and the threat from Islam.

He is not sane, and we are in uncharted waters, and he will lead the dimmy-rats to disaster and as many of us others as he can, much as a certain someone led Germany.

Dhuka on February 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM

This whole crisis would not exist if you had to show a valid ID to vote.

Metanis on February 27, 2010 at 8:28 PM

The only saving grace here may be that even if Obamacare passes, many of its provisions do not go into effect until after the November elections… that could make “repealing it” an election issue and finally give the GOP a reason to actually rollback something.

mankai on February 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

The US bombed every Japanese city but one in WWII. The US dropped every single atomic bomb in it’s inventory, with bombs on the assembly line designated for larger cities like Tokyo.
Both atomic bombs did only 3% of the total damage to Japanese cities. The USAAF burned out the rest. At the end, it was a struggle to find targets in Japan worthy of a major raid.

Even at their worst, the Obama administration has not caused that level of damage — yet.

NaCly dog on February 27, 2010 at 9:03 PM

–I went back and checked.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Checked what “sources”?

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2010 at 9:20 PM

This whole crisis would not exist if you had to show a valid ID IQ to vote.

Metanis on February 27, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2010 at 9:26 PM

I also have to wonder if this is a bluff by the dems? From what I’ve read reconcilliation is not as easy as we’ve been lead to believe and life can be made very difficult for the dems in getting this thing passed.They couldn’t get there with a “filibuster proof” Senate and a huge majority in the House so why will it be so much easier after 8 months of trying and failing? We are supposed to believe that the dems believe that passing something, anything while defying the will of the American people is better then passing nothing? I have a hard time believing that the average dem facing the end of his career thinks that.

Hera on February 27, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Sorry but I just do not see this happening. I think they are setting up the GOP to kill it, then will point at them saying that they stopped healthcare reform.

Gatsu on February 27, 2010 at 10:53 PM

To paraphrase a line from Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”:

Speak comfort to me, Ed.

Please? We’re on the ledge here! ;-)

capricorn on February 27, 2010 at 11:28 PM

The problem with Dimocrats is every time they run off a cliff they invariably try to take the country along with them.

viking01 on February 28, 2010 at 12:32 AM

The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with.

IOW they’re being kamikazis. Or political suicide bombers of the American people. Same kind of fanaticism (although not in degree of course)

YehuditTX on February 28, 2010 at 1:03 AM

Without a doubt, there are many in the Democrat leadership who are willing to lose the House if they can pass this takeover. The big question is, how far will the rest of the Democrats follow them?

For the Blue Dogs, it almost doesn’t even matter. The Dem leadership is just using them, and will cheerfully sacrifice them.

There are a lot of Dem leaders who are in safe seats. Since they don’t think they can lose their jobs, they’re also not worried about the consequences.

The real leverage we have is over the Dems who aren’t willing to sacrifice. The Dem leaders will be busy trying to make an offer to buy their cooperation. In a lot of cases, it will be a promise of a position in the Obama administration. In other cases, they’ll promise to help them become lobbyists.

I think it comes down to numbers. How many moderate Dems and Blue Dogs can be bought off? How many can be convinced that they’ll lose anyway, so they might as well vote for this monstrosity?

I wish I knew.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 28, 2010 at 1:07 AM

We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back.

OK, they’re the Congressional version of Ahmedinejad. Mutually assured destruction doesn’t work, because they don’t care about their own (political) deaths if their Cause can prevail. So we’ll see how many Congressmen will be good little jihadists.

YehuditTX on February 28, 2010 at 1:07 AM

Thank you Ed for offering hope to right minded Democrat representatives. There are many who support the idea of a government provided “safety net” that pays for itself. D’s who show themselves sane can yet save themselves.

If only they would also stop being so sanctimonious. Government compassion is an oxymoron.

exdeadhead on February 28, 2010 at 3:39 AM

There are NO moderate Democrats. You either believe in Government or the People, and the Democrats have made their choice. We’ll fight for our freedom, thank you. Watch us on Tax Day.

davecatbone on February 28, 2010 at 7:29 AM

Leftism is a disease.
A relentless, increasingly destructive disease.

justltl on February 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Now leftists, on the other hand, believe that humanity is the disease- one that must be controlled or even eradicated.
Understand this and you will understand every movement and credo of the left.

justltl on February 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Leftism and humanity cannot peacefully coexist.

justltl on February 28, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Get to know a true leftist.
Pry into the dark world of their brain.
What you will find at its core is a seething hatred of humanity.

justltl on February 28, 2010 at 9:50 AM

When are you conservatives going to wake up and realize that every single liberal out there hates you with the passion of a thousand suns? When are you going to see that the hatefilled crap you read on blog comments and see on MSNBC is what the average, everyday, liberal thinks and believes?

…..
Jaynie59 on February 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

–That is total BS, Jaynie. What objective proof do you have to back up your statement.

Jimbo3 on February 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Go visit some ‘social’ threaded comment boards like this – non-political ones – and post as a real conservative.

I used to frequent one for years that started primarily as a computer game discussion board, then morphed into a loose group of ‘friends’ who will talk about anything and everything, every day.

The atmosphere there is absolutely toxic and filled with virulent, personal hatred for anyone and anything conservative or even simply republican.

I’d post a link, but I don’t want *them* coming *here*. LOL

Midas on February 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I’m curious about the reconciliation process … first, they pass the “Senate Bill,” then, they pass the “reconciliation.”

Exactly what happens if they pass the “Senate Bill” but “reconciliation” fails ?

Doesn’t this open the door for all kinds of backroom deals ?

Wouldn’t this make the election even worse for Democrats ?

J_Crater on February 28, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Leftism and humanity cannot peacefully coexist.

justltl on February 28, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Obamacare™© provides no treatment for “Leftism” but the woman’s right to kill will be protected and might arguably have some effect on humanity.

Annar on February 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM

That rationality has been mainly based on the accepted principle that there isn’t more to power in our system than winning elections

The Left stopped accepting this principle decades ago. Hell, as early as FDR and the New Deal. But they’ve added control of academia and the low- and mid-level federal bureacracy to their goals/achievements.

And we haven’t woken up to this, as far as I can tell. We’re innocent babes in the woods.

Of course they’re willing to sacrifice in the short-term to get ObamaCare passed.

misterpeasea on February 28, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I’d post a link, but I don’t want *them* coming *here*. LOL

Midas on February 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

-
You must be talking about the Vault! :)

Metanis on February 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM

NewsBusters — Open Thread: Are Democrats choosing to run off a cliff with ObamaCare?
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/28/open-thread

StewartIII on February 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Here in Alaska our Senator Begich (Baggage) knows full well that Alaskans don’t want this crap. He is fully prepared to martyr himself and his fledgling Senatorial career for the rewards that await him in Paradise…I mean DC.
He answers those that ask him why he is defying us by saying, “I campaigned on it, so I’m going to vote for it.” When the vast majority of the calls/faxes/emails from his constituency tell him no and he ignores them, he ain’ doin’ his job.
I don’t recall seeing, “A Senator shall always vote his or her conscience regardless of how those they represent tell them to vote”, anywhere in the job description!
He barely won over since exonerated but then convicted felon Ted Stevens. The timing of Teds arrest and trial…it worked out very well for the liberal Begich.
He was Mayor of Anchorage before becoming Senator. He left the cities finances in ruins, made outrageously expensive payback contracts with various unions. He is now under investigation for knowingly hiding the financial status of the city in order to fulfill his obligations to the unions.
The new Conservative Mayor Dan Sullivan has had to make merciless cuts in the budget due to the shenanigans of Begich. Who gets the blame from our liberal media? Guess..

Army Brat on February 28, 2010 at 5:06 PM

“The hatred of a thousand suns” is a metaphor.

I got another. Put their fire out. Pi$$ on ‘em. Outta office happens when you’re outta your mind.

Caststeel on February 28, 2010 at 5:14 PM

It sure is funny how the freaks here on Hot Air and the Right Wing noise machine are screaming about this reconciliation process,like it’s NEVER been done before,that this is something the President and the Congress cooked up just for health care,wow how people forget that this is NOTHING new for congress,let alone for the Republicans who used reconciliation to pass EVERYTHING George Bush wanted during his term. In case you forgot,here what the Repubs did with “reconciliation”

GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush’s tax cuts. Republicans used the reconciliation process to pass Bush’s 2001 tax cut, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001; Bush’s 2003 tax cuts, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003; and Bush’s 2005 tax cuts, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2001 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; that the 2003 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; and that the 2005 tax cuts would “reduce federal revenues … by $69.1 billion over the 2006-2015 period.”

And this crap that reconciliation was NEVER USED in this fashion for health care reform like those GOP freaks said at the health care summit again total lie:

Reconciliation has repeatedly been used to reform health care. On February 24, NPR noted that many “major changes to health care laws” passed via reconciliation. Additionally, during a February 24 broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition, correspondent Julie Rovner quoted George Washington University health policy professor Sara Rosenbaum saying: “In fact, the way in which virtually all of health reform, with very, very limited exceptions, has happened over the past 30 years has been the reconciliation process.” As Media Matters for America has noted, Congress has used reconciliation to pass Medicare Advantage, COBRA, and the Patient Self-Determination Act, and Republicans repeatedly attempted to use reconciliation to pass an increase in Medicare eligibility age.

To sum this up,Republicans care NOTHING about regular people,people who work 2-3 jobs and see this premimums spike 39-100% like they did in California,the people who can’t get insurance because Blue Cross Blue Shield drops them do to some pre-existing condition. They care only for the super rich,the mega corporations and the insurance companies who line their pockets and fill their campaign coffers

DcMike2K on February 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM

GFY DcMike2K

They apparently care enough about families that, you know, actually PAY taxes to not want to screw them sideways by confiscating even MORE of their money to pay for lazy asses like yourself.

Vancomycin on February 28, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Rethugs have no problem being the hammer,which they used all to often during the Bush years,but they’re scared to death being the nail,and once again,all attacks and no facts
get a life Vancomycin,your going to find out what it’s like tto have a bill “rammed down your throat”

DcMike2K on February 28, 2010 at 7:24 PM

(..sorry for not combing thru the plethora of insightful comments to see if anyone else beat me to this, but..)

Has anyone else noticed the parallel between this administration’s strategy and the suicide bomber strategy?

(i.e., lose the battle (mid terms, house, senate and 2012 presdency) but win the war (healthcare). At which point the camel’s nose is in the tent, so to speak..)

If so, the conservatives should do as the Israelis did – go harder right. (Cuppa tea, anybody?)

Quetzal on February 28, 2010 at 8:08 PM

DcMike2K on February 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Holy shite but you’re an idiot.

LOL

Midas on February 28, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Oh, and for those that want to follow-up on the “leftists don’t just dislike you, they really, really hate you” thought, just go peruse the comments (well, the article too, but since we’re talking about average everyday leftists) to the current Frank Rich article:

Midas on February 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation’s eyes.

-Thomas Gray 1751

Jocundus on February 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

If the lefties try to ram their Health care down our throats, they count on the right’s complacency. (I.e., that we can’t match their vigilance.)

And, if they manage to do it, they count on everybody forgetting how they did it.

Let no one doubt that this is a war of ideas – the health care bill is not about health care. To win, the right must fight fire with more fire (in the belly).

That fire involves a moral and emotional angles to accompany the rational/economic arguments. (I’m not a Palin fan but she brings it. Me thinks she and Romney, if he dramatically loosens his tie, may be a good team..)

Quetzal on February 28, 2010 at 11:34 PM

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