Quotes of the day

“We have entered a political wonderland, where the rules are whatever Democrats say they are. Mrs. Pelosi and the White House are resorting to these abuses because their bill is so unpopular that a majority even of their own party doesn’t want to vote for it. Fence-sitting Members are being threatened with primary challengers, a withdrawal of union support and of course ostracism. Michigan’s Bart Stupak is being pounded nightly by MSNBC for the high crime of refusing to vote for a bill that he believes will subsidize insurance for abortions.

“Democrats are, literally, consuming their own majority for the sake of imposing new taxes, regulations and entitlements that the public has roundly rejected but that they believe will be the crowning achievement of the welfare state. They are also leaving behind a procedural bloody trail that will fuel public fury and make such a vast change of law seem illegitimate to millions of Americans.”

“Pence voted in favor of a ‘self-executing rule,’ the same procedure that will make the ‘Slaughter solution’ possible, three times when Republicans controlled the House, according to a list of the votes provided by House Democrats to The Daily Caller.

“In fact, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, voted in favor of ‘self-executing rules’ six times and three times, respectively, since 1996.

“Republicans have used the procedure at least 11 times since it was first introduced in 1933, the Democrats’ memo said.

“Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that the Republicans problem was not with the use of the procedure itself, but with its use for something so enormous as the health care bill.”

“I can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of ‘deem and pass.'”

“Reconciliation has been used with increasing frequency. That was bad enough. But at least for the Bush tax cuts or the prescription drug bill, there was significant bipartisan support. Now we have pure reconciliation mixed with pure partisanship.

“Once partisan reconciliation is used for this bill, it will be used for everything, now and forever. The Senate will be the House. The remnants of person-to-person relationships, with their sympathy and sentiment, will be snuffed out. We will live amid the relationships of group versus group, party versus party, inhumanity versus inhumanity.

“We have a political culture in which the word ‘reconciliation’ has come to mean ‘bitter division.’ With increasing effectiveness, the system bleaches out normal behavior and the normal instincts of human sympathy.”