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WaPo is reporting on the widely circulated quote from House member Van Hollen that the Dems still consider reconciliation an option.
The House Member talking about a procedure used in the Senate to avoid a 60 vote threshold is, well, you know — not credible. I know Van Hollen was a Senate staffer, which gives him enhanced credibility to make this threat, but he is making it for the Senate. (I know Van Hollen, I worked on the other side of the aisle of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations staff from him. I know him as smart, personable and persuasive, but he is clearly drinking way too much of the Jonestown Brigade Kool-Aid on this one).
Reconciliation is not a viable option for many, many reasons, points of order among them, but mostly because of opposition from various Dem Chairmen of Committees of Jurisdiction in the Senate — Budget and Finance — to name two.
Finally, maybe, the Dems are waking up to the toxic politics of their health deform (H/T Erickson) and WaPo linked to above is reporting the Dems working feverishly to cut some kind of deal that gets 218 and 60 to try and get it off the front page.
It is beyond bizarre and illustrative of the fact THEY DON’T GET IT that they think passing something the public hates will make them hate it, and the Dems, less.
Reconciliation would keep health care on the front pages (again) for months — because the Dems would have to start over at the Committee level. Oh boy, BIG FUN. It would be like crawling over glass for the Dems (uh, more light bulbs please — they are so FUN break.)
(For the record, yes, I still think — as I have since Obama was elected — that ObamaCare will not pass, and that no health care reform will pass this Congress. I am still annoyed every time I hear — something will pass. I’m at Nyet it won’t — regardless of the outcome of the Scott race.)
First, the Dem members would revolt — er, whine a lot (since they have proven they don’t revolt) if any move was made to pass health care via reconciliation.
But, the political consultant class — those responsible for re-electing and electing Dems — would revolt, President Obama’s Captain Ahab routine with the health-care-white-whale notwithstanding.
In a nutshell, reconciliation ain’t gonna happen. Van Hollen is a smart guy, but he’s bluffing.