Control the narrative on Senate reconciliation and leveraged pressure against wavering House members is yours. Public knowledge of Byrd’s strong feelings against using reconciliation for healthcare as outlined here and here. This knowledge alone kills the meme that reconciliation is a harmless little fuzzy bunny that has been used before by Republicans and therefore it is perfectly acceptable to use it to overhaul 1/6 of the U.S. economy.
Ubiquitous public awareness the architect of Senate reconciliation is against using the procedural tactic to pass ObamaCare will cause vulnerable House members to reach for the Maalox and lose trust in both the process and the end result in terms of the blowback by their constituents and the unceremonious end of said Representative’s political career. Pelosi would find it even harder to garner support for ObamaCare; nobody is willing to fall on a sword for the queen of contempt. In short, House members will be tainted by the Senate procedure.
To state it another way, the Senate procedural maneuver will effectively scare away votes in the House. This will work if the GOP starts talking – and talking a great deal. Wide exposure on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, talk radio, and in the blogosphere will only aid our cause and the goal to kill ObamaCare for good. There will be an argument that reconciliation will only be used to pass “fixes” to the bill. However, if the bill will not pass without reconciliation, then it is clear that reconciliation is the means by which the entire healthcare system will be overhauled. The argument falls apart and reconciliation is once again front-and-center as the means by which ObamaCare will be passed.
I don’t believe Pelosi will ever have the votes, but this beast of a bill won’t die, which requires an extraordinary effort on ObamaCare opponents to kill the bill for good. Right now the Democrats are controlling the reconciliation PR messaging within some of their ranks and it’s the fence sitters that worry me. The public knows something is wrong with using reconciliation to subvert the will of the electorate, but let them know the architect of the process is against it and watch public opinion push the Democratic fence sitters into the correct field of opinion. We need to control the narrative about the process and make it very painful for any Senator, Representative, or the President to even bring up the subject.
We need the birth of a new meme, one so powerful that it cannot be countered by anyone advocating quashing of minority rights in the Senate while concurrently ignoring the will of a majority of the electorate without looking ridiculous, partisan, contemptuous, and thoroughly out of touch.
Words have meaning and memes can carry far and wide. Tie in Senator Byrd’s statement’s on reconciliation with the idea of rule by tyranny. The GOP talking heads should be screaming Byrd’s views from the mountaintops and I have yet to hear a single reference to Byrd’s feelings on the matter of using reconciliation to shove healthcare down our throats.
His words are powerful. The fact that they come from him is PR gold.