I hope they have the spine or their electoral gains will evaporate. The GOP must shut down the Senate starting early next week. Not just on healthcare, but everything. Grind it to a halt. This is from Senate insiders with knowledge of the battle to come in the next couple of weeks. As one strategist emailed me:
...the only viable strategy I can see is for the Republicans to begin the process of shutting down the U.S. Senate until the Democrats agree to MOVE ON -- move off healthcare until the 112th Congress convenes.
The Democrats are ready to rip off the band-aid:
The advice went out to freshman and sophomore House Democrats, blunt talk to help them through a tricky vote on health reform.
"At this point, we have to just rip the band-aid off and have a vote — up or down; yes or no?” the memo said. “Things like reconciliation and what the rules committee does is INSIDE BASEBALL."
As Pelosi is now looking for Senate assurances before the House healthcare vote, it is clear that not only the House but the Senate as well requires our immediate attention:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said she will need “certain assurances” from Senate Democrats before the House votes on healthcare reform as early as next week.
Pelosi did not say what those assurances would be, but acknowledged that extracting them would be necessary to counter lingering concerns from within her caucus that the Senate will not be able to pass a reconciliation bill.
“With reconciliation, a simple majority, a constitutional majority, I think members are much more comfortable with the fact that this reconciliation will happen,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. “Nonetheless, there are certain assurances that they want, and that we will get from [Senate Democrats] before I ask them to take the vote.”
The Democrats have lost the Mandate from Heaven they once enjoyed and are attempting to literally enact a bill that will destroy our healthcare system, raise taxes, stifle economic growth during a deep recession, and nationalize over 1/6 of our economy. We should not take this lying down. Neither should GOP members of Congress. This was never about Stupak or abortion. Any government takeover of healthcare will result in the use of taxpayer dollars at some point in the future to federally fund abortions. A vote to improve ObamaCare with any Stupak-like language is a vote for ObamaCare. But the real reality is at this time it just does not matter. What matters now is derailing this bill.
The Senate GOP should not make us go through a repeat of the embarrassing display of spineless behavior displayed last year. Next week shut down the Senate. We are counting on you.
It's time to go into campaign mode and draw this out until the Easter recess. No more need to think about parliamentarian tricks. Such worries have no impact whatsoever on the current situation. After the Senate GOP began to obstruct is exactly the time when they began to win over the electorate.
Nobody wants this bill, so I repeat the GOP must stand up and shut down the Senate. Regardless of what the legislation is, shut down the Senate. Don't wait for healthcare abortion side bills and reconciliation to come barreling down on your heads and then obstruct. Start doing it now and don't stop until Senator Reid promises to drop ObamaCare until the following Congress. There is no excuse for waiting and the American people are counting on the Senate GOP to stand up for us.
The Democrats lack a mandate on healthcare. This issue must dominate every nook and cranny of network and cable news, in every blog, and in every opinion piece and editorial. Take the healthcare dominance of the news cycle now and increase it exponentially. Make this a referendum on the Democratic party and its contempt for the governed.
Obstruct. Obstruct. Obstruct.