Reconciliation kamakaze or head fake??
There have been multiple reports of the Democratic leadership in Congress pushing Obamacare through the Senate via reconciliation. This has been happening in the wake of Scott Brown turning Obamacare upside down with his win in Massachusetts. Brian Darling’s excellent post laid out the procedure and precedent for this absurdly defiant action that the Democrats are considering. Can they do it? Well, they can try and test the GOP’s fortitude. I say bring it. Here’s why:
We all know that Nancy Pelosi is nowhere close to getting the 218 votes needed to pass the Senate version. There have been rumblings of minor adjustments being made to the Senate version, getting the 218 votes and then pushing it onward to the Senate for all-out political war. Folks, I think this is all just one big charade to head fake the GOP into surrendering at the so-called “bipartisan” summit that Obama has called on the 25th of February. If this went to the Senate and the Dems tried to pass the Obamacare legislation via reconciliation, it would be a very longand exhaustive process. The GOP would at the very minimum create amend-o-rama by offering up infinite amendments and the Senate would come to a screeching halt. It woudn’t matter if Joe Biden tried to overrule the Senate parliamentarian on the GOP bringing up points of order, readings, unanimous consent, etc. The GOP can offer as many amendments as they like. All the while, this would get a lot of press coverage and the result would be the Democrats would suffer tremendous damage in the public arena. There are no polls out there showing majority support for Obamacare….NONE. The public majority is solidly against this. This would only serve to make the already catastrophic losses the Democrats are facing in Congress that much worse in November.
The GOP should not attend the Obamacare summit whatsoever. The public doesn’t want healthcare and at a bare minimum wants the process to start over and the current bills scrapped. Of course Obama doesn’t want to start over. Of course Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Democrats would try to alter the public perception and their position in the polls with painting the GOP as obstructionist. Question: What is wrong with being obstructionist when the majority of Americans support your position? Absolutely nothing. You would be seen as having strength and that is a bedrock of leadership. I have to wonder what the GOP has up their sleeve if they decide to go through and attend. I have seen contradicting statements from Boehner and Cantor on whether the House GOP will attend.
Putting this in poker terms, the Democrats are engaged in a stone bluff, going all in, with nothing in hand and the GOP has a hand that could blow the Democrats off the table should they decide to call. The only way the Democrats turn this ship around is with help from the GOP. Let the Democrats dig their own grave. If the Democrats want to scream and cry about the GOP being the Party of No, let them. Go ahead and push reconciliation Democrats. The GOP response should be simple.
“ We do not want part and will not take part in this Democratic healthcare abomination and neither will nor should the American people.”