Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When WTF Isn't Sufficient

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Emphasis mine. WHAT THE FUCK?

What kind of self-delusional shit is involved when a leader of the Democratic party tries to pass a controversial piece of legislation WITHOUT A VOTE?

Sure, I understand the ends justify the means and all that. Using reconciliation is kinda shady, but if the Democrats think that using a parliamentary trick that passes this legislation without a vote won't cause them long-term problems and, perhaps even more importantly, isn't contrary to their self-described Democratic values, then they're seriously mistaken.

Let me be clear: If this happens, then the Democrats are dead to FLG. He will never vote for another one of them again -- ever.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I was talking about with our president -former head of the Harvard Review and constitutional law professor - being simultaneously an ideologue and dumbfuck.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

Hey, Obama has the exact opposite reaction to yours. He won't support any Democrat who votes "No".

Obama says he won't campaign for Dems who vote no on healthcare
By: Mark Hemingway

03/16/10 11:46 AM EDT

I bet those Democrats who are voting no are wondering if they can get this promise in writing:

The president will refuse to make fund-raising visits during November elections to any district whose representative has not backed the bill.

A one-night presidential appearance can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds which would otherwise take months to accumulate through cold-calling by campaign volunteers.

Mr Obama's threat came as the year-long debate over his signature domestic policy entered its final week.

Mr Obama is personally telephoning congressmen who are still on the fence this week, in between several personal appearances devoted toward swinging public opinion.

Obama may help with fundraising, but those Dems in competitive districts probably don't see an association with the president as being of much help -- again, just ask Martha Coakley, Jon Corzine or Creigh Deeds.


Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

On a brighter note, now that we've established that all those fusty old "rules" were really nothing more than "guidelines" -- [insert vaguely disconcerting pirate noise HERE] -- just imagine what conservatives will be able to do as soon as they're returned to power.

Alpheus said...

Constitution schmonstitution.

Bill Flanigen said...

I can see the November congressional campaigns already:

Constituents: We opposed the healthcare bill that you voted for. Why should we vote for you now?

Democratic Incumbent: Ahh, but there you're mistaken. You see, I didn't actually vote for the healthcare bill. I merely voted for a different measure that, through an arcane parliamentary trick, deemed the healthcare bill to be passed. How now!

Constituents: So you voted for something that caused the healthcare bill to become a law. How is that any different?

::jedi mind-trick hand-wave::

Democratic Incumbent: I never voted for the healthcare bill. I am not the congressman you should be blaming.

Constituents: This is not the congressman we should be blaming.

Check and mate, tea-baggers.

George Pal said...

It’s now well-known that Barney – not that Barney, this Barney, the smart Barney instructed Ms. Pelosi on the Constitution.

Not heretofore known was that he also tutored her on Aquinas.

Anonymous said...

Watch Gibbs squirm to avoid answering -2 videos- whether or not there will be an up or down vote:


Mrs. P

Alan Howe said...

"Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings..."

Alan Howe said...

From Christian Science Monitor:

"The procedure of one vote to both adopt a resolution and concur on a Senate amendment to a bill has been around since 1933. In March 1996, Republicans used a similar procedure to pass a controversial measure to raise the national debt limit – an issue they had used against Democrats in their bid to take back the House in 1995.

"In the House floor debate, Republicans called it a measure necessary “to expedite the consideration of this terribly, terribly important piece of legislation.”

“'In fact, self-executing rules have been used over the years far more often by Republicans than by Democrats,' says Vincent Morris, a spokesman for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) of New York, who chairs the House Rules committee."

There is a question about using this for "controversial bills" a term that defies definition. ("I know it when I see it, usually when the other team does it.") One wonders, however, what is controversial about legislation that passed the House under normal procedures and cleared a filibuster threat in the Senate with 60 votes. The "controversy" seems largely to be about implementing the strange concept of majority rules.

Republicans threatened to eliminate the filibuster a few years ago. Would that they had done so.

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