President Obama just wrapped up another speech on health care (#35, to be exact). In this (hopefully final) speech, he says the time for debate is over and the time to make decisions is upon us. It is time for a straight up or down vote.
Okay, 52% of us say no.
Can we move on to the economy now, please?
If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, The One is not interested in the opinions of the peasantry. So with the rallying cry of "Damn the Tea Partiers, full speed ahead!" still ringing in their ears, the democrats are ordered by their Dear Leader to prepare for their kamikaze run.
I have been getting a lot of questions about how reconciliation works. First of all, let's call it what it is. Budget reconciliation. This is a process by which already passed budgetary measures are amended - amendments are to either cut spending/taxes or increase spending/taxes in a budget. When the lefties whine that the evil Bush used reconciliation to get his tax cuts through, yes, he absolutely did. Because that is what the process of budget reconciliation is for.
What budget reconciliation is not for is reshaping one sixth of the American economy and the creation of a massive new entitlement. According to Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), Chairman of the Budget Committee:
Yes, you may argue, but our esteemed president wants this to go through, and he thinks it is a good idea.
“He hasn’t gotten his way…uh…and that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate uh forever and uh what I worry about would be that you essentially have still two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian uh absolute power on on either side and that’s just not what the Founders intended.”
That was then-Senator Barack Obama back in 2005 talking about Satan himself - Bush. Apparently the Founders only intended for the democrats to "change the character of the Senate uh forever".
In order to manage reconciliation, the House will have to pass the Senate bill as is, and hope that the Senate will pass the amendments House democrats will demand in exchange for putting the Senate bill through. That is going to take a lot of trust on their part, and it doesn't seem like it's there. I can't say as I blame them - I wouldn't take the word of a politician, either.
If the House does manage to choke down the Senate version and pass it, then it will go to the Senate for reconciliation, where they will add in amendments to fulfill promises made to House democrats, such as banning abortion funding. After that, a simple Senate majority of 51 is needed to pass the whole thing and send it up to Obama for a signature.
This also may mean adding in a public option - hell, why not? In for a penny, in for a pound, right? If they are going to ram it through against the American taxpayer's protests using a method not approved for this use, they may as well just shoot the moon! What do they have to lose - an election? No biggie. They think passing this mess will guarantee them majorities for decades to come.
It's still a toss up on whether they will be able to pass this hideous thing, but I can guarantee they are going to do everything they can. They don't care if they are committing political suicide, because this isn't just politics for them.
This is ideology, and they will not be deterred, no matter how unethical the means by which they enact it.
BTW - The Weekly Standard has a rundown of the numbers Pelosi has to work with. Let's hope it's true.