Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reform Rx - Republican Reconciliation

This summer the right wing engaged in the predictable effort to knock down health care reform with political slander, misleading scare tactics, and shout down denigration of those who support health care; they even tolerated armed intimidation without condemnation. So here is the “unreconcilable” Republicans summer end position: We won’t compromise on a bill and we won’t support a bill without compromise. Our strategy is lose-lose for Americans who need health care.

Our next door neighbor Senator Judd Gregg plans on launching dozens if not hundreds of parliamentary maneuvers if Democrats conclude that using reconciliation is the only possible way to deliver health care reform.

The filibuster rule has pretty much outlived its usefulness since we moved from collegial debate to train-wreaking the opposition. The sixty vote super-majority in the non-proportioned-population representing Senate needed to pass anything of substance certainly does not reflect or respect the will of the people.

Of course reconciliation was good enough for passing the Bush tax cuts:
– The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836,
– The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2,
Both bills passed under reconciliation with Senator Judd Gregg's vote.

With opposition to health care so intense, it becomes obvious that reconciliation led by Democrats is absolutely necessary. In Maine we ought to keep the pressure on our Senators for moral reasons. But another extended hand across the aisle is not warranted.

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