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Have Senate Dems been yanking our chain?

I have a feeling that Glenn is probably correct on this. It was easy to point at the R’s and say they won’t play fair. This is what the Dems have done. We could pass healthcare reform if it weren’t for the big, bad Republicans. We have 54 or 55 votes. Well, now it is time to put up or get voted out of office.

From Glenn:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what seemed to be a glaring (and quite typical) scam perpetrated by Congressional Democrats:  all year long, they insisted that the White House and a majority of Democratic Senators vigorously supported a public option, but the only thing oh-so-unfortunately preventing its enactment was the filibuster:  sadly, we have 50 but not 60 votes for it, they insisted.  Democratic pundits used that claim to push for “filibuster reform,” arguing that if only majority rule were required in the Senate, then the noble Democrats would be able to deliver all sorts of wonderful progressive reforms that they were truly eager to enact but which the evil filibuster now prevents.  In response, advocates of the public option kept arguing that the public option could be accomplished by reconciliation — where only 50 votes, not 60, would be required — but Obama loyalists scorned that reconciliation proposal, insisting (at least before the Senate passed a bill with 60 votes) that using reconciliation was Unserious, naive, procedurally impossible, and politically disastrous.

But all those claims were put to the test — all those bluffs were called — once the White House decided that it had to use reconciliation to pass a final health care reform bill.  That meant that any changes to the Senate bill (which had passed with 60 votes) — including the addition of the public option — would only require 50 votes, which Democrats assured progressives all year long that they had.  Great news for the public option, right?  Wrong.  As soon as it actually became possible to pass it, the 50 votes magically vanished.  Senate Democrats (and the White House) were willing to pretend they supported a public option only as long as it was impossible to pass it.  Once reconciliation gave them the opportunity they claimed all year long they needed — a “majority rule” system — they began concocting ways to ensure that it lacked 50 votes.

All of that was bad enough, but now the scam is getting even more extreme, more transparent.  Faced with the dilemma of how they could possibly justify their year-long claimed support for the public option only now to fail to enact it, more and more Democratic Senators were pressured into signing a letter supporting the enactment of the public option through reconciliation; that number is now above 40, and is rapidly approaching 50.  In other words, there is a serious possibility that the Senate might enact a public option if there is a vote on it, because it’s very difficult for these Senators to vote “No” after pretending all year long — on the record — that they supported it.  In fact, The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim yesterday wrote:  “the votes appear to exist to include a public option. It’s only a matter of will.” (more…)

By |2010-03-15T21:08:34-04:00March 15th, 2010|Healthcare, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Have Senate Dems been yanking our chain?

Grab Bag – Monday Night

I hope that everybody is doing well tonight.

  • As a NFL Fan, I must start out with LaDainian Tomlinson’s release from the Chargers. I’m not surprised. He isn’t the same back that he was just three years ago, but damn.

  • Former Vice President Dick Cheney is back in the hospital with chest pain.  Former Presidential contender and Senate minority leader Bob Dole is also in the hospital. I wish both a speed recovery.

From Political Animal:

  • Afghanistan: “An airstrike launched Sunday by United States Special Forces helicopters against what international troops believed to be a group of insurgents ended up killing as many as 27 civilians in the worst such case since at least September, Afghan officials said Monday.”
  • Senate vote on jobs bill still set for later today, though whether Republicans will allow senators to vote on the stripped-down bill remains unclear.
  • For those keeping score, there are now 21 Democratic senators who support using reconciliation to vote on a public option.
  • New consumer protections on credit cards go into effect today.
  • I can only hope that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) does not support terrorist acts against the government of the United States.
  • Oklahoma’s outrageous anti-abortion law has been deemed unconstitutional. Good.
  • The “Volcker rule” picks up endorsements from five former Treasury secretaries.
  • Powerful piece from Adam Serwer: “Whereas al-Zawahiri and bin Laden turned to al-Sharif for a method to circumvent the plain language of the Koran, Bush and Cheney went to Yoo and Jay Bybee to circumvent the plain language of the law.”
  • Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) seems to be getting more and more confused.
  • Clarence Thomas hasn’t said a word on the court in four years.
  • Fox News hatchet-man Griff Jenkins loves being the ambusher, not the ambushee.
  • Alexander Haig dies at age 85.
  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: “To listen to talk radio, to watch TV pundits, to read a newspaper’s online message board, is to realize that increasingly, we are a people estranged from critical thinking, divorced from logic, alienated from even objective truth…. [O]bjective reality does not change because you refuse to accept it. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge a wall does not change the fact that it’s a wall. And you shouldn’t have to hit it to find that out.”

Any other thoughts? Things to add?

By |2010-02-22T21:19:14-04:00February 22nd, 2010|Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Civil Rights, Economy, Party Politics, Sports|Comments Off on Grab Bag – Monday Night

Where are the Liberals with a backbone?

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

You know, I’m tired. I’m tired of liberals acting like conservatives. Now, as I flipped through the liberal handbook I can’t find anywhere where supporting spying on Americans is a liberal ideal. So, can somebody explain to me, why this new FISA legislation is good for us, liberals, or good for the country. There is so much about its domestic spying program that we know nothing about.

Remember back in 2006/2007 the Bush administration blocked all of our efforts to investigate this program. The Office of Professional Responsibility in the Department of Justice began an internal investigation which was thwarted by the Bush administration. This office was denied security clearance which meant that their investigation ground to a halt. How does this legislation help us investigate what happened?

Over the last three years a number of liberal senators have stood up and denounced the domestic spying program including Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Patrick Leahy. These three senators have been in the Senate and public service for a long time. Where are they now? Senator Rockefeller has gone out of his way to support this FISA legislation. Why? What is he seeing in this legislation that we aren’t or is he playing politics? All of our so-called liberal Democratic senators need to stand up and tell us where they stand on this issue and why.

I have avoided criticizing Barack Obama. But now both he and Hillary Clinton need to be taken to the woodshed. Barack Obama has spoken out strongly against domestic spying in the past but yet he is going to support this legislation which does nothing to protect our civil liberties. Hillary Clinton, who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain from opposing this legislation, has been completely and totally silent on this issue.

I’m sorry, I do not buy the argument that you are soft on terrorism just because you don’t want the president to listen in on every one of your conversations. I understand that this is an issue that does not raise the ire of the American public but there are principles. Long-standing principles against unnecessary government intervention (I thought that Republicans wanted a hands-off government — I guess it depends) should be upheld. We cannot depend on winning the White House in November or advancing our majorities in the House and the Senate. None of that may happen.

There’s no better time than the present to stand up against telecom immunity and a bill that is deeply flawed. It is time for progressives to stand up and support the Constitution and support the American people. We need to find out what happened (where’s Alberto Gonzales and why isn’t he in jail for something). We need to find out what laws were violated. We need to clip the wings of the unitary executive. None of this can wait until November.

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