Lead, Follow, Or Get Ignored

The new strategy- Republicans have six months to provide input on a health care bill, otherwise they will just do it without them:

Mr. Obama has given way in some battles with Congress, but the new stance suggests he may be much less willing to compromise when it comes to health care, his top legislative priority, even if it means a bitter partisan fight.

The no-filibuster arrangement is fiercely opposed by Republican leaders, who say health care is too important to be exempted from the Senate rules that usually mean major bills must win support from 60 senators.

At the White House meeting this week, Mr. Obama told senators from both parties that he did not want a health care overhaul to fail if it came up a vote shy of the 60 needed to break filibusters, the people with knowledge of the session said. Republicans have used the procedure themselves in the past, but Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told Mr. Obama in the meeting that that approach was likely to heighten partisan tensions in Congress.

Oh, no. Does this mean they might call him a socialist or claim he hates America or is going to take away all your guns and coddle dictators? Because that could be devastating.

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68 replies
  1. 1
    Lola says:

    Thank goodness. I am almost more worried about health care being susceptible to the whims of Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh. I hope there are 50 decent Democrats in the Senate, although, at this point, I am not sure there are. The fight for good health care will take place solely within the Democratic Party so at least theoretically they will listen to us, their base. Right?

  2. 2
    harlana pepper says:

    “bitter partisan fight”

    Has a nice ring to it. Forge ahead, Sir.

  3. 3
    r€nato says:

    Yes, we must be nice to the bullies Republicans or else they won’t be as nice to us as they have been recently.

    Christ on a stick.

    This seems to be a common theme in Obama’s strategy, we’ve seen this in his foreign policy thus far. Offer a public hand to one’s foes. Give them a chance to either return the gesture and begin to work together in areas where there are common interests, or publicly slap away the hand.

    We haven’t gotten to phase 2 yet in foreign affairs nor relations with the GOP, but I am certain that that step involves getting very tough with the other side. Once everyone has seen the other side say, ‘screw you asshole!’, that makes them the bad guy and you can get tough with them and still be seen as being on the right side of things.

    Contrast that with Bush’s strategery, which was to be a tough guy right out of the box and not give a shit what others think about it.

    Once again, someone’s playing chess and the other side is playing tic-tac-toe.

  4. 4
    evie says:

    Good headline, that sums it up.

    It’s not ideal for Obama either because anything passed through reconciliation expires at the end of his 5-year budget, but at least it happens and gets us through the next election. That buys him time to put health care in place permanently.

    I’m just thrilled he feels as strongly about getting health care fixed as I do. Status quo is a nightmare situation in this country.

  5. 5
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Does this mean they might call him a soc1alist or claim he hates America or is going to take away all your guns and coddle dictators?

    The RNC will have to vote on that first.

  6. 6
    harlana pepper says:

    I’m all for beating recalcitrant Dems into total submission with bats and broomsticks. Threats, blackmail, waterboarding, whatever. Get ‘er done.

  7. 7
    Left Coast Tom says:

    OK, editing the post to remove the boner-pill word doesn’t remove it from moderation…earlier I must have edited just as John pulled the comment out.

    You’re going to be spending a lot of time fishing comments out of moderation unless the GOP agrees to start calling Obama a fascist. Also.

  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    @evie:

    there is so much inefficiency in our health care system it’s unreal. Computerizing health care records will help but I believe the real long-term savings will come with moving towards investing in prevention.

    For instance, insurance companies ought to be willing to spend money on things like regular cancer screenings and weight-loss programs so that 30 years from now they don’t have to pay for as many quadruple-bypass surgeries or the many complications from diabetes. They’ll spend all the money in the world on heroic interventions but are rather miserly in spending to prevent the need for them in the first place.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    Republicans are surrounded, unpopular, leaderless, out of ammunition, hair on fire. ‘Heightening partisan tensions’ sounds good to me.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    get ready to hear a lot more of the word “antidemocratic”

  11. 11
    Halteclere says:

    Beyond tying up Capitol Hill to where nothing at all can be accomplished (instead of the current obstructionism where only small amount of things are getting accomplished), what remaining cards do Republicans hold in their hands?

    Block the confirmation of the remainder cabinet members? That card is already in play.

    Call the President all sorts of scary names (like John said)? Already doing that.

    Be completely ignorant about state and government laws and threaten to secede? Good luck with the next gubernatorial election.

    Lead a grassroots populist uprising of 500K people that can’t be ignored by the President? And this will be different from any of the various progressive marches / protests in the past 20 years?

    Basically the Republicans got nothing and are just hoping that Obama will fail and they can jump in and be the “see, I told you so” person.

  12. 12
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Obama to GOP: Start acting like adults or I will make you go away. Throw a fit, and I’ll ram the health care bill through. Good luck winning elections on a platform of taking people’s health care away. I’m already playing Political Water Torture with your boy Cheney, and I am an incredibly patient mofo. Do you really think you can make me flinch before you do?
    I’m willing to play nice if you are. If not, well, good luck with that.

  13. 13
    GregB says:

    The GOP will not be trifled with! Soon they will compare Barack Obama to that world renowned tyrant and dictator.

    Dick Cheney.

    -G

  14. 14
    Shalimar says:

    Obama should have said: “Hey Mitch, I’ve watched your press conferences and watched press conferences by House Republican leaders. You’re already painting me as the greatest evil in the history of mankind, so I’m curious. How could you possibly heighten tensions from that?”

  15. 15
    harlana pepper says:

    Anyone in Congress who opposes comprehensive health care reform shall burn in the flames of electoral Hell for all eternity. Since torture is so freakin’ awesome, I am all for bringing back stockades with rotten vegetables and sewage and/or compost toilet duty.

  16. 16
    SnarkIntern says:

    For a second there, I thought you said Obama would take away my gums. Which reminded me, I need to make an appointment with the dentist.

    Thanks.

  17. 17
    smiley says:

    Oh, no. Does this mean they might call him a soc1alist or claim he hates America or is going to take away all your guns and coddle dictators? Because that could be devastating.

    We all know this but the wingers are truly unhinged. Three of the four letters to the editor in my paper today are anti-Obama letters. The most comical one claims that Obama shamed America on his recent trip to Europe. The author chastises the president for bowing to the Saudi king and then chastises the first lady for not curtsying to the British queen. BTW, here’s the definition of curtsy:

    bend knees in respect: … Women curtsy in formal situations where men bow, e.g. when acknowledging the applause of an audience after performing on stage, or when meeting royalty.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? Or just racism?

  18. 18
    ronathan richardson says:

    I think you’ve hit on something interesting here John–Obama was afraid of the republicans when he was campaigning and when he first entered office, because of the way Rove and Gingrich neutered democrats for the last 14 years with their tribal bullshit…but now it has become apparent that the battle cries don’t resonate any more, or more bluntly, 70% of America has realized that Republicans are dipshits devoid of any ideas. So maybe now we’ll see the “I fucking hate republicans” side of Obama we’ve been waiting for, and leaving open the door for torture prosecutions and edging them out of the healthcare bill might be the first signs of it.

  19. 19
    R-Jud says:

    Republicans have six months to provide input on a health care bill grow the fuck up, otherwise they will just do it without them:

    Fixed. This arrangement also gives Obama another six months to show them up as the fundamentally unserious, obstructionist group of clowns they are. Push them farther to the margins, O-man. Move that ball.

    @SnarkIntern:

    I need to make an appointment with the dentist.

    Thank YOU for reminding ME. The last time I went, Bill Clinton was parsing the meaning of the word “is”.

    Edit: also in that article: “The tentative agreement would also apply reconciliation rules to a less-partisan fight over student lending…”
    NICE.

  20. 20
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Dear Republicans. There are several methods of defense, but two most common are linear and depth. A linear defense says, “nothing goes past this point”. Its weakness is that if anything DOES cross the line, it is then free to go as deep as it wishes. Defense in depth accepts that some of the outlying area will be lost but saves the core. Defense in depth is usually recommended when the other side has the strength to overwhelm your line.

    The Democrats have had the ability to at least potentially overwhelm your line this year. Of worthwhile consideration, it is probable that the next congress (112th, beginning in 2011) will be even more heavily Democratic, able to overcome even the 60 vote threshhold. Yet you are insisting on a rigid linear defense – no compromise, no giving up of ground you like but which is not critical to your core.

    Change your defenses, or see an overwhelming Democratic success over the next three and a half years. It’s really that simple.

    (Note, the above is concern trolling. I WANT most of the Democratic agenda.)

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    The last time I went, Bill Clinton was parsing the meaning of the word “is”.

    which seems so innocent, compared to trying to parse the meaning of “enemy combatant”, or “United States Person”, or “covert”, or “torture”.

  22. 22
    kay says:

    @ronathan richardson:

    I just think it was strategic, actually. Obama didn’t have broad public support for the stimulus package. It was worthwhile attempting to get them to sign on to it. He does have broad public support for health care reform.

    He doesn’t need them.

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    I wonder whether Obama’s example of how to deal with the GOP tantrumers will attract the attention of the rest of the Democratic Party. See, there *are* other reactions to GOP attacks than cowering and sniveling.

    -dms

  24. 24
    Rommie says:

    My interest is not so much the President doing this than what the reaction will be from the minority side. Loyal Opposition? I don’t think so.
    I can’t wait for them to march out of the Capitol building in protest. I do worry a bit about what else they might have in mind. These are people who will go from having all the power to having none, and I don’t think they’ll react well to that state of affairs.

    (yeah, it’s a bit of concern trolling too, but as long as they keep the self in self-destructive acts, they can wear all the clown shoes they want, heh)

  25. 25
    smiley says:

    Damn moderation.

  26. 26
    R-Jud says:

    @cleek:

    which seems so innocent, compared to trying to parse the meaning of “enemy combatant”, or “United States Person”, or “covert”, or “torture”.

    Indeed. So often during the Bush years I would have given pretty much anything for a nice, simple scandal involving a blowjob.

  27. 27
    valdivia says:

    sorry but I don’t buy the idea that Obama was afraid of the republicans at any point in the last year. He has always played the game the way he has been playing it–confident in his ideas and willing to have dialogue, that isn’t fear.

  28. 28
    Gus says:

    Does this mean they might call him a socialist or claim he hates America or is going to take away all your guns and coddle dictators? Because that could be devastating.

    Yes.
    It’s all they have.

  29. 29
    Steve V says:

    I expect they’ll just trot out McCain’s proposal from the campaign, shoot some new Harry and Louise ads and cry “social ism” louder. Could see it working too.

  30. 30
    Mr. Stuck says:

    Oh, no. Does this mean they might call him a sockialist

    I believe the current blob of drek on the wall is Fascist. At least it was yesterday. Today it could be something truly awful like a Pantywaistista.

    OOh awe!

  31. 31
    Joey Maloney says:

    Once again, someone’s playing chess and the other side is playing tic-tac-toe with themselves.

    The jokes just fix themselves.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    Actually, as was iterated in the 1st comment, I think this is more about not letting health care reform be held hostage by the shit fits of one or more preening asshole “centrist” or “moderate” or “budget hawk” or “blew the dog” or whatever-the-rotating-title-is-this-week Democrat.

  33. 33
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    It’s astounding, time is fleeting
    Soci4lized medicine!
    Madness takes its toll
    Healthcare rationing!
    But listen closely, not for very much longer
    Deficits! deficits!
    I’ve got to keep control
    The government will choose your doctor!

    I remember doing the TIme Warp
    Ralph Gumby, of England, died of hangnails because he could not see a specialist!
    Drinking those moments when
    People come to America when they really need health care!
    The blackness would hit me and the void would be calling
    Free market solutions!
    Let’s do the time warp again…
    Best health care system in the world!
    Let’s do the time warp again!

  34. 34
    Comrade Jake says:

    @valdivia:

    I don’t buy it either. During the election, Obama said of the GOP
    “It’s almost like these people take pride in being ignorant.”

    Those don’t seem to be the words of someone who’s much afraid of anyone really.

  35. 35
    LD50 says:

    “It’s almost like these people take pride in being ignorant.”

    I think it was just Obama’s natural tactfulness that made him include the first 3 words there.

  36. 36
    Soylent Green says:

    Basically the Republicans got nothing and are just hoping that Obama will fail and they can jump in and be the “see, I told you so” person.

    Cheney and the neocons hope we will be hit by another terrorist attack that kills thousands of Americans. It’s the only way to salvage their legacy.
     
    Limbaugh and his dittoheads hope the nation will slide into depression. It’s the only way to get their party back in power.
     
    Glenn Beck and his fellow lunatics hope we will see armed rebellion if not civil war. It’s the only way to realize their deepest fantasies.
     
    But of course each group only has the best interests of the nation at heart.

  37. 37
    AkaDad says:

    My advice for Republicans is to run more moderate, mainstream politicians, like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

  38. 38
    Persia says:

    @smiley: Racism. And a wish that they could have their own Royal Bush family instead of the rabble that got democratically elected. They were so close!

  39. 39
    omen says:

    for people who’ve lost their job, home, healthcare, etc., socialism is sounding pretty good right about now. is it any wonder the term no longer resonates.

    if socialism is good enough for wealthy bankers, than it’s good enough for me.

  40. 40
    YellowJournalism says:

    Oh, no. Does this mean they might call him a socialist or claim he hates America or is going to take away all your guns and coddle dictators? Because that could be devastating.

    Gotta love the smell of sarcasm in the morning.

    Although you forget the part where they trot out the old line of “Canadians and Brits die from their decrepit health care systems, why would Obama want to do that to us?!”

    They’re using Natasha Richardson as their battle cry, which is sick, in my opinion. That had little to do with the Canadian health care system and everything to do with getting yourself checked out thoroughly and immediately after a serious head injury.

  41. 41
    omen says:

    The last time I went, Bill Clinton was parsing the meaning of the word “is”.

    by the end of the process, when he had his license suspended, clinton did admit he was being dishonest. let’s see bushites say the same thing.

  42. 42
    p.a. says:

    I like the time warp comments about Republicans’ Obama smears. They went from 2002’s ‘Islamist’ to 1950’s ‘Socialist’ (actually pretty timeless- 1917 through the Reagan admin.) to ’30’s and ’40’s ‘Fascist’. Some wag noted that ‘feudalist’ might be next. Or ‘Masonic’. I can’t find my copy of History of the Byzantine State, but weren’t the two competing factions simply known as Red and Blue? How about Rome. Is Obama a ‘Pompeyist’?

    As an odd aside, I think the Republican attempt to rebrand is hurt by an odd quirk of the English language. You know how the Inuit supposedly have 100 words to describe snow? English does not have many synonyms for ‘NO!’

  43. 43
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @Steve V: I expect they’ll just trot out McCain’s proposal from the campaign, shoot some new Harry and Louise ads and cry “social ism” louder. Could see it working too.

    I’m not as sure, this time.

    They should remake the Harry and Louise ads the same way they remade the WASSUP! beer commercial.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? Or just racism?

    Maybe a little. Though bowing to a French king would be attacked as well. Britain is our BFF, so there will always be some extra respect there, and Britain ‘knows their place’, unlike France and everyone else, per wingnut code (except Israel, who knows better than us.)

    Simpler answer is that everything Someone (D-Wherever) does is wrong by definition of them being in the evil social!st DFH party. There are no rules to the wrongness, they are just wrong, and if Glenn Beck had been behind the Obama’s greeting the Queen and felt her up instead of bowing, that would have been the greatest ever act of diplomacy ever in the world ever, because those are the rules.

  45. 45
    My Prius rolls on dubs says:

    I think the fundamental misunderstanding both sides of the aisle have regarding Obama is that he’s afraid to play hardball. Both sides have been wrong about this guy nearly 100% of the time. Dems bitch because he won’t go to the mattresses the first time there’s a negative story about him on Fox News. Repubs complain because they think a cordial bow to a foreign leader means that he’s going to give away Texas to those damn dirty foreigners who only want to rape American women and enslave the working man.

    As usual, Obama is instead doing just what he says he’ll do. First you meet with them, show them respect, listen to your opponents concerns. Try to find a middle ground. If your opponent refuses to budge or to even entertain any kind of conciliation you go to Plan B:

    Fight like hell and win because you’re smarter and stronger than your opponents.

    The Republicans need to prepare themselves for a deep dicking (NOT Larry Craig style) of galactic proportions, and the results will be televized.

  46. 46
    Cat Lady says:

    @Gus:

    Jim Bopp. It’s even a clown name. What is it about rump Republicanism that makes every one of them look the same- goofy, dim, doughy and pig-faced? Which comes first?

  47. 47
    omen says:

    @p.a.:

    don’t forget black liberation theologist who hates whitey.

  48. 48
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Cat Lady:
    He Bopp,
    She Bopp a’ we Bopp,
    I Bopp,
    You Bopp a’ They Bopp…

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    The bigger problem on the Dem side is that they’re expecting the other shoe to drop. They trust Obama, but can’t shake the feeling he’s gonna fuck over Dem voters somehow, and every teeny tiny hint that it’s about to come sends them out screaming and howling about how Obama is caving to some interest, industry, whatever. The left are hyperventilating almost as badly as the right, just less self-destructively.

  50. 50
    celticdragon says:

    How in the hell did we get to having to have every bill in the Senate pass on a supermajority?

  51. 51
    Splitting Image says:

    I don’t buy it either. During the election, Obama said of the GOP
    “It’s almost like these people take pride in being ignorant.”
    Those don’t seem to be the words of someone who’s much afraid of anyone really.

    Even before that. Very early on in the campaign Obama made a remark that the Republicans had been the “party of ideas” for the last fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom, but now they were all about tax cuts, tax cuts and tax cuts.

    Fast forward to their budget this year. Did anyone ever nail them so perfectly?

  52. 52
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @valdivia:
    I’m with you, valdivia, I have never viewed Obama as afraid of the Republicans. He has been willing to give them a listen (a bit too willing in my opinion), but now the gloves are off. He was negotiating with them in good faith to see what he would get in return. Now he knows. He won’t make that mistake again.

  53. 53
    omen says:

    @Martin:

    The left are hyperventilating almost as badly as the right, just less self-destructively.

    i think it’s overcompensation for how dems were too trusting of clinton during the 90s. they were so busy defending faux scandals kicked up by republicans that they were too distracted to keep an eye on actual policy and all the deregulation enabling and free market selling out clinton was getting away with.

    so that by the time obama comes around, they didn’t want to make the same mistake. now they’re hypervigilant.

  54. 54
    LD50 says:

    How in the hell did we get to having to have every bill in the Senate pass on a supermajority?

    Simple: the Democrats became a majority. Then ‘bipartisan caution’ became necessary.

    If the Dems had 70 senators and the GOP had 30, the GOP would STILL demand 80 votes for anything to pass.

    The real problem is fucking Harry Reid bending over to make sure the Republicans never get offended by anything. I really wish we could shove his dumb ass aside and replace him with someone like Leahy.

  55. 55
    R-Jud says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    He was negotiating with them in good faith to see what he would get in return. Now he knows. He won’t make that mistake again.

    Eh, he was in the senate for four years. I’m pretty sure he knew what he was going to get. He just wanted it up on the stage for everyone else to see it.

  56. 56
    MattF says:

    @Martin

    I think the lefties are, to some extent, picking up the role of ‘loyal opposition’ that the diehard right wing is refusing to play. And why shouldn’t the left do this? There’s already been a number of cases where protest from the left has shifted the terms of debate.

    It’s a big change, and everyone is shifting their gears.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:
    The left are hyperventilating almost as badly as the right, just less self-destructively.

    i think it’s overcompensation for how dems were too trusting of clinton during the 90s. they were so busy defending faux scandals kicked up by republicans that they were too distracted to keep an eye on actual policy and all the deregulation enabling and free market selling out clinton was getting away with.

    The “left” was pretty thoroughly hated by Democrats during the Clinton years, and the left (to which I was relegated given my lack of interest in certain mainstreamed, nation- and world-harming idiocy) was, as usual, stuck between rearguard defenses against right wing attack and foreguard defense against Democrats mainstreaming crazy right wing policies and between the amazing inertia of many of the traditional ‘left’ and single-issue organizations.

    For example, “the left” (which I guess includes Democrats like Dick Durbin) did pretty seriously critique the Clintonite Reaganism.

    I was there, trying to work against NAFTA in favor of the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian economies, and in direct solidarity with U.S. and Mexican labor unions, and instead we were told by mainstream Democrats that we were a bunch of Ross Perot anti-Mexican paranoids and luddites and we didn’t understand how we didn’t need all these stupid backwards manufacturing jobs what with our ability to financially innovate, once we got all these stupid so-1930s banking regulations out of the way, and how great it would be for Mexican workers once U.S. corporations began crowding out local producers, and how happy their subsistence farmers would be to get displaced from the market by U.S. agribusiness imports. And shut up, also, because if you don’t think this idiot pro-investor class, I mean, “free trade” agreement makes sense, then it means you want to build a wall around the country and there can be no trade, you want to live in the 1920s, the end.

    It was no use, the pro-investor and deregulatory passion that gripped the establishment from the 1980s right up until 2008 would just have its way with the country. If the Republicans couldn’t do it, some ‘bold’ Democrat or group of Democrats would ‘take’ the issue for themselves and push it through.

    Strangely enough, I try to stick up for the things I think are smart and helpful and against the things I think are stupid and harmful, no matter what seems to be the tenor of the times or the party in power.

    I sure as hell didn’t want to be wasting my time and personal life trying to stop the people who were supposed to be my allies from doing things which were rotten and harmful policies. Sure, many people on the left were, like so many of the mainstream Democrats I encountered, callous, short-sighted arrogant, dismissive shitheads.

    Not to mention that the only time that you can raise objections against policies which may be implemented but have not yet been implemented is before they are implemented.

    I think the debates among “the left” as well as more widely helps Obama make his decisions.

    I don’t think he’s some alien god who just had everything planned out 3 centuries ago — I think that one of the things that makes Obama so special and so talented is that he’s curious enough and humble enough to give a shit about the good points brought up in debate around the country. If people throw around these blanket condemnations of too much whining from “the left, such that the debate doesn’t fully take place, you’re pretty much denying Obama access to the full range of debate necessary to make a decision.

    On the other hand, I try not to be entranced with my own supposed ‘insight’ into the functioning of power by angrily declaring that Obama “will” or Obama “won’t” do A or B because I might suspect where the path of least resistance for a President would probably lie.

    I was surprised by his choice to release the OLC memos, but not utterly shocked, and I had made no angry prediction that he wouldn’t.

  58. 58
    LD50 says:

    It’s a big change, and everyone is shifting their gears.

    Well, all non-Republicans, at least.

  59. 59

    It is, I think, a terrible mistake for Obama to give the republicans six months to torpedo his health care bill — they may be dumb, but they’re not stupid.
    If the Democrats actually succeed in giving Americans some kind of guaranteed health care, the voters will be grateful forever. So Republicans will move heaven and earth to prevent Democrats from doing this.
    Now, a sensible Republican party would join with the Democrats in passing this bill, so they could take credit for it, too. Maybe this is what Obama thinks they will do if they have six months to think about it. But these guys are too dumb, and too entangled with their own anti-government ideology. Besides, Rush wants Obama to fail, and making sure health care reform fails will be his highest priority.
    It’s going to be a long summer.

  60. 60
    Lavocat says:

    I think Obama’s proper response should have been:

    “Fuck you, Mitch. I’m gonna make you my bitch and yer gonna like it, dig?”

  61. 61
    iluvsummr says:

    @CathiefromCanada:

    It is, I think, a terrible mistake for Obama to give the republicans six months to torpedo his health care bill—they may be dumb, but they’re not stupid.

    Oh I think they’re dumb *and* stupid. I’m watching friends and other people I know who’ve been laid off for the first time in their lives grapple with COBRA healthcare payments and the realization that they can’t afford health insurance once their savings run out. I think there’ll be enough people who support a healthcare bill that the Republicans will find themselves in the wilderness for a long long time if they blatantly oppose it.

  62. 62
    mclaren says:

    Not a problem, the health care industry will destroy Obama’s health care reform bill. The Republicans can sit this one out.

  63. 63
    Cain says:

    @Lavocat:

    “Fuck you, Mitch. I’m gonna make you my bitch and yer gonna like it, dig?”

    I suppose somewhere teh theme from Shaft starts playing, right? :)

    cain

  64. 64
    Andy K says:

    @LD50:

    If the Dems had 70 senators and the GOP had 30, the GOP would STILL demand 80 votes for anything to pass.

    The GOP doesn’t have the ability to do that now, along party lines, anyway.

    The cloture vote, when first implemented in the Senate rules in 1917, required a 2/3 vote to be achieved. That was amended to 3/5 in 1975. So the rule can be changed. But, if I’ve read it correctly, a 2/3 vote is required to change the rule. So if the Democrats want to lower the 3/5 requirement to, say, 55%, they need 67 votes to do so.

    That leaves the “nuclear option”, but by nuking the rules the right to filibuster at all would be killed. Senators have threatened the “nuclear option” in the past, but it’s never been done. I don’t think anyone wants to be known as the Senator who got rid of a noble, if troublesome, procedure that has been a tradition theoretically legal since 1806 and in use since 1841.

  65. 65

    […] bring it on April 25, 2009, 2:39 pm Filed under: healthcare You won.  Take it to ‘em. 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this […]

  66. 66
    Kyle says:

    Not a problem, the health care industry will destroy Obama’s health care reform bill. The Republicans can sit this one out.

    Not a problem, the Blue Dog health care industry prostitute Dems will destroy Obama’s health care reform bill. The Republicans can sit this one out.

    Fixed.

  67. 67
    Mike G says:

    I’m watching friends and other people I know who’ve been laid off for the first time in their lives grapple with COBRA healthcare payments and the realization that they can’t afford health insurance once their savings run out.

    If there’s any justice, many of them will be Republicans.

    What kind of country would we be without the vast numbers of the parochial, head-up-their-ass “It’s not a problem until it’s MY problem”/”It’ll never happen to me because Megachurch Jesus says I’m special”/”Fuck you, I’ve got mine” caucus.

    You were so smug thinking you were in on the big scam, now too late you realize you were being scammed too, you fucking tools.

  68. 68
    Neil H says:

    If the Democrats actually succeed in giving Americans some kind of guaranteed health care, the voters will be grateful forever. So Republicans will move heaven and earth to prevent Democrats from doing this.

    If the Republicans attack all out, that may put them right in line for Obama’s greatest combative strength: his counter-punch

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  1. […] bring it on April 25, 2009, 2:39 pm Filed under: healthcare You won.  Take it to ‘em. 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this […]

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