Still lots of hand wringing and speculation about health care reform. The SEIU – Service Employees International Union took at shot across the Democrats bow. Not a bad thing. A reminder that Democrats, because of Massachusetts or just misguided perceptions in general do have a lesson to learn. Backing off health care reform is not the lesson. That is the lesson from from the party that spent over a trillion dollars on Iraq want everyone to believe. If Democrats listen to Republicans they will have to explain what these past few months have been about and how losing ground on containing costs and protecting poor and middle-class families is not such a bad thing. Giving up means Republicans get to say they won regardless of how substance free that claim would be. On substance conservatives have zero, but they will have the public perception of sticking to their guns and winning. Democrats, despite a hard fight appear to be losers. Give the news cycle a few days to cool down and Democrats should come to the logical conclusion – the only thing standing between them and an historical legislative victory for the average American is the Democrat’s own misguided doubts.
Concluded Stern: “For the 31 million people who don’t have health care, for the 14,000 who lose it every day, for the 120 people who die every day, they elected this Congress to make change, not to set their sights lower when the going gets tough.”
One benefit of being veterans of so many legislative wars is that Reid and Pelosi are not prone to panic,
According to Politico, Reid and Pelosi are meeting this weekend to craft a series of measures, to apparently be passed via reconciliation before the House votes on the Senate bill. If the reconciliation measures pass, the House votes on the Senate bill and, as Benen calls it, “a fiasco for the ages” is avoided.
Abandoning health care reform–the signature political issue of this administration–would send a message that Democrats are incapable of governing and lead to massive losses in the 2010 election, possibly even in 2012. Such a retreat would also abandon the chance to achieve reforms that millions of Americans across the political spectrum desperately need in these difficult times. Now is the moment for calm and resolute leadership, pressing on toward the goal now within sight.
Anyone that has been in middle or upper management knows what it is like to explain some new twist to a recent change in company policy or procedures. Whether its twenty employees or a hundred there is always a little grumbling and misunderstanding. A little time and patience usually pays off. All this what’da we gonna do now is typical of the average group of people – Congress being a herd of turtles regardless of which party is in the majority – is certainly not immune.
I’m a little surprised at Alex Koppelman writing at Balkinization – such a generally good blog that I’m starting to doubt myself, What’s at stake in the filibuster question
It’s time for him to demand of Democratic Senators that they abolish the Senate filibuster. If he can get 50 of them to agree, then the game will change fundamentally. In a world in which the Senate can act with a simple majority of votes – and remember, that’s the way America was governed for most of its history – the Democrats will have firm control over both houses of Congress, and will be able to pass health care, and address global warming and financial reform as well. Obama will be one of the transformative presidents.
I’d be more then happy if the Senate would simply split the difference and make 55 votes the filibuster proof threshold. Here’s the thing – there are or will be 41 Republicans in the Senate. Then there are 57 Democrats and two Independents ( Lieberman caucuses with Democrats, but we all know he is a party of one – his own ego) . It takes 67 votes to change Senate rules. By my math there is no way that the President or Harry Reid to get 67 votes. The current health care bill can be passed via reconciliation, a route that can be complicated, but it can be done.