Monday, March 8, 2010

Reconciliation Hypocrisy

The health care “debate” bores me to death. There’s just so much bullshit coming at us from both sides that I’ve mostly just tuned the whole thing out (though I don’t think it’s a stretch to say one side is behaving like a spoiled child incapable of thinking beyond they’re own wants). I just can’t seem to care too much about the procedural brouhaha that we’ve been hearing about for the last few months and that’s why I’ve done very few posts on the subject. I just can't bring myself to care.

That being said though, there is one thing about this whole thing that has been bothering me lately and that's the attempt to demonize the reconciliation process by the Republican Party.

Now that doesn’t mean there are no valid concerns about the use of reconciliation, but the idea that the use of the reconciliation process in this manner is “unprecedented” is just ridiculous. This video is a good summation of the inanity:


First off, “Hugo Chavez magoritarian rule in the senate?” Really Newt Gingrich? Seriously, wtf if up with republicans just stringing together random words that they think sound scary? Is the idea of majority rule really that frightening to Republicans? I mean, isn’t that the reason gay couples in California lost their marriage equality? Isn’t “majority rule” the excuse for all kinds of shitty policy decisions by both sides?

Second, the senate already passed health care reform with a super majority (60 votes). Did everybody catch that? The senate already passed health care reform. The talking point that Dems are trying to “ram” a huge bill through congress is bullshit. Again, the senate already passed health care reform. Congress is only considering using the reconciliation process in order to make changes to the bill they already passed. Since these changes will affect the cost of health care, they fall under the budgetary process and therefore reconciliation can be used. While it’s true that health care reform is policy and probably not what reconciliation was initially intended for, reconciliation has been used over the years, mostly by republicans, to make all sorts of major changes that were not foreseen when reconciliation was created.

You can see a great infograph of Senate reconciliation votes here.

Reconciliation wouldn’t even be necessary if not for the Republican love for the filibuster. The filibuster has become so commonly used that our congress has essentially become pointless. Nothing can be passed without a super majority and the reconciliation process is no more of a "parliamentary trick" than the filibusters Republicans are using.

What pisses me off about this the most though, is the media’s culpability in all this. The media has time and time again allowed GOP members to criticize reconciliation as wrong and bipartisan while ignoring the fact that many of these same GOP members used reconciliation under Bush. Republicans have likened democrats to suicide bombers, torturers, baby killers, dictators, and just plain evil. It is this hypocrisy that proves our news/media is essentially inept. Politicians may be clowns, but our media is the circus.

Hopefully if enough people call them out the media can eventually become something not so closely resembling a giant pile of dog shit.

2 comments:

  1. I love how you make these things so interesting. I think Canada has it right (for once...*glares at Canada*) with the whole concept that health care is to actually treat sick people. Did you know America is the only country in the world where individual companies gain from people getting sick? DAMN.

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  2. Thanks chicka! One of the problems with our health care is that instead of choosing one model and sticking with is (all private or all gov. run) we have a mish-mash that obviously sucks.

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