Weekend Open Thread

Weekend open thread. I just went to the Omaha Film Festival. What about you? What's on your mind?

Jonathan Chait might be the best take on budget reconciliation I've yet seen in the New Republic's "Everything Is Unprecedented."

The conservatives response has been to simply redefine "unprecedented" in ever more narrow terms. Orrin Hatch writes, "The reconciliation process, which from the start is a rare exception to our regular process, has never been used for major social legislation that did not have wide bipartisan support. Never." That's true! It's been used for major social legislation, and it's been used for major budget legislation that did not have wide bipartisan support, but it's never been used for major social legislation that also did not have wide bipartisan support.

Meanwhile, James Joyner argues, "using reconciliation to avoid a supermajority on health care reform would simply be unprecedented." Also true! Using reconciliation to avoid a supermajority? Happened before. Using reconciliation for health care reform? Happened before. But using reconciliation to avoid a supermajority on health care reform? Unprecedented.

The question is why we should care. After all, since history almost never replicates itself in precisely every detail, nearly everything that happens is unprecedented in some way... For instance, the way in which Senate Republicans are using the filibuster this session is completely unprecedented.

Tags: health care reform, Reconciliation, Jonathan Chait, Open Thread (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

RE: Weekend Open Thread

The Republicans are good at making a big deal out of nothing, of course. And the media rarely if ever calls them out on it.

While we're on the subject of HCR, anybody see Maddow's smackdown of the President and the Democratic leadership for saying they support the public option and then working to prevent it? She did a pretty good job of it.

by jeopardy 2010-03-13 10:40PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

Without the Stupak(id) bloc the House dosn't have the votes for the PO. That much was clear in Nov. I'm glad Stupak has been told to shove it, obviously having the PO would be good, but not at that cost.

Have to give props to Maddow for that too. After the Stupak amendment passed she was one of the very few progessives to call it out.

by vecky 2010-03-14 03:17AM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

I thought that without the Stupak bloc, they didn't have the votes for anything.

by jeopardy 2010-03-14 01:41PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

When the PO is gone, it gets easier to chop up the block. They've been able to peel away at least two for the Senate bill, maybe more.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-14 02:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

yes, but we don't know whether they could have peeled them (or others) away had they been whipping for the PO.

That's kinda my point. Saying "the PO didn't/doesn't have the votes is NOT a good argument. No HCR bill would have the votes without active whipping.

by jeopardy 2010-03-14 07:21PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

The PO was already whipped for and 220 members voted for it. Since then we've lost 3 to vacancies and anywhere from 5-10 to Stupak-Pitts. So we need to find a few votes from among the group that voted against it the first time.

by vecky 2010-03-14 08:38PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend Open Thread

I don't think they have the votes either. With Stupak continuing to dig in his heels, we'll just have to wait and see where they get the votes from.

by vecky 2010-03-14 05:06PM | 0 recs

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