Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Fresh Hell Is This? + Best Comment Yet On the Health Care Bill

The comment is a tweet by John Thune (the Republican senator from South Dakota), and it's our quote of the day:
"We've gone from passing bills without reading them to passing bills without voting on them."
Say WHAT? This is what he's talking about, as reported by none other than the Washington Post, no rightist rag that thing. Blurb:

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."


You know, there seems to be absolutely no bottom limit to the sorts of disgraceful shenanigans those Congresscritters are willing to stoop to in order to ram this miserable, unpopular bill down the throats of an angry citizenry. Look, that Botoxed Congressional queen of the harpies Pelosi KNOWS people hate this bill if one of her reasons for resorting to this latest tactic is "protecting lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure" or whatever. If it's as AWESOME as they say it is, why are folks reluctant to declare for it publicly? If this "reform" "bill" is so FREAKING FANTASTIC, then why not subject it to a real vote?

I don't care if "self-executing" (what a glorious turn of phrase, actually) is often used for other measures. The health care monster is so huge and contentious that it SHOULD be openly, publicly contested. Resorting to procedural sleights-of-hand to ram through a leviathan that will gobble up one-sixth of the economy is just lame. And craven. And COWARDLY.

Throw all the bums out of office, I say. Fire the lot of them. It's ballot box time.

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