First, Obama campaigns on health care (2008).
Second, soon after inauguration, he calls for passage of massive health care reform in a speech to a joint session of Congress.
Third, he tells Congress he wants a bill before their August recess. That doesn't happen.
Fourth, during the summer the actual legislators get in front of their actual constituents and catch holy living hell. The legislators are not amused, but then, neither are their constituents.
Fifth, the House passes their bill, which everyone hates, late on a Saturday night by a handful of votes, including one Republican.
Sixth, the Senate passes their bill, which everyone hates, on Christmas fucking Eve, on a strict party line vote - not a single Republican votes for it.
(Thieves in the night reference, anyone?)
Seventh, Obama and his sled dogs start whining that Republicans haven't put forth any of their own ideas. This is absolutely true except for the fact that it's absolutely false, seeing as the Republicans have at least three proposed bills they've put forward regarding health care reform.
(Lying sacks of crap reference, anyone?)
Eighth, Scott Brown (R) campaigns loud and strong in the Special Senate election in MA on being the 41st Senate vote to stop the current health care mess and wins handily.
Ninth, Obama says he wants a bill to sign by his 2010 State of the Union address, but that doesn't happen.
Tenth, as Spring claws its way out from under the snowpack and the Congressional Spring Recess approaches, during which legislators will once again be forced to suffer the indignity of being bothered by their constituents, Obama has once again signaled a deadline for health care reform - March 18th.
Eleventh, To meet this new deadline our Congressional betters have come up with a great idea - reconciliation:
Instead of using the standard rules of the House passing a bill, the Senate passing a bill, and then voting on a new bill that both houses agree upon, this pack of feral Antoinettes wants the Senate to use a budgetary rule to pass a non-budgetary bill with less than 60 votes in the Senate, and the House to pass the Senate's bill unchanged, trusting that they can attend to all the nasty details of disagreement "afterwards". All of which brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies: Rochefort in 1973's The Three Musketeers: "Once in the Bastille, there is no 'afterwards'."
House members are right to be wary of agreeing to temporary lodgings in the Senate's Bastille.
Twelth, the latest option that's floated to the top of the bowl had been proposed by Congresscritter Louise Slaughter (D NY) who, as Chair of the House Rules committee, proposed that the whole bill could be considered passed in House if the House merely voted to approve changes that the Senate proposed to make. In other words, you don't have to read the whole thing before you sign it, just the parts I rewrote. Now, that pig's anus of an idea was strangled yesterday in its crib by the Senate parliamentarian (The what? I asked myself - Who are these nerds?), but the fact that they would have considered it put them in the grand position explained over on the Corner yesterday:
Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it. Surely it’s time to start over.
Also, it shows just how desperate the Dems are, how inured from the public will, and how unwedded they are to Democratic principles. They want it, their leader wants it, so it's going to happen, natch.
I barely remember why I started this gambol through the splashy sewer pipe of "Health Care Reform, Or Else", but here I am a coincidental 12 steps later without a decent Alcoholics Anonymous joke and a feeling of sick ridiculousness pervading my being.
Do they really think we're that stupid? I think, Yes.
Are they really that stupid? I think, Yes.
Are they such committed leftists that they are willing to throw away a whole slew of careers, a presidency, and probable control of both houses of Congress over a nation-wrecking solution to a problem that doesn't exist? I think, Yes.