What's an obstructionist opposition to do?
Republicans are threatening to make life difficult for Democrats if they try to push health care reform through the Senate using the budget reconciliation process.
The response from Democrats: What else is new?
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told POLITICO on Monday that it will be “much, much harder” to reach bipartisan consensus on anything if Democrats push ahead with reconciliation.
Harder than what? What bipartisan consensus? When have we had that since Obama was sworn in? Because, from where I sit, the Democrats have as much reason to hope that the GOP will ever work with them on anything as they do to hope that the ghost of FDR will appear and give each of them three wishes.
So, what do they really mean by "bipartisan consensus"? It looks like they mean "get anything done at all."
And Republicans are vowing more hardball tactics of their own if Democrats go the reconciliation route on health care reform. “This is unprecedented — that means the response is going to be unprecedented,” said a senior GOP aide.
Some Senate insiders expect the GOP to begin objecting to routine motions to speed the day’s business, for example, by forcing Senate clerks to read aloud the text of bills and amendments — a move that would effectively grind Senate business to a halt.
See the link in the first paragraph for my thoughts on "unprecedented." Anyhow, it looks like the Republicans are essentially willing to shut down Congress if health care reform passes. Because that turned out so well in 1995. (At least this time federal employees would still get paid.)
The trouble, of course, is that the GOP has already made it clear that it's going to stymie major pieces of legislation as a rule. I don't really know how they intend to be less bipartisan. The only thing they have remaining is to refuse to do anything, which I can't imagine is a winning strategy in the long run.