But you've already taken your ball and gone home!

Oooh, those Congressional Republicans. They're hopping mad! They've gone to all that trouble to obstruct progress on health care reform, and now the Democrats have found a way to circumvent them. What's particularly galling is that those wily Democrats are using the exact same tactics the Republicans used before. The nerve!

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.


  1. Yup. If you vow to never do anything that seems to please a President you hate, and the rest of government finds a way to go on, you don't have many options left, do ya, fellas?
    And, for the record, you were getting somewhere with the public by wailing about being left out of the process, even though you didn't really want to play. If you make it totally blatant that you refuse to work with anyone to compromise, good luck in the elections.

  2. Yes, and the Dems made the same whining noises when the Reps used the tactics. Both parties are led by suckweasels. What else is new?

    I'm sure that the bloggers here will barely blink an eye when these same tactics are used by the coming Rep majority to undo the years-in-the-future (but taxed-for-in-the-present) benefits of ObamaCare.

  3. I guess we'll see, won't we John?

  4. gj, ha ha ha hahahahaha. Oh, you mean you are serious? In that case..HA HA HA HA HA HA.
    Yes, I am sure Republicans will undo guaranteed issue, and will run on the platform: if you have cancer Insurance companies must be allowed to drop you so shareholders can maximize profits.
    Or: poor people must go back to clogging ER waiting rooms after a minor issue becomes serious so taxpayers can save a few dollars in subsidies (which they will pay in higher premiums). And of course they will want to insist that insurance companies can cherry pick the healthiest applicants.

    Dude, your delusions knows no bounds. I guarantee you the reason Republicans are so desperate to stop this is because they know Democrats will use it to strangle them in the future. If they were so sure it would hurt the Democrats they would get out of their way. But please, stick to your delusions, even fools are entitled to some comfort.


  5. Yup, that's really nice of you. If you make it totally blatant that you refuse to work with anyone to compromise, good luck in the elections.

  6. charo, I have an idea. Why don't we actually hold a civil discourse? I'll understand that you think I am a coldhearted greedhead who would trip grandma rounding third with the winning run, and you'll understand that I think you are an innumerate maroon who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with directions on the heel. Deal? I'm sure everyone here would breath a sigh of relief.

    In the meantime, yes, Reps will undo guaranteed issue, since it is equivalent to offering liability insurance after you wipe out a row of cars in a driving accident. It will drive premiums wildly higher for everyone. But hey, if Progressives want to die on that hill, be my guest. And the myth that the poor will avoid ERs once they have insurance is contradicted by MA's experience. ER use hasn't gone down at all, people just come up with other reasons for going to the ER, because they can't get appointments even with insurance. Reality is more, um, nuanced than you might suspect.

    KO, the Reps have said they would like to work for reform in insurance and healthcare. Happily, the Reps are serious about it, and have excellent ideas for a series of smaller, easier to understand bills that would have the benefit of actually solving problems instead of creating a all-singing, all-dancing incomprehensible Megabill chock full of porky goodness for lobbyists and special interests. Why is this approach unacceptable to obstructionist Dems?

  7. "Reps will undo guaranteed issue, since it is equivalent to offering liability insurance after you wipe out a row of cars in a driving accident." This is why the democrats have an individual mandate, if you paid any attention you would have know that, but of course Republicans are in favor of free riders, ie. people showing up to hospital waiting rooms without insurance running up bills they will never pay (which are passed to you and I). Every Republican politician is in favor of guaranteed issue, they are just using the excuse they are not in favor of the bill that is wrapped around this one. No way in hell will they attempt to repeal it, especially since the Insurance companies will love the mandate and its profits.

    Is the bill perfect, of course not, I would prefer we went the Taiwanese method, their health care costs are a fraction of the United States, they have UHC, and their health care costs are increasing at a far lower rate than the US. Do you want to know how they did this? Think simply medicare for all.

    And if your entire objection is that ER visitations in Mass. haven't gone down, man that is very weak. I read the article, this can be fixed by increasing access, a good way to do this is by increasing H1B's visas for Doctors willing to work in urban areas. The problem in Mass. would certainly be far worse than it otherwise would have been. The poor are complaining of lack of access, in the South for example, they have no access.
    So no, it is not "nuanced" at all. The overwhelming majority of Mass. residents are happy with their system, and it has a potential to offer full coverage for all its residents.

    And damn right it is hard to be civil to someone who labels a bill whose provisions he never read "a monstrosity" I have little patience for idiotic hyperbole from a guy who is the resident Karl Pilkington here.


  8. Riiiight. Make insurance hideously expensive with guaranteed issue, then force everyone to buy it so the healthy but poor young people will subsidize the sicker but wealthy old people. That would be a good hill for Progressives to die on as well. We'll make sure everyone under 35 knows they are not only paying for the long leisure years of seniors via Social Security (which this year becomes a cash drain on the Treasury after decades of surpluses), but youngsters will be paying through the nose so wealthy seniors can have subsidized healthcare too. What a deal... if you are an oldster.

    Yeah, we could fix MA, but notice that providing insurance didn't solve the ER cost problem. You are the one claiming insurance will drive down ER costs. I gave you empirical proof that claim is false.

  9. G John, Per your statement that you are a cold-hearted greed-head who would trip grandma rounding third with the winning run. Such nonsense! You would never trip her in public. But like your fellow Republicans, you would shoot her from behind the stands.

  10. If I did, but I would be kindhearted enough to use a tranquilizer gun.