Thursday, February 25, 2010

At the end of the day ...

President Obama's bipartisan healthcare reform summit is now over and, at the end of the day, he made it clear that it's my way of the highway.

I admit that I only caught some snatches of the session during the day - I had other things to do, things that might actually improve my life. But, the president's concluding remarks made it clear that the whole affair was just window dressing for moving ahead with the "nuclear option" - reconciliation.

It's not clear that the reconciliation gambit can succeed. The left wing of the House Democrat caucus are upset that the Senate bill, extravagant though it may appear to sentient beings, is too parsimonious. On the other side of the caucus, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) says his pro-life colleagues will not settle for the Senate language on abortion. Perhaps this charade at Blair House today was merely intended to shame a few more "moderate" Republicans into proving their bipartisan bona fides by casting a grudging vote for this monstrosity.

I suspect it won't work, but if it does it will hand the Congress (or at least the House) over to the Republicans. The Democrats then only need to hold enough votes in the Senate to mount a filibuster to prevent repeal next year. At the end of the day, that is the Democrat strategy - put anything they can on the books now and it will become politically impossible to overturn it later, even if they are in the minority.


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