So Harry Reid (D-Ritz Carleton, Washington DC) wants to make the Senate into a replica of the House he has repeatedly bashed since its majority went to the Republicans.
A little Boehner envy, perhaps?
It’s entirely possible that the historical precedent for the filibuster is more contained in black and white Jimmy Stewart films than in actual history. But you would have thought that the personal representative of MGM to Washington would have thought this move through in the context of his last hardball move, which was passing what they no longer want to call Obamacare.
How’s that working out for him?
It’s only a matter of time before most of the people who supported Reid and Obama, but are now being clobbered by new rules Reid jammed through the Senate in 2010 on a party line vote, figure out it was really Reid who begat Obamacare.
Harry, famously, has the most flexible morals and ethics in Washington.
He’ll get a chance to display those when the madding crowd starts to roar in 2014 and 2016.
Gutting the filibuster has opened a clear path to de-fanging Obamacare, should the Republicans take the Senate and hold the house in 2014.
Harry seems to be counting on one of two factors to prevent that. First, that Obamacare will magically turn around in the peoples’ esteem and become as beloved as Social Security. Second, that the Republicans are perfectly capable of destroying themselves.
If we had to guess, the second factor is far more likely than the first. But as far as the Republicans go, even a blind hog can find an acorn. And it’s likely, given the polling data, that they can unite against Obamacare long enough to establish some semblance of leadership in Washington.
The sad truth is that the far left and the far right, given the chance, will destroy their respective party’s appeal to the 60% of the voters who get to decide where this nation is headed.
Now you can argue about the relationship of the Congressional chambers to history, but here’s a point that is cast in stone.
20% of the voters are hardcore Democrats, 20% are hardcore Republicans, and the middle 60% decide elections. Those are the people who Reid and Obama have to ask in 2014 about Obamacare, “Who are you going to believe? Us or your lying eyes?”
The problems with Obamacare are so systemic that the chances of working them out to the satisfaction of the middle 60% in the time before November 8, 2016 are close to zero.
It will take bipartisan support for a fix, and Reid just threw that away.
The media cares about things like filibusters and Federal Judgeships.
The actual public votes its checkbook.
And what the Obama Administration has never understood is that healthcare is a checkbook issue in its purest form. A crappy insurance policy that costs $1,000 a month and has a $12,600 yearly out-of-pocket limit is like buying a second house. And, that said, you cannot tell the average guy he has to pay another mortgage payment or deal with the IRS and get away with it.
Under those circumstances, the average guy will undoubtedly go to the polls and vote for the people who want to repeal that.
Had people been told that Obamacare was the requirement to go out and buy another house, it would not have been acceptable even to Democrats back in 2010.
Remember how Obamacare was sold. It’ll be cheaper than your cell-phone bill and easier to buy than a book on Amazon. And, by the way, if you like your current plan or your doctor, you can keep them.
Well, to quite its namesake’s favorite preacher, “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
Now, the economic consequences are becoming clear, and the bill will be coming due.
Instead of trying to gain some bipartisan support to fix it, Reid, being the moron he is in everything except getting elected, decided to pour gas on the fire.
With some luck, that fire will consume him, Obama, and Nancy Pelosi for good.
One can only hope the Republicans—who also have trouble organizing a two car funeral—will avoid overplaying their hand long enough to actually fix things over the next five years.