The Democrats are intent on passing their health care reform even if it kills them. There is currently some question as to whether or not Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass the Senate bill in the House. But the Dems have figured out a postmodern solution to this problem: pass the bill without a vote.
…it looks like House Democrats won’t have to vote directly on a Senate bill they really don’t like. The speaker hasn’t made a final decision, but she told her rank-and-file during the meeting that the plan now is to craft a rule that would “deem” the Senate bill passed once they approve the package of fixes.
The idea comes from House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter.
Each bill that comes before the House for a vote on final passage must be given a rule that determines things like whether the minority would be able to offer amendments to it from the floor.
In the Slaughter Solution, the rule would declare that the House “deems” the Senate version of Obamacare to have been passed by the House. House members would still have to vote on whether to accept the rule, but they would then be able to say they only voted for a rule, not for the bill itself.
Not reading a bill is old news. Now the House can pass a bill without even voting on it! Robert Tracinski notes,
The purpose of this, as I understand it, is to change the chronology—in weird sort of “I am my own grandpa” kind of way: the bill will be passed only when Congress passes a revision to the bill that they haven’t passed yet.
Well, voting is so 18th century, like Newtonian physics. Our postmodern House has advanced to quantum physics. Like Shroedinger’s Cat, a bill might or might not be dead, depending on how the Democrat leadership deems it.
This postmodern logic fits with Nancy Pelosi’s reasoning on why we need this bill:
“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
We must pass the bill so we can find out what is in it. Pass the bill so we can read it! Who needs the new “Alice In Wonderland” movie when we’ve got the 111th Congress?
We’re talking about nationalizing one-sixth of the economy here. The health care reform bill is probably the most important bill since the 1960’s, and the Democrats want to pass it with an unprecedented parliamentary trick.
…for probably the first time in U.S. history, the president will be signing into law a bill that never received its own vote on the House floor. The “what if a Republican did it?” meme is overused, but clear your mind and try to imagine the media reaction if the Frist/Hastert Congress tried something like this for, oh, say, social security reform. If ever you’re tempted to agree with idiots on the left who think the press is balanced, let that thought experiment be your corrective.
All this Rube Goldberg process comes because the Democrats do not want any compromise with the hated Republicans.
For the past two months, the White House and Democrats in Congress have been weaving ever-more complicated legislative webs all with the express intent of avoiding at all costs any need to negotiate with the now slightly enlarged Senate minority. In effect, what Democratic leaders want to do is — at the very end of the legislative process — switch from regular order to a reconciliation process in order to avoid having to deal seriously with any elected Republicans.
There must be statist Republicans who want socialized medicine, and would work with the Democrats if they were given a chance. The Democrats might not get everything they want, but they would forge a compromise that would take us a long way down the road to serfdom. That’s how it has worked in the past, but this is not good enough for the leftists in power today. For all the talk about “cooperation” from Coffee Party USA, the Democrats’ problem with health care reform has been caused by their own unwillingness to cooperate. Maybe we should thank them for being so principled — otherwise, some godawful law would have passed by now.
Why are the Democrats going so far to pass their health care reform? Mark Steyn argues,
…the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative”).
The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
…government health care is not about health care, it’s about government. Once you look at it that way, what the Dems are doing makes perfect sense. For them.