Apparently a serious move is afoot to get a health care bill through congress which will include a public option and be passed via reconciliation, therefore requiring only 50 votes (plus the VP as tie breaker). Don't get me wrong, activists on the left have argued for such an approach since the first floundering last summer. Now the dems in the senate who are realizing that failure on the issue may be worse than the compromised stasis they've already bumbled into are waking up to that fact. And Barry's people in the White House too, have gotten the cojones bug and may be actually crafting some legislation to promote. Such a series of moves will get the job done and do so in a much more progressive manner than what was already coming out of the process.
Republican boy wonder Eric Cantor has declared that such action by the administration and congressional democrats will assure the end of any attempts at bipartisanship. Who is this guy threatening? The repubes have done nothing in a bipartisan manner since January 20, 2009. Before they can say there is no chance, they have to show there is one. I'm kind of at a loss as to why anyone pays attention to such blather at this point other than for the simple manner of showing the completely "opposite" point of view on an issue. This is to be distinguished from an "opposing" point of view, which suggests there is content in the view.
The election of '08 was a resounding statement to do things differently. Barry, being a lawyer and politician at heart, is interested in process. That explains his focus on bipartisanship because it suggests a fair airing of all views and inclusion in some form for all of them. But the people, being bottom line oriented, are interested in results. The dems in congress, who knows what they're interested in at this point? But it's sounding like maybe, just maybe they're all starting to wake up to the reality that they don't have a loyal opposition to deal with.
Since John Tower's and Robert Bork's smearings by the dems in the 80s, the Gingrich revolution in '94, the ongoing evisceration of Clinton in the late 90s, and the jackboot discipline of Rove in the aughts, the US congress has become less and less responsive to the needs of American society and ever more insular. It may be a fully broken institution which has no institutional knowledge of how to accomplish important functions anymore. This, more than any other, may be the most dangerous reality to develop in American politics since the Civil War. The devastation wrought by that conflict required a century of healing with scars that remain still. I fear the consequences of further rancor of the sort. We can be a mighty nasty people when unglued. And Elmer is skurrying for the hills by my view.
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