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April 25, 2009

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The possibility of reconciliation could mean a better bill in the end, but it's also possible that pressure for a bipartisan solution before the deadline for forcing reconciliation will produce a worse bill because of ill-conceived centrist changes and concessions to Republican anti-health-care positions, much as the effectiveness of stimulus bill suffered so that conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans could say they got changes made.

"anitdemocratic unconstitutional abuse of powers!"

get used to hearing that.

I'm just ecstatic that Obama really considers health care legislation critical to pass in his first year. He said so over and over in the campaign, but it's hard to ever know for sure.

If we can eliminate pre-existing condition BS and make sure everyone has access, regardless of job status, I'll be thrilled. Every second I worked on the campaign and every dollar I spent will feel like it's been returned many times over. More focus on prevention, of course, would be lovely as well.

B. Clinton is going to be very jealous. Congressional leadership wouldn't let him use reconciliation in 1992. Hopefully, we've learned a few things since then. And we have a president who won't take No for an answer.

"Republicans have no interest in doing anything other than blindly opposing everything, and then running on Obama’s inability to pass anything."

I think they're interested in opposing nearly everything ideologically and then running on the failure of Obama's policies. A strategy based on "I told you so" is risky prior to the actual "so", but it can provide a tremendous boost if you end up being right (see Obama, Iraq War).

The reason why the Republicans consider the gamble to be worth it is that the American public is, on the whole, impatient and fickle. Even if the right policies are in place, the public will judge them a failure if they take too long to work.

I should also say that I don't think it's going to pay off for the Republicans. The fact that healthcare is being pushed so hard gives me that faith. The healthcare system is not going to improve all that quickly, but the focus of effort and attention on it (swarms of IT people, for example) is going to expand healthcare's piece of the total economic pie and provide an early boost to an economy that will likely be more sluggish in other areas. Same reasoning, basically, as the public works argument.

I give Obama more credit - I think he and Rahm Emmanuel had this in mind all along. He bent over backwards in a very public way to try and work with the Republicans. They had two choices: behave in a non-partisan manner in return, or pander to their party's Rush Limbaugh wing.

The Republicans predictably chose partisanship over negotiating - and bragged about it in a Grover Nordquist kind of way. In essence, the Republican Party chose to publicly confirm their dedication to blind, short-sighted partisanship.

If they were dealing with Harry Reid, it would have worked. Mr. Reid would have pandered to them again, thinking that caving in to the Republican's tantrums was a sound method of discouraging future tantrums.

Mr. Obama has a different view: rewarding intransigence leads to more bad behavior, not less. I rather expect he's in negotiations with them now telling them to back off on the filibusters or suffer more consequences like this one.

This is funny:

//But the nation simply can’t allow 40% of the Senate to block everything – particularly given that the Senate is already malapportioned and that the 40% already overrepresents the more sparsely populated states.//

The democrat party benefits the most from the tiny northeast states.

//More precisely, the virtually-unanimous opposition to the stimulus has undercut their credibility in the reconciliation debate.//

Credibility with who? As a voter, I was against the stimulus and am glad the republicans opposed it.

// In this world, the Dems would appear to be ramming legislation through.//

If you think they don't already look like they're ramming things through then you operate in too tight a circle of acquaintances.

// We have an administration that is arguably too interested in including Republican input.//

LOL.

"The democrat party benefits the most from the tiny northeast states."

There is no "democrat party," nor even a "Democrat Party."

There isn't even a "Republic Pary."

The democrat party benefits the most from the tiny northeast states.
Well, as I look at this here list of states ranked by population, I see that they are Vermont (49), Delaware (45), Rhode Island (43), New Hampshire (41), and Maine (40). If I use those sttes to provide a working definition of "tiny" as meaning "possessing two or fewer House seats" (the next smallest northeastern state has five), then you will find seven other states in that category, including such population centers as Wyoming and Idaho.

Now, as to your assertion: the five "tiny northeastern states" I list above send three Republicans, six Democrats, and an independent who caucuses with the Democrats to the Senate - a 70/30 split. By contrast, the large Northeastern states (New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, with New Jersey thrown in for good measure, have only Democrats in the Senate (if I hold my nose and call Lieberman a Democrat)).

The other seven "tiny states" send seven Democrats and Seven Republicans to the Senate. So, the twelve "tiny" states send 14 Democrats (counting the independents) and 10 Republicans, giving the Democrats 58%, not all that far from their 59% national representation in the Senate.

As I recall, if you give each Senator credit for half their state's population then the 59% of Senators who caucus as Democrats represent significantly more than 59% of the population. Same answer, or more so, if you add up the votes cast for Democrats and for Republicans in the Senate. Still, this is more an effect of the moderate-sized states than the tiny ones.

P.S. Cleek is of course correct that Dddave's "Democrat Party" nonsense makes Dddave look petty and foolish, but keep in mind your handy Modern Republican Rule Of Thumb: It Could Be Worse, And Probably Will Be.

If you think they don't already look like they're ramming things through then you operate in too tight a circle of acquaintances.

Payback's a b*tch, ain't it triple-d?

But just because a bunch of ignorant partisans thinks they got a raw deal doesn't mean they did. The majority is supposed to be able to get bills to the floor and pass them. There's a name for this system, it's called democracy.

When your side literally gets their microphones switched off or their meeting rooms taken away, then maybe you can start whining -- except that the GOP has no standing to complain about that kind of tactic.

// In this world, the Dems would appear to be ramming legislation through.//
If you think they don't already look like they're ramming things through then you operate in too tight a circle of acquaintances.

I don't expect you to come around to agreeing with Obama, but that doesn't mean you can't eg look at poll numbers. If you think that you're opinions are representative, you should probably take your own advice on acquaintances.

Particularly since the Dems haven't even used reconciliation yet, so they can hardly be ramming anything through Congress- unless you view "ramming things though" as meaning "supermajorities voting for stuff d'd'dave doesn't like". (In which case Im not sure how a Democratic Congress is going to avoid this, since they were elected on platforms that you strongly disagree with).

If you think they don't already look like they're ramming things through then you operate in too tight a circle of acquaintances.

No, actually, I don't.

Elections do have consequences. And compromises mean BOTH sides adjust their proposals.

Feel free to point out the changes in the Republican side. I realize that means you have to do research, and that's difficult for idealogues, but I do believe people can learn new things.

Someone fill me in. When did passing major legislation by a simple majority come to be seen as an extraordinary measure?

Someone fill me in. When did passing major legislation by a simple majority come to be seen as an extraordinary measure?

I'm not sure, but stuttering Dave will be sure to get back to you on that when he gets his talking points from El Rushbo.

publius: yes, this is truly excellent news.

And d'd'd: consider that New York and California have the same number of Senators as Wyoming and Idaho.

Look D'D'D'Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

Among current poll results: "21 percent of those surveyed said they identify as Republicans, the fewest to do so in a Post-ABC poll in more than 25 years."

Also:

[...] Obama's overall rating remains high, with 69 percent of Americans approving of his job performance. He gets solid marks for his handling of the economy, maintaining a better-than-2-to-1 advantage over congressional Republicans on the issue. Majorities said that Obama has exceeded their expectations in his first three months in office, has accomplished big things and has kept his main campaign promises.

[...] Most (62 percent) continue to see Obama's views on most issues as "just about right" ideologically, despite significant GOP pushback on his initial policy stances.

"Credibility with who?"

The American people.

Credibility with who?" The American people.

Too tight a circle of acquaintances.

As I recall, if you give each Senator credit for half their state's population then the 59% of Senators who caucus as Democrats represent significantly more than 59% of the population.

It's about 62-38, counting Franken, Sanders, Lieberman.

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