Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Democracy is, like, hard

Back on March 3rd, here’s what the President had to say regarding the way-ahead for passing healthcare reform:

President Barack Obama launched the endgame on healthcare Wednesday, urging Congress to “finish its work.”

Obama said he believes Congress owes the American people a final up-or-down vote on healthcare reform, but did not use the word reconciliation.

Vote. What a novel concept. What say ye, Stretch?

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

(italics, ours)

Any pretense of democratic accountability has just gone out the window with “deem and pass”. After all, it would be just too much to ask our elected representatives to do what the hell it was we sent them to Washington to do.

And with respect to this “self-executing rule”, we are reminded of the late great John McKay who was the legendary football coach at USC before being brought back down to earth as the coach of the spectacularly hapless expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After one particular woeful performance in their inaugural 0-14 season, McKay was asked by the press what he thought of his teams execution. McKay deadpanned, “I’m in favor of it”.

Have at it, Congress.

Does the President have the nerve to dare sign this thing should it make it to his desk in this fashion? Whatever happens, we will hand it to him, though. In our minds, he has officially delivered on his promise to change the way business is done in Washington. Whatever manner of sleazy, unseemly and downright undemocratic and corrupt politics that existed in D.C. before this is now nearly lost to memory as the good ol’ days of D.C. good governance.

Mission Accomplished!


B-Daddy said...

I'm calling it demon pass for obvious reasons.

SarahB said...

I keep wondering if there is going to come a morning when I don't watch the news and just say, "Really?!!!!!" to each new and improved outrageous effort.