Procedural Hysteria

Impeach Pelosi! Bury Harry! Down with Obama! Ok, I get that many people are opposed to the reform bill now in the end-game in Congress. Despite not seeing the dramatic changes in our nation since Obama took over, I understand that people are upset. What I would like to see the end of, however, is this notion of attacking a “problem” that does not exist.

Please feel free to debate the place of the citizen government in the marketplace. By all means argue against deficit spending. Go to the mat fighting the notion of a tax increase on anyone; these are all worthy arguments….just dispense with the bullshit! I know it is crude, and I do apologize; there is simply no better way to describe the arguments of the Boehners and Bachmanns of the world lately. My problem is not their policy issues but rather their procedural “issues”.

Please allow me to lay out a few facts:

  1. Budget reconcilliation was designed to allow deficit reducing steps to be pushed through the Senate without fillibuster. The first serious use of the tactic was by someone you might have heard of; the “Reagan Revolution” was substantially the by-product of the process. All of those nifty tax cuts came by way of the tool that Mitch McConnell now insists is the mark of the beast. Of course the Bush tax cuts of 2003 also came courtesy of reconcilliation. Interestingly, neither of these two packages trimmed the deficit (Bush’s added $1.8 trillion directly to the debt).
  2. Deem and pass…also known as the “Slaughter Rule” was used by Speaker Hastert (that is Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert) 112 times during his tenure. When Michelle Bachmann is allowed to go on a “media blitz” and suggest Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment and the “treason” of the mainstream media for failing to report this “compelling story about something that has never happened before”…..folks….I don’t like to be terribly rude (in this space at least). Representative Bachmann has two choices, and two choices only; either she is an idiot or a liar (of course she could be a lying idioit, which would give her a third option). Kind readers, you are not supposed to know these things, but members of the House are REQUIRED to learn the history and application of the body’s rules.
  3. Schoolhouse Rock…I heard it mentioned this week. A GOP representative stated that the measure should be voted on just like he learned about it on that show (one of my favorites). I couldn’t agree more, but here is the deal; both the House and Senate passed “the bill” already. Schoolhouse Rock dictates it be consolidated and sent to the President for signing. The process would have followed this path if not for the extensive use by the Republicans of “procedural gimmicks” to gum up the works. I still have not found a piece of legislation that passed both chambers and failed to become law.

I do not oppose the GOP tactics in their attempt to defeat this measure. Cloture rules and the filibuster exist in the Senate to enable the minority to stand on principle for their constituents in opposition to a measure pushed by a united majority. What I do oppose is the notion of WHINING and LYING when the majority uses perfectly legitimate methods to get around the procedures of the minority. None of this would matter except that people believe what they hear on television; this goes back to the nonsense about the “death panels” and the “government takeover”. I have enumerated several legitimate reasons that could be cited by folks in opposition; the embellishments and sensationalism are not necessary.

We hear of “bi-partisanship” and “balanced reporting”; what we seem to lack is focused legislation and factual reporting. Sensible government, and the journalism that is tasked with illuminating it, are not about left and right finding harmony. Sensible government and journalism focus on the exposure of, definition of, and solutions to the challenges and opportunities of our nation. This political posturing has got to stop!

The RM needs YOUR opinion to make this work….