History repeated itself this week at Blair House, the nation's official guest house for former presidents and foreign dignitaries, across the street from the
It was here in 186l that President
The fact that the bipartisan health care summit didn't achieve any bipartisan results should have come as no surprise. Republicans made it clear even before the event, they did not come to play, they came to kill. Four days earlier, President Obama posted his health care proposal online and invited Republicans to do the same. They refused. In the meantime, as reported by
Together, those complaints added up to a "pre-existing condition" against constructive dialogue, which proved true, 10 minutes into the summit, when the first Republican speaker took the floor. Senator
Nonetheless, even without a bipartisan compromise, the summit was still a worthwhile exercise. For two reasons. Because, on national television, it exposed Congressional Republicans for who they really are: a bunch of naysayers with no ideas of their own to offer. And because it gives Democrats, finally, the excuse they need to give up any idea of trying to make a deal with Republicans and pass health care reform the only way possible: with Democratic votes only.
Of course, mere mention of the word "reconciliation," is enough to make Republicans apoplectic. They condemn it as anti-American when, in fact, it's nothing but majority rule. You might even call it old-fashioned democracy. Indeed, amid all the confusion over reconciliation today, we almost forget: The rules of the
Republicans are particularly hard-pressed to condemn reconciliation, since they themselves have used it so many times on so many important issues. Among other
As Majority Leader
So, whatever the results, call the summit a success. Now the whole world knows: Democrats are serious about health care reform, Republicans are not. And now Democrats know what to do next: Forget about Republicans. Use reconciliation. And get the job done.
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Republicans Give Green Light For Reconciliation | Bill Press
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