President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of their un-American behavior on any number of levels, from their flagrant disregard for the wishes of the American people – a majority of whom want nothing more at this moment than for the Democrats’ relentless pressure to pass DemCare to stop before it becomes the worst law yet written – all the way to their cynical embrace of the so-called Slaughter Plan that would enact DemCare as a multi-trillion dollar health care fiasco without so much as the courtesy of a roll call vote in the House.
The very idea that Democrats would pass legislation equaling 1/6 of the entire American economy under the cover of darkness provided by the deem-and-pass rule is utterly unconscionable and any elected official who embraces the tactic should be summarily voted out of office, nay impeached, at the first opportunity.
Norman Ornstein points out that deem-and-pass was often used by Republicans during the Bush Administration and wonders if their recanting of the process isn’t hypocritical. Of course it is. Republicans should have known better than to embrace a questionable legislative tactic during their reign because of its potential misuse later. Now we see the fruits of their abuse of power. Yet Repubs’ hypocrisy is one of only a few precious roadblocks left in the path between us and the disaster of DemCare. Is there no shame? Ornstein wonders. No, there never has been, not in Washington, and thank God for it, this time.
Equally important is that not all Democrats are as slavishly single-minded on the left-wing agenda as the president and the speaker. Pennsylvania Representative Jason Altmire had this to say about the Democratic leadership’s plans:
… the plan to pass the plan using the so-called "deem and pass" procedure is "wrong" and unpopular among his constituents.
"I have a big issue with the way they’re doing the process. I think it’s wrong and my constituents don’t like it."
That’s an understatement. Perhaps the most important factor in Barack Obama’s broad-based appeal to independent voters was his pledge to conduct the business of government in a transparent, accountable manner. He has utterly failed on both counts in the battle over health care.
In fact, by embracing the fight-to-the-death mentality of crooked Chicago politics – the very opposite of the promises he made to the American people two years ago, Mr. Obama has conducted this policy debate in a manner unbecoming to the office he holds.
Here’s a fact for consideration: If a major piece of legislation – the biggest, in fact, to near passage in more than a generation – cannot gain the support of a simple majority of the American people, the bill does not deserve to pass, regardless of how important the powers that be deem it to be or how much of their personal political cache is on the line. Health care legislation in its current form does not deserve to become law if for no other reason than we, the people, do not want it.
Another fact: The more important a piece of legislation is, the higher the standard of approval it should have to meet in our legislative branch prior to it passing into law. This means that the skulking about in the shadows pursuant to enacting law via deem-and-pass is inappropriate for health care legislation because of its massive impact on the American economy and our way of life.
Neither is the reconciliation approach significantly more ethical, should it be undertaken by Democrats should the Slaughter plan fail. Health care is too integral to the American economy – and too personal to the people who work and pay for it – for a massive government takeover and re-organization to be undertaken by a single political party on a simple majority vote.
Speaker Pelosi has gone on record saying that Democrats should fall on their swords and pass the bill, even if it means not being re-elected in 2010. That would be true if the legislation in question was approved and championed by the American people.
To the contrary, DemCare enjoys no such democratic mandate. As such, the Democrats’ big-government agenda should give way to the will of the people now, before the poison pill baked into the plan by Senate Democrats – that of making the plan impervious to later recall by wiser Congresses – is forced down the throats of an unwilling citizenry.