Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Secret GOP plan to PASS health care reform?

This, from Lawrence O'Donnell, is the most intriguing thing I've read in quite a while. Why did Mitch McConnell agree on a 60-vote minimum for amendments to the bill?
McConnell did that without anyone noticing anything odd after a year of saturation coverage of the importance of 60 votes in the Senate. Everyone outside the Senate now thinks it takes 60 votes to do anything. Not amendments. Amendments pass by a simple majority, 51 votes.
Okay. So why?
McConnell's unanimous consent agreement with Reid made Reid's bill impenetrable on the floor.

There are no columnists or pundits who understand Senate parliamentary procedure. There are actually very few senators who do. McConnell knows that. He knew everyone would fall for the silly stunts that looked obstructionist while he was surrendering all his power to Reid.
O'Donnell theorizes that running on repeal of the bill will help Republicans win back congress. But they can't repeal unless it passes.

I would counter that the bill is so insurance-industry friendly that the GOP will not want to repeal. BUT: Running on a promise to repeal and actually repealing are two different things, so O'Donnell's theory may still be right.

Brown, who initially received very little funding from his party, may be the monkey wrench tossed into that plan. And those who think that Obama did everything he could to screw up Coakley's chances now have a possible motive. Hell, maybe this is why Coakley made so many silly gaffes.

And now you must excuse me while I fire up Chess Titans. Two-dimensional chess is so much less confusing...
I like Lawrence's theory. I regard the health-care bill as a catastrophe, and it didn't make sense that the Repubs would be trying so hard to keep the Democrats from skewering themselves. And yet they seemed to be doing so. O'Donnell's scenario clears this difficulty up.
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