Fair. Balanced. American.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Obama's speech today

Yields the standard Naderite reaction among Daily Kos commenters, and this:
Reconciliation is only needed because the Dems no longer have 60 votes so as to be able to force the Senate to have an up or down vote on a final compromise package.

So I have to take issue with your self-congratulatory, "See, I said all along the budget reconciliation was the only way to pass a bill." That is gross revisionism, and pointless besides.

What you guys were arguing for was to split a bill into two portions. The first portion would contain things that would not qualify for passage via budget reconciliation, but also contain only things that everyone liked, and therefore could pass via 60 votes. The second portion would contain things that conservadems hated, but also (supposedly) contain only things that would indeed qualify for budget reconciliation, including huge provisions like PO. The former portion would pass through normal means and the latter would pass via budget reconciliation. That flawed strategy assumed that conservadems would vote for the first portion requiring 60 votes, knowing that the part they hated would pass through budget reconciliation with fewer than 60 votes. That strategy put far too much faith in conservadems (which is ironic, since "progressives" normally don't trust them as far as they could throw them). There's no way conservadems would vote for the 60-vote portion knowing that the 51-vote portion they hated would pass through reconciliation.

What actually happened was that both Houses passed entire bills through normal means. But before a final vote for a compromise could be taken, the Dems lost a senate vote, so they can't block filibusters. Therefore, a very small package of fixes will be passed via reconciliation, to get around the GOP filibuster. That is totally different from the reconciliation strategy called for by "progressives" last year.

No comments :