Monday, March 22, 2010

Republicans show their stuff

So, House Republicans got the "up or down" insurance reform vote that they asked for. Did it make a difference? Of course not. The issue was never the type of vote (Republicans had used deeming and reconciliation for their own legislation). And as shown last night, adopting an up or down vote didn't bring a single Republican supporter of the legislation.

It also wasn't the contents of the legislation, which largely follows Republican proposals from the 1990s when they again wanted to "slow down and start all over." The legislation also includes some 200 Republican-proposed amendments.

Certainly, if the contents mattered, Republicans would have supported the follow-on legislation, H.R. 4872 which will eliminate some of the deals cut in the broader health care legislation and reduce the deficit by a further $25 billion over the next decade. Republicans who all voted against the reconciliation bill can fairly be tagged with voting in favor of the "conhusker kickback," "gator aid," and the other provisions that they bloviated against.

Republicans fulminated against the sausage-making aspects of the legislative process. Yet Republicans had earlier insisted that the legislation be written in the Congress and not developed by the White House (as had been the case with the Clinton era proposals). Did it make a difference?

In the end, none of the accommodations mattered. All the Party of No (or in the case of its red-faced minority leader, "hell no") could muster was ugliness with catcalls of n****r, f****t, totaltarian, communist and baby killer.