They can't think, they can't govern, but Republicans know how to win. So I've been waiting for the GOP to surprise us with a new direction in its health care bill-killing total war, and this, about which they're ginning up a hissyfit, is obviously the first salvo in the final phase of the war:
Reid Bill Says Future Congresses Cannot Repeal Parts of Reid Bill
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight. First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill--and it's supposed to take a 2/3 vote to change the rules. And then he pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses:
there's one provision that i found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection."
and i quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection." ...
... For any fearmongers out there tempted to call an unelected body that recommends Medicare cuts a "Death Panel," let me be clear. According to page 1004, IMAB proposals "shall not include any recommendation to ration health care"--you know, just like the bill says there's no funding for abortion....
Paging Sarah Palin: the death panel is unkillable.
I have no idea how unusual such a provision is -- I can't help suspecting that it isn't. I don't even know if the wording is being interpreted accurately. Even if it is, obviously a party that's insisted on supermajorities for virtually every key piece of legislation has some gall being upset about this.
This morning, when I read that Republicans were considering not holding the health care bill up in the Senate to the bitter end, I assumed it was because they thought they'd have a better chance of killing it some other way, after Senate passage but before the House and Senate versions are reconciled and voted on again. And so it begins -- a scary death panel story, to be followed by ... well, who knows what? A lot, for sure. As much mud and dung as was flung in August, if not more. This isn't over by a long shot.
That's why I find it ridiculous to engage in a discussion of whether liberals should kill the bill. I don't think we're going to get that chance -- the bill-killing is going to be in much more expert hands.
AND ... more feces-flinging:
Exclusive: ACORN Qualifies for Funding in Senate Health Care Bill
Go to the link for the story, which is less than meets the eye. But these are just the first few drops of the dung tsunami to come.