Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Look! Elections!

I've seen people point to Iraqi elections, with only a few bombs going off, killing only a few dozen people, as a reason to decide that, gosh darn it, George W. Bush might have been right.

There's part of me that imagines - purely as a thought experiment! - one of those war mongers[1] having problems with gallstones, getting conked over the head, dragged to the hospital, given gall bladder surgery against their will, and maybe end up with a finger and a few toes amputated, and then suffer through endless, painful, but not ultimately harmful, medical procedures - maybe exploratory chest surgery! Slice open that chest, crack that ribcage! before being given intense physical therapy and fed a nutritious diet, and have their eventual basic healthiness (except for possible PTSD) trumpeted as proof that the kidnapping, aggravated assault, and assorted pains and indignities were the right thing to do.

I hope it's clear that would be a hideously evil thing for people to do. You don't hurt other people, not even if, someday, you'll be able to point to some basic healthiness that may or may not have happened without your intervention, as an excuse for your behavior.

This isn't really difficult reasoning when applied to a person. Why does it change when applied to a lot of people?

[1] a monger is a seller - war monger is, in fact, an accurate term in this instance

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

This might damage the "prospects for bipartisanship"

Orrin Hatch is a goddamned liar.

I know that's not a very popular position to take, but sometimes a person has to take a principled stand and say what every person of good sense is thinking.

See, a bill has passed the Senate. And he's worried that the House of Representatives might pass it as well. And then, using an entirely non-controversial, and straightforward process, the Senate might use the budget reconciliation process to make changes to things that affect the budget, and let the house pass those as well.

And then - oh my god, the Democrats might get health care reform passed! And that would be terrible because, because, well, the Constitution didn't intend for the Senate to pass a bill, and the House pass a bill, and then have the President sign it! Well... okay, maybe that's exactly what the Constitution says.

Except, the Constitution didn't say that the Senate could use its own rules for debate to pass changes to that bill... um. No, the Constitution says that, too. Hm.

Oh, I get it,

If the health care reform bill is changed via reconciliation, then the Republicans lose. And Orrin Hatch wants to say anything at all to try to convince the American people that any Republican loss isn't really fair.

So he'll act as if the Democrats are trying to use reconciliation to pass the entire bill - that's a lie, since they're just using it to make some budgetary changes to it.

And he'll pretend that changing part of the bill using reconciliation is an abuse of the process of reconciliation because it's a necessary part of a compromise... as if the whole point of reconciliation wasn't allowing people to make compromises without requiring them to overcome a filibuster.

Heck, he even pretends that the bill itself is unpopular, when, if you poll the major components, it's exceedingly popular. It's almost as if some group of people has been telling lies about the bill for a long time, trying to whip up support for defeating it.

Oh, yeah. Heh. Do I even need to tell you there's an R after Hatch's name?

It's really a shame; people can stand up and lie and there's really no cost at all. No one really cares about being honest, and why should then, when lies have no downside?

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