A note by Maynard
As events like this transpire, we get fed an endless stream of little details until our eyes glaze over. Headlines scream when someone like Kucinich commits this way or that way, as if that’s what it’s all about.
I suppose the battle is won or lost based on such technical minutia. But as you listen to reports of the skirmishes, don’t lose sight of the war, or of its meaning.
It troubles me that the Democrat strategies, first of the “nuclear option” and now the “Slaughter Rule”, which seemed so outrageous at first blush, quickly settle down and become part of the normal political landscape. I guess that’s the way it is with outrages: After a while, you just take them in stride.
That’s a problem for us. The anti-democratic tactics of the Democrats are the stuff of Third World strongmen, or maybe Chicago politics. But we can’t allow the law of the jungle to become the new Washington norm.
I recently posted a blog note of the YouTube clips of Obama promising to bring about health care reform through a national consensus. But things did not move forward as Obama had told us they would. As it became clear that the emerging law was tilting hard left, the nation began to get spooked. Elections in New Jersey and Virginia and Massachusetts, in direct reaction to Washington’s bad path on health care, altered the political landscape.
By the rules of traditional American lawmaking and politicking, Washington would have listened to the people. Obama’s plans for health care reform would have halted. The work-in-progress would have been considerably amended, or even restarted, to bring the political center on board.
But Obama wasn’t having any of it. Rather than working with the people, he chose instead to throw out the lawmaking rulebook. This was done for the explicit purpose of thwarting the election results. Thus we moved into the previously-illicit territory of “nuclear options” and “Slaughter Rules”. This is without precedent in modern American democracy.
Maybe that’s the way major laws get passed in various undemocratic hellholes. We cluck our tongues at the corrupt systems of such places, and we bask in our smug superiority. But not here, no. It can’t be happening here.
I would hope that our representatives in Washington would object in principle to the hijacking of the American republic. This strikes me as much more important than the law being considered. If the thugs win and the law goes through, the relationship between Washington and the people will never be the same. And the conflict that lies ahead may well become uglier than anything we’ve ever seen.