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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, March 01, 2010

What's wrong with majority rules?

A bill is making it's way to the floor of the United States Senate after considerable debate. The majority party knows it won't be able to secure the 60 votes necessary to win passage opts to use the Senate rule that allows a 50 percent-plus one vote to secure passage.
“Is there something wrong with ‘majority rules’?” Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, once said of the reconciliation process when his party controlled the Senate. “I don’t think so.”
That was in 2005, when Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats objected to a move to push through a measure about the opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Later that year, Gregg lamented Democratic refusal to go along with GOP efforts to cut Medicaid spending:
“You can’t get 60 votes because the party on the other side of the aisle simply refuses to do anything constructive in this area.”
It would be nice if media outlets other than the New York Times took a closer look at the hypocrisy (practiced on both sides) as the GOP attempts to portray Democratic efforts to get around their partisan roadblock as a threat to the nation's freedoms.

And it's not a bad idea that Democratic congressional leaders use far less troubling sticks -- threats to reduce re-election financial assistance -- to secure the votes of wayward Democrats.

The whines of Blue Dog Democrats that there's nothing in the bill for them rings hollow. Darn right there's nothing about the public option because they opposed the idea.

Not content with a victory to claim, they worry about re-election, something that would be even harder with the party cash to help them point out their concerns were heard and, oh by the way, they took a major step to prevent a full-fledged meltdown of the health care system.

FDR had it mostly right: the only thing we have the fear is fear itself. He should have mentioned the fearmongers.

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