Two demonically devious Democratic plans

Conservative commentators are floating stunningly different and contradictory theories about what the Democrats are up to. In this entry I present two of them.

A reader writes:

At National Review Online is a report about an approach the Democrats are considering to get health-care reform passed. It would work like this:

1—The House would prepare a bill that lists the changes that Bart Stupak and other House Democrats want to the Senate bill.

2—The said bill of changes would include a provision to the effect that the Senate bill is deemed to have been passed

3—The House would pass this combination bill and then send it to the Senate, where the changes the House members want would be worked into the Senate bill via reconciliation (which, as we know, requires only 51 votes, not 60)

You can see how that solves what is presently the Democrats’ main problem. At the moment, House Democrats such as Stupak don’t want to pass the Senate bill and the changes thereto as two separate bills. They are afraid that, if they do that, the president will instantly sign the Senate bill into law—and the Senate will ignore the bill of changes. The approach described above combines the Senate bill and the changes the House members want thereto.

Over in the Senate, problems could still arise—with the reconciliation process. The Senate Republicans would be fighting reconciliation all the way—but the Democrats would have at least solved their first problem—of getting a bill from the House to the Senate.

The report at National Review Online is in two parts, both written by a Daniel Foster. The second is merely an update, with clarifying detail, of the first. They are Democracy by Slaughter, and ‘The Rules Committee Can Do Just about Anything’ .

“Slaughter,” not incidentally, is the name of the House Rules Chairwoman, whose task it would be to fashion the bill that would combine the Senate bill and the desired changes thereto. Foster links to an article dated March 10 in CongressDailyAM. The article describes the plan and indicates that the Senate Democrats are looking into potential difficulties of passing the combination bill via reconciliation. The article (which is in pdf format) is here: Slaughter Preps Rule to Avoid Direct Vote on House Bill.

[end of reader’s comment]

We see how the Democrats are doing things they’ve never done before, twisting the legislative process into pretzels, in order to pass this. It is a living example of an evil will that will stop at nothing to get what it wants.

However, here is another theory of what the Democrats are doing, supplied by SusanAnne Hiller at This plan does not involve getting the desired changes in the bill, but ramming the Senate bill through the House and bringing it to Obama’s desk for his signature. Nothing new in that idea, we’ve heard it many times. However, the legislative legerdemain which she says Majority Leader Reid has already performed to set up this procedure, by which the already passed Senate health care bill was somehow attached to an already passed and unrelated House tax bill, with the senate’s bill replacing that tax bill as an amendment, in order to make it seem that the Senate bill has already passed the House (because spending bills must pass the House first, and the Senate bill started in the Senate), is beyond belief, and, as you can see, difficult to understand. The one similarity that it has with the above plan described by National Review is its demonic complexity and perversity.

Hiller has an alarmist view. In one of her earlier articles on this subject (linked in the present article), she writes:

This further confirms that the March 18th House healthcare vote is the final vote for passage; however, there are still many pundits who just don’t comprehend this fact.

However, Hiller’s theory of the Democrats’ diabolical plan has an obvious flaw: the Stupak group would not sign this bill since it contains no changes.

Here is Hiller’s article:

Gibbs: If Senate Bill Passes House
It Will Go to the President’s Desk

The other day I exposed the fact that Harry Reid switched the language in the House-passed H.R. 3590 Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009 and inserted the Senate version of the healthcare bill via a manager’s amendment in order to meet the requirement that all legislation raising taxes must originate in the House.

The Senate passed the revised bill with the healthcare language in it, and now the House must revote on the deceptively gutted changed bill because, according to the Constitution, the identical bill must pass both the House and Senate in order to be signed into law. And, once the Senate Health Care bill pass the House, President Obama will sign it right away.

The threat of reconciliation in the Senate is hollow. There isn’t going to be any reconciliation.

On January 31, 2010, before the House was set to take up the Senate bill, WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” stated:

“If the House would take up the Senate bill then that bill would go to the president’s desk,” Gibbs said.

For further confirmation, here is the audio of that exchange. Listen from about 4:20 to 5.00 and you will here Gibbs confirm that once the House passes the Senate’s version of the healthcare bill, it’s a done deal. No talk of reconciliation here, because reconciliation is not needed at all.

Let me be clear, if the Senate healthcare bill passes the House, it goes to directly to the President for his signature. No reconciliation, no conference, no more negotiations, nothing. Why? Because they don’t have to; the healthcare takeover will be completed. There is no more incentive for the Senate to keep its promise to the House. And with this Congress the end definitely justifies the means.

The fact that Gibbs confirmed that Obama would sign the Senate version of healthcare bill as is should signal to Americans that he inherently doesn’t have any problems with it–even with all the bribes and abortion funding–as he has also been a huge supporter of this version.

There are still so many people talking about reconciliation. Reconciliation of the bills is not needed for the House to pass the Senate bill. All the talk of reconciliation is to convince wavering House Democrats will soon … we promise, we swear, cross our hearts … fix all the provisions that give House members fears of November.

Stupak and the pro-life Democrats are fooling themselves–especially Kildee–who is now a confirmed “yes” vote on healthcare due to his satisfaction on the abortion language.

Once the House approves the Senate bill, all the talk of reconciliation will evaporate. The Senate health care bill provides the foundation for a government takeover of health care. Do you really think Senate Democrats are going to prolong the health care debate for weeks on end to strip abortion funding from the bill? Again, I can’t be more clear: this is the Code Red alert for the final vote to pass healthcare.

[end of Hiller article]

—end of initial entry—

The reader adds:

Daniel Foster updates his article with a link to a Slate article that, in its pro-Democrat glibness, unintentionally raises a question in my mind whether this supposed plan of the House Democrats can work. The article seems to be saying that the bill of changes could not include Stupak’s abortion provision, since that couldn’t be handled in a reconciliation bill in the Senate. It also leaves me confused as to whether the House’s “combination” bill would inseparably bind the Senate bill and the House members’ desired changes thereto. The article seems to be suggesting that it wouldn’t—i.e., that the Senate Democrats could simply extract the “deemed passed” Senate bill from the House’s combination bill—and then ignore the House’s changes. The article seems to be saying that the plan is simply to provide the House Democrats political cover, by putting them into a position to say, “Well, I didn’t expect the Senate Democrats to do that.” That seems idiotic.

The Slate article, in other words, make me wonder whether this supposed plan really solves the Democrats’ main problem—which is that Stupak and others are not going to sign off on the Senate bill as it is.

The reader continues:

Daniel Foster has posted yet another update at the Corner in which he seems to be acknowledging that the “combination” bill would solve nothing for the Democrats—because the House members would know that the Senate could merely extract the “deemed passed” Senate bill therefrom and send that to the president—while ignoring the combo’s remainder, i.e., the House’s desired changes.

In short: Obamacare is still looking dead.

[end of reader’s comment]

And since the SusanAnne Hiller theory of what the Democrats are doing also seems not to be viable, what we seem to be seeing here is demonically driven activity against the stone wall of a reality that will not yield. Which has been the same situation we’ve been in at least since Scott Brown’s election.

Here’s something I wrote on February 10, one month ago tonight. Look at how similar it sounds to what we’re going through now. And keep in mind that this was before the “summit,” where Obama presented a new version of the bill, before the next “new” bill that Obama presented a few days after the summit, and before all these latest Democratic stratagems and these conservative theories about the Democratic stratagems saw the light of day. The situation doesn’t change, because (1) the Democrats can’t pass the bill, but (2) they refuse to accept that. And so the Democrats, with us involuntarilily attending, will keep circling and circling in this one hellish place, until the people take away their control of Congress, as I wrote last month.

The unreality that imagines itself to be irresistible

For the last couple of weeks, I could have posted two or three items a day on the Democrats’ continuing unreal, off-the-planet, mutually contradictory statements about what are definitely doing, or have agreed to do, or are talking among themselves about doing, or think or hope they can do, on the health care bill. It all comes down to the fact that the Congressional leadership and the White House want something that they cannot have, something that not even enough Democrats support to enable them to have; but they refuse to accept the fact that they cannot have what they cannot have, so they keep trying out new tricks to make it seem that they can have it. The latest finesse is Obama’s plan to meet with Republicans on February 25 to discuss a “bipartisan” approach to health care legislation. But what “bipartisan” approach is possible, when Obama still unwaveringly demands what the Republicans unwaveringly reject—federal takeover of the nation’s health care system? See House Republican whip Eric Cantor of Virginia reply to Greta van Susteran’s questions on this. The only bipartisan possibility, as Cantor and other Republicans keep saying, is to throw out Obamacare and start over from scratch on a bill that focuses on rising health care costs. But the White House and the Democratic leaders refuse to hear what the Republicans are saying; they keep imagining that there is some alternative universe in which the Republicans will sign on to Obamacare. The only remaining question at this point, then, is how long the Democrats will keep pushing against the immovable object of reality before they acknowledge that they themselves are not an irresistible force. Based on their “Undead” modus operandi so far, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the effort will continue right up until election day, or even up until January 1, 2011, when the House gavel is pried from Nancy Pelosi’s cold, dead fingers.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2010 10:55 PM | Send

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