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Democrats Need More Pelosi, Less Reid

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Posted on Dec 17, 2009
Nancy Pelosi
speaker.gov

By Eugene Robinson

As the attempt to pass meaningful health care reform stumbles oafishly toward home plate, having missed a base or two along the way, it’s hard not to repeat Casey Stengel’s famous lament about the hapless 1962 Mets: “You look up and down the bench and you have to say to yourself, ‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’ ”

The answer is that some can and some can’t.

Nancy Pelosi can play. Faced with adamantine opposition from Republicans, take-no-prisoners exhortation from progressives and foot-dragging equivocation from nervous Blue Dogs, the speaker still managed to get a bill out of the House that included almost everything President Barack Obama wanted, including a public health insurance option.

It always amuses me to hear people call Pelosi a “San Francisco liberal,” because while the description is objectively true, it suggests a certain delicacy of sensibility. In fact, Pelosi was born and raised in the bare-knuckles world of big-city machine politics—her father was Tommy D’Alesandro, a legendary Baltimore mayor. She knows how to count votes, and how to keep them counted.

Pelosi also knows how and when to exercise her many prerogatives. We saw an illustration Wednesday when she brought to the floor several hot-button measures: a hike in the debt ceiling, a defense bill laden with baggage such as an extension of unemployment benefits, and a $154 billion new stimulus package funded with unused financial-bailout money. Normally, each of these would have sparked a huge fight—but not on the last day before recess, when everyone was rushing to get out of town. That’s the way stuff gets done.

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The Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate can play, too. At this point, 11 months since Obama took office, it’s striking how successful Republicans have been in presenting a united front against virtually everything the president and the Democratic congressional majorities are trying to do.

I have my doubts about this strategy, in the long run. I’m convinced that while the Republicans may be doing the Democrats considerable political harm, they’re not doing themselves much political good. Specifically on health care reform, solid Republican opposition has succeeded in raising doubt about the Democrats’ proposals. But voters aren’t convinced that the system is just fine the way it is, and that’s what the Republicans are perceived to be arguing.

In the short term, however, Republican unity has forced Senate Democrats into the position of not being able to get anything done without hanging on to every single one of their 60 votes. This means that any member of the Democratic caucus can hold health care legislation hostage by making extortionate demands.

Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and, especially, Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, know how to play. Dorgan and Landrieu have been extracting concessions for the folks back home. Nelson has the Senate in knots over abortion. And Lieberman has managed to make himself, for now, the key player in the whole debate.

Lieberman didn’t want a public option to be included in the Senate bill, and it’s out. He decided he didn’t like the idea of letting those 55 and older buy their way into the Medicare program—even though he has specifically endorsed the idea in the past—and so that’s out, too. At this point, he almost seems to be making demands just because he can.

Who can’t play this game? You have to point the finger at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Granted, he’s in a nearly impossible position, needing a three-fifths majority to get anything done, but he has made a bad situation worse. He announced that the Senate bill would include a public option, but didn’t have the votes. He got everyone excited about the Medicare buy-in idea for a few days, until it got shot down. And his remarks comparing the health care debate to the epic battle over slavery were a grotesque embarrassment.

What about President Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel? I think of another Stengel aphorism: “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.” The White House hasn’t managed to drive a deep enough wedge between, on the one hand, the Senate Republicans, who aren’t going to vote for reform under any circumstances, and, on the other hand, the Democratic caucus. The waverers and the opportunists have been allowed to take control.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Inherit The Wind, December 22, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Yeah, well Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all looked like one-term presidents early in their first term—Bush certainly did till 9-11.

Especially RR and Clinton.  Both took BIG economic hits early, and, by the time the election came along and the economy was doing better, both went on to re-election.  The economy IS improving, unemployment is leveling off and a year from now, in January 2011, when they all start testing the waters for a run, Obama may be in a FAR stronger position, especially if the unemployment rate has been falling, even if not a lot.  If foreclosures are down and housing and construction sales are up he may well be more popular than ever.

That’s a lot of “ifs”, of course.

Yeah, I think he should let Holder do his job, too.

Report this

By ardee, December 22, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, December 22 at 1:03 am

My reference to the courts was illustrative of the desire of the Attorney General to instigate investigations into a few of the myriad constitutional violations undertaken by BUsh/Cheney. It would seem that Holder’s desire to do his duty has been quashed by Obama’s desire to be a one term President.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 21, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

ardee, December 21 at 10:01 am #

Inherit The Wind, December 21 at 9:06 am

I would not argue with your assessment of “political reality”, only comment that excluding the courts from doing their job is no way to run a democracy. I really do not care whether the votes for impeachment were there, I think that secondary to the need to expose and condemn an administration so in need of such. Further how do we expect future administrations to exercize restraint?
****************************************************

Yeah, it sucks, don’t it?  But the courts don’t impeach—only the House can impeach and the Senate convict. The Founding Fathers KNEW the impeachment is a political event and wrote the rules for it the way they did.  I would VERY much have liked to see Cheney and Bush forced out of office, legally, in disgrace, too.

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By Mbadger, December 21, 2009 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

sounds like a pretty accurate, yet scary analysis of the american political system. I cant believe that the legislation of the US primarily only gets through the House of Rep because people are madly scrabbling around trying to get back to their states for the weekend.

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By ardee, December 21, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, December 21 at 9:06 am

I would not argue with your assessment of “political reality”, only comment that excluding the courts from doing their job is no way to run a democracy. I really do not care whether the votes for impeachment were there, I think that secondary to the need to expose and condemn an administration so in need of such. Further how do we expect future administrations to exercize restraint?

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By Inherit The Wind, December 21, 2009 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

ardee, December 21 at 7:54 am #

Thanks Ardee.  He makes GRYM look like a fine gentleman.

Well no, but I take your point Inherit.
**************************************************

Sure. When we marvel at a dancing bear, it’s not the quality of his dancing we marvel at.

While I VERY much would have liked to see the House Judiciary Committee begin investigating whether there was grounds for impeachment, I don’t necessarily disagree with Pelosi’s decision to block it.

Remember: Pelosi is a political animal and understands that impeachment has two MAJOR components:
1) The political hoopla, polarization and mass consumption of Congress’s time it takes.  Energy and focus are taken away from other needed efforts.  So why go through it if there’s no possible HOPE of ...
2) 67?  Yeah, 67 Senate votes to convict.  Do you think there was ONE Republican in the Senate during the 2007-2009 term who would vote to convict George W. Bush?  In what solar system.  Like Bill Clinton’s impeachment, it was DOA.  Anyone who thinks differently is simply a fool. The days of Republicans like Howard Baker are LONG gone.  When arch-conservatives like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are considered the LIBERALS of the GOP, you KNOW that even if Bush was found naked with a dead girl or a live boy who was the child of a guy paying kickbacks to him, they wouldn’t vote to oust him.

So Pelosi simply sought to prevent wasting time, resources and media attention on a dead-end effort.  Unfortunately, she did NOT use what she saved to good effort, caving to Re-thugs and the WH during that term far, far too much.

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By ardee, December 21, 2009 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

Thanks Ardee.  He makes GRYM look like a fine gentleman.

Well no, but I take your point Inherit.

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By bobo, December 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We don’t need Democrats we need third party

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By Textynn, December 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh Pleeeeze.  This country begged mz. Pelosi to put Impeachment on the table, but she wouldn’t even stand up to the idea that people in this country were being taken down by evil financial institutions throwing people in the streets, a corrupt government forcing a nation into war to secure spoils for the world’s uber elite, and a medical insurance industry that was crippling and killing people wholesale.  We need more Pelosi like we need a hole in the head.

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By mandinka, December 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

ardee so your saying that its OK for the dems to have a business and no union?/ so then you agree that card check has no pace and that unions are no longer needed in the US. Congratulations you have finally seen the light.
I do like the quote from the Monsignor seeing as how she can’t take communion and isn’t a Catholic

Report this

By Gram, December 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Can anyone explain how the health reform bill got so huge?

The “kiss” principal has worked much better in other instances.

I would tend to agree with Dr. Dean—trash the 2000 page senate bill,
use the House Bill, get the Senate vote, and Keep it Simple, Senate!

Another question:  has anyone done the history about our government from Bill Clinton’s unexpected win and when the Republicans vowed to remove Bill Clinton from office with their own lies, until he gave them the fuel.
I almost hesitate to say “conspiracy” but current politicians
(Democrats) don’t even refer to the pile of defication that has
accumulated since the election of GWB.  The fact that the R’s are so worried about the debt is ludicrous, since their pres created it!
Why are only the Dems “gentlemen & women”?  I keep waiting for Sen Franken or Sen Grayson to rip them a new one….

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By Inherit The Wind, December 20, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee, December 20 at 8:14 am #

I simply hate defending Pelosi, but defending truth is far more important than ideology ( someone tell that creep Mandinka
****************************************************

Thanks Ardee.  He makes GRYM look like a fine gentleman.  At least when GRYM is caught in a factual error, he either tries to wriggle out or admits it.  Unlike Mandinka who them simply repeats it in the next post or thread as if it’s never been disproven—and like we are all so stupid we don’t KNOW he’s simply repeating the same crap.

(BTW: It OFFICIALLY become “crap” when it’s been proven wrong and yet one repeats it, unaltered.)

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By ardee, December 20, 2009 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

I simply hate defending Pelosi, but defending truth is far more important than ideology ( someone tell that creep Mandinka

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/politics&id=4804677

Pelosi’s Napa Business Scrutinized
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 
Mark Matthews
More: Bio, E-mail, News Team
By Mark Matthews

Nov. 28 - KGO (KGO)—Is it a blatant case of liberal hypocrisy or a hatchet job by conservative commentators? There is a story knocking around the darker forests of the Internet concerning a Napa Valley vineyard owned by soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also happens to be one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Nancy Pelosi has received awards from the United Farm Workers Union. She has accepted considerable campaign financing from unions. And yet the vineyard that she and her husband own in Napa is non-union. That’s the gist of the allegation of hypocrisy, but it’s far from the whole story.

The Pelosis’ vineyard is about seven acres on the south side of St. Helena. On her financial disclosure statements Pelosi lists the vineyard at between $5 million and $25 million dollars. As Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution pointed out in his book, the Pelosis hire non-union labor.

Peter Schweizer, Hoover Research Fellow: “She has won the Cesar Chavez award from the United Farm Workers Union and yet they don’t use members of the United Farm Workers Union to actually pick the grapes on their winery.”

Schweizer calls it liberal hypocrisy. And with Pelosi set to become the next speaker of the House, his charges are getting a lot of attention.

Peter Schweizer: “Investors Business Daily has run a column on it. There’s been a lot of people on talk radio that have talked about it.”

But in Napa we found the facts don’t fit Schweizer’s claim. For starters, the Pelosis pay more than union workers are paid in the same valley—that from the pastor at St. Helena’s Catholic Church, a well known advocate for farm workers who’s involved in labor negotiations with the same labor manager the Pelosis use.

Monsignor John Brenkle, St. Helena Catholic Church: “So I know exactly what his pay scale is.”

And Monsignor Brenkle says the Pelosis pay a $1.25 an hour more than workers at Napa’s biggest union winery.

Monsignor John Brenkle: “I don’t think she has the possibility of finding other union workers here in the valley.”

Of the more than 300 vineyards, fewer than four are union, and most of the farm workers in the Napa Valley get paid better. St. Helena is a town rich with wine and the money that it has generated.

We heard the same from workers who say they’re making between nine and 10 dollars an hour. Angel Calderon, the manager of a farm workers camp, says migrant workers in Napa get much more than union workers in the Salinas Valley or the Central Valley.

Angel Calderon, farm worker camp manager: “It’s the truth, it’s the truth. They pay better wages right here in Napa Valley.”

Calderon manages one of three camps subsidized by Napa growers. For $11 dollars a day, workers get a clean place to live and three meals a day, access to doctors and dental care. But all of that aside, if Nancy Pelosi wanted to have union workers she could not ask the union for a contract. It’s illegal and has been since 1975.

A spokesman for the United Farm Workers Union explains.

Marc Grossman, United Farm Workers Union: “It is patently illegal for any grower to even discuss a union contract, which is the only way you can supply union workers, without the workers first having voted in a state conducted secret ballot election.”

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By Sylvia, December 20, 2009 at 1:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our government is a plutocracy, not a democracy. Mr Obama has proven this by
his actions. The corporations and super rich love him, and will get him re-elected
again. Very sad indeed.

Report this

By ocjim, December 20, 2009 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Am I bitter about the health care mess. You’re damn right I’m bitter. After the Bush Dark Ages, many of us expected reason and sanity in an administration that advertised change and a majority in Congress that calls itself Democrats.

  What did we get: a conciliatory president whose enemies mock and deride him each time they assemble, and crazy tea-baggers carrying ludicrous anti-Obama signs, many – in thought, word, or action—furnished by vested interest groups, Republican right-wingers, and usually Fox (Faux) News.

  At staged grass-roots rallies, a few are openly armed. And these are paid events, many organized and paid for by fat cats like the Koch brothers, who don’t want change of any kind – unless they dictate it. They resemble “paid advertisement” that you see more and more on late-night TV.

  I did not expect real health care reform – meant to provide equal footing for all of us – to be hijacked by billionaire money, lobbyists, and Dick Armey, the sly Texas wolf among lambs.

  Even the current stink of the Senate bill and the House bill could be salvaged and even improved. We can start with a 2010 full implementation (2014 is ridiculous even for feckless leaders).

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By mandinka, December 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Pelosi is tough notice that there are no unions at her winery. Card check and unions are for others not if they affect her profits

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By the worm, December 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

I would be inclined to go along with the ‘Democrats can’t govern’ groups, but
frankly I see very few who I’d call ‘Democrats’. Im sorry, but this group has no
interest in the public interest and, therefore , in my vocabulary, cant be
referred to as ‘Democrats’. The Democratic Party is dead. The Republican Party,
you recall, only months ago was declared ‘dead’. Well, it just took an inept
White House and Senate to bring them back to life and, in all probability, make
them stronger after the coming elections. How did the Dems do it: 1) push
under the carpet everything the Bushies did (in order to bring about comity and
good will, a ‘bi-partisan’ approach to issues), 2) pretend everything the Bushies
did was fine (cutting taxes to create a deficit, declaring war based on lies,
torture, rendition, etc. it’s all okay , no consequences) , 3) perpetuate war
needlessly, 4) bailout corporations with public funds, 5) look the other way
while people’s jobs, homes, health care are lost (maybe have a ‘Jobs Summit’,
and .... Even when they have majorities in both Houses and the Presidency,
these people cannot govern.  Pelosi was central to the ‘sweep it under the rug’
approach; Reid’s been a dildo for so long in the ‘health care’ debate that he’s
simply considered a Republican appliance; unlike what some say now, Obama
has ‘lead’ - he’s squashed the public option. So, we dont need more of one
Democrat than another. Together the Democrats have put the public interest
aside and screwed-up their opportunity to demonstrate to the American people
that the interests of the American people are foremost.

Report this

By the worm, December 19, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

80 / 20 ‘COMPROMISE’: 20 cents of every dollar - that’s 20 cents of every 100
cents - by law (at least by the Senate ‘compromise’) can be retained by private
sector insurers to pay their bonuses, lard their bottom line, expand their ?
investments, etc. The Senate bill as now written provides that everyone in ?
America pay for private sector health care, in short, wasting 20 cents of every
health care dollar, piddling it off to middlers, who deliver no health care
whatsoever, require mind numbing paper work, jerk you around with ‘co-pays’
and ?‘contributions’, etc, but do not ever in any shape or form deliver health
care services to you. This is what the Senate has brought us. And here’s an
added ?insult brought by the White House to everyone who is not a private
sector health ?insurance corporate employee: Because both the right and the left
think citizens should not be mandated by their government to provide
corporate welfare for private sector health insurance companies with both
taxes (paid to corporations as ‘subsidies’ to cover the poor who cannot afford
to payoff the ?corporations) and premiums (20 percent of which are not used to
provide health care services), they have persuaded themselves that
independents will ?just love it!  That’s a three- bagger: They’ve insulted the
independents, the right and the left. And who are these political masterminds,
who, like Bush, are good at getting elected and, like Bush, very good at
ignoring the American people? They are Obama and the Democratic Party
right-wingers (the so-called ‘Centrists’). But, unlike Bush, Obama will not be
re-elected. What are we, Democratic voters, going to do to get Democrats next
time? Let’s start now, as the Republicans are well on their way reviving from
their pre-maturely announced death, just one year ago. How fast in this world
of ‘instant communications’ can political ineptitude be exposed! We cannot
afford to let the nation be governed against the interests of the people. We
must start by killing the 80 / 20 ‘Compromise’.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, December 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

I’ve said this before on a number of other threads and I’ll say it again:

Harry Reid is a Mormon. As such, he is nothing more than a Trojan Horse for all sorts of conservative/fascist/John Birch mischief. If you cracked him open you would find a Republican. The fact that he was “put in charge” of the health care situation is ridiculous. I have NEVER met a Mormon who believes in government or universal health coverage (unless it lines their pockets). Period.

At the end of the day Harry is going to go back home. His Bishop will slap him on the back and say: “Hey Harry, you helped defeat universal health care…....You did the right thing!”

Report this

By the worm, December 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

I would be inclined to go along with the ‘Democrats can govern’ groups, but
frankly I see very few who I’d call ‘Democrats’. Im sorry , but this group has no
interest in the public interest and ,  therefore , in my vocabulary cant be called
‘Democrats’. The Democratic Party is dead. The Republican Party, you recall,
only months ago was declared ‘dead’. Well, it just took an inept White House
and Senate to bring them back to life and , in all probability, make them
stronger after the coming elections. How did the Dems do it: 1) push under the
carpet everything the Bushies did (in order to bring about comity and good will,
a ‘bi-partisan’ approach to issues), 2) pretend everything the Bushies did was
fine (cutting taxes to create a deficit, declaring war based on lies, torture,
rendition, etc. it’s all okay , no consequences) , 3) perpetuate war needlessly, 4)
bailout corporations with public funds, 5) look the other way while people’s
jobs, homes, health care are lost (maybe have a ‘Jobs Summit’, and .... Even
when they have majorities in both Houses and the Presidency, these people
cannot govern.  Pelosi was central to the ‘sweep it under the rug’ approach;
Reid’s been a dildo for so long in the ‘health care’ debate that he’s simply
considered a Republican appliance; unlike what some say now, Obama has
‘lead’ - he’s squashed the public option. So, we dont need more of one
Democrat than another. Together the so-called ‘Democrats’ have put the public
interest aside and screwed up their opportunity to demonstrate to the American
people that their interests are foremost. They are not Democrats and dont
deserve to be considered Democrats. The choice is simply: New candidates or a
new party.

Report this

By lichen, December 18, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Oh yes, we need more of Piglosi’s corporatist warmongering, and we need to pretend that she wouldn’t be Reiding up the senate if she got a chance; too bad Cindy Sheehan didn’t take her seat away! I hope that Nader fills in for Dodd.

Report this

By bozh, December 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is there a millimeter of difference btwn palin and pelosi or bush and obama while laboring under the “Greatness of America”,“God bless America”  and the sacrosant constitution?

It’s like thinking that there were differences bwtn one pol, schultz, and another pol, schneider laboring under “Sieg Heil”, “Deutschland ueber alles”, and “Heil Hitler”.

And, of course, there is now a twoparty system of governance in US as there were two parties in germany in ‘38.
God forbid he’d allow two different parties in his domain; i.e., US.
After all, God blesses only america. And devil forbid he wld have allowed two parties in germany under his protege Hitler.
No friends, neither the devil nor god allows two different thinkings.

So if u understood what Sieg Heil meant then u understand what “god bless america means”. tnx

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By BelizeanMike, December 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Nancy Pelosi has testicular fortitude. Harry Reid has…?

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By Carl, December 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Robinson normally writes good stuff, but this azz-kissing is horrible. Pelosi is the pro-war big-military democrat. Anyone who studies health care knows that single payer is the answer, but she refuses to consider.

All that pooped out was a strange “public option” which would cover very few Americans and still charge them money. It would become another politico mess like Fannie Mae where friends of the President are appointed to a “private sector” position that entitles them to a multi-million dollar salary. All they need is a one-page bill to expand Medicaid!

Lowering Medicare age to 55 is the other step, paid for by expanding the 2.9% Medicare wage tax to capital gains income. Also allow health insurers to sell over state lines, and open the lower-priced health care deals used by federal employees for citizens to buy in.

As far as the Senate, half the Democrats have sold their souls to insurance companies (bribery is legal in the USA) and pretend to support, but don’t. They sabotage efforts by pushing proposals to reduce Medicare payments under the guise of fiscal responsibility. Then they pretend it requires 60 Senators to pass a bill. THAT IS BS. If the Speaker has 51 Senators sign a bill, that is majority and he can declare it passed.

Who will stop him? The Republicans have no police force, and the Senate “Sergeant of Arms” is a Democrat. Would Obama refuse to sign? Of course not, its all a ruse. Get Kuncinch up there to see real change, not the rich debutant from San Fran.

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By mandinka, December 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

I love to hear Pelosi talk its as if she has no understanding of any topic or any issue. Today’s speech about warming having the most impact on women and children shows how out of touch of reality she is…what a dufus

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, December 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Pelosi cannot play the game. Everyone watches as she makes up rules for
herself and her buddies, and constantly insults the other side. That is not
playing the game. Its just a way to get more $$.

Like Obama, Pelosi has no “fans”. The right loathes her, the independents can’t
stand her. And the left is fed up with her.

She is also protecting every Democrat involved in a scandal that she possibly
can. That is not even moral, in my mind. And make no mistake, Nancy has
already signalled today that she is going centrist (again). She will not stand up
if anything will cost her politically. Never.

But, all this crap about not using reconciliation is nonsense. It has been used
from everything to creating COBRA to student loan reform.

The ironic thing is, that if this health bill included single payer, public option,
or an expansion of Medicare, it would be even MORE appropriate, and
precedented beyond doubt, to use reconciliation. ITS THE LINKAGE OF TAX
DOLLARS WITH PRIVATE CORRUPT INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT IS KILLING
THIS BILL. Even with the abortion debate.

Reconciliation bills have included:

Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980, Pub.L. 96-499 (1980)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub.L. 97-35 (1981)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982, Pub.L. 97-253 (1982)
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), Pub.L. 97-248 (1982)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983, Pub.L. 98-270 (1984)
Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA), Pub.L. 98-369 (1984)
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), Pub.L. 99-
272 (1986)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, Pub.L. 99-509 (1986)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Pub.L. 100-203 (1987)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, Pub.L. 101-239 (1989)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, Pub.L. 101-508 (1990).
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Pub.L. 103-66 (1990).
Balanced Budget Act of 1995, H.R. 2491 (vetoed December 6, 1995)
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, Pub.L. 104-193 (1996)
Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Pub.L. 105-33 (1997)
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub.L. 105-34 (1997)
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999, H.R. 2488 (vetoed September 23,
1999)
Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000, H.R. 4810 (vetoed August 5,
2000)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), Pub.L.
107-16 (2001)
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, Pub.L. 108-27 (2003)
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Pub.L. 109-171 (2006)
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA), Pub.L. 109-
222 (2006)
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Pub.L. 110-84 (2007)

KILL THE BILL. PASS REFORM WITH NO BAILOUT. EXPAND MEDICARE AND LEAVE
THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ALONE. THIS IS A BIGGER $$ BAILOUT THAN AIG.

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By rbrooks, December 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The president and his chief of staff are doing a great job of serving their base. They are not cowed, they are corrupt. They are not failing, they are succeeding, in gutting any effort to reform the healthcare industry. They do not work for us.

As to Harry Reid, it can’t be easy being punked and betrayed by your own president - trying to achieve any part of the meaningful reform that your president says he supports, but fiercely opposes at every turn.

Obama works for the corporations that put him in the White House. It was nauseating to watch him lecture and pontificate in Copenhagen this morning. The world has learned, as we have, to our sorrow, that the only way to listen to the man is to reverse everything he says.

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By Anonymous, December 18, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I second that, InheritTheWind. Boy, those still clinging desperately to the notion that Democrats are, by their very nature, somehow better than Republicans have set the bar for performance laughably low. This in no way is meant as praise for Republicans. Obama is amazing because he can speak in complete, comprehensible sentences where Baby Bush couldn’t. Pelosi really knows how to play this “game” because Harry Reid is mouse-y appeaser with the charisma of a pan of cold bath water. Spare me. The contortions apologists for this disappointing administration now have to go through to put positive spin on the lengthening list of humiliating defeats would be fun to watch if they weren’t so irritating. Pelosi’s tactic of inserting a Federal Debt increase bill quietly and just before the holiday recess is, by the way, nothing to be “proud” of. The raising, again, of our Federal Debt should be loudly and openly discussed for the benefit of the citizens of this country and the generations to come that will be unduly burdened by a government that has been fiscally rudderless for the last thirty years or more. Put anyone up against Reid and they would look like a star. Faint praise, indeed.

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By samosamo, December 18, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Just like the stupid voters in america who are time and again
bamboozled into ‘voting for change’ but they never get past
seeing anything more than ‘well, i’ll vote dem this time’ or ’ i’ll
vote repub this time’ which is really the voters being
convinced that they will vote for the ‘least worse’ of the
choices and anything else is totally unacceptable.

And I have witnessed enough pelosi to know that what she is
doing will most likely on the finally vote be anything but what she says she would do and it will cost the taxpayers dearly.

Vote 3rd party!

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By Alejandro, December 18, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Nancy Pelosi took impeachment of the table; She lost me and if I were in her district I would not vote for her. But I must say on health care and other issues she has delivered. On the other hand Harry Reid is the classic appeaser.

I keep hearing words to the effect; a bad bill is better then no bill at all. I couldn’t dissagree more, a bad bill will only get worse; espicialy with the spinless leadership currently in the U.S Senate.

The aphorism [Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The Bath-Water] does not apply in this instance, since the baby (Public Option) was jettisoned long ago, by Obama and company..

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By ugot2bkidding, December 18, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this a joke?  Pelosi?  She’s never changed.  She’s still only Bush/Cheney’s familiar.  If she’s the best the Democratic Party can do, then there is no Democratic Party.  I knew Obama was a big zero when he didn’t force both Pelosi and Reid out upon his inauguration. 

Mr. Robinson’s been drinking tea with the teabaggers.  Since he won his Pulitzer he’s become even more gaseous.

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By Steve E, December 18, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let us not forget that infamous phrase “impeachment is off the table”. Thank you
Nancy. I have followed this women’s career and it is pathetic.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Dem pols are stupid.  Who would elect as their majority leader a guy from a basically Republican state who is a great risk every election cycle?  And it’s not as if they didn’t get their butts kicked when Daschle, another Majority Leader for a basically GOP state lost his seat! 

The Rethugs know better. McConnell is safe—Kentucky.  Trent Lott was safe—Alabama. Bob Dole was safe—Kansas.

The Rethugs know how to get legislation passed, even with a razor thin majority.  The Dims don’t, even with a clear mandate and major majority.

I’m no fan of Pelosi—from 2007 to 2009 she catered far too much to the GOP and Bush.  But it’s scary to think SHE is actually the better model of a leader of a House of Congress.  Sadly, it’s the truth.

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By sam..., December 18, 2009 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

In the run up to the election I somehow, I think through one of the progressive
websites, was subscribed to Reid’s newsletter titled “Give ‘em Hell Harry”. This has
sadly given me much in the way of amusement since the election. Keep thinking
he should have called it “Give ‘em Heck Harry”.

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By ardee, December 18, 2009 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

To fasten upon one Democrat as good and another as notsomuch is about as obfuscating as blaming Lieberman for the ills of the health care reform efforts.

Mr. Robinson conveniently forgets that it was Ms. Pelosi who took impeachment off the table immediately after Democrats gained the majority in the House. Thus, this “player” Mr. Robinson extols must claim a certain responsibility for what followed that refusal to honor the Constitution and the Law.

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By Fred0, December 18, 2009 at 3:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve joined the Socialist Party.I just can’t take any more.I’ve watched the Democratic Party overran by DINOs,by lobbyists,by thieves,by hacks and by frauds.My country has been sold to a handful of bankers and corporatist assholes.I will never again vote for a Democratic candidate as long as I live.

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By truedigger3, December 18, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

The Democrats need to get lost and take the Republicans with them.
We need new honest people independent of big money/corporate elite. A piece of cow dung is very similar to a piece of horse shit and it will make no difference if you sprinkle sugar on them.!

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By ChaoticGood, December 18, 2009 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

I voted for Obama with the hope that finally after 60 years of trying to get universal healthcare for everyone would happen.
Now I see that Pelosi has the same idea that I do and that Reid and Obama do not.
I understand that it is not wise to make the “perfect” the enemy of the “good”, but this healthcare bill has been given the “death of the thousand cuts”.  An equally apropo bromide might also be applied and that one is “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”.  This is just what has happened.  With no single-payer, no public option and no medicare buy-in, there is no “baby” here any longer.
I have to side with Dean on this one.  Trash it, go to reconciliation and give us a healthcare bill that means something.
The louder the Republicans scream, the more I know that we are closer to perfect.
Go Pelosi GO,GO,GO….

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