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The Democrats' Strategy For Health Care Reform?

As support for the Democrats' plans for health care finance reform crumble, they seem to be almost doubling down to get something -- anything passed, even saying publicly that it'll be worth it even if it costs them quite a few seats in Congress. While this kind of dedication to principle over personal benefit is a bit surprising (while also simultaneously disturbing and encouraging), it has left me wondering just what the hell is behind what seems an almost suicidal dedication to a cause that appears to be rapidly fading.

And I think I've figured it out. Someone on the Democratic side has really, really looked at the rules and come up with what they think is a strategy for a long-term win. And they just might be right.

As anyone with the slightest knowledge of how our government works, for a law to pass it must get a majority in both houses of Congress and be signed by the president. That's the basics, as outlined in the Constitution.

The reality, as always, is a bit more complicated. For one, it doesn't necessarily have to be signed by the president; if he ignores it, most of the time it'll become law anyway -- or, if Congress goes out of session and he ignores it, it goes away. Generally, though, a law needs at least the passive support of the president.

Keep that in mind. It will be important later on.

It's also slightly more complicated in Congress. The House is pretty much as stated -- a simple majority (usually 218) is enough to pass anything. In the Senate, it's a bit more complicated. There, they set up some protections for the minority. While it still takes 51 votes to pass a bill, it takes 60 votes to cut off debate -- meaning that 41 Senators can thwart the will of 59 of their brethren. We've all had this hammered into our heads over the past year or so.

So here's the Democrats' strategy. All they need to do is water down their plan enough to pare off one or two Republican senators to support it and get the magic 60 votes they need to get it through the Senate. Then they can push it through the House (where they have a very hefty majority) and have Obama sign it into law. They just have to do it before next January, when the current Congress expires and the new one we'll elect this November will be seated.

Here's where we move beyond Civics 101 and into the advanced stuff.

On paper, all it takes to repeal a law is the same thing it takes to pass one -- a majority in both houses and the president's assent. But again, the devil is in the details -- repealing a law often requires a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, as noted above.

But that is all contingent on the assent of the president. And should a newly-Republican Congress wish to repeal Obamacare, that presumption goes right out the window, as Obama can veto such a repeal.

Of course, the Constitution, with its elegant system of checks and balances, offers a way for Congress to override a veto. But it isn't an easy one. It takes 2/3 of each House to pass an override.

Remember those 60 votes needed to end debate in the Senate? That's nothing. Make it 67 for a veto override.

And it's even worse in the House. Forget that 218 of 435 number. For vetoes, it skyrockets to a 290 threshold.

A Republican landslide in November would be nowhere near enough to undo an ObamaCare law. It would take a massacre of nigh-Biblical proportions. Republicans would have to gain 26 seats in the Senate and 112 in the House, and that simply ain't gonna happen.

Alternately, we could get the Supreme Court to strike down ObamaCare as unconsitutional. But Obama is lining up more liberal justices to fill any vacancies, and the conservatives on the bench are -- well, conservative, and reluctant to get too activist as a general rule.

So if Obamacare can get passed, in any form, it's pretty much guaranteed to stand until 2013, when we might -- or might not -- get rid of President Obama. And in those few years, it will have intertwined its tentacles into so many places, it might be impossible to undo and root out.

Could that be their plan? Write off the 2010 elections in the hopes that by the time 2012 rolls around, ObamaCare will be enough of a fait accompli that they can ride back into power? To write off Congress for two years in the hopes that Obama can keep things in check until the next election cycle, when they can stage a comeback?

Seems like a hell of a long shot.

On the other hand, it might be their best option. Or, more accurately, their least worst.


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Comments (35)

I don't know. I think its ... (Below threshold)
Foxx:

I don't know. I think its a long shot but it gets longer if they keep the orignial parts of the bill. Like when it kicks in on 2013. The tax parts of the bill kick in next year if/when it gets pass.

If we get something of a representative goverenment (wishful thinking, of course), Obamacare wouldn't have as much time to dig its cancerous roots in to hopefully rip it back out.

Lots of ifs. *sigh*

What needs to be remembered... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

What needs to be remembered is that while it takes a 2/3rds supermajority to *repeal* a law, it only takes 50%+1 to *gut* a law.

In other words, a new Republican Congress could simple eliminate the funding for the various provisions of ObamaCare. So you have a law that establishes "review panels." Here's the 2011 federal funding for the "review panels:"

$0.00

And that's that.

The Republicans can amendme... (Below threshold)
Stan:

The Republicans can amendment the ObamaCare boondoggle to death. This would keep the bill in the Congress until the new Congress is seated.

Conrad, Chairman of the Bud... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Conrad, Chairman of the Budget comittee said a recon bill will not pass his comittee with the fixes in it. WILL NOT ... he is telling the House Dems that they will never see the fixes enacted. If they vote for the Senate bill that will be the law.

A Republican landslide i... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

A Republican landslide in November would be nowhere near enough to undo an ObamaCare law. It would take a massacre of nigh-Biblical proportions. Republicans would have to gain 26 seats in the Senate and 112 in the House, and that simply ain't gonna happen.

Say it stronger: it's impossible, even theoretically. 36 Senate seats (34 regular + 2 special vacancies) are up for election this fall. Half are held by each party. Even if the R's hold every one of their own seats and win every D seat, they'll only reach 59 seats -- not even enough to break a filibuster, let alone override a veto.

"Why certainly," purred the... (Below threshold)

"Why certainly," purred the conman. "You have my solemn vow that if you sign this contract ver your firstborn son to me, along with your wife's affection and the virtue of your firstborn daughter, I will rewrite the contract to be much more favorable to you -- I'll let you keep your son and wife."

I see this as either an att... (Below threshold)

I see this as either an attempt to snooker the House into accepting the Senate bill then failing to amend that monstrosity by design, or they actually go through with it in the belief the people will likely revolt and they'll then have their excuse to take control of the whole shebang.

Neither prospect looks appetizing.

This needs drowning now. This has nothing to do with Health Care and everything to do with control.

I think when the democrats ... (Below threshold)
JPO:

I think when the democrats came away with the White House and what should have been absolute control of both Houses in 2008, the idealogues of their party saw a rare opportunity to reshape America to the image they think it should be. The bank bailout set in motion a means for the government to assert greater control and power over the financial institutions, the stimulus money was designed not to help the economy recover, but to create an even greater dependence of local government and the individual on the federal government, and this healthcare debacle is meant to control the medical industry. Cap and trade, if they can get it passed, will control transportation and energy. In effect, all of these measures will serve to give the government control of nearly every aspect of our lives. The reason the urgency was created around the stimulus bill and bank bailouts was so that there would not be a lot of time for an inspection of the details. They were hoping to do the same thing with the healthcare bill. Thankfully, the American people were able to exert enough influence over their representatives so that this thing had to slow down and be more carefully examined.

If the healthcare bill is passed, it will create one more entitlement program the democrats will be able to use as political propoganda in future political campaign cycles. With seniors, it's always "If the Republican is elected, you'll lose your Social Security." (My grandparents buy into this nearly every time, sad to say) With the poor it's "If the Republican is elected, you'll lose Medicaide, food stamps, etc." And now, with nationalized heatlhcare it will be, "If the Republican is elected, you'll lose your health care coverage and all ability to receive medical treatment."

Want to know how to repeal ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Want to know how to repeal Obamacare?

1. Introduce a bill that consists of one line:

"HB#### (or SB####) is hereby repealed." (Where the #### is the number of the Obamacare bill.)

Have a vote on that one -- let the President veto it or let it die in the senate.

2. After that bill fails, amend every bill to contain that line. If those bills die, resubmit them without the amendment, but hold a press conference announcing that the Democrats have yet again thwarted the will of the American people by upholding Obamacare. Urge people to write legislators that vote against the bill and let them know their displeasure.

3. Eventually some bill with that amendment will pass -- and the President will veto it. Hold a press conference announcing that the President is thwarting the will of the American people, and urge people to get their representatives to override the veto. If the veto does not get overriden resubmit the bill without the amendment.

4. Keep repeating steps 2 and 3. With. Every. Bill. Including budget bills. Stress to the American people that it is the Democrats blocking passage of this clause --popular legislation. Watch the Democrats numbers tank.

Eventually the Democrats will call "no mas" and override a veto of the provision to stop the political bleeding. And they cannot even complain that the Republicans are stopping legislation because each time the Democrats block a bill with the provision it is resubmitted without it. Thus, legislation is only slowed -- a good thing anyway. But every week the Democrats have to stand up and defend a piece of legislation that cost them control of the House (and now potentially the Senate).

How many week do you think it will take to repeal Obamacare if this is done?

Or we can get rid of Obama ... (Below threshold)
Mick:

Or we can get rid of Obama now by asking the right question, which no one, even here, is allowed to ask. Since he has already admitted to being a dual citizen at birth (he says his citizenship was "governed" by Britain), how can he be a Natural Born Citizen? Nah, you would rather whine about the injustice of his policies.

Mick, asked and answered. I... (Below threshold)

Mick, asked and answered. I've said before -- the "birther" argument is a loser argument. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

In the meantime, while you're fixating on that loser cause, everything else goes to hell. Screw that.

J.

Jay: "As support for the De... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Jay: "As support for the Democrats' plans for health care finance reform crumble, they seem to be almost doubling down to get something -- anything passed,.."

They are doubling down, but they are not just pushing for merely 'anything'. I see no sign that they are backing off on any of their radical plans.
They are going for the whole enchilada, all at once.

I too thought that they would back off, just so they could say they got 'something' done on healthcare. But they show no signs of slowing down or backing off.

So far they have stayed in full radical Lefty mode.

Obamacare does not enact un... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Obamacare does not enact until 2014...so those "tentacles" are not there.
Enacting this bill is not going to help the Dims in 2012...in fact it will hurt them...and Obama. There will be time to either repeal the bill or gut it. The Dims are lemmings going over the cliff.

I'm not sure they have a lo... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I'm not sure they have a long term plan.
I think history is calling.

Really, think about the legacy that Reid, Pelosi and Obama will leave behind if this fails to pass. Their legacy will be corruption, deficits and incompetence.

But if so-called Health care passes, they make the history books.

For people with ego's as large as theirs, this will be the icing on the cake.

"...it might be impossible ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...it might be impossible to undo and root out."

No, it won't. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. The first years are nothing but tax collection. If the Dems are dumb enough to force this via reconciliation, the backlash will get them kicked out of Congress and President Present! will not get a second term. Any Dem dumb enough to vote against repeal at this point would be signing their own political death warrant. There might be a few socialist enclaves (San Francisco comes to mind) that might reelect a Democrat, but the tactics will have heavily damaged the brand name. And those 'moderate' Democrats will have only themselves and their extreme left wing to blame.

Jay said"In the me... (Below threshold)
Mick:

Jay said

"In the meantime, while you're fixating on that loser cause, everything else goes to hell. Screw that."

Who says you can't question the constitutiality
of his presidency and fight against his policies at the same time? They are not exclusive quests.

Because, Mick, it lets you ... (Below threshold)

Because, Mick, it lets you be dismissed as a conspiracy-minded whackjob, right along with the 9/11 truthers and the John Birch nuts and the Kennedy assassination freaks.

I repeat Machiavelli's advice: "If you strike against a king, be sure to kill him." Attacks against powerful people damned well better be successful, or you're screwed. The "birther" attacks have an incredibly slim chance of success as to be virtually non-existent, so they're worthless.

Further, the core argument is repugnant. That there are distinct classes of people born American, with some enjoying more rights and privileges than others, is disgusting to me and should be to everyone else.

...all of which I've said before, and all of which has jack shit to to do with health care finance reform.

Please, take your crazy somewhere else. We've got plenty of our own varieties.

J.

If the Kenyan tool loses in... (Below threshold)
david:

If the Kenyan tool loses in 2012 and the GOP controls the House and Senate (hey -- a boy can dream, can't he?), couldn't the requirement for 60 votes in the Senates be circumvented by repealing ObamaCare by -- wait for it -- here it comes -- reconciliation?

david, did you miss that wh... (Below threshold)

david, did you miss that whole "veto" thing?

And what's with the "Kenyan" bullshit? Knock it off, will ya, you git?

J.

Hussein care provides absol... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Hussein care provides absolute power and control over 300 million Americans from the day they are born until the day a death panel tells them they have to die. That's what it's about. That's what it has ALWAYS been about...leftist control over everything we do, think, say, own or purchase, Everything we eat, drink, drive or smoke. And that kind of absolute power ans authority is worth ANY political price in the present, because the left has purchased enough votes to ALWAYS be back. The entire issue is just this simple. Why make it more complicated than it is?

Jay said, "Because,... (Below threshold)
Mick:

Jay said,
"Because, Mick, it lets you be dismissed as a conspiracy-minded whackjob, right along with the 9/11 truthers and the John Birch nuts and the Kennedy assassination freaks."

It's not a conspiracy, it called upholding the Constitution. I am not a "Truther" or a "Bircher". I find it repugnant that you use the same Alinsky tactics as the Hypnotized Marxists on the left. Truly amazing that you have Obama's Kryptonite yet refuse to use it.

Jay said,

"Further, the core argument is repugnant. That there are distinct classes of people born American, with some enjoying more rights and privileges than others, is disgusting to me and should be to everyone else."

There are 3 subsets of citizens (see Perkins v. Elg (1939)) Native-born and Naturalized (14th Amendment statutory citizens, i.e. made citizens by statute), and Natural Born Citizens (Article 2 Section 1, Clause 4, i.e. natural law citizens).

All three subsets have the same civil rights, but only the Natural Born Citizens (born in the US of 2 Citizen Parents) are eligible to be POTUS. It is not discriminatory, as Naturalized Citizens can have Natural Born Children. It is a security measure designed to assure the highest probability of allegiance and attachment to country (i.e 2 generations of citizenship). This reason is stated in the Federalist Papers. You don't think the requirements are discriminatory of 34 year olds do you?
I don't care about Machevelli, or labels. The Constitution is more important. As Samuel Adams said, "Justice be done though the heavens shall fall".

Mick, that was a polite req... (Below threshold)

Mick, that was a polite request to stay on topic and take your birther bullshit elsewhere.

This is a not quite as polite request.

The third will be neither polite nor a request.

The fourth will be... unpleasant.

And messy.

J.

So Mick, how long have you ... (Below threshold)
Meiji_man:

So Mick, how long have you been working for the Democratic Party?
The Birther Argument is a non-starter, and it sucks the air our of the room for real arguments.
People have a finite amount of attention they'll pay to anything, and your clogging the airwaves with the political equivalent of the Chicken Song. You love it but the rest of us thinks you look like a moron. Give it up and put your new found time into something productive. Like finding a copy of Obama's Master's Thesis. Or College transcripts. Hell if you REALLY want find out whether he decided to claim he was foreign national for privilege admittance to college.

Mick, the definition of "Na... (Below threshold)

Mick, the definition of "Natural Born" citizen is not "born in the US of 2 Citizen Parents". It is someone who at birth (or as of the signing of the Constitution) is a citizen of the United States. As long as the rules of citizenship allow someone to be a dual citizen (or if the dual citizenship is in the law of the other country but not in the laws of the United States), the the person is a "Natural Born Citizen".

In any case, JT is saying that even if you were right the argument will not be accepted and will only be counterproductive. Pushing this argument will only harm the cause that you claim to be "helping".

Right, you don't agree (and... (Below threshold)
Mick:

Right, you don't agree (and don't know enough to agree or not), and because you don't, you smear me with the same nonsensical name-calling that the Left uses, but I cannot respond. If you were an objective and thoughtful "journalist", maybe you might look into the very cogent and thoughtful argument that I have made rather than use the type of attacks you do.
Again, WHO says that you can't attack his eligibility and his policies? His HC bill is clearly unconstitutional as well as anti everything America stands for. That's the point isn't it? He doesn't have the attachment to this country that he should as President, and would not even be POTUS if the USC was followed.

"Mick, the definition of ... (Below threshold)
Mick:

"Mick, the definition of "Natural Born" citizen is not "born in the US of 2 Citizen Parents". It is someone who at birth (or as of the signing of the Constitution) is a citizen of the United States. As long as the rules of citizenship allow someone to be a dual citizen (or if the dual citizenship is in the law of the other country but not in the laws of the United States), the the person is a "Natural Born Citizen".

In any case, JT is saying that even if you were right the argument will not be accepted and will only be counterproductive. Pushing this argument will only harm the cause that you claim to be "helping"."

Where does it say that a Natural Born Citizen is a "citizen by birth"? (nowhere) The US state dept. doesn't even officially recognize dual citizens, as in those cases possession is 9/10 of the law, but they recognize that those persons have allegiance to foreign powers, which is the reason for the requirement. "Citizens by birth" can be born abroad , and they are certainly not Natural Born Citizens (like McCain). NBC is a term of art that defies definition by a dictionary. It came from the Natural Law treatise
Law of Nations (Vattel). The Vattel definition is quoted verbatum as the meaning of NBC in numerous SCOTUS cases like The Venus (1814), and Minor v. Happersett (1873). And before you say it, I will head you off, Wong Kim Ark also quoted Vattel, and NEVER said that Wong was a NBC, only "citizen".

Meiji said, "So M... (Below threshold)
Mick:

Meiji said,

"So Mick, how long have you been working for the Democratic Party?
The Birther Argument is a non-starter, and it sucks the air our of the room for real arguments.
People have a finite amount of attention they'll pay to anything, and your clogging the airwaves with the political equivalent of the Chicken Song. You love it but the rest of us thinks you look like a moron."

If you don't care about the Constitution that's your business, but the attitudes expressed here are the reason that this Constitutional crisis has been allowed to happen. My attention span allows me to both attack his eligibility and his policies, which are brought forth because of his ineligibility. He put his hand on the bible and swore to uphold the Constitution he tramples on. You learned Alinsky from the Left well! WHERE does it say that an illegal alien can drop a baby on our shore, and that child is eligible to be POTUS.

Final warning, Mick.<... (Below threshold)

Final warning, Mick.

The topic of this thread is health care reform, not birtherism. Stay on topic, or I take down Olaf The Troll God's Hammer and make damned certain you don't make ANY comments, even if you could make them germane -- something you've never done here before.

J.

(Loosening the shoulders and stretching the arms... Olaf's hammer is HEAVY.)

P.S.: When it comes to ban threats, I don't bluff. Just ask muirgeo. Or jhow66. Or BarneyG2000. Or nogo postal.

Oh, that's right, you can't. Because I banned them.

In many cases, I gave warnings. In some, I didn't.

You've been privileged with warnings. Heed them.

So what are you doing to pr... (Below threshold)
Mick:

So what are you doing to prevent this bill from happening? Since you think that you are being so pro-active. Are you protesting at the capital? or are you just whining and bitching about how it's Socialism, Marxism, or some other "ism".

Good lord, mick was on topi... (Below threshold)

Good lord, mick was on topic. I may get the vapors.

Well, mick, I'm "rabble-rousing" right here. That's my most effective option -- my congressional delegation is already locked in Gregg against, Shaheen and Hodes for) and ain't gonna change their votes. So I yell a lot.

And thanks to this blog, I got a bigger mouth than a lot of others.

J.

I was on topic before, but ... (Below threshold)
Mick:

I was on topic before, but I digress. The egos of these people will not let them fail, no matter how much you yell. They have a slush fund of billions to spread among the whores. You could use your platform to affect a real solution, but alas...

Oh, for god's sake...... (Below threshold)

Oh, for god's sake...

(splat)

J.

I have a question for my wi... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

I have a question for my wicked smaht bloggahs of Wizbang. What IF PrompterBinky does NOT pry any Senate Republicans and can only pass the Senate with less than 60 votes?

Then doesn't it just take 50+1 instead of 67?

Knight, I think it's safe t... (Below threshold)

Knight, I think it's safe to assume that Obama would veto any attempt to repeal ObamaCare. That invokes the Constitution, and there overriding a veto raises the threshold to 2/3 of each House.

The 50+1/60 wigginess is solely due to existing Senate rules, as set up by the Senate in governing itself. They can pretty much do what they want. But the veto thing... that's hard-wired.

J.

Gotta quit projecting Good ... (Below threshold)

Gotta quit projecting Good common sense onto the manifestation of evil presently pretending to power, congressional, administrative and in the feds' fiat "courts."

America's demise is the objective of the vast criminal enterprises that prefer we know them by their street name, the "Democrats" -- as is our beloved fraternal republic's descent into the totalitarian tyranny that will inevitable follow their passage of the nationalization of a fifth of our economy.

The kind of legislation that IN EVERY INSTANCE of the passage of similar legislation in every one of the world's once-free and somewhat democratic nation/states: from once-great Britain to Australia and throughout all of Europe and Canada; has irreversibly tipped those states' forms of government into the perpetual fasciSSocialism that marks them all.

Think it's already hard to tell a RINO from a "Democrat?" Wait until (as the Limeys have to "choose between" a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, Gordon Cameron or a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, David Brown -- and the Australians, until recently had a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, Kevin Turnbull and a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, Malcolm Rudd) Americans have a choice, for Fuhrer, between a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, John Graham and a Socialist-International-serving and sovereignty-surrendering, Lindsey Kerry!

"Health Care" has NOTHING to do with "health."

And everything to do with the advance of totalitarian tyranny. With the advance of unmitigated evil.




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