Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

An open letter to House Dems: The sky is falling? The sky is falling? The future of Dems, the health care bill, and America

January 20, 2010

Dear House of Representatives Dems:

A discourse in three parts


II Nut up or shut up

III Martyrdom is awesome.  Go for it.


Seriously.  What happened?  How did you lose this?  One year ago we  had Ted Kennedy, the coolest guy ever. Two weeks ago we had a 20 point lead and an opponent who’s main TV ad shows him driving around in a stupid truck.  This morning we have a republican senator.

I voted for Alan Khazei in the primary.  He would have run a real campaign.  He was awesome.  But Martha was the “safe” candidate, so she won (the primary).

I’m not going to do a lengthy bit on why Martha lost.  It’s depressing and everyone else will talk about it a lot.  I don’t really like being a Monday morning QB and I’d rather think about what’s to come.

II Nut up or shut up.

Republican congress’ have historically been able to get a lot done with 50, 51, or 52 votes.  We have 59.  It has come to my attention that there are two kinds of filibuster.  There is the ye olde filibuster, where one side stands up and talks until they give up or the bill is dropped.  The other is a “procedural” filibuster.  Here, the minority party says “we have 41 votes, and could filibuster if we wanted to, so lets pretend we are.”  It is up to the senate leader then to either grant the request (in which case the bill is dropped) or make them do a traditional filibuster.

You apparently have been allowing the Republicans to do a procedural filibuster.  STOP IT.  Filibusters can be broken given sufficient time.  The longest filibuster in the US to date was by southern senators who attempted to block passage of the 1964 civil rights act. It lasted for 75 hours but failed.

In response to Republican threats of a filibuster I say BRING IT.  Sit in your seats, order some chinese food, and watch the Republicans talk.  Let them talk for a month straight if they want to.  Then pass your bills.

Want to pass a bill making an oversight panel for banks? Do it.  Let the Republicans be on TV for 5 days talking about how it’s “a bad idea to regulate Wall Street.”  Let them dig their own grave.

Nut up or shut up Dems, 59 votes is enough.

III Martyrdom is awesome.  Go for it.

Health Bill history.  House of reps passes a bill, sends it to the Senate.  The Senate amended it and sent it back to the house.  At this point the House can either make more changes (negotiate with the Senate, and make a new joint bill) to be reconsidered by both houses.  Or, it can just accept the Senate version.  If decides to make more changes, the bill is done for.  If they accept the Senate version, it’ll go to Obama’s desk without worry.

People on both sides of the isle (and in the media) are saying it would be political suicide to do this, however.  It is “obvious” that the election result means people don’t want this bill, and if the house were to pass it then they could all lose their seats in November.  Two things on this.

1) They won’t “all lose their seats” in November.  Martha losing doesn’t mean that MA has become a red state, and it doesn’t mean that the sky is falling.  We ran a bad campaign and lost, end of story. Health care reform was initially unpopular in MA but the state enacted it anyway.  Today we have 80% approval for it.

2) Even if they do lose their seats, it’s OK.  If the “only” thing you do in your one term as a US representative is pass the biggest health care reform bill in our countries history then it’s a pretty good one term.

Stop thinking worrying about reelection and DO SOMETHING.  I guarantee that if you pass this bill you’ll be in the history books.

In conclusion.  Get it done.  Now.


Stop worrying about getting bipartisan support.  The other side of the isle consists in part of people who still think Obama is a Muslim terrorist who wasn’t born in this country.  You’re on your own.