Friday, October 04, 2013

There is no Hastert Rule

Dennis Hastert just said that there is not and never has been a Hastert rule.  He insists that he never had a rule that only bills supported by a majority of House Republicans would be brought to a vote.  Hastert is very hard on Boehner.  He also noted that he never brought a bill to the floor then had to withdraw it to prevent it from being voted down and that he never passed a continuing resolution, because he passed appropriation bills.

A rational Democrat who hoped to help the party would leave it at that.  If that's what you want, you are at the wrong blog. I assume almost no one reads this so I can look a gift horse in the mouth.  Hastert adds some Ballance here " “I didn’t have to deal with Barack Obama. I dealt with Bill Clinton, and he came to the table and negotiated.”  

He told a little anecdote

Clinton asked, “What can I do for you?” “A haircut across the board,” Hastert replied. “I would suggest a 1 percent cut.” Can’t take that, Clinton said, offering all the reasons why that wouldn’t work. “What do you suggest?” Hastert asked him. A quarter of 1 percent, Clinton replied. “We dickered back and forth and settled on .86 percent, not because it was a magic number,” said Hastert. “But the moral of the story is Clinton would come to the table. . I’m not going to go into the science of negotiating, but you can put one thing on the table and end up with something entirely different, but you’ve got to talk.”



He neglected to mention that Obama negotiated at length with Boehner in 2011 then Boehner suspended the discussion, because his caucus wouldn't support anything like the possible grand compromise under discussion. Nor does he mention that Boehner has promised not to negotiate privately with Obama.  Finally, he doesn't note that Reid negotiated with Boehner and they reached an agreement.  That agreement is the Senate continuing resolution on which Boehner won't allow a vote.  Democrats are refusing to offer further concessions after a deal was negotated and then the House Republicans decided to treat it as the Democrats opening offer.  I trust Reid on this, because the clean continuing resolution was proposed by Boehner to his conference and he argued for it at length.  Also it is the only explanation of why the Senate passed a sequestration level continuing resolution (that is they kept their word even though Boehner broke his).

So here is my updated modernized version of the story

Clinton asked, “What can I do for you?” “A haircut across the board,” Hastert replied. “I would suggest a 1 percent cut.” Can’t take that, Clinton said, offering all the reasons why that wouldn’t work. “What do you suggest?” Hastert asked him. A quarter of 1 percent, Clinton replied. “We dickered back and forth and settled on 1 percent.  Then I presented the agreement to my conference and they practically lynched me and passed a bill (with the votes of 2 Democrats) which cut spending across the board by 1% except for SCHIP which it cut by 100%.  Then I spent weeks saying that Clinton was totally unreasonable, wouldn't negotiate and demanded 100% of what he wanted, because he didn't agree to cut SCHIP by 50%

The claim that the Democrats won't negotiate is simply false. They negotiated, they basically caved, they made a deal and then then stuck with it.

I don't know much about the science of negotiation, but coming to the table with people whose promises are worthless is stupid.

1 comment:

Ken Rhodes said...

Dennis Hastert just said that there is not and never has been a Hastert rule. He insists that he never had a rule that only bills supported by a majority of House Republicans would be brought to a vote.

So that's what Hastert says, eh? Well here's what I say--Hastert's a liar, pure and simple.

John Feehery is a political consultant who worked for the Republicans in the House for fifteen years. He says he wrote the speech for Dennis Hastert in which Hastert first explicitly used the title "Hastert Rule."

http://www.thefeeherytheory.com/2013/01/16/rules-are-made-to-be-broken/