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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Slaughter House Rule in 12 Dimensional Chess

It has been almost odd how much time Republicans spend denouncing alleged procedural irregulatiries in the enactment of the Health Care Reform Law. Their claims are absurd. Also no one outside of the beltway would care much if they were valid.

I have an idea. First, using deem and pass would have been a little odd and, if not dishonest, at least not totally frank and open. The Democrats talked about deem and pass up until almost the last possible moment.

My guess, first of all, is that Republicans were prepared to make a huge issue out of the absense of an up or down vote on the the Senate bill and they are having some trouble adapting to the fact that there was just such a vote. But I wonder if maybe this isn't an accident.

I mean you have to admit that the Democrats find it very convenient that the Republicans spent time and effort preparing to denounce them for doing something they didn't do. Maybe the whole Slaughter House Rule deem and pass proposal was a head fake -- a trick to distract the Republicans.

Now this might not be true. It is possible that in internal discussions the Democrats agreed to use deem and pass, that it became clear that it would be a public relations disaster, that it is hard and risky to renegotiate after reaching an agreement, and they got their act together just in the nick of time.

But you have to admit that my theory answers a nagging question which is why the hell were the Democrats talking about deem and pass when it was clear that that approach would have only costs and no benefits ?

If I'm right, I think we have to change the assessment of Nancy Pelosi as one of the political geniuses of all time. Not the part about genius, the part about "es" and "one of."

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