Monday, March 08, 2010

Lindsey Graham is a "catastrophic" moron

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said -- I kid you not -- that using reconciliation for health-care reform would be "catastrophic."

Remember when 9/11 supposedly marked the death of irony, when words like "war" and "courage" took on new meaning? In what world should the word catastrophic be thrown around this recklessly?

How exactly is it "catastrophic" to use reconciliation? Let me quote him directly:

So it is taking a partisan product and making it law... It will be catastrophic... The minority in the Senate, if this happens, is forever changed.

This is utterly stupid.

First, health-care reform has already been passed by both the House and Senate. The intention now is not to use reconciliation to pass an entire comprehensive package but to add "patches" to the Senate bill to appease the House, which passed a more progressive bill. In other words, it would be used for minor changes to what has already been passed. And, let us remember, the Senate bill passed with 60 votes, a supermajority, as the Republican filibuster was defeated.

Second, Republicans have used reconciliation before, and more frequently than Democrats. And the minority wasn't "forever changed." But is Graham right that health-care form is "a partisan product"? Yes, but so were Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. The fact that a few Democrats sided with Republicans hardly matters: what is partisan is partisan. And the fact is, Republicans, when they're the majority, never recoil from passing partisan bills, doing aggressively partisan things, and dismissing as irrelevant the wishes and views of the minority. Why should Democrats now?

While Graham sat there and threw hyperbole around with a straight face, it was all part of the new Republican strategy to portray reconciliation as somehow undemocratic and un-American.

It's all rank hypocrisy, of course, not to mention a barrel of blatant lies, but it's not like we should ever expect anything else from the GOP.

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