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December 29, 2009
On Death Panels and Death Traps
We have been informed of a provision in the Senate's Health Care Destruction Bill designed to prevent "repeal or otherwise change" of a subsection dealing with an Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill. Of course, the reason why this advisory board is in need of permanent and unprecedented protection arouses curiosity which would no doubt result in some very reasoned speculation.
However, that is not the subject of this blog. The subject is the reason the Democrat Party leadership has inserted this protectionist language in the bill. Let's examine this from the viewpoint of what we know they know. House and Senate Democrats know the following:
1) There is no such thing as a law that cannot be repealed or modified. A sitting Congress is not bound by any previous Congress.
2) By separation of powers, the courts will not intervene in a floor dispute over House and Senate rules.
3) Apparently, with few exceptions, legacy media fully supports their Health Care Destruction Bill.
4) Polls show that their Health Care Destruction Bill is very unpopular. They know this unpopularity may cause them to lose their majority in congress.
5) Many republican politicians develop paralysis when accused of being partisan. Such politicians have no stomach for a fight.
Loss of Democrat Party majority in congress risks a rollback of their treasured Health Care Destruction. The anti-repeal provision mitigates, but does not eliminate that risk. A Colorado blogger sets the scene:
When the Republicans have retaken both houses, presumably the Senate and House parliamentarians will rule that their repeal measures are out of order. The chair will so rule. Or the chair will rule the other way. One side will move to over-rule the chair. At that point, all hell will break loose, but a vote will be taken. If the Republicans try to overrule the chair, then the Dems will try to grind process to a halt to avoid a vote. If the Dems are ruled against, the chair had better be damn sure he has the votes before making the ruling.
As of 2005, the chair can be overruled by a majority vote. [The link is to a Congressional Research Service Comparison of House and Senate Rules of Procedure.]
This is where legacy media steps up to the plate. Legacy media reportage will frame the Republicans as "mean-spirited,” "partisan,” and "anti-health care.” All who support Health Care Destruction will level the "unconstitutional" charge at Republican tactics. The anti-repeal provision is in place to create chaos on the floors of congress that "mean-spirited" Republicans can be blamed for. The plan capitalizes on sensitive, squishy Republicans, fearful of appearances. The goal is to get these Republicans to back off on repeal, and settle for minor, meaningless changes.
However, the risk is not eliminated. If a Republican majority is elected with a mandate to repeal this awful legislation, then legacy media reportage is less likely to sway public opinion, and the squishy Republicans may hold firm.
We also know that Sarah Palin, as recently as December 22, refers to the Independent Medicare Advisory Board as a "death panel.” We know that the House and Senate Democrats despise both Palin and the death panel label. These facts together with their anti-repeal measure, raises a question: Have the Democrat Party leadership and their media allies constructed a trap? Have they set a trap for a majority of Americans (55% and growing) opposed to their idiotic bill. Is America now faced with a "death trap,” courtesy of the Democrat Party?