Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fairness to Republicans

It's been hard to find anything to defend about Republicans' role in the health care debate, what with "death panels," "government takeover" of health care, "socialized medicine," and general deceit. I am therefore pleased to be able to explain that the attack on vote-switching Florida Representative Suzanne Kosmas as a "space cadet" is less bizarrely personal than it appears. Her district includes the Kennedy Space Center, and she is a strong backer of manned space flight. Her constituents may even consider the term a compliment, though I doubt the Republicans intended it that way.

On the other hand, what's with The Last True Conservative, David Brooks? Last night on PBS, he was kvetching about the (pardon the expression) aborted Democratic plan to "deem" the Senate bill passed once the House passed a reconciliation bill. I can't for the life of me see any principle this violates; just the opposite. Why should House Democrats have to go on record as voting for a bill (the Senate bill) they don't like and don't intend to take effect, just to get around Republican obstructionism?  But Brooks is at least consistent on obstructionism: he's against attempts to restrict use of the filibuster. He appears to believe, erroneously, that it is either a Constitutional or a traditional part of legislating in the Senate. Not so; despite what you may have heard, the founders did not consider governmental paralysis a good thing.

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