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Haven't you heard they're rushing?

Tom Toles:


It has, however, been amusing to watch some conservatives argue that America is crying out for a much longer committee process and a much slower floor debate schedule on health care. If Americans were really so interested in watching deliberations over the bill, than the cable news networks would carry them, rather than leaving it for C-SPAN 2 (or was it C-SPAN 3 last weekend?). Indeed, on the night the House passed its bill -- a historic, drama-filled evening -- I was sitting in the MSNBC studio at 11 p.m., waiting for them to break from a repeat showing of the exciting prison documentary "Lockup!"

By Ezra Klein  |  November 24, 2009; 10:35 AM ET
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You shouldn't confuse the public wanting the congress to be deliberative and wanting to watch the congress deliberate. One is good for the country, the other is boring.

Posted by: sscritic | November 24, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The secret is that Lockup does really well in the ratings. They're cheap to produce (they're repurposed Dateline investigations) and they occasionally beat Fox on the weekends with them. So the necessities of an informed electorate take a back seat to an extra ratings point.

Posted by: dday212 | November 24, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The whole healthcare debate is such a waste of time. We're getting a rotten bill passed and there will be nothing done on financial regulation, energy, clean tech infrastructure, and foreign policy. We are all worse off as a result of this. The drug lobbyists are laughing big time - the taxpayers and young people who have to pay for Obamacare are the losers.

Posted by: RandomWalk1 | November 24, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives are not asking for a slower process, or shouldn't be. The real complaint is that the Democratic Congress tried to push the bill through very fast, before anyone noticed. Same as they did with the stimulus bill. They got tripped up this time, which is great.

Posted by: MikeR4 | November 24, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The complaint about "rushing" had nothing to do with the semantics of Congressional debates. It is about the bill itself. Why is the single largest thing in the Government, health care, being reformed in one giant bill? As an engineer, I can't imagine anything good coming from such a process. Break it up into small bills that attack the bigger problems first. Pragmatism, please.

Posted by: srock2 | November 24, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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