Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Reconciliation

Today, I blogged about Republicans using philosophical language to obscure political differences; a world in which President John McCain attempted health-care reform; Republican Senator Judd Gregg's impassioned defense of reconciliation; and Jim Bunning's decision to be the Manchurian candidate for Senate reform.

Here's what I missed:

1) Ron Brownstein wonders whether Democrats have the courage of their convictions.

2) Bruce Bartlett looks at the Wyden-Gregg tax plan.

3) This looks incredibly fun.

4) The sad decline of the Wall Street Journal.

5) I'll be on Rachel Maddow tonight at the beginning of the program.

Democrats and Republicans spent seven hours talking about whether to wish you a good weekend, but did not come to an agreement.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 26, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The dangers of demanding consistency
Next: The 1982 election and pundit fallability

Comments

"Democrats and Republicans spent seven hours talking about whether to wish you a good weekend, but did not come to an agreement."

well, it took me under twenty seconds to agree to wish you a well-deserved and happily peaceful weekend!

Posted by: jkaren | February 26, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Bartlett's article doesn't really appear to discuss the Wyden-Gregg bill much; it spends more time discussing our current tax system...misleadingly, I may add. He's banging the "tax cuts for people who don't pay taxes" drum pretty hard.

Posted by: JanglerNPL | February 26, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Clinton-Bayh in 2012!!!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 26, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The room is the world economy and James Franco is supply-side economics.

Posted by: Lomillialor | February 27, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, look at me scrolling down to see what I missed! That wrap-up is unnecessary and annoying.

Posted by: BriPet | February 27, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Ezra--you are such a terrific cheerleader for Obama. Keep up the good (snicker, snicker) "reporting".

By the way, did you enjoy your appearance on the 'merchants of hate' channel, MSNBC? Did you call Bush a Nazi or wish that Cheney would have died? Did you see any non-whites there at lily-white MSNBC? Did they interview any Republicans or was it just another evening of GOP hate mongering? Did you kiss Rachael?

You do the unbiased journalism profession proud whenever you appear on the channel of hate and bigotry.

Posted by: hartwr1 | February 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Just who in H**l coronated this President KING? The Wash Post writers are too liberal in quickly defending this guy, in my opinion. I don't even think they'll post this; an opposing opinion. Please prove me wrong.
The American People don't like to have big Government programs shoved down their throats. Big Government = more debt, = Chinese acquiring more of our debt and economic power over us... in a nutshell. If they can't even run an effective, Federal (small-scale in comparision) program like "Cash-For-Clunkers", how are we to have faith they can run a better MUCH LARGER one... look at the Medicare crisis. I'm like a lot of my friends; we're... "very displeased" to say it nicely. Man, I'm so fumed, and I live in San Francisco-- a Liberal Haven!
Work on private sector job creation, and forget about calling the Stimulus successful when it only allows Govt employees to just stay employed rather than helping the private sector. Kick out Pelosi, Reid, and the others wanting to expand our already too large Government. End the creation of large scale debt ridden programs so we can weather the ups and down of natural economic cyles. I don't buy real estate when I think my job and income might be subjected to "booms and busts" of the natural economic cyles! AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!

Posted by: ecrtman | February 27, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, don't you ever check the ratings of cable news programs? Why don't you appear on shows where someone is actually watching?

Posted by: bobsteph1234 | February 27, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey JanglerNPL,
You'll notice any critical remarks made to the arrogant "holier than thou's" will go unsanswered. As us piss-ants cry foul, those who disagree will dismiss our opinions with underserving labels to try and dissuade the topics away from facts and try to goad us into what they call "hate speech". I'm so sick of the BS tactics of politicians, it makes me want to wretch! THEY work for us, and their sycophants also need to remember that.

Posted by: ecrtman | February 27, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Reconciliation" certainly doesn't refer to the parties, does it?

What I heard the Republicans saying was, 'We really don't care about the 30+ million that our approach would not cover. As a matter of fact, we would eliminate covering all of the Medicaid people and the Medicare people should only have catastrophic insurance which they could buy from Alabama or another state which would provide NO regulation of insurance companies who would use similar practices that predatory mortgage companies used (e.g. failing to disclose terms which render the policy worthless.)

'What we want is a sheet of paper clean of all of your policies and we will write on it those that our industry lobbyists will pay us for. We are about winning elections by raising money from lobbyists. Actually trying to help people who can't pay you for your help is just weak and contemptible.' Isn't that what you heard?

Coburn now says, 'Even if you include my ideas, I won't vote for it.'

Posted by: ronames | February 27, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to see what the WSJ has become. It looks like USA Today and is markedly different from the old pre-Murdoch days front pages, which was a serious page of tiny black and white print. I know, because I'm still using my old WSJs from 2004 (when I canceled my subscription) to start the charcoal for the bbq. It's so amazing to re-read all of the Bush-Cheney-hype stories from those days, I sometimes forget to light the fire.

Posted by: edfunk1 | February 27, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Ezra & Rachel....a pair of kindred spirits! Left to the core!! I think my head might explode!

Posted by: my4653 | February 27, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama was so condescending at the "summit". He was rude and unbending! Typical of this whole administration!

visit: http://eclecticramblings.wordpress.com

Posted by: my4653 | February 27, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Soros cooked up a scheme to use money market funds to sap the Euro in the weak link of Greece's economy....why is that unbelievable, or even surprizing?

Sounds like Ezra might be a little upset that the WSJ has scooped the Post!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 27, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Ever since I dove into the activity of blog commenting (a step that occurs before starting my own blog, perhaps), I've been surprised at how many people comment on blogs that they clearly don't like. (see comments above). Whatever.

Anyhow, I was looking today at the list of Democrats who voted "no" on health-care the first time around. What struck me was how many of them were heavily supported by the DCCC in 2008. Shouldn't that kind of financial backing, a considerable part of which comes from center-left national Democratic party supporters, not go to members who simply do not support the Democrats on any of the big stuff? I mean, if you added up all the money from the DCCC given to some of the folks on that list, it's definitely in the couple of millions. I don't think these guys should be getting national Democratic Party funding if they are going to act like free agents all the time.

At some point, if you take the support of the base, you have to be accountable to the base.

Posted by: phillycomment | February 27, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

phillycomment,

"I've been surprised at how many people comment on blogs that they clearly don't like. (see comments above). Whatever."

Yes. Some grad student should do a thesis to answer this psychological mystery (if that research has not already been done).

There are people here that claim that Ezra is a socialist, that he is intellectually inferior, etc. Yet they constantly invest their time reading his blog posts and then posting their hostile commentary on a daily basis.

I have asked a number of them directly why they do this, given that they think that Ezra's writing is so terrible, but none of these trolls will ever give me a straight answer -- inevitably they just make some sort of snarky comment. I would really like to know what is the draw for these people.

"Shouldn't that kind of financial backing, a considerable part of which comes from center-left national Democratic party supporters, not go to members who simply do not support the Democrats on any of the big stuff?"

I think we may rely upon the majority leadership in the House to remind each and every "no" vote that come election time, national resources will flow most readily to members who stand with the President on a historic vote on a Democratic signature issue.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 28, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Patrick M-

Actually, I don't assume that the leadership makes these things clear to the Democrats in Congress who have not been on board with the health-care bill. And the reason I don't assume it is because they have been permitted to drag this on for so long. This would have been over months ago if so-called "moderate" Democrats had agreed that this issue was indeed a major national Democratic priority, that the health-care delivery system is horribly broken, and that the proposed reform was a good, if modest, step in the right direction.

These Blue Dogs or whatever have made an absolutely awful political calculation that delaying or stopping passage of this bill protects them. I think this is insane. Anyone who thinks that health-care reform was socialism, that the ARRA was a huge waste, and that the GOP has good ideas is going to vote for the GOP. By delaying health-care these Blue Dogs have hurt the party tremendously and for no reason at all other than this terrible political calculation. The mere fact of the opposition from the Blue Dogs has given credibility to some of the accusations from Republicans. People don't understand much about health-care reform but they know that when Republicans AND "centrist" Democrats say it's bad, that there must be fire where there's smoke.

So this is why I am skeptical that the political costs of not voting for this are being made clear. The Democratic Caucus should have understood a year ago that this thing needed to keep moving. If the opposition from the Blue Dogs was rooted in legitimate policy or philosphical differences, then I could understand. But it isn't. This is the center-right health-care reform bill that they should love. They are opposing it because they have this idea that somehow if they vote against this, they will be innoculated from the nastiest GOP smears. That's compltely nuts.

Posted by: phillycomment | February 28, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"'We are about winning elections by raising money from lobbyists.'
Posted by: ronames"

Ronames,
I think you struck on something that both the Democrats and Republicans can support!

Posted by: cprferry | February 28, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"At some point, if you take the support of the base, you have to be accountable to the base.
Posted by: phillycomment"

Who is the base though? The progressive movement (former Green) or a more centrist position?
Why does House leadership include none of the members of the Blue Dog Coalition, 22% of House Democrats? (And much more if you include the moderate New Democrat Coalition) Why do they hold just 2 of the chief deputy whip positions and 2 of the standing committees.

What we have is the liberals attempting to speak for the moderate and conservative members of the party.

That rarely works out well.

Posted by: cprferry | February 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

re: the Democraic base and HCR, for anyone with memory loss-

Every Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 supported HCR. Nomineee Barack Obama ran on a party platform that included HCR as a central plank, and he was elected by a substantial majority. In the same election the Democrats were given majorities in both houses of Congress.

Since then, comprehensive HCR has been passed in the House of Representatives and (by a super majority) in the US Senate.

Passage of HCR is obviously the course of action that is preferred by the Democratic base and, in fact, the Democratic center.

If you really are unaware of the fact that base voters in the Democratic party are liberal and progressive, and that they support health care reform, here is a little bit of basic information, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Social liberals (modern liberals) and progressives constitute roughly half of the Democratic voter base. Liberals thereby form the largest united typological demographic within the Democratic base. According to the 2008 exit poll results, liberals constituted 22% of the electorate, and 89% of American liberals favored the candidate of the Democratic Party. White-collar college-educated professionals were mostly Republican until the 1950s; they now compose perhaps the most vital component of the Democratic Party. A large majority of liberals favor universal health care, with many supporting a single-payer system."

To suggest that the "base" of Democratic voters would prefer that HCR effort fail is laughable.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 28, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Why does House leadership include none of the members of the Blue Dog Coalition, 22% of House Democrats? (And much more if you include the moderate New Democrat Coalition) Why do they hold just 2 of the chief deputy whip positions and 2 of the standing committees.

What we have is the liberals attempting to speak for the moderate and conservative members of the party."


Why?

The majority party choose its own leadership in the same manner as the minority party -- by direct election.

So, by definition, the House Democratic leadership speaks for the broad center of the Democratic caucus in the House.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Why does House leadership include none of the members of the Blue Dog Coalition, 22% of House Democrats? (And much more if you include the moderate New Democrat Coalition) Why do they hold just 2 of the chief deputy whip positions and 2 of the standing committees.

What we have is the liberals attempting to speak for the moderate and conservative members of the party.

That rarely works out well.

Posted by: cprferry | February 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse


Why its because Ms. Nancy runs the show (FOR NOW). As i've said before i'm going to be so so sad when she's forced to relinquish her gavel. She's always been good at spending OPM and being hypocritical (see Rangel, Charles). I guess when she mentioned she was going to "clean up Congress" she conveniently forgot to mention she was going to clean up "republicans in congress". Dems can stay corrupt if they like.

Rules are made for all, not just your friends Ms. Nancy and should be applicable to all, not just those that keep your views.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 28, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

What in the world is the deal with Kent Conrad? He's playing the exact same role that he did earlier in this process; going on TV and giving dour statements about how something can't or won't happen. If he really does believe this, the people he should communicate this to are in the White House and the House of Representatives. By going on TV with this stupid message, he's just kicking up a process story again. Remember his "the public option doesn't have the votes" appearances where he didn't even give his own opinion on the public option? Who in their right mind goes on a Sunday show just to tell people that some procedural thing won't work for a specific part of health-care? This is why the Dems are getting killed in the messaging war with the GOP. There is nothing, nothing about what Conrad is saying that helps the Dems communciate to the public what the health-care reform bill does or why it is stalled. Nothing. Senator Conrad, please stay in bed next Sunday.

Posted by: phillycomment | February 28, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

phillycomment,

I was not especially concerned with Conrad's remarks. I think he merely stated what everyone already knew...which was that the plan is to complete passage of the Senate bill in the House, and to reserve the reconciliation process for a "sidecar" set of amendments to the main Senate bill.

I don't think anyone believes that the full comprehensive bill could ever make it through reconciliation without having major elements stricken under the Byrd rule. And there is no reason it should need to be done in that fashion.

The fact that Obama presented his plan as simply an 11 page set of tweaks to the Senate's bill indicates that the congressional leadership and the President
went into the summit planning on the sidecar approach to reconciliation.

And the fact that Conrad is making it clear that reconciliaition won't be used for the full package, just for the sidecar fixes, simply helps deflate the false argument made by Republicans that reconciliation is not appropriate for a big new program like HCR.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 28, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

my biggest question for Ezra and others is if the House passes the Senate bill (and unfortunately that's a fairly large if) and IF the Senate can't get their fixes through reconciliaton would the President sign the Senate bill with inadequate subsidies, etc?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 28, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr,

I can't speak for Ezra (or anyone else) but I don't think your hypothetical is answerable. Right now it is a big enough struggle to gather 217 House votes for the Senate bill WITH guaranteed passage of the reconciliation sidecar fixes. But that is the goal, and I don't expect the House will vote on the Senate bill unless and until they see the final form of the sidecar, and unless and until they have assurances that the Senate will approve the amendments.

If the Senate is unable to agree on the reconciliation fixes, it seems even more difficult to find 217 votes in the House for the Senate bill, as then the bill would be losing support on the left as well as on the right. I don't think anybody has developed any "Plan B" strategy for that worst case scenario, because that worry is premature.

I actually think passage of the sidecar package with (50 Senators plus Joe Biden) will be the politically easier part of the plan to accomplish (although there will be procedural obstacles to surmount). The heavier lifting will be in the House, with the Blue Dogs and the Stupak-ians, no matter how the sidecar process plays out.

Lastly, I have not heard that "inadequate subsidies" would be a reconciliation issue -- unless I am mistaken, the subsidies in the House and Senate version are not in any substantial conflict, and were not a part of the 11 page Obama document with proposed White House fixes to the Senate bill.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 28, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

People in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones, Klein!


http://romanticpoet.files.wordpress.com/2009/...
reads as follows;

“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated as candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution.”

The document is signed by Chair of the DNC Convention and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, DNC Secretary Alice Travis Germond and Colorado Notary of Public Shalifa A. Williamson. It is dated August 28, 2008.

Posted by: EmeritusRomulus | March 1, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Subscribing to the Financial Times is sort of an extravagance, but I'm starting to suspect that investment professionals might need to subscribe to both it and the Wall Street Journal, for the straight scoop, and to see what sort of Journal trash is riling one's clients.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 1, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

>5) I'll be on Rachel Maddow tonight at the beginning of the program.

Ezra, is that exactly what you wished to say, and exactly how you wished to say it?

Cheers,

Bud

Posted by: floydearlsmith | March 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company