Batten Down the Hatches. Well, Just One Hatch. And Let’s Use a Real Bat!

From E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post:

For those who feared that Barack Obama did not have any Lyndon Johnson in him, the president’s determination to press ahead and get health-care reform done in the face of Republican intransigence came as something of a relief.

Obama’s critics have regularly accused him of not being as tough or wily or forceful as LBJ was in pushing through civil rights and the social programs of his Great Society. Obama seemed willing to let Congress go its own way and was so anxious to look bipartisan that he wouldn’t even take his own side in arguments with Republicans.

(This is a repeat poster from back in August. However, you couldn’t see it from the front page (you would have had to click on keep reading, so maybe you missed it the first time.Β  I remembered it while reading the article.Β  But don’t worry, kids, I wasn’t totally lazy, and there’s a brand new poster down below.)

Original DVD cover

Those days are over.

Original DVD cover

(No, this one’s not new either.Β  Keep scrolling!)

On Wednesday, the president made clear what he wants in a health-care bill, and he urged Congress to pass it by the most expeditious means available.

He was also clear on what bipartisanship should mean — and what it can’t mean. Democrats, who happen to be in the majority, have already added Republican ideas to their proposals. Obama said he was open to four more that came up during the health-care summit.


Republicans, however, don’t want to talk much about the substance of health care. They want to discuss process, turn “reconciliation” into a four-letter word and maintain that Democrats are “ramming through” a health bill.

It is all, I am sorry to say, one big lie — or, if you’re sensitive, an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy.

In an op-ed in Tuesday’s Post, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) offered an excellent example of this hypocrisy. Right off, the piece was wrong on a core fact. Hatch accused the Democrats of trying to, yes, “ram through the Senate a multitrillion-dollar health-care bill.”

No. The health-care bill passed the Senate in December with 60 votes under the normal process. The only thing that would pass under a simple majority vote would be a series of amendments that fit comfortably under the “reconciliation” rules established to deal with money issues.


Hatch quoted Sens. Robert Byrd and Kent Conrad, both Democrats, as opposing the use of reconciliation on health care. What he didn’t say is that Byrd’s comment from a year ago was about passing the entire bill under reconciliation, which no one is proposing. As for Conrad, he made clear to The Post’s Ezra Klein this week that it’s perfectly appropriate to use reconciliation “to improve or perfect the package,” which is the only thing that Democrats have proposed doing through reconciliation.

Ooooh, liar, liar, pants on fire!! (You finally got to the new poster, kids!)

Original DVD cover

Hatch said that reconciliation should not be used for “substantive legislation” unless the legislation has “significant bipartisan support.” But surely the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which were passed under reconciliation and increased the deficit by $1.7 trillion during his presidency, were “substantive legislation.” The 2003 dividends tax cut could muster only 50 votes. Vice President Dick Cheney had to break the tie. Talk about “ramming through.”

The underlying “principle” here seems to be that it’s fine to pass tax cuts for the wealthy on narrow votes but an outrage to use reconciliation to help middle-income and poor people get health insurance.


[I]t’s not just legitimate to use reconciliation to complete the work on health reform. It would be immoral to do otherwise and thereby let a phony argument about process get in the way of health coverage for 30 million Americans.


Filed under Barack Obama, Chimpy, Congress, Democrats, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, humor, movies, Orrin Hatch, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

22 responses to “Batten Down the Hatches. Well, Just One Hatch. And Let’s Use a Real Bat!

  1. Thing is, he wasted a lot of time and voter patience. I just wish he would have done this earlier…in fact, in the beginning. Refucklicans don’t learn by example, you have to beat them at their own game. I hope he starts making up for lost time and opportunity.

    • hi cdm. welcome back! i agree with you that he should have done this a year ago. i don’t know where he got the idea that any of the rethugs were going to be reasonable. it was pretty apparent from the git-go that they were going to be obstructionists.

      • In defense of Obama, I think he was making sure that everyone knew that he gave the goopers every opportunity to cooperate, then making it clear that they wouldn’t. You and I knew how this was going to turn out more than a year ago, but not everyone is as politically aware as we are.

        • i think everyone knew after the gang of 6 debacle that the rethugs had no intentions of cooperating. this should have been sewn up months ago. instead, the white house allowed the rethugs to control the narrative.

  2. writechic

    They were all new to me! I like that Hatch replaces the hound. It works since he was lying like a dog. πŸ™‚

    • writechic

      Oh, yes…LOVE the title. πŸ˜†

    • well, you’re just not a good raisinette, like jerry melton who actually went post to post and looked at each and every one! πŸ˜‰

      it was providence that orrin replaced the pup. i never even heard of this movie before, but once i found it, i knew orrin would play the cur.

      • writechic

        Okay, I’m not Jerry Melton. The world has a Jerry Melton already. πŸ™‚

        But you did lead me to thinking about LBJ and wondering if guilt over Vietnam made way for the Great Society, and is there a parallel in the Bush years making way for a form of Health Care Reform (not the best form of reform unfortunately…but maybe a step in the right direction). Is guilt the thing that moves our nation to do something good these days? Only is it good enough?

        Thinking (because of you) has to be at least half the credit of reading…and that would make me a half good raisinette.

  3. Thanks for bringing up the forgotten facts of the rethug antics in the Bush2 era (fog???).

    What is sad & sick is they are so stingy about anything that might be useful & helpful– even lifesaving- with the people’s money.

    Greedy “Pottersville” bastards.
    Not a wonderful life (movie spoof remark).

    • they’re only stingy when it comes to helping people who aren’t stinkin’ rich like they and their campaign donors are. welfare for the rich is just hunky dory with them. just ask batshit bachmann and chuck grassley and some of the others whose families get farm subsidies.

  4. What an honor. The girls are talking about ME! I must admit the archives were so interesting I decided to go back to day one and read them, get to know the regulars, note the odd troll and kook. I’ve only been doing this for less than a year and I find it very educational and amusing. Don’t get all those cuss fights like over at Kos. Its fun to read a regular who knows their scripture go head on with the kooks. And dear hard working Nonnie using reason and logic to deal with the peskiest trolls even to the point where they calm down and agree with her, sometimes. Sadly, in the early days, when hours of work and wit were posted for the enjoyment of all, no one showed up! Kind of like mom making dinner and all the kids stay out past dark playing. But much better now. The Raisin and Mouse have shown the staying power in a much competitive intertube world. And the Raisinet regulars are a swell bunch of intelligent and witty folks who are a pleasure to hang out with. Go back and read an archive month now and again, they’re a real hoot. For instance, the most memorable comment from June 2008: “Is this supposed to be funny?”

    • were your ears burning, jerry? i think you should be the official hysterical raisin historian. i think you remember more of what’s here than i do! i really enjoyed it when you commented in the old posts, because i had forgotten about most of them, and rereading the comments made me really appreciate the raisinettes. i have to admit, though, that i cringe at some of the old posters. the early ones were done in ms paint, as i had not yet learned how to use photoshop. even the photoshopped ones make me cringe, as they were done using my old monitor. i thought the resolution was good, but they look like disasters on the monitor i have now.

      i had to go back and find the comment you mentioned. it really was funny! πŸ˜†

  5. Gee whiz, thanks for the compliment! I always wanted to be an archivist and maybe come up with some eye opening historical insight on something or another. Your collected topics, related articles, are an excellent source of political ebb and flow of the swamp of our political system. Sort of fun to watch prominent names appear in bylines knowing that said politico will be dead meat 6 weeks later. You and Mikko have captured a delightful day by day snapshot of how our particular sausage machine operates. You could teach a HS government class with this material. All your hard work has paid off (unfortunately in intertube $$$) and your HYSTERICAL MARKER will stand the test of time! At least untill a magnetic asteroid zooms close to Earth and wipes all this stuff. Glad you like post date comments. I try to keep them in reference to important or outrageously funny stuff like the poster of “The Shootist” that cracks me up every time I think of it. I figured out what the attaction is to your artistic snark. For most of the 70s and about half of the 80s the big thrill of the mailbox was the new issue of National Lampoon with those great covers. Back when his Monkeyness was installed in power, I felt a burning desire to make sense of this thing thrust on America and searching the mag archive under the bed, lo and behold, there it was! And onto the music holder of the upright piano it went for all to see through the years, the NL cover with Mount Rushmore with the added image of Bozo the Clown. Must dash, just think “why would May 27, 2008 be an important day in my life?”

    • it’s true, jerry. i’ll bet you remember more posters that i do. sometimes, when i’m looking for one in particular, i’ll see an old one and say, ‘oooh! i had completely forgotten about that one!” the same for the song parodies.

      my role models growing up were mad magazine and alan sherman (that’ll age me!). i’ve always loved parody, but i never dreamed i would one day have an outlet for doing them, other than the very occasional contest somewhere.

      may 27th? i had absolutely no clue, even when i looked at the diary i posted here on that date.