In a timely reminder that politics is glamour for ugly people, sports for neurasthenics, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey for jackasses, A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reminds us that the biggest parliamentary hypocrites in these interminable End Days of health care "reform" are the people most loudly crying "hypocrite":
Before cramming the measure down the throats of the American public, [...] perhaps congressional leaders should consider these important words from a Monday New York Times editorial:
"A largely missing ingredient in the debate ... showed up on the streets of major cities over the weekend as crowds of peaceable protesters marched in a demand to be heard. They represented what appears to be a large segment of the American public that remains unconvinced" by the administration's plan, began the piece entitled "A Stirring in the Nation."
It continued: "The protesters are raising some nuanced questions ... about the premises, cost, and aftermath" of the direction in which Congress seemed to be headed. It concluded by noting that "millions of Americans who did not march share the [same] concerns.... These protests are the tip of a far broader sense of concern and lack of confidence in the path ... that seems to lie ahead."
A sympathetic portrait of the Tea Party activists who demonstrated in Washington on 9/12? A description of all the town-hall dissents against Obamacare? Not quite. That editorial appeared Monday, Jan. 20, 2003, and was written about protests against the war in Iraq that was then only looming.
As for Republicans,
Having used the reconciliation process to achieve their own legislative goals 16 of the past 22 times, they're now denouncing the fundamental unfairness of the procedure with purple-faced rage, and explaining that even though they, too, employed a version of the Slaughter Solution -- known then as the Gephardt Rule -- to raise the debt ceiling between 1995 and 2001, that was, somehow, different.
As Roll Call reports, fiscal conservatives raised such a stink about the Gephardt Rule that the GOP dropped the practice nine years ago. But it had proved such a handy maneuver that they resurrected it in 2003 -- to the great amusement of Democrats who renamed it the Hastert Rule, after the House speaker at the time, Dennis Hastert. Now conservatives are tying themselves into knots trying to explain why the Slaughter Solution for health care would be obscenely unconstitutional, whereas the Hastert Rule was parliamentary S.O.P. [...]
Conservatives who just a couple of years ago thought the imperial presidency and the unitary executive were dandy ideas are now dusting off their copies of The Federalist Papers to bone up on the virtues of limited government. And liberals who once fretted with The Times' Adam Cohen that "even a thriving democracy like America borders on tyranny" now sigh wistfully over the gawdawful inconvenience of a two-party system.
Whole thing here. Watch the work of a true American patriot below.