Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another earthquake

Feel the ground shifting?
This, from of all people, Barney Frank, via MSNBC:
“I have two reactions to the election in Massachusetts. One, I am disappointed. Two, I feel strongly that the Democratic majority in Congress must respect the process and make no effort to bypass the electoral results. If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate. I am hopeful that some Republican Senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform because I do not think that the country would be well-served by the health care status quo. But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened. Going forward, I hope there will be a serious effort to change the Senate rule which means that 59 votes are not enough to pass major legislation, but those are the rules by which the health care bill was considered, and it would be wrong to change them in the middle of the process.”
What he is saying is that Democrats should not use dirty tricks or sleazy politics to ram the health care takeover down the public's throat. Instead, they should actually work with Republicans in a bipartisan way to fashion a consensus bill -- exactly what President Obama promised to do when he ran for office.
This is what Frank said on MSNBC last September about bipartisanship:
"The Republicans represent an extremely conservative faction and the notion that those of us who won the election with a solid majority should compromise 50/50 with those who won’t… well then why have elections?"
What a difference a day makes.

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