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New Byzantium: Will It Be 1453 Redux*?

25 January 2010 @ 14:12

Last week, in response to something Comrade Obamnin said to Georgie Stephanopolous, I responded as follows:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, here’s , here’s one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this [the Senate Health Care Bill] is off the table. The Senate certainly shouldn’t try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated. People in Massachusetts spoke. He’s got to be part of that process. So…

Okay…what’s our Fearless Leader up to? He never concedes and only compromises when the compromise allows him to get the core thing he wants, so I don’t believe his aim is true here. Over the past two years, we’ve learned that this man is a consummate liar who is dedicated to hiding his radical Leftist agenda. I ask again: What’s this bastard Bullwinkle up to?

From Daniel Foster, over at The Corner, we may have the answer via Nancy ‘Botox’ Pelosi:

…alas, we underestimated the byzantine depths of Congress’s procedural playbook and the contortions to which Congressional Democrats are willing to subject themselves in an effort to pass the bill at any cost.

Democratic staffers are telling Newsweek that though Pelosi is still “way short” of the 218 votes it would take to pass the Senate bill — with issues such as the Cadillac Tax and Cornhusker Kickback serving as sticking points — that equation could soon change. Democrats are “working the phones furiously to talk up the idea of the Senate promising to retroactively unravel several distasteful components.”

If House Democrats make the good-faith deal, Pelosi is arguing that the Senate promise would be easy to keep. Reconciliation votes require only a 51-vote majority. Or even 50, in which case Vice President Biden could break the tie.

This aide says that leadership considers reconciliation, with the House conditioning its support on promised fixes in the Senate, as the much more strategic route than breaking the package into parts, which isn’t ideal because all of the parts are interlocking. Asked what the timetable would be for that, this aide says weeks, not months.

This is a live possibility. If the House passed the Senate version of the bill with an understanding that both chambers would then immediately pass a second measure functioning as a kind of substitute for a conference report, the president could easily sign both bills within the Constitutional window for action on legislation. And if balky House Democrats want more than a handshake, they could even demand the Senate passes the fixes first. All that matters is the order in which the president signs the bills.

The Byzantine Empire never died…no, no: it went into hiding and re-emerged with the Progressive Moment….and now it’s finally reached the full-heights of Byzantianness [is that a word?].  And who is trying to destroy the New Byzantium?  Meet the new foes, same as the old foes.

*The anniversary’s coming up.

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