The fact that the House is considering passing the Senate bill and then adjusting it through reconciliation is absolutely absurd.
There are two problems. Firstly, the Senate bill would never have even been approved without the blatantly corrupt appointment of Kirk to Kennedy's seat. For those of you who don't follow Massachusetts politics too closely, When John Kerry was running for president, Democrats in the MA legislature didn't want Mitt Romney, the governor at the time, to appoint a Republican senator, so they changed the rules of gubernatorial appointment to the Senate to state that the governor cannot appoint a senator to a vacant seat. Instead, a special election must be held posthaste.
When Ted Kennedy was terminal, the MA legislature, recognizing that Deval Patrick, the governor, is a Democrat, went back and changed the rules to what they were beforehand.
Adjusting procedure on the basis of who is in power is extremely shady... with any sense of fairness or dignity, Kirk would not have been in the Senate, which would have meant the Senate bill would have not passed. The fact that nobody is making a big deal out of this is unbelievable.
The other problem is that reconciliation is inherently designed to combat BUDGETARY issues, and budgetary issues only. The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts mentioned in the politico article were a classic use of reconciliation, because tax cuts are budgetary. Would it have been better if they had been designed to be bipartisan? Absolutely. However, the use of reconciliation was not absurd.
Even the "budgetary" parts of the health bill are not really budgetary issues by themselves , they're part of a healthcare overhaul which was not intended for reconciliation. To use that would be to abuse the procedures of the Senate.
In November 2008, it was hard not to vote for Democrats across the board. Just a year later, it's becoming hard not to vote for Republicans across the board. As long as Huckabee and Palin aren't the nominees, it's a real thought.
Btw, for the first time since the beginning of the Obama presidency, a poll has shown that Huckabee would narrowly defeat Obama in a presidential election if it were held today. We're not talking Romney, a moderate Republican, here. We're talking about a former MINISTER. That should be a wakeup call, but everyone is ignoring it...