******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obligatory "Obama Was Against The Nuclear Option Before He Was For It"

Hah. The internet is a dangerous thing ... for hypocritical, devious Democrats, as in the entire Democratic leadership and The Won, who now claim the filibuster should be disregarded for substantive legislation. It was not that long ago, when W was President, that the attempt to use the nuclear (aka nucular) option as to non-budgetary items was deemed a constitutional crisis, and a threat to our democracy. Via Breitbart:

Update 2-25-2010: Ed Morrissey at HotAir reports that Harry Reid is claiming he never threatened to use reconciliation for the health care bill. Of even greater interest, Morrissey links to a lengthy quote from Robert Byrd about how Byrd refused to go along when then President Bill Clinton pressed Byrd to go along with using reconciliation for Hillarycare.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
Bookmark and Share


  1. One can only hope that there will always be a vocal minority well versed in the Constitution that will stand up for minority rights.

    Protection of minority rights is what separates us from most other countries and keeps us strong.

    The official song of the Senate is no Kumbayah.

  2. What kind of law professor doesn't understand the difference between Breitbart changing the meaning of the term nuclear option. For god's sake, Professor, those tax cuts you love were passed with this oh so terrible reconciliation process. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you probably had no problem with reconciliation then.

    Beware of pointing out the speck in your neighbor's eye when you have a plank in your own.

  3. Just to play Devil's Advocate, what about the argument some are posting that Reconciliation has been used dozens of times on issues related to complex give-n-take on health issues, and more?

    The "nuclear option" Breitbart is talking of had to do with ending the filibuster by changing the rules, not offering a "meeting on the mound."

    Reconcilation is supposedly the latter.

    Need more input on Breitbart's misapplied term.

    Is it good enough to just proclaim that one form of shoving something down our throats is akin to another version of shoving something down our throats?

  4. You're supposed to be a law professor and you don't know the difference between reconciliation and the nuclear option, which means eliminating the filibuster by a procedural vote during the middle of senate session? That and calling Obama the "won" is childish and uninformed. I guess that's what passes for intellectual heft around here.

  5. Nice to see the LGM crowd has arrived, with the usual superficial analysis. There is no substantive difference between invoking a point of order to evade the filibuster rule and the misuse of budget reconciliation process to accomplish the same thing. The end result is the elimination of the filibuster in order to achieve a non-budgetary result for the political majority. The procedural differences do not make a difference to the ultimate goal, which is the point of the post.

  6. Out of the last 22 times that reconciliation has been used, the republicans used it 16 of those times. They used it for the medicare prescription drug benefit program as well as other healthcare and budgetary items. No one ever called it the nuclear option and I never heard you or any other republicans complain about it. Now of course, it's a constitutional crisis. There's plenty of video footage showing people like Cantor and others defending its use on the senate floor. I'm sure you consider my comment typically superficial.

  7. I doubt Cantor ever defended anything on the floor of the Senate. I'd like to see that video. As to your larger point, it's the "Bush did it too" defense, which is interesting coming from Obama supporters, and in any event, no prior legislation as sweeping as the health care bill has been passed via reconciliation.

  8. Bushes tax cuts were pretty sweeping and according to the cbo, they had a negative effect on our economy. S-chip and COBRA -- which stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget reconciliation act, were pretty big too although perhaps not as sweeping as the health insurance reforms being proposed now. In any case, the people who voted for legislation through budget reconciliation supported using reconciliation. If they didn't support it they wouldn't use it. I saw the video I am refering to last night and will send you a link.

  9. "...no prior legislation as sweeping as the health care bill has been passed via reconciliation."

    And it still won't be, Mr. Jacobson. What will be passed by reconciliation (if anything is passed) will be a bunch of minor tweaks to the already passed Senate bill, and only those tweaks which are primarily spending and tax related.

    Do you actually talk to anybody aside from your colleague Mr. Reynolds?

  10. "Reconciliation is a process I hope we can engage in every year" ~ Eric Cantor (R-VA) 2005. That one is pretty easy to find. Judd Gregg who was chairman of the budget committee (the committee that initiates reconciliation)during the time that the republicans used reconciliation for Alaskan oil drilling, tax cuts etc., defended it's use on the senae floor as a perfectly reasonable way to pass laws. Here is the quote.... "We are using the rules of the Senate here. That’s what they Senator. Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate ... All this rule of the senate does is allow a majority of the Senate to take a position and pass a piece of legislation support that position. Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so." Now he says that it is an act of violence that threatens the fabric of our democracy. There are lots of hypocritical politicians and these are two of them. It's hard to have a conversation when we can't agree on facts. I hope you don't let your students get away with that kind of sloppiness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAzMCZcAi9w

  11. @george, you are going to have to do better than that. There is nothing wrong with using reconciliation, if it really is for a budget item. If your point is that there have been abuses in the past, that's just a two wrongs make a right argument. Your Cantor quote simply says that reconciliation can be used, not that it should be used for the reorganization of one-sixth of our economy. And your video has selective quotes from Judd Gregg; still waiting for the video of Cantor "on the senate floor." (Okay, I know you just make an error, since Cantor isn't a Senator).

  12. There is no substantive difference between invoking a point of order to evade the filibuster rule and the misuse of budget reconciliation process to accomplish the same thing. The end result is the elimination of the filibuster in order to achieve a non-budgetary result for the political majority. The procedural differences do not make a difference to the ultimate goal, which is the point of the post.

    OK. That context means more.

    What my father used to called "distinction without a difference."

    A throat shove is a throat shove, if the "reconciliation" is a game to mash something through that the American people have already said they don't care for.

    LGM crowd? Little Green Men?

    No, Professor Jacobson. I'm a friendly witness to these proceedings. Promise.

  13. You are right about my error on Cantor. If you thought it was an abuse before, I never heard about it. I never said it was wrong for them to use it before. My point is not that there have been abuses in the past. My point is that reconciliation is not the nuclear opotion but a regular part of the law making process. It was used for budgetary and health care issues as well as for Alaskan drilling. It is not a constitutional crisis or a threat to our democracy. The people who have said that it is are wrong and they used to have a different opinion on the subject. There has been a big push in the last few days to conflate reconciliation with the nuclear option. This is being done to score political points and to scare people. I posted the link to Greggs speech in support of reconciliation. How do you think it squares with his view of it now? In 1960 healthcare spending was 1% of our gdp now it is 6%. Wouldn't you like to see that number go down? We spend more than most countries with universal healthcare and get less. Maybe not everyone wants that to change but, I do.

  14. Health care or fines and jail! Go, Nancy EggEyes!

    Gotta love the Eurosocialist fetishes and the demonization of the world's 86th most profitable industry now facing extinction (health insurance).
    Because you--and some other in the minority--want things that way, eh?

    So, the Constitution now consists (as it apparently has for the last half-century, it would seem) in what liberals want?

    I want, I want, I want. Gimme, gimme, gimme!

    How nice.

    Well now. About those handy stats that the Euro-Canadian fetish types fudge in the data:

    Regarding infant mortality bruha:



    The Bankruptcy Boogeyman:


    Other stats/methodology by which Euro nations hide their actual expenses, and get less by many common health metrics and standards:


    Fortunately, the market is as capable of handling what problems we do have just as it handles shoes, perfume, beer, computers, and chimichangas. Unless perhaps these goodies are to be reimbursed by government as well??

  15. Shoes, perfume, beer, computers, and chimichangas are optional items, health care is not. Lots of people are bankrupted every year because of health care costs. Recision and excluding people because of pre-existing conditions forces people out of insurance and into poverty. I certainly hope you don't have to experience any of that first hand. Maybe you think that the insurance companies are great and need protection. They run as monopolies in most states now. I don't call that a free market. By the way, that is some very creative name calling....


    This is the crs report to congress on u.s. health spending:


    Universal health care is implemented in all industrialized countries, with the exception of the United States, which has drawn both praise and criticism.


    There sure is a lot of infor out there.....


  16. Computers and clothing is certainly a necessity at some level. Unless you have some small cottage industry, why not have government-reimbursed computers?

    Food is vital also. Free food for everyone bugged by the high cost of bread and milk. Just because many people don't partake of food stamps does not mean they sure as hell wouldn't be better off with the added help. No? What about totally free education? Free transportation??

    Is transportation and communications not vital to the economy as well as healthy people not waiting at the doctor's office all the time???

    Steve Hoofnagle is a well known statist. Leftwing Radical Science Blogs? Odd that has health care issues under "denialism" blog headings, but then I guess he thinks that to be a terribly clever propaganda move to make it wedge under the umbrella of something really highbrow-looking. Interesting, turning a philosophical statement into a science issue. Or so the site putatively says.

    No, I don't think the insurance companies need protection. No more than shoe makers and his merry band of elves.

    If you're serious about true reform, and seeing that there are 1300 health insurance companies out there but STATE laws typically prohibit real competition and force a choice from among 4 or 5 companies in some states. Why not increase cross-state internet ready competition?

    Why must the issue become a FEDERAL LEVEL issue???!!

    Yes, UHC is initiated in those socialist states now on the downswing demographically, and in danger of extinction due their laxity of culture, their somulescence in thinking that government is organized to take care of them.

    We need not copy. If I do start coughing up blood, I'm not interested in going "fait du Canada" and waiting 18 months for an MRI, or seeing the utter hypocrisy of the big shots jet over to the states like the Premier of Newfoundland did recently (and special Cubans always do).

    I have no interest in that. The issue is money for most people--not the common mantra of availability.

    The requisite reforms that could be had by real competition are a better bet than having everything sucked into the giant maw of government-only mandates, which in every other department always give frowsy service.

    You're right. State laws that prohibit competition is not "the free market".

    Neither is Hoofnagle's leftist tomes, or the sites he links to, like Pandagon, or Paddywagon, or whatever that vicious woman's blog is called.

    Which is why you don't have dignitaries in socialized med nations stand in line for months waiting for specialized treatment. They often come to America. When we copy them, where shall they then go? Hmmm.

  17. Journalist T.R. Reid and other SM advocates give the store away when they plainly admit that there goal is vengeance against the wealthy, and forcing almost everyone into the waiting queues. He's smart enough of a Universal Health Care Advocate (RE: Socialized meds) to have thought of something more snappy if he had it to back up an argument with. But he doesn't. He tours the whole talking like you do. But alas he very plainly admits what others who advocate SM do not: The 10-month MRI is a real phenomenon, as is lousy service. He finds that A-OK.


    It's a "social justice" argument. It is NOT about health. It is about CONTROL of people habits and demographics. There is no other way than to ration care.

    He who pays the band gets to call the tunes, and Reid to his credit admits this.

    Wish Nancy EggEyes would as well as she and the other Reid (the idiot Senator) plan to cram this crap through against our wills. They know what is at stake, which is why, like Obama, they're so insistent on this socialist glop. Socialized med is the "tipping point" where a society moves into a permanent socialist state and all comes under the governance of the State.


    Competition? It's not about that to guys like Reid. It's about control. Socialized meds is the furthest thing from competition. It is about the virtual ownership of your body. Get botched by the Feds, and there's no recourse in a vain effort to complain. Why bother? There's only one game in town, like the damned phone company used to be. That's not my idea of progress. We have gale force winds from women about "get your Rosaries off my Ovaries."

    So what's wrong about "get your Feds off my Meds." Or is that a choice we're not to have??? Or "Get your Bureacratics off my Lymphatics"?

    The "special people", as I mentioned before, many of whom come from these lovely multi-month wait time nations like Canada, certainly agree.

    What was that the semi, milkwater Fait Du Canada guy said...oh yes, here it is:


    "It's my body, it's my choice."

    One hell of a note from an erstwhile socialized med advocate, eh?


    Also missing from those handy stats are the time frames of wasted moments in waiting for follow-up treatments in these hallowed lands of layabouts, like Britain and Sweden, and missing time also equals money. But it affects primarily the employer--not the employee, so nobody gives a damn about that lost productivity. But Goodman, unlike others who talk on this issue, takes that into account.

    But thank you for your honesty in basically saying "others like to jump off bridges and have government pad their fannies for the landing--therefore we need to follow suit."

    Additionally, you basically admit that even if a majority of Americans oppose this philosophy of turning us into big teens rather than free-thinking adults, your desire overrides ours--and should.

    Another interesting note. You want it, therefore it shall be. One thinks you just walked down from Mount Sinai.

  18. I could go on and on. But I'll stop with one last link set for now:



    Some animals are more equal than others. No suprises here, really.

    One hopes that Hoofnagle and his merry band of leftists can think of a single payer system that omits special situations in addition to rank, utter hypocrisy, along with the frowsy service to boot:




  19. As far as what I have to experience, I have lung congestion due to asthma sometimes, though thankfully not cancerous or overly chronic, or anything like that.

    I can get a NON-emergency follow up MRI within 15 minutes and a handy dandy signature from the pulmonary specialist.

    Waiting months for such as in these Swedenic paradises?

    Sorry brother. Not my bag of tricks. I'd rather pay out of pocket than risk things festering.

    Let me guess--in Britain, I'd be cured miraculously by now by those dutiful medical workers, eh?

  20. George,

    So remove HMOs, replace it with a Government reimbursement system and the high cost of healthcare will magically go down and the quality of care will go up? Is that your assertion? Did that work in MA or with the UK's NHS?

    Are you suggesting that doctors and hospitals should be compensated at Medicare and Medicaid rates (aka UNCOMPENSATED)? Maybe they should work for free.. that way, they won't originate these huge bills.

  21. I'm suggesting that insurance companies not deny coverage because of preexisting conditins. I don't think doctors should be compensated at a lesser rate than they are now. THere are lots of ways to cut costs, mostly be eliminating fraud and abuse and also by allowing real competition (public option). The system would have to be regulated though because if not, all the insurance companies go to the state that regulates the least and sell from there (the race to the bottom). It's the insurance companies who have put us in that postion, not the doctors.

  22. Real competition? What about the 1300 or so insurance companies generally not allowed to even compete?

    That's a state issue.

    Public option, ya say?

    That will cause a condition known as "crowd out" if it applies to almost everyone, and will force companies and individuals to change over to the public option once the 40% tax hit on private plans takes full effect.

    Everything will sucked into the giant maw of the public option. Obama is on record as supporting this notion of using this very methodology of driving the private insurers out of business.

    And having done so, what about THAT would be "real competition."?