02.28.2010 0

Slaughter Solution is Anti-Democratic, Risky for Dems

  • On: 03/19/2010 10:40:17
  • In: Health Care
  • By Chris Slavens

    The first half of March was marked by a renewed Democratic effort to ram some kind—any kind—of health-care reform down the throats of we, the people, as the ruling party worked to meet President Obama’s meaningless March 18 deadline, the most recent in a string of health-care deadlines that began last year. Artificial deadlines come and go, while the debate goes on.

    The voters aren’t buying it. New Rasmussen polls indicate that 57% predict the current plan will “hurt the U.S. economy,” while 55% think Congress should scrap it and start from scratch. This is one of two reasons why House Democrats are considering pushing ahead with the unpopular legislation by resorting to the aptly-named “Slaughter Solution,” which would allow them to “pass” the Senate’s health-care bill without actually voting on it. This option appeals to Democrats who are worried about the November election; they would be able to tell constituents that they did not, in fact, vote for (or against) the legislation.

    Whether voters are stupid enough to fall for this tactic remains to be seen.

    The second reason why Democrats would like to pass the bill without, well, passing it is because it is quite possible that they will be defeated if an honest up-or-down vote is held. Never mind the unbending Republican opposition; even fellow Democrats are nervous about following Comrade Pelosi and her radical cohorts off a legislative cliff, by attaching their names to a 2,000-page political suicide note.

    Their misgivings are justified, but it might be too late; the Democratic Party now owns ObamaCare, and even semi-conservative Blue Dogs will have a difficult time distancing themselves from its taint during campaign season.

    Democratic proponents can sidestep both Republicans and moderate members of their own party. Dirty dealing and icy pragmatism of this sort would impress even Machiavelli, who literally wrote the book on getting things done at any cost.

    There are a number of problems with this approach. Passing controversial legislation without a vote is sneaky at best, and might be unconstitutional, as well. It is ironically antidemocratic and disturbingly un-American to force a federal health-care takeover upon millions of citizens without giving their elected representatives an opportunity to vote for or against it. That doesn’t seem to matter to proponents, whose collective argument is, essentially: “Screw the rules. Screw the Constitution. Just pass the bill, no matter what!” Or, as Pelosi threatened on March 16, “We will do what is necessary to pass a health care bill.”

    This anything-goes approach is a dangerous way to govern (a term which must be used loosely in reference to the current administration). It reflects an elitist disdain for the well-being and wishes of the American people, as well as a callous disregard for the Constitution and the basic principles that the House of Representatives is based upon.

    There is a way out for moderate Democrats caught in the middle of an ideological tug-of-war. Just stop. Refuse to cave in to pressure from Obama (who does not have to worry about reelection this year), and refuse to accept the antidemocratic Slaughter Solution, and there is a chance that you will manage to hang onto a few seats in November. Ram the bill through without a vote, and you will have invited the inevitable political fallout.

    Chris Slavens, former contributor to the Wilmington News Journal, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.


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