There's No 'I' in 'Deem'
Dems pushing ObamaCare look increasingly desperate and creepy.
By JAMES TARANTO
Democrats trying to force through ObamaCare over the will of the voters are transforming the House of Representatives into a procedural funhouse hall of mirrors. "House Republicans announced a plan Tuesday that would force Democrats to vote on whether they should have a vote," the Washington Post reports.
Let's try to explain. Late last year, the House and Senate each passed its own version of ObamaCare. Normally, these bills would go to a "conference committee," at which selected congressmen from both chambers would iron out the differences between them, producing a "conference report"--a single bill that would become law after both chambers approve it and the president signs it.
Scott Brown's election made it impossible to enact ObamaCare using the usual procedure. Republican senators now number 41, enough to prevent any conference report from coming to the floor for a vote. For whatever reason--and we'll speculate on this in a moment--President Obama was determined to ram this thing through despite the message the voters of Massachusetts sent in January. So congressional Democrats had to come up with a Plan B.
Since the House, unlike the Senate, operates for the most part by simple majority rule, the simplest solution would be for the House to pass the version of ObamaCare that the Senate already approved. It could then go to President Obama for his signature without any further Senate action required. Take that, Massachuses and Massachusettes!
But this option, while procedurally simple, was politically impossible. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters, "Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill." Some liberal House members view it as insufficiently socialistic since, unlike the House bill, it would not put the government directly into the business of selling insurance (the so-called public option). And most everyone is squeamish about the special deals struck to win the votes of senators like Nebraska's Ben Nelson, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, Florida's Bill Nelson and Connecticut's Joe Lieberman. Principled moderates all, they steadfastly refused to vote for legislation they didn't believe in unless the price was right.
Democrats thus had to find a way of getting the Senate to make some changes. They alighted on "reconciliation," a procedure through which certain legislation involving the federal budget can go through the Senate on a simple majority vote. The House would pass the Senate bill, and both houses would pass the reconciliation bill, yielding a final product that, if all went well, would be merely miserable as opposed to horrible.
Up to this point, the procedural logic makes sense even if the political logic doesn't. But now things take a bizarre turn. The promise of reconciliation isn't enough to persuade some representatives to set aside their objections to the Senate bill. The result is the delightfully named "Slaughter rule," under which the House, instead of approving the Senate bill, would approve a "rule" that would "deem" the Senate bill to have "passed."
Republicans object to this bit of trickery--hence their effort to force a vote on holding a vote. "By supporting this resolution, Democrats can demonstrate that they will not try to hide from their constituents," the Post quotes Minority Leader John Boehner as saying.
What will probably happen is that Democrats will block the vote on whether to hold a vote on the bill. Then--assuming Pelosi is able to scrape together a majority, which remains uncertain--they will vote on the rule to deem the Senate bill passed. They would thus bypass both the vote on whether to hold the vote and the vote itself.
But they would still have to approve the "rule" to "deem" the bill "passed," which--assuming the courts either approve of this procedural dodge or decide the question is not justiciable--is the functional equivalent of voting for the Senate bill.
The Post reports that Democrats "suggested Republicans were trying to distract from the real discussion of what's actually in the reform bill. . . . 'If you don't want to talk about substance, [you] talk about process,' Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said." The Washington Times quotes Rep. Steny Hoyer, Pelosi's No. 2: " 'So what,' says [sic] the American people. What they're interested in is what resulted. 'What did you do for me and my family to make my life more secure and better and greater quality.' And that's what we're trying to do."
But if the substance of the bill is as good as they say it is--indeed, if it is anything other than a monstrosity--why do they have to come up with one procedural gimmick after another to persuade their fellow partisans to approve it?
Furthermore, especially if the American people care about substance and not process, the Slaughter rule looks delusional. Is any voter going to judge his congressman more favorably because he voted for a "rule" to "deem" the Senate bill "passed" rather than cast the substantively identical vote to pass the bill? Is any wavering member of Congress foolish enough to expect that his constituents will make this distinction?
Admittedly, one can't rule out the possibility of congressmen behaving foolishly. Perhaps Pelosi and Hoyer are close to a majority and the Slaughter scam is targeted at a handful of waverers whom they know to be especially gullible.
But such tactics seem more likely to backfire. CNN, for example, reports that undecided Pennsylvania Democrat Jason Altmire "said he doesn't support Slaughter's idea because it 'increases the opportunity for the public to say, "You know what, I'm not comfortable with this process." ' "
What accounts for the relentless drive to ram ObamaCare through every procedural obstacle, regardless of the political cost? Ideological zeal, from Obama himself above all, is part of the explanation, but it isn't sufficient. One can, after all, be ideologically committed to a goal without falling into a self-defeating obsession.
There seems to be an emotional desperation at work here. The legislative success of ObamaCare has become so tied up with Obama's sense of himself that he feels he must push ahead--and to some extent, the leaders in Congress feel the same way. Obama is not the calm rationalist he seemed during the campaign. But while there's a place for passion in politics, to be governed by a politician who fails to govern his passions is a frightening and creepy experience.
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The Wall Street Journal Online
Wednesday, 17 March 10
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens