Sunday, August 23, 2009
Healthcare reform needs 80 Senate votes?
From 2000 to 20006 the Republican Party ruled Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary. It do so as strict majoritarians.
Majoritarianism means treating the slimmest majority as a total mandate, and treating the other side as losers who were entitled to no say whatsoever in the legislative process. This is a matter of record, not of any one person's opinion. You can validate this fact easily.
The Republican Controlled Supreme Court is run this way to this day--and will be run for the next several decades, regardless of who's president, to the contrary of what Justice Roberts promised in his nomination hearings. The proof is the number of issues decided by 5-4 votes.
So when these strict majoritarians now say any healthcare reform bill should pass with 80 Senate votes "because it's so important," either they're saying that no legislation they passed in six years of Congressional control was important--quite an indictment of their priorities--or that when Republicans are in power 51 votes will suffice, but when Democrats are in power you need most Republicans' agreement. This is pure tribalism.
Tribalisim means basing your opinions on who's voicing them instead of what they are. It's the basis of the Arab saying "My brothers and I against my cousins; my cousins and I against the strangers."
Which makes sense, since the Republicans' appeals to their consitutents are generally based on tribalism, not principle.