Combs Spouts Off

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The beginning of the end for democracy

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2009

The Senate health care bill contains a provision so outrageously anti-democratic, unconstitutional, and fraudulent that Harry Reid and everyone associated with it ought to be tarred, feathered, and ridden out of Washington on a rail. Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government blasted it (emphasis added):

In the Reid Substitute, under Section 3403 in a section entitled “Limitations on Changes to this Subsection,” it states, “It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.”

Section 3403 establishes the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB), which would “reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending” under the Reid substitute. Wilson said that is “rationing.”

“The whole purpose of this panel is to ration health care to seniors, no question,” Wilson said.

The Senate rules change was exposed on the floor of the Senate by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), as reported by the National Review Online. Senator DeMint said, “This is not legislation. This is not law. This is a rule change. It’s a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a Senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or repeal the law.”

A Senate rule change requires a two-thirds vote. And the Senate cannot constitutionally enact a rule that binds the House: 

“This is completely unconstitutional,” Wilson noted, pointing to Article I, Section 5 of the Federal Constitution, which states: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings…”

But the Democrats' lapdog parliamentarian simply dismissed Sen. DeMint's objection. I'm sure if this abomination of a bill is passed, the same pissant parliamentarian will dutifully rule that this provision, once enacted, can't be changed without a two-thirds vote. So, without a two-thirds majority, the Democrats are going to enact a provision that can't be changed without a two-thirds majority! 

Reid applied this rule change only to the section dealing with IMAB and not to the whole bill. I guess that shows how critical he thinks this board, which will control who gets what care when, is to their total control of health care. And it shows he doesn't have the balls to go all-out just yet. 

But this is a first cautious step down the road these Democratic Socialists sorely want to travel. If this bill passes and this outrageous rule change stands, I predict we'll see many more efforts to enact unrepealable legislation in the future. This is a means to ensure that even if they lose their majority, the changes they enact now can never be reversed (at least as long as they control at least a third of the votes).

The Democratic Socialists running this country, from the President to the Senate and House leadership and down through the ranks of their rabidly leftist minions, are profoundly undemocratic at heart. Think about the implications of enacting laws that can't be changed or repealed: if broadly applied, future elections become irrelevant. The people who know what's best for us are decreeing how we are to be governed (in defiance of strong public opposition), and we will not be able to overrule their decisions. Ever.

If this effort succeeds and is replicated, we're on our way to no longer being a democratic republic.

Hugo Chavez no doubt approves. 

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