A bunch of people have already commented on this, but it’s hard to resist piling on. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsay Graham warned that if Democrats push through healthcare reform via reconciliation, “it’s going to poison the well for anything else they would like to achieve this year or thereafter.” Today, Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation agreed: “If they pull off this crazy scenario they are putting together, they are going to destroy a lot of the comity in the House.”
Reasonable guy that I am, I’ll concede that there’s a colorable argument that Democrats haven’t really tried all that hard to be genuinely bipartisan. Still, that pales compared to what Republicans have done. The GOP caucus voted virtually unanimously against a stimulus bill that was 40% tax cuts. They voted against the Waxman-Markey climate bill. They pretended to negotiate for months in the Senate over healthcare reform before Max Baucus finally figured out they weren’t serious. Then they voted unanimously against it. Then they did the same thing to Chris Dodd over financial reform. They’ve held up nominees out of sheer pique. They’ve filibustered everything in sight, even bills they approve of, just to clog up the Senate calendar. If Democrats float a Mother’s Day resolution this year, the GOP will probably filibuster it on the grounds that it doesn’t explicitly exclude illegal immigrants.
So what can Graham possibly be talking about? I mean, we’re talking about the guy who floated the notion that if Obama agrees to try al-Qaeda suspects in military tribunals then he’ll round up Republican support for closing Guantanamo Bay, even though he must know full well that he can’t possibly hold up his end of that bargain. The well was poisoned long ago. There’s no comity left. Who do these guys think they’re kidding?