The Spectacle Blog

Pay No Attention to the Health Bureaucrat Behind the Curtain

By on 11.21.13 | 4:25PM

That's what this whole filibuster-reform, nuclear-bombs-away, uber-hypocritical maneuver by Harry Reid is today, right? The nation isn't bleeding from the fact that the president's judicial nominees aren't being moved down the conveyor belt quickly enough. It's an attempt to distract from the crumbling of Obamacare. The president wants to pivot back to portraying Republicans as feral, clawing anarchists, and beating his breast over their alleged obstruction in the Senate accomplishes just that. He even cited the Founding Fathers in his address, as though the filibuster is what would really irk the founders about the modern Senate; not the massive pork or the empowerment of unelected bureaucracies to pass regulations or the hotline spending—the filibuster. Wasn't the Senate supposed to be the "cooling saucer" of our legislative process? The mind reels.

It's hard to see this providing Democrats any cover in the long term. Public opinion rarely gets inflamed over a narrow procedural matter, even if that narrow procedural matter has major ramifications. Everyone loves to hate obstruction in the abstract, but that gets set aside when you lose your health insurance plan or watch your deductible shoot through the roof.

The nuclear option is unquestionably a story and we should cover it. Let's just keep in mind the context: This is a political ploy, through and through.

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