Without sixty votes in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would not be able to invoke cloture, or cut off debate. Anything short of sixty would allow a filibuster and doom Obama’s health care plan. The present 60-vote majority is artificial, the result of undemocratic means. Consider how three of these votes came to be:
Roland Burris– Appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich just prior to his removal, Democratic leaders including Harry Reid pledged that he would never be seated. Barack Obama, along with other Democratic officials in Illinois, called for a special election to fill the seat. When it became apparent that a Republican could win, Obama and the others backed off from their request. Obama, Reid and the rest of the Democratic establishment eventually acquiesced to Burris’ appointment. The media was strangely uncritical of the sleaziest political deal of the decade.
Al Franken– After a legal battle and a selective recount, Democrat Al Franken was declared the winner over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) by 312 votes. ACORN-endorsed Franken no doubt benefitted from the 43,000 new voters that ACORN and its affiliates claimed to have registered in Minnesota before the election. Even assuming only half of these people voted, and the level of fraud was only 2%, it is likely Franken would have lost. Of course, ACORN voter-registration fraud rates have been shown to be exponentially higher. For instance, of the 1.3 million new registrations generated by ACORN-affiliate Project Vote last year, 400,000 were thrown out.
Paul Kirk– His appointment to fill the remainder of Edward Kennedy’s term did not involve possible criminality, just crass politics and great hypocrisy. In 2004, the Massachusetts legislature took away the authority of the governor to fill Senate vacancies, to prevent then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from appointing a Republican to fill the rest of Democrat John Kerry’s Senate term, should Kerry win the 2004 presidential election. The legislation was enacted over Romney’s veto. In September, the legislature restored the Governor’s appointment power, so that Democratic Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick could appoint Kirk.
Harry Reid’s bribery of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) with $300 million in Medicaid funding for Louisiana, and Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) with an exemption from his state’s share of increased Medicaid costs, is outrageous, but it is what happens once democratic norms are abandoned.
(Landrieu was first elected in 1996, likely as a result of voter fraud in a runoff election against Louisiana State Rep. Woody Jenkins, but that is another story.)
To Barack Obama and other proponents, government domination of health care is about politics. That is why they are so intent on passing a bill, even a bad one that will lead to short-term losses in the 2010 and 2012 elections. They know that once a sector of the economy comes under government control, it is difficult to turn it back. If one-sixth of the economy can be brought under control, political control will follow of those who depend on it for employment and medical treatment.
Thus, the toleration of smaller, corrupt steps have made possible a larger event — the enactment of Obama’s health care plan — that will distort and eventually destroy democratic self-governance.
The Last Time Government Tried to Take Over Health Care