March 19th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Partisan politics leads to health care hypocrisy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/13/john.avlon.art.jpg caption="CNN independent analyst John Avlon says partisanship is trumping principle and eclipsing patriotism in government." ]

John Avlon
Special to CNN

This week, Washington combined high stakes poker and parliamentary procedures with health care reform in the balance. And despite more than a year of heated debate, the American people remain deeply divided on the issue – the only thing they seem to agree on is that D.C. is dysfunctional. A new poll shows Congress with a 17% approval rating.

Part of the reason is an epidemic of situational ethics: politicians reversing supposedly principled stands depending upon whether or not their party is in power.

The most egregious example is support for reconciliation – a measure to ensure an up-or-down vote, bypassing the threat of a filibuster. Republicans have lately been conflating reconciliation with the closely related, controversial (and conveniently scary-sounding) “nuclear option.”

When Larry King asked Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, “what’s wrong with majority rules?” on LKL earlier this week, she replied: “Because that's not how the Senate works. The Senate works with 60 votes. And now, what the president is promoting is a nuclear option, which is 50 votes.”

But the so called “nuclear option” was invoked 5 years ago by Republicans when they accused Democrats of blocking President Bush’s judicial nominations via filibuster.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • John Avlon
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.