Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday declined to say if there were enough votes to block Harry Reid from jamming ObamaCare through using reconciliation. He did, however, seem quite pleased to use the prospect of reconciliation to taunt the Democrats:
“You know, we’ve witnessed the ‘Cornhusker kickback,’ the ‘Louisiana purchase,’ ‘the Gatorade,’ the special deal for Florida. Now they are suggesting they might use a device which has never been used the for this kind of major systemic reform. We know it would be — the only thing bipartisan about it would be the opposition to it, because a number of Democrats have said, ‘Don’t do this. This is not the way to go.’ I think they’re having a hard time getting the message here. The American people do not want this bill to pass. And it strikes me as rather arrogant to say, ‘Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway, and we’ll use whatever device is available to achieve that end.'”
And on the health-care summit, he asked: “But if they’re going lay out the plan they want to pass four days in advance, then why are — what are we discussing on Thursday?” To set you up, Senator.
But on second thought, who is really being set up here? The Republicans have made their principled stance against a massive tax-and-spend health-care bill and against the notion that we should force Americans to buy insurance they don’t want. The public overwhelmingly agrees with the Republican stance. So those who are being set up for a monumentally unpopular vote on a measure that may never pass the House (Is anyone certain Nancy Pelosi has anything close to 218 votes?) are the Senate Democrats, who once again will be forced to choose between the strong sentiments of their constituents and fidelity to the ultraliberal and endangered Democratic leadership.
As on the reconciliation vote count, McConnell wouldn’t say whether Republicans could pick up 10 seats this year. But one suspects the chances will improve if Obama and Reid really intend to try to jam through ObamaCare. McConnell certainly thinks so.