Commentary Magazine


Topic: Oliver Cromwell

Pelosi: “We Will Do What Is Necessary”

Nancy Pelosi said in a news conference yesterday, while discussing use of the extra-constitutional ”deeming rule” that would allow skittish members to avoid actually voting on the Senate health-care bill, that “we will do what is necessary to pass a health care bill.”

Ordinarily that would be simply political rhetoric. But in this situation, in which President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi seem determine to ram through a deeply unpopular bill despite ever mounting political cost to themselves and their party, one has to wonder. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal put it yesterday regarding the 2,700-page bill, “Democrats are in danger of passing what amounts to the longest suicide note in history. Their own pollsters are telling them the public has rebelled against their tactics. So their response is to press their foot down even harder on the gas pedal.”

If they are willing to sacrifice their majorities in the House and Senate and whatever is left of President Obama’s political capital, use whatever parliamentary sleight-of-hand is needed, accept whatever street demonstrations are sure to follow, as well as a serious backlash from state governments around the country, where will they draw the line?

Will they, if necessary, resort to a latter-day version of Pride’s Purge in order to get the bill through the House?

I don’t think so. The American military is hardly analogous to the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell. But it is, perhaps, a measure of the Democrats’ desperation and determination that the thought crossed my mind last night as I listened to a clip from the speaker’s news conference.

Nancy Pelosi said in a news conference yesterday, while discussing use of the extra-constitutional ”deeming rule” that would allow skittish members to avoid actually voting on the Senate health-care bill, that “we will do what is necessary to pass a health care bill.”

Ordinarily that would be simply political rhetoric. But in this situation, in which President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi seem determine to ram through a deeply unpopular bill despite ever mounting political cost to themselves and their party, one has to wonder. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal put it yesterday regarding the 2,700-page bill, “Democrats are in danger of passing what amounts to the longest suicide note in history. Their own pollsters are telling them the public has rebelled against their tactics. So their response is to press their foot down even harder on the gas pedal.”

If they are willing to sacrifice their majorities in the House and Senate and whatever is left of President Obama’s political capital, use whatever parliamentary sleight-of-hand is needed, accept whatever street demonstrations are sure to follow, as well as a serious backlash from state governments around the country, where will they draw the line?

Will they, if necessary, resort to a latter-day version of Pride’s Purge in order to get the bill through the House?

I don’t think so. The American military is hardly analogous to the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell. But it is, perhaps, a measure of the Democrats’ desperation and determination that the thought crossed my mind last night as I listened to a clip from the speaker’s news conference.

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