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View Diary: Obstruction is not the problem in Congress (233 comments)

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  •  I don't know if there is a name (18+ / 0-)

    or a meme for it but we saw it with single payer health care.  Lots of Democrats were for it, as long as there was no chance that it could pass. But when the rubber hit the road, everything changed.  I forget if Kucinich ever managed to get a vote on the floor for it but he was going to try to call their bluff.

    The villain rotation speaks to this too.  

    Urban dictionary:

    Villain rotation

    In American democracy, when the majority party has enough votes to pass populist legislation, party leaders designate a scapegoat who will refuse to vote with the party thereby killing the legislation. The opposition is otherwise inexplicable and typically comes from someone who is safe or not up for re-election. This allows for maximum diffusion of responsibility.

    WTF??? Senator Lieberman now opposes the same health care compromise he himself suggested. Just when everyone thought Democrats had enough votes to get this done. Guess they made Lieberman the rotating villain...

    I think the original meme started with Glenn Greenwald.  Anyone who hasn't read this article from 2010 needs to read it to see one of the tactics our party uses.  At one time, this was a well known concept here but it doesn't get mentioned so much anymore.  It's much more common to scream "Squirrel!" "Look at those Republicans!"  
    The Democratic Party’s deceitful game
    They are willing to bravely support any progressive bill as long as there's no chance it can pass

    In other words, Rockefeller was willing to be a righteous champion for the public option as long as it had no chance of passing (sadly, we just can’t do it, because although it has 50 votes in favor, it doesn’t have 60).  But now that Democrats are strongly considering the reconciliation process — which will allow passage with only 50 rather than 60 votes and thus enable them to enact a public option — Rockefeller is suddenly “inclined to oppose it” because he doesn’t “think the timing of it is very good” and it’s “too partisan.”  What strange excuses for someone to make with regard to a provision that he claimed, a mere five months ago (when he knew it couldn’t pass), was such a moral and policy imperative that he “would not relent” in ensuring its enactment.  
    [...]
    This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are.  They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it.  They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do?  We just don’t have 60 votes).

    The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation.  They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it.  One minute, it’s Jay Rockefeller as the Prime Villain leading the way in protecting Bush surveillance programs and demanding telecom immunity; the next minute, it’s Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer joining hands and “breaking with their party” to ensure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General; then it’s Big Bad Joe Lieberman single-handedly blocking Medicare expansion; then it’s Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb joining with Lindsey Graham to support the de-funding of civilian trials for Terrorists; and now that they can’t blame Lieberman or Ben Nelson any longer on health care (since they don’t need 60 votes), Jay Rockefeller voluntarily returns to the Villain Role, stepping up to put an end to the pretend-movement among Senate Democrats to enact the public option via reconciliation.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun May 12, 2013 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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