Why 51% Shouldn’t Be Enough

By Deane Barker tags: politics

I don’t want to get too political, but Here’s my feeling on the process Congress is going through right now to get this health care bill passed.

This is a huge bill, both in raw dollars and in the way it will change the relationship of the citizen to the state. it’s probably one of the most far-reaching bills in the history of American legislation. it’s epic. This isn’t a small regulatory issue. They’re not re-naming an airport, or deciding to make a new national park. No matter what side of this issue you’re on, we can all admit that this is the biggest thing Congress will have done in decades, save perhaps the decision to go to war with Iraq (and even that’s debatable).

You don’t pass something like this by the skin of its teeth. This is not something you kick and scratch to get 51% of votes on. If you do get 51%, remember that there’s still 49% of legislators that hate it. And for something this massive, 49% is a lot.

When a church wants to hire a new pastor, they have a vote of the members. Our church requires a two-thirds majority to move forward, but if the vote comes back less than 90%-ish (especially for a senior pastor), we’ll usually voluntarily pass and keep looking. The pastor is that important to a church, that we just can’t afford to have one-third of the congregation upset with the choice, even if we technically got the two-thirds vote we need.

Same thing with this health-care bill. To say nothing of the public opposition , Congress is completely changing the nature of the government by moving forward on the slimmest of margins. This is too big of a bill, and too important of an issue, to disregard the 49% of legislators who hate it.

But, alas, when has Congress done the right thing? The Republicans won’t let the Democrats have any victory on anything until November, and the Democrats know this, so they’re going to push this thing through with the justification that this is their only shot to get it in.

I just read that the Democratic Party have announced they have the 216 votes they need. It literally came down to a single vote. Why don’t I feel good about this?

This is item #79 in a sequence of 113 items.

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