Waiving the Byrd Rule for Stupak

The strategy to placate Stupak is emerging, and it is an interesting one:

[T]he Catholic bishops want to show a measure of dominance over the US government, and they want their way on this. And they have convinced Stupak to reject the “third bill” strategy, which House leaders offered to him.

What they want to do is to put the changes to the abortion language in a reconciliation sidecar bill, the second bill. This ensures that it will get passed as part of the package, since the President and Senate leaders have already promised that the sidecar will become part of the agreement. [. . .] How could the Stupak amendment language on abortion survive the inevitable point of order on the Byrd rule? Well, the bishops want [. . .] 60 votes from the Senate to waive the point of order.

I think this is an unrealistic approach as it would undermine the Republican strategy of treating reconciliation as some sort of illegal power grab (and they will need a lot of GOP votes for it as too many Dems will vote to NOT waive the point of order.) I still think a separate Stupak bill is the more likely strategy.

Speaking for me only

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    I am, unfortunately, reminded of (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 04:48:19 PM EST
    Reagan's famous, "tear down this wall!" imperative, only we now seem to be hearing it in the halls of Congress, and the wall in question is the one between church and state.  And there seem to be too many (one is too many for me) members of Congress who are entertaining the idea, using the excuse that it's for a "good" cause - passing the health legislation.  And there is one president who has been remarkably silent on this latest bit of Constitutional rope-a-dope.

    It's time someone with courage, conviction and spine - is there anyone like this? - to tell the Catholic Bishops that they do not have the right to dictate government policy, that no religious group is going to be allowed to dominate the US government, and then they  - these mythical legislators of great courage  - should turn on their heels and run - not walk - away from the bill, and away from those who want to open the door to this cr@p.

    Enough already.

    These words... (none / 0) (#7)
    by BTAL on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 04:53:51 PM EST
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Where have the Bishops or any member of Congress violated the First Amendment?  There is nothing regarding establishment, but everything regarding the right to petition.

    Just sayin'


    When the Catholic Bishops are being (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 05:22:20 PM EST
    consulted on legislation, and providing advice to members of Congress on what the legislation should look like, that is a problem for me.

    If you can tell me the last time - or if there was any time - members of Congress marched themselves into the offices of any religious group and demanded changes to religious law/policy, I would love to know about it.


    What is the difference (none / 0) (#11)
    by BTAL on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 05:42:58 PM EST
    between the Bishops and the ACLU, or any agnostic organization, or lobbyists?

    When was the last time 0 or if there was any time - members of Congress marched themselves into the offices of any of the above sample group's offices and demanded changes to their law/policy?  I would also love to know about it.

    Apologies for the snark echoing of your words, because I do like and respect what you post here.


    Which agnostic group (none / 0) (#45)
    by cawaltz on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 02:33:04 AM EST
    has the ability to discriminate when they hire and fire based on a person's lifestyle or religious faith?

    Let's face it (none / 0) (#10)
    by cawaltz on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 05:23:25 PM EST
    There's very little left of the wall anyways. They aren't taxed and yet receive taxpayer funds via the Faith based initative which provides them billions to increase their reach through "good works" and the means to conserve the money they have for mailers on how marriage is between a man and a woman and how only a certain lifestyle is allowable. Heck, they are even allowed to discriminate in their hiring practices.

    Hypocrites (none / 0) (#1)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 03:58:00 PM EST
    And we should change the rules for the Catholic bishops because.............

    And after that we can stop all this foolishness about gay rights. While we're at it there's also the issues of divorce and birth control. (snark)

    It's amazing how selective our politicians are when it comes to enforcing their faith on others.

    Hmm. Wouldn't this (none / 0) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 03:58:14 PM EST
    kinda put Republicans in a bind, though?  It's in their interests, of course, to vote against allowing it, but seems to me it might take more explaining to their consituents than a fair number of them would want to take on-- "I voted against it because I was for it" is a difficult thing to explain on a hot-button issue.

    Good Lord (none / 0) (#3)
    by kmblue on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 04:00:45 PM EST
    now the Catholic Bishops are mixing it up with reproductive rights in this stupid bill.
    As if Congress and Obama weren't causing me enough

    The Catholic bishops were the source of (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:00:50 PM EST
    Stupak/Pitts.  Extensive clerical presence in the hallowed halls of Congress.

    Catholic Bishops & Democrats (none / 0) (#48)
    by norris morris on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 08:39:56 PM EST
    This Stupak bill would never have been entertained let alone made a by product if the Democrats had any ethics,morals, or political common sense.

    Making victims of women beyond the settled law of RoevWade is outrageous.

    It is even more outrageous that we are being asked "to give it up for the party", for Obama, and a bunch of sleazes in congress.

    Why in the hell should we cede the rights that took decades to fight for?

    Democrats in suicide mode are beyond saving except by themselves if they could suddenly pull it together.  This, I seriously doubt. Their behavior on all counts has been abysmal, and now Obama is doing shrill campaign rhetoric and whining about the media?

    The Media? The Media kissed his feet throughout the campaign and beyond.  No one could ask for better coverage. But because Obama's performance has been so acutely ineffectual and dodgy, and his backroom dealings have become more transparent, the Media is finally printing some truth and asking some questions.

    I know of no Democrat who isn't critical of the
    Democratic Congress and Obama's miserable tone deafness and inability to govern.


    Speaking of an illegal power grab.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by byteb on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    how about that old constitutional chestnut of separation between and state?

    I meant church and state, of course (none / 0) (#5)
    by byteb on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 04:14:51 PM EST
    There is (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:23:21 AM EST
    nothing in the Constitution about the separation of church and state. It appears nowhere in the document.

    From Wiki:

    The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to a group identifying themselves as the Danbury Baptists. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    Separation Of Powers (none / 0) (#49)
    by norris morris on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 08:42:05 PM EST
    See if that's in the constitution or the amendments.

    Money (none / 0) (#8)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 05:06:00 PM EST
    It has everything to do with power and money. The Catholic Church has watched all the money raised by the Evangelicals and Mormons in the name of morality. They just want their slice of the pie too.

    Maybe churches should loose their tax exemption status. They seem to have a lot of money to throw around. Things are tight right now, just listen to all the politicians. We could sure use the increase tax revenue.

    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by kmblue on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:09:52 PM EST
    since the Church (which I was raised in) is scampering around the halls of Congress, I say let them be taxed.  Fair is fair.

    If you want to eliminate (none / 0) (#17)
    by BTAL on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:16:52 PM EST
    the tax exempt status of churches, then I trust you are willing to eliminate all the other charities from that tax category?  Yes?

    The ACLU, as a 501(c(3) gets the same treatment? Yes?

    The sword has two sides.


    Churches are tax exempt no (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by observed on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:54:37 PM EST
    matter what they do. It's a ridiculous comparison.

    And 501(c)(3)s (none / 0) (#22)
    by BTAL on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:29:55 PM EST
    are different how?

    When was the the last time the ACLU (none / 0) (#25)
    by cawaltz on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:54:48 PM EST
    sought to infringe anyone's rights? or asked for the right to discriminate based on their own personal belief system? I usually see them fighting on behalf of people's rights and they will take on the cause of anyone.

    Fine (none / 0) (#23)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:43:56 PM EST
    I'd just settle for the property tax in Chicago alone that's lost to the churches!

    Yes, Exempt Those (none / 0) (#50)
    by norris morris on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 08:46:09 PM EST
    who fail to understand separation of powers, and fail to stay out of politics.

    ACLU, Unions, Church, etc...all should have tax  penalties if they fail to comply with tax free status rules. Pressuring congress by any group should automatically remove their tax exempt status.Interfering with our legislative branch excludes the exemption.


    And to think JFK was suspect. Would (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:02:15 PM EST
    he take direct orders from the Pope?

    I know (none / 0) (#47)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:08:14 AM EST
    this is so odd...

    I think the Republicans (none / 0) (#15)
    by observed on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:12:44 PM EST
    would jump at the chance, except that they want the bill to fail. Consistency over the issue of reconciliation a problem? PUH-leeze!
    Republicans can hold any positions they want, in any order; using reconciliation to stop a holocaust would be a no-brainer.

    Hmmm, maybe that's what you meant, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by observed on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:13:43 PM EST
    after all, on second thought.

    With the world-wide, institutionalized (none / 0) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:28:36 PM EST
    issues of child and sexual abuse as well as cover-ups, it would seem the better part of valor for the Catholic hierarchy to be cautious about fostering its brand of morality on the general public for at least 100 years.  

    I wonder if they have anything to say (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 06:47:53 PM EST
    about state funding for war or divorce?

    Not to mention torture. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lucky leftie on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:26:23 PM EST
    They've been silent on that subject.  

    Well, historically... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    (cf. the Dominican friar, Tomas deTorquemada, Inquisitor General)

    See Savanorola. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 08:11:11 PM EST
    I wish a "progressive" (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by cawaltz on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 07:56:20 PM EST
    would draft up an amendment that allows people of faith who don't believe in the death penalty or war to opt out of having to fund these type of things. I wonder why the church isn't pushing for that.

    Because taxes are fungible (none / 0) (#28)
    by oldpro on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 09:45:07 PM EST
    and that would not achieve their goal...complete control.

    Jonah Goldberg Gets One Right (none / 0) (#29)
    by kidneystones on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:08:34 PM EST
    Goldberg was the first big-name writer to end our email exchanges by declaring me an as$hole and blocking my address. I still take his response as a signal badge of honor.

    Jonah's 'matured' in the years since and his critique of Brooks take on the Tea Party sheds some light on the current WH strategy.

    the basic arguments and outlook of the Tea Parties are simply and profoundly different from the outlook of the New Left. The Tea Partiers are not in any meaningful sense Rousseauians. They certainly don't reject original sin in any serious way.  And I suspect if you asked many of them they would say that the American people deserve their share of blame for the financial mess we're in. They do believe, I would bet, that America is a basically decent nation that has drifted into a kind of soft-despotism or Nanny-statism.   But that vision isn't Rousseauian, it's  De Tocquevillian.

    We could quibble about De Tocqueville, I'd be shocked if many tea-party knew much about either Rousseau or de Tocqueville.

    The key point for me is recognizing how the notion of original sin and the perfectability or existence of the soul still demarks groups. Digby et al are in full froth bashing the Catholic Church rather than 'progressives' like Yglesias. 'Don't give in to the bishops' deflects attention from the major flaws in the bill, a piece of crap that becomes progressively weaker with each passing day. Moreover, whatever compromise that is crafted will be 'sold' to the Rousseauian community as a victory over conservative Catholicism. The fact that it's a complete sell-out to commercial interests and is a POS for a whole host of reasons becomes lost in good round of Catholic bashing and re-branding as free-thinking individualists and moral titans.

    The Goldberg piece is long, but worth a read.

    Good luck with that (none / 0) (#30)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:12:59 PM EST
    I take it (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by kidneystones on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    you've stuffed your ears with wax. Read the piece, I doubt you'll find yourself in the tea-party anytime soon.

    It's one of the better pieces I've read in a while.


    Pentagon Shooter Registered Democrat (none / 0) (#32)
    by kidneystones on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:50:28 PM EST
    Michelle Malkin provides the news Josh Marshall deems unfit for his readers.

    Seems Bedell, in addition to being completely psychotic, was a limited government liberatarian like Markos. And a registered Democrat.

    Worth noting is the absence of any mention of Bedell's actual political affiliation in the TPM piece.


    Wapo In Depth Coverage Elides Bedell's (none / 0) (#35)
    by kidneystones on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:20:34 PM EST
    political affiliations. From the Wapo's two pieces on Bedell I learned a lot about former friends, bookstores and other errata.

    The Wapo interviewed a Tea-Party official who was forced to distance the party from the deranged young man. Which is kind of strange. Bedell never attended any tea-parties as far as we know.

    We do know (those of us who read the right-wing press as well as the left) that Bedell was a registered Democrat.

    Why hasn't the press contacted the California State Democratic party and asked them to comment on Bedell?


    No doubt (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:23:28 PM EST
    What connection it has to the thread topic, is anyone's guess.

    Original sin, which taints everyone and everything?


    Lookee! (none / 0) (#43)
    by kidneystones on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:37:11 AM EST
    Tea-partiers/Catholics coming to getcha!

    The topic is political narratives, and their form and function. BTD links to a narrative that attacks Catholics, who we learn are trying to take over the government.

    The distinction about original sin illuminates, IMHO, an important fissure in politics. Bush is a bona fide Christian crank. He credits Christ with helping him turn of the alcohol tap. Obama mouthes the same platitudes, but can't quit smoking. I realize that those who do not believe in the healing power of prayer are going to have an extremely hard time wrapping their minds around the distinction, which may see as one between serious delusion and political pragmatism: Bush believes the bible, Obama merely cites it.

    The tea-party is the most interesting political phenomena in American politics since DKOS and the vaunted Obama GOTV machine.

    Donnie's homopobia legitimized Obama for conservative African-American Christians. A socially-liberal fiscally conservative grass-roots movement that retains a belief in the imperfectability of the soul and of government presents Dems and the GOP with tremendous challenges.

    The willingness of Dems to throw women under the bus to get a win while bashing Catholics strikes me as extremely cynical. I think Goldberg is basically correct in his assessment of the distinction between left and right. I'm not even sure, however, if the word 'moral' or 'right' is part of the tea-party vocabulary.


    More proof you're just a troll (none / 0) (#40)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:22:37 AM EST
    There's no need for me to waste my time on you.

    Anyone who mistakes me for a teapartier (none / 0) (#41)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:24:45 AM EST
    hasn't been paying much attention.

    What on earth (none / 0) (#44)
    by kidneystones on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:40:27 AM EST
    are you talking about?

    I stated explictly that there's no danger of you being converted to the tea-party simply from reading Goldberg's piece.

    The news about Bedell must have rattled you.

    Relax. Just repeat: repubugs are evil, repugs are evil, repugs are evil and breath into a brown paper bag.



    Ala David Brooks (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:19:35 PM EST
    some years back in his pieces about the salt of the earth, non-latte drinking, NASCAR lovin' folks that he never actually had any direct contact with, Jonah is desperately trying to give the teabaggers an image make-over to make them more palatable to the bankrupted-by-eight-years and still foundering conservative coalition that formally included many repelled by the excesses of Jonah's heroes Bush and the neocons.

    "They do believe, I would bet.." translation: I dont have a friggin clue what they believe, but we desperately need them.


    Did you read the piece? (none / 0) (#36)
    by kidneystones on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:22:17 PM EST
    Just asking.

    Yes (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:47:12 PM EST
    We need them (though I've never actually been within five hundred feet of one); I bet(hope) they believe what I want them to believe; the left are the real elites (who hate Amerikkka); Obama's a secret Alinsky-reading radical; we cant afford to drop the "culture wars" schtick if we want to keep the coalition together..

    Oh yeah, a superficial gloss on Brook's even more superficial gloss on the new left in the sixties and the fundamental beliefs of the average teabagger (I realize these guys are pressed for time)..

    Did I miss anything essential?


    Is Jonah's (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:00:14 AM EST
    Super Yenta mom Lucianne is still out there trying to convince people that "Bill finger f*cked Chelsea"?

    No one's be able to reach the Republican committee for comment.


    jondee, don't waste your time (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:26:18 AM EST
    on the troll. He's hijacked enough threads with his nonsense.

    Rules, Shmules, they are made to be broken (none / 0) (#33)
    by debcoop on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:55:11 PM EST
    This is the path I have long predicted. Chutzpah is the fundamental ethos of the anti choice movement.

    It does require Republicans and lots of Democrats to get to 60 to waive the rule. And I too thought why would the Republicans agree to put in an amendment that would by that time, help pass the HCR bill.

    A couple of possibilities...One they know it's going to pass anyway so why not stick it to women and the choice movement and mess up the Democratic party's  relationship with the choice movement.

    Second...it would be really hard for the Republican party to cross the Catholic Bishops on ABORTION, on issues of poverty it doesn't matter because to the church alleviating poverty is far less important than making women's lives less free.

    Or there is an even more disturbing possibility.  In the House Nancy Pelosi has come to the conclusion that the only way to pass HCR is to attach the Stupak amendment to the bill. Reid and the WH come to the same conclusion.

    So while the Senate parliamentarian may rule it out of order, the Chair rules it in order...And then it takes 60 votes to overrule the Chair.  There are not 60 votes for that.  The amendment comes to the floor and only needs 51 votes to pass..A few Democratic arms are twisted..
    This administration and congressional leadership want a bill..any bill.