“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
At the dramatic conclusion of Tora! Tora! Tora!, a reflective Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto delivers this summation of the successful attack on Pearl Harbor. As it turns out, it’s likely not an actual quotation of Yamamoto’s.
If this were a single isolated procedural oddity, it could be washed away. But it’s coming on top of a whole lot of others.
- We have never in our history passed a piece of legislation this sweeping and important, first of all, without a single member in either house of the opposition party supporting it. Never done that.
- We will never have passed anything on this scale — if it does pass the House — by squeaking through by one or two single votes. It didn’t happen with Social Security. It didn’t happen with Medicare.
- We will never have passed anything on this scale through the loophole of reconciliation in the Senate.
- And now adding insult onto all of this, we will never have passed anything of this scale using the Slaughter rule, the deeming rule, which is in and of itself absurd.
Now, you add all of that together — again, it’s not illegal. It can be done. It will be done. It will be rammed. But it’s outside of our practice, outside of our tradition and the spirit of the law.
When you add on to it the fact that it’s all about a bill that largely has a huge majorities over time consistently against it, and after an election in Massachusetts in which it was the major issue and the opposition candidate ran on that as his number one issue, and he won on that — all of that together makes it extremely, extremely unusual and makes the process look as if … there is no other way that you could do something this unpopular and wrong without it.
Krauthammer may be correct that this isn’t technically “illegal,” but it is clearly unconstitutional. Please spare me the cries of, “Well, the Republicans did it!” That is comparing apples and oranges, and you know it. Read Krauthammer again: the “Slaughter rule” is just the tip of the ram-it-through iceberg. Everything about this process is wrong, desperate, and insulting to our Constitutional Republic.
If the Democrats carry out this cowardly attack on our Constitution — and I for one am convinced they will — they will awaken a sleeping giant.
Daniel Foster on those apples and oranges.