What Democrats Think of the American People
11:40 PM, Mar 16, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Democratic leaders in the House are apparently moving towards the "Slaughter Solution" of avoiding a direct vote on the health care legislation and instead passing the Senate health care bill by voting to "deem" it passed. As they do so, they keep reassuring the media--and each other--that the American people don't care.
A memo from a top aide to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen late last week counseled other Democratic staffers to tell their bosses not to worry, that "things like reconciliation and what the rules committee does is INSIDE BASEBALL." Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters, "I don't think any American...is going to make the distinction" between the Slaughter procedure and a straightforward vote on the legislation. "Process is interesting, particularly to all of us around this room. But in the final analysis, what is interesting to the American public is what does this bill do for them and their families."
In other words: the American public doesn't care about how our representatives govern us--which is to say, about how we govern ourselves. Whether Congress follows its rules, whether there is democratic accountability, whether there is constitutional probity--none of this matters according to Hoyer. Rather, the self-centered and self-concerned American people only care about the (alleged) results of the legislation.