'This makes Watergate look like Romper Room'
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is accused of using legislative trickery to push through health-care reform.
America's system of government based on the U.S. Constitution is being overthrown through illegal legislative "trickery" Congress is using to pass controversial health-care reform.That's the conclusion of some on the political right who are calling for the impeachment of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi along with the defeat of the health legislation.
"This is the overthrow of the U.S. constitutional system, orchestrated from the White House through the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid," said radio host Rush Limbaugh today. "This is beyond rational explanation and description. This makes Watergate look like Romper Room."At issue is the possibility that reforms pushed by President Obama and other Democrats will be approved without ever actually having a direct vote, but could be "deemed" to have been passed, then signed into law by Obama. The process is called the "Slaughter Strategy," named for Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Rules Committee.Discussing the need for this procedure, Pelosi said: "I like it, because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill." Indeed, Democrats could actually vote for the rule, yet still claim they're against the Senate bill.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., agrees with Limbaugh that the "deem and pass" method is ludicrous and worthy of impeachment.
"The other thing is treason media," Bachmann told radio host Sean Hannity. "Where is the mainstream media in all of this not telling this story? This is a compelling story, that the speaker of the House would even consider having us pass a bill that no one votes on? That should laugh her out of the House and there should be people that are calling for impeachment off of something like this. That's how bad this is. I mean, trust me. Dennis Hastert could have never gotten away with this. President Bush never could have gotten away with it."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, "In our lifetime, this is the most undemocratic, un-American step that we'll have ever seen our Congress take. It's appalling. It takes my breath away that they would think that this is OK to do. But again, we can't feign surprise. Remember this is what Barack Obama had promised in the campaign. He said as a candidate that he was just days away from beginning the transformation of America."
In a commentary posted at Carolina Journal, John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, said he's simply not going to comply with the legislation if it's not properly voted on:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding. I'm not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees.
I will not comply. If the government tries to make me comply, I'll sue. And I'll win.
This is not (yet) a banana republic where constitutions are seen as inconvenient impediments to the rule of the despot. This is not (yet) a European-style welfare state where some powerful parliament can exercise legislative, executive, and judicial power all in one stroke.
Limbaugh expounded on the "deem and pass" procedure the House is considering, saying, "The word 'deemed' means what? It means pretend!"
"Maybe we can just deem our tax returns to have been filed. But we don't actually file 'em. We just deem our taxes to have been paid. We just deem it! I mean, if they can deem to have passed laws, we can certainly say that we are 'deemed' to have complied with them."
The Wall Street Journal noted the "deeming" procedure is unprecedented, since Congress has never before passed a comprehensive reform bill using the method.
According to the Constitution itself, "Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States."
In an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News today, President Obama indicated he did not have a problem with the "deem and pass" method, and said, "By the time the vote has taken place, not only I will know what's in it, you'll know what's in it because it's going to be posted and everybody is going to be able to evaluate it on the merits."
Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris told Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly the Slaughter tactic is "a ruse that is gonna fall apart of its own weight. People are massing against it as they see how phony it is."
He said it was based on the "ridiculous assumption" the public won't know a vote for the rule is actually a vote for the health-care bill.
O'Reilly agreed, noting, "This sneaky 'deem' deal isn't going to happen because the folks will not tolerate it."
The controversy is inciting plenty of comments on Internet messageboards, including:
- "The enactment of Obamacare by a budgetary 'reconciliation' process in the Senate and by the 'Slaughter' process in the House makes the U.S. Congress a parliament of whores. I blame the San Francisco Democrats headed by Pelosi and Reid as well as Obama, who hails from the bowels of the Chicago political machine as the culprits responsible for tearing apart the U.S. Constitution in order for them to put into place their socialist, borderline fascist agenda. For the first time, I fear for my country."
- "Appears constitutional to me. Now that Democrats are in the majority, [Republicans] seem to respond in a negative way to every proposal recommended. Health-care reform is needed in this country now. ... Stop griping."
- "If this unconstitutional move gets pushed through, there needs to be an organized effort to impeach both Nancy Pelosi and President Obama for not standing by their swearing in pledge to 'uphold the Constitution of the United States.' We must hold Congress and those that represent the people accountable for their actions, and the action needs to be immediate!"
- "It appears we are headed full-circle back to taxation without representation. Does anyone remember how that turned out the first time?"
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