What Yglesias Says

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So now Republicans are talking up reconciliation as a way to repeal ObamaCare. You remember reconciliation, right? During the health care reform debate, Republicans called it a threat to democracy and to all that is right and good in the world.

But rather than focusing on the hypocrisy, Matt Yglesias makes the excellent point that this is the way it’s supposed to work:

As you see here with Ryan (and in the generally Calvinball like approach the GOP has taken to the reconciliation question over the years), Republicans are determined to follow the actual laws and rules. When in the minority, they don’t rebel. They don’t murder their political opponents, they don’t organize coups d’état. What they do is they try to win legislative battles through all the tools at their disposal. And when in the majority they . . . do the same thing. They believe, strongly, that letting wealthy businessmen get what they want is good for America, and they go about doing that with seriousness of purpose. Many Democrats, by contrast, seem to believe that their highest responsibility is to make themselves look good, to preen for the cameras, or to maximize their own personal authority.

But they’re wrong and Ryan is right. The procedural rules are levers to be deployed on behalf of important goals, not holy writ to which policy objectives should be subordinated.

Amen, Brother Yglesias.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

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