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Step One in Negotiating with the GOP

Max Baucus, before you sit down with Chuck Grassley to talk health care reform . . .

Henry Waxman, before you sit down with Joe Barton to talk health care reform . . . 

Harry Reid, before you sit down with Mitch McConnell to talk health care reform . . .

Nancy Pelosi, before you sit down with John Boehner to talk health care reform . . . 

Democrats in the House and Senate, from the most junior to the most senior, before you sit down with any of your GOP colleagues to talk about health care reform, you need to do one thing first.

Greet your colleague at the door to your office, and in the presence of the rolling cameras, ask your friend from across the aisle a simple question: "Do you believe that the provisions of the Democratic plan under consideration call for creating a government panel that will pull the plug on Grandma?"

If the answer is "No, of course not," invite your colleague in and continue your health care conversations.

If the answer is anything else — "I haven’t read the whole thing" or "I don’t know" or "Some have said . . ." — then thank your colleague for his or her candor, and shut the door in his or her face.

If you want to talk about health care, and your GOP colleague can’t tell the difference between a conversation about advance medical directives and an order for involuntary euthanasia, there’s no point in even having a conversation.

Give. It. Up.

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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.