Yes, Orrin Hatch really did accuse Democrats of acting in bad faith for considering budget reconciliation to fix health care reform, and threatened them with – wait for it – partisan hostility.
1) Hatch claims that if the Democrats use reconciliation to fix the Senate health care reform bill, they will be launching “one of the worst grabs for power in the history of the country.” Apparently the Senator slept through the entire George W. Bush era.
2) Hatch accuses the Democrats of not “act[ing] in good faith on this” and “not even putting on the veneer of bipartisanship.” That is so true – I can’t even count the number of times that the Republicans have extended the hand of compromise and pulled back a bloody stump. Mainly because I can’t think of any. There’s been an awful lot of bloody stump-pulling in the opposite direction, though.
3) Hatch warns of “outright war” and “heated animosities” if the Democrats use reconciliation. Um, Senator? I think that ship is halfway around the world by now.
In essence, Hatch is threatening that Republicans will be obstructionist assholes if Democrats try to do something about Republicans being obstructionist assholes. I don’t doubt that they’ll make good on his promise, but I’m not sure how effective it is to threaten to do the exact same thing that you’re already doing and were going to continue doing anyway.
Hatch’s Slaughterhouse Five pretzel logic reminds me of how the Republicans used al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq after the invasion as some kind of retroactive vindication of it: “You see? We had to invade Iraq to prevent it from harboring al Qaeda after we invaded!” What should be a rebuke of Republican irresponsibility instead becomes its justification.