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Democrats’ Fear of Democracy

Sen. Harry Reid

To deal with the incredibly obstructionism of Senate Republicans Harry Reid is again talking about rules reform. Reid is having trouble getting support from his entire caucus because apparently Democrats are terrified of the concept of democracy. From Politico:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said he has “mixed” feelings about the nuclear option, saying he feared a GOP-controlled Senate would replicate the nuclear option to change filibuster rules in a bid to repeal Obamacare.

“If they take over the White House and over the Senate, they will get rid of the health care bill in a shot,” Rockefeller said. “We can do business the way we are.”

Asked if that meant he’d vote against the nuclear option, Rockefeller said: “Don’t put me down there yet, OK?”

This answer is deeply wrong on so many levels. First, Republicans don’t even need to get rid of the filibuster to eliminate Obamacare. Before the 2012 election Mitch McConnell prepared a plan to repeal the bulk of the law using reconciliation.

Second, just because Democrats are pathetic cowards doesn’t mean Republicans will be. Deciding not to fix the rules now will do nothing to stop a future Republican majority from taking action.

Finally, Republicans should have the right to repeal Obamacare if they win. That is how a democracy is supposed to work.

By 2017 the law will have been in place for seven years and fully implemented for over two. If the law remains unpopular and Republicans run on a repeal platform in 2016, than they should be allowed to repeal it if they manage to win the Presidency and a majority in both chambers of Congress.

The fact that a public disdain of democracy is considered an acceptable position in Washington is partly why it is so dysfunctional.

Photo by Talk Radio News Service under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at