I don’t think we’re in America anymore, Toto!
Conservativeproject.com / Michael Schaus
As transparency and bipartisanship become a joke to those Americans who follow the healthcare legislation closely, the Democrat leadership is considering holding closed door meetings to iron out the differences between the Senate and House bills. Pelosi, Reid, and the Whitehouse are leaning towards three-way closed-door talks, excluding both Republicans and the general public. C-SPAN has written a formal request to Congress demanding that they hold the more traditional open meetings. So far, the request for televising bipartisan debates on the healthcare bill have been largely ignored in favor of a more secretive and exclusive process.
C-SPAN made the request in an effort to appeal to the promises of the Democrat leadership to be transparent. But the likely hood of the American people being adequately abreast of the negotiations is diminutive at best. The action the Whitehouse and both Houses of congress are likely to take would restrict dialogue to only the top Democrats in the House and Senate; thus reducing the opportunity for debate, or introduction of alternative compromises.
Furthermore, Nancy Pelosi had the audacity to declare the recent negotiations on healthcare were some of the most open and transparent in history. Not more than a few breaths later she alluded to the need for closed door meetings in order to get the bill passed. Aside from the appallingly disingenuous (I am being kind) remarks about the openness of the process thus far, what is it about an open debate, involving both parties and the general public, that threatens the passage of this bill? The Democrats claim such closed door negotiations would limit the GOP’s ability to slow down the process.
The reasons for the closed door meetings are apparent to even the least politically savvy American voters. Open discussions would indeed kill the likely hood of a final bill. But that very fact should be illustrative of the bills’ inadequacies. If the probability of a compromise between the House and Senate is, in fact, so low that an open debate cannot be counted on to deliver the desired legislation, then the proposed reform in question is obviously of poor quality. Moreover, the intentions of the Democrat leadership may be to limit the public’s ability to gain insight into the final legislation. With the brewing disapproval of the proposed healthcare reform, it is likely that the leadership in Washington is unwilling to expose the voters to the intricacies of Obamacare just yet.
Additionally, such closed door meetings would enable the top Democrats in charge a greater amount of control when it comes to the information that is given to both the public, and congress. More than likely, after the leadership from Congress combines their proposals and creates a final version of the bill, they will demand a quick vote from both houses. The probability of anyone (Senators, congressmen, and the public alike) having an opportunity to study the bill in any great depth will be non-existent. Both Pelosi and Reid will declare the combined version caters to everyone’s needs, and they will ensure all special deals have been preserved for the states that sought them. They likely will try to produce such a vote before the President’s state of the Union speech in February.
The steps that Washington Democrats have taken in an effort to push this “reform” down the throats of opponents, is not staggering. But it is sleazy. The politics of transparency and openness seem to be nothing more than catch-phrases that are meant to encourage trust; rather than be actual policy or promises. Nancy Pelosi promised the most ethical and transparent congress in history. If back-door deals, 24 hours to read almost 2,000 pages, and closed door meetings happen to be the “most ethical and transparent” our congress has ever been, then our political system is in a far more dire state than originally anticipated.
More importantly, how can they claim to be acting in an open and bipartisan fashion, when they orchestrate meetings designed to keep the opposition and public out of the negotiation process? Pelosi even said “We will do what is necessary to pass the bill.” Notice that language. She did not say they would do what is right, and honest. She did not say they would consider the concerns of the other party or the public. She did not say they would act in a courageous and open fashion. She said they would “do what is necessary.” Their concern is not to garner support for this bill or win in the arena of ideas. Their concern is implementing the largest takeover of any industry in the history of America. The requisite of supporting votes is more of a nuisance than anything else, it would seem.
So what can be done when Pelosi, Reid and Obama close the door to the GOP and the Public? Remind senators and congressmen of their duty to we the people. Remind our elected officials of the importance of the Tenth Amendment. Remind our elected representatives that our campaign dollars follow our convictions, not their promises. Look at organizations like the Independent Institute, which have already begun the process of organizing ballot initiatives to combat the invasive nature of the proposed healthcare reform. Request, of all elected officials on every level, that they keep in the forefront of their mind the promise they made to preserve your liberty and livelihood.
CSPAN is unlikely to have their request for openness met with any sincerity. Was this the “change” Obama talked about on the campaign trail?
The US Senators from Colorado are:
Mark Udall (D)
Washington D.C. phone number: 202-224-5941 (Toll free 877-768-3255)
Denver contact number: 303-650-7820
Michael Bennet (D)
Washington D.C. phone number: 202-224-5852
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