Wise as Serpents: Strategic Voting on Healthcare Amendments

Let’s just consider this to be a political application of the principle…  “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:  be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”  Matthew 10:16 

The completely partisan vote on the motion to proceed draws a clear line of distinction that conservatives should leverage to full advantage.  To accomplish this, the final version of the Senate healthcare bill for consideration of the cloture vote should be identical to the current Reid proposal. 

All Republicans are on record that the Reid bill in current form is not worthy of passage – such that cloture on the current content should be opposed as well.  Meanwhile, some of the 60 Democrats are trying to cover themselves by saying that their vote on the motion to proceed does not indicate that they support the bill in its current form.  They claim to merely want the opportunity to consider an improved bill through the amendment process.

What should conservative Senators do? 

Conservative Senators recognize that beneficial compromise is not possible in the current legislative environment.  So the questions are simply:  What is the most effective way to get this bill defeated at the cloture vote?  How can conservatives force votes that will expose these “moderate Democrats” to the full level of scrutiny for 2010 and 2012?  What will stop the bill AND inflict the most damage to the self-proclaimed “moderate Democrats” who are willing to flirt with and thus enable government take-over of healthcare?

1)  Use every Senate procedure at our disposal to lengthen the debate (force readings of the bill (Coburn), offer amendments, etc.).

2)  Offer up the full range of amendments that force “moderate Democrats” to reveal their voting record on every key issue – to be used in 2010 and 2012.

3) While conservative Senators are offering up these amendments, they should strategically vote NO to ensure that NO CHANGE HAPPENS TO THE REID BILL.  These “moderate Democrats” should not be given any fig leaf by which they might claim that improvements were made. 

Is the Reid bill really not acceptable to some “moderate Democrat” Senators in current form?  Then make sure that the final bill has no changes.  That will kill the bill at cloture. 

One final note:  On this bill of such great consequence, vote monitoring entities who score lawmakers’ voting record should have some wisdom in scoring the upcoming amendments.  Example:  As quoted by Kathryn Jean Lopez in The Corner on National Review Online, the Susan B. Anthony List response to the vote was:  “If this health care bill makes it to conference committee without an authentic abortion exclusion, Senators Casey, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson and Reid will be held especially accountable.”  
Surely the Susan B. Anthony List is intelligent enough to know that regardless of what might go into conference, once the bill is past cloture concerns it will lurch leftward regarding life issues.  They should understand that Democrats who voted YES to proceed must be held accountable to vote YES on pro-life amendments – but conservative Republicans (who voted NO regarding proceeding) with an excellent pro-life voting record are serving the wishes of the Susan B. Anthony List by voting NO on these amendments in order to keep the Reid bill in its objectionable form prior to the final cloture vote.

Cross-posted at http://ruminationsaspirations.blogspot.com/