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Democrat Thugs Contemplate Goonish Loophole

Here's a New York Times news analysis on the Democrats' decision whether or not to use the reconciliation procedure for health care:

With solid majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats are tempted to use their political muscle to speed passage of health care legislation with minimal concessions to the Republican minority. ...

In the budget blueprint for the coming year, Democrats may resort to an obscure procedure known as reconciliation to clear the way for Senate passage of a comprehensive health bill with a 51-vote majority, rather than the 60 votes that would otherwise be needed. ...

If Democrats use the fast-track procedure, it would be tantamount to “a declaration of war,” said Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, the senior Republican on the health committee.

The procedure that Thomas Mann, Norm Ornstein and Molly Reynolds show is routinely used for disparate changes to social policy is "obscure"? Passing a measure by majority vote is "political muscle"? The loaded terminology here is not very subtle.

--Jonathan Chait