I keep hearing my liberal friends say that the Republicans used Reconciliation to pass Medicare Part D and therefore the Democrats using it to pass Health Care Reform is fair. That argument strikes me as being similar to hearing my child tell me he punched his brother because I didn't say anything when his brother punched him. Well, I missed the beginning of the fight. I wasn't paying close enough attention. I was wrong for missing it, but that doesn't absolve the punchee for punching. Both boys are wrong for punching. Likewise, ramming legislation through using Reconciliation isn't right when anyone uses it.
Claiming that no one was really paying attention to the Republicans when they used Reconciliation is mostly true. Most of us weren't really paying attention until the market crashed in 2008. As more and more people started paying attention to what was happening and how things were being run in our country, more and more people got angry. Many of those people became the Tea Partiers. The Tea Partiers are non-partisan and are angry at America's elected representatives forgetting America is a democratic republic. Too many of our representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, have forgotten that "we the people" are not their subjects, but are rather their constituents. I have attended a Tea Party rally and can verify that not everyone participating was Republican or white or rich.
The anger over the way the Health Care bill was written and how it was passed is not purely a Republican position. 22 House Democrats voted against the bill. Using the argument "the Republicans used Reconciliation, too" doesn't make it right. This is 1/6 of our economy. Using an obscure legislative tactic that was designed 30 years ago to pass legislation that the majority of Americans don't like doesn't make it's passage right or noble. It makes it wrong.
How will we get past our ever-widening political divide when we don't hold our elected representatives accountable for terrible tactics?
The Tea Partiers aren't saying we don't need Health Care Reform. They're saying that putting so much of it in the hands of the government is wrong. No one is saying we don't need reform. We need it. We desperately need reform. But this bill isn't it. And the way it was passed is reprehensible. Please, let's stop acting like children pointing the finger and repeal this monstrosity and work together to craft legislation that won't bankrupt the country and will actually help Americans.