Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The loss of sympathy

"Once partisan reconciliation is used for this bill, it will be used for everything now and forever". David Brooks ("the Spirit of Sympathy") makes this assertion without historical precedent or logic. It is an implicit warning to the Democrats to be careful where they tread, and it is not an appropriate or warranted denunciation.

The health care impasse is caused by the very problem Mr. Brooks describes in detail in the first part of his piece. The Republican party, moving in inevitable lockstep to try to thwart the actions of the Democrats and the President they love to hate, have lost the spirit of sympathy . Having forgotten, or having cast aside their individual concerns for the plight of others, the Republicans have forced reconciliation as a final means to the just end of health care coverage for all (or at least, most).

While reconciliation has been used in the past to move major measures forward, it has not replaced each Senator's right to think for him or herself and to communicate, negotiate and compromise with each other. Reconciliation is not, as Mr. Brooks would surmise, going to become a practice of first resort. It will remain a practice to be employed only when logic, reason, compassion and the ability for individual thought and decision are lost.

Maybe, instead of signaling the end of the democratic process in the Senate, if this bill passes by way of reconciliation it will serve as a wakeup call to the Republicans. Put aside your present practices, and instead bring a better day, where each in this hallowed chamber 'feels a tinge of pain when (he or she) observes another in pain' and votes based on the dictates of conscience, not politics.



Shelley Kaplan said...

Yes to your comments and thank you..

David B said...

Yes,,yes ..yes, the Democrats are finally realizing that the GOP is the party of NO, as they hate to Dems, and no meaningful dialogue for any important or needed legislation will be passed on a bi-partisan basis with them. Brooks often lives in an alternate universe, maybe even all the time.

Robert said...

Bunning's universe, as Krugman described it in his column from last week.