Welcome back to GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
Now that it looks like the House has a good chance of passing the Senate healthcare reform bill this Sunday, the GOP Hypocrisy machine has kicked into high gear. This time, the name of the game is "process."
Conservatives are doing everything in their power to convince voters that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is using bizarre, witchcraft-like parliamentary procedure to ram the healthcare bill down America's throat, even though the GOP has used this same technique dozens of times in the very recent past. Clearly this is a concerted effort between conservative media and congressional Republicans, an effort which was consciously jammed down the American people's throats this week from all angles. But the GOP enlisted its House leader to spearhead the effort.
"The twisted scheme by which Democratic leaders plan to bend the rules to ram President Obama’s massive health care legislation through Congress now has a name: the Slaughter Solution," sneered a blog post on Rep. John Boehner's House leader Web site. "You see, Democratic leaders currently lack the votes needed to pass the Senate health care bill through the House. Under Slaughter’s scheme, Democratic leaders will overcome this problem by simply “deeming” the Senate bill passed in the House -- without an actual vote by members of the House."
Not only is Boehner lying about the rules and the lack of a vote, but he goes on to claim in a subsequent press release that the procedure has been used "just six times in the history of the House of Representatives." His true hypocrisy is revealed by the fact that he and his party utilized this procedure well over 100 times.
Republicans have been a big fan of parliamentary tricks whenever they're in the majority. Norman J. Ornstein writes for the American Enterprise Institute's blog that Republicans have a parliamentary procedure of their own at work here, called "hypocrisy":
I can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans...
In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of “deem and pass.”
...is there no shame anymore?
Ornstein goes on to note that the GOP even defended deem and pass in court.
The GOP has set records for using such procedures. In fact, there was a time in 2006 when "the Republican majority -- in order to secure their own loophole-ridden, watered-down version of ethics and lobbying reform -- used not just one but three self-executing rules on a single bill," Salon.com's Joe Conason notes.
Perhaps Boehner's most repeated line about the Democrats' plan to use deem and pass this weekend is the theme of protectionism. He calls the procedure an "incumbent protection program" that is "designed to protect Washington politicians." We wonder if John Boehner has devised a parliamentary procedure to protect him from the truth.
Remember our motto: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
This is John Boehner's sixth GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award. He also won on Oct. 16, 2009, Sept. 25, 2009, Aug. 14, 2009, May 22, 2009 and Sept. 22, 2006. You can see a list of all previous nominees here.