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New York Times Columnist Compares Health Care Filibuster Threat to Blackmail

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Posted on December 18 2009 11:04 am
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Paul Krugman, op ed columnist for The New York Times, wrote today that while Senator Joe Lieberman should be hung in effigy and President Obama should be chastised for caving completely on the public option, the health care bill as it now stands in the Senate should still pass.

Unfortunately, none of us know what exactly is in that bill since Senator Harry Reid is playiing hide-and-seek with it.  Nevertheless, Krugman lists the usual bunch of supposed benefits of the legislation, forgetting to mention that we will all be facing higher taxes, mandates and charges for four years before anyone even sees whatever benefits may be in the offering.

Krugman argues that:

Most of a loaf is better than none.

Not in this case.  No loaf is better than the moldy bread that we are being served.

Krugman compares the filibuster threat to “blackmail.”  He said that the compromises forced by Lieberman and other centrists is like “paying a ransom to hostage-takers.” He concluded that in this case we need to pay the ransom, but we also need to curb the filibuster to make sure that other progressive initiatives are not watered down in the future:

The filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to end debate, aren’t in the Constitution…So it’s time to revise the rules.

Where was Krugman when the Democrats were exploiting the filibuster to block President Bush’s judicial nominees? Apparently, the filibuster is only blackmail and hostage-taking when used by moderates and conservatives to stop bad legislation from infecting one-sixth of our economy.

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