So much for the MSM refrain about Republicans having previously used reconciliation just as Dems are proposing to do now on ObamaCare . . . Larry O'Donnell has emphatically proclaimed that the way Dems intend to use reconciliation is "unprecedented" and has "never, never, never" been so used before.
O'Donnell's many off-his-meds rants notwithstanding [recent example here
], he actually does understand the legislative process, having served as Dem Chief of Staff of the Senate Committee on Finance back in the HillaryCare day.O'Donnell also criticized the MSM "group think"
to the effect that Dems were obliged to pass some kind of health care legislation this year. Larry's uncharacteristically lucid observations came during his Morning Joe appearance today. [H/t reader Mike K.]
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Will Democrats get health care passed?
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: I'm going to say what I've said all along in my humble approach to this subject. I, having worked on this kind of legislation on the Senate floor, trying to get it passed, and in committee. I do not see how they can do this. Now, and part of that is because it's never been done before. And they have moved into a legislative territory that has never previously existed. The Republicans have not been very smart about trying to describe this. It's difficult to describe. But this is unprecedented, using reconciliation this way. Because what they've done, is that they've abandoned a bill in mid-conference. The Senate passed a bill, the House passed a bill. They were in mid-conference negotiating this bill, in conference, and they said it's going to be impossible for us to pass it now because of Scott Brown, so we're going to abandon conferencing this bill and move over to another legislative vehicle, called reconciliation. To handle something you've already been legislating another way, now, that's never occurred before.
SCARBOROUGH: That's never happened?
O'DONNELL: Never, never, never.
A bit later, O'Donnell made another surprisingly candid comment about the MSM.
O'DONNELL: I have never seen, when people come on this show all year, everybody, the conventional wisdom on this show is the Democrats have to pass something because it will be terrible if they don't because they'll show they can't govern. And the thing they have to pass is opposed by a majority of the public. Fifty-three percent, you know, somewhere in there, maybe more. No one has given me the example of the party that passed the thing the public didn't want in order to win an election. But every single pundit on this show--except for you as far as I can tell--for a year, Democrat and Republican, they all agree, that this has to be done. The group-think in the media about the Democrats have to do this for their own good is virtually universal. And that group-think is joined at some point in the Congress and we'll see if that's the group-think that gets them through to do this.