Ryan Grimm of Huffpost is reporting a double standard has formed in the Senate thanks to the Democratic leadership. Apparently when it comes to the confirmation of Wall Street favorite Ben Bernanke, Democratic leadership is fine with a 50 vote threshold to shut off debate (cloture) of the nomination but when it comes to something like REAL health care reform the vote threshold is 60 votes. What it comes down to is who is buttering your bread?
If it is good for Wall Street then its 50 votes. If it is bad for Wall Street (and private health insurance industry) then its 60 votes. So what is going on? Let's just say it isn't a Profile in Courage:
Democratic leaders in the Senate are asking colleagues who are reluctant to support Bernanke's nomination for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman to nevertheless vote with them to end a filibuster and allow a vote on the actual nomination. The reluctant members would then be free to vote no to express their displeasure. Several Democrats have committed to just that and others are considering it.
The public health insurance option was stripped from health care reform because it didn't have 60 votes. An expansion of Medicare took its place but it, too, was dropped for having fewer than 60. Both proposals had at least 50 votes. Dawn Johnsen, a nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, has the backing of progressive organizations, but a 60-vote threshold has held her up for a year.
When its convenient for Democrats and the Wall Street/corporate benefactors 50 votes is the new hurdle. But when it comes to providing Medicare for All - its 60 votes. Chris Bowers does a good job of calling out Senate Democratic leadership:
The double standard at play here is that some Senators want to make it look like they opposed Bernanke, but don't actually intend to stop Bernanke. By contrast, some of these same Senators will actually use the filibuster to block the public option, and don't want to make it just look like they are opposing the public option.
This is a good example of how some Senate Democrats use process issues, such as the filibuster, to make to appear like they are on your side, even when they are not:
1. When they don't actually want to stop something the grassroots wants to stop, some will vote against final passage, but vote to invoke cloture. They will claim "hey, I voted for change at the Fed," even though they sided with Bernanke on the most important vote--the one for cloture.
2. Alternatively, when they want to oppose something progressives want, but don't want to make it appear like they opposed it, they will say "hey, there aren't 60 votes," without saying which votes are unavailable or batting an eyelash about the hypocrisy with the first bullet point.
For non-partisans ignore the words "grassroots" and "progressives" and substitute "middle class families". Don't be fooled neither party, particularly the leadership, is concerned about Middle Class Families.
Just think the Supreme Court last week said the money doesn't corrupt. What fucking bubble is Justice Kennedy living in?
More on that and the crap that the White House is trying to pull coming up later.