There are reports that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are planning to implement health care deform legislation through a reconciliation procedure that would require only 50 votes (plus Biden’s) to pass the Senate.
Obama assures us that he is not an ideologue. His supporters assert that he is very intelligent. But only an ideologue or an idiot would attempt to use such parliamentary chicanery to force the passage of transformational legislation that will affect the life of every American against the intense opposition of a healthy majority of the electorate.
The immediate political consequences of this action would be devastating to those who take it. The substance is bad enough. But adding procedural insult to substantive injury will intensify the fury of the backlash. An idiot would not know: an ideologue would not care.
But an ideologue would be willing to incur these political costs in order to achieve a deeply held desire to increase vastly the intrusions of the state into our lives, knowing that such a change would be (a) very difficult to reverse, and (b) would fundamentally alter the relationship the citizenry and the state in a way s/he greatly desires; the ideologue would reason that the long term political consequences would be well worth the short term political costs.
An idiot would be willing to take this action, not knowing any better, because, well s/he is an idiot.
Pelosi and Reid (and their most ardent lieutenants) are hell-bent on health-care-legislation-at-any-cost because they are idiotic ideologues. We shall soon see whether this description fits Obama as well.