Over the weekend Redstate’s Erick Erickson made an impassioned plea that Republican Senators avail themselves of every parliamentary device at their disposal to obstruct the nationalization of health care. We posted a long response from a GOP Senate source in “How is Obamacare to be stopped?”
Today Oklahoma’s magnificent Senator (and Dr.) Tom Coburn has begun to follow up on Erickson’s plea. Senator Coburn objected to the unanimous consent required to waive the reading of Senator Sanders’s 767-page amendment supporting frankly socialized medicine. (I understand that Senator Demint is assisting Senator Coburn in maintaining the floor presence necessary to withhold unanimous consent.)
Senator Sanders is, of course, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, the Senate’s only admitted socialist. The Senate clerk is now reading Sanders’s proposed amendment. Philip Klein estimates that the reading will take as long as 38 hours.
If our GOP Senate source’s background information on GOP tactics was on the money, Senator Coburn’s move — pleasing as it is in itself — is not a good sign. Our source argued that “the time for spectacle” had not yet arrived. Has it now arrived?
Redstate comments on today’s proceedings here, without making any comment on what they might mean. You know you’re in trouble when you have to hope that Roland Burris means what he says, or when you want Howard Dean to be able to persuade at least one Democratic Senator to stand with him on principle and oppose a horrendous piece of legislation. I fear we’re in that kind of trouble.
UPDATE: Rich Lowry reports that Sanders has pulled his amendment. NRO’s Robert Costa provides a more hopeful take on these proceedings here. Klein notes that the Democrats were — hold your breath — playing fast and loose with the rules.
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