So lemme get this straight: first they deem it, then they reconcile it…

…and then they pass it? Is that why it smells so bad?

I was just getting to understand the whole “deem and pass” (or, if you must, “demon pass”) thing when the news broke: the Democrats have dumped “deem and pass” and will instead take an up-or-down vote on the bill…

…um, which bill? The Senate bill? And then…

And then… what? Well, here’s what The Hill says:

The House appears set now to move toward an up-or-down vote on the Senate healthcare bill, as well as a separate, up-or-down vote on the series of changes to that bill. There will still be a vote on the rule, as there always is for a piece of legislation, though it will not package the two bills together.

And then, I suppose, the Senate will have to vote again. Right? Except they either have to get 60 votes, or do that reconciliation thing.

Ooo-kay. See, I can’t figure why Democrats ever thought “deem and pass” was a good idea in the first place. You’re not going to vote on the bill, okay, I get that. That’s a tough vote, and people hate the bill, so you don’t want to vote on it. Easy.

So instead, you’re going to vote on a rule that “deems” the bill to have passed?

And that’s better? You’ll be better off telling your angry Tea Partying constituents that, no, you didn’t vote on the bill, you voted on a rule that assumes that the bill had already passed?

Yeah, that’d go over well.

But that’s all moot now, I guess. If I’ve got this all right — and I admit, that’s a big “if” — then the only thing smarter than dumping “deem and pass” would have been never considering “deem and pass” to begin with.

Unless the point was only to confuse people like me — people who oppose government-run health care on principle, but who don’t have the time or inclination to figure out every tiny angle and cranny.

If that was the point, then well done. It worked.

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