Watching the health care debacle unfold, I was of course, infuriated to see the hypocrisy of the Democrats on the issue of reconciliation, which they lambasted as undemocratic, dangerous, and wrong when George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress threatened to use this "nuclear option" in 2005.
Every single one of the Democrats' leaders who are advocating the (mis)use of reconciliation today, were among its fiercest critics not very long ago. Indeed, Joe Biden literally says in the video above that he prays that the Democrats won't be so foolhardy as to use reconciliation when they regain power. Now he's part of administration that is doing the very thing he and then-Senator Obama so vehemently opposed.
But most Republicans watching this had better take something more away from it than their disdain for Democratic hypocrisy. You see, the video above shows just how responsible the Republican Party is for the problems Americans face today. By pushing the limits of the parliamentary process into the gutter during their tenure, the Republicans set the stage and precedent for what the Democrats did this week.
Think the Democrats are running up the budget deficit? "Where were you when the Republicans were in power?" any Democrat can now ask. Angry about health care reform getting rammed down your throat? "The Republicans started it," any Democrat can correctly respond. The Republicans- who claim to be defenders of liberty, sound fiscal policy, and the Constitution- spent eight years destroying these things, and now have no rebuttal, no credibility, and no ground to stand on.
Indeed the impotence of the Republican Party's response to the Democrats' assault is only a symptom of their impotent and hollow governance for eight years under Bush, which was itself only a symptom- a symptom of the impotence and apathy of the GOP's grassroots members. Hopefully recent events such as the unprecedented march of the state on our freedoms, as well as the inspiring political movement that has coalesced around the person of Congressman Ron Paul, will be enough to change grassroots Republicans forever.
If they have the courage, principle, and wherewithal to change the face of their party into something more principled- and yes, even more libertarian- if grassroots Republicans are able to bring Republican practice in line with Republican principles, then finally, things might change for the better. If this happens, nothing will be able to stop the march of freedom.