Republicans Use ‘Deem and Pass’
David Kurtz reports, “House Republicans are about to use “deem and pass” — a.k.a., a self-executing rule — which you may recall was the same legislative mechanism they decried last year during the health care reform debate as a threat to all that is right and good about America.”
Is this hypocritical? Of course!
But it’s hardly surprising. Not only do politicians seldom give up power once predecessors successfully claim it (see, for example, Obama’s Gitmo signing statements) but, more importantly, there’s a not-entirely-unreasonable unwillingness to unilaterally disarm. Thus, Republicans used the same outrageous procedures they railed against in the Bork hearings to oppose controversial Democratic nominees, citing the Bork precedent!
Obviously, this creates a vicious cycle. Unless a party in charge renounces a bad practice and actually abstains from using it, it will never change. But, given the very real fear that the other party would simply dig up their old tricks once they inevitably resume control, there’s not much incentive to be the first mover.