Monday, November 23, 2009

Echidne The Ignorant

Please educate me about the master plan of the Democrats in Congress. I'm a naive goddess, after all, and find it tricky to understand how these political games are played.

Here's the problem I have: If I was selling a house my real estate agent (realtor) would tell me to ask a certain price for it, with the full understanding that the final price would be lower than my initial asking price, unless the demand side of the market was much more desperate than we had estimated. So if I wanted, say, 160,000 for the house, I'd set an asking price of 190,000. Right?

Then move to what the Democrats did with the HCR and reproductive choice: They began with the Capp amendment:

In an attempt to try to find a compromise for dealing with abortion services in the legislation, I offered an amendment that would essentially continue this ban - even though I personally oppose the Hyde Amendment - that was supported by Energy and Commerce Committee Members whose records span the pro-life and pro-choice spectrum. Our hope was that we could continue the current ban on federal funding for abortion so the issue wouldn't bog down the overall health reform legislation.

In terms of my example, this would be the 190,000 dollars? But what did the Democrats actually want to get, then? And why did it look as if the Stupak amendment came as a big surprise to them? It sounds to me as if they asked 160,000 dollars and expected the other side not to bargain over it at all. Now that is unlikely, given that we are talking about experienced politicians here, and this makes me wonder if the Stupak amendment indeed was the price the Democrats thought they could get.