If there has ever been a time for the Senate Republicans to get dramatic, that time is now. When it comes to the debate over the health care overhaul, this is not the time for the GOP to be sitting back and being collegial.
Erick Erickson, over at RedState, has a solid piece encouraging the GOP to start forcing the Democrats to put a face on the health care bill. Erickson is encouraging the GOP to start using every parliamentary procedure available to them to do two things 1) simply delay the debate on the bill and 2) give time to the rest of America and people like Erickson and you to examine the bill in all its monstrosity. Make no mistake any single bill that is over 2,000 pages long, affects one sixth of the national economy and radically alters the manner in which Americans will receive and pay for health care is a monstrosity--regardless of the details. The term applies to what ever party is sponsoring the bill--it is too big and too unweildy.
But here is a better reason for enforcing the parliamentary rules. By constantly suggesting, as Erickson does, that the GOP actually require 51 Senators be on the floor, most Democrats, then you start making those Senators who are up for re-election to spend some time on the floor of the Senate, making sure the CSPAN cameras capture their face supporting this bill. Those Senators who are up for election in 2010 cannot simply hide. If they aren't on the floor of the Senate, their GOP challenger will say "where were you when the Senate was debating this big bill?" If the embattled senators are on teh floor, they cannot escape responsibility for those votes.
I am of the belief that as Americans learn more about this bill, the more they are not going to like it. It is not that the average Americans don't want to help people who don't have insurance. The problem is that people are afraid of losing what they have and make no mistake, if you have health insurance and you like it, that insurance will change in some respect and it may not be a good thing. Change is difficult enough when it is incremental. When it is radical change--without a solid reason for it--it is impossible.
So to the GOP--this isn't the time for being nice guys. It is time to stand on the principle if you truly believe it. If you don't believe in the principle of individual choice, of smaller government, of states rights, then just do what you are doing and watch the train wreck because you won't be affected, will you?