In a second item Greg recommends that "Dems can try to change the underlying dynamic — as hard as this might appear — by challenging, and perhaps changing, the procedural realities that make this dynamic possible." He adds:
To be clear, reconciliation is one way to challenge that underlying dynamic, as is (of course) reforming the filibuster.This is flat-out wrong. Reconciliation is part of the current procedural reality of the Senate, not something that would change the underlying dynamic.
Back during the fight over the public option and health care reform, I argued that liberals who believed that reconciliation was a magic bullet on health care were wrong, because I believed that the votes didn't fall correctly for reconciliation to get liberals the bill they wanted. There are political problems with trying to get exactly fifty votes in the Senate out of fifty-nine Democrats, because a whole lot of Democrats don't want to appear to be very liberal. Those are real problems, and they would be real problems even if there was no such thing as a filibuster. And of course reconciliation has rules that make it no cure-all. But there is absolutely nothing unusual, extraordinary, or new about using reconciliation for major bills. None.
As long as Republicans keep saying it, I'm going to keep repeating that they're wrong.