Erick Erickson over at RedState.com has developed quite a good playbook for Conservatives, RINOs, and GOPers currently in Congress. Here's a portion of it:
The Senate, unlike the House of Representatives, has parliamentary rules and procedures that give the minority the ability to stall legislation. In fact, unlike the House, the minority have the ability to virtually paralyze the Senate. Doing so is not something we would want or expect for every bad bill that comes through Congress, but the proposed healthcare legislation is probably the worst piece of legislation ever considered by the United States Congress. It is the most intrusive, most damaging, most costly, most dangerous bill to the economic and personal freedom and liberty of individual Americans that Congress has ever considered. If there is any bill that deserves being stopped by shutting down the Senate, it is this one.
There are a whole series of parliamentary maneuvers that could be used by Republican senators to stop this bill. There is a hard backstop to the current process (Christmas). The Republicans’ goal should be to prevent Reid from passing the bill before that time. If he goes past Christmas and is forced to adjourn or recess, the momentum will shift in favor of those opposing the bill.
How could this be done?
To start with, they should stop constantly agreeing to “unanimous consent” requests from the Democrats. Senate Republicans, to date, have allowed Democrats, by unanimous consent, to process 10 amendments. The amendments that have been accepted – Democrat amendments – did not make the over 2000-page atrocity any better. The Republican strategy of trying to pass their own “message” amendments carries no message unless you consider “no strategy to kill the bill” a message. There are no amendments that could possibly make this bill a palatable piece of legislation – and any amendments the Republicans get passed that supposedly make the bill “better” may just make it easier for the Democrats to get final passage. If the Republicans want the news media to cover what they are doing to educate the American people even further about the atrociousness of this bill, they have to create drama on the floor of the Senate. And the only way to do that is through an all-out fight with no holds barred. They need to look like Braveheart, fighting to the end to save freedom. Because, in fact, it is our very freedom and liberty that is at stake.
The most powerful words in the Senate are "I object." Senate Republicans should have been shouting those two words on the Senate floor early and often from the moment this bill was considered, instead of the complete silence we have heard – other than to constantly agree to conduct business through unanimous consent. Here are just a few ways those words can (and should) be used in a very effective way:
The rules of the Senate require that a quorum be present to transact business. A quorum is 51 Senators. In most instances, outside of roll call votes, there are no more than 4 Senators on the Senate floor. If a Republican Senator suggested the absence of a quorum, Democrats could not transact business on the bill. It is a common courtesy to allow the quorum call to be dispensed with, without requiring 51 members to show up on the Senate floor (to get 51 Senators to appear without a roll call vote is very time consuming). When the Democrats ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with, the Republican should immediately shout "I object."
This is great advice to be heeded by all in the GOP. Read the rest of Erick's excellent post here.
Senator Coburn (R-Okla) was going to have the entire Senate health care bill be read aloud before it was voted on but backed down because the Senator and other members of his party thought that this tactic would play poorly in the press.
Who cares what the press thinks?
The Democrats talk all the time about how necessary this bill is to fixing health care and how it needs to be passed IMMEDIATELY yet a majority of the bill is not enacted until 2013. The most recent analysis of this bill shows us that passing this bill will be worse than doing nothing, so by stopping it we're preventing further disaster. The GOPers in Congress need to grab a microphone and/or a camera and explain this to the American people.
In other words. Fight. Don't bend. Our kids are depending on you.
(Cross posted @ The Alexandria Patriot)