On three separate Fox News programs yesterday -- on Neil Cavuto's show, on Sean Hannity, and on Greta Van Susteren -- the hosts specifically referred to the Democrats' decision to go through "reconciliation" sessions to settle on the final form of the health-care legislation as "the nuclear option."
Now just a gol-darned minute. The "nuclear option" always referred to the possibility of permanently changing Senate rules regarding filibusters so that the minority could not use it so readily to frustrate majority-approved legislation -- and it was an invention of Republicans who were considering bringing it against Democrats.
No such steps are being considered here.
Instead, we're seeing the health-care legislation go through the "reconciliation" process, which assures that it will only need 51 votes to pass. This is a long-established Senate procedure, and was indeed used frequently by Republicans when they controlled the Senate from 2001-2006.
Republicans repeatedly used reconciliation to pass former President Bush's agenda. Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to pass Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as well as the 2005 "Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act." The Senate also used the procedure to pass a bill containing a provision that would permit oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (The final version of that bill signed by Bush did not contain the provision on drilling.)
These people never quit when it comes to twisting reality for their agenda, do they?