“Democratic congressional leaders have floated a plan to enact health-care reform by a procedure dubbed ‘the Slaughter solution.’ It is named not for the political carnage that it might inflict on their members, but for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, who proposed it. Under her proposal, Democrats would pass a rule that deems the Senate’s health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on the bill. This would enable Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill without facing a Senate filibuster, and without requiring House members to vote in favor of a Senate bill that is now politically toxic. The Slaughter solution cannot be squared with Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution.” Michael W. McConnell, ‘The House Health-Care Vote and the Constitution’, The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2010
My father owned a thriving Animal By-Products Company – Charles Rowley ABP Ltd. – in Southampton, Hampshire. During the summer holidays, as we were growing up, my brother and I would often travel as passengers in one of the many vans that visited slaughterhouses spread across the southern counties of England. The enjoyable part of such ventures was travelling through the beautiful countryside of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Sussex, Dorset, and Somerset, enjoying the open road (few people had cars in England during the early 1950s) and the blue sky. Almost without exception, the sun seemed to shine down upon us we travelled the leafy lanes.
The inevitable price came as the van drew up at the slaughterhouse. My brother and I were not spared. Into that house of death we would go, holding our noses, and treading warily across surfaces slippery with blood, excrement and pieces of carcass of recently slaughtered cattle. Oh, and the stench of fear as desperately foot-dragging animals were led in lines to the stun gun and then, often still alert, were slit from neck to stern by hard-faced men, seemingly hardened against their awful profession. Even now, I can recall the stench, of fear, blood and excrement of a process that few meat-eaters ever experience.
Well, Dear Readers, those of you who enjoyed the ‘sunshine and blue skies’ of your childhood civics classes that glorify the democratic foundations of American exceptionalism, may now be about to draw up at that slaughterhouse of American politics so inappropriately named the House of Representatives. Hold your noses as you walk through those dreadful portals and please do watch your step. Make sure that you wear boots with well-adjusted soles. For you may be about to wade your way through human waste and offal of the most offputting kind. And never ever forget the stench of decay and death of a foot-dragging American Constitution as it is pushed remorselessly forward, first to Slaughter’s stun gun, then to Pelosi’s butcher’s knife, and finally to a slow and painful death.
How can it have come to pass, you may well ask, that a constitution-hater like Louise Slaughter was able to access this hallowed chamber and to take charge of the stun gun that will apply the coup de grace to representative democracy? How could it have come to pass that a constitution-hater like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, could run such a slaughterhouse behind doors locked and bolted to keep all opposition out? And to do so with the benign consent of the Overlord who is located a discreet mile or so distant in order to avoid the foul aroma of the carnage that he has unleashed.
At least, during my youth, such dirty business was the exclusive domain of poorly educated, impoverished men, desperate to earn enough to feed their under-nourished families. In March 2010, highly educated men and women gladly assume the role and relish in the blood and excrement that they are creating in order to feed their insatiable egos.
Shame on you, Slaughter and Pelosi and all you other consenting employees of the slaughterhouse, as you contemplate defiling yet further the constitutional republic that you should be so honored to serve. Shame on you! Shame on you, every one of you!