EXCLUSIVE: Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don’t have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.
Got it? In other words, the Obama administration intends to get its unpopular cap 'n tax bill passed by some of the same legislative flim-flammery that worked with health care.
The fact that they're planning to delay the vote until after the election indicates that the administration understands the American people oppose what they're doing. They just don't care. They do know better, after all -- just like they did with health care.
Perhaps incumbent House Democrats might try running on an innovative platform: If you reelect me, I might listen to your concerns about the energy bill and vote against it . . . but if you throw me out, I'll punish you by voting for a bill that I know you don't want.
It's one thing to oppose the wishes of the opposition party. There's something about this plan -- designed to skirt the expressed wishes of the majority of Americans -- that is almost creepily anti-democratic.