‘DEAD OF NIGHT’…. Over the course of the afternoon, we’ve heard quite a few floor speeches from opponents of health care reform, most of them repeating tired, cliched talking points. I haven’t checked, but it stands to reason that some GOP lawmakers are just using their remarks from November, only now with more Soviet references.

But there’s one talking point that’s new, and unique to the circumstances: Republicans are now saying Democrats intend to pass health care reform in the “dead of night.”


Now, my first thought is to remind GOP officials that when House Republicans voted to pass Medicare Part D under almost-comically corrupt circumstances, they did so after 3 a.m. If they want to talk about passing health care bills in the “dead of night,” we can talk about passing health care bills in the “dead of night.”

But that’s not really the best response. The better retort is to note that they’re the ones delaying the process. House Dems would almost certainly welcome the chance to vote right now, in prime time, for all the world to see, and then everyone could go home. The people complaining about voting in the “dead of night” are the ones pushing the vote into the “dead of night,” with pointless procedural delays.

I don’t really expect sincere and honest arguments at this point, but c’mon.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.