Using reconciliation to push health care through will turn the Senate into a crude, partisan arena much like the House, argues David Brooks. Once a place where alliances were formed between individual lawmakers, the Senate used to reflect the human sympathy seen in one-on-one relationships; a party-line vote will reduce it to the more cold and calculating nature of group-to-group relationships, Brooks writes in the New York Times.
If partisan reconciliation is used this time, it will set a precedent for every bill to follow and turn the Senate into the House. "The remnants of person-to-person relationships, with their sympathy and sentiment, will be snuffed out," he predicts. "We will live amid the relationships of group versus group, party versus party, inhumanity versus inhumanity. With increasing effectiveness, the system bleaches out normal behavior and the normal instincts of human sympathy."