The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol reacts to the self-executing rule:
A memo from a top aide to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen late last week counseled other Democratic staffers to tell their bosses not to worry, that "things like reconciliation and what the rules committee does is INSIDE BASEBALL." Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters, "I don't think any American...is going to make the distinction" between the Slaughter procedure and a straightforward vote on the legislation. "Process is interesting, particularly to all of us around this room. But in the final analysis, what is interesting to the American public is what does this bill do for them and their families."
In other words: the American public doesn't care about how our representatives govern us--which is to say, about how we govern ourselves. Whether Congress follows its rules, whether there is democratic accountability, whether there is constitutional probity--none of this matters according to Hoyer. Rather, the self-centered and self-concerned American people only care about the (alleged) results of the legislation.
That second paragraph is about as dishonest as you can get. There's no reason to believe Congress won't "follow its rules" or maintain "constitutional probity" -- reconciliation and self-executing rules have been used in the past by Republicans. Kristol offers no explanation for why either procedure is undemocratic, inconsistent with Congressional rules, or unconstitutional -- he just pretends that's a given.
Kristol may as well have written "In other words: the American people doesn't care about whether our representatives beat puppies to death with hammers." Yes, it's true: If Democrats said anything like that, they'd be crazy! But they didn't.