Frankly, I don’t think this assessment of one of the methods by which the Democratic leadership may foist health-care transformation on the rest of us is hyperbole:

[T]he proposals before us now are of such a magnitude as to transform American life and work as we have known it. To have such momentous decisions made in the backroom by a half-dozen leaders (without the public’s having a chance to comment) and then to have it rubber-stamped by obedient backbench representatives and senators who have not even asserted their prerogative to read the bills they are told to vote for — if that were to happen, then our people’s Congress would become like the lackey-filled old Soviet Parliament.

To paraphrase Hannah Arendt: For the leaders to “speak in the form of commanding” and for the rank and file to “hear in the form of obeying” is not a transaction between free people.

Whatever the motives of their leaders, it is within the power — and it is the duty — of the rank-and-file members of Congress to insist on regular legislative order. Their careers — to say nothing of the republic — may require that insistence.

 The writer is Tony Blankley.