Herding Cats

TPM is doing the same thing Tim is, trying to track where House members stand. So where do they stand? Everywhere:

houseclusterfuck

It is over, folks. Everyone yelling at Obama and Reid and Pelosi to show leadership should take a deep breath and realize that when the House is this divided, there is really not much threats and the bully pulpit can do. I don’t see how you put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

But what about the magical reconciliation, which some of you insisted for months was the way to go bet never once would show me the 50 votes? I hope you can appreciate this:

There was some talk among Senate leadership on Thursday of putting together a letter signed by 51 Democratic senators pledging to pass a cleanup bill if the House would pass the Senate bill. But that effort fizzled when support for it didn’t materialize, insiders said.

“The Senate moderates’ viewpoint is, ‘We passed our bill. We’re not going to spend three weeks on some other bill,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who represents clients pushing for reform.

“There’s a real possibility it doesn’t get through,” said another Democratic lobbyist.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said one possibility involved having the Senate pass the cleanup bill first. But there’s a question as to whether the Senate can amend a bill that is not yet law, officials said. Reid would also want some assurances ahead of time from the parliamentarian that key elements of the cleanup bill would not be struck from the bill, officials said.

House Democrats are angry with the Senate for passing a bill that divided their base, angering labor unions with a tax on expensive health plans and progressives by abandoning the public option. House members are frustrated that the Senate assumes they will roll over whenever the upper chamber demands it and that they took until late December to pass a bill.

This. Is. Over.

Just bury it and let’s get talking about midnight basketball and after-school programs.

(But, by all means, keep calling. Miracles do happen, and the Kossacks are not giving up.).






200 replies
  1. 1
    jibeaux says:

    Sheesh, BJ is a house divided.
    I’m not giving up until the black guy sings, myself. Drafting my letter to fax to my Senator now, couldn’t get through on the phone lines.

  2. 2
    ellaesther says:

    You and Tim F. do realize that a house divided against itself canna stand, don’t you?

    Just askin’.

  3. 3
    John Cole says:

    @ellaesther: By all means, keep calling. I’m going down with the ship, too, but just realize that it is probably futile.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    They had no plan, and they have no plan. We don’t have a caucus. We don’t have a political party. We have a loose collection of cowards, blowhards, liars, dreamers and failures.

    aimai

  5. 5
    stevie314159 says:

    How soon before FDL publishes its 2012 Obama-Hillary primary poll results?

  6. 6

    Is Rahm going to let this crisis go to waste?

  7. 7

    Forget b-ball and afterschool programs, I want action on school uniforms.

  8. 8
    Tomlinson says:

    Yeah, this is awesome leadership, Obama. Way to go. Have you ever considered switching to R? The dems could really use that. That’s change we could believe in!

  9. 9
    Kirk Spencer says:

    If this fails to pass, pencil in about 5% of an area’s Dem voters as staying home next November. See 1994 both to explain why (failed to pass health care after beating the horse for MONTHS – again) and what it looks like after it happens.

    Nonetheless, the general idea will be “If you’re not able to do the job, why should we pay you?”

  10. 10
    Rick Massimo says:

    “The Senate moderates’ viewpoint is, ‘We passed our bill. We’re not going to spend three weeks on some other bill,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who represents clients pushing for reform.

    Yeah, and the House liberals’ viewpoint is, “We passed our bill.” But somehow, it’s only the liberals who have to eat the shit sandwich.

    And yeah, I know this is asymmetric: The Senate “moderates” don’t actually want to reform health care in any way, so they can play brinksmanship. I know the Senate bill should pass; I’m just complainin’.

  11. 11
    cfaller96 says:

    I’m not sure it makes a difference, but I’m telling you the Progressives are bluffing. No way do they vote no on the Senate bill if the time comes. I’m a dickish (trollish) progressive who supported a lot of the posturing and fighting, and I’m saying now that it was a bluff and you should call us on it.

    Unfortunately, I think Stupak and his crowd are NOT bluffing and I don’t know how to flip them. Without them 218 will not happen, so I don’t know that it makes a difference.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    The questin I have- will the magical thinkers who insisted there were 51 votes for reconciliation but who never named the 51 come forward, or will I have to dig them out of the comments on my own?

    Or are they now all blaming this on Obama, when he clearly knew reconciliation would not work and told Reid not to gamble with the PO unless he had the votes.

  13. 13
    ellaesther says:

    @jibeaux: Jinx. And given the mood, rather than the traditional Coke, I believe I’ll spot you the alcoholic beverage of your choice.

    I don’t drink, and I kind of feel like an alcoholic beverage right about now.

  14. 14
    Napoleon says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    I actually think NAFTA was a bigger deal in 94, but same result, demoralized base which didn’t turn out.

    Personally I really see no reason to continue voting if they don’t pass it. Why should I?

  15. 15
    Scott P. says:

    It looks to me like the Senate and House Democrats expect to get some kind of pat on the back for trying. Sure, they didn’t actually get anything signed into law, but they tried really hard! They even voted on a bill!

    Total insanity.

  16. 16
    edmund dantes says:

    @cfaller96:

    Unfortunately, I think Stupak and his crowd are NOT bluffing and I don’t know how to flip them. Without them 218 will not happen, so I don’t know that it makes a difference.

    Don’t worry. Stupak is the Liberal’s fault too.

  17. 17
    dr. bloor says:

    They’re Brown Election +3 days. Should they have been better prepared? Oh, absolutely. Shit, they should have been all over MA in December to save Croakley from herself. But with all due respect, John, it’s Not. Over. Yet. If nothing else, all the scrambling we’re seeing, public statements and back stories suggest that they finally have a sense of the gravity of the situation.

  18. 18
    Tomlinson says:

    they finally have a sense of the gravity of the situation.

    Maybe they’ll commission a study.

  19. 19
    Joshua Norton says:

    Herding Cats

    and dogs and cows and chickens and goats and wolverines…..

  20. 20
    Splitting Image says:

    Problem is:

    If health care reform is over, then this year’s new goal of deficit reduction is over too.

    If the government is not willing to address the problems in the largest segment of its budget, then budget reform can’t happen.

    The notion that they should “put health care aside to deal with the economy” is a TV trope. At this point they are the same thing.

  21. 21
    twiffer says:

    one of the things i keep hearing is the house is angry and frustrated about the senate dumping this on them. you know what? who fucking cares? name one person you know who doesn’t have shit that isn’t their problem or fault dumped on them? hell, the core function of my job is dealing with shit that gets dumped on my team. sure it pisses me off and a bitch about it to co-workers & family. but i still make sure it gets taken care of, cause it’s my fucking job.

    so, house reps, do your fucking job first and bitch later. don’t whine about having to make a decision, because doing so is your fucking job.

  22. 22
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    If there are not 50 votes in the Senate for a companion reconciliation bill that simply puts in the excise tax fix that was negotiated by the White House with the unions, then the Senate bill is dead.

    Personally, I think that is all it will take, but others may disagree. I do know that if that minimum can not be done, then the effort is in fact dead.

    There are not anywhere near 218 votes in the House willing to buck the unions. If the unions do not sign off, then this horse is dead.

    I would like to know for sure that there are not 50 votes in the Senate for that fix before I agree with your post.

  23. 23
    jibeaux says:

    @ellaesther:

    The problem is that I like so many. Margarita would be nice, but the festivity would feel forced. Probably just a nice pint. Something Irish. That should capture the futility and hopelessness nicely, no?

  24. 24
    Napoleon says:

    @cfaller96:

    Unfortunately, I think Stupak and his crowd are NOT bluffing and I don’t know how to flip them. Without them 218 will not happen, so I don’t know that it makes a difference.

    How can you say that? 1) Stupak was already shown to be bluffing when he inflated his numbers for the vote the first time around, so we know he would do it, 2) if he isn’t why doesn’t he name his names? and 3) it was well reported after the first vote that Pelosi had more people willing to vote for the more liberal house version then actually voted for it. We don’t know how many that is but she had somekind of a cushion against flippers.

  25. 25
    ellaesther says:

    @John Cole: Ready to go? Fired up?

    Sigh. I do try to recognize when battles are futile (remember me? Advocating for Israeli-Palestinian peace for a quarter of a century now?), but no good thing happened without it’s first being futile for awhile. Sometimes a long while.

    And as I don’t say it often enough, I’ll say it: Thanks for this place. It’s a good place.

    And kind thoughts to your shoulder.

  26. 26
    edmund dantes says:

    @John Cole: Are you also going to take to task all those people that said pass the bill (which didn’t exist at the time), and we can fix it later?

    If there weren’t votes to pass it in reconciliation, why were there votes there to fix it later?

  27. 27
    keestadoll says:

    Huh…Alan Grayson and Maxine waters are down as “noncommittal.”

    Hmm…

  28. 28

    Here is my count:

    1. Republicans (-41)

    So we are now at 59.

    2. Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Joementum, Tom Carper, Evan Bayh (-7)

    So we are now at 52. Who else would you be certain won’t vote for a reconciliation bill? Because if that is it then we have two votes to spare by my count. (I’m pretty sure Biden would vote for it in case of a tie.)

  29. 29
    Tomlinson says:

    Must read: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....?ref=fpblg

    That’s the leader of the dem party. Nice.

    one of the things i keep hearing is the house is angry and frustrated about the senate dumping this on them. you know what? who fucking cares?

    Exactly. I didn’t send you to Washington because it’s easy. I’m not paying your salary because it’s fun for you. I expect you to do your fucking job, even – ESPECIALLY – when it is hard.

    Grow a pair. Do what needs to be done.

    And all this whining is unseemly at best.

  30. 30
    BFR says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t think it’s hopeless but I think it’s out of the hands of the activists. There’s a bunch of Congressfolk who aren’t sure which way to go.

    I suspect a simple call from the DNC and/or the White House could clear it up – “vote yes on this thing or you’re not getting one dime from us for your re-election, and we’re going to make sure lobbyists doors are closed to you too.”

    When I hear all this ranting about Obama not showing ‘leadership’ I cringe a little. What needs to happen needs to happen quietly and out of the press.

  31. 31
    Senyordave says:

    so, house reps, do your fucking job first and bitch later. don’t whine about having to make a decision, because doing so is your fucking job.

    Twiffer,

    Well said!

  32. 32
    Sue says:

    Napoleon, that was the tack I took yesterday when I phoned my senators, representative and the White House. I mentioned both the SCOTUS decision and Nancy Pelosi’s announcement, and said that I wasn’t seeing a reason to continue being part of the voting process. Only Feingold’s office showed any reaction on the comment; the rest were “ok, thanks for the input”. The person I talked to at Feingold’s office sounded as smacked-down as I felt.

  33. 33
    evie says:

    If it’s over, so is all of my donating — no more time or money to Democrats. Zero.

    And yes, this is about leadership. The House wouldn’t have to be so divided if leadership had one single clue about what they were doing.

    btw — who are the people at the WH and in the Senate responsible for knowing how elections are going? Those people should be fired. If no one has that responsibility, then it is on Obama and Reid, both of whom will see accountability in the next election.

    If MA was the be-all, end-all of health care reform, why didn’t anyone bother to know what was happening until two weeks before the election?

  34. 34
    cfaller96 says:

    I don’t know if I was a magical thinker, but I probably was, so I’ll bite: the logic in my mind on going the route of reconciliation was that it offered maximum pressure on the moderates while also demonstrating maximum effort on the best legislation possible.

    Obviously, that route may have failed. But as we’re seeing today, that may not have been a worse outcome than the route chosen, and solace can be taken in the fact that everything was tried. As I said in another thread, failure can be forgiven and built upon, but failure to try cannot.

    John, I think that’s something you don’t understand about liberal complaints- in our minds not even trying is worse than trying and failing. Reconciliation (may have) represented the former, whereas courting Lieberman et al is the latter. If both end in failure, then how we fail matters.

  35. 35
    TR says:

    @Rick Massimo:

    But somehow, it’s only the liberals who have to eat the shit sandwich.

    No “somehow” about it. It’s pretty simple: There’s no getting the House bill passed by the Senate now, but the House could pass the Senate bill. Therefore, it rests with the House.

    Liberals get to be the grown-ups. Again.

  36. 36
    Mary says:

    Not impressed with you telling us our efforts are useless. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We would be remiss not to have given it our all.

    It is my feeling that those who want health care reform are coming around to our point of view and that satisfying the unions with regard to the excise tax is doable.

  37. 37
    autrement qu'etre says:

    Another noncommittal — Frank Pallone (NJ). Prefers the House bill, but is still figuring out what to do.

  38. 38

    I’m holding out hope. I’m not optimistic… but I’m hoping. However, while I’ve been as much of an O-bot as anybody, if they don’t stake out an affirmative position and start pushing for some coherent path towards getting HCR reformed passed shortly then I really will blame Obama for this. Not that it’s his fault Kennedy died or Coakley sucks, but I really do feel like he needs to demonstrate some leadership here and rally the troops and whatnot. I hate to engage in the Yglesias Green Lantern Theory of Governance that I’ve derided in the past, but the dude really needs to show that he wants it or I give up.

  39. 39
    ellaesther says:

    @jibeaux: Plus, the weather (at least where I am) is a little more suited to bowed heads than dancing on the sand. I would say: Yes, go with the dark and bleak. It’s appropriate on sooooooooo many levels.

  40. 40
    Jean says:

    I’m a yellow dog dem, but wtf? Each house passes a bill after nearly a year of dickin around, letting Baucus play at chairing a committee for MONTHS, letting Stupek and Nelson and Lieberman make spectacles of themselves; after letting themselves be pilloried relentlessly by sociopath radio and lying Republicans. And now, because a senate seat is lost in MA, Healthcare is over. Oh, maybe in a month or so, says Dodd, we’ll take it up again. Sure, because all the damn months you took earlier made a big difference in that now you have NOTHING.
    Next the Supreme Court will ban corporate donations to Democrats because ding dongs.

  41. 41
    James in NJ says:

    John,

    Stop f’ing saying its over.

    That’s the exact attitude our spinally deficient Congress-people have.

    (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)

    I placed my calls and told my friends to do the same.

    All this ‘it’s over’ talk just discourages people.

    The answer is we don’t know.

  42. 42
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Come on, Cole. Don’t quit on me now. In the words of Herm Edwards, “WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!”

  43. 43
    John Cole says:

    Don’t worry. Stupak is the Liberal’s fault too.

    This is the kind of shit that drives me insane and makes me want to punch hippies (I hate that phrase).

    You know what- the progressives are, in my book, right on the policy. I would LOVE to have Jon Walker’s bill over the Senate bill. I really and truly would.

    But what the progressives don’t seem to understand is that they are, at best, 20% of the Senate. 40% of the Senate are lockstep Republicans, another 20% are DINO’s like Byah, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson, etc.

    It doesn’t matter how much you and I think the progressive bill is good if 60% of the Senate outright rejects it every single time it is proposed. This is why reconciliation was never going to work, OR THEY WOULD HAVE DONE IT. Aside from all the things you lose with reconciliation, the votes were never there. Some of us tried to point this out- I know Kay and I were repeatedly asking people to get to the 51. And every time we point this out, someone would accuse us of hippy punching.

    And as far as Stupak goes, I’m hoping at least we can all agree that we need to primary him. I don’t care if he wins, I want someone running around the state attacking him from the left all god damned day. That asshole, who has done more to kill HCR than anyone without an (R) on his name actually did a press conference yesterday saying the President has a real opportunity to lead. Fuck him.

  44. 44
    The Gimp says:

    @keestadoll: Grayson hasn’t figured out which position will get him the biggest money bomb.

    /rimshot

  45. 45
    gwangung says:

    And all this whining is unseemly at best.

    WE, the voters, can whine. Politicians…you need to do your job.

  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: I’d add Baucus and Bill Nelson.

  47. 47
    cleek says:

    what we need is Obama John McCain to get all the Dems in a room and tell them to Cut The Bullshit!

  48. 48
    cfaller96 says:

    Napoleon, if you’re right, then the action doesn’t change- put the damn Senate bill up for vote and get it passed. If everyone is bluffing, then 218 shouldn’t be a problem.

    I still think that Stupak and his ilk Just.Don’t.Care if health care reform dies, which is why their threats have to be taken seriously. But whatevs, in any case the House has to pass the Senate bill or we get nothing.

    This is the end of the line, and it’s time for everyone in the House to make their final “decision” on health care.

  49. 49
    evie says:

    @TR:

    Liberals may “get” to be the grownups again, but I don’t see them actually BEING the grownups.

    There are no adults in Washington.

  50. 50
    inkadu says:

    So I’m with my three friends. Two want pizza, the other guy wants sushi, and I want pad thai.

    Since we’re all Democrats, we immediately bellow, “Oh no! We’re doomed! We’re all going to starve to death!”

    The House hasn’t figured out how to respond yet; they each have different tentative paths, but it’s not completely over yet.

    Those “split the bill” people are idiots, though. They’re like the other friend of mine who said, “Lets go through other people garbage and see what we can find to eat there.”

  51. 51

    @aimai:

    It would help if everyone didn’t flip out because they couldn’t corral 218 House members and get an agreement with the Senate in less than 3 days. Jesus Christ.

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    @edmund dantes: I’ve been saying pass the Senate bill, period. IF they can pass the senate bill with fixes, more the better. But you are not going to get either.

    And doing nothing is worse than passing the Senate bill.

  53. 53
    Scott P. says:

    I hate to engage in the Yglesias Green Lantern Theory of Governance that I’ve derided in the past, but the dude really needs to show that he wants it or I give up.

    Put another way, I’d prefer to go out with a bang than with a whimper. A bang is something you can rally on down the road. A whimper just lies there in the mud.

  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @twiffer:

    one of the things i keep hearing is the house is angry and frustrated about the senate dumping this on them. you know what? who fucking cares? name one person you know who doesn’t have shit that isn’t their problem or fault dumped on them? hell, the core function of my job is dealing with shit that gets dumped on my team. sure it pisses me off and a bitch about it to co-workers & family. but i still make sure it gets taken care of, cause it’s my fucking job.

    This.
    I can haz adults pleez? If I wanted to send petulant children to Washington, I wouldn’t be voting for the Dems in the first place – there are plenty of more entertaining options.

  55. 55
    daveNYC says:

    so, house reps, do your fucking job first and bitch later. don’t whine about having to make a decision, because doing so is your fucking job.

    They should suck it up and do that for this bill, but I think something will need to be done about the Senate and the supermajority ‘requirement’. For HCR the House put together a more liberal bill and got it passed in good time. Then the Senate dicked around for months and put together something worse, and even then just barely got it done. So basically the situation for every new piece of legislation that requires tough decisions, the Senate will pass a bill that’s acceptable to the 60th least assholeish member of their club, then tell the House to suck on it.

    It’s one thing to be dumped on once in a while, but right now the House is looking at a whole pile of ‘you’ll get nothing and like it’.

  56. 56
    evie says:

    @inkadu:

    That’s the Democrats. They’d rather eat the GOP’s garbage than work with each other to pass the most important domestic legislation we’ve seen in 40 years.

  57. 57
    Econwatcher says:

    @John Cole:

    We’re probably cooked. But I don’t think the current tally is really proof of anything. Seems like the Dems in the House are still groping around, figuring out if they have any options.

    Once they’ve realized they really have no options, then we’ll know whether they’re going to commit mass suicide by abandoning the effort (which they probably will).

  58. 58

    @John Cole: You’re probably right. I would depend on what was in the reconciliation. IOW its passage is tenuous at best.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that it would only require one vote from the House and the legislation goes to President for signature. Sigh …

  59. 59
    Napoleon says:

    @cfaller96:

    My belief is that at some point they should put it up for a vote even if it will fail to out those members of the caucus that would like to see it fail. I know that will not happen, but I really think they should. Get Stupak on the record.

    One thing on reconciliation, if the bill as is passes there is nothing stopping people coming back over the next 100 years and amending it a thousand times, including 2 seconds after it originally passes. If the 51 votes are there in the Senate to make a change and it is something that could pass via reconciliation there is no reason why it can not happen.

  60. 60
    Craig says:

    I’ll say this – as pissed as I am at the cowards and sycophants who we elected to represent us, I am proud of progressive activists for at least continuing to try something until this thing is officially buried. I don’t always love or agree with Kos but they have put themselves head and shoulders above HuffPo and (shudder) FDL for being positive and proactive instead of whiny and self-righteous.

  61. 61
    Econwatcher says:

    How can you favor eliminating the filibuster now? We’ll need it to filibuster the Suspension of Habeas Until All Terrorism Ends bill that will be coming up in the next session or two of Congress, when the Dems will be in the minority.

  62. 62
    jibeaux says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Yeah, is the Natural Law Party still around? Truthfully, if they actually could levitate instead of just that flopping on mattresses thing, I’d vote for ’em just for that.

  63. 63
    gwangung says:

    Still pretty pissed that there was no Plan B from the Dem side, and that they’re still milling around in confusion.

    That’s moronic.

  64. 64
    Tomlinson says:

    Oh, now there’s a better way. Put together a bill the republicans can claim as their own, and pass that. But it will be bipartisan!

    These guys are brilliant. Truly. I am so proud to associate with this bunch.

  65. 65
    cfaller96 says:

    I’d also propose putting the Senate bill up for vote even if they don’t have the numbers. It can’t get any worse for Dems this fall*, so why not just put everyone on record regardless? And then there’s still a chance at passage with enough activist pressure, bully pulpit-ing from President Obama, etc. An infinitesimally small chance, but a chance regardless. Not putting it up for vote guarantees failure, whereas putting it up for vote means highly probable failure. An easy choice, IMO.

    *ooooooh, I’m going to regret saying that.

  66. 66
    aimai says:

    John Cole, how can you be simultaneously so savvy and so wrong? Of course we “all agree that we need to primary stupak from the left” but if you read up on his specific area of michigan,the UP, he’s not going to be primaried from the left. Its a completely meaningless proposition. He is madly supported by a constituent base which sounds, if anything, just as awful as he is. He won’t be replaced by a more moderate democrat, only by an even crazier republican. And you can bet your boots he won’t be opposed by a republican since he’s already doing their bidding and costing them nothing. Our only hope in re stupak is either that he steps down to run for governor and loses big time (since michigan isn’t all like his little piece of it) or that we can ratfuck him out of there with a teabagger candidate running far to his right. But we won’t get the seat. It sounds like it only goes to a democrat as long as there’s double air quotes around it.

    As for the rest–if the democrats can’t act like an actual party because we are dominated by some 20/40/20 split now between right wing, corporatist, and progressive groups we’re sunk. There’s no point calling about health care at all. the 20/40 group isn’t worried about not delivering for the voters or fucking over hte parties contract with its base.

    aimai

  67. 67

    @Econwatcher:

    Pretty much. I mean, the landscape has changed, but because of that everyone wants to feel out the new landscape. Is it feasible to make any changes to the Senate bill through reconcilliation? If it is, what can we change? If we’re going to use reconcilliation, ca we get the votes for some even more progressive stuff while we’re at it? These are all questions the House wants to iron out before they decide what to do going forward, and they’re not going to start that out by just passing the Senate bill as is, because they’re smart enough to know that if they do that, the Senate won’t come back to anything later.

    And again, it hasn’t even been 3 fucking days yet.

  68. 68
    malraux says:

    @Splitting Image:

    Problem is:
    If health care reform is over, then this year’s new goal of deficit reduction is over too.
    If the government is not willing to address the problems in the largest segment of its budget, then budget reform can’t happen.
    The notion that they should “put health care aside to deal with the economy” is a TV trope. At this point they are the same thing.

    I suspect this is worse than just the budget deficit. If the Dems aren’t able to pass health care reform, that’s a strong sign that the no significant legislation addressing any problem can pass.

    The general range of consensus on what needed to happen on health care reform was pretty solid. There were varying degrees of what was best, ranging from more or less what was the minimal standard with the current bill to Medicare for all. And the opponents reform are pretty well despised entities, as no one likes their insurance company. If something as obvious as HCR cannot pass, then will a cap and trade/carbon tax bill pass? Budget reform? Financial regulations? Can any significant legislation pass?

  69. 69
    edmund dantes says:

    @John Cole: I agree, but if progressives are only 20% you spend in inordinate amount of time harping on them. They’ve never really been the problem. For all their crying and whining, what did they actually accomplish so far?

    Nothing yet. The bill is still sitting in the House waiting for Nancy Pelosi to whip them into shape. Right now, even if you get all the progressives on board, there is nothing there to show the conservadems are going to pass the Senate bill.

    Yet here we are, once again, with you (to some extent), and the rest of the world (the one’s I’m more annoyed with) placing the problems all at the feet of the progressives. If only the progressives had given more, or the progressives had done this or that, etc we’d have a bill already.

    This of course neglects the point that the progressives gave and gave. Everytime they gave the conservadems and Lieberman said great, now we just need this much more.

    Then when the progressives had the temerity to respond “no we’re tired of keep giving and having the goalposts moved”. The narrative here and other places becomes “if only the left had given them this one more thing, we’d have healthcare”. As if all the giving was ever going ot be enough.

    So let’s just say it’s gotten a little annoying (and I’m not even one of those progressives looking for the unicorn bill) to constantly be told “you need to give and give, and even if you do, and it still fails… it’s your fault for not giving more”. Just stop it.

    The House Dems need to get in line. Pelosi needs to be out there telling the idiots like Stupak to give them the vote or you won’t get our help, so does Barack, they also need to show a concerted effort being made to fix it in the senate (once Brown is seated of course Mr. President).

    Till then just stop blaming progressives for this failure. Many of the things that people point to liking in the bill came from progressives, and most of the things people dislike came from the consevadems and other idiots.

    But don’t worry, that’s the Progressives fault too.

  70. 70
    Sentient Puddle says:

    If I can look ahead and assume worst case scenario where Democrats punt on the current legislation, shouldn’t we be dusting off the Wyden-Bennett folders? I mean look at it, you got one Republican right there in the name.

  71. 71
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I’m waiting, Brien, and I think you’re great for trying. I don’t think there’s anything wrong at looking at realistic chances of prevailing, though.
    If nothing else pressure may force Obama and/or the Democrats to actually stand up there and make some definitive statement, and they owe supporters and others at least that.
    They should have to say it. They should be straight with us, and take the resulting heat.

  72. 72
    Tim H says:

    what we need is Obama John McCain to get all the Dems in a room and tell them to Cut The Bullshit!

    Actually I think the only thing that will work is if Obama gets into a room, namely the House floor, and tells them he as the head of the Democratic party wants the Senate bill passed and he will help with the fixing.

  73. 73
    Doug says:

    Talked to Quigly’s office (IL) again. Person who answered said there were (currently? Yesterday? couldn’t say) meeting between WH and gong leadership. No idea about what’s happening..

  74. 74
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    This is a strange comment. Believe me, the House Dems would screw over the “hippies” in a heartbeat.

    What they can not do, you and others seems to have a hard time accepting this, is screw of the unions. Why? Not just because of the votes, thought that too. But because the major part of Dem GOTV efforts and money in an election campaign comes from the unions.

    “Pass The Billers” need to deal with that political reality.

  75. 75
    David says:

    Just called Mike Capuano’s DC office, got a clearly scripted response saying that he hasn’t made a public decision, looking for constituent opinions, would have liked to see a better bill but also recognizes the realities of the situation. I can’t imagine that if a vote was actually held, he would vote against.

    Also, for those out there who are hesitant about phone calls – so am I. Just have a script for the first few sentences in front of you to start, after that it’s just a conversation.

    Good afternoon, my name is XXX, I live in XXX. I was calling to find out congressperson XXX’s position on health care reform, and whether he/she would vote to pass the Senate bill in the House. I strongly support getting some form of healthcare legislation passed now, and working to fix it later on.

  76. 76
    El Cid says:

    I think this suggests not only the ‘Plan C’ on health care for the Democrats, it seems to me that it would be irresistibly attractive to Obama, since it would seem ‘bipartisan’, wouldn’t work well, and would appear a dramatic political victory for Republicans, and thus, ‘bipartisan’:

    Health care reform advocates are concerned that passing a scaled-back version of reform legislation — an option being considered by President Obama and Democratic Party leaders — could end up playing into the hands of Republican electoral politics.

    On Thursday, House Democrats debated two ways of getting a health care reform bill passed. The first is to pass the Senate’s bill — though only on the condition that additional reforms would be tackled in a separate filibuster-proof bill, to be passed through a process called reconciliation. The second approach is to pare down the package — stripping it to its unobjectionable core (insurance regulation, money to help people buy care, etc.) — and use that as a building block for future legislation.

    That the latter strategy is being seriously considered by progressive lawmakers is a testament to how large an albatross health care reform has become for the party. But the worry, for some, is that it could lead to Republicans claming victory.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “will have his whole caucus vote for it and make it a political win for the Republicans,” one well-connected Democratic health care strategist said. “They’ll say, ‘This was the Republican plan from the beginning. We’re glad the Democrats joined us.’ And take all the credit for passing reform.”

    Lo and behold, on Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that the Republican Party do just that, arguing that it would be “clever” for the GOP to pass non-controversial reform measures with “huge bipartisan majorities.”

    Alternately, some Democrats might welcome such a move. “Hell yeah,” a Democratic congressional aide said. “We would have created a bi-partisan bill. We would have shown leadership. And we’d get credit for that.”

  77. 77
    edmund dantes says:

    “I have to admit, we’ve run into a bit of a buzz saw along the way.”

    Are you fucking kidding me? This is President Obama? Is he one of those guys that reads his own press and believes it? Was he really expecting this not to be a buzz saw?

    I hate to say it, but only an idiot would voice this sentiment.

    Full remarks are better. Whew. But still sitting him up for the Republican ratfuck with his rhetoric since none of them are going ot step up to the plate

    I had no illusions when I took on health care. It was always going to be hard. I knew from the beginning that seven Presidents had tried it and seven Presidents had failed. But I also knew that insurance premiums had more than doubled in the past decade, that out-of-pocket expenses had skyrocketed, that millions more people had lost their insurance, and that it would only get worse.

    “I took this up because I want to ease the burdens on all the families and small businesses that can’t afford to pay outrageous rates. I want to protect mothers, fathers, children from being targeted by the worst practices of the insurance industry.

    “Now, we’ve gotten pretty far down the road, but I have to admit, we’ve run into a bit of a buzz saw along the way. The long process of getting things done runs headlong into the special interests, their armies of lobbyists, and partisan politics aimed at exploiting fears instead of getting things done. And the longer it’s taken, the uglier the process has looked.

    “I know folks in Washington are in a little bit of a frenzy this week, trying to figure out what the election in Massachusetts the other day means for health insurance reform, for Republicans and Democrats, and for me. This is what they love to do.

    “But this isn’t about me. It’s about you. I didn’t take up this issue to boost my poll numbers or score political points — believe me, if I were, I would have picked something a lot easier than this. No, I’m trying to solve the problems that folks here in Elyria and across this country face every day. And I am not going to walk away just because it’s hard. We’re going to keep on working to get this done with Democrats, Republicans — anyone who is willing to step up. Because I am not going to watch more people get crushed by costs, or denied the care they need by insurance company bureaucrats, or partisan politics, or special interest power in Washington.”

  78. 78
    Scott P. says:

    I agree, but if progressives are only 20% you spend in inordinate amount of time harping on them.

    An inordinate amount of time? If they are 20% of the problem, they deserve 20% of the harping. They haven’t gotten more than that, not here.

  79. 79
    Tim H says:

    What aimai said. If we can’t do anything with 59 Senators we’re screwed anyway, on a whole range of things. A health insurance bill that kicks in around 2014 is an irrelevancy if the economy collapses before then.

  80. 80
    kay says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I’m (sadly) in the camp that says if they don’t do this, they don’t do health care. Or anything else, really, because I think they are completely delusional if they think they can “move on” without taking tons of derision and scorn for this massive debacle.

    I believe that’s what they’re thinking, and that flat-out amazes me. Yeah. Just pretend it will go away. That’ll work.

  81. 81
    MaximusNYC says:

    I’m a constituent of Weiner’s. I just spoke to an aide in his DC office. I relayed my strong desire to see Weiner and the other House Dems support the Senate bill, and that I think it’s that or nothing. And I said that I hated to see the Democrats, with their strong majorities, talk themselves out of passing health care.

    I got a distinct sense that the aide personally agreed with me (tho it’s possible this was just happy talk). At any rate, he took my name and address, and promised to relay my comments.

    I did ask where exactly Weiner stands right now. Contrary to what TPM is saying, the aide told me that Weiner hasn’t made up his mind yet. He said “If you saw his comments on Morning Joe yesterday, he was really just thinking out loud.” I don’t know exactly which comments those were, but the bottom line seems to be that he, like most of the House Dems, is undecided as to how to go forward.

    So: Keep calling!!

  82. 82
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @TR:

    Liberals get to be the grown-ups. Again.

    It comes with the job description. Liberal is just a fancy word for somebody who has a grown up attitude about dealing with the messy realities of a messed up world, and wants to leave it better than we found it. Sucks to have to do the hard work when nobody else wants to, but throwing in the towel and giving up sucks worse. Nobody told me that fighting poverty and injustice and hatred was going to be easy.

    Here a football analogy for where we are with health care reform: It’s 4th and half-a-yard at the 50 yard line. The House Dems are being asked to run up the gut and get that half yard, so we get another set of downs. No glory at the bottom of the pile, but it moves the sticks. Firebaggers want to run a post pattern, make a one-handed catch for a touchdown, spike the ball in the face of the opposition, and do a happy dance that makes the highlights on SportsCenter.

  83. 83

    @BTD:

    There are not anywhere near 218 votes in the House willing to buck the unions. If the unions do not sign off, then this horse is dead.

    Millions of additional people will get coverage from this bill. By 2019 $200 billion in funding for the poorest Americans will be in the budget. That isn’t nothing. When was the last time our Congress gave that much money to the poor?

    If this is a bargaining tactic on the part of the unions, fine. But if in the end this is the deal breaker then the unions are as corrupt and selfish as the GOP.

  84. 84
    Darryl says:

    It is over, folks.

    Shut up, concern troll.

  85. 85
    Napoleon says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Bennett never has committed to vote for his own proposal.

  86. 86
    cfaller96 says:

    Actually I think the only thing that will work is if Obama gets into a room, namely the House floor, and tells them he as the head of the Democratic party wants the Senate bill passed and he will help with the fixing.

    I’ve said from the beginning that we will get whatever President Obama wants…but we don’t know what President Obama wants. That’s been my main criticism of him throughout this process.

    At this point, I’m surprised and disappointed that President Obama seems willing to let his #1 agenda item die on the 1 yard line. But maybe he’s working on it right now, and we’ll suddenly see the House decide within the next few days to put it up for a vote. Maybe.

    I don’t know what’s going on right now, but it’s hard for me to accept that President Obama is doing nothing about this. That would be terribly disheartening if it were true.

  87. 87
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I can haz adults pleez?

    Lack of self-awareness post of the day.

  88. 88
    inkadu says:

    @MaximusNYC: I’m a constituent of Weiner’s.

    Now that’s a comment of the day!

  89. 89
    eastriver says:

    I want to point out that the GOP’s strategy worked. They slowed the process down enough that the MA vote mattered. If the dems had had their shit together, and passed this thing last summer, we wouldn’t be here. It would be a signed bill by now.

    The dems didn’t lose. The GOP won.

    I agree the earlier sentiment on this thread. Not one more penny to the democrats. Until they get their shit together. Let the unions give them all the damn money they need. SCOTUS just voted to let ’em do that.

    Done. Back to the gold mine.

  90. 90
    Zach says:

    The stupidest thing about all of this is that the Cadillac tax is just good policy. It’s one of the main things that brings down costs in the Senate bill. The burden falls disproportionately on the middle class, but that doesn’t mean that the best solution is to keep a broken tax loophole. Get rid of it and include legislation mitigating the consequences. The people who prefer the Cadillac tax aren’t the ones beholden to special interests. Ideally, the Senate would pass a funding mechanism through reconciliation that slowly increases the benefits tax over time (or decreases the amount of benefits an employer can provide tax free) for people below some income threshold… and pair it with a surtax on the wealthy that decreases over time as the other tax increases.

    And, yeah, if the Senate can act before the House does on this they need to get off their asses and ship something to the CBO.

  91. 91
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Tomlinson:

    From your link:

    “Obama said Congress would “keep working” and again called for Republicans to join Democrats in crafting a solution.”

    Oh

    my

    fucking

    god

  92. 92
    BTD says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    “Corrupt and selfish” is just about everyone in the world.

    Unions exist to forward the interests of the members of the unions.

    The excise tax damages the interests of the members of the unions.

    Unions are not a charity organization anymore than the corporations are. If you thought they were, you were badly mistaken.

    There is nothing in the Senate bill for the unions. there is something very bad for the unions in the Senate bill (it may be great for the country, but it is not great for the unions.)

    The unions have great influence over most Dems because they are a backbone of Dem election efforts. There is a reason everyone scrambles for their endorsements.

    It is the height of delusion to imagine that House Dems will just turn their back on a critical component of their election efforts.

    House Dems would punch hippies with abandon and relish. They will not do that to the unions, and it is foolish to ignore that fact. Too many do ignore it.

  93. 93
    batgirl says:

    @Econwatcher: Ha ha ha ha. When have the Dems actually threatened a filibuster that was believable.

  94. 94
    Max says:

    Watch the president’s town hall live now.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21.....8#35013118

  95. 95
    BTD says:

    @Zach:

    Good policy or not, no one denies it damages union members. Even Ezra acknowledges that unions are “losers” from the excise tax.

    Politics is the art of the possible. I wish political reality would enter the picture when folks discuss these issues.

  96. 96
    BombIranForChrist says:

    What I haven’t heard a lot of, possibly because I am wrong, is the newly found leverage the progressive Dems have. If they succeed in torpedoing HCR by standing firm in their position, people will be forced to start listening to them instead of ignoring them. The message they are sending is: “Suck off Lieberman all you want, but when you’re done, you better come over here, or you won’t get a bill”.

    Could be interesting.

  97. 97
    Tomlinson says:

    Here a football analogy for where we are with health care reform:

    More like, The game is tied but we have a far better team. We are at our opponents 20 yard line and it is 3rd and inches. We fumbled, but didn’t lose the ball. We can kick a field goal and win this thing easily in overtime, or we try for a touchdown, but that seems unlikely. Unfortunately, our quarterback is calling his plays by consulting with the opposing team’s defensive coordinator, half our players have decided they really need a coke, but now, and may not get back on the field. The other half are so stunned by the fumble that the can’t do anything but shamble in circles mumbling to themselves.

    The opposing team is just pointing and laughing.

  98. 98
    Colette says:

    Sheer. Fucking. Genius: Míchaél Bérúbé today.

    It is only fitting that the electoral rebuke to Obama’s insistence on the “fierce urgency of queering America now” came in the form of a virile heterosexual Republican who looks pretty darn good with his shirt off.

    The comments are gold, too.

    Now I’m going back to the classical music station and my little bottle of armagnac disguised as Wite-Out.

  99. 99
    Dan says:

    Why, exactly, shouldn’t we bother calling Republican congressmen? Shouldn’t they at least hear from people outside of their bubble?

  100. 100
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Herding Cats…

    How about we hose ’em down w/ ice cold water and turn on the cattle prod?

  101. 101
    Scott says:

    The biggest problem is that politicians are politicians. They got their jobs by being telegenic, amoral, sociopathic, greedy powermongers. They’ve got all the job skills of Paris Hilton, and half the leadership abilities. They can’t lead? They can’t plan? Of course not. They can barely goddamn feed themselves.

    I envy the country we had before TV. Can you imagine Abe Lincoln running for office today? As a member of either party? The party leaders would refuse to fund him, the pundits would sneer that he was an ugly rustic, and we’d get stuck with, well, a guy who made great speeches and that was about it.

  102. 102
    Michael says:

    I’m calling it – we’re at the Wingularity.

    That’s the point where the right wing crazy got so bad that people started blaming Obama for not being progressive enough, and are getting behind the teabag circus.

  103. 103
    Nick says:

    @John Cole:

    Or are they now all blaming this on Obama, when he clearly knew reconciliation would not work and told Reid not to gamble with the PO unless he had the votes.

    I remained quiet at the time about this, but I saw this coming after we decided not taking the Snowe trigger deal and running with it was the better idea.

    Bet you all wish we had that Snowe deal now, dontcha?

  104. 104
    cfaller96 says:

    The unions are bluffing. Think about it- in a post-Senate bill autumn 2010, do they really believe sitting on the sidelines of the elections and letting a whole bunch of Republicans come in will help them?

    It looks to me like some of the more liberal constituencies believe they can still negotiate. I think this is no longer true, and the clock has run out on negotiations. And more importantly, I think scheduling a vote would send a loud and clear message to the unions to get in line.

    Speaker Pelosi, call everyone’s bluff and schedule a vote. Demonstrate to liberals and moderates that there is no more negotiating, and it’s time to vote. “This or nothing” should be the message of the day to everyone in the House.

    (And of course after that it’s up to Speaker Pelosi to then table the bill and push the Senate to vote on an amendment bill to go through reconciliation. Who the hell knows if that will work, but it’s worth a try.)

  105. 105
    The Moar You Know says:

    @John Cole: RE: 51 votes for reconciliation-

    Here’s a list of the Seantors who have said publicly that they are not willing to use reconciliation:

    Bayh, Evan – (D – IN)
    Byrd, Robert – (D – WV)
    Conrad, Kent – (D – ND)
    Feingold, Russell – (D – WI)
    Landrieu, Mary – (D – LA)
    Lieberman, Joseph – (I – CT)
    Lincoln, Blanche – (D – AR)
    McCaskill, Claire – (D – MO)
    Nelson, Ben – (D – NE)
    Webb, Jim – (D – VA)

    That leaves you with 49. 49 plus Biden does not pass reconciliation.

    They may be persuaded to change their positions, but I don’t see much hope in that list.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    Nick says:

    @The Moar You Know: McCaskill, Webb and Feingold are movable I think.

  108. 108
    John S. says:

    @BTD:

    “Pass The Billers” need to deal with that political reality.

    That’s funny considering that the unions and many others seem to calling for the House to pass the fucking Senate bill and fix it later. There are a few SEIU names on the letter they sent to Congress.

    Or do you get some super secret message from the unions that says otherwise?

  109. 109
    beltane says:

    @The Moar You Know: Most of those names are no surprise. But Byrd and Feingold? WTF.

  110. 110
    Will says:

    Was just in an elevator with a guy who entered, berating his fellow co-workers about how Obama is destroying our country, Obama is “an ass”, “an ass”, over and over again. Every time they responded, usually in some sort of mumbled, quizzical agreement, he would just shout back “because he’s an ass!” “Why doesn’t he create some JOBS!”

    Finally he shouted (this is in a small elevator, mind you), “voting for him was the worst mistake this country ever made!”

    At that point I was so disgusted and sick of this tirade I felt compelled to say, you know something. Unfortunately, all I could muster was “Really? The worst mistake ever made? Worse than the last 8 years?” He was so shocked that someone dared interrupt his rant, he shut up for the rest of the ride.

    Keep in mind, this man felt free to rant like this about Barack Obama in lower Manhattan. To an elevator full of African-Americans (myself excluded). And no one even offered the slightest pushback until I did. I don’t even know who the hell this guy was.

    I am so damn angry. This is the worst week we’ve had since Bush’s re-election.

  111. 111
    Elie says:

    @twiffer:

    Definitely — 100% agree

  112. 112
    Napoleon says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Of course that is for the base bill, not a bill that amends the base bill. Also I don’t think it is up to them to make the determination, so the question becomes even if they feel that way about putting an amendment through reconciliation would they actually vote against the bill on the merits.

  113. 113
    kay says:

    “Democrats should “maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks” and focus on other issues, Dodd said today.”

    I just think this is crazy. They are not going to be able to dodge this and focus on other issues. Dodging it precludes focusing on other issues.

    Even making an admission would be better at this point. Then they could stop talking about it. Now, they have to talk about failing on this every day, while failing on the next task.

    Furthermore. Additionally. So much for the idea that Senators not running for re-election are brave. Dodd’s still a coward, and he’s essentially retired.

  114. 114

    @Tomlinson:

    Why would you kick a field goal on 3rd and inches?

    :)

  115. 115
    Barry says:

    John, in the article you cited, it states that Obama doesn’t have,from his own party

    ******************51 senators********************

    who’ll give him the time of day.

    That’s a major, catastrophic failure of a president right there. That’s a president who can’t pull as many senators as Bush II did, when he was clearly on the way down.

  116. 116
    sidereal says:

    Got the runaround from McDermott’s office. “Nothing’s come up for a vote yet”, wouldn’t commit one way or the other on voting for an unmodified Senate bill, etc. I vented. He’s now slightly more informed about his constituents’ desires.

  117. 117
    Rick Taylor says:

    @BTD
    __
    If the unions are so powerful, then why is there any difficulty? The senate can pass an amendment addressing the concerns about the excise tax, and with that assurance, the House can pass the bill. Not trying to be snarky here, I really am ignorant and trying to understand all this.

  118. 118
    Mary says:

    Boo John for shutting down Tim F.’s laudable activism with three simple words. It. Is. Over. Take it back.

  119. 119
    cfaller96 says:

    Looking at that list, I’d be willing to bet that Conrad, Webb, and McCaskill could be flipped into supporting reconciliation. I vaguely remember Conrad saying in the past few days that he’d be open to reconciliation (but I could be wrong about that). The Netroots has some influence with McCaskill and Webb, though who knows if it would make a difference.

    Most importantly, at this point I don’t see any risk in making the bet that enough Senators could be flipped. If you pass the Senate bill and then fail to pass any amendment through reconciliation, then the Senate bill is what you get and you (hopefully) build on that in years to come.

  120. 120
    Tomlinson says:

    Why would you kick a field goal on 3rd and inches?

    These are *democrats*, remember?

  121. 121
    The Moar You Know says:

    “Obama said Congress would “keep working” and again called for Republicans to join Democrats in crafting a solution.”

    @Notorious P.A.T.: I can only surmise from his consistent insistence on bipartisan health care reform that our president may not be playing with a full deck.

    He seems to be quite serious – I’m not getting snark, so I can only guess at willful denial of reality.

    Does he not understand that most of the GOP fantasize about hanging him from a tree like their daddies used to do to a nigra that got too uppity?

    Damn, Obama, wake up and smell the fucking coffee.

  122. 122
    Elie says:

    @Will:

    Agree, 1000% agree. I am heartbroken and pissed as hell at the same time

  123. 123
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    We lost a down on the fumble.

  124. 124
    wasabi gasp says:

    It may be over, but boyfriend ain’t packing his bags for another three years. And, since he blew all his credit on a sweet bipartisanship ride, he’ll be needing a loan.

    Also, pick up some mustard on the way home, he put the empty back in the fridge.

    Yes, you can!

  125. 125

    @The Moar You Know:

    Conrad has said he may be open to it, fwiw.

  126. 126
    BTD says:

    @John S.:

    No “Fix It Later.” It is “Fix It At the Same Time.”

    Somehow this critical difference escapes a lot of people.

    Of course, you can believe that Jane Hamsher is the powerful force stopping the Senate bill, not Richard Trumka.

    You might also think Bush was behind 9/11.

  127. 127
    Tomlinson says:

    If the unions are so powerful, then why is there any difficulty?

    Let’s play out the union’s issues. You pass the current bill, saying you will fix with reconciliation. Great. That’s a start.

    Now, if you can’t, they are pissed. But are they going to vote for R’s who will sink that for sure or D’s who will fix it?

    Pretty simple choice.

  128. 128
    Napoleon says:

    @Tomlinson:

    Which means they would kick the field goal as soon as they get a first down.

  129. 129
    Nick says:

    @Barry: Keep in mind there are many, I mean many, in the party who feel he should never be President in the first place.

    We could be seeing unintended consequences from the primaries.

  130. 130
    inkadu says:

    @John S.: SEIU members are lucky if they don’t buy their own cleaning supplies. They don’t have cadillac health plans.

    I’m not sure how politically powerful, connected, or mobilized they are. They sure seem able to put a lot of people into yellow t-shirts. But I think the unions we’re talking about here are the old-line unions with retired members in fields that used to pay actual money. I could be wrong.

  131. 131
    Tomlinson says:

    We could be seeing unintended consequences from the primaries.

    This.

  132. 132
    BTD says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Probably because the unions do not really care if the Senate bill passes.

    The excise tax is fixed for them by the Senate bill dying.

  133. 133
    The Moar You Know says:

    Most of those names are no surprise. But Byrd and Feingold? WTF.

    @beltane: It’s an ideological issue with those two. They believe that reconciliation is an abuse of the Senate’s power and is not constitutional.

    They are likely right, not that it will ever be put to a court test.

    Sadly, what is does mean in a practical sense is that those two are the least likely to vote for it. The others have no morals whatsoever.

  134. 134
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I can only surmise from his consistent insistence on bipartisan health care reform that our president may not be playing with a full deck. He seems to be quite serious – I’m not getting snark, so I can only guess at willful denial of reality.

    Denial is a strong possibility. It must be hard to see your presidency ruined by idiots like Lieberman and Stupak, people who are supposed to be on your side. He thought he would be THE ONE who passed health care reform, but now a total nobody from Mass. has destroyed that. So he looks at the wreckage that surrounds him and says “hey, not so bad!” No wonder he staggers around like nothing is wrong.

  135. 135
    Nick says:

    @The Moar You Know: I don’t think he realistically expects ths to happen, but saying it plays into the polls which say they want this to happen.

  136. 136
    John S. says:

    @BTD:

    Of course, you can believe that Jane Hamsher is the powerful force stopping the Senate bill, not Richard Trumka.You might also think Bush was behind 9/11.

    I can also believe that you are being a jackass, and that those are some of the biggest damn strawmen I’ve ever seen.

    Perhaps you would have a link handy spelling out the exact labor position at the moment?

  137. 137
    maus says:

    It is over, folks. Everyone yelling at Obama and Reid and Pelosi to show leadership should take a deep breath and realize that when the House is this divided, there is really not much threats and the bully pulpit can do. I don’t see how you put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    If they showed leadership from the beginning, we wouldn’t have this problem. Scrambling in the last quarter and STILL not showing leadership isn’t going to end well either.

    Everyone telling us to wait and see, multidimensional chess, blah blah can just slag off. We can’t see the backroom deals, but we CAN see a lack of a unified strategy. They’ve bungled this beyond recognition, but perhaps they can show leadership on any other issue they wish to take on.

    I doubt it, nobody’s showing any examples of having learned anything from this debacle.

    what we need is Obama John McCain to get all the Dems in a room and tell them to Cut The Bullshit!

    With the way things are going, some enterprising blue dog would just leak the entire thing and try to become the next Joe Wilson.

  138. 138
    BTD says:

    @Tomlinson:

    They are going to be pissed if the Senate bill is passed stand alone.

    They simply do not trust the Senate. Who can blame them?

  139. 139
    Michael says:

    That’s a major, catastrophic failure of a president right there. That’s a president who can’t pull as many senators as Bush II did, when he was clearly on the way down.

    Yet I find myself curious about that. Why? It isn’t as if he’s been cramming things down their throats. It isn’t as if he’s been governing as an impassioned ideologue.

    I think it has a lot more to do with the Schiavo message machine redux, wherein they get flooded with a lot of extremely negative messages (many of dubious provenance from outside their districts) and lazy staffers don’t verify the identity of the senders.

    There’s another factor, and you know what it is.

    They’d do it for Randolph Scott.

  140. 140
    BTD says:

    @John S.:

    Look at your own comment. If not the unions, who do you think? I assumed you were looking for someone to blame.

  141. 141
    dr. bloor says:

    @Will:

    Keep in mind, this man felt free to rant like this about Barack Obama in lower Manhattan. To an elevator full of African-Americans (myself excluded). And no one even offered the slightest pushback until I did. I don’t even know who the hell this guy was.

    If by “lower Manhattan,” you mean the Village, then yeah, that’s a little surprising. But if you mean Broad and Wall, it’s utterly unsurprising. He may not have even noticed all those Negroes.

  142. 142

    @maus:

    Oh please. “Showing leadership” is like “having chemistry” in sports.

  143. 143
    John says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    If you’re going to do reconciliation, you pretty much have to get Kent Conrad on board, since he runs the Budget Committee. He has not yet ruled out reconciliation, though, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to list him as a certain no.

    What Conrad’s presence does mean is that you can pretty much give up hope of doing anything more ambitious with reconciliation than what was being planned as modifications to the Senate bill when we still had 60 votes.

  144. 144
    John S. says:

    @BTD:

    I assumed you were looking for someone to blame.

    You know what they say about assumptions…

    Anyway, I don’t give a shit about who to blame. I want to know exactly where the all-powerful unions stand exactly, because clearly I am not privvy to the same information you are. From what I have seen, they were on board with passing the bill and it fixing it later – you say they want to pass the bill but fix it simultaneously.

    I just want to read the same Cliff Notes you’re reading.

  145. 145
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    They believe that reconciliation is an abuse of the Senate’s power and is not constitutional.

    Call them the “procedure is more important than people” caucus.

  146. 146
    BTD says:

    @John S.:

    Let’s be clear. What the AFL-CIO and the SEIU have stated expressly is they want a contemporaneous fix of the bill (READ “of the excise tax”) to support passage of the Senate health bill.

    Now, think it through. Is there REALLY anything in the Senate bill for the unions? No. Is there anything bad? Yes, the excise tax.

    What is going to be their primary concern? the excise tax. How can they deal with it. One, make sure it is fixed. Two, make sure it is never enacted.

    When you see a big push by the unions for passage of the Senate bill, let me know.

    There is a reason the Speaker said she does not have the votes for the Senate bill (something she would not say if she had 210 and was close.) The unions made sure she did not have them.

  147. 147
    Rick Taylor says:

    I must be missing something because I’m baffled why this is getting so complicated. The senate passes a few amendments through reconciliation to address the items that are deal breakers for the house. No, I can’t tell you where the 51 votes are coming from because I’m ignorant, but didn’t we have more than 50 votes for medicare expansion and even a public option? I was under the impression the only reason some of these toxic compromises were made was because of the requirement to get 60 votes. Yes, the senate are bunch of prima donnas, they may not like to have to vote on this again, but shouldn’t the prospect of failure on Democrats signature domestic issue and consequent electoral disaster in November have a clarifying effect? Why should the House pass the bill with vague hopes of it being improved later, if this obvious avenue is available? I don’t see them passing it given union opposition, no matter how many phone calls we make or how many eminent health care experts way in, and I don’t see unions giving up their opposition based on promises to fix the bill later. By this point there’s little foundation for trust.

  148. 148
    Nick says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: For Feingold, tradition is important. He believes in helping the people, but within the legal limits of the Senate. I can’t help by respect that.

  149. 149
    Emma Anne says:

    Oh, John. Please revise and extend.

    WaMo is saying pass the bill. Krugman is saying it. TPM. Unions. Health care coalitions. Ezra and Matt.

    Can’t we all be Pass The Bill for a few days and save the despair and cynicism for when we need it?

  150. 150
    Quiddity says:

    @John Cole

    Given those numbers

    [progressives] are, at best, 20% of the Senate. 40% of the Senate are lockstep Republicans, another 20% are DINO’s …

    it makes me wonder if anything can be done. That’s a bleak landscape.

  151. 151
    Nick says:

    @Quiddity: This isn’t surprising in a democracy. You form coalitions. In a functioning democracy, we’d be able to pick off votes from all parties…in ours, the 40% votes lockstep against, forcing us to unite a loosely-held together coalition.

  152. 152
    dr. bloor says:

    @Nick:

    I like Feingold a ton, but that’s really not his judgment to make. Reconciliation is a reality, it’s been used in the past and will be used again in the future. If he has any concerns about the appropriateness of its use in this instance, he should rest assured that the parliamentarian and the Republicans will do everything they can to shoot it down.

  153. 153
    Malron says:

    House Democrats are angry with the Senate for passing a bill that divided their base, angering labor unions with a tax on expensive health plans and progressives by abandoning the public option.

    This is absolute bullshit, since SEIU’s Andy Stern and progressive health advocates are both urging the House to pass the senate bill now/fix it later. The House is simply lying their asses off in the face of a groundswell against their position.

    And who really gives a damn about their fears of being perceived as “rolling over?” WTF, we want them to roll over in this instance. Apparently they only know how to do that for their GOP masters and not when its can do people some actual good.

    Just. Fucking. Insane.

  154. 154
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Oh please. “Showing leadership” is like “having chemistry” in sports.

    So you’re saying that it’s actually a crucial component of success in most cases?

  155. 155
    Will says:

    @dr. bloor:

    If by “lower Manhattan,” you mean the Village, then yeah, that’s a little surprising. But if you mean Broad and Wall, it’s utterly unsurprising. He may not have even noticed all those Negroes.

    True. This was Cortlandt and Broadway, just a few blocks away from Wall St. Probably commutes in from his minority-free “safe haven” in Staten or Long Island, or some hellhole in Jersey.

  156. 156
    priscianus jr says:

    Just called Rangel’s office. “No position,” but he’s meeting with the House leadership right now. I don’t think it’s hopeless, John, IF they can get out of panic mode. That’s Pelosi’s job more than Obama’s right now.

  157. 157
    Nick says:

    @dr. bloor: He thinks the whole reconciliation RULE is unconstitutional.

  158. 158
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “Margarita would be nice, but the festivity would feel forced. Probably just a nice pint. ”

    A pint of Margarita sounds about right.

    If HCR goes down because of Coakley and the House Dems running around like headless chickens, I’m going to put all the money I would have contributed to the DNC and to Dem candidates into developing a substance abuse problem.

  159. 159
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Oh please. “Showing leadership” is like “having chemistry” in sports

    A quarterback who doesn’t call plays and just expects everyone else to decide what to do on their own is showing neither.

  160. 160
    sacman701 says:

    I didn’t feel like reading all 150 previous posts so this may have already been said, but it’s not close to over. House Dems may be more or less a bunch of cowards and fools but they’re also motivated by self-interest. Eventually they’ll figure out that the choice is either the Senate bill or nothing of consequence and that voters will beat them up even more if they show weakness and do nothing.

  161. 161
    John Cole says:

    @aimai: just primary him is my only concern.

  162. 162
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “Bet you all wish we had that Snowe deal now, dontcha?”

    Fuck yes.

  163. 163
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I like Feingold a ton, but that’s really not his judgment to make. Reconciliation is a reality, it’s been used in the past and will be used again in the future.

    Well said.

    My doctor just referred me to a specialist. That specialist wouldn’t take my insurance, so they gave me a few more names. They wouldn’t take me, either. One of them gave me a few more names to call. Finally I found one who will take me. . . in two months. Feingold can take his reservations over budget reconciliation and shove ’em up his ass.

  164. 164
    Joe P says:

    ThatLeftTurnInABQ

    I would take your post one step further. It is 4th and 1 inch at the 50 yard line and instead of handing the ball off to the 300 lb fullback the house progressives want to run a double reverse pitch back to the quarterback so he can fling it downfield to the 5′ 8″ fleaback rookie that was just activated and hasn’t played a down yet this year.

  165. 165
    keestadoll says:

    In the movie “Amistad,” there’s a scene that shows oblivious child queen Isabella II jumping up and down on her bed holding a doll. This is juxtaposed to the audience’s knowing that one of her country’s bedrock trades (slavery), had just been dealt a serious blow.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about that scene the last few days.

  166. 166
    Nick says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: Except in this case, Obama isn’t the quarterback, Pelosi is…we’re misunderstanding the way workings of the government.

  167. 167

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Hardly. It’s something that’s basically written into the narrative after the fact. But teams almost never lose because they didn’t like each other, they lose because they didn’t have talent. Or in one-off elimination contests, because they had a bad match-up or a bad day. The 2004-08 Yankees didn’t fail to win a World Series because Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter didn’t like each other, they lost because they didn’t have very good starting pitching and their defense was atrocious on top of it. But writing about how Jeter and A-Rod hated each other and it was ripping everything apart etc. made for much more interesting copy, and gave sports writers an excuse for peppering their stories with gossip.

    Same thing for the Senate. Getting stuff done isn’t hard because Harry Reid doesn’t know what he’s doing. Christ, Reid got closer to universal healthcare than any other leader in the history of the Senate. It’s hard because to do that you have to keep people like Bayh and Nelson and Landreiu and Lieberman on board. If the Senate was Harry Reid, 30 Al Frankens, and 29 Byron Dorgans getting shit done would be easy.

  168. 168

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Well maybe, but in this case you’re basically dealing with an offensive line that’s insisting they won’t block anyone if you don’t let them do what they want to. And you can’t cut them and replace them with someone else either. So that sort of ties your hands a bit no?

  169. 169
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I think baseball is a poor sport to base a defense of your analogy on. Of all the major team sports, baseball is the most individually centered one of all, and certainly, issues of chemistry and camaraderie have nowhere near as big an impact as they would in, say, football (the apparent sports analogy of choice for this thread/the week) or basketball or soccer or hockey or anything else that didn’t involve a bunch of guys standing around yards apart from each other in positions that are not interdependent on each other to function (for the most part).

    Edit: But I do agree with the particular sentiment you were expressing, just not in the context of this discussion.

  170. 170
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    I was under the impression the only reason some of these toxic compromises were made was because of the requirement to get 60 votes.

    I think people who were willing to be votes 48-57 when 60 are needed are not necessarily willing to be votes 48-57 when 50 are needed.

    I think Matt Yglesias said something useful the other day: if you want Obama to stand up more and compromise less, that necessarily means bringing things to a vote knowing that you’re not going to win, and being OK with that. Because the point of the compromising isn’t the sheer joy of compromise, it’s to get something done. Less compromising means accepting that some things probably won’t get done. Doing that sort of thing would have kept morale much higher among the general public, but I doubt that it would have made passing policy any easier, and it might not play very well in the media.

  171. 171
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    The questin I have- will the magical thinkers who insisted there were 51 votes for reconciliation

    My unanswered question is now and ever shall be, what did you think was possible in April of ’09 when Franken was in court, Specter was a Republican, and Kennedy was terminally ill? Are you ever going to answer that? Anybody, what did you think could be done in April and how did you think it was going to happen?

  172. 172
    Guy Smith says:

    NOT OVER until Obama makes his move. We have no idea what the real political dynamic is until then.

    And in the meantime, we have to put as much pressure on House Dems as possible.

  173. 173

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Alright, we’ll use football. One year Tom Coughlin is a dick, everyone on the team hates him, no one wants to play for him, he forced Tiki Barber into an early retirement because he couldn’t stand playing for him, etc. The next year the Giants won the Superbowl. How many articles were written about how much the players hated Coughlin that offseason?

  174. 174
    Guy S says:

    NOT OVER until Obama makes his move. We have no idea what the real political dynamic is until then.

    And in the meantime, we have to put as much pressure on House Dems as possible.

  175. 175
    BTD says:

    @Malron:

    “Fix it later” is not correct.

    I hate to keep harping on this, but it is an important point.

    The unions are not accepting “Fix It Later.” They accept “Fix It Now.” This explains the lack of 218 votes in the House for a Stand Alone Senate bill.

  176. 176
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brien Jackson: I was going to say the same thing about how both leadership and “chemistry” are determined after the fact and hence can be correlated with success only in the wrong temporal direction. Chemistry doesn’t generate success, success suggests that chemistry was present, and is mostly just another name for the same phenomenon, success; “chemistry” emphasizes collective action and “leadership” emphasizes individual heroism. Blaming political failure on a lack of leadership is sort of like blaming hunger on a lack of eating.

  177. 177
    BTD says:

    @Joe P:

    There is no FB for the Senate bill in the House. there are not even close to 218 votes.

    Why people think it is is just a matter of Pelosi calling a vote is beyond me.

  178. 178
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @The Moar You Know: Plus reconciliation is a bad way to go about getting any long-term reform bill enacted. Anything that has a sunset clause attached (Bush tax cuts, anyone?) is easy to reverse—and it’s painless, because it doesn’t take any legislative effort at all.

    Reconciliation was/is just clutching at straws.

  179. 179
    maus says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Oh please. “Showing leadership” is like “having chemistry” in sports.

    If you’re going for the awkward sports metaphor, Obama, Reid, Pelosi are coaches, and each player is either working on their own play, working for the other team, running in circles, and either trying to run salary negotiations during the game or stopped in the field, doing their own press conferences and posing for photographs when they should be scoring.

  180. 180
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole: No you won’t have to dig them out. The only source I used many times was Tom Harkin saying he had them from his own count. You can take or leave that as true or not.

    How many times have you gone down with one ship or another? I think it is too early to go down with this one. But we shall see.

    edit = and I would add that the quote you provide doesn’t really say much at all about what might happen. Mendendez is wrong. Any senator can trigger the PO option that was constructed in the house budget committee from the bill the house passed for the senate to use reconcil..

  181. 181
    rageahol says:

    Even though I’ve decided to make a serious go at moving to canada with my wife in hopes it will give our children greater opportunity (much like both of our families did when coming here in the first place), i called my rep, Elijah Cummings (MD-07) in support of passing the goddamn bill as is and fixing it later.

    he was noncommital.

    this feels like november 3, 2004 all over again.

  182. 182

    @maus:

    But again, if you’re going to make that metaphor, they’re coaches who have no authority to cut the player from the roster, or even take them out of the game.

    I imagine things would be quite different if Obama or Reid had the authority to simply kick Lieberman out of the Senate.

  183. 183
    John says:

    Midnight Marauder:

    I assume he’s saying that teams are always said to have “chemistry” when they win, and to lack it when they lose, and that there’s no very good way to measure it, so the whole thing is circular. Same deal with leadership.

  184. 184

    @BTD:

    Now, think it through. Is there REALLY anything in the Senate bill for the unions? No. Is there anything bad? Yes, the excise tax.

    That is not true. It is not bad for the unions. What evidence do we have that this is bad for the unions. None. The union bosses have portrayed it in that manner, but the reality is that they are fearmongering this issue. With that said I understand the realities of what that means. It doesn’t change the calculus, as you point out. The unions are essential to the Democratic GOTV. (BTW I am perfectly aware that unions are not benevolent or charitable organizations) But it is time for the House to fish or cut bait. They either want millions of more Americans to have coverage and hundreds of billions of dollars to go to the poor, or they don’t.

    If the unions are pissed and walk away from Democrats, then I say good luck to them dealing with the teabaggers. We are only one election away from have a Supreme Court packed with a 6-3 ultra right wing majority. Let’s see how that works for them.

  185. 185

    @John:

    Pretty much. And in the same way being a good team and winning a lot makes it easy to have good chemistry, having members willing to go along with you makes “leadership” easier too. If all Reid had to worry about were Amy Klobuchar and Jack Reed, he’d look a hell of a lot better than he does having to keep his wanker caucus on board with everything.

    I guess it’s also worth pointing out that the race on Tuesday was the first seat Democrats have lost in the Senate since Reid became the leader of the caucus. For what that’s worth.

  186. 186
    maus says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    But again, if you’re going to make that metaphor, they’re coaches who have no authority to cut the player from the roster, or even take them out of the game.

    Is that the only option a coach has? Are there not any other sanctions possible? (Yes, there are.)

    Breaking from the friendly decorum, jocularity, warm handshakes and actually exerting any amount of pressure. Put country first over congress. Take away a caucus leadership or two. Do fucking SOMETHING visible outside of closed doors.

    I imagine things would be quite different if Obama or Reid had the authority to simply kick Lieberman out of the Senate.

    Of course, but seeing as that’s not possible, we’re calling for alternative solutions.

    Look, it’s tough when you’ve got the media 100% against you, the republicans united against you, or the “liberal republicans” lying in wait to screw the deal, and your own party members talking badly of you, but that’s life.

  187. 187
    Zach says:

    @BTD: I said as much in my post. The response of the liberal wing of the House was that we need to axe the Cadillac tax rather than come up with something better than eliminating it entirely or keeping it without any mitigating policy.

  188. 188
    TJ says:

    The response of the liberal wing of the House was that we need to axe the Cadillac tax rather than come up with something better than eliminating it entirely or keeping it without any mitigating policy.

    No, the response was to use a progressive income tax instead of a regressive excise tax. You know, Obama’s original policy?

  189. 189
    Glocksman says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    It depends upon which set of experts you believe, I guess.
    Personally I believe Maggie Mahar and Robert Reich over Gruber and Klein.

    That aside, my clear duty as a union shop steward and activist in my local is to do what is best for my union brothers and sisters.

    Not the Democratic Party and not for Barack Obama, but for my people.
    If that’s too difficult a concept to understand, well, there’s no point in even continuing this discussion.

    This doesn’t mean that we are not willing to sacrifice.
    To the contrary, we are willing to do so.
    Come up with a way to spread the pain roughly equally and I’ll be the first to endorse it.
    What we are not willing to do is be singled out for sacrifice by the corporate whores in the Senate yet again.

    To this union man, the Democratic leadership lost all credibility when they sold us down the river 16 years ago with NAFTA and free trade.

    Because of that, anything less than a fix literally graven in stone is unacceptable.

    Labor doesn’t need a shiv marked ‘Lieberman’ shoved into our backs, after all.

    As far as the ‘where can they go’ view goes, let’s just say that if you fuck us over enough, all we have to do is sit on our hands come election day.

    Never mind that such condescending attitudes work wonders if your goal is to breed a new generation of ‘Reagan Democrats’.

  190. 190
    Citizen Alan says:

    @inkadu:

    So I’m with my three friends. Two want pizza, the other guy wants sushi, and I want pad thai.

    Nothing personal, but that’s not a very good analogy unless the options are:

    1. Oh no! We’ll all starve!

    or

    2. Everyone ends up eating pizza, including the guy who wanted sushi because he’s allergic to mushrooms and the other two proposed meals will send him to the emergency room.

  191. 191
    Citizen Alan says:

    Oh, and by the way, Joe Stupak is a member of that creepy C-Street sex cult. Just in case anyone had forgotten about that. Pass the word.

  192. 192
    Citizen Alan says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Millions of additional people will get coverage from this bill. By 2019 $200 billion in funding for the poorest Americans will be in the budget. That isn’t nothing. When was the last time our Congress gave that much money to the poor?

    Personally, I’m with you 100% … because I’m basically a socialist and I believe that a nation as wealthy as our which allows its poor to suffer as much as ours do is fundamentally immoral. That said, if I step back and look at what you just said from a conservative or even neutral perspective, I can’t help but think it sounds like the absolute worst caricature of the crazy tax-and-spend liberal. “Hey, let’s pass a major and unprecedented health care bill that will shovel $200 billion toward the lower classes and increase the burden on the middle class to pay for it. Who cares if it actually makes anything better? Viva la revolucion!”

    I certainly don’t agree with that frame, but honestly, I can’t imagine your argument persuading a Blue Dog to support the bill. If anything, it would frighten him into firmer opposition.

  193. 193
    Citizen Alan says:

    @eastriver:

    I want to point out that the GOP’s strategy worked. They slowed the process down enough that the MA vote mattered.

    Actually, I think the strategy was to slow the process down until Robert Byrd died and then bully the governor of WV into appointing a Blue Dog replacement. I can’t imagine the GOP seriously considered the possibility of picking up Teddy Kennedy’s seat back last summer.

  194. 194
    Citizen Alan says:

    @BTD:

    There is nothing in the Senate bill for the unions. there is something very bad for the unions in the Senate bill (it may be great for the country, but it is not great for the unions.) The unions have great influence over most Dems because they are a backbone of Dem election efforts. There is a reason everyone scrambles for their endorsements.

    Here-freakin-here. Whether people admit it or not, the excise tax is a serious attack by Democrats on a Democratic constituency that makes up a disproportionate part of Democratic GOTV efforts. The equivalent would be for Republicans to eliminate the estate tax and then pay for it by eliminating the tax exempt status of America’s churches.

  195. 195
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Nick:

    Bet you all wish we had that Snowe deal now, dontcha?

    Maybe, but since triggers went away with the public option and the medicare buy-in when Lieberpig threw his little tantrum, it hardly matters.

  196. 196
    BTD says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Convince them of that.

  197. 197
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Napoleon:

    Which means they would kick the field goal as soon as they get a first down.

    More like punt, I think.

  198. 198
    maus says:

    @Nick:

    I remained quiet at the time about this, but I saw this coming after we decided not taking the Snowe trigger deal and running with it was the better idea. Bet you all wish we had that Snowe deal now, dontcha?

    Like they would have fucking gone with it anyway. What makes you think we wouldn’t have been in this mess?

  199. 199
    Nick says:

    @maus: Because no Senate Democrat would have voted against a bill that had a Republican vote, Lieberman sure wouldn’t have, he likes bipartisanship…and Snowe would’ve probably brought Collins.

    You have to wonder if maybe the President is stepping out because of this. Remember when he told Harry Reid “I hope you know what you’re doing” when he decided to go forward with the public option, only to waste two weeks and have to kill it…if I was President, my first instinct probably would be “I gave you direction, told you to go with Snowe, you blew me off, it’s your problem now”

  200. 200
    sfp says:

    There was some talk among Senate leadership on Thursday of putting together a letter signed by 51 Democratic senators pledging to pass a cleanup bill if the House would pass the Senate bill. But that effort fizzled when support for it didn’t materialize, insiders said.

    I haven’t read any of the comments, so maybe this has been brought up, but this could be a little bit of a blessing in disguise. When we call our Senators, we now have something specific we try to get them to do. Instead of just telling them they’re being stupid feckless idiots, and won’t they please do something, we can tell them that they can stop being stupid feckless idiots if they just get over themselves for long enough to write and sign that letter.

    That’s gotta be worth a little something, right?

Comments are closed.