I’m glad to read that Senator Frank Lautenberg has signed the letter calling for a public option via reconciliation. We know Menendez has said favorable things about it last month. But I hope they realize that while gestures are appreciated, they need to win for a change. And so I recommend what Digby says:
But I would warn them that if they think that building up the base’s hopes on this again only to fail to even get 50 out of 58 Democrats it isn’t going to work. If they are serious about rallying the base they need to deliver, period. No excuses. They have a majority. If they hold a vote that only requires 51, they need to win it.
I’m just praying they aren’t going to have a spirited losing debate on the floor and then go the Evan Bayh route yesterday when he was on TV, righteously blaming the Republicans for being obstructionists (good) but also blaming Democrats for making the “perfect the enemy of the good”. One more lecture about this and I’m going to put my foot through the TV. The truth of the matter is that liberals have been accommodating every damned step of the way, forced to eat dirt from backstabbers like Joe Lieberman and have been far more compromising than jackasses like Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson. It pays to remember that if liberals had their way we would be talking about a national, cradle to grave universal health care plan (Medicare for all) instead of this Rube Goldberg contraption that’s been put together with toothpicks and ear wax. So lectures about demanding perfection really need to be aimed at the vaunted “centrists” and the conservatives, who made this mess a necessary requirement for passage….
But if they are running the same game they ran before I can’t imagine how much worse they are making it for themselves. They need to be very, very serious about passing it. This Charlie Brown with the football routine is what’s killing them with the base. They just can’t afford to do it again.
I don’t think it’s hard for Blue Jersey readers to think of examples at the state level, but here there are really no excuses, because health care reform has been in the Democratic platform longer than most Americans have been alive. Pass a public option that covers anyone with a pre-existing condition, with subsidies for everyone without insurance and a tax on high incomes, and you are finished. And it’s more popular than the current bill.