The Democratic Party’s deceitful game
… Basically, this is how things have progressed:
Progressives: We want a public option! Democrats/WH: We agree with you totally! Unfortunately, while we have 50 votes for it, we just don’t have 60, so we can’t have it. Gosh darn that filibuster rule. Progressives: But you can use reconciliation like Bush did so often, and then you only need 50 votes. Filibuster reform advocates/Obama loyalists: Hey progressives, don’t be stupid! Be pragmatic. It’s not realistic or Serious to use reconciliation to pass health care reform. None of this their fault. It’s the fault of the filibuster. The White House wishes so badly that it could pass all these great progressive bills, but they’re powerless, and they just can’t get 60 votes to do it. [Month later] Progressives: Hey, great! Now that you’re going to pass the bill through reconciliation after all, you can include the public option that both you and we love, because you only need 50 votes, and you’ve said all year you have that! Democrats/WH: No. We don’t have 50 votes for that (look at Jay Rockefeller). Besides, it’s not the right time for the public option. The public option only polls at 65%, so it might make our health care bill — which polls at 35% — unpopular. Also, the public option and reconciliation are too partisan, so we’re going to go ahead and pass our industry-approved bill instead … on a strict party line vote.
This is why, although I basically agree with filibuster reform advocates, I am extremely skeptical that it would change much, because Democrats would then just concoct ways to lack 50 votes rather than 60 votes — just like they did here. …
via Glenn Greenwald