Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Mostly Dead is Slightly Alive"

"Still Alive", "by" GLaDOS (hey, it was that or "Are You Dead Yet" by Children of Bodom. Trust me, this is the better choice).

Reactions seem to vary. If you want to be depressed, read Congress Matters or the Wonk Room. If you want to feel uplifted, Kos has a snippet of an interview with Tom Harkin or quotes from Health Care for America Now.

It's hard for me to read the tea leaves. Do the relevant players—Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Harkin—have the stones to play hardball on the public option? Can the various moderates sustain their kabuki position of voting for cloture but against passage? How serious is their opposition? Hard to say.

My guess is that something like the Schumer amendment has 50 votes today, and Schumer is enough of a pragmatist that he may be able to mollify the remaining Senators to get past cloture vote (Bayh, Begich, Conrad, Lieberman, Lincoln, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Tester). And my guess is that that is something that most of the House progressives can live with. There will be a few no votes from the left: Kucinich, maybe Raul Grijalva, maybe Jim McDermott. But the center-left looks like it can hold.
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