Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fight Senator With Senator

I'm happy to be philosophytalking my mouth off Down Under, far away from the blow-by-blow on the health care stuff, but catching up on my blog reading is giving me the flavor of the moment. Depressing.

If I have one constructive suggestion to offer, it's that the people who have the best chance of reining in the Nelsons and Liebermans of the world are their fellow Senators. I can't imagine that the majority of the Democratic caucus is happy with the way those two are endangering the bill. Making it clear filibustering health care reform results in your seniority being reset to 0 for purposes of committee assignments and chairmanships would give them the right incentives. One way to put the question is "why doesn't Reid do this?" but I'm thinking the better question is, "Why don't 40+ Democratic Senators get together and demand this?" For the vast majority, the expected costs of being the one who goes astray and gets smacked down are much lower than the expected costs of being the one whose priorities are frustrated by Lieberman types doing ridiculous things in the future.
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