So, over the weekend, in another late-Saturday-night vote, the Senate approved a motion to open debate on their own version of the health care bill.
Lefties may think they’ve won, but in reality, the fight has barely begun.
The problem is simple… many Democratic Senators who voted to open debate may not vote later on to close debate (“cloture”), which also needs 60 votes. At least some of the moderate Democrats in the Senate voted to open debate primarily to attempt to modify the bill to make it more palatable to them. However, what the moderates want (a weakening of the “public option”) is anathema to the hard-core leftists in the Senate.
Thus, Reid is caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. If he doesn’t weaken the public option, the moderates may not vote for cloture. If he does, the leftists may not vote. And Reid can’t afford even one defection unless he can pick up a liberal Republican to counterbalance it, and that’s pretty unlikely.
So in actually succeeding in opening debate, Reid might have started the demise of the bill.
“There are core strengths to the American economy that will put us in good stead over the long term,” Obama said.
As we noted in a story yesterday evening, the Obama campaign quickly jumped on John McCain’s statement yesterday that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” McCain made the comment on the same day that two major Wall Street institutions effectively collapsed, and the Obama campaign portrayed McCain’s response as evidence that the Republican nominee is “out of touch with what’s going in the lives of ordinary Americans.”
I guess Minitrue hasn’t gotten around to flushing that campaign ad down the memory hole yet.