Sunday 8 November 2009

How to split the Senate Blue Dogs

Let's recap on the reconciliation option.

Without the reconciliation option, Obama needs 60 Senators to pass health reform, and Lieberman has said repeatedly that he refuses to be Vote #60.

If Reid and Obama go the reconciliation route, the threshold for passage goes down from 60 to 50.

And what that means is that under the reconciliation formula, Senators #51 through 59 become completely IRRELEVANT.

So it is entirely possible that Reid and Emanuel can sit down with Senators #51 through 59 -- Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieu etc -- and tell them flat out:

"If you guys can drag Lieberman behind the barn, beat him to a bloody pulp, and get him back on board to at least allow the damned vote, then all of YOU get to sit at the table and shape the bill to your liking: controlling costs, ensuring that the public option doesn't swallow the whole market, etc etc. But if you DON'T help us get Lieberman back on board, then YOUR vote becomes irrelevant. So if you clowns have been conspiring with Lieberman to block this bill, then all you've accomplished is to ensure that no one listens to your concerns when we go to reconciliation."

That way, you have the Blue Dogs working to get you to 60, instead of blocking up the pipes.

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