Monday, November 23, 2009

One step closer to awful compromise

It's Monday, and if I'm not mistaken, I do recall the Democrats in the Senate voting to officially start the debate of the debate of the debate of the debate over whether to start the debate over health care. By which I mean "debate". Everyone already knows pretty much how everyone is going to vote and there will be very little deliberation in the "world's greatest deliberative body". 40 Republicans will vote against it, 56 Democrats for it, and a collection of 4 Democrats will try to make the bill dumber, less effective, cover less people, and reduce costs less in a bid for relevance and TV time. Yes, because we couldn't even get through a bullshit procedural vote without Democrats rushing towards the mics to announce all the ways they'd kill the bill if they didn't get their terrible, shortsighted way.

There was Mary Landrieu ("D"-LA), telling people that the public option had to be "triggered" -likely in a way that means it'll never be triggered- or she wouldn't vote to over come a filibuster. Ben Nelson ("D"-NE) was out on the Sunday talk show circuit talking about filibustering if the bill had a public option, didn't get all Stupak-y with women's uteri, and get better on costs controls, which, if his past action on the stimulus are any indication, means cutting actual cost control measures. Blanche Lincoln ("D"-AK) said the same on the public option, and Joe Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) popped his head up to remind everyone he's still a rotten douche. They all took care to mention that the public option doesn't have the support of the Senate. But, as we've learned, when 56 Senators support something that means that something doesn't have support.

Of course Bernie Sanders (Socialist~!-VT) and Roland Burris ($50 or best offer-IL) tried to point out that they'll block passage of a bill without a public option, but they were laughed out of the room because they were advocating for a liberal position and will be expected to cave without getting anything.

So there we are: "debate" has started. Soon the last remaining gasps of life the bill has will be compromised out by the same cast of characters you wish would die in a plane crash. Then after the reform bill passes without a public option and featuring a requirement that makes all women get a signed permission slip from Ben Nelson before taking an aspirin, it moves to the conference committee where we'll all pretend that he bill might get better...and it won't. Then the bill will be signed amid claims of "history" and "no, really, this is a good bill", as people try to subsume their rage as yet another opportunity to fix a large problem was squandered by our elected betters. In other words: the way it was pretty much expected to go at the start of the whole process. God bless this great land.

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