That's quite the cannon shot over the bow, there. Nice.The Nebraska Democratic Party put the state's senior senator, Ben Nelson, in an awkward spot on Saturday by passing a resolution making support for a government-run insurance option a central aspect of its platform.
In a nearly unanimous vote at a committee meeting in Fort Omaha Metro Community College, about 70 attendees approved language that urges members of Congress "to vote for such health care reform proposals that contain a robust public option at all stages of the legislative process including conference and reconciliation, and encourage legislators to pass such reform."
There's actually quite a bit of good news today, but before we get to that, let's sample some stupid. And who can be more stupid than Bobby Jindal, who's apparently illiterate? He sure as shit can't read polls, because there he is claiming there's no public support for health care reform, and there the polls are showing precisely the opposite. Dumbshit extraordinaire, our Bobby.
The White House has been happily touting the AMA's support for reform, and had a nice little get-together with doctors to show off lab-coated support. In what I'm sure is a huge coinkydink, the RNC suddenly decided it doesn't love the AMA anymore. Are you shocked? I'm shocked. Like, totally.
Those of you breathlessly awaiting the day the Senate Finance Committee will at long last pass their fucking bill shall have to hold their breath a bit longer, alas. And I wouldn't bet on Wyden voting aye, were I you. The man's a little pissed at his amendment getting dicked around, with good reason.
Dems, alas, aren't always the champions of health care they should be. Take the 6 Dem governors who've decided against signing a milquetoast letter in support of health care. If they have a good excuse, I haven't heard it yet.
But I promised thee good news, and good news thee shall have. There's some pretty fucking awesome good news, because it looks like conservative Dems are finally understanding that it's a great idea to get on board with reform, including the public option. Harry Reid's working on herding cats, and remarkably might have some success on that front. It helps that the public option polls so well. And I'm sure it doesn't hurt that former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's new book makes the case for health care reform:
In the book, the heart surgeon writes, "We have a moral responsibility, I believe, to see that every single American has affordable access to health care."
"The need to improve the productivity, fairness and consistent quality of American health care is deeply intertwined with our economic problems. Fixing health care will help the economy," Frist wrote. "Thus, I strongly support the administration's determination to act on both fronts simultaneously, great as the challenges will be."
In case you're wondering, he is indeed referring to the Obama administration. Mind, he's trying to temper his support a bit, but what he wrote's a wee bit difficult to walk back.
Reason for optimism? Steve Benen thinks so:
At this point, I was more or less expecting Democratic leaders to start lowering expectations, and preparing the party base for a letdown on the public option. Instead, most of the rhetoric seems to be pointing in the other direction, and the reported efforts of the leadership and the White House is no doubt contributing to the Democratic centrists who now seem less willing to break ranks.
But it's still wise to temper one's enthusiasm. For one thing, the distance between here and the finish line is still pretty long. For another, as we recently learned, "some form of a public option" can mean different things. Reid conceded last week that "public option" is a "relative term.
Add me to the list.Taken together, put me down for "cautious optimism."