The non-committed Dems need to read this

Great Op-Ed in the Post today from Marjorie Margolies, who infamously lost her seat in a Republican-leaning district after voting for Clinton's 1993 budget.  Her advice to wavering Dems– vote for the damn bill.  Apparently, Margolies was the Democrat in the most Republican-leaning district of any House member.  Given what happened in 1994, she was very likely going to lose anyway, but because she did the right thing, she helped put the country on the economic course that actually ended up with budget surpluses (remember those?) by the time Clinton left office.


The Nuns are much smarter (and more moral) than the Bishops

From the AP (via Yglesias):

WASHINGTON — Catholic nuns are urging Congress to pass President
Barack Obama's health care plan, in an unusual public break with bishops
who say it would subsidize abortion.

Some 60 leaders of religious
orders representing 59,000 Catholic nuns Wednesday sent lawmakers a
letter urging them to pass the Senate health care bill. It contains
restrictions on abortion funding that the bishops say don't go far

The letter says that "despite false claims to the
contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective
abortions." The letter says the legislation also will help support
pregnant women and "this is the real pro-life stance."

One cannot but wonder whether Stupak and his supposedly pro-life (that is defining life as ending at birth) minions actually really want health care reform to pass.  If they do, this would certainly seem to be adequate cover on the Catholic angle, especially as Yglesias points out, the nuns are joining the Catholic Health Association.

Public Opinion on health care

I'm pretty sure I've written before on just how problematic the polling data on health care is and how cautious one should be in interpreting it. I think the following two questions from the same poll make this point nicely (via Swampland):

From what you have heard about Barack Obama's health care
plan, do you think his plan is a good idea or a bad idea?  If you do
not have an opinion either way, please just say so.

Good idea ………………….. 36

Bad idea ……………………. 48

Do not have an opinion … 15

Not sure …………………… 1

Do you think it would be better to pass Barack Obama's health care
plan and make its changes to the health care system or to not pass this
plan and keep the current health care system?

Better to pass this plan, make these changes …  46

Better to not pass this plan, keep current system  45

Neither (VOL)
………………………………………………….  4

Not sure
………………………………………………………….  5


Got that?  There's a good percentage of people out there saying they think it's a bad bill who still want to see it passed!  I think this latter question, the ultimate "where the rubber meets the road" of the current debate should be pushed by Democrats far and wide as it clearly combats the "deeply unpopular" theme the right has been pushing.  Some might complain the question is unfair due to the "keep the current health care system," but, in truth, that's why this question more accurately gets at the issue than others I've seen.  As you know if you're reading my blog, the choice is not between this bill and some hypothetical reform you might like better; the choice is between this bill and being stuck in our rapidly deteriorating system.  I think I'll be quoting this poll result a lot.  




No Shame

I'm with Cohn on this whole deem and pass thing.  Certainly does not strike me as a smart idea politically, but Nancy Pelosi is not stupid and if she's doing it this way, it's probably because that's what she thinks she has to do to get the votes (she's not politically stupid, but many in the Democratic caucus are). That said, the level of Republican hypocrisy on this has reached truly extraordinary proportions.  Norm Ornstein (via Yglesias):

Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over
the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to
the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I
can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we
are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the
Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It
reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the
use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the
projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In
the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules
Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than
35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of “deem and pass.” That
strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and
now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by
House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40
billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid
an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don’t like self-executing rules
by either party—I prefer the “regular order”—so I am not going to say
this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so—is there no shame

I think we all know the answer to that one. 

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