The Wanker Caucus
Ben Nelson thinks that the health care crisis is worth taking our time, and we should cut focus on cutting everyone's coverage for now and wait until later to expand coverage. Because those 47 million uninsured can wait. He also offered a stirring defense of minority rule:
Nelson appeared to settle on 65 Senate votes as a figure that would provide him a comfort level in terms of establishing a level of bipartisan support for a bill.
"I think anything less than that would challenge its legitimacy," he said.
A minimum of five Republican votes would be required to reach a total of 65 senators.
Sixty votes would be sufficient to clear a Republican filibuster and win passage of the legislation.
"It would be a tremendous mistake to jam it through with 50 votes" under the Senate's arcane budget reconciliation process, Nelson said.
Yes, it would be a mistake to assert the proposition that majorities can pass legislation. That would be an assault on democracy.
As David Kurtz, notes, Ben Nelson has never received 65% of the vote in his elections, so I'm sure he'll resign.
But Nelson is practically a single-payer advocate compared to Artur Davis.
Davis, D-Birmingham, said Democratic House leaders should listen to their members and President Barack Obama, who has said there is room for compromise on the public option.
"The idea that it's the holy grail of this debate is wrong," Davis said.
"Public option can't pass the Senate," Davis said. "I'm interested in something that can pass and Barack Obama can sign." [...]
"We need a new bill. The Senate is moving in that direction," Davis said. "Unfortunately, the House is not moving in that direction. What I see in the House is some hardening of the battle lines. That's discouraging."
"I'm not for penalizing any of our small businesses or any businesses ... especially during a time when you have an ongoing recession," Bright said, a point Davis echoed.
"Frankly, the House leadership seems wedded to keeping that in," Davis said. "And the more you look at it, the more indefensible that is."
Artur Davis is running for Governor of Alabama. He'll probably introduce a bill to hang immigrants before too long.