"Major Power Brokers On The Left"
Last night, Rachel Maddow tells me broke some news.
We can report exclusively tonight that two major power brokers on the left have told MSNBC that they are encouraging a Senate strategy now in which the leadership would revoke chairmanships and other leadership positions from any Democrat who sides with a Republican filibuster to block a vote on health reform. Regardless of how individual senators would vote ultimately on the bill, committee chairmen or subcommittee chairmen who allowed Republicans to force a 60-vote requirement for passing health care...under this type of strategy would be in danger of losing their chairmanships.
I don't know what that means. "Two power brokers on the left"? Who? Senators? Fundraisers? People who want health reform? I'm encouraging this, am I one of the power brokers? If it's Senators, this isn't really news, as Tom Harkin said this about Max Baucus back in July, even before the vote. Jay Rockefeller has intimated it as well, with respect to having a vote on leadership and chairmanships instead of using seniority. And with Rockefeller and Baucus not even speaking to each other before this critical vote, I'm assuming that hasn't changed.
Mind you, I'd LOVE for this to be the strategy. It wouldn't take effect until 2011, and I don't know if it can filter down to subcommittees - Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu don't chair any committee, for example - but it's one of the tools in the shed for the Senate caucus leadership. I hope they use it. This report doesn't convince me they will, however.