Ben Nelson Will Filibuster Without Stupak

Jed Lewison asks an interesting question:

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said on Thursday won't vote for the Senate's healthcare bill unless further changes are made. Nelson said that modifications to the bill, including provisions to curtail federal support for plans covering abortion, are needed to win his vote.[. . ."]I will not vote for cloture on the motion to end debate," Nelson said in an interview on KLIN radio in Nebraska.

So here's a question: Will the White House come down as hard on Ben Nelson as they have on Howard Dean?

(Emphasis supplied.) "As hard." Heh. Anyway, I think it is really time to consider scrapping the exchanges in order to solve this problem. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the crappy.

Speaking for me only

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    do you think (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CST on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:08:03 PM EST
    Snowe would vote for the bill as is?

    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:12:43 PM EST
    Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), an abortion-rights supporter, could be Reid's best bet if he loses Nelson over abortion. On Tuesday, Snowe said that the abortion language in the Reid bill, based on a version of the legislation she supported in the Finance Committee, is appropriate. "The provision as developed in the Finance Committee bill, I think, addressed the question that we preserve current law," she told The Hill.



    I bet Nelson, Lieberman and Snowe sit (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by tigercourse on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:16:47 PM EST
    at their own table in the Senate cafeteria. I bet they trip Harry Reid as he walks by, and laugh at him as he wipes the mashed potato off his glasses.

    Just put this whole fiasco out of it's misery (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:17:58 PM EST

    Dumb question by jed lewison (none / 0) (#5)
    by heineken1717 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:19:35 PM EST
    since Dean has no vote in the Senate, the question is meaningless.  Obviously Obama could care less if he hurts his feelings.

    I think the more interesting question is will the blogosphere come down as hard on Nelson as it did on Lieberman (i.e. tell Democrats to kick Nelson out of the caucus).  Interesting to note that the current tally is 57 Democrats + Sanders + Lieberman on the side supporting the bill, and 40 Republicans + Nelson opposed.

    Tell me the upside for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:23:37 PM EST
    for attacking Dean.

    I see the downside to attacking Nelson.

    I saw nothing good for Obama attacking Dean.

    Perhaps you can explain it to me?


    Perhaps there is no upside (none / 0) (#11)
    by heineken1717 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:32:26 PM EST
    I just think the question is silly, because Nelson and Dean are in two clearly different positions.  It doesn't make Obama a hypocrite to attack Dean but not Nelson.  That doesn't mean Obama is making the right choice in attacking Dean, but it has nothing to do with whether he attacks Nelson.

    So that Obama looks like (none / 0) (#17)
    by me only on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:46:23 PM EST
    a centrist.  He kicks the left wing of the party to show that he is not as radical as he has been painted on the right.

    Obama has to have the independents to win.  It isn't like you are going to vote Republican in 2012.  On the other hand, I might.


    Yeah but (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:50:22 PM EST
    Indpendents have abandoned him in droves.  Not to say they won't come back, but it isn't looking good.

    If Obama passes this watered down bill, (none / 0) (#22)
    by me only on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:57:16 PM EST
    I probably won't care about it come 2012.  It will be more how he handles the economy (card check, free trade, fiscal spending) for me.

    If he had passed a bill that required significant tax increases (and not a Medicare style tax) he would have lost me forever.


    A $750 mandate (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:02:05 PM EST
    is a significant tax increase for many Americans.

    And then there are the Medicare cuts.

    Will Obama be seen as green in the coming youtube, in which -- with this timing -- he will play the Grinch?  Not the green sort of presidency he promised.


    Obama's Failure (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    $750 penalty? Unacceptable.

    The unspeakable Stupak/Nelson assault on women's rights is bad enough. Just think of giving 30 to 40 million victims to drug and healthcare monopoly without the option of going elsewhere.

    Clinton likes it? Well, I declare. Millions of women will be harmed from illegal abortions and many will die. Women's rights to equal protection will once again be decided by an old white Senator or Rep. and the Catholic Bishops.

    Obama has sat on his hands and actually wants this atrocity of a HC bill. Now that he's been found out about his secret deal with Big Pharma in July to insure we can't import or buy drugs at fair prices we can imagine that his preoccupation with re-election $$$$$ is his prime concern.

    I want my vote back.


    Are those the people (none / 0) (#26)
    by me only on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:17:42 PM EST
    who are supposed to be getting something out of the legislation (namely health insurance)?

    You bet it'll increase taxes significantly (none / 0) (#33)
    by Andy08 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:34:48 PM EST
    staring for all union and other blue collar/middle class workers (eg teachers) who will lose a LOT of their already tight coverage (ie. not cadillac at all) and in addition face the 40% excise tax insuranc eco. will pass along to us. I have a "state" coverage that is well above  the threshold for triggering the excise tax and it doesn't even cover an annual check up  (every 2 years) etc etc. So I KNOW my taxes will increase by at least 1,2K a year already: and that is preposterous on my salary.... This tax is an assault to the middle class.

    The D or else scaremongering no longer applies (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:10:43 PM EST
    ... now that Obama and his bi-cameral majorities have proven to be even more regressive than the purportedly hobbled minority Dems.

    They could have fought the Mean Republican Meanies as a minority party but didn't (Dry Powder Excuse).

    That they're not accomplishing change now -- using Bi-Partisan Fetishism as a stupider "explanation" of ineffectuality as "pragmatism" to deliver what was promised -- is insulting beyond articulation.

    Being an Independent voter means all sides have to talk to him or her and not even get to know how s/he voted until the day after the elections.


    I have no idea what you are trying to (none / 0) (#31)
    by me only on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:52:14 PM EST

    How is anything Obama is doing labeled regressive?


    Regressive Politics? (none / 0) (#35)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:16:39 PM EST
    How is Obama regressive?
     For openers he arranged a secret backroom deal with chief Big Pharma lobbyist Billy Tauzin[former Repub senator], in July that insures Big Pharma will get no government competition. They'e offered 80 billion over 10 years which really means little as drug prices continue to rise and there's a patent clause that holds back generics. A total sellout. Why??? This is a gift to Pharma and means little. Profits for last year for Pharma was $77 billion.

    Because? Pharma promises to run no ads objecting to any of administrations drug or insurance programs, and of course it stands to reason they will contribue to Obama's re-election.$$$$$$$

    And then there's the Stupak amendment inserted into the House bill by catholic Stupak. This devious amendment is more draconian than the law already provides in Hyde which forbids federal funds for abortions. This goes far further and it took a Democrat with NO WH interference to pull this off.

    Now Nelson is holding up the Senate with his insistence of a Nelson/Stupak amendment so it stays in during conference.

    Regrssive? Women have struggled for decades for reproductive rights and equal protection. This shreds Roe v Wade as abortion will only be available to the wealthy and connected. Millions will get illegal abortions and millions will die. Historically women have come a long way but not long enough.

    This is as regressive as it gets. And Obama? He's been MIA during the entire debate seeking political cover. Imagine belonging to Big Insurance?

    P.S. Billy Tauzin is one of the main movers of the donut hole in Medicare Drug program that screws seniors. He and Tom Delay mounted three midnight votes after intimidation and rule breaking to ram it through.

    Regressive? Tauzin is chief lobbyist at Big Pharma working hard to screw us and this is who Obama made his devil's pact with.


    Obama's not being 'labeled' but IS regressive (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:51:48 PM EST
    It was perfectly outlined in another response to your failure to understand what I said, so I'll merely reiterate.

    It's not a case of labeling (or branding, as Team Obama's crack election-team aides, now ensconced in the White House, prefer to filter all incoming and outgoing material.)


    Upside/Downside -Attacking Dean/Nelson (none / 0) (#21)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    Upside for WH in attacking Dean is that many of the netroots that Dean literally delivered to Obama, listen to and trust Dean. As Dean is respected as honest he stands as a threat to Team Obama.
     Axelrod and Rham wanted Dean diminished as they had other plans for HC as we now see. Public option was never fought for WH.

    We know that Obama made a secret deal with Big Pharma in July that promises no gov't purchasing of drugs in exchange for Pharma not running ads against him. Think re-election. The fix was in.

    Dean is not going to spoil Obama's sellout if Axelrod Team can help it. Therefore trashing Dean by Gibbs and others is their strategy.They want this crapola bill at all costs.

    Downside?  Attacking Nelson? Absolutely not if attacking him means trashing the Stupak Amendment and sticking up for women's rights re: abortion and equal protection.

    In fact if they don't stop Nelson, Democratic women for the most part will be lost. If they cave to Nelson and allow Stupak which is worse then current law [Hyde], Obama can forget women.


    Hell yes I'd kick Nelson out (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:22:50 PM EST
    and I hope Lincoln loses.  Having a majority might be worth holding your nose, but I'd rather have 51 united than 60 divided.  Reconciliation would have been the only option if we had a smaller majority free of the Nelson's of the world.

    Nah I wouldn't kick out Nelson (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:28:20 PM EST
    its like Teabaggers going after Snowe, Graham and Collins becaus the'te massive losers.

    I would not kick anyone out (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:33:00 PM EST
    I would however lower their seniority, which should be based on party discipline it seems to me.  

    That's (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:41:31 PM EST
    what its there for.

    Your solution makes more sense (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by magster on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:49:22 PM EST
    but mine would feel better.

    Party Discipline (none / 0) (#36)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:32:43 PM EST
    There is no Party disipline within the Democrats.

    They are a splintered group with spineless leaders who do not extract loyalty by withdrawing chairs and goodies to those who are incapable of unity.

    The real leader of a party is the President, and Obama has been undercover. Timidly compromising and listening to  handlers Axelrod and Rham who are executing this ham handed ugly regressive legislation that will ruin many and enrich big insurance beyond their wildest dreams. The vacum is huge.

    The Math doesn't add up as this helter skelter push punishes Medicare. The scare tactics from Obama on ABC could have been a Cheney speech.

    This bill hamstrings all of us from shopping fairly for competitive insurance provided publicly.  I believe this is clearly Anti-Trust as the Pharma and Insurance monopolies have a stranglehold on America. They pay everyone off and promote fear.

    The Republicans know far more about Party loyalty and discipline. Unfortunately I'm a Democrat that remembers some gutsy Democratic regimes and this one leaves me with a sinking feeling.

    I want my vote back.


    As for coming down on Lieberman (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:25:22 PM EST
    I came down on his lying about the Medicare Buy In, not his position.

    I never expected anything less from him.

    Ben Nelson has said from the beginning he wants a Stupak. That others have ignored that is not something I particularly care about.

    I have suggested many solutions to the Stupak problem already.


    Your position is fair on that (none / 0) (#13)
    by heineken1717 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:36:01 PM EST
    I have also been annoyed at Lieberman for saying he was for the buy-in, then changing his mind.  I was stating more about the blogosphere in general, not you.  Most of the liberal blogs treat Lieberman way worse than they treat Nelson, and I don't get why.  Sometimes they say it's because Nelson is from Nebraska and Lieberman Connecticut, but I think that's crap because Connecticut doesn't hesitate to elect Republicans.  If we had a Republican in Conn., we'd be down 2 votes right now instead of 1.

    Better re-think Sanders. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Radix on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:06:06 PM EST
    Because according to Sanders as the Bill now stands he can't support it.

    Yes but he has stopped short (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:33:44 PM EST
    of saying he would vote "No" on cloture.

    It would be sad if (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:20:51 PM EST
    a) this forced reconciliation; and b) reconciliation were used to pass the crappy Senate "compromise."

    reconciliation (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:36:41 PM EST
    can't be used to pass the senate bill.

    All those "regulations" or something...


    That's the argument (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:40:03 PM EST
    I don't buy it.

    Reid plans Christmas Eve vote (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:51:45 PM EST

    WASHINGTON - Senate Democratic leaders have laid out an ambitious timetable for passing the health care bill on Christmas Eve. But if they're successful with their strategy, the vote that matters most and sets the stage for final passage would happen on Monday.

    To be successful, the plan assumes Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will have three key elements before the weekend: the bill's cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation completely written and available to the public, and assurance from all 60 members of his caucus that they will vote for the package.

    As of this writing, none of those things has materialized.

    The timeline also assumes that Democratic strategists have accounted for every possible grenade that Republicans could throw in their path. Some Republicans have made it clear that they're hell-bent on either slowing down the process or killing the bill completely.

    Coal in our stockings! (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:00:14 PM EST
    from Congress -- just when we didn't think Congress could get any worse.  

    They could at least let Jesus be born before they make Him weep -- weep for all of the poor who will not be served by this bill, the poor and the middle class who will be made poorer by this bill and its mandates, and the many among them who will get less medical care as a result.  That is, unless they get sent to jail or prison for not paying the fine -- as that would be a way to get medical care.  Watch for it.  


    Xmas Eve Vote is a Donkey Show in any sense (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:27:11 PM EST
    Given the emerging facts and sharpening picture, apply the label of profanity or obscenity at will, whether Reid's pageant turns out to be the biblical tale or an unwatchable pron spectacular.

    Either production isn't worth salvaging without first restoring what has been taken out to empower a handful medical medievalists.


    The medical medievalists aren't done yet (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:41:49 PM EST
    Holdout Sen. Nelson rejects abortion compromise. Lots o' lovely sh*t in the article.

    Why can't we counter some of this by NOT giving public money to the religious sh*t they want?


    Why should Nelson's Choice be the Only Choice (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:38:20 PM EST
    ... that decides personal, medical matters for millions and cuts millions more out of health insurance and health care?

    This exceeded tolerance levels long ago. There's no rational, ethical or moral reason even to allow this jackwad at the table.

    After forty years of this bi-partisan persecution, we shouldn't even have to organize, re-organize, go back to the f*cking drawing board and re-re-re-organize to re-re-re-fight for our basic human rights, not to be regarded as much human as a Nelson Rhetorical Foetus, but be regarded as much a person as Ben Nelson The F*cking D!psh!t.

    Nelson's "morality" based objections are but a veil on the cruel fact that he's demanding that others die for his religiosity and that both political parties have been feasting off the marrow of women's lives.

    An earlier thread micro-sliced the "language" and comity as a headsy exercise in shaving this baloney to translucence. Well la-dee-f*cking dah.

    Let Nelson and his killers manage our souls at his church if he likes. Let us manage our bodies and medical choices in our doctors' offices.

    I'm sick of any party or pol playing hard and fast with reproductive rights and sexual health, and that's not ideology, partisanship, a boutique "single issue" or sloganeering.

    It's a basic right that Nelson and his enablers enjoy at the expense of their targeted victims.

    (Not intending to dump this screed on you, btw, but Nelson's one reason this bill should be aborted as devil-spawn.)


    Counterpoint (none / 0) (#34)
    by s5 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:00:32 PM EST
    You have to compare apples to apples. Has Obama come down on Burris, or Sanders? Or (and let's hope he's just warming up) Franken? The answer is no.

    Obama's M.O. is clear: Do Not Attack Voting Senators.

    What's driving me crazy is just how much leverage progressives in the House and Senate have right now. Obama wants a bill (any bill) before his SOTU speech. Use that.