It looks like Harry Reid is getting ready to sell out the labor unions, the progressive community, the Democratic base, and the majority of the American people. The vast majority of Americans want a public option as part of health care reform. Reid fully has it within his powers to get a health care bill passed with a public option. He could use reconciliation to pass a bill with a simple majority. He could even use the “nuclear option” to eliminate the silly filibuster, like Bill Frist threatened to do only a few years ago.
Reid will likely secure the 60 votes he needs to bring his bill to the floor, but today Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu joined Joe Lieberman in threatening to filibuster the bill if it had a public option. If Reid thinks their threats are for real and actually plans to deliver on his promise to get a public option, he should not have brought the bill to the floor. Weeks of debate in regular order would be a waste of time. Reid should be using reconciliation right now.
There is only two possible conclusions:
- Reid thinks Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, and Blanche Lincoln are bluffing. He believes that in the end when he stand up to them they will fold. (Given Reid’s track record I would not be holding my breath for that)
- Reid is planning to sell out the American people who overwhelming support the public option. He is planning cripple the public option with a trigger or remove it all together. He will do this all to win the vote of a handful of senators he does not need. They will be given not only veto power over health care reform, but over every issue the progressive community cares about.
If Reid is not willing to do everything in his power to stand up for the vast majority of American people who support the public option, why should the Democratic base do anything to stand up for Harry Reid?
Reid has been possibly laying the groundwork for this betrayal for a while now.