Public Option Defeated in Senate Finance Committee
An amendment by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to add a public option to the Senate Finance Committee bill written by Sen.
Max Baucus (D-MT)
failed to pass
the committee. The vote was 15-8 against it.
All Republicans on the committee voted against it, as did Democratic
senators Baucus, Carper, Conrad, Lincoln, and Bill Nelson.
A second amendment sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) went
down to defeat by a vote of 13-10. Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln, and all
10 Republicans voted against it. What happens next is unclear.
Rockefeller said he would vote against the bill in its current form.
If it really meant it and is joined by one other Democrat, that
will put chairman Baucus under pressure to do something. But even
after a bill passes the committee, it has to be merged with the
HELP bill and then be merged with whatever bill the House passes,
likely with a public option. Anything can still happen.
Palin Wildly Popular with the Republican Base
Despite losing the Vice Presidency and quitting as governor of
Alaska barely halfway into her first term, Sarah Palin is
with the Republican base but far less so with elected
How come? To many social conservatives, Palin embodies exactly what
they want in a politician: a no-nonsense ordinary person not infected
with beltwayitis who hedges everything and never makes an unambiguous
statement. Palin is against abortion, gay marriage, cap-and-trade,
a public option in the health care system and much more. She is for a
strong defense and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. Her supporters say they know where she stands on everything and that
she doesn't know so much about public policy issues isn't so important.
What's in her heart in what counts.
Professional Republican politicians are scared to death of her.
She would be an extremely formidable candidate in the 2012 Republican
presidential primaries, but they know full well that if she is the GOP
nominee, she's going to make 1964 look like a real squeaker. A
substantial fraction of the Republican voters will then vote for Obama
or stay home on election day and nearly all the Democrats and independents
will vote for Obama. It will be Armageddon for the GOP.
What with a recent
showing the people of Minnesota not wanting Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
to run for President by a margin of 55% to 30%, the pros have a strong
preference for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney or in second
place former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Romney is seen as a solid, if boring, guy who won't do or say anything
crazy, and who is reasonably presidential. Huckabee is ideologically
not that far from Palin, but he is far less in-your-face
and he doesn't drive independents to distraction the way Palin does.
He's sort of Palin-lite. But the base doesn't want lite. It wants the
real thing. So if Palin's popularity and fundraising holds up until
2012, she's going to be a real problem, the same as the Democrats would
have if they were to nominate Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
Conservative Party Candidate Rolls Up Endorsements in NY-23
To the dismay of the Republican party, the Conservative Party's
candidate for Congress in NY-23, Doug Hoffman, is
picking up endorsements
in the special election to be held Nov. 3. The seat is vacant because
former representative John McHugh, a military expert, was nominated by
President Obama to be Secretary of the Army. If Hoffman gets a substantial
number of votes, that could sink the Republican candidate,
Dede Scozzafava, and thus help elect Democrat Bill Owens in this
R+1 district. Scozzafava's sin is being too moderate for
many upstate Republicans. In a sense, her nomination was a good idea
because she will need votes from independents to win in this district.
What she wasn't expecting was a serious challenge from the right.
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