Stroking Senator #61’s deep desires, and failing that heading back to Senator #60’s.

After a while, these things appear to be a “moving through the motions” situation.  It’s something of a game for some of the 60 Democrats — jumping the hoops of the Insurance Companies, certainly, but also putting on a massive Ego Show for media attention.  So Harry Reid announces he has 58 Democrats down for the “public option” with state opt-out, all well and good but for the two hold-outs who are Ben Nelson and … quick who’s the other one?
… To answer this guy’s question, we don’t float all that much attention to Evan Bayh because there’s a lot of him, and he has to wait behind the others.  He had his day in the sun, and will again.  To quote Harry S Truman, “There are too many Byrds in the Congress.”

Barack Obama called for the Trigger.  His theory is this will get him on over to Olympia Snowe’s magical Senator #61 Republican vote.  This will give vulnerable Democrats cover.  In theory, his campaign and whatever degree he’s spelled anything out for his Health Care fight would tend to have him personally favoring the Public Option with state opt out provision over this trigger mechanism.  In the end, we’ve had Harry Reid pull back from Senator #61 and back to Senator #60 — from Snowe over to Ben Nelson.  And I think what’s coming down the path this week is this “state opt in” — apparently the “opt out” is for the Senator #58.  And so the Republicans have left the building.  And Blanche Lincoln is laid bare.

This is a love for a weird process oriented effect, process trumping content for Obama.  I’ve had a devil of the time understanding why such a thing matters for the President.  Is he looking ahead to fewer than 60 Democrats after November?  Leave aside the “shouldn’t it take 50 Senators and Biden to pass something? question, and I guess that question falls by the wayside because it’s what gives Ben Nelson his power.  How is a vote from Olympia Snowe supposed to give Blanche Lincoln cover?

So the Republican Party of Arkansas is giddy as they stare at Lincoln’s low ratings.  They clap and rub their hands together in glee, as they watch their masterwork campaign attack commercial.

“Blanche Lincoln voted for Commie Socialist Government Health Care.”

And so Blanche Lincoln has two possible courses, depending on the vote of Olympia Snowe.  The favored course would have a Snowe vote.

“Blanche Lincoln teamed up with Republican  Olympia Snowe for common sense Health Care Reform.  Blanche Lincoln: Bi-Partisan Common Sense.”

Is that message supposed to mean something?  Or are we fearing this alternative.  Go to Blanche Lincoln headquarters.  They look at the “Commie Socialist Government” ad.  They look at each other around the room for a response ad idea.  And they all go blank.

“Drat.”  They tell Blanche Lincoln.  “We’ve got nothing.”

Is how this game is supposed to be playing out?  If you say so.

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