Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

Crossposted from Congress Matters

The White House has said it will do anything to "get a win".

Clearly, there are several Democratic Senators who will vote no, even if they vote for cloture.

Which means that with 50+ Congressmen willing to stand firm for the Public Option, it only requires 10 Senators willing to stand firm for the public option to force the President to go all in for the Public Option.

My Senator Sherrod Brown sounds like he's close.

Let me stress enough "for what".

Enough to force the White House to go all in for the Public Option. Enough to make it a straight up fight. Enough to get something that is workable if it passes and the basis for a successful mid-term election campaign against the Do-Nothing Republicans if it fails.

Not "enough to guarantee victory", of course ... as noted yesterday on Countdown, the easy 80/20 issues have all been done, the remaining issues are hard 45:45 10% undecided issues. No matter how good or bad the bill, there is nothing that can guarantee victory: its a fight that needs to be fought, win or lose.

Tags: health insurance reform, Public Option (all tags)



I agree

firedoglake needs to start something picking 10 liberal safe senators to say they won't support mandates if the public plan is not robust and immediate!

by TarHeel 2009-09-04 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree

BTW, anyone with a dKos account can login to Congress Matters and add a comment there ... its a site some staffers are reputed to read.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-04 07:31AM | 0 recs
Well I think I agree.

But it took a second read, your original formulation being a little too compressed and with buried (though accurate) assumptions. Tell me if I unpacked it right.

One the calculation starts with 38-40 no votes by Republicans and perhaps 2 or so from Dems for any Obamacare Plan. In the face of say 41 sure no votes from that flank it only takes 10 Progessives to deny Obama a victory that excludes the PO even under reconciliation.

The math works. I would have to think about the politics though. There is a risk that the Blue Dogs just let the whole thing crash and claim that it validated Rahm's Punch a DFH Strategy. It all seems to rely on the argument that the HELP Bill is ALREADY a huge compromise from a progressive standpoint even in comparison to the Tri-Committee version and certainly to Single Payer. In particular the CBO score for coverage from HELP is kind of dismal. But that argument may be a little too Inside Baseball to sell.

I mean there really has been no more successful political strategy for decades then making it Punch a Hippy Day.

by Bruce Webb 2009-09-04 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Well I think I agree.

The thing is, Rahm can do all the screaming and yelling he wants, but if 10 Progressive Senators say not substantial public option, no mandate ... he has no choice. They can even vote for cloture, as it'll not get 50 to pass on the floor.

Indeed, if 10 Progressive Senators voted no, it would not even be close ... something that fails to pass, its safer for a number of those facing election this year to side with the Progressives who took a "principled" stand to get cover with the base, and at the same time avoid the ire of the insurance companies.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-04 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough
by TarHeel 2009-09-04 07:17AM | 0 recs
It could definitely rescue Dodd ...

.. from heat he is getting for being a decades long hired gun by the big banks.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-04 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough



by Drummond 2009-09-04 10:16AM | 0 recs

Cantwell is no progressive, Murray is WAY more progressive then Maria is...

by WashStateBlue 2009-09-04 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria?

I thought Cantwell had been fairly forthright in her support of the PO?

by BlueinColorado 2009-09-04 07:59PM | 0 recs
Tom Udall?

the only Dem Senator listed as a member of the Progressive Caucus (B. Sanders the other Senator).

His cousin Mark, alas, seems to be waiting on the sidelines to figure out the safest path.

by BlueinColorado 2009-09-04 08:00PM | 0 recs

by BruceMcF 2009-09-05 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough


by Khun David 2009-09-05 05:40PM | 0 recs
Target Listing ...

Boxer, Sanders, Brown, Gilibrand, Schumer, Levin, Wyden, Franken ... some of those names I'm more confident of than others, but there's a start.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-06 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

Great post, Bruce.

Obama know is selling phony "triggers" to the trad med.

by TomP 2009-09-04 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

You know, I'll take it.  Just get the bureaucratic apparatus in place and let each state decide when its been "triggered."  Eventually, they'll all go that way, unless the wingnuts really have a grip, in which case then it won't matter.

by Drummond 2009-09-04 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

I can predict right now that if there is a trigger that nothing will change, and that whatever Democrats are inpower will find the exact same excuses as the GOP. This battle along with everything else that's happened this year has been the tell. It was to let you know that the corporate interest will remain in power. There never will be some magical point at which that's not true because they can count on the base of both parties to be manipulated for whatever reasona gainst their own interest.

by bruh3 2009-09-04 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

Well, premiums would have to go down obviously.  Deductibles as well.  Coverage denials.  It all depends on the criteria.

by Drummond 2009-09-04 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

the only number that matters is that premiums will go up from 12,000 per year to 22,000 in 10 years. That, by the way, is a conservative estimate. I was looking at numbers from the early part of this decade about projections. They were off in that they predicted lower numbers than 12000

by bruh3 2009-09-04 04:22PM | 0 recs
medicare part d has trigger

won't ever be triggered despite much higher costs than promised

by TarHeel 2009-09-05 05:45AM | 0 recs
I'd take a real trigger for the same reason no ...

... real trigger is on the table - a real trigger would delay but not prevent the public option.

Therefore, those calling for a trigger want a phony trigger, welded in place, with a dummy round in the cylinder.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-04 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I'd take a real trigger for the same

Yeah, but that's where the negotiations over the details come in.

It would give me an incentive to file a complaint with every denial of coverage.  Every copay I'm forced to make.  Whatever agency would be gathering and processing data for trigger issues, I'd be flooding them.

by Drummond 2009-09-04 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I'd take a real trigger for the same

When someone tells you that they want a bill at all costs, there is no need to negotiater with them.

by bruh3 2009-09-04 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I'd take a real trigger for the same

But if abandoning the public option means losing in both houses, that kind of takes that off the table even for "win at any cost".

by BruceMcF 2009-09-04 08:17PM | 0 recs
As much as it's been speculated

I am willing to bet my entire savings account that dropping the public option does not automatically mean losing both houses of Congress.

by DTOzone 2009-09-04 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: As much as it's been speculated

I will to bet that your goal and that of DCs was to drop it so you don't care if it is drop since ou are a centrist shill who moslty comes here to reinforce the DC talking points.

by bruh3 2009-09-05 08:56AM | 0 recs

that wasn't very nice.

It seems to me that everything that eventually gets into Federal Law has to be talked about in DC. DC talking points, therefore are of some importance.

Podunk talking points may influence DC talking points (at some point) and are also of some interest.

But the DC talking points which do the most work always come right before the Yays and Nays.

(Oh, and there will be a public option, but it might have a trigger.)

by QTG 2009-09-05 09:17AM | 0 recs
Bet on

how much?

by DTOzone 2009-09-05 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Bet on

2 billion dollars. Since you like engagin in fantasy, I figured I would keep my answer on your level of analysis. Later, I will spin that number to be mean something else entirely , and when you confront me about it, I will say that my spin now, was to let you know I was spin, but I could be serious.

by bruh3 2009-09-05 10:47AM | 0 recs
If you want to do this

you're going to have to be serious. Do you want to seriously bet that I am in fact a centrist shrill for DC bubble think or whatever the fuck you call it and not a liberal unemployed news producer or no?

by DTOzone 2009-09-05 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: As much as it's been speculated

Not a big one on reading the essay you are responding to, are you?

This diary is about MAKING that happen, not about useless speculation on the sideline about whether or not it will happen.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-06 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I'd take a real trigger for the same

Their only concern is what the GOP thinks. They are not thinking of the electorate at all in their calculus. I fyou want to understand how DC thinks, read some of the shills here. They use term like "moderate" to mean triangulating with what we both know to be regressive policies that will place a hidden tax on the American people int he formed of mandated insures with a mechanism for reducing the cost of insurance. That's what they mean by "moderate." What most Americans mean is that moderate is whatever is the majority of the American people's belefs and working off that to come up with some real strategy from both parties to implement it. Not that the GOp extremist base gets a veto for one vote by on e GOP Senator to so that Pres Obama can avoid responsibility and BLue DOgs can rake in insurance company money.

by bruh3 2009-09-05 08:59AM | 0 recs
The public option is bipartisan ...

... its supported by both Democrats and Independents. In a day and age that the Republicans are digging themselves into a political hole of a rump of a regional party, anyone hoping for a tripartisan bill on this is living in a fantasy land.

by BruceMcF 2009-09-06 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Ten Progressive Senators are Enough

Are there 10?  I look at things like TARP getting passed last Fall and this Spring, and the only three I would count on voting their conscience and not the politics are Feingold, Sanders, and Tester.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-09-05 06:59AM | 0 recs
But don't forget the politics ...

... voting for a corporate insurance mandate without a public option is throwing themselves wide open for a reactionary populist backlash, so for some of them, the end result is not only almost only Democrats voting for a Republican style health care reform, but also almost only Democrats getting heat for it, and some Republicans elected after getting the health care reform flipped into a Republican version of the bill.

Taking the stand now gives them a "principled" stand with the base to vote against a bill without a public option and voting against the bill gives them cover from the right as well.

OTOH, if they take the stand and it forces the White House to go all in and the result is a 50+Biden win, with the public option in place it will be a popular bill in the medium term, and they win for helping bringing it about.

Where's the political downside?

by BruceMcF 2009-09-05 04:32PM | 0 recs


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