...maybe this is how the Democrats convinced the hardcore liberal caucus to vote for the Senate health care reform bill...becuase in reconciliation, almost anything can happen:
Any Democrat could introduce a public option amendment in the Senate and it would need a bare majority to pass. Would it have 50 votes? It looks that way, but the one way to find out is to hold the vote without leadership urging members to vote it down....
...with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and his pro-life caucus squarely on board as the result of a deal with the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the votes to pass a public option. There's an easy way to prove that assertion: She passed it in November 220-215 with a public option. Sunday night's version passed 220-211, meaning that four members could peel off and she would still have the needed support.
Alas, the HuffPost is right on this one. Changing the bill in this way would require another vote by the House, but hey - if you've jumped off the cliff once and survived, why not do it twice? And if the fact that 59% of the American people disagree with you didn't stop you on Sunday night, why would it stop you next week?
Tyranny does not need consent of its subjects. However, there is a critical mass that they need to be concerned about, where the tinder of discontent explodes into the flames of rebellion.
I was on the subway in New York yesterday, and overheard numerous conversations by folks of all shapes/sizes/colors, all about the reform bill. No one sounded happy. One person exclaimed, "Jesus f*ck, what are the going to do next?"
That's the sound of tinder about to hit it's combustion point. And this is in one of the Democratic party's fortresses, no less.
Are they so sure that, once the blaze is ignited, they can so easily put it out? The soothing words of Barack Obama are no longer effective as an extinguisher to put out this particular fire - in fact, they might fan the flames...
So...you still gonna try that public option?