Last Saturday night, in what was mostly a procedural vote, the Senate approved moving forward with debate on the health care reform bill. The vote was 60-39, the barest minimum necessary for debate to start in the Chamber. To listen to Harry Reid and his cohorts after the vote, you would think the Senate had just accomplished the greatest feat since the creation of man. What they really did was nothing . . . . . yet. (I’m sorry, maybe they did do something. It appears they bought the vote of Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana with a staggering amount of pork.)
Sometime after Thanksgiving, true debate in the Senate will begin. The pros and cons of Mr. Reid’s bill will finally be debated in front of the American public. But, will it be a true debate at all? Or, will it just be a front in which enough pork will be put into the bill to get the votes of Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson; the four Democrats who must be swayed into Harry Reid’s pack of wolves. The same pack of wolves whose intent is ruining America under the guise of health care reform.
Each of these four has told Mr. Reid, in no uncertain terms, they are not going to close debate now that it has opened, unless a few specific issues in the bill are dealt with to their satisfaction. Three of these mavericks come from right leaning states and are, frankly, worried about their jobs. One comes from a far left state: Lieberman, the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, who seems to be the only Democrat left in the Senate with any balls and brains.
The Republicans are ready to make their stand in the Senate. It seems they have been successful already in killing “Cap and Trade” there. Now, it is up to them and any one of these four rogue Democrats to succeed in destroying this nightmare health care legislation in the Senate. We only need one of them. Who from these four will be the savior of the country?
I am reminded of the famous book written by John F. Kennedy entitled “Profiles in Courage.” That book, written in the mid-1950’s, told the story of eight senators throughout history, who defied their party and/or public opinion, to do what was right and in the best interests of the country. Among those stories, is that of Senator Edmund G. Ross from Kansas who defied his party and voted for the acquittal of Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial thereby preserving the integrity of the Presidency.
Who will be the Democrat that will defy the whims of a power hungry President, the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House? Who will be the man or woman that will save this country from bankruptcy? Which of these four has the courage to buck the demands of the power elite and do what is right for America?
Senator Lieberman has said that he will not vote for any bill that has a public option. On Meet the Press yesterday, Lieberman confirmed he will support such a filibuster. He also stated that the CBO has confirmed that the proposed Senate Public Option will have higher premiums than private insurance currently does. He stated that competition among the current insurance companies is the only real solution. Will he ultimately have the courage?
Where does Mary Landrieu really stand? Is she being bought by Senator Harry Reid? The allegations are coming fast. In fact, it appears that that page 463 et seq. of the Senate version of the bill is a direct 100 million dollar bribe to the state of Louisiana. Apparently, the house bill has the same thing in it as well. Regardless, I firmly believe that Ms. Landrieu is too afraid of her job to vote against her conscience. The same is also true of Ms. Lincoln from Arkansas, except for the bribery. I too feel that she will vote her conscience when push comes to shove.
That leaves Mr. Nelson from Nebraska. Where does he really stand and can the Republicans and the rest of the country depend upon him to save the day. My answer would be yes. Even if Lieberman, Landrieu and Lincoln cave, I believe that Nelson is strong enough to tell Harry Reid and the President, “No!” He has publicly stated that he will not support a single payer public option; that he will not support publically funded abortions; and, that he will not support a bill that is not revenue neutral. Fortunately, for us Republicans, the current Senate bill includes all three.
In fact, if all of these problems with the Senate Bill were resolved to the liking of Senator Nelson, then many Republicans might actually vote for the bill as well.
So, at the end of the day, which of these four will have the courage? Who will save the United States of America? My guess is that any of the four may do it, but if that idiot from Maine votes with the Democrats, maybe we really need two of these four.
I will address particular problems with the Senate Bill later.
© 2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to copy will be freely granted upon request.