Friday :: Oct 16, 2009

Snowe Job: What Part Of "No" Do They Not Understand?


by Turkana

More than a month ago, on September 13, The Hill's Mike Soraghan reported this:

Key senators said Sunday the "public option" favored by House Democrats for healthcare is all but dead, but a pivotal Republican said it's not dead enough.

President Barack Obama "should take it off the table," said Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) on CBS's "Face the Nation." "It would give real momentum to building consensus."

Not dead enough? The president should take it off the table? Momentum would be built by taking it off the table? Could she have been more clear?

Snowe, who has been courted by the White House to be the crucial 60th vote for a possible bipartisan healthcare plan, said Obama's continued support "leaves it open and therefore unpredictable."

The president's support is a bad thing? Leaving it as an open possibility is a bad thing? Is this really hard to comprehend?

Just in case anyone is cognitively challenged, Snowe reiterated, just three days ago. Salon's Alex Koppelman deciphers the complexities:

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, explained her vote in favor of the healthcare reform bill drafted by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont, on Tuesday by saying, "When history calls, history calls." When a reform bill comes to the Senate floor, though, history may be on the phone telling her something different.

Snowe has already said that she won't guarantee a vote in favor of the final legislation, that it depends on what form that bill takes, and that the inclusion of a public option might be enough to push her back to the Republican side of the aisle on this issue. In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews Wednesday, Snowe expanded on that.

Matthews asked Snowe, "What is the deal-breaker down the road you foresee? Is there something that might come out of that meeting among Sen. Reid, Sen. Dodd, Sen. Baucus and Rahm Emanuel ... that might cause you to have to change your vote on the floor?" The senator answered:

Well, there are obviously several things. Overall, it would be whether or not they add dramatically to the cost. Secondly, of course, is the public option.

Got that? The public option is the deal-breaker. She voted for Baucus's farce of a proposal because it had no public option. Had it had a public option, that would have broken the deal. That's what a deal-breaker means- it breaks the deal. To Snowe, the public option is a deal-breaker. This is not rocket science.

If we're going to have a public option, Olympia Snowe is not going to be part of the process. Including her in the process serves no positive end. At best, it is dilatory. But we know what she will do, in the end. If there is a public option, she will oppose it. Her opposition will be public. All the rhetoric about bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle will have been proved self-destructive, because having accorded her a presumption of credibility, that presumed credibility would then be serving the opposition.

Olympia Snowe opposes the public option. Period. She needs to be treated the same as any opponent of the public option is treated. Because that's what she is. An opponent of the public option. An opponent of genuine health care reform.

Turkana :: 9:57 AM :: Comments (22) :: Digg It!