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Tim Pawlenty looks to make his conservative mark at CPAC

1. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will address the conservative CPAC conference today at 10 a.m., a coming-out-party of sorts for the little-known governor who has his eye on a presidential bid in 2012. "Governor Pawlenty will speak about conservatives' comeback in the past year, and give credit to the audience's shared principles, including limited government, rule of law, individual responsibility and free markets," said one Pawlenty source briefed on the governor's remarks. "Recognizing that he's still largely unknown, he'll share his personal story growing up in South Saint Paul and balancing budgets as governor of Minnesota." On the policy front, the source said Pawlenty will use recent op-eds on health care (in the Washington Post) and debt (in Politico) to begin building the framework of a campaign message he can take into the 2012 campaign. Pawlenty's speech today is only the start of a blitz by the Minnesota governor as he tries to make up ground quickly on his better known rivals. Tomorrow night Pawlenty will host a sold-out "young professionals" fundraiser in Georgetown that will feature Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and on Sunday Tpaw will be on "Meet the Press" with David Gregory. The only people paying attention to the 2012 race this far in advance are activists and the political chattering class. Over the next 72 hours, Pawlenty has a chance to make a lasting impression on each group. ALSO READ: Pawlenty's mixed record of legislative success during his two terms as governor.

2. Political prognosticator Charlie Cook moved the ratings on more than two dozen races in Republicans' favor Thursday and wrote that Democrats "would have to bend the current trajectory of the cycle to hold onto their House majority." Of the 60 seats now in Cook's most competitive categories -- either "leaning" toward one party or "toss ups" -- a whopping 54 are held by Democrats while just six are Republican held. Cook sees five Democratic seats -- Arkansas' 1st and 2nd, Louisiana's 3rd, Kansas's 3rd and Tennessee's 6th -- already leaning Republican while just a single GOP seat (Delaware's at-large district) leans toward Democrats. (Worth noting: fellow political handicapper Stu Rothenberg sees 35 Democratic seats in real jeopardy and just four Republican districts.) The continued expansion of the House playing field is good news for Republicans as it gives them more margin for error as they seek to find the 40 seats that would deliver them the majority this fall. Still, it remains to be seen whether House Republicans can raise enough money to run real campaigns in all of these districts -- although some veterans of the 1994 wave election that put Republicans in the House majority argue that with a strong enough national wind money becomes secondary. Time will tell.

3. Longtime Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg has penned a must-read piece in the New Republic outlining the similarities between the 1994 Republican wave election and the coming 2010 midterms -- and how his party can avoid repeating history. Greenberg writes that a survey he did the week before the Massachusetts Senate special election revealed that the political landscape was "beginning to look like, gulp, 1994 all over again." But, Greenberg argues, there is still hope. Here are the steps Greenberg believes the White House (and congressional Democrats) must take to avoid disaster: 1) Pass some sort of health care bill: "that will raise presidential and congressional approval ratings just as Clinton bucked up Democrats by passing NAFTA and tax increases for deficit-reduction -- neither of which were popular at the time." 2) Force Republicans into a choice between backing popular legislation (a jobs bill focused on small business, for example) and being on the record as a "no" -- votes that can be exploited during the fall campaign. 3) Get Obama out of the back and forth with Congress and onto an economic empathy tour: "The president has to offer a framework that explains the grave difficulties people are experiencing, how they happened and his plan for fixing them," writes Greenberg. 4) Make it a choice between Democratic policies and Republican policies. Greenberg insists that Republicans remain "amazingly unredeemed" in the eyes of most voters and by explaining what a GOP majority in the House, Senate or both would look like, Democrats can change minds and votes. We agree on everything but Greenberg's last point. While it's clear that the American people are far from sold on Republicans, the latest Washington Post/ABC national poll shows the GOP closing the gap when people are asked who they trust more on the major issues of the day. Are Republicans responsible for that narrowing? Probably not. More likely they are benefiting from what we call -- for lack of a better of better term -- the "other guy" phenomenon. That is, when voters decide they don't like how someone (or some party) is doing things, they turn to the "other guy" even if they don't know much about what that other person might do.

4. The National Republican Senatorial Committee cut its cash-on-hand deficit with its Democratic counterpart in half over the month of January, the result of heavy spending by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on the Massachusetts Senate race. The DSCC actually outraised the NRSC by $100,000 -- $5.1 million to $5 million -- but spent nearly that entire total ($4.8 million). The DSCC spent $2.5 million alone in its attempt to save state Attorney General Martha Coakley's (D) campaign against Sen. Scott Brown (R) -- a unsuccessful effort that not only resulted in the loss of Democrats' 60-seat majority but also significantly dented the DSCC's check book. (By comparison, the NRSC spent $2.5 million for the entire month.) At the end of January, the DSCC had $12.9 million in the bank while the NRSC showed $10.65 million; Republicans were quick to point out that the gap -- $2.25 million -- was well short of the $17.2 million(!) edge Senate Democrats held over Republicans at this point in the 2008 cycle. Money always matters in campaigns but could matter even more in this Senate cycle as a number of contested races -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and potentially Florida and California -- are in very expensive media markets that could drain the committees' coffers quickly. (Say that five times fast!)

5. If it's Friday, it's time for the "Live Fix" chat -- our weekly tête à tête with our readers. Got a question about Evan Bayh, CPAC or the battle for the House majority? How about a query on Georgetown hoops, Catholic University field hockey or our preferred coffee shops in the area? You can submit any and every question in advance or follow along in real time. It all gets started at 11 a.m. Be there!

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 19, 2010; 5:59 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mitt Romney: President Obama has 'failed' the American people
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Comments

The Republicans should CONCENTRATE ON THE ACCOUNTING TRICKS - constantly change the subject to the REAL COSTS OF THE HEALTH CARE PLAN.


Obama is being irresponsible with the finacial aspects of the plan.


The Republicans should keep on constantly referring to the ACCOUNTING TRICKS.


- the $500 Billion cut from Medicare


- is that $500 Billion being spent twice


- the taxes kick in early, the benefits three years later.


ACCOUNTING TRICKS


ACCOUNTING TRICKS


ACCOUNTING TRICKS


Then the Republicans should say what REAL COST of the plan is - in the second 10 year period - and ASK OBAMA TO SAY HOW HE WILL PAY FOR THAT.


Obama's health care plan is going to be the ENRON OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.

It is that simple.


ACCOUNTING TRICKS.


ACCOUNTING TRICKS.

.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 21, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I hate to tell everyone this.... but reconcilation needs 60 votes on several procedural aspects of getting the legislation through the Senate.


Lawrence O'Donnell was on MSNBC the other day - AND HE SAID THE SAME THING.

Apparently, the liberals have gotten themselves into such a delusional state that they refuse to check the facts - they are in a state of group-speak - anything outside is ignored.


Rahm Emmanuel does not know the rules of the Senate.

WE ALL KNOW THAT OBAMA DOES NOT KNOW THE RULES OF THE SENATE - BOY IS THAT A LAUGH - but who in the White House knows the rules of the Senate ? Who is giving them this advice that they have the reconciliation option available to them ???


It is like a bad rumor that got out.

This is incompetence way beyond anything I have seen... ever.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 21, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

I think this character and his statemate Michelle Bachmann should run in 2012, run into one of the 10,000 lakes and never come up.

Posted by: rpbinford | February 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty is about as inspiring as an auto junkyard. The guy who let a bridge collapse as an expression of "small government.". Don't know why we call him "conservative," twelve letters, "buffoon" has only seven.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 20, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty- needs a sand wedge to get out of the trap.

Posted by: hoser3 | February 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I’m heartened to read that reconciliation is back on the table and so is the public option.  I would hope that given this opportunity the bill could be strengthened before the vote.  Not only restoring the public option (given new life by insurance companies that figured the heat was off now and they could shiv their customers with Draconian rate increase) but some of the thicker-witted concessions made to conservatives.  I would explicitly hope that the abortion language would be stripped out; it adulterates the bill significantly to proscribe a legitimate medical procedure as a concession to a warped morality that regards a blastocyst as equivalent to an adult with a mind loaded with individual experience.
 
I also believe that the idea voters would be outraged by the cost of HCR is pure folly, the occluded thinking of people who need to get out more.  A million families a year are bankrupted by medical costs, taking that survival threat off the table would be an unimpeachable Good Thing.  Also, requiring people to be insured isn’t quite the tyranny that the weekend Constitutional scholars are crowing about, read Paul Krugman’s clear thinking in the NYT today on this issue.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 19, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: I like the more serene pace today. A lot. More than worth it to not read 10 identical triple-spaced posts of hysteria.

Unlike the trolls, I have a job. I'd rather read a blog that wasn't a job all by itself.

Thanks, Chris. Long overdue.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 19, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Never understood why this non-starter gets so much ink here. Pawlenty jerks to the right with a wet finger perennially raised in the wind. Doing harm to his constituents to curry favor with hate-crazed social conservatives isn't much of a plan.

From all I've read his whole shtick is the same tired Reagan reanimation that conservatives believe to be their ticket back to power.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 19, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"#1: Tim Pawlenty has played his presidential run masterfully til this point. I like Pawlenty has a great shot to win the R nomination. He's Christian and his wife is big into the Christian social conservative bloc. Pawlenty is very fiscally conservative and will have strong backing from the Club for Growth and fiscal conservatives. Pawlenty could unite the Tea Party and Republicans quite well. Romney has trouble with social conservatives. Palin has trouble with alot of traditional conservatives as well, including me. Romney appeals to independents well as a problem solver and Pawlenty's populist ideas and roots should appeal to them. Like Pawlenty tried to cut property taxes and cares about balancing a budget to maintain the dollar, independents will go for that. Palin has major problems with independents as Romney does with the socially conservative base. Pawlenty can really unite these people. Pawlenty has experience in both legislating and as governor, the CEO. I think that is very valuable as President. I'm impressed with Tim Pawlenty."

President Obama no doubt is quaking in his boots at the thought of a 2012 race against "Bridges" Pawlenty.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 19, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

DAWD:

You couldn't be more wrong about the voter dynamics of a the Democrats passing either health bill as currently written.

The Democrats don't have the votes in the House on the Senate bill because of the Nelson abortion language, the buying of votes for Nebraska & Louisiana and the Blue Dog Democrats up for re-election know they will lose based on the fiscal impact (they will lose not just Dem voters but Independents as well).

The only way the Senate can pass a healthcare bill is with reconciliation and that would inflame the Republican base, tea party folks and Independents even more. It may lead to more enthusiasm from the left but it won't be enough to avoid losing the majority in the House and may even put Senate seats in play in California and Washington.

The reason Dem's lost all of the races they have so far is because of the cumulative effect of TARP, the pork-laden stimulus and now either healthcare bill.
This has swung independents who have voted Dem back over to the Republican side and demoralized their own base.

Obama & the Congressional leadership simply don't get it yet. The only way they stop this electoral freight train is to move to the center and Obama won't do that because he identifys the center w/ his predecessor as being a failed president.

Posted by: King2641 | February 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris and his weird "Tpaw" fixation again. Are you on retainer for him or what?

==

co-sign. The guy embodies mediocrity.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 19, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

republicons hahahahahhahhahahahahahahahaha


no really, they're against government, so they're running for government.....they love American values so much they will defile every single on of them in defense of them.....................they are so fiscally responsible they spent the country into oblivion................they love working people so much they would strip them of all their rights and legal protections, and leave them with no health care or pensions......................


Posted by: John1263 | February 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty and his cronies may at some point want to take this gathering seriously. While they are clowning around in D.C. their fractured party "PR Machine" is convincing everyone of their lack of leadership, insincerity and their abundance of IN-Action (CPI-AC). Goofing off at the tea bag factory while Rome burns.

Posted by: hoser3 | February 19, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

an important conservative talks about why he won't be going to CPAC:

'I was asked yesterday whether I would be going to CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which is currently being held a half-hour's walk from my office in D.C. It was a logical question, not only since the meetings are so close at hand but also because for five years I chaired CPAC.

CPAC brings together conservative activists from every corner of America. As national chairman of the American Conservative Union, a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation, and director of the policy task forces for Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign, speaking at CPAC and shaping the program were high priorities on my personal agenda every year, even while serving in Congress.

But the answer to yesterday's question was "no." No, I'm not going to CPAC. And, truth be told, most of the folks there wouldn't want me there. They wouldn't think I'm a conservative; many wouldn't think Barry Goldwater was a conservative; many, had this been three decades ago, might have been seeking a "true" conservative to run against Ronald Reagan.

http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/mickey_edwards/2010/02/why_im_not_at_cpac.php

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

An excellent article about the HCR bills, Seante comity, the Massachusetts special election, greedy grabbing and, of course, politics. The whole article is available on-line.


Is There Life in Health Care Reform?
By Elizabeth Drew
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23691

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD, you ask why Republicans don't let this come to an up or down vote. It's because we truly disagree with the bill. We believe it's toxic and will make our nation under more debt"

That's BS and you know it. Republicans have never cared about debt. Republicans would gladly let the nation drown in debt for political gain. That's essentially the story of the Bush administration. Having massive tax cuts without first cutting spending.

It's nice not to have a page cluttered with Obama assassination jokes, but the slow pace of the conversation is pretty irritating.

Oh well, I think this is better, marginally better.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The insurance companies themselves have announced that there will be huge rate hikes this year that are going to affect a broad range of people. We'll see whether the wingers hate Democrats so much they'd rather suffer and pay more than see Dems get a bill passed.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

drindl, I do think these insurance rate hikes by companies like the ones in Cali and Indiana might do quite a bit to help spur reform. Right now the Dems are trying to sell it by telling stories about people who have been denied coverage due to abuses by the companies.

But I don't think that telling stories about other people will really do much to alter opinion. I just don't think people were ever that concerned with the sob stories of others. But when people will be asked to burden increased health care costs along with a crushing recession, you're going to see more pressure for reform.

It's kind of like climate change. When did Americans really get behind fighting global warming? It was when gas went up to $3/gallon.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Chris and his weird "Tpaw" fixation again. Are you on retainer for him or what?

Posted by: swallen1 | February 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

With the campaign season still 18 months away I think the Right will have to look awfully hard to find a candidate to satisfy their splintered constituency. The GOP will want someone experienced and electable. CPAC is going to require an old fashioned economic/social conservative (the social part is the hard sell). TEA Party wants that self-made Outsider. On top of it all, the voters require youth, vigor and charisma. Good luck with that.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD, you ask why Republicans don't let this come to an up or down vote. It's because we truly disagree with the bill. We believe it's toxic and will make our nation under more debt and we believe it's the beginning of a US gov't. takeover of healthcare, likely to lead to a UN healthcare system someday. Then they have all of the power, choosing who gets treatment and who doesn't. Their going to protect the income earners, those who are younger and able to be an economic contributor. That's the way it works. As we give government more control, it continues to push for more and more. It's a noble thought that gov't. can just give healthcare to every American without a cost or a loss of liberty. We can dream, but it's just not that way.

Posted by: reason5 | February 19, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

#1: Tim Pawlenty has played his presidential run masterfully til this point. I like Pawlenty has a great shot to win the R nomination. He's Christian and his wife is big into the Christian social conservative bloc. Pawlenty is very fiscally conservative and will have strong backing from the Club for Growth and fiscal conservatives. Pawlenty could unite the Tea Party and Republicans quite well. Romney has trouble with social conservatives. Palin has trouble with alot of traditional conservatives as well, including me. Romney appeals to independents well as a problem solver and Pawlenty's populist ideas and roots should appeal to them. Like Pawlenty tried to cut property taxes and cares about balancing a budget to maintain the dollar, independents will go for that. Palin has major problems with independents as Romney does with the socially conservative base. Pawlenty can really unite these people. Pawlenty has experience in both legislating and as governor, the CEO. I think that is very valuable as President. I'm impressed with Tim Pawlenty.

#2: Republicans are going to win the House in 2010. Question is: who will be the new House Speaker? It's assumed, as I have heard the media suggest Boehner. I think Boehner would be a great majority leader, but Eric Cantor (Va.) would be the better House Speaker with Boehner as Majority leader. Cantor has more of a calm demeanor and would be a great House Speaker.

#4: John Cornyn and the NRSC is rolling now! Cornyn was definately the right man to truly revise the NRSC.

Posted by: reason5 | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty is Minnesota's latest version of Harold Stassen who ran for president in 1944, 1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000. He has the charisma and character of milk toast.

Last May, Pawlenty vetoed a bill to legalize marijuana for terminally ill patients, which is supported by 60 percent of the people in Minnesota. This proves how out of touch he is with reality. He would rather have the love and admiration of the teabaggers and religious conservatives.

Posted by: alance | February 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Medicaid is being cut in every state and more and more Americans and their children are locked out of the health care system, dying unnecessarily. While the wingers spew their hatred, the Dems need to work harder to help hardworking Americans down on their luck or out of work due to this Republican recession, caused entirely by R deregulation.

A new government report on our “broken health care system” details how “insurance companies prosper” as “Americans suffer,” underscoring the urgency of reform. Profits for the 10 largest insurance companies “increased 250 percent between 2000 and 2009, ten times faster than inflation,” and “the CEOs of America’s five largest insurers were each compensated up to $24 million in 2008.”

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD


First of all - you seriously do not understand that that health care bill is NOT paid for - it is going to blast a massive hole in the budget - perhaps as much as $500 Billion a year.

I wonder if Obama understands that or not.

The Republicans don't want that - they do not want a massive fiscal mess that someone is going to have to clean up - somehow someway.


NOW THE POLITICS - the democrats are going to be worse off if they get the health care bill passed - the public is angry, they do not want it - jamming an uncertain program on people who do not want it - how can that be good for the democrats.

The ONLY matrix that maybe you are right is this one: the damage has already been done - but that means the democrats will NEVER get those people back, no matter what.

I want to make sure you know what that means - the damage is already done - which is that Obama and the democrats have gotten people SO ANGRY AT THEM that whether they pass the health care bill OR NOT those people will NEVER EVER come back.

The MAIN problem right now is not really any of these calculations - it is the democratic moderates in both Houses - they are all so scared of the backlash that they don't want any health care bill.


That really is the calculation - what will the democratic moderates RISK politically.


The liberal democrats are under a serious delusion - they somehow got into their heads that because the democrats have a majority, that all democrats agree with the liberal wing.


That is not the case at all.

NOW the democratic majority is really in the hands of what the moderates CAN STAND - not what the liberals think.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty is one of three favorite candidates for 2012, together with Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.
But no one needs to wait for their pre-platform speeches, because all of them will be based on the same principles of those of the Tea Party and real Conservatives and which are winning the independents hearts.

The devil is in the detail. This you won't find in those speeches. Unfortunately, they are important, so the only recourse is to find them in the Bloggers that have imposed the agenda, like at the piece
"Barack 'Wrecking-Ball' Obama Keeps on Swinging: Can We Survive?".
And, "Undermining America: Liars, Scoundrels, and Idiots" (no, it was not written by Glenn Beck).
Both at, http://www.robbingamerica.com

The winner will be the one that dominates those issues.

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | February 19, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Cook has it right -

NOW there is real tension between the Congressional democrats and Obama.

Why should all the Congressional democrats take the heat at election time for Obama? Why does Obama get to make all the mistakes - and everyone else is at risk?

If you thought there was tension before, the tension is intense now.

All the leadership positions, all the committee chairmanships, all the staff positions are now at risk - because of Obama and no one else.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty's eye is clearly on burnishing his credentials for a Presidential run. Last year he unilaterally killed a health program for poor Minnestoans in the name of balancing the budget (a move for which he & the state are being sued). Yesterday the Lege passed, overwhelmingly, a bill that keeps the program alive. Pawlenty vetoed. If you want someone who'll kick you when you're down, Pawlenty's your man.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 19, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I can't see how passing health care reform could possibly be a bad thing for Democrats. A good part of the Scott Brown victory can be attributed to an enthusiasm gap between Dems and Rs. Obviously Massachusetts didn't suddenly become a red state. What happened? Well, the Republican voters were a lot more enthusiastic than the Dem voters. What's the point of voting for Coakley? She's not all that great of a candidate and it's not like Dems were doing anything with those 60 votes anyways. No point in going out and voting. And the so called "independent" voters were responding to the same thing. Now the Senate bill isn't perfect, but it does a lot of good things. The D base will definitely be excited about this. In fact, people in general will be happy to see something of this magnitude getting done and will reward the Dems. You think Republicans don't know this? Why the heck do you think they don't let HCR go to an up-or-down vote if they are so convinced as to its political toxicity. Republicans can still vote against it while allowing the Dems to take the fallout, right? Of course not. Americans want this to be done. Republicans know this. Dems don't seem to get it, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the RNSC say they were sending money secretly to Scott Brown's race?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I can't see how passing health care reform could possibly be a bad thing for Democrats. A good part of the Scott Brown victory can be attributed to an enthusiasm gap between Dems and Rs. Obviously Massachusetts didn't suddenly become a red state. What happened? Well, the Republican voters were a lot more enthusiastic than the Dem voters. What's the point of voting for Coakley? She's not all that great of a candidate and it's not like Dems were doing anything with those 60 votes anyways. No point in going out and voting. And the so called "independent" voters were responding to the same thing, but doing so in their ass-backwards way. Now the Senate bill isn't perfect, but it does a lot of good things. The D base will definitely be excited about this. In fact, people in general will be happy to see something of this magnitude getting done and will reward the Dems. You think Republicans don't know this? Why the hell do you think they don't let HCR go to an up-or-down vote if they are so convinced as to its political toxicity. Republicans can still vote against it while allowing the Dems to take the fallout, right?

Of course not. Americans want this to be done. Republicans know this. Dems don't seem to get it, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Mark, Ive thought a lot about this. I think we have 3 options.
Option 1: Use reconciliation to pass as much as we can of the House Bill with a public option
Political result: GOP bashes us for misusing senate rules, and for passing the bill. Liberal Dems pine for single payer, while purists hedge about the way we pass it, but generally it is accepted on the left.
Practical impact: We have a public option.

(to be continued

Posted by: elijah24 | February 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It would help the Ds to pass it. Those against are mostly Rs who won't vote for them anyway, no matter what they do.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I've thought a lot about this. Here is what I've come to: If we pass the Senate bill, Republicans will bash us for passing anything, while touting the fact that they weakened it, and the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party will be mad for passing a weak bill that doesn't do much good.
If we use reconciliation to pass as much as we can of the house bill, with a public option, Republicans will bash us for using reconciliation (as if they've left us a better option). They'll say it was dirty and was not the way it was intended to be used. Liberal Dems will still be frustrated that we couldn't get more, but it's better than the Senate bill.
If we pass nothing, that is to say: if we "start over" the bill will die. The GOP will be able to tell their voters that they killed it, while still bashing us for bringing up the idea in the first place. Liberals will be so disenfranchised that many will reduce their political activity. Those who volunteer, won't. Those who only vote, won't. Our party will be divided between those who want desperately to fix the broken system, and those who give up.
Oh, and by the way, if it matters, people will continue to die at an alarming rate due to a lack of health care.
I think we take a hit no matter what we do, so lets take a hit doing the best job we can for the American people. Invoke the Byrd Rule, and pass a public option.

Posted by: elijah24 | February 19, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The Dems should pass health care. Not only because it is the morally right thing to do, but because it will help them more than hurt them. Not passing it hurts with their base and with moderate Dems and independents -- especially small business and the self-employed.

The people who are against it are mostly Rs who will never, ever vote for Democrats no matter what they do.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The democrats appear to be on the storyline today: Let's demand that the Republicans say how they are going to cut Social Security and Medicare.

This is crazy.

This is the same thing the democrats did last year - start democratic programs with uncertain, or even short, funding - and then start blaming the Republicans when it is time to pay for them.

NOW the democrats are going to start attacking the Republicans - and demanding that the Republicans say how they are going to fix the democratic programs ??/

These are problems which the democrats started.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Feb. 17, 2010 – Updated 3:22 p.m.
White House Could Reveal Health Care Bill This Weekend
By Drew Armstrong and Alex Wayne, CQ Staff
The White House is preparing to release what it hopes will be the final version of health care overhaul legislation as early as Feb. 21, according to a lobbyist who has spoken to officials involved.
“That’s going to be the White House version of the deal between House and Senate leaders on what they think the bill should look like,” said John Rother, director of policy for the AARP. The influential organization, which represents people age 50 and older, is one of several lobbying groups that have been closely involved in negotiations on the bill.
“That will in effect be the starting point for the conference on the 25th,” Rother said, referring to the bipartisan health care summit that President Obama intends to hold on Feb. 25 with congressional leaders.
Top House Democrats involved with negotiations with the Senate said Wednesday that they are close to a deal and that the summit will give Republicans a chance to participate before they move forward. “The House and the Senate have been very close to completing an agreement, but the president wanted to take this opportunity to circle back with our Republican colleagues and give them one more chance,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. He serves as assistant to the Speaker and has been a regular at leadership negotiations on a health care package. He also heads the House Democrats’ campaign committee.
It seems unlikely that the summit will usher in any new era of bipartisanship, however. Republicans have been working to set expectations and terms for the meeting, insisting that Democrats scrap their current bills and start over with new legislation.
The proposal the White House is expected to post Feb. 21 will not include a procedural path forward, said AARP’s Rother. “It’s not going to be about the process,” he said. “It’s not going to be about reconciliation. Instead they’re going to talk about what they’d like the final bill to look like, and the congressional folks will figure out how to get there.”
The most likely way forward is for the House to clear the Senate’s health care bill (HR 3590) and for the Senate to pass a package of changes to it, using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process. That set of changes would incorporate the deals struck with the House, which would then send the new package to the White House.
Obama would first sign the original Senate bill, then the “corrections” package. The last measure signed into law would be the one that dictates the final shape of the overhaul.
But if Senate Democrats use the reconciliation strategy and need only 50 votes (plus a tie-breaker from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.), the votes of moderates who had favored the plan may not be as critical as the need to nail down enough House Democratic votes to clear the Senate-passed bill.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 19, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"The DSCC spent $2.5 million alone in its attempt to save state Attorney General Martha Coakley's (D) campaign ..."

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 19, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Pawlrnty has some serious ground to make up on Romney. And there is the additional problem of Pawlenty positioning himself as a moderate yet seeking to give a red meat speech at CPAC. Will there be boos?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 19, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

If the House passed the SB on health care:

would it help the Ds? The Rs? Have no impact?

I think they should pass it because it is to me better than what we have, and it would counter the tendency to huge 39% rate increases. These unprecedented increases are caused, according to the industry, by the shrinking of the pool of healthy young insureds, who are opting out. But that is a substance argument I will make to two Congressmen I know.

Here I am asking what the political effect would be. I am guessing that it would be minor for 2010, because the effect of passage might not be noticed by November. I am guessing that even if minor it would be negative, as Rs will sell it as a vote for government controlled health care, which it is not, and as coerced coverage, which it necessarily is.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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