Senate Democratic Aides: Olympia Snowe rules our world

As I noted below, there is a growing sense that among some Democratic Senators that there can actually be a strong Democratic health insurance reform bill. Given that no Republicans are supporting reform legislation, there’s no need to just compromise with themselves. But, that thinking is not prevalent on Capitol Hill — yet. Today’s New York Times reports that Senate Democratic aides are already saying their bill won’t include the public option. And, despite the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, they’re ceding great power to Maine Republican Olympia Snowe:

Senate Democratic aides said they believed that the combined Senate proposal would depend, to a large degree, on Ms. Snowe, whose vote is seen as crucial because it would provide evidence that Democrats have tried to work across the aisle, and it would bolster centrist Democrats who are reluctant to vote for a purely partisan bill.

Olympia Snowe rules the world of the professional Democrats here in DC. It’s just astonishing how much power they give away to her. And, even if Snowe is critical (and she shouldn’t be), do “Senate Democratic aides” need to broadcast that in the New York Times? By doing this, the Democrats not only give away power to one GOP Senator, they’re ceding good policy.

It’s time for the liberals in the Senate to assert some authority. Senators Brown told us last week that the Senate has the votes to pass reform with a strong public option. He also said Rahm Emanuel was “wrong” for thinking there weren’t enough votes for the public option in the Senate. Seems too many “Senate Democratic aides” are heeding the conventional wisdom of Rahm and not the Senators in their caucus. This is a very critical time in the debate about reform. It’s important to rebut inaccurate “conventional wisdom” about the health insurance reform legislation. I’ll trust Senator Brown over unnamed “Senate Democratic aides.”

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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