Senate Democratic aide elevates Snowe’s importance over progressive Democratic Senators

What is it with “Senate Democratic aides”? Too often, when I read an article quoting a “Senate Democratic aide,” I cringe. Like today, where an unnamed Democratic Senate aide again elevated the importance of Republican Olympia Snowe. Apparently, Snowe can be used as a defense against progressives:

Democratic aides say Snowe’s and Rockefeller’s votes could nevertheless have a significant impact on the debate going forward.

One aide said that a no vote from Snowe would make it more difficult for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include provisions she favors in the bill he puts on the floor. One such provision would set up a government insurance program that would only go into effect if private insurance companies failed to meet certain benchmarks for providing affordable, quality care.

“The public option with a trigger would be a compelling thing to put in the merged bill if the Finance bill has the endorsement of Snowe,” said the aide. “When progressives howl, you can point to Snowe’s support.”

Really. The trigger may be compelling to this aide, but progressives don’t want a trigger, even if Snowe does. This quote shows the disdain some of those Democrats on the Hill have for progressives. Most of us want the best possible policy, like the kind we were promised by Obama and the other Democratic candidates.

Can someone explain to those Senate Democratic aides who speak to the press that there are 60 Democratic Senators, which should mean a filibuster-proof majority. Senator Snowe shouldn’t matter. All of us who worked and contributed to get those 60 seats for the Democrats didn’t expect all the power to end up in the hands of Olympia Snowe.

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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