On his radio show [Friday], Rush Limbaugh said that none other than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told him that the Republicans are offering amendments to the health care bill, not to improve the bill, but as a parliamentary maneuver to "flush out" Democratic centrists Ben Nelson and Jim Webb, and to try to peel them away and thus stop the bill.
In other words, the Republican call for compromise on the health care reform bill is just a ruse; they actually don't want the bill in any way, shape or form, and have been watering it down so it can be weakened enough to be eventually killed. Of course, that this nagging suspicion of the obstructionist GOP should actually be true is no surprise. But, it is a bit too good to be true. I mean, why would Limbaugh openly announce a strategy of the sort. Unless the Republican congressional leadership is arrogantly drunk with power, knowing, in this case the Democratic wusses will cave, regardless.
But here's a question for you: if a newly-elected president with a solid majority in both houses of Congress can't get major legislation from his agenda passed, than who can or will?
(A Republican president, that's who. Silly me.)
UPDATE: Joe Lieberman got his way
Joe Lieberman has forced his will on the Senate Democratic caucus and the nation as a whole. After the party reached a compromise last week to effectively drop the public option in exchange for allowing 55- to 64-year-olds to buy into Medicare, that compromise is now in doubt.
Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, told Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Sunday that he will block any bill that includes the buy-in. As the 60th vote needed to overcome a Republican filibuster, he can do that.
Following a caucus-wide meeting Monday evening, the measure was all but scuttled.
So, as I understand it, the public option was taken off the table in favor of the Medicare buy-in. Now, Lieberman won't support that either, so it's gone. What the fuck kinda bill will they vote on, then?
Limbaugh was saying the truth, then: McConnell and co. have absolutely NO INTENTION of passing any bill, just the desire to weaken it to a point where it's worthless and dies of neglect. Just like the uninsured.
Cheers, spineless Dems: this one's for you!