This one is for the armchair political strategists. A bit of background for those who don’t already know the details of what’s going on in the Senate.
There currently are not 60 votes for the Senate bill. Obviously, amendments will have to be made to get to 60, but many of those amendments would cost votes on the other side. Lieberman and Lincoln say they will not support a bill with a public option, period. Bernie Sanders says he won’t support a bill without one. Howard Dean has actually gone so far as to say the bill isn’t worth supporting without a public option, since all of the other reforms have been stripped out already. That has to stiffen some liberal spines and make them willing to vote no.
I can’t see any easy way to get 60. If it was a liberal Democrat saying they wouldn’t vote, I’d say they were bluffing. But Sanders isn’t a Democrat, so he probably isn’t. Sanders doesn’t care about the party, he’s not a member. And Lieberman and Lincoln don’t care if the bill fails either, Lieberman probably because he wants to get back at the party, and Lincoln because she needs to save her job.
Anybody have any idea how they pull it off?