If Ezra’s right then the White House itself still hasn’t decided which way to go on HCR. Given the number of legislators have decided to wait for his leadership, that essentially puts the entire game up to an argument between Rahm and David Plouffe.
Until now I have resisted siccing you guys on the White House for reasons that mostly have to do with how the Executive branch is (and should be) institutionally protected from swings in popular opinion. Still, Obama’s talk tonight may decide the game. If the President says PTDB then the damn bill gets passed and our job narrows down to pressuring the Senate to pass a fix, which I think we can do as long as step (1) gets done. If the President asks us to pare down our expectations, then the ballgame’s over.
Imagine for a second that Olympia Snowe does come up with some compromise that will not get her thrown out of her caucus. Needless to say it will take her three or four months to make up her mind, assuming (to the point of idiotic gullibility) that she doesn’t pull a Lieberman and back out on her own deal. So that puts us at the height of campaign season. Granting that liberal Senators can choke down an even worse bill, which I doubt they will do, do you suppose that the House liberal caucus will turn around and support a shit-and-banana sandwich after the banana gets taken out? Get real.
The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414. Call and give them your mind.
The White House might be unsure about what to do about their signature piece of legislation, but that hasn’t stopped them from whipping senators on Bernanke.
Might want to ask about that.