I can’t speak for anyone else on the front page, but I just don’t find the question of blame very interesting. Maybe someone did contribute to this present clusterf*ck more than someone else; if so I don’t really know or particularly care. It feels like a waste of time to piss on him or her or them while the game has minutes on the clock.
House Dems can still pass the Senate bill, and then we’ll have a HCR win with some shitty elements that Congress can fix later. Senate Dems can pass a fix through reconciliation and we will have something close to a complete win. It has to happen now, before campaign season heats up and Democrats commit themselves to something even stupider than changing the subject (e.g., the Snowe option).
I started with the House because (1) everything starts with the House passing the Senate’s shit-and-banana sandwich, and (2) the House responds to day-to-day constituent demands more than any other branch of government. Framers meant to insulate the Senate and especially the White House from quotidian voter angst, and for the most part their system works. My plan morphed when I understood that the House and Senate were standing around like a married couple in a Noel Coward play, neither willing to act unless the other makes the first move. So I pushed for peeps to call their Senators as well. Hard as it can be to move members of that august body, we don’t need to swing very many wavering Senators to get this done.
All along I figured that Obama had some sort of preferred plan that he would reveal in due time. Thus part of my urgency – if pressure from us and others could get the House to commit before Obama’s SOTU then events would more or less compel the White House to come along even if he prefers some milquetoast fail plan. Now I hear via Ezra that Obama still has no idea what to do, so I decide that the small (tiny) but real chance of making a difference is worth potentially wasted time and long distance fees.
None of this apportions any blame at all. I certainly don’t blame the House for getting stuck with the Senate’s malnourished bill. I just think that calling them would do the most good. Same with Senators wavering over reconciliation. Ditto for the White House. Historians (and virtually every other blogger on the internet) will work out who gets to own this colossal disaster. Right now I honestly don’t care. As long as it’s not over, and as long as we still live in a participatory democracy, I just want to do what works.
Whom should you bother? You have my thinking; make up your own mind. Then pick up a phone and call.