Ben’s not going to support any tax increase, ever:
Sen. Ben Nelson said Tuesday that he will not support tax increases in any budget proposal — a stance that could make Senate Democrats’ chances for reaching agreement on the issue even more difficult.
And he supports oil company subsidies:
Technically, last night’s vote was on the motion to proceed on the bill. Supporters outnumbered opponents, 52 to 48, but with Republicans filibustering the measure, Dems needed a 60-vote supermajority just to initiate a debate on the proposal. They fell eight votes short.
Two oil-friendly Democrats, Mary Landrieu (La.) and Mark Begich (Alaska), voted with the GOP, as did Nebraska’s Ben Nelson who had previously said he opposes filibusters on motion to proceed.
Ben is infuriating, but he’s just the pus-filled chancre, not the underlying disease. With rural states getting progressively redder, there’s just no way Democrats will ever have a reliable 60 vote majority in the Senate. As long as the filibuster is painless, Republicans will be able to strangle progressive legislation there. It’s tedious and dull to repeat that fact, but it does bear mentioning on occasion.