>> Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I think Nate Silver's decimation of the reconciliation dodge is definitive. Granted, I roughly share his ideological priorities, and as a result I don't think there's a very serious argument the bill doesn't improve the status quo (and any such argument would apparently have to rely on some pretty reactionary propositions, such as "compensation in the form of health care should be permanently exempt from taxation.") So any argument for blowing up this bill does indeed have to rely on claims that a better bill could be obtained through reconciliation. Which seems implausible in the extreme. As I see it, the key points:
- There's no way that there's even 50 votes for a public option sufficiently robust to be worth risking the bill's regulate-and-subsidy provisions over.
- Once you consider the lost votes of Feingold and Byrd -- as well as God knows how many centrist wankers who would use reconciliation, and the threat is poses to their leverage, as a pretext to vote nay -- it's not even obvious that there are 50 votes for a weak public option through reconciliation.
At any rate, the only reason to oppose the bill is if you think it's worse than the status quo on the merits. The rest is ice cream castles in the air.