Six worthy items on health care for this evening (most of which were first posted on Open Left in Quick Hits):
The RNC sends out a press release attacking the co-op proposal. No one could have predicted that Republicans would also not agree to the co-op "compromise" proposal, either. Just like no one could predict that Republicans will still attack the health care bill once co-ops are dropped, too.
In an interview today on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan," Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R) said he'd vote against any health-care reform bill coming out of the committee unless it has wide support from Republicans -- even if the legislation contains EVERYTHING Grassley wants.
"I am negotiating for Republicans," he said. "If I can't negotiate something that gets more than four Republicans, I'm not a good negotiator."
Grassley will only vote for the bill if it is supported by a majority of Republicans. Given that the RNC is already attacking co-ops, that should be an easy bar to cross. It truly is a relief that Grassley is negotiating in good faith.
WEINER: The President does seem like he's moving away from the public plan, and if he does, he's not going to pass a bill. Because there are just too many people in Washington who believe that the public plan was the only way that you effectively bring some downward pressure on prices, and if he says well we're not going to have that, then I'm not really quite sure what we're dong here.
BECKY QUICK: So you would not vote for a bill that made it through, if it got through...
WEINER: Not only I but I think there's probably a hundred members of the House, who believe for various reasons that you need to have something to bring down prices. Otherwise you're basically, what you're doing, you're keeping the cost arc. . . the CBO agrees with that. You know as it was, I think the public plan had been watered down so much. So if the President thinks he's cutting a deal to get Senate votes, he's probably losing House votes.
It is a good thing that the Democratic leadership will be able to make up the votes by negotiating with Chuck Grassley and through Kent Conrad's co-op idea. Here is the video on Weiner:
Joe Sestak (whose campaign I work for) seems to have found a way to avoid rowdy protesters at town halls: just hold the meetings in places where right-wingers feel uncomfortable about being loud and noisy. Recently, he has held two town halls, one in a predominantly African-American church, and another in a veteran's center. Neither event had significant protests.
So, just find places wingers are scared of--like African American churches--and the protests melt away.
Speaking of town halls, is the national news media just done with that story? There is virtually nothing about the health care protests today on the Elections section of Google News. Last week, there was virtually nothing but the town halls in that section of news. Either national news outlets are bored with the story, or there are more taken with the latest conflict: Dems vs. Dems on health care. Or both.
As Democrats, we should have known all along that fighting with ourselves was a sure way to clear Republican protesters off the headlines. There are few stories the national political news media likes more than Dems vs. Dems.
Here is a great speech by Howard Dean to fire you up on the health care fight:
I spoke just before Howard did, and I remember almost nothing about what I said. Best speech I have heard in a while.