Friday, September 18, 2009

Reform Rx - Dancing with the Senators

Robert Reich hits the nail on the head with his blog entry yesterday, “Why Olympia Snowe Should Vote Against the Baucus Plan”.

Indeed, we might as well reconcile ourselves to seeing our Maine Senators’ decisions on health care change as leading med-onomic indicators of bad reform. But Robert Reich’s scenarios are very plausible. If Snowe votes for Baucus, we bop down the road to feeble reform; if Snowe, votes against Baucus, no matter her logic, the dance floor may open to robust reform. Thus let us hope Senator Snowe will vote against the Baucus bill as it is currently written. Occasionally accidental representation occurs.

There is also a third scenario where the Baucus bill is reshaped into a good bill via the amendment process from Senators such as Jay Rockefeller. Then, we’ll need to put Senator Snowe back on our dance card.

Let us hope Senator Snowe then has a Margaret Chase Smith moment and considers her conscience. There are a few times in a long Senate career that there are vital matters of overwhelming importance that distinguish leaders and directly affect the very lives of constituents in a way that will last well beyond a Senate career. Some of these times present fundamental choices between clear constituent needs and very powerful influences. This would be one of those times.

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