New Republic Policy Wonk Tosses Cold Water on Leftwing Public Option Ghost Dance

It is still pretty much under the radar but the leftwing nutroots now want to replace the Senate version of ObamaCare with a public option bill to be passed via reconciliation. The completely unrealistic push for public option, currently opposed by President Obama, is now all the rage in the leftwing blogosphere as you can see in yesterday's Daily Kos thread. So before we find out the hard reality of why their reconciliation efforts for public option are going nowhere, break out the popcorn and enjoy the comedy entertainment provided by their fantasies:

It's been a great day on the front lines! We've now got public support from over 20 senators and plenty that are "still considering." Let's give them plenty to consider. Keep calling. And call the president at at 202-456-1111 and tell him to get on board. Leadership for a Change! 

This Kossack has all the enthusiasm of Andy Hardy attempting to put on a show which is why it might be cruel to remind him that the show of support from 20 senators and those "still considering" is merely an attempt to placate the leftwing nutroots for the time being. And we already know that the president (and Rahm Emanuel) have no desire at all to go back to public option square one again. 

And now for more Kossack public option comedy theater:

This effort has legs people. 

And CALL the White House: 202-456-1111. Tell Obama to come out and support this effort. Demand he stand up for what he promised us during the campaign for a change! With his leadership this can happen. 

Obama keeping his promises and demonstrating leadership? Now that is funny! 

UPDATE: Thursday, 4:56 PM -- The White House is declining to comment on the push to reinsert the public option into the debate. 

Gee! What a surprise.

We need to raise the money to put togrther a 50 individual state polls on the Public option. We should get 2 polling companies and two MSM outlets to agree to participate. We could force senators to support this.

We are almost to twenty Senators. The number has more than doubled in one day. This is what the public demands. We can win this one. We only need 50 votes.

I had nearly given up on HCR. My spirits are revived. 

It seems a pity to dash this Kossack's overenthusiatic hopes but policy wonk and senior editor at The New Republic,  Jonathan Cohn, has tossed cold water on this entire public option idea. No one wants public option more than Cohn (except for his fellow New Republic Jonathan, Chait) who eats, drinks, and breaths ObamaCare arcania but at least he has some connection to political reality as you can see in his article today which tosses cold water on the doomed public option efforts:

I'm a longtime, enthusiastic fan of the public option. And I am really nervous about its latest rise from the grave.

...But in one of the many perverse and unexpected twists of this whole saga, reform's near-death experience after the Massachusetts Senate race has brought the public option back to life yet again. Now that the Senate is expected to vote on a series of final amendments to the reform bill using the reconciliation process, in which just a simple majority of 50-plus-one can pass a bill, progressives are pushing the Democrats to include a public option as part of that package.

It is doubtful that the Senate will even be able to use reconciliation, due to the Byrd Rule, for even the amendments of the current Senate bill but why stop Chait now? He is at least making good points about why public option is doomed:

At this point, it's going to take a herculean effort by President Obama and the leadership to secure fifty votes even for a modest reconciliation bill, one that merely fixes some of the more egregious flaws in the bill the Senate finally passed. Adding a public option--something more conservative Democrats never liked in the first place--will make that task a lot harder. Here's how one Senate leadership aide put it to me on Thursday, following the news about Schumer:

Despite the flurry of press reports, nothing has changed over the last couple of days, except that maybe there are less votes for the public option that there were a few months ago.

...But, as Ezra Klein noted today, by making the public option part of the conversation again "you're also increasing internal dissension and adding unpredictability into a process that's collapsed into chaos already." If you think--as I do--that reform would constitute a monumental achievement, even without the public option, that's a huge risk to take.

So, yes, adding a public option could produce an even better reform bill. It could also produce no bill at all.

Even one of the Kossacks had a brief encounter with reality when he posted why reconciliation is doomed to fail:

I will tell you all before you are hurt by this. you cannot pass the public option through recon, because of the BYRD RULE! this is all just pandering to the base.

No kidding! And yet another reason why public option via reconciliation is doomed  to fail is a hard April deadline described by Politico:

A NEW DEADLINE LOOMS -- The reconciliation instructions expire when Congress passes the next budget resolution, which usually happens in April, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad confirmed Tuesday. That means health care reform has another firm deadline if Congress decides to move ahead with reconciliation, which still appears to be Democrats’ preferred method.

So "all" the Senate has to do to pass a public option healthcare bill is to write up an entirely new bill, conduct hearings, and vote on it without delay within just a few weeks. The same Senate that took six months to pass their version of ObamaCare. Like this is going to happen...NOT!

The upside here is the incredible comedy entertainment provided by the leftwing nutroots as they perform their doomed public option ghost dance. Enjoy the laughs until the next act...the public option wake.

And for yet more laughs, check out DUmmie FUnnies for a more complete collection of Kossack public option comedy nuggets.

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P.J. Gladnick's picture