It's over in Minnesota. Al Franken is now the new junior senator. That means we have fifty-eight Democrats, two independent senators that caucus with the Democrats, and only forty Republicans. We've got 60.
So why is it that we still hear "We don't have the votes to pass the public option?" It's no longer the Republicans - they don't have enough votes to sustain a filibuster by themselves. They need help. From people like this...
That's right. The only way health care can now fail is through Democratic treason. Now you know why Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats were so unenthusiastic about fighting for Al Franken - when they had 59, they could hide behind the filibuster fig leaf, and it wasn't quite so painful when a Democrat went turncoat and voted against cloture on a bill.
Check opensecrets.org - you'll see how much the insurance and pharmco lobbies are giving to people like Baucus. I only photochopped Max Baucus, but I wish I had the time to give the NASCAR driver treatment to Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu, Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid and all the other conservadems that are obstructing the public option.
But these conservadems can't hide behind GOP obstructionism anymore. What we have to remember now, and what we have to bring up with our Congresscritters when we call them, is that one of them now has to help the GOP block a bill before a filibuster can succeed, and when they do, we will be watching, and calling them out when they thwart the will of the people.
You've seen nyceve's and slinkerwink's diaries, yes? They have the phone numbers and contact information so you can continue to make those phone calls and pressure your Congresscritters to respect the people's will instead of accepting legalized bribe money. Get going!