Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't believe anything these Democrats say

John McCormack of the Weekly Standard talked to Bart Stupak who seems to be trying to walk back his comments of the day previously that made it seem that he could see his way to a compromise that would pass the health care bill. Now he's saying that he was just talking about how, at least he was talking with the Democratic leadership about his concerns about abortion. But he has no intention for voting for the Senate bill based just on a promise from the Democratic leaders that they would pass a fix for abortion.

I've come to think that we shouldn't put any faith in these Democrats who are pretending to be wavering about whether they're going to vote for the bill or not. They've learned that there are very nice gains that they can earn from Democratic leaders desperate to get their votes. Their major problem is that they can't ask for anything as egregious like the Cornhusker Kickback or the promises made to Florida senator Bill Nelson to keep Medicare Advantage for Floridians (and New Yorkers and Nevadans, but no other seniors.) They're holding out for good deals and the deals might not be apparent in this bill. They might be getting something that they want on some other bill.

It's a delicate line they're walking. Deep down, I think that all of these guys want to vote for the bill. They don't want to let Obama down and they don't want the Democratic leaders mad at them. But they realize that it's not popular with their constituents. So they have to find a way to finesse their vote. If they get something very obvious, they will be denigrated across the land as Ben Nelson has been. But they have to find some way to get something worth angering those constituents.

So Bart Stupak will grandstand a lot, but I predict that, in the end, he'll find a compromise that he'll pronounce is acceptable to him.