People in the know in Washington appear to have already considered and dismissed the “ping pong” option–the possibility that if the Senate finally passes a compromise health care bill, Pelosi’s House might simply vote “yes” on the exact same bill, avoiding the need for a “conference” to reconcile the House and Senate versions and instead sending the bill directly to the President for his signature. But from outside Washington, out here in the real America, this “ratification” route still looks awfully appealing–especially this week.
…there are pragmatic problems to consider: the House health care rationing bill passed with only two votes to spare, and only because of the Stupak amendment. The Senate version currently lacks similar language, and it will probably not even get to a vote unless ‘public option’ is removed. Put another way: for this gambit to work it’ll require no public option and hefty rules against federal funding of abortion. Put yet another way: this gambit doesn’t just metaphorically gut-shoot progressives. It requires that progressives metaphorically gut-shoot themselves as part of the process.
I’m not saying that they won’t do it. Progressive Democratic legislators are quite good at emulating jellyfish. But this would be above and beyond the usual spinelessness.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.