Nellie’s next move


Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is back in Nebraska talking to “folks” about the Health Care Re-form bill in the Senate.

You may remember that Nelson voted for cloture on the bill so it could proceed to floor debate. He has been criticized by the state GOP as well as Nebraska’s other Senator, Mike Johanns, for letting the bill proceed, as it just makes it that much more likely to pass.

Nelson has been telling people the last few days, “Hey, I won’t let it go forward if it still has the abortion provision and a federal public option.”

And now Joe Lieberman has drawn a line in the sand, taking the exact same positions. He says he would NO on cloture for final passage of the bill. That’s sort of a big deal.

If the bill won’t pass anyway, Lieberman’s siding with the GOP filibuster would then give Nelson the cover he needs to take whatever position is most politically expedient.

He can vote NO, and say the bill is not good for Nebraskans. He can vote YES, and say it could still be fixed in the conference committee (i.e. the Tom White route). Either way Nelson (and White) will say they were in favor of the bill — just not the WHOLE bill.

And attempt to claim the high-ground.

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But consider Nelson’s position for a minute. He is essentially saying…no, he IS SAYING, “this bill is fine, except for the abortion provisions and the public option.” Really? That’s it?

So Obama and Pelosi and Reid can just jam whatever they want down America’s throat, just so long as it doesn’t include abortion and a public option? Doesn’t matter about massive new taxes. Doesn’t matter about what it will do to care in general. Doesn’t matter how it will affect doctors and hospitals. Doesn’t matter what it will do to the deficit.

Just so long as Nelson placates the anti-abortion and anti-government and insurance interests.

Interesting.

And Nelson has also said he’s against any state opt-out provisions, but may be OK with a states opt-IN provision. So, in other words, let Dave Heineman and the gang take the heat for opting IN to some new health care scheme. Well that’s one way to make your life easier. Let Governor Dave take the blame.

While we’re generally in favor of the Federalists-esque plans for a “state solution”, uh…what’s the solution? And has Nelson proposed such an amendment? That’s why he voted for it to go forward, right? To propose all these amendments.

We’ll be looking for the Nelson Amendments on this to see what he has in store for America. Maybe they’re up his sleeve. We don’t know.

But be watching EBN to see if he pulls what he did with the “Stimulus” bill — cutting $20 out of a zillion dollar plan and calling it a win.

“Try again!” may be the new “Contract with America” slogan…

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And on the subject of who is Barack sending “BFF” notes to, you’ll see that Senator Nelson did NOT receive an invite to the State Dinner coming up.

Looks like it’s another night at Ruby Tuesdays…

7 comments

  1. One Out In The Third says:

    Nelson is just passing the buck onto the states. He is not a "Centrist"…he is a Nebraska's Chief WAFFLER…working both sides of the fence to save his political ass.

    Polls continue to show a downward spiral in the number of Americans that favor government healthcare involvement…the gigantic cost it will place on taxpayers…etc… etc…etc.

    This is a pig-in-a-poke bill that should have been rejected in the House. "Centrist Nelson" is an embarrassment to the majority of Nebraskans that have seen the writing on the wall for months. He is not listening…or just doesn't care.

    Is "Centrist" the current fashionable term for "Maverick?"

  2. GeosUser says:

    One Out,
    He doesn't care, that's the key observation. Either he's planning on not running for another term or that this will have blown over by the time he faces NE voters again. Either way the bottom line is he could care less.

  3. One Out In The Third says:

    It was just a couple weeks ago that Harry Reid was proposing giving the states the chance to "opt out." Obviously Ben can't even get the talking points right.

    Now if only the NEGOP can find a viable contender in 2012. I hear all this talk about how the NEDEMS can't find candidates for 2010…I think this same dilemma will be found on the other side of Leavenworth Street in 2012.

  4. Shoe Salesman says:

    Sweeper – what are you smokin' today?

    Just how, tell me, just how, is anything that gets passed a "jam it down your throat" effort?"

    Lemme recap for you – in 2006 and 2008 American voters rejected the party of NO and elected more democrats to the congress – providing very large majorities. Many of those candidates campaigned on health care reform.

    President Obama cleaned John McCain's clock in 2008. Sweeping into office with a mandate of change.

    It follows then that the agenda pushed by those duly elected leaders would be the agenda the voters supported. That's how it works. you win, you govern, you face the voters again.

    Only the bitter, sour, and left out would think that the action taken by the majority would be "cramming something down your throat."

    You guys lost. get over it. Beat us next time and you can get back to ruining the fiscal integrity of the country, sending our sons and daughters overseas to fight in unjustified wars, providing tax breaks to the wealthy, doing the bidding of big oil, and waging your culture wars against the poor, the gay, the immigrant, and the minority.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Viable candidates for 2012?

    Gov. Dave Heineman
    AG Jon Bruning
    Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
    Auditor Mike Foley

    How's that for a start?

  6. Anonymous says:

    EBN has done a magnificant job over the last eight years presenting himself as the modern-day, Nebraska version of Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser." Rest assured Nebraska, Ben Nelson is in front of the television cameras assuring you that he's working to moderate the liberals latest comprehensive fix to all that troubles the world, and so long as he's here fighting for you, Nebraska, you can rest easy that moderation will be the result of the compromise he foists on his colleagues. Just pay no attention to what he does on the Senate floor, because if you, you'll see that EBN is nothing more that Harry Reid's lap-dog. I wish we had the right of recall in Nebraska. I'd gladly start the petition to bring this guy back two years early.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shoe- you are really buying into it. Oh well your choice.

    As for sending the kids over, been there, done that. Got a t-shirt out of the deal too.

    BN is pretty much done for. He is tired, and most likely will be handing the reigns over. Heck he wants to rest and enjoy his final years hunting, fishing, oh and Farming:) By 2012 it will be time to hang up the fence sitting saddle and check on the great grandkids.

    Too bad there isn't anybody in the wings ready for the job. Tom white won't be there (he will have self-destructed in 2010), Steve Lathrop may be there but is content to run his herd in the legislature, all 16 head. Mello may think about it but is really burning bridges in a hurry, of course not as fast as Nordquist. Whew that guy never say a reporter he didn't want to talk to. So who else is left for the Party of D? Maybe BN will have to keep running, or Kleeb may come out of hiding….. nope dont think so.

    Well either way BN will thrash about for a couple more years, he will get all the attention he craves. Kind of sad to see it happen this way. BN is like prize fighter who had it all but just didn't know when to put it down. He had a good run as Gov, was respected across the state and party lines as Senator. But now…… it's just sad.

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