OK, grab your hats folks. You are about to discover that Democrat Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is actually the wiliest of wiley legislators out there! A secret-double agent, if you will.
You see folks, when he voted for cloture on the Senate Health Care Re-form bill back in December, after an extensive compromise on the abortion language with Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer, that was all just a ruse. Just a ruse!
His REAL plan (mooooahahahahha!) was in conference committee to DEMAND (with his trusty 60th vote) that Stupak-like language (aka Nelson-Hatch-Casey) replace the compromise!
To the transcripts at LifeSiteNews!
LifeSiteNews: OK, so you were planning on coming back…
NELSON: Absolutely. That is what I was just trying to tell the gentleman who was arguing about the 60th vote.
LSN: What made you think that it had a shot, after conference?
NELSON: Because they needed 60 votes again.
LSN: Right, but before, you voted for it even without it –
NELSON: To get it there. Right. I know – with my language which was better than the language in the bill. But, once it went to conference, as part of the conference, there was still another 60 vote threshold, and that is when I would have insisted and that is what Christy was talking about when I mentioned this on the phone – how we would approach this in conference to say, for my last 60th vote, it has to have Nelson/Hatch/Casey.
LSN: Why didn’t you stop it right then and there and say, “No Nelson/Hatch – nothing.”
NELSON: Because, at that point and time, the leverage wasn’t as strong – you have to play it…
LSN: So, if we got to conference and it was just the Nelson not the Nelson/Hatch/Casey – you would say ‘yes’ because you think it was good enough.
NELSON: I could have but I was going to say – and this was all the plan – that I would insist that it be Nelson/Hatch/Casey.
So you see people, Playa Nelson was just playing his Democrat colleagues all along…
This is what he is out there selling right now.
By the way, we are reminded of this story in the Washington Post that described the negotiations on the abortion compromise language:
Schumer, who spent more than 13 hours in Reid’s office Friday, said the Medicaid issue was settled around lunchtime, and the final eight hours of the talks focused on the abortion language. Boxer estimated she spent seven hours in Reid’s offices — without ever once sitting in the same room, even though they were all of 25 steps apart.
Reid and Schumer kept up the “shuttle negotiation” between the leader’s conference room and his top aide’s office, Boxer said. Keenly aware how tense the talks were, the White House dispatched two aides who together have decades of experience in the Senate — Jim Messina and Peter Rouse — to work with Nelson. They relayed their intelligence to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who monitored the talks from a dinner in Georgetown.
Around 8 p.m., everyone took what was supposed to be a short break, but by 9:30 p.m. Nelson had not returned to Reid’s office, stoking fear in the Capitol and the White House that the deal was heading south. Reid and Schumer — who had barely eaten for the past three days of the talks — gnawed on Christmas cookies in the leader’s offices, according to Schumer.
Finally, Nelson was ready to cut the deal, no matter what the antiabortion groups said. No announcement was made because he wanted to see the final language in writing the next day. According to Schumer, he and Reid shook hands with Nelson. Then Reid walked across his office suites to find an anxious Boxer. “We have a deal,” he said.
“It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Boxer recalled Saturday.
Nelson later joined Boxer at her end of Reid’s office, greeting the Californian with a big hug.
So, after ALL that — eight hours of negotiations, culminating with a hug — we’re to understand that Nelson was going to blow into the conference committee and yell, “Psych! I’m not doing it! Ha!”
Or better yet, let’s pretend that Nelson is telling the truth: Do you think that Schumer or Boxer or Reid or anyone else would EVER do another deal with him? When he’s just going to turn around and stab them in the back in a couple of days?
Nelson may have accomplished both convincing his detractors that he’ll say anything to get them back, and convincing his supporters that he’ll say anything, but screw them later.
(This would be called a “lose-lose”.)