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.
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.
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...
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...