Nancy Pelosi’s grip on House slips
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not accustomed to the word she’s been hearing far more frequently in recent days: “no.”
Over the past two weeks, Pelosi has faced a series of subtle but significant challenges to her authority — revolts from Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Blue Dog Coalition and politically vulnerable first- and second-term members.
The dynamic stems from an “every man for himself” attitude developing in the Democratic Caucus rather than a loss of respect for Pelosi, according to a senior Democratic aide. But it’s making Pelosi’s life — and efforts to maintain Democratic unity — harder.
Tom Maguire added some much needed brevity to a debate that is begging for some clarity:
If she can find 216 votes for health care she becomes a genius again.
That sums it up. Speaker Pelosi is all in at this point, and the game is much more worth watching. Bart Stupak was reported to have sent a “signal” today that he (and his anti abortion colleagues) might reach some compromise language on a Senate “side car” agreement after they voted on the Senate bill that fully funds abortion. Steve Hayes at the Weekly Standard called BS on that notion tonight on Fox News, noting John McCormack’s report,that “There’s No Deal, And I Won’t Agree to a Promise to Fix the Bill in the Future”.
Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak said yesterday at a townhall in his home state, “I’m more optimistic than I was a week ago” that a deal could be reached to pass a health care bill that bans public funding of abortion. Some speculated that this meant Stupak was ready to cave. “Obviously they don’t know me,” Stupak said in an interview this afternoon with THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “If I didn’t” cave in November, “why would I do it now after all the crap I’ve been through?”
“Everyone’s going around saying there’s a compromise–there’s no such thing,” Stupak said. What’s changed between this week and last, Stupak went on, is that he had his first real conversation with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Henry Waxman about fixing the bill.
But Stupak made one thing very clear: While he’s optimistic, there’s a lot of confusion about how the House would structure a bill that he could vote for. Stupak says “the majority party can get it done. Where there’s a will there’s a way.” But: “No one has said here’s how you do it, here’s the legislative scheme.”
The ObamaCare expectations game is reaching stratospheric levels. There are even rumors of Intrade manipulation. According to Business Insider:
The theory has been raised — most directly to us by Twitter user @fleckman — that the surge does not represent the view of insiders (that it’s going to pass) but rather it represents an attempt on the part of DC insiders to bid up the market and create a sense of inevitability
There’s some logic to it: the contract goes up, we write about it, Krugman writes about it, and suddenly everyone agrees that it has momentum
That would not surprise me at all given the money at stake and the political careers on the line. And then there is the George Soros factor. Intrade would be small stuff for him.