MSNBC is reporting that Obama and Stupak have reached a compromise deal, involving an executive order to the effect that the law shall not be construed as to overturn the Hyde Amendment – interpretations to be left for court battles later I guess.
Now, do the progressives fight the deal? We know they won’t.
Addendum: The talking heads are saying that the “compromise” means nothing because an executive order only lasts as long as Obama is in office, and is (according to reports) vaguely worded anyway. Basically, it allows Stupak to vote for the bill and save face.
Second addendum: Stupak confirmed as a “yes” vote. That means it passes with votes up in the 220s.
Meanwhile, Pelosi this morning showed up to work with the gavel which closed the proceedings on the passage of Medicare in 1965.
Third addendum: Well, TPM is reporting that Stupak is denying he’s reached a deal, but I think he just wants to save it until he gets a microphone into his hand.
What’s really funny is that TPM scooped all the networks.
Fourth addendum: The pressure’s on and tempers are short. David Plouffe vs. Karl Rove on This Week:
Plouffe: “The politics of this, by the way: If we pass this, we’re in much better shape, politically, in the Democratic Party than we are today. Because we’re going to go out there and not just talk about what WE’RE for, but what the Republicans are voting against: They are siding with the insurance companies over people who are denied coverage for preexisting conditions, siding with the insurance companies over saving seniors money. So this isn’t just about us being a piñata here in the election. Elections are about choice. They are voting against an enormous tax cut for health care for 40 million middle-class families and 4 million small businesses — that’s what they’re voting against. … We are going to be much better positioned politically — now, that’s secondary to what’s right for the country — if we pass this. By the way, we had 15 million new voters vote in the 2008 election. OK, these are people are cynical that their vote really matters. If we don’t pass health care, I think that sends a very depressing message. But it’s going to be a very powerful message to them that their vote matters and they ought to stay involved in politics.”
Rove “This thing is paid for with Bernie-Madoff-style accounting. … It’s a gigantic disaster.”
Plouffe: “Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that.”
Rove: “You will bankrupt the country if this bill passes. … For God’s sake, will you stop throwing around epitaphs [sic] and deal with the facts for once, David? … We will fight the election on this,. and the Democrats will have significant losses in the House and Senate as a result of this bill.”
Plouffe:”If Karl and a lot of Republicans want to call the election already, they ought to break out that ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner.”
Rove:”That’s cheesy, David. … You should not denigrate the mission of the USS Abraham Lincoln.”
You can view the video here.
Fifth addendum: Flipping between the cable news networks is amusing for the entertainment. MSNBC is filled with enthusiastic interviews with Democrats calling this the first step towards universal health care. CNN is focusing on the story of whether the Senate will betray the house and result in a “civil war” within the Democratic Party. Fox News has its cameras on the crowd outside, deftly avoiding the the pro-reform signs, and interviewing any Republican they can find not too surly to give them a statement.
Sixth addendum: As noted in the thread, the Republican pro-life caucus is turning on Stupak live as I type. Meanwhile, it’s sinking in to some on the right, and some of them are freaking out.
And the Tea Party demonstrators have included among their ranks those willing to resort to homophobia (while accosting Barney Frank) and racism (while accosting civil rights hero John Lewis). Add anti-Hispanic epithets (not “epitaphs” as Karl Rove said, although that word might also be appropriate) to the equation.
Seventh addendum: David Frum (Bush’s speechwriter) says this fight is the Republicans’ Waterloo.
And Boehner is begging his fellow Republicans to “behave like grown-ups” when the bill passes.
According to several lawmakers who attended the 15 minute meeting, Boehner said “we will behave like grown-ups,” and not engage in taunting the vulnerable Democrats who support the controversial measure.
Leaders anticipated that the Democrats will erupt in applause if the bill passes and they don’t want Republicans to react with a chorus of “Nah-nah-nah-nah hey, hey, hey good-bye,” as happened in November when the House healthcare bill was approved.
Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) explained that “this is too big. We believe that this is the beginning of the end of America,” and responding with taunts at Democrats, risking their jobs by voting for the bill is not appropriate.
Seventh addendum: Watching the debate and the Republicans really seem to be dispirited in their debate. They seem resigned to the inevitable. They really don’t seem to have their heart in it. Stupak’s sell-out took the wind out of their sails.
The one bright spot is Rep. Devin Nunes, from California, who says that the Democrats are “laying the cornerstone for their socialist Utopia.” I wish I could feel that way about it!
Nunes earlier commented that Democrats being hit with homophobic and racial epithets brought it on themselves, because “acting totalitarian” makes people “crazy.”
Meanwhile, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List Group have stripped Rep. Stupak of his award. Yes, you read that name right.
Eighth addendum: It passed, though by a three fewer votes than had been projected. It may be that the Stupak clan had provided cover for a few swing district reps to save their asses in November.
In any case, it passed following a very melodramatic speech by Bonior.
Afterward, they’re still debating the reconciliation bill. The Republicans made a motion to send it back to committee to revive the language of Stupak-Pitts, which was firmly opposed by Stupak himself. During his speech a Republican representative, not yet identified, screamed “babykiller” at Stupak. Joe Wilson off his medication again maybe?
Meanwhile, the Democrats needed something to energize the base. Looks like it may have had some effect.