After a drama-filled week, the Democrats bought enough votes (60) to move the health care debate forward.
The final holdout was our own Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) Another holdout -- Sen. Mary Landrieu -- sold her vote for hard, cold cash. It doesn't appear that Lincoln got a thing for voting to move the bill into the debate state.
That's too bad. Landrieu can at least claim she sold out in exchange for $100 million (at least) in federal dollars for her district. Lincoln is left saying she voted to debate a bill she's against so that the Senate can have the opportunity to change it and stuff. Or something like that. She could have at least held out for a few bucks for Arkansas, a cool car or something else of value.
The concern here, of course, is that the latest Rasmussen poll shows that only 38 percent of the country supports the current bill. The bill has already passed the House in spite of the fact an awful lot of congressmen have claimed they are against it and wouldn't vote for final passage if the bill is similar to the one they voted to pass.
Work your way through that logic if you dare. Meanwhile, senators like Lincoln are currently using similar logic, meaning that it's not altogether impossible to suspect the very senators and representatives claiming to oppose this thing will eventually pass it.
It's worth pointing out that the Landrieu example stands as evidence that votes are totally for sale on this bill and proponents of the bill are more than happy to buy them. We saw the same thing with that dreadful bankruptcy reform a few years ago (the credit card industry spent millions buying votes for that piece of slop) and that does appear to be the way business is done these days (just ask General Motors). Shameful. These folks can be bought and it doesn't matter one whit what the people who elected them want.
How did our Arkansas congressional delegation fare? Not surprisingly, that mustache-mumbling Rep. Vic Snyder (D-2nd Dist.) voted to pass the bill in Congress. Rep. Marion Berry (D-1st Dist.) somewhat surprisingly followed suit. Rep. John Boozman (R-4th Dist.) voted "no" as did Rep. Mike Ross (D-3rd Dist.)
In the Senate, Sen. Mark Pryor joined Lincoln in voting to move the bill to debate. That's no surprise, really -- Pryor would vote for legislation authorizing nun beating if the Democrat leadership told him it was a good idea. Rumor has it the man had an original thought 30 years ago and decided he didn't much like it.
It appears there may be some merit to what the Republicans opposing this bill said -- voting to move it to debate is really a vote to pass the bill. These folks are for sale, seem to disregard what their constituents want and are amazingly prone to pressure from leadership. The American public might not want this bill but, by God, we may get it. How's that for representative government?