A whiff of pragmatism

Politico reports that Democratic party leaders are trying to prepare their liberal base to accept a compromise on health reform legislation. It’s a logical move considering how badly the Democrats are losing the battle for public opinion on the subject (see below).
The exact nature of the compromise is not entirely clear, but it presumably would include abandoning the “public option” for now. Some left-liberal members of Congress have vowed to vote against any bill that does not include a public option, but that doesn’t mean they would actually follow through on that threat.
In fact, the best evidence is that left-wing congressional Dems would not, when push comes to shove, block compromise legislation that lacks the public option. In a straw poll taken at a “netroots” convention held this past week, only 53 percent said they could not support a health care reform bill that does not include a public option. If there’s this little commitment even on the fringe for going down with the ship, then there can’t be much at all among those who are subject to pressure from constituents, congressional leaders, and the president.


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