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Saturday, December 05, 2009

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, I really, really like him
Posted by Jill | 6:49 AM

Here's the context: Republican Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma, the state where he says the school bathrooms are overrun with lesbians) and David Vitter (R-Diapers), are the co-sponsors of a Republican protest measure that would require Congress to go on the public health insurance option if it passes. Never mind that Congress is ALREADY on a public option, but that's beside the point. We already know what reality is where Republicans are concerned. The point of this whole thing is relying on the clubbiness of Congress to force Senators to say "Oh, no...that's good enough for the little people, but not good enough for us."

Enter Senator Sherrod Brown:

Whenever Democrats talk about their proposed federally backed insurance plan, or public option, in the ongoing health-care debate, critics pipe up. If you think this public option is so great, they say, why don't you demand that all members of Congress go on it, too?

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says that's a fine idea. And this morning, he forced his way onto a Republican amendment saying as much, becoming a co-sponsor of a Republican protest measure that would require Congress to go on the public option if it passes.

Fact is, Republicans pushing the amendment are using it as a form of rotten eggs to hurl at their opponents. But Brown, a key sponsor of the public option legislation, likes those eggs.

Brown has refused to participate in the government's array of health insurance plans for 17 years, saying they are more generous than the coverage choices that many other Americans get. Why should Congress get such sweet coverage? he asks.


Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma didn't seem to be in a hurry to bring on Brown as a co-sponsor. Coburn had Republican co-sponsors, but Brown's office says the Ohio Democrat never could get a commitment to be added, despite nine calls from his staff to Coburn's staff over the last week.

So this morning, Brown stood on the Senate floor and forced the matter. He asked for unanimous consent to be added as a co-sponsor to the amendment. This procedure is usually reserved for issues of little controversy because it bypasses a roll-call vote.

But in an open, televised proceeding, who's going to oppose a senator's genuine desire? So fellow senators granted Brown's wish. Next time someone asks why members of Congress won't go on the public option if it's so darn good, look for Brown to push his way into the fight and say, Yeah, buddy, you're darn right.

Nice work by Sen. Brown. I take back everything I thought about him back when Chuck Schumer forced Paul Hackett out of the race in which he won that Senate seat.

It would have been nice if Al Franken had been the one to call the Republicans' bluff, but he did a nice job of signing on. I especially like him reminding David "Hookers" Vitter of his own 34-year marriage. A nice touch. If we wondered how Franken would integrate comedy into his Senate work, here you go.

More like these, please.

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Anonymous mandt said...

Blogger rjs said...
sherrod hails from the same greater cleveland area that gave you howard metzenbaun, and steve young before him; and in the lower house, we have "downtown denny" kucinich...