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Blue Dog Rep. Jim Cooper, to Daily Kos:

He who pays the piper calls the tune .

That was Cooper's way of charging Daily Kos with buying the poll results it wanted, since it turns out his constituents strongly support the public option, and aren't too happy with his performance. Given that he himself is bought and paid for by insurance industries, what we saw was a clear case of projection. If the insurance execs can get him to vote against his constituents' interests by lining his pockets with cash, why then couldn't Daily Kos buy the poll results it wanted?

Well, not really. The results of our Nebraska health care poll pretty much proves that.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 8/17-19. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

Do you approve or disapprove of Sen. Ben Nelson's actions on health care?

     Approve  Disapprove

All     56       39
Dem     22       72
GOP     76       19
Ind     61       35

Do you favor or oppose creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase?

     Favor  Oppose

All    39     47
Dem    76     14
GOP    15     68
Ind    38     49

Nebraska is a fairly conservative state (despite Obama's grabbing of a single electoral vote in 2008), and so it should come to no surprise that the public option faces a tough fight. If anything, the surprise is that opposition to the public option doesn't have majority support (just plurality). And while the state's Democrats are on the right side of the debate, they are grossly outnumbered and independents aren't with us.

Unlike Max Baucus or Jim Cooper, Ben Nelson is actually not out of touch with his constituents.  

If Ben Nelson joined Republican Senators in filibustering and killing a final health care bill because it had a public health insurance option would that make you more or less likely to vote for him or would it have no real effect on your vote?

     More   Less

All    21     15
Dem     7     24
GOP    31      9
Ind    19     15

We can assume Nelson will vote against any bill with a robust public option. The big question is whether he will join Republicans in filibustering such a bill. Nebraska Republicans would sure love that, but at the end of the day, they'll vote for a real Republican in a contested election. Nelson would gain a small sliver from Independents, per this poll, but his real danger is among Democrats -- where he would lose a full 17 points of support.

There's a danger that Nelson could so alienate the Democratic base in Nebraska that it could cost him in 2012. It's a small base, but in a tight election (like he had in 2000), every vote would count:

If Nelson was to play this properly, he'd vote against any robust public option (and be justified doing so, given his constituency), but allow an up-or-down vote on the bill. Given the political realities of his state, that's the best we could hope for.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good analysis, Kos. (15+ / 0-)

    Especially about Cooper who reaallay is bought and paid for.

    They "prefer an America where parents will lie awake at night worried if they can afford health care their children need."

    by TomP on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:01:47 PM PDT

  •  O/T for Kos: Check out the Chrysler (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich, CornSyrupAwareness

    Town & Country stow & go van if you're van shopping.  It is great.  I have had one for four years and have been nothing but happy with the roominess, the versatility, the ease of driving, the comfort, the handling.  Being able to fold all the seats into the floor instead of having to remove them when you want to create more space, is THE BEST.  Check them out.

    •  Well, while on the O/T, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hope Kos considers UAW built cars.  He should be the best car for his family, but I hope he considers a union-built vehicle.

      I'm getting a Ford Fusion hybrid, but I don't have the space needs he does.  Even if I have my girl friedn and her three children, we can fit.  (She has a minvan)

      They "prefer an America where parents will lie awake at night worried if they can afford health care their children need."

      by TomP on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:06:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i nearly bought that car (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and then i found out it was mostly made in mexico.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:08:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If so, then you can't have everything. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I did not know that.

          Ford employs a lot of union workers here.  I'd rather see them make money than not.  I already ordered the car and it's good environmentally.

          I like this:

          Consumer Reports Says Ford's Fusion Hybrid is Equal To Toyota Camry, Yet Sportier

          In its most recent round of testing, the entire Fusion lineup did well, but CR singled out the hybrid model and declared it "essentially tied" with long-time favorite, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Fusion racked up 34 mpg, beating out the Kia Optima in a test of mid-size family sedans.

          Not on the list:


          Oh well, my first non-UAW car I ever bought.  

          They "prefer an America where parents will lie awake at night worried if they can afford health care their children need."

          by TomP on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:13:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Those damn (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nebraska Outsider, tr GW, Amayi

    white staters!

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:03:36 PM PDT

  •  I want to donate to his primary challenger (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, irmaly, Greg in TN, mjd in florida, TomP

    Let's make him an EX Representative Cooper.

  •  Does Ben Nelson ALWAYS vote the way ... (12+ / 0-)

    ...the majority of his constituents want him to? Or does he sometimes step outside that finger-to-the-wind approach and do the job he was hired for, use his actual judgment to make decisions for what is best?

    If we went by what people (nationally) say they want to pollsters, we would ALREADY have  much-improved health care coverage.

    Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:04:28 PM PDT

    •  He generally does vote w his constituents... (4+ / 0-)

      Dem politics in southeastern Nebraska (and let's face it, when you're talking Dem politics in Nebraska you're talking about southeastern Nebraska) is all about who you're related to and who you know. It's very word of mouth.

      Bob Kerry, as a popular ex-Gov, could afford in the Senate to be pretty progressive. Nelson doesn't have Kerry's charisma (or a movie-star girlfriend to take to 4th of July parades), he wasn't as popular as Kerry when he was Gov and that means he has to tow the line a little more.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:11:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nelson's ideology is nihilistic (0+ / 0-)

      he consciously conceives himself as a "check" on the party's liberal tendencies. It's purely negative and isn't based in any kind of concern for good policy. This is the guy who teamed up with Susan Collins to cut the most stimulative aspects out of the stimulus bill because food stamps are evil (i.e., poor people don't make political donations).

    •  Finger to the wind? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There's two basic ways an elected official can handle their job:

      1. The people sent me here to exercise my best judgment, so I'm going to do that and then explain to the voters why I voted the way they did; and,
      1. The people sent me here to represent their beliefs and values, and I'm going to vote they way they want me to even if I have qualms about it.

      It seems to me that neither of these is inherently superior to the other, and of course nobody is all one or the other. But I'd have to disagree with your apparent (I may have misunderstood you) contention that there's something basically wrong with Nelson choosing his constituents' preferences over what he himself believes to be right.

      Sean Parnell
      Center for Competitive Politics

  •  THIS should be a requirement (15+ / 0-)

    ...for any Democrat, or anyone caucusing with the Democrats:

    If Nelson was to play this properly, he'd vote against any robust public option (and be justified doing so, given his constituency), but allow an up-or-down vote on the bill.

    Don't vote for the a bill with a public option if you really, truly can't bring yourself to -- for whatever reason.     But don't dare enable a Republican fillibuster.

    Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

    by chumley on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:05:00 PM PDT

  •  Must be nice living in Nebraska (11+ / 0-)

    no worries about health care at all. Must be freakin' paradise out there.

  •  Ben Nelson's best move, imho... (4+ / 0-)

    is to not stand in the way of an up or down vote - even though you've correctly pointed out the uphill climb the public option has in NE across the electorate, Nelson still has to shore up his base and Dems won't look well on a Dem senator who pivots against a Dem Prez.

    That's where I ultimately see Nelson coming down on this thing, and it's something that Dems in NE could forgive him for in the next election.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:06:58 PM PDT

  •  Heh and Double-Heh (0+ / 0-)

    Kent Conrad isn't paid all that money in contributions by Big Insurance to vote against a fillibuster.


  •  PoliSci Prof: Blue Dogs are miscalculating (10+ / 0-)


    Go back and look at the midterm tsunami that swept the Democrats out of office the last time. The turnout for that wave was just 36 percent. Moderate, fence sitting independents don't vote in midterm elections with a 36 percent turn out.

    What really happened back in 1994? The Republican base — jubilant, mobilized and angry — turned out. The Democratic base — dispirited, disenchanted and demobilized — stayed home. As Democrats ponder which way to go in this latest round, they ought to read the political lessons more carefully: Short-term electoral success rests with the base, the people who got excited about "change we can believe in." Long-term electoral success rests in designing and pushing through a program that then grows very popular.

    If you depress the base, you lose. If you don't solve the country's problems, you lose.

    •  That's a big DUH (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mentaldebris, mjd in florida

      to anyone with half a brain.

      Sometimes I wonder how these people get elected in the first place.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:30:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

      Blue Dogs were freaked out by what they faced back home after ACES. Hopefully, they're calmer now after progressives did a better job of turning people out in August.

      In the end, it's the base that turns out to vote in off year elections, and these Democrats need to give the base something to be pumped up about. As I wrote in April:

      The biggest mistake that Congress could make going into 2010 is not having something to campaign on.  The economy in the best case scenario will prob. still be pulling itself out of this worst-in-decades recession in 2010, and Democrats in Congress must show tangible progress on other fronts (e.g. health care).

      While health insurance reform won't be fully enacted by next November 2010, some provisions should be starting up.

      Democrats need to point to historic legislation on health care.

    •  BINGO - your point is perfect. (0+ / 0-)

      The people of middle class America are STILL fired up and not going to put up with the same old
      no solutions BS that slowly rolls out of the Senate in the past.   There very much will be serious accountability come 2010 and 2012 for those that do not lead and deliver what the people want.

      The years of "I can spin this, and make it ok" are long gone, The Internet and social media is eating the lunch of the MSM and print media more and more each day.

      Networking and connecting with other people personally in person or online and sharing PERSONAL conversations and views carry much weight than some impersonal talking head could hop to achieve.

      Ben Nelson is in a very familiar place , sitting on the fence, trying to gage which way the winds blow for him personally, before he places his support.

      The part he does NOT understand is that his loyal base is about to apply electric power to that fence and force him to choose sides, his future as a Senator is in the balance, as are some others.

      Please keep pushing and make them all VERY aware of this!

      Bipartisanship: Def; Republicans that give the middle finger to everyone else on a daily basis.

      by Nebraskablue on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 03:51:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Senators not strong on public option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, Karl Rover

    but their states are...

    Feinstein, Carper, Wyden

    tossup states?

    Bennett, Warner, Bill Nelson,

    dems in red states not support public option

    Lincoln, Byrd, Begich, Bayh, Baucus, Conrad, Nelson, Pryor, Tester

  •  I think Sen. Nelson can support a robust (0+ / 0-)

    public option. I think he could convince Democrats, Independents and enough Republicans that a robust public option that would lead to a single payer plan that would insure Nebraskans in the same way that Senators and Congresspeople have insurance would sell anywhere, including Nebraska. I think a robust public option would attract enough support, as long as it was robust enough to give Sen. Nelson the backbone to do the right thing.

  •  Justified? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nebraskablue, khin, AndyBates

    If Nelson was to play this properly, he'd vote against any robust public option (and be justified doing so, given his constituency)

    No, he wouldn't be 'justified' in supporting a bad policy choice because a plurality of his constituents indicate that is their preference.  There is a reason we live in a representative democracy - we elect wise leaders to make wise decisions.

    All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

    by fizziks on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:12:23 PM PDT

  •  precisely (0+ / 0-)

    which is, again, why all discussions about how Ben Nelson needs a primary challenge, etc. are so ludicrous.

    Because Ben Nelson is actually, as a Senator, representing his constituents.  And we'll get far more out of Ben Nelson even if he votes against the final bill but lets it come to the floor than we would with a Republican in there.

    To say nothing of all the other issues.

    oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

    My blog.

    Twitter: @DanteAtkins

    by Dante Atkins on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:13:17 PM PDT

  •  Hello Rep. Cooper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg in TN, mjd in florida

    He who pays the piper calls the tune .

    Coming from you, that's rich.  Not only can we be positive you're a whore (or escort, if you prefer) but thanks to public campaign disclosures we know how much you charge.

  •  what is the difference between a (0+ / 0-)

    plurality and a majority?

    Don't be a dick; be a Weiner! Stand up for health insurance reform.

    by scarlet slipper on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Nelson said he would vote for the trigger of the (0+ / 0-)

    public option.

    That's a step...

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:14:11 PM PDT

  •  Either way, Senator Nelson is a socialist (0+ / 0-)

    He's going to hear that from his Republican opponent no matter how he votes-- he hates America, he's a Comminazi, he's weak, he's immoral.

    Use the brilliant oratorical skills that got you elected to convince Nebraskans why your vote for the public option was a good idea-- you'll enjoy the challenge, they'll enjoy your principles and courage.  

    They'll also enjoy their decent health care, for a change.

  •  He who pays the piper calls the tune (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg in TN

    Given that he himself is bought and paid for by insurance industries, what we saw was a clear case of projection.

    As soon as I read his statement I knew he was talking about himself, whether he realizes it or not. But I think he does. BTW, a news flash for Blue Dog Jim Cooper. Even half of all Republicans support National Health Care.

    But in the poll, the proposal received broad bipartisan backing, with half of those who call themselves Republicans saying they would support a public plan, along with nearly three-fourths of independents and almost nine in 10 Democrats.

    Not wanting to seek Republican approval for everything Democrats do means you're "The Left of the Left".

    by William Domingo on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:17:37 PM PDT

  •  How do you find out the depth and basis of (0+ / 0-)


    There are public options and there are public options.

    A public option just tossed on top of the current seething morass of a health care "system" is different from a public option in a system that has been rationalized (even a little).

    I wonder how many people oppose it because they haven't done the math for the current system?

    Lots of farmers out in Nebraska, and farmers need to stay healthy because their crops don't ever take a day off during the planting-growing-harvesting seasons.

    Farmers are subject to assorted aches and pains, not to mention machinery and other accidents.

    They are people who should be all over real health care reform, but I'll bet they are people to whom the message is not being pushed.

    The way to win this battle is to reach the minds that can be reached and encourage them to make noise.   The lobbyists are too rich and too powerful within the beltway.  Itchy voters are the only force powerful enough to counteract them.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:17:47 PM PDT

  •  AARP Poll says 8 in 10 support Public Option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samantha in oregon

    It's not Democrats v. Republicans or Liberal v. Conservative. It's People v. Money.

    by superfly on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:17:53 PM PDT

  •  "And the Independents aren't with us". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to ponder that and to realize it is more broadly true than we let on.

    •  the independents aren't as liberal as we are (0+ / 0-)

      but neither are they as conservative as the GOP.

      It's just a re-phrasing of the center-right/center-left nation canard, and I think November proved that the independents are closer to us than the GOP.  (This might not be true for the independents in Nebraska.)

      We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

      by AndersOSU on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Weak political analysis, kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the final bill, including the public option, turns out to be a good bill, providing options and services that people like, then Nelson should vote for it. It will become popular, even in Nebraska.

    You should have polled them on Medicare, for example.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:25:48 PM PDT

  •  Actually, I think Nelson might do just that. (0+ / 0-)

    No support for a filibuster, then vote against the bill "in good conscience" for any variety of rationales.

  •  He needs to learn (0+ / 0-)

    to ask the right questions. Why not ask, if a veteran is unhappy with his private health insurance should he be able to buy into the VA system? Or likewise, if any citizen that is unhappy with their insurance provider should they be able to buy into a Medicare like system?

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:28:06 PM PDT

  •  Important Note (4+ / 0-)

    It is also important to note that much of Omaha's economy revolves around insurance.

    Woodman of the World and Mutual of Omaha are both HQ'd in Omaha, Berkshire Hathaway owns large shares of GEICO and other insurers. Even Pacific Life has a small but visible presence in the state.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    by ouibandot on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:33:55 PM PDT

  •  Weird given Nebraska's rural hospital (0+ / 0-)

    problem. Why do people vote against their own best interest? From Nelson's own web page we have

    As a native of McCook, Senator Nelson understands how important health care is to the survival of rural communities. Without basic services such as health care, rural areas cannot hope to attract new residents or retain existing residents. That is why Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson has worked to improve access to health care in rural areas by ensuring that rural hospitals and providers have the resources they need to keep their doors open. Rural hospitals are a lifeline for many Nebraska communities. Unfortunately, many of these rural hospitals are facing a financial crisis. Currently, the amount hospitals receive from Medicare is pre-set by bureaucrats in Washington without regard to the special circumstances facing rural hospitals.

    Right now in economically depress rural Nebraska, if you don't have insurance, there is no option. You can't just walk into a Hospital for care, as the Republican's keep saying you can. The health care bill is all about these people. Nelson should be for it, the rural population of Nebraska should be for it. I just don't get it.

    Four out five sock puppets agree

    by se portland on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:36:22 PM PDT

    •  its the myth of western independence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      shored up by the government of course.

      first they something, then they something, then they something else, then you win -Some guy

      by Elvis meets Nixon on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:42:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you know how one of the ways (0+ / 0-)

      we're going to pay for healthcare reform is to eliminate waste in medicare?

      Well it's really easy to spin that to say Rural hospitals who depend on Medicare are going to get less funding.

      ...Which I think means Nebraskans want a bigger federal government ... or maybe a national healthcare system...

      We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

      by AndersOSU on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:58:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  or.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland
    He could be a leader and vote for health insurance reform that includes a public plan because it is the right thing to do - even if it costs him his seat.  I think they call it courage.
  •  That's all too logical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Elected officials representing the views of their districts?

    Are they allowed to do that?

    If this idea got out, it could change American politics forever.

  •  What is support for the public option (0+ / 0-)

    for those who actually voted for (and intend to vote for) Nelson?  I understand that when you're elected, you represent everybody, not just who voted for you, but why is that the rule for Dems and not repubs?  I doubt Fortenberry is going to give a damn what I think and I don't expect him to.  Consequently I have never and will never vote for him (unless he miraculously voted for the House bill with the public option).  

    Okay, I'm just annoyed, the political REALITY in Nebraska sucks.  But it is reality.

    -7.3,-7.5 If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.

    by Nebraska Outsider on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:55:49 PM PDT

    •  Fortenberry (0+ / 0-)

      makes me feel like I am not represented in Congress at all. You know, Republicans didn't all used to be like that. We had Bereuter (R-NE01) representing us for years--I disagreed with him about most things but he would listen to constituents. I got to argue with him personally about campaign finance reform after a town hall meeting once, and he listened carefully and conceded my points. Much later he even voted for campaign finance reform, to my surprise.

      I despised his position on many issues but he was a respectable human being. I don't feel that way about F, or even BN and certainly not MJ.

      Oops! I'm gonna need a whole new sig!

      by sillia on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 03:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it is too strong to say he'd be justified (0+ / 0-)

    in voting against the PO just because a plurality of my fellow Nebraskans are now against it when the question is asked that way.  For one thing, the reason we have representative democracy is that deliberative bodies like Senates are in a position to put together all of the  different considerations.

    One big consideration is cost control and a public option at least gives the insurance companies some reason to try to lower costs without making the overall package unattractive, to compete with a well-run public option.  I'm sure cost control would poll well here.  So if you think that's important you'd be most justified in voting for a bill that provided some sort of cost control without thereby sacrificing quality of care.  A public option is one such mechanism and one of the few on the table right now.

    I do agree with the analysis of the politics - he has a strong electoral interest in not letting such a bill be fillibustered.  Furthermore he has a strong interest in Obama's success, and the more robust the health care reform the better Obama is going to look.  He needs those young Obama voters to come out for him.  And even if they aren't passionate about health care, they are going to pay some attention to whether Obama is a success and whether the Senator was helpful in that regard.

  •  some sobriety (0+ / 0-)

    A few simple questions; 1) Why do you progressives believe that you have the right to bypass the US constitution and impose legislation on the rest of the country when no such power has been granted to Congress? Along those lines, if you believe there is such a power please cite it along with influential pre-ratification delegates to either the federal convention or state convention that can affirm this. Do you also understand that just because you want something to be so, it is immoral and an assault through the coercive force of the federal government upon those who have not given their consent for such a radical extraconstitutional departure from a legal, limiting and binding compact in which power was granted only to legislate on matters external to the states for their benefits, thus General Welfare and neither local nor specific.
           2) Do you understand that the only true rights man has are those which are contained within himself, such as life, liberty and fruit of labor, that anything that another must provide for is not a right, but only something that can be gained either through voluntary exchange or voluntary gifting?  This goes back to the immorality in  that no one has the right to determine another's conscience, nor to take away from one other that in which that one has consented to for that in which he can truly be represented in. This is why no just government can legislate from afar for something local. It only enables an oligarchic form of government that is then influenced by specific interests to the exclusion or even deprivation of other's interests. We who choose to not be enslaved whether in fact or practice will not allow this. We can only ask that you stop considering the government as your god to provide for all the wants of life and correct all the wrongs.

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      you think health care reform should be done by local governments?

      "Only now with the advent of potato day has tyranny come to our shores." - Jon Stewart

      by methinshaw on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:09:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe you misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

        Health care is something that one person OWNS and provides to another on a consensual basis. The mere fact that is of more worth than say cable tv makes it no less the property of those providing it. Further unless you can create a true democracy where all agree to have some form of one for all, and all for one, then to impose on person to specifically benefit another is a perverse distortion of government which exists to prevent or disallow harm, not to provide for people's well being. The small community I mentioned would be at most a small town, where those who do not consent to such would have the liberty to leave.

  •  Thanks Kos... (0+ / 0-)

    I am going to do a diary in repsonse, simply because i have more info than a few comments will cover..

    Bipartisanship: Def; Republicans that give the middle finger to everyone else on a daily basis.

    by Nebraskablue on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 03:16:26 PM PDT

  •  There's an outside shot (0+ / 0-)

    that Nelson votes for it.

    Just keep in mind that if he does, his vote will be much tougher to get on other top agenda items.

  •  Nebraska (0+ / 0-)

    Those anti government, conservative NE farmers sure like their (federal) agricultural subsidies, don't they?  Noses in the trough does not begin to describe this group of people.

    It would be interesting to ask Senator Nelson why he always votes for farm subsidies, but opposes a federal health care plan.


  •  "Given the political realities of his state"??? (0+ / 0-)

    I am sick and tired of this argument.  If there is a lesson to be drawn from the polls, its that the state's politicians have framed the debate in terms of the corporate interests rather than the interests of the people.  

    The political realities of their states gave us many successful politicians such as Frank Church (ID), George McGovern (SD), and Mike Mansfield (MT).  The political reality argument may hold in the south, but I suspect it is primarily an excuse to represent corporations in the rest of the nation.

  •  Nelson has got to go. No question. He will not (0+ / 0-)
    support any bill with any 'fad' (he called co-ops 'the latest fad' at his Healthcare Meet-up) options included. He is very concerned that we do NOT 'destroy' the current healthcare coverage industry. He made that point TWICE.

    He was freaking Insurance Commissioner. He gets the majority of his money from them. He is not going to help us.

    Even if he did, he would still have to go. Any damn guy with a (D) after his name that campaigns on the dubious record of supporting the bush** administration with his vote needs to go.

  •  Americans... (0+ / 0-)

    today can see through the "vote for cloture, but against the bill" trick. If Senators do that, and that makes the bill pass ultimately, voters who oppose it won't make the distinction.

    For those who oppose the bill, actively voting to pass a bill and passively allowing a bill to pass that they could have stopped is a distinction without a difference.

    Senators know this.

  •  Why do people like Wal-Mart so much? (0+ / 0-)

    Well, not us, so much, but a lot of people, obviously. Because it's CHEAPER. So maybe the way to sell it is to finally give them a graphic of the cost of their current private care and the cost of the public option, and they, being frugal, will pick the cheaper, public, option, because it doesn't have the siphoning off of money for CEOS, ads, PACs, and administration. After all, we're firmly in a "what does it cost right now?" mindset as a nation, and cannot see the savings down the road, so a simple price comparison should do the trick.

  •  I'm glad Kos acknowledges what... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pragmatic dems have been saying all along: blue dogs are blue dogs because they'll lose their jobs to repubs if they don't adopt some conservative views.  I hope the rest of the folks at DK will pull their heads out of their asses and stop blaming the lack of blue dog support on Obama.

  •  Nebraska has always been a Republican state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Those who want to primary Ben Nelson are making a big mistake.  Nelson may be the most conservative Democrat in the Senate and not vote with us enough.  But he is one of the few Democrats who can win in Nebraska.  I don't see Nelson voting for a bill with a substantial public option.  But I don't see him joining Republicans and  filibustering a health care bill with a public option either.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:07:23 PM PDT

  •  Cooper is an asshole. (0+ / 0-)

    At least tag the "sold" sticker off your fat ass Cooper.

  •  advocait, I think Ron Wyden will support... (0+ / 0-)

    a public option.  Wyden may have his own health care plan but he's a loyal Democrat.  He opposed sending troops to Iraq, voted against the Bush administration financial bailouts, and supports same-sex marriage.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:14:04 PM PDT

  •  Robert Byrd will probably support a... (0+ / 0-)

    if public option if Democrats need his vote.  He's had a pretty liberal voting record for awhile now.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:16:34 PM PDT

  •  I can see Mark Warner and Mark Begich... (0+ / 0-)

    supporting a public option as well.  They're conservative Democrats but they know that if the Senate fails to pass a real health care bill they could lose reelection.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 04:17:53 PM PDT

  •  So called conservatives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wonder if those 'Conservative' voters would be receptive to losing those 'socialist' farm subsidies.  I'm sure they abhor the idea of even taking them in the first place.  If healthcare reform doesn't pass, we should abolish those socialist farm subsidies.

    •  Rush (0+ / 0-)

      I heard Rush say one time that farmers are the biggest wellfare queens in America.  Most Repub farmers I know seem to have missed that comment.  There was a time years ago where some subsidies were needed but now most of the remaining farmers are 3-5 generation multimillianaires who dont need the money.  

  •  Abortion coverage (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see Nelson even voting for cloture on any bill unless the abortion coverage is specifically prohibited. See

  •  all ne needs is a progressive radio station (0+ / 0-)

    or  two

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 07:19:40 PM PDT

  •  Please, please do what I hope... (0+ / 0-)

    Forget Nebraska.  They have no sense of what it means to progress.  They want what has always been.  But if a Social Security check shows up in their rural mailbox they will take it to the bank and cash it.  

    In other words, they have no ability to affect change in this nation because they are too blasted scared.  They are so scared they would be willing to vote for a president who would make war on Muslims faster than they would vote for a president who would try to make this a better nation, and less hostile to the world.

    They equate what progressives desire for a fair society with health care for all and Social Security in their very confused minds with abortion and gays.  They have been played like a fiddle by their preachers to think like this.

    Anyone who wants to do good for the nation is to be mistrusted.  Blank faces.  Minds not working.  I feel sad.  I hope (though I can't pray) for Nebraska, and I certainly hope they will not harm this nation's progress because they are yellow scared.

    •  How demeaning and wrong (0+ / 0-)

      It's attitudes like yours that turn Nebraskans off of progressives.  

      We are too stoopid to understand your big city ways.  Aw shucks miss I dun no what we wur doing voting for obuma in omaha.  Weez just poor simple church goin folk who don't wants us no problems.  Pleez just hlp us dum inbred peeple.

  •  Kos hits the nail on the head. (0+ / 0-)

    Kos's analysis of Nebraska is right on the money.  Sen. Nelson has rarely voted in any way that would offend his large Republican constituency.  As one of the Douglas County dems that gave Obama our one electoral vote, this is continually frustrating to me.  Kos reads the NE situation perfectly.  I guess "Nebraskan" must be smoking too much cornsilk with his repug friends behind the barn.

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