- My understanding of the Senate is, is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and Republicans have to ask the question: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?
- The bottom line is that our health-care plans are similar. The question, once again, is: Who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we're going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority, to get the bill to my desk, that is not just a 50-plus-1 majority.
- You've got to break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-1 pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of 50 plus 1, but you can't govern. You know, you get Air Force One--I mean, there are a lot of nice perks, but you can't deliver on health care. We're not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-1 strategy.
- You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives--and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion--is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we identify our core base, we throw them red meat, we get a 50-plus-1 victory. But see, Karl Rove doesn't need a broad consensus, because he doesn't believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizable majority.
Question 2 -- who said this?:
- [Healthcare reform] deserves the same kind of up or down vote that was cast on welfare reform, that was cast on the Children's Health Insurance Program, that was used for COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and, by the way, for both Bush tax cuts --- all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority.
(via Best of the Web's James Taranto, who says "Observers will disagree over what combination of ideological radicalism, egomania and sheer cynicism is motivating him, but what is clear is that President Obama is quite different from what Candidate Obama advertised.")