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Blanche Lincoln Lectures Blanche Lincoln on a Senator’s Duties

Leading up to tonight’s vote on the motion to proceed with consideration of the Senate health reform bill, the Republican Senate leadership has been putting enormous pressure on Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and others to vote “no” on the motion to proceed, arguing that the procedural vote could not be differentiated from a vote on the merits of the health reform bill.

And all week, Senator Lincoln dodged media questions about whether Democrats could count on her vote on the procedural motion. Her dodges seemed designed to create the impression that she was seriously considering holding the bill hostage and voting “no” on the procedural motion to extract concessions on the bill’s substance.

On the Senate floor today, after promoting herself for nearly 8 minutes, the distinguished Senator resoundingly rejected this way of thinking:

The reason we are having this vote, Madam President, is because our Republican colleagues object to beginning debate and consideration of amendments on health care legislation.

Although I don’t agree with everything in this bill, I have concluded that I believe it is more important that we begin this debate to improve our nation’s health care system for all Americans rather than simply drop the issue and walk away. That is not what people sent us here to do.

Attempts by the national Republican Party and other conservative groups to portray this as a vote for or against this particular health care reform bill is [sic] untrue, and it’s deliberately misleading.

The vote tonight will mark the beginning of considerations of this bill by the full US Senate, not the end.

The Republicans have sought to revive their political party by opposing any real solution to our nation’s health care crisis. In fact, Madam President, this vote for or against a procedure that allows us to begin open debate on health care reform is nothing more, and nothing less.

Put simply, those who vote yes on this vote believe that our nation’s health care system needs reforming, and they are ready, ready to have an honest and open debate on the floor of the United States Senate on how best to achieve that reform.

Okay, Senator. But if voting “no” was nothing more than an irresponsible, misleading Republican tactic to derail health reform, and the issue was so clear cut that it would have been absurd to vote “no,” what exactly was all this week’s posturing about?

This is why voters find it hard to take some of these people seriously.

More:

Teddy Partridge/FDL, Stage three cancer Arkansan hasn’t seen doctor in 7 years.

Teddy/FDL, The shame of unaffordable health care

Teddy/FDL, Two-time cancer survivor, aged out of family’s health plan, tells Senators, “Take heed!”

Teddy/FDL, 59-year old Arkansan to Senators, “Jesus healed the sick, have human compassion please!”

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Blanche Lincoln Lectures Blanche Lincoln on a Senator’s Duties

Leading up to tonight’s vote on the motion to proceed with consideration of the Senate health reform bill, the Republican Senate leadership has been putting enormous pressure on Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and others to vote “no” on the motion to proceed, arguing that the procedural vote could not be differentiated from a vote on the merits of the health reform bill.

And all week, Senator Lincoln dodged media questions about whether Democrats could count on her vote on the procedural motion. Her dodges seemed designed to create the impression that she was seriously considering holding the bill hostage and voting “no” on the procedural motion to extract concessions on the bill’s substance.

On the Senate floor today, after promoting herself for nearly 8 minutes, the distinguished Senator resoundingly rejected this way of thinking:

The reason we are having this vote, Madam President, is because our Republican colleagues object to beginning debate and consideration of amendments on health care legislation.

Although I don’t agree with everything in this bill, I have concluded that I believe it is more important that we begin this debate to improve our nation’s health care system for all Americans rather than simply drop the issue and walk away. That is not what people sent us here to do.

Attempts by the national Republican Party and other conservative groups to portray this as a vote for or against this particular health care reform bill is [sic] untrue, and it’s deliberately misleading.

The vote tonight will mark the beginning of considerations of this bill by the full US Senate, not the end.

The Republicans have sought to revive their political party by opposing any real solution to our nation’s health care crisis. In fact, Madam President, this vote for or against a procedure that allows us to begin open debate on health care reform is nothing more, and nothing less.

Put simply, those who vote yes on this vote believe that our nation’s health care system needs reforming, and they are ready, ready to have an honest and open debate on the floor of the United States Senate on how best to achieve that reform.

Okay, Senator. But if voting "no" was nothing more than an irresponsible, misleading Republican tactic to derail health reform, and the issue was so clear cut that it would have been absurd to vote “no,” what exactly was all this week’s posturing about?

This is why voters find it hard to take some of these people seriously.

More:
Teddy Partridge/FDL, Stage three cancer Arkansan hasn’t seen doctor in 7 years.
Teddy/FDL, The shame of unaffordable health care

Teddy/FDL, Two-time cancer survivor, aged out of family’s health plan, tells Senators, "Take heed!"
Teddy/FDL, 59-year old Arkansan to Senators, "Jesus healed the sick, have human compassion please!"

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley