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Harry Reid refused to weaken the public option for Lieberman

An article today in TPM reveals what happened when Reid decided to put the public option in the bill and Lieberman began fighting it:

"As we came closer to the vote on cloture on the motion to proceed, and Senator Reid called me and he said, ‘can you vote for it, I’m gonna put a public option in it,’ and I said, ‘you know I’m against the public option. But I want to start the debate and I want to be for health care reform.’"

And then there were some, my colleagues, who said, "well why don’t you negotiate with Harry, see if you can get it out now," so I said, "I don’t think he wants to negotiate." I talked to him again, it was pretty clear that he didn’t, so I just thought it was very important to make that clear, to explain why I wanted to–I would vote to open debate on the bill–because I want to support health care reform, but that if there was a public option in it, the only recourse I have…is to vote against cloture.

Very interesting. At the same time that Reid was telling everyone "Don’t worry about Joe", he was refusing to negotiate a public option compromise with him. Clearly Reid feels he has a strong hand, and the only reasonable conclusion is that Reid views reconciliation as a likely conclusion. He’s not worried about Joe because he knows Joe and his gang of cock-blockers are irrelevant. So when you hear things like "we’re going to pass a bill by Christmas" right after you hear Sherrod Brown dumping all over the latest and greatest compromise, you can cure your cognitive dissonance with one word: reconciliation.

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