After a summer schedule of travel not very conducive to blogging, I hope to ease my way back as things get interesting in Washington. As a warm-up, here is today's post on Politico's Arena:
The public option is dead. Probably was even before the administration performed last rites. Basically, the mathematics of using the reconciliation process to get a public option never added up. Vote counting + budget scoring + parliamentarian forecasting equated certain failure via reconciliation. The only alternative left is the misnamed "bipartisan" approach. It is misnamed because it is not designed to get Republican votes, rather it is designed to get all the Democratic votes. And that was never going to happen with the public option hanging out there.
The only real surprise is that the administration gave up its "public option via reconciliation" threat so early in the process. This will lead many on the left to believe that they were sold out rather than understand that administration's hand was forced by political realities.