Ben Franklin:  You seem a little distracted, Mr. Adams.
John Adams:  I had thought that you were with us.
Ben Franklin: As I am, as I am.
John Adams:But not enough to come out and say so.
Ben Franklin: Politics is the art of the possible.  What did you get by opposing the motion? It was carried with our without you.  All you did was make enemies and make yourself feel better, of course.
John Adams:Do you not believe in saying what you think?
Ben Franklin: No, I’m very much against it.

John Adams Independence 2008

Did anybody catch this interesting bit of misdirection in this Politico piece:

Up until moments before Friday’s vote, Pelosi hadn’t told a soul how she was going to vote on TAA or Trade Promotion Authority, the fast-track trade law Obama was seeking.

To the untrained eye that suggest that Nancy Pelosi was undecided on the trade bill but consider this:

On Thursday, Pelosi and Boehner huddled on the House floor and swapped vote counts, according to sources in both parties. Pelosi said her numbers were very bad for TAA. Boehner said he thought Republicans could produce 100 votes, three times as many as they usually do for the bill. Pelosi shot back “How about 150?”

Now tell me if Nancy Pelosi was undecided on the trade bills, why would she bother counting the vote, particularly with Boehner who was trying to get the bill passed.  Then there is this:

So just before noon, with debate already underway on the House floor, Pelosi picked up the phone and called Boehner to inform him that a must-pass component of the White House trade package was going to fail. It was the second such warning from Pelosi to Boehner in two days.

“Are you still going ahead?” Pelosi asked him, according to sources familiar with the call. “Are you going to pull the bill?”

Also consider how he framed her opposition in the closing speech:

“We have an opportunity to slow down,” Pelosi said. “Whatever the deal is with other countries, we want a better deal for America’s workers.”

That speech gave the green light for Democrats to vote against this bill and also gave cover for Hillary Clinton to say something:

“Here’s what I think should happen now,” Clinton said. “The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers, to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible and if we don’t get it, there should be no deal.”

The Politico piece implied that Nancy Pelosi had been undecided on this bill until finally braking with the president.  The truth is she wanted this bill and wanted this bill bad enough to warn Boehner that he didn’t have the votes in the hopes it could be pulled until they managed to find the needed vote them.  Her call for a “better” deal was not a heads up to the

But it was a signal to the White House that she is willing to try again if they can fake a tiny tweak so she can claim that the deal has been “improved” and if there is the slightest chance that the White House can spin it she will be back ready to vote with them.

Politico would like the reader to think that Nancy Pelosi made a tortured decision to oppose the president based on principle, what she did was just politics, politics that Dr. Franklin would have recognized in a second.

Update: While Politico was busy spinning Nancy Pelosi, Jake Tapper & his staff are unspining Hillary Clinton

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Nancy Pelosi is telling democrats in tough races that they should be willing to give up their seats to pass the healthcare bill.

Ok Madame Speaker, since you are so adamant about this issue I have a suggestion:


Resign today!

Show your fellow democrats that power doesn’t mean anything to you. Show that you are so committed to this bill and all the good it will do. Show them that you will give up your safe seat in the house in order to inspire others to risk theirs.

Forgetting the political advantage, this will give you time to actually enjoy life outside of Washington while you are still young enough to do so. Spend time with your children and grandchildren, it’s the greatest pleasure in life. You might even take the time to get yourself right with the church again.

Your seat is safely democratic so you are sure to see it kept by the party, maybe you should get the other chairmen in safe seats to follow you as an example.

The world is waiting on you Nancy, do you have the guts to give up what you are asking your fellows to risk? What will the order be?

Go! or Follow?

Update: Another reason for Nancy to resign. She gave my friend Adrienne a headache yesterday.

…perhaps they can take a listen to the Archbishop of San Francisco in his message to Nancy Pelosi:

It is entirely incompatible with Catholic teaching to conclude that our freedom of will justifies choices that are radically contrary to the Gospel—racism, infidelity, abortion, theft. Freedom of will is the capacity to act with moral responsibility; it is not the ability to determine arbitrarily what constitutes moral right.

While we deeply respect the freedom of our fellow citizens, we nevertheless are profoundly convinced that free will cannot be cited as justification for society to allow moral choices that strike at the most fundamental rights of others. Such a choice is abortion, which constitutes the taking of innocent human life, and cannot be justified by any Catholic notion of freedom.

via Kathleen McKinley who concludes thusly:

Pelosi is free to believe in the “the church of Pelosi” and cite that all she wishes, but leave the Catholic faith out of it. It’s clear she was raised with little understanding of it.

If you don’t want to be a Catholic Nancy, follow Anne’s example and be something else but don’t paint church teaching as something it isn’t.

reported today are divided into three sections each one is a different aspect .


This had to be done by Nancy Pelosi. The bill was drowning and this was the only way for a chance to save it. Apparently there are a fair amount of Catholic lawmakers in the party who actually (unlike Pelosi) take their religion seriously. I haven’t read the amendment in question but by allowing the vote it accomplishes two things.

If the Amendment passes then it’s supporters not only have an excuse to vote for the Bill and a political win to take back to their districts but it removes a key talking point against it.

If it fails then the Squish Catholics can say they they tried and give themselves that excuse to vote for the final version. Or they can argue that they can see if it is re-amended in conference and fall back on the “Oh I’ll vote against it then” business.

It also tangentially gives Harry (“Pro life”) Reid some cover in his re-election.

The question if it passes really becomes will Pro-Abortion legislators support the bill as amended? It is unlikely that they would not be a majority in the conference so they can try to strip it there

I suspect Pelosi’s ideal solution is the Amendment is voted on and fails, then she keeps the pro-abortion side while grabbing the squishes, that would likely be the Maximum amount of votes available.

On strictly a political basis it is a win for Pelosi and a smart move, it might not be a derisive win but she needed one badly.


It can not be overestimated how important this is in a religious sense. People don’t realize just how many Catholics in particular would vote democratic if they were not so stoutly in favor of Abortion. My parish priest for example is extremely liberal but extremely Catholic and (unlike many) the Catholic trumps the liberal.

On a simple moral basis removing Abortion funding improves the bill incredibly. It is also a big win for Catholic groups and Anti-abortion people in general. If a final bill has the endorsement of the Conference of Catholic Bishops over abortion then you can’t get a better imprimatur (religiously speaking) than that.


In terms of the bill itself, it changes very little. The bill will still be a disaster for health care both in America and the world. Forgetting that it would be run by the gang that can’t shoot straight, the costs, the death of private health care, the erosion of quality and the drop in the profit motive (the US is where the profit exists in healthcare, it that is gone then Europe and Canada can say goodbye to their cheap drugs) I believe it will also cause best and brightest to decide that the years and expense of a medical education are not worth it for the return.

That isn’t even talking about the budget busting aspect of this bill, none of that has changed.

My verdict: If the Amendment passes it means the bill will for now meet the “not funding murdering children” standard. That’s a pretty low hurdle. That raises the bill from “Evil” to “Absolutely Disastrous”. I’d have to say absolutely disastrous just doesn’t meet my threshold of support.

Will it pass, the odds are better than 24 hours ago. I would have said no yesterday, today I say perhaps.

Update: The American Papist is with me, and I agree with his advice:

Please continue to email and call (202-224-3121 ) your representatives to demand that they vote YES on the pro-life stupak amendment, and then vote NO on HR 3962.

Works for me.

Update 2: Politico says the pro-abortion congressmen and woman are going to play along:

Most Democratic advocates of abortion rights appear likely to swallow hard and vote for a health care overhaul even though it is likely to include an amendment that would effectively bar insurers that participate in a public exchange from providing most abortions, according to several lawmakers who attended a private meeting on the topic Saturday morning in the Capitol basement.

Asked whether her allies in the pro-choice movement would support the bill with the language offered yesterday by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a one-word answer: “Yes.”

It may in fact simply be a tactical one:

But the lawmakers said they would work hard to whip the Stupak amendment in hopes of keeping it out of the final bill, and several said they weren’t ready to declare how they would vote if Stupak’s language made it in.

“We’re nor conceding that,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Blue NC is unhappy:

Whatever the reason, conservatives are getting their vote and progressives have been shut down.

Firedoglake is very angry:

Thank you, Planned Parenthood and NARAL, from the bottom of my heart, for sitting on your hands and enabling this shit. Hope you have fun at all those Common Purpose meetings, those cocktail parties at the Pelosi’s.

You own this one.

It’s not like they haven’t been perfecting this act for a long time. Helping the Democrats stay in power by giving them the Official Good Gyno Seal of Approval even when they do things like — oh, I don’t know, voting for Samuel Alito and tell rape victims to take a cab to another hospital if they want to get Plan B contraception.

Could they whip the pro-choice women to block the rule if they want to? Of course they could. Yank their endorsements and they could cause havoc in the Democratic party. But they won’t, because Nancy Keenan and Cecile Richards value their own personal position in the veal pen pecking order WAY too much for that.

Well Jane I suggest you call your people and make sure they vote against this bill then.

Update 3: Be aware of course that if this DOES pass it will pass with no more than 225 votes if even. Nancy will give as many of her Blue dogs the ability to vote “No” as she can for appearances sake.

Update 4: The Debate is going on the floor but the fight is going on out of sight. A great pol doesn’t call for a vote unless they know they have the votes. Pelosi is not a great pol but she continues to play the cards she has. The idea of playing the Obama card considering the results of the election seems humorous. I’d think he would have other things to do but then again he has George and Barbara Bush to visit Ft. Hood instead.

Apparently said president is assuring Pro-Abortion democrats that he will make sure the language is killed in conference. For some reason the left is convinced:

No Progressive Block, apparently due to Obama reassurance. To my knowledge, no pro-choice Democrats have threatened to vote against the bill as a result of this. Apparently, this is because of a rumor going around Congress that President Obama promised Henry Waxman that he will “personally” work to remove the language in conference. I feel so reassured.

And the footsoldiers of the left are determined to fight:

If the Stupak language survives the conference committee, it is incumbent on those of us who support reproductive rights to pull our support, and actively campaign for defeat of the bill. For today, I’ll grit my teeth and make note of which Democrats to lean on when the vote for final passage comes. But that’s for today. Tomorrow starts the fight to make sure that the bill that ultimately is passed is a bill that supporters of reproductive rights can support.

Remember Abortion is the first and most important sacrament of the left.

Robert Stacy meanwhile says a basic truth:

Without regard to policy, the political question is simple: Whose analysis do you trust? Should Democrats in purple districts trust Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that passing this bill will not have disastrous electoral consequences for Democrats in the 2010 midterms? Or should those Democrats trust their GOP rivals, who appear ready to bet that there will be no downside to a “no” vote.

These purple-district Democrats are being asked to take a gamble, and I would not want to be in their shoes. The “no” vote is the safest bet for any Democrat unsure of his re-election chances in 2010. By voting “no,” the Democrat “takes the issue away” from his Republican opponent, and will be able to point to his health-care vote as evidence of his bipartisanship, thus deflecting any charge of being a rubber stamp for the “Pelosi agenda.”

Update 5: The public Whip count is meaningless. Allahpundit says:

It’ll be razor thin.

That’s just silly, if Pelosi had 50 votes in her pocket the vote would be razor thin. She is going to let every blue dog she can vote no. If she doesn’t she is a fool and the fact that she is having this debate suggests that she is NOT a fool.

If I was Cantor and I had the votes to kill it I would be VERY quiet about it. They can’t take the chance of the democrats pulling the bill if they see it is about to die.

Ironically if I’m Pelosi and I have the votes I’m keeping it quiet too and letting one or two blue dogs off the hook at a time to give the other side the perception that they can win. So this story is a bad idea:

Hours before an expected vote on a sweeping health care bill, House Democrats believe they’ve secured the 218 votes they need to approve the bill, several party insiders said.

Let’s see what actually happens, I think the odds are much better then they were but I’m not prepared to make a prediction.

Update 6: The Stupak amendment is about to pass. With 2 min to go 46 dems have voted for it. If the rest of the Republicans vote for it then it will make it.

Update 7: One Republican has voted “present” on the amendment (Shadegg) but it is passing by a comfortable margin. 240-194

Update 8: 176-258 against the Republican alternative one Republican voting against (Paul?) Tim Johnson was the vote against.

Update 9: On the motion to re-commit there are three republicans voting with Democrats no idea who they are. I presume it is Johnson of Ill (what does Obama have on him?) and Cao but that’s just a guess Motion to re-commit is flaming out only 13 dems voting to re-commit That’s a real bad sign, the Abortion amendment must have meant more than I thought.

Update 10: Final vote, nitty gritty time. All the cable networks are now following the vote. Republicans need 41 plus one extra for any republican who might cross over, at the moment 26 Dems have voted against with 12 min to go…29 dems left to vote 30 dem votes against…34 against 18 left on the dem side…36 against 14 left…36 against 10 left to vote…36/9…36/7 not looking good. I think she has the votes and are just figuring who she can let go…37//4…39 dems against, that is exactly what is going on. 5 min left and 1 dem left plus 2 republicans. Right now 218-214 will anyone change?…One republican has voted for. 219-215 with one not voting (presumably Pelosi as tradition dictates). 220-215 Pelosi’s gambit pays off big. Joseph Gao of La is the lone Republican.

Congratulations to the Republican Party for their almost certain election victory coming in 2010.

A: This is their best chance to get it passed. Once 2010 starts congressmen and women will be under siege. Apparently Nancy Pelosi has studied her Civil War history:

At successive battles at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River and Cold Harbor, the casualty lists would grow, for both armies. However, Lee knew in this war of attrition, Grant had the edge – more available troops, and the ability to bring in new recruits. He had warned Jefferson Davis that if the war turned to a siege, in front of Richmond, it would be a matter of time, before the Confederacy would be beaten. It would become a siege, in front of Richmond, and Petersburg, during the summer of 1864 – a siege that would last ten months

The Tea Party Marches yesterday and the continuing pressure put on means that Pelosi and the administration will have more strength now then at any time in the future. To wit:

“The thing that Pelosi has going for her right now is that a lot of her members are more afraid of her than they are of their constituents,” says the GOP insider. He notes that Pelosi has plenty of weapons to make life miserable for members who cross her — “any benefits the member can have for the remainder of this Congress, the kind of support they’ll have going into next year’s election, and if they lose, what kind of post-Congress opportunities they will have.” All could be endangered by a vote against the health care bill.

It is a desperate attack (although it shouldn’t be with an 80 seat majority. The fact that it IS desperate shows what a lemon this stuff is) but it is the right political move. As York concludes:

No doubt a number of Democrats looked outside and saw the crowd. But they’re in a tough place: fearful of their constituents’ anger, on one side, and of their speaker’s anger on the other.

It’s a bad choice. But in the end, Pelosi can’t fire them. The voters can. “As the old saying goes, cross thin ice at your own peril,” said 77-year-old Herbert Rosser, who came to the rally from Raleigh, N.C. “The American people are going to make them pay a price for it.”

The closer you get to that election date the more real that cost is. Once we get to the first quarter of next year it’s all over. Pelosi has to strike NOW.

A: Because on MSNBC’s Morning Joe they referred to the Democratic House as a “Culture of Corruption”.

Now where have I heard those words before?

My review here (well actually here).

Take that meat and cook it.