After his abortion amendment did not win the day on the Senate
floor, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) did not come out swinging. Though he
insisted that the failure of his abortion amendment “makes it harder to
be supportive” of Senate health care bill, he did not reiterate his
pledge to filibuster the bill.
“We’ll just have to see what develops,” Nelson told reporters. “I have no plan B.”
That allows him substantial wiggle room, if he ultimately decides
not to defect from the health care bill, and indeed, after the vote
Nelson returned to private negotiations with liberals and other
conservative Democrats over the public option.
He’s not a firm no vote just yet.
“Not at this point in time. I want to continue to work on the
[public option compromise] to see if that can improve the bill from my
Had he come out and said, “Yeah, so eat your filibuster and enjoy it, then, Harry,” I think I would have had slightly more respect for Nelson than I do now. Granted, the amount of respect I have for him now cannot be seen with the Hubble, so ports in storms, but still. Come on. If this was some grand principled stand, if this was some actual issue-based gripe he had instead of the usual adolescent posturing, he’d be mad as hell right now, not giving himself an out to be the puss we always knew he was.