Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whip Counts vs. Coordination

I highly recommend Jeff Zeleny's article in the NYT describing what's actually happening, or at least what I assume is actually happening, as the Democrats continue to coordinate the vote on health care.  It's not about "getting" to 216; it's about coordinating to make sure they're at 216 (or, remembering MMM, perhaps 217) with the least damage to marginal Members.  That doesn't preclude some serious fights, but they're probably in the context of everyone realizing that they absolutely must  pass the bill, and that some Members are going to have to cast a vote they would rather not cast. 

(It's good stuff, although I'd skip the extraneous quote by McConnell in the last paragraph, which feels shoehorned in in some sort of silly quest to appear unbiased.  The truth is that Republicans are pretty irrelevant to this story.  All the hoopla and what have you about procedure are just fodder for their talk shows and fundraising letters.  They know they can't derail this, and I've thought for some time now that they're not really trying to, anyway).

And yet, I have to 'fess up; despite all that, I'm still obsessively checking David Dayen's whip count far more times a day than I'd care to admit.  I don't think I should.  I don't think it's adding useful information to me.  I mean, I think he's doing an excellent job of reporting...I just think that the reality is almost certainly Zeleny's story, not Dayen's whip count.  As I've said, don't pay much attention to those who say they'll vote no, because they can always switch, even at the last minute.  I suppose the whip count is sort of backup just in case I'm misunderstanding something.  Or maybe it's like watching the countdown clock on CNN before the polls close.  All I know is, I'm checking it.

Oh well.  At least some Members of the House get a little national attention for a change.  Good for them.  

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