Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Weiner: "I Don't See Any Way" I Can Vote For Bill Without Public Option

One would figure that after all this time, the Progressie Caucus would understand that they have to stand for something to have any clout or respect.

We now have a House Dem who's not a member of the progressive caucus signaling he won’t vote for a health care bill without a public option.

Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner, who’s taken on a counterintuitive and increasingly high profile role defending the public plan, just said for the first time in an interview with me that he doesn’t see "any way" he can vote for a bill without the public option in it.

"I don't see how I could," said Weiner, when I asked whether he'd vote for a bill without a robust public plan. "I dont see any way I could." His throwing down of the gauntlet is more striking when you consider that he’s known at home in New York as a moderate who's not known for bucking leadership.

Indeed, Weiner also suggested that liberals should defy the President and Nancy Pelosi and oppose a bill without a public option. If not, they only have only themselves to blame for their lack of clout relative to, say, Blue Dog Dems, he added.

"All of the protest letters in the world don’t add up to much if you don’t finally stand up and vote No on something the President and Nancy want," Weiner said. "There is clearly a sense that progressives in Congress are easily rolled."

"If the Congressional left can’t pass even something as modest as a watered down public option, then frankly I don’t think anyone is going to take the left very seriously later on in this Congress," Weiner continued. "When Blue Dogs talk, there are fewer of them but they have more influence than when progressives talk."

Said Weiner: "You can only shake the saber so often before someone expects you to use it."

Source: The Plum Line

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