In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Dems See Political Upside to Republican Obstruction on Health Care


But though time is of the essence, and some on the left are anxious for Democrats to move forward without Republican support, there could be an undiscussed political upside to doing things this way.

"There's a strategic and a message value to letting this play out on the floor for the American people to see," said another Democratic aide. "Especially if this plays out on the floor and Republicans try to kill the bill. [That] would make it easier if we had to come back to a reconciliation."

"We're not losing time by having the debate on the floor and letting the American people see: this is what they're for, this is what they're against, and then if we have to come back we have to come back," the aide added.

Some have noted that Democrats regard using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process as a tool of last resort because they want to have political cover for themselves. But interestingly, they also see holding off as an opportunity to put Republicans on the spot. A little disinfecting sunshine ahead of the 2010 elections, maybe?

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at