Earlier today, we saw that six Senate centrists, are asking Senate leaders to slow down the pace of health care reform efforts. I've explained a number of times why that's a terrible proposition from the perspective of the President and key Democrats. But there's a distinct question about why some Democrats--including a guy like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who'd almost certainly vote for anything to come to the floor between now and August--would want to slow things down.
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Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, has some ideas. "They're trying to become players," he says. And they can't become players unless Obama and others stop to ask, "What do you want time for? What are your concerns? How do we make you feel better about this?"
He also cautions, wisely, that each tepid senator will have his or her own reasons for wanting to delay legislation.
But, intentionally or otherwise, their actions all serve the same ends: buying time to weaken the bill, or to make it harder to pass, or to force leadership into a fight over budget reconciliation. And if these are in fact their goals, they can't, for obvious reasons, give the game away. In fact, they have to be very careful about the entire effort.