Saturday, February 27, 2010

Worst Democrat of the Day: Ben Nelson, quasi-Republican

Democrats may have to abandon their effort for comprehensive healthcare legislation in favor of a piecemeal approach, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Friday.

Nelson, a centrist Democrat whose vote is critical to the fate of healthcare reform in the Senate, said that while he's inclined to support a majority-vote maneuver to pass a bill, he's unsure Senate Democrats will be able to do so.

"I don't know if we can get a comprehensive bill through," Nelson said during an interview on KLIN radio in Nebraska. "Honestly, I just don't know."

"We may be forced to doing healthcare -- to use my analogy -- by making a pie a piece at a time, which is typically not the preferred way to handle legislation," the senator added.

TNR's Jonathan Cohn says "[t]his seems to be his way of doing business. He'll grumble a lot, particularly when addressing his more conservative constituents, but that doesn't always foretell how he'll vote."

And, of course, Democrats don't necessarily need his vote. (The Hill's post is misleading, if not downright wrong.)

Still, when he's not an outright obstacle, he's a real nuisance, not least when he just seems to be regurgitating Republican talking points.

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