Center Remains Elusive Despite Snowe’s Support
The political center remains elusive in the health care debate, despite Democrats' glee after one version of the bill received a GOP vote, Politico reports. "If Democratic leadership hoped Republican Olympia Snowe's decision to cross party lines Tuesday would inspire her fellow middle-of-the-roaders, they were mistaken." Rather than echoing her show of support, moderates like Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., have focused on the caveats that accompanied her committee vote. "I think she's been careful to say that she supports it coming out of committee, but no guarantees on final passage because it's going to change quite a bit between now and then," Pryor said (O'Connor and Frates, 10/14).
Divisions and infighting have come to characterize this session of Congress, CNN reports. "The Democratic leadership, most recently, has butted heads over health care, and, throughout Obama's term, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats have had a hard time swallowing the massive increases in government spending." But, Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist points out, the fights are "absolutely expected," and that the shared vision of many citizens and reports of a "smooth-running machine called government" is a myth (Keck, 10/13).