So Representative Stepahnie Herseth Sandlin votes against the American Clean Energy and Security Act (cap and trade and more). She does so not for the Kucinichian reason that it doesn't do enough, but the conservative reason that it does too much. I can maybe live with that, because I've heard some good arguments on how certain aspects of the bill are handouts for big power companies that would come out of Midwestern pockets.
But then she votes for the Food Safety Enhancement Act—twice! It passed on a repeat vote yesterday—even though lots of folks like me see the legislation burdening small farmers and not targeting the big-Ag perpetrators of food health problems.
And now Herseth Sandlin says she can't support the health care reform bill in its current form. She says H.R. 3200—which has the public option, the sine qua non of health care reform—is too liberal. She signals (see HogHouse and Wayne Ortman's AP story) that she is lining up behind the Baucus-Gang-of-6 Senate plan, which is cave-in to the insurance industry lobbyists who will give their left foot to keep us from getting more choice and competition via a public option.
Now I'm not trying to have us all "scream at each other from the extreme," but I have to ask: if Stephanie doesn't vote my way on the big timber, why do I vote for her?
Oh well—that's what I get for representing the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.
Update: SHS, if you're concerned about your ability to sell a public option to your South Dakota constituency, read Paul Krugman. He reminds us that government is the only reason health care coverage works at all in America. A little more government—i.e., the public option—will make it work better.
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