Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I like it, I just don't think other people will

Max Baucus' logic in voting down a public option yesterday was odd. He claimed he wasn't opposed to the public option, but he didn't think it would win 60 votes on the Senate floor. This is interesting from the perspective on the literature on congressional committees (Kiewit & McCubbins, Cox & McCubbins, etc.), which suggests that in a strongly partisan era, committees will try to reflect the preferences of the median member of the majority party. Yet here, Baucus seems to be trying to reflect the chamber median.

But another interesting point, as Ezra Klein notes, is the following question: Exactly which Democrats are planning to filibuster President Obama's signature piece of legislation? I don't think any of them are, which makes Baucus' move even weirder.


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