Remember earlier this year when the new era of hope and change was ushered into Washington, D.C. and President Barack Obama made the statement on day one his policies would "represent a clean break from business as usual"?
Not so fast says Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post and Fox News regular. Krauthammer on the Nov. 20 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report with Bret Baier" explained that a certain provision put into to the Senate version of health care legislation to favor undecided Democratic senators, specifically Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., represents a different brand of politics from what Obama advertised (emphasis added).
"You asked what [Sen.] Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will ask for," Krauthammer said. "Well, after watching Louisiana get $100 million in what have some have called 'The Louisiana Purchase,' she ought to ask for $500 million at least. And that's because Obama said he would end business as usual in Washington. If you look at the sections, it is 2006 in which the Louisiana money, it looks as if it is provision for all states which have had a proclamation of a disaster area in the last seven years, and then the fine print inside eliminates all the others except Louisiana. So it's a new kind of business as usual. I think that Steve [Hayes] is right. There is almost no way imaginable that the vote will fail tomorrow. If it is, it is the ultimate humiliation. It's the rejection of the debate even before it starts."
Krauthammer explained the ultimate passage of this bill in the U.S. Senate isn't a foregone conclusion - there are still some questions about abortion that could alter votes in the end.
"I think the Democrats who, even Lincoln who will have to be for re-election, will have a second shot at killing the bill later after the amendments," Krauthammer continued. "All of this is, are we going to have the beginning of a debate? Now, you've got Nelson, who is against the abortion provisions. He will allow a debate, but if it's not changed in the course of these amendments, he will oppose the bill at the end, which is why I think the bill at the end is going to strip out all the abortion stuff."
The other issue beyond abortion that could alter the outcome is the public option, a policy issue pushed by many on the far left, but could change one or two votes, according to the Post columnist.
"And then on the private -- on the public option, they're going to lose Lieberman in the end, not tomorrow night, but in the end if it stays in. But they could possibly gain Olympia Snowe of Maine if a trigger is in," Krauthammer continued. "So it can in the end pass, but it has to be amended in precisely the right way."