Ezra Klein summarizes:
Barney Frank walked back his unexpected comment that health care was dead now that Democrats only had 59 seats in the Senate. "I have realized that my statement last night was more pessimistic than is called for," he said, admitting that he had been "perhaps overreacting." Later on, he told Brian Beutler [God was I glad to see that come down on his twitter feed] that "I'm strongly inclined to vote for the thing."
News that Barack Obama had told ABC that he wanted a pared-down bill led to instant and aggressive push back from the White House. As they pointed out, he didn't actually say that in the interview (it was a reporter's interpretation), and they released their own statement saying his preferences remain constant (though the statement is notably vague). Sources also say that the White House is letting the immediate shock of Brown's election settle, and that the president will be significantly more involved in the days to come.
So the plan is to have the House pass the Senate version, and then to make any changes via the reconciliation process. Reconciliation is not capable of doing things like banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, but it can adjust budgetary matters such as subsidies and the exact dimensions of the excise tax on Cadillac insurance plans. It is by no means clear that we’ll win this, but it looks like we’re actually going to fight.
So not sure where the rally started, but someone’s done a good job calming the horses. Seems like the House leadership was keeping their powder dry until they had a chance to get everyone on the same page, we’ll see if the Speaker makes a statement soon. All that said, today was literally terrifying, those acting as the face of the party panicked because we went from 60 seats in the Senate to 59. To shorten a Kevin Drum round-up: this was disgusting. All that said, even though the best shot is the Senate version improved by reconciliation, this still has the potential to be the greatest liberal victory of all the years I’ve been alive, let alone the ones I’ve been politically aware.