Bowers has a full rundown of the Senate reconciliation process. It's going to be very ugly. There will be only Republican amendments. The Democrats will not be adding a public option. (Why they played the game of saying they might for the past few months is anybody's guess...)
But here's the real beaut:
Since Senate Democrats have pledged to vote against any and all amendments, the Republican strategy now focuses on getting Democrats to vote against things like denying Viagra to convicted sex offenders. The goal is to then use these votes for soundbites in attacks ads in November. Brian Beutler:
As the Senate gets closer to voting on a health care reconciliation bill, the Republican strategy to derail the Democrats' plans is getting creative--and dirty. Their strategy is clear: with Democrats determined to pass a clean bill, Republicans will force them to vote down politically juiced-up amendments, and likely turn them into political ads meant to characterize Dems as sympathetic to sex offenders and fraudsters.
At this point, Republicans are just using the health reform bill as an organizing moment. They are list-building and preparing attack ads. However, Democrats have actually raised more money than Republicans since Sunday.
These are the same people who have been screaming about abusing the rules of the congress.
If people know and understand what they are doing only the veriest teabagger would approve. It's juvenile and dishonest on a level that's surprising even for the Republicans. The press has a huge responsibility to explain this right now and pound the point home. Let's see if they do their jobs or if they are now bored with health care and want to go back to Tiger and Jesse James.