Democratic whip says they don’t have the votes
On Face the Nation at 10:30 a.m., Bob Schieffer asked Democratic whip James Clyburn (paraphrase), “You’ve been saying all along that you will have the votes. Do you have the votes?” Clyburn then gave a two minute meandering answer in which he expatiated on such irrelevancies as racial disparities in health care, then he finally indicated that, no, they don’t have the 216 votes, and, moreover, that they will not speak about the 216 votes until they’re on the floor and actually have the votes. It looks as though the world has finally caught on to the fact that the Democrats are the boy who keeps crying, “I have the votes.”
Schieffer said that by CBS’s count, the Dems are six votes short. The remaining Stupak group consists of six members, and apparently the leadership is still trying to craft language that will get the Stupakites aboard.
UPDATE 11:12 a.m. Meanwhile, political analysis Sean Trende at RCP (if his real name is Sean Trende, my real name is Lawrence Blog), in an article dated yesterday, adds up the difficulties the Democrats face (none of which have changed since yesterday) and concludes that he “wouldn’t put the odds of passage anywhere near the 80 [percent] or so that Intrade is predicting.” He says it’s more like 50 percent, or even a bit lower.
With all this doubt out there, I’m reminded again how wrong it was for the likes of Larry Sabato, Charles Krauthammer, and AllahPundit to pronounce days ago with such certitude that the bill would pass. They may have believed it would pass, but they sure didn’t know that it would pass. Rush Limbaugh did the same with the comprehensive immigration bill in 2007, declaring over and over again that the bill would pass, and then it didn’t pass.
And speaking of AllahPundit, his colleague at Hot Hair, Ed Morrissey, goes through many of the factors I’ve been discussing this morning and also finds an open field, with the Democrats facing many difficulties. He also stresses that the whereabouts of California Democrat Loretta Sanchez are still unknown, and that the Dems are worrying she may not show up for the vote. He reports, in a gain for our side, that Glenn Nye has announced he will vote no, but that Marcy Kaptur, one of the Stupak group, has announced that she will vote yes.