Harry, this is real simple. You’re making the American people pay much too high a price for 60 votes. You’ve got other fish more important than getting 60 votes to fry. The first is that you’ve got to get a strong health insurance reform bill with a PO that will cut costs. The second is that you need to establish your authority as majority leader of the Democratic Party and create party discipline in the Senate.
Let’s look at the second thing first. Throw Joe Lieberman out of the caucus. Tomorrow! If you do, you’ll have no more trouble from Blanche, Mary, Ben, Evan, or any other blue dog again. You won’t have 60 votes for cloture, of course. But let’s be honest. You never needed 60 votes anyway, and you don’t need it now. You can use either reconciliation or the nuclear option to pass reform with 50 + 1 votes. Which brings us to the first, most important, thing you have to do, and that’s pass a good bill for the American people.