In an apparent warning to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), some liberal Democrats have suggested a secret-ballot vote every two years on whether or not to strip committee chairmen of their gavels.
Baucus, who is more conservative than most of the Democratic Conference, has frustrated many of his liberal colleagues by negotiating for weeks with Republicans over healthcare reform without producing a bill or even much detail about the policies he is considering.
sounds good, right? well, until you get to this part:
Harkin and Baucus are on different sides of the question of whether to create a government-run insurance plan.
While Harkin, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, wants a strong public option, Baucus has favored a more modest proposal to set up a co-op program.
Some senators suggest privately that Baucus might be more open to persuasion if his chairmanship is subject to regular votes.
Another senior Democratic senator endorsed Harkin’s suggestion but declined to speak on the record for fear of angering Baucus.
“Put me down as a yes, but if you use my name I’ll send a SWAT team after you,” said the lawmaker when asked about a biennial referendum on chairmen.
Some Democrats have pushed back against criticism of Baucus.A Senate source argued that critics do not have a realistic view of what it takes to enact an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system.
senate/house dems don't even have the testicular fortitude to stand up to their own, how can we expect them to ever stand up to the REAL enemies: republicans, the uber wealthy at the expense of the good of the majority, lobbyists, multinational corporations, wall st., CEO's, ad nauseum.