The backlash has begun.
Senator Roland W. Burris, Democrat of Illinois, has vowed that he will not vote for a health care bill that does not include a government-run insurance plan, or public option.
And on Monday, after Democrats indicated that they were prepared to meet the demands of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and strip the last vestige of a public option from their bill, Mr. Burris went to the Senate floor to warn that he had not committed to vote for the legislation.
Mr. Burris, however, did calibrate his language: “I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option: competition, cost savings and accountability,” he said. “I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals.”
He added: “My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine.”
With a dramatic flourish, Mr. Burris said: “As Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, ‘All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.’”
So … the man who was appointed to replace Obama in the Senate under a massive swarm of controversy – who, BTW, is not going to run for this seat in 2010 – could be the one who ends up derailing one of the signature issues of his presidency. Wouldn’t that be rich?