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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First you say you will, then you won't...

Who knew you would need Dramamine to keep up with the Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary?

But in an outstanding display of political dexterity, Rep. Mike Capuano has emulated the new senior senator by declaring he was for the bill before he will be against it. And in the process, proved once again why people curse politicians.

To a seasoned observer (translate that into any insult you wish), posturing is a legislative art form. You say or do something one day to build an alliance or further a goal, then reverse direction if you didn't succeed in nudging the project in the way you wanted it to go.

It's part of the reason why lawmaking is compared to sausage making.

Capuano, of course, blasted Attorney General Martha Coakley for saying she would have voted against the House-passed health care bill because of the abortion restrictions inserted to make it more palatable to some Democrats. Capuano said his goal was to move the legislation forward.

Now, in a dizzying turnaround, Capuano says he would not vote for the final bill to emerge from conference if the abortion restriction is still there.
“If the bill comes back the same way as it left the House, I would vote against it,’’ Capuano said in an interview. “I am a prochoice person, and I do believe this is [necessary] to provide health care for everyone.’’
That is not an unusual stance for a legislator, although as John Kerry learned it is really damaging to a politician. Whether it will be as tough on Capuano remains to be seen (and it will be seen, over and over, in Coakley commercials).

And while my comparisons may not be as classically rooted as those of Scot Lehigh, I do share his concern whether health care coverage is available for the orthopedic consult needed to get a foot out of a person's mouth.

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