From E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post:
Take yourself back to the endless wrangling in Sen. Max Baucus’ Finance Committee – or, more particularly, among his select “gang of six,” including three Republicans, two of whom clearly never had any intention of voting for health-care reform. They negotiated and negotiated and negotiated and negotiated — and got nowhere. Baucus failed to produce a draft bill before the August recess. The Democrats’ summer of discontent and the tea party madness followed.
This, it turns out, was a crucial moment. It set back the schedule for a health-care bill by at least a month, maybe two. There was no urgency in the Baucus process. Now there is urgency. And that gave Joe Lieberman his near dictatorial powers to kill a Medicare buy-in proposal that he had supported as recently as three months ago.