Even accepting an absurd system where one single senator can thwart the will of the majority simply by waffling on indefinitely, it’s not really as devastating a defeat for progressives as it initially looks. First, the Democrats’ current healthcare proposals are a complete cop-out anyway, and in some ways even worse for the poor than the status quo, so big deal if they’re defeated.
And second, maybe it’ll encourage the Democrats to GROW SOME BLOODY BALLS. If they’d actually bothered to stick to the original proposal for which the electorate voted – a “government option” that actually covered all Americans – then maybe their voters would’ve bothered to turn out in Massachusetts to counter the conservatives. Trying for a compromise didn’t mollify their opponents – all it did was disappoint their supporters. In an optional-voting system, that’s a real problem.
I’m not holding my breath for the Democrats to wake up, though. It must be so depressing being a progressive in that country and being unable to vote for anyone else without helping the Republicans.
UPDATE: Monday night’s Daily Show anticipating the result.