Glenn Greenwald details the spineless weaseling of the Democrats in the Congress:
All year long, [Congressional Democrats] insisted that the White House and a majority of Democratic Senators vigorously supported a public option, but .. sadly, we have 50 but not 60 votes for it….. [A]dvocates of the public option kept arguing that the public option could be accomplished by reconciliation — where only 50 votes, not 60, would be required — but Obama loyalists scorned that reconciliation proposal, insisting (at least before the Senate passed a bill with 60 votes) that using reconciliation was Unserious, naive, procedurally impossible, and politically disastrous. But all those claims were put to the test — all those bluffs were called — once the White House decided that it had to use reconciliation to pass a final health care reform bill. That meant that any changes to the Senate bill (which had passed with 60 votes) — including the addition of the public option — would only require 50 votes, which Democrats assured progressives all year long that they had. Great news for the public option, right? Wrong. As soon as it actually became possible to pass it, the 50 votes magically vanished. … Once reconciliation gave them the opportunity they claimed all year long they needed — a “majority rule” system — they began concocting ways to ensure that it lacked 50 votes.