“Anyone who is concerned with deficit spending should be pleased with this improved bill. Cost containment, reigning in insurance companies’ abusive practices, stabilizing Missouri families’ health care costs, and deficit reduction are all accomplished in this bill. It won’t happen overnight, but it puts us on a course to controlling our deficit. Reducing our deficit by a trillion and a half dollars over 20 years is huge.” –Claire McCaskill, December 19, 2009

Yesterday, right after the news broke that Reid had secured sixty cloture votes and the Manager’s Amendment was being read, I sent an email to a friend who happens to be a staffer in Senator McCaskill’s office and asked him to call me at his convenience (that’s just courtesy, people…staffers work hard and I don’t care if you do have their phone numbers. You don’t use them on a Saturday morning after a week like they just had. Email or text first.) Anyway, he called me back a few minutes later, and we had a long chat about the process of getting where we are.

We agreed that it has been an exhausting, heartbreaking, infuriating, wonderful, terrible, brutal process and while imperfect, the end product is a good start. At the end of our conversation I asked him to please be sure to email me when Claire issued a statement, and late yesterday evening he did so.

Here is the thing I keep thinking about…Twice before we have walked away with no loaf instead of half. And isn’t one definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result?Remember, Teddy Kennedy went to his grave regretting he didn’t take the deal Nixon offered him nearly forty years ago. He turned it down thinking he could come back and get more a bit later. Oops.

I give Claire a hard time when I don’t think that she is progressive enough or liberal enough. But she doesn’t just run in KC and StL. The outstate folks who are all about god and guns get a say in who represents us in the Senate, too. They are the ones who abandoned the Democrats for Reagan, and we haven’t gotten them back yet. The only Democratic Congressman we have from outstate is Ike Skelton, and he is no liberal. A Sanders or Feingold type candidate for Senate that tickled our fancy over here in the People’s Republic of Kansas City would lose by thirty points in November, and deep down inside we all know it. A true liberal can’t get elected to the Senate in Missouri. Period. In other words…you know how we in these parts are so fond of that thing Molly said about dancin’ with them what brung ya? Well guess what? We don’t always get to lead, or even call the tune.

Crossposted from They Gave Us a Republic