Krugman suggests, simply, "pass the bill." This, of course, is the flawed "health care reform" bill. I will just say that the Senate bill, if anything gets passed, can be reconciled with the inconsistent House bill, and then a bill, by no means good but better than the crap that is left in the Senate bill, can be rammed through via the 51-votes-needed reconciliation process, if the President and the majority leadership have the cojones to do things the way Bush and the Republicans did for years. And, as Krugman notes, the bill can be improved in years to come... I fully agree that if no bill passes now, then we can expect that no health care reform will ever pass.
Well... I'm cynical enough as it is -- I'll give the Administration credit for at least trying to do right on this one, and just not having the ability to get it done, rather than because of any ill-intention. (For ill-intention of the Obama Administration, just read any other post on this blog in the last few months.)
I have long since given up trying to keep up with the public option, the Medicare expansion, or anything else put forth for the sole purpose of disappointing progressives. The Obama Administration feels that it must appease the hard-right elements of its own party, notwithstanding that without them...Obama would have been elected President anyway. As usual, the Administration writes-off the progressive base, without whom... Obama would not have been elected. And, I suppose, if the President is not re-elected in 2012, he can look back at this moment, and note his refusal to stand for any principle, or anything else, or otherwise discipline the wayward members of his own party; he, after all, personally intervened to ensure Joe Lieberman's seniority and committee chairmanship. But some will say this is the "structure" of the Senate and the almighty filibuster. Balls, says I.
Short answer on the filibuster: the time for the Democratic nuclear option has arrived. Simply end it, legitimately, with 60 votes (remember that the Republicans proposed doing it illegitimately with a mere 51 and Dick Cheney's gavel... if only that bluff would have been called!). If appropriate discipline were shown, and an end-the-fililbuster-rules-change were put forth and any Democrat who voted against eliminating the fillibuster were stripped of their seniority... and an actual agenda can be advanced. Accept, of course, that the Democrats like not doing anything... "doing anything" takes valuable time away from campaign fund-raising.
Which is the real problem.
Update: Aside from a commenter noting my evident lack of understanding of the arcana of Senate rules, as of now (12-19-09), it looks like Ben Nelson's back on board... Alrightie then. Dysfunction is the new "yes we can."