by Max Brantley
No solid updates yet this morning on where the House vote stands. On the one hand, it sounds like everyone went home, suggesting the 216 cows are in the barn. On the other hand, none of those following the procedure closely come up with more than 210 "aye" votes so far.
Debate rules were set last night. NY Times says it boils down to turning 8 of 19 uncommitted Democrats.
Lame ducks who fear no electoral blowback will be critical. That means U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, who has in several interviews the last week expressed the precise dilemma -- a vote for a step forward versus an opportunity lost for another generation. Will he vote for the status quo because of a hazy and enormously disputed interpretation of the abortion clause?
Berry should read Maureen Dowd this morning. And vote with the nuns, not Bart Stupak and the gang of coverup artists and political bullies he favors.
UPDATE: MSNBC quoting a House Democratic caucus leader as saying the 216 votes are in hand. This at 8 a.m. But later, other reports say the Dems are still two votes short as the Stupak posse works for an executive order to suit them on abortion.