Congressman Keith Ellison was so solidly in support of a public option that I would ignore the emails coming from Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.com urging me to make sure my Congressman was on board. In June, 2009, Ellison said:
I will not vote for any healthcare that does not include a public option. I will not do it, that’s a guaranteed no vote and I will not be dissuaded from that.
The commenters to that post lauded the Congressman and were jealous of me and my fellow Minneapolitans.
Then in late December, in an interview with Politics in Minnesota, Ellison would not rule out voting for a bill that did not include a public option:
‘That has not happend yet,’ he said of the prospect of voting on a bill without a public option. ‘I’m not there yet. I’ll deal with that when it comes up.’
So on Friday I called his Washington office to find out what was up. I was told that circumstances were changed and he was listening to his constituents. I asked if he was being dissuaded now, and when he said, “I will not be dissauded,” did he really mean it. I asked what he meant by “a guaranteed no vote” in June. And finally I asked if when I hear him say something in June, I should wait until December to see if it was true.
I’m learning. Don’t count your chickens or representatives until they’ve hatched.