“Fine, then it’s dead.”

Smoke up, Barry.

Sometimes you just need a smoke.

So says Senator Kent Conrad:

Conrad, who has been open to reconciliation as long as the fixes are limited, said the order must be reversed. The House must pass the Senate bill first — before either chamber considers the reconciliation package, he said.

“I don’t know of any way, I don’t know of any way where you can have a reconciliation bill pass before the bill that it is meant to reconcile passes,” said Conrad, who would be a central figure on the Senate floor if Democrats embark on the complicated process. “I don’t know how you would deal with the scoring. I don’t know how I could look you in the eye and say this package reduces the deficit. It’s kind of got the cart before the horse.”

When reminded that House Democrats don’t want to do health care in that order, Conrad said bluntly: “Fine, then it’s dead.”

Jennifer Rubin sums up:

So heading into tomorrow’s summit we see that, indeed, there is less here than meets the eye. Obama has a proposal with no CBO score, no popular mandate, and no congressional majority. He better have an exit strategy.

If this health care monstrosity is actually dead dead dead, then we’ve really dodged a bullet.  Next agenda item will be flushing all the waste out of Congress and beginning the process of reestablishing Constitutional governance.  Of course, that will also require someone new heading up the Executive branch as well; but I suppose (hope?) that 2012 will be here sooner than we imagine.

“Unacceptable” – Dennis Kucinich isn’t thrilled with Obama’s new plan.

Barack Obama, 2005: “You know, the Founders designed this system, as frustrating it is, to make sure that there’s a broad consensus before the country moves forward.”