Why Is Everyone Freaking Out over Olympia Snowe's Health Care Vote?

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will vote for the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill, but only today, and there's no guarantee she'll vote for the same bill tomorrow, because how else will she keep people paying attention to her?

Snowe's announcement that she'll support the bill currently being voted on in the finance committee should, in a rational world, mean nothing: There's no doubt that the bill is going to get voted out of committee. And while obviously one more vote for health care reform in the full Senate is an important thing, Snowe's vote alone doesn't guarantee the 60-vote majority that Senate Democrats are insisting on for passage—there are plenty of wavering Democrats, like Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who remain noncommittal. So why is everyone freaking out about Snowe right now? Because, according to Politico, "Snowe's buy-in could make it easier for Baucus and Reid to sell reform to moderate Democrats." Awesome to know that folks are going to base their votes on how some lady from another state and another party votes, rather than, say, the substance of the bill they're voting on or what their constituents want.

Also: Snowe's vote doesn't matter because she has not committed to repeating it, even if the final Senate bill is precisely the same. "My vote today is my vote today," she said. "It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow." Who knows how she'll vote tomorrow? This lady could do anything, so whatever you do, don't stop listening to and reporting everything she says.