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Health-Care Debate Gets Really Weird: Coburn Prays to Smite Enemies, Whitehouse Says GOP Hearts Aryans, Dean Dials It Back, and Everybody Hates Ben Nelson

Keep 100 senators on a round-the-clock schedule and you get a deal that nobody likes, plus a lot of strange behavior. But it's a deal.
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At 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time this fine Solstice, the Senate voted to bring a health-care reform bill to the floor. The procedural vote known as cloture required 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster, and the Democrats managed to pull off a straight party-line vote after a lot of ugly horse-trading.

Despite the nearly two feet of snow that enveloped the Capitol in the last days of Advent, no one seemed to be much in the holiday spirit, except, perhaps, for Howard Dean, the former DNC chairman and Vermont governor who had been leading a progressive revolt against the deal negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the Nevada senator traded away any vestige of a public health-insurance plan in order to get his 60 votes.

Last week, Dean told MSNBC that he would advise senators to vote against the bill, but by Sunday morning, he was in a more generous mood, telling David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," that he was withholding judgment until the Senate bill was reconciled with the House bill in a conference committee (video after the jump).

While Dean may have handed his old nemesis, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a late Hannukah present, it seemed that he was among the very few in a generous mood.

VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.