Handy excuse or warning shot across Big Labor’s bow?  Michael Bennett (D-CO) hadn’t even appeared on the Democratic waverer contingent in the Senate on Card Check.  Now, suddenly, Bennett is telling constituents to take the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to heart (via Greg Sargent):

“We’re going to have to see whether or not there’s a consensus that can be reached that makes it something that can be passed because right now there isn’t something that can be passed,” Bennet told the group at New Belgium.

He said he’s concerned by the hard feelings that are developing on the issue, among organized labor on one side and small-business owners on the other. He said those groups can be allies on many issues, particularly health-care reform, and can’t let the EFCA debate splinter relationships.

“Temperatures are running high on both sides of this. We need to make sure that no matter how this turns out … that we’ve got all hands on deck working on health-care reform because this is the year to get that done,” he said.

I’m guessing this is a mixture of both excuse and warning siren.  He’s right about the employers being a potentially big ally in the push to nationalize health insurance; if they can get those costs off of their books, then they can look healthy — even though the government bite will probably wind up being worse in the end.  Small business owners can eliminate a big competitive disadvantage over larger corporations if Obamacare comes to fruition, and it’s not like businesses of any size have shown much aptitude for long-term thinking recently.

But if labor keeps pushing on Card Check, Bennett appears to warn, they can kiss that cooperation good-bye on health care reform.  Sargent thinks the danger in this argument is giving more Dems cover to break ranks on Card Check, but that ship has sailed, my friend.  Democrats may not have a majority now, even if they could get cloture, which they can’t.  Bennett’s warning that beating a dead horse will put other horses on life support, and he may be right.

Previous posts on Card Check: