I just realized that Baucus has orchestrated his committee's hearings to defeat the public option.
First, he put the two public option amendments up before Conrad's co-op amendment. Now, Conrad's amendment has not a chance in hell of passing. It won't get any Republican votes and not enough Dem. votes to pass - but by bringing it up after the public option amendments, Baucus assures a "no" vote from Conrad on the public option amendments.
Second, by bringing them up near the start of deliberations rather than at the end, the proposers can't point to all of the failings in the Chairman's mark because Baucus can always assert that "amendment such-and-such" will solve that problem.
I sincerely hope that his poll ratings drop like the proverbial lead balloon.