Dick Durbin was just on Morning Joe and Joe asked him if a bill without a public option could get 60 Democratic votes, his answer was, paraphrasing, that he could get 60 votes if there was something in the bill that could be called a public option. Joe inquired "triggers? Co-ops?" and I don’t remember specifically what Durbin’s reaction was but it was one of approval or implied approval.
Make no mistake: a "trigger" is nothing more than a legislative tool that allows lawmakers to claim that they support something without actually having supported it, it lets them have their cake and eat it too. It is the same kind of tactic that is used when lawmakers vote for a bill that they know won’t pass, they can then go back home and say "I tried" when they really didn’t.
Our bought lawmakers are trying to find a way to stay bought with respect to health care reform but also to be able to tell the public that "they tried" when they really didn’t (cake!) and a "trigger" allows them that very wiggle room.
To be fair, it was not specifically the "trigger" that was proposed to appease DFH’s on the Public Option to which Senator Graham was referring but it makes not difference to the larger point; in one sentence during the GOP "response" to Obama’s interview on Meet the Press (balance!), Senator Graham exposes the concept of a "trigger" for the sham that it is:
When he says it won’t add a penny to the deficit, then the next sentence out of his mouth, “And if it does we’ll pull a trigger to stop the spending.” We’ve never pulled any triggers in any other bills.
Read that again:
We’ve never pulled any triggers in any other bills.