Harry Reid’s mania to get to 60 votes, regardless of public sentiment, and, indeed, regardless of what’s actually in the health-care bill, may, at last, be turning against Senator Reid. Senator Dick Durbin, the second ranking senator on the Democrat side, made an astonishing admission in replying to a question from John McCain (as reported by Byron York):
“I would say to the senator from Arizona that I am in the dark almost as much as he is, and I am in the leadership.” Durbin explained that during a Democratic caucus, Reid and the small group of senators involved in crafting the bill turned to their fellow Democrats and “basically stood and said, ‘We are sorry, we can’t tell you in detail what was involved.’”
Durbin went on to blame the CBO, but I think it’s fair to say that Reid is responsible for the big push—and the secretive manner in which much business is being conducted.
Jennifer Rubin of Commentary has an astute post on how Harry blotched last week: Sen. Harry Reid threw a long bomb in an act of desperation. Recognizing that there was no deal on the public option, Reid resuscitated an old liberal gambit — expanding Medicare. But the questions and contradictions came flooding forth. How was this be paid for? Wouldn’t the buy-in cost be too expensive? How could we dump millions of older, sicker people into Medicare while slashing hundreds of billions in funding from the program? It frankly makes no sense…. In a sense, Reid clarified what many suspected was going on. The Democrats had ceased trying to craft a workable bill and had decided to pass something, anything, and fix it later. By choosing an approach so obviously hare-brained, however, Reid deprived his party of the pretense that they were engaged in serious lawmaking.