The Devil’s Bargain

by Dave Schuler on July 10, 2014

In E. J. Dionne’s most recent column, in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is portrayed as a sort of saintly character, striving against the evils of rejectionist Republicans, I note that Mr. Dionne fails to mention Sen. Reid’s many changes in Senate rules which in aggregate and especially with respect to Sen. Reid’s refusal to allow amendments from the floor, presents Senate Republicans with only two alternatives: affirm or deny. That’s a Hobson’s choice which is to say no choice at all. Under the circumstances it’s a bit facetious to condemn them for rejectionism.

Should Republicans take the position of flatly opposing everything that the president wants? No. Should Democrats block them even from participating in the crafting of legislation? No. Should the president have done and be doing more to cultivate a relationship with Congressional Republicans that would facilitate a more collegial approach to government? Yes.

Apportion blame to your heart’s delight. There’s plenty to go around. Doing the people’s business will require Republicans to compromise, Democrats to compromise, and the president to compromise.

Also, with November in mind, do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Guarneri July 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

I don’t read EJ Dionne. But I must say, I can’t imagine the motivation to read anyone who can paint Harry Reid as saintly. Life is short.

steve July 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I agree that it is hard to se Reid as saintly, or any politician for that matter. Sure, the Dems take some blame here, but again, game this out. What possible advantage does a GOP senator have in compromising? What are his risks? Now, tell me why they would compromise? (Don’t read Dionne either. I understand the concept of taking one for the team, but doesn’t this verge on masochism?)

Steve

michael reynolds July 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm

It’s nonsense to imagine that Mr. Obama could have ever gotten along with Mr. Boehner. Thad Cochran was just nearly knocked off as too liberal and too accommodating. In that environment GOP nihilism is the smart political move.

In other news of Mr. Obama’s abject failure, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/upshot/newest-health-insurance-customers-are-generally-happy.html?rref=upshot&_r=0 :

What was more surprising is that people who got the new coverage were generally happy with the product. Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans. Even 77 percent of people who had insurance before — including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year — were happy with their new coverage.

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