As this health care debate rolls on, I cannot believe that anyone that has risen to the high level of Senate Majority Leader could be so incompetent. Don’t get me wrong; Sen. Harry Reid is certainly incompetence. But his level of incompetence is rising to new levels of greatness.
However, this week, after Reid made an ill-advised association between slavery and the health debate, it looked like he saved the reform bill with a last minute compromise that could allow for passage of the bill in the Senate.
Except, no such compromise ever took place.
According to sources from National Review, there never was any compromise. There was a set of proposals that were being considered, but no grand consensus has been reached.
A senior Senate aide tells us that this report was fueled by a lot of “disinformation” from Reid.
“There is no deal yet and we’re nowhere near one,” says the aide. “Reid is leading a psych-ops campaign out of his leadership office to make people believe there is a deal. Here’s the real story: When Reid came out of conference, only options emerged, not a consensus. Instead of acknowledging this, he’s trying to create a sense of inevitability.”
“There are still two major problems for Reid,” says the aide. “One is the potential trigger in the Office of Personnel Management expansion. That would be a non-starter with at least one member. Two, Reid has problems with his Medicare buy-in idea, since it has not been fully defined to all members. We don’t know whether it will be a temporary program or a permanent Medicare buy-in program. And if premiums can’t sustain the program, will taxpayers be liable? No one knows. It’s being described as something that would be walled-off from Medicare, but there are many lingering liability questions that have yet to be answered.”
“There’s no specific compromise. There were discussions,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said at a press conference Wednesday.
According to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), sending the bill to the CBO was about all the 10 senators agree to do. “We got to a point where we couldn’t go any further until we got scores,” she said. “There are a lot of things on the table still and until, you know, we hear back from CBO it’s going to be hard to see whatever I can support, for sure.”
Now, if this is true, it is one of two things. One, it could be that Reid is truly the most incompetent politician in modern history; a distinct possibility, to be sure. But there is a second possibility: that the Democrats are looking for a scapegoat to focus liberal anger.
Why would Democrats need a scapegoat? Because after 40 years of campaigning, this is as close as liberals will ever get to their grand concept of a single payer health care system. That of course was a nonstarter, but liberals thought they could at least get a foot in the door with the ‘public option’. However, that appears to be dying a slow and painful death as well…to the ire of progressives.
In next year’s off year elections, Democrats are going to have a tough road. But it will be even tougher if liberals feel that the heart of the Democratic Party has abandoned them. Right now, all the enthusiasm is on the right…and if there is that much negativism on the left, there is no way they can compete.
Right now, according to a CNN poll, public opposition to the Obamacare bill is 61%. That is remarkably high. How Democrats can hope to pass that bill and not suffer the anger of voters next year is beyond me. Maybe this scapegoating of Reid is their answer…but that won’t work. The Democrat Party as a whole is to blame, and even the incompetence of their Senate Majority Leader is not to hide the grand incompetence of the Party as a whole.