Monday, October 26, 2009
Hammer Time With Harry Reid: Public Option, Can't Touch This!
That other Mormon politician not named Mittens, frail Senate majority leader Harry Reid is getting ready to unveil his health care proposal this afternoon, despite urging from the White House and Nancy Pelosi to kindly disappear in the Nevada desert and keep his dirty paws to himself or risk getting the sh*t slapped out of him by a certain Madame Speaker.
But Harry has never been one to listen to others, especially in the form of advice from the President or dismal approval numbers in every public opinion poll, which is why he will announce plans to push ahead with a public option vote--one that includes an opt-out provision for states--since he's spent the entire weekend begging members to pretty please support his measure cause he really doesn't want to get sent back to that Nevada hell he came from, a sad, broken man.
But the White House is nervous that this wisp of a Senate leader may imperil their chances of a bipartisan health care bill by alienating some Snow(e) woman from Maine and the one Republican whose idea of health care reform isn't limited to euthanizing Obama.
"In case the White House hasn't noticed, Republicans in Congress are engaged in what amounts to a sitdown strike. They don't like anything about Obama or his policies; they have no interest in seeing him succeed," Newsweek's Howard Fineman writes. "Despite the occasional protestation to the contrary, the GOP has no intention of helping him pass any legislation. Snowe may very well end up voting for whatever she and Democrats craft, but that won't make the outcome bipartisan any more than dancing shoes made Tom DeLay Fred Astaire...Worse, the pursuit of Snowe isn't uniting Democrats; it is dividing them."
Yes, but at least the Dems have secured their own Ginger Rogers to help dance their health care reform through Congress, even if it ends up injured, limping and breathing on a respirator. Anything's better than Tom DeLay in sparkly tights and a unitard.
Fineman continues that "some form of a public option is favored not only by most Democrats in Congress but by most of the American people. If Obama and the Democrats really want such a plan, they may as well try to get tough. For inspiration, the president might consider a Longfellow poem: "'In this world, a man must either be an anvil or a hammer.'"
Otherwise, we all get screwed.
Luckily, this 70-year-old convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just the man for the job. They don't call him Harry "Mason" Reid for nothing.