Quote(s) Of The Day
Both relate to Ben Nelson being bought off to provide the Democrats’ 60th vote. Oh, and what a bribe it was!
First, David Kotok over at The Big Picture:
Senator Nelson of Nebraska sold his vote in return for special treatment for the Mutual of Omaha insurance company and for perpetual Medicaid funding for his state. He has just set a record for pork. I have not seen the present discounted value of an open-ended perpetual funding for Medicaid for all Nebraskans. Believe me, the other 49 states would like to have it. And if you are a taxpayer in the other 49 states you are going to pay for it.
Now if the good Senator had bargained the abortion issue out of his pure conviction, I would not have agreed with him but I would have respected him for having the courage and honesty to practice politics because of policy. He argued he was maintaining his position out of conviction for an ideal and a belief. But the reality is, he sold his 60th vote for money. He practiced political prostitution.
Infinite future full federal Medicaid funding for Nebraskans? Well, I’ll say one thing for Ben Nelson — he doesn’t come as cheap as Mary Landrieu.
Of course, Ezra Klein (or in this case @ezraklein) thinks this is just tit-for-tat:
Every Republican whining about the deals made to pass health-care reform should demand repeal of Medicare Part D immediately.
Okay. I’m in. Let’s repeal it immediately. Granted, I’m a libertarian, but I think I can speak for many Republicans who were pissed off that their party in Washington ever passed Medicare Part D.
Grassroots Republicans were upset that politicians were being bought off to pass Medicare Part D, a bill we didn’t want in the first place. Did it ever occur to Klein that perhaps we voted Republicans out of office because they were acting too much like Democrats? Grassroots Democrats, however, are pissed off that Ben Nelson was paid so dearly for a bill that didn’t go far enough. I don’t think any Democrat is upset at buying off Ben Nelson, but they’d probably have preferred that Reid at least got a public option or Medicare buy-in if they had to pay him off.