Reid Scraps Bipartisan Jobs Bill, Democratic Meltdown Continues
Watching a car-wreck in slow motion.
10:51 AM, Feb 12, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Last night, after Max Baucus and Charles Grassley spent weeks negotiating a bipartisan jobs bill, Harry Reid scuttled their efforts and put forward his own $15 billion plan. Democrats, Republicans, and the White House all were caught off guard. Reid's new plan is limited to the Schumer-Hatch payroll tax credit, highway spending, and a few other measly programs. That bellow you hear is the Obama-isn't-liberal-enough left.
Also note that the Reid bill is about a tenth of the size of the House bill. Will Pelosi like Reid's version any better?
The chances that Obama's latest top priority will expire in conference just increased. If that happens, and the Democrats fail to pass health care via budget reconciliation, his agenda will be a total shambles. The left will abandon him. Discontent with Washington will continue to grow. A "campaign of brazen honesty with the American people" won't be any help, either. That only would make Obama look like a scold (which he already is).
Ensconced in the cocoon, the White House may continue to believe that polling shows an "Edge for Obama Over G.O.P. Among the Public." Such illusions may be comforting. But they are also dangerous.
Then again, at least the White House won't have to worry about Harry Reid a year from now.