Reader Gherald L. wrote a sharp response on his blog to a post I wrote on Blue Dog Democrats and why I think Harry Reid is a tool. There’s a great conversation going on in the comments on my earlier post. Check it out.
Update: Harry Reid signals that he is ready, willing and able to grab his ankles for the Republican/Blue Dog opposition:
Senate Majority Leader Reid said today he would drop a cram-down provision from a House-passed banking bill if the language threatened to keep the Senate from passing the overall bill. The provision would allow a bankruptcy judge to reduce a homeowner’s mortgage principal. “If we can’t get the votes for that, and I am hopeful we can — I am semiconfident we can — then what I’ll do is take that off [the bill] and do the other banking provisions,” Reid said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. Reid said he would work to keep the package intact, but raising the prospect of pulling the provision seemed to acknowledge assertions by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and others that the cram-down bill cannot pass due to opposition from Republicans and some Democratic moderates.Digby notes:
Apparently, the “compromise” is to only apply cramdown to subprime mortgages, which sounds terrific, right? Except, as Kagro points out here, most of the subprime mortgages have already defaulted. So that’s all over. The big money boyz don’t want regular qualified borrowers who are caught up in the recessionary blowback of unemployment and soaring uncovered health care costs to be able to renegotiate mortgages through bankruptcy. Moral hazard, dontcha know. Because, gawd knows, these lending institutions are all about morality.Now, I don’t think it’s wrong to compromise. Nor do I hereby anoint the cramdown provision with perfection and holiness. No, I don’t think that Obama walks on water, and no, I don’t think that every proposal to issue forth from his saintly lips is heavenly gospel. What I do find concerning, however, is that the Conservadems are already, after only two months into a new administration, threatening to sink major parts of Obama’s legislation at the behest of the Republicans. This is exactly what they did to the Clinton health care plan in 1993 and how the abomination of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was created.
Update 2: More evidence supporting my conclusion that Harry Reid is a tool:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that John Roberts misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be a moderate – and that the United States is now “stuck” with him as chief justice.Seriously? Little, delicate Harry Reid was waylaid and bamboozled on the plantation by the fast-talkin’ Salesman Roberts from the Big City who, with his fancy words, did force — force, I say! — Mr. Reid to part with his cherished, and often-clutched, pearls? I declare!
As publius notes:
Ah yes, no one could have predicted…. Please. The Senate isn’t the most discerning bunch of people in the world, but it was pretty clear to all that Roberts was strongly conservative.
Anyway, what really bothers me about Reid’s comments is that they reinforce the idea that confirmation hearings matters. They don’t — and we’d all probably be better off ignoring them entirely.
Reid is suggesting that Senators based their vote on what Roberts said during the confirmation hearings. Again, I’m just hoping that’s BS, because the alternative (that Senators actually voted based on his confirmation promises) is pretty depressing.
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