Playing well with others works really well in kindergarten. But in Congress, the real rewards come when you stop being nice, and start getting real. Real, real stubborn, that is.
If Washington's donkeys had acted more like this donkey there's no telling what kind of cool crap the state could have gotten.
Early this morning, the Senate passed that major health care overhaul bill you've been hearing so much about.The vote went straight down party lines. With Democrats playing nice for long enough to just barely prevent a Republican filibuster by a 60-40 margin.Both The Seattle Times (by way of the AP) and New York Times have great pieces on who wins and who loses with the new bill. And while Washington state is by no means in the "L" category, it also might have benefitted more had Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell conducted themselves more like the obstructionist assholes who cleaned up.
Moderate Mary Landrieu of Louisiana negotiated $100 million in Medicaid payments in exchange for her vote. And the recalcitrant Max Baucus of Montana scored cash for a tiny town made sick by a mine spewing asbestos. But no one earned a bigger pay day than Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the crucial final vote.
Patty Murray needs to work on her "you're not getting my vote until Bellevue gets a sweet new hosptial for free" face.
In exchange for Nelson's support, Senate Democrats added tighter restrictions on abortion and agreed to pick up the tab for any Nebraskans added to Medicaid for not one, not ten, not fifty, but every single year in the future.
Just makes you wonder. Even if you have to go along to get along. And even if it is encouraging to see Murray and Cantwell vote their consciences. It still would have been interesting to watch them put a gun to the Senate's head, just to see what would have come out of its pockets.