Harry Reid, evading the question of whether he supports the public option:
“What I think should be in the bill is something that I will vote for according to my conscience when we get this bill to the floor,” Reid told reporters today. “But I have a responsibility to get a bill to the Senate floor that will get 60 votes that we can proceed toward.”
“That’s my No. 1 responsibility,” Reid continued, “and there are times I have to set aside my personal preferences for the good of the Senate and I think the country.”
According to Reid, his responsibility is to get a bill, any bill to the Senate floor that can get 60 votes. Doesn’t matter if the bill does what it needs to do, what the people of this country need it to do. Nope. What matters is it can pass muster with Kent Conrad, keep the Villagers happy about bipartisanship. It’s a sickness to think that this is the responsibility of the majority leader above and beyond the responsibility of every senator to the people of their state and of this country.
Oh, and about this country? Charming, isn’t it, how in Reid’s view the good of the country comes behind the good of the Senate. He’s doing what he’s doing for the good of the Senate (as he sees it in his warped, “bipartisan” clubbiness) — and, well, he thinks that’s also good for the country.
For the record: No, Senator Reid. Passing a bill without a public option, without making health care affordable and portable and secure for every American, is not responsible exercise of your position. Avoiding a nasty rumpus over health care is not what is best for the country — or, incidentally, for the Senate. There are bad people out there and some of them are trying to stop working families from being able to afford the care they need. It’s your job to pass a bill that will help people, not protect insurance company profits. If it takes a fight, so be it.