Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Louisiana Purchase and the Nebraska Negotiation

You’ve got to hand it to Senate Leader Harry Reid (D.Nevada). He is a high stake political gambler. He knows how to cut a deal to get what he wants - to buy 60 votes to get the Senate health reform bill passed.

• He bought Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana’s vote by promising her $100 million in federal largess for her state (she insists the real deal included $300 million in government funds.

• He purchased the vote of Senator Ben Nelson (D. Nebraska) by saying the federal government would pick up Nebraska’s share of the Senate bill’s proposed Medicaid expansion, estimated at $100 million.

Senator Richard Burr (R.North Carolina) retorted, “You’ve got to compliment Beb Nelson for playing ‘The Price is Right,’. For people on other states, this means you’ve got to pay taxes to make sure Nebraskans don’t have to pay any portion of Medicare expansion.”

Harry Reid did not apologize. In fact, he said, “I’ve worked with every Democratic senator to make changes in the bill. Ben Nelson was just like the rest of them. That’s what legislation is all about.”

In other words, every one has their price.

Cynics will say this political philosophy bespeaks of “pay-offs” and “bribes” – of crookedness at the core of government. Admirers will insist the a noble end, insuring the uninsured, justifies the mercenary means, a Christmas gift wrapped in a huge ribbon stained with red ink.

I say the Louisiana Purchase, the Nebraska Negotiation, and all those other stately gifts, negotiated behind closed doors in secrecy, gives new meaning to Obama’s promises of absolute “transparency,” conducted in the full flood lights of C-Span TV cameras.

So Much for Transpancy

There once was a President who promised full transparency,

He would not practice the arcane art of political knight errancy.

He would exercise his great might,

By doing what was right in full light,

Not just anything that fulfilled his political fantasy – so much for transparency.


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I have a friend who is axcellent gambler so we call him "Harry Reid" because he is a very smart guy

Sharron said...

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