On CNN's American Morning today, anchor Carol Costello advanced a theory on who's responsible for the Let's Make a Deal environment permeating the Senate as it stumbles to completion of a health care bill. Here is part of her exchange with CNN political analyst and GOP strategist Ed Rollins:
COSTELLO: Might (the) Republicans blame in part themselves for this, because none of them were going to vote? Didn't they sort of force Senator Reid's hand in making some of these sweetheart deals?
ROLLINS: Senator Reid could have made a sweetheart deal with the Republicans months ago. They could have knocked down walls and let insurance companies deal across state lines. There are a lot of things that Republicans...
COSTELLO: But the public option is out --
Yes, if only those intransigent Senate Republicans has been more accommodating, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, expanded Medicare coverage to “individuals exposed to environmental health hazards recognized as a public health emergency in a declaration issued by the federal government on June 17," and other special considerations wouldn't have been necessary.
Costello ignores that the public option is far from the only objection Republicans have to the Senate bill. There's the feature of mandating Americans buy insurance. There are the projected expenditures and savings figures that are as patently bogus as the shovel ready jobs number "Sheriff" Joe Biden spouts. There's the problem that, other than the sweetheart deals, details on the plan and its implementation are as thin as a certain former community organizer's résumé.
And that's just for starters. Yet Costello wonders if Republican senators might be blaming themselves for the travesty. If only they'd set aside their principles, Democrats might not have been reduced to such flagrant bribery.
Sure, Carol, we believe that.