As Congress stumbles toward a final deal, the process is a reminder of the disheartening political climate in which we live today.
No one will really be happy with the final result. How could they be? In a world where human considerations are swamped by partisan posturing, the bottom line, if anyone can figure out what it is, will not be how much better or worse it makes our society but who wins and who loses. At heart, it will be a collection of poor compromises.
Here, for example, is Harry Reid, the worst Senate Majority Leader in memory, after reading the opinion polls, trying to hold on to his sliding-away seat with a last-minute conversion to a half-baked semblance of the public option to erase his months of indifference until now.
On the left, whatever remains of the public option will not satisfy those who, with good reason, resent the grip that insurance companies have on their health and well-being, yet Paul Krugman manages to be relatively exuberant:
“(I)f the Massachusetts experience is any guide, health care reform will have broad public support once it’s in place and the scare stories are proved false…