From the Department of No Shit, TPM reports:
Hindsight's 20-20, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now thinks he and leading Democrats, at the behest of the White House, flushed months down the toilet courting Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-ME) support for health care reform.A smart friends pointed out to me today that this was really about the White House letting Max Baucus drag things out for months because he was just sure he could get Snowe on board. Why they believed him is another question. Our first clue that things had gone seriously off the rails was when they extended the deadline over the August recess. Once that happened, well ... everybody knows the outcome of that. But if anybody serously believed that nonsense about Snowe crossing over in the beginning, they should have figured out by then that it was impossible and devised another strategy.
"As I look back it was a waste of time dealing with [Snowe]," Reid is quoted as saying about the White House in a forthcoming New York Times Magazine piece, "because she had no intention of ever working anything out."
As another smart friend also pointed out today, with things getting as dicey as they seem to be with the Coakley race far from certain and word coming out of this ping pong conference, you have to wonder if they may end up having to go to reconciliation anyway. Unless the Democrats want to drop the bill, which seems to me to be highly unlikely and very, very politically risky, they're going to have to wrap this up somehow and every day it's delayed it becomes more likely that Reid's weakness, Nelson's discomfort and Lieberman's psychopathy make 60 votes less assured. I think reconciliation would be good thing, so this doesn't bother me. We could have a bill much closer to the House bill if that happens. On the other hand, the Democrats might just panic. They have been known to do that. Stay tuned ...