“Don’t expect,” blogging law professor William A. Jacobson writes, “much to be made of [Senator Ben] Nelson’s comments [“splitting with his party over the [Obamacare] mandate”], because only heretical comments by Republicans are newsworthy and a big deal.”
It does seem our friends in the MSM make much of divisions in the GOP, but downplay similar splits in the Democratic Party as just civil family misunderstandings that happen from time to time in a big, diverse happy movement. And while the Democrats are busy demagoguing Republican plans to reform Medicare as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposed in his budget, in the federal legislative chamber where the Democrats still have a majority, members of the president’s party, in Andrew Stiles words . . .
. . . have now gone 750 days without passing a budget in the Senate, and Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.), the budget-committee chairman, has remained steadfastly aloof regarding his plans to move forward. Conrad’s hesitance should become even more glaringly obvious now that his go-to excuse — the ongoing nature of the so-called Gang of Six negotiations — has been rendered inoperative following Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R., Okla.) decision to “take a break” from the talks.
Conrad served on President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission and has spoken out frequently on the need for urgent action to address the debt problem. But when Conrad presented his initial budget proposal at a Democratic caucus meeting several weeks ago, he was all but chased out of the room by party leaders. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) warned members not to “draw lines” by signing on to any budget plan.
With the deficit now above one trillion dollars and the president expressing a commitment to confront out debt problem, the top Senate Democrat is telling members of his caucus to avoid committing to any budget plan. That’s rich. They’d rather attack the Republican plan than come up with one of their own.
You’d think this might be a story which would merit more attention in the mainstream media.