Chuck Todd asked Grassley whether he'd vote for the bill if it was a good piece of policy that he'd crafted but that couldn't attract more than a handful of Republican votes. "Certainly not," replied Grassley. Todd tried again, clarifying that this was legislation Grassley liked, and thought would move the ball forward, but was getting bogged down due to partisanship. Grassley held firm. If a good bill cannot attract Republican support, then it is not a good bill, he argued.Nobody seems to have figured out the obvious, that Chuck Grassley will never vote for a health care reform bill, and neither will any other Republican. Period. They're not here to pass a bi-partisan bill. They're here to strip the bill down so far that progressives revolt and the bill dies.
Grassley, in other words, is working backward from the votes. If the Gang of Six reaches a compromise that the Senate Republicans don't support, Grassley will abandon that compromise, regardless of the fact that he's the guy who built it. The Gang of Six, in other words, falls apart if it can't assure a vote of 76. Since it seems virtually impossible that such a vote will manifest, it seems similarly unlikely that Grassley will sign his name to the final bill. And Grassley, remember, was willing to say all this publicly. His version of bipartisanship is strikingly partisan.
I mean honestly, what will it take for Democrats to stop dicking around with bi-partisan anything, or negotiation, when no matter what form the bill takes, no Republican will vote for it? Can we stop fantasizing and get on with the reality that the Republican party is nothing more than a useless roadblock? When the pointman on Senate GOP negotiations on health care has clearly has no intention of negotiation in good faith, why waste your time with him or his party?
Most of all, why is anyone still acting surprised at this?
[UPDATE 3:55 PM] At least somebody seems to understand that no public option means no bill.
[UPDATE 2 4:00 PM] Publius at ObWi posits:
My take on all this is that he was always bad, but that the teabaggers have scared the bejesus out of him, and made him worse. The only potential threat to him is from the right, so what possible incentives does he have to stand up to the town hall protesters, Palins, etc.None.