It took Nixon to open China, and it should have taken the Senate Democrats to open Detroit, but when push came to shove, the Senate Democrats would not push the UAW and could not figure out how to arrive at a deal that moderates and conservatives could support.
Now Senator Reid has announced he’s giving up and going home –one of those moves that makes me wonder about the whole premise of the exercise. If a real crisis is at hand, does the Congress go home for a month?
Some reports have the last night’s late negotiations as limited to Senators Reid, Dodd and Corker –and the UAW! This is extraordinary, and a glimpse of what’s ahead in 2009-2010. Godspeed Senators McConnell and Kyl and the other 40 GOP senators as they will be called upon many times to replay yesterday’s principled stand against one-sided “deals.”
There’s no reason for Senator Reid not to come back today with a real compromise, one that includes not only Senator Corker’s amendments, but also some significant concessions about tax relief in these fragile economic times, if only for MI and OH. But I suspect that, as usual, the Congressional Democrats would rather blame Bush and the GOP than legislate. Whatever comes of yesterday’s bust-up, it is just the latest monument to the Democrats’ inability to legislate anything that isn’t a complete win for their most entrenched interest-groups.