The Democrats latest political stumble was Harry Reid's pullback from the supposedly bipartisan "jobs" bill. The New York Times analyzes the convoluted politics. I call attention to one brief passage:
The events began with Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, and Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Mr. Baucus’s occasional Republican partner in bipartisanship, when they released an $85 billion plan that included the payroll tax holiday and a slew of other provisions.
Among them were the extension of billions of dollars in corporate tax breaks, but some were even more off the point of job creation, like agriculture assistance for Arkansas, where Senator Blanche Lincoln, the Democratic chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, is in a difficult fight to hold her seat.
Yes, more corporate welfare for Jim Lindsey and Co. That'll get Blanche Lincoln re-elected. (You've noticed of course that Lindsey farmhand and former Farm Bureau boss Stanley Reed is leading money-raising for Republican opponent John Boozman.) Does anybody else think Lincoln might devote some of her legislative efforts to a broader sector of the state population than the plantation culture in which she grew up? Like people who need health care? Who could go to work building bridges and school buildings?
PS -- I don't know whether Reid was right or wrong on this, which is why I described the deal as convoluted. As one reader has noted, some reporting indicates he feared this legislation was a setup for a giveaway on estate tax legislation and if Reid has stopped that, good for him.