Anyhow, that was the gist. Were it not for all that unpleasant, unhelpful, Bayh-vexing partisanship, Sen. Collins and company would sail health care reform through Congress like a knife through hot butter. While some may question her motives, I'll play along and take her at her word.
Does this mean she's going to head across Washington and kick Eric Cantor in the shins? [Confidential to SC: I will donate generously to your re-election campaign war chest if you head across Washington and kick Eric Cantor in the shins.] Via TPM:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) isn't exactly laying the foundation for the bipartisan part of next week's bipartisan health care summit at the White House.
At CPAC this morning, Cantor declared that "we will say no to this health care bill because no is what the American people want."
Cantor said Democratic health bills are predicated on "back-door dealing" and declared that "these bills are ultimately designed to lead this country to a single-payer system, something that the American people reject."
First of all, let's pause to note that Cantor is arguing against a provision that appears nowhere in either the House or Senate versions of the health care reform bills. There is nary a whisper about single-payer care, and in fact many people have criticized the bills as a boon for the insurance industry because they conspicuously include said companies in their approach to universal coverage. Cantor blathers about where the bills are "ultimately designed to lead" (always the sign of a weak argument) because otherwise his party's rank obstructionism is much harder to justify.
And on that note, can we just call this what it is? This is not "bickering." This is not a sign of mutual failure. This is one party deciding that it is in its best interests to fight tooth and nail against any attempts at health care reform, because it manifestly cares more about winning elections that delivering health care to people who need it. Despite the overtures toward them offered by the President in the upcoming health care summit, the GOP already has its mind made up and its strategy planned.
Sen. Collins's words are all very pretty, but let's see how hard she works to make the needed difference with her fellow Republicans. You'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath.