Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Quiet Man

Harry Reid's soft voice and unassuming manner make it hard to understand how he got to be the leader. Progressives don't expect him to act as their champion. Conservatives make fun of him. A lot of people see him as weak and ineffectual. But Harry Reid, according to this story in the LA Times this morning, deserves the major credit for delivering 60 votes for health care reform. (Not just 60 votes to break the GOP filibuster, but 60 votes for the bill itself.) Somehow, through several moments when deals fell apart and all hope seemed lost, Harry Reid kept pushing to get this bill passed.

People will second guess forever whether different tactics by the White House or by Congressional leaders could have gotten a better bill passed. I don't think that can be proved. Right now it is time to celebrate that the U.S. Congress has achieved something that has never been achieved before, with both houses passing major health insurance reform legislation.

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