1. Wyden is a renegade in need of an attention fix.
2. He is being Obama, so Obama doesn't have to be. Max Baucus already got his shot at being the Obama henchman on health care in the Senate. Wyden is simply the latest reincarnation of the failed Catfood Commission, the latest convert to the Cult of Centrism. Wyden is being a Useful Idiot. He's not up for re-election until 2016. He recently married into East Coast money, and doesn't even spend a lot of time in Oregon any more.
3. Wyden is just another bought politician. His second largest contributor, after Nike, is FoxKiser, a Washington lobbying firm doing work for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has also contributed to his campaign coffers. Wyden may be needing those Nikes to run away from his fellow Democrats, reportedly furious that he has robbed them of a campaign talking point. Mind you, they are not furious because of the harm he may cause to older people who would be forced to choose between health care and food under his plan. He is just making them look bad in front of their constituents.
4. This is the latest act of Congressional Kabuki Theater, in which the two factions of the Uniparty pretend to battle it out while really working toward the same goal. We saw it today with the payroll tax stopgap bandaid, in which every working family gets about a hundred whole bucks for groceries, repairs, heat, dinner out, Christmas, rent and college while the wretches pat themselves on the back and go on vacation for a month. Congress and the president dance their political tango, juxtaposing fiery machismo with abject submission, and proclaim it a work of art. We, the mere audience, are exhausted just watching their gyrations. They're counting on us to be grateful when the suspenseful torture ends.
5. None of them actually gives a shit any more. Their approval level is down to seven percent and will probably be at two by the time they come back next year. They are no longer even trying to pretend they work for the people who elected them.
|Don't Blame Me, Folks -- I'm Only Following Orders|