Senators, WTF?

As Ezra Klein says, the tax cut deal has something in it to annoy everyone. But seems to me that if there is one class of critters that has not earned the right to bellyache about it, it’s Senate Democrats.

Saturday the Senate blocked a vote on President Obama’s preferred plan. All the Republicans were joined by four Democrats and Joe Lieberman. That much I knew. But I looked it up today, and learned that the four Democrats were Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jim Webb of Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

Et tu, Russ?

Conventional wisdom said that the blocked vote proved the President had to cut a deal. I don’t know that was his only option, but that’s what the newspapers said about it. So, he cut a deal, and now some Senate Democrats appear to be dumbfounded.

Sen. Mary Landrieu said she was discouraged by the President, and asked, “But why the president thought he had to give in on this? Why he didn’t have the confidence in a Democratic Caucus to hold the line?”

Because they didn’t hold the line Saturday, when Obama needed the line held? Just a guess.

Other stuff to read —

How America will collapse (by 2025)” by Alfred McCoy. Worst-case scenarios, maybe, but McCoy is right that when empires collapse, they go fast, or “unravel with unholy speed,” as he puts it. He suggests also that we may witness a great shift in civilization itself that makes sovereign nations a thing of the past. Unnerving stuff.

For a look back at at the time before America went off the rails, see “Pearl Harbor day: How FDR reacted on December 7, 1941.”