It Takes Crust

Gramma Webner hailed from Uhrichsville, Ohio.  When someone said or did something that was really brazen, she would say:  “That takes crust.”  That was my reaction when I read this statement from Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson about yesterday’s election of Scott Brown to the Senate.  The first paragraph of the statement takes the cake:

“Clearly, the vote showed that people are frustrated with Washington…and I am too.  That frustration will likely register across the board for all incumbents. The overriding message from yesterday is that people are upset because Washington is dysfunctional and not working together for them.”

Of course, many Americans — and probably many of the people who voted for Brown — are frustrated with Washington precisely because of people like Nelson, his crass Cornhusker Kickback, and his willingness to sell his vote in exchange for special perks for his home state of Nebraska.  His crude politicking showed that he didn’t want to “work together” — he wanted to get special deals for his constituents at the expense of other Americans.  The notion that Nelson even understands, much less shares, the frustration felt by so many Americans is laughable, and his effort to align himself with the people who voted for Brown shows a real contempt for the intelligence of Americans.  We can only hope that the people of Nebraska, at the first opportunity, relieve Senator Nelson of the job that he claims to find so frustrating and send him back to the Cornhusker State where, perhaps, he can find out once again how real people live, work, and think.

The Nebraska “Compromise” (Fin)

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson — who agreed to vote in favor of cloture of Senate debate in exchange for a number of special provisions in the “health care reform” bill, including one that required the federal government to forever pay Nebraska’s share of increased costs attributable to proposed expansion of Medicaid — has retreated in the face of a firestorm of criticism.  Nelson has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying that the deal has been misunderstood and misrepresented, that Nelson never intended Nebraska to get special treatment, and that the provision should just be eliminated from the bill to avoid any further misunderstandings.  Reid, who struck the devil’s bargain with Nelson in the first place in order to secure Nelson’s vote, probably chuckled when he got the letter.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson

This development brings to a close the sorry spectacle of what I have called the Nebraska “Compromise” and what others have called the “Cornhusker Kickback.”  By contending in his letter that it has all been a misunderstanding, Nelson shows himself as duplicitous as well as being an unprincipled hack who was willing to peddle his vote for some special deals for his home state.  He ends up with the worst of all worlds — his crass political machinations were exposed, he was harshly criticized in Nebraska and elsewhere for his crude opportunism, and ultimately he was forced to beat a sniveling retreat and give up on the special deal that made him the target of irate comments in the first place.  Presumably he will now meekly vote for a bad bill, because to do otherwise would demonstrate that his prior vote was, in fact, contingent upon the existence of the provision requiring special treatment for Nebraska.

The only good thing about the sordid story of the Nebraska “Compromise” is that it revealed for all to see the culture of corruption found in Washington, D.C. and showed that a public outcry can force a change.  It is useful to send politicians the message that American taxpayers are paying attention to their shenanigans.  Let’s hope that Nebraska voters remember the embarrassment their Senator brought to their state and vote Nelson out of office if he decides to seek reelection in 2012.

The Nebraska “Compromise” (Cont.)

The Nebraska “Compromise” (Cont.)

The Nebraska “Compromise” (Cont.)

The Nebraska “Compromise”