Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday said the Senate shouldn't "focus on a man who has been retired for many years and writes a column once in a while."
This comment was directed at Washington Post columnist David Broder whose article to be published Sunday and already available online was harshly criticial of the healthcare bills in both chambers of Congress.
Given Broder's well-known stance as a left-leaning writer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) referred to the piece in his opening remarks to Saturday's healthcare legislation debate noting that the Post's "distinguished senior columnist, certainly not a political conservative, expresses his reservation as a citizen about the steps that we could be about to take."
This led Reid to make his disparaging remark moments later (video embedded below the fold, relevant sections at 1:00 and 8:45):
What a difference a year makes, for according to The Hill, "In 2004, Reid praised Broder as 'a long-time syndicated columnist who is nonpartisan and fair' and last year, he called him a 'moderate columnist.'"
Here's some snippets from Broder's piece that may have changed Reid's mind about the Post columnist:
The day after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave its qualified blessing to the version of health reform produced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Quinnipiac University poll of a national cross section of voters reported its latest results. [...]
Nine of 10 Republicans and eight of 10 independents said that whatever passes will add to the torrent of red ink. By a margin of four to three, even Democrats agreed this is likely.
That fear contributed directly to the fact that, by a 16-point margin, the majority in this poll said they oppose the legislation moving through Congress. [...]
While the CBO said that both the House-passed bill and the one Reid has drafted meet Obama's test by being budget-neutral, every expert I have talked to says that the public has it right. These bills, as they stand, are budget-busters.
Yeah, we wouldn't want the Senate focusing on such inconvenient truths now, would we?