I spent a lot of time over the summer venting about the perfidy of Max Baucus, who’s slow-walking of health care seemed to me—especially in light of his record—to be obviously designed to kill reform without him needing to explicitly take on the Obama administration. After all, as I would say with my degree of insistence, it made no sense. With something like this you want to strike while the iron is hot and your popular new president is still “popular” and “new.” So what was Baucus and his crew doing?
That turned out to be largely wrong. Baucus’ process took forever, but it ended with a decent bill and he’s worked very diligently to see reform enacted. My dark suspicions were unfounded. And yet my logic was impeccable—the months and months of delay really did make no sense. And in part what’s playing out in Massachusetts is the bitter fruit of that decision.