(Ir)responsible Government

Brad Plumer notes that House Republicans are now discovering that the US Senate is a dysfunctional annoyance:

But guess who hates the Senate now? Earlier this morning, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor kept insisting to reporters, “The Senate ought not to be a place where legislation goes into a dead end.” (He said some variation of this three times.) Cantor’s frustrated because the House is all set to repeal health care reform, and Harry Reid has said he’s not even going to bother bringing the bill up for consideration in the still-barely-Democratic Senate. ” The American people deserve a full hearing,” Cantor said, “they deserve to see this legislation go to the Senate for a full vote.”

I share Rep Cantor’s pain on this point. But Cantor should spare a thought for the tactical advantages he’s gaining here. The Affordable Care Act has, after all, a fair amount of interest group support. I bet hospitals in Cantor’s district don’t want to see it repealed. Nor do pharmaceutical companies. After all, one man’s patient is another man’s customer. But since repeal is just playacting for Fox News watchers, none of these groups are actually going to be pissed at Cantor or other pro-repeal House members. If repeal were a real possibility, there’d be much more intense anti-repeal lobbying and the whole situation would be much more complicated.