Reid hammers McCain

I’d missed this, but it seems that Harry Reid decided to land on John McCain on Friday:

A few days ago, I called on Sen. McCain to take a stand — let us know where he stands on the issue — in this bailout, But all he has done is stand in front of the cameras. We still don’t know where he stands on the issue.

Ouch! Not very Senatorial. But the best way to reduce McCain’s bargaining power. Score one for Reid.

And, once again demonstrating McCain’s fabled capacity to unite members across the aisle, his Republican colleague Rob Corker of Tennessee also dumped on McCain, saying his presence “adds a tension and distraction that candidly is not healthy at this moment in time.”

Double ouch.

And I’m glad to see “McCain acted like a jerk and almost fouled things up” is now the accepted narrative.

The AP story has another interesting nugget: Pelosi wanted a transaction tax to finance the bailout, but Republicans objected, so she settled for the nonsense about having the President maybe propose something five years from now. Too bad about that. But it’s also leverage: Pelosi can tell Boehner “Deliver X Republican votes or the transaction tax goes back in.” It’s not as if Bush would dare veto the bill.

Pelosi’s father was Mayor of Baltimore when I was growing up. She’s got hardball in her DNA. Suddenly I’m a little bit cheerful.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: