Nothing to ‘take pride’ in

NOTHING TO ‘TAKE PRIDE’ IN…. The Washington Post‘s E.J. Dionne Jr. noted last week that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa, arguably the top Republican negotiator on health care reform, is “under immense pressure from Republican colleagues not to deal at all.” The Politico raised a similar point today, noting that Senate Republicans often see Grassley as “a Democratic enabler, playing into President Barack Obama’s strategy of winning a few GOP votes and calling the final product bipartisan.”

It seems like a helpful reminder that there’s no real point in Democratic lawmakers and the Democratic administration reaching out to a party that is actively opposed to any constructive discussions.

As for Grassley himself….

“I take pride with being an obstructionist,” he said, if that means scuttling a public option that could lead to a single-payer system.

Great. The top Republican senator working with the majority on a bipartisan compromise on health care reform is so opposed to a sensible public option, he takes “pride” in calling himself an “obstructionist.”

This is the same Grassley who, when asked by a constituent how he can get the same kind of health care options members of Congress have, said, “You can. Just go work for the federal government.”

Perhaps there are some other Senate Republicans that Democrats can talk to about reform options? I’m starting to get the sense that maybe, just maybe, Grassley isn’t committed to the process.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.