Jonathan Chait has a new article in The New Republic about Obama’s problems with forming a solid bond among the Democrats in Congress, much of which is due to the inherently contradictory goals of the so-called centrists. The article devotes a good chunk of space to Ben Nelson, surely thanks to just how easy Nelson makes it to point out the utter absurdity in his policy positions.
The most emblematic objection has come from Nelson, who is balking at Obama’s plan to save money on college loans. You might suppose that a fiscal conservative like Nelson would agree with Obama’s plan to save $4 billion on a social program. But he does not, for reasons that provide a useful window into the rot afflicting the congressional Democratic Party.
Obama thus proposes to save the taxpayers more than $4 billion per year by ending the guaranteed loans. This is as straightforward a case as you can find of a fight between special interests and the public good. Nelson opposes it because one of the lenders that benefits from federal overpayments is based in Lincoln, Nebraska.