Ben Nelson vs Himself

from Ezra Klein:

Obama wants to save tens of billions of dollars by eliminating the [student loan] middlemen. Study after study shows that they increase cost and add no value. But some of those middlemen are in Nebraska. And for all Nelson’s deficit heroics, he’s not so concerned about the debt that he’d harm a local industry. He’s standing squarely against the reform. He’ll be a hero to the private student loan industry. Or, at least, he would’ve been:

An agreement struck between the president and House and Senate negotiators won’t give Nelson that chance. A process known as “reconciliation” allows budgetary measures to be moved through the Senate with a simple majority, rather than 60. Multiple congressional sources say that congressional Democrats have decided to use reconciliation to go after student-lending subsidies, specifically to get around Nelson.

Senator Nelson saw back during the stimulus debate that his contradictory obstruction brought him quite a bit of power and attention. He seemed to be positioning himself to do something very similar with student loan reform. Unfortunately, the gimmick appears to have worn out its welcome, and the poor guy ended up marginalizing himself.

From the previously linked HuffPo story:

The Nebraska Democrat has become the bane of liberal bloggers and other progressive activists for his insistence on pushing legislation in a more conservative direction.

How nuts is it that giving a multi-billion-dollar federal subsidy to businesses, which costs taxpayer money and adds to the deficit for no reason other than to subsidize businesses, is the “conservative” direction? The answer: really nuts.

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