The Health Care votes are dragging onward, and with them comes both awesome tweeting about Tom Harkin's tie (does anyone have a picture?) and the opportunity for every Senator to get his stupidity on. The lack of sleep seems to have hit John McCain particularly hard, as the Senator was heard to say this on "Good Morning America":
STEPHANOPOULOS: Vicki Kennedy is now saying this is exactly the kind of compromise that Ted Kennedy would support, the kind of compromise that you worked with him on the past?
McCAIN: I think Senator Kennedy would appreciate the outcome. I don’t think he would appreciate it on a party line vote. I worked with him on many issues across party lines. There has never been a major reform accomplished in the history of this country that wasn’t bipartisan.
This gets at the heart of every debate we've recently had over the division in the House and Senate. Is it the fault of the majority party when the minority party doesn't join in, or does the minority party share the blame in being unwilling to compromise?
Yet that's not the case here. To complain of this over and over again, when the facts show that the majority party has been willing -- perhaps over-willing -- to compromise seems not only sad, but like a denial of reality.
It's doubly sad to see John McCain invoking the memory of his friend Ted Kennedy to make this point. Ted Kennedy wanted bipartisan health care reform, sure -- because he wanted to make the other side understand the importance, the urgency, of providing affordable health care to every American. He wasn't looking for compromise just to add some names to the bill; he was looking for a change of heart. He was looking for at least the willingness to compromise or to rationally discuss the problem.
To say that he'd be disappointed at the partisan nature of this bill is no doubt accurate. I doubt, however, that he'd be disappointed that the bill's content could find no Republican support, however; I think he'd be disappointed in the unwillingness of Republicans to find something worth supporting in health care reform.