Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Reply all"

As Ezra notes, Sen. Wyden's carving out a very interesting position for himself and making Harry Reid and Max Baucus very annoyed, I'm sure. All on behalf of good policy. How weird.

Wyden, however, is a liberal in a safe seat. And he's not even that liberal. By all rights, he shouldn't be causing anyone any headaches. But he's beginning to fashion a reputation for himself not as a crusader against liberal policies, but against bad policy compromises. That makes everyone's life more difficult, because the Senate pretty much runs on bad policy compromises, and the people making those compromises prefer it if they're not pointed out. Indeed, as the talking points show, they sometimes try and pretend those compromises were never made at all. But Wyden keeps pointing them out, and loudly. And as he develops a reputation for being an independent policy voice, he's becoming more popular with the media, which is further amplifying his criticisms. It's an important role for somebody to be playing, but I imagine Wyden is going to start getting yelled at a whole lot.

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