You’d think that the Democrats would be capable of basic constituency services. But apparently not:
Senate Democrats battled among themselves over student loans Thursday, holding dueling news conferences about the right way to prevent interest rates from doubling in four days.
It was an unusual situation for the party with an issue on which it has typically been united. And the split all but guaranteed that the chamber will blow past the July 1 deadline, when new student loan applicants who receive need-based federal aid will see their interest rates rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
Basically, the mess here is due to a combination of ham-handed incompetence and a basic petty inability to compromise*. To drastically over-simplify: the President wanted a deal on student loan rates; Senate Republicans are happy to oblige the President, given that Obama is willing to give away a bit, for a change (and the alternative is the House Republican plan, which both Obama and the Senate hate); Senate Democrats got their noses out of joint on the subject; and now they’re yelling at each other and having dueling press conferences and generally doing what Washington, DC does best. Which is to say, nothing – but nothing is being done in a dynamic and very earnest manner that assures people that Issues Are Being Addressed**.
Meanwhile, anybody who takes out a subsidized student loan after [looking at calendar] next Monday is going to end up getting even more hammered than even all those poor [expletive deleted] who have taken out subsidized student loans in the past. Which is of course not very fair. Or nice. But then, Democratic Senators have never been exactly what you call solicitous about the problems facing young voters; that particular subgroup has always been notorious for being more engaged in voting for Democratic candidates for President than it is in voting for Democratic candidates for… anything else. The important thing for the aforementioned Democratic Senators is that President Barack Obama affronted them so by publicly indicating that he wanted a deal…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*In other words: standard big-government operating procedure, really.
**See previous footnote.