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**. (more…)