The answer resides with the Taranto Principle. The president and his allies on the Hill do not read the conservative press. They do not encounter any counsel that does not agree with them. They do not associate with conservatives or independents. They know only people who think like them. The rest of us do not exist.
When confronted with the House of Representatives' alternative to prevent congressional lawmakers and staff from receiving subsidies for entering healthcare exchanges, Reid had a tear-jerking answer. He said: "This time the House has attached a poison pill that would punish 16,000 Congressional staff." Punish them? It is only treating them as the average American is being treated. Only the self-absorbed Senate Majority Leader would speak of the elite on Capitol Hill as though they were all "Little Orphan Annie."
I for one do not know where all of this is leading the country, but my guess is that nothing will be achieved until President Obama and Leader Reid begin to negotiate, and that means giving something up.