Two clips via Mediaite of him breaking the good news. I didn’t see his show today so I’ll leave it to commenters to fill me in, but did he happen to opine on whether he thinks the terms of the new compromise bill are a good deal or a bad one? Given that he theatrically wondered aloud a few days ago how Congress can sleep at night after voting no on cloture the first time, I assume he thinks that version of the bill was perfect in all aspects and worth passing without another moment’s thought. And yet, he sounds pretty chipper reporting on the new bill at the beginning of the first clip here. Is he just … completely indifferent to the details and the amount spent (today’s compromise was significantly leaner than the earlier version, for which you can thank Coburn)? Or does he actually prefer the leaner version, in which case he devoted yesterday to trying to shame a guy whose tough-nosed negotiating actually ended up improving the bill? My own argument last night about Coburn’s stand was that it was an admirable show of fiscal responsibility but potentially not worth it due to the political costs and relatively small scale of the expenditure. That’s not Shep’s position, though, from what I can tell. He’s all about the gesture, and if that gesture requires setting up a de facto slush fund with inadequate oversight, then either you pass it or you end up like Tom Coburn with your photo up on the screen accompanied by an ominous voiceover about the man who’s blocking money for our heroes. Imagine what his reporting will be like if/when the GOP works up the nerve to try to reform Social Security.
Ah well. The “heartless Republicans” narrative having been duly served, it’s now on to other business. For the record, Mitch McConnell is delighted with the compromise.