Now that the Senate has passed and the president has signed the debt limit increase, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can at last — at last! — go home to Nevada, where, he’s told, his pomegranate trees are in full bloom. It would be easy to feel sorry for him if the Senate had just once — just once! — in the past 825 days proffered a proactive solution to the debt ceiling debate. As Ed’s and AP’s Boss Emeritus put it on Twitter, this is just waiting to be AutoTuned: The Harry Reid Pomegranate Lament.
Reid could find a timeless lesson in his own fruit trees: You reap what you sow. Sow procrastination, reap down-to-the-deadline-deal-making.
At the same time, though, I can’t let this moment pass without suggesting that I think it would be better if politicians spent a little more time at home and a little less time concocting programs to solve everybody else’s problems — programs that all-too-often have unintended consequences. Let Reid visit friends and relatives. Let him reconnect with his pomegranate and fig trees, with those rose bushes he hasn’t seen in months. Maybe, in the process, he’ll remember that a home and family remain the best social safety net in any society and will start working to strengthen families, rather than to substitute the state for self-reliance and private generosity.