Whoa, Harry Reid just realized that he's the Majority Leader of the Senate, leading a filibuster-proof majority of Democrats, who also control the House and the White House! Maybe he read a newspaper? Maybe Al Franken told him?
Roll Call reports that Reid told Max Baucus to stop "chasing Republican votes on a massive health care reform bill," because bipartisanship is not in and of itself a goal, because Republicans and Democrats have fundamentally incompatible philosophies of government, and because their policy aims are completely at odds. And the thing is, the Democrats are actually in charge!
According to Democratic sources, Reid told Baucus that taxing health benefits and failing to include a strong government-run insurance option of some sort in his bill would cost 10 to 15 Democratic votes; Reid told Baucus that several in the Conference had serious concerns and that it wasn't worth securing the support of Grassley and at best a few additional Republicans.
But, you know, he is still dealing with all these "moderate" Democrats, who are like three guys, and the votes of those three guys are so important, even though they have no coherent agenda beyond "taking something liberal and making it less liberal." And if Reid actually had balls, instead of just the illusion of balls that this anonymously sourced story suggests, he would just demand that his entire caucus vote for cloture and then allow Senators to "vote their conscience" on the HELP bill as it currently stands.
(Meanwhile Rahm Emanuel either went off message or remained on message and either way the White House is still following their philosophy of just letting Congress do things by themselves so that at the very least something gets passed.)