I’ve been thinking: you know, the prospects for more and better liberal policies would be faring much better today if the health care legislation had been defeated and, instead of the positive momentum and narrative of victory, there was wall-to-wall media coverage of Republicans gloating, tea partiers partying and a raft of stories about some or all of the following: (1) how the Democrats tacked too far left, and must return to the center; (2) how Obama’s administration was a failure; and (3) how bad the Dems would get slaughtered in November, and Obama in 2012, etc.

My guess is that the conclusion drawn from that would be that all Democratic legislators, and some Republcans, better hurry up and work together to pass a public option.  Stat.  And that, in general, Republicans better start cooperating with that loser Obama.

Also, this would not have happened – which would have only heightened the contradictions to infinity paving the way for a complete liberal overhaul of America.  As always, big legislative defeats make you stronger and convince the voting public of your worth:

Ending one of the fiercest lobbying fights in Washington, Congress voted Thursday to force commercial banks out of the federal student loan market, cutting off billions of dollars in profits in a sweeping restructuring of financial-aid programs and redirecting most of the money to new education initiatives…..Since the bank-based loan program began in 1965, commercial banks like Sallie Mae and Nelnet have received guaranteed federal subsidies to lend money to students, with the government assuming nearly all the risk. Democrats have long denounced the program, saying it fattened the bottom line for banks at the expense of students and taxpayers.

This is, to coin a phrase, sort of a big effin deal. The student loan program has been a disgrace for a long time, essentially insuring a fat stream of profits to banks by allowing them to make risk-free loans thanks to guarantees from Uncle Sam. It was a pretty nice racket while it lasted. Republicans, of course, denounced the end of this gravy train, demonstrating once again, as Bruce Bartlett said a few years ago, that they are “incapable of telling the difference between being pro-business and being for the free market.”

Bottom line: if the taxpayer are taking the risk, then the taxpayers ought to get the profit too. Now they do, and it’s going to be used to expand access to college for low and middle income students. It’s a reform that’s long overdue.

Kevin Drum even said “effin.”

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