Ponder the tone of many of the headlines re: our nascent farm bill.
- The powerful farm lobby scores another triumph
- Farm bill fattens fat cats' wallets
- New Farm Bill Maintains Criticized Crop Insurance
- Senate fails to limit farm subsidies
- Senate Passes $286 Billion Farm Bill, Expanding Subsidies for Growers
- Senate rejects attempts to limit farm subsidies
In fact, it looks to me like the idea of a veto and a bar-fight with the White House has perked up non-farm interest in the final outcome. It certainly is good news for a press corps on a crusade where the vast majority side with them, and examples of excess are abundant.
I am sure this is not lost on a White House still hoping for some approval points. Forcing reform looks like a big winner for a lame duck president, and a chance to help the next generation of Republican lawmakers (albeit at the expense of the entrenched powers).
The continued erosion of cooperation between Congress and the administration, the injection of an explosively wide-open primary season, and economic stress at the consumer level from food inflation will all come into play the longer this matter is under consideration.
In fact, the farm bill vote may come back to haunt those in Congress up for re-election. It could also alter the way Americans view us, perhaps finally forcing a more realistic public image. One the true weight of "farm vote" is taken - and this could be the election when it is calculated - producer leverage will be lost for the foreseeable future, IMHO.
This could be a good time to get started on riding without training wheels.