Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thinking Outside the Shoebox

Via Fairly Conservative.

Shoebox excoriates Republicans, and Mitch McConnell in particular, for what he sees as capitulation on the healthcare bill:
Late this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell waved the white flag. As reported by RollCall, McConnell made an agreement with Harry Reid to pass a two month extension on the debt limit and waive the remaining time required to get to the final vote on the passage of Placebocare....
I really like 'placebocare' that's the first time I've heard this particular moniker. From here Shoebox's indignation level only rises, concluding with a rousing call for Senate Republicans to use the unpopularity of the health reform for all its worth.

Perhaps, though, all is not as it seems. Open Congress reports:
the Republicans also got a pretty significant concession from the Democrats in exchange for allowing the earlier vote....

Under the agreement allowing the earlier health care vote, Senate Republicans have been guaranteed votes on four amendments to the second debt ceiling bill that the Democrats would probably rather have avoided. According to the Senate Calendar, the Republicans will be allowed to hold votes on the following amendments (all will be subject to a 60-vote requirement) when the second debt ceiling vote takes place in January:

Sen. Thune [R, SD] TARP amendment — would end the Troubled Assets Relief Program (Wall Street bailout) and require that all TARP funds that are repaid by banks be spent on reducing the debt. Many Democrats want to use repaid TARP money for job creation measures.

Sen. Murkowski [R, AK] EPA amendment — seeks to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouses gas emissions if Congress fails to pass their own climate change legislation....

Sen. Sessions [R, AL] spending caps amendment — would set spending caps for the next five years on all discretionary government spending. Besides entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, the amendment would limit spending growth to a maximum of 2 percent per year for the next five years.

Every one of these three amendments are absolutely winning issues for Republicans, even (especially?) if the amendments don't pass. I mean try running a Democratic Senate campaign in 2010 defending a vote to extend the Wall Street bailout or the regulation of a substance everyone of us produces by simply exhaling.

Generally, I'd say McConnell is more inclined to clueless repetition of talking points than legislative jujitsu, but maybe in this case Shoebox is wrong and there is more to the apparent white flag waving than meets the eye.


Shoebox said...

First, thanks for reading my post.

I'll agree that getting the votes agreed to was a good thing. Unfortunately, everything McConnell touches turns to mud. I wouldn't doubt for a minute that the Dems agree to the amendments and get them tossed out in reconciliation. It's tough getting this kind of stuff to stick with the Dems hell bent on spending their way to oblivion.

Merry Christmas!

Jeremy R. Shown said...

Thanks Shoebox.

Agreed on McConnell. Do you think that if Republicans are serious about changing Washington they need to start with their own party?

Shoebox said...

I'm torn on the whole third party issue. I'd love to show the establishment R's how out of touch they are but it's tough to get an effective third party. I suspect we need to do this from the inside out.

The other question on a third party is who would lead it? I like Sarah Palin but shes not the one to lead the effort.

Jeremy R. Shown said...


You are right that this will most likely have to be an inside out effort and that Palin is not suited for this job.

Palin has a compelling personal story, but I don't think that is sufficient.