But Chuck Schumer is promising a “flurry of votes” on the bill until it finally passes. Republicans held solid on this attempt to get around the Supreme Court ruling that found the former campaign finance bill unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds.
Senate Democrats were only able to muster their 59 votes, which, of course has Ezra Klein and others calling for an end to the 60 vote Senate rule for cloture.
I say the act is defeated for now for a reason. And that reason, as usual, is Olympia Snow (R-ME):
Olympia Snowe (Maine), whose vote was closely watched on the issue, said the bill wasn’t in a position yet where she could support it.
Key word is “yet”. The promise in that word is Democrats can do something that will put her in a position to support it.
But back to Schumer. He, of course, claims the “health” of our democracy rests on its passage. Actually the health of our democracy rests on removing Senators like him from office, but here’s his statement:
"It’s the amount of money, not who you are, that is affected. And so we’ve seen a campaign of desperation, of full muscle, to try to do everything they can to stop this bill because they realize, as already in some campaigns we have seen, how this will fundamentally change the balance of American politics," he said. "It will make the average citizen feel more and more remote from his or her government. It will hurt the fabric of our democracy."
I would posit that the average citizen couldn’t feel more remote from the government than they do now, and this bill’s passage or non-passage has absolutely zero to do with that.
In fact, the average citizen finds the more and more it hears from Senators like Chuck Schumer and sees them in action, the more that citizen realizes that they have little use for the Constitution – except to wrap themselves in it when it is politically expedient to do so – and will take every opportunity to attempt to insert government control where that document promised government wouldn’t be allowed.
It isn’t refusing to limit the 1st Amendment that’s damaging to the “fabric of our democracy”, it’s Senators and other lawmakers who attempt to do it that are the threat.
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When your political opposition is self-destructing (even while in the majority and in control of the legislative and executive branches), most political observers would advise stepping back and allowing them to do so.
But not the Republicans. They’re going to be the “significant other” that gives this president a win on his signature issue and help him maintain both his momentum and the viability of the rest of his agenda.
The “I told you so” part of this is, as I (and many others) have said, Democrats will eventually pass something they can call “health care reform” and save the viability of Obama’s presidency. What you didn’t figure is the Republicans would be both complicit and key to that:
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) confirmed that the three Republicans and three Democrats negotiating the Senate Finance bill are moving away from a broad-based mandate that would force employers to offer insurance. The senators instead are leaning toward a “free rider” provision that requires employers to pay for employees who receive coverage through Medicaid or who receive new government subsidies to purchase insurance through an exchange.
Snowe stressed the committee hasn’t reached a final agreement on any of the key provisions but said, “There is not a broad-based employer mandate. … There are approximately 170 million Americans that receive coverage through employers. That is a significant percentage of the population. We don’t want to undermine that or create a perverse incentive where employers drop the coverage because their employees could potentially get subsidies through the exchange.”
On the nonprofit insurance cooperative, Snowe also said no final decisions have been reached, but “it is safe to say it is probably one that will remain in the final document.”
This is what everyone who talks about it means when they say that Republicans “talk the talk but don’t walk the walk”. Here is a group, and I’d bet there are more that will sign on, who are involved in one of the biggest expansions of government undertaken since the “New Deal”. And when November of next year rolls around, this is the party that is going to want you to believe they are all for less government, less spending and less government intrusion.
And they’ll have this to point to as proof. [/sarc]
The reason the GOP is a shrinking party isn’t because it is the party of the Southern white male. It’s because no believes their nonsense any longer. Sometimes being the party of “no” is the right thing to do.
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