Cash For Cloture
Someone, perhaps this commenter at ABC’s The Note, has coined “Cash for Cloture” to describe the outrageous giveaways agreed to by the Senate Democratic leadership to buy off the last few Senators to get to 60 votes on the health care bill. It’s spreading fast, with Mark Steyn and Glenn Reynolds employing the meme and Michelle Malkin using the coinage and compiling a “bribe list.”
It’s a funny play on “Cash for Clunkers” and a good way to call attention to what is in fact a rather egregious abuse.
Responding to Republican Eric Cantor’s observation that “They’re allocating taxpayer dollars as if those dollars belonged to the senators. It borders on immoral,” Steyn snorts, “You can’t even dignify this squalid racket as bribery: If I try to buy a cop, I have to use my own money. But, when Harry Reid buys a senator, he uses my money, too. It doesn’t ‘border on immoral’: It drives straight through the frontier post and heads for the dark heartland of immoral.”
But here’s the thing: This is how our system works and has worked since time immemorial. Discussions of logrolling and pork barrel politics have been part of introductory American politics courses since, oh, the advent of introductory American politics courses. The terms were coined in 1835 (by Davy Crockett, no less) and 1863 (by Edward Everett Hale). Let’s just say Harry Reid didn’t invent them.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shine a light on these abuses. By all means, we should. But let’s not pretend that they’re a recent invention.