Mitch McConnell Surrenders to Reality
RedState’s Erick Erickson has a piece with the headline “Mitch McConnell Surrenders.” His dastardly crime? Allowing the inevitable to take place early enough on Christmas Eve for his colleagues to get home to their families ahead of an ice storm.
So Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid have agreed not just to vote on the health care package on Thursday morning, but also to lift the debt ceiling.
Then they’ll fly home. All before the sun even makes it to its peak position in the Christmas Eve sky.
Yes, the GOP got the Democrats to go to Christmas Eve. But only for show and face saving.
The GOP will vote against the health care package having not run out the clock, and then they’ll help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling.
As Roll Call puts it, “Under the agreement between Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), votes on final passage of the health care bill and a two-month extension to the debt limit sometime before early afternoon on Christmas Eve.”
Two blows for freedom with Mitch McConnell’s cooperation.
We need a Churchill, not a molehill as the GOP leader.
Good thing George Washington wasn’t a wimp when it came to crossing the Delaware in an ice storm on Christmas night.
By the way, why stick around? We know the Democrats have the votes. Make them own it. If we’re going to throw in the towel early, the GOP should en masse pack up and go home. Leave the Dems alone by themselves to do in the Republic. [all emphases in original]
First off, I don’t understand what Erick is asking McConnell to do: Stay and engage in shenanigans? Or leave town and abdicate his responsibility to vote?
Beyond that, the Democrats have 60 votes for the health care bill. Presumably, the Republicans could be jerks for a few more hours to ruin Christmas. But to what end? How is delaying the inevitable a blow for liberty.
And, I’m sorry, but the “debt ceiling” is a perennial joke. Congress is spending the money. There’s simply no serious debate about whether to raise a meaningless “ceiling” to allow the government to borrow the necessary funds. None.
Okay, so Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas to engage in a surprise attack on some drunk German mercenaries. How is McConnell supposed to apply that lesson to his situation?
UPDATE (Dodd): I think Allah has the right of it on this one:
What’s the problem? They’ve all got kids and grandkids they want to see on Christmas, as do their staffers. Why work late if you don’t have to and doing so would accomplish nothing? Pure spite is a poor political strategy, especially when the basic symbolic point — forcing the Dems to wait until the last possible day to pass this travesty — is preserved.
Actually, the early vote will achieve something the late vote couldn’t: A full day of media devoted to a bill the public hates and which both left and right agree is garbage. Good luck getting people to watch the news after dark on Christmas Eve; now, thanks to the new arrangement, they’ll have almost 12 extra hours to stew about it before the holiday draws them away. McConnell knows what he’s doing here.
Erick’s desire to see the GOP do everything and anything to gum up the works is certainly understandable. But there’s no point in futile gestures. Especially not if you can squeeze some lemonade out of the situation.
See also, Byron York, who says McConnell actually got a decent deal for a relatively small gesture.