Saturday, December 19, 2009

Showhorses

Steve Benin has an informative post up sketching out the schedule for the remaining consideration of health care reform in the Senate, and making the point that GOP cries about middle of the night votes are especially silly, since Republican delays are the thing causing the middle of the night votes.  I'd say that Republican complaints about rushing the bill through are somewhat less silly, although what counts as "rushing" is entirely subjective, and I don't think most people who have followed this closely feel as if the bill is hurtling along at faster-than-light speeds. 

At any rate, as Steve correctly says, Republican floor action at this point (such as the forced reading of the bill out loud today, and the filibuster of the defense appropriations bill over the last few days) are all phony: they're just attempts to keep the conservative bloggers and talk show yakkers off their backs.  The only thing that Republicans really can do to try to stop the bill is to put pressure on the Mainers to stay with them (which in my view isn't likely to be helped by this sort of tactic), and to attempt to outbid the Dems for Lieberman and Nelson, which is pretty hard to do with the resources available to the minority party, and again isn't likely to be helped by trying to please the Tea Party crowd.

One thing to add -- if what the Republicans are doing is just Kabuki to please the base -- and I agree with Steve about that -- it's worth noting that Mickey Kaus makes a good point that the main complaint from liberals to Obama and Democratic Senators is...not enough Kabuki! 

(And BTW, I think Mickey Kaus is to the left of Howard Dean on this issue).

1 comment:

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