Friday, December 18, 2009

That Midnight Cloture Vote

I watched the midnight Senate session last night...very interesting.  A couple of comments:

1.  In a recent post, I said something about, "If Harry Reid is smart, he will..."  A commenter took that as pretty funny, thinking it self-evident that Reid is not apt to do smart things.  I don't agree overall, but it is true that Reid is doing a lousy job of dramatizing GOP stalling tactics.  The Dems have a good issue, PR-wise, in the Republican filibuster of the defense appropriations bill.  Yet Reid (and Durbin) didn't do a good job of making TV-ready UC requests to vote on the bill right now.  They did make the requests, but without staging them for video.  Opportunity missed. 

2.  There was a lot of commotion when Robert Byrd wheeled in to cast his cloture vote.  Seemed to me that Byrd was saying something, but I couldn't pick up what it was on the CSPAN feed, and I haven't seen any reporting.  Anyone?

3.  All 60 Dem showed up and voted for cloture.  Then, at the last minute, three of the four GOP women stepped up to vote with the Dems.  Hutchison was presumably screwed either way; she decided better to be attacked by Rick Perry for being weak on health care (by not voting to filibuster defense spending, a fairly tenuous attack) rather than being attacked for not supporting the troops.  More interesting were the votes of the Mainers.  Snowe and Collins have been mostly sticking with the GOP on procedural and symbolic votes so far during the health care debate, including, for Snowe, votes in Senate Finance; this one was off-pattern.  Does that hint that they're getting fed up with GOP tactics?  I don't know.  Snowe sure did get a lot of time from the president yesterday.


  1. Thanks for following this. I really appreciate it.

  2. I think I was said commenter.
    Where we would differ is on the degree to which we think PR is the job of the majority leader. I kinda regard it as jobs #1,2 and 3, hence why I have little to no faith in his skills.

  3. Matt,

    Actually, I don't think it was you...doesn't matter. Anyway, I'm surprised: Really? I wouldn't put PR responsibilities very high at all for the majority leader. I mean, I did write this post about it, but I don't think it matters much.


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